Magic Affinities


#81

Ebenguard Tracking

It had been hours since Balim had found any tracks. The ground was undisturbed. There were no broken branches, or bent grass. There were no obvious signs that anyone had been traveling along the path that he himself rode. It had been this way for hours, which meant his quarry had noticed the pursuit and was using a spell of some kind to hide signs of their passage. Signalling his horse to stop, he dismounted to inspect the sun dappled forest floor. The smell of the earth was warm and tinged with the afterscent of rain. There was no way his quarry would be able to escape making prints in such soft dirt.

Balim stood up and swore to himself. He never liked taking on those who used an innate power like he did. Walking to the saddlebags on his horse, he thought back on the woman who had shown up at his campfire three nights previously. Her clothes had been torn and disheveled. She was clearly distraught, and it took nearly five minutes to calm her down enough that her ramblings took on a recognizable form.

Balim boiled some water over his fire and prepared her some tea as she explained what had happened. She, her husband, and her daughter had been traveling from a small village in the south to visit family in the north. They had been attacked the previous night by a single man. Her husband had been murdered, her daughter had been taken, and the woman’s innocence had been shattered.

Balim had grown stone faced through her story, bustling around his campsite, packing and moving his supplies around. When she had finished speaking, he gave her the reins to his usual packhorse, now carrying only half of the normal supplies. Pulling on his power, he nudged the consciousness of someone empathetic nearby, ensuring that they would come across the poor woman.

Swearing he would get her daughter back, he had left her there, following all the tracks and signs that he could, using all of his normal skills to track what he thought was a normal person.

Jerking himself out of his daydream, he pulled out a wide, circular shield and a bag of sand. He set the shield down on its face and removed the arm strap, before pouring in a thin layer of sand. He smoothed the sand out before placing four rocks tightly together in the center, each representing a cardinal direction, and one stone held up by the first four, representing himself. Pulling out a small pouch of stones, he began clearing his mind, and pulling on his power.

Closing his eyes, Balim extended his arm and dropped several stones one at a time, allowing his mind to wander. Upon opening his eyes, he saw that the grouping of stones was heavily concentrated in the Northeast part of the sand. Pulling out the stones, he smoothed the sand down again. This time, he set one stone in the center and three others by the rim of the shield, equidistant from each other. One segment represented unharmed, one represented harmed, and the last represented dead. The middle stone stood for the girl. He closed his eyes and dropped a single stone. Unharmed.

Smoothing the sand again, he set stones in a vertical line across the sand. Each segment stood for half a mile. He rolled one stone in the sand and it stopped just short of the fifth stone. Nearly two and a half miles to the Northeast.

Balim breathed out sharply, the birdsong seeming far away. The wind shifted as he dumped the sand out of the shield after collecting his stones. The darkly tanned man placed the shield back on his saddlebag before mounting his horse and taking off. He didn’t bother to look for signs or tracks as the trees blurred by. He pushed his horse to a blistering pace, the sunlight warm. The wind cool upon his face.

Before too long, he saw birds shooting out of trees in the distance. He could see the truth of why they fled, and knew he had found his prey. It was near to another half hour before he was close enough to draw and string his bow. The forest seemed silent. Almost like all the beasts that roamed were in silent mourning. They knew who stalked among them. They knew peace would return to their forest. Through battle or through speech.

Pulling upon his combat magic, Balim muttered “Atoch mataam verbii”, feeling energy flood his body as he gained nearly double his normal strength and speed.

He nocked an arrow as he passed into a clearing, seeing a man clothed in dark brown and black waiting for him at the other end. Dismounting his horse, he stayed by the treeline, looking for any traps or tricks.

“You have a girl in your care. I’ve come to return her to her mother.”

The man on the other end of the clearing just laughed. “I’m surprised that whore was still able to talk at all. She was quite entertaining, you know!”

“Hand the girl over or suffer the consequences. You’re better than this, Randulf.”

