Previously on Blessed Inversion Soul…
Jey Connors has been suffering from a reoccurring nightmare involving a monster of unknown origins. After being transported to a mysterious cove in the Astral Plane, he meets the spirit Sylvanus. She tells him he possesses the power of Soul Magic and the creature he encountered was from the Rift. Jey avoids training with her in light of learning from an ally of his boyfriend Hal Sharp (the hero known as Black Ice). Unfortunately, this backfires and he is forced to endure torture at the hands of an Angel. He successfully frees himself when he unwittingly uses Soul Magic for the first time and now trains with Sylvanus to learn how to properly use it…
Pro-Gamer, magical Inversion
“The first step into becoming a sorcerer is understanding the Aether.” Sylvanus begins as the Astral Plane transforms from the empty sky into a technicolored forest at twilight. The Aether flowering through the air and surroundings gave it an otherworldly feel. “Aether is the source of all remaining magic in reality. In the past, there were eight Elementals who kept the Aether strong and full of life. But the Elemental of Light, Eodeb, was sacrificed so that reality may live on. Tragically, this was a temporary measure and the seven remaining Elementals and their Sages all perished.” she sighs. Jey remains focused on her and waits for her to continue. “But the Sages left us the Astral Plane to preserve the Aether and continue to grow. Though I do not know of its true origins, the Starpulse* has a symbiotic relationship with the Astral Plane. So long as it shines it will produce Aether for the Astral Plane. The Astral Plane, in turn, protects it from the final type of Aether. The Abyssal Aether that is drawn from the Rift itself. It is a dark power that can consume and destroy anything, even its own user. Do not use it unless you must.” Sylvanus warns sternly. Her normally calm and relaxed expression serious and commanding.
*The source of the Star Forgers power
“Don’t worry, I’m not going to be using it.” Jey shudders at the thought of having to experience the sensation the Angel gave off again.
“I believe you…However, sometimes the only way to defeat the darkness is to wield it yourself. Do not let your principals be your end.” Jey just frowns in response. “Though the Aether no longer has a will of its own, it still possesses the same sensations it once did. Each hue has its own feeling. The crimson Aether is one often described as passionate and determined. The azure Aether conversely feels calm and peaceful. Over time you will grow accustomed to each of this. But for now, I have a gift for you.” Sylvanus raises her hand and summons a shimmering tome roughly the size of an average encyclopedia. With a gentle push, it floats down into Jey’s hands. “I bequeath you the Tome of Eternals. All sorcerers begin learning with their first tome and when you become skilled enough, you will no longer need it to act as an aid.”
“So I just read it?” Jey asks opening the tome. Unfortunately, when he opens the page he can’t read any of the text hidden within it. The runic lettering looking eerily similar to the sigils the Angel created before torturing him. The realization causes him to drop the tome and back away from it quickly.
“Is something wrong?” Sylvanus asks surprised.
“T-the Angel had those same letters before it fucked with my memories!” he shouts. “Are you really just an Angel?!”
Sylvanus closes her eyes and sighs. She opens them once more and speaks. “The text you saw was Atlantean.”
“…What?” he replied dumbfounded. “The Angel’s from a sunken city?”
“No, Atlantis was a kingdom that existed long ago on the planet Roanoke. It was consumed whole by the Rift and was home to the Sage of Light, Solomon the Empathetic. For better or worse, the Atlantean language is deeply tied into the Angels history. For it was the Atlanteans that the Dark God Iblis learned to speak. It follows suit that his Angels too used this tongue.”
“Am I going to go crazy if I try to understand this?” Jey asks staring unflinchingly at the Tome of Eternals.
“The Atlantean language is ancient but it is not inherently evil. It is the Abyssal Aether that taints it and causes the ensuing madness. This tome is pure and safe for your eyes. Though, as someone who can perform Soul Magic, you have a natural protection against it. Were it not for that you’d likely have gone insane in your first nightmare with that Angel.”
“Thanks…I guess…” Jey hesitantly retrieves the Tome of Eternals. Despite his initial fear when he attempts to read the foreign language he feels calm. Like it was relaxing to him which, ironically, concerned him somewhat.
“Do not worry Jey, I shall teach you your first spell myself.” her eyes glow as the pages flip rapidly a fourth of the way through. The text on the page transforming into English for Jey to read. Titled Aura of the Star Forger, below it sat an image in the art style of a stain glass window. The image was an individual clad in all black and gold with a star symbol in their collarbone floating in space covered the top of half of the page below the title.
Though it was the World Builders who created the Worlds, it is the Star Forgers who help maintain it. With their light, they restore the Suns that have fallen and created new ones. Their shining light a beacon of hope to protect them against the darkness…
“Aura of the Star Forger will be your most basic and frequently used spell. With it, you’ll be able to sheath yourself in an aura of Aetherial energy. Protecting yourself from all manner of injury so long as it remains. It will also grant you the power of flight. This spell does not call upon any particular type of Aether and unlike Soul Magic, when you are able to read the spell you shall know how to cast it. However, this does not mean you will know what the extent of its powers will be or how to use it.”
“Don’t get careless right?”
“Precisely. Now to perform it is simple. Feel for the Aether around you, think about what it is you want to achieve with the spell, and call its name.”
