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TS23: Show and...

Tuesday was a light class day for Jove. Part of that was he was only taking three classes over the summer, and all of them met Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Elements of Magic Theory had a lab this morning, and Jove had no idea what to expect. It was the first week, so it would probably be nothing more than an explanation of that part of the class.

It was in the basement of the central tower, no room number listed, just “Warrens”. There was one entrance listed on the map in his grimoire, a door that seemed to open into a room the size of a coat closet. Jove and Chris walked down the underground corridor to find Duane waiting at the entrance.

The crow looked up as they approached. Jove asked, “What are you doing outside?”

“Duane waits for the rest of class.” He shrugged, “Duane’s inner turmoil cannot be contained in such a small room.”

Jove tried very hard not to roll his eyes. “Are you claustrophobic?”

“Duane only fears the confines of eternal…” He blushed, “Um, yeah.”

Jove opened the door. He laughed, “Have you looked inside?”

“Duane doesn’t-” the crow started to object, but the room derailed his thought. “Wow.”

The room was an infinite set of stairs, stone landings that floated without support, and doorways. Some of the maze-like stairs were sideways or spiraled into impossible shapes, and dark star-filled blackness filled in the gaps.

Jove swallowed, fear gripping him for a moment. He asked, “Are you also afraid of heights?”

“This is amazing.” Duane walked in without hesitation, stepping onto a few stairs that led down to a large landing were most of the rest of class were already.

Hypatia waved a large gryphon wing as Jove and Chris entered. She commented, “It looks like we’re just missing Mark now. We still have a few minutes before class though. Feel free to explore, but don’t go too far.”

Aden approached Jove. “Thanks for yesterday. I guess I never realized how much I was relying on my magic.”

“It was nothing,” Jove answered. He looked down, embarrassed, “I never thought stopping magic would be very useful.” He smiled at the rabbit, “I’m sure you’ll get it under control by next class.”


Mark entered the room at that point, but not through the same door that Jove used. The stoat walked up a few stairs onto the large landing, and looked around. He whistled, surprised and impressed.

Hypatia called, “Everybody, class time.” She walked to the center of the landing, “As most of you have probably figured out, the Warrens is a special room, larger on the inside than the outside. If no one is on the inside, we can adjust the size and the contents. We use the room as an interactive obstacle course and practice ground. There are a number of additional safeguards in this room, and a few other features.”

She crouched and jumped strait up, turned in midair, and landed upside-down underneath another landing. “Gravity in this room is subjective. You fall towards the closest landing and stairs.” She walked down a set of circular stairs that curved around and connected to the large landing. “Don’t let the stars in the background fool you. The room loops around and the farthest you can fall is about forty feet. In addition, there are a few life wards in this room. If you’re severely injured, it will alert some of the highly skilled healers the school employs.” Back where she started she explained, “Today is going to be a bit of show and tell of the magic you can do. I know not everyone has burst yet, so, you can share anything you want. We’ll get into some more formal exercises next week. So, who would like to start?”

Mug, the rottweiler, growled lightly. She smiled, “Well, there’s only one way fire Venator burst.” She flicked her hand open and a small fire appeared in it. “We want to beat someone up. Fire Chain!” She closed her hand around the flame and flaming chain links sprouted from her fist. She laughed and spun it as a biker might. “Mine ended up being a little more visceral than just a jet of flame. Freaked my gang leader out.” She paused and suddenly blushed, letting the chain extinguish. “I mean, the gang leader in my neighborhood.”

Hypatia interrupted any resulting questions, “What Mug did was fairly simple but it showed two different methods used to cast spells.” She flexed her taloned eagle-clawed hand and a flame appeared as it had for Mug. “Gestures uses your body to mold magic. It works best for the water element and for internal magics. The other one is called incantation.” She cupped the fire in both hands and threw it into the air. “Phoenix Call!” The flicker of flame grew into a large bird, that screeched an ear-piercing wail before it faded. “Incantation works best with fire and external magic. Most attack spells use incantation to give them power.” She looked at the other students, “Who’d like to go next?”

Kate raised her hand. The sparrow walked into the circle of students. “I’m an air praeda, and I burst during free-fall. Well, as you might expect,” she blushed. She took a breath, and gently pushed off the ground with one foot. Slowly she floated up. “I can’t go anywhere near as fast as other mages, but it was enough to stop my fall.” She floated back down, “I’ve also been able to stop other people from falling. It was a bad situation, my burst saved my life and a few others.” She blushed and walked out from the center.

Duane stepped forward. “Duane is not sure when I burst. A number of students at a party got very sick when Duane made the punch. Only the bullies, no one else got ill.”

Mark spat out, “That’s not possible. You can’t burst with crafting.”

Hypatia spoke up, “Mark!” She sighed, “While it is rare, there have been a number of cases where a mage’s first spell has been crafting. Crafting is the third of the methods of magic. Crafting is strongest in earth mages, and represents making items capable of containing and using magic. Most people who burst in that way are artists, craftsmen, or blacksmiths.” Her voice got a little quiet, “The other students are going to call you a poisoner. It’s a derogatory term for a Water Venator. Still, if you are able to craft potions, it’s a solid place to begin your studies.”

Duane blushed and nodded. “That makes me happy to know.” He walked out of the center of the group. “Is is okay Duane does not demonstrate brewing a poison?”

Jove asked, “Is there a fourth method of magic?”

Hypatia nodded, “And a fifth. The fourth is called Knowing. It is the ability to listen to your element and gain knowledge. Air magic finds that easiest, demonstrating divination, scrying and telepathy. But, the other elements have uses for it. Fire, for example, rules emotion. A fire adept can tell how angry a person is or gauge their resolve.” Her wings rustled lightly as she let that thought sink in. “The last method is called Ritual. Ritual is the systematic combining of the other four methods. Anything can be accomplished with a ritual. From sealing a person’s magic, to possession, or creating this room. Has anyone had a burst that involved knowing?”

Aden raised his hand. “I’m not sure if this counts, but I can use my magic to fight. Not projecting fire, but to understand how to injure people. It’s like a sudden insight into how to fight.”

“That sounds like Knowing.” Hypatia asked, “Can you demonstrate it?”

“I think so, but someone would have to attack me.” He blushed, and walked into the center of the group, “I haven’t been able to do it without reason.”

Chris stepped forward and bowed slightly to Aden. He said, “Could people please stand back, just in case?” Everyone gave them a large distance and waited.

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