Guide to Improper Use of Magic (Garthen)

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Guide to Improper Use of Magic (Garthen)

Postby Aronan on Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:25 am

This is a collection of short amusing stories about my mage and his misadventures, also must be noted that all stories are written in first person, we begin with Cooking:

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My kitchen. Through my entire life I thought of it as a place I could actually relax in, with its endless array of smells and sounds that attacked my senses every time I went to cook for myself, or for someone else if I had company. I connected my kitchen in some strange way with the importance of having comfort, love, protection, and most importantly, a feeling for home. No matter where I have been in my life, I never forgot that all my memories more or less began from my kitchen. And I really, really loved beeing around it whenever I could.

The place itself was fairly large, with a high ceiling which leaned on sturdy support beams that held the second floor of my house above it. It was filled with various utensils, pans, pots, and knives; basically everything one bored mage would need to keep himself occupied and amused for some time. The fireplace was well made, with a curved vaulting. I had placed a heavy wooden table nearby, and it was somewhat of my work desk on my days off. Many people have strange hobbies: some collect insects, other coins. Me? I like to cook whenever I have the chance.

However, this tale is about the time I decided to experiment in that area. And the result, well, you are going to learn fairly soon what happens when you mix magic with cooking, and if it was not dangereous, it was at least hillarious. Well not for me, but for whomever may have witnessed my doings in the small town of Eastvale as he passed on his daily business.

So, one day I felt quite bored and above that, lazy. But above everything, hungry. So what is the first thing that could pass through the mind of a bored and hungry mage who is too lazy to cook for himself? Magic, of course. I was planning on cooking myself some vension, which I had prepared earlier. The grill was already over the fireplace, almost as if waiting for my arrival. But there was more: I was planning on making a salad. However I never really got into cutting vegetables so I just focused my willpower towards the arrayed knives on the table, and infused them with just a little arcane so that they could do that menial task on my behalf.

I was wearing a white linen shirt with loose sleeves and I had a unlit cigarette between my lips as I began going around the kitchen to gather spices and other ingredients I had in mind to use for the night's dinner. But something eluded me. I did not have a light, or matches, so it seemed like I was going to use magic once more for one more menial task. It wasn't anything serious, lighting a fire, you might think to yourself. But I never really enjoyed abusing magic to such a degree, even though the five knives cutting vegetables of their own accord were pretty impressive.

Eitherway, I took some wood from the side of the fireplace, putting it in along with the kindling before reaching inside with my hand to touch the wood and muttering a quiet spell that would ignite it. And it did ignite; however, with my hand still inside. Well, I could have pulled my hand out a second faster than I did, but who would have thought linen would catch fire so fast? So I took my hand out, my sleeve flaming. What would anyone in my position do, you wonder?

I did what every other half sane person would do, of course! I leaned down, lighting my smoke on the fire before extinguishing the blaze with my free hand. This evening seemed to look promising; not five minutes in the kitchen and I had already set myself on fire once. And as those thoughts passed through my mind, I felt something loosening. It wasn't my shirt, or my pants. It was my willpower. Then all hell broke loose.

See, a mage losing his willpower due to a distraction might not be so dangereous in the case that he doesn't have a small armoury of knives enchanted. I did. And the first thing I insinctively did was to throw myself on the floor as the knives began wildly stabbing and slashing the air just a foot above my head. That was just great, because at the same time, the flames I magically conjured began increasing in size due to me losing my focus. Great. Not only I was going to get stabbed to death, but it was going to happen while the whole house was on fire.

What a fitting end, I thought to myself. After seeing the ending of the events in Outland, and then the fall of the traitor King, I was going to die stabbed to death by salad knives and then have my remains burned. Light, this was going to end in the Dalaran magic abuse books, as a part of the incident logs. Just great. It's not like I am already subscribed to those logs or anything, I just need a more fitting incident written in them with my name underneath!

I ducked under the table and pondered over the situation for a moment, and I was curious. What would Khadgar do in my place? Probably he'd be on fire already with that long beard of his, but then I had it! It was so simple I hit my forehead on one of the wooden legs of the table and I began focusing once more. In a matter of minutes, and with some small property damage done, everything was under control again. However, I still had a dinner to make for myself, and after clearing the mess I wondered over something.

