You Put a Spell On Me

Elias and Shiress

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A city floating in the center of a lake, Ravok is a place of dark beauty, romance and culture. Behind it all though is the presence of Rhysol, God of Evil and Betrayal. The city is controlled by The Black Sun, a religious organization devoted to Rhysol. [Lore]

You Put a Spell On Me

Postby Elias Caldera on March 17th, 2019, 11:07 pm

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13th Day of Spring, 519 AV

Elias Caldera found himself laying on his back, desperate for breath and staring up at the clouds as they lazily drifted between the leaves overhead, and all the while wondering where exactly had the time gone? With a wry grin, he turned his attention to the side and looked upon his love whom laid besides him, skin glistening with sweat and chest heaving just as fiercely as his. As his eyes fell upon her heavenly and supple form, he realized with a quickening of his heartbeat that he could not bring himself to look away again, even if he wanted. Every contour of her flesh, every curve that blessed it and scar that marred it, Elias knew by heart, yet still they served to mesmerize the soldier again and again without fail. He looked upon her, his mistress, his lover, his queen, and beheld perfection faintly smiling back at him. Lips like lavender, hair like an autumn breeze, even in exhaustion she radiated a beauty that was difficult to describe and impossible to replicate. All Elias knew for certain was that when she looked at him with those emerald eyes, their brilliance magnified tenfold by a giddy smile, there was something inside the soldier that simply… surrendered.

It was a sensation of calm and belonging, a dire reprieve that he had not known for so long, yet since their return to the mansion together, could not imagine himself without anymore. His fingers stirred to life in response, whimsically tracing a path across the valleys of her stomach and the peaks of her breasts until at last they snaked their way down her long and slender arm and found her fingers waiting at their journeys end. Elias intertwined his own in hers and was for the moment, content.

That was until he realized with some small alarm that his pants were likely still hanging from a tree or a bush somewhere. As he slowly began to crane his neck and looked about the small clearing by the lake they had claimed as their own this fine mid-morning day, he noticed that his boots too were nowhere to be seen. Luckily, his sword still leaned against the nearby oak that had been so kind as to cast its shifting shade over their writhing forms. Shiress had fared little better it seemed, the whereabouts of her dress as much a mystery as the rest of her hastily discarded garb. In fact, the only thing Elias could see for certain were the pair of velvety black undergarments -his uncontested favorite of hers- hanging limply from the girl’s ankle upon which it had been thoroughly forgotten.

He remembered, through the haze and the heat of their passion, how this had all started; a declaration of war. Shiress, the impish minx, had attempted to swipe the last blueberry tart from out under his nose. Sure, she had been the one to pack the picnic basket full of them when he’d first suggested they go to the country for their lesson, but the bond between a man and his last tart is not so easily forsaken. What had followed was a desperate and daring chase through the clearing, one which both the smirking hunter and his giggling prey had been equally eager to end in the catch. Elias couldn’t quite recall what had happened to it in the end, likely ant food by now he imagined. Things had certainly become… hectic the moment the two of them had collapsed to the forest floor in a heap of jubilant screams and breathy snickering. In each others arm they had found their priorities all of the sudden shifting from sugary pastries to something else just as sweet and tempting. He couldn’t say how long a time they had spent like that, nor even how long they had remained satisfied to simply lie in each other’s arms afterwards. In truth, bells, days, weeks, the time they shared together never seemed to really matter anymore.

I think…” Elias began, clearing his throat and wiping a scarred hand over his brow, “its possible, we might have gotten a bit distracted.” He muttered, turning to face her once more. The two shared a look, and his facade of professionalism and embarrassment lasted all of two ticks before the pale mage broke down into unadulterated fit of laughter upon the ramfulled blanket they laid upon.

The soldier breathed a heavy sigh, knowing full well it was high time he rose and set to the task at hand, but whether it was Shiress holding him down or his own good sense, he couldn’t tell. Instead, he elected to pull his healer closer, her auburn head of hair resting upon his chest while their legs proceeded to hopelessly entangled themselves in one another beneath. For a while, it was bliss unparralled, with not but the gentle winds tussling the spring born trees, and the melodies of distant song birds echoing across the crystal clear waters. After a moment however, Elias broke the serenity of the silence once more. “Do you feel that?” He whispered, eyes fixated upon the faded sheen of Lake Ravok lapping gently lapping against the shore not ten yards from where they lay. “Its like a weight lifted from our shoulders. A muscle coming unbound after so long coiled tight…” he went on, voice soft and untethered like a dream. “Ever since the gardens I’ve felt a change. No longer is there a knife hiding in every shadow, or a threat lingering around each corner.” He guffawed. “Even my neck hasn’t felt this good in years, and I realize now its because I’ve stopped looking over my shoulder every waking hour of every single day expecting the next tragedy to come creeping up from behind.

Another deep and satiated breath, this time as he laid his head atop of hers and reveled in the faint aroma of vanilla and flowers unplucked. “I didn’t know the name of this feeling until now.” He confessed with air of reverence and assured benediction. "Peace." Elias muttered.

This is what is peace is… and it’s all ours.

It felt like another few chimes before anyone dared to spurn the carefree delight the pale lord and the former slave basked in, but like before he felt something moving him to purpose, and this time he could not shake it.

It changes you, you know.” The Caldera murmured, the tone and tenor of his once tranquil mumblings changed now to something not as demure. “You tell yourself you’re still the same person, that you’ll stay that way for as long as you like, but it becomes a part of you -it always was, but now its right there, dragged to the forefront for the world to see and trying to deny it is like trying to deny the very air in yours lungs. When you came to me, eager and earnest to learn, I admit I was proud. I saw the same drive in you that I think my masters saw in me, but never once did I see it as a choice. It was always just a mean to an end, a tool at my disposal, a weapon in my hand, but you…” Something changed again in the pale man, and slowly he began to rouse himself from their paradise, pushing upwards until his hardened bulk leaned over Shiress, a hand upon her tender cheek and his cold gaze bearing down upon hers in earnest. “You have a choice, Shiress. One I never had." Thus came the dreaded question that had to be asked, and the answer that had to be spoken in no uncertain terms.

