Author Topic: A War Story  (Read 87151 times)

Offline ArtDrake

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Re: Text Adventure
« Reply #120 on: May 24, 2012, 06:34:24 PM »
You think better of your decision to wear the runed mail, and instead go for the modern personal armor with a few runic inscriptions, leaving the mail on the second floor. You lock the armoury behind you, just in case some skeletons find their ways up there, and proceed into the library, glop in hand, but decide to drop your heap of plate armour at the door. Before you lies a vast array of books on diverse subjects, with one set of shelves dedicated to magic and magic usage. The spellbook vending machines are right nearby. There are books on necromancy and ways to combat it, well-illustrated tomes on the various uses for enchanting and the proper runes associated with the process, simple and complex, even some meant for curious children.

The tactical use of magic is also broadly discussed in a subsection of the shelves, and you can see that this section is heavily used and slightly augmented, due to the military repurposing of the airship. You haven't got any money with you yet, but the books on the shelves should be of some use, and provide greater detail on the methods of using the magical devices you have encountered and the precise effects of the spells.

(What's wrong with enchanting a baseball bat? Worried the MLB will object?  ;)

(Another thing: is it just me, or is this turning into more like a tabletop role-playing game [minus the tabletop], with me being the "dungeon master" person, than a real text adventure? I think I ought to change the title, since it's starting not to fit any more.

(It's just, the "turns", so to speak, aren't simple commands so much as complex considerations of best strategies for the scenario... all we need now are some ten-sided dice. [But as I said before, combat is entirely deterministic, so what you do will determine the outcome, not random chance. So no dice  :3 {bad joke}])
« Last Edit: May 24, 2012, 06:43:07 PM by Duckling »

Offline bugfartboy

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Re: Text Adventure
« Reply #121 on: May 24, 2012, 11:25:59 PM »
Look through the section devoted for children's use. Based in the fact we know very little as to how magic really works, a simplified version may help. Then look through the books on necromancy and search to see if we can un-animate a skeleton and then reanimate it for our purposes.

(What do you mean cargo shorts aren't very fashionable?!? I love my cargo shorts!)
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Offline ArtDrake

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Re: Text Adventure
« Reply #122 on: May 25, 2012, 05:00:39 PM »
You take out a few books that present a simplified view of enchanting from the shelf, and sit down at a table to read them. The first is a look into warding enchants, like the ones on the personal armour you're wearing. It is divided into ten practical rune combinations that might be useful for children to know, each requiring its own arrangement and orientation of the magical symbols.

The introduction to the book states that enchanting is an simple and fun process that, with practice, can be done with great ease. It warns that a misdrawing of a rune could result in grievous bodily injury, so it is best to have parental supervision while attempting to inscribe runes. These runes can be inscribed on anything, but as a general rule, the bigger the object being enchanted is, the stronger and more plentiful the runes have to be to have their full effect. Also, runes may have a effect which differs slightly or drastically when inscribed on a living being. Living enchantment is not to be attempted except by those of advanced skill in enchanting.

The basic process of enchanting consists of inscribing the desired rune on the item to be enchanted, and then clearly saying the name of the rune soon after. If the inscription and the pronunciation were accurate, the rune should start to glow visibly in the colour associated with the enchant. These colours are somewhat arbitrary, and are not necessarily unique from enchant to enchant, but the effect combined with the colour can prove helpful with the identification of an unknown runic inscription.

If the rune is not inscribed properly at all, or the pronunciation of the rune's name is clearly incorrect, the enchant will fail and nothing will happen. If either the rune or the pronunciation is close, but not right, there is a threshold within which enchanters should take caution, as the arcane energies binding to the site of the rune will fail to bind, soon before they normally would infuse the item with magic. That is, the energy would build up to a high level, but be rejected at the last moment, and cause a violent reaction that can be damaging to the item in question, or even to the individual enchanting if it is a powerful rune with higher magics imbued in it.

