[Khamsin Inn] Beginnings Pt. I [Tazrae]

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[Khamsin Inn] Beginnings Pt. I [Tazrae]

Postby Alric Lysane on December 19th, 2021, 6:41 pm



20th Winter 521 AV – Khamsin Inn - Evening

It had truly been a trying day and he had entered the Outpost soaked to the skin and dripping water all the way to the Khamsin Inn, so much so that if he had been being tracked he felt sure that it would have been easy enough to find him. Fortunately, he had gotten into the habit of doubling back and taking longer routes, just to see if he spotted anyone suspicious. He had seen none on his way and not for the first time he had marvelled at the difference in climate, how constant it was at the Outpost and how different it was to Sunberth, which was currently in the middle of a deluge that he had been fighting flooding in.

Carrying sandbags all day had been hard work and his body ached, the good ache of a hard days work to be sure, but the fact that it seemed to infect every muscle as deeply as the bone he felt that it would be a good few days before the pains died down. It would be worth it though, he had bargained his day’s labour saving the Gated Community and Ruby’s Sanctum for some days off this season, with pay. Ruby had said there were rewards, she just hadn’t expected he would ask what he did. She had granted it, she had given her word, but she had told him she would miss him on the door. Alric thought she had been trying to make him feel like a big man so he would stay and work.

Though the associates certainly seem to fell much the same, as far as they’ve told me in brief conversation he mused to himself as he entered the oft rented rooms now and hung his cloak up over the fire that was already crackling. Perhaps the hostess was warming to him, he had reserved the rooms again after all, so she knew he’d be there.

He retreated into the bathroom after locking the door, pouring a glass of wine and turning on the taps. He had never seen such a setup before but after some experimentation he discovered there was one for hot and the other for cold and after some twisting, he found a suitably hot temperature for the mixed water. Pulling his clothing off and leaving it in a pile for now he tested the water and then sunk down into it with a sigh of deep satisfaction, the warmth almost immediately soothing his tired muscles. Sipping the wine, he leaned back into the water and closed his eyes.

He didn’t expect company this night. He knew Taz had offered but he thought she might stay over in Syka with their celebrations. After all, Alric would be pulling her from them often enough that he saw no reason for her not to enjoy them to their fullest when she was there. No, he would be alone this evening, he thought, and he would enjoy the luxuries that the Outpost brought.

Certainly, he had nothing even approaching the Khamsin back in Sunberth. The following day he would be learning magic, or at least of it, and he suspected that Taz would be wanting to find somewhere to procure. She had mentioned furniture but honestly he didn’t mind that part, whatever was here was likely better than what he was used to.

He had brought what he could spare and still leave some for his seasonal costs and a minor emergency. He may have stretched his pockets too much but he thought it would be worth it and he was used to less food than needed when required. Four hundred gold miza would help hem buy a decent room and furnishings he thought. He had never purchased such things though and so if he needed to give a bit more, he had brought a further one hundred just in case. Much would likely depend upon his companion’s knowledge of such things and her ability to sniff out good deals or negotiate. He trusted her in that and so instead of worrying he simply lay there, surrounded by warmth, drinking wine and feeling the day’s labour being slowly soothed away. As time passed and water cooled he'd top it up with hot again but for now he was in the lap of luxury.



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Beginnings [Tazrae]

Postby Tazrae on December 19th, 2021, 9:27 pm

Pashina gave her the key with a small smile. “Back again?” She asked, then nodded to the door. “He’s already there. Been quiet too.” She added as Tazrae raised an eyebrow questioningly.

The Sykan smiled slightly, her lips curling upwards, and nodded. “Thanks for being such a good hostess. I would be very appreciative if no one knows we’ve met here several times.” Taz said, paying for the room and slipping in an extra ten mizas as a thank you to the Hostess.

The woman answered her smile with one of her own and laughed. “Understood. I’ll have wine and the usual tray of goodies sent by in a bell or two. I expect you two will still be up.” She said with a knowing look.

Taz nodded, letting the woman think what she was thinking. They weren’t meeting for the reason the woman guessed. They were meeting for training, but Pashina didn’t need to know that. Taking the silver key the woman offered her, Taz crossed the courtyard to the suite, unlocked it quietly, and slipped inside. She toed off her sandals and hung up her wrap. She set her backpack with its precious cargo on the table and looked around. Alric was nowhere to be seen.

Quietly she padded through the suite, finding the bed unfussed and the couches fluffed without having housed anyone’s reclining form. She quietly laid a fire, lit it, and lit various candles throughout the suite as the sun was going down outside. Finally, as she moved around, she thought she heard something from the bathing chamber and moved that way to investigate. She could hear the lapping of water softly and the scent of soap and water like someone had drawn a bath filled the air. Moving closer, she quietly pushed the door open and froze. Her hands curled around the doorframe as she leaned a hip into the frame and studied the man who was relaxing. He was obviously naked in the bath, his hair wet and his chest covered with droplets. He was slightly flushed from the warmth of the water as Tazrae took in the sight of him.

Alric was beautifully made. He was strong without being huge and not an ounce of fat on him. He had scars here and there, but nothing that pointed to grievous past wounds he’d barely survived. Either he was cleverer than Sunberth, or the city wasn’t as rough as he claimed. Taz voted for clever. She’d never seen him without his shirt off, let alone naked, and she wondered absently what took her so long to see him. Taz stood there longer than was polite, looking her fill as a soft smile spread her lips.

“Shall I join you?” She asked, padding more fully into the room barefooted and circling behind him not leaving him more than a chance to catch a glimpse of her darkened cheeks. Instead of joining him though, she knelt behind him where a picture of fresh warm water rested at the head of the bath on a rack that had assorted soaps, towels, and liquids used to clean hair. She knelt down, swiped up a washcloth, and dipped it into the bath. She squeezed the excess water out of it and grabbing a bar of soap, swiped it across the washcloth soaping it up. Kneeling behind him where she could not see beneath the water, she dropped her chin on the top of his head and slipped her arms around him, and swiped gently at his chest with the soapy cloth. “You look half asleep. How have you been?” She said, rubbing the cloth first across one shoulder then the other, then sliding it out across his arms. She dipped the cloth, wrung it out, and used the bar of soap on it once more. She slid the cloth up his neck, and across his jaw while planting a soft kiss on the top of his head.

“Don’t protest. Just relax. I won’t look, but I do want to enjoy this…. and maybe wash your lovely hair.” She said softly, surprised by her own boldness. The cloth traveled trails across his chest, under his arms, and getting rinsed and re-soaped, across his face. She carefully avoided his eyes and scrubbed deeply at the shadow of his beard and mustache without being rough. Tazrae found herself smiling in a way she hadn’t smiled in a long time. And she found herself gently telling him of her time away.

There were new guests, some old and some young. There were new recipes and new things in the jungle discovered. Tazrae had a new employee… a young Kelvic girl whom she was trying to gently coax out of her shell. Taz suspected the girl’s life was rough and that she was a runaway slave, but the Innkeeper confessed it made no difference to her. She emphasized how nice it was to have another woman around and to have help at the Inn. She spoke of Buraga and that he was head of security at Syka and how he was making her train hard in her free time, running up and down the beach to build strength and stamina, and slowly beginning to teach her a bit of unarmed combat. She mentioned the stepped-up patrols around Syka and how Bree had finally confessed she had been owned by a group of scavengers that were employed by a powerful mage who sent them to the jungle to gather exotic spell components and animal parts. They had steered clear of Syka, but the Ixam had believed that was just out of initial caution. Bree had believed they could be associated with mages who either were or knew her grandfather. Taz confessed this all in a soft voice, all the while bathing him gently from behind.

If Alric let her, she’d urge him forward to dunk his hair in the bathwater, so she could rub shampoo through it and rinse it with the fresh water in the pitcher on the side table. Taz herself was fresh-scrubbed and her caramel hair was crinkly with static from both coming through the dovecote and from her earlier shower. Taz quietly told him about her shower, how she’d built it and transplanted bamboo all around it so there would be a privacy screen. She talked about going to Sharktooth point and picking out the perfect flat stones to stand on while showering. Bree had helped her haul the stone back to lay at the base of where the water was piped into the showerhead from the roof rain catch cistern. It seemed she took showers outside in the open, surrounded by the wilds of the jungle the Inn bordered on. Taz confessed when the water was on, birds often flew in and helped themselves to a bath in the warm water drops as she was taking a shower herself. This last explanation made Tazrae chuckle. She liked the birds and the company, it seemed.

A strong knock on the outside door of the suite penetrated to the bathroom and Taz rose then. She picked up a big fluffy towel and laid it on the edge of the tub by Alric’s hand, careful for the cloth not to touch the steaming water. “That’s the wine and food Pashina was going to send by.” She said, not looking directly at him and walking back over to the bathroom door and leaving him alone. She opened and closed it quietly and he could hear her greeting someone and thanking them while taking a service cart. She loaded the table by the fire she’d lit earlier and sat down on the couch with her backpack beside the table where either she or Alric could retrieve the book.

