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Old 01-23-2013
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In Pursuit of the Paradigm

~Click.~
The note resounds off the thick stone.
~Clack.~
The simple metronome begins its lazy return.
~Click.~
A long and heavy sigh flows from the bicentennial figure watching the instrument on the otherwise empty desk.
~Clack.~
Elf, Halruuan, Student, Anthropologist, Adventurer, Arcanist, Professor, Gondsman, Engineer, Magus, Craftsmaster; reduced to an existential staring competition with an upside-down pendulum.
~Ping!~
A sudden burst of activity emanates from the rear corner of the immaculately ordered room sequestered beneath the Temple of Oghma, as a pair of two-foot-tall humanoids dash out from behind one of the many bookshelves. "Ah foundeet, Ah foundeet!" chirps the winged grey homunculus, heaving a large tome in a strain to stay airborne. Its land-bound metallic companion retorts with a series of irritated clicks, beeps, and whirrs as it lopes along easily to climb onto the oaken workbench. "Whadaya mean you helped too? Ya was acting the entire time like a steppinstool!" ~ClakaklakaWrirrrizziPOP!~ "Thas just absurd, Ah guts wings, why'ld Ah wana try turning yah off to reach tha shelfs?"

James grabs the violently flapping book from the clay-and-blood construct as the pair begins to glare silently at each other yet again. "Thank you, you two. George, Section Twelve-A requires a new entry for Master Stonefist's commissioned belt and its modifications. Xerxes, I need six new Mark-Four timing mechanisms by tomorrow, the copper is in the normal cabinet." He couldn't help but chuckle softly as both grumbled off to perform their assigned tasks, still accusing each other of 'cheating.' He had constructed each of them personally and still didn't get their internal rivalries. Shaking his head with an affectionate grin, James dusts off the face of the recovered libram. The well-worn hide is marked with a singular "I" on its spine and a pair of gold-leafed draconic glyphs on the front. The graduation gift from the University had withstood the past two centuries and hundreds more experiments with nary more wear than its owner.

Exactly how worn he’d gotten no-doubt differed between who was asked, the elf silently muses. After two-hundred-and-eight years, much of them spent wandering, he was almost middle-aged, and had what exactly to show for it? Certainly, he had improved the lives of plenty, aided in the recovery of priceless heirlooms, and was considerably overqualified for almost every billet and position he’d been assigned, but Was It Enough? Would his actions now leave a mark on history, however brief, or would they be consumed by the unrelenting tide of the evolving paradigm? Logic stated that time would inevitably consume any trace of his workmanship, which a footnote in temporality was fleeting at best, if not impossible.
~Clack.~
The be-goggled magister glances to the still-ticking metronome, jarred from his thoughts to become aware of the blue crackle and ozone coming from his glove, before sighing once more. A gentle touch is all that is required to leave the aged but durable parchment of the tome bare, revealing three solitary lines of deep blue ink upon the crisp white. A moment’s concentration on the first brings a smirk to Frazer's lips. The best way to dodge the crush of progress was to forge it personally. Unfortunately, few outside of Lantan had the resources for such an undertaking, but perhaps just maybe, if luck and the Inspiration Divine were with it. . .
~Click.~
With a wave of his hand and a brief dedication to the Wonderbringer, James begins a header on one of his trademark bordered parchments: "To Whom it May Concern, . . ."
~Clack.~
__________________

Frazer Mfg. is a department of Frazer Fabrications, focused on the construction of high-end custom-crafted equipment and gear.
Also part of Frazer Fabrications are:
Frazer Armories - focused on resale of prefabricated arms and armorments;
Frazer Merchantile - specialising in economic analysis and scaleable logistics; and
Frazer Laboratories - the leading independent R&D for sundrite theory, arcane and mechanical engineering


James Frazer: Anthropological Gearhead, Techsmith, Arcanaphysisist, Renown Proprietor
AKA: Artifax Grade B Exigo Corporation Syndicated Associate VP, Professor, Quartermaster of the Schild Whurest-ExiCorp Joint-Operations Facility, and 'Annoying Mechanist'
Theme: Stil Alive

Grid vs. Squeegle, not Good vs. Evil

Distances and travel-times for the Sunderian Peninsula:Free Version 1.0

Crafting changes are a dead-horse topic, but feel free to ask me about crafting: If I can't answer it, I bet I can direct you to someone who can.
To those who are interested in making or have crafting-oriented characters, please check out the Fabricator's Collective and how to get FC-certified.
crafting tutorial.

