Core - Search & Activity Streams:
Improved searching for phrases (when the search term is wrapped in quotes) when using Elasticsearch. Fixed creating activity streams on front-end. Fixed duplicate topics showing in some streams if using Elasticsearch and posts/comments have been split. Fixed error being logged when accessing an invalid page number of paginated results when using Elasticsearch. Fixed a typo in the Elasticsearch "Analyzer" setting description. Core - Social Promotion / Our Picks:
Fixed reputation information sometimes missing from replies to status updates and from topics on the "Our Picks" page. Fixed missing CSS if "Our Picks" is the community's home page causing missing images. Fixed promotion occurring at wrong time if scheduled to occur at midnight † Core - Posting:
Fixed edit being lost if the edit triggers the URL or word filter. Fixed issue where attachments may be rejected if URL filter is set to reject all URLs. Core - UI:
Fixed height of blocks in some grids. Fixed missing Tumblr icon in email footer. Fixed W3C validation error. Core - Clubs:
Fixed possible error when editing a club. Fixed price not showing correctly for paid clubs which do not have a renewal term. Core - Misc:
Updated CKEditor to 4.10. Fixed URL input fields not handling the value correctly if a "?" is immediately after the domain without any path. Fixed disabled reaction types showing in the reputation summary on user's profiles. Fixed it being possible to add a member back into a personal conversation after they've left by accessing the URL directly. Changed the "next" link which shows on mobile on the last page of a paginated table which, although disabled, points to a page that doesn't exist which was reported to trigger an error on some SEO diagnostics tools. Changed the online user list cutoff when using Redis to be consistent with when not using Redis (30 minutes). Forums:
Changed the permission check when viewing all topics created by a member to if the viewing user can see the forum they are in, rather than if they can view the topic† Commerce - Subscriptions
Fixed reactivating a previously expired subscription not moving the member back into the correct group. Fixed transferring a subscription from one member to another. Fixed duplicate subscriptions being created if member generates multiple orders for Subscriptions before paying and then pays more than once. Fixed broken record showing in the list of subscriptions if a member with a subscription is deleted. Fixed handling of subscriptions when merging two members. Commerce - Support
Fixed incoming emails not being received if the email was CC'd to the support system rather than sent directly. Fixed merging two accounts not reassigning ratings/feedback on support request replies. Commerce - Misc
Fixed entering a coupon a code may redirect user back to the first step of the checkout process. Fixed error caused by history logs for an alternate contact which has been deleted. Pages
Fixed error on "create item" page if the database is on the community's home page. Fixed attachments to editor fields in databases not being saved correctly. Gallery
Fixed error when editing a video in Gallery which does not have a thumbnail uploaded. Fixed URLs for video thumbnails in the XML sitemap. Increased maximum size of image descriptions to prevent value being cut off. Marketplace
Fixed possible duplicate notifications for Marketplace files. Literature
Fixed error viewing the literature comments a member has made from their profile. Fixed possible duplicate notifications for Story entries. Removed name of story from the header of each entry when viewing a specific story. Calendar
Fixed issue where recurring events may show in wrong timezone. Fixed error when editing an event to remove the end time.
AnthroDynamics, GDPR, and You
GDPR is the General Data Protection Regulation. It is an EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union. It also addresses the export of that personal data outside of the EU. However, there are certain points that should be noted, and we'll discuss those. You have individual rights when it comes to your account and data, the two primary of these being the Right to be Informed and the Right to Erasure.
The Right to be Informed
Lawful Bases for Processing
We store a small amount of data in cookies. These are used to authorize user accounts when you re-visit the community. Other cookies are used to provide a service at the user's request, such as changing the Theme.
Why go through all of this?
GDPR is all about being a good steward of the stored data of our users. Note that there is no requirement under the GDPR to delete or remove any information sent to the server by our users. While we do offer you the option to delete your account to comply with the Right to Erasure, it will be at our discretion if we remove all user-submitted content from that account, with the remainder being anonymized. The analogy with this is that it's similar to email: once someone sends you an email, you aren't obligated to delete that email. The same is true of user posted content. Ultimately though, we want our users to feel comfortable in using our services, knowing that their data is ultimately theirs.
Twitch.tv embeds are finally enabled! Still working on Picarto (Sorry, their API is kinda terrible). Some blocks on the home page were updated with a "Show More" button. (Ok ok, namely the Dev Blog and the new Journals block....sue me.) Two more themes are in the works, but uh....they're not quite ready to roll out yet. So there. Have that. Small update is small, but an update nonetheless. If you all have any questions, suggestions, or comments, you're always free to post them in the Q&A Forum.
1. Facebook Login
With the recent news of the possibly illegal usage of User Data by Cambridge Analytica, we have some changes regarding Facebook integration with AnthroDynamics. We have permanently removed the ability to create an account using your Facebook credentials. Furthermore, we have also disabled logging in to accounts using Facebook as an authentication method. Users who have previously created an account with Facebook will continue to be able to use their AnthroDynamics account. All that requires is the account's display name and the password you set when first logging in. If you need help, you can use the Contact Us link at the bottom of every page, or the Reset Password functionality on the login screen. Please note that the sharing links for content will still work.
2. Google Maps
In an effort to remove all tracking software and integrations from AD, once 4.3 launches we will be swapping out Google Maps with MapBox. Because maps are used in Calendar events (for instance, when adding a venue), this is one of the central features that we feel needed changing. We will make this move as soon as it is feasible to do so.
I hope this clears up our stance, and shows our commitment to protecting our community and its users' data.
Recent Marketplace Items
By Kindar in Missing Son 0The Missing Son 33
Patrick prepared dinner while his mother rested from her day at the diner. He'd spent the day trying to figure out how he was going to tell her about the invitation. He didn't want this to turn into an argument.
It was a simple meal, ground beef with potatoes, carrots and onions. They ate in silence, or rather his mother ate, he pushed his food around. His appetite hadn't shown up, and the way his stomach was churning, it wasn't going to.
He took his plate to the counter and rummaged through the drawer for a piece of foil. He found one that was large enough for his plate, and put that in the fridge. He leaned back against the counter.
"Mom." He'd been trying to find a way to ease into it, but hadn't been able to. "Dad wants us to celebrate my nineteenth birthday with them."
Patrick let her get over the surprise.
"How did they ask you? Did they call? how did they get your number?"
"No mom, they didn't call."
"Did they show up here? I can't believe they dared come here after I threw them out."
Patrick wondered what she was remembering. She hadn't thrown them out, and he knew that if they'd come a second time they would have told him about it.
"No mom, they didn't come here."
"Then how did they invite you? did they send you a message?"
"No, I spent the day with them yesterday."
"What! Why did you do that? don't you realize they're no good for you?"
"They're my father." Patrick kept his tone calm. His mother was working off antiquated beliefs. It wasn't her fault. He wasn't going to lose his temper.
"I don't care that one of them is your father. I don't want you to have anything to do with them. They can only be a bad influence on you."