"Are you certain this is what you truly want. Are you certain you’re prepared to call yourself a sorceress from now on, because if you do go down this path, know that there is no coming back.
Last edited by Elias Caldera on March 18th, 2019, 4:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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You Put a Spell On Me

Postby Shiress on March 18th, 2019, 3:22 am

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Shiress watched Elias as he watched her, a helpless smile spreading across her moistened lips. When he looked at her in this way, his assure eyes dancing over her form with such appreciation and genuine admiration, it made her feel wanted, reminded her that she was a worthy woman to be loved and valued. It also reminded Shiress that she was free and that she was loved, and she was cherished. Hope fulfilled, and trust validated. All this bestowed in a single glance from Elias's arresting blue eyes.

Shiress sighed contentedly, lifted Elias's hand and pressed her lips to the tip of callus hardened fingers, kissing each in turn as he spoke. "Only a little distracted." she purred, letting the last finger slip between her lips, sucking at it gently with a teasing look in her eyes. "It's good to hear you laugh." she said, nestling into him as he pulled her close. "I mean, truly laugh." she sighed "It just seems like forever ago that anyone had anything to be happy about."

Shiress let herself ease into her Soldier's arms, settling her head against his chest, and let the gentle vibration of his voice roam through her senses. Peace. Such an alien word and an even more foreign concept. When was the last time she felt at peace? Five chimes before her and her brother were attacked in Sunberth, she figured. Zane. Was he at peace? Shiress pressed herself more firmly against Elias. Even in Syliras, she hadn't known peace, not truly. In Syliras she was still a slave and wholly unaware of it. An escaped slave is still a slave, only escaped. A pseudo-freedom that just now she was aware of.

"Like finally having freedom after seasons upon season of enslavement?" she asked, smiling to herself. Shiress's fingers trailed along the tuft of hair lining Elias's breastbone a tick before she spoke again, her tone wistful. "When I lived in Syliras, before Sayana, I killed my slave Master from Sunberth. I stabbed him." she paused, realizing she had a habit of stabbing her Masters, gave a little snort, then continued. "I thought I would find peace then. I thought I had for a time, but I was wrong. I thought killing him would bring closure, give me peace but it didn't." she cleared her throat, letting her finger trail further down along Elias's stomach, before retracing its path back up to his chest. "I was free, but I was a free slave, but now.."

She took a deep, satisfied breath "now I know exactly what you mean. I feel it too. I see color in the world again. I hear sounds that I know were there before, but now... it's like they are louder, more distinct. I see things too, things I didn't notice before." she paused, watching her hand run along the peaks and valleys of a muscular stomach. "It's like stepping from chaos into tranquility." Shiress smiled. "The world has come alive again."

She fell silent for a time, then Elias spoke, and he was leaning over her, and the look upon his scared face told Shiress that he sought a true answer. She gazed into those blue eyes a tick before answering, her voice steady, assured. "This is what I want. I don't want to be helpless anymore, Elias. I never want to find myself weaponless and defenseless again." She let that certainty linger between them for a time, then grinned.

Shiress knocked a hand into the inside of Elias's elbow, threw herself against him, and used her leg to vault over top him. Suddenly the mage would find himself flat on his back with Shiress straddling him. She was reasonably certain he had helped. She smirked down at him "Plus, how else will I keep you from.." stretching out over him, quite on purpose, Shiress reached for something above his head and settled back into place with the very blueberry tart that had precipitated there little tussle, "eating all the sweets?" she said, then, still grinning, took a bite of the tart, chewed, and swallowed.

With a finger, she dug out a bit of blueberry and smeared it across Elias's lips. With an eagerness that belied her teasing Shiress leaned forward, letting her tongue swipe across the remnants of blueberry before delving between his lips. For a long chime, she kissed him, only breaking the sticky sweet caress of their tongues before his arms could pin her in place.

"Now, come on." she said, straightening awkwardly as she attempted to disentangle her undergarment from her foot. She managed it and pulled them on, along with her dress, though, inside out as it was. "We have work to do."

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Last edited by Shiress on April 6th, 2019, 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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You Put a Spell On Me

Postby Elias Caldera on March 19th, 2019, 10:13 pm

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As honeyed lips parted from his own and Shiress set about gathering her things, something lingered in her words that kept the pale mage from rising alongside her. She’d killed before. He heard himself replaying over and over in his head She’d had another master before. Had he known that? Had she told him such things in the past and he’d somehow inexplicably forgotten, or was this as new and as jolting as it made him feel now? The revelation left him pondering over a great many things in a very short amount of time, but none so forthright or as pressing as the very nature of things between them. From the moment they’d bumped into each other at the market, to the night they spent making love over the fires of the Lark gardens, the journey he and Shiress had been placed on had been one deceptively long blur of bloodshed and passion, of heartache and redemption, of madness and beauty, all of which had coalesced into a dizzying and oftentimes dreadful procession into an uncertain future. It was a future they had dared to face together however, hand in hand come what may. As long as they had one another, there was a certainty there between the two that nothing -absolutely nothing- could stand in their way.

The bedlam of their beginnings had ended as abruptly as it had begun, and now Elias found himself here… unsure of what that truly meant, and not just for himself, but for them both.

Sure, they had shared a great deal in the days since Shiress’s fiery liberation, but for the words they spoke, the sweet nothings they moaned, in the end they had said very little. Each conversation shared in jest or amiability felt more like a celebration of their unity, a jubilee of their triumph that had lasted weeks in the wake of such a grand accomplishment in the face of such insurmountable odds.

What did he really know about this woman whom had claimed his heart so?

More troubling yet, what did she really know about the monster than had claimed hers?

You won’t need those.” Elias groaned as he sluggishly sat up, shaking his head of the all the thoughts and worries he had no care to indulge. Shiress had been in the middle of reaching for something -hopefully his boots, of which he still saw no sign- when he called out. He wasn’t just being coy either with some cheeky excuse to keep her as undressed as possible. The truth was, where they were going, they wouldn’t need clothes.

Come,” he called out a second time, “Sit, and we shall talk of things in earnest.” He waited for her patiently, an ardent seriousness to his expression despite the fact that he was still as naked as the day he was born. “As I was saying before” Slyly, he wiped the last remnants of the tart’s crust from the corner of his lip and left the rest unsaid, “Magic is a tool, but do not mistake it for a toy. Its nature is volatile, and its mercy for those who come to tame it unprepared is nonexistent. I’ll warn you once more; if you sought out this discipline solely because you feel you must overcome it and all the atrocities that those who have used it upon you in the past committed, then we shall continue down this course no further.” He voice was stern and grim, like a drill sergeant’s or some disapproving father. “To suggest the idea of a competition is to invite the possibility of defeat. What you must you come to grips with first and foremost is that your djed -your magic- is not some outside and alien force to be called upon, it is in fact a part of you. More than that, it is you. Your authority and will over it must be as they are in all things in life; absolute. Do you understand?

