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Thread: Crux [SOLO]

  1. #1
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    Crux [SOLO]

    “Are you sure you want me to drop you off here?” The driver asked with concern as he looked around at the large expanse of fields that surrounded them. Apart from a single great oak tree by the side of the road there was really nothing he could see that would warrant his passenger wishing to disembark here. He watched the boy frown as he produced his father’s letter and checked its contents one more time. The frown seemed to furrow deeper but the boy disembarked anyway.

    “I think so” Sage said puzzled with the directions wrote down in the letter. The great oak had been specifically mentioned, and with it being the only one around for miles he was sure that he was where he was supposed to be. “Despite my misgivings”

    “I had best go and take a look around, just to be sure”

    “Alright, I’ll be on my way then, I’ve a schedule to keep” the driver said with an eye to the burning sun overhead. It was already noon and he was making good time, but he was hesitant to push his luck any more than he needed too.

    “I understand, thank you once again for your kindness”

    The driver chuckled at the boy’s politeness, secretly wondering where in the world this kid was raised. Far away from Corone’s usual troubles for sure, perhaps the boy was one of those other angle people he sometimes heard about.

    “Well you stay safe ya hear. And best of luck to you finding whoever you’re looking for out here” he answered earnestly, taking the reins and spurring the wagons horse into motion. Sage watched the wagon leave with a growing curiosity. “Who could possibly live here?” he wondered.

    With a deep breath Sage set off to the task at hand and approached the oak tree and looked around its base. Just like the letter said there was a path by the old oak, one that did not see much use he was willing to bet due to how faded it seemed. “Well the information seems accurate so far, so where could this tower be?”

    And that was the crux of his journey thus far, he had been sent in search of a man who by his reckoning, was more than talented enough to show Sage how to use magic. The incident with the murderous potted aside, the journey had been rather uneventful so far.

    Sage checked the letter again, and then checked the back to see if there was something he had missed, but nothing changed, the words written down still told him to follow the path. Who knows, maybe the tower was located at the base of a cliff, or in a sink hole, there had to be some logical reason that he was not able to see it from afar.

    Step after step, the boy followed the faint path until he could no longer see the road behind him, and several times he swore he lost sight of the path only to come across it again and again. He followed the path around a hill, evading a pit and ducking his way past an insect larger than his thumb. He refused to look at the letter one more time he had read it so many times that he felt that it would be seared into his brain. Trudging up a hill that he swore would be the last one if he did not find this tower. Disappointment began to churn in the pit of his stomach as he rose to the crest of the hill. He looked out across the clearing and the open view it afforded, nothing but blue skies, light fluffy clouds and a clear horizon.

    “No tower though…oh!”

    And then there was a base of a tower less than ten feet in front of him.

    “Where did that come from?” It was certainly not there a moment ago. there had been nothing but horizon when all of a sudden he found himself staring at the cobblestone of a circular tower in the middle of nowhere. Oh, wait, of cause, he was dealing with a wizard, so why wouldn’t the tower be magical.

    Perception spells, to anyone else the tower may as well have been invisible until you was right on top of it. Feeling a hell of a lot more relieved that he was not on a wild goose Chace he brushed his hair out of his face and approached the door.









    “Where is the door?”

  2. #2
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    Sage circled the base of the tower once to see if it was on the other side, but by his third lap he was safely secure in the knowledge that the tower did not have a front door, or any kind of entrance for that matter. Stepping back to reassess the situation and brush his hands through the hair on his crown, the boy looked up to see if there was possibly another way in.

    There were several windows that went around the tower, though none on the ground floor, and higher up about forty feet above him was a balcony that wrapped around the entire tower. Possibly to afford a view so the current resident could have a laugh at his expense no doubt. Cynical thoughts aside, Sage knew without a doubt that he would not be climbing up the side any time soon.

    “Not getting up there” he reaffirmed silently and turned to look around the base of the hill for some sort of cellar door. It was possible that the entrance was elsewhere, possibly at the base of the hill and far away enough for that perception field to take effect once again. He toyed with the possibility and stepped out of the fields range and watched the tower turn into nothing but endless horizon once more.

    “Cute”

    But if there was such a door he was not able to spot it, and circling the hill could just be a waste of time. Instead he decided to try something a little more traditional.

    “Hello!” he cried cupping his mouth in the direction of the Balcony. He waited a moment out of patience and tried again even louder “Hello!!”

    His ears rang as his voice was eventually returned with an echo, but still there was no answer. “Humph” he groused squinting up at the windows to try and catch sight of movement. But with nothing apparent happening, the boy took in a deep breath and tried once again with as much gusto as he could muster.

