Notes on Magic
– The act of casting magic requires specific actions to perform. This usually includes the writing of magic symbols called runes or certain specific movements, providing either specific items called components or focusing through a universal “magic focus” like a crystal or certain minerals, and sometimes the incantation of specific words. Combining these methods produces a certain magical effect, and most of the study of magic is experimenting with these combinations of actions.
– There are two general types of magic, though the lines between them tend to be more blurred than I had originally thought: there is magic that is produced through faith, which I like to call Faith magic, and magic produced through study, which I like to call Reason magic. Certain people possess powers innate to their being; this type of magic is something I wish to study more, as it seems to be a fascinating mix of both Faith and Reason magic. Those who call themselves “Warlocks'” are also a mystery, though the only one I know is also one of the aforementioned innate types.
– Essence is pure magic dust. I don’t know too much about it, but you can infuse it with certain materials to make those materials produce interesting effects. Such an example is my Mithril Glaive; even though most materials are too cumbersome for me to wield effectively in Glaive form, this material is so light when infused with essence that I could wield it. Artificers are masters of this essence infusion, using it to produce various magic effects in different items. NOTE: MAGIC ITEMS ARE DIFFERENT FROM ARTIFICER MADE ITEMS. MAGIC ITEMS ARE MADE FROM A LONG LOST ART OF MAGIC INFUSION THAT DOES NOT REQUIRE ESSENCE. (The recreation of this method seems to be incredibly interesting, and figuring out how to make this work again would be a great asset to our Outpost.)
– Considering the above information, I believe that I am most suited for Reason magics, as they are based off of study. I have considered Faith as a potential form, but I have found that my belief in myself does not hold fast enough to allow me to access such forms of magic. Reason mages usually have to use a spellbook to keep notes on their magic spells; I believe I’ll need to memorize those spells instead, since using my Glaive is difficult otherwise. This means I will have less spells available at any given time; whatever spells I leaned need to count.
From the journal of Chigu Townsend Caprincheo, Alchemist and Apothecary to the Outpost
Some time ago, I enlisted in my first expedition out to explore the frontier, and it was as fruitful as I could have imagined. We traveled east for three uneventful days before reaching Greenhome; my skills and knowledge in herbalism proved very useful in foraging for food along the way. Our stay there was also uneventful, though I was intrigued by the guard who challenged us at the gate. I believe he was some sort of magitech automaton, though I didn’t bother taking a closer look. Our storm badges served as identification as Outposters, and we were allowed in.
Shortly after leaving Greenhome, though, things became much more eventful. First, we came to a mountain. A mountain which others who had been out that way before assured us had never been there before, and which indeed appeared on no maps. At its top was a strange almost-certainly-unnatural silo-like formation of cones; we chose to go around the mountain rather than over it to be past it quickly, so I did not get a closer look at its structure or indeed the material it may have been made of. I have since come to regret this oversight. Hopefully(???) the mountain is still there (???) the next time we venture out that way and we can take a closer look.
We then came upon a beach of glass. And when I say glass, I mean that it was covered in sharp shards of glass, under which water flowed. Very precarious. I was able, however, to spill acids on the glass and dissolve areas so that we could pass somewhat more safely and, more importantly, forage for food. I made a fascinating discovery here: some of the fish I found here appeared to be partially herbal in nature, with plant matter growing from them. They also tasted delicious. Pre-seasoned fish, a fascinating concept! I salted and preserved a few small ones to bring back, though experiments quickly made it clear that there was no alchemical secret to be gleaned here, only the maelstrom’s touch yet again.
Shortly after the glass beach, we encountered a crab-person and were challenged with threats, though this was merely his sense of “humor.” Sebastian, the “hilarious” scout, invited us into Calypso’s cavern where we met a young red-haired crabgirl named Ariel and Calypso herself, matron of the cancerites. The people there expressed some concern that our early contact had not yet led to established relations, so I spoke for the people of the Outpost and officially offered our cooperation and friendship. They offered mutual benefit and trade, and it seemed like a useful thing to do. In poking around the cave then and later, some algae I found growing there caught my eye; Acting on a hunch, I collected some samples and brought them home to examine for their possible alchemical properties.
