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> Seven Reimagined, A new view of an old story
haute ecole rider
post Sep 16 2018, 06:19 PM
Post #61


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From: The place where the Witchhorses play



Aww, an adorable chick episode! Complete with discussion of feminism, social/gender roles and limitations of said roles (which I find frustrating IRL, now that I have a nephew and a coworker who are trans and are both wonderful people), and ending with hair and makeup. Just the right touch of everything!

I did notice one tiny nit -
QUOTE
"Ravenward," Hrafngoelir said proudly. "Hetha said it would protect me from harmful magics. So far, it is saved my life more than once. But how did you know it's name?"
Just wanted to remind you that the possessive form of it does not earn an apostrophe.

I continue to enjoy this story, and the hints and foreshadowing and world building that is going on here. I remember the original Seven as well as both the Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven and look forward to how our young, brash Teodon integrates himself into this group.


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Acadian
post Sep 16 2018, 07:10 PM
Post #62


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Rider is right – a delightfully girlish episode. And very nicely woven in there, we learn more about not only Goldenlocks but our brown-haired witch as well.

"That is kind of you to say," Hrafngoelir smiled. "But look at you, with that lovely long hair, and those soft brown eyes."
"Aye, hair brown as dirt, and eyes brown as bark," Aela grumbled, looking back down at the waves below.’

- - This is precious! We are never satisfied with what we have and often envious of what we admire on others.


Please for give me for piling on the same passage Rider cited: "Hetha said it would protect me from harmful magics. So far, it is saved my life more than once. But how did you know it's name?" - - Do you want ‘is saved my life’ or ‘has saved my life’?


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SubRosa
post Sep 22 2018, 03:26 PM
Post #63


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haute ecole rider: I had two women talking to one another about something other than a man. So I passed the Bechdel test.

The dreaded It(')s strikes again! Another thing that spell check does not catch.

Lots more foreshadowing in the coming episodes.


Acadian: It was fun writing that girl on girl episode. It gave me a chance to do a lot of exploration of Aela's past and character.

Hetha's mispelled magic had saved Hrafngoelir's life more than once. Thanks for noticing that.




Chapter 8.3

"So why is it called the Bronze Sea anyway?" The aging Teodon Hyunsu scratched his fading green and brown scales in consternation. "The color is not like bronze at all. Not even old bronze that's gone green."

Loria piped up before anyone else could answer. "Why my good man, because while the sea may be made of water, it is bronze that flows over it."

"There beyond the far end of the sea, you will find many copper mines in the forests and meadows of eastern Aulerci." The Light Elf pointed a slender finger ahead of them to the east. Then he turned around, and gestured behind them. "But to the west, in the hills of Aela's homeland of Aulertil, there are tin mines. For thousands of years, both have been traded across this sea to create bronze."

"Aye," Venca spoke up from the rail where he stared out across the sea. "It is bronze that brought the people of this continent together, in peace and war. The Bronze Sea is the heart of Aulerci. They say that sooner or later, everyone passes over it."

"And perhaps sooner for some."

Aela turned at the sound of Dhasan's voice, and followed his gaze to the stern of the cargo vessel. There she saw Alcheon, the same Teodon from the day before. He tried to conceal himself with a cloak, but the stripes and irregular swathes of green across his otherwise yellow scales were impossible to miss.

"It would appear that these ones have been followed," Dhasan continued. The Asokar nodded toward the Teodon. "Is that the scaletail these ones spoke of before?"

"Aye," Loria said, "That is him to be certain."

"Well, he is persistent," Venca admitted. "I'll give him that."

"That persistence will earn him an early grave," Hrafngoelir murmured. "What are we going to do about him?"

"Do?" Aela finally spoke. "There is nothing to do. He can make his own bed, and he can lie in it."

"What if he dies in it?" Loria said.

"Everyone dies," Phereinon pointed out. "If he wishes to die with us, let him come."

"Remind me to never book you as an inspirational orator," Loria murmured.

"I know we all had to start sometime," Dhasan conceded. "Often not the best time. But I think we can all see that he is in over his scales."

"What we want does not matter," Aela said plainly. "Alcheon's fate is his to make, and his alone. None of us can change that. If he is determined, then we cannot stop him. Just like no one could stop me from attending the Ingenium, and no one could stop Loria from smuggling banned books out of the restricted section of the library."

