Open [The Protea Inn] Arcanology By Firelight

Taz holds a class for some of the interested locals.

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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[The Protea Inn] Arcanology By Firelight

Postby Tazrae on November 1st, 2022, 9:17 pm

Timestamp: 55th of Fall, 522 A.V.


Tazrae had promised Shiress, after her shopping trip at The Outpost, that she’d meet her and Shade for an introductory lesson on magic and Arcanology. It was one of the things that Tazrae loved talking about. Magic had a time and place and if the pair of them were going to be in Syka, they were going to be exposed to it sooner or later. Shiress had done Tazrae a huge favor, taking her to The Outpost and getting her set up with almost everything she might need for an infant. In exchange, the Innkeeper had promised to teach Shiress and Shade everything she could about magic. Shiress said she was a blank slate and that she truly didn’t know much about the magical world. But she didn’t know where Shade stood with it and if he knew any or not.

So, Taz did what she always did when she was planning a little intimate party that might drag on well into the night. She set out a platter of things to make s’mores with, stoked up the fire, and had pitchers of juice and wine chilling in the icebox. She also had a platter of other crackers she’d baked along with the graham ones, and sliced cheeses and meats. She set out some cookies in the form of bars that Ian might like, though she had made sure she cut way back on the sugar in them so that Shiress didn’t have to deal with a boy that was up all night due to what he ate at her place. With the covered porch perfect for the weather, Taz stoked up the fire both in the outdoor fireplace and in the firepit itself and then set out some of the games and puzzles she’d picked up when she met Alric so Ian would have something to do if Shiress brought him.

The food she rested on a sideboard designed for such things. The games she scattered around on the small tables that had chairs grouped around them, and finally on the main coffee table before the roaring fire, she laid out her Encyclopedia of Arcanology. She put out pen, and ink, and swung by the mercantile and picked up blank journals – five of them – to lay on the table in case anyone came by and wanted to take notes. It was a social setting, not exactly a class, but it would give Shiress and Shade a start on their magical education as Tazrae had promised.

When she was almost finished, she pulled out a warm blanket and a pillow and laid them on a nearby chair in case Ian got sleepy so he’d have something to curl up under. Khari was tucked in one arm most of the time she was setting up, but Taz pulled out her bassinet anyhow, leaving it near the fire but out of ember shot so if the babe happened to fall asleep, Taz could easily put her down. She was slowly getting used to having an infant around, and slowly recovering from the birth and all that her captivity had entailed. She still worried about Kaysen and if Nyle escaped with him, but there was nothing she could do about what happened in a Dominion from the Mortal Realm.

Tonight? Tonight, was a distraction. She knew it. Shiress knew it. Anyone that knew what happened to her would know it. But it could still be a good night, right? It could still be a night about empowerment, transferring knowledge, strengthening the Settlement, and helping her friends prepare for whatever might come their way in the future. Just when she thought she was ready for guests - and incidentally didn’t have any customers to feed on the fly – Khari woke up with a squall of hunger and Taz sat down to feed her. While she was fussing and fumbling – she still didn’t find it the most natural thing in the world – Bree joined them on the deck, stretching out to watch the last rays of sunlight filter out of the sky.

“You humans should just abandon infants like we abandon our eggs. That way the strongest would survive. It seems to me that in your culture with how you are doing things, the loudest crier survives.” Bree said dryly, watching Tazrae with her blue eye and her lips pulled back into a reptilian smile. The Innkeeper knew how to quell the screaming, but it wasn’t always easy. Khari just didn’t get hungry. She got cold, soiled her wraps, needed held, needed to be sung to, wanted down, wanted up, and most of the time Tazrae found herself wrapping the odd Benshira carrier around her body that cradled the child against her chest. What soothed the infant the most was her heartbeat after she was clean, dry, and fed. So once she was suckling well, Taz bound her up in the complex device that wrapped around her waist, crossed back over the front of the baby, and wrapped up and around her arms to cross over her back and tie in her front. Then, she could have her hands free while her daughter nuzzled at her chest and was held tightly and securely without a fuss.

Not for the first time, Taz wondered who was holding and even feeding her son.

“You shouldn’t be one to talk. I have saved more than a dozen of your eggs and helped them out of their shells when it was time. Half of those would have died and most of them now are some of the largest most intelligent Ixam we have in the Settlement. They will grow into fine mounts. And honestly? You could make it easier for me by laying them all in the warm sand of Garden Beach instead of hiding them about like it's some sort of game…. one here, another there… one ten miles away.” Taz complained, half-heartedly. Bree always clutched a big batch of eggs and it was a lot of work rounding them up. Knowing her personality though, half of Bree's hatchlings ate each other before they grew to adulthood. Taz wouldn’t put it past them.