We were offered a feast, and were also informed of a problem that Calypso’s cancerites had been facing. To the east—which is also where we were heading—they had been having trouble with local beasts that moved and acted as one. They suspected something or someone was in control of these beasts, as they moved with preternatural surety, even across species. Eagles, wolves, and feral hogs in great number moving together as one, surrounding their scouts in a few short minutes. We agreed to help and went to investigate. I brewed an entangling infusion potion that Rasselkopf added to the trap they made, and we set out to capture one of these beasts and learn what we could.
What we learned was that the cancerites were right: these beasts were extremely dangerous. For one, they were huge, easily twice the normal sizes. We succeeded in trapping a feral hog, lashing it to a tree and entangling it in vines. But within seconds, the eagles watching us uncannily from the trees turned on us, and wolves arrived with even more feral hogs. Several of us had hidden in trees, but climbing is not my strong suit. David was swarmed and nearly overcome until he walked into the pond and held his breath underwater until able to make a mad dash to the tree. I entangled some wolves and ran to another tree, but other wolves tackled me and nearly had me; luckily I was underneath Arrow, who helped me climb into the tree and hide. Another eagle attempted to attack us but I bravely showed him what-for with my spear. After killing the eagles and hiding safely in the trees from the other animals, they seemed to recognize this as one and leave.
We harvested quite a bit of essence from these unusually-magical beasts before limping back to Calypso’s Cavern to report. On our way back, we were given a soggy but stately official offer of treaty and alliance to bring back to the people of the outpost, which we hope to develop soon. The cancerites are very nice and it would be a shame to leave them hanging. Especially if that algae proves useful.
So despite a near-death experience, which was certainly less than ideal, my first foray into the wilderness offered one possible alchemical discovery and at least two more curiosities, a discovery of a possible malignant sentience in control of many gigantic feral beasts, and new updates to the local geography and an expansion of our map. A very productive expedition, if I do say so myself. However, I think I must work on formulating a wolf-repellent if I am to survive the next.
A (Private) Journal Entry
Times like this make me miss you a lot, sir. I think I found the perfect woman for myself, and I don’t know what to do. I really wish I could come to you for advice, to make sure I was doing right by her. But you aren’t here right now; like you haven’ been for four years now. It really has been four years, hasn’t it? And it’s been … ten years since you found me.
So I’m doing what you taught and trained me to do: adapt. I think you would like her, sir. Kai is smart… way smarter than me, full of life, and stunning. And her eyes with those tattoos… (you can tell the ink dries before writing resumes) sorry. She’s a fighter, I can tell. And I get the sense that if I say something patently stupid, she won’t hesitate to correct my fool self. I hope I can avoid those situations; I feel like finding her has been a direct act of the Architect, and I’m going to make damn certain I don’t push her away. She’s far better than I deserve. Anyone who can put up with me is special, and anyone who can care for me? That’s… unique.
I can hear the Architect laughing, though, if she read this. She’d probably cuff me upside the head, and tell me to stop being a damn fool. Something something, “there’s someone for everyone.” Well, I never thought it would happen, yet here I am. And … I’m happy. It’s the first time in my life I can honestly, genuinely write those words. Dara and Revel were right. They usually are. Speaking of, I need to introduce them. I have the utmost certainty she and Revel will get along famously.
On to more somber things, I am genuinely concerned about Saphara. Her first death was likely quick and painless, I imagine. That’s likely to leave minimal scarring on her psyche. But this most recent one, she was eaten while conscious… and digested. I can’t imagine that memory being burned into her mind is doing her any good. I want to help her, but she’s keeping people at arm’s length. It’s a totally natural disposition, but I’m not sure how I can help her.
One more thing I wish you were here to help me address. She’s a good friend, and I don’t want to push too hard. But I am worried she’s going to withdraw into a recluse, and that will only cement that traumatic experience. We both saw it on the wall, but somehow you were able to get them to open up and get past their experiences. I think I will need to talk to Dara about that, when she gets a free minute.
Well, Kai is coming this way, so I’m gonna end it here. Wish me luck.
Rest in Peace, sir.