A Heritage of Power 4: Jerik's Story 3:
by Fur and Fantasy
full contents and notes located at the bottom of the file
Jerik stretched languidly as dawn broke threw the large picture window in the bedroom, spreading its light and warmth over the two very different beds there. It wasn't like home yet, but it felt good to be in a real bed again, clean and with company nearby. Even the Force seemed to hum in contentment.
He lifted his head to look over at his new partner's mat-bed and noted the Rohr was gone. Stretching out his senses told him his partner wasn't in their quarters at all.
"And here I thought dawn was early." He shook his head with a soft chuckle and got up to stretch leisurely before going into the main room to pull the blue cord.
A faint blue figure seemed to appear out of nowhere, its shape shimmering into a vaguely Feline one.
"What would you like, Master?" It asked him politely.
"Breakfast brought here. Meat, fruit and milk." He tried to make it both simple and clear.
"It will be done, Master," the figure said. "There will be a few minutes delay." With that, it disappeared, leaving Jerik alone to prepare for the day that began with brushing his fur, and especially his shoulder-length hair, out to be presentable. Something that he really wish he'd thought of the day before; a bath, grooming and fresh clothes would have made him look so much better for meeting important people.
At least they didn't seem to hold it against him. Who knows? Maybe they were used to strangely dressed people showing up looking like they'd just been through Hell.
At least he was clean now. He was just finishing up with his grooming when the door opened, a tray of food floating in, the familiar scent of bacon and fruit, even filtered through the local offerings, more than welcome. At least most of the food seemed familiar to him.
"Put it on the low table, please." He instructed the servant with a motion towards it and finished lacing up his new light boots.
The tray was set down, the Servant shimmering back into view as Jerik finished up.
"I was instructed to tell you to send me for Mage Zachary when you are finished," the Servant told him. "He will help you with your classes today."
"I understand," Jerik nodded and settled on the floor to eat at the low table, absolutely delighted by the selection his instructions had brought. He began to eat with one hand and scribbled out ideas on some loose paper with the other. He kept an absent eye on the window to gauge the time. He wasn't going to rush his meal, it was too good not to enjoy, but he wasn't about to take unreasonably long either.
Less than an hour later he pulled the blue rope again and waited for the Servant to appear.
"Please take the dishes away, and get Mage Zachary."
"Yes Master," the Servant said, fading out of sight as the tray lifted up and floated out of the room. Apparently they were only visible when they were interacting with somebody. A few minutes later, and the door chimed lightly.
He stood and opened the door to a fairly young-looking Badger. "Mage Zachary?"
"Yes, Apprentice Jerik," the Badger nodded easily. "I understand you were going to enter the Academy in basic transmutation magic?"
"Yes, sir." He nodded and stepped back to let the Badger enter.
"I'm supposed to figure out just where to get you started, and get you down there," Zachary explained, stepping in. "Anything in particular you want to focus on? Shapeshifting? Altering materials? I should warn you, the whole 'lead into gold' thing isn't particularly practical," he chuckled.
Jerik blinked a couple times before he even placed the reference, then shook his head with a chuckle. "Shapeshifting, at least for now."
"It's a much easier place to start with," Zachary said easily. "You have some magical grounding, but don't know any actual spells yet?"
"Yes," he nodded and motioned to the mage to sit down if he wished to. "The kind of magic my family practices does not use spells."
"Not something entirely alien to us, though rare," the Badger nodded, taking a seat. "You'll probably want to start out with some of the basic classes in the entry-level spells most of us learn to master. Even if you only learn a few of them, they're good utility spells. That will occupy most of your first few months, most likely."
"Sounds like a good place to start," Jerik nodded. "Possibly some basic magical theory as well. I know my family's system, but not how it is thought of here."
"Magical theory is a part of the ground work," Zachary explained easily. "After you've gotten a good grounding in those, basic shapeshifting magic is usually open for new students whenever they're ready.
"You would be starting with minor changes to your appearance at first, most likely," the Badger explained. "Major changes come later, but with the right creativity you'd be surprised what you can do with a 'glorified disguise kit,' as some have described it."
