Of Sense & Shield Pt I

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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

Of Sense & Shield Pt I

Postby Alric Lysane on January 9th, 2022, 7:45 am



22nd Winter 521 AV – Alric’s Shack

It was going to be a long day, that much was certain as he swung his legs out of his bed and rubbed the heels of his palms into his eyes, massaging them awake before making his way to the chair. After taking a few sips from the waterskin that dangled from the back of it he sighed and set about laying the wood into the square box formation required for easy lighting, dry, shredded tinder inside the four walls of kindling, and lighting it with a few strikes of flint and steel. As he watched the flames start crackling to life, placing a layer if kindling above them and then blowing gently, encouragingly, he remembered the man who had shown him how to do it all – Nerrell. He briefly wondered to himself, as placed a log atop the flames and then sat back to thumb tobacco into his pipe and lit it, how the man would have reacted to everything Alric was going through.

“Sold me down the river probably” Alric chuckled into the fire as he puffed away. Nerrell had been the one to tell him all the bad magic stories, amongst others, he’d probably have hated Alric and got him killed. Not the man’s fault Alric knew now, it was Sunberth’s hatred overriding reality.

Certainly, as Alric closed his eyes and retreated back into himself, finding his well after some difficulty and simply hanging above it mentally, he would not have approved of what Alric’s task was for the day – learning more of Auristics and Shielding. He stayed that way for a while, exploring the feeling more than he had before, finding the stillness comforting as his mind’s eye showed him that ever still pool of water, deeper than he could see and surrounded by the hard, rugged mountains. A scrap of forest had appeared now, dotting the mountains at their bottom, abutting the land at the water’s edge. Was this what Moritz had meant when he had spoken of finding an image, a way, of finding that deep stillness? Tazrae had shown him the way, had formed the picture for him…or had she simply revealed wat she had felt was already within him? The picture she knew he’d naturally gravitate toward?

He pushed that thought, and all other thoughts, from his mind for a while – whilst interesting they were not necessary for what he wanted to achieve and he needed all the focus he could get, the day was going to be a draining one. He touched his ‘well’ and let it fill him as he had experienced before, seeking the ‘passive’ state of his Auristics at first and feeling his skin begin to tingle as it crept upon him with the influx of his Djed. Touch deepened, sound took on ethereal quality and scents were amplified. The last were his eyes, his vision rippling and distorting to reveal, as if a curtain had been opened, the world beneath the world. He sighed into it, it was become a curiously comforting feeling.

“Now…how had she put it? Like cooking? Taking things from here and there and combining? Well…I am no cook…hmm…but a heist…a heist has multiple parts – the lockpicking whilst listening for guards, the creeping in the shadows whilst watching for traps….hmmm” he muttered to himself, not feeling it was the same but deciding to use it as a starting point.

He took a deep breath and focused upon feeding his sense with Djed, splitting the flow now so that he was also sending a small portion into his left hand, willing it, as he had before, into his palm and fingertips, under his nails and forcing it from his skin. He felt it gather there but not come out, a problem he had had last time also, and frowned, concentrating with as much of is mind as he dared on the idea of it being forced out of him hand, cupping it so that he would see when it was successful. I was a painstaking process, one which felt like it took longer than it had than the last time, a fact that concerned him slightly. Was he doing it wrong? Taz had had no issues like this, though he supposed she was more experienced…and…wait she had a focus – singing.

“Stupid…move your damned hand” he chided himself, looking upon the cup he had placed before him ready for this exercise – he could see there was a dark line through it, almost a spider web in places, which intuitively he knew meant that it was weakening and might break soon – it had been a cheap affair after all.

He shifted his hand forwards and instead of focusing upon his hand and Djed he focused upon the cup, upon the idea of forming a small dome over it with his Djed, a shield for the cup. Moving his fingers slowly, methodically, as if showing clay with his hand, he smiled as the Djed began to extrude upon his gestures.

“Progress” he muttered, both triumph and uneasiness in his tone. He still was not fully comfortable with what he was having to do.



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Alric Lysane
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Of Sense & Shield Pt I

Postby Alric Lysane on January 9th, 2022, 8:08 am



He felt ridiculous really, sat at his table waving his hand over a damned clay cup, but if that was what worked for him then that was what he had to do. He really hoped that by the time there was a reckoning with Arcadius and his men that he’d not have to look so ridiculous. He had found that by wiggling his fingers in an almost theatrical manner, like some crazed fortune teller over a crystal ball, that the Djed came a bit quicker, smoother perhaps. At least it seeped out of him better, but it didn’t so much flow as fall in droplets of a kind, falling until it hit the imaginary barrier he was trying to build and then sliding along it, forming the shape from the bottom ring – which he had just about managed to make so far – and rippling upwards. At least, he reasoned, if he ever did this in front of Florentine the man might die of laughter and that wouldn’t be so bad.