“How are you feeling?” A new voice said, footsteps pounding up the stairs to stop and flop down on the sofa in front of the outdoor fire. Jaelis’ white hair glowed in the failing light and would continue to glow throughout the night.

“Tired, but in a good way. Are you joining us for a magic lesson?” Taz asked. Jaelis nodded. “Indeed. If your friends are going to learn magic from you, I figured I might as well also. Besides, I heard you were a terrible teacher. I want to see how true it is.” He said, turning and giving Bree a pointed look. The Ixam simply grinned again, flashing her teeth at the Moon Eagle and glancing innocently at Tazrae. “He must be listening to people gossip again. There isn’t enough going on in this settlement to keep loose tongues from wagging.” She added, then turned and lifted her head.

“Company. I think your guests are arriving.” Bree added as both the Kelvic and the Ixam turned to watch guests approach.

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[The Protea Inn] Arcanology By Firelight

Postby Shiress on November 3rd, 2022, 2:29 am

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Not for the first time, and surely not the last, Shiress asked herself what in the petch she was thinking. Magic. She was seriously going to learn magic. Just the thought of magic gave Shiress shivers, for a good reason.

Magic has long been used to subdue and control slaves, and Shiress was not the exception. Radcliffe Lark used a form of magic to bound Shiress during the night to keep her from escaping. The Lark also lashed out with some type of wind and fire when a whip was not readily available. Sayana had used hypnotism to both control and manipulate Shiress into obedience. Sayana had also tortured Shiress with her craft, offering her respite only when docile and compliant.

Needless to say, over the many seasons, Shiress had found she had a pronounced dislike, perhaps fear, of magic, but strangely enough, her negative emotions didn't always convey to the mage wielding it. Consider someone holding a weapon. Would you fear the wielder or the weapon being wielded? Shiress fears the weapon more. At least, that's how she sees it. It took the ex-slave in Shiress a long time to come to terms with that distinction.

Having her own instruments of magic helped lessen her fear, like the variety of charms on her charm bracelet. Learning about the craft would help more, and with this in mind, Shiress had agreed to Tazrae teaching her. She just hoped that old, familiar niggle of fear remained buried. If it reared its head during the lesson, Shiress would simply excuse herself and explain later to Tazrae.

By the time she and Ian reached The Protea, Shiress was nervous enough for it to show but ascended the stairs straight-backed and determined. As she closed in on the firelit area where Tazrae had indicated to meet, Shiress let her gaze roam the new mother, smiling when she saw that Khari was with her.

Ian noticed the large Ixam lying next to the innkeeper about the same time as Shiress. The little boy's green eyes widened, and he darted forward, but Shiress's hand tightened around his, staying his progress.

"Ian," Shiress scolded," I've told you not to run up to the Ixam and to ask Ms. Tazrae before you approach." Shiress shot Taz an apologetic look. Her eyes flicked to where she thought Shade would be sitting, expecting to hear a disapproving huff of annoyance directed at her son, but instead...caught her breath at the man who met her gaze.

At first glance, the doctor thought the fire reflected in the man's pale blue eyes but realized that his eyes were giving off a red flare all their own. The stranger's white blonde hair glimmered in the firelight, seeming almost...incandescent, casting his sharp features in soft shadow. The man was absolutely stunning.

"Mommy," Ian called, and Shiress cleared her throat, peeling her eyes away from the stranger to look at her son, "can I go ask?"

Realizing her mouth was hanging open, Shiress snapped it closed with a nod, letting go of her hold on Ian's hand. Ian padded softly across the remaining distance to Taz and whispered something to the innkeeper that Shiress couldn't hear, kissed the newborn girl in Taz's arms on the top of her head, then stretched out on his belly beside the Ixam, spreading out the coloring book that Mathias had given him.

As the boy situated his coloring sticks, Shiress realized with a bit of embarrassment that her eyes had strayed back to the stranger. Clearing her throat again, she planted a stray lock of hair that the breeze had caught and stirred into her face behind an ear. The rest of the chestnut locks swayed down the length of her back to just below her hips. She quickly crossed the floor to Tazrae, leaning in to press a soft kiss on her friend's cheek.

