• Solo • Studies in Transmutation, Part 2

Stronghold of education and learning, this fortress is in one of the coldest areas of Idalos and home to many knowledge seekers in a variety of disciplines. However, unknown to most, below the city are those who suffer for the sake of science. While all are welcome, not everyone will be treated as they expect.

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Doran
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Studies in Transmutation, Part 2

Tue Aug 11, 2020 5:07 am

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Ymiden 23, Arc 720

By the time that the son of Ziell finally returned from the Academy where he had taught a class, the sun was about to set and painted the sky in a multitude of different shades of orange, yellow, red and near-pink. He raised his head and looked at it for a moment – there was something about the play of colors that fascinated him, even after all the time – before he pushed the door opened and entered his apartment where the smell of the dinner that Elias, his mortal cook, had already prepared for him greeted him and made his mouth water slightly (the food that he had eaten at the Academy had been lacking).

“How was your trial, sir?” Elias inquired politely once Doran had returned from the bedroom where he had changed into more comfortable clothes and taken a seat at the table in the luxuriously furnished salon. As he waited for the Mortalborn’s answer, he set a plate that contained a stir-fried dish with rice, chicken, a number of different vegetables and spices down in front of him, poured a drink into a crystal goblet and placed it behind the plate. A small porcelain bowl that was filled with finely chopped fruit, sugar and cream followed.

“The classes and my research went well”, Doran replied. “There is some concern in regard to the bugs that have appeared near the Tundra Ranch and the conservatories though”, he admitted. It had been one of the main topics of conversation during the breaks in the staff lounge. “Some of my colleagues are looking into the matter, but so far, we have no idea where the bugs are coming from or why they are here though, if their arrival is simply due to the heatwave or if there is more to it”, he finished and furrowed his brow almost imperceptibly.

“What kind of spices did you use, by the way?” he wanted to know a little later as he gave Elias’ newest creation a try and raised a dark eyebrow fractionally. It was quite … spicy. It took him a moment to get used to that burning sensation on his tongue and in his mouth, but he found that some of the other ingredients that Elias had used mitigated that effect. It was delicious, everything considered, he decided (Elias had become quite a skilled cook), and it satisfied him in a way that food had not satisfied him before he had become a mage – his spark delighted in interesting tastes and unusual textures and smells – but he could not even come to guess what Elias had put into it.

“One of the merchants at the market recently received a shipment from Nashaki”, Elias replied and proceeded to list the various spices that he had used. Once he had done so, he paused for a moment before he informed his employer, “By the way, sir, the objects that you requested have arrived. I put them into your training room, as you told me to”, he continued and furrowed his brow a little as he the combination of items that the Mortalborn had requested did not make any sense to him. What in Idalos did he need a vase, a damaged wooden sculpture, a broken sword, a staff and a lump of stone for?

A moment later, he decided that it probably had something to do with magic. A lot of things had something to do with magic these trials. Since he had been initiated into Transmutation approximately two cycles earlier, the son of Ziell had developed a few interesting habits in addition to his food preferences changing (Doran had informed his servants of his having acquired a spark and hinted at some of the changes that had come with it as he had deemed such necessary, although the general public was still largely unaware of certain events in his life.)
Last edited by Doran on Tue Aug 11, 2020 5:55 am, edited 2 times in total. word count: 661

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Doran
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Re: Studies in Transmutation, Part 2

Tue Aug 11, 2020 5:12 am

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After he had eaten (and thanked Elias for his excellent meal) Doran relaxed in one of the armchairs by the fireplace for a while before he made his way into the training room that he used for anything from meditation exercises over unarmed combat practice to magic – which was what he would work on that evening, because he needed to know. Magic could have side effects that went deeper than mere injuries which was why he would always be utterly cautious and research thoroughly, but at the same time he wished to develop that comparatively recently acquired skill. He had seen what Llyr who was his mentor as well as his lover was capable of and what kind of wonders Transmuters could create.

