Sythyry (sythyry) wrote,
Sythyry
sythyry

Direct and Indirect Tourism [Vheshrame; 24 Trandary 4385]

Everyone knows that wizards have their specialties. Corpador and Herbador, the magic of animal and vegetable materials, are the most generally useful, and anyone who has taken a highschool magic course can do at least something with either of them. Illusidor (illusions and images) can be amusing; Aquador magic (waters and liquids) can save a good deal of effort carrying water at about that age; Pyrador (fire, light) is useful in dark places and times, if the darkness is either the hard-to-see-in sort or being bothered by monsters. Airador magic is good for manipulating scents (very useful if Cani are about), or weather (if one is very good). Smiths naturally learn Durudor magic, for metal and stone and such, but it is so much harder (and metal and stone so much rarer) that it is of little use to anyone but experts. Locador magic, space magic, is quite practical really, for teleporting and making small spaces larger, but it is not popular. Tempador, time magic, gives more time, which I find invaluable but most people seem to find disturbing. Spiridor magic is good for making animated servants of various sorts; you will surely see Vae doing some of that, for she loves it; I do it now and then as well. Magiador magic concerns magic itself: to break spells, for example, use Magiador. Mentador magic is mind-magic, and is outright wicked. I am allowed to use it, circumspectly, but most people shouldn't and more decades go by without me using it than with.

(I do a lot with Locador, Tempador, and Magiador. People call me a "deep mage" for that. It's an informal term that means that I use the more obscure corners of magic. It's a useful specialty; it can provide more space and more time, which are always at a premium. That's not actually why I'm a deep mage though. Those are the Nouns that help me protect myself from Vae.)

Those are the Nouns. People can specialize in Verbs, and some do, but it's generally less common. Creoc is for creating things (and Herethroy). Kennoc is for information (and Orren); but, like the Orren, it is never perfectly reliable. Destroc is for destruction (and Khtsoyis and Gormoror), and none too popular. Mutoc is for changes (and Sleeth), and is exceedingly useful, as Vae demonstrates constantly. Ruloc is for control and manipulation (and Cani and Gormoror), and just as useful. Healoc is for healing (and Rassimel), and of much more limited scope. Sustenoc is for sustaining, making spells perpetual (and Zi Ri), and can be worked into a wide variety of situations if one is determined to -- as I generally am -- but it is not, by itself, all that helpful.

Those are the specialities that one thinks of first. The 7+12 gods that rule the Nouns and Verbs are connected to your magerium, willing to be of assistance in exchange for cley. There are other specialties. Your average highschool-trained mage has a dozen pattern spells grafted to her magerium: a dozen routine but useful things that she can do magically. A sorcerer might have a hundred. A wizard might have a thousand. (I don't.)

(Oh. A "mage" is anyone working magic, much in the way that a "washer" is anyone washing anything. Mages are more common than washers, I think: everyone probably washes something, oh, three times a day? I have no idea really; I could be writing through my wings here. But most people will probably cast half a dozen spells a day. A "sorcerer" is a skilled mage, a professional and then some; the top quarter of the Healers' and Smiths' guilds are sorcerers. The exact definition is imprecise: one is a sorcerer if one is generally described as a sorcerer, or if one can call onesself a sorcerer without inducing tittering in actual sorcerers. A "wizard" is a skilled sorcerer. Again, the definition is informal. My famous grandparent Glikkonen was the first wizard on the World Tree. I showed zir my one and only impressive trick a few years ago. Zie wanted one for zirself, and we made one together, and after that zie referred to me as a wizard to my half-sibling. So I'm using the word now; who am I to dispute with Glikkonen? Or, alternately, who am I to refuse the best recommendation and advertising in the universe? It's not entirely comfortable, but I am trying to get used to it.)

Spontaneous magic is child's magic. (Vae, in this regard, is a cosmic terror of a child.) You don't need to spend hours taking a spell out of a box and sticking it to yourself to be able to work magic: you can just tug on the relevant gods and throw a bunch of cley at them and hope something vaguely like what you want works. If you're moderate in your needs, adequate in your skills, and careful in your casting, it often does. If not, not so often. And even for experts it still goes wrong occasionally, and a great number of people who die in childhood are killed in spontaneous magic mishaps. I haven't sponted a spell in a decade, which is fine.