"You look better," she said, smiling, then peeled back enough of the fabric to see Khari's face, "Oh, look at those chubby cheeks," she cooed, gently rubbing the back of a finger down the baby's soft skin.

Straightening, Shiress glanced around, allowing her gaze to stray for just an instant back to the light-haired man again before meeting Tazrae's gaze, "Shade should be here any minute," she said thoughtfully.

Shiress snagged a handful of orange and white cheese chunks and a few crackers and laid them on a napkin within Ian's reach. She took a seat with her own napkin full of goodies, positive she looked a whole lot like a long-tailed cat trapped in a room full of rocking chairs, and blew out a breath. This was going to be a long night. She just knew it.

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[The Protea Inn] Arcanology By Firelight

Postby Shade on November 7th, 2022, 11:06 pm

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Shade sauntered into The Protea, at home in the Inn, wondering for about the fifth time what Shiress and Tazrae had talked him into. The entire settlement, it seemed, was magical or magical knowing and he simply wasn’t. Nyka had mages, but they moved in their own circles. Here, magic was open, out there, and accepted. And Tazrae had graciously volunteered several evenings a tenday to teach something she called Arcanology so that those without magic could be safely and adequately be introduced to it.

The Jeweler was more than fine with that. Besides, he really wanted an opportunity to do something as a group with more members of the community and more importantly, spend time with Shiress outside both their elements. He kept thinking there was more to her than she let others see, and he was interested in finding out what that was. It was never far from his mind that he was brought here as a duty to protect her and see that she and her young son found a way into a welcoming new life that encouraged growth for both of them.

And frankly, now that he was here, he couldn’t for the life of himself formulate enough reasons to return to Nyka. This place, out in the wilds, away from most people but a very few select special individuals called to him and welcomed him on a level he hadn’t experienced before. And that meant he’d take some of these opportunities as they arose and better his educational background which was frankly lacking. Besides, he wanted to meet more people and he wanted to understand more of what it meant to be human on a magical level. He knew the past was fraught with magical misadventures and even exploitation. It seemed to him, knowing some of it for himself might assist him in better preparing and protecting others from such things if they did turn out to be bad.

So Shade walked up onto the deck, nodded to the Ixam that seemed to be lounging there, and paused in front of Jaelis. He thrust out a hand to introduce himself and shook the other man’s offered palm. “I’m Shadekas. But people call me Shade.” He said with a smile. “I haven’t seen you around.” He added.

“Jaelis. Nice to meet you, Shade.” The Moon Eagle said, grinning from his human form. “I just arrived this season. I stalked Tazrae and she’s letting me stay here for a bit until I learn more about Syka and decide if I want to make this a more permanent home. I’m originally from a Svefra Pod, born out on the Suvan. “I’ve spent a lot of time in Sylras, Riverfall, and even Kenash. Where are you from?” He asked.

Shade nodded, then smiled. “Nyka. It's north of Sunberth… abode of the Monks. I am a former monk from the city, a jewelcrafter. I own Bangles and Blooms here in town. We sell jewelry – mostly metal and natural stone pieces – and flower arrangements. If you ever want to drop in, I’ll hook you up with some blooms or something masculine. I have women’s jewelry there, but I specialize in making things for men.” He added, offering Jaelis a smile.

Jaelis nodded. “I’ll stop in, for sure.” He said politely as Shade turned to Shiress and gave her a smile.

“I can’t believe you roped me into this.” He said, leaning over her where she was sitting and giving her a brief hug. Then he pulled something out from where it was tucked under his arm and set it on the table. He’d brought a hostess gift of wine for Tazrae that he figured they might want to pass around later when they all decided it was crazy of them to learn magic in a group together.

Turning to Ian… Shade pulled another smaller glass bottle out of his pocket. “I brought something for you too, Ian.” He said with a grin. “If the adults break into the wine, I got ahold of some Sarsaparilla thanks to Stu. Just for you… so you have a very special drink we like to drink in my home city called Root Beer.” He said, resting the smaller child-sized bottle of the vine-brewed drink on the table next to the wine.

“We don’t have the things we make Root Beer out of here, but we do have this vine that Stu tried brewing like Root Beer… and guess what? It tastes exactly like it! It even foams and foams and foams like root beer. And if you are nice, Miss Tazrae might make ice cream for you with that Ice-cream maker she picked up at The Outpost. If you put a scoop of Vanilla in the Sarsaparilla… it’s out of this world.” Shade said with a grin, and left the two bottles on the table before picking up a blank book and grabbing one of the bottles of ink and a quill. Then he glanced at Shiress, doubled his order, and sat down in a chair next to her, and handed her one of the books and the writing supplies to match.