"I'm quite sure," Jerik grinned, already thinking of many effective ways to use minor changes, even if he didn't expect to get into any line of work to use it often.
"So, do you think you're ready to start your first classes?" Zachary asked him.
"Absolutely." Jerik grinned and stood. "Will I need my book yet?"
"Oh, most likely," Zachary chuckled. "You'll probably want to take some notes early on, and you'll learn a spell to translate the language of magic in the first few days that you'll practice until you can cast it in your sleep."
He nodded and slipped into the bedroom to pick up the book in his desk drawer. He returned and pick up the quill from the table that he'd been using earlier. "Is there anything else I should have today, sir?"
"Your initial classes will be in the central building, on the ground level," he explained as they returned to the tower and quickly walked down to the main floor. "Most classes that aren't in a specific field will be; if you choose to be a generalist, you'll spend a lot of time moving from one tower to the next."
The two of them walked in to the central building, the sun almost reluctantly continuing to crawl up the sky as they entered it. Jerik couldn't help but notice the sound of training from the direction of the Guild on the way; at least that explained where Tomar was for sure.
Inside, they walked through halls that were actually in keeping with the size of the building, though that was still impressive. A number of mages of varying ages and species were sitting in the main hall, reading their spellbooks studiously, meditating and studying all at once. Suddenly, he sensed a flare in the Force, a powerful spell going off. Somebody shouted, and then there was another shift, something that seemed to make the Force go dead for a moment.
"It seems somebody was demonstrating a summoning spell beyond their means," Zachary mused disapprovingly. "There's a lesson for you to learn early; experimenting is all well and good, but you should know your limits too."
"It is a lesson I learned several years ago." Jerik said softly, more than a little embarrassed by the event still.
"Most of us try it at least once," Zachary chuckled. "It's a common experience; the key is to make sure that you learn from it. At least enough to only do it when somebody's handy to fix your mistakes. Here's the class," he said easily, indicating the door.
"Thank you," Jerik inclined his head and opened it, not really sure what to expect.
Inside, he found several students sitting in desks ... it was a lot like classes back home, really. The instructor, a long, lean Stoat, paused as Jerik entered.
"This is our new student, class," he told them. "Apprentice Jerik, please take a seat. We were just about to begin; I am Mage Temeth."
"Thank you, Mage." Jerik inclined his head and went for the closest open seat to the front, next to a black-scaled Gila Monster.
"The past few days have been spent on the basic magical alphabet," Temeth explained, turning to indicate the runes he had on the board up front. "Apprentice Jerik; you should work with one of your classmates to catch up to us on that front."
"Yes, Mage." He nodded.
"Today, we are going to start work on magical theory. As you are all aware, we are surrounded by magic. It is not something that we can see or hear, but we can feel it around us. Our spells are the means by which we manipulate magical energy. It is not a process that comes naturally to us, unlike some beasts. That is the reason for the words and gestures you will learn over the next few months, and part of the reason for our staves. These tools help us to focus our will."
"When will we get a staff of our own, Mage Temeth?" A female Lynx in the front row asked.
"Practice staves, once we begin actual spell work," the Stoat said easily. It made Jerik smile faintly at the correlation between staves and lightsabers. "You will have to develop true staves of your own by the time you complete your first single-circle spells."
"Single-circle, Mage Temeth?" The Lynx asked.
"Yes Quasma," he nodded. "The spells we will study in this class are considered primary spells; basic spells that serve as the grounding in magic all mages must study. Spells beyond these are classified, based on power, by circles of magical ability. They are a sign of a mage's power, though not always rank. A mage who is qualified to serve as an Elder must be able to cast spells of the tenth circle, the most powerful magics we have been able to unlock since the Great Purging.
"Do not make the mistake of assuming that there is a fundamental difference between spells of different circles, however," he cautioned them. "As with all magic, they come from the same pool of energy that surrounds us. It is simply a matter of how much energy is required to generate the desired results, and the ability of a mage to actually control that energy."
"The Great Purging, Mage Temeth?" Jerik prompted for a further explanation.
"The period of time prior to the War, when the Blighted One killed or drove into hiding most of the greatest mages in history," he explained. "We have not been able to recover much of the knowledge that was destroyed or lost during that time, including spells that would be classed above the tenth circle."