There was a definite and drastic change in the way Elias now spoke to his mistress. The languid, carefree tenderness to his tenor had been replaced with a severity that he fully intended to convey. As most hardness and cruelty shown to a loved one often was, his was done out of fear for her safety. The Caldera wanted this for her, and he hadn’t realized how desperately until the moment she had brought up the idea. Magic elevated a man beyond mortal limits. It lifted one upon its shoulder far over the heads of his fellows and nearer to gods than most could ever comprehend. It was power, pure and pinnacle, but in the same breath, oh how its downfalls could become unprecedented nightmares. If he intended to grant this gift to the Zeltivan doctor, then Elias was going to make certain she was worthy of it, otherwise he’d only be feeding her to jaws of a beast that had already claimed untold millions.

Now, if I am to teach you and guide you in these things, then you will obey me as a student obeys her instructor.” The choice to use that last word instead of ‘master’ may have come off as more obvious than he had intended, but he erred on the side of caution, especially when the wounds of her incarceration were still so fresh. Yet to coddle her is to do her a disservice. He heard a whisper rebuke. His words alone could make her feel safe, convince her that she was as much his equal as his lover, but it would be her might through magic alone that would convince the rest of world that hers was not a resolve to petched with. Such heights required strength to reach. Strength he knew the gentle healer had within, for he had seen it with his own two eyes, just as he had witnessed it recede and all but vanish when the need for it had passed. “Until I deem you ready, you will not perform your magic in any capacity without my supervision. You will never hesitate when I tell you to stop. You will never deviate or give up on the lessons I have tasked you with. You will do as I command in all things and in all things you will seek to surpass me.” That last part was a uniquely Ebonstryfe sentiment most instructors imparted upon their students, but now more than ever was the time to bring such resolute determination to the forefront and make it as much a part of her as the selfless generosity he’d fallen head over heals for, and not just because she was now driven to become a mage either. Goodness and grace in all things was nice and all, but Ravok was a God in of itself, one that hungered like no other and made sacrifices of the meek and self-doubting like so many lambs at the city’s altar. Elias would not allow such a fate to befall his woman as it had done so many before her. Hers was a destiny of greatness, he had seen it, and if that meant learning to climb over the weak and undeserving that had failed in the same pursuit, then by all that Elias was and ever would be, he swore he would make certain she learned to do it with a smile.

The pale mage waited for the healer to affirm his ultimatum and give herself over to his authority. Not an easy thing to ask of an ex-slave, but neither was it something he would ever dare to ask lightly.

Now… Hypnotism.

Gods, he hoped he could remember all the babbling his teachers back at the university had done at him, or this was going to be a very short lesson.

’A discipline only as robust as the mind that wields it.’” Elias quoted, “It is the weaponization and deployment of a sorceress’s desire. It is will and want made manifest and infectious. Your djed, in its purest form, latches unto to anything that connects it to another’s thoughts. Words, looks, simple gestures, and even…” He cocked his head to side ever so slightly and unleashed a startlingly loud whistle. The pitch seemed off in a sense, too deep to be natural, as if a humming had been layered atop. If Shiress was paying close attention however, she would notice the results almost immediately.

The birds had stopped singing.

All around them it was if the forest had fallen silent. No animal stirred, so creature chirped or chimed. There was a deathly stillness, like passing over a grave. The Stryfer made two more calls with his lips, and an instant later a bird, small and brown, came shooting out of trees and landed nonchalantly upon Elias’s outstretched finger. “Sound.” The Ravokian finished, to which the bird responded with a single, warbling tweet.

The means to which you deploy your will to those within your sphere influence is not the issue, for the methods at a hypnotist’s disposal are many and near impossible to defend against. The true test comes from making certain your djed and your will it ferries takes root in an unsuspecting mind once it has infected it.

He turned then to the bird his call had summoned and handed the tiny feathered creature to Shiress like one would pass a rose. Once in her custody, it remained as docile and temperate as it had been in his. “For example, animals are simple creatures with simple minds. Unlike man, they are ruled purely by their instinct and require no convoluted reasoning or elaborate convincing to do what you want them to. They won’t understand the words I whisper or the human concepts I try and convey. All beasts on this planet do merely as they were created to do; to petch, fight and feed, and it is through these primal and baser impulses that they are made our puppets.” He snapped his fingers suddenly, three short clicks one after the other. The sparrow in turn let loose three short chirps in tandem. “Just as one must understand their djed into order to wield it, it is imperative that a hypnotist must understand their victim so as to assert control. I’ve convinced him he’s hungry." He went on, motioning with a nod to the bird in question. "Hungry enough that this promise of food is too much of an allure to resist, and that if he does exactly what I tell him to, his hunger shall be sated.

Elias raised his hand once more, and once more the pale mage snapped his fingers thrice. This time however, all around them a hundred chirps answered in unison one, two, three. Suddenly, the forest was alive again, alive and heading right for them. The leaves shook and rumbled as scores of birds big and small came careening out of the verdant foliage only to land abruptly mere feet away from where the Ravokian and his student sat. They surrounded the pair from every angle, trilling and calling out to one another while they hopped about in some strange but idle fascination that kept them in place. “A hypnotist is also not contained by the limits of how many minds he can corrupt, just by the concentration required to uphold his dominion over each.”

He paused for a moment, studying Shiress’s reaction to all this. Truth be told, it was a great deal to unload upon someone all at once and he wasn't entirely sure if such was an appropriate method to teach by. While it was easy enough to say all of this out loud and expect it to be remembered, it was another thing entirely for it to be understood. He had a plan to solve that conundrum forth coming, but the soldier was still working up the courage to enact it. In the mean time, the rundown would just have to continue as is.

