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Lorica (Cat) | T | E | Au

Setting | Society | Magic system | Spells | Places | History | Language | Misc || (old)

--Bona al la encycla lorica.

Struggle block[]

  1. Create electro-positivity
  2. Casting spherical regional spells
  3. Superheat potion
  4. Demesnes
  5. Create-oxygen
  6. Overfeed faera (create-mana)
  7. Spray launcher (palm instrument)
  8. Blast potion
  9. Blast spray
  10. Superheat spray

Chapter 3.1: Nairu's Revenge[]

Four days later, White Wolf has arrived at Syrragil; the gang (Andar, Qura, Tyl, Micalel, Tegis, Tareau, Janya and Wesna Dyreal) separates to find jobs, and Tegis goes to locate a new hideout; Qura goes to work as a waitress. Micalel and Tareau come across Charmel Clara and when they ask if he wants a job done, Charmel says that he will give them a quest the next evening at a rendezvous point in the slums. Andar and Tyl then come across a crowd of people, including police; evidently Ameriya Serpren has been murdered in a way no one's ever seen before (electrocuted). Her husband Nairu Serpren, who was there, is seeking revenge and has a few leads, including the amount of money that was stolen (60 m. silver), the direction he went, and even the man's appearance; he is offering 60 m. silver to anyone who catches the murderer. Andar, Tyl, Pyrifdira and two others take up the mission and set off southward, but first they get to report back to their friends that they'll be gone; Andar and Tyl are about to go meet up with White Wolf at their rendezvous point, but Andar notices Pyrifdira is suspiciously following them so they instead eat at a restaurant, telling Tyl to watch Pyrifdira closely. The pursuit team agrees that if the murderer had committed magic, he most certainly would have thrown away evidence and wouldn't dare to use it against them, so that they're now basically hunting an ordinary person; he would also likely use the main road, since he'd expect the pursuit team to look in the woods instead. After journeying for an entire day down the road and coming across plenty of people who agree that they've seen such a person, they choose to continue into night and they come across Bishoa sleeping along the main road. They spring on him and quickly tie him up; he and his belongings match what Nairu had stated and so the persuasive and a bit threatening Pyrifdira wants to hang him; of the five members only Andar and Tyl disapprove (they're the minority), so Bishoa is hanged without a trial; then they sleep. The next morning, the other three vigilantes carry the corpse up north back to Nairu for their reward. Tyl, however, knows that Bishoa is innocent; she can sense various kinds of magic using an unexplained property of her eyes and Bishoa has no traces of it on him. She tells Andar that she doesn't know of any channeling that could do this to Ameriya, and that she's never been able to cast her own kind of magic without using an item; they hadn't found anything like that on this person. Also, it isn't likely that a murderer would let down his guard so early. Andar and Tyl thus continue on to Entyreal, though they have no means of drawing out the mage (if the murderer is indeed one). Tyl tries to think like a mage would, and sets up a sting operation by putting up posters around town, saying that she's discovered a sort of magic (and using terms such as faera and throwing potions) and wants to meet anyone who knows about it at an inn room. Soon a clueless youngster (Arpa) shows up (he looks totally different) and they start working on magic; Arpa has discovered create-light faera and Anchacite, and he works together with Tyl and her own collection to develop the method for anchoring create-light to a sword, enchanting it to glow for a while. Some time after Arpa leaves satisfied with having discovered this and looking forward to finding more magic, Stanta comes as well; he looks exactly as Nairu described, and Tyl proceeds to share her magic, acting so innocent that Stanta drops his guard, and then Tyl uses her blinding potion to make him unable to see. Andar overpowers him and Tyl takes his inventory, and interrogates the man about his role in Ameriya's murder; the man doesn't confess. The trio then depart for Syrragil with their captive, threatening to hurt him with their own magic should he try to escape, and interrogating the man about how to cast those spells of his. Along the way Tyl learns all about the create-electropositivity faera that Stanta works with, and is able to use them to electrocute captured animals, but this magic is only strong enough to do this by touch, not through air. This also involves Tyl learning how to cast regional spells (effects taking place in a volume near where the moieta is anchored). Returning to Syrragil after two days, the pair bring Stanta to the town guard, which calls Nairu, who affirms that the man was the murderer. In Lorica this constitutes enough proof, and Stanta is publicly hanged. Nairu rewards them and thanks them publicly for not making the same mistake as Pyrifdira and the others in killing Bishoa without making sure of his guilt; Andar receives his 60 m. silver.

