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Dec 16, 2018 12:09 PM
Ari finds himself Elsewhere
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"Uh, not to my knowledge. I've never actually heard of anybody living past a couple centuries, and that much is only for witches. Average person lives to be about eighty, maybe more if they're rich or Uncle Deckard. But apparently I'm going to live... forever?" Ari whistles. "I knew I was special, but damn."

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"Special? Here people's natural lifespan can vary between eighty to three hundred years. ...Youth can be transferred to extend that, but then the donor will live less."

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Ari looks troubled. "I've always had stronger witchcraft than I was supposed to. My mother was a witch, and my father was... a hero. Supposedly. But Uncle Deckard doesn't like to talk about him, and I'm starting to think he had a good reason for that. Normal people don't live forever."

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Henry tentatively reaches to put a hand on Ari's shoulder. "What do you mean? Is there....?" He doesn't know how to finish that question.

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"I think..." Ari shakes his head vigorously. "It's all conjecture. I'm going to ask my uncle some very pointed questions about my parentage later. What does this mean, practically speaking? Besides eternal life."

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"Sorcery requires youth to create permanent effects. Like magical artifacts. Conversely, it's also good to brute-force break effects, but using like that is kinda wasteful. At least for people that have finite amounts of youth."

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"Ooh. Making magic items and breaking things are both things I enjoy!"

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Henry snorts. "That's the spirit!"

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"So, what's a good starting bit of magic? This is all very exciting."

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"Depends how much you wanna get into magic," Henry eyes Ari up and down assessing his enthusiasm, "I am guessing you might be interested in actual ritual development. Which involves knowing the theory behind rituals and coming up with new ones yourself, instead of just following instructions." He pauses for a second. "Is your kind of magic teachable?"

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"Uh, let's see. Witchcraft is teachable but you need to have a demon handy, which we don't... necromancy is teachable but you need to do fucked-up shit to your bones first, probably a non-starter... Vizjerei sorcery you'd need a spell tome and I can probably write one of those up in a couple of days if Uncle doesn't have half a dozen of the things lying around. So, yes on at least one count, but not right now."

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Shrug. "I am mostly interested in magical theory. At any rate, I can teach you how ritual development works, if you're interested. And gift acquiring. Though I am still just an apprentice."

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"I'm interested!"

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"That's the spirit! Would rather start with meditation exercising or ritual theory?" Henry says, walking towards a door that leads to an adjacent library. "The former is for gift acquiring and helps you to get a better control whenever you need to manipulate your own lifeforce."

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"Meditation sounds fun!"

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Henry pulls out a book (heavily bookmarked and with several notes tucked between pages) on the topic of meditation. Henry explains how it works and the mental actions one is trying to achieve. The lifeforce analysis is still on and it's useful to see the effects Ari is supposed to evoke. Part of the exercise will involve Henry transferring bits of breath to Ari to see what it feels like to have extra.

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Ari will gamely attempt meditation and accept bits of extra breath!

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He makes progress. And Henry likes an interested student.

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But eventually, Gabe pokes his head inside. "Hey, there you are. How about a snack-technically-lunch break?"

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Ari's eyes snap open.

"Food! Yes."

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"Food!" Gabe agrees. "I improvised a mushroom-stuffed pastry thing that will hopefully for everyone's tastes. Now," he adopts an authoritative tone that's does not match his demeanor, "go wash-up. No body-paint at my table."

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Henry rolls his eyes, but gets up and shows Ari the washroom and how to work the faucet.

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"Cool, magic water! This one of those artifacts you were talking about?"

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Henry blinks. "Oh. No, this is non-magical. There are pipes that transport the water to where it's needed, but it's entirely non-magical." Pause. "Actually, I think that the pipes that send the water up, might be magical. And we have magical heaters for our showers. But non-magical versions exist."

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"We have a non-magical water pump," Gabe says from the door, "that's run by a magical battery. And the reservoir up in the tower also has cleaning crystals. It's a weird patchwork of magic and technology."

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