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Nov 17, 2019 5:28 PM
Inanna's Ring!Sasuke in Arcania Artefactum
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His next thing: Artefact Handling! 

The Artefacts department is in the sprawling Mana Studies section of the Academy, the most expansive one. The section was originally housed only in the building where Sugira observed the Runes class, before the Academy became so incredibly famed for the skill of its graduates. 

This information can be read from a plaque in the entrance hall. 

Now, it's actually more of an interconnected web of buildings, having slowly expanded and then consumed the nearby housing complexes. Many of the closest extensions, and connections - mostly covered pathways from the upper floors - are made of the same pale stone as the rest of the city, but the colours often do not match the connecting buildings - or even the more common colours found in the area - lending the complex something of a mismatched air. The plaque mentions that many of the early expansions were built using materials taken from buildings on the outskirts of the city. 

 The class Sugira is looking for takes place in one of the ground floor training halls, the surfaces of which are covered with runes to keep any damage from bringing the building down. The entrance is right off the main hall, and there is an audience of about two dozen up in the observation area, come to see the new crop of wielders.

Most of the students - there are less than twenty out in the floor when he arrives - are dressed unlike the people of Sanctuary. He will have seen mostly robes of various types around the city, from the open ones worn over tunics and leggings common around the Academy, to the often belted overrobes and fitted underrobes worn by many of the people in the palace district. These students' clothing styles vary more - ranging from tunics and leggings without the robes, to simple dresses, to loose, layered outfits, often with intricate scenes and patterns stitched, dyed, or printed upon them. 

Most of the students are in their mid-teens to late-twenties, but there are some outliers - two children under thirteen, and a woman in her mid-fifties.

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Probably some number of people with artifacts, then.

He tries to find somewhere to sit.

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The seats are through a door and up the stairs, set back into the wall behind a slightly shimmering net. There's a full wall of them, going up five rows, so he'll be able to find somewhere to sit quite easily, either by himself or with the other observers. 

 

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One of those observers is Sara. She is sitting in the back corner opposite the entrance to the observation area, focusing intently on the block of wood she's carving. 

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His preferred seat seems taken, so he sits a few seats down from her, leaving plenty of empty space.

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She looks up after a few moments, once she's finished carving the latest rune. Seeing him, she gives him a smile, "Sugira!" She greets, "Hello! How has your day been? Have you been enjoying the Academy?" 

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"My day's been good. I've learned a lot so far."

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She nods, "That's great. You're in for a treat, with this class," she adds, "It's a brand new crop of Artefact wielders. All new to wielding. I predict they'll all be drenched and covered with stone dust by the time the class ends - but we'll get to see the scholars in charge perform some high tier spells!" 

"I met my aunt for lunch," she mentions as well, "She mentioned you - she teaches Runes and Permanence."

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"That'll be interesting," he says to the first bit, and: "She's a good teacher."

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"She is!" She agrees, "I've learned a lot from her. She's been teaching me runecraft since I first showed an interest, when I was a small child." 

Several people enter the hall below through a different door than the one he came in through. The students (now numbering 18) perk up and turn to them as they approach. 

"Oh," Sara says, "I think they're starting - though we csn still talk during the class, the netting stops sound from up here getting through to distract the students." 

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He gets his notes set up. "Clever."

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She nods, "Runecraft is very useful!" 

 

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The teachers down in the hall organise their students into groups, each under one of the five of them. Then they stand together before the group to begin speaking.

"The groups we have just placed you in are to sort you by Artefact type and affinity," begins one, standing ahead of the other four. "Those of you with Lesser Artefacts will be learning under scholar Kefa. Those with Greater have been matched with the rest of us, barring you with the Dagger," he nods to one of the teens, "Your Artefact is Air/Space, neither of which is represented by our Artefacts. You'll be with me, as my group is smallest." 

"Before we begin, I have a warning for the wielders of Simple Artefacts: I'm sure all of you have used mana before. There's hardly a person alive who hasn't. I expect you all believe you have a good measure of your pool, and that your control is perfectly satisfactory - that there are several spells and freecasts that you feel very confident you could never mess up. 

"I'm going to start this class off by telling you that if you attempt any spells at all through your Artefact without getting full measure of their capabilities, you will be extremely lucky if the only thing you do is damage your surroundings. The reason you are in this hall, learning to do this properly, is that the training halls at the Academy are covered in protective runes, and will prevent any catastrophic failures. If you try to cast with your Artefacts outside this building before we clear you for it, you will almost certainly hurt yourself or others, unless you are exquisitely careful. Don't do it." 