Chapter 3.2: White Wolf, Black Bear[]

Meanwhile, Charmel had returned to his own gang (Black Bear) and set up a trap for the White Wolf gang members expecting to get a task. They easily defeat Micalel and Tareau and tie them up, especially since Charmel is rather good at fighting, and torture information about the others' locations out of them. Black Bear then springs a trap on the rest of White Wolf at their temporary hideout, catching Tegis while Qura, Wesna and Janya flee. However, White Wolf has already specified a backup meeting site where these two meet while scouting out Syrragil for Black Bear's hideout, and wait for Andar and Tyl to return. When they return, the trio tells them what had happened. Charmel was is the temporary leader of Black Bear, the aggressive resident gang on this side of Syrragil (along with Greyhound gang), which doesn't want to share its territory with a third gang. Judging from the screams, they had been torturing their captives. Tyl spends a lot of time collecting create-heat faera and manages to create several superheat potions. Andar schedules a meeting with Black Bear, to give them money in exchange for their freedom; Charmel invites them to their hideout. However, they aren't intent on actually making a trade, and instead want to beat up the remainder of the White Wolf gang to prevent them from ever wanting to compete with Black Bear for tasks again, and so spring their trap. However, Andar had predicted that something like this would happen and so the team had been trained in fighting using Tyl's blinding and superheat potions. Using them, White Wolf turns the table, blinding and injuring them. Black Bear surrenders and Andar gets their equipment (money, weaponry, shields); Tegis, Micalel and Tareau are freed. They all have many scars, but although they want to see Charmel tortured, Andar convinces his gang to be merciful, much to their surprise; after all, the two gangs will have to operate side-by-side, so they must be able to co-exist. So what was once a truce meeting is turned into a victory/union celebration. Charmel appears to be very grateful for their willingness to forgive, congratulates Tyl's use of taboo magic, and tells Andar about a demesne to the east, where there is rumored to be more magic for those who can navigate it. Tyl seizes on the opportunity and convinces Andar and Qura to come along with her to the demesne; Andar puts Micalel in charge of White Wolf.

Chapter 3.3: Demesne of Air[]

Two days later, Andar, Qura and Tyl arrive at their destination. The demesne Charmel referred to is actually a monstrous cavern inside a mountain, with the entry leading directly to a massive abyss; there seems to be no way in. Qura wants to back away but Tyl says she knows that there's magic here, telling the protesting others that she knows what she's doing, and readily steps out onto thin air - except it props her up, so she's standing in midair, and soon walking down a flight of stairs toward the cavern central, with Andar and Qura following. Qura is amazed that Tyl knew there was magic, since she didn't sense anything; Tyl explains that she is blessed with Magic Eye, which allows her to see magic (its type, shape and location) at work through her eyes, even seeing the magic through physical obstacles; this is what had allowed Tyl to be so efficient at identifying and locating faera even when they were hidden out of sight. And now, this same Magic Eye saw the directional create-air floating right under their feet and from its shape Tyl deduced that this was a staircase; therefore she was willing to step on it. Actually, this is meant to be a leap of faith. They get to the pitch black main cavern using light potions to light the way, and the moment they enter the cavern, the entire place (its ceilings, floors and walls) blossoms into color so that it looks like a mini-world in daytime. What seem to be artificial, super-condensed clouds appear at various places and heights throughout the cavern, and in the center shines a majestic pedestal. Everyone is utterly amazed; Tyl tells them that the mini-clouds are like boats in the sky and that they can travel on them (propped up by create-air) and use it to navigate the place. The multi-colored clouds are 2 meters by 2 meters square; Tyl proceeds through the maze, quickly realizing that white clouds don't move and the light red, green, orange, blue, yellow, purple clouds move north, south, west, east, up, down when stepped on, ferrying her to either white clouds or other colored clouds which would then carry her in a different direction. When going up, the clouds would suddenly heat up; when going down, they would suddenly cool. While Qura notes down these observations, Tyl uses these to progress through the maze. Before long she is lost, but Qura and Andar are able to connect all the moving clouds and realize that they don't lead to the pedestal at all, rather to two platforms, each with a switch. Qura and Andar each go to a switch, which requires that they stand on it to keep it activated. While the switches are activated, new clouds materialize and other white clouds gain a color (and thus move when stepped on), which causes them to add these to their already congested, 3D map. Tyl reaches the central platform, which is comprised of nine groups of clouds each with white and colored ones which take her to colored ones on other cloud groups. After figuring out how the process works, she is able to get to the central platform. Around her appears whirling, ethereal, lighted text telling her where to find create-air faera and how to take care of and mate them; it also says that there is a greater reward for those who are worthy. The pedestal itself holds a vial of create-air moieta suspended in liquid. Using her other vials and knowledge of casting magic, Tyl manages to create a blast potion and then, a remote blast potion; however, she has no clue where the reward is and her understanding of create-air is inadequate. With this, the trio figures out a way to leave the demesne (a different path from the one they took to get in here), with Tyl vowing to uncover the secrets of this create-air magic and get her reward.