The man took a step back, visibly shaken at Balim’s knowledge of his name, but quickly recovered. Instead of bandying about with words, Randulf hurled an axe towards him and started sprinting.

Balim calmly raised his bow and shot the axe out of the air, nocking another arrow that was loosed towards the charging man. A sudden gust of air knocked it off course, Randulf barely flinching. He had pulled another axe off of his belt, this one considerably larger than the first.

Balim dropped his bow to the side, not having enough time to safely loose another arrow. Instead he drew a long, curved blade, spinning it around as he did. The axeman roared and attacked, swinging the axe in a massive overhead arc that Balim ducked under. He flicked his wrist and sliced open Randulfs wrist during his downswing, the axe dropping reflexively.

Not wasting a moment, Balim spun around and stabbed the man straight through his shoulder, pinning him to a nearby tree. The axeman was howling in pain as Balim removed his gauntlet and placed his bare hand upon Randulfs forehead. “Make peace with your actions, sir. As I must make peace with mine.”

Using his power, he showed the man his true calling, and the truth of what his actions had wrought upon the world. He showed Randulf what had been and what could have been and how things still would be. Before the blood had stopped flowing from his wound, tears were flowing just as thickly from his eyes.

“I will work to counter the pain you have brought upon this world, Randulf. Now go in peace.”

Balim stood vigil by the tree until the man had died. He yanked his sword free, cleaning it off before sheathing it. He shook his head in sorrow before heading to the other side of the sunlit clearing, the girl tied to the base of a tree, bound and gagged. The man’s horse had already run off.

When he removed the gag from the poor girl’s face, she sobbed through her tears, “How did you find me?”

Balim helped her over to his horse, deep in thought before looking over at her and smiling. His eyes sparkling as his wrinkles crinkled. “With some sand and some stones dear. Just some sand and some stones.”


#82

Hokay, I’m giving this a try. It’s 940 words. I may droodle (drawdoodle, sketch, noodle, or otherwise tinker) later. But I was caught with an idea.
Morgan of Ebenguard (Makepeace).docx (14.6 KB)
:dizzy_face:

EDIT:
Morgan is a “Waking” Ebenguardian, someone who knows they have a gift, but doesn’t have any knowledge of the Guilds to which they might belong or to the community and roles they have inherited. Magiq uses the user. Bringing in a couple elements of Truth and Calling (Morgan being called to her profession) and Evolutionary Magimystics (possibly having inherited her gift) into this snippet; she is a Peace-maker, in contrast with some others who have a stronger affinity for Combat Magic, but mastering the one requires mastery of the other.


#83

I enjoyed the way you portrayed a “Modern” magi. The way you accented the magiqal phrases made them feel less rehearsed as if those words struck a tuning fork against her soul and it felt right. She wasn’t taught. She simply used her magiq. Truly beautiful.


#85

Great story, Deyavi!


#86

@Augustus_Octavian and @VictorianFlorist, thank you both.


#87

Im a little in love with this story
Great work!


#88

I just did a short story-ish thing for Bestiary Arts, which is the Magic Affinity I am most drawn to for Balimora. I have uploaded it below because it is a bit long to post as a single post on the forum.

Run Davis Run (Bestiary Arts).docx (14.1 KB)

I would also love to know if you all have different thoughts on what Bestiary Arts could be, since this is just my take on it. I also stole @Deyavi’s file name template, so thanks for that!


#89

I love it @Brendon! That’s a great take on Bestiary Arts. I always assumed it was magics focused on helping animals (kinda like Husbandry), but taking on their aspects makes perfect sense as well.

Dammit, now I want to go dig up old episodes of Manimal on youtube.


#90

What happened to your cool story about Marraketch? D: That was like one of the most magical things I’d seen. :broken_heart:


#91

Oh no! It’s gone? I posted it in the spellcasting thread!


#92

Oh thank goodness, I couldn’t find it so I thought it was gone. It’s such a lovely post!


