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The dust has yet to settle

PROLOGUE

In the age of sails, two men travel across the seas, to the mysterious Western Continents. They seek to discover the reason for the persistently fading presence of magic on Earth. Rumors of an ancient ritual reach their ears, and the discovery of legend made flesh. Quetzalcoatl, a greedy spirit of Lightning and Thunder, had taken corporeal form and devoured the mana of a Ley Line. The very vitals of the Earth showed strain: deserts forming around the world, barren, tumultuous seas, and plagues thriving amongst the people. The reach of the beast’s hunger provokes the mages Darai B’kan and Yamato Ozakai, envoys of the East. Darai and Yamato forge ahead on an arduous journey toward the root of the living disaster. Regardless of their local fervor, the presence of such a powerful spirit was taking a permanent toll. Starving, weary, and surrounded by danger, they approach the summit. Colossal cuts of stone were piled high at the center of the city, well worn by the feet of local worshipers. A steady line bore an endless stream of tribute to the peak of the Sky Temple of Tenochtitlan. Before a bonfire, the towering figure of gleaming, golden quills marked the visage of the Thunderbird.  Finally, the two men reach their target, at the heart of the Aztec Empire.

Darai’s joints ached as he leaped from rock to rock, well-worn black clothes flapped wildly in the wind as the dark figure ascended. The hill face was steep, but living in Tibet had demanded much steeper and harsher traversal than this. The burden of the journey showed as their endurance waned. The moonlight danced off his silver bracers and greaves as he climbed higher until he reached the summit and looked out at the island city of before him. The bandages that covered his scars kept a sudden gust from touching his face, but the loose wrappings around his neck were exposed, a chill from the midnight wind.

A sprawling city of carved stone and copper-skinned people surrounded a massive bonfire that lapped at the night sky hungrily. There was no question where he had to look for the priest, the chanting of the cult was plenty audible from this side of the hill. Only one word was clear among the shouts — “Quetzalcoatl!”

Darai’s eye catches to the left, a flash of Yamato brandishing his namesake, making his descent toward the city. Swallowing his anxiety, Darai followed. Even after three months together, the unwavering warrior Yamato was difficult to keep up with. Darai barely muttered, “Die by the blade, huh.”

Tenochtitlan was alive and swarming — its throngs praying and feasting to please their living god. Crests of Quetzalcoatl shown emblazoned across every wall, body, and banner. A feast of red meat, raw offerings to the “Thunder Made Flesh.”

Perhaps not a storm god, but the aura is definitely of a higher tier spirit. If there are so many willing conduits, severing its tether to the Material Plane could be the death of us.

Darai reached inside his clothes and retrieved a vial of dark red blood, dipping his fingers in the catalyst and spreading it in the formation of an eye in the palm of his hand. When he finished, he pressed into the iris, and his eyes flooded with white. Scrying was not part of his repertoire, but the harvested vial was just enough for one use.

The Aztecs use their blood to form the Arcana symbols, invoking magic through contracts established with the Spirit Plane. The Spirit Arcanum was still largely a mystery. Quetzalcoatl had demanded the focus of the world through his actions, but the potential of development in the aftermath brought Darai hope. Uncorking a second bottle, he began drawing the tendrils of the Death Arcana along his forearms and biceps.

Doubt gnawed at him, and Darai had a fleeting thought of hesitation. This plan is suicide. Two of us are taking on an unknown depth of power. We are without allies, resources, or plan of escape. It’s all or nothing. If they failed, Yamato Ozakai and Darai B’kan would have crossed the End of the World to find their graves in a foreign land. Our mission ends here at Tenochtitlan, with the death of the golden beast dancing before the fire.

Darai exhaled deeply, then summoned from within, forming a link through the Mind Arcana with Yamato. “Quetzalcoatl has harnessed all the Mana in this hemisphere into one spirit… to think there can be such power in these things untouched by death!” Darai furrowed his brow. The idea of something living outside the mortal realm unnerved him. “It’s possible to kill a spirit with the Death Arcanum, but this beast seems to be on an entirely different level. I don’t know if I’m strong enough. The overwhelming spell power of the spirit stands a chance of obliterating us both. Neither of us has encountered an entity of this scale.”

Yamato watched Darai for a moment, directing his thoughts as he climbed down. “The conduit of its manifestation, however…Quetzalcoatl himself is still tethered to man, his body binds the spirit. Still, challenging either not to be taken lightly. Our only path is forward, Darai.”

Darai breathed deeply as he concentrated. “My plan rests on the assumption that if the beast has its Mana current interrupted by killing Quetzalcoatl, we will sever the connection binding the lightning spirit’s avatar to the mortal plane and the world should be released from the parasite. Magic will return to us. We will succeed. We must succeed. For the sake of the future of magic, we will win.”

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A path to integrity

“Great perfection appears defective, but its usefulness is not diminished.

Great fullness appears empty, but its usefulness is not diminished.