Chapter 3.4: The Dancing Blade[]

The story shifts to Yuna Selena, tracking a mage (Melza) in a village two hours' walk away from Syrragil; it's nighttime. Her sources had told her that the mage used both channeling and potion magic; she had spent several days before tracking him to his house. Sneaking in, Yuna rushes at Melza; however, the mage was alerted to her presence, is prepared and immediately responds with a smokescreen potion as he makes good on his escape, while Yuna backs out coughing. Then the chase begins, with the mage using air channeling to hop over rooftops and Yuna using her own set of skills to catch up with him. Ultimately Melza realizes that he doesn't have as much stamina as Yuna does and they have a rooftop battle, with Melza's air and fire channeling attacks easily countered by Yuna's anti-channeling training and Melza easily dodging Yuna's attacks with air-magic. Yuna had learned back at the Modena School the various means of countering channeling using her long sword; Melza is dismayed that half of his techniques are useless. He also uses his other potions (slipping, superheat, steam and smokescreen) as well as a fire potion (create-phosphorus faera) to try to gain the advantage; although Yuna can't counter these attacks, she is able to dodge them easily, sometimes catching them and throwing them back at him. Melza runs out of potions and Yuna taunts the troubled mage; as he flees once again, Yuna decides that she's played with him enough and, taking out a single throwing dagger, launches it. The man attempts to deflect it with channeling but Yuna had given it a spin, allowing it to cut straight through and fatally impale the man. As Melza lies dying, his final words remain a protest of his innocence and the innocence of taboo magic in general, something she's heard from her former victims, which starts to make Yuna wonder if they may indeed be right. Tossing that aside, she decides to head back to Syrragil, but she first makes a detour to Melza's home, digging through everything until she found the man's faera collection. Within it are some of the common faera (create-water, create-heat, create-smoke, all insects), as well as samples of what they feed on; Yuna holds onto this collection as a souvenir and trophy of her victory over yet another mage. Also in the collection is overfeed faera, which causes other faera to over-feed and thus get much more mana. Upon her return to Syrragil, she locates Black Bear's hideout (she is its leader) and realizes that while she was gone, a new gang (White Wolf) which included a mage had come and defeated them, taking all their stuff and their business. In a burst of anger, Yuna barges into White Wolf's hideout; as the gang members there try to defend, she fights them. As a second sword, Yuna easily defeats these fourth-swords and no-swords without getting a single scratch, but takes pity on them, choosing instead to strike them lightly rather than cleave them in half. Charmel then proceeds to whip their captives once again, even though Yuna berates him for doing so; Tegis escapes to White Wolf's backup rendezvous point, while Andar, Qura and Tyl are still on their way back from the air-demesne. Yuna leaves two of her minions to guard White Wolf's hideout and to spring a trap on anyone who returns.

