Sythyry (sythyry) wrote,

A Regrettably Technical Digression In The Art of Spellbreaking [22 Nivvem 4385]

Mirrored from Sythyry.

The Exhortation

Me: “Why in Hren Tzen’s name couldn’t Nanggi-Zi just work out an immortality talisman like everywiz else?”

Wingsa: “I take it you have not looked at her in detail?”

Me: “My medical training, while intensive and extensive and just-plain-tensive, is a bit low on corpse-curing. Especially when the subject has been mummified for years.”

Wingsa: “No — the wizard’s mind and spirit in the prince’s body.”

So I did. Excellent explanation! Nanggi-Zi’s Corpador branch is hideously deformed. I doubt she can cast a simple contraception spell without risking giving herself a second head. An immortality spell would be too exciting for words. Even for some of my favorite words, like “doom”.

Me: “So, those rumors about offending Kvarse are true?”

Wingsa: “I don’t much know and I don’t much care. The effect is the same.”

The Argument

Wingsa, Phaniet, Me: argue! argue, discuss, dispute, dissect… and argue!

Phaniet: “This is getting silly. Does Nanggi-Zi have any notes?”

Well, of course she did. They were written in code or cypher, though.

Me: “Aieee! I know nothing of breaking codes!”

Phaniet: “I have worked on it for two hours, and gotten precisely nothing.”

Wingsa: “Attempting to break a wizard’s code is an exercise in futility! She is brilliant and smart and clever! She will not devise a key which can be broken!”

Jagraton: “This trio of wooden disks that I found near the bookshelf, mounted so that the inner two can swivel or can be locked in place, with common words in Hanjan and the alphabet written on one scale, some perplexing numbers on the second, and the strange marks of the wizard’s code on the third — could it be anything important?”

Me: “Some silly magical tool.”

Phaniet: “Oh, that must be the encoder.” She poked at it for a few minutes, and we could read whatever of Nanggi-Zi’s notes we liked.

Me: “Well-done, both of you!”

Wingsa: “Hmph.”

Magical Details

Then we had to explain to Prince Rastomil and Lady Noshi.

Me: “The mind-swapping spell is fancy ritual magic.” I explained a little bit more.

Rastomil: “While I am sure that, in a certain mood, I would be quite fascinated by the technical details — and I might even understand them! — for today, I would be rather more interested in learning how soon I might get back to my proper body.”

Me: “Well, that’s a hard one. We could simply break the spell.”

Rastomil: “I seem to recall having requested some such service, did I not?”

Me: “Alas! If we did it, your body would be over there, and your mind and spirit over there, misconnected, causing a substantial risk of psychic disunity.”

Rastomil: “I am already having psychic disunity!”

Me: “Not like this. This one means you’d die.”

Rastomil: “Ah! I have a wonderful Heal the Awful Wound!”

Me: “Unfortunately, that only works on bodily wounds. A Spirit Reunion might work here, with supreme good fortune.”

Rastomil: “How supreme must this good fortune be?”

Me: “About like leaping off the edge of the world-branch, falling hundreds of miles tumbled about by whirling winds, and crashing into a heap in front of someone on the branch below — someone who is not only able to heal you, but is your one true love of all time.”

Rastomil: “I think I’m on my third ‘one true love of all time’, and all three experiences have been so dreadful that I think I will not risk this one.”

Me: “A wise choice.”

Rastomil: “So, breaking the spell leaves me dead. Not breaking it leaves me a bit Noshi, and, while I do appreciate her body, I would find it awkwards to always be wishing a snack.”

Noshi: “What?”

Rastomil: “Simply a pun, and one that only works in the dialect of Barency.”

Me: “You have the outlines of the problem right.”

Rastomil: “Well … what do we do?”

Me: “Cast the spell again, I think, to put you back in your original bodies.”

Rastomil: “Cast away! I am prepared!”

Me: “Unfortunately there are several problems … do you remember how the spell was cast in the first place?”

Rastomil: “I seem to remember something about a multi-hour mind-rape, yes.”

Me: “Well, that’s part of the casting.”

Rastomil: “Hah! I knew it! Sythyry, wrongest of all the wrongfolk, this is nothing but an elaborate ploy for you to get in my trousers! Well, in Lady Noshi’s trousers, at least, but my mind is the mind dropping them.”

Me: “Well, that brings us to the second problem. I don’t want to swap your body and mine, I want to swap yours around.”

Noshi: “So I would have to endure his embraces again?”

Me: “That is how it works, I’m afraid. The two people being exchanged must be engaged thuswise for the duration of the ritual-cast. Which, from your story, is hours.”

Rastomil: “If I must screw, screw I must. (Why is it that everyone is determined to involve me in carnal congress these days, but, when I am lucky, they want to involve me with someone other than themselves?) Can we at least keep the wizard unconscious for the duration of the act? Bad enough that I have to be intimate with myself — I mean her — but I’d rather that she didn’t get to enjoy it, anyhow.”

Me: “And that’s the next problem. The ritual isn’t written for exchanging any two people, just the caster and someone else.”

Rastomil: “We’re back to you doing me! I knew I wasn’t going to get back to Barency with my Zi-Virginity intact.”

Me: “Well, no. I’m not going to be doing that. For one thing, my keeper would be quite upset. I’ve had plenty of trouble from breaking the tofyof laws here, and plenty of broken bones too.”

Phaniet: “Boss, you’re being silly. Arfaen doesn’t care about that. Your keeper is the biggest slut on board.”

Me: “She is not, that’s Inconnu.”

Rastomil: “Leaving aside that particular badge of honor, who will perform the ritual?”

Me: “The actual question is, who can perform the ritual?”

Rastomil: “Then let us assume that question asked: who can perform the ritual?”

Me: “Currently, nobody.”

Phaniet: “Except for Nanggi-Zi, of course.”

Me: “Whom we do not trust to do it properly.”

Rastomil: “I would not trust her either, actually, somehow. So, taking her away, that leaves … nobody. Why nobody?”

Me: “Well, one needs to be good at both Mentador and Ritual Magic. I’m not. Wingsa says zie’s not, and huffs with considerable indignation when the possibility of assisting is mentioned.”

Rastomil: “What, helping the disreputable foreign prince and wizard is so bad?”

Me: “Being known as good at Mentador is so bad.”

Rastomil: “Well, then, what am I to do? Given that the only choices are (1) death or (2) remaining in this body, since healing me is a great crime and humiliation.”

Me: “Actually no. Did you meet Saza? You and zie overlapped on board for a bit.”

Rastomil: “The other Zi Ri? We exchanged a few words.”

Me: “Zie is a karcist, and already has a bit of a bad reputation for Mentador magic. I believe zie could be induced to modify the ritual to cast it on two people neither of whom is the ritualist. And fixing Mentador-caused troubles is one of the few legitimate uses for Mentador; I daresay zie’d be quite happy.”

Rastomil: “I approve of this course of action! Seeing, in particular, that there are few alternatives short of death or dishonor.”

Other Considerations

(And of course Saza is constantly poor, and we should be able to coerce at least one of the two cities involved to pay a respectable sum for the work involved. Plus, of course, I get to have Saza around for a while while zie’s trying to invent the spell.)

(How zie feels when zie learns I’ve gotten legally attached to Arfaen remains to be seen.)

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