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Last Magician

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About Last Magician

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    The Grand Art, Building Artifacts, Flowers, Being Silly
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    Consulting Magician

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  1. My offer to be the scout for your thread is still on the table btw 

    1. Last Magician

      Last Magician

      Sure, if you like. Otherwise I could maybe post another and we'll see if that further entices.

    2. supernal


      Not a thing wrong with that plan at all. Have at it and I'll tag a new member that just re-joined the military and see if they'll have at it

  2. They used to tell me I was building a dream And so I followed the mob When there was earth to plow or guns to bear I was always there right on the job It was only as my winklepickers sank into the soft, fertile ground that I was really wishing I had my rowboat. Still, it wasn't soft enough that I was in any worry of sinking, but it was clear nothing could really be built well. Still, I had heard rumors of people being cut by shards of glass. It was only as I looked along the shoreline that I could see it- the flecks of obsidian twinking in the noon sun. After trudging in the muck, disturbing various crabs and slimes and other skuttling critters, that I did happen to find rock that was projecting upward, giving me at least a place to sit a moment. I set down my stave, lifting the lantern off its hook. The dirt had that rich smell to it, like I was wading through manure, and when I finally set myself down on the rock, I had to tear off my robe just to get away, all sodden with dirt and muck. I threw my hat into the lake, and looked up high and wide at the sky, eyes shut and arms open as I fell back against the stone. I didn't want to define where those heavenly eyes were gazing. And so close to Langley Keep that they could easily dispatch whatever pipe-hitting diplomat they liked. After all, I had heard I had been arrested and was now rotting in Old Ludovico's Puzzle Box last I heard. They used to tell me I was building a dream With peace and glory ahead Why should I be standing in line Just waiting for bread? I was a sleepwalker. I still am, I suppose, but it is an easy way to travel, just waking up tired. I closed my eyes, and all that waited there, beyond the centuries of memory, shelf after shelf of earth laid out like geologic time, and still, I came back to that dream. Just me, resting on a beach. I opened my eyes. Was the sun setting? Or was it morning? As a Magician, I had spent much time, walking in the liminal boundaries, but to the truth, I missed the moon and the sun, and all the stars. It was the first form of Magic anyone should know, and I was now denied it. Any moment that blast could come and render me, so far from any life, not an armament or shielding to protect me. If he wished. Then again, I knew the man well. He was the ground I walked on, every stone and plot of the firmament. Because he had too. I knew the truth of it all. Once I built a railroad, I made it run Made it race against time Once I built a railroad, now it's done Brother, can you spare a dime? I gazed out over the lake, from my rock, and in the darkness, far away from anyone, I closed my eyes and opened them again, an I could no longer tell the lake from the heavens reflected in the water. It had become a mirror, and I watched the stars fly over us all. Some were just phantoms, running out time, but having died centuries ago. Illusions. But still they were here, the photons they cast struck the back of my tired eyes, setting off a shock that rattled into my head and told it to project light. Or some such like that- I couldn't be sure anymore, it had been a moment since I had cut my own head off or seen my own guts. I opened my waterskin, taking pull after pull after pull before I threw it behind me. I sat just in my ruined trousers, feeling the salty taste of portable soup melting on my tongue. "Should have boiled that one up." I said to myself, gulping it down, looking down at the leather-bound crumble. I didn't need to eat or to breathe or do anything like a human, pretending to be alive, that my time was slowing being spent. And yet still I enjoyed it. Did I just give myself hunger to tie myself to this word? To remember need? Once I built a tower up to the sun Brick and rivet and lime Once I built a tower, now it's done Brother, can you spare a dime? I looked off to the west, and I could still see it peaking over the horizon. And when my vision would cloud and I'd find myself drowning in a sea of need and horror, everything still just where I had left it. Except my tower was filled with horrid monsters and apparently, there was some manner of civil strife. Plague and death and the urge of war and young children growing hungy for blood while the old fed on the flesh of others to try and stave off a death that just stood to wait. An engine of hate and joy and pleasure, of fire and earth, crowing a scale of wonder and horror. I opened my eyes, and saw the bright light come, and felt the godly wrath of a god tracing its finger across its own face, smudging out my name in the ledger. How the light would turn my bones to dust, giving nothing for the crabs to eat. The lake would get a little bigger, boiling out. The desert would creep over more, but eventually, after the flies and roaches and fungus had their say, then maybe one day a little fisherman would sit by the lake, wondering why there was so much glass about, and look up into the sky, and worry the same things as me. Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell Full of that yankee doodly dum Half a million boots went sloggin' through hell And I was the kid with the drum But it didn't come. There was no beam. But what is a punishment to someone as me? To kill me, all anyone had to do was ask. But in truth, after the end, I would just sleep without walking, and then one day, wake up again. Is this what Martin had warned of? I couldn't say, But I knew who was coming. Even as I watched the crabs drag off my robe, and felt the insects buzzing and bats squeaking over the air. A wind pushed through, and I felt the blood leave my hands and feet and my teeth start to chatter. With just a little finger, I willed it, seeing the servitor form. It was given a single task and then it would end. It glowed, before flying off into the sky, conjuring the request materials before exploding into a shatter of fireworks. I slowed my perception of time to watch the light twinkle, for a second the whole lake bright. The light faded, color twinking in the dark. I smiled, wondering how the light must have looked in my azure eyes. Was it the madness people saw or the wonder? Say, don't you remember, they called me Al It was Al all the time Why don't you remember, I'm your pal Say buddy, can you spare a dime?
  3. I could see it sent the boy into rapt contemplation, but merely noted it before turning to the girl, brows going up as she talked of Lord Raphael's tower and the Whispernights, not quite sure what it was, but it all sounded quite terribly ominous. Still, I let her have her moment. When she asked if that was a question for here, I shrugged and smiled a feline grin. "Who knows! Magick that fetishizes success and mistakes it for efficacy is a truncheon. You say how do you save your lands? I ask you transcend event that. Then again, we magicians tend to have a bit of an apt reputation for caring little about the affairs of the world and avoiding problems, and there isn't really a very good answer as to why or what one should do. But we'll talk more about that later because I think you both could benefit from the second point made- to talk a moment on the 'schools of magick'" "When we divide up the so-called 'branches or schools' we start to take on a rather... dangerous crutch. Descriptions of the schools of Magick, or what it can or cannot do are, unfortunately, woefully inadequate. You see, there is a firm rule in any sort of investigative inquiry- to rely on a tool is to subsume its weakness. Got a hammer, you see only nails. Say magick is one way, and you are literally denying yourself capabilities. Still, just doing what you want all willy-nilly is about as effective as a rowboat without paddles. Your limitations define you, and give you focus." "Great example of this would be... the theory that magic operates on a metaphysical energy source known as Mana. This is wrong, but it is very efficacious in its wrongness, and treating Magick as an energy is what allows all variety of Magicitech to be developed. Some schools say this IS what magick is... but if that is true, and Magick is an immaterial energy source... then why do dowsing rods still work to find water? What about rituals? What about magick without casting spells? It's not all wands. If Mana is a thing, which ingredient gives mana its power? What about the power of prayer? Do God's have finite 'mana levels'?" "Suffice to say, this is a narrow view! And because it is well believed, and others are not willing to see an alternative, the whole of society subsumes that limitation. In the case of enemies of that society, they would view it as a weakness. Do what your opponent cannot is the easiest way to play to one's advantages, and to many, for millennia, Magick was treated as the sole means to power and social authority." "And the counterpoint? Mana is the only way to understand magick. Except for the fact that magicians have been using the Numina theory for centuries. Just like the arguments between whether space beyond our atmosphere is a void or a substance known as aether have gone on in science, Mana v Numina is one that has raged. You all are experienced in the Mana theory, so I won't address this much further, but in your spare time, attempt to research Numina- you will find it much more elucidating." "We can go into magic outside spellcasting a bit later, but before that, we first have to look at.... how do we come up with a good framework of magical division? How do we separate effects? Do we go with what has always been, or do we separate our own? Personally, I try my best to incorporate as many things as possible with as few conflicts as possible. The Numina frameworks allow this. Before Mana, all you had was time as your reference, and the fact that time is infinitesimally subdivided is a fatal error in any framework. Onmyodo, Theurgy, Shamanism, Elemental Bending, are all compatible under Numina theory, when in fact, they all represent dramatically different subdivisions and assumptions on how magick works." "So yes, on to the good stuff. If we divide magic into effects, it can be said that magic all comes under a few... well, verb infinitives: To Know, To Create, To Destroy, To Control, To Change. More scientific magicians will say that nothing can be created or destroyed, merely moved, and so you sometimes will see words such as conjuration, destruction evocation, invocation, used in lieu of one or the other. Whether this control is say... control of a given domain, such as running a country (dominion magic), control of the dead (necromancy), life itself (Druidism, Vivimancy), summoned beings, elements. So in that case, tell me how you both would divide all magick, and let's see if we can first improve the framework you are operating under. See what you know, and what you want to actually learn and focus on, and maybe see if we can't add to your respective toolkits as Magicians."