I wondered if it was going to be worth not using magic to cook anymore. Right then, it seemed like a really good idea not to. Light damned, mages should not be cooks.

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We move on towards Portals!

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It was the third day since my assignment was complete and I was back in the Stormspire to rest before I head back home. I was sitting outside the inn of this once idyllic draenei town, now inhabited by traders and smugglers of all shapes, sizes and calibers. In my hand I had a glass of ethereal mead; a strange bitter drink, but one that had an amazing refreshing effect on tired people like myself.

The place itself was nothing special; it was deserted ruins turned into a smuggler port worthy of Gadgetzan or Booty Bay, but the sky, the sky was amazing. It was a mix of purple and crimson, as if the very fabric of the cosmos was invading the atmosphere of this broken land and infusing everything within it. Fel, the very land was purple and it gave it a rather mysterious look. The land, however, was not really interesting to me. I found it actually boring to be here for long, so I always cut my visits to the Stormspire quite short. I listened to the hushed conversations from within the inn and the quiet music that was coming from the instruments of the band that was currently playing for the entertainment of the guests. It was rather relaxing, if not enjoyable. The musicians were playing on exotic instruments, filling the surrounding area with the impression of sounds you would only hear in distant lands which have never had a human set foot on them.

And as I listened, I leaned my head back against the stone wall with my eyes closed, enjoying the bitter taste of my drink. Then I heard a few familiar tones in the music, as if almost I had heard, if not played, one of the instruments they were using. The sounds were softer, more gentler than a violin and yet they were quite crisp. Probably a harp of some sort? And then I remembered. A harp! A Light damned harp!

I dropped my mug as I leaped up, instantly remembering what I had forgotten for the past few days. I was supposed to travel to Dalaran two days ago and pick up an instrument which I promised to someone, and I had forgotten! Just typical! I think they heard my cursing in Shattrath city and the guards of the Stormspire cringed and winced at the thought that a Legion overlord might be coming in to burn their little smuggler town. But I had no time to concern myself with such thoughts, I had to get to Dalaran as soon as possible! And the fastest way to there was naturally a portal. And as I cast the spell opening the portal, I wasn't thinking about the fact that there was a four hundred and ninety pages long manual on how to use portals, four hundred and seventy pages of which was recordings of incidents. It seemed that it was my turn to add my contribution as I jumped blindly into the portal.

I ended up in Dalaran alright. However, I ended up a few meters up in the air, above the fountain of Antonidas. As I felt the lack of ground beneath my feet, I began cursing once more and fell into the pool of water with a large splash. I recoiled and jumped out of the fountain in front of a bunch of gnomes, who looked quite scared alright. More, I think, at the fact that there are mages as incompetent as myself rather than the fact I actually fell into one of the sacred fountains of this great city.

I began walking towards the shop where I was supposed to pick the instrument, and naturally quiet curses and mumbles accompanied my departure as I moved further away from the gnomes. That was not of my concern though; I had to go get the instrument and head towards Stormwind as fast as possible! I reached the shop accompanied by surprised glances and more quiet mumbles, but the store owner knew who I was, and he just began laughing as he saw me.

"Is it raining outside, Raelas?" the gnome shopkeeper inquired with that squeaky voice their race was famous for.

"Don't you start with that as well!" I muttered out angrily before looking around the shop, a small pool of water now gathering in my feet. "Is it ready?" I asked staring down at the gnome.

"Oh, its ready alright, its been ready for three days. I was wondering when you were going to show up, if you were going to show up at all in this weather!" The gnome began laughing again and this time I did not spare him the cursing I had prepared.

As I paid what I owed, I tucked the gift wrapped package under my arm and walked out, still hearing the laughter of the shopkeeper as I left his store. I was at this point quite agitated, so I began casting another portal, this time to Stormwind, once again forgetting the rules and regulations on its proper use, such as where or how to place the exit point. Another entry to that big book was on its way, moments ahead.

