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Introduction to Arcane & Metaphysical Theory 1000
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Atticus DArcstorm
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:49 pm    Post subject: Introduction to Arcane & Metaphysical Theory 1000 Reply with quote

Class: Introduction to Arcane and Metaphysical Theory 1000

~ ~ ~

Without change, something sleeps inside us and seldom Awakens.
The Sleeper must Awaken!
Frank Herbert, Dune


~ ~ ~

Horizon Amphitheater. Mage Hall. Academy of Bristle Crios.

With a capacity for 60 students, the classroom chosen to hold the Theory class in was much larger than was needed for the turnout that Atticus expected. Magic, in more colloquial parlance, was sometimes a touchy subject, he knew, among it's practitioners; usually People of the Craft had a set and rote way of doing things, of casting their spells, of viewing magic in general, and each of those ways worked – for that particular practitioner. Atticus, however, had always been more interested in theories which could encompass a larger number of paradigms, work for all those paradigms, and yet not invalidate the theories which were already in place. For many years he had sought, and still sought, a truly Unified Arcane Theory.

Teaching classes on what he had theorized so far seemed a natural extension of that work. He often found that with an attempt to create a spell which was truly difficult to cast, work in solitude allowed one only to progress so far before advancement began to plateau, or at least happen with much less regularity. Sometimes the mere act of explaining something to someone with an outside perspective allowed one to adopt that same perspective enough that you could again innovate.

It had been in a discussion with the Headmistress, Ms. Lydia Tolmay, regarding – lamenting would be more accurate, were Atticus to lose his stoicism enough to say he felt any sorrow because of it – the increasingly slow progress of his work. He'd often considered himself better suited to research than to teaching, given his usual largely aloof disposition, and had in fact thought she'd felt the same way when she had offered to subcontract him out to Pengallen Corporation for a research grant in lieu of him hosting classes. Though he hadn't remarked at the time, he found it odd that she once again suggested he teach, after already assigning him the prior commitment. If work in the first had slowed, however, and teaching were a way to increase his efficiency at it again, he deemed it logical. He was not prepared, however, for her suggestion that he divide the coursework into more than one class, as it seemed to him to draw out the time away from Pengallen; he did understand her suggestion on the basis that the work load might be too much for the students, and so accepted that suggestion as well.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Atticus stood at what served as the head of the room; in the roughly oval shaped amphitheatre, a podium and several transparent boards arrayed behind him at the narrow end of the the oval and looked slightly upward, watching the twenty some odd students enter into the classroom's wider end, and filter down the rows into their seats. For a moment he let his gaze drift further upward towards the domed ceiling. It's deep indentation and dull, yet reflective surface, would provide a good backdrop in future classes for showcasing particular spells or effects. At five minutes past the start of class, when he was relatively sure there were no more latecomers, he began the class.

“Good afternoon,” from the beginning he spoke slowly, deliberately, “I am Atticus D'Arcstorm, and I will be the professor for Introduction to Arcane & Metaphysical Theory 1000.” As he spoke, both his name and the name of the class appeared on the transparent boards behind him in large, easy to read, dark blue lettering; it was as though the class were being narrated for the hearing impaired, or perhaps for the facility of those who simply were slow at taking notes. “There are some of you here I recognize, from other classes – Professors – or from around the campus; some of you are completely new to me, though for future consideration you may assume that I never forget a face, name, or especially Practitioner of the Arts. Before I begin, I must confess that this is not the class I had originally intended to teach; it was brought to my attention, though, that in order to teach the class I desired, it would be better if there was a prerequisite which established the proper conceptual foundation. I will state now that for the remainder of the class, the terms 'arcane' or 'metaphysical' theory will be used synonymously and interchangeably with 'magic', unless stated otherwise; you can thank some of the faculty from the Combat Annex for that, or at least their ignorance in not realizing you could juxtapose the terms.” His tone was very, very dry. If it were someone else, it might be said that he'd tried just now to slur the faculty from the Combat Annex, when in reality he'd just been stating a fact.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

“Originally, I was going to start off by asking – 'what is magic?', and go from the responses I received, perhaps detail some of the foci that people use in their spell casting, such as wands, spell books, holy symbols, that type of thing. The problem with beginning with that is twofold. Firstly, magic is highly subject to not only the spell caster, but the person who is viewing or is being acted upon by the effect, and secondly, because of the first aspect, it would be quite possible that none of you would give the same answer as any other student. Given the chaos sure to ensue, I thought the better of it, and so settled upon something else, though some of you will likely decry the alacrity with which I am willing to label people. That being said, judge me as you will. I have decided to approach the subject as though neither you, nor I, know anything about magic, and we are all approaching it from an unbiased perspective.”

