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The Eleven Potentials (Magic System + story / novella beginnings)

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First off, hello to you all. You probably don't know me, but I've been inspired by several writers to start writing my own story. What I'm about to share with you is close to being a finished first chapter (at least so far), but knowing me, I will likely end up rewriting at least parts of it before I am done.


The working title for this story, or novella as it probably will end up to be, is "The Eleven Potentials". Potentials are a magic system that essentially push the physical body beyond its limits, for a short time. But there's always a price for the actions you take, and at some point of the user's choosing (or during sleep) the body accumulates Wear. This continues until the body can no longer sustain the Potentials, and using them beyond this point becomes extremely dangerous. 


As you can see, the magic system is not at all fleshed out. It's just an idea sitting in my head. So, as this is the Creator's Corner, I turn to you readers. While I don't ask you for ideas, they could be helpful to this project. Even if it's just you imagining what each Potential does - or even what other Potentials there are - they could help propel this project forward. (God, this sounds like begging for ideas, doesn't it? Well, do as you wish!)


Flair shook her head regretfully as she retrieved her dagger from the guard’s jugular. The steel wires beneath her sleeves tightened momentarily, then relaxed as she pulled her hand back. Fer chuckled softly. She'd been hearing that voice for a while, now, ever since she had begun her mission. That made it two years. Two years spent listening to a madman.


To Flair, the killing was a necessary evil. Besides, what did the life of some insignificant guardsman matter to her? They deserved it for serving tyrants and despots. Fer, on the other hand, was motivated purely by entertainment.



Bounding to her feet, the assassin concentrated briefly. Soon she felt the familiar thrumming of Potential brought to life, of superhuman power coursing in her veins. An impression of vast stores yet untapped lingered in her mind’s eye, like it always did. That, of course, was a falsehood. If one accessed too much Potential, they snapped. Went insane. She'd put down such people herself.



The ability to store Potentials – rather than just using them - was extremely rare. Flair could even have ventured a guess that it was unique to her. Her currently equipped Potentials, Acceleration and Suppression, granted her near-perfect vision in darkness. That, alongside some other useful abilities.



The door she sought lay close by. No other guards seemed to occupy the hallway. Strange, yet not. It’s lunch time. Flair ignored the voice. She moved in front of the door and crouched, placing a hand on the metal handle. Then, she carefully pulled it down and allowed the door to slide open, suppressing the noise with a carefully placed bubble of Suppression. The Potentials could be used in many ways.



Yes, Fer whispered Inside. Look for it in the desk. She pretended not to have heard. But she moved to the desk all the same. To normal human eyes, the room would have appeared pitch-black. To Flair, it looked like the room was awash with moonlight. She pulled open the drawers one by one, shuffling through their contents with the deft fingers of a practiced thief. She paused as her hands felt an irregularity on the far corner of the drawer. Maybe there’s a hidden compartment there, the voice suggested. She checked. There was. Now, how to access it?


Flair perked up, suddenly alert. It had been faint, but she’d heard footsteps in the hallway. Whoever it was clearly didn’t know of Flair’s abilities. She didn’t fault him for it; nobody did. The footsteps stopped just behind the door, barely audible to even Flair’s metal-enhanced ears. She stood up, checking her sleeves for her knives. Kill him, Fer urged. If he tells the others that you were here, you’ll never get your brother back. Flair grimaced. Her brother had been dead for seven years. Fer often said things like that, random things from her past. Raving. Don’t get distracted. You. Must. Kill him.


Flair willed the duramalm into her veins and muscles, enhancing her body. The crouching figure gasped as she shot out into the darkness, only a blur to his eyes. She landed on the wall opposite the doorway and launched herself behind the figure with a burst of Acceleration.



She whipped out her daggers, dashing past the man and trusting her hands to move of their own accord. The spy dropped to his knees, a pool of blood already forming below him. He was bleeding from a dozen lacerations. Strange, Fer said, musing.


“That’s not a nice way to greet someone as awesome as me.”