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Beginnings [Tazrae]

Postby Alric Lysane on December 20th, 2021, 4:37 am



As he had simply sat and soaked he had decided that the bath reminded him of the Aquilar Hot Springs just outside of Sunberth, the only real bathing place and also a communal one, though you could pay for privacy. The hot springs kept their temperature though and the only disturbance he had while he forgot about the rest of the world for a time was the adding of warmth to prolong its existence. Beyond that he was as close to being without concern as he could remember for some time. Gone were the bloodlines, hunts, danger, magics and personal turmoil. Replaced instead with a calm, comforting serenity.

He didn’t hear Taz come in, open the door and he didn’t notice her watching him for a time. If he had been wise then that would have worried him after, that he had been snuck up on, but he had never fancied himself wise and sometimes stolen moments were worth the cost. He did, however, jump in startlement when she spoke and slipped down into the water to disappear briefly, returning with a splutter. Before he could protest or talk of getting out and getting dressed she had already decided for him and under her hands, with a soft kiss, he complied. It would’ve tasted a lie to say it wasn’t enjoyed or desired and so he stayed silent as she spoke and washed. He had never experienced it before and though it seemed such a simple act it felt more intimate than first thoughts would suggest.

"I'm okay, all things considered," he managed to say after a while, getting used to her touch, "surviving. Not caught yet and still searching for information on bloodlines. Had some bad days but not gone mad just yet...though troubles vanish with your presence"

It was difficult to concentrate on the stories she told him between the brushes of her hands and the probing of her fingers into his scalp but he focused as best he could and tucked away her words for future discussion. He quite deliberately tried not to imagine her showering, and what it might feel like to reciprocate their current situation, but found it impossible and instead decided to focus upon enjoying the fact that a beautiful woman didn’t mind scrubbing and washing him, wetting his hair when asked and simply closing his eyes, accepting the ministration. When it was over there was a pang of regret but he had learned to accept what good he could get when it came along and so instead he dunked himself one last time and took another few chimes before letting the water start to drain and heaving himself out to dry himself. He slipped on his isuas trousers, a gift from their last meeting, and was still rubbing his hair dry as he carried a comb with him into the main part of the suite to see her handiwork all over the room. That made him smile as he took a few moments to take her in upon the couch.

“Sounds like you’ve had a busy time of it, a building your own shower too, a woman of many talents indeed,” he said, setting the towel upon the stones of the hearth, folded and there to be dried by the warmth of the flames, alongside he left the rest of his damp clothing so they could be worn once more later, “as for me I’ve spent all day laying sandbags along the riverbank, amongst other places, it’s raining terribly in Sunberth at the moment, river’s rising and probably will flood. The bath was…just what was needed for the muscles” he continued as he tugged out knots in his hair until it was smoothed back over his head as well as could be. Once finished he grabbed a blanket for the bed and draped it around his shoulders.

"It seems Bree has also had a hard time of it then. Did she not wish to come this time, or has she suddenly decided to trust that I am an almost honourable man? It also sounds like have missed much since last we met, patrols and the rest...I know you don't like hearing it so I won't say that word but I do wish things could be different"

“I thought you might stay at the celebrations a while longer, especially given current circumstance, otherwise I’d not have been found like…well…you know...but it felt lovely to be looked after, no one's done that for me before, you are a treasure Taz,” he said, coming to sit beside her, taking her hand and kissing the back of it for hers earlier, before casting his gaze upon the table and the bag beside it, “I suppose that that holds this book you spoke of? May I?” he asked, waiting for her nod before opening it and pulling it out, his hands tracing the spine and cover as if they might tell him something. He was curious but cautious, he still wasn't sure he was doing the right thing. He did not wish to be as his ancestors were.

Leaning back into the couch he rested it upon his legs, one ankle over the opposite knee, and traced it again, it was a beautiful thing and unlike any of the books in the Sunberth library. No, this practically oozed knowledge and he could feel the back of neck tingle as he looked at it. It was thicker than he had imagined it, and larger, but he supposed it would have to be in order to hold all of the magics and disciplines, not to mention the related subjects he no doubt supposed were within. He doubted mages just learned the skills and nothing else, that would have been too simple.

“I brought an empty book that I can write things in, as you suggested. It’s dangerous but I can’t think of anything else to take its place. I can’t remember every detail and at least, should the worst happen, it can be burned” he told her simply, “I hope not though as I suspect it could be useful and not just to me...to you also, should you manage to catch me sleeping in time” he chuckled.

He knew at some point he’d fill it with his own thoughts, sketches and the rest. In time Taz might get her wish at being able to see his writings and the rest simply by waiting until they had been written and then reading them when he had fallen asleep over the book before them. As he looked upon it he was still mixed in his feelings, he knew he needed to learn of magic at least but he hadn’t completely warmed to the idea. It was more a necessity than a desire, though he couldn’t deny that the knowledge seemed to call to him, speaking to him through the cover.

“It is quite a beautiful, for being such a simple thing,” he observed quietly, “it almost doesn’t seem as if it could be the key to the future. Though I have no doubt that it is. How often simple things begin much grander things, though I don't mind telling you it scares me” he noted before looking at her, leaning forward he made a space upon the table to put the book down, then poured them both wine, passed a glass to her and settled back once more alongside her.

“I'm not sure I'll be any good at this Taz, no matter how I try to turn it in my mind every part of me subconsciously just wants to rebel. I know what is right in my heart but my head...it just screams at me. I suppose that seems foolish to you. I meant what I said before, I still do, I will learn but despite the call of the knowledge within it just feels like standing on the edge of a cliff. I suppose I sound foolish, no?" he said, sipping his wine and offering her an embarassed smile.

"I am thankful it will be you who I learn with, I am not sure anyone else would be able to give me the courage to do so"

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Beginnings [Tazrae]

Postby Tazrae on December 22nd, 2021, 5:38 am

Alric never went into great detail about his life. Taz didn’t miss that he was in the habit of skimming over his day to day unless there was something he cared to share that was somehow put through some unknown filter and deemed acceptable for her to know. It saddened her a bit, but like everything else she let it pass without comment. Taz wasn’t sure if he was deliberately vague or if that was the way of life Sunberth had taught him. She realized that as time passed, Alric had become more and more relaxed, and his explanations were more detailed than they had been when she first met him. So, truthfully, she was betting it was a healthy life habit in his world, rather than some deliberate way to shut her out. That was a relief because she needed him to trust her. They both needed to trust each other.

And anyhow, she had no right to ask him how he was. She could pretty much tell all was not well with him and hadn’t been since the Dreamwalker and the incredible tea. Placing herself in his shoes, she’d be far from alright, knowing his background and that he came from a world that hated mages. And yet, here he was, showing up yet again to one of their clandestine meetings to this time learn magic. She was here for the same reason. There was a sense of urgency in her soul, one she couldn’t exactly place or pinpoint to any one time or individual that sense revolved around.

Touching him… touching him was such a rare pleasure. She was surprised he let her. It was a human contact she missed and an intimacy she craved. But she’d be lying to herself if she thought it could be found away from this particular man. And what were they to each other? Partners? United in one goal? Taz knew she could not think stupidly, hope wildly, and want what was forbidden. Yet she did. And so, she touched and had no regrets.

They moved from the bathroom to the couch, settling into the comfortable seating in front of the fire. And to her surprise, Alric elaborated on why he seemed so tired. It was then that she noticed he moved with a bit of stiffness despite the bath. Sandbags and flooding in Sunberth? “It sounds serious.” She said simply. “I hope everyone manages to stay dry… or at least stay as dry as they can.” She said softly, feeling that it wasn’t really adequate to cover the situation. “It was good of you to help, Alric.” Tazrae said softly, proud that he was assisting those that needed it. She watched him drape a blanket around his shoulders, but settled beside him with no need of such things. The Outpost was always overly hot and dry to her. It was the reason she came dressed in a floor length colorful flowered sundress that covered her cream crocheted bikini. Taz figured if she stayed over, she’d have something to sleep in besides the dress that way.

The Sykan moved to her backpack and pulled out a large crystalline star shaped ornament bigger than her fist. She tapped it once, and set it to glowing. It was bright enough, that when she set it on the tall narrow table behind the couch, it would illuminate what they were reading well past dark. It also sent refractions from its crystalline core twinkling all over the walls and ceiling. It gently illuminated the suite, bathing them in a sot glow.

“This is a Twilight Star. They fall from the sky sometimes.” She said as a means of explanation.