(As an alchemist, he had studied and created his fair share of magic items; he had never managed to make a piece of cloth bleed or imbue it with darkness though – and neither did alchemy allow him to make a broken object whole again – alchemy could make things more resistant to damage, but not undo the damage that had already been caused.)

He sat down in the center of the room, on the matted floor, where a training dummy had stood up until a couple of trials earlier. It had been damaged when he had practiced his Ether Missile on it (he had not expected it to actually dissolve the padding; he had thought that it would just leave a dent or create a small hole, something that could easily be fixed) and been taken away for repairs as a consequence. Around him were the items that he had ordered for his newest practice session and that had confused Elias so much. He did not take a look at them right away though. Instead, he placed his hands on his upper legs and closed his eyes before he took a few deep and even breaths.

Over the course of the previous couple of cycles, he had come to realize how important meditation was, that possessing a certain level of discipline and meditation was in fact essential when one was a mage and helped deal with some of the negative consequences of possessing a spark .

(Of course, he had already known something about magic and how to handle it beforehand. A lot of things had only become completely clear after his initiation though, after he had actually felt the spark for the first time. All the books that he had read over the course of the decades had only given him an approximation of the real thing, at best).

He had begun to meditate regularly, before his magic practice as well as before his Menochoros practice, in order to attain that state of calm, clarity and focus. Whereas it had been a comparatively great struggle before (he had not been used to meditating and relied far too much on Thespian, one of the abilities that Syroa’s Blessing afforded him, in the past – which was something that he had stopped doing), he usually managed to focus with relative ease nowadays – and within just a couple of bits and was hardly ever distracted anymore, neither by sights nor by sounds, unless they were quite loud or unusual.
word count: 546

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Re: Studies in Transmutation, Part 2

Tue Aug 11, 2020 5:20 am

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So far, most of the Mortalborn’s casting had involved studying qualities and conjuring ether missiles and orbs of light – he had reshaped those – he had destroyed, but he had not created or made something whole again which was what the objects that surrounded him were for. He reached for the stone first and let his fingers run across it, felt the cool, smooth surface for a few moments before he let go of it again. His skill as an artisan was lacking compared to his skill as an alchemist. The ultimate purpose of this exercise was to familiarize himself with a new technique and advance his magic, but the idea of creating something imperfect did not appeal to him particularly.

He picked up the sword. It was a simple blade, made of iron, with a blackened handle. After a moment, he set it aside as well though. He would begin with something softer and gradually transmute harder materials, he decided. He was not sure if any of the normal rules applied when it came to magic, but it made sense to him that it would be easier to reshape and repair something that was easier to affect with conventional tools. He reached for the wooden sculpture and held it in its hands for a few moments as he looked at it – it portrayed some sort of bear in mid-attack, with one of its paws raised high – or it would have, had said paw that was adorned with sharp claws not been broken off and was lying next to the main part.

Whoever had made the sculpture, had possessed some skill and paid some attention to detail. The bear’s features were fairly realistic in his opinion, it was definitely recognizable as a bear, and its maw that was wide open was filled with sharp teeth. He wondered where Elias had gotten the sculpture from and if it had already been damaged or if he had had to ask someone to damage it for a moment before he decided that it didn’t matter. It was perfect for what he had in mind; that was all that was important right now.

He let his fingers run across the wooden surface – it was smooth to the touch – to get a feel for it as he wondered how to best go about it. Should he submerge the sculpture entirely in a field of ether - or just the part where the breakage had occurred? Would focusing on just a small part of it rather than on the whole object affect the result negatively, or would it be enough?

He decided that there was only one way to find out for sure. Once more, he decided to start small and work his way up as that made the most sense to him, everything considered. He would focus his ether on the breaking point rather than submerging the entire sculpture in a field of ether; he would have to expend less ether that way and likely be able to work more precisely than if he had to affect the entire sculpture at the same time.

