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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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Rackenhammer
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Private Lessons

Post by Rackenhammer » Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:41 pm

Alone in a dim warehouse by a disused port, Kolin von Drake sipped coffee from an Everhot mug, glad he had gotten away from home before either of his parents had seen him. The technocratic scion was getting to that age where he couldn't just busy himself with his "hobbies" anymore, not according to his folks! There was his share of the business to understand, his responsibility to carry on the family line, etc. Not that he could judge which prospect he disliked more, being pushed into a relationship or else having a child bred in one of the uterine replicators and thrust upon him. Did they not realize he had important ambitions of his own? There was a whole country to liberate on their border, godammit!

Not that they would understand. Overthrowing the Party was impossible, everyone knew that. Everyone also knew that magic wasn't real.

Everyone happened to be verifiably wrong, and Kolin knew it. The catfox hybrid had the magic talent, and would soon be learning more from a dragon who had agreed to teach him. And wouldn't you know it, but she desired the same thing as him: the liberation of Edwin, her homeland. And so, the winged catfox finished his coffee as he awaited his new tutor...
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Re: Private Lessons

Post by Asyriel » Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:29 pm

Freya had been busily transcribing magic books from her library for the last few weeks in anticipation of today. It would mard the first time she'd attempted to teach anyone magic since she'd taught her children. The advantage she'd had in teaching them was that she'd done it since they were quite young, and they hadn't developed any habits or blocks to break down. Her newest student wasn't young, and had already learned a few things and that would make things much more interesting.

She cursed quietly to herself as a reminder pinged through her house; she'd lost track of time and wasn't sure she was fully prepared. "Well, shouldn't keep him waiting." She said to herself as she quickly tied up her hair, and grabbed the datapad she'd transcribed the books to, and opened the door to her basement.

In the privacy of her basement, she shaped magical energy and released it to create a portal that lead to Kolin's warehouse. The other end of the portal appeared in the area of the warehouse that was clear enought that nobody would be standing there when reality was torn open to permit her crossing. She took a step into the warehouse, and the portal snapped shut behind her.

"Morning Kolin." She called out as she headed in Kolin's direction. "I've transcribed a large portion of the books in my library that are dedicated to practical magic and it's use." She continued as she approached him. "Something on your mind?" She asked with a slightly teasing half grin.

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Re: Private Lessons

Post by Rackenhammer » Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:48 am

Perking up as he saw the portal begin to coalesce in front of him, Kolin set aside his mug and stood up. Unconsciously, he unfolded his wings and displayed them; deep instincts guided him in a greeting display towards a fellow flier. "Guten Marten, Freya." He smiled, waving aside the question. "Many things, but not any relevant to our discussion." The burden, however, was not so easily dismissed from his mind, prompting a later addition, "We can talk about it over lunchbreak."

He led her to a well-lit area, with a long wooden bench, mostly free of detritus, though a few stacked books and alembics were left here from previous experiments. "Where did you want to start from? Valencii won't be joining us today, by the way; he had a few deals to negotiate."
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Re: Private Lessons

Post by Asyriel » Sat Feb 02, 2019 3:52 pm

Freya was a little surprised by Kolin's display, but responded by spreading her own wings; dipping them low before folding them against her back. She chuckled as his response to her question of what was on his mind. "Fair enough." She replied as she followed him to the long wooden bench. "Got you all to myself then." She teased when he mentioned that Valencii wouldn't be joining them today.

"Where to start indeed." She mused as she set the datapad down on the bench. "Plenty of time for reading later." She paused in thought for a moment. "You know, I don't think you ever told me how you came to the realization that you had the talent for magic." She mused before she returned to the subject of where to start the day's lessons. "Perhaps we should start with deciding what method or methods you would like me to teach you to cast with. There are many methods to cast any spell, but they all serve the same purpose; to focus your will and shape the energy to your intent. We should also prioritize what you would like to learn in the way of spells."

Freya chose to start with the basics because, while she knew that Kolin already had some practical knowledge, she wasn't sure yet just how much he knew. She also wasn't sure how easily he would adapt to her attempts to teach. There were other ways, but she didn't think she would have to resort to them in Kolin's case.

