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    Demented
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Though not present in every chapter, this story will contain graphic violence and coerced sex/rape, some of which involves underaged characters. Keep this in mind before reading. 

MageCrafter - 19. Kotik's Birthday. Part 2

The Borders of Preja Bog have been the one consistent thing on the various maps on the country now known as Silbel. Regardless of what kingdoms have risen and fallen around it, Preja Bog has remained largely untouched and has even grown some over the centuries and millennia since the Dark Age Wars. Military incursions to capture the territory have been attempted in the past.

All failed.

While within the marshlands of Preja Bog, Babica the Hag Giant is practically a goddess. The entire territory which stretches such an expanse of land that it could be considered its own country is the largest known and one of the oldest Lairs existing on the surface world. It is also the only known Lair to have achieved its status while being open to the outside air, defying all understanding on how Lairs are supposed to be made. In every other successful creation of a Lair, it had required an enclosed space as a consistent variable to make it work. Hers is the only one that defies such a notion.

That is not to say Babica being outside of her Bog Lair is any less formidable. The very few times she has done so in the past two millennia are still told by bards on the darkest nights. The hag giant is the one Silbel parents use as their local boogeyman to spook their children to behave. Hers is a nation of Warlocks and monstrosities and things that crawl within her wetlands. Few things enter her lair do so without her changing them in some way.

From the looks of it, she has mobilized an alarming number of monstrosities that are now spilling like a wave toward a vary specific mining village. Wyverns spill into the sky so thick they look like locusts. Werewolves, trolls, chimera, and other beasts of her creation roll across the ground like water being spilt across the land. All the while her towering werewolf body, somehow even scarier looking now in its old and decrepit state, is bounding alongside her wave of minions to deal with a certain upstart who sought to betray a deal with her.

They had had an agreement. She had even let him in her home and treated him nicely. Then he goes and spits in her face and kills one of her favorite warlocks to top it off! She needed to let this upstart and the rest of these pitiful humans know that Babica Preja will not be looked down upon! She was the last one standing in the Dark Age Wars. She is the name people whisper in fear. Hers is a name that demands respect! It earned it!

Even as she thought this however, she could tell with her enhanced senses that some intense magic was brewing in the air. The upstart was making a storm again. Just like he did when he hid the fact he was stealing her rightful claim on that MageCrafter. This one seemed bigger than his last attempt however, by several factors. She grinned wildly as she picked up speed towards his location. She had to hand it to him, it took balls to not flee from her when she was bringing so many minions to bear against him. He would have made a fantastic Warlock if he had taken her offer back then.

***
Lord Baldric had done a lot of planning for this day. The day when he truly had to fight Babica Preja. He had been gathering intel on her and running simulations on how she fielded military troops for ages. That wasn’t a metaphor either. There were Parallel minds of his that exclusively existed in an accelerated thought state. Those minds resided within his Lair, and were now so divergent and so much older than the central mind that they could not safely merge back with Lord Baldric without irreparable damage to his mind. They were so conditioned to their accelerated state of thinking that they could not slow down either without going stark raving mad.

Years ago, they had been the Original Seven that the young Lord Baldric created when he played at being the vigilante known as The Faceless Wight. At the time, Shahnaz and himself had joked flippantly about how using his magical items were changing his mind and making him mentally older than he actually was. Lord Baldric had foolishly believed that he could handle such changes, because he was a child prodigy just like everyone kept telling him.

He has corrected the mistakes he made with his Original Seven since then. The rest of the council of Baldrics are just like him mentally speaking, and he keeps them in contact with the central mind at least a few times a day to exchange experiences and make sure they do not deviate too far from their creator. He has a small army of parallel Baldrics both in and out of his lair, managing his information network and working behind the scenes to make sure the main body can pull off looking like an all powerful MageCrafter.

Lord Baldric would never connect with the Original Seven however. He will speak with them, learn from them, seek their counsel, but he will never touch his mind directly with them. They are simply so far removed from human experience now that Lord Baldric would risk losing his grasp on reality and sanity entirely should he allow even one of those Seven to merge back into his mind.

