Private Lessons

Feila is now home to a wide range of advanced technology that makes Earth's present day computers look like children's toys. Sentient androids walk the streets as free citizens, robots have taken over much of the industrial work, and the youth surf the streets on hover boards. Medicine has become so advanced that the disabled can be fitted with cybernetic limbs, while those seeking super strength can find said technology on the black market. Politics have shifted greatly, and Edwin has become a cold and controlling authoritarian state, with each of the remaining nations changed in its own manner. All natives are furry (Skin Avian are present here too). No native humans.
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Re: Private Lessons

Post by Asyriel » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:24 pm

Freya followed along as Kolin searched for suitable targets for practice. She watched with some curiosity as they passed several things she thought might work. "There's a lot of stuff here that..." She trailed off a bit. "I'm not sure why you're keeping it all." She finished her comment. She had turned to look at something else as Kolin opened a crate to reveal that it was full of books. By the time her attention returned to Kolin, he'd closed the crate back up and started hauling it off.

She followed Kolin out onto the abandoned pier. She thought to offer help carrying the crate, but wondered if it may be a point of pride; he hadn't asked for help after all. "Works well enough for me." She commented when Kolin proclaimed that the pier would be an ok spot to practice. She chuckled softly when he brought up the subject of hauling a heavy object with magic. "I think I can probably do that. I'm not sure if you've ever seen or heard of the hovercraft from the late twentieth, and early twenty-first centuries. They 'hovered' on a cushion of trapped air. I think a spell using the same principals would work best for you for now." She paused a moment as she drew energy. "Something like this." She said as she cast a spell that mimicked the cushion of air she had described to Kolin. The crate underneath him lifted a few inches from the ground. It wasn't far, but it was enough that a gentle nudge was able to move it several feet. "And if you're feeling ambitious, you could even use a good gust to add forward momentum." She added with a smile.

She released the magic air cushion, and the crate settled back down. "Now, let's see what kind of targets you found for us to work with." She declared as she clapped her hands together, and grinned in anticipation.

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Re: Private Lessons

Post by Rackenhammer » Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:57 pm

(Apologies this took so long, was fighting a cold)

Kolin grunted as he lay the crate down on the docks. "To be honest, I'm glad of an excuse to get rid of the clutter. Raymon would bury himself alive, left to his own devices." Resting a bit by perching on the edge of the crate, he swung his legs and rubbed his chin, deep in thought about the hovercraft idea. "Yeah, that could work. Most 'Hovercraft' use mag-lev repulsors these days, but my own magic is more wind than electromagnetic, though I can do a bit in that field as well. Definitely something to add to the practice rotation."

Having caught his breath, he got off the crate, opening the lid as he hauled out his chosen targets. They were old, yellowed paperbacks, the sort that were not meant to last nearly this long. The binding glue was somewhat decayed, and the cover faded, but the overly elaborate cursive title font still was a little shiny from the embossing. The cover was an overdone gothic-style painting, of a three tailed fox woman about to be ravished by a strapping male rabbit. "The trashiest of the trash paperbacks. There's dozens of 'em in there, of no real use to the world as far as I can see."
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Re: Private Lessons

Post by Asyriel » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:38 pm

(no worries, life happens.)

Freya laughed when Kolin mentioned that Raymon would bury himself in clutter if left to his own devices. "You sure he's not part dragon?" She asked in joking tones. She nodded as he reasoned through her suggestion for a spell he could use for moving heavy objects. She perked up a bit when he mentioned that he was able to create some electromagnetic effects. "Oh? In that case, definitely add that to the training rotation. Electromagnetism, and energy projections make up the basis for my 4didar distortion field." She added. "It will be a good thing for you to know for any future trips into Edwin."

