Becoming an Abstractor – Part Seven

Waking-up with a massive migraine and a thick layer of hazy confusion was a situation Durston wasn’t use to experiencing. Even with the most promiscuous activities, his upbringing would never have allowed him to indulge to the point of complete disorientation. Wanting to stabilize his mental and physical equilibrium, Timothy kept his eyes directed at the unfamiliar ceiling.

“It’s advised for you to remain still Cleric.” A distinct foreign voice and creak of wood redistributing weight had Timothy strain to respond. Fear made way through his body, settling heavy everywhere it touched as Durston struggled to move but failed.

“Ah, tisk tisk my young Cleric. That’s why I insisted that you to stay as you were.” The stranger appeared over Durston, peering down and making eye-contact with a slight frown. But it was a look of disappointment flashing across her gaze that made Timothy realize he wasn’t the only one displeased with the circumstance.

“As you’re aware by now, magical and material means are keeping you restrained here. Unfortunately for you, the informant the Realm believed to have is in truth still very much loyal to our cause. That makes you purposefully lead to us, and placed in our care.” A hand fluttered half-haphazardly across Durston’s shoulder as the unfamiliar brunette made her way around him.

“The Capital was bound to discover our society eventually. Because of Cypris we were able to control the information on both what the government learned and the avenues taken in delving further into our business.” Durston refused to give the unknown woman the attention of his eyes, the one thing he had control of.

“We want to thank you for joining us here in Cyphorica. As an outer city we rarely are graced with the presence of those from the Temple or Capital. It’s our hope we can have your full support.” A subtle smile brushed over the captor’s face.

“I know you can’t even imagine helping us, but you will. I have faith you’ll willingly cooperate, but if not…” Turning her back to Durston, giving a dismissal shrug, the rebel made way to an open door. “Cypris will be in shortly to help get you situated. I give this warning, there’s a choker around your neck that is designed to redirect all magic you attempt to incapacitate you.”

Being left alone, Timothy tried an experimental flex of his arm.

Nothing.

Coming from a powerful and successful family, failure wasn’t something Timothy was use to, and so refused to readily accept. Experience from a politically driven father taught Durston that there were ways to turn unforeseeable events into something favorable. But until he knew what his opponents needed him for, nothing could be gained by his escape; making it back to Abstractor Kireek would earn no recognition without intel.

A soft knock interrupted Durston’s contemplation, drawing his attention to the room’s new occupant. Coarse curls caught and reflected what light there was, dancing before the eyes giving Cypris the youthful, innocent look that him and the Realm fell for.

“I’m aware you are most likely angry at me for your current dilemma, but being a young, opportunistic person, it’s our hope you’ll understand our position and validate our standing with the Realm.” Other then when she first entered, Cypris refused to meet Timothy’s eyes. He wasn’t sure what kept the confident girl’s gaze diverted, as it could be a number of reasons ranging from her guilt to his callous scrutiny.

“Priestess Knight wants me to get you comfortable, so I’m going to remove your bindings now. I’m told she gave you a warning already on what will happen if you try anything, I suggest you trust in her threats.” Cypris leaned over Timothy, studying his eyes for a moment for letting out a soft sigh.

“You’re young and come from a privileged standing. You don’t understand what it’s like out here beyond those Temple and gilded walls.” Making way around his prone figure he felt her feather light touch remove the spells placed around him.

“I envy you Timothy, as I’m sure many people do. You know what the difference is between you and I?” Taking a moment to pass him a wistful look, she continued as if not expecting an answer. “Status. That’s all. My magic can do the same thing as any Clerics. I find it difficult to believe that the Great Circle would gift those outside of the Temple if it wasn’t meant for us too.”

Finally feeling the weight lifted, Durston made himself as pleasant as could be expected when given no choice. Trained to always look at placing himself in a position of power he was quick to vacate his bindings and made to escort Cypris to a set of plain chairs. With practiced skill Timothy cunningly moved her seat, removing the sight of his recent captivity from view.

Needing a moment to steady himself and noticing a carafe nearby, Durston thought it best to serve them both a drink. “So Ms. Bloom, why did you have me brought here?”

“Don’t flatter yourself too much. The Coven just needs a fully administered Cleric of the Temple and they sent you to meet me.” Giving a sly smirk, Cypris gave her drink a courtesy sip for dramatic effect. “Priestess Knight is impressed with you. It’s her belief the future can only progress with the open minds of the youth, and she sees you being able to help with that.”

