Completed That Old Black Magic

Hattie shows Dess that she still has some tricks up her sleeves.

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While Sylira is by far the most civilized region of Mizahar, countless surprises and encounters await the traveler in its rural wilderness. Called the Wildlands, Syliran's wilderness is comprised of gradual rolling hills in the south that become deep wilderness in the north. Ruins abound throughout the wildlands, and only the well-marked roads are safe.

That Old Black Magic

Postby Dessarian on November 11th, 2019, 7:17 pm

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63rd Day of Fall, 519 AV

Manipulating and directing djed was something with which Dess was familiar. For Flux to work, his djed had to be guided to the area of muscles he wished to strengthen. So driving it to his hand was not as difficult as a newcomer to magic might experience. It was the production of res that needed tuned. Of course, in his profession and position, one of the first thing Dess considered when he chose fire the night Kelski inducted him into Reimancy was that fire could be a weapon.

It also caught things on fire. Wisdom dictated that exercises with Reimancy be conduced at the relatively safe location of the beach. The Reach insisted Dess practiced at a great distance from the docks, for good reason. found a rock outcropping near the shore. surrounded by sand and water, it proved a safe arena for the neophyte Reimancer.

In the forty days since the induction, Dess had made time for regular training along with his other disciplines. He had learned to call res to his hands and ignite it. He toyed with manipulating fire in the tower hearths, until the Gem politely used its own reimancy skills to take the fire from him and ask him to play with his fire outside.

His current goal proved more challenging. He wanted to throw fire as a weapon. Repeated tries had revealed that, for the ball of fire to reach its target, it had to be completed and ignited before leaving the small range of Dess's power. Essentially just after it leaves his hand. Attempts to coordinating it all had failed to that point.

With resolve, Dess once again worked up the green cloud of res and gathered it in his hand. It was a wobbly sphere roughly formed by the man's will. Once roughly globe shaped, he focused on the sphere's surface as separate for the core. It was the only way to ignite the ball without setting the whole thing on fire. It was unwieldy and dangerous if the whole thing was ignited in his hand, as the smell of burnt hair on him would reveal.

Once the outer layer was separated, Dess willed its ignition. A flame licked at the res and a moment later the ball was on fire. The core remained the original res. Planting his feet in the sand, Dess looked towards the outcropping not far into the water. He couldn't wait long, or loose the res, so he quickly aimed then cocked his arm and threw. The burning res left his hand in a wobbly fire wrapped ball. But Dess ignited it too slow, and it dissipated into the air, already beyond the reach of his influence.

"That is just sad." The voice of a young woman lifted above the wind and waves behind him. Dess turned to see Keesha standing in the sand, her long wool dress shifting around her in the breeze. Her dark hair was braided in intricate rows on her scalp that draped over her shoulders in braids, her mocha skin tone refusing to fade even as Dess's summer tan turned paler. "Why don't you learn to use a bow like a normal person." She teased Dess with a trademark teenage unimpressed countenance.

"Because mages don't use bows." Dess jibed back with a smartass grin. "Besides, an arrow is not as impressive."

"Kelski uses a crossbow and she is a real mage." Keesha shot back, folding her arms arcross her chest and quirked her dark brow.

"That hurts, Bug." Dess replied, feigning hurt feelings. "What are you doing down here anyway, doesn't anyone need a sass-mouth kid's help?" His smile then drew wide to prove he was teasing. Dess walked towards the young woman. There was a reason she would come all the way down to the beach. Keesha was one to keep busy and not wander idly.

"Grandmother sent me." She answered matter-of- fact. "She wants you to meet her at the cave where she kept us before we came here. The one where you found Darcee. And bring these things. " Keesha handed him a scrap of paper with two things written on it. Armor and Razors. Dess took it, then looked to Keesah quizically.

"It only has two things written on it. She didn't think you could remember two things?" Dess asked squinting.

"I don't know, Dess," the girl answered with some exasperation, clearly over the task given to her, "... you know her, she is crazy." With that, Keesha turned and trodded off through the sand. "You still owe us the second self-defense class, don't forget. See ya later, fire boy." She fired one last jibe before leaving.

Dess looked at the paper, then up at the retreating teenager. He tucked the note in his pocket. Turning, he gathered his djed again, formed his res, working in a smaller, tighter ball. Then he willed it on fire, again leaving the core untouched. He flung it, triggering his command for the center to ignite. The smaller sphere engulfed in flames, a fiery projectile that slammed against the rock in a mini-explosion. If she had only watched one more time.

