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A War Story

Started by ArtDrake, January 13, 2012, 10:34:16 PM

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(I think you forgot to attach fig 4)
(I haven't forgot the ceremonial sword and the other portal that leads to the prison, but I'm having a hard time linking those aspects of the story with what is happening right now.)

What does the book says about close-quarters weapon enchants?
(I fear that inscribing the frost rune in the bat will make all of it too cold to pick up.)

Is there anything in the library about removing/disabling a rune of an object?
(It may be useful to disarm a trap or to weaken an enemy.)
Ert, the Dead Cow.
With 2 small Mandelbrot sets as the spots.


Look for a rune that alters time, such as accelerating the one holding something causing the world around them to "slow" down. This could probably be useful in combat if you can allow yourself a little more reflex time.


You go back and look more at the book of catalysts for trying to identify the arcane catalytic properties of your father's steel ceremonial sword, and see the two types of catalyst the sword might act as. Since the carbon steel of the sword is composed of iron and some carbon, it could act mostly as a corrosion catalyst (iron), but might also have some capacity as a means of casting blindness and darkness spells (carbon). Also, you happen to notice an inhibition catalyst (tungsten).

An inhibition catalyst is capable of being used for two primary purposes -- to negate the effects of other incoming spells, or to temporarily deactivate an enchanting rune. These are commonly referred to as warding and blinking, respectively. A warding spell establishes a negative arcane field, which cancels out incoming spells and functions as a shield of sorts. This field is not visible to the naked eye, and a sufficiently powerful spell can break through the "shield," punching a hole in it. Also, some spells are designed to carry large amounts of arcane potential in an array, with no other effect but to take down the arcane field. A blinking spell, on the other hand, must be cast to a precise location, and is therefore most effective when used at close range or on a large target, such as a rune as one might find on a vehicle, perhaps for speed. Casting the spell at this rune would knock it out for a minute or so, and slow down the vehicle as a result.

Similar effects can be achieved with blinking runes placed on weapons or projectiles, such that these weapons can be used against foes wearing armor which magically defends them. A sword with an blinking rune on it can stab through mail enchanted for durability and an electrical discharge on contact quite easily, and with no ill effects, as long as the blinking rune is powerful enough. Also, runes for blinking placed on weapons can act as warding runes temporarily, blocking a few direct hits from incoming spells before giving out, and "blinking" themselves, unable to deactivate runes or block incoming spells for a time.

Blinking spells and runes must be more potent than the runes they are deactivating in order to be successful. Otherwise, the rune will flicker and weaken, but still remain active, whereas the spell will need to be cast again, and the blinking rune will have been blinked. Also, a rune must be even more powerful still if it is to deactivate multiple runes in a short time. Owing to this is that blinking spells consist of a negative arcane wave which is used to cancel out the arcane energies which affix themselves to a rune, while blinking runes, when first inscribed, activate in reverse, attracting negative arcane energy to the spot, and thus cancelling out the built-up energy at the site of the rune it is deactivating.

Just as a blinking rune can be used in the short term as a warding rune (which, when inscribed on an item such as a shield, allows the item to block spells very effectively), warding spells can in the rare instance that an enchanted item, whether it be projectile or blade or armor, deactivate a rune. However, the amount of negative arcane energy it takes to do so is large enough that a large swathe of the ward is lost.

Finally, if any form of inhibition spell or rune is powerful enough with respect to a rune it contacts, the rune can even be permanently deactivated, the site of arcane energy buildup completely unbound from the material in which the rune was inscribed. In this case, the rune goes dark, and its name must be respoken to reactivate it again, a touchy process which can only be done a certain number of times (the precise number depending upon the accuracy of the inscription of the rune).

