PoTM: Mysticism, Lesson One

  • The simulacrum of the netchiman's wife who carried the egg of Vivec within it went back to looking for the lands of the Indoril. Along the journey many more spirits came to see it and offer instructions to its son-daughter, the future glorious invisible warrior-poet of Vvardenfell, Vivec.


    A troupe of spirits called the Lobbyists for the Coincidence Guild appeared. Vivec understood the challenge immediately and said:


    'The popular notion of God kills happenstance.'


    The head of the Lobbyists, whose name is forgotten, tried to defend the concept's existence. He said, 'Saying something at the same time can be magical.'


    Vivec knew that to retain his divinity that he must make a strong argument against luck. He said:


    'Is not the sudden revelation of corresponding conditions and disparate elements that gel at the moment of the coincidence one of the prerequisites to being, in fact, coincidental? Synchronicity comes out of repeated coincidences at the lowest level. Further examination shows it is the utter power of the sheer number of coincidences that leads one to the idea that synchronicity is guided by something more than chance. Therefore, synchronicity ends up invalidating the concept of the coincidental, even though they are the symptomatic signs that bring it to the surface.'


    Thus was coincidence destroyed in the land of the Velothi.


    Then an Old Bone of the earth rose up before the simulacrum of the netchiman's wife and said, 'If you are to be born a ruling king of the world you must confuse it with new words. Set me into pondering.'


    'Very well,' Vivec said, 'Let me talk to you of the world, which I share with mystery and love. Who is her capital? Have you taken the scenic route of her cameo? I have-- lightly, in secret, missing candles because they're on the untrue side, and run my hand along the edge of a shadow made from one hundred and three divisions of warmth, and left no proof.'


    At this the Old Bone folded unto itself twenty times until it became akin to milk, which Vivec drank, becoming a ruling king of the world.


    Finally the Chancellor of Exactitude appeared, and he was perfect to look upon from every angle. Vivec understood the challenge immediately and said:


    'Certitude is for the puzzle-box logicians and girls of white glamour who harbor it on their own time. I am a letter written in uncertainty.'


    The Chancellor bowed his head and smiled fifty different and perfect ways all at once. He pulled the astrolabe of the universe from his robe and broke it in half, handing both halves to the egg-image of Vivec.


    Vivec laughed and said, 'Yes, I know. The slave labor of the senses is as selfish as polar ice, and worsens when energies are spent on a life others regard as fortunate. To be a ruling king I will have to suffer much that cannot be suffered, and to weigh matters that no astrolabe or compass can measure.'


    The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.

    One good thing about being a steward was that he actually now had more time on his hands. He was supposed to run the day to day business of Tel Mithryn, but because the people there weren't really interested in that, he basically didn't have to care about it. They were all just running things their own way, how they were used to doing things, and so he found himself a quiet corner and continued with his studies.


    This time, he found himself turning again to Mysticism - yes, a school of magic he dismissed back at College because a certain Sir Shiny the Saint wasn't making any sense. Grulmar chuckled at the irony. Well, maybe he was makin’ sense and ya just didn't understand, that's quite possible too.


    So he went back to the basics, going through Neloth's library looking for books associated with that school of magic. Luckily, there were few books on the Psijics - which was actually surprising in a Telvanni Magister's library. He even found books with several spells mentioned and his sight immediately honed in on the Mark and Recall spells.


    Instant teleportation. Now that's some serious magic.


    So far, from what he was able to research on that spell, it wasn't exactly a spell that would open a portal so that one could travel anywhere. No, the principle was that one could Mark a certain place and then in a time of need one could Recall back to it.


    Sounds simple, certainly simpler than… breakin’ through the transpontine limen without immediate retromission or being shattered into infinitessimals in between circumpenetration. Yeah, not makin’ this shit up, a book said this.


    He also found a book that at least mentioned the use of Mark and Recall, but nothing really substantial. It was still better than nothing.


    He gazed up from his perch on the cliffs behind Tel Mithryn when he heard the shuffle of feet on the rocks and saw Mahti approaching, carrying a handful of seashells. “Godspeeeeak!” the riekling cheered, showing him the seashells. “Shineeee,” he puffed his chest and then he tripped over himself, the seashells flying up in the air, a few rattling on the stone but most of them falling down the cliff.


    “Great,” Grulmar grumbled, shaking his head. “Be careful, ya clumsy shrimp! I can already imagine ya fallin’ down the same way as those shells.”


    “Maaahtiii,” the riekling murmured as he was getting back on his feet. “Maaahtiii sooorreeee.”


    “Mahti is sorry.’ ‘So-rry,’” the Orc corrected him. He had been trying to teach the bugger to speak more like a person in the past days. It was going slowly, but Mahti was at least trying.