Chapter 3.5: The Feud Renewed[]

Upon their return to Syrragil, Tyl reminds them that Intael's expedition could arrive to town in a mere two days. They narrowly avoid a trap by Black Bear sprung at White Wolf's hideout, but with the aid of Tyl's blast potions they easily take the ambushers off guard, capturing one and forcing the other to retreat. They go to the backup meeting place, meeting Tegis who affirms what Andar thought had happened; Tegis also warns them about Black Bear's apparently new member (Yuna), who could easily defeat them all hands-down. Andar states that Black Bear was already defeated once through the use of blinding potions and wouldn't fall for it again; they would have to try something else. Besides, since they have White Wolf members as hostages, White Wolf would probably be forced to surrender if they fought them straight on (because Charmel could simply take a blade to the captives' throats). They needed more allies to take on the much larger Black Bear. Thus the next morning Andar goes to meet with Greyhound (the third Syrragil gang) at their public rendezvous point and offers the prisoner in exchange for letting Andar, Tyl, and Qura into their gang. Qura then uses her charm and grace to persuade Stresa (the leader of Greyhound) to fight Black Bear and free her friends (ostensibly to gain dominion over all job business in the city). When Tyl tells him that she's a mage, Stresa gives her a gift: a certain artifact he had discovered (a spray launcher). Andar manages to figure out how the metal hand-device it works: alongside a potion spell, it allows the attacks to be launched directionally out of one's palm (a spray spell), rather than be thrown, since the metal protects the hand; she creates a blast spray by combining the spray launcher with a blast potion, then takes it a step further by adding create-heat to make a superheat spray. Andar sets to work creating 2 copies of the spray launcher, equipping both himself and Qura with them. Meanwhile, Black Bear had discovered that White Wolf had merged with Greyhound and, guessing correctly as to motive, launches a preemptive strike, though Yuna doesn't participate. Stresa and Tyl are captured, and several others are injured; however, Black Bear's attackers also take it hard from Andar's spray launchers, as 3 of them are captured. Greyhound regroups, with Qura contesting Artyl (Stresa's second in command) to be Greyhound's new leader. Qura realizes that it's up to her to use Tyl's magic to save her. Artyl wants a truce with Black Bear, saying Stresa's mind was clouded by Qura's seduction, while Qura says Stresa's trust in her makes her the real leader. Artyl then tries to intoxicate Qura with wine, but Qura blows it up with a superheat spray, injuring Artyl. Meanwhile, the rest of Greyhound allies with Artyl and stands down. However, having heard Qura's story, Artyl believes he can win the battle without getting any of his gang injured, tells White Wolf his plan (untold) and scheduling a treaty meeting with Black Bear, which accepts and sets a date (the next day) and location (at night at the city outskirts). Black Bear has already obtained eye-covers to prepare for any blinding spell White Wolf may have. Meanwhile, Charmel, angry at having been defeated by Tyl's magic in their second battle, orders her to be badly tortured with countless pin stabs; although Tyl has an armored mind, she still isn't able to ignore the pain and is reduced to begging to be let alone.

Chapter 3.6: To Friend and To Foe[]