For all our capacity to convince however, there are still some things that even the most talented of manipulators can’t accomplish. A man will not intentionally do himself harm simply because a whisper at the back of his thoughts, no matter how incessant, told him to. You can beat a mind submission and hope it remains intact by time your suggestion takes root, but a zealot will not abandon his faith, the greedy will not share their wealth, and the brave will not surrender their pride. Even those of the weakest of convictions can not be turned against their nature… but luckily, a hypnotist is not alone in their toils.

Two snaps, scarred fingers coming together for a third time. Like before, the birds answered, but this time there was eeriness that permeated their response. They went silent again, and as Shiress would come to soon realize, they were all fixated upon the small sparrow in her clutches… unblinking… undivided in their almost voracious attention. Their little bodies had all at once tensed as if preparing to lunge.

These birds will not harm my enemies because I tell them to, but the mind, especially in men, is a desperate and capricious thing, always seeking to make sense of all it perceives, especially if there is no sense to be made of it in the first place. Given enough time, anyone can persuade themselves that what they’re doing has merit and meaning, if only because to do otherwise is uncomfortable. There are many ways to get a victim to agree and submit themselves to your bidding, but none so effective as making them believe it was their idea in the first place.” He affixed his attention to bird still in his lover’s care. “As I said, these birds wont attack out of hatred or animosity, but if were to tell them they were starving…

His tone sank, and something akin to a wave passed through the assemblage of bristled feathers and sharpened beaks that surrounded them. “Told them that their very lives were in danger they were so hungry, told them that their nests would grow cold and dead without this food, and that the only way they could escape such a hollow demise was to destroy and devour whatever it was I so chose…

The flock tensed, wings spread and legs bent in desperate preparation for a surge, their beady black eyes never once faltering from the sparrow in Shiress’s hand. Elias himself seemed lost as his gaze lingered on his prey. “Then make no mistake, they would do. Just. That!” The sorcerer rasped.

An explosion of feathers and fluttering wings erupted all around them as the birds suddenly took to the skies. With his hold over them relinquished and their good senses returned, the flock dissipated back into the wilds, restoring in some small part the serenity of the clearing to what it once was.

There was a breath of tension’s release as a semblance of calm and consideration slowly fell upon the pair. Elias unfolded his legs, arching one so that he could lean his arm against it while he attempted to find the right words to say next. There was no denying the man liked the sound of his own voice, but the things Elias said he said for a reason, and he said them well (if he didn't say so himself). That kind of 'quality to his quantity' required preparation despite all beliefs to the contrary.

I know…” he began slowly, but sighed through his nostrils and started over. “I understand how this can all seem… well, like it seems. I remember my first few days at the University in Zeltiva. My professors, old blithering men and woman the lot, would recite such fantastical tales and impossible deeds as if they were mere math lessons. They sung of breathing fire and tearing open portals to different worlds as if it were something anyone could do. Even after seeing such things performed before my very eyes, still the idea that such power resided in me somewhere felt… wrong. Like a lie they were trying to push and I was merely meant to fall for. It took weeks and weeks of prying open dusty old tomes and scrying through thesis papers before I came to understand how it all works, but more importantly, that it could actually, one day, work for me.

He looked about, as if pondering something, but eventually, his gaze return to the verdurous greens of his ‘student’ and for all but a tick, there was hesitation in his eyes. “I can explain it to you…” Elias stood suddenly, hand extended towards her to join him, “Or I could show you… You’d just have to be willing to let me in.

The request itself was simple, but he knew full well what he was asking of her was anything but. Elias wanted Shiress to grant him access to her thoughts, to shape them as he saw fit… just as Sayana and Radcliffe had once done.
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You Put a Spell On Me

Postby Shiress on April 6th, 2019, 8:32 pm

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Shiress let her dress slip from her fingers back to the ground, slightly concerned that lessons in the nude might prove somewhat distracting but returned to the blanket and sat, legs bent and curled beneath her. Despite her present company, and their comfortable familiarity for one another, Shiress' self-consciousness of her scarred nakedness rose a bit. She ignored it. Securing long chestnut locks behind her ears, She focused as Elias began to speak.

It didn't take long for her earnest focus to waver slightly, giving way to a vague worry at the reiteration of a secretly shared concern. Did she desire to learn this magic to subjugate its control only because it was once used to control her? Shiress contemplated this and found she couldn't completely deny the possibility. But, there was also more to her desire than just domination of the cruelty she once endured by the craft; she was a physician now, and her patients could benefit significantly from the calm and ease that hypnotism would give them. Shiress nodded to herself, satisfied that with this reasoning.

"I understand." she replied, simply, knowing full well that she truly didn't, not entirely, but thought it would come in time.

Elias continued then, almost without pause, to lay down an immovable law or some unchangeable rule of his own control of her during her lessons. Even though he'd chosen not to say the word -control- that was precisely what it was like. A Master. Shiress's eyes flared, snapping around to regard Elias with annoyance, a hard glare that permeated the silence of her awaited response. Once, twice, thrice her jaw clenched and unclenched before Shiress finally relented acceptance and nodded her head affirmatively.

The tutorial went on a few ticks more then Elias let out a shrill whistle, startling Shiress who sat suddenly straighter, looking at her instructor curiously. A tick more and she became aware of the unexpected silence around her, an eery silence that was not natural, even the wind seemed to be hushed. Shiress's eyes left their puzzled perusal of the quiet forest and returned to Elias, watching in amazement as a tiny bird flitted from an unseen perch to light upon his proffered finger.

As Elias spoke on, he turned, handing the bird to Shiress. The small creature fitted perfectly in the palm of the girl's hand. She smiled down at the thing as it spread his wings to settle in his new perch, her smile broadening as it chirped in response to Elias. A frown flickered across Shiress's features at his use of the term 'victims,' but she remained silent, listening, eyes watching the little bird. Again her teacher's fingers invoked his craft and Shiress's expectant gaze fell to the little creature in her hand, but it wasn't the small bird that reacted to the mage.

All around them the very trees seem to suddenly stir with loud chattering and bird calls. Shiress watched in astonishment, mouth falling slightly open, as an innumerable amount of birds burst through the leaves toward them. One by one and in groups they landed on the ground around her. She gave Elias a concerned glance through the piercing cacophony of chirps and tweets, but he only spoke on.

