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Finished Necromancy doesn't quite cover this

Discussion in 'The Library' started by Kada, May 19, 2019.

  1. Kada
    Kada

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    Hella probably looked as tired as she felt. Her hair was done in a loose ponytail, a big sweater on over her jeans. She had spent many hours already at the library, unsure at first of even where to begin. She wanted to help Aura, to find a way to get her back to a semblance of normalcy. The way that Aura herself helped Hella feel when she had shown her the extent of Ebonyridge's abuses on her. But these books were confusing beyond what she could even begin to understand. Butterfly Dictums and Howling Dreams and Hieroglyphic Monads. Strange magic that she couldn't even begin to wrap her head around.

    But she wasn't going to stop looking, even if it took her years to figure out. She had mastered necromancy, and she would master this. Eventually. Somehow. But in the meantime it was frustrating. So here she was again at the help desk with her thermos of plain black coffee, asking for even more basic books on the so-called unknowable. No. More basic than that. She had already read that and it hadn't stuck. "Think, Eldritch Horrors for Dummies or Baby's First Abomination," she told the receptionist. Joking, but also not. It almost made her wish she hadn't dropped out. At least if she was still a student she could have taken classes. Picked the brains of teachers who could explain the basics.

     
  2. Keen
    Keen

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    Starlight Academy's library was irresistible to Smokey's kind. The number of books stored in here was a constant source of knowledge that made Smokey shiver with excitement whenever they entered. Having made reading at least one book during some of their personal time a personal goal of theirs, they returned to return one book and grab another.

    Honestly, Smokey was somewhat bitter. They had been suggested by a teacher to try not reading for the sake of knowledge. At least once. The result was them being bored out of their mind with their book. Now that they were in the library, they were extra jittery. They needed to get something good. Something relevant.

    Something like Eldritch Horrors for Dummies, they thought. That caused them to pause. Thinking about eldritch stuff wasn't anything new to Smokey. What caused them to stop in their tracks was how they thought about it. When Smokey turned to see where that book title came from, they saw a disheveled Hella talking to a receptionist.

    Destra's friend? Talking about a book on eldritch? Intriguing. Smokey moved towards Hella with an energetic hop and said softly, "Hi, hi Hella. Did I hear something about eldritch? Eldritch Horrors for Dummies, I think?"
     
  3. Kada
    Kada

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    Hella turned her head slowly, wiping her face gently as if that could remove the mild frustration from her expression. It was one of the Oricenta talking to her, but not one she knew directly. Or wait, this was the one that Destra knew, right? Hella couldn't recall their name, but smiled nonetheless.

    "Ah, yes. I don't know if that's a real book but that's the level I need to get started. The entry level books I've been reading so far are still too hard to understand."

    Her mouth twitched a bit as she widened her smile. Hella extended a hand towards Smokey to shake, adding, "I'm Hella. I don't recall if we've formally met or not. Apologies if we have, I've had a... busy few months."
     
  4. Keen
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    Hella's smile didn't show any of the annoyance or confusion they expected. Initially, they took the look of frustration as a sign to leave, but they quickly understood it wasn't directed at them. The clearest memory Smokey had of Hella was that she asked if they were "tilted," or something like that involving that word. Smokey always considered the two of them to be on good terms, but, well, she did say she was busy. It wasn't like they hung out consistently enough to be considered friends.

    But she was a friend of Destra, and a friend of Destra was an ally of Smokey. "No need to apologize. I'm Smokey. We've met occasionally, but I know you mostly from Destra," they said cheerfully with a shake of her hand. The volume of their voice shifted subtly once in a while from their attempts to not become too loud.

    "If you're looking for books on eldritch, I can help you. I've researched them quite a bit and have some hands-on experience. Don't feel too bad about not understanding it. The easiest stuff can still feel impossible. Practicing how to forgo your standard way of thinking is a big part of understanding the big points."
     
  5. Kada
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    "If love some help, actually," Hella said, pulling a small smile in Smokey's direction. "All the books written by experts are too technical. I kinda know what it feels like now, for an outsider learning necromancy."

    Thanking the receptionist, Hella gestured over to a table where the two of them could sit. "Over here? We might as well sit and be comfortable."

    Once she was seated, her sleeves rolled up to reveal the scars across her forearms, Hella say her coffee down and gripped her hands together. "I don't even know where to begin, you know? I want... need... to dispel something Eldritch. But I can't even begin to figure that out when I don't even know what the word even actually means."
     