    “So-rreeee,” Mahti repeated and Grulmar just rolled his eyes. Yeah, it will certainly take some time.


    His returned to the book he was reading, waving at Mahti to sit further away from him. Charwich-Kooringe Letters, Volume 3.


    I knew I had been beaten, and I threw myself towards the corridor. A blue flash of energy coursed through me, flung by Baliasir's claws. At once, I began to feel death. He could have smote me with a thousand spells, but he chose the one where I could lie down, and suffer, and hear him laugh. At the very least, I did not give him that pleasure.


    Already struck, it was too late for me to cast a counterspell of mysticism, one to dispel the magicka, reflect it or absorb it as my own. But I did still know how to teleport myself, what mystics term 'Recall,' to whatever place I'd last set a spiritual anchor. I confess that at the time, I didn't remember where that would be. Perhaps in Bhoriane when I arrived in the Iliac Bay, or in Kambria, or in Grimtry Garden where I met the caretaker, or my hostess's palace in Wayrest. I prayed that I had not set the anchor last when I was with you in Morrowind, for it said that if the distance is too great, one can be caught between dimensions. Still, I was willing to take that chance, rather than being the plaything of Baliasir.


    I cast the spell and found myself back on the doorstep of Lady Moorling's palace. To be out of the crypt and away from the daedra was a relief, but I had so hoped that I had been smart enough to cast an anchor near a Mages Guild or a temple where I could find a healer. Instead, knowing I was too weak to walk far, I beat on the door and was taken here, where I write this letter, lying in my bed.


    Grulmar rubbed his goatee in thought, narrowing his eyes.


    First fact: Only one Mark can be placed.


    Second fact: Spiritual anchor equals Mark. Possible hint.


    Third fact: Distance matters. The further away y'are tryin' to Recall the more difficult it could be. And ya could get caught between dimensions.


    Spiritual anchor. Hmm. He always had a problem with understanding the nature of Mysticism because it seemed like Mysticism was pure magic, or its spells dealt with magic in its purest form. Or reacted to magic with its absorption and reflection spells.


    But it wasn't just that, the repertoire of Mysticism was quite...universal. It ranged from teleportation to spell reflection, but also telekinesis and spells that could detect or identify things and even absorb attributes for a short period of time. And then of course trappin’ souls.  


    Grulmar took out a scrap of paper from his notebook, a weathered thing from his time in Winterhold, full of scribbles and notes. He leaned the sheet against the cover of the book and prepared his quill and inkwell. Alright, let's make a list then. Let's try to categorize this shit.


    Spell Absorption, Spell Reflection: Reacts to magic. Have to react to hostile spells cast at the caster.


    Mark and Recall: Appears to be based on magic reaction, but spiritual anchor implies it might have to do something with a soul or its energy.


    Telekinesis: Lifting things with one's mind. Possible clash with Alteration's telekinesis, which lifts things with magic. Two different things. Mind and magic. Or not so different. Sometimes mind fuels magic. Sometimes magic fuels the mind. Alteration uses magic and gestures - so technically it is only ‘kinesis.’ Mysticism uses magic to fuel the mind, move the objects with thoughts. Different things.


    Detect: Possible to detect life. Maybe possible to detect soul energy. Detect magic too. Can be used to identify enchantments.


    Absorb: Telvanni were known to absorb magicka, health or even strength and agility with Mysticism.


    Soul Trap: Clearly a soul based spell, moved to Conjuration now. Prevents a soul from venturing to its afterlife.


    Intervention: Used to teleport to the nearest Divines or Tribunal shrines back on Morrowind. Might support the theory shrines are built on crossroads where magickal paths/streams meet.


    Mahti approached, looking curiously over Grulmar's shoulder, his hot and smelly breath heavy on Grulmar's neck. “Yes?” the Orc stopped writing and glanced over his shoulder. The riekling was staring at the words on the paper, his yellow-gold eyes scanning the quill and the ink well.




    Grulmar frowned. “Doing?” he asked to make sure and Mahti nodded. “I'm writin’.”


    “Vrrrrteeeen,” Mahti tried to repeat and Grulmar shook his head.


    “No, no. Write.”




    “Yeah, that's better,” the Orc chuckled. He then sighed and rose to his feet, feeling the numbness in his legs for having them crossed for too long. “Come on, let's go try something.”


    Spiritual anchor. What could that mean? Maybe ya have to leave a piece of yerself behind, ya know? Like a tiny little bit of yer soul so that ya can use it as an anchor when you teleport to it.


    He reached into himself, looking for that bright star that was a piece of Aetherius, that piece which poured magic into him. It was nearly blinding and he took it into his hands, feeling its warmth and comfort and he took a tiny grain of light from it, holding it in his hand. When he opened his eyes, he could see this purple light in his hand and he released the energy towards the ground. Nothing happened, no rune or mark appeared, but in the back of his mind he could...feel it. He could feel that there was something there, something that was part of him in a way.


    He took a few steps back and picked up a small stone, weathered by the ash. He looked at Mahti and grimaced. “Now I'm not sure this will work, matey, 'cause Recall seems to be tied to one's soul, ya know? But in theory, if I'm in contact with the item I want to Recall it should work. In theory. Yeah.”


    The riekling just blinked at him, the whole speech probably too complicated for him to comprehend and Grulmar just shrugged. I'm discussin' magic with a rieklin'. Y’are goin' nuts, Grulmar.


    Now...how to do it? He actually had no idea how to cast the Recall spell. Just improvise, as always, yeah? So what have we got? We have two points in space, right now divided by four-five steps. One point is the Mark spell. The second is the stone, that right now represents ya. Ya want to cross the space between the points, move one point back to the other. How do ya do that?


    He narrowed his eyes and then he closed them. How 'bout connectin' those two points? His mind focused on the Mark spell, on that piece of him calling to him and in his mind he extended his hand towards it, crossing the distance in a span of time shorter than seconds. And with every step the calling was becoming stronger, louder. His other hand touched the stone resting in his palm, giving it a tiny spark of essence, and then he touched the Mark, preparing himself to clasp his hands together.


    But as soon as he touched the Mark, the thunder came. As if lightning hit the inside his head and he squinted in pain, slowly opening his eyes. The stone from his hand was gone and he ran towards the Mark and his eyes went wide when he saw the stone there.


    “It work-” he began cheering and then he looked at the stone carefully. It looked like it was it was cleanly cut in half. “Where the tusk is the other half?” He wondered.


    “Stop throwing stones at me!” Neloth suddenly screamed from the tower above Grulmar who just raised his eyebrows and looked at Mahti’s wide yellow eyes.


    That didn't go so well. Unless ya plan on sendin' half of yerself to Neloth as a birthday gift…


    It was morbid, but Grulmar wondered which half of himself would be best.




9 Comments   |   Santa-Pocky-Hah! and 8 others like this.
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  June 29
    Mark and Recall spells... Loved them in Morrowind
    I'll be using them too later, although I will be breaking the 'One Mark Rule'
  • Caladran
    Caladran   ·  March 17
    Hahaha, Poor Neloth! xD It's good to read Grulmar's and Mahti's doings again. :D

    Also, I loved Mark and Recall spells in ol' Morrowind.
  • Paws
    Paws   ·  November 28, 2017
    Ha! Awesome ending :D Tieing a piece of oneself to a location is an interesting thought, I like that. Implications are far-reaching, especially when considering how it is in the soul cairn if we get soul trapped in order to pass freely from one realm to a...  more
  • Teineeva
    Teineeva   ·  November 25, 2017
    Interesting interpretation of the spell as always Karve, but I have to say Mahtii is probably stealing the show. Adorable little idiot that he is.
  • Hworra
    Hworra   ·  November 25, 2017
    Hehehe, finally getting a link between what Gru did in the Alik'r and how he learned Mark and Recall. Hmm, if you could split a stone by ripping the halves of it into different points in space, could you do it to a person? It'd be more effective than any blade.
    • Shadow Arm
      Shadow Arm
      Hehehe, finally getting a link between what Gru did in the Alik'r and how he learned Mark and Recall. Hmm, if you could split a stone by ripping the halves of it into different points in space, could you do it to a person? It'd be more effective than any blade.
        ·  November 26, 2017
      Well, only if you'd learned to how cast the spell wrong :D
  • The Long-Chapper
    The Long-Chapper   ·  November 24, 2017
    Hehe, Mysticism ain't so bad now, is it? Lol, and adore Mahti. :D
  • Santa-Pocky-Hah!
    Santa-Pocky-Hah!   ·  November 24, 2017
    Man, I just love it when magic in TES contradicts itself. Telekinesis through mind or magic. Mind or Magic. Honestly, I don't see any difference between those two. 
    You know, I just had the same idea about accidentally teleporting half of somet...  more
    • Shadow Arm
      Shadow Arm
      Man, I just love it when magic in TES contradicts itself. Telekinesis through mind or magic. Mind or Magic. Honestly, I don't see any difference between those two. 
      You know, I just had the same idea about accidentally teleporting half of something t...  more
        ·  November 25, 2017
      Difference between mind and magic? Well...in this case, I think the point is the order of these two concepts. If you imagine a simple fire spell, Flames from Skyrim, yeah? The way it works, you releasing a stream of fire from your hands implies that you u...  more