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Author Topic: Fu Luft / Avennorian [& Eyelian] / Wind Magician [& scribe]  (Read 7397 times)
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Fu Luft
Befuddled Spellblower
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Gender: Male
Posts: 963


Human, Avennorian/ Eyelian


« on: December 29, 2008, 06:38:11 AM »

Name: Fu Luft

Gender: Male

Age: 28

Race: Human

Tribe: ¾ Avennorian, ¼ Eyelian

Occupation: Scribe and Juggler

Title:  Befuddled Spellblower

Overview

Fu is a skilled but fallible wind magician, who ended his training prematurely, partly because of his failure to become the virtuoso mage he aspired to be. Another reason was the birth of his daughter, now two years old, for whom he would like to provide a bigger income than an eternal student of magic would be able to obtain. At present, Fu scrapes a living as a self-employed scribe  and as a sometime juggler and entertainer, but dreams of some grand and lucrative quest with which he could earn enough money to elevate his daughter out of poverty. Unfortunately, having led the life of a scholar and city dweller, Fu is woefully inexperienced and spectacularly inept at the basic skills useful on a daring adventure: he has never touched a sword, climbed a mountain, or walked long distances with a heavy load of baggage. His looks are, if anything, on the unappealing side: he is short, feeble, awkward, and appears younger than his age. Despite his disappointment in not attaining higher skills, Fu remains profoundly committed to magical knowledge and concentrated practice. When he is in tranquil mood, you may see him forming birds out of the smoke of his pipe.

Likes: birds, winged insects, music, smoke, subtle smells: anything gentle that travels through the air.
Dislikes: cats, loud noise, violence, haste.


Appearance

Height: 1 ped, 1 fore & 2 palmspans
Weight: 1 pygge
Hair Colour: black
Eye Colour: green

Physical Appearance

Fu is a small and gaunt Avennorian human male, whose head is abnormally big for his body. His skin is darker, and his height is lower than that of the average Avennorian – both traits, as well as his black hair, are partly due to an Eyelian grandfather, whom Fu is unaware of and whose heritage, by a freak of nature, has left more visible traces in Fu’s appearance than in that of his more light-skinned father. The Spell Blower’s face is round and amiable – almost moonlike. He intends to shave regularly, but sometimes forgets in weeks during which he doesn’t need to meet potential employers; the resulting sparse facial hair growth is best described as a fluff. His soft features, his awkward proportions, and his shortness may make him look younger than he actually is. To many an observer, he may appear to be in his early twenties.

Our Spell Blower moves slowly and warily through his world, having thin and feeble limbs and a sensitive constitution. While he has about average agility, Fu’s hands are distinctly dexterous. In moments of idleness, Fu may divert himself with the activity of his supple fingers. He may let two little leather balls flow around his palm and thumb, juggle with three or four of these balls, or play a little He’kehona flute. Another habitual pastime is provided by his pipe: he may use a little magic to form birds or other creatures out of its smoke.

All in all, there is little about Fu’s countenance to either scare or enchant. At first sight, he may appear to be a nervously fidgeting jester rather than the befuddled and sensitive spell caster that he is.   
         
Clothing

Taking no intrinsic interest in clothes or appearance, Fu nonetheless knows how to dress like a respectable citizen, and does so if necessary to obtain employment. He usually wears grey and brown clothing of an unassuming nature, having worked out that a scribe is most trusted when he looks respectable but humble.  For juggling performances, Fu simply dons a half red, half green vest over his usual shirt, and otherwise relies on his skills to attract people’s attention. For rough weather, Fu also owns a long grey cloak that reaches down to his ankles. He usually wears short leather boots.  The Spell Blower’s two accessories of note are (1) a flat green-blue hat that is usually adorned with three or four corbie feathers, and which does nothing to de-emphasize the odd roundness of his face; (2) an unadorned brass locket worn round the neck on a piece of leather string, which contains a lock of his daughter’s hair.

Personality

Fu chiefly cares about two things: the magical manipulation of wind, and his daughter Bronya.

His deep commitment to magic means that he is accustomed to spending a substantial part of most days practicing it. He is not precious about his skill: life has taught him that ordinary folk may be simultaneously awestruck by, superstitious about, and suspicious of wizards – but that their everyday concerns are rarely touched by the arcane studies of the magical scholar. Thus, Fu has gone past the stage where he delighted in showing off his abilities. Instead, Fu is acutely aware of the inadequacy of magic in the face of a material interest: the welfare of his daughter Bronya.

Bronya is the offspring of Fu’s liaison with a prostitute, Sillis. While Fu was once in love with Sillis, he has now accepted her rejection of him. The two parents remain in contact for the sake of Bronya, who is at present two years old and lives with her mother in  the Outer City of Ximax. Fu used to visit the pair regularly as long as he resided in Ximax, and gave them all the money he could spare. Now that he has left the magical city, he thinks often of Bronya’ fate. Fu is heart-stricken when contemplating Bronya’s life in a disreputable part of town, and the expectation that his daughter and her mother will be poor for the rest of their lives. He dreams of finding some way to make a fortune and take Sillis and Bronya away to some town unbeknownst to them all to start a new life.

Although, for the sake of his daughter, Fu is keen to make money and elevate Sillis and Bronya out of their current situation, he has little interest in social status or excessive riches for their own sake. While he knows how to dress and behave in a way that may get him work as a scribe, he doesn’t judge other people by their rank in the social order. Only half conscious to himself, Fu is rather open to new experiences and new people – a trait that he has acquired during his childhood life with a travelling circus, where he encountered all manners of folk and their customs (see History).

In dealing with other people, Fu’s manners may seem an odd mixture of formality and folkways. From his teachers, he learned to converse in the formal speech used among scholars of magic; but Fu’s childhood was spent travelling through small villages and towns with a band of circus artists, and he at times switches into a more jovial and unceremonious style of conversation. Being naturally shy and modest, Fu may assume formality as a way of displaying courtesy and respectful discretion, which may make him appear aloof to some of the more rough-and-ready inhabitants of Caelereth. When he feels more comfortable, however, Fu sometimes lapses back into a kind-of Darian dialect (ye see, master reader, that’ll be the tongue that them farmer folk in Manthria and thereabouts are chattin’, for it’s yonder that his old man and his old woman were hailin’ from, afore they began a-travellin’ around with that circus of theirs), although he is careful to avoid a slip when trying to appear respectable vis-à-vis an Avennorian.

Within Fu’s soul melancholy, innocuous fun and sobriety dance around - sometimes in harmony, sometimes getting in one another's way. His melancholy stems from the tragic events in his life – the deaths of his mother, sister and father – as well as from Sillis’ rejection of him, and Sillis’ and Bronya’s poverty. The playful way with which he manipulates his juggling balls and his pipe smoke reveals a light-hearted side, which mostly comes out when the day’s work is done. Sobriety is needed by those working with the power of their will, and thus essential for any magician. In fact, it is not always clear which side Fu is revealing when he lets  a small ball formed of pipe smoke revolve around itself: is it an exercise of will power, or a carefree game? If you asked him, Fu might reply with another question: “Are you sure there’s a difference?”

Strengths

       Wind Magic (Level 3)

Fu is a wind magician who is particularly adroit at telekinesis, and at other spells that involve the  physical representation of wind magic  (up to Level 3, in the Ximaxian classification). Some of his magical abilities have the potential to be of use in fighting – such as the ability to summon a gust of wind that could brush an attacker aside. Fu has  not, however, mastered  the more offensive spells used by wind magicians (such as those involving thunderbolts). Significantly, he has rarely used magic for the purpose of fighting, and it is unclear whether he will have the cunning and sharpness of mind to make a useful decision in the event of sudden danger.

Fu's magic is hampered by being prone to fail him in unexpected moments. This is partly due to an instability of mind caused by the tragic events in his life. The profound concentration needed to impose his will on the Cár’áll may sometimes elude Fu, because of an unconscious lack of self-belief, stemming from the experience that his magic ultimately is unable to protect the people he loves. In particular, his willpower is affected  when strong emotions permeate his mind: he may not be able to work much magic when he is physically exhausted, scared, angry, injured, or in love.

       Nimble fingers

Fu’s hands are rather dexterous. His circus roots are betrayed in the ability to juggle (with up to five balls) and play the flute. When juggling, he  exudes a quirky charm, telling little stories all the while, and thus is able to make a few sans on a market square if he needs to earn the money for a meal. Otherwise, Fu uses his dexterity mainly for his own diversion.  There may be other types of occasions where they might play to his advantage, such as when he wants to gain the trust of a child or deceive people into believing that he is nothing but an innocuous jester.