Also, if a rune is misdrawn to resemble, even by accident, another, more potent or harmful rune, then the "arcane whiplash" that occurs will be more potent or harmful, respectively. As such, it would be best to practice acquired runes on drawing paper before attempting them on the actual item to be enchanted, so as to be sure to inscribe the rune correctly when the enchantment counts, and also to examine the effects on the paper itself and be assured that the rune you have drawn is desirable for your chosen item.

You realize that this book must be for some darn bright young children (the chemistry sets children used to play with come to mind), and that enchanting could be potentially dangerous if you aren't careful. The book goes on to outline its 10 basic protective enchants, but now you want to take a look at the book you picked up on necromancy.

This books clearly states at the beginning that necromancy is an abominable application of magic, and is never to be attempted by those of the legal or righteous persuasions, and thus that efforts must be be made to combat those who use it. Necromancy, in fact, is not a resurrection of the dead to become living, but merely a reanimation of the corpse, meaning that necromancy is not so much a dark revival as the ultimate violation of the sanctity of death, made convenient by the strong thought impressions left throughout the body during life, which can then be turned towards the efficient animation of the decaying dead. The impressions are linked through a runic flow to the bones, which means that a spellcaster can cast a spell initiating a flow of arcane power which contains the patterns of runes required for the necromancy, and thus the dead can be reanimated without actually coming into contact with the corpse.

Before runic flow spells were discovered (though even now these are limited to only some of the most skilled spellcasters in practice, so those who are not as skilled must resort to the method below), an enchanter had to actually carve the correct animation runes on all the bones to be animated from the corpse, a very messy and inaccurate process that left all the bones in the body uncovered. Out of some respect to this tradition, modern necromancers often strip away the flesh from the dead they reanimate to reveal the bone, even when this is no longer a technical necessity.

As necromancy is a complex and intricate magic, and the runic flow link is actually quite fragile, the reanimated are quite vulnerable to magickonegative signal interference -- that is, the flow can be disrupted by any sudden spike in arcane energies around the "undead", as they are called. Thus, offensive magics are proven to be highly efficient in dispatching the reanimated dead, and defensive magics also prove themselves damaging to the integrity of the runic transmission driving the magic, so each time the undead meet with a defensive spell or enchant, it can "wound" them, and make them easier to dispatch, as the forces holding them together weaken.

You put the book aside for a moment, and consider that this weak point could prove very useful to you. The frost runes you picked up were probably a wise choice after all. The runes could easily provide a spike of arcane energy and knock out the runic flow to the skeletons. The dead would be put to rest.

(Cargo pants are fun, useful, and look fine, but they're not the height of fashion.

(Oh, and you're not allowed to do necromancy. It's evil and unlawful, and people would hate you for it. And it's very complicated as spells or enchants go, and there are no books that would teach you how to do that. So, no, you can't reanimate a skeleton for your purposes. You can disanimate [not to be confused with deamination...  :D ... bad science joke] skeletons, but you lack the skills, resources, and moral bankrupcy to redo the necromancy)

(Yeah, I know that was a lot of information, but magic is a science, after all.  :3)

Offline Ertxiem

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Re: Text Adventure
« Reply #123 on: May 25, 2012, 05:52:30 PM »
(Nice explanation. I liked it. :) )

Look for some books that explain what lightning catalysts are. They might also be useful against skeletons, but perhaps they might damage the ship.
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Offline ArtDrake

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Re: Text Adventure
« Reply #124 on: May 25, 2012, 07:52:00 PM »
You look for a book on the topic of lightning catalysts, but you find that your query's a bit too specific. However, you do find a book on catalysts, so you bring it over to your table and read some of the starting passages.

Catalysts are much like staves and wands, in that they conduct arcane energies and are used in concert with the mind to shape these energies, but instead of being made of a convenient and cheap material, like wood or steel, the substance, usually metal, from which the catalyst is hewn matters greatly in terms of the end purpose of the particular catalyst. For example, a tin catalyst is best suited for the banishing of conjurations and constructs, while a brass catalyst is much more inclined to be used for pyromancy.