There are more obscure styles of magic. Spellbinding is hardly obscure anymore: it's the art of caging a spell in a stick or something, so that the spell goes off when the stick is broken. Or a myriad variations on that. Very useful indeed. Ritual magic is almost the opposite: an insanely complicated, heavily layered spellcast, often with massive effects. I am adequate at ritual magic; I studied it a dozen years for the sake of one (1) ritual spell. (Actually the gods don't like ritual magic very much.) Spellweaving is like spontaneous magic, only more so: very complex, very delicate spells that take hours to cast.

Everyone thinks that my specialty is enchantment. There are a few varieties of enchantment, but I mostly work in Greater Enchantment: concocting fancy spells as integral parts of devices, to that the spells can be cast without cley, an unlimited number of times. (OK, they're usually limited to a few times a day, but the devices last indefinitely.) One can do a great deal with enchantment: the city walls which can keep even Vae out are enchanted, for one useful example, and skyboats like the Strayway are piled with enchantments too. They can be quite practical. I am writing this with an enchanted pen that I made in school: a very simple bit of magic, but I still use it a dozen decades later. My very first one, a pitcher that pours out fourteen gallons of real water once a day, is still at use in the kitchen.

And everyone is right about my speciality. My specialty is enchantment. I am supporting Castle Wrong and Strayway and everything by making and selling a few devices a year. A single talisman paid for all of Castle Wrong, four large homes and their grounds, plus refurbishing them and furnishing them and more. (A while ago, the duke protected himself by various bound spells. A rival used Magiador tricks to neutralize them, and managed to get away with the duke's diary, much to the ducal humiliation. Now he protects all his bound spells with my talisman, and it would take a mighty wizard indeed to neutralize them with Magiador tricks. Or someone equipped with a counter-talisman that I have not made yet, but might, if Vheshrame politics called for it.)

Enchantments take a long time to make, even for me; I am busy for some time each morning working them. I keep pretending that I will stop while I'm on vacation, but the habits of a dozen decades are not so easy to break. I am loading my whole workshop into Strayway. Besides, I have an excellent trick here, which I might explain sometime.

But everyone is also wrong about my speciality. My speciality is needlework.

Specifically, the making of enchanted clothing.

Which leads inevitably, if long-windedly and obliquely, to the notion of indirect tourism.

(An apology for that. It has become clear that many people reading this are not primes -- if I use the word "monster" for you, please remember that "monster" and "non-prime" are essentially synonyms in my language -- and are unfamiliar with the peoples, gods, sorceries, silverware, and so on of the World Tree. So I am trying to explain more. Never fear! I will run out of topics sooner or later.)

Livery

The entire crew of Strayway will be wearing livery. At least, when people are working, they will wear it. When they are not, they can wear whatever they wish. But all the Cani will wear it generally, and Kantele and I as well, so I daresay people will wear it most of the time. Besides, it's sharper clothing than most of the crew have otherwise.

Insignia: The crew voted to take something imposing, something that says "We are the entourage of a Zi Ri wizard, so beware!". Thus: a shield-shape (for Hren Tzen, the Zi Ri creator god), with a bas-relief (sculpture, for Tenmen, the Durudor god and god of smiths) of a heraldic Zi Ri (for me) with a crest of blue feathers (for me) holding a book (for Iraz Varuun, goddess of Magiador and thus of wizards). Anyone who can read the iconography will either be impressed, or, more likely, be so educated as to be blase about the whole thing. For best effect, the insignia medallion will be made of brass and have sapphire-chip feathers, to say, "... who is so insanely rich and powerful that zie can waste metal on a mere belt buckle." (I suppose I was going to buy the create-brass spell at some point anyways, I suppose, but I had put it off a few decades.) Everyone gets one of these. Most insignia will be made of goldy-colored Sir Glass.

(Sir Glass being glass that has been "knighted" by a Sustenoc Durudor spell and is quite hard to break.)