Deep breaths. "They are both my fathers. And they aren't trying to influence me. All we did was go to a baseball game and play catch in the park."
"I don't care. It's just a ploy. I know they're going to try to take you away from me."
"Damn it mom!" Breathe. "They don't want to take me away, they just want me to be part of their family."
"Right, their family of perverts."
"Oh, get off it mom!" Patrick shut up. Damn it, he promised himself he wasn't going to lose it. "They're gay, they aren't perverts. And their sons, my brothers, they're nice guys."
"And how do you know that?"
Patrick signed. "Because they've all visited me. They're nice. One's a singer, a pretty popular one online too. One's into mechanics, one's a painter. They're all fun to be around. And It would be nice to have a party for once."
"I don't care. I don't like them."
"Mom, you don't even know them."
"I know everything I need to know about them."
"Fine." Patrick took out his phone. "I'll tell them it's just going to be me."
"Absolutely not! I forbid you to have anything to do with those fags."
Patrick only realized he threw his phone when it exploded against the wall, behind his mother. She winced and stared at him.
"Don't you ever refer to my father that way," he growled.
"Did you fucking ear me mom?" He stepped to the table and glared at her. "You are never going to say that about my father ever again."
"Patrick," she repeated in a severe tone. "You are not going to use that kind of language in my house."
He put his hands on the table and leaned in. "Fuck you, mom. You want me to use respectful language with you? Then you're going to fucking show respect to my father." He didn't give her time to say anything. I went to his room and put clothing in a bag. He grabbed the phone Arthur gave him and pocketed it.
On his way out, he stopped by the kitchen. "I'm leaving. Don't bother calling me I'm not going to take your calls. When you figure out what it means to be a Christian, send me a message and I might call you back." He left her there with a dismayed look on her face. He was proud of himself for not slamming the door.
* * * * *
Patrick knocked on the door and Richard yelled for him to come in.
He'd called as soon as he'd left the house. For a moment he'd considered calling his father, but it would be impractical. He couldn't ask one of them to drive him here each time he needed to work.
The first thing that he noticed was that the door wasn't locked. Richard never left his door unlocked. Then, the living room was clean.
"Rich, what's going on?"
The rat poked his head out of the kitchen and Patrick motioned to the clean space.
"Oh, yeah, I've been keeping the place clean."
"And the door wasn't locked."
"You were coming, it was easier to leave it unlocked."
"You've never done that before."
"I'm on medication now. It's keeping my paranoia under control. Also, off caffeine, that's helping too."
"I didn't know you had that problem, I'm glad you've resolved it."
"It's thanks to you again. That company you hooked up with, they have an in-house doctor, when they hired me he checked me up, had some blood tests done, scans. Turns out I have a slight chemical imbalance. The meds are fixing that. So, another fight with you mom?"
"It didn't get to that, I left first. I'm fed up with her intolerance."
"Well, you know you're welcome here as long as you want. And you won't have to share my bed. The guest bedroom actually usable now that I've thrown out all the crap I'd accumulated there."
"Okay, and thanks again."
By BigPuppyStuart in Stuart's other Writtings 0Stuart Phip propelled his portly body through the woods outside of town. His step was lively for a guy of his girth and his tail was positively wagging. He was excited to reach his destination. He traveled light, he had nothing but a range bag with a camera, a knife and a box 50 condoms. The need for the condoms is what put the wag in his tail and the spring in his step.
He has been invited to a small set of houses in the woods with a rather wild reputation. It was run by a small discreet group of men all look for visitors of a certain type and a certain build. Stuart met those requirements with his round belly and thick arms that were not entirely muscle. He was dressed plainly as instructed as this group wanted no real indications of social class. He had no trouble doing so, he wore simple clothing, a pair of blue jeans, suspenders and a tight red shirt that hugged his ample middle. He had heard of the things this group got up to and was excited to be invited. He had only one reservation when he received the invitation.
Only huskies were invited. After sending some follow up messages after receiving the message he had found out that it was less to do with race biases and more something to do with something in the woods that would chase people unless they were of husky descent. After some reading up on the area it turned out there was some ancient beast that lived there and guarded the land for the descendants of its former followers or people that could pass for its former followers. This was one of the few cultic beast territories. The owner of the house was a distant descendant of the cult so he honored the tradition of only inviting people the beast would not assail. The thing that really tipped him in favor of coming was his boyfriend practically demand Stuart attend.
“ Dude, you need to go and get mega laid, you will regret it forever if you don’t. Also take your camera and take lots of pictures.”
He had been convinced to go. He walked through the wooded path toward a clearing with a muted yellow house as the sun was falling low in the sky. The thought of what was waiting for him inside caused him to speed up. He had been told to go right in. He approached the door and it opened to show a potbellied brown and cream male husky in nothing but a pair really short shorts. The man smiled and said,
“ You are the first to arrive but some others should only be minutes behind you. Come on in!”
Stuart Gladly entered the door that had been left open for him. He followed his host into a living room and followed the invitation to sit down on the couch. His host sat next to him rather closely and casually put his hand on Stuart’s thigh in a blatantly sexual fashion, but it was alright since there was a clear understanding of what this place was for.
“ So first thing’s first the thing in the woods will be prowling around for a few days so don’t be alarmed if you see a figure in the woods. It won’t hurt you if it hadn’t tried to chase you off already.” His host said rubbing Stuart’s leg affectionately. “ And second, there is a little tradition I would like to indulge in, I like to have first timers put their seed in my belly before we all get started if that is alright.”
“ Oh sure go ahead.” Stuart says cheerfully. His Grinning host moved his hand from Stuart’s thigh to his zipper and unzipped his pants. Stuart pulled up on his shirt exposing his gut to both untuck his shirt from his pants and move it out of the way so he didn’t get anything on it. He lean back and splayed his legs a little. He felt the other man’s fingers slip in and part his underwear and press on the stiffened sheathe of his member. He let himself extend fully erect to fill his host hand. He felt the pot bellied husky press his muzzle over his cock and the pause to work his tongue over Stuart’s glans. Stuart sat there grinning stupidly like most men do when they have a mouth wrapped around their dick. The pot bellied head giver put one hand on stuart’s tummy then began bobbing his head with wet sucking noises. Stuart just leaned back even more and let his host go to town on him.
As he lay back relaxed with a guy’s head bobbing hungrily on his crotch another person came in. The New comer was a large doughy bellied man with a grey brown coloration and no shirt, He as grinning at what he saw.
“ Hi Harold, how’s it going? Don’t talk with your mouth full.” The newcomer says jovially. The brown potbellied husky ignores this and keeps working his muzzle up and down Stuart’s dick. Stuart gives a little wave to the hefty newcomer and idly wonders what it will take to feel that doughy belly pressing against his back.
