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Jun 21, 2021 12:22 PM
siran in scandinavia
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"I'm pretty good with a sword. I can also do magic but they don't teach princes that, I'm just reckless enough to try it anyway."

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"What kind of magic?"

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"A dangerous kind. Useful, too, though."

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"Useful how? What can you do?"

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"Mm."

Is he recovered enough to demonstrate? Yeah, he thinks he can risk something small.

He holds a hand up in front of him and concentrates, and then it's wreathed in threads of flame, spiraling down around his wrist and then back up again to circle his palm and dart between his fingers. The fire gathers, brightens—the heat is tangible even from where she's standing—and then he closes his hand, and it all winks out. Only a few faint wisps of smoke are left behind.

"That, for one."

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"Niiice."

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He grins. "I'm glad you appreciate it! Fire is one of my favourite things."

(And just about the only one he has left, but let's not think about that.)

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"How'd you learn it? Most of the magicians I've heard of are old people."

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He shrugs. "I found someone who knew a little and asked them to teach me. And then did a lot of thoroughly reckless experimenting."

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"I guess that's how people learn most things. How dangerous is it, what all happens if you use it wrong?"

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"If you're not careful, and sometimes even if you are careful, it'll spin out of control and do more than you meant it to. And the more you were trying to do with it when it broke loose, the more and weirder messes it'll make before it's run its course."

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"Huh. Like what kind of mess?"

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"Setting things on fire that you didn't want to set on fire, growing an enormous tree through the roof of your house, turning people into dragons..."

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"Wicked. Can you do all that stuff on purpose?"

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He laughs a little. "Some of it! I've never turned anyone into a dragon, but I've set plenty of things on fire and grown some pretty big trees."

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"Sounds awesome. Can it be taught to anyone? We could have people practice in the wilderness somewhere if the effects are all local. Only so much you can mess up the tundra."

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"You'll run out of safe tundra after enough of that. Old mistakes can linger for hundreds of years if they were really bad; it was one of those that left me in the state you found me in, and if I'd been anyone else it would've killed me. Not that I'd necessarily mind teaching it anyway, but I'll have to think about it and I want to be sure you know the risks."

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"Can't go ruining the whole countryside, if it's likely to do that. We'd better get a better picture of what can go wrong, what sort of person is least likely to make it go wrong, and what the potential benefits are before we try anything serious with it. I'd love to learn it myself, but it'd be sort of inconvenient if I went and died, so I'll have to hear more about it first."

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"Sure," he says agreeably. "I can tell you what I know. Or try to, anyway, I'm not sure how good I'll be at explaining."

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"Might be better long-term to have this sort of information written down. Can you write? I can find someone for you to dictate to if you can't."

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"Princes learn that too, where I'm from, but not in this language."

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"Makes sense. I guess you should probably take a day to recover and stuff, can't imagine you're all better after one bath."

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"...might be a good idea," he admits. "I don't know. I've never... almost died quite that much before."

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"Hey, I think even the best of us need to take a bit to recover after finding themselves face-down and naked in a random forest. Sort of takes it out of a person."

She is totally speaking from experience.

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...he laughs a little, wryly. "Yeah. I guess so."

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