To the orientation of the atoms and the character of the bonds is owed the affinity of one metal over another for a particular purpose, and while not all purposes have a catalyst which serves them, all catalysts serve a purpose. If the catalyst is used for a purpose to which it is not suited, it may haltingly serve the purpose, fail to work, or shatter in a massive arcane discharge, depending on the extent to which the attempted purpose differs from the intended purpose. If a brass catalyst is used for a frost spell, the spell will surely backfire and the catalyst shatter.

However, the advantages to using a specialized catalyst far outweigh the drawbacks. If one wishes to cast a spell for speed, they need look no farther than a silver catalyst (which are quite resistant to shattering, but casting spells of hindering with this catalyst is inadvisable), and the magickonegative imprint of the spell will be literally drawn into the catalyst from the mind (worry not, reader -- the spell is not forgotten) to be cast at a flourish of the arm. With a staff, the caster might have to force the mental imprint of the spell into the wood, a tricky business at best.

You flip to the short section on lightning catalysts.

Lightning catalysts are those made from zinc, and are quite useful when casting lightning or other electrical spells, for the purposes of shorting out electronics, electrocution, or ignition of gases or fuels without first having an open flame. They are highly receptive of these spells, and are applicable in a wide variety of military environments, including rendering enemy vechicles unusable due to electronics failure.

You figure that the lightning catalysts were probably another form of anti-aircraft defense for the airship that were simply not used in time. Given the power of the sorceress, they most likely would have done little good against her attacking forces.

Offline Ertxiem

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Re: Text Adventure
« Reply #125 on: May 26, 2012, 06:06:29 AM »
Right now, the baseball bat is effective against the skeletons. I was wondering if we could inscribe a rune in it in order to improve it's efficacy. But before we should practice on a piece of paper, assuming it's available somewhere. And we have to choose a rune set that fits what we want (perhaps there are some combinations that help the offensive side of combat and others that help the defensive side).
(Sorry for not being objective in the actions to take.)
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Offline aziz

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Re: Text Adventure
« Reply #126 on: May 26, 2012, 10:18:19 AM »
Right now, the baseball bat is effective against the skeletons. I was wondering if we could inscribe a rune in it in order to improve it's efficacy. But before we should practice on a piece of paper, assuming it's available somewhere. And we have to choose a rune set that fits what we want (perhaps there are some combinations that help the offensive side of combat and others that help the defensive side).
(Sorry for not being objective in the actions to take.)

Inscribe a rune of a magic attack so it does magic damage too and so it doesnt matter much whatever armor the enemy is wearing.

Offline bugfartboy

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Re: Text Adventure
« Reply #127 on: May 26, 2012, 10:23:15 AM »
Look at the 10 basic runes given in the children's book and see if any of those would be beneficial for the baseball bat. Perhaps one to reinforce the internal structure of the bat, allowing it to last longer. Or one that redirects kinetic energy used against the body of the bat, but not the handle, back into whatever distributed the energy in the first place. That would be useful or both structural support and offensive means.

-Edit-
Also, how do runes work together? Is it possible to order them similar to writing a script in a program? (I.E. DOS, ActionScript, Java, etc.)
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Offline Ertxiem

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Re: Text Adventure
« Reply #128 on: May 26, 2012, 10:48:28 AM »
Right now, the baseball bat is effective against the skeletons. I was wondering if we could inscribe a rune in it in order to improve it's efficacy. But before we should practice on a piece of paper, assuming it's available somewhere. And we have to choose a rune set that fits what we want (perhaps there are some combinations that help the offensive side of combat and others that help the defensive side).
(Sorry for not being objective in the actions to take.)

Inscribe a rune of a magic attack so it does magic damage too and so it doesnt matter much whatever armor the enemy is wearing.

