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William Enskraft - History is Written


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Summary of the last several posts in the old thread:

William can feel the force of his will allowing his fingers to move the pentagon. Like a frustrating slide puzzle, however, it seems like every movement of a pentagon gets in the way of moving other pentagons into proper position. All of the pieces look like they are made of identical pieces of the mirror-like metal, but under his mage sight William could see faint bumps and whorls barely visible around the edges of the pieces. It makes the puzzle far more difficult than it looked from a distance.

William's focus is so intense of the puzzle that he does not really notice Anakalypsi's wand crack as the mage hisses an Atlantean phrase and unravels a bolt of lightning that would have landed on the top of William's head. The speed of the spellcasting is such that even if he was looking, it is uncertain if William would have even noticed what happened.

Nepungan's first spell, if it had an effect, was so subtle as to be unnoticable. Her change in tactics as William threw himself at the box was much more apparent. She punched a fist in the air and an invisible force of some power slammed into the ball of electricity. It wobbled in mid-air, like a punched balloon. It was unclear if the blow actually did damage or not, but it certainly did something.
 
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Last edited by Anthr4xus; May 19 '23 at 12:19pm.
x55hgGK.pngWilliam H. Enskraft aka Pakaku

Ok this box got tricks... but I am not over yet, not by a long shot ! Gritting his teeth as he realized the puzzle was more complex than expected at first, William had a flash in his mind of his Father's scorn at his failure, and refocused his whole body, mind, soul, every fiber of his being into making this box close again.

Combining his memory with his analytical mind, he tried to understand the rules governing this puzzle, the places where the bumps and whorls matched to progress steadily, step by step, toward the completion of this task.
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Last edited by Thot; May 21 '23 at 2:21pm.

William kept his focus on the box as much as possible, although the crackling ball of impossible power just inches above his head was a distraction impossible to ignore. The more he examined the box the more complex and confusing it seemed to be. Causality itself seemed to become somewhat flexible as sometimes when he tried to move one of the pentagonal pieces a different one would move instead. There had to be some sense to it, but what that sense was still escaped him. He groaned with frustration.

The electrical tumult above his head boomed and two bolts of lightning forked from it, nearly simultaneously. One struck down towards William, but the leathery skinned Anakalypsi yelled something in that William could not make out over the noise of the ball and that bolt of lightning dispersed harmlessly. The second bolt struck the wand in his hand, causing it to flash and explode like a grenade. The power of the lightning continued into his hand and arm, causing him to scream in pain!

Nepungan had started to cast the same spell she had done before, but saw the problems that William seemed to be having and that they were losing ground. She dove forward, a grunt escaping her as she hits the floor next to William. Her long, brown fingers danced around the box, never touching it, but William could see faint golden tracers of light following the complex movements. The golden tracers seemed to catch on to something in the aura of the box, causing parts and pieces of the lid in both physical and auric spaces to glow in response. William could see that these highlights were attempting to show a particular order in which to 
start to make progress.
 
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Last edited by Anthr4xus; Jun 5 '23 at 12:28pm.
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x55hgGK.pngWilliam H. Enskraft aka Pakaku

William was confident to a fault, probably to the point when it started becoming detrimental. He was now so commited to solving this puzzle that nothing else mattered around him but proving his point. He would solve this, and that would be the end of it !

But obviously Nepungan's additional brand of magic was proof that making one's own luck was the way to go, and no other. He would close this box. He would be the Master of his Fate. The pentagonal pieces would yield to their master, as it was destined to be, and had always been destined to be.
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With the assistance of Nepungan's golden hue will-working, William was finally able to see the degree of auric overlay's. The problem with the puzzle was that it was someone overlayed and entangled with itself not only in the current moment, but also roughly two seconds before and three seconds ahead. This is why the pieces refused to move. The only way to close the box was to not try to close the box, at least not in smooth movements. Having been given the key to how to properly view the box, William felt an almost physical 'click' in his brain and suddenly the solution to the lid was almost obvious.

The pentagonal pieces began to move in conjunction with each other at William's prompting, quicker and quicker although in smaller and smaller increments. William could not help but remind himself of Zeno's paradox. If the distances the pieces were travelling continued to get smaller and smaller, could the box ever truly close? Distantly he heard the Savant saying something in Atlantean and the thunderous crackling of the lightning entity above him.