I naturally jumped in the portal as I always do, and I was greeted by an old friend on the other side. Two hundred kilos of steel and stone, standing imposingly in front of my exit point. I felt the hit before I actually realised what had happened. I once again smacked myself into a lamppost, and I felt cold darkness enveloping my consciousness. I did not know for how long I was out, but I awoke with the sensation of being poked with something from all sides. In that half awake state I thought that I was probably being attacked, so I jumped up, and what followed was rather different than what I actually expected.

I sat upright, charging a fireball in my hands to defend myself against any attack that might have dared to take advantage of my poor state. However, things weren't as they seemed. There were three children around me in a half circle, poking me with sticks as if I was a corpse. However, me sitting upright and then charging a fireball had a rather interesting effect on them: they began running and screaming as if the Lich King himself was at their heels.

I muttered and stood up, picking up the package as I conjured a block of ice and pressed it against my head. I staggered towards the mage district, where hopefully I was to meet the recipient of the package, and I really, really hoped it was going to be worth all the trouble; for if it was not, I was going to travel back and beat the gnome with the instrument until it turned to dust!

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And onwards to Blinking!

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I always had my doubts about how competent I was in the magic schools, so you can imagine how serious the situation might be if even I began to worry about the current state of my abilities. I never really took anything -that- seriously in my life, be it magic or my own wellbeing, but some recent events and certain portal travels into rose bushes and noble gardens made me do something I never imagined I possibly would: I went into the libraries of Dalaran and I took out a few copies of the guide books for certain spells that have gone wrong for me in the past and present.

As I sat at the desk in my house, a glass of brandy next to the pile of books as I stared at them and I could almost feel that they were staring back at me, if not even laughing silently, seemingly knowing who was sitting in front of them, I wondered, in all this pile of knowledge, where should I begin? I decided to see how good my luck would be if I simply picked a random book from the pile, and as I did so, I began cursing. The title was "Guide to proper use of magic: Blinking Rules & Regulations."

I never liked the spell that much; it always had a small chance to backfire and I have been there several times, with incidents ranging from appearing on the other side without my clothes to bumping and hitting myself into various objects and people. I swear - I never thought something so simple could be so painful. I took a careful sip from my glass, placing the glass far away from the books as the last thing I would want is to explain to the curator why their books smelled of alcohol when I returned them. I flicked through the first page and I began reading the book. The first pages were rules, and they stated something that was painfully obvious to me, but it really served as an example of how much I've messed up that I felt uneasy in front of a damned book. Here is what the book contained:

"Rule #1: Never blink into space occupied by anyone else. Blink, as it has been taught, replaces the air and water from the caster's target position to the caster's starting position. The spell's success and widespread use is based on its simple elegance. The real object to the spell is to replace the caster's body with whatever is in front of them - the fact that the caster is moved to the area is the side-effect.

The spell is elegant enough to recognize and avoid people most of the time. Immense Kirin Tor resources are being spent to perfect an already nearly flawless spell, but be warned that deliberate blinking into others may result in one of the three outcomes: The caster replaces the target, the target replaces the caster, or both occupy the same space, creating a sickly abomination the likes of which even the Scourge would exile from their ranks. If you would like to prevent one of these three tragedies, please be mindful of your blink target areas. Which brings us to..."

I had no idea what this would bring me to after turning the page over, but it certainly reminded me of the first time I ever tried the spell. I was around thirteen or fourteen years old, training in Honor Hold with the rest of the adepts, young and old. I was told what I was supposed to do, how to do it and what to avoid, and I thought I was ready: as it turned out I was really, really wrong. To put it simply in a few words, I had focused my willpower enough to cast the spell, however being a boy my age meant that many things could distract me easily.

And the distraction this time was one of the Quel`dorei mages passing through the courtyard towards the mage tower, and I must say - she had that unique and exotic beauty which her race was known for, and that really made some thoughts pass through my head, enough that the end result of my spell was to be very different to what I originally anticipated. I felt my focus weakening so I simply let go and cast the spell. I indeed ended twenty yards from where I stood, but I felt different. I felt cold for some reason, and as I looked around I knew what had happened by the laughs I heard coming from twenty yards back.

