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Mathus' notes on Tal magic

The following is an account of the use of my tie to spirit to aid one whose spirit is in turmoil.    (Mathus)

The best way to start is by taking a moment to explain my general view of my spirit bond.  I am not a sorcerer and so do not have magical essence or mana as it has sometimes been called, rather, I have a more intimate connection and understanding of my own spirit and how my spirit is entwined to my own body and with this understanding of myself I am able to interact with the spirit of others, a contact not normally achieved.  Normally this contact is only brief and leaves no lasting mark as I am using the contact to push for a favorable outcome such as gently encouraging the acceleration of ones healing or even in the complete healing of a wound as I use the understanding of my spirit and how its wholeness is reflected in the body to aid their spirit to encourage the repair of the body.  As I said this is normally a single weak and passing contact as the ability is expended the link between my own spirit and theirs ends.  On two occasions I have been able to alter this normal contact and use of my tie to spirit. 

 

The first was in an attempt to help a legionnaire by the name of Titus who had been used as the component of a purity barrier, a barrier in which those who’s spirits are uncorrupted are unable to pass.  This barrier is created in a ceremony in which I believe relies heavily upon Tal magic.  In the destruction of this barrier his spirit was damaged and cracked and began to fall apart as he fell more and more into a state of melancholy and alternating moments of anger and apathy.  Finally at one point he had collapsed and was unable to be roused and this provoked my response to attempt what I did.  We went to the dorum and there I began what would normally be seen as the empathic transfer of wounds from one to another but instead of completing this ability I stopped and was able to notice for the first time the contact between our spirits. Maintaining this connection through the expenditure of some of my other talents granted by my understanding of my spirit tie I “pushed” ideas of strength and security and encouragements to withstand and repair the damage done by the ceremony onto Titus’s spirit.  The effect was that Titus was calmed and upon entering the dreaming he was able to recognize us and together aided him in doing what was necessary for him to break free of the damage.  I believe that had I not done my initial acts, Titus would not have recognized us as allies.

 

The second time was an attempt to help a child from Tulevar that had been captured by the kepri and had managed to escape but not before the power that turn people into kepri had had time to start affecting her.  I was able to see that this force had somehow grafted itself onto her spirit and was twisting her spirit into that of the kepri and threatened to devour her.  She was suffering both physically and mentally and this prompted me to attempt to perform again what I did to aid Titus.  Again I started by expending the ability to heal the wounds of others by taking them onto myself and again felt the connection form as it does when you are activating this talent and again used my more basic talents to maintain this connection and used thoughts of safety and encouragement to help bolster her strength and resolve.  However I could see with my ability to examine the spirit pattern that this was not having an effect on the force that had grafted itself onto her and I could “feel” the malice of the force.  In an effort to push it back I expended more of my talents as if activating them but left the pattern of the talent unfinished and in my mind drew out the pattern of the ability so that it was as if a thread in which I used to push my thoughts and feelings away and into the child.  This intrusion of my spirit was resisted by her spirit’s natural defenses and as our spirits struggled the force that was harming her increased its assault.  In a moment of clarity I understood that I was seen as an invasive entity as well and was being pushed away as a child would push away from a stranger and so I withdrew, (the only way I can describe this is as in an image of a new adult stepping back and kneeling down opening their arms and in my mind’s eye…this is the image I saw) and instead of forcing the connection I opened my arms and told her that I was there to help.  She then came to me as a child would come to the comfort of a parent in times of injury and I noticed an increased pull on my spirit and the expenditure of more of my talents to provide the strength to maintain our contact. (It was at this point that I vaguely recall Axel saying that he could no longer differentiate where her spirit ended and mine began and that they had twined around each other.)  We were then able to communicate through the connection and in my mind’s eye I saw her standing there scared and I told her to think of a place she feels safe and the scene changed to that of what I can only assume to be her home and we could hear banging against the walls of the room we were in and I could see places in the wall that were bulging as if a force outside was pressing against the walls trying to get to the child.  Once I had her calmed it was noticed that the force had slowed in its destruction but had pushed us back to this small room, what I think of as the core of what made the child herself, and so in an effort to give us more space and hence more time to save the child I pressed back against the walls that enclosed us.  Through the expenditure most of my remaining abilities I was able to press back the enclosing walls and hold back the force trying to destroy her.  Where I pressed back the force withdrew its hold but it would push in at another point.  I realized that I was weakening from the continued strain in maintaining the connection and pushing against the force threatening to devour her I made a final push against the force and expending my final ability, that to implant suggestions, to weave a wall around the place we had been and told the girl that I would be there whenever she needed strength and then I lost consciousness breaking the connection.  Upon waking the child seemed to be better as the force had been slowed almost to the stopping point and she was sleeping calmly.  The Orlai took her the next day where she remained until the ceremony to free her was done.

 

This talent has helped two people overcome a grievous assault upon their spirits and was able to provide strength and comfort to them and calm them allowing other methods of healing to have a more profound effect that might have otherwise been hindered or prevented by the turmoil within.  It has been mentioned that this was very similar to ceremonial magic in its nature with me using my spirit and my tie as components.  This is something powerful and can have a great benefit upon the person it is aiding but there are unknown risks and I am not sure this would work at all except for specific injuries.  It is good to note again here that Titus had been the victim of an assault upon his spirit in a ceremony to create a purity barrier and so Tal magic had placed him into the condition he was in and the child, now woman, Paxy has sorcerous ties herself.  These things may have allowed me to make this connection and maintain it in a way that I was able to use my own spirit to examine their condition and help them heal.  Even so there were side effects both expected and not.  As with any maintained action or over exertion there was exhaustion and so it is true in this as well.  In both instances I felt what can only be described as an weariness of spirit in such a way that it took a couple hours to recover from when I helped Titus, a much less intensive strain, to several days.  In addition after completing the ordeal with the child it was realized that my spirit had had such contact with her own that there was a bond formed between the two of us of a strength that now even after the ceremony and the freeing of her spirit from the dark influence that there is still some closeness though this may stem from the ordeal itself and emotions that form between people placed in such trying circumstances.  While this bond was formed my talents were depleted as if some had been expended or were constantly activated (these being my ability to take the wounds of others).  Also, there were times where I would briefly lose consciousness and even a few times where it would require magic to awaken me and during these times it was said that my spirit appeared weaker to those who could see the patterns as if some of its strength was siphoned away.  I can only assume that these were times where Paxy had needed my strength to fight against the force attacking her.

 

This is an act that I believe can be useful in helping calm close friends down (between people who implicitly trust one another) and I imagine could use the magical strength of either elemental or spirit form without too much risk to the person as long as very little actual talent was spent in forming the connection and that connection remained brief.  However for more extensive and invasive acts as in the actions to help Paxy, I am not sure which forms of magical talent could do this and be successful.  Alternatively, it could depend on the way in which the victim was injured that determines the success or failure of such an endeavor.  In any extended use of this act there is a risk to the person’s magical tie and possibly their actual spirit.

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