Practice of Magic: Destruction, Lesson One

  • His mind was wandering through and between the streams of magicka, looking and searching. He was passing streams he didn't even know what purpose they had, what properties. He was looking for very specific ones. He found the first, the one that felt like weight of the whole world and his hand reached to it, tapped into it.

     

    He transferred the energy into his hand and he saw how the pin on the enchanted table lifted. It stayed in the air, not moving, but he wasn't finished yet. His mind continued searching between the streams, until he found the other one. The one solid and unbreachable.

     

    His hand began shaking and the pin along with it, sweat rolling down his forehead and onto his nose, tickling and then falling down from the tip of his nose in salty drops onto the ground and his tusks, into his mouth eventually.

     

    His mind touched the solid stream, not being able to tap into it, but he already figured out that was not his goal. He imagined a cut on his arm, the pain, the shock, and he flashed these emotions to the stream. It twitched a little and then the stream was suddenly flowing around his mind, engulfing him.

     

    The other stream began pushing back against him while he conjured the Flesh spell in his right hand, getting ready to cast it. Both hands were trembling, but he knew he could do it. This time he would succeed.

     

    The door suddenly swung open with a loud bang and he twitched, losing his concentration, the pin shooting forward and Flesh spell in his right hand failing, Magicka disappearing from where it came from. “Tusk ya!” Grulmar growled, his attention snapping to the one storming into his room.

     

    “Is J’zargo interrupting?” the Khajiit eyed him with wide eyes. His eyes looked at Grulmar's sweaty face and dark circles under his eyes. “You don't look well.”

     

    “Yes, ya are tuskin' interruptin', Scorch! I nearly had it ya know. Cast two spells at the same time, but no, ya have to barge in and break my concentration,” Grulmar snapped at the Khajiit who went to his bed and sat on it.

     

    “That is not an easy feat to master,” J'zargo murmured. “That's what you were doing the whole time?”

     

    The Orc grimaced and leaned against the chair's backrest. “And what am I  supposed to do when I'm grounded?” Tuskin' rules. He got grounded to his room after that incident with Brelyna. She spun a very good story in front of Savos Aren and everyone believed her. Tuskin' Dunmer stickin' together. Who gives a shit she's from Telvanni family? Everyone apparently.

     

    “J'zargo thinks you shouldn't have blinded her. She still has problems to see properly.”

     

    Grulmar looked at him, with a frown on his face and he bared his tusks. “She turned me into tuskin' cow!” he yelled and then sighed. “Bitch. We have to get some satisfaction for that.”

     

    “We?”

     

    “Yeah, we. I already have some idea, but I need to think about it little bit more,” Grulmar rubbed his eyes. “I just need to get some tuskin' fresh air. Don't ya happen to know how long I'll be stuck here?”

     

    “Actually, that's why J'zargo barged in. Urag spoke in your favour with the Archmage and you are allowed to leave your room.”

     

    Grulmar blinked several times. “Really? Just like that? Urag?”

     

    The Khajiit shrugged and Grulmar got up from his chair. He felt a little bit dizzy, the constant use of Magicka kind of exhausted him, but luckily, he had potions prepared and he quickly drank one, feeling sudden energy filling his insides, restoring his magicka at an increased rate. “So what are your plans?” J'zargo asked.

     

    “No idea,” Grulmar shrugged in return. “Maybe I'll drop by Tolfdir's, see if he doesn't have time for another lesson.”

     

    J'zargo shook his head. “Tolfdir went on another expedition to Saarthal. He will be gone for few weeks.”

     

    “Blast it!” Grulmar cursed and stopped in front of the doors. “And what I'm supposed to do now?” he spread his arms in annoyance.

     

    “Well, you do realize there are other Schools of magic, right? J'zargo is about to head to lesson with Faralda. Maybe you could tag along.”

     

    “Pigtails?” Grulmar frowned. “Lesson with Pigtails? That's Destruction right?” He tapped his finger on his tusk and then scratched his goatee. “I wouldn't mind knowin' how to turn people into ash if they piss me off.”

     

    “Good,” J'zargo smiled which seemed more like baring his teeth and his tail twitched. “J'zargo wouldn't mind someone who can finally keep up with him.”

     

    J'zargo headed straight to the stairs leading up, which probably meant the lesson was happening on the roof. Since the Thalmor showed up it really wasn't easy to practice proper magic. Grulmar frowned. “Keep up with ya? Does Scorch realize that everythin' ain't a competition?”