“ Oh I see I have caught the new guy’s eye, well sorry new guy, I am mostly here to watch and take pictures. In fact…” He brings up a camera and snaps a few shots of Stuart getting his knob polished. Stuart just smiles mildly for a few moments before his smile tightens and brightens as he feels his member spasm and the pot bellied man’s muzzle press firmly onto his meat. Stuart can swear he feels the man’s uvula resting on top of his cockhead as he pumps his load into the warm eager throat. The photographer grins toothily as he takes a few snaps of Stuart’s O face.
With a wet slurp as he expertly cleans off all cum from Stuart’s meat, the guy give head leans back and stands up, licking semen from his lips. He goes over and hugs the Doughy bellied new comer warmly.
“ Get set up, more should be on the way and they are gonna want to get right into it.” They wonder off leaving stuart alone for a moment, sitting in the afterglow with his fly undone. In the email he was given express permission to wonder around and make himself at home, and to not worry about clothing when doing so. He unbuttoned his pants and slid his suspenders off his shoulders. He Dropped his pants and underwear to the ground and wondered the house, looking around and actually looking for spaces that would be fun to copulate in. He had surveyed 2 bedrooms and what looked like an empty office when he heard someone opening and closing the doors, possibly checking the place out like he was. He peeked out and saw a reasonably attractive fellow with a medium paunch in a Tshirt with some sports team on it. He was also without pants so Stuart got a nice look at his junk. He was nicely endowed. The man caught sight of Stuart and gave an approving grin and a slightly nervous wave.
“Hello there I am Roderick.” He says in a friendly deep voice.
“Stuart. I am the new guy, or one of them.” Stuart comes out fully into the hallway. Roderick’s eyes briefly dart down then back up to Stuart’s face.
“Don’t be shy, you can look.” Stuart says reassuringly.
“I am hoping to do more than look if that is alright.” Rodrick returned.
“Well there is a bedroom right here if you want take your time.” Stuart says with a sly grin.
“Well yeah there is, but in the spirit of this even, let’s take it out to the garden.” Rodrick says giving Stuart’s gut a pat. Roderick takes Stuarts hand and leads him into the back garden. They walked through the living room to see some more guys have arrived. One of them must have been another new guy ‘cause he had his jeans around his knees and the host of the even was kneeling in front of the guy and stuffing cock into his face. Another guy was leaning against the wall looking a little bored but perked up by the sight of 2 fat guys with no pants walking out the back door. The guy, a hefty very light gray husky in T-shirt and jeans came off the wall and made to follow them.
Once outside Stuart takes a seat on the grass and sets his jeans and little bag in pile next to him. Roderick looking shy and excited sits next to him and he leans in. They cuddle on the grass for a moment as the fully clothed gentlemen walks over and stands a few feet away as if to not intrude.
“ Mind if I watch?” He asks.
“ Fine with me.” Stuart says
“sure” Roderick said then leaned in to whisper to Stuart. “I kinda want you to dominate me with your bulk. It is my thing if you don’t mind.”
Not saying anything and in a rather smooth motion the hefty husky rolled over and was straddling Roderick, pressing him against the grass with his stomach.
“like this” Stuart asks. His mouth slightly open and his ponytail falling over the side of his neck. Stuart could feel the pinned man’s breathing increase and a warm hard object pressing into the bottom of his belly.
“yeah, like that” the guy beneath Stuart said beginning to pant lustfully.
“ You got a nice ass” the fully clothed guy says.
“Yeah he does, but mine is better hon” comes a new voice behind Stuart. Stuart doesn’t bother to look back he is too busy putting more of his weight on Roderick who responds by pumping his crotch lightly and rhythmically poking Stuart’s gut. Both Stuart and Roderick look over at a thump and the clothed guy who followed them out plops onto the ground on top of the guy getting head earlier. Their mouths are locked and the clothed guy is grinding on the other while the bottom starts pulling his pants down. In moments they are making love slowly next to the pair.
“Looks like a good idea, want to copy them?” Stuart asks Roderick who just panted and grabbed onto Stuart’s thighs. Taking that as a yes Stuart grabbed his little range bag and pulled out a condom from a pocket on the bag. Stuart sat up so he was kneeling over Roderick’s pelvis and handed him the condom then pulled his red shirt off over his head. Rodrick had gotten the condom on and had pulled a little packet of lube from somewhere and doted his tip with it.
“In ya go.” Stuart laughed and squatted down smoothly, letting out a satisfied hum as he felt Roderick’s member press into his pucker then fill him. He only basked in the feeling for a moment then began working his hips gently but quickly worked his way up to a steady bounce. Rodrick squeezed Stuart’s hips and rhythmically pulled him down onto his member though it was pretty useless as the fat ponytailed Gray husky was in complete control of the pace. Having settled into a stead rhythm Stuart leaned forward without interrupting his pace and pushed Roderick’s shirt and began rubbing his nipples. Stuart continued to grind his backside against Roderick’s pelvis.
After a few minutes of this a crowd had gathered to watch and chat. Stuart could hear and smell that beer was being opened and passed around as people commented on what they saw.
“ The big one knows how to ride”
“ He must be fitter than he looks to move like that, I hope he gives me the same treatment.”
“ I swear I have see that guy somewhere.”
“The bottom guy has a great dick, or is he the top since he is penetrating? Whatever, great dick.”
“You weren’t kidding when you said this was nothing but a no frills orgy hon, I won’t have to make small talk we can just fuck.”
This all came as white noise cause Stuart was too into what he was doing, his behind was singing in pleasure and he felt himself hardening as he was sufficiently recovered from the blowjob on the couch. He was thinking about how he would take care of it, wondering if the other couple snuggling and gently making love on the grass wanted a player 3 or if the wanted to be left alone. As he continued pumping his backside onto Roderick’s nicely portioned member he realized that he was most likely going to go off from that alone as he felt the building throbbing pleasure in his depths move out into his dick.
“ Ohhhh yeahh aUGHGHHGHGGGGGGGHHHH” Rodrick bellowed out and pulled on Stuart’s hips as he he jammed his pelvis against Stuart’s ass as hard as he could. After a few pushes and pumps Roderick falls limp onto the ground and his dick soften’s and slips out of Stuart. Stuart was a mere instant from going off himself and was left hanging. Roderick was laying on the ground panting his eyes rolled back into his head looking like he didn’t know what planet he was on so no chance of getting a finishing handjob. This was confirmed when Roderick began snoring gently. Stuart was too polite to wake him up to finish so he stood up in a fluid motion and turned to see the crowd of men staring at him. One of them, a truly round fellow with a flabby face and a yellow long sleeve shirt step forward and handed Stuart a beer then pointed at his dick.
“May I uncockblock you?” He said teasingly.
“Have at it.” Stuart says in a mixture of good humor and desperate hornyness.