       Reading and writing

Writing is another skill through which Fu puts his nimble fingers to commercial use, being able to produce documents of good quality in a beautiful hand. Nonetheless, Fu’s skill as a scribe is apt for mundane purposes only: he has not studied calligraphy.

Weaknesses
       
       Physical ineptitude: feebleness and poor constitution

Physically, Fu is neither strong nor tough; he is the opposite. Useless at fights, he can just about fend off a drunken dormouse and escape a sleeping sloth. If he had to walk in rough terrain over several days, he would get blisters on his feet, wobbly knees, and terrible muscle ache. He would struggle to climb any but the most easily climbable tree. Some of his weakness is due to lack of training and experience, of course, but it’s fair to say that Fu would not have done well as a gladiator or running messenger even with extensive schooling by the best of teachers. On a boat, he would probably get seasick. He has never sat on a horse; let’s hope for his sake that there will be someone to catch the falling lump of his body if he ever has to attempt a gallop.

        Fear of cats

A traumatic childhood event (see History) has given Fu an irrational fear and dislike of cats. Catching sight of a cat, he will try to avoid it, to the point of changing his route of travel and making detours. If a cat comes closer than about 3 peds, Fu is likely to panic: his body will stiffen, and he may cry out and try to run away. If he can’t get away from the object of his fear, he may kick at it. This behaviour is quite independent of any real threat that the cat may (or more likely, may not) pose. Under the influence of his cat phobia, Fu would be unable to concentrate enough to even begin thinking about using his magic spells. This fear applies to pet cats as well as to wildcats. Fu has never encountered larger felines such as a Milari: it is unclear how the sight of one would make him feel, but the prognosis for his composure during an encounter with such a creature is dire.

       Low social status among Avennorians

This weakness mainly applies in the province of Manthria. In the status-conscious Avennorian society, Fu’s darker than usual skin may activate the prejudices held by the fair-skinned upper class against darker-skinned people. Also, having lived his childhood among the lowest classes of Sarvonian society, and his youth and young adulthood as the servant and student of an eccentric wizard, Fu doesn’t always hit the right conversational note with upper-class Avennorians. Therefore, selling his skills as a scribe has sometimes been difficult for Fu in Manthria.

Magic

Fu has mastered Sphere I in the Ximaxian School of Wind Magic, concentrating in particular on the physical aspect of wind. His greatest talents lie in spells belonging to the Motion class of wind magic. Thus, he excels in telekinesis, the creation of wind, and the movement of smoke. In contrast, Fu is less proficient in spells of the classes Clairvoyance and Mirage.

Fu first learned his magic from his master Petronius Fragg, who himself studied at Ximax before leaving the Academy to pursue his own idiosyncratic view of magic. Fragg’s ideas about wind magic, which Fu has absorbed, are based on breath. The master wizard used to say: “Life means creating wind. Fire magicians talk about the spark of life, and that’s all right as far as it goes, but without the constant movement of wind and breath there’d be no fanning and no fire. Our magic, Fu, is merely an extension of this most ordinary of activities: breathing. What we do is to extend our breath beyond the debilitating confines of our perishable body. Wind magic means breathing not just through your windpipe and lungs, but through the whole world. If thou truly knowst this, nothing is impossible. To thee, a tornado storm should be nothing but another series of inhalations and exhalations. The purpose of thy study, however, is not the manipulation of nature, but the contemplation that we and nature are the same. We are all made of cár'áll, and when we die, our cár'áll will regroup itself and become dust, water, wind, and flame.”

Fu’s apprenticeship with Fragg represents a formative period of his life, and although his time at Ximax has led him to accept orthodox Ximaxian theory, Fragg’s legacy lives on in some of the rituals Fu uses to help him concentrate on focusing his will. These rituals all involve concentrating the mind on one’s own breath, and shall be described in detail below. They are, in themselves, in no way necessary to achieve magical effects, but they do help Fu focus his concentration when his mind is disturbed, when he is trying to cast a difficult or less familiar spell, and during the learning of new spells. The idiosyncratic rituals don’t have any advantages over other sort of rituals – they don’t help Fu to perform spells faster, and reagents such as a bird feather may help Fu’s concentration just as they help other lower-level mages.

The remainder of this section describes the seven spells in which Fu has some proficiency. They are: Telekinesis; Conjure Wind; Wind Exile; Wind walking; Insubstantial Shield; Hide; and Shape Smoke.

In harmony with his juggler roots, Fu’s proudest achievements are in the art of telekinesis. To perform Telekinesis, Fu takes a blink to concentrate, briefly and noiselessly blowing through his pursed lips. He then focuses on the property of motion of the wind oúnia in the air near the target object, and creates a jet of wind that carries the object in the desired direction. Fu can move objects up to about 3 od in weight. Small, round objects (such as a juggling ball) are simplest to move; the spell gets more difficult the larger the target object’s volume and the more complex its shape is. Thus, Fu could move a small wooden plate or a cup filled with wine; a bunch of keys would be trickier (although a single key may be achievable), while a hunting bow would be impossible. In levitation, speed and control are inversely related: the more controlled the object’s movement needs to be, the slower Fu has to proceed. (The cup of wine would need to be levitated very slowly if the wine is not to be spilled.) In general, the closer Fu is to the target object, the easier it is to perform the spell, and the longer Fu may maintain control over the object. Even at a close distance, however, Fu cannot levitate an object for longer than a minute. However, Fu is rather dexterous with this spell, and has learned to gently set down an object before his control wanes.

During a performance, Fu may combine telekinesis with his juggling skills to bizarre effect. His magic is not powerful enough to move several objects at once, or to move them sufficiently quickly to simulate the effect of juggling. However, his dexterous hands can juggle four or five balls without magical help. To startle an audience, Fu would juggle for a minute, then pretend that he lost control and let all the balls fall into his left hand – except for the red ball, which he would keep floating just above his head while looking up at it, faking a look of amazement on his face. Fu would like to be powerful enough to pretend looking around for the ball while letting it float behind his back; but he isn’t: he must maintain eye contact with the object that he is levitating.

Simpler than telekinesis is the creation of a breeze (“Conjure Wind”). Fu can increase the influence of the wind oúnia in the air, thereby overcoming the air’s inertia and causing it to move. To help him focus his will, he may exhale through his pouted lips, directing the jet of his breath toward the target area. During a juggling performance, he will sometimes let a breeze ruffle the hair of his audience for dramatic effect. Otherwise he might use this spell to cool his sweating body after an exhausting walk. Like with telekinesis, Fu has to maintain eye contact with the area in which he is creating wind.

To create a sudden and strong gust of wind shoving an opponent aside (“Wind Exile”), Fu would exhale with an A-shaped mouth (making a voiceless, gusty sound) and focus on the property of mobility of the wind oúnia in the air around the target, causing the air to move suddenly (and hopefully sufficiently strongly to help Fu in his endeavour to stay alive).

Fu has also learned the Insubstantial Shield spell, with which he can create a whirl of wind that revolves around himself in a half-globe (and large enough to include a small party of friends, should Fu have found any) and acts like a shield, slowing down or even blocking missiles (such as arrows or stones) directed at him. This spell once helped protect Fu from a mob of villagers who had disliked a juggling performance and had decided to pay him in rotten fruit and vegetables, which they threw at him. Although the Shield of wind is not strong enough to block a determined attacker moving toward Fu, the Spellblower has been able to use the spell to detract a cat from approaching him, when he saw no easy way to otherwise avoid the cat coming too close for his comfort.

The remaining four spells in Fu’s repertoire are not performed by creating wind through focus on the wind oúnia’s property of motion. Wind Walking, which enables Fu to walk on air, is achieved by strengthening the influence of the wind oúnia’s property of lightness in his own cár'áll. Fu would inhale and focus on his body becoming light. When casting the spell, it helps Fu to hold one of his corbie feathers, although unlike other low-level mages, he does not use tree resin as a reagent. Fu can walk in the air for up to 20 minutes, but only slowly. Wind Walking helps Fu, to some extent, compensate for his lack of strength and physical inexperience: it has, in the past, enabled him to overcome an awkward passage on an upward path, to cross a river, or to escape to a high branch of a tree that he otherwise could not have climbed. In Ximax, Fu has also learned to direct the spell onto another person. However, he has never performed this feat in a non-academic situation, and is conscious that to attempt it would carry considerable risk, as the spell effect depends on Fu maintaining his concentration throughout: if the spell caster gets distracted, the wind walker, be it himself or a companion, would fall from whatever height he had reached. Note also that Fu can only perform the spell on one target at once: that is, either himself or one other person.

