Solo The Dijed Stone

Aldgare has a gift for Madeira

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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The Dijed Stone

Postby Madeira Craven on November 18th, 2018, 7:09 pm

"Good afternoon, Aldgare."

It was a queer sort of pleasure Madeira experienced at using the patriarch of the Dusk family's first name. The man looked up from the hearth fire he was contemplating in the tower solar and smiled a welcoming smile. Even from across the room she could tell he was not the same well man she had met several weeks ago. That old man had been
as healthy and sturdy as a man decades younger. This one was thinner,
lined with stress and bent with grief, though his words were as gentle
and his presence as overwhelming as ever. Madeira let the door shut
behind her, and the sounds of the school, a mixture of chattering
students, the strike of chalk and the scratching of quills, faded
away.

"How was class today, Madeira?"

"Productive, sir. I brought one of my servants in for a lesson in
hostile possession. Two boys had to see a healer for bumps and
bruises, and one had to be exorcised and treated for fatigue, but
overall I believed they learned a lot."

The patriarch squinted at her as she approached. Outlined in the glow
of firelight Madeira cut a strange and regal figure, dressed in a
poufy sleeved dress in an eye watering shade of yellow, in silk spider
web patterned gloves and glittering jewels of many clashing colors on
her fingers and throat. But Aldgare was not looking at her appearance.
His sight studied the many colors of her aura that reached outward
from her small body, and concluded that no, she was not being
facetious. He sighed a long, drawn out sigh.

"My dear, you do know that we discourage the maiming of the students
in our classes, don't you? You've only been here a few weeks and
already you have something of a reputation."

Madeira joined him at the fireplace, letting the warmth soak through
her dress. The opulence of the wealthiest Tower shone in it's
cavernous, high ceiling rooms and tall windows, but that just gave the
chill Fall air more room to waft through. She smiled ruefully, joining
Aldgare as he went back to staring into the fire. She knew the rumors
and was rather flattered by the reaction. If they weren't scared of
her and her brutal teachings she wasn't doing it right.

"It was hardly a maiming, and I had everything under control. Besides,
they won't find ghosts in the field going easy on them just because
they're inexperienced."

"I've heard this 'servant' of yours tried to kill you with Pryce's hand."

"He does that every so often. Jomi likes to keep me on my toes."

Aldgare chuckled, shaking his head slowly in disbelief.

"You are an unusual woman, Madeira. I think we will have to move you
up a couple levels next season. Your talents are wasted on the
inexperienced, and that's hardly why we brought you here in the first
place."

"You just don't want me maiming any more teenagers", she teased.
Though in her chest her heart gave a great and sudden gallop to hear
the patriarch recommend she begin taking on more experienced
students. She agreed that her knowledge was wasted on the uninitiated
when she was capable of so much more.

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The Dijed Stone

Postby Madeira Craven on November 18th, 2018, 7:13 pm

He smiled indulgently. "They've learned all they can from you, I
believe. And you've learned all you can from them. I have heard your
teaching methods have gotten better since you've started. Though of course
there is always room for improvement."

"Is there anything you don't hear, sir?"

"Not much anymore, my dear. Do you know why I've called you here?"

"No, sir." She had assumed Aldgare wanted to check on the progress of
his newly acquired asset, but something in his tone was throwing her
off. Not wanting to appear clueless in front of her employer, she
wracked her brain and came to the only other logical answer. "Is this
a private lesson, sir?"

The old man nodded, and gestured her to the plush seat she had
occupied when she had met Aldgare Dusk the first time.

"Have a seat, Madeira. I apologize for the lack of attention you have
been receiving in your education. Being short staffed..."

His words trailed away with a dismissive wave of his hand. His face
was carefully composed, and no hint of emotion winged across his
countenance, but the man was human, and Madeira knew pain was seeping
into his very bones. Chiona Dusk, his daughter, was suppose to be her
teacher. But the woman had killed an Eth in cold blood, in a park not
far from where they sat, in front of witnesses of which Madeira
herself had been one. She had been carted off to Twuele that fateful
night and Madeira had not seen her since.

"Sir..."

