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Introduction to Arcane & Metaphysical Theory 1000
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Andu Kirost
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andu had silently taken his usual seat, sitting on the floor while leaning back against the back wall of the lecture hall. Silent, subdued, contemplative, yet alert and taking notes. Though an occasional raised eyebrow was given at the displays, it would seem that Andu would forgo any displays himself, or even any active participation in the discussion, in favor of giving thought to the material and displays given by others.
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Layla
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:51 pm    Post subject: Offense Versus Defense Reply with quote

“I agree,” Layla said when she was called upon after Fliss.

She leaned back in her seat and continued, “I almost view Sorcery as offense and Mysticism as defense. True, you can use both offensively or defensively, but primarily, Sorcery affects other things versus Mysticism affects the person. For example, offensively, someone could do more damage if they created a tornado that rips across an entire continent versus if someone turned himself into the Hulk. Defensively, sure, I could protect myself a little if I made an ice shield or put up a wall of fire or something but, depending on the attack, I may be way more protected if I turned my skin into diamond armor or something fantastical like that.”

“Depending on what someone’s preference is, they might prefer one over the other. Offense or defense,” she concluded.

Just like a girl with straight hair wishing for curls and a girl with curls wishing for straight hair, she longed for what she didn’t have. Since her abilities seemed more Mystic in nature, she wished she could do Sorcery and devastate a whole city or something equally impressive. ‘I’d be way more important to The Company then,’ she thought.
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Atticus DArcstorm
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As both young women spoke, Atticus nodded and had adopted a more serious tone. He always did when really discussing the actual metaphysical mechanics of Arcana.

"I've heard it said," he began as he stood before the podium, "That there is no 'fair' in philosophy - a maxim I'll now adopt since this is an academic class, and neither love nor war.

"I'm going to take a little from both your answers," he raised his hands gesturing to Felicity and Layla, "And see if I can't give all of you," gesturing to the class entire, "a little bit more to think on." One of the transparent boards changed, and listed the headings 'Offensive', and 'Defensive'. A list of all the Schools of Sorcery and Spheres of Mysticism appeared under each heading.

"Now, you," gesturing to Layla briefly before turning to gesture to the board, "Suggested, or implied at least, that these were two, if not the two generic categories for magic. Allow me to make this suggestion, by means of alteration," he gestured to the board, and the categories changed to instead be labeled 'Combat' and 'Utility'. "This is actually a closer approximation to how I was taught."

"Now," he began again, this time gesturing to Felicity, then to the boards and their recent change, "I think this is an excellent illustration of one of your points, which was that magic is essentially subjective - something I'm almost certain I've heard somewhere before, if I could only remember where." He was clearly into the conversation, to have uttered such a rhetorical ironic musing - aloud no less.

"But is it the magic that's subjective? Or is it more appropriate to say that it's us, as users, who are subjective? Consider for a moment the more broad notion of the difference in how magic is used, what it is for, or what different subdivisions of it are for. Offense and Defense are too limited in scope for how they should actually be categorized, but, it is the perfect example of our own limited subjectivity - which is one of the things we're trying to overcome here.

"A few examples, and I promise to be terse," Now for the attempt. "First let's look at Sorcery, one of the most obvious uses is combat, but where it can be used to do violence, it can also be used for immunity to the same element one is using to effect damage. That is to say, using Enchantment and the right elemental school can render you immune to that element. To note one of the specific examples you've given," gesturing to Layla again. "Diamond skin would almost certainly be affected through use of Enchantment and Geomancy; where as Alteration and Channeling combined could prove to develop a sort of natural armor, it would still be composed of biological matter. Further outside the scope of combat at all, Pyromancy can make simple fires - or flares, though Spectramancy can also do the latter. Hydromancy could conjure or purify water, all of which of course fall outside the scope of combat.

"In regard to Mysticism, allow me to offer a more complete array of some of the potential in regards to its use both inside and outside of combat. Channeling, Meditation, and Mentalism are three Spheres commonly only used retroactively by the wielders of the Spheres; that is to say by improving ones physical or mental stature through increasing strength or charisma artificially, and in the case of Mentalism, for telepathy. What if you externalized both Channeling and Meditation, however? Used their energies to, respectively, reduce an opponents physical ability to defend itself or render a foe comatose? What if you used Mentalism to overwhelm a foe with illusion that not even Spectramancy could duplicate, one that applied to all their senses - or perhaps even their memory or whether they view you with hostility or not: these are all within the scope of an accomplished Mentalist.

