Back out on the street, the boy hadn’t even told me his name before disappearing. The sky had darkened considerably. Street lights were just starting to turn on. I must have spent more time in there than I thought. I did my best to work out what had happened in there. I had seen a mage that had survived the breaking of the nobles service as well as saved this very town and had a unique gift for reading talents, which I had never heard of besides a mage medi-table. I had been handed an enchanted item that seemed to place knowledge directly into my head, also beyond my learning. I really needed to spend some more time on enchant theory, I didn’t really know how most of this stuff worked. With a flash of insight I realised, that it wasn’t that different to how we implanted skills in golems or programmed certain systems. I just had never thought that it worked on living minds. Why, I had never realised was beyond me, other than the fact thinking wasn’t how we were trained. At least early on. Thought wasn’t encouraged, mainly because it upset our emotional control. Which in turn affected our intellectual control of our power. One of those vicious cycle things, in young men. I was different than most of the others I had trained with. Insight was my gift as such. Connections and flexible casting. Which explained my earlier success with wild enchantment. I wasn’t great at such structured castings. Enchantments were a chore for me. But seeing such a wonderful idea made me think I should try harder with them. Once again I was thinking as I was walking. This was becoming a problem. Hence why I bumped into a man I hadn’t even seen. He was under thirty, deep set black eyes to match his dark hair that was somewhere between black and brown. not much shorter than me. His scowl made him look older. His robe was only slightly rumpled
“Mage! What are you playing at? I’m doing Vesics work!” he roared at me. His voice was smooth and easy to listen to despite the anger in it.
“I’m sorry I didn’t see you there,” I replied apology completely absent from my tone. His anger annoyed me.
“How could you not see me? In other sight, I have my gods hand on me. Even you blind mages should be able to feel me,” he said with a superior edge. A smug look all over his face. I wanted to hit him right there and then. Being looked down on is never fun. I had very little experience of it.
“Well I couldn’t feel your god. Are you sure you’re not delusional?” I asked irritation making me bold.
“I’m not delusional,” he spluttered. The feeling of power rose up in him.
“Anyways, have a nice day,” I said and continued on my walk.
“I’m not finished with you,” he shouted.
I could feel a tingle of power welling up in him, a brief glimpse in other sight showed a slight trickle flowing out of him, but a torrent flowing back from the magic. This was very strange. I had never seen anything like it. Even the fire surge hadn’t been like this. I turned to face him.
“What are you doing? I asked curiously.
“You will see,” he smirked at me, his eyes blazed almost like a full mage. His face was slowly changing, twisting, his features seemed to shift. As if a mask was dissolving. The change was startling.
“You!” he shouted at me. Even his voice had changed, it sounded like two voices at once. A deep strong one and his normal voice as an echo. “How dare you insult my vessel! I am Vesic, lord of flames. and you shall pay for your temerity!”he thundered. Flickers of flame appeared around his form.
There was a rising sense of heat in my mind. A compulsion to bow down to this being was trying to force me to my knees. Pushing through that took a lot of strength of will, but the academy had given me a lot of that. Doing my best not to show the strain I answered him calmly
“I mean no offence, but a god, really? You don’t feel like a god. You feel like an elemental.” I asked confident in the defence of my shield if it came to a fight.
“I am a god. My vessel is, but a man. He cannot channel my full power,” he replied dismissively, but still very loudly,as if that answered the question. His face fully manifest now. A shifting weave of shimmering lights. Over his vessel’s own feature. his eyes were what told the tale.Darting glimmers of flame that shifted through every colour I had ever seen fire be, even some I hadn’t.
“I meant no offence. I did not see your vessel. He got angry before I could apologize,” I said contritely. I didn’t want to face a god even if it was just an elemental. I was in the middle of town. Avoiding casualties was my main concern. Add that to my mounting uncertainty that what I knew was accurate.
“Vessel, Is this true? Did you summon me unneeded?” Vesic said. He clearly wasn’t addressing me. The flames died down immediately.
I couldn’t hear the reply although judging by the strange things happening in other sight it confirmed what I had said. The magic seemed to just drain out of the priest in a sizable chunk, warping his link in some undefinable way. He collapsed on the paving. His face his own again. Tears streamed down it.
Once again I had no idea what to do. So I just carried on with my day as best I could. Old mages, strange enchantments and gods can really take it out of a guy.
My way back to my apartment was very quiet, except for the constant rush of people through the town. Activity was on the rise clearly.
Once home, I ran through my physio motions and thought patterns. They had been given to me by my assigned medic. Magic flowed through me in constant cycles. Cleansing the energy debris of the day from my system. There was far more than I had expected. A trace of earth from the stone guild. A large amount of fire, I assumed from the god I had bumped into. Going over to my small work desk in the corner. I took out a containment crystal. Trying to grasp the odd collection of energy, I pushed it into the crystal matrix for later study. My recovery from the foundry incident had taught me that some things couldn’t be ignored. One of them was the accumulated debris that attaches itself to a mage. I wished I’d told this at the academy. Carrying around every mark of my magical interactions can get dangerous. I’d been infected with my gnome encounter as well as my first attempts at imbuing that water device. The battle in my system had reduced my ability to fight off my exhaustion that the channelling for my shield had cause. Basically I could let the debris collect, but get enough and my powers would be warped by these outside influences.
I had spoken to Jase about it when I’d had my medical. All I had got out of him was in the early days it was how starting mages learnt new abilities by mimicking and working around these influences. I had got angry as I’d not gotten told anything about it. Which hadn’t gone well. I got strapped to the table, had the medical torture as normal and a rather chilly and uncooperative Jase to deal with. So now I had set my self rules. I would cleanse and store my collected energies and work out what each would be able to teach me. Then when I had free time I would work with it to add effects to my repertoire. Just thinking about some of the things that could stick to me made my skin crawl. It also made me think about some of the stories I’d heard about as a child, contaminative curses and haunted places.
In a land where the very stones could contain magic, it made sense. Horrors committed by the mages in the nobles service had left marks all over our land. I couldn’t name any though The gaps in my education were showing, I should never have been raised to mage so soon. There wasn’t much I could do about the position I was in. I owed the wizards four more years of service. My duty was to serve in any way they deemed fit. The godly taint was weird. A brief examination told me there were multi layered concepts twined around what felt like a core. I couldn’t wrap my head around it. The containment crystal shimmered quite nicely. Almost as an afterthought I placed a divider in it to keep the influences as pure as I could. I’d learnt my lesson about magical accidents. I had no desire for a meltdown in my apartments, it’s where my stuff was. I had finished my exercises and calmed myself. I prepared for bed. Too worn down to bother with folding my uniform, I just dumped it in the hamper at the foot of my bed. It should be clean and pressed by morning as the enchantment took care of that for me, with a soft command “Lights off,” the lights dimmed and I crawled into bed. I was asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow.