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Kalmuli

The Pendulum III: Potions and Pleasantries

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Kalmuli had been looking the boy over as Makiel and Ingrid joined her. While his injuries were fine, it seemed like something had been locked away. She ran her hand through Aldorto's hair, eyes closed as she sensed it out. "Mmm...It looks like a seal has been strengthened on something that Salvine wanted to keep hidden away."She noted. That had to be it. If Aldorto's true self had been locked away again, it would definitely make Al feel exhausted. "Not to mention, it looks like whatever was in the stew was enough to trigger a 'stasis' effect. He'll be fine but it'll take some rest for him to accept any new changes."

Ingrid's brow furrowed. It seemed like Salvine had been trying to help but at the cost of just making the elf tired. She sat down at the foot of the bed. "I shouldn't have given it to him...but there's not much we can do now but to let him rest right?"She asked between Kalmuli and Makiel.

"Mmm...Rest and let Makiel do his thing. Being able to distribute this new energy about will help stop him from feeling so drained."Kalmuli said as she adjusted the quilt on the bed and rose from the stool she had been perched on. "I doubt us hovering will do him any good though...We'll leave it to you Makiel. Ingrid and I will get started on organizing the store front while you're busy."

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Makiel would start a flow in the other hand of the young wolf. Though the technique was very minimum in it's widening of the mana pathways, it was a quick and temporary fix so that way the wanderer could open the pathways more after the light work was over. A temporary fix to a problem. The pathways were coming open more to allow the new essence to ease into the boy's arms. "Damage Control. Normal for the stages of forest fires. If you can't prevent it, you can control the damage as best as possible. So there's a ward on the inside of his body that's causing a conflict...hmm..so I'll have to help the flow move into the right areas. This is going to take me a lot of time, I'll be here if you two need me. I'll want to check on your stock of herbs, I could see about putting together some oil to help me give you both a better treatment. Something to leave you as a parting gift."

Already, the stronger shadowmancy was settling into the young elf's body. His arms were dimmer, ethereal shadows were starting to cloak around the arms, a passive trick to help blend in better to darkness. The ward itself was parasitic in nature, pulling from the host to feed the body a set amount of essence. In theory, the false Al would not be able to do the job on his own, this would give a better chance at accomplishing the task at hand. With the work, as was predicted, that Makiel was doing, and the herbal solution that was fed to the elf, the original essence was but a trace left in the body compared to what the new essence was that was pouring into the body.

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Kalmuli nodded. "A massage oil? We have a few options already...but I'll show you the store room herbs and see what you can make. Who knows, if it's good, we may be able to sell it here."She said before approaching behind him, giving him a quick little embrace before dismissing herself to get to work. Ingrid lingered behind, watching the effects of Makiel's work. She felt incredibly guilty that he was struggling because of something she fed him and she looked to Makiel with a mingled look of regret and worry. 

"I hope this helps...I...don't know what I would do if he stays sick."Ingrid said, bringing her long thick braid over her shoulder and wringing it in her hands, squishing down the curls and thick bunches. "I hope whatever you do helps...We have plenty of potions so if you need anything...please let us know."

Ingrid would leave, heading to the shop portion of the Pendulum. Kalmuli was already  working on the lower shelves, removing bottles to give the smooth wood a good bit of cleaning and polishing with a lemon-scented cleaner. Ingrid would help by reaching up to higher shelves to remove the bottles, checking them over and using a rag to dust off the bottles. She stacked them in organized rows to keep them from getting mixed up. Getting the shop into a better shape kept her busy and kept her mind off of what was happening in the Ward. "He'll be fine...Makiel's definitely the better of the mana manipulators I've seen. Aldorto will be back to normal...perhaps even better."Kalmuli reassured the younger elf. 

"I know...but cooking is my pride you know? It's not really magic...but it makes people feel good. To have it make someone sick is...troublesome. Whatever Salvine put in it, I need to find a way that if something like that happens again, it doesn't hurt someone."Ingrid said, focusing on carefully wiping down an oddly shaped glass bottle. 