By focusing on the wind oúnia’s property of invisibility, Fu can also make himself or a target up to the size of a tall man invisible. During his time at Ximax, Fu had come to cherish the Hide spell, since it more often than not allowed him to escape from bullies. Since the end of his student days, Fu has faced a number of dangerous situations with highwaymen and town ruffians, and has used the Hide spell as a method of self-defense. Even at the best of times, Fu cannot sustain invisibility for longer than ten minutes. Thus, he uses the spell to confuse his pursuers and to gingerly tiptoe toward a hiding place, rather than to facilitate a counter-attack.

To shape the smoke of his pipe into amusing shapes is one of Fu’s favourite pastimes. However, Fu can only do this at extremely close distance (less than half a ped), and the shapes dissolve very quickly. A more practical application is the moving of a cloud of smoke, which Fu can do to a distance of up to three ped. This might help him to air his room after a contemplative hour of smoking his pipe.

History

Fu was born in a circus wagon on a road somewhere between two villages in Manthria as the first child of his parents, who had left their peasant roots behind to become part of a troupe of jesters, troubadours and acrobats that travelled throughout Santharia and performed on town squares and in villages. Being a rather delicate and fearful child, Fu resisted his parents’ attempts to get him practicing acrobatics or fire breathing, but they did teach him to juggle and play a few tunes on the flute, so that he was able to play cameo parts in the circus performances from an early age.

Fu’s poor but hitherto not unhappy childhood took a tragic turn at the age of seven, when his mother died shortly after giving birth to a baby girl. The father, with the help from other members of the circus troupe, did his best to care for the two children. But it was generally taken to be a bad omen that Fu’s sister, when she was but one year old, was attacked by a barn cat that she had unintentionally provoked. Fu witnessed the scene, and although he was standing too far away reach the cat, he unconsciously caused a gust of wind that swept the cat away. Although he himself did not know that he had fended the cat off, his father had observed the incident and guessed that Fu was gifted with magical ability.

Unfortunately, the omen was to fulfil its bleak promise. Fu’s sister survived the cat’s attack with nothing more than a scratch on her cheek, but died a short time later from an unrelated illness. Young Fu, however, mistakenly held the cat responsible for the baby’s death, and since that time has an irrational fear and dislike of all types of cats. The source of his phobia is unknown to Fu, whose conscious mind has forgotten the cat incident – although he vividly remembers the death of his sister, as well as his own and his father’s profound grief.

When Fu was on the cusp of adolescence, his father, thinking of Fu’s action during the cat incident, recommended his son to a mage who happened to attend one of their performances. This mage was Petronius Fragg, who sensed Fu’s gift and agreed to take him on as a servant, and as a student. Fragg, who due to his idiosyncratic teachings was a renegade in the eyes of the Ximaxians, was eager to find a willing and talented pupil to whom he could pass on his theories. Thus Fu left the circus troupe and his father to live with Fragg in his hut near the Manthrian town of Marcogg, and became the sorcerer’s apprentice.

 The four years that followed were the happiest in Fu’s life so far. He was Fragg’s only servant and only student. His master started by teaching the young Fu to read and write, introducing his pupil to a new world of knowledge, and elevating him above his lower-class origins. After a year, Fragg commenced to teach the theory and practice of wind magic, as he saw them, to Fu. This required a harsh mental discipline, but Fu enjoyed the atmosphere of concentration and the promise of great insight that was to be gained. Fu was an eager and talented student, and despite having only the eccentric Fragg for a teacher, attained the first level of Wind Magic in a little over three years (taking only half as much again for this achievement as the faster Ximax students do). The young apprentice could think of no place he would rather like to be than with Fragg, even though he missed his father’s company and thought of him often. On quiet nights, he would take out a small He’kehona flute that his father had given him on their parting, and played the simple folk tunes he had learned as a child.

Fu’s happy apprenticeship was destined to be ended by yet another loss. Master Fragg had long suffered from a mild case of Strangler’s Disease, which the mage didn’t take particularly seriously, but which was to prove his undoing. It was the first evening of Fu’s initiation into the art of Touching the Cár'áll, in other words, into the second level of wind magic. To demonstrate the possibilities this would open to Fu, the master lit a pipe and proceeded to form its smoke into a massive cloud that filled their little study. Both master and student started to cough, but the enthusiastic Fragg continued to elaborate on the principles underlying this spell. At that moment, a band of four armed burglars entered the magician’s cottage, and tried to cease the moment of poor visibility to overpower the mages. Fragg killed three of them on the spot with a Static Bolt spell, but got wrestled down by the forth. Fu joined the melee, and although both mages were injured by the criminal’s knife, between them they managed to drive out the intruder, who had lost courage when he realized that his companions were dead. Fragg, bleeding from his stab wound, collapsed to the ground, wheezing with an attack of the chokes typical for severe Strangler’s Disease. Fu managed to conjure a wind to drive the smoke away from the prostrate figure of his master, before he proceeded to carry him outside into the night air. But weakened by his injury, and due to the prolonged exposure to the smoke, Fragg’s chokes did not abate, and the master mage died of suffocation. 

It took Fu a few weeks to arrange the funeral, notify Fragg’s relatives of his master’s death, and hand over Fragg’s possessions. Then, bereft of his master, in possession of a small inheritance the kindly Fragg has provided him with, and unwilling to give up the promising start he had made as a wizard, Fu decided to make his way to the magical city of Ximax, and try to gain acceptance at the magical academy. Fu was accepted by the School of Wind Magic, and commenced his studies in the Tower of the Skies. 

At Ximax, Fu continued to apply himself to his studies with enthusiasm and commitment, although his life there was more difficult than it had been with the fatherly Fragg. For one thing, Fu did not at all enjoy the company of the ubiquitous Ximax cats. His aversion to these well-loved inhabitants of the Academy not only inhibited his concentration when trying to practice his magic, but also restricted his social life, as many of his fellow students and teachers insisted on keeping one or several of these (in Fu’s eyes) bothersome beasts. Fu was teased and even bullied over his cat phobia, and was unable to form any friendship close enough to support him when destiny decided to deliver its next blow.

Before that blow came, Fu spent nine years at Ximax. By his late master Fragg, he had been introduced to a few rather idiosyncratic techniques for focusing the mind in order to summon the willpower to cast a spell: namely, concentrating on his own breath. His new teachers did not discourage this method, as long as Fu demonstrated sound theoretical understanding and practical success. Despite being troubled by lapses of concentration (in particular in the presence of a Ximax cat), Fu became a master of the Sphere I in the Motion School of Wind Magic, focusing in particular on Telekinesis and spells involving the movement of wind. (His fellow students teased that he had remained a juggler at heart.)

Apart from his magical achievements, Fu also gained some experience in fending for himself. As he had to find means to support himself during his studies, he took up commissions as a scribe from citizens of Ximax’s Outer City. Driven by curiosity, Fu also ventured into the poorer and less reputable districts of town, on occasion earning a few Su with his juggling tricks. It was here that Fu found people who genuinely appeared to like him: namely, the street urchins who loved his performances, and the innkeeper who allowed him to entertain his guests. During these excursions into lower-class life, Fu was acutely conscious of the privileged position he now enjoyed as a literate scholar, relative both to most of the inhabitants of Santharia, and to his own family roots.

When Fu was 25 years old, a friend of his father arrived at Ximax with the news that the father had died a few months before. To add terror to grief, the death was caused by the claws and teeth of a Lingradau cat, a fact that the well-meaning messenger would have hidden from Fu, had he guessed the effect it would have on the young wizard. Fu’s unconscious nightmare – a deadly cat – had become horrible reality. This news triggered a major crisis in Fu’s life: he started believing that magic was of no use, unconsciously blaming himself for studying a skill that is useless to defend his loved ones while they are devoured, one by one, by ferocious cats. His cat phobia became more severe. He lost confidence and even interest in magic, and began to yearn for the comfort that a family (or the thought of one) brings.

Fu began to extend the errands into Ximax’s less reputable quarters, half-consciously hoping that he would meet a person it was worth living for. His shyness and unattractiveness, however, stacked the odds against him in his search for love. On the occasion of an aimless walk through a particularly shady part of town, he was solicited by the prostitute Sillis. Fu became her regular customer and soon fell in love with her. The love was unrequited, but the asymmetric relationship continued and resulted in the birth of a daughter, Bronya. Let us ask Sillis, Bronya’s mother, for a portrait of Fu during this time; if she was inclined to speak to us, she would tell us this:

“Fu? Yeah, he’s Bronya’s dad all right, I knows it. She’s got that stubby nose of his, poor darling. Anyways, I hope she ain’t gonna be as daft as him. Some of me chums get their skirts in a twist thinking about a posh gentleman customer taking them away to live in those fancy houses of theirs, but I knows what those rogues are like. They come, have their fun, and then they go. And you sits there spending half your money on the herbs to keep you thin, if you know what I mean. Anyways, with Fu, this once I wasn’t careful. Cause I thinks to meself: doesn’t look like he has the juice of the father in him. So there you go. Anyways, Fu was sweet in the beginning. When he first come, I likes him. Although he were a nuisance, really – always wanted to stay on after and chat. Even started talking of love. So I ends up throwing him out. But him, he always come back. When my belly swells up, I curses and curses, but Fu the idiot was happy. I ain’t blaming him, really – Bronya’s such a sweet little child. Anyways, Fu paid for the midwife, and he brings us money ever so often, but I ain’t going to stick with him, no Sir. I’m better off making sure I can make enough money on me own. Fu dreams of finding a treasure or something and leaving town and live as a family, but I ain’t having none of it, no Sir, cause he ain’t gonna pull that off, no way. Not him. Look at him. He’s a laugh all right, showed me he can make me ball of wool hover in the air, but I know a real man when I see one, and I tell ya, Fu ain’t got the sense to cut the whiskers off a sleeping cat. Would you believe it, he runs off when he even sees a cat!”