The Round fellow gets down on his knees and opens his maw wide before taking Stuart’s dick in hand and pulling it down to rest on his tongue. He gave a squeeze and 2 strokes before Stuart grunted and sprayed his load into the round man’s open mouth as he Stood there panting and pumping his load into the guys open mouth he felt an intense gaze on him and he looked into the forest to see an indistince figure watching him from the forest. He stared back and concentrated on it to the point he barley noticed when the round guy closed his mouth fully around his member and squeezed Stuart’s balls as if to make sure they emptied fully into his mouth. Some of the other guys were also looking into the forest. The figure faded into the shadows and Stuart no longer felt its stare. His mind came back to the guy sitting in front of him.
“Thanks for that dude.”
“Thanks for dinner, guy” the round faced man said looking up “ Can you help me up, I am a bit too plump to stand up by myself….”
“How about you stay there and have a second helping” a guy chuckled out. After the man on the ground agreed Stuart cracked his beer and mingled with the crowd. He found him talking to a Stocky shorter man of maybe 40.
“ The thing in the woods, I think it is feeding off the emotional aura of the orgy.” The guy said eyeing the forest.
“Yep, that Is what I am thinking, instead of live sacrifices this Totem beast thing feeds off of energies from copulating people, lends credence to Voctor’s theory that ritual orgies were more than just tribal bonding.” Stuart responded.
“ Man, we must be boring as hell to start talking magic and anthropology at an orgy.” The stocky guy who is fully clothed says.
“ I don’t mind, I need a few minutes to recover before I try and do anything else tonight.” Stuart says.
“ Yeah I saw you going at it earlier, looked fun, I wish I had the courage to talk a guy into boning me stupid, but I just stand here to shy to talk to anyone until I get wasted and don’t remember anything.” The man says ruefully.
“ Well you are chatting up a dude with no clothes on who wouldn’t mind fucking you stupid if that is what you are after.” Stuart says, and the stocky guy laughs.
“ heh well if only my ex could see me now, academic talk actually getting a guy to mount me.”
“ Want to go inside or…”
“Nah, I need to get into the spirit of things why not do me up against that tree.” He says and points to a nearby tree that is still in view of the crowd. The guy goes up and leans against it. Playing along Stuart walks over and undoes his pants and pulls them down. He feels himself quickly growing read for a round 3. He quickly puts a condom on and slowly pushes himself in till his belly is resting on the guy’s back. He reaches down and takes hold of the guys thighs before giving gentle thrusts.
“I’m gonna take my time” Stuart says. The Stocky guy just laughs and pushes back onto the penetrating member. Stuart just stood there and basked in the feeling of warm flesh squeezing around his throbbing meat, nothing but a thin layer of latex between them. He slowly pulled back then pushed himself back in looking down at how his belly jiggled slightly as he pumped slowly in and out.
As the minute drew on the stock guy leaned farther and farther and Stuart speed up, getting faster and firmer in his movements. After 10 minutes of this the bottom pipes up.
“My legs are getting weak,” the stocky guy says. His legs trembled as he lowered himself to his knees. Stuart Lowered with him, taking much of the stock guys weight. The stocky guy was now resting his head against the tree and huffing as Stuart’s hips speed up a little more. Stuart leaned in as much as his big belly would allow and cuddled closer, going from just a casual banging to a more tender cuddlefuck.
“Hey, guy, when it is time to go to bed, why not join me in the second bedroom in the east hall. Bed is nice and big enough for both our fat asses.” The Stockyguy says between breathy huffs of pleasure.
“Sure. If I fall asleep after boning you stupid, you will carry me right?” Stuart teases. Then firmly presses his hips against the other’s backside as he begins filling the condom.
“Not a chance tubbo.” The Stock 40 year old says as he pushed back onto stuart’s thighs then layed on his side as Stuart gripped the base of the condom and pulled out. He tied off the condom after he slipped it off then lay next to the panting bottom.
“ Now that we fucked, My name is Stuart. ”
“Bellowen. My name is Bellowen. But you can call me impressed because damn.”
“ Tell me about it, it isn’t even 8 and have been blown twice, rode a dick, and taken a handsome guy up against a tree after talking magical anthropology as foreplay. Not a bad start to the night.”
By Kindar in Missing Son 0The Missing Son 32
July saw the weather cooling down, and all of Patrick's brother visiting him at one time or another. Even showing up at the bar as a group, where Jen couldn't stop swooning over them, and Arthur had most of the women in the bar, staff and customer fussing over him.
By the time the month was almost over only two people hadn't visited him, and Patrick wondered why. He hadn't asked his brothers to inquire, because he didn't want them caught in the middle if this was something serious. He hoped it wasn't as he entered the number.
"Hi dad, it's Patrick."
There was a moment of silence, in which he heard a chair being moved and creak. "Hi Patrick, how is it going?"
"I'm okay, you?"
"We're good. The kids have mentioned how fun the bar is."
Patrick almost commented on it, but stopped himself. He didn't want to do small talk. "Dad, how come you haven't come over?"
"We didn't want to force ourselves on you."
Patrick chuckled. "Forcing themselves on me seemed to be the other's plans."
"Yes, well, they're your brothers, your age. I expect it's easier to have them around you without feeling like you're being pressured. We worried that if we showed up, or called, you'd feel obligated to spend time with us."
"I'd like to hang out with you dad."
"Really? Great... err, just me, or Danny too?"
"What? Both of you, of course? Sorry, I've been trying to get in the habit of thinking of your two as two distinct people, but I keep falling back to one."
"It's okay, I don't mind. What do you want to do?"
Patrick hesitated. "Father/son stuff."
Donald chuckled. "Okay, anything slightly more specific?"
"Not really. Maybe go in the park and play ball. Do you have any ideas?"
"I do, but you'd have to be willing to let us pay for it."
Patrick cringed. He really didn't want to say no to him. "Nothing too extravagant, okay?"
"It won't be, I was thinking we could go see a baseball game. We'll get some of the middle seats, those aren't really expensive."
"Sure, that'd be fine."
"Good, when do you want to go?"
"Weekdays work best for me."
"How about tomorrow."
"Yeah, that doesn't get in the way of your work?"
"No, but let me check with Danny in case I forgot something." The call was silent for a moment. "Nope, we're good for tomorrow, and he says the Giants have a game with some losing team from the east coast, so it probably won't be busy. We can be at your place around ten, the game starts at eleven."
"I'd rather you pick me up at the bar where I work." He messaged him the address. "I don't want to run the risk of a neighbor noticing you and reporting to my mom."
"Alright. We'll see you then."
* * * * *
His father was out of the car as soon as it stopped moving and hugging him. "It's good to see you again."
"You too dad."
His other father was more casual about it, but his hug was as tight. "We've missed you."
"I've missed you too."
"So, ready for a baseball game?"
On the drive to the stadium his fathers talked about the game they were working on, a fully immersing adventure for the Aguiron Room system. They talked about the problems they were having since they needed to learn a new way of coding, as well as having to figure out how to handle a 360 world that was there all the time.
It all went over Patrick's head but he let them talk, enjoying listening to them, their enthusiasm, their love for making games. He'd always wanted his father to be someone happy, who loved what he did.
The parking was deserted, and looking over the seating as they took theirs, Patrick saw no more than twenty people.