“Progress is laid on the foundation of the wise, lead by experience, and taught by those that have already learned from it. The Witches’ Coven has never approached the Temple on any concerns, hopes of progress or change, but instead have established themselves as adversaries.”

Cypris sprang out of her chair in an irritated flurry. “The whole country is controlled by the Temple and Clerics. No one outside of the Temple’s circle has any say or power, whether it be political, agricultural, structural, or even magical. If anyone dares to speak about discontent of living under ecclesiastical authority, it’s seen as an attack which the Temple is quick to silent.”

Durston mentally slapped himself for speaking his mind, his father’s teachings always emphasized to listen first, and not to say anything that will cause others to be on the defense; unless, of course, he had the upper had. Giving a small cough to break the tension, Timothy nodded Cypris to the abandoned chair. “So what is it that this Priestess thinks to gain by having me here? Is the Coven wanting a Cleric to use as leverage to be heard by the Temple?”

“She hopes that you’re young enough to listen to her and the Coven with understanding, but that’s only secondary to what she needs a Cleric for. No one ever thought of recruiting a Cleric of the Temple, and though it would be beneficial with furthering our knowledge it’s not required. The Priestess wants you to feel free to explore our compound and get to know our followers before discussing your main purpose here.” Cypris calmly stood up and gave Durston a contemplative look before continuing.

“You may walk among us but everyone know what you are. Know that besides that collar around your throat, our members are loyal and will keep watch over you.” Making her way to the exit, she turned once more to Durston. “We surprised the Realm. They never expected a group with our capabilities, thinking they were able to Abstract those with magic before ever gaining power. We are not as insignificant as you want to pretend.”

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Becoming an Abstractor – Part Six

Timothy wrongly assumed a night meeting under the cover of darkness would be ideal, as secrecy surely was easier to keep with shadows being your identity.  But the truth was moonlight rendezvous drew more prying eyes than the crowded streets Cyphorica hosting during business hours. Clutching his well-made but travel worn cloak, Durston side-stepped and made slow progress through the packed people; trying not to be noticed, yet feeling exposed under the morning sky.

As with every city and town, the center hosted a church to guide all citizens in government, religion, and education. Timothy made his way to the towering structure that acted like a compass for those unsure of their surroundings. Meeting on Cleric grounds in broad daylight was risky but Timothy understood the idea of secrets in plain view.

Though perhaps not ran down, Cyphorica’s church was built with none of the pride and grandeur typically found with the Cleric’s infrastructure. It was a simple two story wood framed and bricked wall hall, the windows holding no glass but thin stone, letting only light in. Being an outer city, so it lacked the heavy hand the Clerics wielded, as well as their money, power, and influence. The city’s more independent nature was probably the cause for the Realm’s current predicament and poor status of the Cleric’s Church. Timothy never had a reason to travel so far north, or even to many of the outer cities, and the state of the buildings promised be would never have the desire to do so again.

Cypris Bloom, their inside operative, was younger than Durston had expected. At the age of fifteen, Cypris already discovered the art of politics. Wanting more than a few magic tricks and a warrant for treason, she sold her rebel companions with the expectation of a favor. As far as first impressions went, she held true to his image of a naive, ratty child seeking acceptance from her betters. Grasping a translucent cape in the hopes of concealing her mismatched and thread-worn rags, filth covering her knotted hair and hollow cheeks, she bowed in greeting.

“Master Cleric, I wish to give thanks for the Great Circle that guides and protects our lives.”

Timothy gave a slight cringe at the small grace, never before associating the Great Circle as something that encompassed the destitute. “Ah, yes, and you are Cypris Bloom?”

Not waiting for the brisk node of confirmation, Durston made his way to a private booth for them to talk. Already a sour perfume of filth, sweat and the unknown permeated the stale air. Not that his prayers seemed to be effective, but Timothy sent out a silent one that the heretics be cleaner or his nose give out.

Dropping to her knees, as if in worship, Cypris proceeded to inform Durston of all she knew. The ingenious idea of using an open and public place to meet, even if the grounds themselves were currently empty, followed by the way she hid her face and words in devotion finally dawned on Durston. This was all an act. Cypris Bloom in fact was clever and excelled in deception.

