Book of The Dead

Chapter B4C8 - Teach the Teacher

Chapter B4C8 - Teach the Teacher

Im impressed, Tyron noted, nodding with satisfaction. Each of you has managed to learn the ritual and reach level two. This is where the real work can finally begin.

The three young Necromancers exchanged excited glances, pleased that he was pleased. After returning from beyond the rift, the Steelarm scion had thrown himself into private study for a few days, then emerged without warning and resumed lessons.

Im happy to see that Feat worked out well for you, Georg. Your hands are noticeably more dextrous. Have you found its helped?

The former farmhand nodded, holding his hands up and gazing down at them.

Its helped a lot more than I thought it would, he admitted. Feel like they actually listen to me now.

Good. I was a little reluctant to hand out build advice to people. Its not as if I have a text I can study to point out the best ways to be a Necromancer. Im figuring it out as I go, and so will you.

The four of them sat around the crackling fire outside of Tyrons cave. The sun was still high overhead, though it offered little warmth at this time of year, and each of them was eager to progress, having overcome the first hurdle that had been set before them.

Briss could hardly believe that each of them had managed it. Learning how to cast magick had seemed impossible to her only weeks ago. After receiving the training that Tyron had offered, all three of the students had thrown themselves into study. It was all they did each day. They rose, practised magick until they couldnt any more, then went to sleep. The words and phrases, which had seemed so alien, began to feel even a little natural on their tongues. The hand gestures and sigils, so difficult, so demanding, had caused each of them to experience cramps and spasms through their fingers, Georg in particular.

Before we move onto the next, perhaps most important topic, I want to provide some honest feedback for you, to help improve your magick fundamentals.

Georg, Briss and Richard exchanged glances. They were impatient for new knowledge, but had each opted to learn the basics from their teacher while he was available. The training was demanding, but it was necessary. They were proud of how far they had come.

Tyron looked up at the tree-line, mulling over his words.

Im painfully aware that youve only been practising magick for a matter of weeks. So let me preface my words with some praise. Youve done well. The level of dedication youve shown has been acceptable.

Richards eyes widened a little before he caught himself. Acceptable? They did nothing but practice magick and sleep! What more could they do?

However all of you are still terrible, Tyron said flatly. If the ritual I constructed for you wasnt as stable as it was, each of you would still have failed. If youd attempted to cast the actual Raise Dead spell, you would all be dead. Your breath control is poor. Your lung capacity is lacking. The way you transition from one gesture to the next is its dreadful.

He cant even find the words, Briss thought to herself, heart sinking.

The cadence is barely within the limits of tolerance. That has to sharpen up if you want to be a proper mage. How many times have I told you that rhythm is exceptionally important when casting any type of spell? To properly utilise magick, you must be as reliable as a metronome. He smacked one hand into the other to form a solid beat. Every. Time. Perfect. He let his hands fall.

To be honest, its dangerous for you to start progressing this quickly when you are still so poor. You arent capable of raising a battle-ready undead at this point, but Im hoping the attributes you received from the Unseen will be enough to help push you forward a little and accelerate your progress.

All three of the students were hanging their heads at this point. Of course, they knew as much without being told, but it was difficult to hear it stated so bluntly.

Tyron looked at them without pity. It was true, they were awful, and if they got a false sense of confidence now, after experiencing even a tiny amount of success, they would surely fail soon down the line.

Dont think Im just trying to burst your confidence so you dont get a big head, he warned them, because you are dangerously incompetent. Do not attempt to cast any ritual magick without my supervision. Youll die. Now, with that out of the way, lets talk about advancement.RE𝒂ad updated st𝒐ries at n/𝒐/vel/bin(.)com

After having their egos crushed, the young folk were still able to perk their heads up. Having performed the status ritual not long ago and made their choices, the heady rush of progression was still very much on their minds.

I know we talked fairly extensively about the choice you need to make at the second level, Tyron stated. Bone Stitching or Flesh Mending. One to unlock the ability to make skeletons, the other to freshen up corpses, basically, make them more suitable to create zombies. As I told you, I went down the skeleton route, but that doesnt mean you have to. Now, tell me, what did you all pick?

Georg spoke up first, as he usually did. He wasnt as shy as the other two.

Flesh Mending, he said.

Tyron nodded slowly.

Any particular reason? he asked.

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The former farmhand lifted his fingers and wiggled them wryly. They might be a lot better than they were before, but Im not sure my fingers would be quick enough to do that stitching you showed us. I figured going with a more straightforward type of undead would be a safer bet.

Well, Im glad that at least one of you picked it. Now you have an ability I dont and we can take some notes on it. Im especially curious to see what sort of Class advancements will be offered to a zombie specialist, since Ive never seen them. What about you, Richard? Briss?

Bone Stitching for me, Briss spoke quickly.

For me as well, Richard confirmed.

Very good. Well, well need to split up the lessons a little between the three of you now. You two will need to work on your stitching technique, while Georg will need to find some dead flesh he can mend. Getting a handle on these fundamental abilities will be key to creating your first minion. The better your stitching, the better the skeleton can move and fight. The same goes for a zombie. The better a job you do getting their muscles and tendons back together, the more mobile your minion will be.

