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 Practice Makes Perfect, Tao returns to the school's grounds
Tao
Posted: Aug 4 2008, 06:13 AM


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Group: Student Council Member
Posts: 216
Member No.: 18
Joined: 14-July 05



IC: The day was warm, the sun peeking out from behind massive potentially rain laden clouds from time to time. A pleasant cool breeze whispered over the grounds about the academy as Tao walked out to his usual place of practice. He wasn't terribly concerned about being rained upon. If necessary he could always return to the academy.

Finally he arrived at the lonely stretch of grassland and gave a mock glare in the direction of a patch of trees to the northeast that he'd exchanged words with in the past. Satisfied that the trees had felt his scorn, he quietly sat himself down upon a dry patch of grass and took up a meditative stance, crossing his legs. He didn't immediately hop straight into his practical magical training, as he had often done in some of his other sessions. Instead, he gazed calmly at the massive white clouds making their way across the sky. They seemed like enormous ships, plowing with unequaled force through the blue ocean that surrounded them.

Finally tiring of cloud gazing, he turned his mind inward. He had lost his most recent contest with Raymeth. Considering it hadn't been a fight to the death this time, the defeat hadn't been quite so serious, but this meant that he had now lost to his old childhood companion and rival twice in a row. He did not feel particularly good about that. He had to step up his training a few notches if he wished to compete properly. He considered that perhaps all this book reading had made him soft. That he'd lost his touch with the actual act of using magic.

"All the more reason to remind myself." He murmered aloud.

With that, he lifted a hand towards the distant trees. This would be a test of control. He had to see how precise he still was with his magic. The wind was blowing from the south. It was hardly enough to stir up his already disheveled hair, but it would be a troublesome obstacle which he would have to overcome if he was to succeed. He closed his eyes and visualized one of the distant trees. He felt the tendrils of earth magic to which this tree was bound vibrating angrily already in response to his intrusion. His mastery was of air and not of earth, so he completed his vision of the tree quickly and found that which he was looking for. A single leaf. He opened his eyes. His hand had moved seemingly of its own accord, and it beckoned to that distant tree, to that leaf. He sent a tiny sliver of his magic to that leaf, severing its stem from its home branch. The leaf immediately began its slow descent to earth, but Tao was quick to use his air magic to gently waft the leaf towards him. The going was slow, especially as he had to hold back the world's wind, but finally the leaf slipped gently into his waiting hand. He smiled at this minor victory and stood. He deigned that his control was still good. Now to check his power.

He raised his arms out in front of him, beckoning again. His feet were grounded solidly shoulder width apart. Once again his eyes closed, but this time remained that way. An observer from afar would then note that, as if some ill wind had suddenly shaken the distant trees, a great multitude of leaves began to swirl high into the air above the copse. After gathering there for a moment, the leaves then began to funnel down towards Tao, and in moments he was being pelted by a long stream of leaves, which piled up to his waist around him by the time his spellcasting was finished. With a great sigh of relief, Tao dropped into the pile of leaves, so conveniently placed about him with that purpose in mind. He lay there and collected his strength. Each leaf had been individually selected and plucked from each tree in the distant copse.

OC: This thread has been created with the intent to be dropped in on by Tania, but if anyone else would like to join in, be my guest.


--------------------
Light dispels Darkness
Darkness turns upon itself
Tread not down the
Dark path,
Walk with confidence into the
Light

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Tania Yates
Posted: Aug 4 2008, 04:27 PM


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Group: Professor
Posts: 186
Member No.: 131
Joined: 10-June 08



OOC: Couldn't agree more. The more the merrier. smile.gif

BIC: A good distance from the Academy Tania stopped and turned around to look back at Four Points, as she plucked her badge from her white t-shirt. Out here in the fields and woods she wouldn't need to display her status, and she was still not on active duty anyway. The badge was added to the contents of a camera bag which made it the fifth item there, together with her key-card, a plastic bottle of water, a towel, and a spare shirt. That was all she needed for her little excursion.

That, and the meter long black plastic tube she had slung on her back on a leather strap, or rather what it contained. Carrying a sword openly through the halls of the Academy had struck her as a rather stupid idea, and if anyone had asked she would have told them that inside the tube was a tripod, that she was going on a photo shoot. Once her classes started she might not find much time for a long solid workout, and Tania was determined to make the most of the time she had until then. Once in a while that had to include working on her sword forms, even if she rarely felt a true need to use a melee weapon.

Walking farther away from the Academy building Tania started to look for a good spot for her exercises. What she searched for was a stretch of flat, open terrain, but not too flat, not too smooth. Avoiding the perfect floors of the gym or a classroom, working out where there might be some small distractions, that was the whole point of this little field trip - a 'reality check' for her skills.