*~*~*~*~*

Tim, as Durston now was known since those from the lower classes lacked the formality, patience, and teeth for long names, tailed after Cypris weaving her way through the city and crowds. Being briefed on the background the impoverished girl made up induced mental pain for the highly accomplished and acclaimed Cleric, almost making him dismiss the idea of stealth, the desire to just level the whole city seeming like a simpler solution.

Cast into the role of playing Cypris’s cousin who ran away to join the cause sounded easy at first, until Durston realized exactly what kind of acting he would have to perform: Being mild mannered, submissive to those inferior, forgetting his education, and pulling off street-smarts. The sprint through Cyphorica was enough time for Durston to realize this undercover mission would need to be short, there was just no way he would be able to immerse himself to make it believable.

Before making it to the next location, Cypris ducked into an alley, removing her tattered rags and revealing a clean, plain outfit. Wielding a brush, she made quick work of her transformation from peddler to young woman.

“The building across the road is the business of a small apothecary. It’s through his cellar we will go to meet the Witches’ Coven.”

“Witches’ Coven? Is that what these terrorists call themselves?” Durston gave a pause over the name. In his years of study and being the son of a high ranking lord, he felt sure he’d heard of them.

“Well obviously they aren’t Clerics, and they don’t ever want to be. A Witches’ Coven holds similar beliefs in the power of the circle, but they use herbs, elements, and nature to feed the magic. As a Coven they act similar to the Clerics, drawing upon the magic of many to perform more powerful spells.”

“Spells?” Everything was starting to sounds as if these rebels, these heretics, and uprisers were organized, even trained. To compare the Cleric’s training with this Witches’ Coven was treason, and yet the words sounded familiar. Though not mentioned often in their history, there had been a few encounters with other such groups that referred to themselves as a Witches’ Coven. Their magic was wild often involving noisy rituals, chanting, and even performances. Durston wasn’t sure how much was true, but from what Cyrpis described, they seemed similar.

“Do you know how long ago they were created? Lord Raneer made it seem that this was all new. That only recently you had come to him and joined this Coven in order to serve the Realm. And yet, from the way you speak of them, they sound well established, already having a number of followers. Your own apothecary is in league with these criminals, and it leads me to believe other upstanding citizens may also be corrupted by this plague.”

Cypris dusted her hands, giving him a titled look, dimples forming from a sly and knowing smile. “The Witches’ Coven is older than the Realm, Lord Durston. This…problem…as the Clerics would call it, is one people will always turn to when those in the Capital ignore those below their field-of-view from a castle’s window.”

Shock coursed through Timothy’s body, causing him to straighten his posture in dignity. He was finding it difficult to determine just who’s side this Cypris Bloom was on, and who she truly was. But before he could inquire her words of condemnation of her betters, Durston discovered they were no longer alone. A presence was felt from behind as an arm reached around Timothy, holding his head into a dirty rag, quickly causing him to slip into unconsciousness.

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Becoming an Abstractor – Part Five

The trip to Cyphorica was everything Durston thought it would be, filled with both mental and physical pain. There wasn’t much to discuss beyond that first afternoon’s briefing, as there just wasn’t a lot known about the unauthorized, magic-wielding rebels. Durston’s days on the road were mainly spent contemplating the revelation learned over the true power of being a psionic. If more clerics were aware of the potential danger and influence that psionics had, there would be true fear of ever training that area of magic.

It was told in strict confidence that Estel Ell’s earlier claim that psionic magic only played tricks on the mind wasn’t exactly accurate. Though she specialized in what was known as illusions and charms, those abilities were very real. When someone was given an illusion, the effects were real inside the mind. This made it so fire that burned skin, burned inside the mind to create the pain, and even death if the controller so wished it. School taught Durston that those susceptible to the influence of psionics believed what was happening to them was real but he never realized that the results could be permanent.

Traveling from the Capital to Cyphorica took seven days for them, only stopping in one other large town in-between. They were about a half-day from their destination when Kireerk called a break, informing everyone that now was the time to discuss and plan.

“When Lord Raneer made the initial report, he wasn’t able to give exact numbers of what we are facing. We do know some of these so-called casters are highly skilled, training the recruits in the arts. The Lord was able to learn of this group from someone that defected, turning on them in hopes of gaining access to the Cleric’s Temple. He kept them here to continue the part of informant, and so our first goal will be to contact them to learn any additional insight they have that will help us handle this situation swiftly and safely.”