He nodded acceptance of that amount of inform and slotted that as something to dig into further on his own time.
"Back to the subject of magical theory," Temeth said, "you will find that there is only so much magical energy you can safely handle, both at a time and over the course of a given day. In this respect, magic is little different from any other sort of exercise, and your tolerance can improve with practice, as with physical exertion.
"Also like physical exertion, some are naturally better at it than others." He looked around the class of thirteen seriously. "Some will be able to handle more energy after a few years than others will even after a lifetime of work. This does not mean that you should set out practicing to improve your capacity immediately," he added, looking at some of the students, Jerik in particular. There was something about the tom that told him he was just the sort who might.
The tom, in return, was working on translating the local magic theory into Force theory in his book, though he made a point of keeping the language into the twisted shorthand made of a dozen languages that was one of his early creations in the world of ciphers.
"We should, however, practice when we have the opportunity, yes Mage Temeth?" The Gila Monster next to Jerik asked.
"First for skill, then for endurance, Remys," the Stoat said patiently. "It is more important that you be able to cast your spells well, than often. Keep in mind that spell work is using magic to reshape the very fabric of reality around us. What separates a Mage from somebody whose skills merely resemble true magic is that we can do virtually whatever we please. In learning to do so, you will improve your endurance as a result."
"Mage Temeth, what is more dangerous, casting a spell on an object, an animal, yourself, another person or time/space?" Jerik asked curiously.
"It depends on the spell," Temeth said honestly. "Generally speaking, it's best to practice on objects, then willing test subjects. Casting a spell on yourself, without a qualified mage who can cancel the spell if something goes wrong, is not recommended unless the spell is designed to only affect the caster."
"It will take some time to learn to cancel our own spells?" A ginger Cat girl, visibly younger than most in the room, asked from Remys' left.
"No, which is why using them on somebody else is acceptable," Temeth said easily. "However, Tessi - how would you cancel a spell that paralyzed you, or put you into an enchanted slumber?" He pointed out. "You can cancel your own spells, but another mage is best able to deal with emergencies. Broad-spectrum dispels are more advanced magic."
Jerik nodded. The first he was sure he could deal with, but the second wasn't something nearly so simple.
"That brings me to the subject of your Defenders. Your Defenders will often serve as test subjects for various experiments of yours. I have yet to meet one who was not willing to do so, although some are unsuitable for various reasons. However! They are not required to do so by their duties. Always remember that your partners are not merely sword arms, they are people first. If you want a protector you don't need to treat like a person, after you have completed your training you can do advanced studies in the production of golems. If we ever hear of a student conducting an experiment on their Defender without their permission, there will be consequences."
Jerik couldn't help but pale a bit at the idea of doing such a thing to a partner. He was quite willing to heal one against their will, or something else that fell under the 'survival first, ask permission or forgiveness later' caveat he'd been raised with, but the way the Mage was talking, he knew this warning did not come without it having happened, probably repeatedly.
And probably not for the last time, which just made it more disturbing.
"Similarly, certain fields of experimentation are not to be engaged in without the express permission of the Elders." This time, while Jerik had thought he was the one Temeth was looking at, he realized it was Remys next to him. "All the Elders, not just the leader of a particular school. Summoning supernatural beings, animating the dead and Blight magic are all fields of magic that must be studied very carefully, and not by novice apprentices without supervision."
Jerik glanced at Remys out of the corner of his eye, sure the reptile had said something in his acceptance interviews to bring this scrutiny on him. If he, being an alien that could put down Defenders who had been training for years, and as powerful as he knew he was here, didn't rate it, it had to take something serious to deserve those looks.
Of course, it could just be family history too. It seemed to be a universal factor at times.
"Now, if you're all ready, we'll begin some of the basic application of the theory we just discussed," Temeth said easily, seemingly dropping the subject. "This first spell is to help you decypher the basic magical codes that most mages resort to ...." He continued the lesson, beginning to explain the application of the gestures and words that made up the simple spell, leading the class through trying to put it into use.