Dess turned to head up to the tower. If Hattie wanted him up in the woods with his battle gear, she was definitely up to something.
Last edited by Dessarian on November 20th, 2019, 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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That Old Black Magic

Postby Dessarian on November 15th, 2019, 3:35 pm

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Within the top floor of the tower. Dess gathered the gear he usually carried for a day's foray into the forest, consisting mostly of a ready packed survival kit. He realized that his own supplies needed replenished before winter set in. Dess had not been away from the demesne since arriving in early summer, but he planned to make it to Zeltiva for a few things before the season turned.

As Dess slipped on his undergarments and donned the pitch black spidersilk armor, he wondered with some irritation what Hattie was up to. Everyone at Empyreal were working to prepare for winter, including harvesting the crops, gathering stores and winterizing their few structures. Traipsing off into the woods after the crazy old crone begged the question...why? Hattie asked little of Dess, though she was a fount of unsolicited advice. But as cantankerous and eccentric as the old woman was, Dess had a feeling the Zrevan elder knew more than she let on. What knowledge she possessed, he could not say.

His father's wrist razor hung from his belt, the blades sheathed in leather. Dess had used it little, but hoped to learn to wield it as his father had. With a brief pause by the water pump to let Kelski know where he was going, and why, Dess followed the marked trail at the end of the demesne leading into the forest. Several walking sticks leaned against a fallen log near the head of the trail, kept there for any of the residents who entered the woods. Dess took up a sturdy one.

The canopy had thinned some with the loss of leaves from several species of the Wildlands deciduous trees, making visibility better but littering the forest floor and covering parts of the trail. Dess used the walking stick to prod ahead at covered patches to ensure there were no obstacles, or hidden procrastinating snakes, who had not gone underground for the winter.

The red ribbons that marked the original trail Kelski and he had blazed, when they first met Hattie, had been replaced, part of the upkeep of the trails to ensure the markers remained intact and visible. Following them was easy, since Dess was familiar with the path after more than a season. But to reach the cave Hattie mentioned, he would have to go off the trail and follow landmarks. He had only returned to the cave once since meeting Darcee there. The falls and the cave made a wonderfully serene environment for meditation and clear thinking. Dess had found it again later in the summer, when the stress of homesteading and helping Kelski birth the Meraki weighed upon him. The solitude helped him find balance.

Carefully worked down the ravine in which the cave sat, near the falls which ran a bit slower with the passing of the warmer seasons. He could smell the burning of a fire, certainly coming from the cave. He pulled aside the ivy-like veil Hattie had made to conceal her family and Darcee before bringing them into the demesne. Smoke drifted out in light wisps. Inside, what would be considered the entryway was dark, but the back wall glowed orange, lit but a fire around the corner. Moving cautiously around the bend, he came into the larger room where he had found Darcee. But it was Hattie this time, sitting on the floor near fire. Before her sat a large black pot, its contents roiling, even thought there was no fire beneath it.
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That Old Black Magic

Postby Dessarian on November 19th, 2019, 7:20 pm

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Hattie looked up at Dess, scowled and sighed. "She was supposed to tell you to bring your armor, not wear it. Take it off." The old Zraven commanded in her demanding tone. Dess's brows furrowed.

"What is all this about?" He asked with a bit of exasperation. Dess didn't like the mystery of it all. There were things to do, he didn't have time for Hattie's hare-brained antics. But he hesitantly stepped out of his night leathers, leaving him in his thin undergarments in late fall. He held them out but Hattie just pointed to the ground.

"Sit by the fire, you silly boy." She chided Dess. Then she turned next to her and picked up a curious item and set it on her lap. It was the shell of a large snapping turtle. Along its inside were scribed words, though Dess couldn't read them in the dark, or recognize the characters. "Yes, this belonged to the K'etir, I stole it when I left. Sue me." The old woman murmured. "But it is time it is used for a good purpose." She nodded, as if assuring him it was true.

Her cloudy gaze turned to the large black pot. Though no fire burned beneath it, a miasma of heavy vapor veiled its surface and drifted into the air. "Put your armor in there." Her bony finger aimed at the mysterious pot.

"What?" Dess asked in an insolent tone. "Why would I do that?" This was ridiculous, he thought.

Hattie's features darkened. "Trust me, boy. You are about to get in over your head out here. You have a family to keep alive. Kelski, Darcee, my daugther and granddaughter and all the others. But you don't have other Damazar, its just you. This will help, so stop acting like a child and do what I say." She chastized Dess and pointed again to the pot.