"Trust a seidberendr to speak the truth no one wants to admit," Hrafngoelir said with slightly flushed cheeks.

"This talk of self-determination is all well and good," Venca argued. "But it still does not change the fact that the boy lacks skills."

"Well perhaps if someone who knows a thing or two about spear fighting teaches him - instead of humiliates him - that will change?" Aela took a moment to transfix the Rasen with her stare. Then she walked off. Stepping around crates and barrels of cargo lashed to the deck, she made her way to the rear of the ship. There she found the subject of their conversation.

The young Teodon leaned upon one of the side rails and stared out at the shore as it slid by to the right of the ship. The starboard side, Aela reminded herself. She leaned upon the rail beside him, and looked down at the water that foamed and eddied behind the cog. Alcheon said nothing, and for long moments neither did she.

Turning to Alcheon, she finally spoke.

"Tell me friend, do you know any magic?"

"The use of magic is not common where I come from," the Teodon hesitantly replied.

"Well then," Aela declared, "time we changed that."

"But I cannot-"

"Use magic?" Aela finished the sentence before Alcheon could. "Nonsense. Everyone can use magic. It is as much a part of us as blood and bone. Mana is the lifeblood of the world. It is just that many people do not want you knowing that."

"Why is that?" the Teodon asked through cautious eyes.

"Because you might change the world," Aela said plainly. "Do you know what magic is?"

"Well, potions, and scrolls, and bolts of lighting, and such things," the Teodon replied with a wave of one hand.

"Not at all," Aela shook her head. "Those are expressions of magic. But not the essence of magic. Magic, my young apprentice, is the ability to create change in accordance with your will."

"That is all?" the Teodon seemed unimpressed.

"It is that simple," Aela nodded, "and that powerful. Magic is quite literally the ability to reshape the world. To make reality how you will it to be. Is that not enough?"

The young warrior shrugged, and Aela hoped she was not wasting her time with the prospective mercenary. But she knew that if he did pay attention, her lessons might just save his life, or someone else's. That was certainly worth a little effort on her part.

"There are three things which comprise all magical workings, be they spells, scrolls, potions, or enchantments." Aela began. "First there is mana, then a pattern, and finally the will of the magician. Everything a mage does always comes down to these three things. Now, let us talk about each one."

"Mana is the first. It is the energy that powers all magic, just as pieces of wood are the fuel for a fire." The Arvern explained, and Alcheon nodded as she spoke. "All living beings have mana within them. It comes from the Earth and builds up in our bodies. Our spirits attract it, just like you have probably seen flies attracted to dung. And just as the bigger pile attracts more flies, the more powerful magician learns to store more mana within them."

That brought a wry smile from the Teodon, as Aela had hoped it would. It had done the same for herself, the first time she had heard those very same words spoken to her nearly a decade before.

"Now let us start by learning to feel the mana within ourselves," the Witch went on. "I want you to rub your hands together like this," she rubbed her open palms back and forth in a quick motion, as if she was trying to work the cold out of them. "Now you do it."

Aela watched as the Teodon rubbed his hands together as she had.

"Now what?" he asked earnestly.

"Do you feel that tingling in your scales?" the Witch asked. When the warrior nodded, she went on. "That is mana. In time you will learn to feel it within you with only a thought. But for now just rub your hands together like that."

"Next is a pattern, which is very important," the magician explained. "Think of it as the pattern of a tapestry. Or as a portrait or drawing. It is an image of what you want your mana to do. The only difference between a spell that summons a sylph and another that fires a bolt of lightning is this pattern. So learning a spell is really a matter of learning the proper pattern."

"Now there are all kinds of patterns for spells." Aela said. "In fact, there are many different ones to make the same spell. That is because magic is as much about your own personal inclinations as it is about universal rules. What inspires one person does not always work for the next. You must create your own magic or it will never work for you."

"For beginner spells, the patterns are very straightforward," she went on. "Simply imagine the result you desire in your mind, and channel your mana into image. As you can probably guess, more powerful spells require more complicated patterns. In time, you will learn to sense into the aether. There you can weave the individual strands of a spell's power, just like stitching a shirt, or a tapestry."

"Today we will learn an arcane shield spell, something very useful in our line of work. Shields can deflect physical blows, magical attacks, or both. Let us just start with the simplest: physical attacks."