Quasma looked around the tower Jerik's room hooked up with as she entered it with the young tom and Tessi.
"You're staying here?" She asked him. "Nice place; certainly a lot more cheerful than the tower I've got over in Divination."
"I guess it pays to be in the school that changes things out of habit." He smiled at her and opened the door to his quarters. "Hi Tomar." He greeted his partner cheerfully.
"And that isn't neighbors to the people who think bits of bone are charming fashion accessories," Quasma chuckled, and then looked up at Tomar as they walked into the room to meet the Rohr.
"Hey Jerik," Tomar said cheerfully. "Brought some new friends up?"
"A couple classmates that are helping me catch up." He nodded. "Quasma, Tessi, this is my Defender, Tomar. Quasma's the Lynx."
"Hi," Tessi smiled shyly at him, her bright green eyes slightly wide at being so close to a Rohr. They weren't exceptionally rare, but they were hardly commonplace either.
"Hi," Quasma echoed cheerfully, clearly curious, though being fairly reserved about it now.
"Good to meet the both of you," Tomar said politely, backing up into the room. "Jerik, there were a few papers of yours that had blown off the table, so I picked them up for you. Hope I put everything back in place right."
"Thanks," he smiled at his partner as the three felines entered and started to settle down for a study session. "Have you had dinner yet?"
"I got something to eat on my way back, but not a real meal," Tomar said easily. "Should I go grab something for the four of us?"
"You have a partner now; let a Servant do it." Jerik smiled softly at him and motioned to the blue rope dangling in the corner. "Just pull the rope."
"Oh, right," Tomar said, blushing a bit as he pulled the rope. "Still not used to those sorta things."
"Hey, Tim does the same thing," Quasma offered with a bit of a giggle as the Servant formed and took their orders, then left to go fetch the food. "At least he did just after the two of us partnered up."
"Yeah, you guys don't get any luxuries in the barracks." Tessi nodded in agreement. "Rainbow couldn't have been more grateful to get out of there."
"Okay, okay," Tomar chuckled, settling back against a wall. "How is Rainbow doing? I know he'd been griping about not being strong enough to make it as a mage himself before he left; he still sore about it?"
"Nah, he's just irritated that he has harder physical training." Tessi giggled softly. "He's fun when he doesn't think about it."
"Good to know," Tomar chuckled. "I should let you three do your studying; don't mind me."
"Does Rainbow know any magic?" Jerik asked curiously.
"He learned what he can, it's just not much." Tessi nodded. "On a good day, he can manage a first circle spells. Usually he only manages a couple training spells, though. Stuff we'll be getting into next week."
"I heard that you already know some spells." Quasma peered at him.
"My training didn't use spells, but I can do some things." He nodded and brought a blank sheet of paper from the pile on the far side of the table without touching it, then lifted his pen and opened Quasma's book and began to copy the alphabet on the second page without touching a thing.
"Okay, now you're just showing off, unless you've got a Hand on you somewhere," Quasma chuckled. "And if you do, I really don't think I want to know."
"A Hand?" Jerik looked at her and set the items down to finish copying by hand.
"Yeah, a Mage Hand," she explained. "They're useful, but ... yuck." She shivered a bit. "It's a charm made out of the preserved hand of a mage that lets us use that spell without needing to cast it. They're usually 'donated' in a mage's will, but there's still something a little creepy about them."
"No, it's simply how I've been trained so far." He tried not to show how creeped out by the idea of a Mage Hand he was. "My family doesn't use spells or foci, at least not in the way you do here. We also tend to stick to more physical and self-oriented effects like the levitation, healing and physical enhancement."
"So that's why the Loremasters were looking for those old books," Quasma mused. "They were arguing about who'd shelved them where last this morning."
"That wasn't me," Jerik shook his head sharply, not at all eager to get in trouble this soon.
"No, sorry," the Lynx said, blushing beneath her light grey fur. "They were looking for some books on a group of warriors who were supposed to do things like that. I wasn't blaming you, just saying how I'd heard about it."
"The Shivrae?" Jerik gave a guess.
"Something like that," she nodded. "Whatever it is, I'll probably hear just enough to start wondering about it before they tell me I shouldn't go poking around in that section yet," she said, rolling her eyes a bit.