Unfortunate truths:
Intention: [DM > Crafting > Faction Store > Drop > Regular Store]
Reality: [DM > Faction Store > Drop > Regular Store> Crafting]
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Old 02-27-2013
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Analysis of a Element (Part 1)

The following dissertation is filed within the Fabricator's Collective public records located within the Temple of Oghma.
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Frazer's Research Notes
Research File 0502
Topic: Sundrite material properties, Observed and speculated
Author: Artificer Frazer, J

I) Physical Properties:

Sundrite appears at first to be a dark-orange ferrite alloy, native to the peninsula-valley of Sundren, wherefrom its name originates. When alloyed with more common metals such as iron, the material maintains a lighter orange hue. Ore has been appraised in high quantities beneath the Sharahan Hills and Mirakus Post, where it leaves rust-coloured pigmentation of the stone interlaced with seams of granulated sulfur. The material has been noted to form freestanding crystalline formations of unidentified composition that vary in colour according to location. Samples have included green variants in a geological cyst beneath Sundren City, and reddish-purple to blue formations at the upper delves of the Wurest excavation. Both metallic and crystalline forms produce characteristic radiation: the former as low-level heat, the latter as harmonic vibration and luminosity. The output of radiation appears to increase in direct proportion to the purity and density of the sundrite within a given area.

II) Theorized Properties and Effects

Sundrite has been observed as a highly effective magical foci, as indicated by its current use in maintaining the infrastructure of Sundren City. Based on observations such as the Case Study below, this article suggests that the material bears a number of attributes that are linked to the Weave. Primarily, the radiation emitted from the material is at least partially magical in both nature and source. It may be noted that persistent magical constructs within the Sundren Valley are geometrically weaker for a given quanta of effort than those produced in lands without the material in question. It thus seems a reasonable hypothesis that the difference in expended energies is absorbed by the heavy presence of sundrite material, where it is then remitted in an altered form. It is likely that the catchment area for a given sample is at a minimum sufficiently large to cover the entire valley, but has a drop-off rate geometrically proportional to the quantity and purity of the sample, effectively limiting observable fluctuations to those variables. It is also likely that the energy emitted from the material may be at least partially absorbed by other nearby samples, thus contributing to the capacitance of the local series. This would explain a number of observed phenomenon, to include the regenerative capacities of mutated entities, the ward-breaching effect of residual elemental energy, as well as the particular potency of the deposits beneath Mirakus Post - once one considers its former proximity to the Towers of Mundus.

III) Case Study: Mirakus Mines

The Sundrite Mines at Mirakus Post are an unusual phenomenon, and one of the few commonly known large-scale mining operations for the material. The former location of the Red Blades and the two Towers of Mundus, the fortification now houses and supports the Exigo Syndicate and its affiliates. The hills around the location have been appraised as rich in Sundrite ores and comprehensive development into its recovery proceeded quickly. Upon reaching high-quality veins of the material, contact within the mines abruptly ceased. Exploration within by well-prepared mercenaries and adventurers has revealed that the cause of this disruption was due to the presence of elementals, along with physiological and psychological changes to the former Syndicate employees. Mutations among the miners included hyper-aggression, toughened and discoloured dermal tissue, an observed lack of higher cognitive function and language capacity, and rejuvenative effects when exposed to the Art. The aggravated spirits appeared to possess similar hyper-aggression, the characteristic rust-hue of Sundrite ore, and what appeared to be deposits of crystalline Sundrite upon the most powerful earth-elementals. Also encountered were unique manifestations of animate arcane power, that appeared to bear a primitive sentience capable of releasing destructive arcs of raw arcane energy at nearby objects and individuals not currently suffused with sundrite radiation. Suppression of the strongest of these elementals has revealed cores of semi-tangible energy that, when destabilized, cause a destructive ripple within the localized Weave able to negate wards within the disruptive radius. Despite the efforts of the Exigo Syndicate and any number of mercenaries and adventurers, the Mines at Mirakus appear to produce a nigh-inexhaustible number of these terran and arcane entities, possibly due to the high concentrations of material within the area acting as some form of astral beacon, or even causing the formation of such entities due to the quantity of magically-suffused samples.