He placed the two parts of the sculpture on the floor in front of him, so that they were touching, one hand on each of them; he positioned them as if he were trying to glue them together rather than repairing the sculpture with magical means (Although, come to think of it, was magic not comparable to glue in that case, a glue that was far more effective than any other?). At first, he only channeled a small amount of ether into the wood, a miniscule amount in fact, pausing momentarily before he used just a little more.

His ether, he noticed, was still crimson. In the beginning, after Llyr had initiated him, it had been silvery-blue, but sometime after he had received his first two Awakenings (he had come to the conclusion that his apparently mutating more than most people was most likely a consequence of his divine heritage) it had changed color, to match the markings on his chest and the crimson lines on the backs of his hands. When he had first noticed the change, he had wondered if it was a common occurrence. It did at least not seem to be particularly unusual …

Slowly, ever so slowly, the parts of the sculpture that he had submerged in ether began to change. They began to grow translucent, they lost a little more tangibility with every passing trill, and finally they faded. Doran was utterly concentrated; he would not allow anything to distract him. If something went wrong at this stage, if his focus was interrupted, there would likely be irrevocable damage. It wouldn’t matter much where this sculpture was concerned – it had been relatively cheap and could be replaced – but there would come a time when he would work with expensive materials, with magic items, even …

Once the first step – the books that he had read called it Deconstruction – was completed, Doran turned to the second step – Alteration. He thought of what the sculpture was supposed to look like, of what it had looked like before it had been broken, and held that image in his mind as he worked before he finally turned to the third and last step Reformation – and brought the sculpture back to Idalos, slowly and carefully, his mind still focused entirely on the task at hand. For a while as he worked, time seemed to lose its meaning – or maybe it simply stopped, he did not pay any attention to the passing of time at this stage.

Eventually, there was another change, a change that he had expected but that took him slightly by surprise, nevertheless. Before him, the sculpture that had been broken in two, the sculpture that had lost tangibility and faded, lay whole again. He dispelled the field of ether before he bent over it in order to inspect it. It truly looked as if it had never been … no, it had didn’t look exactly as if it had never been damaged. It didn’t look exactly as it had before. A shimmering line could be seen where the breakage had occurred, a thin, glimmering crack.

He looked at it for a moment as he waited – it was important that you always let transmuted objects rest a little – before he finally traced the shimmering line with a finger, concluding that it was likely one of the flaws that transmuted objects often had – and abruptly turned to his notebook that he had brought with him in order to write down what he had observed during that particular session. Llyr had told him to take notes about his magic and his magical evolution, and he had found that advice to be exceptionally useful thus far. It would allow him to better understand how his spark and his mutations developed – and maybe even figure out why he had gotten the mutations that he had gotten.

As he took notes, he wondered what he was supposed to do with the sculpture that he had just repaired. Should he put it on display somewhere, or give it to Elias as some sort of gift – or would it eventually deteriorate and break again, like so many transmuted objects?
word count: 1225

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Re: Studies in Transmutation, Part 2

Tue Aug 18, 2020 6:12 pm

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Doran

Experience: 10 can be used for transmutation magic

Knowledge:

Meditation x1
Resistance x1
Transmutation (Sculpting) x3
Writing x1

Renown: none

Skill Usage: Appropriate to levels.

Loot/Losses: none

Injuries/Conditions: none

Consequences: none

Comments: Doran seems very slow and methodical about his magical practice, but I suppose that fits him as a hardcore scientist and academic.

Transmutation seems like a pretty fascinating magical domain, and seems like a great fit for Doran's alchemical expertise, dealing with materials and all.

Elias seems like a really useful npc to have... I never thought about having a cook for a pc, but I suppose it's cheaper in the longrun than going out for every meal, especially in such a cold place as Viden.

I wonder if Doran will investigate the bug situation further.

Anyway, great writing and enjoy the rewards.

If you have any concerns about this review, please PM me about them.
word count: 160
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