Blessings Of A Curse - 2012 USA Edition - chunk 06 by Wayne Edward Clarke

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SUMMARY: 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 trick."

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 shaped."

"Talia?"

"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.

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