Freya gave a small gasp when Kolin opened the crate to reveal the old books. She was conflicted about using them for targets, to say the least. She knew how Raymon felt about his books. "You sure we should use these as targets?" She asked as she pulled one out. She looked at the cover, and held back a giggle. "I wonder if he actually reads all these, or any of them for that matter." She wondered aloud as she carefully opened one of them up to a random page. "Well, I can think of one use for them..." She commented before she started reading aloud from a particularly steamy scene. "Getting any ideas?" She asked, while giving Kolin an impish grin, after reading a couple pages aloud. She cast a protection spell on the book she held in her hand; she still wasn't sure about destroying Raymon's books. She tossed the book into the air above Kolin. "Hit it." She called to him as it sailed through the air.

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Re: Private Lessons

Post by Rackenhammer » Sat Apr 20, 2019 3:23 pm

"Not unless he's been splicing." Kolin replied, as Freya asked about Raymon's potential draconic heritage. That might explain his surprisingly casual attitude towards his friend's 'horde.' He was more interested in the usefulness of electromagnetic manipulation, and its potential uses in stealthily interfering in technology were lining up with his exact hopes in the matter, which he found quite gratifying.

But first, he'd have to train his skills. And these books were what he had chosen. "Unless he's a much different sort of fur than I think him, he doesn't read them." He shrugged, but was quickly surprised when he found the dragoness actually reading them. The language of her chosen passages was nothing if not evocative, and it didn't take an expert in body language to tell that Kolin was getting quite a few ideas from them. The sudden extension and stiffness of his wings were major clue.
"Uh, uhh.... yeah. Not sure they were intended to be used for instructional material..." He quickly weighed his next response, and judged it safe enough, in light of the dragoness' previous flirtations. "Maybe as a cooldown exercise." He ventured a grin, snaking a bolt of electricity out from a pin feather to strike the book, which had the effect of loosening his wings, though they were subsequently filled with numb and tingly sensations.
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Re: Private Lessons

Post by Asyriel » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:21 pm

Freya raised an eyebrow slightly, and chuckled as Kolin mentioned that the only way Raymon had dragon genes was if he'd been splicing. "I don't imagine there's much of our DNA on file for that." She replied.

She watched Kolin's reactions while she was reading from the book, and a wide grin grew across her muzzle. "Okay, maybe not instructional..." She paused as she closed the cover. "...perhaps inspirational." She chuckled softly. She continued to grin as he suggested a cooldown exercise. "Oh? That sounds like fun, I hope you plan on saving some energy." She teased with a wink.

She was impressed as she watched Kolin direct lightning from a wing. "Well done." She called as she watched the book struck by the bolt and drop back down to the ground on the edge of the pier. She wrapped telekinetic tethers around several more of the books. "Lets see how you do with multiple targets." She continued before four of the books launched into the air. They were spread at different altitudes with several feet of space between each of them.

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Re: Private Lessons

Post by Rackenhammer » Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:32 am

It seemed that Kolin was taking Freya's suggestion about saving energy to heart, as he now aimed to deflect the incoming missiles as efficiently as possible. Using his hands for extra precision, he aimed two bolts at the leading books, sending them each into an intercepting trajectory with the books following behind. "How's that, huh?" He grinned back an Freya, his wings spreading an flapping as his blood was being roused.
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Re: Private Lessons

Post by Asyriel » Wed May 01, 2019 5:34 pm

((Sorry this took so long. It's been a hectic week.))

“Excellent!” Freya exclaimed in reply when Kolin asked how he’d done after knocking the books out of the air. “I’m going to make it a little harder now.” She continued as she sent more books flying into the air. She stuck with just four books, but increased their speed. Each time Kolin knocked a book from the air, another would fly up to replace it. The books began to weave in increasingly complicated maneuvers. The entire time, Freya watched Kolin carefully. Looking to see how he approached each challenge, how he managed his energy, and his approach to casting. She also kept an eye out for fatigue, ready to end the exercises if it looked like Kolin was over exerting himself.

After some time, she let the books settle back into their crate. “I think this is probably a good time to take another break for a bit.” She commented. “How are you feeling?” She asked Kolin. “I know this probably isn’t what you had in mind when you asked for lessons, but do you feel like you’re learning something?” She continued to question. She paused for a moment, and looked back at the building that had served as their classroom for the morning. “You think he’s finished?”