  6. Keen
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    The perfect chance to show off all they had learned about eldritch had finally arrived. Smokey plopped down on a seat beside Hella enthusiastically, nodding along to her concerns as they wondered how they could help. Though for a quick moment, they looked upon Hella's scars curiously before pulling their eyes away. That wasn't their business to know about.

    "Dispel something eldritch? I've looked into that before. I'm actually surrounded by eldritch all the time, but not... The idea is that I'm sort of looking into a different dimension I'm not meant to understand all the time. The result is that that dimension is sort of overlapping with our dimension and is giving me a weird insight into the eldritch world."

    Now that they were talking about the concept out loud, they realized how difficult it was going to be to explain. Well, wasn't teaching others about a concept the best way to understand it yourself?

    "Um, first thing that comes to mind is using an eldritch sign. They can ward off eldritch like a cross does to a demon. I'm sure researching eldritch signs would lead to a trail of other anti-eldritch magic."
     
  7. Kada
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    Eldritch signs. That was basic enough. Her family's old necromancy books had similar concepts. Series of runes that would turn or rebuke the undead. Hella nodded slowly, not sure she understood the bit about seeing another realm. But it seemed almost like what she had dealt with with Ebonyridge's music reaching her even on the island. So that was close enough.

    "So these symbols. Are they specific to specific entities? Or is there a catch-all, like a crucifix for most demons?"

    Gods it sounded so weird talking like this. Hella absolutely kept her voice down, realizing pretty easily that it could sound like she intended to murder someone.

    And for that matter, was there any sense or classification to these creatures? Or was it like throwing darts at a board, with no two being even tangentially related?
     
  8. Keen
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    Smokey almost wanted to say that it was catch-all, based purely off of their own experience, but they knew that couldn't have worked for all eldritch. The island taught them not everyone was the same.

    They also took notice of how low Hella kept her voice down and made sure to match. Anyone with a good sense of hearing would have absolutely been eyeing their conversation with suspicion, but that was none of their business. Not everything had an evil ulterior motive.

    "The one I'm most familiar with is catch-all, I think. It's worked against all the eldritch connected to me, but they're not sapient or that strong. I'm not even sure how you would really classify eldritch. Maybe their age, sapience, and strength. The first two seem to directly correlate with the last one."

    Oh, they were going a bit off topic. "I haven't looked deeply into if there are any made for specific kinds of eldritch. How about we go looking for books about it here? I'm no expert, so this would be a good time for me to learn too. Er, I'd have to be careful though, for obvious reasons."
     
  9. Kada
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    Right. Of course there were variations and exceptions. That was something she knew well enough from magic. At least that was a basis that she could understand well enough. But not having standard classifications made things more difficult than she really wanted them to be. Hella paused and reminded herself that nothing worth doing was easy, and that Aura was absolutely worth it.

    With a small nod and a smile Hella, who had been taking some loose notes up until now, carefully stood up. "That might be helpful, yes." A pause as she inhaled to collect herself. "Thank you." As they walked, Hella looked through the notes that she already had, scarce as they were. "Do you know," she asked, looking at one page in particular, "if they're hostile? I mean, clearly they are dangerous, but is that... intentional?"
     
  10. Keen
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    Smokey stood up after Hella. For the quickest moment, Smokey's smile tensed at being thanked. By now, they were very much used to it. It was actually creepy how easy it was to adapt to the ways here once they forced themself to think differently. Smokey found themself not minding too much. It was much easier to let someone's thanks roll off their shoulders. It was just a normal expression of appreciation.

    After leading Hella to the section of the library concerning the history of eldritch and their magic, they hovered their hand over each book as they mumbled the titles, trying to find one they knew would be helpful to Hella. Smokey could've simply told Hella to pick any and read, but her issue was how complex the books were. Something simple that Hella could read on her own time but that Smokey could help translate currently was their best bet.

    "If eldritch are intentionally hostile? I don't think so. I think we're just insignificant to them. For an easy comparison, are you intentionally hostile when you step on an ant? Or if a fly is getting in your personal space, you may not hate it while you swat it away to stop annoying you. Or, or, mm.. Oh! A good comparison would be fae." Something told Smokey this wasn't a subject to touch on. Why? They paused for a second, trying to remember why it felt like a taboo subject. Nothing came up, so they continued. "Humans and fae have really different moral guidelines. Fae may not always go out of their way to hurt humans, yet sometimes they do because of how differently they view the world. And sometimes they do go out of their way to hurt humans for reasons humans wouldn't understand at all. Eldritch can be a lot like that."
     


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