We should train making runes in a sheet of paper before trying it on the baseball bat. I would hate to be spanked by my bat or something like that! ;)

I would be surprised if the runes worked like a script. I think it's more likely that they enhance some characteristics/effects and that some may have conflicting effects when used together.
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Offline ArtDrake

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Re: Text Adventure
« Reply #129 on: May 26, 2012, 02:49:31 PM »
You look around the library for some drawing paper, and find a notebook behind the circulation desk, probably belonging to a librarian, from which you can tear a few blank pages. There's a mug full of pens behind the desk with which to draw the runes.

You look through the children's book on protective runes, and find that the seventh rune listed is one for reinforcement, to prevent the enchanted item from breaking. You recognize the rune as one present on the personal armor you're wearing. It looks like (Fig. 1), and it's name is "salim." You carefully draw it out on the notebook paper, but it doesn't take. You realize that you made the lower loop too large, and the tail didn't intersect with the left angle. This was going to be harder than you thought.

But after several more tries -- after the third of which the rune glowed briefly, but then flashed brilliantly, hurting your eyes and returning to black -- you manage you get the rune drawn just right, and it glows a lime green, and stays. You've managed your very first enchant. The paper doesn't appear different, but you decide to test out the rune's power, so you try to rip the page. You find that you can't easily do it. After much effort, you've made a small rip in the paper, but your arms are feeling tired. The rune works. (Fig. 2)

You decide to practice the rune a few more times on different sheets, and three times of five you get the rune to glow, and the energies to bind. Finally, you think you're ready to try it out on your bat. You grab a pair of scissors from behind the desk -- a pen wouldn't write well, and you want your rune to last -- and score the rune on the bat with the utmost precision, paying close attention to each stroke as you write it. Making the task more difficult is the curved nature of the surface, and you fear the proportions are not right. Finally, the rune fully inscribed, you say its name, "Salim," and hold your breath. Nothing happens for a moment. Then, the rune turns lime, and your bat is enchanted.

----------------------------------

(A note for newcomers and old readers who might not have fully gotten this: there isn't plain old "magic damage." There is no particular cure-all spell which can pierce any armor. There are spells which might bypass a particular armor type, or even make use of the armor an enemy is wearing, but "magic attack" and "magic defense" don't exist, as such. Elecrical spells will arc towards any foe wearing metal armor, flame spells can burn through fabric, and ice can give opponents hypothermia and stop them in their tracks, perhaps kill them if they aren't dressed warmly enough. But the quasi-realistic magic I wish to portray does not possess anything so vague as a "magic attack."

(To elaborate, most of the effects of basic offensive spells could be achieved with some napalm, some liquid nitrogen, or some high-voltage tripwires. If you want a golem, you could conjure a magical one, or you could build or buy a mechanical version. Thus, all magical effects are governed by certain immutable physical laws.

(And no, runes don't work in sequence like a script. They work in concert, interfering with one another and changing each other. Enchanting is less like a computer language and more like a pictographic language, with potentially many characters making up a word.

(Also, I recommend just looking at the available rune types and combinations and their effects, and finding one that suits your purposes, rather than seeking out one effect -- not everything one can desire in a weapon can be done with enchanting and runes. That is, buy off the shelf, don't seek custom.)

(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)
« Last Edit: May 26, 2012, 03:59:22 PM by Duckling »

Steelfist

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Re: Text Adventure
« Reply #130 on: May 26, 2012, 03:10:52 PM »
A lot of text has accumulated since I last looked at this. I'm glad you decided to resurrect this (though it was immoral, being necromancy, ahaha), and if you do decide to do a more formal RPG D&D style I'd be glad to play with you as DM if the world is as interesting as this one.

Okay, so, try to procure a list of basic offensive and defensive enchantments, then list them. Attempt to find a sample of zinc, brass, tin and whichever catalyst governs frost within the library. Look up if salim produces magickonegative energy to disrupt the skeletons or not, and if it doesn't look up which runes do. Also, check if you can use a catalyst to enhance an enchantment.