Great straightness seems crooked.

Great cleverness seems clumsy.

Great triumph seems awkward.

Bustling about vanquishes cold; standing still vanquishes heat.

Pure and still, one can put all things right under heaven.”

-Lao Tzu

Every action is equal part its opposite: we obtain different results from the same instruments of change. Even success can become failure, as failure can in turn be triumph. Greatness is not absolute, but the purity of its intent is what defines a person with integrity.

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A small, yet mind-blowing fact.

An electron is smaller than the smallest measurement ever made. We can look into other galaxies, but we do not actually know how big electrons are. We just assume a model that makes sense at certain sizes. And also this is an overdue post to an outdated website. I know, you’ve heard this before. Believe me, I too cringe at the repetition of my posts. Endure a while longer for me! I’ll make it worth your time, I promise.

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Redemption

After much, much revision, the long-awaited third installment of The Reclamation is finally progressing into the next stage for publication. I will continue to work on this and Story 4 for the upcoming month. Please look forward to it!

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Neil deGrasse Tyson

One of my favorite astrophysicists unleashes a torrent of insight in a Time interview a few years back. This video helped shape my questions about the universe and my perspective on it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiOwqDmacJo&feature=endscreen

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The Youth of Tomorrow

While browsing my favorite web pages, I discovered a physicist who circumvented the perceived normality that age equates intelligence. At age 14, Taylor Wilson constructed a nuclear fusion reactor in the garage of his home. His original goal was to create a miniature star. Three years later, the wildly intelligent young man has constructed cheap isotope injectors, advanced detectors for Homeland Security, and gone further to tour CERN. Tomorrow is paved by the endeavors and dreams of today. Watch his brief story here.

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An interesting discovery, albeit unrelated to the theme of the blog.

This disturbing yet enlightening article about spiders will tell you that small orb-weaving spiders, a broad family called Araneidae that assumes a quarter of all known spider diversity, are one among a group of spider families which have such large brains that they expand and grow through their coxae (hip) and into their legs.That’s 78% of its body being occupied by brain matter. The remaining 22% must contain its shrinking organs as it fully devotes itself to what I can only assume are pure evil thoughts.

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An Arcanum (pl…

An Arcanum (plural. Arcana) is one of ten divisions of the  Tapestry.  Each Arcanum originates from one of five Supernal Realms; each Supernal Realm is the source of two Arcana and each Arcana can be represented by a color for its Supernal Realm. The Arcana are divided by what the mage seeks to change: Life, Death, Force, Fate, Matter, and so forth. Each “color” on the diagram below is a point in a 5-point star, and each line connecting the stars represents a different Arcanum. The Arcana act both in unity and in chaos, working against its opposite natures as much as it cooperates with its neighboring Arcana. Thus each Arcana are aligned closer to certain Supernal Realm than others and both function together better as spells and are easier to learn in addition. For instance, a mage of the Life Arcanum finds it easiest to work with its complimenting Arcana of Forces and Spirit. Using the color wheel as an example, the further from one Arcanum you go the more difficult it is to learn and master.

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We’re a big small world.

I had the scale of existence explained very well to me. The world is a very big place. Humans survive on 30% of the habitable planet they populate. Our planet is pretty big. And yet every day, we see something that can fit one million Earths inside it: the Sun. Even still, the Sun is just one of four hundred billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy. It gets worse. There are possibly a hundred billion galaxies detectable by our telescopes. Not quite small enough on the galactic scale? The universe is expanding at such an accelerating rate that the stars forming new galaxies may never have their light reach us. The collective Universe (all in all, all universes are considered part of the collective Universe, or “all of existence”)  is befuddling at best.

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This is an original post.

Dear readers,

I’ve been reading Steven Hawking’s Grand Design lately. In reading said book, I have obtained a multitude of opinions on existence and theoretical solutions to our constant inquiries on why we came to be. One which has caught my interest, probably because it is the foundation of Hawking’s argument: the universe, is  the collective sum of existence, is balanced by its individual galaxies and, ultimately, omniverse. The only reason this works is because there is constant trial and error that we can not witness. Entire planes of existence fail to form because of a gravitational imbalance or a difference in electron polarity. The complexities far expand beyond our comprehension, but the idea remains the same. We exist in a splendidly complex world, one which only grows more complex as possibilities arise and “align” into events. I will explain the significance of the Event Horizon in a later post, but muse on this: in Daoism, everything is explained as existing simply because it is the best way to accomplish its purpose. It is known as the path of least resistance, simplified as a spiritual journey of conforming with the flow of energy. Is this not a valid way to view the universe? Trees exist the way they do because it is the best way for them to survive in their respective manner. We exist through theoretically infinite dimensions of creation and complexity, as each possible time stream collides. I approach the limit for blowing minds, so I will summarize as such: science explains a lot if you’re willing to listen, the universe is incredibly cool, and you should continue to read The Reclamation because it’s quite interesting.

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