"He's not hurt...He's...digesting the mana? It was just such a thick portion of it, he's in a bit of a food coma."Kalmuli said with a shrug. "It'll be okay."

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Makiel took extra time working over the pathway leading back to the heart with each route. Whether it be from the elf's legs, his arms, his head, or his abdomen, Makiel made sure to make the path back slower and spend a lot of time increasing the pathway that lead back. Part of the work involved low chants spoke in tongue of the Primordial language. However it did not help much being that the mana that was flowing around was primarily shadow essence. Either way, after a long half hour of light manipulation of tissue and mana, Makiel was finished with his work. Aldorto's body took a darker shade now that the heavy shadowmancy had set into his body. For now, the link on the imprisoned wolf would run for a bit longer, pulling on his reserves. The young wolf almost had it's capacity of essence. It would be a long road ahead, however, the host Al would be pulling directly from the older wolf now.

After Makiel was finished, he went through the motions of ending his work, relaxing the body and focusing the flow of essence to it's original state. Letting the flow distribute naturally. The wanderer would leave from the ward to go find some water from the kitchen and go check on the guard wolf out back. The Yarakul from out back was asleep, being somewhat lethargic since there was no orders to follow. The wanderer took a brief moment to poke his head out back, notice the large wolf was asleep, than go back inside to the shop to find the elves. 

As he walked, Makiel would stretch out his arms as well as his legs in an attempt to stay limber. The scent of the cleaning agents as well as some of the residual scents that lingered in the empty bottles gave Makiel a clear path towards the elves and towards the storerooms. "Finally finished. Wasn't too hard of a process but his essence is hard to move." He'd managed to spot Ingrid at the very least. "So, if you'd be so kind, could you help direct me towards the raw ingredients Ingrid?"

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Ingrid looked up from her work of cleaning the bottles, Kalmuli just beside her a little hidden by her height. She looked to the older elf who made a shoo'ing motion with her hand to dismiss her. "I've got things here. Go clean up the storeroom."She said, giving Ingrid a little nudge before returning to work cleaning up the shelves. Ingrid sighed, putting down her bottle and rag. Ingrid would lead the way to the storeroom, sheepishly quiet as she lead him down to the basement level of the shop. It was much cooler in the basement, Ingrid taking the time to twist her braid and wind it around to make a bun at the back of her head.

The downstairs storeroom was kept locked most of the time and she took a key out of her pocket to unlock it, opening it up. It was fairly dark and she took a moment to use a small sparking spell to light the candles that kept the room well lit.  The air was pungent with fresh and old herbs in labeled jars with a large reference book laid out on a table from the last time someone was working down there. Ingrid ran her hand along the page, reading briefly about an easy stomach cure. "I like coming down here sometimes...it's much cooler than outside and it smells pretty nice. I don't have to worry about getting distracted much from my studies."Ingrid spoke, turning the page of the book. "This book has the list of all the plants we have and their uses. We keep some of the rarer ones in the locked cabinet there."

She gestured to a cabinet that had several bolt locks on it. "I guess I can start working on dusting in here while you're working on the oil."

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Makiel would follow with Ingrid. The smells of some of the herbs would strike him, however his senses were focused on trying to find the right oils to blend together. The change to a cooler room was a nice welcome change. It wasn't unbearably hot outside, however it was not that pleasant either. "I can understand that. It's nice and cool down here. That multiple herbs and spices down here makes a great workplace. I'll start by flipping through the pages of the book. See what you all have around here for muscle relaxant and for mana sensitive ingredients." 

Makiel would take his place, thumbing through the pages of ingredients to find what he would be needing to create a base oil to work with. The idea would be to create a base to mix with some other ingredients, if they were available, to customize the oils to Kalmuli and Ingrid's mana signatures. It would start with the base oil first. Some of the ingredients looked foreign, but there were a few that he noticed, such as the lavender. It would take some time to read on what would work best to have the elves blend up. So far lavender would be used in the bases for sure. A few of the little flowers that would be used to give a base of something to open up the pores of someone's body to accept mana manipulation as well as something to relax the muscles slightly so he could work easier. Next would be to decide what Ingrid and Kalmuli would be needing more of in their pools of mana, that would be something he'd have to feel for. A few of the pages held ideas for what could be blended together.