Again, the man's choice of wording prompted a frowning response from Shiress, and yet again she said nothing and listened. Most of what Elias was saying made sense to her. Hypnotism could not change the way someone thought or change who they were as a person. Hypnotism was a much more subtle art. Elias's fingers snapped again, and Shiress observed the now silent creatures surrounding her. With with raised eyebrows she protectively pulled the small sparrow closer to her chest. Beside her, Elias words chilled her to the bone.

It all made a sort of a morbid sense to her now. Before, Shiress had thought Sayana had 'caused' her loyalty. She had changed her way of thinking. Made her love; made her an ideal slave, but that wasn't it at all. The hypnotist had soothed her will, caressed her thoughts, lulled and tempted her mind, eventually persuading Shiress into thinking that she wanted to stay, wanted to be loyal. Made her truly believe it was her decision and that her love was true. Shiress couldn't quell the violent shiver that ran through her at the thought, her eyes studying the birds dolefully. Then, she noticed that the birds looked...angry?

She straightened, glancing to Elias with alarm, mouth opened to voice her concern, but, with a word from the mage, the congregation of winged creatures suddenly took flight in a scattering of leaves and dust. Shiress watched the birds as they disappeared into the trees a tick then lowered her eyes to her hands, contemplating the lesson as Elias voiced his understanding of how overwhelmed she must feel. He wasn't wrong. But it wasn't just that, Shiress felt guilty. Guilty at what she was learning to do and felt confused that she would feel guilty about it. Her shoulders slumped.

Shiress looked up to see Elias's offered hand and took it. As she straightened, she stared at him uncomprehending a tick, before she understood his request. She took in a long breath, hesitated, and released the breath without speaking. Glancing down, she noticed Elias's empty hand and only then realized that she had let go of it. "You use words such as 'victims' and 'corruption'" she said, eyes still downcast "You make it sound so.." she paused, swallowed, "..evil and invasive." She looked up to him then, her emerald eyes concerned "Cant the magic be used to sooth and ease someones mind? To offer them a reality away from pain and suffering? To teach.."

Something new dawned in Shiress's gaze. An abrupt understanding borne of her own words. Hypnotism was made corrupted. The act itself wasn't evil. What was evil were the intentions that one uses it upon another. Shiress was in control of her intentions, and they were not evil. Coming to a decision, she reached out, taking Elias's hand once again and smiled up at him.

"I trust you."

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You Put a Spell On Me

Postby Elias Caldera on April 11th, 2019, 1:08 am

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Elias studied the young healer with a cautious glance, her candid inquiry giving him reason to pause as he took her slender hand in his own. It was a potent question made all the more sobering by the fact that it had been her very first. Ultimately however, it was not one that the scarred mage could say surprised him much.

Unlike Shiress, he was Ebonstryfe. Morality had as much place on the battlefield as doubt or despair. Such concerns he would have simply dismissed as a luxury for the untested and the naive, but the Zeltivan was so far from either it made him reconsider. “I am a soldier,” He eventually replied, guiding his new student down the grassy knoll and towards the nearby shore “I’ve been one my whole life; training, fighting, and killing for my cause. I was born into the service and I've had a sword in my hand for as long as I can remember, rarely does it leave my side… yet in all that time my sword has never defined me. It never will. It is simply a tool. An instrument through which my will is done. Like any tool, it does not care whose blood I shed or whose life I claim with its edge. It merely does what it was forged to do. In that we are akin. In that we are bound. Everything else is just what we choose to make of it.

He said no more on the topic afterwards, allowing her to take what she will from his answer at her own pace. It may not have been the clear cut response she’d expected, but in the end he knew where such thinking would inevitably lead. The truth of the matter was he had to bite his tongue to stop himself from saying any more. Elias wanted to warn her of giving sentimental value to her magic, for he did not believe in such things, but more importantly he deemed it a precarious slope to place oneself upon. A captain could give his vessel a name, even a personality -he’d even seen his fellow soldiers do the same with their weapons sometimes- but those were merely things, hollow and detached. Magic on the other hand, was an inextricable part of oneself. To contain and define it within abstract qualities and conditions was like building a wall around your djed and leaving only a single, explicit key to the gate. If rage was the only state of mind a reimancer could attach to summoning fire, then what happens when there is no anger to feed the flames? If compassion was the only means to which a witch could wield her healing magic, what happens when she does have it in her to care anymore? In his eyes, it was a limitation and little more, but Elias was not so blind as to declare his methods and mindset as the only feasible means to casting, let alone dictate as much to Shiress so early on in her training. The fact that she had asked such a question in the first place was enough to tell him that the two did not think alike in such matters, and the last thing the pale Ravokian wanted was to stymy his lover’s ascent by forcing her down an ethos unsuited to her talents.

She would find her own way in time, as all men and woman who traveled this path into the arcane before her had. His was merely the role of the guide, not the shepherd.

The auburn haired acolyte had touched on something with her query however, hypnotism was not all about coaxing and cajoling. It could indeed be used for much more, as he intended to soon demonstrate.

At this point the duo had reached the water’s edge and the scarred swordsman showed no signs of slowing down. By the time the Shiress and he were up to their knees in the pristine and placid waves of the lake, it would become clear as to why he had opted to not to keep their clothing.

They were submerged up to their waists when Elias finally came to a halt, lake Ravok’s serene waters as deceitfully warm and welcoming as ever on such a perfect spring day. The mage turned to Shiress then and pulled the lithe woman close, a primal struggle igniting within his chest in that very instant as he fought against the urge to let his hands go much further than simply releasing hers. He had to caution himself agaisnt such excess, especially now. This wasn’t like before where every whisper and stolen kiss was a desperate and clandestine struggle. They had all the time in the world now that his love was finally free of her chains. It was just… difficult to remember that sometimes.

You’re right however. There are many uses for the art, not all of which are self-evident at first.” The Caldera offered with an oddly coy smirk. Though far from malicious, it wouldn’t have taken the healer long to realize something was clearly off with how he’d said it… or rather, how he hadn’t.

Though she’d heard the words as clear as day, Elias’s lips had never once moved to make them. In fact, he hadn’t talked once aloud since she’d taken his hand. “As I said,” The unearthly and hollow voice continued “the mind wants to believe what’s easiest to believe… and to answer your question; no. I can’t hear your thoughts.

There was a peculiar pause.