Just when she thought she had found a good place she noticed movement from the corner of her eyes, not on the ground, but rather up in the air. I took her a moment to realize that what she saw in the distance were most likely leaves, held up in the air by what could not possibly be a natural phenomenon. As the leaves rained down, Tania spotted the brown-haired man who had to be at the centre of this magic. For a moment she wondered if she shouldn't just leave him alone, but then curiosity got the better of her. It was, after all, the first time she had seen someone at Four Points display magic openly.

The espadrilles she wore with a pair of grey sweatpants made hardly a sound on the grass as she approached.

"You know," she gently remarked when she stopped about twenty meters from the man resting on the pile of leaves he had gathered around him, "that was quite an amazing display. I have rarely seen telekinesis used on such a large number of small objects before.

"But I do wonder how you would explain this display, if I were one of the... mundane students," Tania lightly admonished him.


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user posted image
I was living to run and running to live - Moving eight miles a minute for months at a time - Breaking all of the rules that would bend - Against the wind

Those drifters days are past me now - I've got so much more to think about - I'm older now and still searching for shelter - Against the wind
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Tao
Posted: Aug 4 2008, 08:08 PM


Student Council Rep


Group: Student Council Member
Posts: 216
Member No.: 18
Joined: 14-July 05



Tao lolled his head towards the speaker and smiled. He was surprised to be seen once again, but he was still weary from the spellcasting, so his reactions weren't quite as quick as they would normally be. He slowly got up to receive this new face properly, donning an air of mock seriousness. "A trick of the wind, miss. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time." He smiled once again and bowed grandiosely. Upon straightening himself, he offered his hand. "Tao Binter, pleasure to be of service, miss...?"


--------------------
Light dispels Darkness
Darkness turns upon itself
Tread not down the
Dark path,
Walk with confidence into the
Light

user posted image
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Top
Tania Yates
Posted: Aug 4 2008, 08:28 PM


Advanced Member


Group: Professor
Posts: 186
Member No.: 131
Joined: 10-June 08



Tania laughed out loud. "A trick of the wind? Oh my, you do have to work on your excuses." The smile that accompanied her words held amusement only.

She crossed the distance between them and shook the offered hand, still smiling a little. "Tania Yates. A pleasure to meet you, Mister Binter."

Her eyes fell on the insignia he wore, the silver compass with a gold circle in the middle. He was a member of the student council, and perhaps that meant he wasn't exactly a beginner when it came to magic. "May I ask how exactly you did that thing with the leaves? I don't know the first thing about chucking things around with magic, and I must admit I am intrigued by what you just did."


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user posted image
I was living to run and running to live - Moving eight miles a minute for months at a time - Breaking all of the rules that would bend - Against the wind

Those drifters days are past me now - I've got so much more to think about - I'm older now and still searching for shelter - Against the wind
+
Top
Tao
Posted: Aug 4 2008, 09:42 PM


Student Council Rep


Group: Student Council Member
Posts: 216
Member No.: 18
Joined: 14-July 05



Tao looked down at the pile of leaves that surrounded him and chuckled a little. "Well, if you really want to know..." Tao lifted his left hand palm up, and five leaves lifted from the pile beneath him and stacked themselves perfectly on his hand. "I use the elemental power of wind to work much of my magic, rather than, say, fire, earth or water. What you judged to be telekinesis was actually me buffeting these leaves about with carefully controlled currents of air." He shrugged and smiled. "I'll admit, however, that I did use a certain degree of telepathy to visualize and select each leaf from this distance."


--------------------
Light dispels Darkness
Darkness turns upon itself
Tread not down the
Dark path,
Walk with confidence into the
Light

user posted image
+
Top
Tania Yates
Posted: Aug 5 2008, 05:42 AM


Advanced Member


Group: Professor
Posts: 186
Member No.: 131
Joined: 10-June 08



"Elemental magic?" She looked down at the leaves in Tao's palm. "That must have some interesting possible applications. Perhaps I should take at least the introductory course into these magics." Kneeling down she picked up a leaf and brushed her fingers over it. She could feel life running strong through it, even now that it had been cut off from the tree that had sustained it, but that energy would soon fade. "To my senses all magical energy feels pretty much the same, just a pool of raw energy to draw from."

She let go of the leaf and rose. "But I take it you are here to practice your magic. The Academy grounds are large enough that I can find another place for my own exercises, if you mind my intrusion."