There was a tingling along his skin that he knew now was the precursor to another bolt of lightning targeting him. He just needed another couple of seconds to finish it. Suddenly the pentagons jerked forward seemingly of their own accord and with a deafening boom the lightning entity vanished.

A reek of ozone filled the air of the large brick room. Savant Anakalypsi breathed heavily and cradled his burned hand. Nepungan managed a small smile for William as she got off the ground and back on her feet. The metallic box was so reflective and oddly hued that it almost looked like it was moving event though his hand on it assured him it wasn't. The effect was mildly nauseating.

After a moment Anakalypsi spoke in a heavy greek accent, "Well, not the welcome I meant for you, but welcome regardless." He opened a tackle box nearby and pulled out a deep green stone pot. Opening the lid, he smeared a thick purple paste from inside across his burned hand. Within a few seconds, William saw the paste dry and harden, flaking away to reveal uninjured skin beneath.

Nepungan chuckles, her gaze moving from the box to the Savant. "Thank you Savant, you have a lovely domicle. I am pleased to introduce my Exemplum, Pakaku."
 
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Last edited by Anthr4xus; Jun 14 '23 at 9:33am. Reason: Forgot the Savant didn't have Life magic.
x55hgGK.pngWilliam H. Enskraft aka Pakaku

Focused as he had been on the box, William's eyes were still affixed upon it even as it lay there, closed but not inert. He heard the voices around him but they hardly registered, or they didn't register as they should have. They were distant, like muffled as his ears and his brain had filtered all distraction out, and now had to start doing the opposite.

He slowly raised his head, looked at the senior Mages around him, and finally realized the words were greetings. Then he realized he should reciprocate. Then that it would be proper to do so standing. Then that he had to move his legs to do so...

As William finally kicked his body into motion, a dizzy spell struck him, and his head spun badly, his balance precarious at best. But he stood, on his own, and looked at Savant Anakalypsi.

"(English) Exemplum Pakaku, at your service. (/English)" he managed to say with the smallest nod of the head. He felt like doing more would mean collapsing to the ground, and he dared not expend the smallest bit of strength that he could save.
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Anakalypsi flexes his previously injured hand and approaches you. "Again, thanks and welcome to you both. My apologies for the circumstances. Let me see if I can do something for your wounds, young man." He held the green pot in his hand, obviously waiting for William's permission to proceed. Nepungan stood just a few paces behind him, and William could see her nod her head once, slowly.
 
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Last edited by Anthr4xus; Jun 14 '23 at 9:34am.
x55hgGK.pngWilliam H. Enskraft aka Pakaku

Having seen firsthand the Savant's workings, and having already received such service before, William knew that Magic could also do wonders about the body. He gathered his strength and took his cue from his Mentor.

"(English) Thank you for your hospitality, Savant. And thank you also for your help, it would be most welcome, if you don't mind. (/English)" and he hobbled into the reach of the senior Mage, wondering how such useful pastes were made. Questions for later.
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Last edited by Thot; Jun 17 '23 at 4:46pm. Reason: The File was correct of course 🙂
The Savant applied the ointment to William's open wounds. The ointment was cool and penetrating. William noticed that much of the pain of the electrical burn seemed to 
seep away almost instantly. He screwed the top back on the nearly empty container as William felt his muscles relax and a bit of revigorating energy seemed to come back to him.

After putting the ointment back on the shelf, he carefully approached the shimmering box. He gave the other two mages in the room a glance before carefully picking up the box and setting it on the shelf well away from anything else. "That was an unexpected consequence," the Savant said with a small laugh, "but I am happy to report that I have determined how to open our mystery box, Nepungan."

Nepungan joined him in the chuckle and replied, "I am glad to hear of the progress, but I kind of wish you had waited until we got here."

The Savant suggested that you all return back upstairs for a drink and to speak. Nepungan agreed and a few minutes later all three of you are seated around an old and heavy looking oak dining table. The seats are high backed and well cushioned. The butler provides drinks as requested, and a large tray sits on the table roughly between all of you. The tray holds a woven basket full of various breads and muffins as well as a variety cheeses spread out on a stone plate. Small serving knives sit in a small china container. The butler was bringing in another large plate of various sliced fruits. All of the food had things that William was familiar with as well as a spread of selections from various South American and African countries.