"We will not discuss that further", Aldgare's voice flared for the
first time, and his authority cracked like a whip over Madeira's head.
Not for the first time she wondered if the man really could read her
mind. Pity swelled up from the pit of her stomach even as her heart
frosted to hear the power in his voice. Clearing her throat, Madeira
spoke fast and low, giving him no chance to interrupt her.

"If you wont have my explanations, please have my condolences. I had
only met her once, but the woman I met in these halls is not the same
I saw in that park. Whatever happened, whatever influence she was
under, I am truly sorry it had to happen to your daughter."

They looked at each other for a long moment. Madeira forced herself to
look him in the eye, though his hawkish gaze was overwhelming. After a
moment the man turned away, and the spell was broken. His voice was
again gentle, his tone inquisitive, as he crossed the floor to collect
something that glittered in a locked glass fronted cabinet.

"I understand you've attended an Auristic lesson this season, before
the demands of a teacher pulled you away from your studies. How was
that experience?"

Madeira shifted uncomfortably, her social skills slower than Aldgare's
to acclimate to this new climate. "Ah, excellent sir. Thank you for
allowing my bondmate enroll as well. It was an enlightening experience
for both of us."

"Ah, yes, Allister." Aldgare let the name ring pregnant in the room as
he returned, cradling a shiny black stone to his chest in a velvet
sheath. "Quite a character. That Kelvic is beginning to establish his
own reputation."

Madeira chuckled nervously, but didn't answer, hoping that is she
didn't add to the conversation it would die obligingly. Thankfully
Aldgare didn't design to revive it. Instead he placed the stone before
her on the low coffee table between them, and sat in his own plush
chair.

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The Dijed Stone

Postby Madeira Craven on November 20th, 2018, 1:22 am

"A gift", he explained, looking at her carefully under his bushy
brows. "Or perhaps an apology, for the horrible circumstances
surrounding your arrival and the slow pace of your education. It's an
artifact from before the Valterrian, a Stone of Power, blessed by a
shaman called Tuvrenan. Do you know the history?"

"No", Madeira breathed, her eyes falling to the stone and unable to
look away. To even be in the same room as an object from before the
cataclysm was taking her breath away. The stone was beautiful. It
looked to be obsidian, a pure black as reflective as glass. It was
roughly the size of her palm, and upon closer inspection she could see
glyphs riddled upon in its surface. A gift, he said. But where could
the Dusk family have found such a gift? And how could they possibly
have afforded an artifact from the breaking of the world?

"There are a few of them in Miza, though not many survived.
Tuvrenan was known to imbue great power into these regular stones,
each one possessing a glyph written in the Ancient Tongue on their
surface. He had been known to bless many iconic figures of the first
age of civilization with a stone, granting them either an enhancement
or new profound abilities." he gestured to the stone, lying
resplendent in its nest of purple velvet. "Take it, it is yours. May
the cooperation of the Dusk and Craven families bring us new and great
discoveries."

"I'm... Thank you, sir. I'm honored." Even so, she did not move to
touch it. Her hands stayed firmly in her lap. "What does it do?"

"My, Madeira," Aldgare's dark eyes sparked with some of his old sly mirth. "Do you think I mean to harm you?"

"Of course not, sir. But we've already established that Spiritists are liars", she retorted, bringing him back to their first conversation and all the secrets the master Aurist had rooted out of her. "And you must know all Maledictors are cautious. You lean to be careful what you touch."

"And careful with what a Spiritist tells you", he finished the unspoken implication. "A wise decision. But what of an Aurist? See, here" he leaned forward, touching the stone with the tips of his fingers and turning it over in his hands. The shine of it glanced off its glassy surface like a knife, throwing great arcs of orange firelight across the room. "This stone greatly enhances ones power to use auristics. When the stone is held in the owner’s hand it melds into the palm, where the texture of the stone spreads over the entire palm and the inside of the fingers so long as the effect is active. The stone can be used for one continuous day before it will revert to its original form, where it will require twenty four bells to recharge. Take it, and my promise as a Dusk that it will do exactly as I say."

Madeira had no quam about accepting something from Aldgare. As much as she knew how gullible and naïve she was being, she trusted the old man. There was something about him that made ones guards fall away. And who in their right mind wouldn't leap at the chance to have an artifact like this?