Offline ArtDrake

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Re: Text Adventure
« Reply #131 on: May 26, 2012, 03:56:39 PM »
You find a book on the shelves which lists basic enchants useful in combat, called Børnheim's Compendium of a Combatant's Enchants. It lists about fifty enchants, split up into five sections of ten runes each: armor protection enchants, armor offense enchants, firearm enchants, close-quarters weapon enchants, miscellaneous and utility enchants. The book goes on to explain that it would have included more than these few runes, but even within the book, the runes' magics interfere, and as there are more runes in a volume, the more volatile it is -- thus, these have been selected as having the most basic, easy, and useful effects. Furthermore, more complex but more useful runes or rune combinations do exist, but their places are elsewhere, not in this collection.

----------------------------

(I would list them, but I find making lists tiresome, and development of the plot much less so -- just say which section interests you, one or two at a time, and I'll list its contents. You can use the runes you find for enchanting and such, then come back to the book. I just can't come up with a list of all fifty at once in one post, in the interests of time and the interests of maintaining my interest.

(Also, all spells and runes carry magickonegative energy and potential -- it's just a fancier and more precise way of saying arcane power. However, passive runes' (such as salim's) magickonegativity won't influence that of the rune flow spells maintaining necromancy as much as will active runes' (such as, say, one for frost or flame or blindness or hallucination or pain or electrocution, etc.). Thus, the frost runestones (Important: name change. The stones used as proximity mines with runes on them are now runestones.) will probably destroy the flow and disanimate the skeleton in one hit, but consistent contact with the salim rune on your bat will degrade and eventually destroy the flow as well. It'll just take longer.

(Another note: there are only lightning catalysts in the armoury, and none in the library (other than a one-use activation catalyst on the wall for activating condensation runes embedded in the walls in case of a fire). So, while there might be some privately owned by soldiers in their quarters [at least, I'm not going to say there aren't], there are only lightning catalysts available to you, to the best of your knowledge at the moment.

(Finally: you can't use a catalyst to enhance an enchantment, per se... but you can use an activation catalyst to.. well... activate a rune that takes too much arcane energy discharge to function constantly. And a lightning spell cast at a lightning rune with a lightning catalyst, for example, might have some interesting results. All will be revealed as you explore)

(Oh, and thank you for that complement. It means a lot.)

Steelfist

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Re: Text Adventure
« Reply #132 on: May 26, 2012, 04:34:53 PM »
Look up cyromancy runes, and practise them on a piece of paper.

Then, combine salim and the cyromancy rune on the piece of paper, because I honestly don't know how they'd react on the bat.

I think we need an offensive enchantment on the bat, and fire doesn't seem like a good idea. The bat is wooden, after all.

Is magical effect defined by intention? And if so, could you seperate enchantments, such as frost and fire, so they do not interfere with one another? And also, can you enchant part of an object but not another part (eg. enchant half a piece of paper with one rune, and then the other with a different rune)?

Also, look up if there is some kind of rune that will bind magic; we may have to confront a magic user (Mage? Sorcerer? Arcane Practitioner?), and I'd like something to use.

Offline ArtDrake

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Re: Text Adventure
« Reply #133 on: May 26, 2012, 06:05:45 PM »
In the Compendium, you look under close-quarters weapon enchants, and the second entry is a frost rune (fig. 3), which looks very similar to the one you saw on your packs of frost runestones. You take out another piece of paper from the notebook, and then rip it into four pieces to try to conserve your limited paper for the moment. Then, you carefully try to replicate the rune on the paper. The first couple of times, the half-circle at the bottom doesn't come out quite right, skewing to one side or another, but once you figure that piece out the rest of the rune, "bakor", is quite easy. You finish tracing out the last part of a curve -- the rune is finished, and you voice its name. The rune takes, and a soft gray-blue light emanates from the magical symbol (fig. 4).

Nothing seems different about the paper at first, but as you look at it, condensation appears on the paper from the surrounding air, and after a while, they turn to miniscule ice crystals. You are somewhat reluctant to touch the paper, but it doesn't seem to be too powerful a rune, so you pick up the quarter-sheet. It's very cold to the touch, and rough with ice. You try to bend it, and it does so easily enough, so it seems that the paper itself does not become frozen stiff, but merely chills what comes into contact with it. Since the children's book on enchanting also said that runes can wear off after a time, and must be renewed by repeating the name of the rune, you don't worry too much about the small frost rune freezing up the library -- you just leave it on the table.