IV) Further Insights and Comprehensive Experiments forthcoming
__________________

Frazer Mfg. is a department of Frazer Fabrications, focused on the construction of high-end custom-crafted equipment and gear.
Also part of Frazer Fabrications are:
Frazer Armories - focused on resale of prefabricated arms and armorments;
Frazer Merchantile - specialising in economic analysis and scaleable logistics; and
Frazer Laboratories - the leading independent R&D for sundrite theory, arcane and mechanical engineering


James Frazer: Anthropological Gearhead, Techsmith, Arcanaphysisist, Renown Proprietor
AKA: Artifax Grade B Exigo Corporation Syndicated Associate VP, Professor, Quartermaster of the Schild Whurest-ExiCorp Joint-Operations Facility, and 'Annoying Mechanist'
Theme: Stil Alive

Grid vs. Squeegle, not Good vs. Evil

Distances and travel-times for the Sunderian Peninsula:Free Version 1.0

Crafting changes are a dead-horse topic, but feel free to ask me about crafting: If I can't answer it, I bet I can direct you to someone who can.
To those who are interested in making or have crafting-oriented characters, please check out the Fabricator's Collective and how to get FC-certified.
crafting tutorial.

Unfortunate truths:
Intention: [DM > Crafting > Faction Store > Drop > Regular Store]
Reality: [DM > Faction Store > Drop > Regular Store> Crafting]
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Old 12-10-2013
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Introduction to the Flux-Field Interpretation of the Arcane Sciences, Lecture Part 1

"What is magic?"
The strong voice reverberates with intensity across the lecture-hall, a deliberate pause for consideration.
"It is a fundamental query that defines the experiential existence. It is no less than the sum total of all that is unknown."
The pointy-eared professor spins suddenly from his pacing to face his audience, punctuating his statement as he does so.
"And it is an Excuse."
His trademark quartz lenses scanned across the array of students, critiquing their reactions.
"Welcome to Introduction to Flux-Field Interpretation of the Arcane Sciences. As stated on the board, I am Professor Frazer. Some of you may be here for credit, others to absorb your time between other more preferable courses, likely fewer because you deem some portion of what I say to be worth listening to. In reality, it matters not, but what you gain from the next hour is up to you."

The mage steps towards the blackboard at the front of the room.

"From an anthropological standpoint, Magic is defined as practices designed to gain control over the supernatural. To understand the definition, one must define the term Supernatural; characteristics of reality beyond the senses." Both definitions are written down in glowing-blue chalk. "Individually, both make sense. However, once a simple juxtaposition is formed, we begin to see the essence of flaws. We now read that Magic is practices designed to gain control over the aspects of reality beyond the senses.
Who or what defines the limitations of the senses? I may not be able to perceive the room next-door, so is my knocking at the door to summon an individual within to be considered Magic? I may stir my tea with a spoon to cool it, but as I cannot sense the eddies and flows of the liquid within is that Magic? The sane answer to both questions is obviously not. I knock on the door, it creates an effect of sound, which alerts the individual within of a presence at the door. The stirring of the spoon brings hotter liquid to the surface of the cup to evaporate and cool faster, even if I cannot detect it directly. These are principles of causality and applied sciences, not aberrant hand-waving and coincidence."
"Recall my proclamation, moments ago. Magic is an Excuse. It is the simple-cop-out for those unable or unwilling to explain or validate causality. If magic truly worked as it is often explained to, we would have any number of contradictory effects for a given attempt with many of them being ineffective or producing no result at all."

The professor continues to lecture as he wanders towards the vast window overlooking the fantastical metropolis below.