The Savant and Nepungan had been making small talk, catching up on rather mundane exchanges about other people they were each in communication with. It sounded like a mix of mutual acquaintances and companions, both Sleeper and Awakened. Suddenly Anakalypsi looked at William and asked, "So, Pekaku. What do you think of your mentor here, eh? It has been a very long time since I have taken on an Exemplum myself, and I was more than a little surprised when I heard Nepungan had. How has your ongoing Awakenening been?"
 
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x55hgGK.pngWilliam H. Enskraft aka Pakaku

The soothing effect of the balm had been more than welcome after the sting and scorch from the bolts, and William was perhaps even more happy to be left to recover while the elder Mages talked between themselves. Every now and then he nipped a fruit, but it was more of an idle gesture than out of real hunger, and he gladly looked around the room, getting the furnitures, the books, and so on.

When Savant Anakalypsi adressed him, William need a moment to register the question, and a breath more to come up with an answer "(English) Ah... My Awakening has been eventful lately... (/English)" he squeezed with a chuckle "(English) ... but even before that there's been so much more to it than I could ever have anticipated. It is beyond compare already, and I know I am barely scratching the surface ! I just can't wait to find and learn more, then the day after that to learn even more, and thus endlessly. It is... incredible, in short. And I count myself lucky to have found a Guide in that journey... (/English)" he finished with a nod and a smile toward his Mentor.
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Nepungan graces William with a broad smile and gracious nod. "William has been an apt student, although I thought it might be interesting for the two of you to meet due to his Sleeping life."

"Ah, yes. You are working with Parrish and Kowalczyk, yes? I have had correspondence with both of them fairly recently."
 
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x55hgGK.pngWilliam H. Enskraft aka Pakaku

William was too tired to blush, but his smile widened slightly at the praise from his mentor. And also, there was an additional angle to this visit... Nepungan was indeed preparing him in more ways than one. If this went on, he would owe an awful lot to the woman... "(English) I am still learning in the Sleeping life as well, and it is more correct to say that I am working for Pr Parrish and Kowalczyk than with them. Perhaps in a while, perhaps not even so far ahead, but not yet. (/English)"

After a moment more to ponder whether it was appropriate or not, he also added softly "(English) May I inquire as to what that correspondence was about, Savant ? (/English)" Not only may it shed interesting light on those Professors he worked for or on Savant Anakalypsi, there was the also the additional angle of the ties between Parrish and Powerup to cover....
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The Savant sat back in his chair and said, "Parrish has been working on a extended lexicology of Western Hemisphere indigenous tribes for several years now. I think he was working to develop some kind of trade route mapping or something like that. Kowalczyk is just a hilarious guy. We met at a Symposium in Brussels a few years back, struck up a friendship and have been in touch ever since. I know Nepungan said that you were working towards finishing your doctorate. What is your thesis?"
 
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x55hgGK.pngWilliam H. Enskraft aka Pakaku

To be interested in trade routes seemed right up like Powerup's alley, and probably for more than academic purposes... to what end exactly remained to be seen, but it hardly interested William at this point. So instead he replied honestly to Anakalypsi's inquiry.

"(English) I had started working on it before Awakening, and I meant to research how several languages and scripts in the world had been influenced by one single source in the distant past. And to prove that that source would fit the usual Atlantis description. I have been told by now that this wasn't a possibility, since Sleepers had to be kept out of the loop, so I need to shift my focus, alas. I will probably only built a single brick about that, and focus on Elder Futhark only, I reckon... (/English)"

Obviously he wasn't thrilled about giving up on something that had meant so much to him, but at least he knew now that he had been right all along. He just wouldn't be able to brag about it... but now he had to find a new objective for himself to get recognition in the Awakened Society, and that was clear. Find Atlantis again. No matter what some may say...
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"Ah," said the Savant with a smile, "The hunt for Atlantis. Such a great place of legend. It would interest you to know that the box in there is rumored to be a relic surviving from Atlantis itself. At the very least the arcanely purified metal it is composed of was crafted in the Great City."

From the corner of his eye William noticed Nepungan watching him over the rim of her teacup as she took a drink.
 
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x55hgGK.pngWilliam H. Enskraft aka Pakaku

Of course William had hoped for the box to be an actual artifact from that bygone era, and something worth delving into, but he hadn't dared do more than hope. Until now.