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[The Protea Inn] Arcanology By Firelight

Postby Ialari Pythone on November 9th, 2022, 2:47 am

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Ialari had only been back in Syka for a handful of days when she learned about Tazrae's invitation. The chance to discuss magic was something she always enjoyed. Going as far back as her time in the Isurian Kingdom and the Silver Tower, Ialari found a calling in magic. Her interest in magic at the time had been directed by extreme emotion. Like many an isur, she viewed the destruction of the Old Kingdom as a result of petty humans and their fragile emotions causing Ivak's rage. Hatred for humanity led her to leave Sultros in search of a way to eliminate the human threat forever.

As Ialari prepared to leave her bungalow to attend Tazrae's gathering, she chuckled dryly to herself while thinking about the way she used to be. Her hatred had taken her across the known world. It took her to a place she would've never imagined; Sahova. There, amongst the pre-Valterian wizards, she learned that there were things far worse than death. She also learned quite a bit more about magic. It was in Sahova that she learned of the existence of a magic that could change everything for her. Hatred...it all started with such a toxic, yet powerful emotion.

So far she'd come since then...so much more she'd become. Although the night was still quite warm, Ialari couldn't help but feel a bit of a chill from her thoughts. Reaching for her robes, she donned the garb of the Sentinel of the Silver Tower. As the light silk cloth covered her scarred flesh, she felt comfort in the magic that flowed through it. She reached for her dagger out of habit although stopped; it was not needed. Instead, she reached for journal; the collection of all of her thoughts, experiences and accumulated knowledge.

She was a little nervous. Social gatherings of any kind...they were awkward. She had an element of...what did the humans call it...crazy. Perhaps that was what it was to be her. Shaking her head, she tried to push away the chaotic thoughts that threatened to ruin her night.

Softly she spoke aloud to herself, "I need this. I need to spend time with people...living people. Tazrae, she is nothing short of a sister and I need to embrace that. Magic...so much I know yet so much I still don't. She has a very strange...no...unique perspective. Come on Ialari, you can learn so much from this. Get over your stupid insecurity..."

With a deep breath, she looked into the small mirror that hung on the wall in the bedroom area of her bungalow. Facing her reflection for a few moments, she turned and made her way toward the Protea Inn.

As she approached the inn, she noticed Tazrae standing outside. Her friend was joined on the inn's deck by her child along with the ixam who Ialari had only the briefest of encounters with. Thanks to her seed from the First Tree, Ialari found comfort around reptiles in general and the presence of the ixam empowered that.

As she approached the deck, dressed in her black, silk robes accented with silver flames, Ialari offered a wide smile to Tazrae. "I was told this was a night to talk about magic." She leaned in and gave Tazrae a light kiss on the cheek before adding, "Thank you for doing this..."

After all that had happened in the past couple of seasons, Ialari was tired. She was tired of being pulled in so many directions, mainly by forces that were outside of her control. To spend an evening talking about and learning new things about magic while being able to let go and just be...Ialari...it was something that brought on a rare emotion...enjoyment.

Unconsciously she touched her tongue to the roof of her mouth. This activated one of the mystical powers of her robe that allowed her to taste the air around her. She tasted the food that Tazrae had prepared. "I also taste the smell of some delicious offerings. If you don't mind?" Ialari gave a slight bow to Tazrae and Bree before making her way inside to the food.

Once inside, she noticed there were a couple of other guests. She recognized although wasn't all that familiar with the woman. As for the man, she seemed to recall seeing him about but did not know him. As she approached the presented food, she offered what felt to her as an awkward introduction in a thickish isurian accent, "Good evening to you. My name is Ialari Pythone. I'm a friend of Tazrae. A pleasure to be here with you." She took a few pieces of cheese and popped them into her mouth one by one.

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[The Protea Inn] Arcanology By Firelight

Postby Tazrae on November 10th, 2022, 1:08 am

Taz found that she needed to keep busy.

If she didn’t keep busy, she’d find herself frozen in fear at random times because she’d think she heard something that reminded her of being in the Gold Lake Dominion. It didn’t matter if it was morning, noon, or night, sometimes odd things scared her. A smell could lock her up tight or even the wind chasing sand and for a moment resembling the heat of the desert. These things, she found, sometimes brought on a trauma she hadn’t expected to feel. She often threw the window shutters wide, letting in the damp and humidity to reassure herself that she was really home and really in Syka. She’d talked to Gracelin, of all people, about it a little and the Vantha woman had told her that it would be years before she would completely stop jumping at shadows. So deep down she knew her reactions and her fears were normal. But that didn’t change the fact that she needed to keep busy and stay focused on whatever task was before her. If she let her attention slide even one bit, she started seeing things out of the corner of her eyes and falling prey to fear – especially over Kaysen and what had become of her son.