Taz settled beside Alric, certain of her welcome there, and gently tugged at the book in his hands until it laid not exactly on her lap and not exactly on his, but between them where they could both look over its contents. “I’ve been afraid to bring Bree. She’s opinionated, motivated, curious and would want to join us in this study. Had it been my own place, I would have no qualms about inviting her in. But I’m sure the Innkeeper here would not be so thrilled. So that leaves me finding her stabling or something… and I know she’d much rather lounge around in the sun or sand, or go play with the dolphins in the bay rather than be treated like a mount that needs to be confined.” Taz said softly. She’d indeed bring Bree if they managed to secure a place. “I brought enough spare coin to get an eight or nine hundred square foot place if we can find one. Then Bree can come with me.” She said, certain that a jungle Ixam would stand out regardless. “Though she will stand out and I haven’t seen many of her kind here.” Taz added, offering Alric a soft contemplative gaze.

Alric was more comfortable than she’d seen him in a long time. He’d touched the book like it was a precious piece of artwork or even like he’d touch someone he loved. “I’m glad you got a journal. It will help I suspect.” She said, noting he didn’t have it out yet. That probably wasn’t a bad thing. She also smiled when he set the book down and poured them both wine. Maybe he wanted to say something to her or tell her something else before they got started studying. Taz took her glass, sniffed at the contents, then took a grateful sip. It was a good vintage and she said as much. Then Alric continued speaking and Taz made sure to pay close attention to it.

“It doesn’t seem foolish. It seems smart, cautious, and like your subconscious is protecting you. Magic is dangerous. You are right to fear it. You are right to want to rebel against this. It’s not too late. I can take this book and leave. But the cold hard truth is that Florentin Arcadius has more resources than you do. He has more money, more power, more people, and sadly more understanding of everything. This book might be our best edge. We have to learn what’s in it and do so quickly or else learn something outside of magic, like a weapon that will still give us an edge. That man wants to control us. I don’t know about you, but I want to keep all of my life under my control.” He was wrong about something though… completely wrong.

“You can be sure of one thing, Alric. You don’t need to be unsure of being good at this. Your family has, if I understand it correctly, thousands of years of selective breeding to produce the best and brightest mages they can. The odds of you not being one of these mages that the Nymkarta are known to be are slim to none. I was warned that I will probably have a hard time keeping pace with you. And I promise you I am a fast learner. So that’s saying a great deal.” She said, shrugging. “Besides, we won’t know until we try.” She added, leaning forward and picking up the book off the table before them. When she opened it, past the inner cover pages to the first chapter, she turned and looked at him. “I give you no courage, Alric. I just give you what you seem to need to do this… and that’s some sort of permission. You should do it. You need it. It might be your only advantage.” She said softly, worried, despite putting on a brave face.

And then, because she wasn’t sure if he’d simply want to linger over the hand painted pages, she began to read.

“Magic is the manipulation of Djed. Djed is the power or force which gives things identity, substance, sentience and free will. It is power in its highest degree of purity. Djed exists in all things in various degrees and levels of purity. Djed varies in abundance from one item to the next, and indeed from one person to the next. This is where djedlines come into play. In humans especially, people with more potent pools of djed have bred and produced more and more highly gifted children that have larger and larger djed pools to draw from. Such breeding practices have led to the formation of Djedlines. This term is common in Arcanology because it denotes the line of succession of mages akin to family bloodlines. The only difference lies in the fact that someone can easily be adopted into a djedline by being inducted into a personal magical discipline like Reimany whereas a mature mage must share his djed with his student in gifting them Res to teach their body how to produce it. Among these djedlines, the Nymokarta who ruled ancient Alahea are the strongest. From the smallest grain of sand to the soul of an immortal, djed can be claimed, utilized, and manipulated. Djed’s greatest property is that it cannot be created or destroyed. It can only be transformed from one thing to another via transmutation. Transmutation is just another term for magic. Magic can be divided into three disciplines; Personal, Gnosis, and World Magic.” Tazae read softly.

“Personal magic is the manipulation of one’s own djed. Gnosis or what is sometimes called Divine Magic is the magic that is gifted from the Gods themselves. Many mages have speculated that deities give marks to those as a reward for worship, or for exemplary traits that please the particular diety. Many people believe that Deities mark their followers to keep tabs on them because they find themselves interested in those mortals. Sometimes people are marked by the divine simply because they are enemies of that divine.” Taz sighed. It sounded complicated. “And finally, there is world magic. World magic is the magic of craft and lore. While the djed used in world magic may come from one’s person, it can also be carefully drawn from the world around the mage.” The writing read, causing Tazrae to sigh.

“That’s a lot to think about… first Djedlines and then all three types of magic.” Taz added, tracing the highly ornate margins and looking thoughtfully at Alric. “Reimancy is a personal magic. Look, there is a list of all the magics and what they fall under?” She said, turning the page carefully. Sure enough, there were pages and pages of listed magics with definitions of what they were or who (as in which of the Gods) they came from (in the case of the Divine Magic). At that point, Taz turned to Alric to make sure he was following and to see what he thought. She’d give him a few minutes to read through the lists of magics and what they were classified as.

"What do you think? Are you following this okay?" She asked quite frankly.

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Beginnings [Tazrae]

Postby Alric Lysane on December 22nd, 2021, 9:52 am



“Yeah, well it turns out all you need to unite the decent citizens of Sunberth is the idea of their homes and businesses being underwater. Perhaps if I get that water element strongly enough, I can make it a more regular thing, no?” he grinned foolishly, “and I suppose so. Was worth the effort anyway, managed to earn some days off for our meetings. Besides, learning to build a wall might be useful come the end”

Humour was usually how he tried to handle most dire situations, his mouth had gotten him into trouble more than once and as often as his emotions had. Still, he was who he was and it was difficult to change such things after so many years. It made him feel somewhat warmer that she approved of his actions, after all she had shown him the idea that community could achieve things, whether she had meant to or not. When she brought out her Twilight Star he marvelled for a while, enjoying how the light patterned and shifted upon the stone, before looking at her quizzically.

“You have stars in there now? If I reach in again I’m not going to be burned by some sun next am I?”

He did feel reassured at her words about his fears and how they were sensible. That wasn’t the whole of the matter though, he knew being cautious was wise in this regard, even if what he thought of magic was turning out to be largely false. Even so it was true that it was dangerous and unpredictable, he suspected it might always be so even if he were to master some. Studying together at least gave them the practical ability to see if the other were losing control, to intervene if needed. It was more than that though, she was wrong about not being his courage, she just didn’t seem to think that she was that important. It was mildly ironic given that he had thought much the same about himself until she had helped him discover his past, some of it at least.

“Give yourself more credit Taz, it is nice to have you pushing me into something that will probably help, despite my misgivings,” he said, looking at the Twilight Star rather than her as he contemplated, “I am afraid, but you are more valuable to me than the sum of those fears. Bloodlines, mage towers and unspeakable acts…they are too big, they keep me up at night and wake me with nightmares…they aren’t something you can commit to fight…but fighting for you and me, my parents, that is something I can do…and so I will”

“Believe me, I’m not leaving and I wish I could be as calm and controlled as you, how are you handling all of this?” he asked, feeling somewhat lighter for having said it aloud, he sighed and finished the glass before putting it down carefully and settling in for the lessons of the night with his arm around her.

He listened as she spoke, reading from the pages and his free hand helping to turn them when required, focusing and memorising what was being said. He would put it to his journal later, whilst she slept perhaps. He had taken to doing his writing when he couldn’t sleep or had been awoken and could not return to slumber and his memory was not so faulty that he couldn’t remember. Besides which he could just copy the book word for word if desired. The concepts were strange but somehow reassuring, learning how everything had this Djed and so logically it meant anyone could become a mage, even if his blood had bred for it. It made him feel more connected to everyone else and eased his mind somewhat. He did not, however, like the idea of using parts of himself to do this magic – or at least that was what was implied. As the words tumbled he nodded slowly along with the rhythm of her voice, the points made and his eyes read as she spoke, burning it into his memory twice over.

“I think that this suggests everyone could use it, apart from the gnosis, which is somewhat comforting. And I have learned that you are doubly magical,” his corners of his mouth turned up slightly, “but no it is not hard to follow. Strange, perhaps, almost like a spirit with the everything has Djed concept, but I am following. And if I understand it correctly this means that you are now part of a Djedline, otherwise you wouldn’t have Reimancy. Interesting, I wonder if that means Arcadius is a line as well, whether somehow that might be useful” he mused aloud before shaking his head slightly.

“I think we should start with the Personal Magic first, it seems the most important. We have no power of whether a deity grants us their powers…or more powers in your case…and world magic sounds like it would be more complicated, involving everything outside rather than inside. Inside we can control better I’d imagine” he continued, turning the page and giving her a rest of her voice.

He cleared his throat and frowned in concentration as he read, seeking to memorise as he did so.