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user posted image
I was living to run and running to live - Moving eight miles a minute for months at a time - Breaking all of the rules that would bend - Against the wind

Those drifters days are past me now - I've got so much more to think about - I'm older now and still searching for shelter - Against the wind
+
Top
Tao
Posted: Aug 5 2008, 10:22 PM


Student Council Rep


Group: Student Council Member
Posts: 216
Member No.: 18
Joined: 14-July 05



Tao tut tutted at her attempt to leave. "I hardly mind your presence one bit. It's obvious you're in the know about the true studies at the school, so there's no harm done there." He eyed the long tube bound to Tania's back, smiling a little. "And besides, you have yet to show me your own special talents."


--------------------
Light dispels Darkness
Darkness turns upon itself
Tread not down the
Dark path,
Walk with confidence into the
Light

user posted image
+
Top
Tania Yates
Posted: Aug 6 2008, 04:08 AM


Advanced Member


Group: Professor
Posts: 186
Member No.: 131
Joined: 10-June 08



"Oh, I am not here to practice magic, actually." Tania dropped her bag and opened the black tube, to reveal a sword in a leather scabbard. "I was looking for a place to do some Tai Chi, and work on my sword forms."

As she drew the sword she took a step back from Tao, to put some safety distance between them. Her jian was not a training weapon, but a tool of combat, ready to stab, slash, and cut an enemy in a real fight.

"But there's no harm in showing you a little bit of what I do with magic." Tania took another step back and, pointing her sword down, closed her eyes while she drew magic energy into herself, to rewrite the inner energy that told her body what it should be. She worked her spell slowly, not only because it was easier, but also to give Tao a chance to see what she was doing one step at a time. Perhaps she could get him interested in her kind of magic and enlist the first student for her class right here and now.

Tania's skin took on a lighter shade, before she let her hair grow long enough to cover half her breasts. As her hair grew longer, it turned a more and more lighter colour until it became an almost white shade of blond. Her face was next. Her features shifted, like molten wax pushed into a different shape, or clay shaped under the unseen hands of a potter, until she arrived at the face of a woman barely in her twenties.

When she opened her eyes again they were the same cornflower blue she had displayed the moment she had first entered the Academy. Altogether the change had taken about thirty seconds, which was close to slow going from Tania's point of view.

"Ta da." Her cheeks and lips now a different shape she sounded a little different, but anyone familiar with her would still recognize her voice.

This post has been edited by Tania Yates on Aug 7 2008, 07:58 PM


--------------------
user posted image
I was living to run and running to live - Moving eight miles a minute for months at a time - Breaking all of the rules that would bend - Against the wind

Those drifters days are past me now - I've got so much more to think about - I'm older now and still searching for shelter - Against the wind
+
Top
Tao
Posted: Aug 7 2008, 11:26 PM


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Group: Student Council Member
Posts: 216
Member No.: 18
Joined: 14-July 05



Tao was impressed by both the weapon and the transformation.

"Well, well! You're certainly talented. I wouldn't mind learning something like that myself!" He exclaimed, smiling winningly. Tao was already considering the applications such magics could yield if combined with his own. Light manipulation being a part of air magic, he may be able to figure out a way to take this form of personal transformation and use it to create realistic illusions. His eyes lit with further excitement when he considered the sword once again.

"Swords are rarely seen in the academy these days, miss. It's wonderful that you're knowledgeable of that craft. I've always wondered what would have happened if I had devoted my time to the study of the martial arts rather than the magical."


--------------------
Light dispels Darkness
Darkness turns upon itself
Tread not down the
Dark path,
Walk with confidence into the
Light

user posted image
+
Top
Tania Yates
Posted: Aug 8 2008, 05:48 AM


Advanced Member


Group: Professor
Posts: 186
Member No.: 131
Joined: 10-June 08



Tania swung her sword around in a wide arc. "I'm not that much of a swordswoman. I only practice some sword forms to complement my Tai Chi training. It's not very practical to rely on weapons for close-range combat, as you can't very well carry a sword around everywhere."

With a wide smile she added: "As for the past, well, I guess what's done is done. But you could still learn some martial arts. It can be useful to start at an early age, but it is not a requirement."

There had been days when then mention of past decisions and roads not travelled would have put Tania in a contemplative mood, but not today. The excitement she read in Tao's face put her mind firmly on the future and upcoming classes.

"And there's nothing that should prevent you from learning shapeshifting yourself. Except..." She cast him a quizzical look. "Shapeshifting classes are not open to first year students."

-----------------------------------
OOC: Edited the last line, as I changed the course calendar, to make the basic theory class open to second year students.


