Dec 16, 2019 8:45 AM
The Starr twins are Graywards in Elsewhere
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"The four of us - I have it as well?" 

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"We checked before talking to you. Uh, sorry for spying on you."

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"It sometimes skips a generation, but it's hereditary. And yeah, there are others, Elsewhere is the hub, but there are four others. I can explain them in a bit, if you don't mind?"

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"Uh- how long have you been spying on us?" He asks, apprehensive.

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"Oh, we only took a look at you this afternoon, and we have someone looking for distant relatives all the time, but they only caught any sign of you a couple of months ago. They didn't follow you around or anything, it was more like, spelunking through documents. Or so I am told."

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He's suddenly very glad he's been pissed at Jamie all afternoon. 

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"Sure, I don't mind waiting for world explanations until after the magic lecture," Jamie cuts in, turning back to the previous topic.

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"Alright, so some people start being born with extra lifeforce. This means that they are healthier - under normal conditions - and can live longer and other benefits. Including having an easier time using sorcery, the name of the kind of magic. So, sorcery uses lifeforce aspect's as fuel. There are five aspects in humans: Breath, Stamina, Wakefulness, Health and Youth. One can develop gifts that are fueled by each of those aspects, suffering the expected consequences of spending breath or wakefulness. Except Youth, aspects regenerate over time. Gifts are convenient because they tend to only require mental actions to activate, unlike the other side of sorcery: Rituals. Which are a set of actions that when used properly and with the right intent, will generate a magical effect. Rituals are not limited to a single lifeforce aspect, but require more set up to be done at all and may fail if something about the set up is wrong. With me so far?"

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"Yeah," Alex says, leaning forward and listening intently. 

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"So I've got a Health gift and a- Breath gift?" He asks. "Shortness of breath is the consequence, right?" He doesn't use it much - he doesn't like the feeling of 'not enough oxygen'. 

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"Exactly. Stamina causes a sense of being tired from physical effort, but without being connected to your body. Wakefulness steadily makes you feel like you haven't slept in a while. And Youth causes you to age faster. It may also cause cancer, but that's pretty rare."

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"What does your Breath gift do?"

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"This, basically," he says, to Felix specifically - it sounds like a whisper and is inaudible to everyone else in the room. "It lets me whisper to anyone in sight without anyone else hearing," he adds normally. 

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"Oh, what would we call that... Voice projection or something? Useful."

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"Guess so - I don't use it all that much, since Alex is the only one I'd whisper to." 

He looks back to Temple, waiting for him to continue. 

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He takes the clue.

"Okay, so continuing the discussion on magic. Our ancestors created a magic effect - we call it a lifeforce vault - you could say it's a magical place where they could store gifts and even lifeforce itself. And it's even possible to create monsters that have the stored gifts to fight for us. But the thing is only stable if there are enough users around. And only allowed users are men that belong to our family through blood. As I mentioned earlier a lot tied during a family reunion twenty or so years ago. Now the thing is unstable. It spits out monsters every other month and if someone besides us fights them, killing the monster drains the lifeforce of the surrounding area."

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"Well. That sounds... horrible. And that's why you came looking for us?" 

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"Why only the men?" 

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"Oh. Sexism, there is no reason why it would need to be our bloodline instead of people with the password or something." He answers Alexei before turning to James. "And yeah, there is more that you need to know, but that is the pressing personal reason. We have found other distant branches in the past few years. I met Felix, because a cousin of ours was co-apprenticing alongside him."

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He huffs at the first reply, annoyed, "Of course." 

"What do you need from us, then, exactly?" He's willing to give up a lot to get Jamie a different way to fly - and he wouldn't say no to magic of his own, either. He'd say yes, actually. With quiet enthusiasm.

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"The absolute barest minimum is hearing a full lecture on magic safety, generally keep a line of communication open so we know you are alive and if you have any children to keep us informed about that. Ideally, you would want to come with us and get attuned to the lifeforce vault and make a visit to Elsewhere - it takes sorcerers that have never been there before, which is related to why magic is a secret."

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"Well. We'll definitely take the safety lecture," he gives James a look. 

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"Hey, I'm not doing this because I like the side-effects," he says. "I'd be happy if I could do it another way." 

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He huffs. 

"We probably shouldn't commit to going with you right off the bat," he continues. 

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"Yeah, and... I mean, we don't have anyway to know that's actually all you want?" 

They haven't even actually demonstrated any magic, for one thing. 

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