  4. "Hmmmm," The question stopping him a moment, setting his feet back down on the ground, pulling a little copper spoon from his sleeve, which he used to start digging out his bowl, "What a peculiar notion. Happy. That's an odd one. At face, I would have to say yes, though I will say that on the bad days of being a user of The Art, the stakes are much higher than you can fathom. Well, maybe you could fathom it come to think of it. The Victories are as equally grand. I am constantly in awe of this thing called existence, though that awe is tempered on either side of Wonder and Horror granted by The Art. Though I will admit, I indulge in both simultaneously in most cases. Magick will grant you a level of agency that most common people would even believe is possible. And your intent? Doesn't matter at all- all that matters are your effects. Your actions will have consequences, even with the best of intentions That is why my Soror was so mean to me- it was understood that magic amplified intention, so anyone who was a higher degree had a responsibility to not only teach them magick but also try and help to make a moral and ethical mage that measures their actions. But learning magick is the most innocent thing a Magician can do. Using it? That's another matter entirely. So yes, you will fail, you will destroy lives, and you will hurt people you care about. You accept that and do the best you can anyway." Going back to my podium, I take up my bag and add another pinch of the ol' black magick to my pipe and take another long, slow drag, trying to get a good coal going. I then draw back. "As you see though, it becomes a yes and no. The actual journey of learning magick: once I realized that The Art was something that existed, I couldn't stop thinking about it. I needed to know everything I could. That obsession has been a eudamonius one, though I could count off tens of thousands of mages who have since passed into memory that weren't so lucky, so maybe it would be better to ask the dead if they felt it was worth it. Most of the time though they will just ask you to let them go back to bed."
  5. Taking a few long draws from my pipe, I draw from behind the podium, dragging my chair till I was seated in front of my small class. "If there is no further question, for the moment, I'll proceed." I lay my pointed winklepickers on an empty desk table and sit quite close in front of my class. "When studying anything, we have to start off by rectifying our terminology. Magick has tons of it. Even worse, everyone learns different meanings for the same words, which means two mages that agree in principle on the same things might never know it because they use entirely different terms, or the words they use have different meanings to each other. Commonly, back in the old days, when I was a wee little scrag being dragged before my teacher, who was scary as all get-out mind you, the first task I got stuck with was I was dragged into a tiny tiny room, almost like a cell, and every day I was given a new book. Even worse, she cursed me! Can you imagine it? Imagine if I cursed you right now? How horrible! My curse was this: for a year and a day, she would provide me no food. Instead, I had to read. Not only that, I couldn't read the same things over and over again, even if it related the same information. For a year and a day, I was forced just to read. She never said anything to me, instead just sliding books in, and dragging books out. And there was nothing else to do in my cell. I started wasting away, reading and reading and reading, faster and faster and faster, trying to absorb many words that I could. I read more books than I had ever read before. And I couldn't read very well at the time either. And these books... they didn't teach me magick either. They were just essays and terminology. Dictionaries of symbols and rhetoric. Theory, very often conflicting ones, of an Art I had no skill in performing. They talked of astral travel and communing with deities, which all seemed just fanciful to me. A year and a day later, I was let out, half-starved, my deep tan I had earned from many endless summers upon the beach I grew up on had faded, and I was even more pail than I was now." "It seems cruel, but magick... is not always good. As I said before, even when performed with the best of intentions, dire consequences can follow. When I was first learning, the idea was that the training should be brutal with a high washout rate, because not everyone can handle the