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Registered: 12-2005
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 111
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Yvette's Library Entry Thesis


"Don't you think she's cheating, paying you to do this?"

Chrysanthemum was right, of course. One might consider taking Yvette's money to be a form of academic fraud. But as she had insisted, the Library had not asked her to write a thesis, merely to deliver one. If she was to read over his writing carefully before submitting it, perhaps even research some of his sources herself, she should gain the knowledge it would have taken to write it in the first place.

"Yes. However, I was considering writing under an alias anyways. It makes no difference to me."

"They'll catch her, you know" the little pixie warned as she buzzed around his head. "There's no way she'll convince them that she wrote it. There's a sort of poetry in everyone's writing style, and it takes a genius to copy someone else's."

Reven looked up from organizing his notes. He was moving his things bit by bit to the camp near Bodkin, but he had still paid his rent this month in the docks of Avendel. A small writing desk and books scattered on the bed were the last things he had to take with him. Chrysanthemum's doll house was already moved.

"I don't really care. She paid for the use of my knowledge. I shall write in a very general style that she can copy or modify as needed."

"We don't know what this Library does to people they catch cheating though. From everything I've heard, these aren't nice people, Rev."

"Neither is she. We have witnessed Yvette's social cruelty. She is the sort of person who would damage Ravynn with jealous words. I am thus not committed to her long-term well being."

"You know Ravynn wouldn't like you doing this..."

Reven arched his brow slightly, and nodded. "Perhaps not. But while I care for her, she does not rule me. No one does."

The elf touched writing quill to parchment, bold penmanship left easily legible, yet curled and pointed in an artistic manner which had come to characterize his penmanship over the last thirty years of practice. It was a short document, requiring limited research on his part, because the concepts requested were already well known from his other studies of this island and its magic.

---
Creator of A Tale of Bone and Steel.

Cloak and Dagger
4/4/2013, 9:28 am Link to this post Send Email to ExplodingRunes   Send PM to ExplodingRunes
 
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Re: Yvette's Library Entry Thesis


quote:


The Stagnant Well
Being a Treatise on Elemental Water, and its Associations with Poison


It is the intent of these pages to briefly explore the the element of water, its symbolic and actual properties, and how it is intrinsic to most workings of poison both mundane and magical. It is not our intent to suggest that poison is entirely tied to that one element, nor to present the actual spell equations or alchemical formulas for the use of poisons. We shall rather bend our efforts to sharing an understanding of the basic principles and philosophies utilized by the greater spell-casting community.

Water: Actual and Symbolic

Before we can understand poison's associations with water, we must come to some understanding of water itself. The physical substance of water is itself composed of an array of elemental particles arranged in a fluid makeup capable of forming bonds of varying strength with other substances, and carrying the properties of other elements. (See Alabaster's Alchemic Compendium, volume 1, pages 312-329 for a comprehensive discussion of this.) Mortal life in its basic form relies upon this substance, as it forms the basis of our blood, of a plant's sap, and even of an insect's ichor. Water as a carrier of other particles is indispensable for the functions of living beings in our plane.

This carries over and is understood within the realms of the symbolic. Runes of water are found in spells altering living forms or evoking acid. Symbolically, and thus through sympathetic principles, water is the element of growth and vitality. As we shall soon explore however, it also has another side to it.

Water At Motion

Commonly held belief has it that the element of water is opposed to the element of earth. The foundations of this thought perhaps spring from the observation of erosion. Physical water against physical stone gives us evidence of the action of water over time, breaking down other matter bit by bit. The force that water typically exerts against a stone is minimal, yet over time a trickle of gently flowing water can carve through a boulder.

This action has given even primitive scholars a clue as to water's symbolic and synergistic nature. Not only is it a giver of life, but also a bringer of destruction. Both of these properties are actually one property seen from two different perspectives: the property of change. Particles of other mater join with flows of water in weak bonds, deposited elsewhere after being separated from their original form. Indeed this is the very process by which water delivers the necessary building blocks life needs to grow.

Still Water

While water in motion is a dynamic force, its capacity for change can also be observed at rest. Stagnant pools and swamps are a breeding ground for mosquitoes, fleas, and other biting vermin. When not at motion, water is an ideal environment for the growth of algae and certain kinds of fungus or slimes, and disease. This property can be beneficial in the case of yeasts which require uninterrupted time to ferment sweet grains into liquor, or it can be detrimental when it is a breeding ground for swamp fevers.

The magical element of water does not differentiate between water at motion and still water. Indeed it symbolically includes both, requiring further modification in spells evoking it. Some of these modifiers may be found in Sir Vandreal's book "Ye Artes Elemental", chapter 2. As we have seen however, it is not motion itself that makes water an agent of change, either in nature, but rather an intrinsic quality of water itself. As in nature, so in magic.

The Nature of Poison

Having explored the nature of water itself, we may now turn our eye upon poison. Here we shall see some repetition of concepts laid out above, out of necessity. Poison is an often misunderstood phenomenon among the masses. As scholars, we must separate ourselves from ignorance of its nature.

Many are the substances that are toxic to our bodies, and typically they are only dangerous when applied through the correct vector. Some apply their dolorous effects through contact with the skin or the sensitive membranes of the nose, eyes, or lungs. Others are dangerous only when either ingested or injected into the blood stream, such as through a cut or the puncture of a snake's fang. Of these, some may be harmlessly injested, as in some parts of Calimshan and Turmish, where cobra venom is imbibed by those seeking to prove their strength or vigour. We shall return to that symbolic association soon.

In alchemical theory, toxins can be seen as arrangements of elemental particles which through their own properties either excite, retard, or destroy the functions of our bodies. These rely upon the flows of elemental water within us, either the blood or the digestive systems, to reach their targeted areas and deliver their effects. See the necromancer Felrick's treatise on humanoid anatomy for further details of how these systems function. Usually these arrangements bring to bear properties of fire (fever, inflamation) or earth (stiffness, cramps) through the body's water systems to cause an imbalance. This imbalance, if not corrected by personal vitality or intervention, can prove fatal.

Having explored some basics of poison's physical nature, we may now move on to its symbolic nature. Conceptually, poison is linked to its source: injected venom with snakes and insects; ingested poisons with earthly metals or with the plants which spawned them. This we can understand as a simple application of contagion principle: the part remains linked to the whole, even when separated. Rather than focusing on the individual snakes or nightshade plants however, we may view this contagious link as continuing to the archetypical level through sympathy, such that snake venom is symbolic of all serpents. And through that same sympathetic association, it is easy to trace a symbolic link between the archetypical serpent, and the symbolic archetype of poison itself.

The Serpent in the Well

As we have already discussed above, water is itself an element which imparts dynamism upon its subjects. Change, either through growth, dissolution, or death, is intrinsic to water's nature. Poison, though alchemically linked with the elements of earth or fire, is of a like nature in its effects and thus in its symbolic associations.

Still or stagnant water, as mentioned, imparts its dynamic properties differently but equally to its environment. Specifically it promotes decay and the growth of those things which feed on decay, such as moss and fungi. Still water as a carrier to poison, is poison in waiting. It's capacity for dynamism upon the body is held, fed, and made ready to strike. We can thus see still water as a serpent coiled; perhaps asleep, perhaps ready to strike.



---
Creator of A Tale of Bone and Steel.

Cloak and Dagger
4/9/2013, 9:55 am Link to this post Send Email to ExplodingRunes   Send PM to ExplodingRunes
 


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