Walking Air


    I would like you to look around, feel the scorching heat of the desert, feel its every grain shift against each other. The desert is relentless, always marching, always walking at different angles. More so than we. The mighty sands of the Alik’r are unforgiving, but that doesn't mean they are cruel. For those who can connect with them.


    I've heard it so many times before: ‘Yafir, how were you able to cross the Alik'r so many times?’ It is a question to which I just shrug to as an answer. If I told them they wouldn't understand.


    I am one with the land. I follow the path of Alteration.


    Everyone is obsessed with death these days, focused on what is obvious and the most powerful expression of force, be it a skill with a sword or use of the flashy spells of Destruction. ‘What use do we have for Alteration except for its protective spells?’ they say. Maybe they are right. Maybe, maybe.


    I stare at the night sky from ruins that the wind revealed in the belly of Alik'r, a night sky that is almost like a sea, and I wonder why they keep asking these questions when they don't really want to hear the answers. Alteration isn't an easy school to master, I know that, but… When you master Alteration, you master the whole world.


    "The worst action executed with vigor is superior to the best action executed timidly."


    That is what Hunding taught us and I follow it to this day. There is vigor in everything I do, in every spell I cast, shaping the world around me to my will, making even the simplest spell a powerful tool, like a hammer used to pound a chisel, chiseling the world into the form of my will.


    What is Alteration to you? What are its capabilities? To me, it has no limits, it has all limits, and its use rivals all the other schools in its own way. Alteration is not about raw power, about manipulation of single-minded elements meant to destroy like spells of Destruction. Alteration is about being smart, about thinking outside the box, about walking the air, swimming the earth, flying the water.


    What are Alteration spells? They are everything.


    Over the years I catalogued several spells used in Alteration, even though over the passing of the time they shifted from one school to another. But when it comes to me, I recognize these spells:


    Spells that protect the caster from physical harm, creating a protective skin of magic. Spells that increase one's resistance to elements. Spells that change the physical weight of items. Spells that defy nature's laws for short periods of time, like walking on water or levitating. Spells that directly manipulate objects, be it either lifting them up with a gesture of a hand or even such feats as opening locks. Spells capable of creating light or sounds. Spells capable of shifting one's perception of the world, such as seeing in the dark or seeing life through solid objects.


    This is all Alteration. But to those familiar with history, you can see that many of these spells once belonged to the Mysticism school. These two schools always overlapped. Where does one begin and the other end? Where faith begins and reason ends? Can there be one without the other? It is all magic.


    Ponder this:


    We know that Telekinesis can't affect living creatures, not directly. But it can affect items they carry. Weapons can be ripped out of your opponents' hands, their armor used as focal points for Telekinesis to push and pull, throwing your opponents off balance.


    We also know that the heavier the object the more difficult it is to lift it. Think outside the box. What if you cast Feather spell on the object first and then lift it with Telekinesis? Unmovable stone suddenly becomes a feather at your fingertips.


    We also know that lifting a person by an item the person carries is very difficult, especially if the person is heavier than we are. Cast Levitation on the person, unbind him/her from the Earthbones, and then cast Telekinesis on them.


    Ponder this:


    Burden spells affect only items, as many of the Alteration spells do. Is that a limit? Everyone carries something. Cast a Burden on someone's boot and they won't be able to lift their leg. Cast the spell on someone's helmet and you might break their neck. Cast Burden in concentric circle around yourself and you will create an area where everything will weigh twice as much as you.


    Ponder this:


    What is the smallest thing you can lift with Telekinesis? One grain of sand? How many of them can you lift?


    Ponder this:


    Are you in a dark place where shadows lurk? Cast a Light spell and drive the shadows away. Add more power to the spell and you will find all opponents blinded long enough for you to come up with a plan.


    Ponder this:


    The Shield spells of Alteration have more uses than protecting yourself from weapons. They can also protect you from the scorching heat of Magnus when you add Resistance to Heat. They can protect you from a sudden sand storm rolling over the horizon. But many people forget the most simple thing about Shield spells. They are made of air and hardened magicka, and they don't have to cover only your body. They can be bent and shaped to your will, if you know how.


    Ponder and understand:


    This is all Alteration. The world around you is your tool, your weapon, your comfort. The world around you is Alteration.


8 Comments   |   Teineeva and 8 others like this.
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  August 20
    Ohhh howl I miss Morrowind Alteration and Mysticism. 
    Some great idea's here Lorc....
    And nicely executed as well.  

    Added to event.
  • KaiserSoSay
    KaiserSoSay   ·  August 19
    This is the reason why I love Alteration. :D
    It's basically nature's law manipulated. Your questions seem to reflect some of the conversations we used to have. Lots of yummy food-for-thought.
  • Mega-Dragonborn-of-Doom (1921)
    Mega-Dragonborn-of-Doom (1921)   ·  August 19
    That was really, really cool Karves. I really do miss how interesting Alteration was, instead it's now just boring old Flesh Spells and Paralysis...Oh and Waterbreathing that is just better to use enchanting or be an Argonian for. Plus this was just a rea...  more
  • Legion
    Legion   ·  August 19
    So I feel like I should say that I did actually really enjoy this, both the ideas you explored and the prose. Reminded me more than a few times of how some old philosophy reads. 
  • Paws
    Paws   ·  August 19
    "The worst action executed with vigor is superior to the best action executed timidly." Sand which moves at different angles, and a night sky like a sea. Redguardary galore, nicely hidden within a lesson which frees us from the chains of gameplay mechanic...  more
  • Legion
    Legion   ·  August 19
    So nudity hard-counters telekinesis. Good to know. 
  • DeltaFox
    DeltaFox   ·  August 19
    I was a little confused at first. But then I got it! :) A great little book about Alteration. It's my least utilised school in TES, so it's great to get to know it better. A great entry for the Event.
  • A Shadow Under the Moons
    A Shadow Under the Moons   ·  August 19
    Mhmm... well, I'm adding this to my stack of tomes for training.