She watched people walk in, gather, settle, and was glad some even felt at home enough to help themselves to the food she put out. Each individual was greeted with relief and with the attention that Taz felt the meeting wouldn’t have been complete without them in particular being there.

“Tonight is important. I wish more people would have come, but its important that those of you who did make time have…” Did that even make sense? Taz tugged Khari a little closer to her and stood up, walking back and forth as she spoke, to ease her nerves a bit. I know most of you aren’t mages, but I’m standing here telling you right now that you need to be. I think each and every one of you has a potential to be a very good mage – that’s why I invited you or spread the word – and every good mage is needed to protect this settlement. I really enjoy Syka. I plan to stay here a long time and make sure this is a place I can have a family and that family can be safe. One way to insure that is with magic. The more mages we have among us, the stronger we will be when threatened. So far, we’ve managed to hold off three attacks this year that were significant preplanned and targeted. We did that because of magic. I want you all to feel the way I feel in that Syka is safe for our kids, our families, and even for us to grow old.” She said, feeling slightly hypocritical over that statement.

“So, I thought starting a series of chats about magic fundamentals would be a good way to give you all a baseline education on magic and what it is. I want to demystify it for yourselves and allow you time to grow into it if you are brand new to it or perhaps get a new look at it if you are an old hand at the arcane. You see… I each believe we have a toolbox that we carry around inside of us. It’s filled with tools we can pull out and use at will. Those tools are simply our knowledge base… what we know how to do well. Mine is filled with a whole host of things… cooking, surviving the wilds, dealing with Ixam, running a business… that sort of thing. Magic is just another tool in the toolbox.” She wondered if they were following her. Taz hoped someone would stop her if they had questions. “If at any time I get too ahead of myself, its my hope you will stop me and get me to repeat myself or clarify anything you don’t understand.” She said softly, then moved on.

“In every living thing across Mizahar, there is an energy that exists. In every dead thing and non-living thing across Mizahar, there is also that same energy. It links the world and fuels things inside of us we aren’t often aware of. That energy is called djed. It’s spelled D-J-E-D. You can think of it like blood… every living thing has blood. It circulates through the body and does a whole host of things for us.” Taz added. She wasn’t really sure what blood did, but she hoped the comparison made sense. “We can sense djed. We can feel it. We can also see and taste it. I am going to teach you how to do that… at the very least… before the night is through. And from that point we will do nothing but expand what we can do with it.” She said, glancing at each of them.

She was up now, restless, wandering through the group. She touched Shiress on the shoulder, and of course gave Ian permission to go see Bree and play with her. She nodded to Shade, and gently touched her chest where her Wildling Seed was when she met Ialari’s gaze.

“You can also say stones don’t have blood… nor the earth… nor dead wood like this table… and you would be right. But how often have you touched something like a railing protecting you from a fall or your own kitchen hearth table and felt something… a welcoming… a ‘this is home’ feeling… even a greeting? That’s the djed in it recognizing the djed in you.” Taz said, finally weaving her way back through the tables until she got to Khari’s bassinet where she gently laid the baby down so she could sleep a bit without having to be slung against her restless mother’s chest. Then Tazrae returned to the center of the room.