Abstractor Kireek focused on each of them individually, as if measuring them against a list of tasks he was dividing amongst them. Timothy shifted warily as those eyes made their way to him, followed by a soft nod as if agreeing with some internal advice.

“Cleric Reevan and myself will visit the local authorities to set up a sort of headquarters. As Reevan has the ability of discerning intent, this will allow him the chance to learn if the heretics have infiltrated the the city’s security. Cleric Waters, I want you to seek the local governor, Lord Raneer wasn’t able to determine if he was aware of the underground movement his city was playing host to or not. As a cleric that specializes in hypnotist, I am sure you’ll be able to gain access both to him and his cooperation in the matter.”

The plan seemed simple enough to Timothy so far, though splitting up caused a feel of discomfort to settle over him. It wasn’t but a few weeks ago that he was in the field, having to protect the Circles of the Realm from similar situations. There was always someone trying to gain access to the realm, or its magic, and it was every cleric’s duty to guard against the invasion from across the boarders and within. Still, in the two years of field work Durston had little exposure to true danger, and never were they on their own.

“Cleric Durston, as you are the youngest in our troop, you will be the most fitting in meeting with the informant, and joining these rebels. Though Lord Raneer trusted the intel, there were other factors involved that gave support into believing there were unauthorized casters here. But know this spy is not of our choosing, nor our training, and so we would do best in having you amongst these heretics. Being youthful, they are more likely to welcome you, and find it harder to believe you are a high member of functioning society.”

Thoughts flittered through Durston, none settling long enough for him to grasp and express, having him instead stare in a slight daze at Abstractor Kireek. After a moment’s pause, the older man decided to continue.

“I can feel there are multiple strings of unsteady magic here, as did Lord Raneer once the problem was brought to his attention, but they are too jumbled to make out the specifics required. We must know not only how many of these casters there are, but preferably who they are. Each one will need to undergo the procedure in removing the pathway between their magic and ability to access it. You are not only the most likely to blend in with these renegade citizens, but I have come to understand you are the most gifted.”

Ego and pride warmed its way into comforting Timothy’s runaway apprehension. Where just moments ago fear coursed through Durston over the task of being an alone agent, now overwhelming satisfaction ran. Yes, he would meet this rebel turncoat. And yes, it would be he who would discover their headquarters and numbers. And yes, it would be he who learned the secrets of being an Abstractor. Through this mission Timothy would not only gain the political recognition and influence he envisioned since first being given the orders, but he would also achieve real, formidable power over everyone’s own magical abilities.

Timothy made sure to give a slight bow of his chin for both respect and acceptance. “Yes, Abstractor Kireek, I believe I can manage that. Just let me know what I need to do.”

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Becoming an Abstractor – Part Four

Dressed in his dusty traveling cloak, Durston made his way towards the front gates of the Cleric’s Temple; the sky beginning to blush from Solvaris’s morning kiss of first light. Dawn had quickly approached since orders were given the day before, permitting Timothy little time to ensure everything required for the journey. It was only due to him recently being relieved of his duties traveling the realm that he still had his personal gear and garments, which would make the trip a bit more comfortable. A brief shiver of empathy for his fellow recruits passed through him at the thought of having standard issue equipment; items so generic to fit just anyone, that the reality ended up having the opposite affect.

Being raised amongst the elite, his father being one of the high ranking lords in the realm, Timothy made it a point to arrive several minutes after the start of dawn. It was important to let Abstractor Kireek know exactly who Timothy Durston was, and that was someone who chose to attend this expedition, and not someone he actually was able to order to do so. And if Abstrator Kireek thought otherwise, well Durston was prepared.

The horses were gathered nearby, and Timothy was pleased to see his sturdy fox-trotter, a gelding he named Trax, saddled and tacked. Giving a glance at his new companions, Durston disappointingly noted Estel Ell and Kireek too occupied arguing to witness his purposeful defiance.

Putting on an air of disinterest, Timothy made his way to Trax, giving the gelding a gentle and comforting pat. Catching Claire’s eye, he nodding toward the commotion. “So what’s the deal with the hold-up?”

“Disagreement on what constitutes as necessities.” With an impartial shrug Claire turned back to her own horse, continuing her task of arrange the contents of her saddle-bags.