At least not all of them.” The soldier grinned mischievously. Still smiling, Elias placed one hand upon her shoulder and the other along the nape of her neck. “Lean back. Let the water carry you.” He instructed as he guided her backwards into the Lake’s embrace. “Release yourself of your burdens. Clear your mind. Allow my thoughts to become…” The words trailed off, an indistinct and thrumming warble of distant tones as Shiress floated in his care. While his instructions became a blur, it was quite the opposite for his gaze. Blue eyes, cold and piercing seemed to affix themselves upon the young healer, or rather, something inside of her -perhaps even beyond her- their intensity growing with each tick until it felt as if their gaze alone brought with it a great and inescapable weight upon her chest.

As Shiress’s eyes met his, and their emerald reflection shone back at her, the world began to shudder.


-------------------------------



He remembers how he hated the way the floors always creaked when they came to change his bandages. Like the walls, they were old and rotten to the core with mold and mildew. It gave the whole place a particularly monstrous odor, or at least it would have had it not been constantly overpowered by stink of the dying. The air had become stale and putrid with the stench of sweat, bile and all manner of vileness. Shadows skittered in the corners, chased away by the weak rays of sunlight that came flittering through the cracks in the shuttered windows that rarely ever opened anymore. The groan of the stained mattress beneath told him he was still in bed despite the late hour…

No, that wasn’t right. SHE was still in bed. SHE hated the smell. This was not her home, nor a place she’d ever been before, yet it was all so dreadfully familiar that it was hard to say otherwise.

Another fresh wave of pain roiled up from his legs and Shiress shuddered, dropping the small polished dagger she’d been staring at with a snarl. Again her concentration was broken, reality eagerly crashing back down around her in the lull.

She bit down upon her knuckle and screamed a strangled curse.

How long had she been here now? Weeks? Months? Her body, once fit and primed, now felt like a stranger’s, its frailty and patheticness an inescapable nightmare she’d been forced to endure during all that time. The Konti and their healers had given her what they could spare for the pain, but Shiress was not the only one in Zeltiva whom had suffered that day. There was always too little to go around now, no matter how much they rationed.

The storm had come to the whole words she’d learned, claiming lives and crippling those lucky few who had managed to survive it, and she was no different. Bones in her sides and chest had been smashed apart, snapped like twigs against the great roaring tides that had claimed their ship during the maelstrom. Her back ached constantly as if being sat upon by an elephant, and her legs felt like wet noodles underneath her. Everything hurt. Everything screamed in protest.

Everything had been lost…

And yet here she still lay, like a helpless babe in its crib, crying and bleeding and languishing in her own filth day after mind numbing day. Part of her wished she had simply died out there with Raina. It would have been more just than… this.

Had it not been for the effort required, Shiress would have shaken the thought away. Instead she buried like the rest, unwilling to spend another moment mourning and sulking. She had had enough of both. No more. Vengeance called to her now, and its siren’s song was louder than any anguished wail or doubting whispers at the back her mind.

Her mind…

Yes. That was the key.

Her body may have been sundered, but her thoughts, despite the drugs and the pain, were a clarion as ever. Shiress knew what she had to do now;

She had to get up.

Though each attempt in the past had ended in an agonized howl and a chiding from the distressed doctors, she was determined to escape this wretched place and make her way back into the real world. The doctors, for all their fussing and nagging however, likely had a point. Her legs were a constant source of torment, crushed and cracked as they were. That however, was not enough to stop her.

With so much time on her hands and her body’s bitter betrayal imprisoning her upon this bed, Shiress had realized her salvation lay in not just in her mind, but also in her magic. Hypnotism was the answer. It was how she’d finely walk again!

For days now she’d been studying all manner of texts from the university on the subject, with everything ranging from ancient Suvanese tomes to treatises so recent the ink had barely had barely dried upon the pages. From all of these she read and from all of these she learned. As one could imagine, there was little else to do in her putrid state. By this point she knew every syllable of every chapter of every book like the back of her hand, but none of it would help unless she could finally put it to use.

Angrily, the mage reached for her blade once more, holding horizontally in front of her face like she’d done a thousand times before. Yet again Shiress was faced with her own eyes glaring back at her in the polished reflection of the sharpened steel. The trick, they said, is in the eyes. To stare into those windows to the soul until one understands exactly what transpires beneath. In doing so one learns to understand themselves, and thus, understand those around them.

There was a time when she would have dismissed such drivel as pure horse shyke, but now… these past few days felt different, and to say any sort of change from the monotony of his daily suffering was welcome would have been an understatement. More than just that however, it felt as if she was finally beginning to understand. The mind could be shaped, molded, tricked and cajoled, and for Shiress to have that power over others, she’d first have to learn to wield it against herself.

There is no pain. Get up. There is no pain. Get up. There. Is. No. Pain!” The mantra repeated its self, her voice course and ragged, yet persistent beyond reason. The words kept coming, pouring out of her until it was all she heard, all she knew.

Whether that was real magic like her magecrafting or her reimancy, or just a trick of the mind, she didn’t care. As long as it got her out of this bed. As long as it set her on her path back to Ravok, she’d give anything -accept anything- to just feel the floor beneath her feet again and walk the petch out of here…



-------------------------------



The world around her seemed to shimmer and shake, like a cloth rippling in the wind. The wooden walls and dark corners faded into water all around her and Shiress would become distinctly aware that she no longer held host to a memory, but was in fact returned to reality. The decrepit infirmary was gone, and the air no longer choked and stifled. The nightmare was dead and the world was right again, her mind was hers once more… yet for some reason it felt as if she could not shake that familiar ache in her legs no matter how hard she tried.

Elias still hovered over her weightless form, eyes continuing to gleam with intent as he looked down upon her. Through his corruption of her thought he had shared with her a memory. To call it vivid was to do it a grave injustice. From the sweat upon her brow to the stinging taste of sick and blood upon his lips, she had experienced everything Elias had to such a degree that it was difficult to distinguish where one began and the other ended. The grief he’d felt for the loss of his mother. The rage and forlorn self-pity he’d endured in the aftermath. From every laceration upon his flesh to every broken bone beneath. Even the sensation of the djed stirring within his belly had been there. Most potent of all however had been that driving need to make the one’s responsible pay!

All of these things and more had been thrust upon her and made as real and tangible as possible through their magical link. Inevitably, she would soon realize why he had chosen to show her this;

Now, it was her turn.

