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Sep 23, 2017 3:35 AM
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There's a personal ward that blocks hostile magic, but it can be tricked into thinking a spell is non-hostile, success rate depends a lot on the relative skill of the casters - there are usually other ways to slip a spell through a ward like that, also generally dependent on the skills of the casters. Generally you have a bit better than even success rate blocking spells from someone at your own skill level. I've used it before, - they send the words and gestures -, If you remove the exceptions for friendly magic the success rate goes up a lot but it can interfere with other active spells. There's also antimagic fields that shut down all spellcasting in an area - suppress ongoing spells, too - usually not very large, not very long-lasting. I've seen them after they were cast but I have no idea what the spell itself looks like. They can be made more permanent.

Divinations like True Seeing will usually see through invisibility, but there are ways around that - I had a ring that did it before I came here - and while I don't know them now you should expect that if I turn evil I will probably research them.

That's it for general things I know of, but a lot of Spheres can counter themselves - Warp can block teleportation, for example. I think necromancy is one of those spheres, but conditional on necromancy turning me evil you probably shouldn't be very trusting of any of your researchers who claim to have figured out such a ward.

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Why do you want to study it personally, if you can't swear things to protect yourself -

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It needs to be powerful enough to kill Melkor and I'm significantly more powerful than any of you right now, in part for reasons that I don't want to share with Alfirin or Nerikross, and waiting until you are at that point would take decades at best. At least a decade to teach you the things I don't want to share, much longer if I don't.

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Sigh. Can other people study it and you just employ it, or does that not work -

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I need to know enough to cast the spell. Other people could do most of the development, I guess, and I could study what I need to when they've got the parts they can do figured out. That minimizes the risk, at least.

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Let's do that. Sigh. But it means it should be a priority. All right. 

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Yeah, I'm not liking it either, but better to handle it now just in case than scramble to put something together five years from now when you suddenly discover you need it. I trust you will not keep me appraised of your progress on this.

"So, shall we see if we can figure out why that Enhancement is behaving weirdly? I have a couple theories but it might be good to see some of your people casting it and get some observations firsthand..."

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And they can fill the rest of the meeting with that while he quietly assigns people to the more important work.

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Once there are people sworn into safety, Malak can explain to them what they know of necromancy - It's not very much and most of it is in the form of "Some necromancers can trap people's souls and put them in swords, I don't know how." rather than "and this is how you raise a zombie".

After a few days they'll check in with Lúthien and Beren.

Hey. How are you guys settling in, here?

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Good! What are you running around doing?

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Mostly helping Curufin with magic. Trying to figure out how to win the war as safely as possible.

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Getting anywhere?

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...Kind of. I think there's a way and it's probably safe but it uses a kind of magic whose notable users are people like Alfirin and Nerikross. We're concerned that studying it to use it might turn people evil.

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Oh. And it's the only way?

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It's our most promising lead. There are a lot of avenues for helping us fight the war better but very few for actually winning it. No matter how well we can handle hordes of orcs, or dragons, or whatever he comes up with next we still need to deal with Melkor himself.

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My mother could maybe help but I don't know if she would.

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I don't suppose it's possible to open negotiations with her without your father involved?

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Not really. She'd tell him - I'm not sure she could keep something from him -

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Yeah, I didn't think she would, but... If there's a way to set it up so that he's not directly involved? I agree that it would be good to have her help, but I don't see us getting it if we're negotiating through Thingol.

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He's more reasonable sometimes.

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Hasn't he been pretty consistently opposed to taking a more active part in the war? I am sure he is reasonable sometimes, I just doubt he'll come around on this topic in a useful timescale.

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At the very beginning he was more active but then a lot of our people died, some close friends of his, and he got more defensive about it.

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That explains his stance. It doesn't really make it any less inconvenient, though. Do you think that he's persuadable enough, or that Melian is willing enough to go against his advice, for talking to them to be a good way to spend my time? The alternative being helping the Noldor study magic and advising on the war.

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Sigh. That's probably better.

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It may be that I don't have that much to do - Curufin and his people are really talented - they're not particularly powerful spellcasters but they're doing a really good job of deriving the theory and that pretty much covers the teachable part - if the Noldor in Barad Eithel are as competent then my instruction will probably be obsolete after not too long. So if war-advising isn't constantly needed I might have time, or it might make more sense to go teach other populations magic. If I do go to try to talk to Doriath more, do you have any advice on how to get through to them?

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