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Log: Building from the Ground Up

Page history last edited by Koal 14 years, 11 months ago

Characters: Mnemon Lok, Mnemon Koal


Mnemon Lok gives his first lecture on geomancy at the academy of sorcery to the amusement of all.


-=--=--=--=--=--<* Halls of the Ineffable Logos - Main Foyer *>-=--=--=--=--=-


         The main foyer of the Ineffable Halls of Logos is an impressive place by all accounts. The heptagon shaped hallway reaches from the eastern gateway to the ornately decorated entrance to the library manse in the west. Cream-colored marble has a soft sheen to it, made more pronounced by the illumination of magical light-spheres set into the walls. Columns of the same blue-tinted marble, alternating with ones shaded a rare azure, stretch in silver-threaded splendor towards the high vaulted ceiling several stories above, their base and top adorned with the insignia of House Ledaal proudly displayed.


         Between the monumental columns are padded benches, provided for the comfort of those who would rest here. In the center of the room, is a great, circular desk of dark wood and decorated with silver trim and bright blue sapphires set into the wood. Its an information desk and usually manned by a one of the professors and accompanying retinue of automatons, elementals or demons at other times.


         Before the desk is a seating area, with a long couch and pair of overstuffed armchairs arrayed around a thick, dark blue rug. Ornate end tables and a massive, decorative, hand-carved coffee table are part of the furnishings too. It's not quite as cozy as the salon, with all the people traffic and scale of the room, and more aking to what you'd expect in a nice waiting area.


         A grand set of double doors, symbols in gold set into the marble around them, lead into the library manse. On either side, slender marble staircases sweep up to the balcony above. One set of doors leads into the professors' offices, while another beckons into various spiral staircases that start to shift leading to either various student suites or practice rooms. Two hallways branch off to the north and south. Eastward is the massive, portcullis-guarded gate, twin iron doors before it. Their dark metal is a backdrop to an enormous emblem of the academy set in silver on each door, an open book on top of twin swords glittering in the light.



     The lecture hall is... sparsely populated. There's only a few students, all obviously bored and rich (by Greyfalls standards), dressed in fine silks and simply making a show of attendence. Lok stands at the front, with a complex, five point mandala woven cloth hung behind him. He simply stares at the gossiping students. Waiting for their attention and respect.  It may be a long wait.


     Mnemon Koal has been waiting for the manse lectures for quite some time. He just doesn't seem to understand Tsure in what little time they have together, and admittedly he is sometimes distracted in her presence. He waits patiently for the lectures to begin, a notebook before him and several reference books at his side.


     Mnemon Lok coughs several times. Then, quietly, "The next sentence will be worth ten points to your final grade." The gossiping dies, almost at once. Lok smiles brightly. "That was a lie, but I appreciate the tremendous effort silencing yourselves must have taken. Look," he snaps. "Geomancy is /not easy/. It's not for the weak of mind or dull of spirit. It's-" he blinks, as he gives Koal a closer look. Cocking his head to the side slightly, he asks, "It's not ususally studied by the Princes of the Earth." Bowing towards Koal, he asks, "Are you sure that we should not be in different places? I'm certain your intuitive mastery of Essence will prove a great service in the study of the subtle art of geomantic understanding." It may be there's a hint of sarcasm, in much the same way that there may be some mild light and heat from the sun.


     Mnemon Koal hasn't had the time to develop connections with the other students due to his many responsibilities. Obviously to the side of the chatting group, he is a silent exception, unable to follow in the local chat as the other students gossip over what teacher said what. He is behind many of the other students, even in the first semester, due to his many obligations.


     Mnemon Lok waits patiently for Koal to respond. "Yes, you. Child of Pasiap. Jadeson. Comecome, enlighten us!" He sweeps his hands back, towards the mandala. "Can you say where demenses will form? If I were to ask for a Gem of the Adder's Eye, how many thaums of wood Essence is needed, and how quickly must it twist with earth Essence? If I wanted to ensure you would fail in your next sword fight, what would I need to do?" The questions snap out rapidly.


     Mnemon Koal looks questioningly at the teacher, unsure why all the attention is focussed on him all of a sudden and clearly missing the sarcasm...it's obvious he isn't the brightest bulb in the room. His answers are so slow that they don't even begin to form before you ask another question. He simply stares, waiting for you to finish.

Mnemon Koal manages to answer one question quickly because it was so easy. "I don't fight with a sword."


     Mnemon Lok rolls his eyes slightly. "Dragons preserve me from dullards, fools and the englithened soul who don't understand what they do," he mutters, shaking his head as he stalks back to the Mandala. "And the answers are- where two or more dragon lines cross, or where a single line is snapped and the essence it carries pools out and accreates. By planting an iron spike so that the shadow is cast at three o'clock and the apex falls on something of yours. And four thousand, six hundred and twenty wood- Oh, he speaks!" He claps his hands together. "Excellent! Your voice is a marvel, good Prince. I hope to hear it again soon." A few in the class titter. But not many- the bulk know who to favor, between an Exalt and a half-caste.