"All of this is said without even broaching the subject of Necromancy, which is among the most potent and versatile of magics wielded in combat, able to injure anything which is living, regardless of elemental affinity or opposition, and if a wielder is powerful enough, able to command that which is not living." He let that hang in the air for a moment before continuing, "We will not dwell long on Necromancy, however, unless there is anything the student body wishes to explicitly discuss; more focus than that is outside the ethical boundaries of the mandate of this class."

"With that, I'll allow any more of today's discussion to be student lead, though I will readily participate if there are any concerns or questions. I hope the takeaway, in part, from today's class will be an examination of the similarities between magics themselves, with consideration towards the concept that the divisions we see in it are largely superficial, and of our own making. This isn't a criticism of course, but a rather logical commentary; magic is a supernatural, metaphysical, manipulation, and where there is no unified knowledge, those with the talent to perform it create their own sort of structure to make it accessible to themselves.

"Before you go, again, if there are no more questions," he raised his hand to halt the class from leaving just yet, to those who would immediately do so, "We have one more class, and we'll be covering the Problem with Wood - water can be effected with Hyrdomancy so long as its outside your body, but not after you drink it; the problem with wood is this - is it alive, dead, or unliving? Or is the problem in what magic effects it and how all in the mind of the mage? That and Hybrid casting of spells using both Sorcery and Mysticism, next class."

The transparent boards winked out, and he moved behind the podium, organizing beneath and opening his own Codex. He'd stay until all the students - except Kincaid - had left, and entertain the questions of those who stayed after as well. He also kept a steady gaze on Lady Spiritor as the class ended; she'd put on a much more elaborate display than some of the other students, but there was something about it. One of the things she used, he was certain that she'd labelled it wrong, but he wasn't certain that she'd done it intentionally. One of the effects she'd displayed had been Necromantic, of that he was certain, but without many of the hallmark after effects of it's use. He would write her directly, Codex to Codex. He hadn't meant to overlook the complexity of her display, he had merely been trying to ascertain the veracity of the effects she'd used. If he would not have had a moment of insight explaining how she might achieve a Necromantic effect without realizing it, he would have sought a different explanation.
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Ammy Spiritor
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ammy found the discourse about what was deemed best for a practitioner a twisted, Pandora's Box with neatly crafted Schrodinger Cats tucked into every nook. The point of what was best being very subjective was true within Ammy's own mind as she reviewed briefly her attempts to teach her children the arts of weaving magic. However the relabeling Professor D'Arcstorm presented; taking the Layla's two sides of a coin definition of Attack and Defense to be rolled, drawn out and rewoven as a thick strand of infinite possibilities with Combat and Utility had Ammy staring at the boards behind Atticus. Centuries of study from several continents, realms and life times and not one of her teachers placed the dichotomy of magic in such a way.

Ammy gave a small sigh and a slightly audible face palm as she feels truly like the proverb 'Always something new to learn'. Though now her mind was ticking and picking away at what could possibly be considered Utilitarian Combat spell? Then again the Codex shimmered and winked with the lectures topics for next class and she felt maybe that was a topic worth exploring then. She hadn't noticed how far off in thought she'd wandered until she saw students walking past her and leaving the class. She blinked a few times noting the lecture was over.

Ammy tossed some of her crimson hair over her shoulder and began to pack her Codex away to leave, mind already a swirl with logistics, council meetings and the trip back home again. She noticed a slight glow from a page on the Codex and saw she had a message from Atticus. She leaned on the table and looked it over. Necromantic Sphere? One of her spells? She felt something ill root in her stomach as she wondered perhaps some of her varied lives did take root within her soul. She nibbled on her lower lip and closed her Codex tucking it into her shoulder bag, then she moved to the front of the class to politely await her turn to speak with Professor D'Arcstorm about something she'd done, her mind worrying over the magic performed, nervous and unsure of what was necromantic in the display.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bastion had been silent, and had not drawn, etched, or broached a pencil in any way, shape, or form, since being reprimanded - even if it was for a just cause. A sullen look had stolen over his face as he leaned against his hand waiting for the class to empty, except for any others who had direct reason to speak to the professor at least. He stared at the doorway he'd created, and Atticus's question plagued him. Where did it go? Then a thought struck him, such a simple solution he almost slapped his own face.