 Fu’s commitment to magic waned, and his teachers in Ximax noticed their student’s prolonged absences, as he frequently visited what he thought of as his family, and also tried to earn money to provide for them. When his superiors took him to task, and Fu confessed that he had fathered a daughter, one sage advised him: “Do forget the wench. Many a fine mage lost his way in the pursuit of base passions. Do not lose thine through indulgence in maudlin daydreams. Consider yourself fortunate that the harlot knows her place and is resigned to her fate. Do you know how many students and colleagues in Ximax have spawned some brat somewhere with some lass? The prudent ones just pay them off and never lose a word about the sordid tale. ‘Tis what thou shouldst do also. Here, have thee two copperbards. Give these to her. That’s a handsome sum for her kind, and she’d be a fool indeed if she’d expect more. Thou hast studied for nine years, Fu. Thou wouldst waste those years if thou shouldst stray from your path. Thou canst be a master, Fu. Love is mortal, and its lifespan is short. The Cár’áll never perishes, and thou canst reach no higher than to study it and use it.”

Fu considered his master’s words, but his love for, and sense of duty to, the little girl prevailed. He could not agree to discontinue his visits to Sillis and Bronya. The disagreement between masters and student affected their relationship, and consequently their work. Fu’s lapses of concentration became more frequent; his masters’ sense of disappointment grew. Eventually, it became clear that Fu was not progressing on the way toward mastery of Level 4, and was advised to leave the academy, with the option of returning if he could overcome what his teachers thought of as a weakness. 

For the next twelve months, Fu lived and worked in Ximax’s Outer City as a scribe, trying to provide for himself as well as for Sillis and Bronya. However, Fu’s reputation suffered as it became known that he was a failed student of the Academy, and a frequent visitor to a bordello. Thus, he could not make enough money to fulfil his dream: to elevate Bronya and Sillis out of poverty and start a new life somewhere. As her statement above suggests, Sillis regarded Fu (not unjustly, we may find) as a bit of a fool, and although she gratefully took the money he gave her, she never relied solely on him for her income.

With his masters having lost trust in him, and his hopes of a family crushed, Fu became melancholic and phlegmatic. Eventually, he took heart and decided to leave Ximax to try his luck elsewhere. In the 12 months since, Fu has lived in a variety of places in Manthria and other provinces in middle and southern Santharia – revisiting some of the places that his parents’ troupe used to travel through all those years ago. In this time, he has not improved as a magician, but has kept up his skills through committed daily practice. Fu hopes that somehow, somewhere he will find the opportunity to make a large sum of money. Work as a scribe will not bring in a fortune – and as he can’t wield a weapon, he figures that his magical skills will need to be the key to acquiring it. Mindful of this, Fu thinks, the first time in his life, about his gift as something that he could use as a means to an end, rather than for pure study and contemplation. He has seen Bronya and Sillis only once in the last year. Maybe foolishly, he hopes that the next time he visits them he will be able to bring along a pleasant surprise. Most nights, before he goes to sleep, Fu will whisper to himself the response that he wished he could have said out loud when his master advised him to forget Bronya and Sillis: “Ay, master, ye’re right: love is mortal. That’s why ye must be carin’ for it, like ye’d be carin’ for a child.”

Belongings

 - flat green-blue hat with four corbie feathers sticking out from it (Fu may use the feathers in magical rituals);
 - Brass locket with lock of hair from Bronya, Fu’s daughter;
 - a plain staff made out of the branch of an Ashwude Tree, which Fu uses to aid him in walking about, and occasionally presents to country folk as ‘proof’ that he really is a wizard (in fact, the staff has no significance for Fu’s magic);
- A leather knapsack for storing all kinds of provisions and purchases; it routinely contains:
       o nine small leather juggling balls, each of a different colour: the seven colours of the rainbow, and black and white;
       o  a half red, half green vest (a simple costume for juggling performances);
       o a pouch with a small quantity of ground nightshade root;
       o a He’kehona flute (a present from his late father, who unbeknownst to Fu, had in turn inherited it from his own, Eyelian, father);
       o a pipe and a second pouch, filled with ordinary pipe moss;
       o yet another pouch, containing a few coins if the Spell Blower is lucky.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2009, 01:37:29 AM by Fu Luft » Logged

Eléyr Fásamár
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Elf ~ Kaýrrhem


« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2008, 11:30:41 AM »

The magic is correct in some regards, and not quite on the mark in others, but a promising start in general. You are correct when you say that he does his magic as an extension of his will, but you need to add a bit more to demonstrate understanding of the magic system. I do like the idea that wind magic is simply manipulating the 'breath of the earth' as a concept and a creative idea, but I'm not sure how that teaching will fit into the Ximaxian magic system.

Essentially, Ximaxian mages perform their spells by influencing the (in this case, wind) ounia in their target's car'all. For a Sphere I mage (which is currently what you would have to be) they do this by altering the 'amount' of certain properties of wind that the ounia exert. For example transparency is a property of wind, so if the mage influenced the ounia to exert that property more strongly, the target would become more clear. A Wind Mage would create wind by simply increasing the influence of all of winds properties.

Although movement of ounia does not come into play until Sphere II (which is currently unaccesible to new players  Undecided), a wind mage can still control the direction of wind through sheer force of will. Telekinesis may be difficult for him to master therefore without access to Sphere II, but if he practiced it regularly, he could get good at manipulating objects, however he would be limited to only one at a time, and could move the object more in general directions, rather than having precision in where it went. I'm not sure moving a key around into a lock and turning it would be possible with Sphere I, however, I think simply moving the lock without the key would be more probable. ;)

So, if you can get the above mentioned principles to fit into your scheme of seeing magic as 'breathing' sort of, then I would be fine with your character using that as an analogy to help him learn. The only suggestion I would have would be to maybe have him use his breath as something to 'focus' on, as often mages can have an object to center their thoughts around in order to keep their mind from straying. Good luck with your character, and I hope together we can endeavor to create a well-written and theoretically accurate mage.

Some Useful Magic Links
Magic Guide
Properties Discussion
Ounia Explanation by Lady Rayne
Car'all Entry

Some Other Wind Mages
Aelona - This one's my latest project, and isn't quite finished yet, but last I remembered her magic section was considered to be correct. I know it's long, but it shows some of the more complicated things one can obtain with magic.
Elspeth - Written by one of our magic experts around here
Azhira - Also very knowledgable about magic (We've had plenty of discussion regarding it :D)
Menweh - A first time mage, good example of such. :)

Hope I haven't given you too much to look at, but magic is very complicated here. If you have any questions or confusion, do not hesitate to ask me or anyone else who seems to know a fair amount about magic, as I'm sure we'll be happy to help. grin

Sincerely,
Eléyr Fásamár
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Those who say only Insanity can bring true relaxation...
Have clearly never hired a Mindsmoother!

Eléyr's CD ~¤•¤~ Character Creation ~¤•¤~ Restrictions ~¤•¤~ CD Etiquette
Fu Luft
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Human, Avennorian/ Eyelian


« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2008, 09:26:49 AM »

Dear Eléyr,

Thank you so much for your swift and kind comments. All the links you sent were very useful (although I admit I haven't followed the developers' discussions very far). I am particularly grateful for the links to existing wind magicians. I had been looking for examples to help me develop my character, but hadn't found them in the dense forest of the Approved Characters Archive. The four wind mage's stories were a joy to read. I couldn't help notice that they are all women - does this say something about wind magic, or is it a coincidence?

Anyway, I have substantially revised the 'magic' section of my CD draft, trying to integrate Fu's master's ideas about breath into established Ximaxian doctrine, as you suggested. I think of the focus on breathing  merely as an alternative spell casting ritual - an oddness that fits into Fu's rather ethereal, sensitive character.