“Seems you weren’t the only one that decided that they needed to prove themselves as someone in a position of authority.” The scholar, Reevan, passed a sly look over the younger man. “Cleric Ell has thought to push the need of her parasol and cosmetics.”

Heat crept its way across Durston, both with anger and embarrassment, at the implied demonstration of being from a position of privilege. “A few minutes late is hardly what I’d call being insolence, and unlikely to show someone of Abstractor Kireek that I am anyone of importance. No, I will prove myself in the deeds done while on this mission and dealing with the heretics and not by showing disobedience over my duty to the realm.”

A knowing smirk lifted one corner of Reevan’s lips. “How quickly the lord’s son changes tact. I do applaud your guile.”

Timothy was saved from having to defend himself further, as Kireek dismissed Cleric Ell’s indignation and acknowledged them. “Good, you’re all finally here. I suppose the education received no longer includes the basics of telling time, or the manners in which should be exercised when dealing with those of authority. But enough dawdling, mount up.”

Estel Ell made as if to pick-up her discarded items recently being disputed over when Kireek decided to reminded everyone who was truly in charge. “And if I see, madam, any one of those items I just deemed unfitting, you may consider them your replacement gear. That means instead of a bedroll, you will have that flimsy contraption, and your warmth at night shall be the make-up you insist on having cover you up. Though I personally would recommend pulling the hood of your cloak over your head, for it shall serve every purpose of those items. Hiding your face from the light as well as the wrinkles beneath from being seen.”

An awkward silence settled upon the party as they twisted their way through the capital and into the surrounding countryside; Estel staring venomously at their commander’s back. It wasn’t until lunch time that Abstractor Kireek cleared his throat, breaking the discomforting quiet atmosphere.

“I realize you all may feel slighted by my dismissal of the briefing arranged yesterday with the High Council, and therefore feel the need to acquired a certain ascendancy over me. However, let me inform you now, that the time allocated to prepare for the journey would not have changed. Because of me you were able to manage your personal affairs for your unforeseen absence, and assemble that of which you need. The insight you were neglected to be told by the council is no different than that which I will share with you now. So in postponing that which you do so rightful deserve to know, nothing was lost but much was gained; time, and secrecy from those who may have spied the knowledge shared.

Timothy kept his face hidden behind his mid-day fare, glancing at Kireek and his companions from his peripheral vision. The Abstractor had his complete attention, but his father always cautioned direct eye contact when dealing with the unknown. Cleric Ell waved an impatient hand, encouraging Kireek to continue, as if bored.

“I know none of you have military backgrounds, or even contemplated a career path as an Abstractor, and though not all are psionics, they are the best and most desirable. Hence why you three were chosen. The situation in Cyphorica is one unique to our modern times. Distance from the capital has allowed them to organize and hide a secret gang of magic casters for an extended period of time, granting them the ability to grow in numbers and skill.”

Estel Ell folded her arms defensively, interrupting with a humph of annoyance. “I am a caster of charms and illusions. There is no way my smoke and mirrors will subdue your rebels. Especially if they are trained casters.”

Nodding in agreeance, Claire faced Kireerk. “My specialties lay in hypnosis, and though I can understand how both Cleric Ell’s and my craft may seem worthy in taking control of a rogue group of casters, I fear our skills are limited to only potentially affecting a few at any given time.”

“Yes, I understand the confusion. Though psionics don’t delve in the physical magic, such as those of a pyromancer or electromancer, our talent is especially powerful because it effects the direct source of all casters. The mind. Abstractors are trained casters with the ability to follow the residual streams of casted magic to its origin. All clerics can be trained in this, though as with any ability, some are more sensitive than others and therefore better suited. However, only psionics can excavate the taint within those unfit to control such a gift.”

Timothy felt a jolt of power pulse across his nerves; the knowledge of what an Abstractor could do terrifying and pleasant. Only giving a brief peek at Kireek, not wanting to show how much the thought excited him, Durston pressed the most obvious question they all had.”So, anyone that’s a psionic could potentially disarm someone from using magic?”

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Becoming an Abstractor – Part Three

Timothy Durston found himself pacing anxiously in a stereotypical study often found with the elite. The room was filled with the used smell of fine paper, treasured leather, expensive cigars, and spiced spirits. Before him sat an older version of himself, though it was with high hopes Duston’s own age would be graced with more laugh-lines and less of a stern gaze.