"Possibly," Jerik nodded and leaned back on the couch with the copying finished. "I wouldn't be surprised to find out that hunt was because of my appearance. Apparently I do things the way the Shivrae do."
"That's what I figured," Quasma nodded. "Even if you're not from that part of the world, it wouldn't hurt to see if we can contact them again; they might be able to help you adjust if there are any quirks about how you do things."
"Well, if they do find anything, I hope you'll still stick around here Jerik," Tomar said, looking at his new partner.
Jerik looked over at him, a half sad look on his face. "That has just too many variables to even try to predict. I'm not looking to go with the Shivrae or home, at least not without you, but the variables ...." He shook his head with a sigh. "If you want me to, I'll look into the future, see what's there."
"No," Tomar said, shaking his head. "Besides, it's not even an issue unless somebody can get the Ghost Paths going again, and looking into the future ... not on my behalf, anyways."
"You can already see the future?" Tessi's eyes went wide.
"On a good day, I can see the most likely paths it will take, and sometimes the repercussions of a given choice." He nodded. "It's not exactly a sure thing, but the Moment can tell you a great deal, if you can listen."
"That's not something mages learn fairly early on?" Tomar asked, looking at the two felines.
"Uhm ... no, not really," Quasma admitted. "Not even in my field. It's more advanced training."
"It's something most shamans can do when they really have to," Tomar shrugged slightly. "We usually don't; it's risky. Sounds like it's not as risky for you, Jerik, but not as certain either."
"It's only risky in that you can loose yourself in the Moment if you don't have an anchor in the real world." He sighed softly, a sound of contentment. "It is ... perfect ... there. Peaceful. Sometimes it's hard to leave. That's the only danger though."
"A lot safer than around here, from what I've heard," Tomar mused. "Mom used to talk about some sorts of critters that didn't really like it if you looked too far forward too often."
"Why?" Jerik looked at him curiously. "The future is always in flux."
"Not sure," the Rohr shrugged slightly. "From the stories Mom told me, they don't exactly sit you down for a lecture on why they're trying to eat your head before they do so."
The tom blinked in surprise. "I sure haven't heard of anything like that before."
"Maybe it's something from around here," Quasma mused. "I have heard rumors about something like that, but it's very, very rare."
"As interesting as it would be to find out if it would see me the way I look, I think I'll be avoiding that." Jerik shook his head. "It sounds nasty."
"And generally fatal," Tomar agreed. "Still, if you're careful about it you can be okay."
"I'll definitely keep it in mind." Jerik assured his partner.
Just then, the door opened, several trays of food floating in.
"Guess it takes a while when you order for four," Tomar chuckled, standing to help set them down for the right people.'
"When your appetite is one of them, I'm not surprised." Jerik teased lightly and happily dug into the thick slab of rare meat and fried potatoes.
"I've got two bodies to eat for, remember," the Rohr chuckled, as the four of them gradually settled in to small talk and dinner.
Mage Temeth chuckled and shook his head slightly as he turned the corner to see Jerik scrubbing down the halls of the central building of the Academy, putting his relatively unique skills to use cleaning. The young tom wasn't anywhere near the sponges and mops that were making their way down the stone-tiled corridors, or the towels that were following behind drying the space. Despite the complete absence of physical effort in the task, he could tell that it was still an effort to control so many objects. He suspected it was an effort that the youth appreciated the practice of.
"You know, it usually takes students at least a year to figure out they can use magic to do their work for them," the Stoat chuckled. He had to admit it was a nice change to have a student that actually appreciated their chores for the magical practice they could be.
"This was the first skill I was taught, Mage Temeth." Jerik smiled at the long-bodied Stoat and rested his cleaning equipment. "Cleaning my room without touching anything was one of my first lessons. How may I help you?"
"Some of the other Mages are interested in a demonstration of your capabilities; if you can put your supplies away, I'm to bring you to the demonstration chamber."
"Of course, Mage Temeth." He inclined his head and focused on the cleaning implements again to guide them into the storage room not far away.