--------------------
user posted image
I was living to run and running to live - Moving eight miles a minute for months at a time - Breaking all of the rules that would bend - Against the wind

Those drifters days are past me now - I've got so much more to think about - I'm older now and still searching for shelter - Against the wind
+
Top
Tao
Posted: Sep 13 2008, 02:37 AM


Student Council Rep


Group: Student Council Member
Posts: 216
Member No.: 18
Joined: 14-July 05



Tao smiled at the veiled question. "You need not worry. I'm fourth year. Expect me to be in attendance." He couldn't help but feel a surge of pleasure at the thought of learning such things as this woman could teach him.


--------------------
Light dispels Darkness
Darkness turns upon itself
Tread not down the
Dark path,
Walk with confidence into the
Light

user posted image
+
Top
Tania Yates
Posted: Sep 13 2008, 08:46 AM


Advanced Member


Group: Professor
Posts: 186
Member No.: 131
Joined: 10-June 08



Tania laughed out loud in delight. "And you are most welcome to attend, Mister Binter. I am not even done preparing for the shapeshifting course, and I already have my first student. What a welcome surprise."

She swept her sword to the side and bowed to him, all the while keeping her eyes on his face. "And if you are interested in learning about the martial arts, I also run a self-defence class. But," she added more thoughtfully, "it is only a beginners' class. If you have some training already we could, perhaps, arrange some private lessons."

Tania straightened and looked at him thoughtfully, her head slightly cocked. If Tao could appreciate swordsmanship, perhaps he knew a few things about hand-to-hand combat too, despite mentioning that he had dedicated himself to learning magic.

"Not to mention that I could use a teaching assistant for the odd demonstration now and then. You may not be a dedicated martial-artist, but you do not strike me as someone who wouldn't dabble at least a little bit in a topic that interests him."


--------------------
user posted image
I was living to run and running to live - Moving eight miles a minute for months at a time - Breaking all of the rules that would bend - Against the wind

Those drifters days are past me now - I've got so much more to think about - I'm older now and still searching for shelter - Against the wind
+
Top
Tao
Posted: Oct 5 2008, 10:16 PM


Student Council Rep


Group: Student Council Member
Posts: 216
Member No.: 18
Joined: 14-July 05



"Oh, well, I'm not absolutely useless in a fight, if that's what you mean." Tao replied, grinning still. "But I'm entirely self taught...and i mostly use magic more than any particularly physical skills. Really, I just watched too much t.v. when i was a kid."

He shrugged and lifted his arms. "But I suppose if you need a punching bag I can be your man."


--------------------
Light dispels Darkness
Darkness turns upon itself
Tread not down the
Dark path,
Walk with confidence into the
Light

user posted image
+
Top
Tania Yates
Posted: Oct 6 2008, 04:24 PM


Advanced Member


Group: Professor
Posts: 186
Member No.: 131
Joined: 10-June 08



"A punching bag?" Tania softly laughed. "Oh no, we can't have that. And while teaching yourself to fight can run the risk of ingraining the wrong moves, I wouldn't write it off too quickly."

For a moment Tania tried to recall when she had started her Tai Chi training. Had she been ten or eleven at the time? Ten she decided after a moment. But despite years of formal training she felt that using her skills, instead of just studying them, had taught her invaluable lessons, some of which she should not mention to Tao at all.

"You know," she said, her attention still turned somewhat inward, "perhaps you should just come to my class for the first two or three lessons. We should be able to figure out soon enough if you can learn something there, or help me teach that class. Magic may be good for a lot of things, but sometimes it is too obvious, too much to use around regular people. Knowing a few other skills can never hurt."


--------------------
user posted image
I was living to run and running to live - Moving eight miles a minute for months at a time - Breaking all of the rules that would bend - Against the wind

Those drifters days are past me now - I've got so much more to think about - I'm older now and still searching for shelter - Against the wind
+
Top
Tao
Posted: Jun 11 2009, 02:31 AM


Student Council Rep


Group: Student Council Member
Posts: 216
Member No.: 18
Joined: 14-July 05



Tao smiled and shrugged again, though he was more serious now when he replied.

"I suppose not. I'll take you up on it then. I'll see about making it to some of your martial arts classes."

Feeling that the topic was virtually exhausted, he queried his mind for the next logical step in this encounter. A light winked on in his head, and he smiled widely at the thought that had accompanied it.

"So, Professor Yates." After saying this, Tao took a few steps back into his pile of leaves.

"I understand you are here to practice your arts...I was wondering..." At this, about a dozen of the leaves floated up into the air in a vertical, slowly spinning ring about mid level and a foot out from Tao's body.

"If you were in need of targets to practice on?"


--------------------
Light dispels Darkness
Darkness turns upon itself
Tread not down the
Dark path,
Walk with confidence into the
Light

user posted image
+
Top
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