"Even for a weekday game, I expected there to be more people," he said.
"The team hasn't been winning, so people aren't making time for them, and the Yankees haven't had a great year either, so this isn't much of a draw."
His father stood. "Donny, Patrick, want anything special from the stand? I'm getting food."
"I don't even know what they serve."
"Don't worry about it then, I'll get you typical baseball food."
"And I'll have the same."
When his father returned with the food, two baskets with sausages rolls and one with drinks, the space above their head, over the field erupted with static and then holo images of the diamond, the stands and various area of the field as the stadium camera people setup their equipment.
His father passed the drinks first, and Patrick smelled the beer as his father took it. He was relieved not to smell alcohol from his cup, and was pleasantly surprised when his first sip tasted of orange soda. He hadn't expected them to remember.
His father then sat and reached past Patrick to handed a roll to his father. the bun holding the sausage was covered in so much chili, sauerkraut, ketchup, mustard, relish that he couldn't see the sausage. Patrick was amazed none of dripped as it was passed before him. His looked the same.
He took it gingerly, taking a moment to decide on the best way to attack it, then bit into it. His fathers laughed as the topping spilled over the bun and onto his hands.
His father put a pile of napkins on Patrick's lap. "No way to avoid the mess, so don't worry about it." The other basket had more rolls and when they finished those the game began.
Patrick leaned back and watched the first pitches, and the Yankee's batter walked to first base. His initial thought was this was going to be boring, but he didn't mind. He was here to spend time with his fathers, the game was incidental.
By the end of the first inning he was leaning forward, watching the holo as the Giant's batter was struck out. there hadn't been any points, after that first walk there had been three consecutive outs on each side.
In the middle of the third inning Patrick found himself standing. "oh come On! Is that guy blind or bribed? That ball was over the plate, that's a strike!" He realized he'd screamed it and blushed.
His father grinned at him and Patrick sat back down. "Why is the umpire even there? there should be sensors in the plate and around the batter," he grumbled, "the results would be much more accurate."
His father patted his leg. "Tradition. Screaming at the umpire for screwing up is as much part of the game as sitting back and watching it. I didn't realize you were this passionate."
"I didn't know either. This is the first time I've bothered watching a game."
His father smiled. "Well, looks like he's another one who takes after you Danny."
"You're passionate about baseball?"
"Football's my game, but he means a sport fan."
"What's there to enjoy about football?"
Daniel grinned. "Guys piling on top of one another, putting their hands between each other's legs? It isn't so much the game they are playing, it's the things I can imagine them doing."
Patrick found himself imagining, and blushed. "okay, I get the appeal now." He squirmed in his seat and focused on the game to get his mind off the images his father had put in his head.
Patrick surprised himself each time he jumped to his feet to argue a decision. It wasn't that he felt he shouldn't be doing it, he enjoyed rooting for his team, but the game wasn't even that interesting. Both teams were bad, the one point the Giant got was because of errors on the part of the Yankees. He was unusually pleased when the game ended with that point being the only one awarded.
"That was fun, I'm going to have to start watching them at home."
They made their way back to the car.
"Do you need to get back home right now?" his father asked.
"No. So long as I'm at the bar by seven I'm good."
"We'll be dropping you off before that. We're going to have to deal with traffic on the way back."
"That's fine. If you want to avoid that, you can take me back right now."
"Absolutely not. You wanted a father/son day, that's what you're getting. Now get in."
They drove to a park and his father took three baseball gloves out of the trunk. They spent the next two hours throwing the ball. Patrick couldn't stop smiling the entire time.
When they stopped his father went to get them food. When asked what he wanted, Patrick replied with 'something that isn't messy.' He could still smell the chili in on his hand after washing them.
They sat in the grass while waiting.
"You didn't ask which one of us is which," his father commented.
Patrick shrugged. "It doesn't matter to me. You're my father, both of you. Like I said when we talked yesterday, I have trouble thinking of you as two individuals."
His father chuckled. "That would have been when you talked with Donny. He didn't mention that."
"I guess this is a case when it might help, but you said the others don't even try to differentiate you anymore."
"They don't, but they grew up with us. I didn't expect you to adjust this quickly."
"You dress the same, talk the same, I could try to keep track of you when he comes back, but I know I won't be able to, so why even bother."
Daniel squeezed his shoulder. "I'm happy you're comfortable with this."
"You're my dad. It would take a lot for me to even consider making this difficult."
Donald came back with hamburgers, three each.
"Condiments are on the side, so you can make it as messy as you like." He proceeded to add one of everything to his first burger. Patrick put onions and mustard. Daniel also put everything on his.
"Did you ask him?" Donald asked.
"Ask what?" Patrick said.
"We're wondering if you'll want to celebrate your nineteenth birthday with us."
"That's next year."
"I know, but we wanted to give you plenty of warning, because we'd like you to bring your mother."
Patrick pulled the burger away from his mouth. "You want me to bring my mom? You do know what she thinks of you two right? Can you imagine her reaction when she finds out the others are gay too?"
"She won't know. The kids invite their friends and their parents come too. And there are going to be girls. You can invite some of your friends if you want."
Patrick took a bite and used the time to think. "I don't think inviting my friends is a good idea. The shock would be too much for them. As for my mom, I can't promise anything, but I'll talk with her. If I can get her to view you as people instead of walking sins she might come."
"We figured it might take time, that's why we're inviting you this early."
They finished eating, then threw the ball of a while before they drove Patrick back to the bar. He hugged them tightly before they left.
By Kindar in Excerpt for Patreon Exclusives 0Going Home is a series that Explores the city of Tiranis through the eyes of Eric Clarkson, a returning veteran, who finds that the city has changed more than he expected in his absences.
Each section of the series will focus on a different part of the city while Eric gets pulled into problems typical to that area, or sometimes not so typical.
This is about 1000 words of the 9,100 words chapter.
You can read the full story, as well as other stories set in the world of Tiranis by joining my Patreon at the 1$ level: ttps://www.patreon.com/posts/20705840
Going home: Strongburgh, Part 3 of 4
“Excuse me,” he asked the man walking up the stairs “Where is Glamboro Hall?” the man shrugged. Eric asked the next person, a human woman. She gave him direction and he thanked her.
“There!” He spun and at the top of the stairs a student was pointing at him while looking at her phone. She showed it to the students around her and they nodded. So much them not having a picture of him.
Or not running. He took off.
Glamboro Hall was three blocks down. The old library, the woman had said. Renovated to hold the science department. She’d apologized for not being able to tell him more, but she was late for her class. When he wasn’t busy being chased by mind-controlled students, he’d look up the building’s history.
At least he was in better shape than his pursuers. He glanced over his shoulder and only two were still after him. And one looked like he was about to give up. Far behind them he could see more students, hand on their knees, panting hard.
He ran through the pedestrians and streets, grateful no one drove here. All the cars were in the lots at the entrance of what had been downtown Strongburgh years ago.
