This post has the following content warnings:
Jun 26, 2022 9:40 AM
The Graveyard Rose meets a town that's off to a good start.
+ Show First Post
Total: 174
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

"It could also explode! But about the same amount. The energy it takes to resist something is generally the same as the energy that something could release."

Permalink

“Well then, shall we?” Elspeth is smiling in spite of the loss of both her dragon and her lover- don’t think about that right now. 

Permalink

Dainan is oblivious to this, but his happy to continue experimenting. She boosts the permissions field higher, smothering any motion in the winds. Elspeth can see the ward starting to lose some energy, at this point, rolling off like waste heat. The radiation looks generic, unemotional, colorless, but as some brushes up against the Shyish rolling gently off of Elspeth, it takes on the purple hue, amplifying that wind. The fire, however, strains against the stillness. Elspeth would have to push significantly harder to keep it lit.

Permalink

Well, Elspeth is one of the three most powerful amathyst wizards to have ever lived. She can PUSH. She will keep the flame lit until the power consumption reaches the point where it could flatten the room if it got out of hand, and then terminates the experiment on grounds of safety. 

“Noticeably more difficult,” she reports. “Almost certainly possible on principle though it would take significantly more power. More than that even if we were using Syish instead of Aqshy. How much power was that for you, perhaps as a function of top observed power from a Titan?” 

Permalink

"Well, you were the one who saw the titan. Its flamestrike variant probably took a bonfire to charge, this is probably a similar magnitude? The wards in here could take it, though the others would be annoyed if I didn't put the mana back afterwards. That's a lot of power you're drawing, though! Where is it coming from? You don't need to draw a source for mana, right?"

Permalink

“It’s… actually maybe some of it is coming from a bonfire. I mostly use the ambient winds of magic. There is less here than I am used to, but I am fairly practiced at drawing it- carefully- from great distances. Mostly I’m using the Amethyst wind as if it were the Ruby one, because your magic stirred it up and that’s what I’m used to. It’s inefficient though. Would be better to use it for Amethyst magic. If we went much longer I would probably have to dip into my reserve in the Black Periapt and I would prefer to avoid that if possible. As is I will have to take a second to gather more if we are to do further experimentation.” 

Playing with magic makes the loss feel more distant. 

Permalink

"Huh, interesting. I'm going to take the permissions field down now and try some other methods."

Nothing explodes when the field comes down, but Elspeth can feel a forceful pulse of Aqshy spread out from the space, suffusing the room.

Permalink

Well, that could be useful later. She’ll stash it in the Black Periapt because the winds seem more inert here and that’s probably a good habit to get into. 

Whatever else Dainan has planned, it’s better than sitting around moping. Let’s do this! 

Permalink

Dainan has Elspeth conjure another fire, this time without the permissions field. She then creates a sheet of magic, and swings it around wildly through the space around the spell, trying to disrupt the effect.

The next test is to fill the air with tiny fragments of magic, or to release bursts of energy where they might interfere with the shape of the magic.

Last test is to try drawing energy from the spell, but without a name for the sort of magic, the best she can do is sapping heat.

Permalink

The first experiment does- briefly- disrupt the spell, but not in ways that cannot be compensated for. The second has no effect. The third does draw heat from the fire, and it gutters briefly, but this is not so much dispelling the magic as it is opposing the effect, and that is significantly more complicated to do with necromancy than with a candle flame. 

Elspeth reports the results and then, “if it helps, the way one dispels hostile magic where I came from is to apply an inversion of the weave. Um. I don’t know how well you can see the patterns?” 

Permalink

"What level of detail do you need? I have pretty good magesight. I can make out a nail in a wall, but not ink on a page. I can see...densities? And kind of textures? With what I think you mean by the winds. How well do you need to see them?"

Permalink

“I’m used to people dispelling magic by simply applying an inverse of the weave of similar strength such that they cancel out. Do you think you would be able to do that?”  

Permalink

"Well... Your weave doesn't really seem to be made of nodes. Or channels. And those are the things that mages create and move. I'm pretty good at high point counts, but representing a complex density map like that would take thousands, I can't go nearly that far. It's pretty obvious that you aren't using nodes, just...manipulating the densities directly? If I new how to select them I could probably figure out how to copy and invert... What does it feel like when you 'apply a weave'?"