“Djed has rules though, much like other things in life. For our purposes, we have three rules we follow about djed. I’ll talk about them in a minute. First, I want to introduce you this…” Taz walked to the nearest table and plucked up something that looked like a giant shark tooth. It was easily as big as her palm. She held it up for everyone to see and then started talking again. As she did so, she handed it to Shiress to look at and gestured for her to pass it around. “This is a fossilized shark tooth. I know its big… huge in fact, but according to the library called Reclaimed Knowledge huge sharks used to swim in the sea thousands of years ago. When you look at that tooth, you think… ‘oh, it’s a tooth?!’ but then when you handle it, you realize immediately by touching it that it is in fact a stone. It isn’t a stone carved into a rock, it is a fossil. So… the smaller sharks we know evidently shed thousands of teeth throughout the course of their lives. They drop down into the seafloor and get covered by the muck found there… sand, dirt, other dead things… that type of muck. In order for them to become fossilized, they must be buried rapidly. The sediment protects the teeth from weathering, abrasion, and scavenging. But most importantly, sediment cuts the air off from the tooth so its in an airless environment. Then… a process happens to it that slowly occurs over thousands of years. I asked the librarian, Talia, to explain it to me… how a tooth becomes a fossil, and she led me to a book. That book said that in the case of shark’s teeth, they get preserved into fossils through a process called permineralization. That means water seeps down through the sediments and over the teeth. This water carries different minerals in it and those minerals get absorbed by the teeth because they are porous on a very tiny scale. The water carries different minerals in it that are deposited in the open pore spaces of the teeth. That’s usually silica and calcite, just like our sand is comprised of. So, this silica and calcite remain. forming a hard stone while the enamel and bone of the tooth slowly erode away. It’s a replacement process. That gives you a perfect fossilized tooth after so many years, and basically a transformation from a type of bone to stone.” Taz explained.

“That being said… I had to tell you that story to get back to our point. Our first rule is that Djed can never be created or destroyed. It can only be transformed. So, in the case of that Shark’s Tooth… that djed started out as the djed of a living thing. Then it was slowly over time transformed into the djed of a dead thing… a stone… as it fossilized and its original components were washed away. So, living to dead… no change in power or level. Its change is pure physical… bone to stone. The djed remains the same. It’s neither created or destroyed, just transformed.” Taz said, sending the fossilized tooth around one more time.

“The same can be said of eating. When we are hungry, we are low on energy and low on djed. We take the living thing’s djed into our bodies and it transforms into our own djed. If we eat an apple, for example, the eaten apple’s djed becomes our own…. then when we defecate or urinate, we release djed and that might go on to fertilize gardens or water dry areas. Even when we die, and are buried, our djed goes to feed the soil and things that grow upon our graves.” Taz said softly.

Then she picked up one of the journals and gently tore out the last page. “This parchment in this journal came from animal skin. I would guess pig? But I could be wrong. The pig was alive… this bit of djed that makes up this page came from the living pig. When it died, the djed wasn’t destroyed. It was transformed into a page. If I do this…” Taz said, crumpling up the parchment and tossing it onto the fire….. “I am not destroying the djed. I am simply transforming it into heat, fire, and smoke… breaking it down perhaps, yes, but not destroying it.” Taz added, walking away from the little fire pit and turning back to them. “Our djed is uncountable in its age. It is the one true thing in the world that is immortal. And that again is the first rule of Djed. I cannot be created nor destroyed. It can only be transformed.” Taz added.

“The second rule is that some transformations are irreversible. I cannot make the parchment back into parchment after it has become fire, heat, and smoke. I can do other things with the fire and heat and smoke…. say boiling a kettle of water to make tea. But I cannot reclaim that parchment and make it whole.” Taz added, then finally moved on to the last rule.

“The last rule is that some forms of Djed are purer than others.” She took a breath, then said that again. “The djed of living things is far more powerful than the djed of that parchment for example. We can eat, drink, dance, and do all kinds of things to make ourselves stronger… make our djed more powerful… recharge it. The page can only lie there and be a page.” Taz added, then glanced around.

“Any questions?” She asked, hopeful. If not, she’d move on to talking about djedpools.

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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
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Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
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[The Protea Inn] Arcanology By Firelight

Postby Shiress on November 12th, 2022, 1:54 am

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Shiress's gaze tracked Shade as he scaled the stairs, grinning when he introduced himself to the stranger. Jaelis. She would need to remember that name. The Monk was such a genuinely nice guy, and Shiress was beyond pleased that they were, at least, on speaking terms now.

When Shade's attention turned her way, Shiress's smile grew into the more shocked variety when the man leaned close to hug her. As the side of his face pressed into her hair, she snuck a quick kiss to the man's cheek, earning his trademark exasperated side-eye.

"You'll thank me when you can shoot fireballs at me, besides," she said, tone teasing as she slid a sultry glance at Jaelis before returning her gaze to Shade in a slow perusal of the man's form, one curved eyebrow lifting appreciatively, "at least there are pretty people to look at." Thankfully, Shade knew Shiress thought he was gorgeous, and the more they got to know each other, the more she teased him about it.

When Shade turned to Ian, waiting patiently behind him, the little boy threw his arms around the man's waist, then pulled away to listen raptly about the prize Shade had brought him. When Shade turned to take his seat, Ian thanked the Monk and then closed the distance to Tazrae, and Shiress was sure he was relating Shade's ice cream idea.