Some of the people looked at him, but none of them showed alarm. They probably thought he was running late for something.
He considered calling the police, but immediately dismissed the thought. What could he say? Sure, it was true that she was mind-controlling them, but could he prove it? Could he convince them to x-ray their necks? He’d have to find another Builder who could see diagrams like he could, and how likely was that? The students would say whatever she wanted them to.
And if convincing them wasn’t enough, they’d ask for his ID. He’d been lucky twice already. The first time because Doctor Reignheart had known the officer, and then because Peek had made the officer think everything was already fine. But now? He didn’t have anyone to vouch for him. Isabel would, but he doubted she was on first name bases with any officer who would show up.
He didn’t think the professor would call the police either. She had to worry that someone might believe Eric’s story. If anyone examined her students, what she’d done would be revealed.
He glanced over his shoulder and cursed. The girl was still after him. Not gaining, but not giving up either. At least she was human. If she’d been a cheetah, or any large cat really, she’d have caught him already.
He saw the building, wide, three stories, with a clock at the peek over the double door entrance. Seven minutes to noon. That couldn’t be right, it was way past that. Broken then. A look at the diagram told him one of the gear was missing, deep inside. They’d have to take the clock out just to figure out what needed to be replaced.
He grabbed the gardener’s rake that was leaning against the stair’s railing. Inside he pushed the door closed and shoved the rake through both handles and he was running again.
Goal. The word popped up as he opened his ability wide. His mind knew his plans were changing. He needed to incapacitate the students after him, there were too many of them he couldn’t fight them all.
The diagram formed before him from components he was seeing all around him. The hunger to create something grand hovered at the back of his mind, but it wasn’t insistent. Good, he didn’t have time to deal with that on top of everything else.
The item took shape before him, but it was too large. He needed something portable. With the change in criteria it altered and became something palm-sized. Now he needed to find all the parts to make it.
He heard the rake break.
Ideally find them someplace where they students wouldn’t find him in return. He went up the stairs.
He saw the rows after rows of electronic parts before he reached the top of the stairs. A storeroom. Perfect. The door had an electronic lock, but it was the same as on Professor Amirel’s office door. So it easy to get the right numbers for it. He entered and carefully closed the door behind him.
He grabbed the items he needed still panting. He couldn’t slow down. At least the door didn’t have a window so the students couldn’t see the light, or the shadow he cast as he moved about.
He took out his took and began assembling his…what was he going to call it? It needed a name, inventions always had to be named. Disruptor, that was a good name for it.
The Disruptor took shape. Its form meant it would fit comfortably in his hand. He could add a strap so he wouldn’t have to worry about it falling out.
The most impressive thing, to him, was how powerful and small the batteries had become in sixty years. By his calculation, the battery he put in the disruptor, barely the size of his thumb had enough power to short most electronics. He’d have to recharge it after each use, so ultimately he couldn’t use that to stop Amirel, but it would let him deal with the students chasing him.
So long as they came at him one at a time.
Yeah, really not the final solution.
Once the disruptor was done, he plugged it in. He’d also build a charger for it. Something better than what he’d seen. In two minutes the disruptor was fully charged.
He placed an ear to the door. The downside of now having a window was that he couldn’t look outside until he opened it.
With a chuckle he rested his head on it. He didn’t need to open the door. For his purpose he could actually see through it or walls. He looked for the diagrams. He saw one on this floor, further down the hallway, two on the floor above and five below, with more approaching the building.
By BigPuppyStuart in Gai'talar setting 0CONCEPTS OF MAGIC
Kasha/ Mana/ framdt: A caster's internal reserves of magical energy that refills over time. The rate at which it refills vary from person to person as does how much energy they hold. Through practice and training both of these can be improved as well as learning to be more efficient in its use. Some casters compare it to a muscle, it improves as you use it. A wizard that has exhausted their Kasha while not feel physically tired and can go on to fight physically. Kasha fills faster while someone sleeps but since there is no physical tiredness associated with being out of Kasha Napping to refill it is not always viable.
Varkash: The magical energy of the cosmos, this is thought to be unlimited and the source from which thinking beings fill Kasha from. Powerful or skilled practitioners can tap into this directly and for a time channel as much power as their mind and body can handle. If not done carefully chnages or strange side effects can occur, the general term for these side effects are Mana-Burns, Framdt scars or Varkash bites. These side effects can range from temporary inconveniences to life long and debilitating. Sometimes it is hard to tell what is a natural anomaly and what is a mana-burn and sometimes it is rather obvious. A person with 2 different eye colors could be natural but some with blue glowing teeth is definitely mana-burned.
Mana-burns can also be fatal and in some cases, usually deliberately done, catastrophically fatal. When times are truly dire powerful wizards will deliberately channel more power than their bodies can handle and blow themselves up. It is thought that Glass lake Island is the result of this, a mile wide circular crater in which the sand had been melted to pristine glass sits in the middle of the island and has filled with fresh rain water.
Converting: This is a practice in which life energies or physical well being is converted to magical energies. It is not fully known how this is as it seems people learn how to do it differently. The most notible example of this was a Skitritch who learned to convert body fat into magical energy so he would gain weight then loose it rapidly after doing grand powerful things. Most others that try to convert pass out or become delirious or become very sick so it is not a popular technique.
Devotion/ The Sacred Flame: This is the divine source of power that some casters can draw upon. It is not common or well understood.
Methods of Magic:
Intent magic: This is a type of magic performed entirely through thought and will power and the manipulation of energies through thought and focus. Someone with an affinity will perform that magic type easily through intent even if they have difficulty with other types of magic. This requires no speaking or movements though many casters will move as it help focus their intent. The moments are simple gestures and not complicated affairs such as ritual magic calls for. This type of magic is performed by focusing magical energies with the mind and shaping them to an effect. The caster has 2 ways of accessing magical energies, one is an internal pool of energies in themselves that refills after they use it and the other is to tap into the cosmic magical energy that permeates the universe. This latter option is harder to do and takes concentration.
Ritual magic: Magic that is performed by a ritual such recitation of words, writing of runes or hand gestures. This is akin to a magical computer program that is activated to make a certain effect. They take less mental manipulation of magical energy and are used for to cast things more difficult than the cast is usually able to do. These were made by many ancient cultures and so one language or writing system is employed to use them but they can only be performed in the language they are set in. Ex: A Lontracant ritual can not be performed in any other language than Lontracant. The Art of creating and crafting Rituals is closely guarded and is not an easy feat. Sometime Invokes outer beings for a purpose. Some types of Ritual magic have hand signs on movements associated with them, these are called Casting signs.
Types of magic:
Elemental/ Energetic: These are the typical Fire, frost, lightning as well as kinetic. This is about manipulating or adding energies in a system. Firing thermal blast from your hands or creating kinetic barriers falls into this category. There is some confusion by no practitioners about this. Blasts of cold are part of this field but actually firing a bolt made of ice is not. Water and ice are not made by energetic manipulation.