My father once told me nothing curries improvement like desperation. What you saw was me at my most desperate.” The sorcerer explained grimly as his grip upon her tightened. “…Most men can hold their breath for longer than they realize. After a minute or two however they panic, and air becomes more valuable to them than all the gold and silver in the world. It is a threshold most never gain the courage to surpass no matter how many times they are brought to the precipice. There is a moment in that place where we reach a threshold of uncertainty and are given a choice; Either we allow doubt and despair to take hold, or we find the will to break through and seize our true potential.

Elias breathed deep, surveying the placid waters around them for a moment, then returned his eerie fixation to Shiress. “I’m going to hold you under the water now.” He exclaimed flatly. “This will be your test. This will be your threshold.

Shiress’s crucible into the art of hypnotism would begin with convincing her own mind that she would not drown. Though he did not say it aloud, Elias hoped the look in his eye was enough to convey the fact that if she failed, he would not be pulling her back up to try again. He had given her all the tools and knowledge she needed to prepare. In this moment, she would either unlock her potential, or she would drown in the effort.

Her words of acknowledgement or refusal to him would be the last thing she’d say before the stryfer pushed her beneath waves and held her there until her baptism was finished.
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You Put a Spell On Me

Postby Shiress on May 2nd, 2019, 2:18 am

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Shiress trudged alongside Elias, quietly mulling over the man's reply, eyes downcast, doing her best not to stumble. It was apparent the Soldier was quite a bit more agile than Shiress when it came to walking in a forest, his steps soft, yet confident, were barely noticeable. Shiress's, however, could have been mistaken for a stampeding horse. The more the girl tried to walk gracefully, the closer the charging horse seemed to come.

Another noticeable difference, Shiress concluded, with her lover was that Elias saw magic as a weapon. A tool to be used in defense or one to be used to manipulate the enemy and she imagined that he had many enemies. The Caldera was a warrior in heart, mind, body, and soul and anyone living knew that a warrior used everything as a potential weapon. Even his heart. Shiress smiled, remembering how the man had used his love for her to mold and shape her into another of his arms. A weapon that he just happened to set upon her enemy, but still a weapon. Shiress's smile grew. She was okay with this.

Shiress's thoughts came front and center when cool water submerged her bare feet. She stifled a shiver as they waded deeper and was about to voice a concern that she didn't know how to swim when the Mage stopped their progression into Lake Ravok, turned to her, and spoke. She glanced up at his voice, eyes going wide when she realized his lips hadn't moved, then glancing away demurely when the hypnotist obviously picked up on a more private and sudden concern. Honestly, had Shiress known how she would have opened her mind to Elias fully, revealing thoughts, feeling, and memory freely. She would hide nothing from him. Again.

She was going to say as much, but Elias went on and began guiding her back into the water. Shiress's heart began to pound with anticipation as she attempted to guess what the Mage was going...

Ravok began to fade around her; then her memory was no longer her own.

A moan slid out from between clenched teeth.

His pain.

Her pain.

Flashes of memory circulated through her mind, but not just a flicker; knowledge was borne there, also. Knowledge learned, sustained, and retained buried itself into the recesses of her mind. Pages, scrolls, and books flitted across the backs of Shiress eyes, their content and meaning sinking down into her conscious. A resolute determination and perseverance. A goal. Pain. Gods, there was so much pain! But not just physical pain, she ached for her Mother and the driving, raging agony of revenge.

Then...the pain was gone.

Shiress's bare chest heaved as Elias's face swam back into focus, her mind reeling, becoming her own once again. She had so many questions, but they were questions that she somehow already knew the answers. Elias's words entered her mind, and something in the way he looked at her and the way his voice sounded in her head made her focus and then she understood.

It was her turn, and she knew Elias wouldn't save her this time.

Just before the water closed over her face, Shiress managed to draw in a small breath.

Sound twisted and became muffled as the lake swallowed her, before becoming calm and serene as Shiress settled into her predicament and the water around her became still. Even as her hands tightened onto the arm holding her, Shiress closed her eyes, mind frantically searching through text after text for what to do.

Djed

That's what she was looking for, green eyes searching the lines of text. There! One word caught Shiress's eyes. Focus. To find ones djed, you must become still, relaxed, and focused. Wait?! Then what! Shiress lost the memory as the need to breath overwhelmed her. She bucked against the arm holding her, fingernails digging into flesh, but she closed her eyes and drew herself inward. Searching. Searching. Searching. Deeper into her being she sank, looking, feeling, exploring.

Calm, Shiress. she thought to herself The book said to clear your mind and focus...

focus


A series of bubbles fled Shiress's mouth, precious breath escaping burning lungs to break upon the surface of the water.

Focus, deeper, be calm

Shiress's hands began to loosen the vice-like grip they held around Elias's strong arm as she fled deeper into herself, her body beginning to still the throws of panic against the water's deadly embrace.

Just as she thought she could go no deeper, something opened to her. Like brittle earth breaking and sinking downward to reveal a hidden shaft, Shiress's consciousness broke away, revealing a well of energy deep within her being. A part of her, but yet not.

Shiress dove for it.

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You Put a Spell On Me

Postby Shiress on May 2nd, 2019, 5:02 pm

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Shiress's body gave a violent jerk beneath the surface of the lake, her desperate fight against the suffocating water renewing. The momentous need to breathe had shattered her focus. She had been so close!

Opening her eyes, she could see the distorted upper half of Elias's body. Shiress could tell he was looking down at her through the water. Vaguely, she wondered if the mage could see her wide eyes enough to decern the frightful plea in them. If he had, he made no move to help her. Panic truly set in and Shiress fought helplessly against Elias's hold on her, but even as the healer thrashed about, she forced herself to focus once again.

This time it did not take her as long to find her djed, or, sense it? Shiress did not know precisely what she had done to reveal it, but it was there, open to her. Again she dove for the well, but yet again she felt her focus break. What was she doing wrong? In her mind, she delved back into the tome she, or rather Elias, had been reading, but then a thought came to her; Shiress had felt -truly, physically felt- what Elias had felt in his memories.

On a hunch, she shifted from one recollection to another foraging for a particular feeling and found it.

She reached for her blade once more, holding horizontally in front of her face like she had done a thousand times before. Again Shiress was faced with her own eyes glaring back at her in the polished reflection of the sharpened steel. The trick, they said, is in the eyes. To stare into those windows to the soul until one understands exactly what transpires beneath. In doing so, one learns to understand themselves, and thus, understand those around them.