“There are two types of persons,” he'd been standing behind the podium when he'd started speaking, his words continuing to filter onto the screens behind him as the old ones faded. Now he began to pace slowly back and forth on the floor before the chairs, raised up as they were, in staggered fashion before him.“There are the Awakened – people who are familiar to even a small degree with magic, the supernatural, the extraordinary, if you will. These are people for whom magic, vampires, werewolves, deities who walk the earth in mortal form are not necessarily commonplace, but are accepted as possible – even if unlikely. The other type of people are called, or defined as, Sleepers. Sleepers are for lack of a better word, mundane; their worlds revolve around what they can define by normal human – or animal perhaps, that would be a digression – senses. They get up, eat, go to work, come home, eat, sleep – perhaps with some sort of recreational activity thrown in on some odd days. For these people, technology has taken the place of what magic might have been, or might have done; not the technology one might find here in Rhydin, or floating somewhere in Rhydin's space, such as the Star's End Spaceport. The type of technology I refer to them having are things like... a toaster oven, or washer and dryer, or perhaps an automobile.” He frowned, and corrected himself. “A car, rather.”
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

“The fact that society can be divided into these two categories of people leads us directly into Consensus. Consensus is the term that we use to describe what we all, to the very greatest extent, agree that our reality is. We all agree that if we jump, we come down again; if you hold a match to a block of ice, it will not burn; that you are sitting there in your seats, and that I am at the front of this classroom lecturing. We can all agree on these things. This comes into play with magic due to the simple fact that magic – especially to people who are unschooled in it – appears to change, or not adhere to, or allow other things to not adhere to, the laws of reality as we have agreed they are. An additional, and important point about Consensus is that it can, and does, change. It can change over time, or, it can change determined by who the 'group' is that determines it; for example, and I apologize now if I come back to the same examples in the future, but I wish to make this something you can remember, and perhaps relate to: if I were with a group of say, pyromancers, and no one else was around, there was no danger of anyone else viewing what we were doing, our Consensus would dictate that air, or perhaps anything in fact, could burn – even perhaps ice. That would be our agreed upon reality, our Consensus.”

“This last fact brings us into another duo, not types of people now, but types of magic: Coincidental and Vulgar. I shall try to be terse in my descriptions of these, as I believe that they are fairly straightforward. When magic falls within the purview of any kind of Consensus, when it does nothing to violate the laws of reality as all onlookers would see, or be effected by it, it is considered Coincidental.

An interesting note on Consensus while considering this; imagine a person, mundane or awakened, who constantly in their life deals with repeated circumstances which are rare occurrences for most others, such as a firefighter. A firefighter is more apt to be in situations where they are surrounded by fires, and probably – at least if they are likely to survive – water; because of this, many spells which have to do with either fire or water are completely Coincidental around firefighters. Everyone here, if you consider, would likely not find it out of place for a large fire or explosion, or jets of water blowing through the air, to be accompanied by a firefighter. Or perhaps the example could simply be a person who is indecisive; for a mentalist, or someone skilled with the workings of persuasive or mind-effecting magic, many spells cast on an indecisive person could be considered Coincidental."
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally, we move onto Vulgar magic, which is even easier to explain than Coincidental. If an illusionist decides to do something such as, because we're close to Halloween, make the walls bleed. Or if the above mentioned pyromancer decides to start conjuring a whirling vortex of fire in an empty, barren field – or out on the bay – in the dead of winter. Things like these are considered Vulgar magic; they completely abandon the laws of reality, eschewing them specifically to be altered to suit the whim of the magic user casting the spell or spells. To relate back to the beginning of the lesson, magic cast in the presence of Awakened beings is always Coincidental – they are supernatural, superhuman, and their perspective of reality is suitably skewed to reflect this; magic cast in the presence of Sleepers is often, but not always, Vulgar. The only reason it is not always Vulgar is that there are some effects which are not detectable, or that can be replicated with technology of some kind. I will point out, though, that even if a Sleeper cannot see an effect, that does not make the effect Coincidental; for example, the subconscious mind of a Sleeper will always be aware on some base level of a spell which tampers with their mind; it is not necessarily the viewing of the magic which makes it Coincidental or Vulgar, but whether or not the magic, or how greatly the magic, bends reality.”