I have also endeavoured to make Fu's telekinesis skills more realistic for a Sphere I wizard; that is, I have reduced them considerably (no magical juggling, no key floating into the keyhole -- anyway, Fu is not a burglar).

Changes are marked in red (although I've left some minor changes unmarked, namely those in the non-magic-related parts of the CD, as they have not been commented on so far and I thought extra colours would merely confuse).

Well, thanks again, and I'm looking forward to learn how much closer I have come to understanding magic in Caelareth.

All best,

Fu

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Rookie Brownbark
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Brownie, Llaoihrr


« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2009, 12:56:24 AM »

Hiya Fu, I'm Rookie and can I say it's a pleasure to meet someone so polite and well-spoken!  Welcome to Santharia.  I shall be commenting on the non-magical bits of your CD, as I'm not particularly sure of magic myself.  I hope I can give you some useful pointers.

Name: Fu Luft

Gender: Male

Age: 30

Race: Human

Tribe: ¾ Avennorian, ¼ Eyelian

Occupation: Scribe

Title: Spell Blower

Overview

Fu is a skilled but fallible wind magician, who ended his training prematurely, partly because of his failure to become the virtuoso sorcerer he aspired to be. Another reason was the birth of his daughter, now four years old, for whom he would like to provide a bigger income than an eternal student of magic would be able to obtain. At present, Fu scrapes a living as a self-employed scribe, as well as with odd jobs using his magic, but dreams of some grand and lucrative quest with which he could earn enough money to elevate his daughter out of poverty. Unfortunately, having led the life of a scholar and city dweller, Fu is woefully inexperienced and spectacularly inept at the basic skills useful on a daring adventure: he has never touched a sword, climbed a mountain, or walked long distances with a heavy load of baggage. His looks are, if anything, on the unappealing side: he is short, feeble, awkward, and appears younger than his age. Despite his disappointment in not attaining higher skills, Fu remains profoundly committed to magical knowledge and concentrated practice. When he is in tranquil mood, you may see him forming birds out of the smoke of his pipe.

Hahaha, I love him already!

Likes: birds, winged insects, music, smoke, subtle smells: anything gentle that travels through the air.
Dislikes: cats, loud noise, violence, haste.


Appearance

Height: 1 ped, 1 fore & 2 palmspans
Weight: 1 pygge
Hair Colour: black
Eye Colour: green

Physical Appearance

Fu is a small and gaunt Avennorian human male, whose head is abnormally big for his body. His skin is darker, and his height is lower than that of the average Avennorian – both traits, as well as his black hair, are partly due to an Eyelian grandfather, whom Fu is unaware of and whose heritage, by a freak of nature, has left more visible traces in Fu’s appearance than in that of his more light-skinned father. The Spell Blower’s face is round and amiable – almost moonlike. He intends to shave regularly, but sometimes forgets in weeks during which he doesn’t need to meet potential employers; the resulting sparse facial hair growth is best described as a fluff. His soft features, his awkward proportions, and his shortness may make him look younger than he actually is. To many an observer, he may appear to be in his mid-twenties.

Our sorcerer moves slowly and warily through his world, having thin and feeble limbs and a sensitive constitution. While he has about average agility, Fu’s hands are distinctly dexterous. In moments of idleness, Fu may divert himself with the activity of his supple fingers. He may let two little leather balls flow around his palm and thumb, juggle with three or four of these balls, or play a little He’kehona flute. Another habitual pastime is provided by his pipe: he may use a little magic to form birds or other creatures out of its smoke.

All in all, there is little about Fu’s countenance to either scare or enchant. At first sight, he may appear to be a nervously fidgeting jester rather than the befuddled and sensitive sorcerer that he is.           
Clothing

Taking no intrinsic interest in clothes or appearance, Fu nonetheless knows how to dress like a respectable citizen, and does so if necessary to obtain employment. He usually wears grey and brown clothing of an unassuming nature, having worked out that a scribe is most trusted when he looks respectable but humble. The Spell Blower’s two accessories of note are (1) a hood-like cap of a bluish grey that is usually adorned with three or four corbie feathers; (2) an unadorned brass locket worn round the neck with a piece of leather string, which contains a lock of his daughter’s hair.

Personality

Fu chiefly cares about two things: the magical manipulation of air, and his daughter Bronya.

His deep commitment to sorcery means that he is accustomed to spending a substantial part of most days practicing magic. He is not precious about it: his life has taught him that ordinary folk may be simultaneously awestruck by, superstitious about, and suspicious of sorcerers – but that their everyday concerns are rarely touched by the arcane studies of the magical scholar. Thus, Fu has gone past the stage where he delighted in showing off his magical abilities. Instead, Fu is acutely aware of the inadequacy of sorcery in the face of a material interest: the welfare of his daughter Bronya.

Bronya is the offspring of Fu’s liaison with a prostitute, Sillis. While Fu was once in love with Sillis, he has now accepted her rejection of him. The two parents remain in contact for the sake of Bronya, who is at present four years old and lives with her mother in Marcogg. Fu used to visit the pair regularly as long as he resided in Marcogg, and gave them all the money he could spare. Now that he has left Marcogg, he thinks often of Bronya’ fate. Fu is heart-stricken by thinking of Bronya’s life in a disreputable part of town, and by the expectation that his daughter and her mother will be poor for the rest of their life. He dreams of finding some way to make a fortune and take Sillis and Bronya away to some town unbeknownst to them all to start a new life.

Although, for the sake of his daughter, Fu is keen to make money and elevate Sillis and Bronya out of their current situation, he has little interest in social status or excessive riches for their own sake. While he knows how to dress and behave in a way that may get him work as a scribe, he doesn’t judge other people by their rank in the social order. Only half conscious to himself, Fu is rather open to new experiences and new people – a trait that he has acquired during his childhood life with a travelling circus, where he encountered all manners of folk and their customs (see History).

In dealing with other people, Fu’s manners may seem an odd mixture of formality and folkways. From the wizard who was his master for many years, he learned to converse the formal speech used among scholars of magic; but Fu’s childhood was spent travelling through small villages and towns with a band of circus artists, and he at times switches into a more jovial and unceremonious style of conversation. Being naturally shy and modest, Fu may assume formality as a way of displaying courtesy and respectful discretion, which may make him appear aloof to some of the more rough-and-ready inhabitants of Caelareth. When he feels more comfortable, however, Fu sometimes lapses back into a kind-of Darian dialect (ye see, master reader, that’ll be the tongue that them farmer folk in Manthria and thereabouts are chattin’, for it’s yonder that his old man and his old woman were hailin’ from, afore they began a-travellin’ around with that circus of theirs), although he is careful to avoid a slip when trying to appear respectable vis-à-vis an Avennorian.

Fu’s soul is a melting pot of melancholy, innocuous fun and sobriety. His melancholy stems from the tragic events in his life – the deaths of his mother, sister and father – as well as from Sillis’ rejection of him, and Sillis’ and Bronya’s poverty. The playful way with which he manipulates his juggling balls and his pipe smoke reveals a light-hearted side, which mostly comes out when the days’ work is done. Sobriety is needed by those working with the power of their will, and thus essential for any magician. In fact, it is not always clear which side Fu is revealing when he lets three balls formed of pipe smoke revolve around one another like juggling balls: is it an exercise of will power, or a carefree game? If you asked him, Fu might reply with another question: “Are you sure there’s a difference?”

Strengths

       Wind Magic (Level 3)

Fu is a wind magician who is particularly good at telekinesis, and at other spells that involve the moving of air (up to Level 3, in the Ximaxian classification). His skills are less reliable when it comes to other types of wind spells, as he has only had patchy training on them (see History). Some of his magical abilities have the potential to be of use in fighting – such as the ability to summon a gust of wind that could brush an attacker aside, or the possibility of moving a cloud of poisonous nightshade powder through the air towards an attacker. He has never, however, reached mastery of the more offensive spells used by wind magicians (such as those involving thunderbolts). Significantly, Fu has rarely used magic for the purpose of fighting, and it is unclear whether he will have the cunning and sharpness of mind to make a useful decision in the event of sudden danger.

       Nimble fingers

Fu’s hands are rather dexterous. His circus roots are betrayed in the ability to juggle (with up to five balls) and play the flute. He isn’t a master at either, and uses these skills mainly for his own diversion. Nonetheless, there may be occasions where they might play to his advantage, such as when he wants to gain the trust of a child or deceive people into believing that he is nothing but an innocuous jester.


       Reading and writing

Writing is the only skill through which Fu puts his nimble fingers to commercial use, being able to produce documents of good quality in a beautiful hand. Nonetheless, Fu’s skill as a scribe is apt for mundane purposes only: he has not studied calligraphy.

