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Jul 23, 2019 1:48 PM
Kadlawen lands elsewhere.
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“I’m not even slightly a sheltered Elan sorcerer! And I’m becoming increasingly happy about having my mini-vacation interrupted- if your magic can do things that ours can’t, and our magic can short circuit the limitations on yours, we can do so many things-“

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"Sounds amazing. How does your magic work? What can it do?"

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“Um- there are two basic parts. For the first kind- I think I’ll translate it as ‘thaumaturgy’- you need a wand, a ring, a staff, a sigil, an incantation, and a bit of mana? And everyone- or, well, every Ruwien, if it isn’t a universal phenomenon- has thirty-six bits of mana, and recharges six of them every six hours? And if you dig more than six bits of mana deep, you end up with fatigue, and if you dig even deeper you end up injured, and if you dig deeper than that you can end up dead? And you can sort of- supercharge- a particular bit of mana by sacrificing someone’s life, virginity, or both? And then you can do whatever you’d like, basically, subject to restrictions on power and assorted absolute limits?

And then there are familiars, who grant the ability to do thaumaturgy in the first place and also give various nifty blessings? They have five power levels- royal, noble, greater, common, and lesser- and the power level of your familiar determines how good you are at thaumaturgy, and how nifty their associated blessings are. Most people have one, some people end up having three if they did something sufficiently interesting when roughly teenage, I have three? And they each have an associated god?“

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Henry and Gabe listen attentively. Though Henry reacts more (specifically he reacts to sacrifices and gods).

"Uh. What do you mean with sacrifice someone's life?" He asks uneasily.

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“You... traditionally... stab them? - you might also not be able to resurrect people, come to think of it, we can resurrect people, ritual sacrifices rarely stay dead for longer than a day.”

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"Does that mean that the virgin sacrifices-"

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"Not the time, Gabe. And resurrection? Can you do it to anyone? And-and how hard is to be done? How powerful is magic system anyway? I mean... what can you do with a single mana bit for example?"

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“Spells don’t really vary in power with the amount of mana you put into them unless that amount is less than one bit, though you need to spend extra mana to hold a spell past its expiration date- and, um, it can do quite a few things? My life and virginity are self-renewing because I have a royal unicorn, so I can stab myself and do really major this and that afterwards- raising castles from thin air, resurrecting three hundred people that I don’t have a body for over the course of five minutes, that sort of thing- but without that I’m still fairly unconstrained? I could cast a quickie and turn temporarily intangible, or into a bear, or learn a language, or scry on someone fairly close by, or- as has already come up- deage or heal someone...?”

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"You're probably at least... a thousand times stronger than any given individual in the known worlds."

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“There are seven royal mages on about my power level back home, but I take your point- and we’re almost certainly not uniformly stronger, if so? You can manage interworld portals, say, I imagine that’s not the only way your magic system improves on ours- and there’s also the extent to which it varies on your definition of strength? Like, I’m pacifistic enough and my method of teleportation is violent enough that, if some random fellow decided that I would look prettier if heavily bruised, I’d be pretty much helpless to stop them? Even if I can make dreadfully impressive sandcastles.”

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"I meant strength in the... absolute sense of what magic can do. Our interworld travel is clunky to the point that you can't be sure that you can land on the right continent. Maybe it also depends on how complicated thaumaturgy is? Anyone can learn or practice sorcery. People with extra lifeforce have an advantage because they have more fuel to give, but it's only two or three times more at most. Ah, sorcery is divided in ritual sorcery and sorcery gifts. The former require you to learn a bit a specific school of sorcery. It's kinda like learning a few words and basic grammar in a language, and then you do the ritual steps and get a magical effect. Sorcery gifts require meditation until you grow them, you can have one for each lifeforce aspect, and they don't require any fancy set up."

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Gabe gets a wistful look when he hears "prettier if heavily bruised".

 

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“Our system seems- less egalitarian, possibly more learning intensive? It took a little while to learn which phrases would work best, and how to push mana in the right way, and which sigils to draw, but it wasn’t too terribly difficult, and once I learned the basic system I could do whatever I pleased? But someone with a noble familiar who learned the equivalent information would be much worse at using it effectively, and people with lesser familiars can, you know, conjure little lights and boil water? - I might want to learn sorcery myself at some point, incidentally, if it works for Ruwiens.”

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"Naively, I would assume it does. You look similar enough to a human, that I would expect you to have lifeforce like ours. Also, Elsewhere only snatches natural born sorcerers - people with extra lifeforce - which implies people that can perform sorcery. I was actually wondering if the fact that the translation is using the same word for the two kinds of sorcerer is somewhat relevant. Oh, and we can test if you can learn sorcery yourself right away."

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“- I think that I’d like to go ahead and try that, then, if it wouldn’t be too terribly troublesome and if you don’t have other burning questions?”

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"Of course. Let me get a simple ritual for you to cast."

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"While Henry is being a magic nerd at you. Do you want something to eat or drink?"

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He is not going to let himself flirt until someone else verbally signals interest, there were so many ways that could go wrong, and those eyebrows, however attractive, do not even slightly count-

“Thank you!” he says, to Henry. “And I wouldn’t want to unnecessarily impose- I can spell away those sorts of needs without even wasting mana, it’s that trivial- but if you do have something, I wouldn’t mind, eating is much more fun when it’s purely recreational and I’m sure that everything you have is fascinatingly exotic.”

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"It's my pleasure, dude." Gabe winks and turns kitchen-wards.

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"Behave, Gabe." Henry says he already got out a book.

"Okay. I have a simple spell that makes a flash of light. And it's mostly spoken so no need to set up a complicated ritual circle."

He shows Kadlawen the page and then explains what each step does.

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Is that- that probably counts as sufficiently verbal communication of interest-

“- I’m happy to have him misbehave in my direction as much as he’d like, personally,” he remarks, then proceeding to pay close attention to each step in the ritual process.

 

He follows the book’s directions; a flash of light appears, just as it ought to.

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Well, that's sure information. And also the flash of light is information.

"Well, it sounds like you can do sorcery," Henry says nodding to himself. "What do you mean with misbehaving?" He asks like it's the natural flow of conversation.

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Gosh, he has transmissible foreign magic- and, potentially, other things-

“You’re both very, very pretty, and while I didn’t want to presume anything, none of my boyfriends would particularly object to me having- um, whatever it is that the fellow you live with would like to have? If I’m interpreting everything right?”

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"Oh. You're interpreting everything right. I am not even sure what you're interpreting, but it's Gabe. It's always a safe bet to assume he wants sex. Not that it takes a lot of effort to figure that out, if it was up to him he would flirt by just getting naked." Pause. "And we are half-cousins." Another pause. "We are in an open sexual relationship."

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