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Dec 16, 2018 12:09 PM
Ari finds himself Elsewhere
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"Akarat's a person. Prophet of the local faith. And... I guess it would make sense that if I'm in a different world, the magic would be different. Back home, witches channel demonic energies, sorcerers channel the elements, necromancers channel the powers of life and death... any of this ringing a bell?"

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"I am not sufficiently familiar with any religions to feel confident... But nothing rings a bell, no. And the translation is being weird. Sorcerer is interchangeably used as a term for people that have extra lifeforce or people that practice magic that spends lifeforce. There is no way to channel death as a power source."

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"Witch is like, just a term for evil sorcerers who steal lifeforce from other people. It's kind of a prejudiced paranoid superstitious thing, stealing lifeforce from people isn't easy. I guess we still can get you home. It will just be slightly more complicated."

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"Well, that's fun. What's your kind of magic like? Can I learn to use it? I'm already a witch and a - "Vizjerei," that's what I'll call our kind of sorcerer, technically it's an ethnic group but who's counting. Maybe I can add to the list!"

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Henry approves of this curiosity. "You already must be our kind of sorcerer - I mean, the extra-lifeforce person kind - because that's who Elsewhere snatches. Or I guess something close enough. And everyone can learn our kind of magic, yes. Sorcery magic manifests as gifts, one for each aspect of lifeforce, or rituals which are more complex and varied."

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"Look, you two look really hot while magic nerding. But the good host in me thinks you should move the conversation to the living room. Ari, can I get you anything? Water? Snacks? Mine and Henry's bed?"

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"Ooh, snacks. I would love a snack. I can contribute mushrooms, if you're cooking." He hefts the mushroom basket. "I'm not sure what you mean by 'lifeforce', Henry - usually when the necromancers talk about that kind of thing they mean blood, is that what you're getting at?"

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"Heh, I can come up with something using mushrooms." He accepts the basket and guides them towards the living room. The place isn't small and disorganized, but it's kinda cramped with cardboard boxes duct taped shut. He goes kitchenwards.

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Henry takes a seat and motions Ari to seat wherever. "Not blood. Well, not directly, when you spend lifeforce your body will suffer a suitable appropriate change. Like, spending wakefulness will make you sleepy like you have been awake for longer than you actually had. Spending health might have effects on your blood, but it isn't typically that directed."

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Ari takes a seat, patting a cardboard box absently as he sits. "Huh. Yeah, with necromancy you literally start bleeding from your pores. Wakefulness? What-all kinds of lifeforce are there?"

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Henry makes a face at the mental image of bleeding from your pores. "That could happen if you did something very health intensive. There are five lifeforce aspects, at least in vertebrate animals. In order from weakest to strongest they are breath, stamina, wakefulness, health and youth. People can train to acquire sorcery gifts that are fueled the aspects and you can just do it by exerting your will. Or learn rituals, which require doing the various steps and often mix the various aspects."

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"Huh. So... what happens if I burn health then take a health potion?"

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"...We don't have health potions."

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"...I have health potions."

Ari pulls a glass vial from his belt, filled with a red fluid that looks like it could be grenadine. "This will fully heal one sword wound, give or take. There's better ones and worse ones, but in general, if you're stable enough to swallow a health potion, you don't die in the next ten minutes unless somebody stabs you again."

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"Okay, there are a dozen tests I want to run. Are these hard to make? Or are they expensive?"

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"They're kind of hard to make if you're not a witch. Fortunately, I'm a witch, so I can make them as long as I have a supply of demons to kill. And there are pretty much always demons to kill."

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He stands up and motions Ari to follow. "Yeah, you mentioned those. And they are translating as something scary. Are they something scary?"

Henry leads him to a room with no furniture in the middle and several diagrams drawn on the floor.

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"Um. Yes. Demons are scary. ...You don't have demons, do you. That's a good thing, actually, but presently inconvenient."

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"It's probably not an easy fix to the lifeforce storage problem. But I still want to check things over."

He goes a cupboard and draws a notebook."Hmm... I have a ritual already sketched out that would let us both see each other's lifeforces. It involves drawing some symbols on each other's faces, chest, back of the hands and corresponding areas in the feet. I would need to explain what the components do for it to work. Does that sound okay?"

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"Sounds like fun. I'm in."

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"Great!"

He picks up the ingredients from the cupboard (one might get the impression he already did this ritual before). "So, an explanation on rituals in a general," he says while picking up pots and checking the contents. "We think they started with someone that developed a youth-based sorcery gift that let them create sorcery schools in a way that let other people create more sorcery schools." He starts mixing a paste. He notices Ari's clothes and figures he probably don't have computers, he should ask about technology at some point. "So, sorcery schools are like a kind of magical language. You do the ritual steps to tell the magic what you want to happen and give your lifeforce to empower the effect. And you need to have at least some understanding of the specific language to actually say something in it, instead of making arbitrary noise-" he then goes on a long explanation of what the paste is supposed to represent in the ritual when draw in this or that symbol. Then he shows how to draw the symbols properly.

Soon enough they get a sense of each other's lifeforces, it's a sort of layered feeling. Ari should be able to make some educated guesses to what each thing is.

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Ari... has a lot of lifeforce. Health and stamina, particularly; maybe it's something about those health potions. Whatever it is, he's practically bursting with vitality. His breath and wakefulness are relatively normal, but his youth, too, is strange - it's less like a finite resource, more a self-renewing pool of energy. He could live forever. Maybe he will.

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Henry's lifeforce is about three times of a regular human, but it's all balanced out evenly.

Henry stares mouth agape. "Are you immortal? I mean, you look like you're never gonna run out of youth."

He did notice the other peculiarities, but he can't bring himself to comment. Ari might notice it himself if he compares his own lifeforce to Henry's.

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Ari blinks.

"Cool!"

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"You didn't know? Does this happen often?"

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