Hat: Hats are essential. Dark blue-green, more blue than green, felt hats, short-brimmed, short and flat-topped, with a band of golden ribbon shot through with real gold wire, and a blue feather that -- despite many assertions to the contrary and at least one attempt by Inconnu to pull one out -- does not come from my wings. The ribbon is alight with small golden flames. Obviously-illusory golden flames, we don't want to alarm anyone, but quite visible and smellable nonetheless. Scented very faintly with arcthorieth incense, scathnard incense, and hot yulexion metal, to match the gods of the insignia; but not too much, which would be cloying. The Strayway insignia -- either the insanely expensive brass version, or the far cheaper ivory and glass one -- may grace the center of the hat. And by "grace" I mean "embarrass me every time I see it."

Vest and Sash: The same shade as the hat, of course, and plentifully supplied with shining gold-rimmed glass buttons. The skirt of the vest is fairly low, below the tailbase in bipeds. A golden sash, rather like the hat-ribbon, loops around the vest -- but it's part of the vest, because there was general objection to wearing separate sashes. (The Orren were uniformly sure they'd snag on things during Wild Rushes.) The sash has a scaly or feathery pattern on it, and the scales or feathers flow around the wearer, upwards over the chest and downwards on the back. The vest has two side pockets, and three inside pockets which are harder to pick and have been expanded by Locador spells. Those who cannot wear a vest wear similar ribbons. (Note to self: I need to sew a pocket in a ribbon and put way too much Locador in it, so I actually have a pocket for the first time ever.)

Caftan: A crisp white short caftan with modest lace at the collar, wrists, and waist. The caftan comes to the knees. Under the sash, it looks rather like a white shirt plus short skirt. It is tailored fairly close to the body. It is slit from mid-back to hemline for the tail. Those who cannot wear a caftan, don't.

Belt: A belt of chimeront leather, dyed in tight speckles of blue and green -- matching the hat and vest where they overlap, but visible individually in places, and altogether white in places. A brass buckle, optionally topped with an ivory copy of the ship's insignia, renders the belt insanely expensive too. I can replace the brass at the cost of a cley, but not the chimeront leather. Pouches of matching leather with matching buttons will be worn by people large enough to wear them.

Tights: There has been considerable debate, but we have decided, tentatively, on very dark blue-green (nearly black) tights, with decorative knee-buttons matching the vest, and stripes of gold ribbon down the sides of the legs. I refuse to spend magic on these ribbons until it is certain that we will keep the tights, or what. I can't wear tights in any case, so they are optional for everyone.

Slippers / Boots: Slippers or boots, of leather that ought to have matched the blue-green we used elsewhere, except the dye lots didn't, so they're just a shade off. (Grinwipey says they did, the horse leather just absorbed the dye differently than cloth or chimeront leather did.) At some point I'm going to do something about that, some day when I'm feeling exceedingly precise and don't mind collecting everyone's footgear for a few hours. The same buttons as elsewhere.

Eyes: Those who wish to change the color of their eyes are encouraged to choose shiny gold. I am doing so, but, due to a belated streak of conservatism, only the pupils.

Indirect Tourism

I was lavishing money on the silly insignias anyways. And enchantment doesn't actually cost me very much, unless it's getting in the way of orders, and I don't have (or want) enough orders to keep me busy all the time anyways. So seven of the insignias are a present for Vae. A crucial sort of present, as they will keep her happy on the trip without requiring anyone to commit a crime deserving of multiple execution.

Seven of the insignia are sense-linked. Anyone wearing one of them and knowing the proper controls can scry on any of the other insignia. They provide: sight, hearing, smell, taste (if you dip the insignia into something -- silly, but magically convenient), magic sense, and two of Vae's cryptic senses that I can't understand or perceive myself but can transmit via an Illusidor scrying spell.

Oh, and the wearers can speak to and caress each other remotely, as well. The former is obviously quite important. The latter was largely accidental, but I'm sure someone will make use of it.

So: Vae can wear one. (I, of course, will wear another.) The other five will be on assorted volunteers from the crew, who will be given extra hazard wages for the day and required to go enjoy the cities we visit with them.

So Vae gets to experience the cities of Srineia. Indirectly, to be sure, but far more than a monster is generally able to experience a prime city.

I'm reasonably sure that these devices are legal, even if a nendrai is using one. The nendrai didn't make them, after all; I did. But I did place five courses of Opacity on them. Most people won't even be able to tell that they're magical. Just in case, really.

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