Weaknesses

       Lapses of concentration affecting his magic

Because the average peasant in Santhaira wouldn't have any skill with magic at all, this is more of a limitation in a strength than an actual weakness.  I think it should be added to his magic strength, or it should be shown to affect more than just his magic.

The most serious weakness is that his magical skill is prone to fail him in unexpected moments. This is partly due to an instability of mind caused by the tragic events in Fu’s life: the profound concentration needed to impose his will on the Cár’áll may sometimes elude Fu, because of an unconscious lack of self-belief, stemming from the experience that his magic ultimately is unable to protect the people he loves. In particular, his willpower is affected by his mood: he may not be able to work much magic when he is physically exhausted, scared, angry, injured, or in love.

       Physical ineptitude: awkwardness, lack of agility, feebleness

Physically, Fu is neither agile, nor strong, nor tough; he is the opposite. Useless at fights, he can just about fend off a drunken dormouse and escape a sleeping sloth. You said he was of average agility in the appearance section - second paragraph.  You might want to go back and adjust that ;). If he had to walk in rough terrain over several days, he would get blisters on his feet, wobbly knees, and terrible muscle ache. He would struggle to climb any but the most easily climbable tree. Some of his weakness is due to lack of training and experience, of course, but it’s fair to say that Fu would not have done well as a rope walker, gladiator, or dancer even with extensive schooling by the best of teachers. On a boat, he would probably get seasick. He has never sat on a horse; let’s hope for his sake that there will be someone to catch the falling lump of his body if he ever has to.

        Fear of cats

A traumatic childhood event (see History) has given Fu an irrational fear and hatred of cats. Catching sight of a cat, he will try to avoid it, to the point of changing his route of travel and making detours. If a cat comes closer than about 3 peds, Fu is likely to panic: his body will stiffen, and he may cry out and try to run away. If he can’t get away from the object of his fear, he may kick at it. This behaviour is quite independent of any real threat that the cat may (or more likely, may not) pose. Under the influence of his cat phobia, Fu would be unable to concentrate enough to even begin thinking about using his magic spells. This fear applies to pet cats as well as to wildcats. Fu has never encountered larger felines such as Milari: it is unclear how the sight of one would make him feel, but the prognosis for his composure during an encounter with such a creature is dire.

       Low social status among Avennorians

This weakness mainly applies in the province of Manthria. In the status-conscious Avennorian society, Fu’s darker than usual skin may activate the prejudices held by the fair-skinned upper class against more darker-skinned people. Also, having lived his childhood among the lowest classes of Sarvonian society, and his youth and young adulthood as the servant and student of an eccentric wizard, Fu doesn’t always hit the right conversational note with upper-class Avennorians. Therefore, selling his skills as a scribe has sometimes been difficult for Fu in Manthria.

Very well written descriptions of the strengths and weaknesses - it's really clear just how much each one effects him and when.  Great!

Magic

As I said, I'll have to leave this section to someone with more knowledge :P.

History

Fu was born in a circus wagon on a road somewhere between two villages in Manthria as the first child of his parents, who had left their peasant roots behind to become part of a troupe of jesters, troubadours and acrobats that travelled throughout Santharia and performed on town squares and in villages. Being a rather delicate and fearful child, Fu resisted his parents’ attempts to get him practicing acrobatics or fire breathing, but they did teach him to juggle and play a few tunes on the flute, so that he was able to play cameo parts in the  circus performances from an early age.

Fu’s poor but hitherto not unhappy childhood took a tragic turn at the age of seven, when his mother died shortly after giving birth to a baby girl. The father, with the help from other members of the circus troupe, did his best to care for the two children. But it was generally taken to be a bad omen that Fu’s sister, when she was but one year old, was attacked by a barn cat that she had unintentionally provoked. Fu witnessed the scene, and although he was standing too far away reach the cat, he unconsciously caused a gust of wind that swept the cat away. Although he himself did not know that he had fended the cat off, his father had observed the incident and guessed that Fu was gifted with magical ability.

Unfortunately, the omen was to fulfil its bleak promise. Fu’s sister survived the cat’s attack with nothing more than a scratch on her cheek, but died a short time later from an unrelated illness. Young Fu, however, mistakenly held the cat responsible for the baby’s death, and since that time has an irrational fear and hatred of all types of cats. The source of his cat phobia is unknown to Fu, whose conscious mind has forgotten the cat incident – although he vividly remembers the death of his sister, as well as his own and his father’s profound grief.

When Fu was on the cusp of adolescence, his father, thinking of Fu’s action during the cat incident, recommended his son to a mage who happened to attend one of their performances. This mage was Petronius Fragg, who sensed Fu’s gift and agreed to take him on as a servant, and later as a student. Fragg, who due to his idiosyncratic teachings was a renegade in the eyes of the Ximaxians, was eager to find a willing and talented pupil to whom he could pass on his theories. Thus Fu left the circus troupe and his father to live with Fragg in his hut near the Manthrian town of Marcogg, and became the sorcerer’s apprentice.

The twelve years that followed were the happiest in Fu’s life so far. He was Fragg’s only servant and only student. His master started by teaching the young Fu to read and write, introducing his pupil to a new world of knowledge, and elevating him above his lower-class origins. After a year, Fragg commenced to teach the theory and practice of magic, as he saw them, to Fu. This required a harsh mental discipline, but Fu enjoyed the atmosphere of concentration and the promise of great insight that was to be gained. Fu was a good, albeit not outstanding, student. Even so, he proved prone to lapses of concentration that resulted in him fizzling up even relatively easy spells. Fragg used to tease him that, like his father, he was a juggler at heart: because his ability was by far more reliable when he was moving objects through the air than when trying to achieve anything else (by the standards of his achievements in telekinesis, he was so hopeless at thunderbolting that Fragg, who was not particularly interested in offensive spells anyway, soon gave up the teaching of it). Yet, for twelve years Fu could think of no place he would rather like to be than with Fragg, even though he missed his father’s company and thought of him often. On quiet nights, he would take out a small He’kehona flute that his father had given him on their parting, and played the simple folk tunes he had learned as a child.

This situation changed when a friend of Fu’s father arrived at Marcogg with the news that the father had died a few months before. To add terror to grief, the death was caused by the claws and teeth of a Lingradau cat, a fact that the well-meaning messenger would have hidden from Fu, had he guessed the effect it would have on the young wizard. Fu’s unconscious nightmare – a deadly cat – had become horrible reality. This news triggered a major crisis in Fu’s life: he started believing that magic was of no use, unconsciously blaming himself for studying a skill that is useless to defend his loved ones while they are devoured, one by one, by ferocious cats. His cat phobia became more severe. He lost confidence and even interest in magic, and began to yearn for the comfort that a family (or the thought of one) brings.

Bless!  I really love the way you're working in the cat phobia - I can understand why he's afraid of them.


Fu began to extend the errands into Marcogg that were part of his servant’s duties, half-consciously hoping that he would meet a person it was worth living for. His shyness and unattractiveness, however, stacked the odds against him in his search for love. On the occasion of an aimless walk through the shadier parts of town, he was solicited by the prostitute Sillis. Fu became her regular customer and soon fell in love with her. The love was unrequited, but the asymmetric relationship continued and resulted in the birth of a daughter, Bronya. Let us ask Sillis, Bronya’s mother, for an portrait of Fu during this time; if she was inclined to speak to us, she would tell us this:

“Fu? Yeah, he’s Bronya’s dad all right, I knows it. She’s got that stubby nose of his, poor darling. Anyways, I hope she ain’t gonna be as daft as him. Some of me chums get their skirts in a twist thinking about a posh gentleman customer taking them away to live in those fancy houses of theirs, but I knows what those rogues are like. They come, have their fun, and then they go. And you sits there spending half your money on the herbs to keep you thin, if you know what I mean. Anyways, with Fu, this once I wasn’t careful. Cause I thinks to meself: doesn’t look like he has the juice of the father in him. So there you go. Anyways, Fu was sweet in the beginning. When he first come, I likes him. Although he were a nuisance, really – always wanted to stay on after and chat. Even started talking of love. So I ends up throwing him out. But him, he always come back. When my belly swells up, I curses and curses, but Fu the idiot was happy. I ain’t blaming him, really – Bronya’s such a sweet little child. Anyways, Fu paid for the midwife, and he brought us money ever so often, but I ain’t going to stick with him, no Sir. I’m better off making sure I can make enough money on me own. Fu dreams of finding a treasure or something and leaving town and live as a family, but I ain’t having none of it, no Sir, cause he ain’t gonna pull that off, no way. Not him. Look at him. He’s a laugh all right, showed me he can make me chairs hover in the air, but I know a real man when I see one, and I tell ya, Fu ain’t got the sense to cut the whiskers off a sleeping cat. Would you believe it, he runs off when he even sees a cat!”