“Personal magic is a collection of countless disciplines, some more widespread than others, that only share a common philosophy: the wizard, and they alone, are in control of their own destiny. Being the origin and the target of power, the wizard is given the opportunity to rise to glory or fall from grace without depending on anyone or anything. The user is always given the option to push the power to its limit or even beyond, commonly known as Overgiving, and must be prepared to pay a steep price for it. Sometimes this price is death, or worse things than death”

"The disciplines that fall under the umbrella term of personal magic are very diverse and some involve special rules and conditions, but in general the following traits apply to all disciplines – Initiation, Execution, Strain and Overgiving, all of which are detailed within each individual Personal magic subject"

"A special note on Overgiving, given the dangers this entails - Overgiving is what happens when strain becomes excessive for the body and mind to bear. It manifests differently for each discipline but is instigated when a mage is trying to push their skill too far, or too fast. Symptoms of Overgiving escalate if the user keeps abusing the discipline without getting proper rest and treatment, to the point where they become permanent or irreversible. The higher the wizard's skill, the more they can exert themselves before entering Overgiving. It is to be noted that, since personal magic is about total freedom, there is nothing preventing a wizard from continuing even under heavy Overgiving. It is their choice, and theirs alone. As are the consequences thereof"

“The known subdivisions of Personal magic are as follows – Auristics, Familiary, Flux, Hypnotism, Leeching, Morphing, Projection, Reimancy, Shielding, Voiding and Vorilescence. Each provide the mage with different skills and abilities, and as such require different mentalities and processes for both learning and achieving a level of mastery. Few wizards are able to master all of the above, though many have tried to do so. Some of these disciplines are also more dangerous than others and possess vastly different side effects and potential damages – both from Overgiving and psychological conflict. Shielding, for example, is difficult to Overgive with, whereas Flux may shatter limbs, with the slightest piece of imprecision”

“The basic definitions of Personal magic are as follows – Auristics is the art of reading auras of living beings and gleaning information from them, Familiary is the art of bonding with a familiar, Flxs is the manipulation of the body's energy systems for strength and speed, Hypnotism is the art of charm and persuasion, and manipulation of others, Leeching is the ability to absorb magic from other wizards, at a cost, Morphing is the art of transforming your own body, Projection is the art of using your astral body, Reimancy is the art of mastering the elements, Shielding is the art of creating barriers of various kinds, Voiding is the art of forming portals to the Void, an empty dimension and Vorilescence is the art of forming bonds with and manipulation of weaponry”

Once he was finished with the information dump that the book gave he took a deep breath and leaned back into both the couch and his learning companion. He took a few moments to read a few sections again and tried to imprint them into his memory.

“Well…it’s nice to know we aren’t in too much danger. Did you know all of this? Should we discuss the finer points before we continue, or delve in and learn as much simplistically, before tracking back to go over it in more detail do you think?” he asked with a faintly manic sense of amusement at their situation. It felt better than terror.


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Last edited by Alric Lysane on December 23rd, 2021, 11:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Beginnings [Tazrae]

Postby Tazrae on December 23rd, 2021, 6:03 am

It was hard to watch Alric come to some hard realizations. They were taking in a lot of information, but Taz knew it took time to absorb. It had for her, certainly, when she first learned. “ The easiest and hardest lesson to learn is about Djed, Alric. Duncan once told me that a mage can only transform djed. Most people perform these transformations without even knowing it. You set fire to driftwood on the shore and you are transforming the wood into a flame. The djed become heat that drifts off in the wind as smoke too. Djed is what drives the cycle of life, where you hunger and eat the fruits and greens of the world to fill your belly and energize your body. And yet when you die, your body decomposes in the land, and in turn, your djed feeds the trees and plants that in turn fed you. It is the same with animals.” Taz said softly, repeating someone’s words as if she were standing inside of a memory.

“The only difference between ordinary people and mages is how they go about that transformation. The types of changes ordinary people perform are subtle, and often go unnoticed. But mages are perpetual instigators of this change in a far more deliberate forceful and often showy way. That’s what generates the fear you feel or associate with mages.” Taz said softly.

“And yes, I knew it was dangerous. I see the concern behind your snark. And this is what I know about it. There are rules to prevent damage to yourself. You can do too much with magic, drain your djed down past the point it's safe. We have to play with the magic to see what our limits are and what exactly is ‘safe’. Alric, each of us has something of a well inside of us. It’s like a pool of djed that varies from person to person. No one has any idea of how much djed a person might have. But each of us has a limit and each type of magic has a different level of danger in overgiving. Reimancy is one of the most dangerous forms because it’s easier to do too much and hurt ourselves. That’s what we mages call… overgiving. It’s when you do too much, exert too much power, and that can be deadly… and ranges from minor overgiving to major overgiving.” Taz said, repeating what Duncan had said to her when he began to teach her.

“That’s why your Djedline is such a big deal. The Nymkarta have selectively bred for thousands of years and only reproduced with those of deep wide heavy pools.” She tried to explain, going by what she knew rather than what was in the encyclopedia they read. “And you are right. I have a double dose because I come from a very powerful magical family too and I was inducted into a Svefra Djedline that has amazingly powerful well balanced reimancers. So I get my magic and my pool from two places. If I get strong enough where I can produce enough djed, I can induct you as well and your magic will come from three places… my magical bloodline, my Zatani Djedline, and your Nymkarta origins.” Taz added softly, proud that Alric picked up so easily on that. “It makes what Florentin Arcadius did to your mother so wrong. He was trying to steal her Djedline for his progeny. And knowing all this, what we just learned… its easy to see why he was doing it.” Taz said softly, then abruptly changed the subject. “There are personal magics that can augment a shallow weak pool inside of people. I believe that’s what Leeching does. But I’ve heard terrible things about leechers. And while they can take power to augment their own shallow pools, and that they are often taken by surprise, unprepared, and drained. This is when they are most vulnerable. Leechers can be incredibly powerful when they are given a small chance to prepare. If caught alone, they are often challenged, because no one likes them, and it's easy to take them out separated from their external sources of power.” She finished, then added almost as if she had an afterthought.

“I say leechers because they are known mages that augment their power. But there are other things as well, some unknown, because what this book doesn’t say is that there are not only three disciplines of magic, but there exists a fourth as well… the Lost Disciplines. Duncan told me about them. I asked him if they fell out of favor and became lost because they were highly dangerous or simply just incredibly rare. He couldn’t tell me because he didn’t know.” She said softly, wanting Alric to understand the world of magic was huge.

“And there’s something else, Alric… “ Taz started out, not sure how to explain what she was thinking. “We can’t know how deep another person’s well runs. We can’t know if they even have one. We can guess yours is deep and wide because of your bloodline, but what of someone off the street that didn’t know anything about their family?” Taz said softly. “And there are people that have no magic whatsoever. I was told that was why initiations into various magic can be extremely dangerous. Some people can’t learn magic. And some people take to it like a duck takes to water… like we take to breathing the moment we are pushed from our mother’ bodies.” Taz added. “If you have no well, no capacity for magic, just the same light djed that flows through everything, then an initiation will likely kill you.” Taz added, running her hand down the book. It didn’t speak of death openly, but she decided there was plenty of inferences to it in the writing.

“Now, if you can work magic… if you have a well inside you… it’s still dangerous. We need to learn ourselves, in and out. We have to get a feel for what we can and can’t do. It means we need to be honest with ourselves in our magical workings. It was explained to me as a lot of trial and error. “When we do to much it is called ‘overgiving’.” She said looking thoughtful as if calling up a memory.

“Fatigue is the first sign. You start to lose your concentration. Sometimes your eyes loose focus. Your pupils can become dilated and you start forgetting words or your speech slurs. Your thoughts and speech become unintelligible. You can lose your vision completely or go deaf. You can lose your sense of touch, or even smell. These can be temporary or permanent. If you overgive in a worse way, you can start hallucinating all across your senses… smell fire where there isn’t one, think you hear the flowing of water in a desert… you know what I’m saying… see or feel or hear things that aren’t real.” Taz said, taking a breath, and breathing deeply. “The worse you overgive the worst things become… and they can get really bad, Alric.” Taz said softly.

“Severe overgiving results in permanent damage. Mages often loose their grip on reality or even their sanity. Sometimes mages can develop phobias or even extreme paranoia. When you get that bad, you can’t understand what’s real and what isn’t. You don’t recover from it. You don’t get better. Healers can’t cure you. Death is the only kindness.” She said softly, shaking her head and then offering him a thin smile. It was scary stuff, and it was taking Taz a hot minute to process it in her mind.

At Alric’s last question, Tazrae reached up and brushed one of his stray locks off his forehead. She toyed with it a moment before she released the lock, letting it curl gently back against his face. “I don’t know, Alric. I have no idea how you learn. I don’t know if we need to go into detail or skim over facts… get the basics down, or try to absorb as much as we can. I just don’t know. If I were alone, I’d go over the lists, memorize what magic falls where, and then I’d start with something simple like Auristics which people can learn without an initiation, then practice it until we have a good base.” She said, flipping past the gnosis list, knowing there were too many powers to memorize. They could look at it later when they discussed the Gods… if they ever did.