It is The Seven that found the connection to the gods through the realm of dreams and illusions. It is The Seven who bask within the incomprehensible din of symbolism and prophetic imagery. It is The Seven that taught Lord Baldric the dangers of his Thought Acceleration items, as The Seven no longer can exist in anything resembling the normal world. To The Seven, the world outside is still, barely moving, barely changing from moment to moment. They think and exist on such a different timescale that a real life moment drags on for a truly unfathomable length of time.

The human mind was never quite equipped to handle the extended years of life that some of the demi human races have. It is safe to say that The Seven have become quite mad within the Lair. King Morcant of Trident actually shuddered when he had learned about The Seven. His exact words to Lord Baldric when he had introduced them to the King was the following:

“By the Greater Pantheon! Foolish boy, What have you done?!”

The closest thing that King Morcant could describe what his Original Seven now was artificial heralds of the realm of Illusion, though he hadn’t said this in anything resembling an approving tone. In fact he had scolded and ranted quite severely at Lord Baldric for foolishly creating such entities without knowing what he was doing.

Lord Baldric had in effect, crafted his own heralds of the illusory gods, but he had done it so crudely and so poorly that The Seven were nothing short of horrifying and blasphemous to behold to anyone with knowledge of what the Heralds were truly like. Yet The Seven had a connection with the pantheon of Illusion and thus the greater Pantheon, and thus their insane vision walks and incomprehensible way of thinking were important for Lord Baldric’s plans.

The visions they showed Lord Baldric were nothing short of baffling. If he had ever attempted to use illicit substances, he was certain they would pale in comparison to the strangeness and unrealness that The Seven called their realm of experience. Lord Baldric had attempted to touch directly with one of those vision walks The Seven called their daily life once.

Only Once.

The experience had been so nerve rattling he hadn’t been able to get off the floor of his lair afterwards for hours after the fact.


Still, they were invaluable regardless of the downsides they revealed in items he had invented so long ago. Items he had probably already used too much on his own. He knew how to communicate with these accelerated Baldrics even when they operated in two different relative timescales, and his Noble ring and items like it helped him memorize whatever information they had for him at the time. They were barely even him anymore, but at the same time they still responded to him because he was the Central mind and he controlled their very existence.

Still, there was another factor at play as well. Namely he was surrounded by people who did not know the secrets and foibles of his powers. To them he was some all powerful MageCrafter, and he intended on playing into that charade.

***

Count Raudh and the maids backed up from Lord Baldric as an intense shift in temperature happened where he was standing. Wind began to pickup and the light grew so dim in the village as Lord Baldric’s clothing began to change. His trim and simple suit began to take on layers, growing out a billowing cape that flowed out before them on his shoulders, glowing with mysterious glyphs etched onto its surface. His top hat began to morph and change into the classical wide brimmed pointy hat of a wizard, one that shrouded his entire face in pure darkness as his clothes took on more and more layers. Between the immense collar that now covered his neck, that impossibly wide brimmed hat, and his completely blacked out face, he didn’t even look like Lord Baldric anymore. He was now just a floating mass of robes and a cape with that pointed hat, all of which were White and glowing with blue glyphs of ancient origin.

The Maids and Raudh looked at the Young Lord in awe as he ascended slowly into the sky and dramatically throughout one of his hands to his side, summoning forth a truly ornate and complex staff that would be far too unyielding for everyday use. On the top of the staff was the various faces known to represent every single Deity in the Water Pantheon, and all had their eyes glowing with the purest white energy as the world grew ever darker around the floating white MageCrafter.

Lord Baldric Began to Sing out an incantation .

Except it didn’t quite sound like him. It sounded like an entire chorus of people singing the incantation all at once, flooding the surrounding air with such a powerful bombastic rumble of voices that all sang out the same words. The onlookers had to cover their ears and their eyes from the brightness and sound emanating from the young lord who had seemed to have transfigured into a deific wizard from the heroes of old right before their very eyes. Many of them felt such awe at what they were witnessing, never expecting such a display out of their young lord.