     

    “Maybe Grulmar doesn't realize that J'zargo is right that everything is a competition? The only reason Grulmar could disagree is because the Orc is losing so badly he cannot see it,” the Khajiit chuckled.

     

    “I tuskin' hate when ya talk about me in third person,” Grulmar growled. “Ya are doin' it on purpose, right? Not even ya are so dumb. Like if talkin' about yerself in third person wasn't enough.”

     

    “You are just jealous that J'zargo has a skill in magic, charm and strong will. And that he is more successful than you,” the Khajiit purred and Grulmar felt like doing his trick with Candlelight again. Is another week of bein' stuck in yer room worth it? He doubted that, so he just bared his tusks at the Khajiit.

     

    “We'll see about that, kitten,” he murmured. He's just tryin' to piss ya off. Damn cat. Good thing ya are about to learn how to fry any tusker that is vexin' ya. I wonder how does a cooked cat taste...Maybe I could ask Tiny. The little Bosmer definitely had a Khajiit for dinner once.

     

    They got to the roof and Grulmar immediately noticed a purple magic field glowing all over the roof. He frowned and he noticed that the field was holding a snowstorm outside, along with the cold. Faralda was already there, talking with that poor excuse for a mage Onmund. Never seen a more whiny Nord than ya, Sorry.

     

    Faralda noticed them and frowned at J'zargo. “You are late.” J'zargo opened his mouth and she stopped him with raised finger. “Stream of fire. Now, until I tell you to stop.”

     

    Well, here's the reason why are ya the guardian of the bridge, Pigtails, Grulmar thought. She then looked at him while J'zargo moaned and went to the edge of magic field and released a stream of fire from his hands, out from the field, into the snowstorm. In the meantime, Grulmar squirmed under Faralda's hard look.

     

    “You are here to learn? To master the elements?” she asked him and he scratched his beard.

     

    “Uh, well...I'm not entirely sure,” he replied.

     

    He was watching J'zargo still casting the fire from his hands, he saw how his hands began to tremble and how the stream slowly weakened. He even felt the magicka around J'zargo becoming weaker and wondered when will Faralda tell him to stop. Onmund was watching it too, with expression on his face that could be most likely described as being glad he wasn't Faralda's target.

     

    Which was Grulmar. “You are not sure? Then why did you come here? If you do not wish to learn I have no interest in teaching you.” She then looked at the J'zargo. “That's enough.” The Khajiit sighed, being glad he was allowed to stop. “I want you two to practice fireballs today. We won't be practicing precision today, but sheer power.” She then turned back to Grulmar. “So? Are you sure now?”

     

    Grulmar sneered. “Well, just because ya are so convincin', Pigtails, I'll give it a shot.”

     

    “Don't call me that,” she growled and Grulmar felt his eyes widen.

     

    “Pigtails?” he asked. “What's wrong with that. You have pigtails.”

     

    “I warn you, Orc,” she continued, but Grulmar wasn't one to get discouraged so easily. He and nicknames...it was his thing. People's names usually didn't suit them, so he was giving them new ones, fitting ones. Seriously considerin' changing her name to Moody now…

     

    “Sorry, but ya are stuck with it.”

     

    “As you wish, Pigface.”

     

    Grulmar felt his eye twitch a little and forced himself to just shrug with casual expression on his face. “Been called worse.”

     

    She nodded and then looked at other two apprentices. “Alright. Just as we trained the last time, only more. I want you to compress as much fire you can and then release it. Just remember that this way it won't stay together long, so the fireball will explode sooner, even without coming into contact with something. As I said before, we are not practicing range or precision today, but raw power. Proceed.”

     

    Grulmar saw both Onmund and J'zargo draw on the magicka, creating  fire in both of their hands and then connecting the fire between their palms, creating balls of flames out of it, adding more and more magicka and then they released it, Onmund sooner than J'zargo. Both fireballs exploded in the snowstorm in loud and bright flashes, illuminating the storm with red-orange light.

     

    “Again,” said Faralda and then turned to Grulmar. “So, with what element you would like to start then?” she asked and the Orc just shrugged, not really sure. Faralda sighed. “Fire is the most raw and easier to cast. Frost is more concentrated, slightly more difficult and shock is the most refined and hardest to master. Each mage has certain predispositions for certain elements, but it makes me wonder what do you think are your predispositions?”

     

    Grulmar touched a tip of his tusk with tip of a tongue. “Well...not gettin' myself killed is definitely my priority. But burnin' some tuskers sounds quite good. So fire maybe?”