“World Magic manipulates the djed of objects in the world, forcing them to fit the mage’s purposes. The book here says its like a sort of arcane craftsmanship. World magic is usually done with tools and rituals that take place in places of power, places of worship, or laboratories. World magics use symbols, glyphs and complicated arrays of all kinds to harness the power of the world.” Taz quoted. “World magic includes Alchemy, animation, glyphing, magecrafting , malediction, Summoning, Spiritism, and a Drykas magic that is not named here. Taz finished, shaking her head softly.

Then she showed the gnosis list to Alric and they spent several long minutes studying the Gods and Goddess’ names as well as the gnosis powers, Taz decided to make some squares the size of playing cards to drill herself on which Gods and Goddesses were out and about, which were in ensconced in cities, and which lived free. It would help her learn, she decided, as she ran a finger down the lists… flipping back and forth between them.

“Aurisitics, Hypnotism, projection, Reimancy, Shielding and maybe Vorilescence in terms of personal magic. In terms of world magic, I’d like to learn … maybe Glyphing. And definitely magecrafting. That would be right fine with my temperament.” Taz said softly, reaching for her wine and filling up the glass. She lifted the glass to Alric, in salute then glanced down at the volume resting between them.

“What next?” She asked, knowing it only got deeper from here.

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Last edited by Tazrae on December 23rd, 2021, 11:43 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Beginnings [Tazrae]

Postby Alric Lysane on December 23rd, 2021, 9:27 am



“You read me well,” he said, almost to himself as he frowned in thought slightly, scratching his chin, “and the concern behind your words is appreciated. As you say though, there are few choices and none of them are ideal. We can only make the best choices we can, try to be the best we can be, and see if it is enough. At least there are two of us, with enough time perhaps that might even some odds”

Still, he was concerned and though Sunberth had taught him to hide much of what he felt, behind amusement or sarcasm, or a weary cynicism on the surface as least, she had a way of seeing through it. Or dragging out things he normally would simply not mention. It was good in some ways, it built bridges, but in others it was dangerous. He could see that, how it could be used against them if ever discovered. There was little choice though, beyond never talking to each other again, something which would ultimately likely be worse. The talk of magical wells and pools within did little to ease his concerns and much to wonder whether it may not have been best if his line had simply died out. He supposed that that would have been too simple for a fractured world built upon complexities.

The revelation of Leeching simply made it worse, the unspoken threat was obvious – even if he didn’t train his Djed pool may very well be large, he had no way of knowing. Learning might increase it but would provide practical defence. Either way, though, someone with the right tools could simply suck the Djed out of him and become more monstrous in their pools. Or at least that was what it seemed like to him. His lips twisted slightly at the thought before settling into a thin line as he shook his head slightly.

“No, what made what Florentin did wrong was the inhumanity. I could feel it seeping off of him in the Dreamwalking, a dark oily substance, like a poisoned soul. His reasons were just the justification to allow his mind to make it seem allowable. A mistake I will not make, there are no depths dark enough for him, I think, and so I will not give him the benefit of justifications. Diseased animals are put down, a mercy, and so will he be” he said after a little while taken to control his emotions as much as he could.

"I would have it no other way," he said in response to her point about Reimancy initiation, "I'd rather have someone I trust do it than a stranger, though I am not sure anyone should have such power" he conceded, still not thinking it sounded like a particularly fun experience to have. She hed spoken about being invaded by the Res, he doubted it was as romantic as the chosen medium had suggested.

"It sounds almost like wizards can easily become obsessed with such things, passing down and accumalation of Djedlines, Djed and all related matters. I would not be surprised if they also think they are better, the older lines. It would provide convenient excuses for many things" he said somewhat broodily.

He spent a while simply listening then as she talked of Overgiving and various other topics. He noted that though it was seemingly unlikely he would not have some magical pool within that it would be prudent to test that before doing anything too strenuous from the sounds of what she said. At least then, if he did not have the capacity, he would still be able to fight conventionally rather than be left a dribbling wreck, or worse. He listened as she read about the world magics and he cast his gaze over the lists of both that and the gods and their powers. He made a special note of Eyris, he had started to prey…well beg at times…for help and guidance, the knowledge to tackle this far too big a problem. He didn’t think it likely that she would answer but still he held her in a special regard, one of the few things about his mother he had started to remember was her fondness for the goddess and her domains.

He leaned forwards a bit and pulled his journal out of his bag by the low couch they were huddled upon, pulling with it ink and quill before resting the inkwell beside himself and dipping the point of the quill into it. As Taz kept studying he put everything they had just learned into the book – in shorthand of course, he was not that fast a scribe, besides which the more shortened it was the less likely he’d get hanged if someone found the thing. He left space for elaboration later and kept largely to the core concepts, his tongue poking out slightly as his hand worked. He watched her once he was finished and waiting for the last parts of ink to dry, placing the journal beside him and stoppering the inkwell once more. He smiled slightly as she flipped between pages, her hair escaping as it always seemed to try to do, lost in the reading and thinking. She had her own aura about her, changing depending upon what she was doing.

He poured himself a glass and returned her gesture as she spoke of the magic she would like to know. From what he had read and noted it seemed a good list. He had a question about the Hypnotism, he didn’t like the idea of puppeteering others, freedom was too precious, but he conceded that it was still useful and so he left that conversation for another time, should it be required. Truthfully, he didn’t see her abusing it, but then that was why being a pair was better, they were a check upon each other.

“A good list, I’d choose much the same I think, if pressed. I’d not have chosen Hypnotism, and the world magic is something I don’t think I’ll explore until I have better grounding in the rest, though Glyphing seems like it would be useful. I’d add in Flux I think, perhaps one day, but the rest I agree with. What a pair we shall make one day, I suppose, delvers into so many fields” he mused softly, sipping the wine.

“I am as lost as you Taz, but at least we are lost together. If I were having lessons I think the only real step we can take next is actually trying something. Auristics seems a wise choice, as does this Shielding. Both seem to suggest that it is difficult to suffer permanent damages, at least in comparison to the others. Though I suppose you could practise you Reimancy, you are the only one with that and so that is your advantage over me” he tilted his head thoughtfully, watching her for a while before flicking to the Auristics section in the book.

“An aura contains information an Aurist can read, for example, they may be able to discern whether an object is cold or hot without the need to touch physically. Auristics can be used to find out if someone recently entered a room, or if someone is wounded underneath their clothing. Advanced techniques may detect more subtle nuances, for example emotions, worries, expectations. The list is endless. Aurists can also detect other forms of magic through the auras left by Djed usage” he began to read, pausing and realising that it may mean there was little left to hide should they master it, not sure how to feel about that.

"Aurists can sense auras, the vast majority working primarily with their eyesight, though all five senses can perceive an aura if the user has been properly trained. For example, an Aurist may realize they are in the presence of an unsettling aura simply as it brushed against their skin. Vague information such as this is a passive ability - a rare case in personal magic - but in order to fully realise details the Aurist needs to 'focus' on a specific aura, which is akin to shifting eye focus from a far away object to a closer one, according to those the author has discussed this with. This is where the danger to drain and damage the user, if abused, lies - especially if one tries to keep many auras under focus at the same time. Even masters have limits"

“Focus happens as the wizard consumes their Djed, aligning their mind with the aura they are trying to percieve. There is no specific moment at which one is finished focusing; the longer one continues, the more details surface, the more subtle aspects revealed as the wizard continues to concentrate. General ‘big picture’ aspects of an aura are usually a quick to percieve, but truly understanding the shades and their meaning can require minutes or even hours of inspection. Lifetimes of study have been taken and new secrets still seem to appear to practitioners”

“Auras look and feel different to each wizard, the mind seemingly adapting the universal information into a format that the particular mind can understand, or is familiar with. Sometimes, the Aurist will be surprised at how they perceive a new aura. Colors, shapes, smells, motions and swirls; there is an endless number of ways to interpret an aura reading. More proficient Aurists will usually receive more accurate information than a beginner, but the information usually falls into the following categories”

“Physical properties, internal structure, feelings, magical activity, residual activity, intent – the specific subdivision of each listed below for more in-depth explanation”

He went on reading for a time, sipping his wine and taking breaks every so often, until he had finished reading the entire section. By the end he felt he knew rather too much about the subject for an evening’s study and felt sure the book merely provided a veneer, a surface of something much deeper and harder to properly define but instead to experience. He explained each section as the boo told them, though he noted that it had promised specific but largely gave vague analogies and a few examples to illustrate how subjective Auristics seemed to be. When he was finished he rubbed his eyes and finished his glass to moisten his throat.

“We can try it, if you like,” he said after while of thought, weighing up how he felt and whether there was much choice open to him anymore, it was a simple equation he supposed – did he like being free or not, he pushed his raging mind to the back of his skull, he owed Taz at least an attempt after all of her effort, “I suppose I’d rather have you learning by reading my aura – and the other way around – than trying to puzzle it out at random. At least we can ask each other for confirmation of what we think without it being a lie returned. I suppose it depends upon whether we feel up to it, and whether you really want to. We have taken a lot in already and there is no shame in breaking for a time, perhaps reading some more or just...absorbing in pleasant company”

It would taste a lie to say that he was eager. Things he had learned so far had made him see things in a different light whilst others had merely reinforced his beliefs. He had no illusions that he would be a paradox after a fashion - a mage that disliked magic, powerful but hating power perhaps and definitely a growing sense of anger, a desire for vengeance that paraded as justice. These things he buried though, not really wishing to add them to the pile of present considerations to be had - already a large pile as it was.