"Very good, Apprentice Jerik. I hope you have no problems with demonstrating your skills?" The Stoat asked, leading Jerik back down the halls he'd just come from.
"Not at all." He nodded easily. "Some will require equipment, all things you should have, or a moderately skilled transmutationist can create."
"Such as?" The Stoat asked easily as they began to walk. "We have some things there already, but it would be good to know if we have to fetch more."
"May I stop by my quarters to pick up my gear?" He asked. "It's not required, but it is what I'm used to doing demonstrations in."
"Certainly," Temeth nodded, turning to head back towards the tower.
"I'll need a few objects to move, like I do with the mops. It doesn't matter what they are, really. Then something that weights ... several hundred stone ... if you want to see that. If you have an illusionist or fire-mage that can give a blade to my Ko's-Ri hilt, I'll need that too. I haven't been able to fix it, but as a demonstration, the appearance of a blade will do.
"That will be simple for an illusionist, and the weight we'll see about," the Stoat said as they entered the apprentice quarters wing. "I'll send word while you collect and change into your gear."
"Thank you," Jerik nodded and opened his door, intent on making quick work of changing into his flight suit.
He did just that, grateful for the self-repairing nature of the fabric once again as he made sure he was presentable. Leaving the room, he found Temeth waiting for him as a small grey wisp of something flew away rapidly.
"Are you ready?" He asked him. "I just sent a wind-wisp off to make sure everything you need is collected."
"Yes, Mage." He nodded and followed the older Stoat out. It was strangely comforting to be in his uniform again, to represent his people, even as young as he was.
"By the way, I should have asked before," Temeth said as they left the tower. There aren't any particular materials your skills won't work on, are there? That you're aware of, at least?"
"Not materials, though there are a few creatures and places that nullify my abilities. Magic-dead zones and creatures that create them."
"You should be fine then," Temeth nodded. "By the way, you'll be performing inside an anti-magical shell. Standard procedure; it's not generally a good thing to have fireballs getting loose."
"I understand," he nodded in acceptance.
"It shouldn't interfere with anything; if it does, we'll see about altering its composition," the Stoat explained. They made their way into the central building, heading straight for one of the large auditoriums near the corner. Jerik noticed that Tomar was sitting in the audience near the front, one of the few Defenders there. The rest were obviously mages, marked by elegant robes and staves, walking sticks, or other variants on the focal tool of the local magic-users.
"Just approach the central stand; you'll find what you need there," Temeth told him, taking a seat near the back of the room.
Jerik nodded and felt the moment he passed threw the anti-magic barrier. Inside he could feel the dimming of the Force as he was partially cut off from it. It wasn't enough of a problem to really affect his performance, but still noticeable.
A Rat mage was waiting for him just inside the circular marking on the floor. "The item you wished a light-blade on, please."
He nodded and handed over the useless but very familiar hilt to his Ko's-Ri.
"Any particulars you prefer?"
"A glowing dark blue rod roughly four feet long, from this end." He pointed out the business end of his blade.
The Rat nodded and focused for a moment, whispering a few words in the magical language. The results were almost good enough to fool Jerik into believing it was real.
"Thank you." He took his weapon back before proceeding to the central stand to examine the objects he was provided.
A large rock the size of his fist that he could sense was enchanted ... several small, mundane objects to manipulate with the Force ... his Ko's-Ri, of course. There were other weapons there; clearly they weren't sure what he would be using to demonstrate his skill with them. Three different blades; a dagger, short sword, and long sword to choose from. He likely wouldn't use them now, but it gave him some sense of what weapons aside from a staff he might be expected to use here.
"First, a series of katas, combat training routines that do not require a partner." He announced to the observers and stepped back from the stand to give himself room. He raised his Ko's-Ri and tipped it to the left slightly before closing his eyes and slipping into the motions that he'd learned a decade before.
He heard their reactions; they were impressed, particularly by the increasing speed he used as he fell into the motions he'd been practicing since he could walk. At the same time, he could tell that their interest was not as keen as it was in the magic they'd heard of. Some of them might have been more interested, but he couldn't be entirely sure based only on what he heard from the watchers.