“I already accepted this assignment father, there is no reason for you to interfere.”

“You told me yourself that Abstractor Kireek held off giving any information about this mission. As a lord I can tell you this, the situation is extreme and requires military action. How the High Council was convinced untrained Clerics could handle a small stealth operation is beyond comprehension.”

Frustration caused the young man to rake his fingers through his hair, disturbing the carefully placed locks. “Listen, father, I know you mean well but this is a golden opportunity to -”

“To see my youngest son killed because of some fool’s negligence in understanding the current situation and wanting to advance their career. And yes, son, I know you hope to have it do the same for you.”

Timothy flexed his hands in a burst of irritation. For his father, no age, no experience, no accomplishment was going to make him an adult. But still, Durston forced his position, desire to be heard, understood, and supported coating each word. “I didn’t come here to argue this father.”

Raising a single brow in skepticism, his father leaned forward with clasped palms. “Then why are you here, son, if it isn’t for the usual help and advice?”

“It is for help, just not the kind you currently have offered.” Timothy gave a heavy sigh, letting it release the tension in his shoulders as the conversation headed in his intended direction. “I need my casting circles renewed. I was hoping you could get Alchemist Truvile to do it before I leave.”

“Let me see your hands, son.” Timothy turned towards his father for the first time, meeting his eyes. Hesitatingly, he made the short trip to the front the man’s desk and held out his hands to be inspected.

Cursive writing and odd symbols marked the tip of Durston’s index finger, across his purlicue, and reached the end of the thumb. Tapping the tattoo, his father caused a light blue flash to cross from end-to-end. “Hmm…what is it you are wanting Truvile for, son?”

“You know what I need him for father. The marking is only half charged.” Timothy withdrew a few steps, feeling the small distance hid his vulnerability. “I want the brand to be fully charged for this. As you said yourself, this is an extreme situation. It would be best if I were able to perform to the best of my ability.”

Several moments passed between the two with ticking of a clock the only sound. A slow, authoritative tone lined his father’s voice. “You are asking for me to obtain Truvile’s assistance to renew your Cleric’s Circle instead of going through the temple’s services?”

“Yes, as I said, I would like to have my mark at full charge before we leave in the morning. The temple always has a delay and they don’t give full charges to Clerics of my rank.”

“So you’re wanting your father to use his connections to go over the temple’s rules and arrange a full charge?”

An amused smirk crossed Timothy’s face. “Oh, come now father, rules? Besides, there is nothing that denies me from having a fully laden brand, it’s just not something the temple does. You gave an invitation of help when I first arrived.”

“As with any offer, Timothy, what’s in it for me?”

Anger flashed in Durston’s eyes as his back went rigged over his father turning the conversation into a business exchange. “Either you are able and wanting to help your son, or you’re not. The benefit would be knowing you prepared me for this dangerous mission and realizing that if successful, you will have a son in higher standing with the council and our family would gain additional political pull.”

Soft knocking reached their ears just as the door opened to the study. A man gave an easy bow and apologized for the interruption. “Alchemist Truvile is here as requested my lord.”

“It is good to see you my good friend.” An older man with a thinning crown of gray hair, maroon robes, and standing a few inches under Timothy made way into the study before the servant closed the door once more.

Standing to greet the older man, Timothy’s father made his way around the large desk and gave a two-hand embrace. “Thank you for coming on short notice. It has been too long since we have last seen each other and I feared you may not find the time for my invitation. My son has foolishly accepted to go with Abstractor Kireek and his mad brain of a plan in dealing with those unsanctioned casters. It wont do for him to have any disadvantage that we can help avoid.”

“Um…Hello Alchemist Truvile. It’s a real honor to have you here.” Timothy overcame his moment of surprise and confusion, giving a formal bow to the older man. “I should have known my father would have the foresight petitioning for you.”

The three gentlemen set up the equipment Truvile brought with him, and began the work of renewing Durston’s tattoos he used to cast quickly through. All Clerics from the realm carried similar markings, so that when the index finger touched the thumb, they could immediately activate a caster’s circle to perform their work. Though the small markings allowed the Clerics to cast in a moment’s notice, they weren’t ideal since they required an alchemist to charge them. Charging the tattoos negated the staleness a permanent casting circle, and lack of energy usually gathered into such a small area.

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