    “Hello!”

    “Echo!”

    “Let down your hair!”

    “Hey I have an appointment to keep with a dozing princess so can we hurry this up!”



    ...


    “Nothing” he grumbled disappointed. To have come all this way and no one was home, heck he was beside himself that he could not even find the blasted entrance. He knelt down staring at the cobblestone base, suspicious of any cracks in the wall. He could feel elation as he came to the conclusion that the entrance was possibly hidden, perhaps there was a stone block that activated it.

    Sage was back at the base of the tower, strafing his fingers along each stone with a firm experimental push. Carefully and methodically, sage worked his way around the base of the tower with inspecting every brick until he realised he had once again made a full circle and had gained no progress.

    “And still nothing” The boy scratched his cheek in thought. He considered who he was trying to get inside to see, a wizard by his father’s brief description of the man. Someone who can use magic well enough that doors are no longer mandatory but were completely optional. “Teleportation”

    It was certainly an answer, but not one Sage felt comfortable realising. No, if his father sent him, then either the no door policy was relatively a recent thing, or it was not the case. That and his father had said to him before he left the vineyard that he had sent word ahead to this man and that he was expecting him.
    He was expected.

    So there had to be a door even if he couldn’t see it … The boy paused with the thought. That line of thinking was way to familiar, not long ago a Fae had cast a spell where Sage had been unable to do anything but look at her. And there was a magical field that surrounded the tower that had diverted his attention away, rendering it invisible.

    Sage openly sighed at the conclusion he reached “I can’t find the door because I can’t look at the door” Scouring the base was not going to aid him, he had already checked every inch and had not found the door that way…

    Emboldened by an idea, he squatted down and grabbed a handful of stones and once more preceded around the base of the tower, dropping a stone for every step he made. By his logic, the spell on the door was making him effectively skip over its location.

    Sage grinned when he saw what he was looking for by, by dropping a stone for every step he made around the tower, there would eventually be a gap where the spell made him skip by the door. And right in front of him was a gap in the stones he had been dropping. Looking up at that exact spot, Sage could feel his eyes being diverted away, but forced himself to step forward into the gap he had made and pushed forwards until his hand met wood.
    “Got you”
    Last edited by Sage; 04-10-17 at 04:31 PM.

  3. #3
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    "Hello?"

    As he entered, the first thing Sage became acutely aware of was the disproportional size of the room. The base of the tower had been several feet across, but he was sure that the circular room was even larger. Magic, he had to remind himself as he stepped into the centre of the room, the walls were lined with book cases and an assortment of chests and shelves, full of little Knick knacks that threatened to spill over onto the ground. He also noted with a disgruntled air that there were windows all around him, windows that could not be seen from the outside.

    The home owner sure must like their privacy.

    But of all the odds and ends in the room, Sage was drawn to the various collections of pictures that lay on the window ledges and hung up around the room. Approaching one, Sage saw an image of two men, an elderly man with short snow white hair, and another he could almost mistake his father for save the rather impressive beard. “Is that my grandfather? My, he looks young there”

    “Younger than I was. Oh, hello, you must be the Sage I am expecting.”

    Sage turned to the owner of the voice, fully expecting the man to have a long flowing white beard, and wearing pointed hat and robes. Instead the Elderly gentleman was quite well groomed with a sensible long sleeved tunic, clean shaven and a neatly combed full head of snow white hair.

    “Different” The boy cocked his head to the side and turned to meet the man in the centre of the room.

    “Strange I was expecting a boy” Confusion set on the wizard’s features as he examined the boy before him. The boy in question just supressed the groan in his throat, it was half to be expected at this point whenever he would meet someone new.

    “Oh, no, that is my name, I am Sage Ainsworth, and I AM a boy” He said hoping to clear up the mistake, had there been a miscommunication between his father and this man, and what exactly was their connection. He knew his grandfather obviously, but he also looked the same age as he did in the photo. The years seemed to have been kind.

    “Indeed?” The man said raising a crinkled brow “Well either way, what can I do for you?”

    “You don’t … My father sent me so that you could teach me how to be a mage” He said concerned that there really had been some miscommunication.
    “Study hard and practice, practice, practice. You don’t need much more than that” the Wizard explained as though it was a given.

    Oh dear. It was certainly not the first thing Sage had been expecting to hear, he knew that to be a mage, or any sort of dedicated magic user would takes years of study and hard work. Magic in its primal form would have to be closely examined and dissected until he would even allow himself to even tap into any source of eldritch energy.