He didn't feel it, it felt far too good to slip into the Moment and the Force in its wholeness, but he knew the kata sequence took nearly two hours to complete and by the end he would be little more than a blue, red and rusty red blur to most of them. He could feel the strongest reactions from the Defenders, and a kind of bewildered worry from Tomar when he finally came to a stop and tipped his Ko's-Ri down and to the left in the traditional end placement.
"Any questions?" He asked the audience as he calmed his elevated breathing and heart rate.
"Is that typical of your people?" One of the mages in the back, hard to make out from Jerik's position, asked him.
"Among those strong enough to be a mage, yes." He nodded. "That is currently a small percentage of my family."
"And is your family the primary source of people with that strength?" The Mage asked him.
"Yes," he nodded.
"Do these techniques only work with the weapon you are demonstrating?" One of the Defenders asked him.
"No, it can be used it with any weapon. The Ko's-Ri is an energy sword and our weapon of choice for its lack of weight and ability to threw things. The less mass you have to move, the faster you can go. Given a few weeks of practice, I could translate most of the moves to another sword-like item or a staff. Things like polearms or a bow would take much longer, but are possible."
"Understood," the Defender nodded slightly. A few moments passed without any more questions before Elder Shatrein spoke.
"Please, continue the demonstration," she said.
Jerik inclined his head to her and set his broken, and still apparently lit, Ko's-Ri on the pedestal before stepping back and lifting the dozen-odd mundane objects, creating a three-dimensional representation of the inner solar system, complete with moons orbiting their respective worlds.
"Any requests? This is basic levitation. I understand you have a spell that does something similar, however I have been using this skill since I was a few weeks old. It is one of the primary skills, along with mastery of the Ko's-Ri."
"Demonstrate your control over this ability," the Wah requested.
Jerik nodded and kept the solar system in its complex orbit while he picked up the three blades. It took a moment to stabilize everything, but soon he was giving a basic sparing match between the short sword with dagger and the long sword. It pushed his control to the very limit with the number of objects he was handling. Being slightly cut off from the Force didn't help in the least. He was sure they could tell he was straining, but he kept it up for over five minutes before he set the blades down in their place to be followed by the miscellaneous small object that had circled him.
"Impressive," one of the mages mused. "What is your weight limit with this skill?"
"Several hundred stone." Jerik answered easily, grateful for the small break.
"Do you require a rest prior to attempting to lift that much?" Elder Shatrein asked.
"It would be welcome, Elder." He inclined his head to her.
"How long a rest?" She asked him easily.
"Half an hour to meditate, Elder."
"We will return in a half-hour then," she said simply. "Will you remain here while you meditate?"
"I would prefer to return to my quarters, Elder. The anti-magic field here would be quite disconcerting to meditate in."
"Very well; your Defender will make sure you return on time," she nodded, the mages standing and filing out of the room as Tomar stood and approached the center as Jerik came out to meet him, his Ko's-Ri in hand as the illusionary blade disappeared.
"Y'know, I'm starting to wonder if you even need a Defender," Tomar admitted as the two of them met. "C'mon, let's get you back to our room."
"I need a partner, more than a Defender." He smiled up at the Rohr. "That's you."
"Good to know I won't be totally redundant," the Rohr chuckled slightly as they made their way out of the auditorium.
"I wouldn't have chosen you if you would be," Jerik told him with certainty as they walked. "You'll see."
About forty-five minutes later, everybody was getting settled back in for the demonstration. Apprentice Jerik was in the shell, and some of the other Apprentices had managed to sneak in now that they knew about it. Quasma, sitting in the very back row, was among them as Jerik prepared to lift a load-stone. She wondered just how much it would 'weigh' by the time he was done with it ... and if he realized what he was in for. Two days was hardly long enough for most to have that much of a clue.
She fixed her eyes on Jerik as the stone quivered and shuddered but staid put. Her classmate was straining, she could see it in his expression. She saw his triumph too, when the stone could not counter him anymore and lifted from the pedestal.
One of the mages stood and entered the shell, inspecting the stone.
"Five hundred stone," he called out. Quasma was impressed; it usually took a mage a long time to develop the strength to lift that much.