As he put his pipe down and now directed Djed into his other hands now, splitting flows a bit more, he found that the Djed came even quicker. He paused then, considering that, not feeding more Djed into the construct but instead simply keeping the link between him and it to prevent it vanishing and losing the work. Did it matter for him, then, how much of his body was invested into the Shield? Two hands brought quicker workings…did that mean that it he, for example, used his feet too then that would theoretically double it further? Or, perhaps, breathing it out at the same time?

He shook his head and focused once more upon feeding the Shield, hands waving and shaping the imaginary dome like so much clay. Yes…clay was the right metaphor. He had never shaped it himself, though he had seen it done and read about it in his searching for other things, it seemed…right…earthy and grounded for him as a way of thinking.

It was still a painstakingly slow process and he was still only half done. The flood that he had allowed upon his first attempt had turned his skin grey, so he was being cautious this time, feeding his abilities only that which it needed. Splitting his Djed concentration was difficult but not as fatal as he had feared. Letting it just happen seemed to be half the battle and he was so focused upon his working that really the Djed just seemed to flow by itself, with a mind of its own perhaps.

As he worked upon the Shield he started to see what Taz had meant about it being almost metallic. The sheen of his extruded Djed was not like hers – hers was all the colours of bright jewels in sunlight, his was duller, still shiny but it was the shine of well-polished steel perhaps. He could smell almost…an iron smell perhaps, like rusted nails – which his senses told him along with his sight picking up weaknesses and holes in his Shield that his was not a very good Shield at all.

“Second attempt Alric, second attempt” he muttered to himself as he kept extruding the Djed, wiggling his fingers and moving his hands around until, finally, there was a rippling done around the cup upon the table.

He paused then, examining it with all of his senses before he would go any further.


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Of Sense & Shield Pt I

Postby Alric Lysane on January 9th, 2022, 9:08 am



His hands were placed either side of the small bubble, cupping it and helping it stay in existence. He knew that as soon as he stopped then that would be it – not just because the Djed feeing it would be cut off but because he could already feel the tiredness begin to seep into him. He was not sure if it was because he were using two magics, or not, that it came more quickly, but it was a good bet, he reasoned. As such he set about getting as much from his explorations as he could, whilst they lasted. He focused his senses upon the Shield itself, just the shield and nothing else, studying it with his Auristics, puzzling it out as chimes passed and the information began to accumulate, piece by piece, slowly and just base information – but that was enough.

The scent became stronger for him, a rusted iron smell had eased slightly now that the whole dome was complete, showing him that he had been correct about his assumption of it likely meaning that the Shield was weak and ill formed. The fact it was now completed, however crude, had lessened the…badness…of the iron smell. Coppery taste was stronger now, as if the amount of Djed influenced its intensity, the Shield complete it had doubled in sensation but he had been hoping that it would have switched to iron – perhaps it was just that Shields all tasted that way to him, for whatever reason, he wouldn’t be sure until he explored other Shields. Forging onwards sadly his vision told him quite clearly that there was no ‘task’ to the Djed yet, not that he could pick up at any rate. It came intuitively rather than through a sense, and he was not sure how – perhaps his mind was playing tricks on him as he knew he hadn’t tried to ask anything yet.

He could see, however, that there were a myriad small holes and where the colour dimmed – strangely instead of blue, which he had already associated with magic, it was a vibrant emerald – the Djed was noticeably thinner. He spent a good twenty chimes trying to smooth them over, filling them in with passes of his hand, but whenever he did so other cracks and thinning would appear. He gave up after a while, instead acknowledging that he was fumbling his way through it all and that, hopefully in time, he’d grow better.

He frowned and focused himself once more, keeping his attention upon the Shield with his Auristics but switching the majority of his focus now to his Shielding. He recalled what he had done at the Outpost and conjured up the images of chainmail he had seen over the years on all kinds of mercenaries. He picked what he thought was the strongest, and shiniest, memory and started to feel out the Djed, feeling through it this time, seeking to reorder it into that chainmail construct he had managed before. He started at the top, the dome had to be the strongest point he reasoned, forming one imaginary Djed link at first, then the ring around that, then the next…it was going to take a long time, he wasn’t sure just how long. Sighing he frowned, focused and forged onwards with his…forging.


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Of Sense & Shield Pt I

Postby Alric Lysane on January 9th, 2022, 9:40 am



It was strange, as if the first little section was the most difficult to do, trying to form raw Djed into something with a purpose and solidity to it. At first he had simply tried to go for a restructuring but that had failed, several times. He had tried sole restructuring into what he was starting to view as the ‘chainmail’ formation about ten times, but it had failed each time. Frustrated he had stopped and thought through everything he had read aloud back at the Outpost and their explorations and he had realized – it only took upon the structure when it was ‘tasked’. He had been trying to create it, weave it, with no purpose and so it had rebelled…after a fashion. Or, at least, had had no reason to form the way he wanted it to.