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Re: Private Lessons

Post by Rackenhammer » Mon May 13, 2019 3:11 pm

(UGH, I only just now checked back to see my post got eaten! Sorry)

Kolin was taking her advice about efficiency to heart, as he knew that the couldn't deflect all the incoming missiles. What he could do however, was snag a couple of the slower-moving books with his magic to give himself extra blockers if his bolts and air magic couldn't get them all. This let him last a good half-hour beyond any magical exertion he'd undertaken so far, but in the end, he was left panting, sweating, and very grateful for the break.

"Phew, yeah, I do feel it. More like the learning you get about your body from a workout than about the world from books, but learning all the same." He frowned, looking down at his damp tank top. The sensation of wet cloth against wet fur was rather unpleasant, and he pulled it off to wring it out. "Hope you don't mind, but that was bloody annoying. Dunno if it's the same with scales, but wearing a wet shirt just doesn't feel right." The seabreeze was cooling, and the evidence of his exertion rapidly evaporating all the same.

Catching control of his breathing, he bent over to pick up some of the books at his feet, putting them back in the crate. "Who knows? I'm not sure I'm in a hurry to get back anyways." He paused, trying to think of why he just said that. "Freya..." He wasn't looking directly at the dragoness, his eyes were drawn over the eastern horizon, not yet dim even in the afternoon sun. "Am I hopeless? I mean, you've been around a while, much longer than me, but I know enough history to place my type. Idealistic rich young revolutionary, aiming to save the benighted and tyrannized. I don't doubt the justice of my cause, but... well, you saw my kind for yourself several times. Didn't always work out, did it?"
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Re: Private Lessons

Post by Asyriel » Wed May 15, 2019 8:57 pm

(No problem...it happens.)

When Freya called for a break, she watched Kolin for a moment. She wondered briefly if maybe she should have stopped earlier. She dismissed the thought though as it seemed Kolin wasn’t any worse for wear beyond some fatigue.

She gave a soft chuckle as he likened her lessons to a rigorous workout more than a day spent studying books. “Practical application of magic is just as important to learn as magical theory.” She replied with a smile. “Especially if you plan to possibly use it in combat.” She continued. She watched as Kolin removed his tank top with a raised eyebrow. “Doesn’t bother me one bit.” She replied with a teasing grin before giving him an exaggerated appraising look.

She leaned lightly against the crate while Kolin continued to recover from the training session. She tilted her head a bit when he mentioned not being in a hurry to get back. “No?” She queried with some curiosity. She was thoughtful for a few moments, and watched him closely when he asked if she thought he was hopeless. Eventually, she shook her head. “No, I don’t think you’re hopeless, though I’m sure you have that potential as well. One of the most important pieces of advice I can give you is to remember that no single person is going to accomplish something like this. You may be the metaphorical tip of the spear, but you will need many more to fill out the rest of it, and of course the oppressed themselves. Surround yourself with smart individuals you can trust who believe in your cause. Be mindful of your expectations, and remember that even the best plans often fall apart at first contact with the enemy.” She stood up straight again. “You also have the decided advantage of having a pair of dragons in your corner.” She finished with a wink as she reached out with her telekinesis to gather the remaining books littering the ground, and replace them in the crate. “Since you’re not sure you’re in a hurry to get back, what would you like to do now?” She eventually asked.

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Re: Private Lessons

Post by Rackenhammer » Fri May 17, 2019 11:30 am

Kolin couldn't help but flex just a little bit when he sensed Freya eyeing him up. However playful her teasing was intended, she certainly got a good look. His musculature was what one would expect from someone who regularly flew under their own wingpower, solid, lithe, but not at all bulky. An altogether good look for him, and perhaps yet another reason his parents were incredulous at his continued lack of any prospect of a mate.

