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A few in game questions

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1.Can you tell us about some of the precautions wizards take when attempting to cast spells with newly discovered phemes? 

2. Since it can be possible that a student can self teach themselves basic magic in a pillar, shouldn't it be theoretically possible for a student to teach themselves a minor Gates or Mastery pheme without even realizing it? I mean, you've said that there are spells outside of those pillars which contain a forbidden pheme which incidentally caused the whole thing to be banned. If an advanced student already knew the legal phemes and was trying to (Re)discover the Spell due to wanting to make use of it's effects, I'd imagine it could happen, especially if the student in question might have some unknown affinity for banned magic due to havin grandparents involved in it many generations ago.

3. Can you tell us what one of the weakest common monsters might be that would still have a high chance to wipe the floor with even a talented first year student?

4. Can you tell us about any still existing saltwater sources in Elumia? I would imagine even a small pond might be highly valued as a salt source if the water is replenish with salt same as with coal seams and freshwater lakes, to say nothing of rare fish that might be found within.

5. Out of curiousity, is there even a single pheme in Y1's repertoire that Orso would admit to not knowing how to draw? I think given the history of some of them, the odds are that there might be a few, though as experienced as he is, I'm sure he would probably have heard of them all, right? (Let's keep the illegal stuff out of this discussion for obvious reasons. Yes, including sync related stuff, too.)

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Free;

"1.  For better or for worse - probably for worse - there's no standard protocol.  The iconic image is of a wizard in a secure tower or cellar with wards on the walls, well-mapped ley lines, concentration-enchancing magic in play, and a couple of trusty friends hanging by to cast Negation spells as needed.  (And, yes, per previous discussions, it can be hard to know what Negations will work.)

That said, the only person the students would know well who's actually done that kind of trail-blazing work with a relatively new pheme is Professor Badcrumble, who did her doctoral work on the present form of Divinatio (the pheme was discovered in 1622 and she got her degree in 1651, to give you a sense of the scale).  In her case, about sixty percent of her work was pure book research, seeing how similarly structured phemes play with others; twenty-five percent was astrological testing for pheme affinities (which is extremely tricky stuff); and a lot of the rest doing circle/ritual testing, wherein she and 2 to 8 fellow postgrads or other friends tried casting spells in concert so that the strain on any one of them would be limited and a lot of the effects could theoretically be broken by anyone concerned.

And, that said, historically it's been just as likely to be some idiot kid slapping a new pheme next to a known pheme to see what would happen in the middle of a field someplace.  There are even magical theory arguments for that: that the expression of pure inspiration is inherently safer than trying to contain and limit magic you don't entirely understand.

2.  Yes, it's entirely theoretically possible.  And, usually, in cases of "good faith" Gates and Mastery work, where someone stumbles onto something illegal by chance, a wizard of good standing can escape serious sanction by pleading no contest and swearing never to do it again.

After that, though, one is generally no longer considered a wizard of good standing.

3.  Ha! Okay, haze spiders.  They're all over the Imperial Reserve, they're the size of your hand, they can run up to twelve miles an hour, and they spit a venom that causes hallucinations.  In theory, you should be able to take one of them out with a good rock throw, never mind magic - but if one gets the drop on you it can go bad super-fast.

4.  There are actually a few reasonably big saltwater lakes around - some of them pockets of old Ocean that got scooped up when the islands ascended, others the homes of magical creatures that can ensure salinity for their own comfort or consumption.  The closest - Lago del Penitente, the Penitent's Lake - is in La Ritorta, about as far north of Mineta as you can get without leaving the island.

5.  Trick question.  Orso would never admit to any such thing."

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8 hours ago, freespace2dotcom said:

5. Out of curiousity, is there even a single pheme in Y1's repertoire that Orso would admit to not knowing how to draw? I think given the history of some of them, the odds are that there might be a few, though as experienced as he is, I'm sure he would probably have heard of them all, right? (Let's keep the illegal stuff out of this discussion for obvious reasons. Yes, including sync related stuff, too.)

I supect the biggest chance is with the Pheme you can only learn from a Professor via Favor. 

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9 hours ago, Schwarzbart said:

I supect the biggest chance is with the Pheme you can only learn from a Professor via Favor. 

That was the one specific one I had in mind, yet it is possible he knows it too.

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Trying to phrase this question in a way that it doesn't get answered with [REDACTED]: Are, say, legends of people having out of body experiences while still alive a thing? Like, someone gets knocked the hell out and (only briefly, I imagine) wanders around as a ghost, not knowing that their body still lives?

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2) How complicated are the Mercenary contracts in the world of Academagia in the recent years? (Watched a TV show today that told that the mercenary contracts in the Italy city states did become more complicated over time and at some point advocates where needed on both sides)

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@Legate of Mineta: In real life, the suffix -mancy as meaning "type of magic" is remarkably recent - Clark Ashton Smith seems to have created it with his story "Necromancy in Naat". In Greek -mancy actually refers to divination. Since on Cyve Greek's equivalent is a nearly completely forgotten language in the Empire of Man, it is not surprising that such a transition in meaning of -mancy occurred within the Empire of Man. Are scholars of magic aware that such a shift happened?