I had blinked twenty yards forward, with everything but my clothes, so I was standing there, in my shorts, rather confused and embarrassed. That was my very first taste of proper magic, and it tasted weird. I snapped out from the day-dream of memories I just experienced I decided it was time to resume reading, so I flicked the next page and I continued reading.

"Rule #2: Look where you're going! After a staggering number of incidents that were the product of people violating Rule #1, the Kirin Tor has moved this rule up from its previous position at #8 to here. We understand that accidents happen, but some accidents are not so easily remedied. Remember mages, look both ways before crossing the Astral Plane!

Don't Blink to anywhere you can't see. This is an addition to Rule #2 that deserves special mention, due to the fact that this rule is one of the most commonly broken on purpose. We have gotten increasing reports of mages meeting tragic ends with their blinking. Some mages admitted to consciously trying to blink through walls, into dark areas and even inside crates, in a desperate attempt to hide from pursuers. We cannot stress enough how foolish this is.

Solid matter is connected to itself rigidly enough to, well, make it solid. Unlike air and water, which can be easily separated and swapped, the bonds of solids WILL translate onto the caster. The Kirin Tor feels obligated to list all documented Small Claims Disaster Cases pertaining to blinking inside solid objects. Memorize these claims, and avoid making the same mistakes yourselves."

I think I recall I had a few additions to those cases, around twenty actually.. I recall blinking into almost anything, from people to solid matter, light-posts and walls and crates. I swear I do not do it on purpose, I just lack focus sometimes or am too distracted to actually pay attention to where I am going. It occurred to me that I thought there was even one of my accidents listed in this book, and I wondered if I could find it - and easily enough, I did. It was one of the few cases that was written in bold letters and for a moment, just for a single moment, I felt special, but that moment quickly passed as I began reading the incident. It was very familiar, almost painfully familiar to me.

"10015-B: "Hospitalisation of Garthen Raelas after blinking through a portal into a light-post on the exit point of the portal. Mr. Raelas stumbled back through the portal, more from the backlash of the hit than through his own motions, with his forehead bleeding, before passing out for four days. Collateral damage minimal, light post was lightly dented upon inspection."

I felt proud of my stupidity! Never before have I ever seen someone writing my name in bold text, regardless of the reason: fel, every kind of publicity is good publicity! But it made me think, should I not focus a bit more with what I was doing? Perhaps I would be more safe if I did. But then again - I don't want to be safe, I simply want things to be interesting, and if that means blinking into the Firelord's lair, so be it. And with that thought passing, I closed the book, deciding that I would read the few hundred pages of incidents later, and reached for the next one.

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And we finish with Polymorph!

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There I was, reaching for yet another book from the pile, wondering what wonderful memory it would bring me this time. And seemingly, I had picked a book about one of my favourite spells! Its title read "Guide to proper magic use: Polymorph rules & regulations." I must say, that actually was one of my favourite spells, not because I could turn almost anything into an animal of some sort, but because of the many things that could go wrong!

I have seen almost all of them. I think I am still lacking the attempt to polymorph someone as he is halfway in a portal, though I may try that soon with a certain someone if she continues sending me letters that smell of jasmine - though it's not because I mind the smell, oh no! It's because I always forget these letters in my pockets and by the time I remember, my clothes smell as if I were perfumed, and you can imagine the looks I might get as I walk the streets of Stormwind. Maybe I would find what I need to do that in this book, I thought to myself as I flicked through the first page and began reading:

"Rule 1: Do not turn a creature of lesser intelligence into a creature of higher intelligence. Cerebral brain function rarely translates in a polymorph... but sometimes it does. Voracious creatures such as serpents and wolves need not have their predatory instincts honed with a human mind. We feel obligated to quote Small Claims Disaster Case 12651-B, labeled "Bartholomew: The Bear Who Bears Arms."