"As far as methods go, there are almost as many as there are practitioners. Key phrases, chants, songs, gestures, movements, circles, runes, devices." She paused. "The list goes on." She sighed, with a bit of frustration. She didn't consider herself to be the greatest teacher, and didn't want to disappoint Kolin. "Maybe we should start with how you cast the spells you already know."

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Re: Private Lessons

Post by Rackenhammer » Sat Feb 02, 2019 7:07 pm

"I don't think I went into my discovery in detail." Kolin leaned with one hand against the table, looking at Freya with an abstracted expression. "It's... honestly, a bit of a blur. It goes back to the riot we had here a couple of years ago; you remember, the one with the crime lord raging over the loss of his ex-girlfriend? One of the civilians I fought besides was a dragon, who had an eye for those with talent. She said I had it, and it turns out she was right."

He sighed, taking a seat at last. "Not that it's done me much good. I can't do things beyond light shocks and bursts of wind. Like so." Holding his hand out with forefinger, middle finger, and thumb extended, he closed his eyes, closed his extended fingers together to point at the ceiling, and circled his wrist. A light gust of wind came at his beckoning gesture, swirling around in a little dust devil before dissipating quickly. "How I do this is mostly like you just saw. I picture what I want in my head, try summon whatever energy there is in me, and then wave my hands. Poof! Magic." He gave his teacher a sardonic smile. "It's not very methodological; and I could do other methods. That one just came instinctively to me. Maybe because having cybernetic joints makes movement easier for me."
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Re: Private Lessons

Post by Asyriel » Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:36 pm

Freya nodded as Kolin reminded her of the riot. She chuckled when Kolin mentioned that it had been another dragon that revealed his talent. "You're going to have to introduce me to this other dragon one of these days." Freya assumed that the dragon he spoke of was the same one he'd mentioned when they first met.

Freya frowned a bit when Kolin lamented his current limitations. "Practice will go a long way toward improving that." she commented before watching closely as he summoned air. "Well, you do have the basics. Probably best not to close your eyes when visualizing." She paused for a moment. "As far as being methodological goes, it's not required; as I've mentioned before." A small orb of fire bloomed to life in the air in front of her with no indication that she had done anything to create it. "But, it's likely to be easier for you to build off what comes instinctively than to start from scratch. It's up to you in the end, but you're looking at three basic components for your simple spells: Element, effect, and strength. The key to any methodology is consistency. The same formula for the same spell every time. It's like building a magical muscle memory." She stopped speaking for a moment, and the fire orb disappeared. She frowned slightly as she looked at Kolin. "Am I making any sense to you so far?" She asked, still concerned about her abilities to teach.

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Re: Private Lessons

Post by Rackenhammer » Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:00 pm

"If she was still in this city, I would, but..." Kolin sighed. "Well, she was the one who stole the Crime boss's girl, so as you can probably guess, there were a bunch of people in Bayreuth who weren't too chuffed with the pair. So, they all left town without a forwarding address. Old Zeke is probably the only one in this city who would know where they are now, and he ain't telling."

Shaking his head, they hybrid returned to the business of the day. "I think I understand. Basically, if we're working off a motion-based magic, I have to do the same gesture for every spell, and have each 'class' of spell have similar gestures. Like, every time I do wind magic, do the same thing with my fingers." He held out his three fingers like before. "And directing it with what direction I move my arm." Closing the three fingers together, he held his forearm parallel to his torso, before thrusting out to point at a pile of papers at the edge of the table. A blast of air suddenly sent them flying, and Kolin laughed. "Heh, yeah, that makes sense."
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Re: Private Lessons

Post by Asyriel » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:12 pm

"Ah well. I suppose that's good reason to skip town, and not want to be found." Freya replied with some disappointment when Kolin explained the situation. She had been hoping to meet another dragon that wasn't Zechariah, especially considering how few and far between her their kind were.

"Hah, yes. You are picking up the concept quite well." She exclaimed with obvious delight at Kolin's grasp of the concepts. "And here I was worried that I was just giving you disjointed ramblings." She grinned at Kolin for a moment. "Now you've decision to make. We can work off what materials I've gathered that involve gesture based casting, or we can work together and build something that will be yours alone from scratch." She paused a moment as she contemplated. "While it may be more time consuming, it may be more beneficial in the long run for us to create formulas tailored to you." She eventually offered. "As we build these formulas, we should probably record them just in case." She chuckled. "And you never know, you may end up with students of your own some day." She paused in thought again.