"You think of everything, don't you," she said with a grin, taking the book and quill that he offered before sliding her stacked plate of crackers, cheese, and meats closer for him to share.

A woman Shiress had seen around before but didn't know her name was the next to join the little magic party and readily introduced herself. Shiress smiled at her with a nod of acknowledgment, "Hello, I'm Shiress, and that," she pointed to where Ian had lowered himself back down beside the large Ixam, "is my son, Ian." Hearing his name drew the boy's head up. He smiled and waved at Ialari then his head dropped back to his coloring.

Shiress's nervousness ebbed as Tazrae began speaking, and every bit of her focus centered on really trying to understand djed. This time. Elias had once tried to explain Djed and its uses to Shiress, and she'd promptly shut the man up with a kiss and then distracted him by more...carnal endeavors.

She could absolutely kiss the innkeeper for explaining djed medically, and she wondered if Tazrae had done it on purpose. Shiress had told her about the incessant wall between her and understanding djed and magic. Seem's the mage..mage-ess? Well, seems she listened. Shiress reached up and gave the innkeeper's hand a thankful squeeze when it settled on her shoulder.

The fossil lesson was a bit hard for Shiress to understand. Was it a rock that took on the shape of a shark's tooth as the tooth itself eroded away, or was the shark tooth embedded inside the stone? Nevertheless, she accepted the tooth when it was passed to her and studied it, turning it this way and that. Her eyebrows rose to nearly her hairline when Shiress ran the tip of a finger along the serrated grooves that curved along its edge. Shiress shivered. Maximum damage was what those were meant for.

"Kind of makes you not really into swimming in the ocean knowing that big of a shark is out there," she commented, handing the tooth carefully to Ialari for her turn to study it, "if I saw a fish of any kind that big, I may never set a toe in any body of water again." she laughed.

Taking up the journal, Shiress dipped the quill in ink and scribbled out what points she thought were important for later studying.

*Everything has djed.
*Djed is the body's magical equivalent of blood.
*Djed can never be created or destroyed, only transformed.
*Djed becomes whatever it is passed to. Sort of? (ask Tazrae)
*Live Djed is more powerful than dead Djed.

Ian piped up from across the room, interjecting a loud guffaw as only a four-year-old can when Taz said the word 'urinate.' Shiress shifted her gaze to her son with the 'mom look' that Ian knew well. The little boy covered his mouth to stifle his giggling. Shiress shook her head and glanced at Shade, then shook her head again with a sigh....men! She went back to taking notes, one eye on Ian...and Shade.

As she wrote, a thought began to niggle at Shiress's mind. If Djed transforms from one thing to another, is it able to become more powerful? Her green eyes slid to Ian and narrowed in thought. Then she frowned, concerned. When Tazrae asked if there were any questions, her concern burst out of her in the form of her own question.

"I have a question," Shiress said, addressing Tazrae. Yet, her eyes remained locked on her son, "Can a father or mother pass their Djed to their unborn child? If so, are there magical traits passed through Djed? I mean," she shook her head, trying and failing to put her question to words, "Let's say my father was a powerful mage, especially in Reimancy, could I potentially become a powerful Reimancer, too, just by being his daughter?"
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Shiress
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[The Protea Inn] Arcanology By Firelight

Postby Shade on November 20th, 2022, 1:20 pm

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Shade was pleasantly surprised both by the atmosphere and by the discussion. Usually training to him, as a monk, meant a boring lecture in a classroom with some pompous self-important shyte strutting across the front of the room trying to convince people his words and ideas had value to them. They never did, of course, because all of Nyka was self-absorbed and self-important. Fashion was everything. Who knew who and who got invited to what parties mattered? The person that was speaking at the front of the room was always speaking because they’d been bribed, stolen, or had old family money that placed them there… not by their merits.

Tazrae’s little gathering was different. Everyone was here of their own volition. People were welcomed and made to feel included. And she looked everyone in the eye and her message was a truly valid one, not one that furthered half a dozen hidden agendas. The jungle was different that way. It was about safety and security here, not about who wore the best designer clothing or had the latest haircut.

The concepts she spoke about were new to Shade, so he flipped open his journal, titled it ‘On Magic’ and began to write notes. He sketched the shark tooth, related the story as an opener, and kicked off his sandals to play a little footsie with Shiress to slightly distract her when no one was looking. Without a change of expression, he hooked his big toe around that little narrow gap in her heel where her Achilles tendon attached the ball of her heel to her calf and gently stroked her there with his big toe and his remaining piglets. He didn’t even glance at her as he added in the first rule of magic, then the second, and then the first.