    But his willingness to put years into the craft was not the issue, if it was he would have been more comfortable with his self-study sessions. What he lacked was the material, for someone to sit down with him and have a good forty hour long discussion about the fundamental principles of what made up a spell. In short, he just did not have the connections or any source material.

    “Ah, but I don’t have the right materials to learn from, my father has a few books on Magic theory, but I have yet to…”
    “Find a teacher” The man finished with a groan.
    Last edited by Sage; 04-10-17 at 04:36 PM.

  4. #4
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    Steam rose from the cup, being ushered upstairs into the towers kitchen the wizard had said little else other than to ask how much sugar he preferred in his tea. But the boy was finding the ongoing silence to be rather awkward, the way the wizard moved as he prepared the tea pot was calculated and methodical, giving nothing he was thinking away. But if the man did not want an apprentice then why not just tell him so, perhaps he was just trying to be nice, and was thinking of a way to let him down gently.

    “It has been an age since my last apprentice” The wizard commented as he sat at the opposite end of the oval shaped dining table. “Owen’s letter alluded to it, but that boy was never straight forward when he wanted something.”

    Sage considered the comment about his father to be true, he too was well aware of his father’s often wayward method of going about things. During their trip to Scara Brae, he had neglected to tell Sage that he had a spell that would let him keep track of him. Sage had not known his father had even known any spells up until that point.

    “I suppose that would be why he prefers to let Alicia run the Vineyard” The boy commented, and experimentally sipped at his tea.

    “Crossroads, correct?” The elder asked reaching for his own cup as well. “Tell me, is the barrier still working as it should”

    “It is” Despite the token guards that had been stationed at his hometown, the barrier the wizard spoke of made sure to turn away those with ill intent. In essence it was a similar spell that surrounded this tower and guarded the door. But if the truth is told, it was probably also the reason his hometown saw so little traffic, most of the merchants that would normally have come to Crossroads would be seeking to make more coin than their wears were actually worth. Thus their intent would be ill towards the town and the barrier would turn their attention elsewhere. Some in the village however were adamant that the Barrier was weakening, but while that may have been true, it could have been a streak of bad luck, or bad investments.

    “Wait, how did you know about that?” Sage asked curiously. A knowing grin started to form on the elderly man’s face as the boy quickly connected the dots in his head.

    “You’re Victor Friedman aren’t you?”

    “Guilty” the man chuckled heartily. Well, that certainly explained a few things to the boy. He had learned of Victor Friedman mostly from his books, the wizard was often referenced too in some of the tomes he did have access too. He had been described as a powerful wizard in some, or merely a trickster in others. The man was also connected with the history of his hometown too, from helping to create the barrier and also tutoring his grandfather back in the day. Obviously he still had some connection to his family, how else would his father know how to get in touch with him.

    But that would also mean that he must be as old as Crossroads itself, if not older which would easily put him into the triple digits. Sage thought it wise to not bring that up.

    “But we are not here to talk about me. So tell me, what makes you think you’re good enough to be my apprentice?”

    “I … well. It isn’t that I don’t think I’m good enough. Like you said, all I need is study and practice to hone my craft, but I need a foundation to work from” Sage explained placing his cup back on the table. It was a good question, one Sage was unprepared for, but he also suspected that if he gave anything but an honest answer then he would be turned down regardless. “Or he was going to turn me away regardless of my answer”

    “My father sent me to you. I gather he believes you can help with establishing that foundation. Just like you taught my Grandfather what he knew to help create the barrier.”

    “Indeed. Well, if all you need is a foundation I suppose I can help you with that” he replied stroking his chin in thought. The wizard remained silent as he considered the prospect of an apprentice after so many years without one. But that was not an accurate assessment, if the boy merely needed a foundation, and he could do that much, then it would really be no skin of his back in dealing with a part time apprentice. And who knows, the wizard thought privately. If the boy was talented at the craft, he could even possibly take him on full-time. Nodding with his conclusion the wizard turned and asked. “So what do you think you know?”
    Last edited by Sage; 04-10-17 at 04:41 PM.

  5. #5
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    Considering the question, Sage was momentarily at a loss to how he should answer. He knew this would have to be his sell, impress the wizard just enough to take him on as an apprentice. Even now he could almost hear his eldest sister telling him to only reveal so much, and then blind him later with even more knowledge than he initially had let on. Excellent advice, he conceded, if he actually wanted to make himself appear far smarter than he initially was. No, he decided against using her advice, he wanted to be honest so that the man could clearly gauge his ability and skill as accurately as possible.