Permalink

“It feels like…” Elspeth shrugs. “Understand, this is the hardest part of training a new wizard. I am advantaged in that my kind can see magic… It feels like… you take hold of pieces of magic with your mind, and you weave them together, and create a complex pattern in precisely the correct way, and if it’s not correct… Well. Usually, it does mostly what you want, and just there’s a side effect. Sometimes if you’re trying to create fire and you make a mistake, instead of creating the heat, the spell draws it from your surroundings. Sometimes though, if you really mess it up though, you are torn into a thousand bloody gobbets of flesh and your remains are blasted through everything within a hundred feet. It should be noted- and I say this not to boast but to reassure you- that one does not remain a wizard for hundreds of years without being very very careful.”

Permalink

"Oh dear! Well, that sounds like the kind of thing that soul magic makes easy to teach, but, uh, I'm not sure that's something I want to try!

Uh, not that mages can't kill themselves too. Our magic can explode, or you can cut yourself in half or something. But if the same training doesn't apply..."

Permalink

“Oh sanctioned wizards are VERY well trained. The few times I took an apprentice, I didn’t pass them for well over a decade each. That, incidentally, was one of the INTENDED roles of a witch hunter; to find untrained or poorly trained hedge mages and keep them from blowing themselves up. Of course, that’s easier said then done. Literally anyone can learn magic, and it may appeal to an impoverished farmer who sees only the glamor of success and not the dugout necessary to avoid catastrophic failure. I digress… again… I apologize.” 

Permalink

"I'm glad they get good training! How do you train wizards? Mages have to be rited, so we make sure they all go through training before they have any magic. In Oikon we use apprenticeships, but the elves have a school. Is it always apprenticeships for you?"

Permalink

“Not always. Altdorf- um. A different city state in the empire, like Nuln, but worse in every way except being the Empire’s capitol. Altdorf has a college of magic. It’s not very good though. I may be biased. The hardest part of training is always instilling a sufficient amount of caution. The second hardest part is teaching those who cannot see magic to feel the threads of the winds. This is done differently for every aspirant, but a good start is usually to do different minor magics in their proximity until they start hallucinating the weaves. Some threads usually match their imagination and they can sometimes feel the difference between the real and the imagined. Teaching is a vexing process and I endeavored to do as little of it as I could get away with. Fortunately arch mages were not often required to teach the most basic of beginners.” 

Permalink

"How many wizards did you have per capita? That does sound like the kind of training that gets easier with soul magic! But soul magic is kind of uncomfortable, so you can't use it for anything you need a lot of. People wouldn't agree to it."

Permalink

“I’m not entirely clear on what soul magic is, I confess. As for how many wizards we have- had- I would have to guesstimate probably one in ten thousand, though the vast majority of those would have been grade one. Capable of no real power. Bear in mind that anyone can theoretically learn magic, but not everyone has the time, inclination, and mental ability to be particularly good at it. At a guess, each tier up would represent another one in ten thousand. I have only ever heard of one other loremaster- the level above grade four- in the empire and that is Balthazar Gelt.” 

Permalink

"There are quintillions of people!? Or do you mean that four in ten thousand are some level of wizard, but 'loremasters' are more rare? Anyway, we have a kind of magic where you can link souls together directly? It makes teaching things really easy, because you can feel another person's focus, and hear their thoughts. It works really well for noticing things that are hard for a non-expert to notice. But linking thoughts can be really uncomfortable, and a lot of people don't like it, so we can't use it very often."

Dainan is happy to talk for many more hours, but another archival assistant eventually shows up to suggest she sleep. Does Elspeth care to join her?

Permalink

Elspeth is very sure that she is misunderstanding the suggestion, but fortunately is spared any social embarrassment by not actually needing to sleep! Perhaps instead she will start prototyping some of Nuln’s more impressive knowledges for eventual demonstration. 

Permalink

Dainan does not seem aware of her implications, but does have a guest bedroom that she leaves to Elspeth. She goes to take some additional records before sleep. No one bothers Elspeth during the night.

Permalink

Elspeth will spend her unsleeping night drawing up plans and material lists for a demonstration blast furnace, mixing up a few sample potions from her leftover ingredients, and preparing a few unmixed potions to verify that these people can indeed mix potions like literally everyone else she has ever met. 

Total: 174
Posts Per Page: