PoTM: Mysticism, Lesson Two

  • For these were the days of Resdaynia, when Chimer and Dwemer lived under the wise and benevolent rule of the ALMSIVI and their champion the Hortator, though the Dwemer had become foolish and challenged their masters.

     

    Out of their fortresses they came with golden ballistae that walked and mighty atronachs and things that spat flame and things that made killing songs. Their king was Dumac Dwarf-Orc, but their high priest was Kagrenac the Blighter.

     

    Under mountains and over them the war with the Dwemer was raged, and then came the northern men to help Kagrenac and they brought Ysmir again.

     

    Leading the armies of the Chimer was the slave that would not perish, the Hortator Nerevar, who had traded his axe for the Ethos Knife. He slew Dumac at Red Mountain and saw the heart bone for the first time.

     

    Men of brass destroyed the eleven gates of the Mourning Hold and behind them came the Dwemeri architects of tone. Ayem threw down her cloak and became the Face-Snaked Queen of the Three in One. Those that looked upon her were overcome by the meanings of the stars.

     

    Under the sea, Seht stirred and brought the army he had been working on in the castles of glass and coral. Clockwork dreughs, mockeries of the Dwemeri war machines, rose up from the seas and took their counterparts back beneath, where they were swallowed forever by the sea.

     

    Red Mountain exploded as the Hortator went too far inside, seeking the Sharmat.

     

    Dwemeri high priest Kagrenac then revealed that which he had built in the image of Vivec. It was a walking star, which burnt the armies of the Triune and destroyed the heartland of Veloth, creating the Inner Sea.

     

    Each of the aspects of the ALMSIVI then rose up together, combining as one, and showed the world the sixth path. Ayem took from the star its fire, Seht took from it its mystery, and Vehk took from it its feet, which had been constructed before the gift of Molag Bal and destroyed in the manner of truth: by a great hammering. When the soul of the Dwemer could walk no more, they were removed from this world.

     

    Resdaynia was no more. It had been redeemed of all the iniquities of the foolish. The ALMSIVI drew nets from the Beginning Place and captured the ash of Red Mountain, which they knew was the Blight of the Dwemer and that would serve only to infect the whole of the middle world, and ate it. ALTADOON DUNMERI!

     

    The beginning of the words is ALMSIVI. I give you this as Vivec.

     

     

    “Are you ready?” Talvas raised his voice. He was nearly ten steps away from Grulmar, both of them standing at Tel Mithryn’s 'courtyard.'

     

    “No!” the Orc shouted back. “Definitely not ready and never will be!”

     

    “Stop whining!” Talvas answered and threw a bolt of fire at Grulmar’s head. The Orc lowered his head and crouched, avoiding the not so fast projectile. He knew Talvas was holding back, but he still wasn’t really fond of the idea of standing in the path of any magic thrown at him.

     

    “Stop cowering! Use magic, moron!”

     

    “It’s idiotic!” the Orc yelled with slightly high-pitched voice. “When someone throws a fireball in yer face, ya get out of its way, not stick yer face in its path!”

     

    “Just use magic, you baby! Come on, watch what I’m doing. Predict. React.”

     

    Grulmar shook his head and sighed. “Predict my arse,” he muttered while he began drawing on the magicka, reaching into that chaotic source of Mysticism, looking for a pattern. He focused on the flowing streams, trying to understand it and then suddenly he could see the streams with his own eyes, passing through the world around him. They were colliding with Talvas and he was shaping them around his hands into something… It was crackling and hissing and…

     

    The Orc quickly raised a spell that protected him against shock spells and the moment Talvas released the lightning bolt, Grulmar leaned against the spell, giving it more power. The lightning simply broke against that shield of invisible force.

     

    “Good!” the Dunmer apprentice complimented him. “Now let's try the reflect!”

     

    “Wait, I'm not sure I'm ready for-” Grulmar started, but the magic around Talvas already began to hum, Grulmar being able to both feel it and see it, as the streams began shaping into a certain pattern, the temperature rapidly dropping. Talvas released a stream of cold wind and the Orc hastily raised his ward.

     

    He clenched his jaws and closed his eyes, his mind focusing on the magic thrown against him. He could see it, the white of frost and ice flowing towards him, but he could see it in his mind too, cold white-blue stream of magic being redirected through Talvas' hands at him. Grulmar realised he was holding the ward for too long, the dizziness slowly taking over as he was burning through too much magicka.

     

    So he turned the ward inside out, shaping it outside, like a mirror, against the cold. And all that Talvas threw at him was reflected. Not at Talvas though. The stream hit the ground several steps away from the Dunmer and then Grulmar saw the magic disappear, Talvas abruptly ending his spell. “I'm standing right here,” the Dunmer stated, looking at the frozen ground a distance away from him.

     

    “No shit!” the green-skinned steward of Tel Mithryn growled, walking towards the tower's sidewalk, sitting down completely exhausted, nearly drained of all magicka. It would take few days to fully regenerate again and that was making him even more frustrated. One day dedicated to practicing and then several days of not being able to cast a simple light for reading. It was just frustrating. Some had huge pools to draw from or could replenish it quickly, or suck it from others like sponges and his mind briefly flashed back to the great displays of magic he had seen. Damn tuskers, Grulmar growled to himself.

     

    Talvas walked to him, his eyebrows raised. “You have to focus on where you are reflecting the spell, turning the mirror in the right direction-”

     

    “I can't focus on tuskin’ aimin’ when I'm barely able to cast the spell,” Grulmar interrupted him with a grumble of exasperation.

     

    “Then ‘maybe’ you should learn how to cast it properly,” the Dunmer folded his hands in front of himself. “Because next time someone throws a fireball at you, you really want to aim it at least somewhere.”

     

    Grulmar silently mimicked Talvas, opening his mouth without saying words. “I still think it's just better to avoid the fireball.”

     

    The Dunmer then clipped Grulmar round the ear and the Orc rubbed it in surprise. “Hey!”

     

    “You're a member of House Telvanni now, so start behaving like one. Telvanni don't jump around like a bunch of Imgas.”

     

    “Start behavin’ like one…” Grulmar rolled his eyes. “What does that even mean? Should I start carryin’ myself with superiority? Go bat-shit crazy? Or stroke my ego until it’s as high as a mushroom tower?”

     

    “Sure, why not?” Talvas shrugged. He pointed at Grulmar and nodded in approval. “But at least you got the Detect spell right. Seeing magic around you and around your opponent allows you to predict. That's a first step I guess.”

     

    Is it now? Grulmar couldn't help himself but wonder. He was trying, that was true, but he just couldn't stop thinking like… himself. Learning magic and, more importantly, using magic was forcing him to completely change his way of thinking and that was more difficult than he expected because it was his thinking that always kept him alive. Somehow. He kept repeating it's better to avoid a fireball than block it.

     

    But was Talvas ready to understand? Probably not, he couldn't. But the fact was that blocking a spell was using up his own reserves of magicka, dodging wasn't. It allowed him to save his magicka for something else, to be smarter, but that poor imitation of a Telvanni apprentice was just too set in his ways. Or the ways of Telvanni. Whatever. Tuskin’ Hlaalu Telvanni bugger.

     

    “The forceful expression of will gives true honor to the Ancestors, eh?” he said out loud, pretending he at least remembered something. But he didn't really mean it. ‘Cause I don't give a crap ‘bout the Ancestors, so I don't have to honor them. And forceful expression...well, the direct route isn't always the best one, is it? Sometimes ya got to go from a side, find a different angle. ‘Cause everythin’ is ‘bout angles. Everyone has them.

     

    Talvas nodded in surprised satisfaction. “Precisely!” He then smirked at Grulmar, mischief in his eyes. “Does that mean we're going to practice absorption spells now?”

     

    “Tusk no!” Grulmar exclaimed, rolling his eyes. “I'm as drained as Tel Mithryn's sewers,” he murmured and when he saw Talvas' raised eyebrows he quickly added: “If there was magicka flowin’ in them. And if Tel Mithryn actually had sewers.”

     

    “If it had, then we wouldn't be emptying our chamberpots into the sea,” the Dunmer chuckled, shaking his head. “But seriously, we didn’t cast that many spells. You sure you did-”

     

    “That's why I'm usually dodgin’ the stupid spells, matey!” the Orc groaned. “Just had enough for today, alright? Need to take some time off, to meditate and shit.”

     

    “Fine, fine,” Talvas raised his hands in surrender, sitting down next to Grulmar. He then squinted and cocked his head. “Then if we can’t practice, we can at least talk. How goes your practice of Mark and Recall?”

     

    Grulmar rubbed his eyes and sighed. “Well...it's not bad. Solved the infinitessimal retromission - so no halves of stones appearin’ out of thin air - but it's the transpontine circumprecision that's causin’ me problems now. Can't make the items Recall directly to the Mark, they always appear...anywhere.”

     

    Talvas cast a sidelong glance at Grulmar and then burst out laughing.

     

    “What?” The Orc didn't understand what was so funny about that. “Don't tell me one of those bananas were teleported into yer head or somethin’.”

     

    Talvas shook his head, wiping his mouth. “No, that's not it. It's just...I mean, do you listen to yourself? ‘Retromission,’ ‘circumprecision,’” he imitated Grulmar's voice. “You're starting to sound like a real scholar.”

     

    “Ha-ha! Funny,” Grulmar's fist hit the Dunmer's shoulder. “Ass.”

     

    “Sorry, couldn't help myself,” the apprentice smirked. “But alright, transpontine circumprecision. Walk me through your process.”

     

    “I cast the Mark, using tiny piece of my soul as the anchor-”

     

    “Wait!” Talvas interrupted him before he could even begin. “You're using fraction of your soul as the anchor? Very unorthodox.”

     

    Grulmar grimaced and scratched his eyebrows. “That's not how it's done?”

     

    “Most mages create a certain combination of magickal energy, something unique that can easily guide the mage back to it. It's like a key of sorts, a magickal key that can be only felt by the mage who cast it,” Talvas explained and Grulmar was beginning to frown. He bit his lip, otherwise he would have started calling himself few names. I'd probably start with idiot. Talvas narrowed his eyes when he saw that and waved his hand. “Not saying your way is bad. But for what you are doing, it's not ideal. You are trying to Recall items that are imbued with magicka but lack the soul. Do you follow?”

     

    The Orc rubbed his goatee in thought, tugging at the ring on his forefinger. “So for the spell to work I have to use somethin’ with a soul. Means a livin’ bein’ most likely, yeah?”

     

    “Most likely,” Talvas snorted.

     

    “Hmm. Where's Mahti?” Grulmar wondered out loud. Talvas raised eyebrows at that and the Orc just chuckled. “Alright, I'll stick with stones for now. Show me that other technique.”

     


Comments

4 Comments   |   KaiserSoSay and 4 others like this.
  • The Long-Chapper
    The Long-Chapper   ·  November 25
    Hehe, yep. The good old dodge. Save those magicks. And don't ever hurt Mahti!!
  • A Shadow Under the Moons
    A Shadow Under the Moons   ·  November 25
    I'm with Grulmar on this one. If dodging is more convenient and saves energy (and I'm of the opinion it usually is) then 'ya tuskin' dodge'!

    On the other hand, though, it's always beneficial to learn new techniques. Grulmar is here to study, ...  more
    • The Lorc of Flowers
      The Lorc of Flowers
      A Shadow Under the Moons
      A Shadow Under the Moons
      A Shadow Under the Moons
      I'm with Grulmar on this one. If dodging is more convenient and saves energy (and I'm of the opinion it usually is) then 'ya tuskin' dodge'!

      On the other hand, though, it's always beneficial to learn new techniques. Grulmar is here to study, after all. E...  more
        ·  November 26
      Right? Right?! If you can move your arse then move it and get out of the fireball's way! :D
      • Teineeva
        Teineeva
        The Lorc of Flowers
        The Lorc of Flowers
        The Lorc of Flowers
        Right? Right?! If you can move your arse then move it and get out of the fireball's way! :D
          ·  November 26
        Which is exactly why I can't get behind the usage of wards in game. Fuck blocking the huge incoming fireball; just tusking dodge.