"Well, it's good to know I'm not crazy." He grinned. "Or, if I'm crazy, not uselessly crazy." Placing down the last book, he rested his elbows on the stack, looking back at the dragoness. "While I'm here... I don't think we know each other all that well. Or, at any rate, we haven't talked about ourselves all that much. I suppose we think more about our tasks than our pasts... well, I do, at least, but then, I don't have nearly as much of a past as you." Tapping his fingers, he asked, "Soo... what's your story? I think I only ever heard it in bits and pieces. I know you knew the kings of old, and taught classes later, had a family somewhere along the way. How's that all fit together?" He asked, curious, as well as ready for any questions coming his way.
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Re: Private Lessons

Post by Asyriel » Sat May 25, 2019 9:54 pm

Freya’s grin widened when Kolin flexed a bit. She would readily admit that he was rather attractive. If it weren’t for his situation as a technocratic heir, she would have seriously wondered how he was still single.

She gave a soft chuckle at his statements about being crazy. “not uselessly crazy.” She agreed with a teasing wink. Her expression turned thoughtful as Kolin brought up the fact that neither of them had really talked at length about their histories. She laughed when he mentioned the amount of past she had, then promptly asked to hear it. “Well…I’m actually a bit surprised you’re interested in my past. It tends to be a bit daunting or intimidating for most…” She started. “I was born in the Black Mountains of Piriqui, spent the first ten years of my life there with my parents. One day they didn’t come home though, and I was left to fend for myself. I would have been fine were it not for the avian tribes that lived on the edges of my parents’ territory. They realized that my parents weren’t patrolling it anymore, and moved in. When they found me, they chased me out. I ended up on the southern coast, and slavers took advantage of the fact that I was weak from the fight, and lack of food. They put me on a ship and sent me to Edwin. I was briefly on the slave market before the Duke of Norfolk purchased me.”

She paused for a moment. “Strangely I consider myself lucky at that point, to an extent at least.” She heaved a bit of a sigh before she continued again. “It was in the Duke’s household that I learned to fight, and navigate Edwinish politics. It was also there that I met my first love, and my first king, Gavin. He was also the father of my first children.”

She paused again, a far away look in eyes that seemed about to tear up. She shook her head lightly before she continued. “I continued to serve the royal family through the civil war. When it was over though, I realized that more had changed than I was ready to deal with. I tried to escape it by catching trade ships of the ETC around the world.”

She gave a small shrug as if to dismiss her escapism. “Of course along the way I grew my hoard, and invested wealth carefully. Eventually I accepted that the world was changing, about the time that The Purge began. I went into hiding, living off my investments, and occupying myself with tinkering with the technology of the time. I fought in the great war, and the second world war as well. I watched as technology continued to improve at a break neck pace. When the nineteen nineties rolled around, I took up teaching history at a university, did a little archeology on the side. In the twenty teens, I met Etienne while chasing after an artifact and fell in love with him.”

She paused. “Don’t get me wrong, I loved others between Gavin and Etienne. Etienne though, was the only other one I was able to have children with. We had three kids, and raised them together. I’ve always tried to raise independent children, and they all set out to do their own things eventually, though our oldest daughter was more invested in the family business. Etienne….” She trailed off and fell silent for a long moment. “Well, it eventually seemed that other things had become more important to him than me, so, when the party came into power I left to come to Gawain.”

She gave another soft chuckle. “That pretty much brings us to present day where I use my assets to help fund the resistance in Edwin, and look for a viable way to bring down the party, which in it’s way brought me to you.”

She gave Kolin a one sided grin. “So, now that you know my history, or at least an abridged version of it, what do you think? What about you? What’s your history? What makes you tick? What drives you to want to bring down the party instead of going out and partying, and taking home a different lady every night? You do at least seem interested in ladies.” She asked the last little bit in tones that said she was gently teasing him again.