"Ingrid," Makiel looked up after spending around twenty minutes reading through the book of ingredients, "I think I might have something worked up. I'm going to have to feel your essence to see how to blend something specific to you. When you have a moment I'll get a feeling for what I'll need."

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Ingrid would nod, pulling over a ladder so she could start on the higher shelves first and took a spare rag out of her pocket to start wiping down the shelves and the jars. It was nice to be able to look over everything to recall her own studies. Ingrid looked over a jar of dried chamomile flowers, opening the jar to smell it before putting it back in it's rightful place. They often made teas and bath soaks with them. As Makiel asked for ingredients, she would pull the jars for him and gave them a quick wipe down to get through her tasks on the way and moved back up, going back to the next row of jars.  Ingrid found one though that she knew would be useful, sliding down the ladder with a jar of dried leaves. "Elderberry leaves are good muscle relaxants in small doses. In bigger ones they're good for cough medicine."She suggested, setting the jar on the work table.

Ingrid looked over at his work, tilting her head and rubbing the back of her neck. "Ah...I mean whatever you make for Kalmuli should be fine for me too...but her mana's a bit richer than mine."She said with a little shrug. "What do I have to do? Do you need my hands or...?"

Edited by Kalmuli

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Makiel would take in his surroundings for a moment. He'd gotten all the ingredients he'd thought he'd need for now, that was a good step. All he needed now was to figure out what Ingrid and Kalmuli would need in their mana pools. His eyes looked up to the assistant, "It's simple, I just need to feel your hands and a few other places that are concentrated to your essence to decide what the best course of action would be to manipulate your pathways. If you need more of a particular element, if you have too much and need it filtered, or even if you need an easier distribution through certain pathways. I'll have to do the same to Kalmuli. It's like an exam to tell me what I will need to be doing. It's best if you have somewhere to sit down for a moment so I can reach most of your body easily. That and I'll have to ask you some questions to get a general feel of your essence and make a 'profile' of it." Makiel moved to nab a stool from nearby, moving it to place in an open space.

"Please, take a seat and we'll get started." The wanderer popped his fingers and rolled his neck around, loosening up more. "I'd be glad to have your expertise in what herbs there are around here to work with. I'm a foreigner here after-all, so your herbs are not mine."

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Ingrid blushed a little. So he needed to get a little handsy? She couldn't hide the redness in her face and she plopped down in the stool. She cleared her throat a little, bringing her hand to her tunic shirt to loosen it leather holster around her waist and shoulders. She exposed her back to him, moving her hair aside. "Ah...does this help? I heard that skin to skin contact is a little bit better."She said a little awkwardly. Ingrid leaned forward a little, showing her back a little bit more. "What kind of questions do you need to ask? I didn't know mana and questions had such a connection...though Kalmuli says she can use it for fortune telling."

Ingrid rubbed the back of her neck, feeling awkward. "Kalmuli's brought some odd herbs back from her travels...actually one of her ingredients is a plant-like animal she keeps as a pet. It makes a good catalyst though."She said a she waited awkwardly for him to start touching.

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Makiel took in a deep breath as his mind went into a pseudo-trance state. "Skin to skin contact helps me feel what's going on beneath your skin better. I need to build an understanding of what you use your essence in. The properties you specialize in and what elements you pull from...or..I guess..schools you cast spells from...or even how you all cast here at all. The wardens from back home would pool together the necessary essence from the respective elements into their pathways than focus on the spell itself to cast. For example, if I wanted to change my form or even to grow claws for enhanced physical strikes, I would focus on the primal energies I keep stored in my body than focus them around my hands and cast the incantation by creating the sigil for the spell using my hands or by projecting a mental image of it, or even speaking an incantation command. Your methods could be vastly different from mine, however the mana still slips and flows the same."