"We sit at the heart of over four-thousand years of recorded Art. The libraries within this country extend back to before the fall of Netheril. Within that time, we have breached the Sea of Night and observed the patterns of the Crystal Sphere, we have made consistent advances and refinements to spells and arcane effects, we have challenged the Gods themselves and seen those same deities bound to the surface of Toril in mortal form. You have no doubt all heard of the culmination of the Godswar and the Tablets of Fate, of the chaos and disorder left by the fall of Mystra. There is no doubt of the existence of a system behind it all, a reason why it all works, and a means to predict what will happen in a given circumstance. This is not Magic, This is Science. And as with any science, there is procedure. Please open your books to page two-hundred-forty-three."
"To begin with any hypotheses, we must first have a model to refer to, an interpretation shared in understanding for any meaningful ideas to be compared. The Classical Interpretation of the arcane is twofold. Firstly we have the Weave, who's rules are dictated and written by Mystryl, Mystra, Midnight, or whoever you wish to term the current iteration of the relevant divinity. The Classical Interpretation likens the Weave to a three-dimensional fabric bounded by the cosmos, converting the raw essence of the universe into usable forms by less adept beings. It likens spell-casting to commanding this fabric to rearrange itself, with the new arrangement being the effect. This presents a curious problem, as if I form a ball of fire by rewriting the Weave, why does it not stay forever; Should it not require a second command to return to its previous state without the flame? This suggests that the Weave has a preferred state not dealt with in the Classical Interpretation. Secondly, we have the Ley-lines; channels of arcane power, whose convergence allows for great effect and concentrated power. Yet the theory fails to suggest endpoints or origin for this apparent surplus of power, nor the means of their formation. Both aspects of this Interpretation seem reasonable despite their minor curios, but when compiled into a single system anomalies appear, just as before. If a ley-line is a channel of arcane power, and the weave is relatively static and awaiting impulse, one or the other must be false by basic principle of logic. Alternatively, the analogies being used are incomplete and require revision. It is such a revision that I propose, simultaneously incorporating both portions and similarly allowing the the explanation of other related possibilities."

James pauses for breath, letting his words sink in, noting the individuals who had chosen to depart their consciousness.

"Flux-Field Interpretation begins with the assumption that the Weave is comprised of a fluid aether similar to air, water, or sand. This ocean of energy is the width, breadth, and depth of the cosmos and is both penetrative and non-material, suffusing most of reality as we are aware. As a fluid, it may bear currents and eddies, streams and torrents, solving both inconsistencies previously suggested about the Classical Interpretation. As with any fluid, an effect may be made, and simple attrition of energy will eventually bring it to equilibrium with the surrounding environment. Similarly, Ley-Lines are naught more than persistent streams within the fluid aether, similar to the oceanic-currents and wind-belts used by the logistical industries, capable of carrying vast quantities along with their flow."
"Now, I'm certain many of you may be nodding in understanding, others in hopes that agreement will force an end to this verbal assault to your psyche, but there likely remains the question as to how it has to relate at all to your ability as up and coming magi and why indeed you should care about the interpretation when there are plenty of guides and manuals on how to produce the effects you desire. Why care about why the tea cools when I stir it, so long as it does? If a particular combination of hand gestures, words, a pinch of bat-quano, and a mean glare are all that is required to turn a house to ash, why does one need to examine the reason?
To questions like these, My reply is simply:"
The lanky professor reaches under his podium and withdraws a beast of a ballista, its solid zalanthar limbs and intricately worked duskwood stock crackling with electricity, and drops it with a resonant thud onto the surface.

"Improvements."

"By knowing how something works, you can tweak it, optimize, eek out that last bit of power. The Arcane Sciences are no different. A spell is simply a combination of kinetic motion, sound waves, material essence, and mental exertion interacting in such a way to create an eddy in the flow of aether. Meta-magic Training, curse the imprecision of the term, is such a means of optimization: by practicing in the correct form, one can reduce one or more of those elements in making the eddy to an exercise in psychic agility. Similarly, through sheer trial-and-error, it may be discovered than an additional three degree twist of the wrist allows for an improved output by up to fifty percent.
However, there are much larger potential applications than one individual could normally accomplish by themselves. Under the assumption that the Weave is formed of a fluid, there is the conclusion that the aether bears similar properties to other fluids: namely compressibility. Pressure is a driving force in most systems, be they oceans, atmospheres, politics, or stone. A lay line may be interpreted as a flow of aether from an area of high pressure to an area of low. Spells as a measure of the relative change they make to the local density. A dead- and wild-magic regions as areas with inordinately high pressures such that any meaningful relative change is nigh impossible or unpredictable. The Shadow-Weave as the manipulation of vacuums and cavitation within this fluid aether. It is possibilities such as these that arise without significant conflict to previously proposed theories and interpretations. It is this key concept that permits the further refinement of analysis into the nature of the Arcane Sciences.”