Dess stared at the crone for a moment. She was serious. Whatever she was doing, Hattie believed it was for the good. "Alright." He agreed with concession. He folded up the leather armor and slipped it into the large pot. From a dirty old bag, Hattie pulled out a small corked black bottle. A tiny hole was poked through the stopper. She held it up in the light of the fire. Dess could see a black spider inside trying frantically to climb the glass. Unstopping the container, Hattie turned the bottle over and dumped the spider into the pot.

Next she lifted a small leather pouch. Opening the draw strings, she dumped the contents into the pot. It looked like dirt. "I took that from your kinswoman's grave, I hope she didn't mind." Hattie quipped before tossing the empty pouch aside picking up a stick. She gave it to Dess. "Stir, till I say stop." Dess did as he was told, now totally intrigued by the strange ritual. After a chime, Hattie spoke again. "Use the stick and pull it out."

Drawing out the pieces of flexible armor, they came out of the pot dry. In the light of the fire, Dess looked to Hattie, then to the armor. He could see the faintest impression of lines crisscrossing the dark surface. They were in the pattern of a spider web.

"It is special now. Try climbing up the Tower's side when you get back. Also, you can pass over graveyards without leaving a trace, or even a sound. Don't ask me...I didn't create the recipe." Dess looked at the intricate design on the spidersilk armor, then slipped back into it. Hattie pulled the turtle shell onto her lap again and traced another few lines with her old finger.

"Your father's wrist razor." She insisted, pointing again to the pot of magic potion.
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That Old Black Magic

Postby Dessarian on November 20th, 2019, 8:15 pm

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Dess wasn't sure he believed Hattie about his armor. But the night leather had come out different, the arachnid design faintly visible across its surface no random chemical effect of the strange brew. But he would test his armor as the old woman had instructed, in fact he was anxious to do so.

But when it came to his father's weapon, Dess hesitated. The potion had enchanted his armor, it seemed, for the better. What would it do to the wrist razors? Hattie was getting impatient again, her knobby finger jabbing towards the large pot again. "Don't worry, boy, I know how important that tired old thing is to you." She insisted.

Dess nodded and slipped the weapon beneath the vapor shrouded surface. Out of her bag, Hattie withdrew a lock of hair. It was black and white hair together, obviously belonging to Kelski. Her gaze lifted to the young man with a twinkle in her eye. "I had to wait for a night when you wore each other out good before I could sneak close enough to get this. How you two aren't with child yet is beyond me. You would think she was a kelvic rabbit." The woman cackled then dropped the hair into the pot.

Then Hattie held out her hand, palm up. "Hand." She instructed. Dess looked at her, suspiciously reaching his own hand towards hers. "Always so supsicious..." She teased, but when within reach, Hattie grabbed Dess' wrist and pulled it towards her. Her other hand appeared with a small knife in it, and she made a small slash across his forefinger. Dess hissed, caught off guard by the attack. Gripping the finger, Hattie held it over the pot and squeezed, so that the deep crimson drops fell into the cauldron. She allowed quite a bit to drizzle into the potion before releasing the man's hand. "Stir." She quipped.

In similar fashion as before, Dess stirred the pot. A chime later, he fished out the wrist razors. Like the armor, the weapon came out dry. He looked up at Hattie and she nodded to him. The Damazar strapped the weapon to his right hand. when the final strap was fastened, he saw, and felt, the weapon sink into his flesh. He grabbed his wrist and gasped, but there was no pain. The weapon had soon disappeared. But something in Dess's mind urged him to make a fist and picture the wrist razors strapped to his arm. Suddenly, the three iron blades shot out, piercing his skin but without pain or blood. Dess turned his hand over, studying the blades. They were indeed the same ones. With a thought, they retreated back into his arm. A small grin touched his lips as he looked up to Hattie, who finally smiled back.

"Now, you are better equipped, Security Master of the Meraki." She declared. Then her tone shifted instantly again. "Now go, learn to use them, I have things to do." She urged him on with waving hands. Gathering his bag, Dess looked down at the hag. "Thanks, Hattie." He stated with deep sincerity.

"She laughed warmly. Your father would be proud. Now, go make us a baby." She dismissed Dess, but called out as he exited the cave. "When you get back to the tower, look out at the sea." Dess's brows furrowed, but he nodded to himself, picked up the walking stick and headed back to the Demesne, watching the blades extend and retract from his arm.
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