He felt as though he'd been speaking forever, especially one so unused to idle conversation. Thankfully it was on a subject he enjoyed, at least. He paused deliberately, to let everyone catch up for a moment, and to let what he'd gone over so far sink in before he brought the entire lesson together.

“The final component to today's class is Paradox. Paradox, as you may be familiar with it, is a statement or proposition that seems absurd, but when studied proves to be true. This is similar to magical Paradox in that reality is a certain way, but when magic is applied, the rules which once governed reality are no longer true, and are instead replaced with the a truth dictated by the mage. Paradox for a mage is what happens when reality, governed by Consensus, fights back or tries to reject a mage imposing his or her new reality upon it.

“The greater the Paradox, the more strain is placed upon the spell caster; this might be manifest in several different ways, in accordance to the magic being used and the Consensus it must fit; a mage might find that their spell fails, which is the least troublesome, or that they are even injured in the casting, which is much more troublesome."
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

“Certainly while some of you might not have ever seen a mage die in casting a spell, you must have heard of them being 'burned out', of losing the ability to cast spells – sometimes temporarily, other times permanently; sometimes the touch of Paradox weakens a magic user, leaving them feeling drained of energy as though they had exerted everything they had physically – even though the casting of a spell might take only a gesture. Some mages bleed, some develop palsy, and as I implied before, if the backlash of Paradox is strong enough – if it violates Consensus in such a grandiose way that, for example, it results in Sleepers Awakening, the backlash might be strong enough to make the mage bleed from the nose, ears, eyes, or even die as though they had suffered some sort of cardiac arrest, or an aneurysm or the like.

“Arguably worse, Consensus may seem to calcify to the point where reality simple rejects the existence of the mage entirely, and they and whatever effects they try to achieve become all but invisible to reality – and everyone or thing within it, save those things touched by madness, whose attention is generally unwanted.”

He clasped his hands behind him and he stopped pacing and stood directly in front of the lectern, facing the students. He took his time, giving them theirs to finish any note taking. Glancing sideways, his view took in a tertiary transparent board and he raised his hand to gesture to it, making vague writing motions with his finger tip as words appeared on the otherwise unused board. When his gestures stopped, so did the words appearing on the board, revealing them to be this weeks homework assignment; it was only the first class, but he thought it better to get a handle on what the students absorbed and what they did not, plus, the first assignment wasn't terribly difficult: provide one example of Coincidental magic, and one example of Vulgar magic, OR; provide an example of a scenario in which the same type of 'effect' might be considered with Coincidental -or- Vulgar, depending on Consensus, OR; provide examples of two different 'types' of Consensus.

As he watched the last of the students look up, he wondered how many were looking up because they had finished taking notes, and how many looked up because they'd been lost or asleep and had just realized that he had stopped talking.

“Thus concludes our first lecture in Arcane & Metaphysical Theory. I shall stay for a few moments after, as long as you need, really, to answer any questions or concerns that you may have. Please do not hesitate to ask if you need something, and for those of you in a hurry – please note that next classes homework assignment is on the board, before you become too engrossed in discussion, though, as we will be discussing your thoughts on the material so far, and your expectations."






OOC:
Class has begun, everyone have fun! You don't have to check them, but there are not hidden, but not obvious links in there, as I mentioned in my Sign Up OOC, crediting the origins of some of the concepts I'm borrowing. Cheers!
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Her first class in this subject, and Fliss was already lost. She'd been taking notes, since scorching the words spoken on her specially created notepad helped her to understand what was being said, but ... she was lost. Not that she had expected to be otherwise, of course. Professor D'Arcstorm was an intimidating presence as it was, and now he had the floor, he seemed to have filled the air with concepts she had never even heard of, much less come across before. It didn't help that she didn't know anyone else in the class, so she couldn't very well rely on anyone else's notes or understanding of what had been said in order to blag her way toward a decent grade.

She thought she understood the Awakening and Sleeper parts, that made sense. But all those other terms ... Consensus, Paradox, Coincidental and Vulgar magics ... they appeared to be settling on her brain like marshmallow fluff. Paradox, in particular, worried her. After all, she couldn't prevent herself from reacting with fire in certain circumstances. Did this Paradox idea mean that she was going to kill herself at some point, purely because the wrong person saw her flame? It was a disquieting thought.