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He flips through his notes for a refresher on Artefact classifications.

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Greater Artefacts: offer a large increase to two colours of mana. 

Lesser Artefacts: offer a smaller increase to all mana.

Complex Artefacts: have minds. 

Simple Artefacts: do not have minds. 

 This warning having been given, the five groups separate out to different parts of the room, and the teachers begin by showing off some flashy spells, both with and without the aid of their Artefacts, displaying how the increase in power results in much larger effects. One conjures a twist of water, and then a carefully controlled waterspout. Another produces a spray of sparks from their hand, and then a popping crackle of minor explosions like fireworks. The man who had spoken before casts a minor haste spell on a student, allowing them to zip from one end of the room to the other at twice the speed, and then casts again on himself - disappearing for a mere moment before reappearing with a canteen, formerly in the hand of another teacher across the room. 

Then they begin directing the students to choose their least powerful spell of the correct affinity (if applicable), and attempt to channel the very smallest amount of mana they can through their Artefact's pool. 

Sara's earlier prediction is quickly proven true. 

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They're a lot like new arcane students, in some ways, especially in the magical device classes.

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Sara giggles a bit when one of the kids manages to let off a cloud of smoke, getting himself and his whole group covered in ash. 

"They demonstrate the high-level magic at the end," she tells Sugira, "It'll mostly be the novices practising until then. In the meantime... You're from another world, right? So... what do you think so far? Of Sanctuary, at least. The rest of the world is a bit of a mess," she acknowledges with chagrin. 

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"Sanctuary's doing well, especially given the resources it has."

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"We do our best," she says, "We're very small, compared to the rest of the world, and we have our own issues... but I think every place has issues, honestly." 

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He nods. "Even the nicest places in my universe do."

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She nods.

She peers down at the ongoing class, shrugs, and picks up her wooden block, continuing her carving. Its an icewolf, which she is currently carving with runes to make it chilly. 

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He turns to watch the lecture.

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Not so much a lecture as a workshop, really.

Eventually the scholars pull the group all back together to conclude the class. 

"Alright, now that you've had the chance to practise a bit, we're going to show you the kind of thing you can look forward to being able to do, if you apply yourself to your studies," the Time mage tells the group. He takes a step back and nods to the others. 

Carefully, three of the other wielders incant their spells.

One brings into being deer-like creature made of earth pulled fom the trays left out for that purpose, onto which he tosses something which turns out to be grass seed, which he grows to resemble fur. Its antlers are made of sharp stone. The Life and Earth mana animating it gives it a semblance of life, and it wanders around pretending to sniff at the students. 

Another calls up a wall of shimmering light, crawling across the floor and up the walls before seemingly melting them, leaving behind the appearance of a clearing in a forest. One can even hear the rustling of the leaves, the trickling of a distant stream, and smell the scent of soil after rain.

The last spell slowly pulls together a vast cloud to cover the ceiling of the room, which rumbles ominously before releasing a torrent of rain. The rain slides off a dome over the students and teachers, collecting in the troughs at the edges of the room. A few flashes of lightening crash off the dome as well - the netting dulls the noise. 

The students ooh and aah, and the observers do as well, leaning forward to examine the effects. Several from each group reach out to examine them with unrefined mana, trying to learn how they were done. 

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He'd prepared a beefed up, more useful version of Detect Magic, and quietly casts that before the demonstrations, observing.

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All three mages thread fairly small amounts of mana into their Artefacts, resulting in much larger ones. The first two are Complex, and shine more and less with mana as they aid their wielders with the spells. The last shines steadily, exactly as it always does.

The Earth and Life mage first casts a spell to gather earth and stone, then one to mould it. He then throws the seed onto it, and directs a thread of mana freely to carefully grow it to give the deer the appearance of fur. Then, he attaches a thread each of Life and Earth, and directs it around the class. 

 The Illusion (and Life) mage casts just one spell, with a large volume of mana. The spell causes the thread to expand out across the room, leaving behind a layer of Illusion magic which is doing its best to convince everyone in the room that they are in a clearing in the woods. It's very convincing.

 The Fire and Water mage casts two spells, one a twist of each colour to gather the storm above, and another to repell both water and lightning. 

With the detect spell he will also be able to see the mana of the students and observers, stretching out around them like hundreds of thin tentacles, and that of the Artefacts in the room. As well, the glowing runes in the walls, floor, and ceiling, and the mana flows of the city, as he could before. 

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