Aela put out one hand, and with barely a thought a field of shimmering energy formed there before her. She turned, and stepped back so that she stood side by side with the Teodon.

"Do it just like me," she said. "Rub your hands together like before, and feel the energy rise in your scales,"

Aela watched as the Teodon did as she asked. She felt the power rising within the young warrior, and partially shifted her senses into the aether. "Now put your hand forward, and imagine a barrier taking shape there. This shield will turn aside any weapon that strikes it."

The Teodon put his hand out, palm flattened outward as if motioning to stop. Aela could see the ridges over his eyes scrunch up in concentration. His tail twitched, and his head spines rose up above his head. Yet nothing happened. Finally, he threw down his hand in disgust.

"It doesn't work!" he cursed. "I cannot do this!"

"Oh you just wait and see!" Aela's eyes sparkled with light reflected from her own arcane shield, which still glowed before them. "No one gets it right the first time. That is because there is one final ingredient we must speak of: Will. You must make the change happen. It is not enough just to want it, or hope for it, or even believe in it. You must know it. Just as you know the sun will rise tomorrow, you must know your magic will work. If your will is not this absolute, then you will cause your own spell to fail. Now let us try again, and this time focus your will."

The Teodon rubbed his hands together once more, and again the Witch could see his features scrunched together in concentration.

"That is right," she coached softly, watching the mana once more rise through his body. "You can do it. You have the power within you. You can do anything. You can make it happen. You will do it."

A disc of brilliant light burst from his fingers. In an instant it spread out to form a glowing oval in front of the Teodon, screening his body from head to toe. He opened his eyes, and stared in wonder at Aela behind the rippling light of the ward.

"See," Aela said, feeling no small amount of pride in both the Teodon, and in her own teaching ability. "I told you that you could do it. Now watch."

Aela finally allowed her own shield to fall, and she pulled back her senses from the aether. She stepped before the Teodon and balled up one hand into a fist. She beat it upon the face of Alcheon's arcane shield, as if pounding on a sealed door. She felt the magical barrier stop her fist just as firmly as such a door would. She struck again, and once more the ward halted her blow.

Then the light of the spell fizzled out of existence, and the Teodon sagged for a moment. Aela stopped, and waited for him to shake his head. He yawned, and Aela recognized this particular form of fatigue without even having to view his aura through the aether.

"You just used all of your mana," she explained. "Shields require much energy. Do not worry, it will replenish in a short while. The more that you use magic, the more mana you will learn to retain within you, the quicker you will recover it, and the less of it you will need to use in your spells. The important thing is that you did it."

"I did," the young Teodon said, "didn't I?"

"Welcome to a much wider world my friend," Aela breathed.


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haute ecole rider
post Sep 22 2018, 11:19 PM
Post #64


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Sigh. I am hearing Tumindil's voice once again in my head as Aela teaches our young maverick the ways of magic. I quite liked your interpretation of how magic works. And I enjoyed Alcheon's growth, small as it may be, in this segment. I can't help comparing him to the Alcheon I am familiar with, and am sure he will turn out the same way . . . even though they start out very differently.

Story good, more please!


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Acadian
post Yesterday, 08:01 PM
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More and more, I’m realizing that much of Aela’s motivation comes from her nurturing nature. To insert herself into a physical altercation’s aftermath to heal the wounded. To wake her elven traveling partner to ensure he doesn’t miss their transport vessel. To recognize that if this young Teodon is going to survive among her band, he needs some training. . . and since no one else seems to be taking up the mantle, she feels compelled to do so. Though normally quite mild mannered, when Aela is ‘nurture-motivated’ to a task she becomes as assertive as necessary to accomplish it.

And what a fascinating lesson in basic magic use she gives! I’m so glad that Alcheon shows some arcane potential. After all, if Aela will be the one training him that will work out much better than the witch trying to teach him physical melee combat!

“Our spirits attract it, just like you have probably seen flies attracted to dung. And just as the bigger pile attracts more flies, the more powerful magician learns to store more mana within them." - - laugh.gif Every arch mage should have this posted on their wall to remind them to be humble.


Nit: ’Magic is the quite literally the ability to reshape the world.’ - - Methinks the first ‘the’ in this sentence is an extra one.


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