The wanderer would take a place behind Ingrid to begin. Makiel placed an open palm against Ingrid's shoulder. His fingertips would conform around the her to press into her skin, searching for a mana pulse, feeling it's strength, how quickly it fired a signal, how easily it moved, it's tempo, it's signature. "I suppose we should start with your overall casting method, how you are able to cast your magic. Could you walk me through how you cast a common spell in your arsenal?" While Ingrid would talk, Makiel would begin tracing her mana pathways leading out towards her hands.

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Ingrid jumped a little when he touched her. She fidgeted a little but at least his hand was warm. She took a few deep breaths, looking down at the herb room floor as she listened to him talk about the different styles of magic casting. She thought on it, going a little half-lidded as she felt something start feeling her out. She shut her eyes a moment, exhaling and mulling his questions over. "We primarily work with the elements...and draw from spirits on occasion for large spells and summons."She said, looking down at her hands and to the backs of them. She wasn't wearing her gear but she didn't need it to cast spells. Just to focus and enhance.

"I do wear mana stones to enhance and focus the magic like a magnifier...I can use it to physically alter my body a little like you said but it's more...mmm...muscle? I can increase my strength and speed."Kalmuli said as she flexed her hands a little. "First we focus on the channels that connect each of them...There's seven and the coordinate with different areas from head to foot. From there it's drawing the mana through those channels to make the element we need and then re-channel it to an output...like a wand, staff or my gauntlets."

Ingrid would make a small example. From a place at her temple, the channel would open, the mana in her form migrating to that point and then focused it to her hand. A small light formed there that floated in her palm, dancing about like a little firefly before it went out again. "I can do it without an physical output...few people can from what I've seen, do it with just their hands..."

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Makiel opened his senses to magic, feeling the mana in Ingrid's body more up towards a focus point than back down to her hand. It was interesting, the way she described casting. 'Raw casting' as it was coined back in his home world, was not uncommon. Many of the archmages and archdruids could raw cast, as could some savants, as did a minority of the Wardens, including himself and the young Aldorto, and his uncle Kreigstad. It was a rare occurrence in this land it would seem. "So it's not so different from the way I am used to seeing others cast. 'Raw casting' is what it's known as back in my homeland. Being able to cast without a focus such as a wand, a staff, an orb, or a fetish. Well now, it shouldn't be that hard to get a feel for your essence. So, my next question then," Makiel moved his palm down Ingrid's arm, pressing with his thumb and forefinger to get a better feel for the mana moving as well as to feel Ingrid's muscles, "you work with the elements, so the energies of the world, primal energies? Fire, water, stone, air, flora, fauna, and the combination of those elements?" 

Makiel had not taken Ingrid as a druid, but this place, after-all, was not his home land so perhaps the druidic magics and primordial elements were not as uncommon in this land. Either way, it would be refreshing to work on someone that's common to his old warden fellows.

Edited by Fennis Ursai

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Ingrid looked back over her shoulder at him as he explained the similarities. That seemed accurate. She  shivered at the touch of his hand down her arm as she practiced the same little light spell again so he could feel it. "All of the above...but we just call them Elementals versus primals...primals for us in study are mostly ancient spirits. Far older than elementals themselves and tied within the branches of all things. Animal. Plant. Rock."She explained, wriggling her fingers as the light bounce from finger tip to finger tip in a playful way. Each time it moved, it would swirl around the next finger and back again. "I guess you could say it's almost Druid-like...but Elves have always been very close to nature. It's the most natural magic for us to use. We're made up of all these little bits of elements here and there that make us living beings so acting as conduits isn't hard."

Ingrid let the light balance just in the tip of her index finger. "I like going on long walks to really absorb it...and cooking is a good way to absorb it physically a little bit better since it's a combination of a variety of different elements."She said, sitting up a little bit more. "I appreciate the help though...I guess I don't really take care of myself any way other than just the skin. Nothing really skin deep."