The most fundamental building blocks of the Class, creating functional undead. There was so much for him to teach them, Tyron almost didnt know where to start. He drummed his fingers on his knees for a time as he thought, the three students waiting patiently for him to speak.

Ill have a corpse brought up here, Georg, so you can practise. Fortunately, I dont believe it needs to be human for you to train your new ability, even if you wont be able to raise it as an undead. My ghosts have spotted a few dead deer out there, mostly frozen over, that you can work on.

Richard looked a little green at the thought, but Georg simply nodded. Working with and around dead animals was daily life as far as he was concerned. Hed worked on a cattle farm.

Richard and Briss, you can start immediately working on your threading. Tyron raised a hand, palm down, and spread his fingers. After a moment, threads of magick extended from the tips of each digit hanging down, unmoving in the slight breeze. These are the threads youre going to work with. You should have a basic understanding of how to manifest them now, right?

The two newly Awakened nodded before they too held out their hands and concentrated. It took Briss a minute before she was able to create the threads, Richard slightly behind her.

Just another thing that you have to practise, Tyron said. When you manifest the thread, its important that your concentration doesnt waver. If they flicker out of existence halfway through working on a joint, you are going to be filled with regret, since youll have to start over. Its also important that the thickness is consistent. If some fibres are thicker and stronger than others, then it wont function right, whether it's sinew or muscle youre imitating.

He looked at his own threads.

I made this as thick as I could so it would be easier to see, but Im honestly a little stuck when it comes to threading.

It was difficult for Richard to imagine that Tyron Steelarm would struggle with anything magick-related; it all seemed to come so naturally to the man that it was unfair. What could someone this proficient possibly be struggling with?

Whats the difficulty? he asked, curiosity overcoming his instinct to remain silent.

Tyron frowned, but not at the student. His ire was focused on the threads. He lowered his hands with a sigh.

I dont mind sharing. Half the point of teaching you is to get an outside perspective on Necromancy. The issue is simple. Eventually, you will reach a point where you will turn increasingly powerful levelled individuals into minions. Some types of Undead can retain the abilities, or at least some of them, that they possessed in life. So if you happened to get your hands on a dead slayer

Richards eyes widened. That would be a powerful undead indeed.

The issue, Tyron grumbled, is that the threads are not strong enough. He held up his hand and the thin lines of magick formed once more, dangling down from each finger. When creating a skeleton, this thread takes the place of the sinew and muscle, allowing the bones to move. However, the thread isnt as strong as a high levelled person's body. You may not ever run into this problem, Georg, given youll be using the original materials rather than replacing them. When this new undead attempts to use the abilities they could use in life, the threads may not be able to take the strain and begin to degrade, or even snap.

Once again he let his hand fall, frustration written plainly on his face.

This is a key milestone I need to overcome to create the highest tiers of skeletal undead. Ive tried thickening the thread, adjusting my weaves everything I can think of, but so far, nothing has worked.

Richard and Briss stared blankly ahead. The thought of turning a high levelled slayer into a skeleton was shocking enough to them that the rest hadnt really registered, but Georg merely shrugged.

Have you tried weaving the threads together? he said.

Tyron blinked, then scowled.

What do you mean? How do you weave the threads together? For what purpose?

Now the other two students turned to face him as if he were crazy, offering advice to this expert, but Georg continued doggedly.

Like we do when we make rope. You never made any rope before? You take a whole bunch of long, thin fibres, and then we weave em together to make something stronger.

The gears visibly turned in Tyrons head as he tried to visualise what he was being told. Rope? No, hed never given a moments thought to the construction of rope.

What do you make rope out of? he asked intently.

A little uncomfortable with all the attention, Georg shrugged.

Straw, mostly. Or hemp. As long as it grows long and stringy you can make pretty decent rope out of it.

Would that even work? How thick could the threads that bound a skeleton together be before they were no longer practical? Tyron had seen the ropes used to tie ships to the dock in Foxbridge, some of them as thick as his wrist. Obviously, that was far too large, but perhaps something thinner would work? If he was able to double the strength of the threads with less than a threefold increase in thickness then it could possibly suit his needs. Growing more and more interested, the atmosphere around him began to change.

As the subject of his attention, Georg saw the worst of it. The intensity that was always present in their teacher became almost manic. His breath came a beat too quickly.

You need to explain to me how you make rope. Now, Tyron demanded.

Uh. Its it can be a theres a few steps Georg muttered, wracking his brain to recall exactly how it was done. His grandfather had been the one to show him, but that had been years ago. Whenever rope needed making, hed just done what he was told. You need to braid the fibres. Theres an a pattern.

There was also a heck of a lot of preparation involved to get the straw in the right condition to turn into rope. It wasnt like you could just yank some reeds out of the ground and make a rope out of them.

Tyron stood, stalked forward, and clapped a hand down on Georgs shoulder.

Show me.

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