Removing her gloves and rings, Madeira reached across the table and placed the stone in the palm of her left hand. At first nothing happened. Then, to her eyes, it looked like the stone was melting away like candle wax. It dissolved, running like liquid into the well of her palm, only to spread outward up her fingers. In the end the whole underside of her hand was glassy and a solid, impenetrable black. She flexed her hand, marveling. It still felt like her skin, her joints and flesh folded just fine. But to her eye it might as well have been solid stone.

"Oh my gods", she whispered, forgetting herself as she marveled at her gift.

"You haven't even seen it's power yet, Madeira," Aldgare reminded her gently, though she thought she saw a flicker of pleasure in his composed face to see his gift so well received.

"Yes... Yes, of course." Madeira shook herself out of her reverie. She pulled her gloves back on, hiding the black and its distractive magic. "The lesson. How should we start?"

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The Dijed Stone

Postby Madeira Craven on November 20th, 2018, 2:01 am

"Look into the fire", the teacher started, sitting back in his chair.

Dutifully, the student did just that. Madeira squinted into the light, seeing the spidering veins of white heat in the logs and the scaley black where the wood had been sucked dry of fuel. She could see the hazy line where the heat and energy met the cool air, and pick out every colour between blue to red dancing through every tongue of flame.

"Now", continued Aldgare, "see if it is hot."

"It is, sir", she answered after a confused pause.

"No, your skin is telling you its hot. Your memory is telling you what hot is and what it feels like. I need you to see if it is hot."

Madeira cracked her knuckles and closed her eyes, finding that head space she occupied only when developing soulmist and practicing hypnotism, and tried again. Opening her eyes she sought not to see just the flames but the energy surrounding it. She massaged her thumb into her palm, pressing hard enough to cause pain, imagining she was drawing power from the stone imbedded in her skin. Her eyes began to water with the effort of looking straight into a source of light, but she didn't blink or move to wipe the tears away.

"You cannot force it", Aldgare's gentle voice reached her from what felt like across a great chasm. "Relax, bring forward your dijed and see beyond what you see. You are reaching into the very essence of things. You must go gently."

Madeira forced herself to take a deep, cleansing breath. She acknowledged each of her muscles and unspooled them one by one, letting the stress wind off her bones. She coaxed her dijed to her eyes, let it sit in her vision. She imagined it obscuring her sight, sliding her vision in and out of focus as she sought the deeper sight.

"There are aura's all around us. Everything we touch leaves a trace, everything that touches up leaves a mark. This is less about soul and more about being. Focus on the being, synchronize with the very essence of it. It longs to tell you everything it is."

Was that colour there before? As Madeira's focus flickered she swore she saw something at the very outer edges of the flame. It moved in ways tide to the flame yet independent of the breeze that disturbed it. Her eyes were starting to ache with the power she was filtering through her untested eyes, but she focused on that colour, latching on and willing it to show itself.

At first it was nothing but a razor thin line of patterns and colors she could hardly see, but as she took Aldgare's advice and drew back, it began to bloom. It was like a passive act, like trying to catch something from the corner of ones eyes. To see it she could not look at it. But under her focus it began to unfurl, and in that strange color she could see everything.

"It's hot", she told her teacher, her voice sure as it had never been and full of wonder. "But it's hottest at the top. The heat moves on the outside and travels up." Suddenly she knew. She knew how deep the fire penetrated into the wood and how much energy it was sapping from the dissolving ash. The stone in her hand was waking, and its power rushed to aid her own. And she knew. The aura was telling her everything, and the sudden jump in power was dizzying.

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The Dijed Stone

Postby Madeira Craven on November 21st, 2018, 1:37 am

"You're a fast learner, Madeira."

Aldgare's praise was pleased and almost prideful. He was proud of her, she realized. And the sensation was so foreign it took her a chime to even place it. When was someone last proud of her? Was it her father, upon receiving the news she had been accepted into the Craven manor for training? No, that was pride in himself, for raising her. Was it when she had rescued the Speaker from a murderous spirit in Alvadas, in front her entire family and half the city? No, that was more relief that she did not get the Speaker killed rather than pride in her saving him. Whenever it was, if it had ever even happened, she enjoyed this instance where her master teacher looked upon his student and was proud.