    “I’ve read up on Marco the wise and Whitehall to compare their preferred casting methods. Incantations are simple to learn and can be shortened with practice to reduce the time it takes to cast a spell” Sage started with the method he did know, and Victor nodded with the short summary. “But Incantations can be interrupted, and being unable to speak clearly can stop anyone from casting a spell. That is why when contending with most spell casters, silencing them can effectively shut them down”

    “Continue…” Victor waved him on.

    “Runes on the other hand, often need to be prepared to be cast. Tomes or magic circles are usually the preferred method of casting such spells, or something portable with the Runes etched into its surface would suffice as well.” The boy paused to take a sip of his tea, buying time to gather his thoughts.

    “The issue with runes is that they must be correct, similar to using the wrong word in an incantation, it can disrupt the flow of magic or it could just result in the wrong spell being cast. Whitehall once made mention of someone, who I think was a student of his, made such a mistake. Instead casting a spell to put out a small controlled fire, he accidently set the whole room on fire.”

    “I’ll tell you about the time your grandfather wanted to summon and imp but ended up with a succubus some time.” Victor interrupted with a snicker trying his hardest not to laugh. But seeing such and open and honest emotion did wonders to set Sage at ease. Although the boy was perplexed as to why his grandfather wanted to summon an imp, and curious as to how he had managed to not be swayed by a succubus as well. “Another time”

    “That must have taken some willpower on his part, which brings me to the next method. Willpower would probably be by far the fastest and most adaptable method of spell casting. Spells can be changed on the fly and adapted to fit the situation and they need no preparation in order to be cast as well”

    But that was not all to it, like the other two methods he knew that there was also a downside to such a method. “But the caster needs to devote some of their focus into spells cast this way. A moment’s inattention and the spell may lose cohesion or will outright fail. To a degree asserting your willpower over magic would be akin to tuning your mind to act in place of runes and incantations.”

    A thought came to him as he realised that each method had a similar theme “Although, I would say that Willpower lacks as an anchor, spells cast in that way are temporary at best”

    Victor nodded and sipped at his tea “Hmm and how would you describe magic as a whole?”

    “As a whole…” Sage echoed, closing his eyes and folding his arms. As a whole he felt that magic was an incomprehensible source of power. Like the thread of a needle, it was stitched into the very fabric of the reality around them and could unravel everything if it was taken away. It was somewhat scary to think of magic like that, but then again, was that not what happened to Raiaera, the land of the high elves.

    Once it was the pride of all high elves, the centre of all things arcane and mystical when it was at its peak. No other country could even come close to the arcane knowledge that they had accumulated in their pursuit of deciphering the mysteries of magic.

    But all of that had been reduced to a lifeless wasteland unfit for life. Only the dead remained, but even they did not do so quietly.

    Sage took one last sip of his tea, and placed the cup back on the saucer content. Victor was up a second later, taking the porcelain tea set over to the towers working sink. Sage watched as the elderly wizard cleaned each cup with care, meticulously rinsing each one and then leaving them off to the side to dry. The man smiled as he returned to the table, and waved Sage on to continue.

    “On its own it is wild and dangerous, without form." He said with caution. Dangerous as magic could be, in the wrong hand, or even in the right hands, it all came down to the intent of how people could use or abuse such power. And that was why he wanted to learn, first so that he would not accidently ever endanger anyone. And second, because he wanted to find an understanding, why was magic here, what purpose did it serve, was there one? "But it can also be harnessed and given meaning, Runes and incantations are like a mould, they can give magic a shape, structure, even a purpose.”
    Last edited by Sage; 04-10-17 at 04:49 PM.

  6. #6
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    Victor watched the boy try his best not to fidget in his seat, although every time he looked at him he was convinced that he was looking at a girl. The Ainsworth boy must have some interesting parents, but there was no chance he was Owens flesh and blood son. He may not have had contact with the residents of Crossroads but that did not mean that he was completely out of touch either. So when Owen had sent a letter that said his son would be arriving soon to meet him he had been more than intrigued.

    But the pieces were coming together now, and Victor understood why Owen had sent his boy to meet him. There was a keen understanding that the boy possessed, although with the source of material that the boy had access too he was surprised that he had gleaned even that much. But more than that, he could almost feel the boys desire to learn the arcane arts, and if there was one thing a wizard could appreciate, it was a dedicated student.

    “Dedicated indeed, Marcus would have given an arm for a student like this.” the wizard privately thought.

    “Gestures and pacts are other Viable methods of casting magic, and I dislike the thought of sharing my body with anything that has a power bigger than my head” He commented off hand, to which Sage oddly resonated in agreement with.

    “I understand”

    “Well with all that said and done, are there any spells you do know?”