Bio-thaumaturgy: The type of magic that specializes in altering the physical body. Healing magic as well as magically inflicting maladies fall under this type. Like all others this type of magic is neither good or evil it depends on how it is used but is often seen as holy. Eventhough magical means for healing and treating illness exists, the demand for medical care is so great that Practitioners of Bio-thaumaturgy also learn non magic based medicine so they can still treat people when their magical reserves are depleted.
Matter Manipulation: This type of magic concerns altering physical matter into other things or changing it to function better. an example of this is someone taking a handful of sand and turning it into glass or crystal without using heat. Expert Matter manipulators are highly sought after in the Artificer's guild though it is not a prerequisite. Wizards that fire projectiles made of ice are actually doing matter manipulation in addition to Energetic manipulation. A caster that seems to produce water or ice in their hands are actually condensing it out of the air or if scientifically knowledable enough makiing it from hydrogen and oxygen.
Eldritch energies: these energies act strangely with the rest of the world and are considered mysterious and not as well studied as other energies in the magical domain. Often Confused for Shadow magic bu are distinct. Energy bolts that seem to corrode what they strike are the best know example of this. These energies make people except those adept in them sick and confused. For this reason most people who experiment in this field won't do it anywhere near people because of the ill effects of it.
Shadow magic: Use of a mysterious magic that acts like an energy and a substance. Has many strange effects on people and can vary depending on the caster's needs. Looked on with distrust by the general public and even some wizards. Shadow magic practitioners can sometimes alter their bodies to become a semi coherent mas of darkness. Object can pass through them without harming them but they remain vulnerable to certain magical energies.
Magitech: A blend of magic and technology or technology powered by magic. A Boiler the derives its heat from magic instead of coal is still considered magitech by most people. To the general public the lines between pure technology and Magitech can be a little blurred. A completely technology driven electron thrower would still sometimes be called magitech even though magic had nothing to do with it.
Alchemy: Using magically altered or infused ingredients to make potions. Many consider non magical chemistry to be alchemy but wizards don't.
Chemistry: the study of non magical interactions and the properties of the physical world when not manipulated by magic. Sometimes considered magic despite being absolutely not magic.
Holy magic/ Sacred flame: Magic sourced from the creator of the universe and Deity of all Gai'talar's religions. Has grown more an more rare.
Devotion/Attunement: Usual users of this add divine effect to their existing magical or physical effects. This isn't learned or but manifests when a religiously devout person calls out to God, Also Refered to as the sacred flame. This can happen Subtlety so no one notices or be Rather obvious. Only a few individuals can do this at will and they are usually Religiously devout. One odd thing that has been noted is that Standing in the organization of the church has no bearing on this ability. 3 notable example that demonstrate this are High Priest Bell'wed Krontyr a Hesken priest of high stature but being considered to hold odd views, Barnough the Eldritch a reclusive Valperet mage who's field of study was considered unwholesome but always took time to attend services, and SeanHan of the coasts, a Sionact fisherman who despite being religious railed against the church and many of their actions. Seanhan had no magical training whatsoever but seemed to be able to ask the assistance of God when ever the situation called for it. The Act that gained Seanhan notoriety was when he challenged a pirate captain to a one on one fight for the safety of a crew of captured fishermen and he won by splitting the pirate's sword blade with a fillet knife. Somehow despite being 7 feet from the mast, it also split and fell over disabling the ship. Despite people of all walks of life successfully invoking the Sacred Flame in times of need no one has been able to establish a pattern or refine a method for doing it consistently.
Speaker Of the Sacred Flame: Sense 1: This is an extremely rare manifestation in which the creator of the universe can speak directly through someone or tell them to do things. The Speaker can even be completely taken over to perform a task. They usually don't remember this task and awaken after feeling no ill effects from whatever they were doing even if they were up all night doing intense physical labor they do not feel tired or sore the next day and think they just fell asleep. This state can last a long time. One of the most well known Speakers of the flame created an orphanage and ran it for 4 years before waking up in an unfamiliar city in a strange country and not remembering what had happened. Skills he picked up such as cooking and medicine mysteriously remained. Often called True speakers to differentiate from the title.
Speaker of the Sacred flame Sense 2: A title give to priests who show holy affinity or have attained very high rank. Some churches such as the Alo and the Hesken will never bestow this as a title. Other titles are used in its stead and the term is reserved for sense 1 individuals.
Spirit singers/ Soul song: A mysterious type of magic that is not as well understood as other practices. Sometimes the song doesn't come from a person, it can come from a place or object. Can manifest in actual sound ( Vibration of air molecules ) and sometimes it manifests purely inside someone's head and can not be reordered or perceived through methods of sound recording. ( Gai'talar has simple sound recording and playback technology like Phonographs ) A milder manifestation of the later form can come in vague feelings. The are Called "memories of the Melody" and it has become a common turn of phrase to express a vague emotion that is not explainable. These can be positive and negative.
Spirit Singers can also influence people with song though this is not full control. Examples range from whipping soldiers up to fight to calming them down and reminding them not to get too carried away. Some Spirit singers disguise themselves as regular Bards and play at pubs to make random people feel better. They Most openly perform at funerals and can help give closure to the grieving. People who specialize in this are called 'grief singers' or 'chanters of Lament' and are the most accepted form of spirit singers. Some villages also have dedicated Spirit singers who's job it is to keep certain types of supernatural entities at bay or to move on.
Affinity ( Magic ) : A talent or predisposition toward a specific type of magic domain or specific effect. That type of magic will come more naturally to the caster. People with strong affinities might have their carers dictated by them. An example was grand Magister Definnus Huin who had a talent with fire and could cause mass devastation thus became an expert at magical warfare despite his real interest being in medicine. Affinities also can be considered burdensome or inconvenient such as a Luntrondae being born with a lightning affinity. The water dwelling specie's normal environment makes this talent extra dangerous. In situations like this the person must either never live up to their full potential or go train in an environment less dangerous to that type of power.
Casting signs: Finger or hand movements used in ritual magic, these are akin to keystrokes at a computer to enter commands. People who learn these casting signs can tell what a caster is trying to do even if they have no magical talents. It Takes some magical train or practice to cast using casting signs but not as much as casting from pure intent and mental discipline. Someone can stand there and make casting signs all day and nothing will happen unless they put energy into it. Casting signs all originated from one culture but which one is up for debate.
In some cultures Casting signs have made it into common use as rude hand gestures. In Southern hesken populations Repeatedly extending and curling the pinky and ring finger means "Hurry up you are wasting my time/ get to the point" which come from the casting sign "Activate" or "begin." Valperet find this extremely rude because Hesken are often considered to be extremely patient (or at least it is thought they ought to be) so being told to hurry up by one is considered shocking. When a Hesken does this to another Hesken or a skitritch it is not taken rudely it is just taken as " Hurry/ double time it, or Wrap it up." In cultures less at ease with magic using casting signs at all is considered rude and in cultures that highly revere magic it is considered rude to cheapen them into slang hand signs. Lutrondae are an example of the former and Alo an example of the latter. Alo will go so far as to smack people's hands if they think they are being too Flippant in using casting signs. Alo hold casting signs in such esteem that some hardcore elements even look at hand based nonverbal communication as a knock off or mockery.