Shiress centered herself more in-depth into the memory, allowing herself to become Elias once again, opening herself up to to the sensations his craft had gifted her. Shiress could feel him, and she was him.

Elias had not submerged himself in his power; he had not opened himself up to djed. Elias had reached for it, touched it, and had drawn from it.

Shiress reached for her djed, felt it, and drew from her well. Emerald eyes opened searching for Elias.

The trick is in the eyes.

Shiress's gaze drifted from her instructor's to her own, reflected at her from the surface of the water. It was an odd feeling that came over the healer. Like that prickly feeling you might get when you can feel someone standing behind you, Shiress could feel herself. An awareness of her own being, segregated, but of one mind. Shiress spoke to that other being, consoled her, tempted her.

You are not going to die

You do not need to breathe

You are not going to die

You do not need to breathe

Over and over Shiress's mind whispered those words until the suggestion had become reason. Gradually, her mind began to ease, the burning ache in her lungs fading. The breath within her chest loosened and flowed from her lungs in a series of bubbles escaping her lips. Shiress's body relaxed, her hands falling away from Elias's and her arms fell back into the depths of the lake. She was going to be okay. She would not die. She did not need to breathe.

Somewhere deep within the abyss of her consciousness, Shiress knew her mistake but did not have the knowledge nor the time to correct it.

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You Put a Spell On Me

Postby Shiress on June 23rd, 2019, 7:44 pm

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Though Shiress had managed to calm her mind and convince herself that she was not going to drown, her human body would not be so convinced that it didn't need oxygen, she just wasn't very upset or worried about the fact. Her body, however, was screaming into her numbed mind that her lungs needed air and that time was running out. How long had she been submerged now? A chime? Two chimes? How long can someone hold there breath?

Shiress had done what Elias had wanted of her...right? So, why wasn't he not letting her up? She had succeeded in hypnotizing herself -Elias had to know this, didn't he? She just needed to tell him, show him, but how? He wasn't letting her up! Hypnosis was turning out to be something Shiress didn't think she was going to like after all.

Then it hit her.

Hypnosis.

Hypnosis!

Shiress's thoughts delved into Elias's gift of his memory, sifted in and around the time that he trained in his sickbed then quested further out, no, closer into a time when the mage's craft was better formed and controlled.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Elias stood beneath a canopy of trees surrounded by darkness and the deafening cacophony of heavy rain slamming into the forest floor. Before him stood another man, his dark hair plastered to his face as rivulets of water poured down into unblinking eyes. Elias was speaking low and steady to the man, but Shiress knew his words were not where her focus should be but on the mage's thoughts..his intent. Elias's mind was calm, confident, and he was intensely focused, his aim steady as he directed djed. The mage soothed and stroked the stranger's thoughts, convincing and deluding the man's desires with his own, saturating them with precisely what he wanted of the man.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Beneath the surface of the lake, Shiress's body gave a violent jerk, bringing her thoughts back to her present predicament. Elias still held firmly to her, and if the man's grip held any indication of his intention to lift her from the water, it would not happen soon enough. In fact, the way the water around her writhed, Shiress had been thrashing for some time, but Elias still held her, making it apparent that he was not going to let her up at all. No matter what.

Panic rose within her as she tried to focus her djed onto Elias, forcing her will against his. Let me up! Let me up! Let me up! however, the soldier's grip never wavered but grew stronger. Please, Elias, let me up! she begged, but the man's mind was closed to her.

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You Put a Spell On Me

Postby Shiress on June 25th, 2019, 3:30 am

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To die while attempting to learn something that you had survived once; that irony was hard for Shiress to accept.

Time was at an end.

For all that, it was a fledgling craft that she had worked upon herself, Shiress's mind retained the weak working, shedding the uprising panic to reveal a calm she should not be experiencing. The calm before the storm, or perhaps, the peace before death, as it was. With the calm came clarity and with clarity came peace, the storm of her body protesting agonized lungs quieted, and she became motionless in her lover's arms.

As her writhing eased, the water around her stilled and her gaze focused on the glint of sunlight dancing on the lake's surface and then beyond it to Elias's pale face, once monstrous and distorted, now solidifying as her eyes straightened and refocused. Now wholly and utterly quiescent, Shiress's eyes found and latched onto Elias's azure eyes, her only anchor. If she could have managed a smile, she would have gifted him that.

Deep within herself, Shiress reached once last time to the newly discovered well of power and, tapping into it, guided it toward Elias's will.

I've done it! Let me up! she pled Please, let me up!

But then, subtly, she changed her plea to a gentle caress, a suggestion.

Let me up! became Release me!

Release me! became Release her!

It is done! Release her!

With a last effort, Shiress's gentle nudge against Elias's mind became a torrent of calculated intent.

She is dying!

And with that, water rushed into Shiress lungs, her body convulsed violently, and the world around her went eerily silent then slowly faded to black.

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You Put a Spell On Me

Postby Shiress on July 6th, 2019, 8:35 pm

Your Grades!


Shiress

Skills
Hypnotism +4 Observation +3 (maxed) Endurance +3 Meditation +3 Persuation +1


Lores

Magic changes you
Magic is a tool, not a toy
Magic's nature is volatile
Djed is part of you; is you
Authority and will over magic must be absolute
A student must be willing to obey her instructor
Hypnotism - A discipline only as robust as the mind that wields it
Hypnotism - The weaponization and deployment of a Mage's desire
Animals are simple creatures with simple minds and are ruled purely by their instinct
One must understand their djed into order to wield it
A hypnotist must understand their victim so as to assert control
Hypnotism is most effective when making the victim believe it was their idea in the first place
Trusting Elias completely
Elias - A soldier all his life
There are many uses for Hypnotism, not all of which are self-evident
Gift - Elias's memory of learning Hypnotism
Elias - Injured during the djed storm
Memory - Elias's pain
Djed - A well of energy within myself
Clearing your mind and focusing to use djed
The key to Hypnotism is in the eyes


Rewards & Penalties


Notes
Elias, if you ever decide to return and update your ledger, let me know. Your grades await. And thank you for teaching Shiress Hypnotism, it was loads of fun. :)



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Joined roleplay: January 25th, 2013, 7:01 pm
Location: Syliras
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