    “Just one sir”

    “That will be the first and last sir I hear out of you.” Victor immediately abolished with a stern visage. The sudden shift of the man’s tone startled the boy, although he tried to mask the sudden movement by shifting casually in his seat, his eyes were reminiscent to that of a spooked deer. Victor expression softened and he gently resumed his probing. “But if you would be so kind as to show me”

    “What, here, now?” He asked perplexed. The thought of casually casting a spell, any spell over a kitchen table came across Sage as something rather rude. There was a time and place for magic, but the kitchen table was not one of those moments. It was then that Sage realised he was hearing his mother’s words shortly after he had created his spell. “I remember that now, I was so embarrassed that I could not concentrate on the book I was reading.”But the wizard pressed on regardless of the boy’s apparent discomfort “If you would, please”

    Giving in, Sage held out his palm with his spell already coming forth from his lips “Lux”

    Victor had been prepared for something a little wilder, either a barrier or a fire ball of some description. So it came as a bit of a surprise when nothing like that was conjured above his kitchen table, and instead all he got was a…

    “Is … this is a light spell” of cause it was a light spell. What else would the orb of light be, there was no change in temperature from its presence, no hint of sound, just the steady illumination of an ethereal sphere.
    The long haired boy flushed at Victor’s apparent disappointment. “I tend to stay up late. And rather read by candle light, I just cast this”

    Well it would certainly be easier on the eyes, victor conceded. With a heavy breath that did little to alleviate Sage’s growing concern at the silence that had fell between them. Victor was honestly weighing his options, the boy had potential, and there was no doubt about that. Sage was eager to learn, and was certainly honest and dare he say, humble enough to listen to what he would tell him and actually take heed of the potential dangers.

    On the other hand, Victor would be sacrificing a lot of his free time to babysit the child. He could probably get a few bottles of Carrefour Wine out of Owen for taking his boy on. But that did not warrant the apparent dangers that an apprentice could get into, one mention to a hormonal boy that they were quite capable of summoning a Succubus and that would leave him to deal with a very angry father, possibly two angry fathers.

    He was undecided on the matter. Sage would make a good apprentice, but was it worth it, and what was in it for him.

    “Decisions”
    Last edited by Sage; 04-10-17 at 04:54 PM.

  7. #7
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    “I’m sure you understand that I just am not in the position to take on any apprentices at this time” Victor spoke regretfully as he ushered the hopeful boy back to the front door. Sage was initially disappointed in the Wizards decision to say no, but something about the way Victor spoke seemed suspicious. He was coming across as too apologetic, too all-knowing as he lead him down the stairs and back into the Towers circular Foyer. Also the way he was wearing a grin he was unable to straighten made Sage suspect that he was going to say something as he was leaving. "It feels like he is leading me towards something"

    Was Victor going to give him a condition or clause that he would be expected to follow in order for him to actually agree to take him on? If he was, then Sage was going to wait and see what would follow as soon as he reached the door, all the while trying to imitate the same disappointed expression he had been wearing.

    “I understand. Taking on an apprentice is not something that should be done lightly” he said ruefully to which Victor nodded in agreement with.

    “Of cause, I’m glad you see it my way” He said with a flourish reaching for the handle with a knowing grin. But as Sage approached as the man opened it for him, a powerful wave of heat caused the boy to halt immediately.

    It was all Sage could do not to stare. Gone were the green fields that had brought him here, and in their stead was the wisps of sand being blown over the dunes. Desert, nothing but desert as far as the eye could see he mentally screamed. Instinctively he knew he was no longer in Corone, from the position of the sun and the blistering heat that was now bearing down on him, there was no way he was even close to it.

    “Where are we?” his hair whipped around as he spun on his heel to the smarmy looking wizard.

    “This would be somewhere close to the centre of the Fallien desert” He admitted wholly enjoying the look of surprise Sage adopted. Although he was beginning to second guess his choice to bring them to Fallien, already he could feel the heat clinging to his clothes and the sun stinging at his exposed skin. “It tends to get rather stifling around here during the day however, so I don’t often come here.”

    “It is not for the faint of heart” he realised in understanding for those who did live in Fallien. Growing curious he moved up to the edge of the towers perception field and tried to peer across the dunes in search for any sign of life. The horizon rippled with the distorted heated air, looking more like an ocean just beyond the horizon of sand. “Was this you’re doing?”

    “Hardly, moving an entire building would require more Mana than I could possibly muster” He admitted with a forlorn look. The with a shake of his head he retreated back into the shadow of the tower “The tower itself however is a masterwork of several spell matrices, It powers itself and handles most of the calculations on its own. But being able to teleport is something my master added to it, before he passed it on to me. I just added that perception charm you no doubt had noticed”

    “It can go anywhere?”