Flair whirled towards the “dead” spy, utterly and completely shocked. Fer made a choking noise that suddenly cut off into silence.


Of the wounds and lacerations she swore she’d dealt to the man’s body, there was no sign. The man picked himself up from the ground, dusting off his coat and adjusting his immaculately carved spectacles as he gave


Flair a knowing smile. Strangely, Fer was silent in her head. Now, if only she could get away from here with the box--


“Now, do me a favor and give me the thing.” Flair started. “The thing?” she asked, shocked.


“Oh, nothing. I just assumed there was a reason for you being here.” He grinned smugly and stepped up to her side. Flair flipped out her knives in response, retreating to a safe distance. The man stopped. He suddenly seemed to loom over her, threatening, a dark stormcloud ready to spew out fire and lightning.



Then the man’s figure deflated, like a balloon suddenly deprived of the air holding it together. Flair took another step back, her jaw hanging slightly ajar as the hulking man shrunk down to the size of a small, physically unimpressive... clerk. Ugh. The new man was slighter of build and darker of skin, dressed in a black overcoat, the brim of his hat covering his right e—


Of course. Who else could’ve even contemplated doing something like this? A silly, pointless magic trick?





“Flair.” She immediately recognized the voice. Quiet, but intense. Not gravelly or rough, but smooth. It had a sense of inevitability to it. It was a voice that could make kings tremble. That had made kings tremble.



It was a shame that the owner of that voice wasn't anything like his voice.


“You don’t have to use the dramatic voice on me.” she said.


Zake switched back to his usual sarcastic tone. “Oh, but it's so fun.



“Why did you follow me here?” she said, refusing to rise to his teasing.


She hadn’t realized how on edge she’d been tonight. And to be fair, she still was.


He smiled apologetically, but as always, it was a kind of a half-smile. Flair could never tell whether he was being entirely serious. Or sane, for that matter.


“Well, let’s just say that I had a bit of a divine intervention-“


Flair perked up. “A what?”



“Shh! They’re not that far away!” he whispered, intentionally overdoing the voice. Flair almost rolled her eyes. But then, it was quite nice to see someone again. Even if that someone was the most insufferable person she knew.



“So about that ‘divine intervention’. . .” she began.


“Well, I naturally manifested to myself and--“



Flair decked him in the face. She hadn’t done that since their last meeting two years ago. I almost forgot how good that feels, she thought, flashing a mischievous grin at the insufferable idiot.



Before he could quite comprehend what had happened, Zake found himself sprawled on the ground, involuntary hand nurturing the place where her fist had taken him. "I wish you didn't do that every time I--"


Flair cut him off, enjoying the sport. "I distinctly remember you saying, 'Flair, if I ever annoy you, feel free to deck me in the face.' and I intend to hold you to that promise."



Zake spluttered in outrage, as if to argue further, but then wisely thought the better of it. Instead, he picked himself up from the ground as if nothing had happened. Any normal person would have walked out of that with a broken chin. Not Zake.


“Right,” he sighed, this time with noticeably less glibness, which Flair appreciated. “I guess I can be a bit annoying. Old habits die hard and all that stuff.”



“You know, even though I can heal from that, it still hurts.” His single Potential, Rejuvenation, allowed him to heal from nearly any injury in seconds. Unfortunately, this had given the man far too much time to practice being annoying.


“Your jokes hurt.”



Zake chuckled, flashing that half-smile of his at her again. It was as much a part of him as his near-immortality.



“But really, I’m here on business.” he said, growing solemn. damnation. That tone could only mean one thing.


Covenant business.



“I received word from Selet’Thenn a few weeks ago. I've been looking for you ever since.”



Selet’Thenn. Home of the Ancients, location of the last Lightdome on Khobos and the center of the world as far as the Empire was concerned.


Of course, the Ancients no longer inhabited that place. They had suddenly vanished from the city two years ago.


"And?" She tried to keep the trepidation out of her voice.