#93

Thank you for saying so! :grin:


#94

One of my uncles dropped off a manuscript to me a while ago. I’m at work, or I’d try to transcribe it. From what he says, it’s right up my alley, and just skimming it, I can say that he’s right.

He told me one of his colleagues found it at a dig site near ancient Thrace. He was asked to translate it, but made another copy for me to look over before he gives the dig their copy. From what I can tell, it’s an ancient thracian manuscript on evolutionary magimystic spells and magiqs.

Since that is one of the relatively underexplored schools of Ebenguard Magiq, I wanted to let you all know I’d post as much as I can as soon as I’m free from work.


#95

Aaah that gets me all pumped! I’m ready to learn more about the Ebenguardians of the past!


#96

Alright, I’m finally out of that crappy warehouse and I have time to transcribe the first part of this manuscript. Keep in mind, there will be parts that are poorly translated, or unable to be translated at all, due to the particular Indo-European language it was written in had completely died out in the fifth century. Roughly 400 AD, or CE if you’re particular about the system.

This doesn’t particularly read like a story, it feels more like the journal of a Magi. If it is a bit dry in places, please forgive me.

1: This week we found a nice coast. The Aegean has always calmed me down. Both Rodreg? And I need the rest. Especially since there’s much we need to discuss. We always knew what we wanted out of our lives. It’s been as clear as the stars in the sky. Rodreg wants to protect and guide and help all he can. In the martial sense. I want those things too. But I’m more of a scholar than a warrior. Not that I haven’t had to fight before. Frequently.

My path feels like more of a trailblazer. The first buck to break through foliage. The first bird to see new land. I want to do that so others can follow as well as they can. Rodreg thinks I’m a dreamer, but I’m already getting results. The only bad part is the intensity of the method.

Animals change. This is clear to me. After many years and many generations, they change. I’ve been attempting to bring that process to humans, on a much more rapid scale. Understand, without Magiq, this would be impossible. But just this week, I have done the impossible. I have changed!

I can see in the dark now. I don’t believe I can take it away without damaging myself, so it’s not like the shifters Rodreg and I encountered in Macedonia. I’ll need to consider this Magiq carefully.

2: Rodreg couldn’t believe it. He had to use his truth Magiq before he believed. His praise was gratifying. We also had a serious talk about the necessary precautions with this Magiq. We can’t let it be used for ill. We are sworn to uphold the light. Our hold father (Guild mentor?) Would tan our hides if he knew we were being irresponsible. It is in the interest of dissuading the foolish and advising the just that I lay out my method.

First, I think on what change is needed. It must be the calling within you that tells. For this, I would advise using your truth Magiq or calling Magiq. If not sufficiently confident in these approaches, scrying works just as well. Secondly, you must think on how to accomplish this change. For instance: my night vision required me to stay in almost absolute darkness for nearly a full week. Thirdly, you must ready the magimystical part of the spell. The incantation at the beginning, after each day, and at the end of your ordeal.

The final product speaks for itself, but getting there is a burden. Rodreg wants to try making his skin tougher. I’ll write more then.

3: It worked. Thank (unable to translate), it worked! This time we got to see the results as they were happening. His skin is like leather now. Like those great horned beasts that come from the East. He is still recovering though. If he had not pleased with me to continue, I would’ve quit after the first day. I was required to beat, cut, and flay every inch of him I could. I think it is safe to say that the method may be considerably worse than I had originally intended. Thankfully, our combat magic includes various healing spells. I needed them. And a bucket. It is one thing to wound a worthy enemy. It is another thing entirely to wound a friend.

Rodreg is conscious. He says his pain tolerance is much higher now too. I am grateful. It doesn’t take away my shame. I can only pray that my actions have saved him and others from needless pain and death. He has thanked me numerous times already.

I may never forgive myself. I truly believe it was necessary. But I cannot shake the feeling that my hold father would be disappointed in me.