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Re: Private Lessons

Post by Rackenhammer » Sun May 26, 2019 7:59 pm

For as uninterested as Freya expected him to be, Kolin was absolutely attentive to Freya during her entire narrative, respectful even of her pauses. Of course, given that he was a history buff, it made sense that he would be quietly in awe of a living witness. Even though the narrative was sparse of detail, the wide sweep gave a tantalizing hint of the full scope of her experience and memories, giving her the privileged place of a live voice enthroned in the midst of dead paper.

At her conclusion, he got to his feet again and stretched,flapping his tank top in the breeze to dry it out before putting it back on. "Mph, there. Thanks for sharing that, you've had quite a life there." Tilting his head in a recognizably avian gesture, he clicked his tongue as he pondered over her own questions about his life story. "Well... mine's a shorter story, obviously, but I'll probably be as long in the telling of it.

"Anyway..." He said, smiling but not commenting on her last bit of teasing, "I guess the best place to start is my mother. You've met her once, when we dropped off Dat to see what was going on with him. Well, as her feline nature might imply, she comes from a community of Edwinian expatriates who fled the Party State. As such, they maintained the older intellectual traditions, which meant from an early age I was able to distinguish between the nation of Edwin, and the Party that currently rules it." The hybrid sighed. "Not something most of my countrymen seem able to do, sadly." *Not to mention Edwinian citizens* He thought to himself, but did not say out loud.

"Of course, mom married into a hybrid genome, and those have... risks. I was born with the bones of an avian, but the muscles of a mammal. Which meant I was light enough to fly, but if I flexed too hard, I could crack half the bones in my body." Placing a hand on his elbow, he pulled his arm up and over his head while flapping his wings. "Would have broken my own humerus doing this before I had it replaced. Which I did, along with every other bone, eventually. The surgeons were good, barely left any scars, but it still left me spending a lot of my childhood in a hospital ward or secured compound. So... I didn't socialize much. Was educated by tutors, mostly from my mother's friends, and was able to read and listen to their version of history. Perhaps a bit biased, but I was almost literally a captive audience, and I think few were willing to listen to those poor souls."

"Well, that was my primary formative experiences. I think you can guess the rest from that. Magic came as a bit of a surprise, as did my first friends." He smiled, though it didn't last long. "Less pleasant surprise was losing them, but you know that. Losing touch is almost worse than knowing their dead, in a way. Well, at least to someone who hasn't reached his third decade yet."
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Re: Private Lessons

Post by Asyriel » Sun Jun 02, 2019 12:26 pm

Freya was a bit surprised by Kolin’s attentiveness to her story, sparse on details as it was. She was used to a much different reaction from people when they were confronted with the breadth of her lifespan, and the history that accompanied it. Kolin’s appreciation and quiet awe were a welcome deviation.

She gave a warm smile as Kolin thanked her for sharing her history with him. She continued to smile and nodded as Kolin mentioned his story being shorter. She gave him the same attentiveness and respect during his story as he’d given her. She couldn’t help though, a few expressions breaking through as he told about the amount of time he’d spent confined to hospitals and the like. She looked at him with a deep sympathy, and what bordered on mild pity. She’d been a slave in her youth, but in so many ways she’d had much more freedom than he had. Her expression changed to one of sadness as he brought up the subject of losing touch with the ones they cared about. She gave the briefest nod before she brought her expression back under control.

“I’m sorry.” She said softly “That you had to spend so much of your life confined.” He didn’t seem too upset by the idea, so she didn’t want to dwell on it, but to her it seemed a tragedy. “As far as histories go.” She gave a sardonic chuckle. “They’re all biased to an extent. Even any I could tell you. Personal accounts are colored by the person’s perceptions, and research rarely accounts for all sides, and is never wholly accurate.”

She paused for a moment. “Take The Purge for example. It was a systematic destruction of anything involving magic that could be found, to include people. To ensure the erasure of magic, they went as far as striking any mention of the event from any histories after until it was no longer even acknowledged. Those of us though, that lived through it, and have survived this long will have vivid memories of it to share.”