“The disaster we anticipated, it’s come. They must’ve known when most of us were away from the Keep. It’s gone, Flair. I don’t even know how this is possible. But the Dome is... gone.” His voice was pained. Confused. Angry. A combination Flair hadn't expected to ever hear from Zake.


The words hit her like a punch. Dread, anxiety, fear, all suddenly struggling to gain dominance. Her voice conveyed none of the harshness, none of the struggle – but all of the pain.



“I’d feared this day would come.” Good. Play it as if she’d been expecting it to happen all along. Appear strong.


She placed a hand on the wall regardless, using it for support as she wiped her forehead with the other.


Zake looked shocked. “You expected this?”



She didn’t reply. The Covenant had feared something bad would happen, prepared for it, ever since the Ancients’ departure. Apparently all that preparation had been for naught.


Flair muttered a curse. “We need to leave. Now.” She turned towards the window and the body.


Zake nodded sagely.


"A meeting, then," he said, nodding.


"Yes. We'll need to gather the others."


Flair stepped up to the open window, lifting an arm towards a distant building near the city gates.



“First, though, I need to gather my things.” 


*gasps* Formatting that was gruesome. In a very, very grueling way.


I'd really like to hear feedback on this. Any sort of feedback that you can come up with. Thanks for your time, fellas. 

Edited by Varangian

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Each potential could have a power, a feeling, and a element. For example: Bob uses ______ (power) it makes him feel _____ (feeling) the more of ______ (element) there is present the stronger he gets. These should be linked together. Example 2: Power: strength. Feeling: anger. Element: fire.

Edited by ThatTinyStrawMan

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I like your idea with the feelings. Elements, not so sure. Firstly, it would be hard to do elements in a novel way, and secondly it's done so many times already. 


The idea with Potentials is that creativity is the key to using them to their full effect. Acceleration, for example, can even be used to accelerate metabolism. Suppression is sort of the counter to Acceleration. If I added feelings to these, hmm... Acceleration would be paired with impulsivity, snap judgements, and temperament. Suppression, on the other hand, comes with a slower, steadier and more logical feeling. Rashness and Wisdom, respectively, perhaps.


This is what it'll look like, in all likelihood.



Bobertinus Vex was deep in meditation. His mind wandered freely, thoughts sliding here and there without guidance or attention, only there merely to be observed as they came and went. They were not his focus. He was seeking new Potentials, and he'd had this one in his sights for days. Only a smidgeon deeper, a little less focused, and he would be able to access the Potential of Destruction.


The old guru gasped. He felt terrible anger, as if coming from within him. A ceaseless urge to ruin, break, rave surged within the old man, a feeling he thought he'd banished eons ago. But surely he wasn't capable of such terrible feelings? Surely this was only the Potentials doing their work? The anger ended, soon replaced by pain. Pain, and horrible, horrible terror. He felt the blood pumping in his ears, heart beating like it was about to burst. What was going on? He had to make it end! He had to seize the Potential, bridle it, before it was too late!


And suddenly, all was quiet again. The pumping, gone, and instead replaced by a deceptive sense of peace. For, of course, those feelings had only been pushed below the current. 


The old guru's eyes flickered towards a stone. He'd spent hours arranging that stone, making it fit in with the rest of the stones surrounding a small natural pool in his garden. He touched the stone. It disintegrated into dust. 


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Here are some elements: Fire, water, air, stone, metal, shadow, flesh, wood, silence, plants, and dirt.

I was thinking that you could have potential users be divided into these categories: Bringers: Most common kind of potential user. Can only use one potential. Gifters: Second most common kind of potential user. Can use their powers on other people. Can only use one potential. Only 1 out of 100 potential users are gifters. Finders: Least common type of potential users. Can use their powers on other people. Can find and use other potentials through meditation. Only 1 out of 1000 potential users are finders. Can store their powers.

Also, gifters and bringers can only use the potential matched to the element that was most common in the area where they were born. Example: a suppression user could only be born in an area were water is the most common element. This causes certain potential users to be rarer than others. An area is 15 feet by 15 feet by 15 feet.

Edited by ThatTinyStrawMan

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