As the words of the chorus spilled out, bluish white magical circles began to form in the sky above and below him in various lengths and sizes as water, ice, and fog seemed to be drawn into a glowing white sphere above his staff that he was holding aloft. So many different circles, some as large as the very town they were residing in, others barely bigger than himself, all majestically spaced above and below him and rotating in their own directions and speeds in incomprehensible ways. Count Raudh’s mouth was agape looking up at his friend, barely believing his own eyes at what the hell was even happening.

Those Rings began to line themselves up beneath Lord Baldric, coming from above and below him to link together into one super structure of a magical circle. As soon as they had all linked together the magical sphere he had been feeding with the elements of water was fired out with a final note and word from Baldric’s spell into the clear blue sky.

The effect was instantaneous. Such a violent eruption of storm clouds came forth from where that sphere exploded that it spread out and encompassed all of the perceivable sky within seconds in a thick blanket of darkness. Lord Balric did not stop there, making the glyphs around him spin and swirl wildly with dramatic hand gestures of his free hand as he began to control the storm itself.

Everyone present watched in horror, awe, and fascination, as all hell broke loose on the horizon.

*** 

Babica had to leap out of the way in some shock as the first Iceberg sized hunks of hail slammed into her charging forces, exploding into shards on impact and shredding through entire crowds of her werewolves in waves of gore. The sky was difficult to look at considering the sheer volume of lightning bolts that were ripping out of those densely black clouds above her. Babica roared in outrage as her legions of Wyverns in the sky were charred and blown to pieces by the barrage of lightning that seemed almost as dense as the rain itself. The air was filled with their thunderclaps so much that it made it difficult for her to even get information through her Werewolf suit.

That wasn’t all either. She watched in horror and fascination as strange types of clouds that spun rapidly like cones touched down onto the ground and made their way through her forces, sucking up her werewolves into their vortexes before sending them flying off into the distance so many leagues away.

Even as she advanced her forces forward she felt rage broil up inside of her. This upstart had been planning to betray her from the start! All those overtures of him being like her and admiring how she dealt with humans who preyed on demi humans had just been a ploy to get on her good side. She had never felt so used in her life! So deceived! Curse him!

Through the barrage of lighting blasts, massive hunks of hail, and Tornadoes which had never touched down in Silbel before this very day, Babica's forces that charged towards the village were getting decimated. She didn’t let this stop her. She had always swarmed enemy strongholds and claimed them with her superior numbers in the past. The strongholds had all responded in kind by fielding their own legion of soldiers to fight her.

This cowardly upstart did not play by these rules! He bombarded her legions from a distance with this infuriating storm, carving through her ground forces and turning them into hunks of useless flesh she couldn’t even MageCraft! He didn’t have attacks that wounded her creatures that allowed her to heal them or make them stronger with her magecrafting. No! He either burned them to a crisp, sent them so far away from her, or chopped them into such fine bits of meat with the glacial shrapnel that not a single one of her fallen forces could be recovered!

The coward! The wretched coward!

***

In truth, much of what the crowd and Babica was looking at what a complete farce. The Cloud cover was from a three hundred fold attunement item that resided within the lair which augmented the effectiveness and believability of Illusory projections to an absurd degree. It also dedicated some of that attunement pool to cover up the fact that Lord Baldric had indeed fielded something of an Army to meet Babica’s forces.

More specifically, Lord Baldric has been sending a portion of his Lovely assistants to the Boarders of preja bog and kept them high in the sky among the clouds since he had been planning on fighting her. What he had amassed was two years worth of himself, his parallel minds, and MageCrafter assistants within his lair who mass produced more assistants and sent them to patrol the borders of Preja bog. These vapor assistants were managed by parallel minds who had seen fit that they were each outfitted with the vapor equivalent of Lightning Rods. However, most of the lightning bolts Babica saw tearing through the sky were completely illusory and harmless. Quite literally they were just illusory copies of real Lighting bolts the Lovely assistants fired at her wyverns. For every one real shot of lightning, there were a dozen fake ones. However the sheer chaos and din that the light and sound created more than made up for the fact they did no real damage. Plus there was more than enough lightning rod wielding assistants up in that cloud cover to actually deal devastating damage to the areal forces.