"(English) It would interest me very much indeed, Savant. What more have you learned about this box, if I may inquire ? And what does it teach us about that time ? And place... ? (/English)" he hinted at, at the end of his question.

Of course Nepungan would watch over him, but hopefully she would approve of his actions...
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"Our area of focus," began the Savant, "has been on the defenses built into it. You saw what I believe to be the last of these defenses. Unfortunately I think that is still in place. More research will need to be done to deal with that. It was removing one of the last external wards on it, I think, that triggered that release. As for what it may teach us of Atlantis, that is the mystery, is it not? This is one of the last objects recovered from what is believed to be a cache of artifacts hidden by a mage fleeing Atlantis some short time before the Fall in the Andean mountains."

Nepungan added, "Analyzing these artifacts has been a project the Savant and I have been working on for quite some time. As you can imagine these kind of caches are extremely rare, extremely valuable, and unbelievably dangerous."

The Savant nodded, "Indeed. We have already turned over much of the written materials to the Mysterium curators for inclusion in the collection once we completed the translations and curse-breaking."

Nepungan said, "Perhaps visiting a lorehouse to see those will be our next 'field trip'." She gave William another smile.

The Savant continued, "Based on those documents and the other artifacts of the cache, we believe the box to contain a phylactery and associated materials to an attempt that this mage, the self-stylized Negal the Everlasting, was making to achieve some kind of physical immortality. As far as we can tell, that attempt ultimately failed, but we can never be too sure of that, can we?"
 
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The tale that Anakalypsi was telling was mesmerizing to William, and he focused as much as he still could on each and every word. Once it was finally his place to speak, he tried to keep short, both out of respect, and also out of fatigue.

"(English) This kind of research is incredible, and definitly something I want to be a part of as soon as possible. What do I need to do for that, please ? Aslo, physical immortality ? Is that even possible ? I can see the lure, of course, but it seems like chasing an illusion. Whereas Atlantis on the other has actually existed, so it is no fairy tale of course, so I would much rather pursue that goal. (/English)" .

He also slightly tilted his head to his Master.

"(English) I look forward to that field trip then, Ma'am. (/English)" .
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The Savant chuckled slightly and spoke to Nepungan, "Ah, I had forgotten what it is like to have doubt that a thing was possible." Nepungan gave him a small smile in response. To William he says, "I know of no force or law that makes it impossible, so I am left to accept that it may be possible. But I know of no one that has actually done so. Many Masters of the Life Arcana can extend their lives significantly, but even the Heirophant is not truly immortal." He gave William a small smile and wink, "At least I think so."

"Atlantis, however, is known to have fallen to the Abyss. While the Abyss is a great mystery one of the things that is known about it is that what goes in does not return. Finding remnants, such as the Kassiterum box, often yeilds information and views on will working that have not been rediscovered, but attempting to reach or recover Atlantis itself from the Abyss is perhaps not the wisest use of one's limited time."
 
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x55hgGK.pngWilliam H. Enskraft aka Pakaku

Even though he was weary, William's mind could still work a bit, enough at least to raise a point.

"(English) If Atlantis is in the Abyss, then that's what I shall study until I find a path. I have no doubt that that is possible. It's impossible to do something until there's a first person to do it, right ? (/English)" .

Not the wisest use of his time, euh ? That's for ME to decide ! the young man thought decidedly.
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Last edited by Thot; Jul 13 '23 at 6:05pm.
 
 
Savant Anakalypsi smiled, "Quite right, my boy. A dangerous but exciting area of focus. Yes. I endorse this line of research."

Nepungan gave William a look of concern, but said nothing. The next forty five minutes delved into complex arcane discussions that dove deep on concepts William had only a marginal introduction to via the primers and Nepungan's lessons. It didn't seem like they were intentionally being obtuse, but that the subjects of their research relied on so many understood 'givens' that it was difficult for William to keep up while also trying to note particular terms or concepts for later research. He felt like a college freshman trying to audit the last class of the semester in a PhD track course.
 
 
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x55hgGK.pngWilliam H. Enskraft aka Pakaku

"(English) Thank you Sir ! I will do my best ! (/English)" William said with some well-taught modesty, but he was extremely sure of himself, despite Nepungan's look. He would convince her later that he would play safe.