You put the book aside for now, and practice the frost rune bakor some more. When you feel confident that you can inscribe the rune on its own, you also take a minute to practice it alongside salim, but it doesn't seem to take. After a couple more unsuccessful tries, you realize you're getting the proportions of the loop at the top of salim wrong, and after that, you get both runes to take on a single piece of the notebook paper. You see that they each glow in their individual colours. Great. The paper is very cold to the touch, and you can't rip it easily. After acheiving this a few more times and feeling confident in your ability to draw the bakor rune accurately enough to perform a multiple rune enchant, you take the scissors again and draw the rune carefully once more on the surface of your baseball bat, hoping that you've drawn the salim rune well enough that it will stay as well. Nothing happens for a moment, and then the salim rune flickers. You sigh in disappointment.

You look at the bat again, and see that the salim rune is now glowing fully once more! It seems that you drew the rune of protection well enough that it was able to stay on, by some bizarre good luck. Its buildup of magickonegative potential was temporarily partially dispelled, but it came back.

(Steelfist, I'll get to the unlocking and tattoos in a bit. You've given me a lot of stuff to write about. I'm glad you like my magic system.

(Ert: Don't worry, the effect of a rune decreases somewhat with distance from said rune, so the leather handle itself is just a bit chill, though the bat itself feels ice-cold. If it bothers you too much, you can look up a particular kind of inhibition rune called a division rune... oops. Was I supposed to give you in-story info out of story? Eh, who cares? And thanks, I uploaded figs. 3 and 4

(Buggy: Time warping runes are really complicated. That's something I'd decided beforehand, and it makes sense when you think about it. Simple phenomena have simple runes -- heat, cold, static electricity.... But complicated phenomena requiring lots of arcane energy to sustain, like spacetime distortion, get very complex. Don't worry, you'll see it mid-to-late game or so, when you're better at enchanting, and there'll be enemies who use it.)


Interesting. Well, I'm not sure what effect blindness would have on a skeleton, but look the spell up anyway, and darkness too.

Sorry if I've inundated you with questions.


see if there is a salim or any other rune on your armor if not draw a salim rune after practicing ( because the people here were soldiers some of them must have thought of it.) And about this
Quote from: Duckling on May 26, 2012, 04:49:31 PM
(Oh, and aziz, I hope I don't hurt your feelings or anything by telling you that what you're asking can't be done. It's not personal, it's just I have a set idea of how magic should work in this world, and that's how it'll work. I'm open to some constructive criticism, but not much.  :D)
I don't mind  :)


(This is getting interesting. And I'm thinking that there may be a reason for Ducky to be drawing the runes for us... perhaps we're supposed to make some run combinations, one inside another and stuff like that.)

(And I'm wondering about the glop... it may be useful to inscribe one or more runes in a door to prevent the skeletons from entering, for instance, or even to open a portal to some place, later on the story.)

Regarding the cold bat, a pair of gloves seems to be enough (and it may even protect the soft skin of our hands!!! lol).

(I was wondering about the best strategy to take down the armed skeletons at the ballroom... do you think placing a couple of frost runestones - proximity mines - and attracting the skeletons, while hiding in a safe place is enough?)

(And we're certainly taking our time at the library! We probably should be moving soon... we can always come back if we need some extra info...)
Ert, the Dead Cow.
With 2 small Mandelbrot sets as the spots.


Is it possible for a blinking spell to be used to disrupt the skeletons' supply of arcane energy? If so, see of you can plant a few around the door to the library, making it a place that can be fallen back to in cases of dire need.


Will the frost runestones only be activated by the skeletons or will us also trigger them? Perhaps there is a mention about it in one of the books.

Which spells are available in the vending machine? (I find it quite weird to have spells being sold inside a military ship!)
Ert, the Dead Cow.
With 2 small Mandelbrot sets as the spots.


You look up a few more subjects: darkness spells, runestones, and enchanting of living organisms.

Darkness and blindness spells will impair the vision of a target, by rendering a portion of its surface darkened by a light-absorbing matrix of arcane energy. They will only darken a medium-sized area around the spot hit, so precision must be employed when casting these spells for greatest effect.

Runestones are stones which are inscribed with an active rune, such as frost, flame, corrosion, electrical discharge, etc., and a pair of runes insribed inside the dominant, active rune. The two are a shattering rune and an activation rune with another, even smaller rune to its right for a variety of signs which would indicate an enemy. Common runes to place here are magnetism runes, heat runes, pressure runes, and sonic runes. Respectively, they trigger the runestone to shatter and activate when vital electrical impulses (such as those which keep the heart beating) are near, when body heat is detected, when the runestone is stepped on, or when a sound is made close by, such as a footstep or a voice triggering the rune. Then, on the back is an inhibition rune keeping the thing from blowing sky-high before it's ready. This one contains a deactivation rune inside it, which in turn has a smaller heat rune to its right. Thus, when the palm is placed on the runestone, this triggers the deactivation rune, which in turn deactivates the inhibition rune. Then, the runestone is primed, and can be triggered to activate the dominant active rune on the front. Interestingly enough, the deactivation of the inhibitor only lasts so long, and the runestone can be reclaimed if not tripped within a certain period, usually ten minutes on a standard military runestone. The packaging in which a runestone was found can be checked for the exact time, along with the precise activation method, but caution is advised when reclaiming the rune -- do not hold the rune too long in your hand when picking it up again, or it can reactivate, and it is preferable to wait a few minutes more than the listed cooldown time for the rune, since the arcane energies can be somewhat unpredictable.

Living enchantments are a type of enchant which is performed on a living being, usually a human. The effects of a rune often differ between living enchants and item enchants and, overall, the rune inscriptions must be performed more carefully since a violent arcane reaction is not, generally speaking, desirable on a human being. For instance, a frost rune drawn on the back of a hand will not freeze what the hand touches, but will instead slowly encase the hand in ice, perhaps to be used as a club, and render the hand unusable until the rune wears off or is deactivated by a strong blinking spell. Complicated workarounds must be employed to achieve what might ordinarily simple effects to attain on an enchanted item. For these reasons, extreme caution is advised when self-enchanting or enchanting others -- the ill effects can be disastrous, and semi-permanent. It is usually more effective to use personal spells than living enchants to make magical alterations to one's body, and spells are much more easily removed, and in fact must be actively sustained.

Experimentation of living enchants on other human beings is illegal, and experimentation on oneself is frowned upon, mostly because of the self-endangerment it involves.

(@aziz: the armour you have equipped is currently enchanted with multiple unidentified runes, and you are uncertain as to the quality of the inscription. Adding your own enchant whose effects are certainly covered in the enchants currently on the armour would be terrible risky, and most likely not worth it. Imagine you have a patient in your care with serious wounds which have been sewn closed and bandaged well. You don't want to put another bandage on the guy -- you could shift his previous dressings and open recently-closed wounds, and he could bleed to death. It's like that, but more explosive when it comes to runes.)

(Ert: I'm mostly drawing the runes for fun, and for partial illustration of the story. Also, if you do happen to want to try out an enchantment with multiple runes, but don't want to have to describe the arrangement in words, feel free to draw what you mean! Also, you're closer than you think when you mention portals...
About strategy... I dunno, what do you think? Whatever you do, it'll have a result, eh?  :3

(Buggy: yup. Any spell that generates a spike in arcane energy [which is most, I'll tell you] can knock out the rune flow spells holding the skeletons intact. So, even the frost runes should do it. That is, when they thaw, you'd just end up with a pile of bones.

(Ert again: runestones react to certain stimuli, and cannot discern between you and the skeletons, unless one of you is not providing the stimulus. So, if it's a sonic activation type, and you're wearing boots enchanted to create no noise, then they will not detonate for you. However, if you're caught in the radius of the active rune when the stone is tripped, it still will not discern you from the enemy. Once again, the magic here is objective, and unless you tell it to do something, it won't do it. About the vending machine, the military's attitude towards magic is that if you're not a specialist required to perform magic as your job, you learn the spells on your own time and money.

(Buggy again: I guess the enchanting process is a bit like a programming language, not because it is in any way sequential, but because a given set of runes will put forth a given result, and if the enchant goes wrong, you screwed up, not the magic.)