Professor Frazer looks out to the sea of distracted or dozing students, picks up the weapon on the desk, and racks it back with a loud clun-chik, startling all but the attentive regulars. “All right, seems most of you have decided to depart mentally from the lecture-hall, so you may as make it physical as well. I'll continue the particulars of Flux-Field Interpretation and its means of measurement tomorrow. Try to take notes, it counts for the final.”
As the audience ushers from the room, he goes to pick up a small runed cube sitting in an empty seat in the front row. A light tap and a muttered command causes it to cease its faint glowing. “Off to Records with you, then. Perhaps Professor Crimson would appreciate a copy of this series,” he chuckles as he tucks it in his pocket, and starts to tidy the lecture materials.
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Old 12-17-2013
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Introduction to the Flux-Field Interpretation of the Arcane Sciences, Lecture Part 2

“To accurately quantify any system, one must first have a standardized and accepted unit of measurement. This enables accurate quantification of results between multiple experiments, as well as accurate comparisons between experimenters. If I were using kilometers and degrees and let someone know that there was an interesting excavation 4 units away at an angle of fifty, it would confuse them no end to find something completely different four miles away at an angle of fifty radians. Without standardization, chaos and inconsistency is nigh guaranteed. It is for this reason that the next portion of these lectures shall consist of defining terms and measurements when approaching Flux-Field Theory."

The lecture begins almost instantly at the appointed time, leaving a few stragglers hurrying to their seats. The professor, meanwhile, uses the time to list a number of terms on his chalkboard, the luminous blue markings easily visible from the back of the hall: Arcon Thaum Flux Vector-Field

"To begin, while tempting to start on the most relateable levels of the theory, we shall begin with explaining a simplified system, and slowly add aspects of the whole system until we realise the entirity and how all the parts interconnect. To begin with, we apply a similar principle to the Weave as has been applied to chemistry. With chemistry, there is a principle; an idea of the smallest indivisible particle of stuff, termed an átomos, or atom. Even with the millenia of consideration behind it, there is still some debate as to the nature of these atoms, such as if they are packets of elemental material or some other exotic form, but it matters not for this representation; they are, for the intent of current knowledge, the smallest thing possible.
A similar principle can be applied to the Weave: It is often visualized as a fabric, as implied by it's name. However, how large are those knots that create spell-effects? If we presume it to be an extremely fine fabric, it may have thousands of threads per square meter. However, what if we look at the threads themselves? Threads are formed themselves of bundles of fibers: Would we thus re-knot those fibers and cause an effect without any visual appearance to the Weave? Those same fibers may be comprised of the aforementioned atoms: could we take a fiber of single atoms and knot that? Flux-Field interpretation may not use the fabric analogy, but a similar point still stands: what is the smallest indivisible packet of arcana? I may not know nor be capable of observing, but basic logic states that it must exist, even if infinitesimally small. However, the Paradox of the Heap brings forth the stipulation that any value, regardless of comparative size, has value, and as an indivisible value this minute portion of arcana is a key basis for other consideration. The term I shall use thenceforth for this minute value is an arcon. Every spell and arcane effect is therefore a combination of arcons in some quantity, configuration, and state."

James appends a definition to the board, now reading: Arcon – The smallest indivisible particle of arcana

"How, therefore, does one define such qualities? Certainly there must be some difference between the energy released for a cantrip and the most spectacular of evocations. Even two practitioners may create drastically varying effects for the same incantation, depending on location, skill, and any number of other factors, yet such differences are highly predictable. I bid you recall my final conclusions from yesterday; that like any other fluid, the Weave is reliant on density and pressure."

He snaps his fingers, causing a translucent cloud of chalk dust to envelop his hand

"Think of each arcon as a single particle of chalk: almost imperceptible, yet in quantity the collective fluid is visible. What causes this visibility? What defines the size and properties of the cloud? Given time, the various particles will disperse, making the collective less and less perceivable until the density is too small to warrant notice; yet the cloud will not have ceased to exist. The density of the particles goes from a high concentration to a low concentration, to barely more than the background contaminants of the air. Similarly is the principles of Flux-Field Interpretation as it approaches spell magnitude: the changes in arcon density replicating the creation and dissipation of fluctuations within the fluid Weave. However, this creates an interesting quandary: If arcons exist everywhere, how does one tell when the spell is dissipated? What is the density were never allowed to reach nothing? Would this change the effect? Certainly."

the elf pulls two blackboard erasers out from the podium and claps them together, creating a wave of dust to emanate outwards a few meters, before snapping his fingers once more. The result is a much less noticeable cloud around the hand itself.