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Alric Lysane
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Beginnings [Tazrae]

Postby Tazrae on December 24th, 2021, 2:07 am

Tazrae could see that her words affected him, and not in a good way. But he’d asked the young Innkeeper and she’d given him the most honest answer she could. Alric was right about her grandfather and what he’d done. He was also right about Florentin Arcadius needing to be put down. She was in full agreement. But she was also wise enough to know they weren’t nearly ready to take on such a person, let alone even remotely get close to him.

The man probably had an inner circle that was impenetrable and wasn’t the sort that was out and about in public where one could approach him. They didn’t even know where he lived at that point. “You are right. And I think it’s a true thing that there is a darkness in him that is almost tangible. I can feel it. I’ve felt it in others I’ve met as well.” She didn’t add that they had to guard their own souls because magic was seductive and could pull them in directions they didn’t want to go. What she’d said already was more than enough warning.

Taz wasn’t sure she was the person to induct Alric. Her initiation with Duncan had been so intimate, so all-consuming, and she didn’t have feelings for the mage. What would it be like with someone that she did care about deeply? Would something like that with Alric turn fierce and primal? She wanted a friendship with Alric, a close tight relationship bound by a common enemy and a willingness to see something through. If they went further… if she gave him her res….

The woman had to stop a moment and break off that train of thought immediately. Because, for just a moment, something feral in her had reared its head and woken up just a little. It was like her pool of magic surrounding her soul bubbled and res began to generate of its own accord, wanting to invade the man sitting beside her. It was arousal, but of a sort, Tazrae had never experienced. The very thought of taking his cut palm with one of her own and flowing that which was her into him stole her breath. Something flamed up within her and she took a deep breath and almost choked on the res in her throat. It didn’t ignite, not while it was within her, but she could feel the potential for it and taste the fiery essence. She parted her lips, coughed slightly, and reached forward to grab her wine glass to cover the action. She took a long drink and sat it back down again.

Dear Gods….

Tazrae got up abruptly, walked to the fire, and with her back to Alric, exhaled the unexpected res in her lungs. The translucent substance was something like spiderwebs and something like saliva, a lighter-than-air gel really, that iridized with a dozen jewel tones that were all Tazrae’s signature power. It took her three deep breaths to clear her airway without coughing, as she pretended to grab a poker and stir the fire. Duncan would be so disappointed in her control. Though it hadn’t been her, curiously, but rather the magic wanting at Alric. Was that how it was for situations like this or was this abnormal? It was a little frightening, though she didn’t say anything about the reaction.

She added two more logs, more to give herself a bit of extra time before she turned around and looked at Alric again.

“Yes, mages are easily obsessed.” She said softly, the irony of his words not lost on her. She could feel the bubbling still going on within her, power wanting to rise up, claim, spread itself and taste the Nymkarta sitting on the couch. Was this what Florentin Arcadius’ obsession with Serana was all about? Or was this something unique to only Alric? Would she lose control and hurt him? Taz knew she wasn’t strong enough to initiate him. She also knew her magic knew that. She wasn’t well practiced with it enough to even remotely be safe around the Sunberthian in terms of such things. Taz did the only thing she could and cupped her palm then.

Res filled the vessel her curved and clenched fingers made, sliding from her pores. It came so easily, so willingly, that it stunned her a bit. It wanted this. It wanted him. She offered her hand to him, offering the substance. “It wants you.” She admitted, knowing it was harmless as it was. “It won’t hurt you as long as I don’t call it into its flaming form… and I won’t.” She said, moving to resettle beside him and let the res trickle from her hand to his where it would fade eventually as long as she didn’t task it.

That small offering seemed to mollify the determined force within her. She gave it what it wanted without doing exactly what it wanted, which was enough of a compromise to free the Innkeeper of her power’s momentary demands. It wasn’t like anything she’d ever felt nor heard of other mages speaking of before. If she dwelled on it, Taz knew her concern would grow.

Taz was glad Alric pulled his journal and made some notes. She needed the break, as she rose to dig around in her backpack to pull out some fresh fruit. As she peeled a kiwi she offered Alric a smile. “Someday, we’ll play a game and I’ll show you everything that’s in my backpack.” She teased, not sure yet if he realized it housed far more than its volume on the outside suggested. She had gear for days within it, foodstuffs, extra waterskins, weapons, spare clothing and even medical supplies.

Taz paced around a bit more while Alric wrote, thinking. She was a restless spirit by nature and wiggled her fingers thinking of what she would be doing if she were home. Baking. Cleaning. Running on the beach with Bree. For a moment she was acutely homesick for Falyndar and Syka’s easy comfort. The Outpost was nice in its clean elegance, but it was not her home. Nor, for that matter, was this suite.

But she was here for him. He was special. They were together for a reason. And she readily acknowledged that.

She sat down, going back to studying, flipping between pages of the book, looking for something she knew wasn’t in here. Duncan had mentioned once that sometimes power demanded things, but he’d been cryptic in his statement that day. If she were home, she’d pay him a visit and ask him. So instead of doing that, she planned what she would learn and then asked Alric what was next. Completely oblivious to his study of her, she’d been lost in her own head. Blinking, for a moment, she caught his hesitation when she said Hypnotism and smiled slightly.

“You always think the worse.” She said, not letting him let it go like he wanted to. “Think about having the ability to suggest things to people. It would be incredibly useful for calming down a situation, even a crowd that was milling around in anger, getting supercharged. What if a woman was weeping hysterically and you just needed her to calm down, breath deeply, try and quiet for a moment. A word, a suggestion, infused in a statement might nudge things along. If you were hurt and needed to hold still for a healer to work on your injury… or a child being scared of the dark because a rather bratty sibling told them a dark tale they couldn’t get out of their head. Hypnotism can be incredibly useful without being abusive, Alric. Not everyone is…. as you assume they could be. You know… dark.” She added, latching on to the potential for a good discussion to distract her from what had just happened.

“Flux might be useful, true.” She said, never having thought of it for herself, but if Buraga was teaching her self-defense and unarmed combat, then it might indeed augment what she lacked in stature for such things.

Alric plowed into the information on Auristics and Tazrae listened intently, fascinated. She wondered if he realized how he sounded… not like a street rat from a burning city of darkness, but like a well-educated young mage tasked with expanding his knowledge by some aloof and absentee master. She got lost in the information, thinking about what Alric read and getting quite a clear idea about it. And she knew he was right about reading each other’s auras as practice. But first, he needed to do something else. When he paused, looking at her for her opinion – which she appreciated beyond how she knew how to express her thanks – Taz took her opportunity to suggest something else before they dove in.

“We should do all of that, yes of course, but first… you need to do something else. You’ve had no teacher, Alric, and there are things mage books leave out on purpose, to guard against those reading them and using them that aren’t supposed to and are unguided. I doubt just following the instructions in this section – though they aren’t exactly that are they – would actually work. There’s something more you need to do.” Taz said gently, settling once more beside him and taking the book up, and moving it out of his reach. She also made sure his journal was out of his reach too… capping his ink and setting it aside too.

She half-faced him on the couch where he sat. Then she reached out, took his left hand in her right hand, and laid her left hand over his heart. “I want you to close your eyes, Alric.” She said softly, then did something she had not done with him before. Alric had never seen the bard side of her, nor perhaps knew about the mark Rhaus had left on the back of her neck always hidden behind the curls, even when they were drawn back in a ponytail. She pulled power from it, focusing on the sounds she could feel from his body, and concentrated. He was a beautiful musical mix of oscillations, pulsations, and vibrations.

It was a unique frequency that belonged only to Alric that she could sense as far as she could hear.

She concentrated further, establishing a resonance between them with her touch, her voice, and his hearing. She concentrated, breathing in his scent, and hummed slightly as she adjusted what she felt, using her voice once more to get the connection completely established. “You need to find your well, Alric.” Her voice urged, yet at the same time pulling his focus from her and drawing it inside himself. If he fought her, she’d have trouble, but if he gave into her voice, she could show him the way. Her will backed her words as she spoke again, filling the rich alto with Rhaus’ borrowed power as she attempted to draw him deep into himself.

“Fall into yourself, Alric. Let your awareness slide deep down into yourself. So deep, beneath my hand, beneath my words, further down… deeper.” The power of Resonance that bards commanded linked them to targets and allowed them to manipulate the objects of their attention. Taz wasn’t trying to con him or command him to do something against his will like she could have with Hypnotism had she been trained. Instead, she was trying to show him the way to something she’d already found within herself.