     

    She frowned at his response and took a step forward to him. “Maybe?” she repeated. “You are not sure?” The Altmer poked his chest with her finger. “You are one of those, right?”

     

    “One of those?” he asked, confused.

     

    “Idiots,” she smirked. “You think you can just go and learn to harness the destructive properties of elements, don't you? All that power on your fingertips. All that just for fun. I'm going to tell you this. If you are not certain then don't ever come any closer to the Destruction School. Your uncertainty will get you - and most likely everyone else - killed. Destruction is all about being certain. Not right or wrong, but certain. Once you use these spells there's no other outcome than whoever is on the other end will end up badly. Do you understand?”

     

    “Stendarr's merciful dick, female,” gasped Grulmar. “Fire, alright. I'm pretty sure.” Though, if he had to be honest with himself, he wasn't really sure. Not about the element, but about the whole Destruction school. This School he was about to learn was about only one thing. Destruction. Death. Killing. And he wasn't sure it was precisely what he wanted. He didn't have a problem with death, but with the killing itself. In his whole life he killed just fifteen people. Fifteen. He didn't count beasts or Falmer, but real people. He avoided killing anytime he could, even let the tusking Thalmor agents live several times and they certainly deserved something far worse.

     

    He could let people die without any remorse, leave them behind while knowing that certain death awaits them, but he just didn't have guts to do it himself. Isn't that ironic? What exactly is the difference? Havin' blood on my hands literally or just metaphorically? What is the difference?

     

    He noticed Faralda staring at him, he heard the explosions of practicing apprentices and frowned. “Fire, yeah. Definitely sure.” Not against people, but against beasts. As protection. But ya never know when things can change.

     

    The Altmer nodded with a frown. “Now we are getting somewhere, Pigface.”

     

    “Ha-ha,” Grulmar sneered.

     

    “Now do you understand what fire is?”

     

    The Orc narrowed his eyes. More stupid questions? “Fire is...fire. Heat.”

     

    “And how do you create heat? How do you create fire?”

     

    “With sharpenin' steel and flint,” he replied and then frowned. That isn't all, right? The flint and sharpenin' steel create a spark when ya strike them against each other. But why? How? He unwittingly rubbed his hands against each other and felt them warming. Friction. “Friction. Friction creates heat.”

     

    Faralda smirked at that. “My my, the Orc isn't as dumb as he looks. Yes, friction. Sort of. The world is made of Magicka. Increasing the speed of Magicka all around us will make it get warmer. And when you reach a certain speed...fire.”

     

    “And how exactly am I going to do that?” Grulmar wondered. “I mean, I can lift a tuskin' flint, but how do I create friction of...air?”

     

    “Imagine a fireplace. Feel its heat, feel its hunger, how it's eating the firewood. Now look into the flames. Be enchanted by them. There's nothing but the flames.”

     

    Grulmar was listening to Faralda's hypnotic voice, picturing the flames, his mind leaving his body and flowing towards the fireplace. He felt the heat on his face, on his hands. His eyes hypnotized by the dance of flames. He felt curiosity, nostalgy, fear, but no danger.

     

    “Now take the flame in your hand.”

     

    He reached forward, towards the fire and clenched his fist around one of the flames.

     

    Flame appeared in his palm and he screamed as searing pain burned his skin, smell of burning meat filling the air. He blowed on the fire until it disappeared from where it appeared. “Shit!” he cursed and held his palm close to his chest as wounded animal. “Why didn't ya warn me?!” he snapped at Faralda.

     

    The Altmer just chuckled. “When you tell a child the fire hurts, would it believe you? Not until the child gets burned by touching a fireplace or something.”

     

    “But I tuskin' know that fire burns, for tusk's sake!” he growled, holding his hand. He opened the palm and saw small circle of burned skin. Thankfully, he had conjured just small flame, not bigger than candle's flame, but it still hurt as Oblivion itself.

     

    “Well, but now you at least understand that playing with magic fire isn't any different than playing with normal fire,” the Altmer sneered and Grulmar growled in response. What a stupid lesson this is. He didn't understand how he got himself talked into it. Stupid Scorch. Yeah, that's right, because of Scorch I now have scorched hand. Tuskin' lovely… “Do you still want to continue?” Faralda asked with feigned concern.

     

    Grulmar looked at her and bared his tusks. He certainly wasn't as intimidating as Urag when doing that, but anyone seeing an Orc baring his tusks knew that he won't back down. And Grulmar wouldn't either. “Yes. Not until I own this shit.”