The next day comes around and it is night-time. Black Bear arrives at the location early, equipped with one-eye covers, and gets into position for an ambush. Andar comes into view and Yuna rushes for her; however, right then dozens of the city guard storm and cordon off the site, locating all of the hiding Black Bear members and easily defeating them (since the guards are trained and have armor) while Andar analyzes Yuna's moves. The only one who manages to fight them off for quite a while (and deal them devastating blows) is Yuna, who is even able to knock archers out of commission using her flying daggers, but as she fights against Andar, he uses a variety of throwing potions and sprays at her, keeping her on her toes. Ultimately he shocks her with a shock spray (create-electropositivity), causing her to spasm and collapse; she is then captured screaming in pain. As Yuna is taken to prison, she curses in dismay at the thought that after all her experience fighting magi, it is still a mage who defeated her, and in this case, it wasn't even the real mage (Tyl) who defeated her, but a fourth sword (Andar). As the guard leaves, it is revealed that Andar had gone off to tell the city guard that "Blackeye Pirates" had arrived at the city outskirts, telling them that he would lead them to where they were hiding; the fact that Black Bear was wearing one-eye shields certainly helped convince the city guard of that. With Black Bear's formidable leader imprisoned, White Wolf and Greyhound are able to walk right into Black Bear's hideout and free the captives, easily defeating Charmel and carrying a fainted Tyl back to Greyhound's hideout. Micalel exults over their victory and their opponents' fate, but Andar reasons that this isn't the best outcome. Tyl believes that the torturing she suffered paled in comparison to something untold she had experienced before. Even though Tyl was tortured far more than most, it is the other captives who beat up Charmel. Tyl, who believes that the best strategy is still to forgive, tells them to stop, to everyone's disbelief. Hearing this, Charmel is immensely grateful and profusely thanks Tyl, tears flowing freely, and vows that he will never torture again; he can't stand the memory of doing such a terrible thing to someone so nice. Late that night, Yuna and the other Black Bear members, and White Wolf, independently conclude that the evidence indicates that the judge would find Yuna and the others guilty and sentence them to death by hanging. Andar and Qura have qualms about whether the two deserved such a fate - especially Yuna, who didn't torture anyone and who had entered the scene late. Tyl and the guards come by her cell and enter; Yuna struggles, trying to use the guard's blade to kill herself and thus avoid the disgrace of a public execution, but is unsuccessful. Tyl convinces Yuna not to use the blade to kill herself, and treats her to some orange juice; then they leave. Yuna correctly guesses that there is a key hidden within the opaque drink and uses it to escape, knocking out all the guards in her way without raising an alarm and using their keys to free the other members of Black Bear. All very thankful, they return to Greyhound's hideout, where Yuna officially disbands Black Bear. In thanks for saving her life, Yuna gives Tyl the faera collection she had obtained from Melza; Tyl realizes that part of the collection is actually the faera that the others feed on, allowing her to be able to sustain her faera indefinitely; also included are overfeed and create-phosphorus faera; more importantly, once Tyl has seen these, she can use her Magic Eye to locate others in the wild. During the celebration Yuna goes out to sit by herself; Qura follows and asks what's wrong. Yuna tells her that she's been absent because she had gone and tracked down a mage and killed him. She explains that she did so because she had been taught by the Modena School that all non-channeling magic is corrupt; however, after seeing Tyl forgive both Charmel and Yuna, she is starting to have doubts.

Chapter 3.7: The Vanishing Maidens[]

Morning of the next day. Tyl has just returned from her morning expedition into the surrounding woods, where she had used her Magic Eye to catch as much of the overfeed faera as she possibly could. As Tyl explains, this is the same as the one Yuna had found, which causes other faera to over-feed and thus end up with a deadly overdose of mana ("fuel" stars), allowing their spells to utilize up to 25x more mana than they could before; she had all of her faera mixed with it and sent to over-feed, resulting in her faera being over-charged. Both Qura and Tyl experience hot flashes and know that Intael's expedition is closing in on them, probably arriving before nightfall. Andar says he has a solution, whispers stuff to Tyl out of her hearing range, and sets to work creating his implement using his skills as a blacksmith, ordering various materials but not telling Qura what it is. Several hours later, Intael along with Judicad, Teal and others arrive at the city at last; they still haven't gotten over how the girls had beaten them even when they had the advantage. The trio had hired another four people from Edistel for this mission; they are dressed entirely in dark robes so no one can identify them; they've changed weaponry and use blood magic to scout out the girls' location, but first search the surrounding territory to look for anything suspicious. Finally convinced that no one is setting up a trap for them, they go to the center, the location where the girls would have to be according to blood magic - but to their amazement find no one there. They argue over whether it's because the blood magic has worn off (nothing like that has ever happened), or if they had broken its hold with taboo magic. They go around seeing if they had made a mistake with the magic, and track it making seemingly erratic movements, even going through walls, with incredible ease; terrified, the group flees. An angry Judicad demands that Teal give back Qura's bride-price; of course, Teal protests, saying he wasn't responsible. Meanwhile, Qura had been blindfolded for quite a while now, and finally Andar tells her it's okay to take it off. When she does it seems the rest of the world has disappeared - and then she realizes that she, Andar and Tyl are actually floating a mile high in the sky, people on the ground being barely visible. They are in a cloth hot air balloon, with a lot of create-fire, create-heat moieta providing the lift, and Qura clutches onto the railings in fear as Andar and Tyl smile and relax, Tyl admiring Andar's brainchild and commenting that they were lucky she had managed to discover the overfeed faera.

