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Registered: 12-2005
Location: Ottawa, Canada
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Reven: Blood of Earth and Sky

He moved quietly under the dark canopy of the forest, betrayed only by the slight jingle of his warrior accoutrements. A massive sword of obsidian slickness lay across his broad shoulders, worn on a harness that included leather holsters for several wands. Finely wrought elf-mail strained against the powerful frame of an unusually large elf beneath a short, dark surcoat emblazoned with a raven crest. Powerful hands with oddly long fingers brushed apart the bushes that impeded his path, while solid black eyes found a path through the moonless night that few humans could have in their night-blindness. Moonveil was in a state of eerie calm, much as Reven himself was this night.

At last he came to his destination. Near to where the forest had reclaimed Old Rivenmaur, the slow but inexorable tide of natural magic in the land churned before washing back into the forest. It was not a true ley line, but a temporary well which could be drawn upon for his purposes.

He had studied the magics of this land for months now, and inspiration was backed by hard research in the library of Cathbad's Circle. He was no druid, but Reven had come to understand the reciprocal nature of this land's gifts perhaps better than human wizards. Where others saw mere resources, tools, Reven understood that the magic he wielded drew back from him, left its mark upon him. As the mage, he was not only the magic's wielder but also its vessel, its vehicle to change the world. It was a relationship which required precise negotiation, or else a great deal of dumb luck. If Tymora had any reach here, perhaps she would grant him this night what luck he needed should his ritual be insufficient.

From a duffel he produced wooden stakes prepared for this rite to mark the boundaries. Each was tipped in silver, and the silver ran up inside the hollow in each stake to form a sharp prong which pierced the bottom of a beeswax candle. The wax of the candles was itself mixed with the yolk and blood of an unhatched egg, signifying potential in the connection between the land's power drawn up from silver and released in flame. The candle stakes he drove into the earth in a square oriented to the exact angle where the new moon had touched the horizon near invisibly. The moon tugged at the land's power, yet when the moon was hidden in the sky, that power's tug was gentle enough that it would stay in the circle, pool as he needed it to. Finally, inside the square he laid out a circle of thin silver wire braided with silk stained in his own blood. Upon the ground in this circle he laid out a diagram with his sword's point, a runic binding of potential, change, and glory. His ritual space was ready.

To protect him during the rite he conjured an elemental of air. Perhaps there were better choices for a guardian, but he would not offend any attending spirits with a slaad nor some automaton, nor would he call fire in the forest. Earth or water might be drawn upon by the very ritual he enacted, so he was left with air to conjure. A nearly invisible, feminine figure emerged from the sky at his beaconing, and stood ready outside of the ritual space to aid him if needed.

Finally he was ready. With his two handed sword he moved around the circle, tracing inwards to cut the space from the pattern of the mundane, to stir the energies welling in this sacred place. With words in sylvan and draconic he called forth the sleeping breath of the earth. He ran his sword across his hands then, first one and then the other, and fed the pattern cut into the soil within the circle. A tithe of blood to the land, a gift of life for power.

"Rise, oh blood of living land.
Mingle, the humours from my hand.
By breath and blood feed forge fire's flame.
Refine, reveal, blood's power un-tame."

As he spoke this final rhyme, Reven's magical will reached into the earth. Poetry gave shape to his intention, fed the waking power with purpose. His blood sparked upon the ground as the candles' flames danced, and within the circle a vortex of multicoloured, spectral flame began to dance. Though he could feel little physical heat, Reven had no illusions that this would be a painless procedure...

His armour fell off behind him, unbuckled by his familiar as he worked his rite. Naked he stood in the chill forest, bone-pale skin stretched across a too-muscular frame. Woad-stain and other dyes had painted patterns upon his body to ready himself for this moment. The basic lines of his body were reinforced with tracings in blue-black and blood-crimson. Triskele swirls marked the natural collecting points of magic in the body, as well as their release points at joint and hand. Upon his shoulders, his familiar had added raven-like wings to the pattern, red at the top like his hair and black farther down. If the magic was too much for him, the patterns would reinforce his sense of self, ensure he was not warped into something... obscene.

Protected by symbol and will alone, Reven stepped into the churning vortex of energies, himself an ingredient in a bizarre alchemy of agony.

Creator of A Tale of Bone and Steel.

Cloak and Dagger
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