The Shrapnel Grenade Glaciers were a team effort by squads of assistants who surrounded a central magic item much like a teleportation cart. They pooled their attunement slots together above the cloud cover and fired them below on the order of Skying assistants who could peer through the cloud cover with their own magic items and target the best places to hit her forces.

Much like with the lightning, for every one real Shrapnel Grenade Glacier, dozens were simulated falling in the distance like the entire sky was raining down these expensive magical attacks instead of just a few dozen well coordinated teams.

The tornadoes were completely and utterly fake. He had witnessed them on other continents in his travels with the Bavaram Circus and was able to simulate their appearance. Though he could probably make real Tornadoes if he truly wanted to sink the unfathomable cost into them. However, since they were not in his dominion to make as such weather phenomena was purview of the gods of Wind and air, he instead opted on making illusory projections of them. Within those illusory projections however was something akin to a swirling mass of clear, near reflection-less ice whips that trebuchet her werewolves into the distance in a convincing simulacrum of a tornado. At least to someone like Babica who has never bore witness to a tornado. Babica could quite easily shatter those ice whips with a simple tackle of hers, but The tornado illusion looked so huge and roared so loudly while flinging her forces about that she didn’t even think to try.

No her mind and energy was focused on sending her steadily dwindling legion towards where she believed all these attacks were coming from. She thought that these attacks were all coming from one solitary person, one single caster who was like the Arch wizards and such she knew back thousands of years ago. She didn’t even question that there could be deception around this display of magic, cause she had seen the real deal back in the day and this felt just like that.

The light show he had given his companions was just that. Not a single spec of what he had done in the village had anything to do with what was happening with the enemy forces. It was just a dramatic and over the top performance to sell the idea that Lord Baldric was in complete control of this godly looking storm and that he was controlling it all on his own. It was all a farce to hide the fact he was using his lovely assistants to perform all these feats. Much like with Darzi, he hadn’t even used one of his own attunement slots, as all that he did was just a simple illusory projection that he did all the time.
Solid glacier walls fell from the sky and slammed into the woods in front of the mining village, shaking the ground as they did so. They fell in such a way that they worked with the trees to create something of a maze that Babica would have to work her way through with her forces once they reached that part of the charge. While Babica herself will probably be able to vault over such creations with her superior strength and speed, her forces will have to funnel themselves into his confusing glacial and wooded labyrinth that had within it illusory dead ends and ways to beguile the senses. Even if they chose to go around, that was still time for his lovely assistants to carve into them with lightning bolts and shrapnel grenade glaciers. Though they could not keep firing indefinitely, his scrying assistants were coordinating their shots to make sure every single attack dealt damage to her forces, even as the illusory copies of the attacks masked just how many real attacks were coming at her forces.

From the reports he had been getting from his parallel minds through their own versions of noble rings, they had already decimated about forty percent of her fielded legion with their opening volleys so far. It was actually better than the projections had indicated.

*** 

As all out war waged outside, one birthday boy sat in a blacked out tavern with thirteen half burned out candles. He was meditating so deeply he didn’t even notice that not everyone had exited the Tavern. One person had stayed behind. One person who did not have much longer to be in this realm of existence.

The old Man.

The old Man had to hand it to the Whipper Snapper, his wispy friends were doing a number on that old bitches forces. She had long been overdue for an eternity in hell so he was more than happy to see that hag get what was coming to her after so long. She had turned so many of his Vicars into her minions, just like she had done with so many others. However because the god she worked under liked her and the reputation she had, she had protection enough that the other deities couldn’t extract revenge on her after the Dark Age Wars. They did at least get a concession out of the God that she couldn’t use her powers on herself anymore, which allowed her to age into the decrepit hag she was today.