"Speaking of students, is it just you and Valencii or do you know others that have the talent?" She asked with some curiosity. He had mentioned before that he hoped to use magic to help liberate Edwin from The Party's control, but it would be very difficult for just the two of them to accomplish that goal.

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Re: Private Lessons

Post by Rackenhammer » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:20 pm

Kolin rubbed his muzzle with a forefinger as he gave Freya's question some thought. "I'm wondering... it's all very well to build up a physical language to cast spells in, but how well is that going to scale? By the time we get to more powerful or complicated magic, I'm going to have to be doing some serious jiu-jitsu to get it done. And that just sets me up to be the guy in the old movie who brings out all the impressive-looking moves just to be shot." He gave his teacher a wry smile, evidently aware of the obstacles they would face in their long-term project.

"I think on the whole it would be better to use your materials, just to learn how to learn, before building something a little practical in its methodology." He tapped the table, having made up his mind already. "As for others... theoretically, what from Zech told me, the bloodlines have been spread around so much that about 50% of the general population could be trained to do something, though useful talent is a bit rarer. As for those I know personally..." He sighed, shaking his head. "Dead or disappeared. Makes me worry someone's already caught on, sometimes."

(OOC: It's tough, most chars Kolin knew belonged to absent players...)
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Re: Private Lessons

Post by Asyriel » Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:32 pm

Freya chuckled when Kolin brought up the potential complications accompanying gesture based spellcasting. "So we start with defensive wards." She replied with a grin and a wink before continuing. "There are ways to prevent it from becoming too unwieldy and complicated." She said as she picked up the datapad she'd brought with her and turned it on. She quickly scrolled through what she'd cataloged so far, and opened several different files. "These are probably a good place to look for ideas." She explained as she handed the datapad over to Kolin. "I would also suggest that once you've become proficient using whatever system we come up with, some practice in casting by force of will alone would be wise. Even if it's just a couple simple utilitarian spells. Keeps you from being easily countered."

She gave a slight sigh when Kolin replied that the old bloodlines had been spread, and in that spreading, they had apparently been diluted as well. "That shouldn't surprise me." She commented with a grudging acceptance. When Kolin explained what had happened to those he personally knew with the talent, she frowned and sympathy filled her expression. "I'm sorry." She said quietly, she was well acquainted with loss. "I certainly hope that's not the case." She replied to his voiced worry that someone knew what he was attempting. "I suppose at some point in the future we're going to want to think about doing some quiet recruiting then." She continued.

She paused for a moment in thought before speaking again. "I do remember one line that tended to manifest a very powerful magic occasionally. It may be worth having Valencii track down a descendant." She gave a slight shrug. "I think I also have an item or two that could help find individuals with useful talent." She offered.

((OOC: Sorry...It is a shame that so many have left, seemingly for good))

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Re: Private Lessons

Post by Rackenhammer » Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:22 pm

(Whoof! Sorry for making you wait so long)

Taking the datapad from Freya, Kolin tapped through the displayed files. There were quite a few ways to make the muscle mnemonics less cumbersome, it just would take about as much practice as a martial art. "Of course, there's also the possibility of integrating magic with actual martial arts. That would theoretically solve the problem right there. And I had been thinking I ought to take some self-defense lessons as well..." The hybrid cast another, more appraising look over the dragoness' figure. Lean muscle was very much in evidence over her lithe form, kept in supple (and pleasing!) shape. "I don't suppose I could impose upon you for lessons in that respect as well?" He asked, whiskers twitching into a smile.

In thinking about further students, he pursed his lips. "Perhaps... I don't suppose it could hurt. I would like to be a little confident in my own skills before then, so at least to act as a teaching assistant. Valencii, too, when he starts taking lessons. We can scale out better that way. Depending on what my pace of progress is, we can take steps, including finding a more dedicated and secure facility." He got up from his bench, stretching.
"But for now, I think we'd best get to work. Practice makes perfect, eh?"
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Re: Private Lessons

Post by Asyriel » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:53 pm

(No worries. I don't mind waiting.)