4: I tried a nice, easy method on an animal. My raven. I kept him in a cage and held up three cards. I had him peck the card with a circle on it to get food or attention. The first day was spent showing him where the circle was before turning it around. The second day, I didn’t show him where it was, I just had him peck at random. He wasn’t quite good at it initially. It took a while for him to get food.

The third day, he was right almost half of the time. The fourth day, most of the time. By the fifth day, I could hold up seven cards or more and he would still find the circle without seeing it. I believe I’ve helped him change to the point where he can use scrying Magiq. It was a surprise, but it verifies that magical creatures other than human can be out there.

My name is Neir. I am one of the faithful guardians of the tide. The ebb and flow. I have done things I am not quite proud of in the name of this new Magiq. However, I know it was the right thing to do. We needed to know the possibility, and the consequences. Rodreg hit me upside the head for saying it may have not been the right thing to do. He is right of course. He has his path and I have mine. He was aiding me in mine, just as I was aiding him in his. We balance each other, he and I.

I will include more of my manuscript later. Rodreg and I are moving again. We were attacked on the shore. My raven warned us in time to be ready. There were somewhere around fifteen men. Rodreg and I slaughtered them. They couldn’t hack through his skin. And nobody beats a guardian on level ground. Even I, the scholar, took six on my own.

I have decided to find my raven a mate and attempt to change her as I did him. I will call them Stormravens.


That's it for the first pages of the manuscript. I realize it's a lot less of a story than a journal, but it seems that ancient Ebenguards, even the scholars, weren't much for writing. Their history and spells and Magiq were typically told orally in a communal "hold" or hall. I hope you found this first part as illuminating as I did.

#98

Balimora:
Momoko was supposed to be at a party right now, but frankly, she wasn’t feeling it. Instead she found herself outside, bathed in the Moon’s light, hiking up the mountain. The air smelled sickly sweet of spring blossoms, but that was one thing she loved about the spring.

She hiked to the summit of the mountain and came to an outcropping of rocks that overlooked the valley below her. “Beautiful,” Momoko murmured to herself. She stood silently in place for a few moments, meditating in the quiet nature she was surrounded by. With a deep breath she turned to leave, only to be startled by a mountain lion observing her from a few feet away.

Momoko froze in her tracks, her eyes wide. The mountain lion watched her closely, but didn’t seem too upset with her presence. She hadn’t even heard the mountain lion approach her from within her meditation. “Amicus meus,” She said quietly to the large cat. “Et nemo vult nocere.” The cougar flicked her tail and took a tentative step towards Momoko. The cougar was limping and now Momoko understood why she had sought her out.

Opus sanitatem,” Momoko said with realization. Momoko met the cat halfway, stepping slowly so as not to startle her. The cougar sat back on her haunches and stretched one of her front paws out towards Momoko. Momoko took the paw gently in her hand to look over it. There was a large cut going across the center pad on the bottom of the paw. “Oh you poor thing.” Momoko sighed in sadness. The cut was deep and swollen, Momoko was lucky the cat had found her before it became infected.

Momoko sat on the ground in front of the cougar to connect her body to the earth below her. Taking a deep breath and closing her eyes she pulled energy and magic from the mountain and the forest and mumured, “De terra erit vita, et cum hoc industria, sanati estis.” She opened her eyes slowly to see the cougar’s paw engulfed in soft light, not dissimilar to moonlight, and watched as the gash on the paw knitted back together.

“Good as new!” Momoko said happily. She set the cougar’s paw on the ground and stood. “Omnis bene est,” Momoko said to the cougar. The mountain lion stepped towards Momoko, nuzzling against her thigh.

Gratias tibi,” The cat’s thought rang out in Momoko’s mind. With that last word, the cougar bounded off into the forest with a little cub dashing out from a nearby bush and running after her. Momoko let out a sigh of relief and sent a silent thank you to the mountain and forest for aiding her in her mending spell. With that she turned and hiked back down the mountain, thankful she had been there to help the lion and her cub that night. And also endlessly thankful to the earth around her.