So, despite her close to genuine fear of the authority figure giving the lecture, she thought she had better ask at least one question, raising her hand to catch his attention and wait for his permission to speak.

"When ... when you talk about the whole Consensus thing, are you talking about places where magic isn't practiced openly?" she asked in a worried tone. "Because, in Rhy'Din, it's everywhere. So wouldn't that make Rhy'Din's, um, Consensus more forgiving and less ... Paradox deathy for magic users?"
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ammy sat in the middle of the classroom and clothed comfortably in jean and white hoodie for the day. She had a Star Trek themed messenger bag by her side and was aptly writing away, penning down the notes Professor D'Arcstorm had provided on the boards. She had to confess that the vast majority of this information was completely foreign to her and it lit the fire of eagerness to learn more in her.

She glanced to the student, Fliss, if she remembered the name right from seeing her in the History of RhyDin class that Professor Tolmay had taught. It was nice to see some familiar students progressing through various classes the Academy had though at the moment she too was curious to hear what the professor would say to Fliss' question. She'd had some prior experience with magical or 'Mana' sickness as some had called it, but the Paradox and Consensus terms had her scratching her furred chin.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Atticus stood listening with his arms hanging before him, joined in an inverted steeple as he listened to Felicity's question. Unfortunately for those whose meetings with him were fleeting, his expressions were ever stoic; not expressions but micro expressions, even. As he listened to her willfully push forward into her question - even when her footing seemed questionable, the barest, briefest expression flashed in his eyes. Satisfaction.

"Ms.," he paused, gaze settling on her, appraising, and intentionally drew out her last name. "Storm. A very astute observation. Consensus is, obviously as you have pointed out, different depending on where you are, especially in regards to Rhydin; being a Nexus, Rhydin has a disproportionately high population of Awakened beings, and as you have surmised, the Consensus because of it is much more permissible, if you will."

He began to pace as he had while lecturing, mostly keeping his attention on Ms. Storm, but making sure to keep the rest of the class involved through eye contact and seeming to speak to each one in turn as he tried to find the balance between answering her enough, and answering too much.

"I can tell by your reference to the 'deathy' nature of Paradox that I may have frightened you, and for that I apologize; it is not something to be any more scared of than someone driving a car, who sees a sign indicating the speed limit." He tried hard to find examples that were easily referenced from what many called 'Earth Prime'; it's culture seemed to leak out of it's native universe - or multiverse - and influence everything around it, thus it often proved a good common point of reference. "Paradox is actually something that usually starts small; the exhaustion after a prolonged period of spell casting, for example, in an area that - if we see Consensus as a sliding scale - is what we shall call mid-level Paradox. Think of it as something that fades with time, or, accumulates faster the more grandiose the effect you use. Even in a place like Rhydin, for example, there is some level of Consensus; if you manage, or design, to cast a spell that beggars the belief of most of the inhabitants, you would draw a correspondingly larger amount of Paradox because of it; in the latter case, you would likely suffer more than mere exhaustion, you could be thrown into a coma, internally hemorrhage, any number of things really. The technique, though some people prefer 'trick', is to let low levels of Paradox... happen. Do not let them accumulate. When you begin to tire, to feel your energy drained, rest."

He took a deep breath and stopped pacing, eyes widening for a moment. He hadn't meant to go on that long.

"I hope that answers your question - and sincerely hope I have not confused you further, please, if there is anything, ask. The point of this class is to learn, by discussion." He had moved from talking directly to her again to talking to the class as a whole. "I realize that some of you too, have set views on magic; I invite you to open your mind, and to think truly objectively. We speak not of any particular kind of spell casting, but magic in a very general sense." He spread his arms, in an almost welcoming way, and the corners of his lips turned up just slightly into what must have been a smile - though for him it was muted. His mouth was perfectly fine, and in general he was a fine physical specimen - but smiles felt so forced, that when he broke into a grin, something about the way it made his face feel, left him feeling he should be on the midway in some Carnival.

"Now, I see some of you are getting... anxious. As long as you don't speak over one another, feel free to ask questions one behind another - particular if what you ask about is connected to what the person before you asked, in some way. I assure you, my memory is quite good, and I will answer each thing asked in turn - but please don't wait for me, I shall simply process as you ask, just as you have processed and formulated questions as I have been talking."
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As the professor spoke, Fliss' note taking grew faster, comprehending what she had missed the first time around. It made sense if she thought of it in terms of her father's experiences, rather than her own, which meant that Johnny was going to be on the receiving end of a few uncomfortable questions when she got home.