    “As long as where it is trying to go has sufficient space, yes it can go almost anywhere.” The wizard humbly admitted with a smile.

    “What? Why does … oh, it can’t occupy the same space as something else” Quickly the boy came to realise how that could cause some problems, if the tower appeared in the wrong place at the wrong time, someone could suddenly find themselves stuck in a wall that had not been there a moment ago. That was just horrifying.

    “Yeah, though there are failsafe’s made to ensure something like that does not happen. If the place it is trying to go is occupied then it just won’t move” Victor admitted much to Sage’s relief. He felt giddy that there was such a thing that could do something like this. It would mean that the spells had been created and tested, and integrated into a single work of art that could establish something so, so…

    “This is incredible!” He marvelled at the complexity of such a spell. The amount of energy alone required to move an entire structure like that was mind boggling. But any thought to try to attempt the calculations for such a feat was disrupted by the desert wind blowing sand in his face.

    “It’s more than incredible” The Wizard huffed insulted. The tower was priceless, so priceless that he had gone well out of his way to ensure that no one would be able to find it unless he wanted them too. Incredible, just did not do it any justice. It would be like creating a whole plane of existence on your own and declaring it as adequate.

    The wizard continued to simmer as Sage retreated back to the shadow of the tower. “Does it have a name?” he inquired with a tilt of his head.
    Last edited by Sage; 04-10-17 at 04:59 PM.

  8. #8
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    “Not an official name, no” the wizard answered. “But I like to call it my tower of sanctuary regardless”

    How fitting, he thought. With those perception spells and the ability to move such a large construct over a large distance, it was a wonder how anyone was expected to be able to keep track of him. The man may as well be living in the furthest reaches of the outlands, able to be in Corone for breakfast and Alerar for supper should the mood take him.

    The world was literally his oyster.

    Then he turned toward him, a slight crinkle in his wrinkled cheeks as he asked “Would you like to have a go?”

    What?


    Sage wondered if he had heard the wizard correctly. Surely he had not asked him if he had wanted to have a go at…

    The tower!

    Sage barely managed to keep his enthusiasm in check, his eyes sparkled at the mere prospect of being invited to have a go at controlling a magical construct like the tower. It also made him realise something else that the wizard had left unspoken. “Does this mean you will be taking me on as an apprentice?”

    Holding up his hands and shaking his head, Victor spoke like he was loath to admit it “Maybe not full time apprentice, no”

    Sage felt his spirits dampen at the less than optimal outcome, but the invitation was still there, and the smile on his face was absolutely radiant. “But I certainly don’t mind showing you a thing or two” The wizard openly admitted, to which Sage rewarded him with a cheeky grin of his own. “I see how it is!”

    Then with a clap of his hands, both the wizard and the bookworm stepped back into the tower away from the heat of the Fallien desert. “Right” Friedman said stepping into the centre of the room “Now to teleport the tower you need to be aware of the limitations” he declared with a loud and clear voice, leading Sage to have no doubts that this was the first lesson he would receive.

    The first one of many, if he dared to hope.

    “Where can the tower not go to?” the elderly teacher asked abruptly, and the answer was on Sage's lips like a reflex “Somewhere where something occupies the same space as the destination?”

    “Correct”

    Then the wizard began to idly wander around the room, circling his new part time student. “Next are the limitations on how many times the tower can be moved. It only has a finite reserve of power, so no more than four times a day.” There was a limit? No, of cause there would be. If the tower was truly capable of going anywhere in the blink of an eye without limit then there would have to be some source of power that the tower would have to draw from. If it did, then it would have stood out like a lighthouse to anyone sensitive to magic, and then those perception spells would only work for so long before people would start to notice.

    But questions about its source of power could come at a later date. Victor was already instructing him about the final point of interest about the mechanics of the towers ability to teleport. “Just being inside the tower is enough to be able to interact with the spell matrix that binds all of the enchantments together” He stopped and held his hand out to the centre of the room. Magic flared as a circle woven from light began to form with runes glowing earnestly on the floor

    “This particular spell is the the perception filter around the door” Sage watched with interest as more runes began to form along the perimeter of the circle. “There. Now I have added you to the spells filter, now you will no longer have any trouble finding the door” the wizard snickered at the trouble Sage must have gone through. But the boy spared no attention to the teasing remark, instead he was piercingly scrutinizing the runes that made up that particular spell.