power. There have been wars between mages. I've lost students. Most of the people I've ever met are dead, and in some cases, Death would be preferable than the horrors that one can unleash. That is why most mages would deny an apprentice three times- you had to WANT IT. More than life itself and be willing to die for it. People would be willing to kill you just for knowing it. You will be hated and feared even when you are perfectly nice, and it is up to your heart to not remain jaded. At the time, I hated her for what she did to me, but it only took a few years practicing magic to realize what she did for me." "Scary stories aside, if you're gonna start learning magic, you have to study. Before year one, apprentices would train a year and a day just learning and reading. Personally, I don't really care- I totally agree with their view, but whether you become a magician is not up to me, its up to you. If you want to get good, start reading. Symbolism, Mythology, Theology, Philosophy, Science, Art. Learn about every magic system you possibly can. The library here is replete with knowledge. Learn Paramagical studies like Stenography, Cryptography, Chemistry. Take up crafting. Pottery, gemsmithing, woodworking- anything that interests you. You must always remain starved for knowledge, and you must always keep learning. Hunt out the great mages of the past: Merlin, Morgan Le Fay, Cagliostro, Eliphas Levi, Atlantes, Alcina, Hermes, Dionysus. Search! Go! Find! Learn! Seek! You get a whiff of the word magick you find out what they are teaching and you ring them fucking dry." "More importantly, what have you done before? Any skill in crafting or anything like that?"
  6. In case it happens to be giving anyone any trouble, please ignore the note stating that I will be back to edit. Please, proceed. If there is anything going on, feel free to let me know in PM. :)
  7. "Archaic!" my face slackens, "They aren't archaic- it's just that many misguided young mages seem to think that magic is only good as a weapon. We used to put each other to death for such thoughts back in the day, the irony of which being the hilarious part. But seriously, don't fall into that painfully obvious pitfall and creative ghetto that is 'magic as a weapon': you'll be in poor company living short, pointless lives and to be honest, you're wasting both our time, which in truth, is the only weapon. I digress though, Potions are an excellent and sensible art, and again, you're using matter and a person's own body to house a spell- what a perfectly balanced medium!" Before I've even got another breath out, the assault continues. "Magic is broad! You're right. It is, by definition limited only to one's imagination. That imagination is your most vital tool. Alchemist called it "The Secret Fire". It's another name gets overused by people who don't understand what it is and tend to mislabel some... proprietary state of magical energy: quintessence. And yes, it will be essential that you all learn Evocation and Invocation, of which I would be more glad to teach you." And again, the enthusiasm is endless, which would be endearing if I could manage to match it again one day. "Polymorphing! Yes, that too. Equip-style magic? I've heard that phrase used a few different ways, you'll have to clarify. First to Zinnie and then we can get back to that." Turning my head to the two voiced girl, staring intently at her forehead, having learned the hard way to never look anyone directly in the eye when first meeting. Sadly, it had been many a young mage that had attempted to murder me mid-class, so never looking people in the eye had become a nasty habit that I just couldn't shake. "A sensible question, Zinnie. We can broach it now and go into deeper discussion as the day goes on. As for when we will learn all these things- that's up to you three. There will always be time for questions, and nor should you stop asking them, because to be honest, I am a tad rusty and a mind is never better sharpened then by a constant assault of good solid questioning. That being said, the actual lessons will take you through the absolute fundamentals. You'll all be first rate high-court magicians when I'm through with you- or you decide you have nothing left to learn." "Again, to actually answer the question, it's simple. Elemental energy... is a crutch. Energy can act in any way energy can act, and elemental magic... is almost a state of matter as far a Magic goes. Any real simple view of nature will tell you that... other