     

    “In that case we'll proceed. Do you know what you did wrong? You forgot the fire burns. When you are conjuring a fire, you have to understand its properties, its hunger. In other words. You have to feel its heat but know that it won't burn you.”

     

    “And how I'm goin' to do that? Say no to the fire?” Grulmar sneered and Faralda smirked in return.

     

    “Something like that, yes. When you are casting fire, you have think about yourself as fire. You have to become fire. Because flames can't burn themselves. Do you understand?”

     

    “Barely,” Grulmar rubbed his burned hand.

     

    “Then let's try it again.”

     

     

Comments

13 Comments   |   Meli and 11 others like this.
  • Caladran
    Caladran   ·  December 3, 2017
    Desctruction... I wonder if Grulmar goes burning people soon? :)
  • Paws
    Paws   ·  January 21, 2017
    I do like your take on Faralda. Very authoritative and sharp af in her retort to Grulmar. Very sexy. Also, love that Grulmar cusses more than I do. Filthy mouthed tusker! :D
  • Hworra
    Hworra   ·  January 9, 2017
    Ahh, yes, finally! My favourite School!
  • Ben W
    Ben W   ·  January 6, 2017
    You'll be keeping my attention with this; seems Faralda has what all Altmer have: a large ego XP
    • Shadow Arm
      Shadow Arm
      Ben W
      Ben W
      Ben W
      You'll be keeping my attention with this; seems Faralda has what all Altmer have: a large ego XP
        ·  January 6, 2017
      That or she dislikes little pieces of shit calling her Pigtails... :D
      • Ben W
        Ben W
        Shadow Arm
        Shadow Arm
        Shadow Arm
        That or she dislikes little pieces of shit calling her Pigtails... :D
          ·  January 6, 2017
        Made me laugh more than it should've
        • Shadow Arm
          Shadow Arm
          Ben W
          Ben W
          Ben W
          Made me laugh more than it should've
            ·  January 6, 2017
          My apologies then. :) And ain´t you a little skipper. I thought that it´s usually good to start reading from the beginning. Special case?
          • Ben W
            Ben W
            Shadow Arm
            Shadow Arm
            Shadow Arm
            My apologies then. :) And ain´t you a little skipper. I thought that it´s usually good to start reading from the beginning. Special case?
              ·  January 6, 2017
            Indeed
  • The Long-Chapper
    The Long-Chapper   ·  January 6, 2017
    Ah, the first lesson with Pigtails always burns. Altmer don't mess around. :D 
  • Santa-Pocky-Hah!
    Santa-Pocky-Hah!   ·  January 6, 2017
    Creating friction through magicka. Now that is something thought-provoking.
    • Shadow Arm
      Shadow Arm
      Santa-Pocky-Hah!
      Santa-Pocky-Hah!
      Santa-Pocky-Hah!
      Creating friction through magicka. Now that is something thought-provoking.
        ·  January 6, 2017
      This is coming from one Destruction-related lore book. I think it should be featured in the second Lesson. It´s about lightning, static energy and friction, so if that works for Shock magic in TES, then why wouldn´t the frost and fire have ties to physics too?
      • Santa-Pocky-Hah!
        Santa-Pocky-Hah!
        Shadow Arm
        Shadow Arm
        Shadow Arm
        This is coming from one Destruction-related lore book. I think it should be featured in the second Lesson. It´s about lightning, static energy and friction, so if that works for Shock magic in TES, then why wouldn´t the frost and fire have ties to physics too?
          ·  January 6, 2017
        The fact that fire is the most raw out of the three basic elements thus make sense on why it's the cheapest in terms of magicka usage.
        Quick question about telekinesis in your story; does it require use a lot of magicka to cast/concentrate like it d...  more
        • Shadow Arm
          Shadow Arm
          Santa-Pocky-Hah!
          Santa-Pocky-Hah!
          Santa-Pocky-Hah!
          The fact that fire is the most raw out of the three basic elements thus make sense on why it's the cheapest in terms of magicka usage.
          Quick question about telekinesis in your story; does it require use a lot of magicka to cast/concentrate like it does in Skyrim?
            ·  January 6, 2017
          Yes. And about Telekinesis...yes. It's an adept spell and it's a small miracle Grulmar can actually cast it - clear difference between Destruction where he can't get even the fire spell right :D The longer you hold the object the more magicka and concentr...  more