    “If that is just for a single spell, then how many in total are there?” He asked burning with curiosity. Victor seemed to consider something for a moment and then made a movement with his arms, as though throwing open a closed window. More magic circles began to form above and below the perception spell, each one branching off into a multitude of other runes that reached up to the ceiling and spread along the floor. Sage was startled as some of the magic circles he was looking at began to spread out further across the room, with additional spells becoming overlaid atop of others. Within seconds the entire room was flooded with spells that made up the heart and soul of the tower, each rune symbolizing a key feature that had been woven into it's very structure.

    If he squinted, and tilted his head a certain way, he could almost make out what one of the circles was actually for. Something, something rapid abort, direct mana too…

    What?

    Speechless, he knew that he was looking at years and years of history, each spell was unique, integrated by different people and carefully added so that every spell caused no conflicts. Everything from how the tower gathered energy, to how it constantly fuelled its other spells and failsafe’s had been considered and respectfully applied so as not to deface the spells that had come before.
    Last edited by Sage; 04-10-17 at 05:06 PM.

  9. #9
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    The runes were gone in the next breath. But even gone Sage felt that they had been burned into his mind’s eye as he desperately sought to understand what they had all meant. Some of the Runes were those he had seen before, simple ones meant to regulate the flow of Mana. But the others were different. Some were of foreign origin he felt for sure, while some seemed like they had been made up in order to fit a specific role.

    Alone they amounted to little, but together they created a language so ancient that had no tongue.

    “Was that how you moved us from Corone to Fallien, with nothing but a gesture and a thought?” He asked incredulously that the operation of the towers spells had been streamlined so much. Victor answered with a shrug of his shoulders, as though he was fully expecting the response.

    “In a sense” he said and stepped to the side and gestured for him to give it a go.

    Suddenly the task seemed daunting despite how simple Victor had made it seem. But he would try regardless and swiped his hand in the same manor he had seen the elder do. He paused with a baited breath when nothing appeared to have happened.

    “Ah, I’m missing something?” he queried seeking out his mentor, who stepped forwards to hold sage’s arm outwards once more “A destination” he supplied.
    Oh, right, just swiping a hand alone was only one part of the spell.

    A destination was all he needed then, so where should he take them. Where indeed, when faced with the prospect that he could suddenly go anywhere he found his first thought to be of Crossroads, his hometown. Unacceptable, he dismissed the idea completely, knowing that there was somewhere far grander he could go.

    Ah

    An idea came to him, a destination, so he made the gesture one more time, waiting with the same baited breath when seemingly nothing around them changed. But his attention was drawn to the windows, specifically the lack of the desert sun shining through. “Did it work?”

    “Indeed, let’s go and see where you have taken us” the wizard said keenly as he left Sage in the centre of the room and opened the towers doors in excitement. But his excitement did not last long Sage knew exactly where he had wanted to go, and solemnly followed after his would be mentor.

    “Ah. Raiaera. Lovely time of the year to visit too” Victor said with false praise as he stepped out from the safety of his abode, his shoes crunching heavily into the blackened wasteland of what was once the land of the high elves.

    Sage followed after him horrified at what he was seeing. The land was scorched. No, it was more than that, even the air itself felt as though something had gutted and twisted it. Even the sky was burned he noted in horror. “I did not think it would be like this”

    “Not many people do” His elder said mournfully.

    “Even I did not realise the full extent of the damage until I first saw it for myself” he spat, placing his tightly clenched fists deep into his pants pockets. “And no one really will understand until they see it for themselves”

    “I’m sorry” Sage apologised for the distress he had unwittingly caused. To which the wizard waved him off. “Me too”

    Something stirred off in the distance, as a shadowy figure lurched from the darkness sensing something was amiss. It shambled several feet as it wondered closer and Sage could just about make out the rotting decay of flesh that seared itself into his vision. He also saw with dismay the pointed ears of what was once no doubt a proud and noble high elf a time long ago.

    “Ah the undead, time to go” Victor remarked regretfully and escorted Sage back into the tower. “There is nothing to be done at this moment in time”

    Sage did not know what to say as he watched Victor stride up to the centre of the room and turned to him with a strange look of determination settling upon his wrinkled face. “There are plenty of people already breaking their backs to try and restore the country to how it used to be. Even I am trying to find ways to restore what was lost but my progress has been … lacking.”

    “Will it be enough” the young would be magus asked hopefully, to which his mentor slowly nodded “In time, yes”

    “And who knows, maybe several years from now, when you think you know more about magic then I do. Maybe you will come back here and make a difference.” He said with a growing smile that made Sage feel rather self-conscious at the hypothetical praise. He doubted he would ever amount to something like that, although the restoration of Raiaera was certainly a worthy goal.

    “And if you do, remember that it was Victor Friedman who gave you your first lesson on how to be a Mage” He said, making Sage curious as to what lesson he meant “Which is?”