then maybe a binary star, there aren't any honest to goodness binaries. Again though, Elemental energy, or any 'special state' of magical energy, and its view that there are five or however many elements one chooses to believe in, is still a solid crutch for a beginner but one you'll eventually discard after outgrowing it. If it works for now though, keep it up- it can still elucidate many principles. When we discuss Shamanism and Onmyodo, it will actually be quite vital to us. Personally, I learned to understand the flow and shape of "Magical Energy" if there really such a thing, which there really isn't, again, another incorrect but vital crutch, from the understanding of four elements, but you can use as many as you like. As for the balance of them? Balance can be asymmetrical or... uniform, just to keep away from binaries. Personally, I hold that Virtue is the center of balance between vices of excess or deficit, so that way you can view any element from how it really operates, but what you're suggesting can at times be vital to in effect- render another elemental magic user's spell inert, but you're talking a zero-sum game that gets really boring after a while. Most fundamentally there is only one really good binary in all of magic- creation, and destruction, and really, that's all the dominion of Conjuration, which we'll all be learning together." [Authors note: Yes, there are a bunch of typos, but I'll deal with them later. Answering the questions were more vital and I'll do some sprucing up in the morning and delete this note when I have]
  8. I narrow my eyes at the gent with his hand melting. I think a moment, weighing it in my mind. "In system- you simply build with chaos in mind. Magic turns to chaos without the will to sustain it, but nothing in this universe appreciates anything static. Energy cannot potentiate itself, so without a caster, a spell does not exist, because it is not "willed' to exist. As for the laws themselves, understand that they operate on a dynamic system- again, nothing remains static, so any way you keep things moving along, great. That would be the textbook answer." Pulling a simple, clay churchwarden from his pocket, he blew into it gently, blowing it out for a moment before taking out a small kit from within his vest, which by all rights would be too tight and form-fitting to actually fit. Undoing it he opened one side, he took out a simple little doll, pulling the head off revealing it was a handle to a pipe cleaner, which he shimmed into the stem. "That being said, you wouldn't want to do it that way, to get the effect you want," looking down, inspecting the bristles before I blew on it gently, placing the pipe clean back in its doll holder and setting that back inside the little wooden slide box, before removing one of the pinched-up pearls of his prefered herbal blend, labeled Unicorn Hair, still for sale in the Gypsy Market hidden under Blairville. He was glad he sold the recipe- Giaccapo deserved the fortune he had earned. "The real answer is you wouldn't want to use a spell. Spellcrafting is susceptible to chaos more than most, and the only way you slow energy from flowing is to turn it to mater. House it in an object, preferably something of great power, like a relic to a well-worshiped goddess or ye elves of the hills for that matter. Something that is great without that power, that would not be consumed and overwhelmed by it. An object can house the spell. But an object breaks. Still, if chaos is entropy, the only thing that really slows entropy down... is life. Place it in a being. Beings have will, they can exert their will over it. That is how we have spellcasting in the first place. Of course, it will change the person though. Everything changes, especially when using one's body to house that force. The difference ultimately is though, that you can change into what you need to be in order to survive, or you refuse to change and let yourself be destroyed by it, hoping you can carry it into death. Hope and Dispair are the only two paths that story can end. I prefer hope personally, but in truth, I'm loony as a barn owl." Crushing the pearl, I break it into the basin of my pipe, snapping my finger, a flame appearing at the tip of my thumb which I dipped inside until smoke was produced, taking a slow, measured draw before blowing it toward the ceiling. "Also- take up smoking. It's a delightful habit and it is always important to have hobbies." I smile, setting the pipe in the corner of my lips.