"As you can see, the effectiveness of any given density increase is dependent not on the total increase, but the relative increase. If we assume that snapping my finger increases the concentration of chalk-dust in the air by one unit per cubic-meter, and that the erasers created an environment already at one unit per cubic meter, our total density in the vicinity of my hand is double that of before, but half as effective. Rather than an arbitrarily large increase in density of making something where nothing was, the increase was only double. If I were to snap my fingers again, the increase would only be by fifty percent, and so on. If I wished to keep doubling the effect, I would need to use an exponentially greater means of increasing density: first two units, then four, and so on.
Thus it is not the quantitative increase in arcon density that makes the difference, but the relative increase. If you tried casting a spell in an area with no residual magic it will likely take less effort to produce a significant effect than an arena directly after a spell-duel between arch-magi. The quantification for such changes, therefore, aught to be placed on a scale relative to the local baseline. To address this , one should probably use a relatively small, yet easily replicated and consistent test. Discussion and experimentation assisted with various contemporaries has demonstrated a stable unit of measure with the attempt to summon forth either a small white pigeon, or three billiard balls, both of which share similar results for effort irrespective of the practitioner. This unit, enough to complete many minor tasks, is termed a Thaum."

This definition is written below the first: Thaum – The base unit of Arcon density per cubic-meter relative to the local baseline

"Now, How do we determine the local baseline? Similar to air, the local density may change greatly between two locations: at high altitudes the thin air encourages different constitutions than those near the sea. A lowlander who goes into the mountain will experience discomfort as the relative potential in air density becomes lower. Similarly, a highlander who descends to the beach will experience much greater vigor as the relative change in air potential becomes higher. Each might be able to run a six-minute-kilometer in their own climate, but the lowlander will be hindered, while the highlander would be empowered. Similarly, one must consider the relative strength of an thaum in the environment where one is casting. As the objective of most spells is to deliver reliably similar effects regardless of local variables, the thaum-output of a given spell will remain constant regardless of location. However, the expenditure required by the individual to maintain that output may vary significantly between an area dense in arcons and one that is less so.
The requirements of creating the same effect in an area will increase with repeated iterations until it is effectively impossible to pack any further arcons into the area without a fundamental change in the nature of the fluid. Harkening back to my cloud of chalk dust, this would be similar to packing more and more dust into the area until it reaches a saturation point and becomes a solid block of chalk. The chalk mass no longer acts like a fluid, maintaining its shape against all but the most furious of currents, and preventing any further increase of arcon-density past the saturation-point. In terms of the Weave, this would effectively be a Weave-dead area: no spells work, and not much can be done to alter such a topography.
We now have basic units, but both are in a static presence. We can define relative change between areas and between one place and itself, but we still have an incomplete vocabulary to sufficiently describe the entire system. For this, we need a definition of rate. A spell is unlikely to drop its entire potentiality in one single moment in time. Similarly, even if it did, the potentiality would proceed to disperse into the surrounding volume or convert to another energy form in an attempt to return to equilibrium. As we have established that the relative change defines effect, the rate at which energy moves from one area to another is crucial in determining the strength over duration.”


Professor Frazer proceeds to add another line to the board: Flux – The rate of one Thaum per second.
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Old 07-10-2015
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Three days ago, there had been a muffled thump behind the locked door of Office Number 5. With the brief and sudden note, a tendril of fine pale dust crept beneath the sealed oaken barricade before coming to drift lazily along in the slow draft of the hallway.

Its life was short.

Moments thereafter the door had been violently and energetically voided, hurling the dustmotes back into the room from the suction and revealing the pleased, thouroughly sand-caked, and lightly steaming visage of one begoggled Associate Vice President. With a sheaf of notes and documents clutched under his left arm, the curious figure had strode purposefully through the large double-doors to the south, leaving a wake of fine silica and pausing only to hang a nameplaque on the attendance board. As the rain fell about him, he thumbled through the pages. Some projects were old, some unfinished, and others empty save a header. As the corundum lenses fell upon the persistant bustle of the Mirakus Bazaar, he hastened his pace.