His master Petronius Fragg noticed that his student had lost commitment and direction, and grew angry at him for spending more and more time in Marcogg. Also, Fragg wasn’t happy with Fu’s excuses about where all the money went that he spent in town. When Fu confessed that he had fathered a daughter, Fragg got angry and dismissed him as a servant and student.  Just a suggestion, but is there a reason why these two didn't strike up a father-son-like bond?

For the next twelve months, he lived and worked in Marcogg as a scribe, trying to provide for himself as well as for Sillis and Bronya. However, Fu’s reputation suffered as it became known that he was a failed student of the eccentric Fragg, and a frequent visitor to a bordello. Thus, he could not make enough money to fulfil his dream: to elevate Bronya and Sillis out of poverty and start a new life somewhere. As her statement above suggests, Sillis regarded Fu (not unjustly, we may find) as a bit of a fool, and although she gratefully took the money he gave her, she never relied solely on him for her income.

With his master having lost trust in him, and his hopes of a family crushed, Fu became melancholic and phlegmatic. Eventually, he took heart and decided to leave Marcogg to try his luck elsewhere. In the three years since, Fu has lived in a variety of places in Manthria and other provinces in middle and southern Santharia – revisiting some of the places that his parents’ troupe used to travel through all those years ago. In this time, he has not improved as a magician, but has kept up his skills through committed daily practice. Fu hopes that somehow, somewhere he will find the opportunity to make a large sum of money. Work as a scribe will not bring in a fortune – and as he can’t wield a weapon, he figures that his magical skills will need to be the key to acquiring it. Mindful of this, Fu thinks, the first time in his life, about his gift as something that he could use as a means to an end, rather than for pure study and contemplation. He has seen Bronya and Sillis only once in the last four years. Maybe foolishly, he hopes that the next time he sees them he will have a pleasant surprise for them.

Belongings

Weapons: none

Other Belongings

 - Cap with four corbie feathers sticking out from it (Fu may use the feathers in magical rituals)
 - Brass locket with lock of hair from Bronya, Fu’s daughter.
 - A leather knapsack for storing all kinds of provisions and purchases; it routinely contains:
       o nine small leather juggling balls, each of a different colour: the seven colours of the rainbow, and black and white;
       o a pouch with a small quantity of ground nightshade root;
       o a second pouch, filled with sand;
       o a He’kehona flute (a present from his late father, who unbeknownst to Fu, had in turn inherited it from his own, Eyelian, father);
       o a pipe and a third pouch filled with ordinary pipe moss;
       o yet another pouch, containing a few coins if the Spell Blower is lucky.

A really good CD Fu, as you can see from the very few of comments from me!  I look forward to seeing you on the boards.

Rookie xxx
« Last Edit: January 02, 2009, 12:57:03 AM by Rookie Brownbark » Logged

Eléyr Fásamár
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« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2009, 06:57:15 AM »

I again applaud your writing skills, and note that the magic section has definitely improved. I don't have time for a very in-depth check but here's one important little thing I noticed.

Quote
and focus on extending the soór links of the wind oúnia in the air around the target, thus causing the air to move suddenly (and hopefully sufficiently strongly to help Fu in his endeavour to stay alive).

Sphere I and II mages do not focus on the soor or ahm links in a car'all at all. While it is primarily the changes in the xeua links that 'create' the effects (and it's good to understand that that's the "main" factor), the mage only subconcsiously alters the links, by influencing the properties that the ounia exert. If they increase the ounia's properties, then the links will become more active, and vice versa. So while the alterations in the links do occur, they're a side effect of a Sphere I mages' manipulations of the ounia, just to clarify.

I think some of the older discussions on the dev. board might say that they do actually influence the links (as I once had that impression too :)), so I apologize if you did read that somewhere, and also Sphere III and Xeua/Ecua mages do influence the links themselves, so it's easy to get confused between the different theories that have flowed around over the years.  ;)
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« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2009, 07:57:43 AM »

Thanks, Rookie and Eléyr!

It is an honour to converse with personages of such excellent distinction. *bows deeply*

Rookie,

your comments were very helpful and are much appreciated. I have worked them all in: changes are in blue. The point about the relationship between Fu and his teacher was well made - they couldn't just part in the heat of a quarrel after 12 years of reasonably harmonious cooperation and cohabitation. There was a little story to be told. Voila!

I've moved Fu's 'lapses of concentration' into the 'Strengths: Magic' section, as a qualification of this strength, as you suggested.

Also, I've resolved the 'agility' inconsistency - albeit the other way around: that is, Fu is indeed of average agility (but remains weak and of poor constitution). I thought if I make Fu too inept, I would have to write about accidents in half of my roleplaying posts, and spend much time convincing kindly healers to attend to him.

As an afterthought, and unrelated to your comments, I have made Fu a little younger  (28 instead of 30), simply by shortening the time since he has left his 'family'. The history of his late twenties will hopefully be played out on this site!

But before that, there is the magic to sort out.

Eléyr,

the passage that you quote was inspired by the description of Wind Exile in the list of Wind Magic Spells -- which, I guess, only describes how high-level Ximaxians account for the effectiveness of the spell, without necessarily implying that lower-level wizards know everything about how it works, as I had erroneously assumed. Tricky, this! Anyway, I've amended the passage (in blue within the general red of the Magic section).

Also, I have a question: Is it possible that Fu has attained Level 3 and his magical skills as I describe them, without ever having been at Ximax? If not, maybe I could rewrite Fu's History to include at least a spell of a few years at the Academy?

Happy New Year,

Fu
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« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2009, 08:56:55 AM »

I'm just giving this thread a respectful bump, since it's slipped to page 2 after three days without public comment (but some generous private discussion behind the scenes). I'd be particularly grateful for comments on the magic section.  With gusty greetings, Fu.
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« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2009, 12:38:22 AM »

Hi Fu, I have some comment on the magic section for you. And, to answer your question, magic is learned from special schools like Ximax or elven schools. So I would suggest that you did attend Ximax for some number of years to reach a level 3 status.

Magic

Fu learned his magic from his master Petronius Fragg, who himself studied at Ximax before leaving the Academy to pursue his own idiosyncratic theory of magic. Fragg’s ideas about wind magic, which Fu has absorbed, are based on breath. The master wizard used to say: “Life means creating wind. Fire magicians talk about the spark of life, and that’s all right as far as it goes, but without the constant movement of wind and breath there’d be no fanning and no fire. Our magic, Fu, is merely an extension of this most ordinary of activities: breathing. What we do is to extend our breath beyond the debilitating confines of our perishable body. Wind magic means breathing not just through your windpipe and lungs, but through the whole world. If thou truly knowst this, nothing is impossible. To thee, a tornado storm should be nothing but another series of inhalations and exhalations. The purpose of thy study, however, is not the manipulation of nature, but the contemplation that we and nature are the same. We are all made of Cár'áll, and when we die, our Cár'áll will regroup itself and become dust, water, air, and flame.”

Fu uses his breath to focus his mind on the manipulation of Cár'áll he intends to achieve. Thus, the effects that Ximaxian magicians achieve with the help of rituals such as the wave of a hand, the raising of their arms, or the mumbling of an incantation, (actually, Ximaxian mages do not need rituals to cast magic as you describe. It is a matter of willpower. Rituals can be done as a focus, as some mages use staves and reagents. But incantations and hand movements are not required.) the Spell Blower achieves through concentration on his breath. For example, to create a gust of wind shoving an opponent aside (the effect called “Wind Exile” by the Ximaxians), Fu would exhale with an A-shaped mouth (making a voiceless, gusty sound) and focus on the property of mobility of the wind oúnia in the air around the target, thus causing the air to move suddenly (and hopefully sufficiently strongly to help Fu in his endeavour to stay alive).

To give another example: Fu is wont to contemplate that shaping a cloud of smoke is similar in nature to controlling the rhythm and subtle quality of your breath. In the Spell Blower’s imagination, breath can have a ‘roundness’ (evenness), ‘sharpness’ (hissing through the teeth), or even ‘hardness’ (hissing through the throat). He does not necessarily need to hiss audibly to create an edge in a cloud of smoke – but in a subtle way that is what he does, or at least imagines doing when he manipulates the influence of the smoke's wind oúnia. (The use of willpower to influence car'all and ounia is done, not imagination. So you may need to re-phrase that a bit here.)