She shrugged again. “Though being that they are personal memories, they’re going to carry a certain amount of bias as well.” She trailed off and was silent for a long moment, thinking about asking Kolin what he wanted to do next before an idea came to mind. “I am reminded that I also promised you some history lessons. We can start into that if you’d like. Is there a particular period you would like me to tell you about?”

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Re: Private Lessons

Post by Rackenhammer » Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:41 pm

"It's alright." Kolin dismissed whatever lingering bad memories hung about his past as a caged bird with another flap of his wings. "Though, it probably explains why I always fly everywhere I can. I bought this mobility dearly, and I can't help but feel... confined, sometimes, in large crowds. It's why I don't hit the party scene very often."

True to this word, he even began to hover, taking a small amount of pleasure in making Freya look up at him as they spoke. "Yes, Old Zeke told me his own perspective on that, which was interesting in and of itself. Haven't seen him since, but that's likely to change, soon." After a while, though, hovering in place got boring, so he settled back down again on top of the crate.

"I guess... it's not so much about a period, but I did have a question." He pursed his lips, trying to think of how to phrase things. "Maybe it centers around the civil war? But anyway, there's something peculiar I noticed about how Edwin's self-image as a country changed over time. It's as old and medieval in its roots as any of the other countries, and back in the day it showed. Edwinian nobility were the stereotypical nobility, and they maintained power and influence for quite a while. But they almost seemed so... natural, in a way that our own Gawainian Junkers didn't. More like trees than towers. In no other country could they call themselves beloved, but it seems that the upper class was, much more so than Domus, for sure." Freya probably had a thing or two to say about that country's revolution, and Kolin would let her say it before continuing.

"For all that, though, you look at the changes between the Age of Muskets and the Age of Computers, and it's like a totally different country. Anti-medieval, self-conciously so. Contrast that with us." He pointed back at the Bayreuth skyline, with the famous outlines of neo-gothic architecture beginning to show dark against the sunset. "If anything, we've become more of what we were. Our provinces are the same as the old Duchies, the Chancellor is elected like our old King was. Heck, our latest chancellor actually traces back her lineage to one of the old families. It's not as if nothing changed... but nothing ended. But something ended in Edwin. What was it, and how?"
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Re: Private Lessons

Post by Asyriel » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:29 pm

Freya nodded sympathetically when Kolin reasoned that his childhood confinement could be the cause of a dislike of crowds. “That’s understandable.” She replied.

She chuckled as he mentioned getting Old Zeke’s perspective on The Purge. “I’m sure his version is quite different from any I would tell as well.” She shrugged at the prospect of seeing the Zeke again. “It wouldn’t surprise me if he decided drop in.” One might expect her to be excited at the prospect of having another dragon around, but where this particular one was concerned; the most she could muster was a sort of ambivalence. They were nearly polar opposites in personality, add that to their shared history and, well…it makes for a lot of conflicting emotions.

She tilted her head a bit, and took a few moments to think about Kolin’s question. “Well, social and political change is notoriously difficult to nail down to any one single action or cause. I’d like to say that the relative lack of enmity toward Edwin’s nobility from it’s people can be traced back to Gavin. He fostered and enforced the idea that the nobility exist to protect and take care of their people. He was known for many projects to benefit the public and working with the interest of Edwin and her people as a whole in mind.” She shrugged. “But I’m likely biased in that opinion.”

“As to the departure from anything medieval. I would say that the ETC, and Edwin’s expansionist period played a large role in that. There was an attitude of looking ever forward and outward that was adopted during that time that never fully went away. As we further industrialized, more companies became more influential. Those companies rarely cared for heritage as they cleared land for their factories. That attitude seeped into the people, to an extent. There was some preservation into and through the age of computers. The party though, they want to erase anything that may remind the people of any kind of identity that isn’t The Party. The party has taken the Edwinian identity and twisted it into something sad and broken compared to what it used to be.”

She gave a sad sigh for what she had come to feel was her homeland. “I don’t know if that answers your question, but I hope it does.”

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