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Blessings Of A Curse - 2012 USA Edition - chunk 06 (standard:fantasy, 9940 words) [6/6] show all parts
Author: Wayne Edward ClarkeAdded: Jun 11 2012Views/Reads: 1183/882Part vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
part 6

“Talia told me of your thoughts, about letting the binding of your
wedding vows affect you.” Yazadril told Mark as he fetched an item from 
a workbench and held it up.  It was a ten inch long, one inch wide, 
thin steel band with rounded ends, bent smoothly into a C, with five 
thin steel tines protruding from the middle of one edge.  “Now, when I 
cast a mild Tranquility upon you yesterday, I altered my own vibration, 
and so the vibration of the spell, so that it could affect you.  It's a 
different thing to change your vibration, to negate your special 
quality and allow magic to affect you.  None-the-less, if I've 
transposed the notes I used correctly, and made no mistake in the 
theory, the mathematics, or the crafting of it, this should do the 

He plucked the ends of the tines, all five at once, and the notes they
made formed an eerie, shimmering chord.  “If this works, as long as 
you're wearing this and the tines are ringing, it will alter the 
vibration of the most crucial parts of your brain, and hence your 
nervous system, and magic should affect you.  It will be most effective 
as the tines are first plucked, and the effect will fade as the sound 
and vibration fades.  So, if you want a spell to affect you at a 
somewhat constant rate, strum it like this;.”  He brushed his 
fingertips rapidly back and forth over the five tines like he was 
strumming a lute, and the chord rang out constantly. 

“If you want to wear it without it affecting you, slide this little
velvet envelope over the tines to damp their vibration.  Let's try it, 
shall we?  Could you bend down a bit?” 

Mark bent down, and Yazadril slid the band onto his head.  The ends
squeezed the side of his head at the top of his temples, holding the 
metal in firm contact across his forehead, with the tines encased in 
black velvet sticking up from the center.  It was uncomfortable, but 
not greatly so. 

“Now we will test your heat tolerance.” Yazadril explained.  “I will
lightly hold your left index finger close to this candle flame, far 
enough away that it will not hurt at first, but close enough that soon 
the pain will make your arm pull the finger away.  Just let it do so.” 

They conducted the test, and when Mark jerked his hand away and stuck
his fingertip in his mouth, Yazadril nodded.  “Just short of six 
seconds.  A bit longer than I expected.  Dry your finger with this 
handkerchief.  Now I will create another burning candle entirely from 
magic, but otherwise identical in every way to the mundane candle.  Do 
you see it?” Yazadril asked, holding it out to Mark. 

“No.  To me your hand is empty, though curved to hold something candle


“It looks exactly the same as the other candle to me, Father.” 

“Excellent.  Now give me your finger again, Mark.” 

He held the tip of Mark's finger in the center of the flame for ten
seconds.  “You feel nothing?” 

“No.  Just you holding my finger.” 

Talia whistled softly, eyebrows raised.  “Now to me, that is spooky!”
she commented. 

“All right.”  Yazadril released his hand.  “Now take off the velvet
envelope, and pluck the tines.  Tell me what you experience.” 

Mark did so.  “Whoa!  It's very loud when you're wearing it!  It kind of
sounds nice, but it kind of sounds scary, and in a way it seems to be 
rattling my skull.  But I can see the magic candle!  Though it doesn't 
seem very, uh, substantial.  And like you said, it's kind of fading 
away with the sound.” 

“About what I expected.  Now strum the tines.  Try to keep the sound
constant and even, so that the image of the candle is also constant and 

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This is part 6 of a total of 6 parts.
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