Is there something in the books that describe how can we detect if there is a rune or a spell active in the proximity? That may be useful to avoid traps.

Taking your hint, Ducky, is there something in the book about portals?

Quote from: Duckling on May 22, 2012, 06:56:31 PM
You continue onwards and into the Grand Ballroom, and see that at the far end, a posse of five skeletal soldiers is patrolling back and forth. They don't see you yet. At least two of them have rifles, two are wearing MP's uniforms (one of the former MPs is carrying a riot shield), and the one in the centre of their group, taking the lead, wears a captain's uniform and is wielding a submachine gun in one hand and what looks to be a wand or catalyst in the other. As for the space itself, the dining car on its own wasn't nearly big enough for the soldiers aboard the ship to eat in, so the Ballroom was converted into a makeshift mess hall. Tables are lined up throughout the room in four rows running lengthwise.
(Regarding the skeletons in the ballroom, it seems that we are not only outnumbered but also under equipped. The combination of the firearms and the wand worries me.)
Ert, the Dead Cow.
With 2 small Mandelbrot sets as the spots.


You take a look in the vending machine, and see labeled spellbooks for a basic flame spell, a telekinesis spell [note: not psychokinesis, governed by movement of casting implement, whether it be hand, wand, staff, or catalyst], a knife conjuration spell, a magic detection spell, an easy ward, and a corrosion spell. These are the only six available, and they each cost half a British pound, five Danish kroner, or 120 Icelandic krona.

You search for a book on detection of magic, and you find one discussing detection spells and runes.

Detection spells are an essential implement of the combatant spellcaster, given that they can be nearly infinitely specialized to do all manner of searching for the caster, from the simplest enchant detection for picking up dangerous magical traps, to even locating survivors after an enemy ground-strafe, or pointing the caster towards important documents while attempting espionage. All of these can be done if the spell is well-constructed enough, or if the rune is enchanted finely enough.

(Nothing in the books anywhere about the effects of the pink glop, I assure you, and I haven't decided precisely on the nature of the portals yet. Sorry, a bit of a plot hole at the moment. Soon to be repaired!

(And don't worry so much about the skeletons. Their bones are fragile, their magic is fragile, they can't see schnitzel, and since the skeleton with a wand is not governed by conscious thought, it can only cast a spell already loaded into the wand by the sorceress, and that a finite number of times. The frost runes will be just fine.)


(I couldn't help myself to mention that you just said that that portals are plot holes!)

(I'm also waiting on other people to post their ideas. They may think of something important to do in the library before moving on.)
Ert, the Dead Cow.
With 2 small Mandelbrot sets as the spots.


(Yeah, about the portals... they were basically just spur-of-the-moment plot devices to get the character into the universe, and if I came up with some contrived explanation as to why they were there out of the Big Book o' Tropes, it would just be quite lame. Instead, I'm not going to ever address it unless some sensible explanation occurs to me while I'm doing this role-playing romp (my pet name for this thread). So... the portals shall remain open. [insert cheesy grin here])


Look to see how voicing a rune's name activates it. Does it need to be a living thing? Or does it require a specific pattern of sound waves to activate.


You look at the more technical book on enchanting that you took off the shelf earlier, and look up how saying a rune's name can activate it.

It turns out that the name of a rune isn't actually the combination of syllables spoken by an enchanter, but rather a fractally complex arrangement of tones and overtones over a short period. Humans can only approximate these tones, often with words and syllabary guides, but machines can reproduce the tones much more faithfully, which actually makes it simpler for machines to enchant items than for human beings. The wavelengths of the magickonegative energies are very near those of spoken sound waves, so a pattern of mechanical oscillation in the air can correspond to and resonate with the arcane signature of a particular rune to be enchanted.

(Also, I've now got a viable explanation for the portals. Turns out 3AM on a Sunday is great for writing. Sorry it's been so long -- I've been working on my YouTube channel. 50 videos! But now it's my off-week.)