For those wondering, she was speaking Latin to the mountain lion. I don’t know why, but for some reason I always picture the Earth and those in it speaking Latin. Maybe because it’s an old language; anyway, I hope you enjoyed my look into the Mend spell and Beastiary!


#100

Another Short Gossmere Story

Jonathan walked quickly down the cobblestone street, the fog casting halos around every gas lamp lining the long avenue. A large textile mill stood, stately and imposing, on the left. He had left there at 5’o-clock with the other workers, his hands stained indigo from dyeing the bolts of cloth woven that day. He had made mention of a curious book he’d run across in the library to his brother, who worked in the same factory. It had no title, but four locks on the cover kept it from being pried open, even by his strong, work-toughened hands. When he got home from work (after telling his brother about this strange volume), he had found an address in the north side of the city written on a scrap of paper in his lunch pail. He figured it was just a practical joke from his brother, but following the address to its destination was too good to pass up. He thought he could at least cajole his brother into buying him a pint aftewards.

He came to the house in question: a large, rambling manor with turrets, porches and a private, walled garden to the side that he could glimpse beyond the bars of a fence in a gap in the wall. The outside was unlit, and no lights shone in any of the house’s many windows. He peered into one of them, seeing only shadows. He rapt the door twice, and no one answered. He knocked again harder, and the door swung open from the force of his fist. He was surprised that a house of this size and quality, and in this neighborhood, would be unlocked at this hour. He walked in, his eyes adjusting slowly to the lack of light. He wandered through the entryway, through a parlor and into a large glass conservatory. It was filled with lovely, tropical plants. Moonflowers climbed an elaborate trellis on the south wall, their white blossoms nearly glowing. He squinted his eyes and blinked a few times; the door at the other end of the room was open to a garden, the one he must have seen on his way in. Slowly, cautiously, he made his way out to it.

The garden was simple, but elegant, with shade trees, winding stepping stone pathways and a large fountain dominating the center. He kept perfectly quiet, as the garden gave him a feeling of sanctity and gravity that he did not want to despoil with noise. That was, until, he heard a loud purr from a high branch. His gaze searched the branches of one of the trees, a hazel. His eyes landed on a tabby lounging among the branches. He heard another sound behind him, and saw a calico lazing on a stone bench. His eyes darted around the garden, cats regarded him impassively everywhere he looked. None were moving, or even grooming themselves. They all watched him coolly, as he slowly backed out of the house, turning and breaking into a sprint as his foot hit the threshold of the conservatory.

“Do you think he could have helped us open the book?” Miranda asked, sitting on the stone bench with her hands folded in her lap, to no one in particular.

“If he cannot even abide a garden full of cats, I doubt he possibly stomach our other… idiosyncrasies.” Marco snickered as he made his way down the trunk of the trunk of the tree, reaching for hand and foot holds on the way down.

Ophelia’s face was just as impassive about Marco’s barb as it had been moments before, as a cat, “Just because he’s not Gossmere material doesn’t mean he join one of the other guilds. I sense a power about him. He could not have found the Book of Briars otherwise. Come, let’s get back into the house. I feel a storm coming on the winds. Best to be sheltered when it hits.”


#101

@Augustus_Octavian this is brilliant! also is this the agreed upon place for short stories?


#102

I think you can post short stories anywhere in Campfire for the most part. This thread is related to the magiq gifts/affinities of the guilds in particular. Some people write stories and other folks write definitions or descriptions. But Campfire is a pretty flexible place for posting all your creative work.


#103

Check out the top post - it has links to each guild summary from Ackerly Green’s Guide to Magiq (our “sorting hat” as @Eaves likes to call it. Each guild has “Magic Affinities” listed - these are short stories fleshing out those snippits. If it hasn’t already been inferred, my story’s about Gossmere’s “Shapeshifting Arts” affinity. Like @Deyavi said, some people put narrative stories illustrating the affinity while others post more solid definitions/descriptions.