Right now though his mind was focused on his boy who was currently allowing himself to feel all the emotions he had bottled up for so long. Thanks to the gifting on his lynxian ears, he actually already had a degree of control over his emotions that even he hadn’t realized. In effect, he had been concentrating and condensing his emotions within himself through that gifting his entire life. So much so that if he were to get an actual Esoteric Vicar Title the boy might end up with more power than he knew what to do with.

It was why he was able to remain so happy and polite despite how much burgeoning rage and sorrow was inside of him. Quite literally his ears were the only thing keeping the tidal wave of emotions back, and by doing so he was condensing those emotions into a highly concentrated state.

Kotik had been instantly overwhelmed when he had finally let himself fully bask in what he had been holding back all this time. Almost immediately he had begun to sob in that meditative state. Sob and rage and scream even as the Tavern itself began to freak out. If The old man hadn’t been there to help control the wood around him, he would have accidentally killed himself thousands of times over with those rapidly growing and shrinking spikes of wood.

He didn’t want to stop his son though. He wanted the gods of emotion to see what his boy had really been dealing with all this time. What he had been holding back with the Gifting they had all granted on those lynxian bloodlines.

The Pantheon of Emotion did feel that outburst of condensed emotion. Their attention was drawn almost instantaneously to the outpouring of focused rage, fear, despair, loss, loneliness, and so many other emotions that the lynxian had been bottling up for almost thirteen years. The inside of the Tavern grew even more chaotic, so much so that Kotik’s power leaked to the outside of the tavern and turned that black as well, though The old man prevented spikes from springing out of there lest he hit a bystander.

Never before had Kotik allowed himself to wail and rage so hard. He was screaming himself hoarse through his sobs and writhes, so overwhelmed with everything he was finally letting loose after all this time.

Then it happened. Kotik’s eyes snapped open as such a blinding light shot not only out of his eyes, but his mouth as well as he screamed at the top of his lungs.

Suddenly, every single tree within the borders of Silbel was dyed black as spikes erupted from them. There was not a single MageCrafter or magic user in the world that did not turn in the direction of Silbel that day as something incomprehensible happened in their perception.

The entirety of the pantheon of emotion immediately and forcefully granted Kotik with their Vicar title, giving him dominion over his internal emotional spectrum. Thus he had gained Two Total Dominion MageCrafting titles, something never before heard of either in Silbel and the greater world at large.

Kotik had become a prize that no nation on the surface worth its salt would be able to ignore anymore.

Copyright © 2020 Demented; All Rights Reserved.
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I do believe, and can say with total certainty, the proverbial shit is about to hit the fan.....OMG...My Frickin...Gods!!!...😈

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While Baldric is without a doubt impressive beyond compare; much of his power is still illusion.  Kotik releasing all the repressed rage and anger will be a sight to behold.  Babica is going to regret not letting the kid have his birthday part.  

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35 minutes ago, centexhairysub said:

While Baldric is without a doubt impressive beyond compare; much of his power is still illusion.  Kotik releasing all the repressed rage and anger will be a sight to behold.  Babica is going to regret not letting the kid have his birthday part.  

Lord Baldric has in effect weaponized big time stage magic. The Magician's job is to draw attention away from the lovely assistants while they work behind the scene and convince the audience that the Magician is the one pulling all this stuff off.  When you convince your opponent that the might of an army is coming from one person, they will focus all their efforts on getting that one person. The more convincing the performance, the more the overwhelmed and awestruck audience isn't going to question what is happening and just assume what they are seeing is the truth. As long as they believe it's coming from Baldric, the Stage Magician drawing their eyes to where he is at and not where the magic is actually happening, then they won't be able to figure out a way to dismantle his attack strategy. 

It is quite the devilish ploy, but it is still just that at the end of the day. 

 

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