“There’s all that power within you… for me, it’s a burning fire, a molten pool of such breathtaking beauty the power sings to me. Your well is there too. Deep down… can’t you feel it? It’s your mage well… and right now since you’ve never touched it, it’s a crystal-clear smooth mountain lake tucked into the darkness of the night reflecting a thousand stars from Zintila’s sky. It’s cool, clear, untouched. It wants you… it will welcome you. Find it… go to it… draw from it, Alric. Once you touch it, it's yours to command. It’s yours to control. Fall down into yourself knowing it is your soft landing and once you find it, pull from it, rise again, and let its power fill your vision. That’s your djed, your source. Call it to you, once you’ve found it… bring it forward, pull on it, and let the djed that comes fill your vision… then open your eyes and look at me. Open them with your eyes full of power.” She intoned, her words guiding him, themselves vibrating at the same frequency he was, uniting them… gently coaxing him to find what she helped him seek and do with it what she suggested.

Taz waited then, slowly releasing his hand and removing the hand over his heart. She waited, watching him, wondering what his eyes would look like if he could fill them with his djed and look at her with his power.

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Tazrae
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Beginnings [Tazrae]

Postby Alric Lysane on December 24th, 2021, 12:49 pm



“It thinks?” he asked with a mixture of concern and curiosity, “that is…strange. I wonder whether that means it keeps memories then? Only reason it would want me is…” he trailed off, lapsing into silence as he studied the small pool of Res she had formed, hesitantly touching it with his finger and not seeing it react in any way.

The hairs on his skin began to itch eve as his mind wanted to make him push away from it. He held firm though, if he was to combat this sort of thing, he had to know about it, to be able to identify it and more. He was not expecting it when she poured it into his own hand and his jaw clenched slightly as he felt it, like water but thicker he thought, settling into a smaller pool and shifting about with the movement of his hand. He noted how it had started to shrink already, watching as it faded and lost its colourful lustre, before eventually dissipating completely. He rubbed his hand upon the blanket absently, eyeing her bag and wondering I he wanted to know everything that was in there. He was fairly sure it was a lot, he would not be surprised if there were more dangerous things as well as the convenient ones.

“Product of upbringing, always expect the worst. Doesn’t mean I think that of you but how can I recognize its bad uses if I don’t think about them? It pays to be prepared for the worst on the streets, it may save your life,” he noted simply, “and I take the point it might be useful for some things – medical things perhaps. But the point of living is to learn how to cope with life’s problems, by taking the child’s fear you may make them sleep for a night, but will they ever truly learn to overcome their fear? Where do you draw the line between being helpful and hampering someone’s growth?”

“There is darkness in all of us, myself included. In many ways I might have more risk of succumbing to it, it is difficult to be moral in a city like Sunberth. How many times might I step beyond a boundary, telling myself it was for a good cause – saving slaves or something – and then again, again…then one day I look back at all of the lines behind me and I am just like Arcadius. In my nightmares I see my face in place of his”

There was no accusation in his voice, he didn’t truly think she would abuse things but he worried that Syka was so lovely, the non-jungle parts at least, that she didn’t have to think about such things. Then again he was prepared to be proven wrong too, he was hardly an expert. Their talks about things being tools and the people being the problem had been a recurring theme he had come to accept as more of a chance to be disproven than to prove he was right. He liked and respected her enough to acknowledge she would always have things she disagreed with him upon. Ultimately, so long as they achieved their aims in the end, it mattered little beyond the academic.

After he had finished reading he watched as she cleared everything away from them, placing them aside and talking about what he saw as hidden traps – another thing he would not have anticipated but made sense given the knowledge at risk. Not everyone might be a mage, as she had told him before, but that didn’t mean they wanted secrets to be easily discerned. He understood that impulse, knowledge was a powerful thing and usually guarded jealously. He raised his eyebrow as she took his hand and pressed her hand to his chest, feeling the warmth of her palm and wondering what it was she had planned. He looked at her for a moment before nodding his acceptance and closing his eyes.

His skin started to prickle from her touch and the sounds of the fire, his heartbeat against her hand and the slight rustling resulting from being unable to become completely still, seemed to amplify without his sense of sight. He heard her start to hum slightly, as if seeking a sound she wanted, there was no tune but it changed slightly over time, honing in on what she wanted. He felt comfortable but also slightly strange, as if his body were reacting somehow to the noise. He continued to listen, words coming from her now as the darkness behind his eyelids seemed to darken further. He began to wonder what it was she was doing and was about to speak as his perspective…shifted was the only way he could think of it but it was nothing he was familiar with, as if being dragged internally. Instinctively he rebelled, no thought but reacting, and he thought he heard her say something as if from underwater, her hand pressing slightly, and he realised it was her. He tried to relax into whatever it was, it took him a while – he had never liked the idea of giving up control of his mind even before knowing of Forentin, he was stubborn at times – but eventually he was pulled down, inside and it was almost as if he was having a vision of sorts.

Her words came clearer now, though still seemingly distant, and he listened as she described what this was like for her. Again, the comparison to fire was apt, in more ways than one he was beginning to realise. As she described his own the vision seemed to ripple into his mind’s eye, forming within and he could see it, hear it and even take in its scents it seemed. He was floating above the water, looking at his reflection within it, suspended and knowing somehow that it was, because he hesitated, he was unsure of this seeming point of no return. He spent a long time simply staying there, feeling it out, realising after a while that he could sense the pool beneath him. It hummed all of its own, calling and whispering to him at the farthest edges of his senses. He could feel its boundaries, its depths, width and breadth, it was like when he breathed deeply and could feel the limits of his lungs in their inhalation. He reached out, hesitating once more with his fingers an inch from the surface, before following her suggestions and plunging his hand in.

Nothing happened at first, apart from the ripple that formed a perfect circle across the surface, flowing out from him to reach the edges of the waters, but then it bounced back, returned and converged and the wave surged up his arm and the only way he could describe it was that it plunged into him and what was a ripple became a torrent that wanted to take him away with it. For the second time he rebelled, though this time it was against the pulling, the tugging to fill up with all of it – far too much for his liking and he pulled his arm back, trying to find a balance point. It was hard, a difficult struggle that gave him a newer understanding of her earlier words about wanting. No…he wasn’t like Florentin, he didn’t want an endless amount. His strength coalesced around that thought and eventually, with great effort, he managed to get some direction going.

His senses started to return, bit by bit, and he realised he was frowning more deeply than he usually did, his eyes were still closed and there was no measure of how long it had taken in real time but it felt like a while, her hands were gone now at least so long enough for them to be removed and for her to be satisfied with what she had done. Sounds returned, the crackling of the fire mostly, and he thought he could hear her breathing. Her scent came next. He was still trying to force the Djed to do his bidding but as the vision faded and it became more about having a feeling deep inside he thought he was winning. It was a wrestling match, forcing it outwards and upwards, coaxing and cajoling a recalcitrant child perhaps, and into where she had told him to try for – his eyes. He suddenly had the hope that he wouldn’t lose his sight and another battle ensued, teaching him that confidence – feigned or otherwise – and forceful direction was required. The moment he let doubt creep in his control wavered and so he tried to leave the doubting for later.

“This is more difficult than first imagined,” he managed to say after a while, his mouth dry and so telling him it had been some time in that internal workings, “but…I think…that I’ve just about…managed it” his words followed along with the…pathway, was that the right word…of the Djed, creeping up and then into his eyes.

He kept his eyes closed as it seemed to pool there, filling up slowly but surely, making sure that he had as much of full control as he could muster before finally opening his eyes. He could not see what it looked like but Taz would see a change in colour, from blue to a bright emerald, and with the opening of his eyes he looked at her, head tilted and wondering what came next.

“Have I grown horns?” he asked softly, maintaining some humour despite the slight strain in his voice, “things don’t look different. You are still you…how long was I like that, and what…did…you….do” he had begun to ask her the first of a series of questions but his mouth opened as he realised that it wasn’t the flickering light of the fire that flickered its light across her, it was something else that flickered of its own, different colours fading in and out.

“Beautiful”

It was faded, weak and he supposed that was because he was trying something that he had never tried before, he was hardly going to be practised at it but it looked like what he had been reading aloud – an aura. But it was a kaleidoscope of every shade imaginable, at least for the briefest moment. In his surprise he lost the ability, the Djed fading back and retreating to somewhere inside that was difficult to qualify. To his surprise it felt like he had lost something, as if warmth had filled him before, and now he felt colder for its absence. He could see that being a problem if he didn’t keep an eye on it, it was almost self-reinforcing in the desire to want it once more. He resisted and with slightly more tired eyes he smiled at her.

“And lost it…though strangely now it feels like something has…changed. That was a different kind of trip you took me on Taz, and for a moment I managed…something. Not bad for a beginner” he said slowly, fingers reaching for his glass and a drink that felt like it had been too long in coming.