Freya wore a thoughtful expression when Kolin suggested pairing spellcasting with martial arts. "It's a good idea for more strictly offensinve or defensive spells." She replied. "Though it may lack subtlety for the more utilitarian types." Her attention turned more directly on Kolin when he mentioned self-defense lessons. She caught his look, and offered a toothy grin. "Oh, I suppose you could." She replied. "What would you like to learn? Knives, Kung-Fu, Kendo, Kempo, Tai-chi, Jiu-Jitsu? Maybe a bit of Grappling?" She asked the last with a suggestively raised eyebrow, and slightly teasing tones in her voice.

She nodded when he mentioned wanting to be more confident in his own abilities before going out looking for more students. "That's fair, it's easier to instruct one or two students at a time." Valencii taking lessons was a bit of a surprise to her though. "He seems the type that would be more interested in theory or alchemy than everyday application." She commented before chuckling softly. "I think you'll make quick progress." She assured him. She gave Kolin an appraising look of her own as he stood and stretched, he had an attractive mixture of features.

She got to her own feet. "And magic takes lots of it." She replied with a smile. "I would suggest sticking with air based spells for the time being. Unless of course you'd rather switch to self defense for a while." She offered with a grin, her tail curling slightly behind her.

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Re: Private Lessons

Post by Rackenhammer » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:41 pm

Kolin shrugged. "I think Valencii would be more interested in utilitarian spells in any case. Probably more of a word or script based magic, in his case. I just want to be able to do things at this point." He broke out into a chuckle. "I wouldn't mind/i] a bit of grappling, certainly something not requiring a weapon like knives. Magic that doesn't require materials is the easiest to sneak past other people."

Beginning some warm up stretches, which included his wings, Kolin sorted through his itinerary. "I think it would be a good idea to stick with basic air magic for the time being, at least for the morning. I can show you what I'm able to do now, and build off from there."

He proceeded to show Freya, a process which took about an hour, all told. He couldn't conjure up much power, nor sustain it for long, but he was able to exercise a surprising amount of precision when he concentrated. For example, he could keep a sheet of paper hovering steadily for ten seconds on updrafts alone without sending it flying, no easy task.
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Re: Private Lessons

Post by Asyriel » Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:36 pm

Freya nodded thoughtfully as Kolin gave his insights as to what Valencii may be interest in as far as magic went. "Maybe scrolls work would suit him, or runecasting." She shook her head as if to clear away that train of thought. "We can always figure that out later when he's present." She concluded. She nodded as Kolin pointed out the drawbacks of coupling magic with knife fighting.

"Right then." She replied as he aggreed that it would probably be best to stick to air magic for the moment. "Let's see what you got, and we'll see where we need to work."

She watched carefully as Kolin went through and showed her everything that he could currently do with air magic. She only broke in a couple times to offer minor suggestions, and when it was all done, she was fairly impressed. "And this is all self taught so far?" She asked, her tone of voice easily giving away the fact that she was impressed. "You've got an impressive amount of control for a beginner." She continued. "Stamina and strenght are fairly easily improved, but control is typically the biggest hurdle for beginners." She paused a moment in thought. "I think we can come up with an exercise or two to help you increase your strength and stamina though." She looked Kolin over a little more closely. "You look like you could use a break though. So, what did you think of that history book I sold you?" She asked. She'd never asked before if it ended up being what he was looking for in the way of history or not.

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Re: Private Lessons

Post by Rackenhammer » Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:28 pm

"Yep, pretty much scrapped together from whatever spare references, plus what I could come up with in my spare time." Kolin found himself having to sit and take a breather, though. While not much energy had been summoned, keeping a precise control over it for sustained periods could be taxing. "Phew, how many calories does this burn? No wonder the mages in all those drawings looked so skinny."

Stretching a bit and relaxing, Kolin tried to remember which book she was talking about. "Oh? Oh yeah, that one. I don't know, I've moved on from general history a bit. There are really only so many ways you can tell the same stories, and it became pretty clear to me that the really interesting stuff were the stories that the main historians weren't telling. Not from malice, but from the fact that everyone they planned to read their work would have known things that we currently do not, and that affects context. So, I'm starting to look into more detailed and narrow perspectives. Maybe even some fringe stuff; I mean, magic isn't exactly mainline these days anyway, so why should I expect to find everything from that school?"
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