I recalled that rule, and I had broken it several times. I'd polymorphed orcs into sheep before setting them on fire, but I never really saw how turning them into creatures of higher intelligence would stop them from burning faster because of the wool they suddenly found themselves encased in. Ah well, I decided I would need to test this pretty soon once again – I'd just need some volunteers, which I think I may have a problem finding. I flicked the next page:

"Rule #2: Use simplified creatures for polymorphs. Many rogue mage disciples sanction exotic creature polymorphing studies, but in a desperate effort to lower Kirin Tor insurance claims we are ceasing to support these types of creatures. Sheep are acceptable creatures for any situation, but there are several other common creature types that are supported (read the latest edition of Kirin Tor Monthly for an up-to-date list). Polymorphing into creatures like Oozes, Ethereals, Silithid, and worst of all, dragonkin is severely punishable. Which leads us to..."

...me getting a few ideas, damnit! I hate when that happens. Every single time someone writes something forbidden like this, it gives me another dumb idea to try something like the one written above. Seriously - they should have never taught me how to wield the arcane arts to begin with. I still recall one of my first attempts at Honor Hold in polymorphing a target.

Our instructor told us that each and every student should try to polymorph him in turns, and everyone did - with a few exceptions. When it was my turn I decided that I should focus more and do it properly. I began forming the image of the sheep in my mind as I started to cast the spell, but guess what: the same Quel`Dorei passed again - and she was wearing civilian clothes this time. It was a white dress which seemingly had a naked back, and damnit that's when things messed up again.

At that very moment, I released the spell before allowing my focus to weaken, but I think it was too late, as the spell had already mixed up with my thoughts and the end result was a bit... hot, literally. Not only did I polymorph my tutor, but he was on fire. From that moment, I was banned from lessons until I learned how to control my focus, but it really wasn't my fault, was it?! Ah well, I got my payback on the Quel`dorei for messing up my studies when I grew up, but I will not get into that right now. I smirked at the memory lightly and continued reading down the page:

"Rule #3: Polymorphic debacles are to be disposed of in a timely and DISCRETE manner. The public need not bear witness to the horrendous abominations wrought from a botched polymorph. Accidents happen, and the Kirin Tor understand this. However public viewings of creatures like the were-whale, mer-elf, amphibious worgen, flying ooze, grypho-hippo-wyvern, Qiraji bunny, and the infamous 'blue-checkered-cube,' gives us all a bad reputation.

Rule #4: Do not polymorph a creature into another more powerful creature. While this looks like plain common sense, we feel obligated to quote Mildly Severe Claims Disaster Case 8761-E labeled "Magus John Quin: Liquefied By Sickly Deer Turned Violently Confused Molten Giant.

Rule #5: Do not polymorph anything that is halfway through a portal. This has yet to not cause an explosion. This is also covered in "Thinking With Portals: A memorandum on Proper Portal Usage."

Damnit, I need to get that book and soon if I am going to test this! I could just imagine what would happen... wait a moment, explosion? How can anything explode while passing through a portal to begin with? Oh right, probably something having to do with disrupting the balance of the portal with more arcane magic... That really reminds me of the time I tried to grab the edges of a portal. That.. didn't end so well.. at least for the portal and the one passing through it, but that is probably a tale for another time. I continued reading through the next page afterward, which read:

"Rule #6: Do not polymorph inanimate objects! We can't believe the Kirin Tor is receiving reports of this, but such heinous act have caused the development of the brand new Highly Severe Claims Disaster Case 1-A: "My Kingdom for a Horse. The one hundred and fifty reasons why a kingdom should not be turned into a horse."

Interesting, how can you turn an entire kingdom into a horse? I mean, I tried turning a stone into a tomato once, but that just got me a few scars. Seemingly thinking about a wolf and a tomato at the same time turned my little experiment into a monster that was really fit for the Scourge ranks. In the end, it turned on me and attacked me: this... were-tomato. What a name... rather fitting though. After I stopped laughing and saw that I was bleeding, I set it on fire and never dared to test this again. I might be a bored mage, but sometimes, even I am not that stupid.

With that, I closed the book for the time being and returned to pondering about grabbing the edges of the portal on my next adventure.
"It is a sign of strength to cry out against fate.. rather than bow one's head and succumb."
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Aronan
 
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