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And the response:

"1) They're not exactly common stories, but they're out there.  The most famous (and perhaps unexpectedly benign) is that of St. Olagio the Traveler, who in the 4th century had some kind of seizure - granted by the Gods - that sent him wandering down a long woodland path and then up into a strange mountain cave system.  Thirty-three days after he woke, the story goes, the Dragons sent a massive storm to flood the valley in which his village lived, and he was able to lead all his neighbors to safety.

2) Mercenary contracts can be quite elaborate, but it depends on the size and quality of the company (and their employers, for that matter).  A group like the Sulfur Company, perhaps the most dangerous currently in existence, has its own in-house lawyers, and tends to work for major merchant houses and wealthy city-states who can afford the same and can offer unusual terms.
 
Smaller companies tend to have bundles of fairly simple contracts (blank spaces for names, payments, obligations and lengths of service) that they carry with them from job to job.  Every couple of years they'll probably get in touch with an advocate or a clerk somewhere and commission more.
 
And, yes, there are still some groups that'll work on a down-payment and a handshake - and if all you want is an exercise in brute force, they can work out quite well.
 
3) As for "-mancy," yes, a few scholars are aware.  In fact, very early in the Empire, there was something of a fad in which a kind of court astrologer (specializing primarily in forecasting and shaping warfare) was called a "Mantis," in keeping with the tradition of the Academy of Nares in Cimone.
 
But that was a long time ago, and it's not common knowledge."


 

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Would I be correct in thinking that, with the Gates ban and the subsequent loss of exorcism magic, the bar for which ghosts haunting the Academagia actually getting removed rather than bricked up and forgotten about (see: the two duelling ghosts in the one Aranaz adventure) has been raised?

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On 8/7/2020 at 4:33 PM, Legate of Mineta said:

Schwarzbart;

"Clockworks, automata and spectacularly gear-based systems are more common in the north (particularly the Vilocian-speaking north) and in exotic parts of the Saisyne sphere than in Mineta - but you do have strange machines (albeit often powered by enchantment as well as fire and expanding gasses) around the docks and in certain merchant compounds.

The most famous is the Palazzo degli Armeggi, a compound on the eastern side of the docks with a clock tower that tracks both commercial time (as strict accounting of hours and minutes is still sometimes known) and astrological phases and cycles.  The building complex is actually primarily a warehouse system, and has an elaborate system of pulleys, rails and self-propelled carts to deliver things and people to where they need to be.

It's a wonder, and it does attract and welcome curious visitors, but it's also seen as something of a folly by most of the Minetan citizenry - a lot of trouble to go to just for someone to demonstrate they're so rich they don't even need magic or servants."

How is the Palazzo degli Armeggi powered? Clockwork is only good for energy storage and transfer while steam engine need people to keep the fire burning what runs counter to "don't even need magic or servants".

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Schwarzbart;

"It's not known to the public. There are two dominant theories at the Academy, however.

The first is that the Palazzo is built over one of the peculiarities inherent in the flying islands: a cavern system containing raging air currents.  This phenomenon isn't well understood at all, but are common across Elumia. They aren't magical in the sense of tracing to some enchanted rock or feature at the center, but they're theorized to be a byproduct of the supernatural processes that keep the air pressure on the islands reasonably close to what it was when they were on the surface of Cyve.

The second theory is that there's something living below the Palazzo that's just pushing or running constantly and driving the whole system along.  Something horrifically powerful, somehow chained, and seemingly never fed.

And, of course, some day it will get out.

Regardless, these cave systems are known to exist, and if harnessed (obviously the tricky part) they're to all intents and purposes a limitless source of energy. In general, they're called "vortex chambers."  There is known to be a Minetan vortex chamber, but it's never successfully been mapped.

There are places around the world where chamber vents have been tapped to power grain mills and the like - they're uncommon enough to be landmarks, but not so rare to be legendary - but there's no famous example of anyone successfully tapping one on the scale required to power the Palazzo (with the possible exception of the Grand Orrery of Espermont - a massive working model of the local solar system that was built in 1411 and destroyed in a freak weather system in 1458).

By the way, it should also be said that the Palazzo does have some systems that clearly run on coal and steam, but not nearly enough to supply power for the whole enterprize."

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Somehow I think that Necromancy would be the most interesting power-source here ;) The clockwork would conceal the working undead and the undead could even work at the steam engines. (Beside that we current have interesting locations for Gate & Mastery but not for the also forbidden art of Necromancy )

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And you here you go:

"As for the museum/exhibition bit: sort of.  College Vernin and College Avila joint-sponsor a collection of "antiquities, enchantments and devices" stockpiled in a tower at the Vasastra Campanile; students and visitors can visit by appointment and look at things for research purposes.  The idea of a public gallery purely for display has come up over the centuries, but nobody ever really followed through.

There are private collections in and around the city that hold wonders - not least the Chards' - and there are oddities in the Imperial Palace that can be viewed with authorization."

As for Geometry...[Redacted]!

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@Legate of Mineta: Would discovering a Gates Spell and then giving it to another person in order for the other person to use it in the giver's presence be considered using gates magic, in society's eyes and the law's eyes?

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The reply:

"Enchanted ones, yes - they date back to at least the 13th century, when the general Marzo Quintilio commissioned "the Strategist's Throne" to allow him to take to the battlefield after he became too fat to walk.  They're not common, though; you could spend a lifetime in a place as wealthy and cosmopolitan as Mineta and never see one."

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So for walking disabled the usual method to move around are small cart because they usual not had the money to pay for Revision healing to restore their legs when they got somehow disabled?

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