The concept of djed wasn’t so hard for him to understand. He knew gemstones and knew that they held power and properties no one seemed to truly understand or wish to reveal to non-jewelers. Some diviners knew it and used gemstones in their divinations. But to him, Tazrae was just spelling out what he already knew. Objects had power. Shiress’ ankle had power. It was gorgeous and it was all kinds of fun to stroke as he made his ink marks in the paper and followed along to what Tazrae was saying.

Arcanology Notes


  • Djed – A power that is in all things that binds the world together. It can be manipulated by mages using several laws.
  • Permineralization= The Process of Fossilization that involves minerals replacing actual objects (shark tooth example) over thousands of years.
  • Djed can never be created or destroyed. It can only be transformed.
  • Djed Transformations are often irreversible. Burned items cannot be unburned.
  • All Djed is not created equal. Living djed is more powerful than djed of dead things.


“Are there only three laws?” He asked without waiting his turn. He felt like Taz was spoon-feeding him information and they could go a lot faster with the explanation. He really wanted to get on to see some of the things Taz had initially explained via the story. He assumed those types of things could be seen first-hand. Shade glanced at Shiress… she seemed to be following along seriously. That was good. Like himself, she needed more tools in his proverbial toolbox.

-557


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[The Protea Inn] Arcanology By Firelight

Postby Ialari Pythone on November 27th, 2022, 6:01 am

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Ialari sat and listened as Tazrae spoke of the rules that were a part of engaging in the practice of manipulating djed; the rules of magic. Hearing her speak of rules seemed somewhat ironic considering what Ialari knew of Taz. It also made her realize that Tazrae understood the need for rules and structure even if they only provided context. Rules and structure can't be stretched or broken if none exist at all.

As Tazrae spoke, Ialari was reminded of her own lessons in magic. Many years ago, at the Silver Tower in her childhood home of Pitrius City in Sultros, Ialari sat in a more formal chamber. There she studied the basic theories of magic use in a way not unlike what was currently taking place. There had been large tables, formed of solid silver raised up from the floor itself. The would-be Sentinels would sit around the table and discuss certain magical topics. The instructor would provide the topic and the students would discuss, argue and offer their own insight. The journal she carried was the very same one she used all those years ago. It was filled with so much more of course but flipping through those early pages, she found Tazrae's lesson to be a pleasant trip back in time.

Tazrae's grasp on the basic concepts was undeniably respectable. Her examples and comparisons, her metaphors and practical explanations were worthy of any Sentinel. She made a note to tell her friend that later.

When Tazrae called for questions, Ialari couldn't come up with any. She understood everything that Taz had spoke to but something said made her want to add some of her own insight. The mention of living things having the purest djed was certainly true but yet Ialari felt there was something more to that which should be understood.

Ialari waited for the others to ask their questions and waited for Tazrae to answer before she herself spoke.

"Tazrae, if you do not mind, I have something to add to the last thing you said about the purity of djed in living things." She glanced at the pages of her own journal to where she'd noted many of her own experiences. It was an unnecessary action as she already knew what she wanted to say yet it helped her form her thoughts into words.

"What Tazrae said is completely true. Living beings have the purest djed compared to other things. Sentient beings have it even purer. The sentient soul is single most concentrated form of djed to exist outside of the divine. Yes, the divine, the gods also have souls although those souls are a topic that...well...it is not the right time for that." Ialari felt herself drifting off course and tried to correct.

"The living sentient soul, represents the greatest concentration of pure djed that exists for the sake of this discussion. It is the soul that provides you with the djed which you can manipulate. This is why ghosts cannot practice the disciplines of magic without possessing another. They essentially connect themselves to a living soul and draw upon the djed within in order to function alongside the one who is possessed. The living sentient soul, your soul, it is your connection to everything and it is the source of your personal djed manipulation." There was much more to the nature of souls and djed yet Ialari took a pause as it was not her lesson to teach. Her experience with the use of personal magic was quite limited compared to Tazrae. As a worldmage, Ialari's expertise was much different than Tazrae's more extensive knowledge of personal manipulation of djed.

Ialari sat back and proceeded to flip through her own journal. She even took a few notes based more on the experience rather than the knowledge offered. It was then that she realized her journal was running out of pages. Already more of a small tome than a journal, the weathered leather cover and binding was showing its age. She would need to find an additional one soon.

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