After that, the conversation shifted again, and it was obvious that William still had a long way to go. It didn't deter him one second though, he was just more thrilled than ever, and he focused as much as his remaining forces let him.
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Last edited by Thot; Jul 15 '23 at 10:51am.
After a bit, the conversation started to wrap up. Nepungan and William made their polite goodbyes, and the Savant slipped William an embossed business card for his Sleeping alias with an email address.

Again Nepungan lead William back across the road and gave a look around before casting the portal spell again. As the two appear back in her kitchen, Nepungan steps to the stove and grabs a teakettle and starts filling it at the sink. She looks to William and smiles, a small tired gesture. "What did you think? Are you alright?"
 
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x55hgGK.pngWilliam H. Enskraft aka Pakaku

William was only too happy to have apparently secured another support, and he cheerfully thanked the Savant for his card, and returned his own as was proper.

Back in Nepungan's building, he relaxed even further, to the point when he thought he could sleep right there on the couch, if he wasn't better mannered, and also a bit prideful. At his Mentor's behest, he summed up the meeting "(English) It was much more eventful than expected, and if I analyze it carefully, I would have died on my own, I think. Savant Anakalypsi could possibly say the same, too... I am fine, physically, but drained, and also a bit... I don't know... I wouldn't say shocked, but still, it's... not nothing... (/English)" and if he couldn't explain his feelings, he knew that this experience would probably leave a mark on his mind. Be careful, Magic is dangerous, even when you don't expect it, even when you're experienced. And by dangerous, it means potentially deadly.

"(English) On the plus side, I have learned a lot ! A great lot ! (/English)" he said, not wanting to sound too gloomy either.
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Last edited by Thot; Jul 18 '23 at 6:47pm.
Nepungan nodded, her face unusually stoic. She said, "We all could have, quite easily I think. If it were not for the preparations that both the Savant and you and I had in place, we likely all would be dead there and that Lightning spirit laying in wait for the next person to enter the room." She set down her bag and brushed her hands over her headwrap, lightly making sure it was still in place.

"What would you say were the top three... things that you gleaned from the visit as a whole?"
 
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x55hgGK.pngWilliam H. Enskraft aka Pakaku

Yes, it was true that had they died, more to come would have probably shared the same fate too... Magic was definitly not to be taken lightly.

"(English) The top three things I gleaned... (/English)" he said, stalling a little bit because the first things to come to William's mind were nothing to be proud of... Then he decided to be honest and open with Nepungan, and vocalized them.

"(English) Obviously, the bond with Savant Anakalypsi comes first. He will probably remember me much more vividly now, and be more helpful in the future. That was unexpected, but it is the first thing that comes to mind. (/English)" then he considered further his next answers.

"(English) Apart from that, the sight of Magics and items I had never even considered. This is first-hand experience that will stick with me. And alos a clarification of purpose, I would say. I still have a lot to learn and really understand, including Fate, Atlantis, the Abyss and so on. But I can see more clearly where I want to head to, now. And this cannot be underestimated. (/English)" he paused and thought again about his answers, but found them satisfying.

"(English) Do you think I should have mentioned something else, perhaps ? (/English)" after all, she had much greater experience than he.
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"That is a fair summary," Nepungan said, nodding, "Additionally, you should be aware two other critical points. Firstly, a strong bonding agent between mages is shared interest, but a stronger bonding agent can be imminent threat of death. As you said, you have doubtless been burned into Savant Anakalypsi's mind. This kind of connection is valuable and rare. Secondly, while Atlantis itself may be lost, there are many artifacts and other remnants of vast power and deep mystery that not only are a direct connection to Atlantis, but are a more practically actionable area of focus."

"There are potentially other valuable insights to be gleaned from recollecting the incident, but we will see if those reveal themselves in time. Do you have any questions for me that you did not feel comfortable asking before the Savant?"
 
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William nodded in acknowledgement to Nepungan's additional points, and stroked his chin before answering her question.

"(English) Perhaps because of that bond in face of death, I felt more comfortable with the Savant than I had anticipated, and I think I have been able to broach all subjects in front of him. Obviously, that didn't extend to acknowledging my lack of understanding of the points you discussed, but if you could share a small summary for me, perhaps I could in hindsight understand better a bit of what you talked about ? (/English)" It was not pleasant, but facing unpleasant truth was part of growing up, after all. 
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"Often bonds made in adversity are stronger than otherwise. This is a truth for both the Sleeping and Waking worlds." Nepungan said with a smile as she settled into a chair at the small kitchen table. "What were your observances of the box or the Savant's workspace?" She did not immediately answer William's request, although he had noticed that often when they were discussing his readings that she would prompt him to analyze his own thoughts more often than simply tell him a flat response.

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NepuWilliamEnskraft.png.370176715a3d4fe0beccaa417f8194db.pngngan's nudge toward the box was probably a hint that her talk with the Savant had covered that topic. William didn't immediatly answer her question, taking his time as usual. A lot popped up in his mind, a lot more than most could expect, but he had both an excellent memory, as well as a strong focusing capacity, and he had used both at full capacity on the box.

"(English) While I can't really comment on the Savant's workplace, I know that the box was crafted through magic the like of which I would never have thought possible. It was not only a puzzle in Space, but also in Time, or that's how I perceived it when I solved it. With your help. (/English)" he did not forget that she had blessed him with some Magic of hers, too.

"(English) Again, it is humbling to think that there could be people able to master so many facets of Magic. (/English)" or of Reality ? William didn't quite feel at ease enough yet with the concept to say it out loud, though. It also meant that he either had a lifetime of work ahead of him, or that he needed a group to support him, because it was unrealistic to expect a single man to encompass all field of magical knowledge. In short, he needed an Order's backing. And perhaps a Cabal, though that sounded way too far ahead for now.

 

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"The degree of complexity and interwoven enchantment that was capable by the Atlantean masters is truly remarkable. Although it is worth noting that magic has not stagnated over time. I'm sure you noticed the unusual material the box was crafted from. It is known as Kassiterum, a perfected form of Tin. In Atlantis the only way to refine the metal was to open a portal to Twilight and pass the metal back and forth across the border. This process was time-consuming and dangerous. Likely just refining the metal that made up that box took months or years. These days, there is a rote that can do so both faster and more safely, although it does require a higher degree of mastery of the Matter Arcana than many mages possess."

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spacer.pngWilliam's natural propension wasn't toward Matter, and he had only paid the most basic mind to it, so while the name Kassiterum rang a bell, everything else from Nepungan was new to the young Mastigos. He had noticed her look before, and decided to try and prod her further about something that was really getting more and more of his interest.

"(English) I wasn't aware of it, but I thank you for that information. And for the hope therein. If we can grow beyond what was possible before, standing on the shoulders of giants as it is, then maybe we can accomplish what has never been accomplished before, or even thought accomplishable. (/English)" and he didn't expand, because Nepungan knew him well enough by now to understand what he didn't say. Recovering Atlantis from the Abyss...

 

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Nepungan spared him a small smile, "Perhaps, young Pekaku, perhaps. Now, let us take some time to discuss more about perfected materials and their properties."

The next several hours was spent discussing the five major types of magically perfected metals: Orichalcum (perfected gold), Lunargent (perfected silver), Hermium (perfected mercury), Brontium (perfected copper), Kassiterum (perfected tin), Apeiron (perfected iron), and Siderite (perfected iron/steel). The conversation also touches on perfecting non-metals and some discussion of the process of making alloys of perfected metals, a process that Nepungan freely admits she only knows the broadest information about.

OOC

We can either expand on this explanation if you want, or we can move the scene along to something else. We have the field trip that she mentioned, or we can focus on some of William's more mundane concerns. Do you have a preference for which direction to continue in?

 

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spacer.pngBeing a Mastigos, William knew that his Inferior Arcanum was Matter. He didn't know if it was because of his nature, or because of his grooming, but the teachings shared by Nepungan, while certainly valuable, held indeed little interest for the young man. He still dutifully committed them to memory, but more as rote training than because of genuine interest.

After several hours, when the time came to discuss the next steps, he had several suggestion to make to his Mentor.