She smiled in relief as the professor reached the end of his explanation, nodding to show that she had understood, and raised her hand once again to ask another question, waiting patiently to be called upon.

"This is just to clarify," she apologized for asking something more so soon. "By Coincidental, you mean something that the accepted Consensus might view or experience, but accept as possible, and Vulgar is something that the accepted Consensus would have difficulty in accepting as possible in their general view of reality. Like ... Coincidental would be heat making water evaporate, but Vulgar would be making it burn?"
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Silently and without incident had Lucis taken to seating himself in the far back of the expansive hall, as was typical of him during his characteristically sparse attendance of public classroom proceedings. It wasn't oft he had nor pursued the opportunity to hear Atticus speak before a group, much less regarding a subject over which he had stated himself he hadn't intended on initially presiding. Though he'd experienced limited direct exposure to the professor in question, to Zyn, the High Mage didn't seem the sort to devote time to things that didn't directly tie into his personal, academic pursuits. Then again, far be it for someone like him to judge a man's candor and methodology purely from his own outside observation. Apropos of nothing, he was showing signs of enjoying D'Arcstorm's demonstration; although, that was likely due to him choosing to forego the habitual comfort and security that his cloak provided him in favor of the more presentable black suit and tie. At last, one could glimpse the veil of inexperience latent in his features for once.

Nevertheless, as intrigued by the concepts of Consensus, the Awakened and Sleepers, and the varying base forms that the arcane could take, Zynisch kept having his attention wrested from the instructor he'd come to observe in favor of a both a certain Goddess that seemed to be expanding her horizons as an integrated learner rather than a mere onlooker... and the veritable bundle of enthused inquisition that was young Fliss. Someone so desirous as to understand the ins and outs of what he viewed to be the bare bones of the lesson deserved another look later on. That said, he'd eventually manage to tear his 'tutor's eye' away from the youth and his charge to the one he'd come for. There, for the briefest of moments, he gleaned a truly minute change in the proctor's countenance; the elder Swordmage's brow quirked as he continued to observe. Even in that bit of exchange, he could tell how much work he was putting into even the tiniest detail of the lesson. A forefinger and thumb set themselves upon his chin and started to stroke in rhythm to lend credence to his unraveling curiosity with regards to the High Mage's methods whilst a forefinger opposite of them placated itself with some nearly soundless knee-tapping.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ammy listened intently to the illumination Professor D'Arcstorm gave when responding to Fliss' question. This had brought to mind and answered a few puzzling questions and speculations she'd had upon her own home realm when reading various magical histories her husband had on hand. She would raise her hand quietly and wait to be called on once other questions before her had been answered.

"So to settle things correctly in my mind given that the terms being used are quite foreign to my homeland, a Realm or Reality could simply choose not believe magic exists; that such exhibits of magical talent could prove quite detrimental to the person that was awakened as you put it professor and the simple act of minor spells could produce severe exhaustion based on the majority of a non-believer dampening field?

Is this the same type of difficulty or deterioration one could see, for example, in a realm that once believed fervently in Gods, Temples, Worship, Sacrifices and Miracles and then had some kind of shift to realizing that somehow they do not really exist leading to a consensus of no divine power manifesting anymore?

Or would it just mean that the consensus shifted in that realm from a 'holy' or 'religious' collective to a more modern technological one and many miracles now summed up to modern science and deity powers go unseen as coincidental magic and true miracles get attributed to mass hysteria or demented people as a form of vulgar magic?"

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 9:29 pm    Post subject: Classroom Stake Out Reply with quote

The girl had arrived a good fifteen minutes before the start of class to secure a seat towards the back of the large amphitheatre. Even though she had many seats to choose from, she was sure not to sit directly in the back rows in case the Professor might be one of those teaching types who picked on the kids in the back rows to answer questions. It was clear from the girl’s slouch that she didn’t want to be called on, and that she didn’t want to be there.

“I must confess that this is not the class I had originally intended to teach…” she heard the Professor say.