High on success and praise, she decided she could do better. Her dijed heavy eyes moved from the fire to Aldgare, and after a few moments of concentration his aura sparked into being. Moved by the flow of dijed and the manipulation of auristics, the stone in her left hand moved too. Supplementing and adding strength to her raw dijed, and focusing and refining the rough technique of her manipulation of it, the stone changed how the magic worked within her. She began to see her teacher's aura in clearer focus.

And Madeira's jaw dropped to see the aura of a human being for the first time. The fire had nothing but a five centimetre aura around itself, the energy within complex but limited. But a sentient being? It reached outward by over half a meter. It rose and curled like the shroud of a ghost, or smoke in a windstorm. From it she could see the magic in the pendent hidden in his robes, and the grief that rose from his shoulders like a morning mist. There was residue of magic on his tongue and hands. He had made soulmist recently. She was so lost in the beauty and complexity and the information within it that she didn't realize she was staring until Aldgare cleared his throat.

"That's enough. Focusing too long and too hard can lead to over giving."

Madeira let the magic go, and as her focus dissipated so did her dijed. It left by fractions, draining out of her eyes and back to her soul. The stone did not leave her hand, but untapped it was inert and lifeless in her hand and hidden beneath her glove. Fearings he crossed the line she tried to apologize, but Aldgare only held up his hand for silence.

"Curiosity is not a sin, my dear. Auristics is a useful skill, and I believe you will find it very useful in your daily life. But though it is considered the safest kind of magic, it is still magic, and magic has consequences. Be careful how and how much you use it."

"What are the risks? My uncle Frode use to preach about the dangers of personal magic and over giving", she remembered, smiling fondly at the memory of her insane uncle and his eccentricities. He had dove deep into many kinds of unsanctioned personal magics in his youth, and had paid the price. The man was as brittle as a piece of chalk, always ill, and most said he had lost his mind decades before she was born. Never the less he was by far her favourite relative. She had even learned to enjoy his brutal Spiritism teaching methods and was her main inspiration in her own lessons.

"Like all personal magic, you run the risk of overexerting your dijed. This can bring on all of the usual complications: headaches, exhaustion, madness... But you can also wear out whatever organs you use to channel your dijed and perceive auras. Losing your sense of sight, taste, touch, are all risks you must come to terms with if you are to study this magic."

"I understand. I won't take this lightly."

Aldgare smiled, his head bowing in a slight nod. "I know you won't. Take care of that Stone, let it teach you, and hopefully it will be as invaluable you you as you are to us."

Madeira laughed at the flattery, but hated herself for the flush of pleasure in her cheeks. How many people had she flattered in her life? Why was it now suddenly working on her, a hypnotist and a liar?

"This is an incredible gift. I will treasure it."

Aldgare stood to see her out, and she joined him for a brief goodbye at the door. She thanked him again for the incredible artifact she had been entrusted with, and the sentiment was warmly returned. She considered opening the topic of his daughter again, but something in his eye told her this was not wise. They shook hands and parted ways, and on her way home Madeira was not thinking of the yet another barrier within her that Aldgare Dusk was able to skillfully destroy, but was holding her blackened hand up to the moonlight to see it chase itself in silver lines across her palm.

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Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 1126
Words: 919340
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
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Journal
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Medals: 7
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The Dijed Stone

Postby Madeira Craven on December 14th, 2018, 12:00 am

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Madeira Craven

Skills
  • Rhetoric: 4xp
  • History: 2xp
  • Auristics: 3xp
  • Meditation: 1xp

Lores
  • Dusk Tower: acquiring an infamous reputation
  • Dusk Tower: thinks Madeira is capable of more
  • Lore of the Stone of Power
  • Lore of the history of the Stone of Power
  • Lore of an introduction to Auristics
  • Auristics: a passive magic
  • Auristics: the difference between static and sentient aura

Awards & Retribution
+Stone of Power

Notes
Notes here.
User avatar
Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 1126
Words: 919340
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 7
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (1)
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Donor (1) One Thousand Posts! (1)
2018 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)


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