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Makiel took in the information, mulling it over in his head and trying to make sense of what he was hearing. It seemed like 'Primal' magic in this world was far older, harder to reach. It was strange, the archdruids of the Warden Initiative would often have avatars of the primal powers wandering around the grounds, such as Ents, Guardian Beast Spirits, Dryads, Rumblers, Animated Stone Golems, and even the occasional Mushroom creature. This was all a normal thing to Makiel, seeing high level druidic magic and primal powers at play. It never really dawned on him that this wasn't a normal occurrence. 

Makiel remained silent for a time, working down Ingrid's arm and down to her hand. His thumb would trace the gaps between the elf's digits. After making the path down to the hand, Makiel would place his off hand at the base of Ingrid's neck, pressing his thumb and forefinger snug against both sides of the elf's vertebrae. The connection to Ingrid's essence was a simple task, being it's identity was not far off from what he had been used to working with. In a matter of seconds, there was a tug coming from Ingrid's hand, as though her mana was being drain out from where Makiel's fingers were running along her skin. He was making a conduit.

The wanderer had begun to open a new pathway into his own body where he would sap Ingrid's mana, taking it into his heart, where in the mana would be 'cleansed' before pumping the mana back out through the open conduit at the base of Ingrid's neck, flowing the refreshed mana back into Ingrid's body. It was a 'birth-right' he'd inherited from his family. Makiel's body would channel off it's own essence supply to his legs where it would pool up and become stagnant during the process to allow for a fresh channel of someone else's mana/essence to come into his body and be cleaned up and thinned to allow the mana to pass through their respective cycles easier. 

As for the massage work itself, having Ingrid's mana signature in his fingertips made it much easier to manipulate the mana points and the mana channels by allowing for more sensitivity to both. This would allow the muscle work to also go mana deep and manipulate the channels directly. In turn, the mana points and channels would reveal any 'knots' or 'kinks' in the connection. The work would help widen the channels to allow more mana to be distributed threw the body, which in turn allowed casters to pour more mana into their spells. Working on the kinks and knots that might come from casting for long periods of time, would allow Makiel to return efficiency to a caster they might have lost due to the clogged channels. As for the last trick, working on the channels and points of mana would also help 'wake up' the areas, allowing for refreshed channels and points, which in turn would allow the channels to easily push mana through and allow for less waste in casting. In short, Efficiency would improve overall, allowing sustained spells, such as flame throwing, to have higher sustained times as well as allowing greater control over the strength of spells overall.

Makiel's breathing was slowed down less than usual. He was in a state of calm while allowing part of his body to become one with Ingrid's. He would have to do this time and again, each part of the body he'd connect with and cycle to get the flow smooth. After the flow was smooth, he'd continue the connection and begin to manipulate the muscle and mana channels leading back towards the center of the body. This process would take time and concentration, especially the first time around. "The feeling might be a bit strange at first. I should have warned you. I'll be pulling your mana through me and back into you. It's mostly cleansing your mana and sending the refreshed mana back into your body. While I'm connected to you, please don't make sudden moves, or jerk, otherwise the connection will sever violently. If you need to take a break, let me know and I'll break the connection naturally."

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Ingrid had been fine with the touching as he moved around, sensing out how the mana moved through her. She stayed as still as she could, freezing when she suddenly felt her own mana be yanked back behind her where he was. It left her cold for a moment, trembling a little and then relaxing as it came back. She let out an uneasy breath and shut her eyes. It certainly felt a little better...not just cleaner but she felt like it ran as smooth as water through her. Ingrid didn't say anything while he worked until he made mention of what she was feeling. "I should be okay...When it pulls back it makes me a little cold though. I should be okay after a few minutes of this."She said, stopping her little light spell and settled herself to an easy, meditative state.  Ingrid would shut her eyes, relaxing her hands on top of her knees while he worked. 

She had to wonder if Kalmuli had also had this done? She hadn't had a chance to ask before they went downstairs. "I guess I'm pretty knotted up...I can almost feel spots as you pull kind of get stuck a little before moving on."

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