"(English) This is all very interesting, and I am not underestimating any of it. How could I after the box, really ! But I am concerned about several very practical matters, or so they seem to me, at least. The first of which is the big target that is painted all around me for all other Mages to see, this Aura. At this point, this is one the thing that is most weighing on my mind... How to hide myself ? to blend back in the crowd ? to be safe again, at least in that respect ? And perhaps also how to defend myself, but I guess if I can blend enough, perhaps I would not even need that... Do you think it is something we could focus on, Ma'am ? (/English)" Of course he was the junior, and if she deemed other fields to be prioritary, he would yield, but at least she would know of his concerns.

"(English) Or if you think it is too hard, or an undue concern, then my main interests would lie with Fate, and the Abyss, from a practical point of view, or Atlantis academically. Of course the field trip to a lorehouse sounds intriguing too. (/English)" he hastened to add, lest she thought he made light of her advices. A magical museum sounded very interesting indeed, and it would take only a couple of hours at most. Probably...

 

 

 

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While William did not feel a connection with the material of focus, some of the traits of these magically refined substances such as dissolving any mundane matter or blades that never loose their edge and could cut through normal steel like it was paper, were noteworthy and inherently interesting.

Nepungan listened to William's concern and said, "Ah, yes. Well. The first thing that should be set plain for you is the scope of that threat. There are relatively few things that can perceive auras as mages can. So much so that you really only need to worry about other mages in most cases. To that end, what would you guess is the population of Awakened individuals in New York?"

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spacer.pngWilliam H.Enskraft | Health 7 / 7 | Willpower 1 / 6 | Mana 5 / 10


How many Awakened were there in New York ? William had pondered that question as soon as he had realized what was happening to him. It was a rough guess of course, but based on what he's seen, and extrapolating...

"(English) I don't know. My own best guess is somewhere between one hundred to two hundred, which already seems quite frightening if you consider what we can do... (/English)" He had stumbled unto Powerup on his very first day after all... what if he had had any ill intent ? The young Mastigos shuddered at the thought.

 

 

 

 

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Nepungan nodded at William's answer. "A truly reliable census is likely impossible, of course, but at least anecdotally I think the Awakened population for all of New York is probably closer to a thousand, probably a few more. In a city of more than eight million, this makes Mage vanishingly rare. New York also has the largest Mage population of any city in the world that I know of. It is truly remarkable that you ran into Powerup so quickly after your Awakening. Often newly Awakened mages are not found until they have done something noticeable enough for the Guardians to get involved. Honestly, how it worked for you is safer and better overall. Part of the reason that you found Powerup was because you were at Columbia, which is a hot spot for at least a few mages I am aware of, Powerup included. There are ways to mask your aura, although that requires a notable mastery of the Prime Arcana. Your more effective strategy to hide is to avoid those areas in the city that Mages tends to congregate. But you are not as vulnerable as you may fear. Keep in mind that Mages rarely keep the Sight up at all times. In addition to that, you are now an Exemplum of the Mysterium and my apprentice. Both of these truths offer you a great deal of protection and even allegiance with the majority of Mages you will meet, as most Mages are also a member of the Diamond and thus some respect and consideration is due between members." She spared him a small smile before adding, "Does that help quell some of your fears?"

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spacer.pngWilliam H.Enskraft | Health 7 / 7 | Willpower 1 / 6 | Mana 5 / 10


The amount of Mages disclosed by Nepungan seemed staggering to William, and he didn't hide his surprise on his face. And what his Mentor further suggested about his recent status as an Exemplum of the Mysterium did little to assuage his fears. It helped a bit, but...

"(English) I hope you are right, that our scarcity is enough to ensure a measure of discretion. But this is still leaving a part of our safety to chance... I heard about the Banishers, and by your own account, Columbia is a target rich environment... and I don't intend to change all my habits ! (/English)" and obviously, that didn't sit too well with the Mastigos. His Father's teaching were well ingrained, no matter how much he struggled against them. Chance was something to be made, to be tamed, not to be relied upon.

"(English) It is good to hear about the standing granted though. Obviously I need to learn how to reciprocate that. Powerup will react differently to me next time we meet, then ? And who are the other mages roaming around Columbia that I should know of, please ? (/English)" Planning ahead would probably be helpful again.

Edited by Thot (see edit history)
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Nepungan nodded, an unusually somber expression on her face. "It is a basic facet of life that you are always leaving some of your safety to chance. While Banishers are a real concern, they are both rare and tend to focus more on schemes to destroy the Tapestry as a whole rather than hunting down neophyte mages. Even those that I have heard of that do try to hunt down mages tend to target established mages of note, rather than their apprentices."