Magic writings: When writing about magic there are certain conventions that can come of as confusing. In aceint writings the symbol for "fire" would mean more than one thing such as, literal fire, energy, or destruction. An unitiated person who just knows the symbols might read a magical instruction as "set it on fire" when the real meaning is "give it energy." The Symbols and runes often have no power in themselves but just describe a concept. You can write the Runes for "shield" all over anything but this won't give it any power. The Commen practice is to write these runes on things to show what has been done to them but this common practice has lead some people to think the symbols themselves have power.
Things like spell books are really just instructions on how to perform an action or effect and what the requirements are. The Writings in spell books are mostly formulas and paragraphs describing what the effect is and how to concentrate on it.
Outer Beings: Creatures from extra or outer planes of reality. Range from the utterly vicious to the slightly quirky. Are recognized as a source of power by many cults.
Realms: The catch all term for the different but connected worlds or planes that are accessible through magic.
Shadow Realm/ the place echoes: This is a mirror of what happens in the physical world, a shadow of it, this is where most but not all ghost would reside. Is neither good nor evil in nature though many vile things reside there. Also considered the dream world but this is contested.
Astral realm/ ethereaum: The realm that houses a vast array of places manifest. Can also be mirrors of the physical realm but are connected to greater vastness of things. It is theorized that this is where souls go after death unless something causes them to go elsewhere.
Le Verld/ physical world/ Mundus, Miorgar : The physical world were laws of physics are consistent and life arises. Also just called Gai'talar
Heritage memory: A rare magical manifestation of remembering all the history, stories or language of a culture. This culture is usually but not always that of the person who it manifests in. These are memories of how events actually occurred and not always how history records them so sometimes these individuals are seen as being very inconvenient.
Artificer: Someone who specializes in imbuing magic into devices and technology. Also talented in crafting. What distinguishes them from inventors and mechanics is magical training and ability to imbue and tune magical energies.
Totem animal: An ik'sophant ( Not human or above level of thought ) species that is held sacred to an individual. It is not required that the totem animal be the progenitor species of the individual. A Skit'ritch may have a wolf as a totem animal. Totem animals act as magical scouts or guides for Spirit magic practitioners.
Soul trap: A magical device that holds the soul or ghost of a being. Used in trapping dangerous spirits by ghost hunters. Soul Traps can also be made of living beings. Some magic users have soul traps worked into their own flesh and use it to hold someone's soul for greater power or because they are not ready for that person to die. Most magically inclined people can see the state of the soul trapped and so determining if they are holding a person that is not ready to move on or if they are holding a soul against its will is a simple matter. The Make of a soul trap can also tip off people as to its intent. When made one way it allows a soul to stay there for as long as it wants but nothing stops the soul from leaving. When made another way it traps the soul of the person but is delicate and can be broken by and outside force.
Reborn: A soul that has been born into a new body. They can usually remember their past lives or learn to remember them. Memories are no guarantee that you are a reborn and not everyone who thinks they are actually are. Sometimes people with mental illnesses think they are reborn. There are methods of checking but not everyone is comfortable with them. The most well know and Documented Reborn was an ancient Hesken wizard king who was born again 5 thousand years later into a poor Sionact household and retained his memories and powers but never tried to amass power and regain his position because he was happier with the new family. He died of old age with a large family and it is thought that his soul passed on, though some claim he is hanging around as a ghost watching over the surviving members of the family.
Magical Focus: There are many tools used to focus and amplify magical energies. Allows for more efficient use of energy but not all magic users need them. Almost any object can become one if properly modified. Here are a few along with their cultural significance. Focuses are used because it make channeling magical energies easier and can focus their power more efficiently. They are not strictly needed but make things much easier.
Rod: A wood or metal rod that has been augmented to serve as a magical focus. Is favored by people who expect to have to fight using magic. It is Sturdy enough to be used as a striking or blocking implement.
Orb: A magical ball or Orb ( though it can be other shapes like a pyramid ) that levitates and moves with the users will. It can emit magical attacks and effects from it leaving the user to do something else with their hands. These are not as popular because of the mental effort and constant focus needed to control it. The benefits of it are the user can see through it and distance is pretty meaningless to orbs. They are usually strong enough that they are are near impossible to break. A full martial art focused around using an orb as a offensive and defensive tool in place of fists. The draw back is that some mages can send haptic feed back through the link connecting the user.
Book: With special preparation a book can be made a magical focus as well as be a repository of knowledge. They have the added effect of sometimes having soul containers worked into their covers so the soul of a wizard resides inside it and acts as a keeper of knowledge. Depending on the soul these are the only implement in wizard history to be good or evil. It is not so dependent on the knowledge contained in the book and more about the alignment of the keeper. One Book that exemplifies this is a book on how to cause or cure magical plagues that can wipe out civilizations. This book considered the most dangerous and vile of tomes is inhabited by the soul of Saint Chiinick who devoted his life to curing diseases. If anyone opens the book with intent to do evil, Chiinick will make the pages appear blank or blight you with a nasty but short lasting malady. If you are granted access but start looking into parts of the book he doesn't think you need to see His ghost will start pestering you to stay on task and start screeching in your ear if you try to ignore him. He is said to be very annoying.
Wand: The classical magic wand. Is light and maneuverable but is the most fragile option so it is not as popular outside strictly academic institutions.
Imbued Knife: A knife that has been modified to channel and amplify magic. Is useful because it is both a tool for physical work and magical work.
Hammer: Artificers often like to turn their hammers into their focuses, they will not usually do it for every hammer they use but they will pick a favorite that they always carry. These are not always obvious as not all Artificers will mark them with runes or other decorations. One common thing is that they often make the hammer cause discomfort or tingling if anyone but the owner try to use it. Many people thinkg that this is because their hammers are so full of potent magic but it is an effect put there so people will stop Borrowing them. When the Artificers guild started " Where's my fucking hammer?" was one of the most common things shouted in the grand workshop.
Sword: Some mage knights imbue their swords to act as focuses so they can switch seamlessly between casting and swordplay. They are falling in popularity but are still around.
Staff: The traditional and oldest form of magical focus. Is versatile in that it can be used as a weapon, a tool and as a magic focus.
Cane: similar to a rod but made to act as a walking implement when not used in magic. Cane and rod fighting techniques are a little different.
Ring: A ring used as a magical focus. Is not usual particularly powerful but is portable and concealable.
Knuckles: Bras knuckles modified to be magical focus. these are favored for fighters who mix magic into fist based martial arts.
Gauntlet/glove : A glove or armored gauntlet modified to be a magical focus. These are not as popular as they are harder to make them light. It take an expert artificer to make a simple pair of leather gloves act as a focus.
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