  9. After hearing five voices but only three (four if you counted "Brutus"), that merited a peek up at his cap, a big fluffy spider crawling to the crown of his head. He blinked, his azure eyes staring at them, something dim and sorrowful in his look, before cracking them a quick smile. With a tap the gibus sprang up, popping out to a full topper, to which he set atop his head, letting the fluffy spider get some shut-eye. Given it had six eyes, that was quite a bit of shut-eye it needed to get. "Salutations, class," giving the slightest of nods, yawning a moment, "forgive me, I've not taught students in some time, and so, amid my retirement, my sleep cycle has been quite wonky. In any case.... is that all of you? No more? Going once? Twice?" The door swung shut. He didn't gesture and it swung shut, it just did that on its own. He didn't even glance up at it as he minded his notes, climbing up to the podium that sat in front of the desk. If anyone came in late, they were in God's hands now. "In any case, welcome to...." glancing back at the board, "Magick. I'll be your teacher. You may call me Professor. Please do not refer to my last name, I'm supposed to be rotting in Terranian Prison from what I've heard. Just so you know about me, I used to be the Arcmagus of this...." looking up at the ceilings, the sky outside before looking down and mumbling into his notes. "Universe. The first lesson I would like to teach you though is that when it comes to learning the Grand Art, there are no experts. Arcmagus is just an elected official, determined by a body of other Magi, or Maga in the case of feminine individuals." It was an odd thing for him to say, knowing that his face and voice certainly would leave one to believe, and undoubtedly his students, that their Professor was female. The kohl liner and foundation certainly didn't help either. "In any case, there are no experts. When it comes to magick, there is only one standard to discern the gold from the dross: Efficacy. Of course, do keep in mind that it is a poor painter that blames their tools for their failings. My job today is to at least put you on the right course." "If there is any question as to my credentials... merely look to my tower in the town of Blaurg, which this nation has so surreptitiously renamed Blairsville. Since I left I've heard its become something of a donjon- how dreadful! When you all build your own giant tower in the space of a night and rebuild a town after it gets burnt to the ground by an airship invasion, then you get to stand at the podium." "So... to start things off: Questions?"
  10. So the kid wants to learn Psychic powers and Onmyodo. Neat! Come on. I'll take all comers
  11. So it looks like we have two so far. Be mindful that there is a punishment for coming to class late. I don't tolerate tardies in my classroom. Back in the day, I used to turn my students into chickens. I am still waiting for a ruling if that would be permissible. I am still thinking it is.
  12. https://www.valucre.com/topic/39761-blessed-be/ There ya go ya bunch of maniacs. Be sure to sign in and God help us all.
  13. I opened the door to the dusty academy room, things looking sufficiently abandoned these days. I had always told the Saint that these sort of things aren't done in the open as such, but then again, perhaps that was why I had been placed in charge of the Herbology department. After all, the school was already sufficiently filled with killers, of what use might be to actually learn something of Magick? I laughed to the thought, the lecture hall quite dusty, and was able to get a nice sneeze out of the air, to which the windows obliged me and swung open, the dust forced from the room violently and out the window, and sent everything that wasn't bolted down shaking. I left the windows open, letting the spring air waft in. Wandering over to the broom closet, I pulled out one of Camiel's old coat racks, setting my wide-brimmed straw hat on one of the hooks and tossed off my blue robe along with it. Pulling the swivel chair out from behind the desk, I let the big fuzzy spiders crawl their way out and find better hiding spaces in the corners of the room. From there, I removed my frock coat and set it likewise behind the chair, and trapped one big fuzzy spider under my white gibus. With that, I made sure to set the lacings of my waistcoat, tightening my garters and making sure my spats were cuffed sufficiently over my winklepickers, but not running over my trousers. Opening one of the drawers, I found, behind a blood-stained athame, a box of chalk, to which I set about writing the class title and my name. MAGICK: THE GRAND ART Prof. J.H.A. Aldoid From there, I merely took my seat behind my desk, put up my feet, placed my gibus over my face to rest, finding the spider most hospitable company, and awaited the madness that was to come.
  14. Okay you wacky crazy kids. If other people want to join, that's fine, but I'll start the thread now and if others want to join in the fun, that's fine. Since this is... kinda... a class, I suppose we'll be meeting on the Gaian academy. I'll be starting a thread later tonight and we can get this shindig started. I'll post again in here with the link so everyone gets an update.
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