"You may release the weight," the mage told Jerik, leaving the circle. "No need to be careful with it."
The teen nodded and let it go, relaxing a bit as the mage returned to the audience and the stone fell to the floor lightly. "I would like to demonstrate some of our non-physical abilities. However, I will need a volunteer you trust to tell the truth about it."
"Do you have any offensive abilities you will be demonstrating afterwards?" Shatrein asked him.
"No, Elder." Jerik shook his head.
"Your Defender will do then, if he is willing; we will drop the shell to view your process."
Tomar stood with a nod even as he caught Jerik's rather surprised look from the Elder's choice.
"I'm willing," he said seriously.
"Then enter and join your charge." She instructed and waited for the Rohr to join Jerik. "What will you be demonstrating?"
"Mind control." Jerik answered simply.
"I'm ready," Tomar said easily.
"Begin then ... now," Shatrein said, one of the other mages saying a command word that let Jerik feel the Force almost flood back into the area, the anti-magic shell falling.
He drew a deep breath and focused himself, gathering the Force around him into a shimmering pearl in his mind. He reached out with his mind even as he flicked a hand in front of Tomar. "Sleep."
It worked almost too well; he could tell that Tomar wasn't resisting his influence in the least. The Rohr collapsed to the pedestal, eyes closed, sleeping soundly. The mages in the first few rows nodded slightly, observing what Jerik was doing.
"Are there any side effects, or particular limits to how often you can use this?" One of the older Mages asked.
"None that have been encountered in the thirty thousand years the skill has been practiced." Jerik told him, then reached out to his partner again. "Awake."
Tomar stirred, standing up and shaking his head as the mages nodded and talked amongst themselves again.
"Does it tire you to use your skills in this way?"
"Very little, Sir." Jerik answered.
"Why was the break necessary earlier then?" Shatrein asked, not accusing, but attempting to understand how his skills functioned.
"It relates to the amount of energy required, and how much focus it takes. A simple Command, what I just did, takes little energy and little time. Lifting the stone and the controlled movement of a dozen objects over time both require considerable concentration and energy to accomplish."
"Understood; please continue, if there is anything further you wish to demonstrate," the Wah said.
"Tomar, I'd like you to think of something," he turned to his partner. "Mind reading is another skill."
"All right," Tomar nodded, taking a moment to form a clear mental image.
Jerik carefully only gathered the top image from his partner's mind, then blinked a couple times. "Your home village, Rohr gathering grain. You're wondering how the harvest went."
"Yes," Tomar nodded. "Like I said; it's been a while since I've heard back from home," he chuckled slightly.
"Are there any more questions?" He looked up at the audience. "I have one more skill, but I have been warned that foretelling is a dangerous thing to do here."
He could feel the irritation from some of the mages at the reminder, but most of them nodded slightly.
"That will suffice, Apprentice. Thank you," Shatrein said, inclining her head towards him.
"Thank you, Elder." Jerik bowed to her and left the arena with Tomar. "I have a bit of cleaning left to do. I'll meet you in our quarters afterwards?"
"Unless you'd like some help?" The Rohr offered easily. "I was given my smithing lessons off for the demonstration."
"It's my work," Jerik shook his head.
"All right," Tomar nodded understandingly. "I'll see you back in our room; want me to have dinner waiting?"
"That would be very welcome," he smiled at his partner as they parted company.
A Heritage of Power 4: Jerik's Story 3: First Days
39 KB, Story is Complete, Series is Finished
Written February 1, 2006 by Rauhnee Ranshanka and Karl Wolfemann
Setting: Herath, Star Wars (Furry)
Primary Races: Badger, Feline, Gila Monster, Kat, Rohr (Herm Wolftaur), Stoat, Wah (Red Panda)
Contents: Furry. Gen.
Blurb: Classes begin and Jerik finds a few friends to hang out with, but the real event is demonstrating his Jedi skills to the bulk of the Academy's Mages.
Disclaimer: All things taken directly from the sources listed under 'Fandoms' belong to the owners of those shows. No harm is intended and we're definitely not making any money. Now, the things we created are ours, and if you see 'Non-FanFic' up there, it's probably all ours.
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