‘That’s funny, cuz this is not what I had originally intended to be doing right now,’ Layla thought to herself. She shifted quietly in her seat, silently hating whoever in The Company assigned her to this mission. When Stephen gave her the assignment, it didn’t even have a set objective. Her instructions were merely to sit in on the class and observe for any thing of note that might be of interest to The Company, and that they would give her details as the class went on. She knew what that meant. They might have an eye on a few persons in the class, but she had to go and waste her time in some stupid, boring, magic class to scope them out and if she saw anything good, The Company would get to pursue them from there and she’d get the shaft for the fun part. With how long she had been working with The Company, she would have expected to get more respect by now. Granted, she had earned enough rank to be in charge of a small team, but she was resentful of the fact that The Company demanded she be here for this task instead of allowing her to get one of her lackeys to do the impromptu classroom stake out.

Though the girl appeared to be in her early twenties, it was a little more difficult to determine her age as her dark makeup only served to make her appear older. The dark eyeshadow and eyeliner surrounding her blue eyes paired with her burgundy lipstick was framed with loose strands of jet black hair that was pulled back into a long ponytail. She wore a tight, red wine, long sleeve turtleneck sweater over a pair of black jeans with high heeled black leather boots. Her black leather drawstring knapsack was on the floor beside her. With pen in hand and notebook on her desk, she began to take notes.

“There are two types of persons…”

‘Oh yeah, there’s different types of persons in this class,’ she thought while she was looking out over the other students and observers. ‘Those who are an easy mark and those who play way too hard to get...’ She took immediate note of the young girl taking notes by burning the words onto the paper in front of her. The Company would certainly be interested in her. The one in a suit behind her and the red and white fox caught her eye, though she was unsure of any magical potential they contained just yet. She reminded herself that she was in a magic class after all, so The Company would probably be interested in all of them, and her reason for being there was starting to make a little more sense. She also found that the Professor’s lecture was beginning to make some sense.

She used to be a Sleeper, though her life was far from the simple ‘get up, eat, go to work, come home, eat, sleep’ life that he gave as an example. If it was, she probably wouldn’t have been as eager to become Awakened as a vampire when the opportunity came knocking. Though, if one went looking, they would find no evidence of her vampiric tendencies as she always kept herself well fed.

Layla hadn’t even noticed that she was beginning to take more notes on the course material than those surrounding her. Consensus, how the majority of people define reality, she wrote in her notes. Coincidental, magic that can be misconstrued for a mundane occurrence. Vulgar, outlandish magic that goes against the consensus. So far so good, but paradox seemed a bit trickier. To her, Paradox sounded like the side effect of doing too much Vulgar magic too quickly. The suffered repercussion would mirror the level of the vulgarity.

As the others asked their questions, she remembered where she was and shifted angrily in her seat. Already, she was not looking forward to the homework. Maybe she could make one of her people on her team do it.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is good to see so many roused from their slumber, Atticus thought, with full appreciation for the irony of the juxtaposition of sleeping students, Sleepers, and Awakened. He answered them in the order them came, and tried, when possible to segue from one subject to the next with some sense of commonality or purpose.

His focus still on Fliss, "Correct, although I would temper the term 'accepted Consensus', if only because I do not believe there is a question of accepting or not; every reality has it's own Consensus, it's own... set of rules.

"In planes, dimensions, or universes that support life, there are similarities between those realities, because it is the laws of that reality that make life - as we know it - possible. A living being must be able to breath, to take in sustenance, it must have shelter; at least living things as we know them. I may have been remiss in my earlier explanation of Consensus in putting the complete onus of it's existence on the things that 'live' in a world.

"The universe, each of them even, is like a tapestry - in arcane parlance, called the Tellurian; whether no one is looking at it, or a dozen people are looking at it, the tapestry is the same - but how people perceive it is different. Consensus is like, and I hesitate to give more examples, so as to not sow further confusion, what everyone/thing can agree they see in the tapestry." His eyes narrowed, and he felt suddenly that he'd gone too far, said too much. "For the purpose of this class, and for right now, you have a perfect, functional understanding - at least before I answered your last question."

He acknowledged Ammy, then, and listened to her set of questions, as it were; mind still churning from trying to answer Felicity without going too far, elements of Ammy's questions were evocative of the same train of though and so he dove in - some part of his consciousness hoping that he didn't offend her in the process of answering.