She got herself a glass of water as she continued, "You don't want to change your habits, and as someone born and raised in New York, you shouldn't. Those same habits are as valid and useful in keeping you safe from miscellaneous mages as muggers and pickpockets. Be aware of your surroundings. Notice who enters and leaves your area. Know where you nearest exits are. Don't draw attention to yourself. So on. Now you just have more tools at your disposal to do those same things."

"It will be interesting to see how Powerup reacts, should you meet him again. I hope I am there when it happens. As for other mages active around Columbia, like the census, I don't know that anyone can say with 100% certainty. I know that the Savant occasionally meets with people there, as do a few other Mysterium members while conducting research. There is not a Mysterium library there, but the Columbia libraries and mundane research facilities are certainly top-notch. I would think that one or more of the Guardians would be keeping an eye on the area, although their focus would be more on watching for signs of Awakenings or artifacts and the like that fell into mundane hands. I don't have many strong connections with the Guardians of the Veil, so could not tell who whom that would be. As to the Mysterium members, I think it would be better to give you some grounding in the common call signs, gestures and markings to are used to indicate that someone is a member of the Diamond without the need for Sight or other magic."

The rest of your time together that day was spent in learning and practicing the various call signs, both verbal and somatic, that would not only allow William to easily identify himself, but to recognize similar communications from others.

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spacer.pngWilliam H.Enskraft | Health 7 / 7 | Willpower 1 / 6 | Mana 5 / 10


Accepting Nepungan as his Mentor meant extending her a measure of trust, confidence that she knew better than him. So William tried to trust her word that Banishers would be a very unlikely threat, and to stick to his usual behaviour, only with an Awakened's look at it. But he would still want to practice any Prime magic at the earliest opportunity, and he made that known plainly to her.

After that came a more social concern "(English) If you want to make sure I meet Powerup with you, the simplest solution is to organize the meeting. I got his card, so it would be very easy. We could have Ariadne be with us too, if we wanted to spread some message to the Guardians at the same time. (/English)" Come to think of it, it may even be sound to do it regardless of Powerup, he thought, but that may be for another time.

After that, Exemplum Pakaku focused on the social know-how he needed to be acknowledged as such, and thus earn some protection and grounding indeed.

OOCAt this point, we can go with the Field Trip to a Storehouse, or any other field trip / experiment that Nepungan could endorse in the fields of interest to William, and you know them very well by now: Prime / Fate / the Abyss.

I could also see her giving him some homework on his own, if you would rather see William fly on his own wings :)

Edited by Thot (see edit history)
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"I'm not sure if it is worth calling a meeting until we have actual reason to meeting with him. It is a pretty universal truth in my experience that it is almost never worth wasting a Mage's time. Particularly one that is fairly well connected within their order, like Powerup. And there is seldom a good reason to bring a Guardian into situations where one is not needed, especially if the Free Council is involved. Those two orders do NOT get along," Nepungan said.

As the lessons for the day wrapped up, William's head abuzz with symbols, hand gestures and potential code words to indicate the various orders and paths and what they meant or indicated in different contexts. As he began to prepare to leave, Nepungan handed him a book. It was old, the thin metallic coverwrap patinaed and spotty. Flipping it open to the title page he saw that the book was written in German and titled "(German)Fundamentals of Pure Magic for the Neophyte(/German)". Nepungan said, "This primer is a good start to understanding Prime arcana principles, as well as some of the fundamentals of will working. There is probably some overlap with some of your earlier studies, although not too much. Take a couple of days to go over and do some practice casting. Be careful with it, particularly around sleepers, but begin to explore some. This will start you on your path to mastering Prime, as well as adding to your understanding of the other Arcana that you are naturally gifted towards. I'll call you in two or three days with details about our next field trip. Of course, if you have questions or concerns about your studies, reach out."

 

OOC

I would prefer to leave that call to you. We can focus on the next couple of days as William studies and tries some magic on his own, or we can gloss over that and jump straight to the field trip. You will need to spend the XP to buy are Prime Arcana before you can cast spells using it, but the primer you just acquired certainly gives story justification for it, if that is what you were waiting for.

 

Edited by Anthr4xus (see edit history)
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