     Mnemon Koal doesn't seem to be insulted in the least. He speaks calmly although with earnest, as if revealing a vulnerable soft spot in his armor,"I thought we were focussing just on basic demense formation today. I was going to ask why there are so few demenses in the satrapy.?"


-= OOC =- Mnemon Koal says, "most of the satrapy is flat grassland with scattered forests and streams, there hasn't been much geomantic work done here since the breaking of the world two ages previous"

-= OOC =- Mnemon Koal says, "the Fair Folk invasion didn't help either"


     Mnemon Lok mms, settling down a bit. "A good question. Indeed, there are fewer demenses- and far fewer manses -in all the Threshold than the Blessed Isle. Well, the reasons are fivefold." He pulls out a thin, flexible stick, and STRIKES the board with a loud crack. "First! Inauspcious geomancy! People build things where-ever and however they want! No regard for truth, beauty OR proper essence flows!"


     "Two!" Another crack as Lok strikes the board again, pointing at the second point of the mandala. "Barbarian tribes! Nomads, unsettling the dragon lines by constantly moving!" A third strike, this time at the center point. "Distance from Mount Meru, the Elemental Pole of Earth! Stablity aids in the formation of demenses, and so the Blessed Isle naturally has more! However, wandering nomads drag away countless thaums every turn of the season, and so prevent stable demenses from forming! You just get prodigies and bordermarches instead!"


     Mnemon Koal begins taking notes but is ponderously slow, his large hands strain with trying to write tiny script in his notebook. It's obvious he will have to ask for copies of the lecture notes later. Why he even bothers to write anything is a mystery, but he continues determinedly, driven to succeed in this area that interests him so much, his grey brow riveted with canyons of concentration.


     Mnemon Lok turns to face away from the students. "Four!" Another crack. "Degredation! In the High First Age, the Dragons shaped the land very intentionally to flow- but time, invasion and Contagion have worn those channels down, and most people are too self-absorbed to even imagine the riches they allow to flow away form themselves every day- or how they trap tainted windy essence suffucied with the garbage of selfish prayers from temples and whorehouses- oh," he adds. "That's a good note. Temples and whorehouses have similiar geomantic effects. If you need to increase the wind thaum throughput of a space, especially of an especially selfish bend, they are both /excellent/ sources."


     CRACK! "Fifth and lastly," Lok says, pointing at the fifth point. "Anathema. The presence of non-terrestrial Essence- especially demonic or necrotic in origin -rots Creation, sucking away power like the sun boils away a pond and leaves a dessicated pit." His voice is couched low by the end, encouraging the students to listen closer. "And the Threshold is lousy with the Anathema, and their patrons surely do rot Creation here in a way they dare not on the Isle."


     Mnemon Koal has stopped writing, completely entranced with the rhythm of your words, his large frame leaning forward in anticipation. No one had ever stated things so clearly to him before. He begins to lift his arm up slowly, clearly intending to ask a question. "Are we then stuck with searching for cut or crossing dragonlines? It makes it difficult to plan anything out." Koal is not sure if his question makes sense, but he looks expectantly at Lok, as if hoping an answer will pour forth."


     Mnemon Lok mms, nodding slightly. "Well, yes and no. There is a principle- as above, so below -and it forms the basis for geomancy, for understanding how the flows of Essence influence our lives and destinies, how the energy of fire brings passion, and how a heady river of wood can promote either growth or death. However, the true geomancer knows the reverse is true- as below, so above. What we /do/ tugs at those rivers, pulling them and trapping them. Unwise men do this constantly, and trap themselves with Essence that grows fetid and toxic, like a stream unable to reach the ocean, trapped by an ill considered dam and set downstream from a forge, dumping ash and coke into the water. A wise man knows what structures and lifestyles resonanate- and can enginner them to tug the rivers to the side, diverting them as surely as any flow of mere water."


     Mnemon Koal 's eyes brighten in understanding. "So your saying that if we dig into the ground where there aren't any rivers flowing through, eventually we will reach a stable essence region...", clearly he didn't get too far past -as above, so below-.


     Mnemon Lok slooooowy turns, giving Koal another, very careful examination. "Could you tell me," he says, very softly, "What your Exaltation was like? I have a hypothesis that I'd like to put to the test."


     "Of course.", There is obviously an esoteric lesson to be learned from connecting the essence of Exaltation to demense formation so he is all to happy to help. "I was working in a quarry on my family's estate on the Isle, looking for the purest stone with which to make a sculpture for my art project that semester. Unfortunately, the section with the best stone was down an unstable shaft that the workers hadn't properly reinforced. There was a collapse, and I don't remember much afterward until waking up in my bed on the estate, but that was when I exalted. My family was so happy I exalted and survived, they didn't even execute the slaves who had left the area unsafe, but sold them to the Guild instead."