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Alric Lysane
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Beginnings [Tazrae]

Postby Tazrae on December 24th, 2021, 2:18 pm

Tazrae had never sat beside someone who had dropped deep within themselves, looking for their well and connecting to their power for the very first time. And she was glad that she had the privilege of doing so with Alric. When she’d slowly removed her hands from him, breaking the connection because she’d lead him as far as she could… she had let her eyes drift closed. Her eyes were useless in the task she tried to guide him on, instead of relying on Rhaus’ gifts to listen.

He was something before, vibrating, oscillating, and even pulsating in a way that was uniquely his own. But as Alric dropped deeper, studied himself, weighed his situation in his mind, and made life-changing decisions, those sounds slowly transformed. When he reached out and touched his well, she did not see it. She was not there. But she heard the music in him change, redouble, and become something more. She heard the moment he made a choice and in the sounds that altered forever, she knew he was not comfortable with the choice and probably never would be complete.

The sensation of what he was swelled as he rose, coming slowly back to himself, with his djed bending to his will and answering his summons. She’d never felt anything like it – for music was felt as often as it was heard – and wondered if her own finding and choosing was anything like this one had been. Taz found it harder to resonate with him with his new music and she hummed softly again, adjusting herself accordingly until she could sense him fully again with his new vibrations. His emotions were on display and she could sense his fatigue in the new sound that was all his own. But she was sure he pulled, did as she suggested, and when he felt more present beside her she opened her eyes and stared into his luminous green ones.

“You already had horns.” She admitted lightly, a flicker of a smile at the joke crossing her face. He was beautifully infused with his power and she could sense it wanting, and its needing to be free. “They go with your bullish stubbornness.” She added, almost as an afterthought. There was no condemnation in her voice, no true judgment. There was just affection.

As he looked at her with her aura flaring into and out of his vision, he’d note that the back of her neck glowed brightly where her gnosis mark was. Beneath her left wrist as well held something of power etched into her skin. Both marks had auras about them that stood out from Tazrae’s own jewel-tone swirls of color, which were mainly made up of humor and relief. He couldn’t see the two emotions as actual colors, but his brain could interpret the swirls he saw as such as he saw them. If she had injuries, he’d be able to see them as alterations in her aura, though there were none in those brief moments the auristics revealed some of her secrets to him more clearly.

Looking with the sight like he did, he should be able to make out more auras than just hers… flashes here and there of things in the room. Even, perhaps, of his own if any part of him was within his vision. The book had said auristics could be utilized without his eyes, though that was the most common practice for it. Some heard auras and some felt them, and some held combinations of ways of sensing… varying from mage to mage.

Taz spoke then, and even as his power faded he saw color in her words.

“Of course, your power thinks, Alric. Doesn’t your heart war with your mind at times? Don’t your feet sometimes act without your mind’s full consent or even consultation, setting you in motion before you decide motion is prudent? It’s not a scheming monstrous madness in you… but it is OF YOU and it will have a will of its own at times.” Taz said with certainty, just having experienced it herself. She’d never spontaneously generated Res in reaction to simply the mention of an induction.


“You will be a better person, Alric, for welcoming it and bringing it into your trusted internal circle so it can work with the rest of you… your mind, your body, your morals, your instincts… and now your power. Did you feel it? Did you feel the enormity of that pool?” She asked, curiously tilting her head. “It’s not something to hate and reject. If you do, you might as well make it a gift-wrapped present to that monster that wants it. Because if you don’t accept it and make it your ally, you will never be much of a mage if you don’t own and embrace what is yours.” She said softly.

Then, because she wanted to try herself, she picked up her wineglass and began to carefully turn it in her hands. She tapped her well, knowing exactly where it was, and drew power, filling her vision with djed. It wasn’t hard after ‘hearing’ Alric do it. It was just a rearrangement of that which was her inside herself, positioning for a trial at something that she knew she should be able to do. Res filled her gaze and her blue eyes widened. It wasn’t the immense pool Alric drew upon his first attempt because Tazrae didn’t need much to simply see an ordinary glass and its aura. She twisted the thing around in her hands, studying it, as djed built up in her gaze. Her eyes didn’t betray her with a significant color change, but they did become brighter, more luminous as she looked.

The glass altered under her djed-filled gaze. She slowly turned it, and could actually see where it was minutely thinner and thicker, its aura changing above where bubbles were trapped in the glass from its molten state blown into the mold. There was a heaviness that was apparent on its foot beneath the stem… where heavy cutters had freed the glass from its blowpipe and rubbed it on other smooth oiled metal to make it able to sit upright smoothly.

Suddenly, curious, she shifted her djed, pulling it from her eyes and infusing it in her ears. She tapped the wineglass experimentally with a well-trimmed nail and was rewarded with it singing out. She could hear everything she’d awkwardly seen with far more clarity. It was astonishing, and she glanced up, looking at Alric though not really seeing him with her eyes. Like before, she listened to him, but not with Rhaus’ borrowed power but with the power of her own. And she heard his music, all of it, clearly for just a brief moment before she burned through the little trickle of djed she’d conservatively called. The sound warmed her, wetted her mouth, and soothed something in her. She recognized it utterly and wondered how long she’d been around it and hearing its subtle notes without truly understanding it as ‘him’.

The sensation lasted only a heartbeat or two… no longer than it had ‘listening’ with auristics to the wine glass. She widened her eyes and reported her findings to Alric. “I can do what I advised you to do with the djed, pooling it in your eyes… but it's awkward and hard for me. It doesn’t feel right. But if I do the same thing with my hearing… it sings out, Alric.” She said softly, stifling a yawn suddenly, which was contrary to her excitement. “I bet you can too… hear things with Auristics. I bet most people just use auristics as a visual magic, but it's obviously something that can be done with other senses… I bet taste and smell work as well… maybe touch too.” She added, drawing conclusions because of her other magical experience.

Just then she yawned again, frowned at the second yawn in rapid succession, and looked around. “What time is it anyhow? It was late when I got here to begin with. Maybe we should call it a night and begin again in the morning. We’ve actually got a lot accomplished for one evening. And you spent all day sandbagging… that’s hard work.” She said softly, glancing at the Encyclopedia of Arcanology and then back at her friend. “I can stay the night and do some more training with you in the morning, but I have obligations in the afternoon.” She added. “I can stir up the fire and set it so it will burn well into the morning.” Taz interjected, already moving to do so.

The young Innkeeper didn’t give a thought to sleeping arrangements or what was proper or not. She didn’t care. She’d lost even a hint of caring what society norms, especially in Riverfall, dictated living in Syka where everyone did as they pleased so long as it hurt no one else. “I don’t even mind if you steal all the covers. Syka has such hot nights that I don’t use them half the time.” She said, only then taking a moment to look him over and make sure he was comfortable with her staying and catching some sleep.

“I promise I won’t molest you in the dark. Your honor is safe with me.” She said gently, humor twisting her mouth up in a grin. “I’ll make tea in the morning, and I might just have some fresh fruit and bear claws baked today in my backpack to break our fast in the morning. I bet you’ve never had a bear claw have you?” She said, padding barefoot over to the bed on its dais and turning back the covers on both sides. She slipped off her dress, hanging it on a hook by the bed reserved for robes, revealing the crocheted swimwear underneath.

The pale cream of the thread it was spun from laid in contrast against her tanned skin, making her desert coppery coloring even more evident. She was as slim as her clothing had suggested, but her bones were overlaid with corded muscle that spoke of hard work and plenty of exercise in her day-to-day life. She had a modest chest that suited her form, that was well overshadowed by most of the curvy large-breasted women who worked in his place of employment. Her hips were slim, though they’d never be called boyish, and her legs were long. She paused, just before climbing into bed, and looked at him.

Her words were serious suddenly, and tinged with sincerity. “It’s just a body, Alric. I’ll leave the bikini on for your modesty, but I won’t promise I won’t wrap around you in the middle of the night because I tend to cuddle anything that comes to bed with me, be it my dog or even Bree. Her scales are soothingly warm and not at all like you’d expect a lizard to feel. I left so much of myself in Riverfall and I like the person Syka has made me into. Come to bed. We’ll just sleep. I won’t cut your throat in the dark, you have my word on it, and there’s no other intention on my mind. I’ve only been with one man the whole of my life and it was during a magic-infused ritual. I’d be a terribly awkward lover because I have no experience. So just come to bed and let’s start fresh in the morning.” She said, finally slipping between the sheets and pulling the covers over her.

Had she been at home she’d take a quick swim and brush her teeth too. But despite the crazy number of things in her backpack, she’d never once thought to slip in a toothbrush or tooth powder to go along with it. That was something she’d remedy in the afternoon when she returned. If she ever got lost in the wilds, she certainly didn’t want to be without tooth powder.

Wiggling around until she was comfortable, Tazrae left it up to Alric as to whether he’d join her or take the couch. If he joined her, he’d certainly be welcome for she had every intention of simply getting some rest.

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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
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