There was work to be done.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

In the intervening time, four new projects had been added to the folio, seven others had been updated, five pending commissions had been confirmed, no active artisans could be readily contacted, two new developments had been unearthed, and one lynchpin Magister was apparently 'missing'.

The latter seemed important; after all, there were few enough arcane philosophies in the country without a recent balance imploding. James set off to locate a mirror in the cavernous offices while wording up a sending, all the while humming an orcish working diddy badly out of tune.

There was always work to be done.
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Old 04-01-2016
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The day began, as statistical probability dictated, with a rhombic dodecahedral honeycomb.
The day would close, as statistical probability dictated, with the same rhombic dodecahedral honeycomb.
The intervening temporal space, however, was at the mere whim of a curious and improbable portion of the multiverse known for its absurd and fantastical happenings, hypocritical politics, and arbitrary methodologies. A terrifying realm of illogic and emotion known as Reality.

Each day would begin in this angular space, devoid of deceit or of death or disgrace.
Here it would end as each day came to pass, this realm forged of logic, this world formed of glass.

The endless field of geometry shimmered softly in the pale-blue ambient light of the brane, each identical save for their location, hue, and transparency. Drifting amongst the spectral sheets and stacks of colour was a figure of skeletal blue light, more vibrant but undoubtedly the same hue as the surrounding illumination and constantly encapsulated in an inexplicable sphere of clear space. It reaches out a translucent limb towards the wall, never quite touching as the armature shrinks to a point, stopping its disappearance just before the torso-joint. Moments later, a pulse of golden light ripples outwards from a meter within the mass of geometry, where a polyhedron rapidly shrinks out of existence. Simultaneously, the being’s arm begins to reappear, sprouting from the remaining stump and culminating with the hand holding the dodecahedron by the fingertips. The faceless figure appears to glance through the object, where visions of thousands of hours of planar theory, study, and calculations play across the faces. It is released with a subtle relaxation of the manipulators, and proceeds to float about the entity’s ‘head’.

Silently, another limb coalesces from the torso, repeating the procedure on another section of the landscape, this time collecting the dark-indigo concepts of umbral illusion. The figure continues to drift amongst the stacks, collecting numerous additional polyhedrons of cobalt, brass, rust, platinum, octarine as it drifts inexorably towards the singular open space at the center of the plane. With a purposeful arm-wave, the collected shapes are set to orbit through the vacuum, leaving only the pale gold at the centre. A light tap is all that is required to cause the other orbitals to vanish and the ambient lighting to match in hue, leaving the figure as the only remaining object untinted by the pale suffusion of amber. It leaves the central space, returning momentarily with another set of rhombic polytopes: one translucent pale straw, another a cloudy toasted umber, and the last completely transparent - invisible and undetectable save for the resolute definition of existence of an indice.

The objects are left to hover amongst the open space, and the limbs of the entity burst into fluid motion. Motes of colour are drawn from the two visible shapes, floating abstractly about the azure digits that direct them. A table of the rates of multidimensional diffusion at differing arcon densities is torn from the the straw-coloured polygon and thrown into its clear sibling, corrupting the previously pure volume with a faint tinge of colour. Arbitrarily summoned arms vanish and reappear from the aether, bringing their own faint clouds of hue and concept. A coppery statistic on the replacement cycle of elemental foci is melded with a scarlet report on advancements in crystalline hardening and the resulting mist is flung once more into the ever-sharpening outline. A goldenrod streak of astral vermin demographics is twisted together with the cerulean tail of the understanding on advanced abjurative defences and channeled further into the prismatic storm building within the formerly blank index. With all the finesse of a master weaver the arms phase to and fro, knitting together the transcendent warp and weft into definitive shape of cacophonous miasma.