Chapter 3.8: Slave Emancipators[]

The party is walking through Syrragil when they come across a woman (Ceratel) trying to sell herself to someone in exchange for the burial of her elder brother - quite a peculiar phenomenon, no wonder there's no takers. As Andar walks up to her and asks what's wrong, she says that she is depraved to the extent of not having any other options. Their conversation is interrupted as a slavemaster (Grandryn) pulls up in a lavish, horse-drawn carriage and his men forcefully take her with them, Ceratel putting up a futile fight and a confused Andar stretching out his hand to block the others from charging after the carriage. Instead, Andar leads the team in distant pursuit, soon finding their destination: a brothel. As they enter, Andar asks about this place; such a thing never existed in Edistel. The hostess replies that all the women here are slaves chained to their rooms, and expresses her surprise that Ceratel could have escaped. The team now realize that the woman is a slave. Qura and Tyl both find this outrageously against their sensibilities, with Qura remembering how Judicad had chained her to her bed back at Aeutaril, and even though slavery is perfectly legal in Lorica (and even enforced), Tyl's charisma is so strong that Andar is brought to agree with them. Tyl rushes in to Grandryn's abode, where Andar takes over and say that they had accepted Ceratel's offer of subservience and so she now ought to belong to them. Grandryn protests, saying that she never had that right to give up in the first place, at which point Tyl's temper overheats and she beats him up, and forces him to give up his key; the rest of the gang joins in to defeat Grandryn's wife and son, restraining them. As Tyl and Qura rush off to set Ceratel free, Andar puts a blade to Grandryn's throat, successfully threatening to kill him if he were to call for help. The party is able to escape before the town guard arrives. Andar tells the others that this was a risky move which could have significant consequences, and just hopes that they were doing the right thing. They flee to White Wolf's hideout, after which a thankful Ceratel asks how she can repay them for helping her. Tyl quickly mentions "unusual things", for which she means faera, and Tyl obliges, leading them to the bank in Syrragil, a very secure and well guarded institution. Evidently Grandryn had believed that his slaves would never escape and had let slip the pass code to his own vault; Ceratel is therefore able to secure the bank's vault box, which in this case held no money but instead held a note saying "oh, this isn't all you'll get." The next moment they're surrounded by guards; it turns out that this particular pass code was actually a trap Grandryn had set up for those trying to steal from him. The team uses magic to fight back; however, they have trouble trying to fight their way out of the bank and at any rate the fight only lasts until the guard brings in archers. Then the party surrenders, and they're taken to prison, making quite a stir along the way. Yuna notices this and late that afternoon she steals into Syrragil's prison, using her expert assassin skills to navigate it and not be noticed. She manages to get to the party's cell; they report that Grandryn had come earlier, taunting them and taking Ceratel back; they also say that Grandryn had let slip that he's actually a local official. After freeing them, Yuna goes off by herself, locates Grandryn at the marketplace and strikes up a conversation with him. In the process, she flaunts her beauty and also plays her flute for him. By the time she's done, she's seduced Grandryn to go to a local restaurant with her, during which, while she pours wine for the now drunk man, she steals Grandryn's badge of authority. Then after it's done, she goes to the Capital Building and tells the officials there that Grandryn had just lost big on a gamble obliging him to pay all of his slaves to a stranger, and that Grandryn, being a wealthy man of honor, wants to honor that pledge. She says that she's Grandryn's representative, which explains her badge and gains their trust; however, the stranger who gets control of them is actually Melza, whom Yuna had killed. And so Grandryn is stripped of his prostitute slaves, without a clue as to where to go to exact revenge, and Ceratel gets her freedom back.

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