These idiosyncratic rituals don’t have any advantages over other sort of rituals – they don’t help Fu to perform spells faster, and reagents such as a bird feather help Fu’s concentration just as they help Ximaxian students’. The practical difference lies merely in how Fu’s magic may be perceived by an observer. As his casting rituals are more subtle than those of Ximaxians, an inexperienced onlooker may sometimes not realize that Fu is the source of a magical effect he has created. A trained wizard, on the other hand, may either over- or underestimate Fu – depending on whether she concludes that his methods are an indication that he is past the need for magical formulae, or alternatively, that he is a poorly trained dilettante. (Again, many Xiamxian mages do not use rituals or movements. They can influence using willpower alone and that does not require any ritual. Student mages sometimes need a reagent to focus on, but as the mage attains more experience, one could stand perfectly still and create raging winds or infernos)

If they cared to examine Fu’s skills, the sages at Ximax would reckon that our Spell Blower had reached an ability equivalent to Level 3. However, Fu is much better in the sphere of movement than in the spheres of mirage and clarity. In the sphere of movement, Fu has attained a relatively high degree of intuitive understanding that allows him to concentrate his will quickly and efficiently: thus, the effects described by the spells ‘Conjure Wind’. ‘Shape Smoke’, ‘Wind walking’, ‘Telekinesis’, ‘Nightshade Cloud’ and ‘Wind exile’ are relatively easy for Fu to achieve. In the year since leaving Magogg, Fu has faced a number of dangerous situations with highwaymen and town ruffians - and has since particularly worked on the Hide spell as a method of self-defence. To make himself invisible, Fu contemplates that his breath flows invisibly through him, and concentrates on extending the property of invisibility to all the parts of his body, as well as his clothes and belongings. Even at the best of times, Fu cannot sustain invisibility for longer than a minute. Thus, he uses the spell to confuse an attacker and to gingerly tiptoe toward a hiding place, rather than to facilitate a (counter-)attack.

In harmony with his juggler roots, Fu’s proudest achievements are in the art of telekinesis. Blowing a delicately formed stream of wind underneath an object, he can keep it floating in the air, and even move it in all six directions. (Actually, telekinesis at your level would work for small objects no larger than a fist probably. The spell requires you to either increase the wind ounia's influence in the object making it lighter, or to influence the wind around the object to a degree to make it move. Focusing on the wind around an object requires much skill as you have to center the wind on the object alone.)  Fu often amuses himself by combining his magic with his juggling skills to bizarre effect. His telekinesis skills are not powerful enough to move several objects at once, or to move them quickly enough to simulate the effect of juggling. However, his dexterous hands can juggle four or five balls without magical help. To startle an audience, Fu would juggle for a minute, then pretend that he lost control and let all the balls fall into his left hand – except for the red ball, which he would keep floating just above his head while looking up at it, faking a look of amazement on his face. (However, Fu would not be powerful enough, for example, to pretend looking around for the ball while letting it float behing his back; he must maintain eye contact with the object that he is levitating.)

Sadly, the Spell Blower’s achievements in the sphere of movement are not matched by equal success in the spheres of mirage and clarity. Fu is aware that his skill in increasing the influence of the wind oúnia are theoretically sufficient for him to master some elementary manipulation of minds, clairvoyance, and concealment of his own magical ability, he has a fallible mastery of these kinds of spells at best (with the exception of Hide, see above). His master Petronius Fragg never quite managed to make the link between breathing and clairvoyance intuitively understandable to his apprentice. Although Fu has had some training in all the Sphere I wind spells known in Ximax, even under optimal conditions the outcome of his attempt to cast them would be uncertain at best. (In other words, you are not as skilled in the Spiritual aspects of Wind magic....manipulation of the mind is Spiritual and requires no less kinds of focus, but perhaps a different state of mind to manipulate someone's thoughts. Many mages focus on one or the other and higher level mages can focus on both.)

In general, being facilitated through the use of breath, Fu’s magical ability is bound to be weaker, or even to fail, in situations where controlled breathing is difficult. When the wizard has an airway affecting illness, when he has just run hard to escape a pursuer or be on time for an appointment, or when he is punched in the belly, it will be harder for him to focus his will. (This will not technically affect your spell casting as physical breathing is not required to cast wind spells, but you may need to clarify that your breath is a focus and by disrupting your focus, you have a harder time casting. For example, many mages have a staff focus that they feel they need to have the confidence to cast their spells. The focus is merely a comforting tool, but for some, it is essential no matter what anyone says...)

Fu ultimately disappointed his master, as he failed to follow him into the higher realms of his theory and practice. Fu truly loves moving and manipulating air (wind); but he feels he should be able to do more. Also, magic has so far not helped Fu in achieving his dream to life Bronya and Sillis out of poverty. On bad days, he feels he has essentially remained the juggler that he used to be in his childhood.

(Remember that any reference to Wind magic is called Wind, not air. Also, Santharia does not have a term for sorcerer, although you could say that is another term for a spell caster. In Santharia, we refer to spell casters as mages or wizards. Sorcerer has connotations in Dungeons and Dragons and is not a term used here.)
« Last Edit: January 06, 2009, 12:39:03 AM by Azhira » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2009, 02:44:15 AM »

Thank you, Azhira, for your extensive comments. I've had some feedback from Eléyr as well, via PM, so it's time for a major revision of my Magic and History sections. *Switches to the pencil icon"
« Last Edit: January 06, 2009, 02:53:37 AM by Fu Luft » Logged

Azhira Styralias
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« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2009, 01:35:27 PM »

Good luck! I have four mage CDs, one of each element, so don't hesitate to ask me or Eleyr anytime. It takes time and effort to make a good mage, trust me I know, but in the end its worth it as there are fewer mages than any other kind of character. In fact, most of the mages are the ones played by CD/Story Mods or former Mods...so you'd be in an elite category!  cool
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« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2009, 07:57:29 AM »

Thanks, Azhira!

I have reworked Fu's CD and it is now ready for comments. Changes, other than minor ones, from the previous version are in red. To summarize, the main changes are:

History Section: Fu has now received most of his magical training at Ximax, having only reached level 1 with his first teacher, and levels 2 and 3 in nine years at the Academy.

Magic Section: This has been completely rewritten, and is therefore all in red. I have tried to address Azhira's points as follows:

(1) I make very clear (I hope) that Fu's idiosyncratic breathing rituals are nothing but a help to focus his will on influencing wind oúnia. I have deleted all passages that may have been prone to the misinterpretation that the breath itself works the magic.
Likewise, there is no reference to imagination as having any role in magic anymore.

(2) I have tried to come up with a coherent repertoire of spells for Fu, focusing on the physical representation of wind, and especially on the sphere of movement.

(3) I have tried to go into considerable detail on what Fu can and can't do in terms of Telekinesis, and, to a lesser extent, for his other spells. It is fully my intention to stay within the limits of what a Level 3 mage is capable of.

(4) Nomenclature: no 'sorcerer' anymore; and 'wind', not 'air', when the reference is to the element whose oúnia Fu influences when doing magic.

I do apologize for the length of this CD, and in particular of the magic section. I suppose that the idea of a magic section is to demonstrate how I would roleplay magic. The detail I have provided will, I hope, enable the kind moderators to gauge whether I've got it right.

I look forward to reading your feedback! Sincerely, Fu
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« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2009, 07:59:33 AM »

PS: I forgot to add that I've also allowed Fu to make a modest income from juggling tricks, so I've changed his occupation to that effect.
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Mannix
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« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2009, 03:11:02 PM »

Fu, I think you forgot to change you icon to the exclamation mark. ;)

Mannix
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« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2009, 07:15:44 PM »

I did indeed. Thank you, Mannix!
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« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2009, 12:57:31 PM »

Hey Fu. I have had a read though your CD and am extremely impressed. I'll point out the few typos that I found:

The two parents remain in contact for the sake of Bronya, who is at present two years old and lives with her mother in the Outer City of Ximax(delete space).

From the his(You’ll want to take one of these words out.) teachers, he learned to converse in the formal speech used among scholars of magic; but Fu’s childhood was spent travelling through small villages and towns with a band of circus artists, and he at times switches into a more jovial and unceremonious style of conversation.

Fu has mastered Sphere I in the Ximaxian School of Wind Magic, concentrating in particular on the physical aspect of wind. His greatest talent lies in the sphere of Motion. Thus, he excels in spells involving telekinesis, the creation of wind, and the movement of smoke. Fu is not proficient in magic involving the spiritual aspect of wind; thus, he is not at all skilled in the sphere of Mirage, and relatively weak in the sphere of Illusion. (If he isn’t proficient in he spiritual aspect then he hasn’t mastered the sphere. ;))

Even at a close distance, however, Fu cannot levitate an object for longer than a minute.

Fu would inhale and focus on the his body becoming light.

Except for that it is excellent! I absolutely love this character. A very big well done. I'd like a magic expert to give you the okay before I give my approval, but I'm suggest you certainly have enough knowledge to role-play. So it shouldn't be too long now. :)

Mannix
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