"I will attempt, Lady Spiritor, to answer your questions and concerns in order; as I tried to explain - poorly I believe - to Ms. Storm, Consensus is more than the belief of a group of people - even if that group consists of all the persons on a planet. Some places have a highly rigid Consensus; reality is very set, very calcified, and by extension magic is very hard to use, and when it is used comes with greater risk than when used in a place with more malleable Consensus. It is not a question of a non-believer anything, more the fact that each reality has it's own set of rules that it adheres to - and when you break those rules, you are subject to certain consequences; this is much like the adage that every action demands an equal and opposite reaction. If you are the type of user who chooses to quantify your energy as some sort of 'mana', the exhaustion effect which I used in an example is synonymous with," he paused, considering for a moment, wanting to make sure he got this exactly right. "The more strongly your magic violates Consensus, the more 'mana', or whatever unit - spiritual or otherwise - your magic will 'cost'. In some realities, 'simple' spells become much harder.

"Moving on to the 'deterioration' that you mentioned, I must admit that there are certain characteristic similarities, with perhaps a small caveat; our purpose here is to examine magic, and the theory of it's use, without labeling as divine or profane. I cannot fathom a realm, as you put it, whose Consensus evolves to only mitigate a certain type of magic like that. Moreover, the discussion begs the questions: What are gods? What are Miracles? What are the correlating functions of Temples, Worship, and Sacrifice? These questions and their answers are to a large degree, if I gauge your interest correctly, beyond the scale and scope of this lecture certainly, but will be touched upon briefly later in the class, attached to the idea of where magic - or the power that is manipulated to cast spells - comes from. If it answers your question at all, though, the 'power' as you put it would - I believe - still be accessible, but likely through different means. I believe that should also answer your last addendum to that question, to a degree at least; the Consensus might not change, but levels of Vulgarity or Coincidence might change."

He cast an apologetic look around the class upon answering this last question, and the tone of his voice took on a tone almost as apologetic.

Almost.

"I hope you can see," speaking to the class as a whole, "the intimate relationship between paradox and magic in my explanation of Consensus; it is both something fluid and static, depending on who is assessing it, for what reason, and depending on their subjective state to Coincidental and Vulgar magic."
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bastion had been listening, and taking notes, though his attention was also spread elsewhere; he watched everyone in the class, imagining each of them as their own interesting characters. As he took notes, he illustrated, or maybe it was more accurate to say that he illustrated his notes. How he found the time to do it was simple: he didn't take very detailed notes. He found as long as he kept it simple, it made sense. Sometimes you didn't notice lines were blurry unless you looked too hard at them - and then sometimes it wasn't the lines, it was your eyes. At least that's what he'd found with art, and since it seemed to work he applied it to other avenues of life.

Like this class.

He felt somehow that it was more important to grasp the over all skeleton of the philosophies being presented than to break them down to the minutia and debate their intricacies. He found, again like art, that the intricacies were very subjective to the viewer, so while some people might share similar views, everyone still had their own which while being different, were also equally right. He'd done several sketches of the professor, in various, almost superhero situations and poses. Something about Prof. D'Arcstorm made him think of that comic character, the Vision - but with a way subdued color palette. The drawings weren't exceedingly detailed, but he'd keep going back and adding little things as he kept taking notes. Most of his drawings were like that, rough sketches of different people in the class. Most of them. Two were not; two were much more detailed because there was one thing that caught his eye more than guys he could draw like super heroes.

And that was girls.

There were two in particular he kept stealing glances towards when he could, and not be obvious. They were quite fascinating, and seeming opposites in every way. One was dark haired, a little older than him, appeared very confident in herself, and was silent and maybe just a little bit sour. It's like she was almost pouting about some invisible chip on her shoulder; she sat towards the back of the class so, even though he had to turn to see her, he got a good look at her face to sketch. The other had much lighter hair, and the fact that flame sprouted from her fingertips to write with only served to amplify the difference between dark and light. She sat further towards the front than Bastion did, and he had to focus just as much on her, waiting for moments she turned her head or raised her hand, or to flip her hair from the side of her face, in order to get a good enough look. He thought she was maybe a little younger than he was, and maybe having to do with that, she was somehow more innocent too. You could tell from the quaver in her voice when she asked a question. It was kind of cute, and maybe because he walked that borderline between innocence and experience between the imaginary profiles of the two girls he painted in his head, it was the perfect juxtaposition against the others predatory appeal.

Hopefully the Professor wasn't one of those who would point out his attention had been as much on Felicity and Layla as it had been on the professor.
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