Labels. Titles. Names.

They needed something that defined them. Not a description in total, that would be too long; it needed to be something short, yet evocative. It had to be something he could write or mark on a page. Something symbolic that identified what he drew, in total.

A True Name of some sort.

Mirroring Ammy unintentionally, he began to chew his bottom lip. The professor intimidated him, he didn't know what to expect. Should he even be trying to puzzle out a solution, or would that just lead to more trouble? He pulled the hood of his shirt over his head and dry washed his face with his hands. He hated anxiety.
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Atticus DArcstorm
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

“Your first reaction, Lady Spiritor, I'm sure will be to refute my observance, but I ask only that you give it consideration.” He began speaking when the room had dwindled down in size. Only Ammy and Bastion remained, and it appeared as though he was going to address Ammy first, and leave the young man hanging as it were. It was on purpose, as he intended to take longer to decipher just how Bastion was using his conjuring; he had the vague notion that the boy was playing a type of roulette, and had thus far been lucky in not conjuring anything which he could not put down. Without training, that might not always be the case.

“Your display was exceptionally complex; following it was like watching a skilled gymnast, seeming to glide effortlessly from bar to bar, their body going through a formulaic series of convolutions. I use this analogy because a gymnast in mid routine has little time to give thought to the construction of the bars they use, or what they're connected to; they're just a stepping stone in the greater overall performance.” One of the transparent boards sprang to life, glowing softly like a screen, the image fading on until it showed the displays of magic that had been given earlier, cycling quickly through them until it came to Ammy. Atticus's eyes seemed incandescent in the light of the screens, burning a brilliant blue as they scanned back and forth, controlling the playback of the Mage Eye spells that warded his classroom. The scene paused on the Seventh spell she had cast and played through it in slow motion, then sped up again until it reached her explanation near the demonstrations end. Ammy was speaking:

"The seventh spell was Channelling allowing me to reclaim and channel the energy I spent on the prior spells back into my body to allow the eighth spell."

Atticus paused for a moment, regarding Ammy with an arched eyebrow.

“The terminology you use there, 'reclaiming', is not suggestive of the Channelling sphere – and neither do I think you misspoke. I wonder, Lady Spiritor, if by chance you have been availing yourself of Necromancy, albeit touching on the negative plane which powers it through some sort of sleeve of positive energy, perhaps.” He stared considerately for a moment, recollecting tidbits of earlier conversations with Ammy. “If you are open to the suggestion, I believe it may explain some other phenomena for you; if you were unknowingly exposed to entropic fields, and had been using those kinds of effects while subconsciously weaving spells to protect yourself,” he fell silent, and shrugged.

“I could delve deeper into your arcane weaves by means of a reaving dispel, but I don't know that that's necessary. The manner in which you're using it, if you are and if indeed it is accidental, is certainly not malign. I am just raising it to your awareness, that you may better ward yourself.”

“Mr. Kincaid,” the professor looked up towards him, back towards the door the boy had made, then to the boy again. “I'll be with you in a moment.”
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Atticus DArcstorm
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The forthcoming chat with Ammy had been relatively brief, considering the subject matter, but had included the clause that they would meet privately, later, to talk more in depth. The entire conversation was kept from young Bastion's ears by way of defensive wards that Atticus had woven to ensure privacy. The privacy he afforded Ammy, of course, would be no more or less than he would afford Bastion.

"True Names," he spoke as though he were reading Kincaid's mind. Perhaps he was. "Are dangerous business; they can be used to unerringly summon things, but without corresponding ability to control, the risk in using them to summon is great; using them will also undeniably draw attention in a negative way. Most things do not wish their True Names to be common knowledge, and will want to hinder those that use them."

The High Mage and Professor stared holes in Kincaid as he spoke, using his words to bore into him, into his mind, making sure they were imprinted. He continued to lecture, though his words were wind to anyone but Kincaid, until they were truly alone.

With a gesture, the doors locked. Another gesture lifted Bastion out of his seat, body stiff as if frozen, towards the door he had conjured, and Atticus. The look he gave the High Mage was one of disdain. There was no outrage, as the youth understood the possible consequences that could have ensued creating a gateway to a random plane.

"Now, Mr. Kincaid," Atticus drew close to the door, and Bastion dropped gracefully to the ground - whatever effect having levitated him allowing him to gain his balance. "Let us examine where this door leads."
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