At last the motion halts, and the environment fades once again to the previous spectral blue. The chromatic ring lies unchanged and motionless, surrounding the void where the skeletal entity cups the newly prismatic index in four arms before waving all the other geometries away. At first it floats, then walks down a black path that appears in the distance and engulfs the plane without any movement. As the figure continues, the form shifts and dissipates, both retaining and becoming the form of a man attired in grue and bleen. He approaches an endless wall of clockwork gears, the only feature in this realm of ambient blackness, while the index floats silently behind his left shoulder. The gears spin in endless cycle, some imperceptibly slow, others translucently fast, but none truly fixed in an endless dynamic and orbital dance. One in particular catches the eye of the observer, a small obsidian cog caught in the teeth of larger brethren and darting erratically across the fast swarm of widgets. On a whim, he turns toward its origin and pales. On the far horizon a vast and corroded mechanism of sickly yellow and grisly red material grinds inevitably down, ivory streaks jutting out to gouge nearby cogs while outright crushing the smaller pieces and leaving acidic scars on the casualties. With a final parting glance, the man sprints into the blackness towards a point in the distance, expanding into a blinding white.

~THUNK~

James started, hitting his forehead, and fell back into the rough but functional bed. The posture left him staring at the dent newly delivered to the wooden struts of the upper bunk. He didn’t like Reverie - it wasn’t as efficient as true sleep for physical recuperation, and it had an annoying tendency to unearth memories he didn’t want to broach. A muted creak of strained hinges and wood brought his attention to the door, where a small mechanical humanoid plodded in with a glass of water. It looked at him in mild surprise, the metal helm illuminated from below by a softly pulsing orange heart, before clambering over to hand him the beverage. That made sense, as he was early by about two minutes - he’d pushed off that issue for far too long, and his subconscious was pulling the alarms. Pulling himself upright, James took the glass with a friendly pat to the mechanoid, sipping it slowly as he ate away at the extra time and brought his heartrate back in check. He'd seen it coming for years and ignored it, always claiming that it would be dealt with in time. Well, the deadline was nearly here, and it wasn’t about to wait.

A mental timer snapped, denoting the start of a new wake-cycle and the impending cessation of his wards. Exactly according to schedule he rose from the bed, gathered various reagents from a footlocker, and tried to take solace in his morning rituals as the room began to hum with the condensed arcane power of a troubled archmage weaving his daily incantations. How long had this been his life, invoking more energy each daybreak than most magi knew in a week? That monstrous construct hadn’t been forged on its own. He’d contributed plenty to its birth, fed it as it had grown, guided it to maim and corrupt innocent bystanders, and left it for others to deal with rather than take responsibility. As the flickering of rapid abjuration faded away to reveal the artificer, so too did a haze of indecision dissipate in a moment of clarity as he reviewed his preparations: for one final time, he was going to do it again.


((Side note, I've had most of this post written for almost 2 years now. seemed a shame to close the story without sharing it.))
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Old 04-01-2016
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<~*#_-Are you sure about this?-#_*`>
"Not in the least; That's the first sign that this course of action is a productive endeavor."
"Was what you said before desert trip too"
"Yes, and I returned intact from that, didn't I?"
<^#_`-And the Leyline mess-*~_#>
"That was closed off fine, it was dealt with and done"
"Was it really? or was you cleaning up older mess?"
<*~_#-Or running from the City-_^`~>
"That was for safety, to cut down on collateral da-"
<#'~-Yours, not theirs-_*'>
"I can't fix things if I'm dead!"
"Is that why you flee from University?"

The small workshop goes quiet, the soft crackle of forge-coals booming thunder through the unsettling silence. A good minute passes before being broken by a plaintive sigh.

"No. That was dead and buried two centuries ago. Besides, I thought I'd solved the empathetic feedback loop in the two of you heartless unliving pests already."
<*-You started. . . -~>
". . .But we recall quote "Who will voice my conscience?", so yous fault again there"

A soft chuckle is forced out, followed by the jingling pat of tool-encrusted gauntlets petting metal and clay.

"I suppose I'll need to make a new one when I arrive. You two just focus on helping out, deliver those letters, and stay operational until I return."
"They gonna follow you know."
"That is anticipated, and why you don't know where I'm going. Tell the truth and let them come; the next engagement is on a field of my choosing."
<*#~-Query: Expected return date?-'_~>
"When they're all dead, and I'm still alive."

A light clattering is heard as a backpack is shouldered atop plated armor, followed by a series of arcane utterances that cause the shadows to bleed and lengthen before consuming the world utterly. A vibrant figure emerges from the cave to survey the bleak landscape one last time before grasping the reigns of a spectral steed and galloping towards the darkest horizon.


((One last post slated to finish off this particular story.))
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