Once he had cottoned onto that fact, he had thought of what he might want, something that could be useful to apply out in the field, should he ever grow bold and skilled enough to be able to do so that was. He still felt dirty using the stuff, magic might be in his blood but as he used t he could imagine his skin crawling underneath all of the other sensations going on. He had made the initial attempts for Tazrae, he suspected that that was why he was not developing in the leaps and bounds that apparently his Nymkartan blood should give him. But deep down all he wished to do was hide away from it all, he had acknowledged.

And then he had had his purpose. Hide away. The book had said it could be ‘tasked’ to block anything, any Djed. Smoke, air…what about light? Had it said light? He couldn’t recall and he was unable to break to read up and check. He was growing ever more tired now and he knew he wouldn’t have been able to get back into the rhythm, or even form another shield from the sweat that dotted his skin. So, instead, he focused upon how he might ‘task’ against light. You needed something of the thing you wanted to bock to block it – Taz had shown that neatly. Light…light was everywhere, surely? It was how you saw wasn’t it? Frowning he focused upon the Djed bubble, feeling it out, trying to get a grip on the light itself that passed through it, that was cast upon it. In his mind he thought, with every fibre of hie being, about darkness, a shroud of darkest black and night, no stars or any other light source, at blocking out that which revealed vision.

After a while, he was not sure how long, he felt something…click almost. The first ring of the ‘chainmail’ formed, shaped and then linked the row around it. Then the next, the next, and so on. His Auristics brought the noise of hammers he thought, with each formation there was the sound of a blacksmith’s strike slamming out the metal they worked at the forge. The Shield took on a sort of lattice sense, as if he could feel the ‘chainmail’ underneath its surface. He could still feel the dome but now it rippled, darkened and a blackness spread across it until the whole cup was covered by what looked like a taut black cloth. He sniffed and the scent of rust was much diminished now, confirming the theory that it had signified weakness. There was still a whiff of it and his sight picked out cracks, lighter parts of the Shield and holes…but it was better than before.


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Of Sense & Shield Pt I

Postby Alric Lysane on January 9th, 2022, 10:09 am



Alric felt out the Shield and saw that it was better than he had hoped, though far from perfect. He kept up the Djed stream, releasing his Auristics now as he could feel the headache that inevitably came with the tiredness after exertion with it. Instead he but all of his stubborn concentration into the Shielding, feeling out the cracks and holes, pouring and smearing Djed into them with his fingers, patching it up here and there where he could and then trying to link it into the rest of the Shield. It proved futile though, it seemed as if each time it was rejected. A failure indeed, in that respect. He didn’t have Taz’s book and made a note to check next time that they met, but he suspected that that meant that whatever shield you formed wasn’t easy to integrate – if possible to – after the fact. You could feed it Djed but all it would do was absorb it to power what was already there.

He sighed and let his Djed go, rubbing his face and noticing that the fire had burned low, into embers almost now. Looking at the shutters he saw that it had been several hours, judging by the shift in the shafts of light. His stomach was hit by a tumultuous rumbling and he snorted at himself, fumbling tiredly for some of the food that Taz had gifted him, munching it until he was as full as he thought that his stomach would allow him to be without throwing up what had been gained. He still had a good half-dozen Bells before he needed to head to Ruby’s for work – he could live on that kind of sleep, though he knew he probably needed longer to fully recover.

This was going to be a long, arduous and dangerous path, he was beginning to fully appreciate. He needed to gain ability, and quicker likely than any sane person had a right to try for, but he also needed to be alive and functional. It was a difficult balancing act, he thought to himself as he made his may sluggishly toward the bed and rolled himself into it. If anything, he reasoned as he stared at the rough wooden ceiling, the journey might kill him before the adversary would. That was a not so cheery thought to have as darkness began to creep into the sides of his vision and his body relaxed of its own accord’ seeking out the rest it needed without him even asking it to.

It wasn’t long before he was asleep, there to dream and nightmare until he awoke, for work – a routine he suspected that he would have to grow used to.


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Alric Lysane
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Of Sense & Shield Pt I

Postby Alric Lysane on January 9th, 2022, 10:22 am



Your Grades




Skills

Auristics – 4
Meditation - 1
Shielding – 5
Wilderness Survival - 1

Lores

Auristics: Headache Follows Overuse
Auristics: Iron Smell For Own Shield
Auristics: Rust Smell – Weak Shield
Auristics: Senses Djed Feeding
Auristics: Signs Of Structural Weakness
Auristics: Sounds Of Hammer Building Shield
Djed: Extruding For Shielding
Shielding: ‘Chainmail’ Weave
Shielding: Coppery Taste for Shield
Shielding: Finger Movements For Djed
Shielding: Hand Movements For Djed
Shielding: Shaping Djed Like Clay
Shielding: Task – Block Light
Shielding: Tasking
Shielding: Tasking Gives Structure
Wilderness Survival: Square Frame Kindling




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Alric Lysane
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