     Mnemon Lok mms, nodding slightly. "Thus far, my theory is confirmed. Those blessed by the Dragons and whom have the wits to be ready for it are consideribly swifter than those who simply lucked into the matter," he replies waspishly, again drawing a few titters. "To answer your question, no. Not by /digging/. When I speak of /rivers of Essence/, I'm speaking metaphorically. Met-a-for-ick-ly," he says, slowly and deliberately. "As this a class on the subtle art of geomancy and not the nuance of High Realm, however, I will leave you to discover the meaning of that very complex word on your own."


     Mnemon Koal seems not a bit put off with your statements, instead focussing on the very important issue at hand; your statements and the subtle giggling of the students rolling off him as water flows off the mountains. "You mean we can actually force a demense to form somewhere...


     "No!" Lok snaps. "I mean you can enginner the circumstances that can /allow/ a demense to form! No geomancer speaks of /force/," he says scornfully. "It's influence, guide, push, encourage, prune, grow- force implies control, and believing you can control the Dragon lines of Creation is under normal circumstances simple foolishness. When performing geomantic workings, it can be incredibly dangerous- not just for yourself, or the Dragons know I'd encourage you and take my ease while taking a laugh -but for any poor idiots that happen to be in the area with those 'forced' lines snap back to where they should be. Earthquakes, flashfires, floods, plagues, tornadoes-" He shakes his head again. "No. Not forced. However, they can be encouraged, at great expense, with deep planning, and a dedicated will."


     Mnemon Koal seems a little disappointed that force doesn't work, maybe he really likes the word. "If what you say is true, why wasn't that done in the satrapies a long time ago?"


-= OOC =- Mnemon Koal says, "he's obviously ignorant that having a power base far from the isle would disrupt the empresses unlimited control of resources"

-= OOC =- Mnemon Koal says, "far better to have colonies to exploit to make the isle even wealthier"

-= OOC =- Mnemon Koal says, "and prevent political competition from abroad"


     Mnemon Lok gives Koal a somewhat disbelieving look, then repeats, "Because it is a great expense, requires deep planning, and a very dedicated will. The Realm doesn't want to spend the Jade, the locals lack the expertese, and on one wants to deal with the trouble. By the Dragons, most don't /want/ a demense forming near them or their homes! Have you seen what an uncapped Demense does to the locals? Take the Valley of Blue Menhirs. It's a treasure, off in some blighted snowcovered plot to the north. A twist of air has been entangled along a furrow of earth- now, people who live there for more than year or two turn blueish grey. If they live their long enough, they /turn to stone/."


     "Oh, yes, of course." Koal stammers. "I was assuming manses would be built also to stop that sort of thing. Are there any demenses that don't harm the locals?" he asks curiously."


     Mnemon Lok mms. "Sensible, but expensive. Another investment of money, knowledge and will, even greater than the simple formation of the demense itself. Of course, you can attempt to replicate one of the better works of Kal Box, with the Resplendent Jasmine Palace- he built the Manse first, then sculpted the lands such that the essence flows would /naturally/ empower it." He shakes his head slightly. "Staggering arrogance, but he was successful, so it's also a staggering work of genius."


-= OOC =- Mnemon Koal says, "you realize ironically that by making things funny to the other students, they are actually paying attention better; whether that part of human nature sickens you or makes you smile is up to you"

-= OOC =- Mnemon Lok smiles. :)

-= OOC =- Mnemon Lok is actually not a bad teacher. He just has a personality composed of raw hate. :)

-= OOC =- Mnemon Koal says, "I know, I love it; luckily Koal has 5 temperance and really wants to hear what you have to say; Tsure won't teach him anything if he can't master something as simple as geomancy...her words :)"


     Mnemon Koal 's eyes shine with excitement like prayer beads made from polished quart. "That's a wonderful idea! Are we going to be doing something like that for a class project before graduation?"


-= OOC =- Mnemon Koal says, "he is obviously referring to the idea, not the actual manse of Kal Bax"


     "A class..." Lok repeats, before rubbing at his temples. "Class is dismissed, on account of your teacher devolping a massive migrane. Before next week, read the first and second chapters of Discussion on the Nature of Essence. There's at least two copies in the library; I recommend fighting over them." He sits down heavily, massaging his forhead.


     Mnemon Koal makes sure to note the name of the book and hopes there is an extra copy in the thaumaturgical wing at Garrison Heights. He's been having to requests copies of everything else sent there because of distance and timing issues with the barracks, the academy, and Tsure's factory. After packing things into his duffel pack he walks over to Lok, his large footfalls echoing on the hard floors and in the essence enhanced airs of the academy. "That was an excellent introductory lecture Professor Lok. This is the first time I've really begun to understand what's really happening on a deeper level. I'm so glad I signed up for your class and not just the battle sorcery classes. Did you write the books we'll be studying from?"


     Mnemon Lok cracks open an eye. "No. You're not ready for the papers I've written. Discussions is just an overview. Whatever dregs manage to survive the basics with a few distilled pearls of knowledge- then we'll move on to the real work of measuring essence and the ten thousand and one ways to influence it."


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