You go back to the Compendium's informative introduction for more on enchanting, particularly about multiple runes.

When two runes are placed on the same item, they can interact in multiple ways. If the two are not placed in proximity to one another, they will not act together or interfere directly, although their effects (rather than their magics) may indeed interfere. A flame rune and a frost rune, for instance, will cancel each other's effects out if they are of the same strengths. If one is more potent, then its effects will prevail. If the two runes are not in conflict with their effects, they will simply act separately. However, if the two runes have the same effects and are not placed in proximity to one another, but enchant the same item, then they will each act on their own, and the effects will add together. It is difficult, though, to place multiple runes on the same item, because the arcane energies are sunk into the magickonegative "well" of a previous enchant, and so one must be more precise in getting the energies to bind. Put simply, the rune must be inscribed more carefully and accurately, or it will fail. Secondly, if indeed the new rune binds in spite of the first's presence, if the first rune was not placed with sufficient precision, it too can fail, possibly in a violent reaction.

There is also a second way of placing multiple runes. If the two are in proximity to one another, their magics instead of their effects will interact, and create a slightly or drastically different enchantment. Also, the manner in which the two are placed with respect to one another can change the magical interaction -- if one of the runes is bigger than the other, or one contains the other, that rune will have the dominant effect. For example, if a flame rune is drawn inside of a protection rune, the protection aspect will be dominant, and the overall effect will most likely be protection from flame. On the other hand, if the protection rune is drawn inside the flame rune, then the flame aspect is dominant, and the combination would probably be most useful on armor, where it would badly burn an attacker that came into contact with the armor (i.e., fiery protection vs. protection from fire). There are, however, finite valid ways in which to combine the runes, so while a correct combination may be discovered easily, the rune combinations are not infinite in their variation. As a result, reference guides are a necessity when dealing with many runes in conjunction. Also, this method does not require greater accuracy in the drawing of the runes, but given that the relative placement of the runes must be somewhat accurate and that there are more runes involved in the process, this method of enchanting with multiple runes can also be difficult.

(Nope. It's aluminium.
Then, in thinking about somehow defending yourself, you think of the ceremonial sword in your father's study, and the aluminium baseball bat in the basket of sports equipment downstairs.

(You're going to have to look up a valid combination of salim and bakor (or another protection-frost pair) and figure out what you want out of the combination, or inscribe them separately [and get some more practice, since they have to both be done quite accurately if you want to use them both on the same bat].

(Magical effects are never defined by intention. In this universe, magic is 100% objective and scientific, and merely resembles in part any more... squishy, temperamental, subjective magics you have seen. I think I answered the magical interference question in this post... and about enchanting parts of items, I dunno, why don't you look it up in the library?  :D
I think it kind of says something about me that I want magic to be an objective science, eh?

(What do you mean by binding magic?)

« Last Edit: May 26, 2012, 07:48:43 PM by Duckling »

Steelfist

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Re: Text Adventure
« Reply #134 on: May 26, 2012, 06:31:29 PM »
I've always enjoyed the idea of magic as a quantifiable, direct and scientifically testable force. It's just it's rare to find an author that agrees. Incidentally, I really like your magic system in general, especially the magical language, which is et another concept which appeals to me.

Oh, I forgot the bat was aluminium. But the point is still valid; fire would damage or ruin it.

And by 'binding' magic, I refer to preventing the access to magic, or the fulfillment of a spell.

I don't think we have any choice but to try to install another rune on the bat; we need an offensive enchantment.

Also, look up the possibilities magical rune tatoos. Just because I find it interesting.

Okay; practice the bakor rune, because I don't want the bat blowing up in my face.

What was the ceremonial sword made out of? And what is it a catalyst for?

Also, look up concealment and lock-opening runes; I want that sword.