    “Magic can be undone.” He said with a tone that brooked no argument “It may be a powerful force in this world. But you are right in saying that it can be shaped and moulded to suit a role.”
    But one look at the wasteland outside was enough to make Sage doubtful “But Raiaera was absolutely devastated” It did not take a genius to see that, it would take a life time, if not several just to undo the damage.

    “It has. But it will not always remain so”
    Last edited by Sage; 04-10-17 at 05:18 PM.

  10. #10
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    “Well this Concludes you first lesson for today” Victor said, seemingly perking up as he wondered over to one of the bookshelves and retrieved an old weathered tome. Sage watched with a keen interest as the wizard brought it over to him.

    “This is something I wrote down a long time ago when I was around your age.” He said cracking open the book to a random page. He smiled fondly at his old notes. “Think of it as my homework assignment for you, you did say you lacked the right reading materials, did you not?”

    He had wanted to show more enthusiasm, but Sage could not forget sight of that dead wasteland so easily. Victor quickly seemed to pick up on his thoughts and began to pat the boy’s crown, making him to turn his teal eyes back to him “Don’t forget, it will change one day, either by our or someone else’s efforts”

    “But not today right” The boy spoke softly full of remorse. Victor sighed, the day Raiaera fell was one of the worst days of his life, many of his friends and fellow wizards had been present on that day, only to disappear in an instant. Perhaps their bodies were still out there, writhing in their undead state, desperately crying for release.

    Perhaps, but it was not something he liked to dwell on, his research into the decaying land was ongoing but slow. He supposed he could find someone to collaborate with on the subject but… well. He had been scorned one too many times to put his trust in others. The Ainsworth’s being the exceptions.

    “Chin up, look forward. I don’t need a part time apprentice getting all mopey eyed on me” he said hoisting the boys head high and then giving his well-kept mane a fond ruffle. Sage smiled as he retreated from the elders reach. Victor was right of cause. There was no need for him to get all mopey about something he had no control over. He should be happy that his study of magic could now begin in earnest. “Thank you so much for this opportunity”

    “That remains to be seen”

    Sage chuckled at the faux flippant nature. “To crossroads?” the wizard asked. Understanding came across the boy, as he nodded, his status as the wizards apprentice would be up for debate, but there was no doubt in his mind that Victor would do his best to keep an eye on the boy. Two if he was feeling generous.

    There was no indication that the tower had once again jumped a continent in the blink of an eye, save for Victor gesturing to the door. Sage stepped through the entrance into the cold night air. A curious look came over the boy as he ventured further out and peered at where the tower had ended up.

    “This is not Crossroads” he said turning to look over the shoulder at the elderly wizard. Victor shot a look outside to see for himself at the forest they had appeared in. “It isn’t?” he said fully expecting it, causing the boy to grow more confused.

    “Well, it shouldn’t be far from here, we are on Corone”

    “I think” he paused for thought, then shrugged and entered the tower before the effeminate looking boy could call him out on it. He closed the door a second later leaving the boy to his fate as the tower jumped for the last and final time that day. Of cause it was only then did the wizard realise that he was still holding onto the tome he had meant to give to boy.

    “Oh dear”

    Now THAT was an honest mistake on his part, he truly had meant to give it to him. But it was not like he could go back and give it to him, the tower had used up all of its reserves in the days outing so he would have to wait until he next saw the boy to give it to him.

    So until then, he placed the tome back into the space he had retrieved it from and set about making his way upstairs. He thought for a moment that the kitchen was oddly bright, and unexpectedly he rose to see that the boys spell was still in effect.

    “lux” was the incantation that the boy had used, a small incantation at that. Curious he approached the ethereal ball of light and plucked it from the air and began to truly examine the spell that Sage had created using nothing but theory and guesswork.

    It was incredibly well made, the structure of the spell was sound and stable, one of the best he had seen if he was honest. But it was the other features that the boy had placed into the spell that caught his attention. First was how it was set up to behave, to follow the will of the user. An interesting feature since Sage had cast it using a predefined purpose.

    But the other was the apparent power draw, it was a simple spell, but even a simple spell took a certain amount of mana to take form. But the orb was operating on such a miniscule amount that by rights should have dissipated a long time ago. But it had not because it had been created with such care and precision that nothing was wasted, it used the barest amount it needed to stay in existence, nothing more.

    But even more curious than what went into its creation was the fact that the boy was now miles away and the spell had remained intact, and had yet to falter.

    “Well aren’t you going to be a fun one”
    Last edited by Sage; 04-10-17 at 05:29 PM.

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