Jey glances down at the page once more and takes a deep breath. His thoughts drifting to the mystical realm around him. “Do it just like before Jey…” he thinks to himself. Jey tries to relax and do as Sylvanus says. Focus on what he wants to do rather than how. To feel the Aether around him as it flowed freely. The different sensations as each type flow through him. He opens his eyes and looks at the page once more. “Aura of the Star Forger.“ he calls out. The tomes pages glow with a bright light as his body is enveloped in an indigo-hued light. Lifting gently off the floor. The grass beneath his feet pulsating in response. “I’m really doing it?!” Jey blurts out aloud surprised at his own success.
“Did you doubt that you would?” Sylvanus asks with a slight hint of passive aggressiveness.
“I just…I don’t know.” Jey floats clumsily through the air into a tree. The aura wrapped around him protecting him from actually feeling pain. “It really does protect me!”
“I am confused. Why are you so surprised by this?”
“You gave me a literal shit ton of stuff to deal with at once.” Jey tries awkwardly to put himself upright but only manages to spin himself into more trees. “Part of me thought I was going crazy and another thought I’d just mess it up.” he grabs onto a nearby tree and uses it to try and right himself. “Now I’m flying in the Astral Plane and reading ancient languages taught to me by a spirit. I figured things would get weird if I was an Inversion but this is way weirder than I thought it’d be.”
Sylvanus just smiles at Jey. “I suppose to mortals this would be quite unusual. As time goes on, this will become more normal for you.”
“I’m still trying to figure out if that’s good or bad.” Jey struggles to maintain his upright stance.
“Think of flying like swimming. Just relax and it will be easier to maintain your balance. Let your mind be free and guide yourself without thought.” Sylvanus begins to float alongside Jey.
“I’m noticing a trend.” Jey jokes slightly as he does his best to relax. Slowly becoming easier to stay upright but still not quite keeping it perfectly steady.
“It’s the fortunate side effect of an unfortunate situation. In the past the Aether was alive and it was a conversation that was needed to cast even the simplest spell. But now the process has become far easier.”
“Indeed, which means you should be able to perform any number of feats. Healing injuries, teleportation, or even transmutation. All you must do is will it or find a spell in your tome that can perform the feat for you.”
“Hey, do you think there’s a spell I could use to learn?” Jey asks while stabilizing his awkward floating.
“Of course. Though knowledge does not teach experience.”
“I know, my coach always talks about practice.” the pages of the Tome of Eternals flip rapidly before him to the middle of the book. Stopping on a page who’s font translates itself before him. It was titled Knowledge of the Ephemeral and the top half of the page was covered in the stain glassed image of a pale-skinned figure in elegant white and black robes. Behind him floated an identical figure albeit in a position the inverse of the other. His head where the others feet sat. The left figure held a staff with a proud smile on his face with the image of a crescent moon behind him. The other wept and held a tome in front of a sun.
Knowledge is both a gift and a curse. To some, it held truths to better themselves and the world around them. For others a maddening revelation that destroys them. The Ephemeral Sorcerer was one who existed far longer than any mortal should. The knowledge he gained was a source of great pride for him. But it was also his greatest sorrow…
“Are you sure you wish to use this spell Jey?” Sylvanus asks concerned.
“I am.” he takes a deep breath. “Knowledge of the Ephemeral.” his tome glows brightly as do his eyes. His mind filling with information about the last thing he thought about. After a moment, his eyes return to normal and Jey falls back onto the floor in a sweat.
“What did you learn?”
“I wanted to know what my natural Inversion abilities were without you giving me Soul Magic.” he rubs his head. “Looks like I can do intangibility, invisibility, spiritual possession, and astral travel naturally. Which means the Astral Projection was all because of you.”
“My apologies, I meant you no harm.” Sylvanus apologies.
“It’s fine.” Jey stands once more. “When can I start?”
“As soon as you return to your physical body. Once there you should be able to sense and track the Aether within the World. Whether public or not, there are many displaced beings in your World. You must destroy them or return them from whence they came. The decision is ultimately yours. Unfortunately, once you return I won’t be able to assist you until you come back to the Astral Plane.”
“Thank you Sylvanus, I’ll be sure to return.”
“Be careful Jey. Your spells aren’t always what they seem and the beings you may face are not to be taken lightly.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.” Jey replies as his Astral Projection returns to his body. The transition was shocking and he jumps up to his feet with heart racing. He sits back down and puts his face in his hands. He removes his hands after a moment and glances to the Tome of Eternals that sat next to him on the couch. He wonders how it came from the Astral Plane with him back to reality and wondered if other people or objects could do the same. But his thoughts shift to the new sensation he felt. As Sylvanus told him, he could feel the Aether despite not being within the Astral Plane any longer. He could feel it reaching throughout Silver Plains and beyond it though he had no idea the true depth of its presence.
< You can’t do this. You’re going to fuck up. If you die reality is doomed. > *
*Any dialogue within brackets are Jeys thought controlled by his anxiety
“No, I can do this…I survived so far so…no, don’t second guess yourself now.” Jey tries to psych himself up as he grabs the Tome of Eternals. His thoughts drifting as he contemplates what his first course of action will be.
Elsewhere, far away from the safety of Silver Plains hidden deep in upstate New York was the forgotten town of New Utica. It was one of the many towns being built by Kazuo Industries. It was meant to be a success much like Silver Plains and Càscara, California. But tragedy struck and the town was boarded off and forgotten. The roads and bridges meant to connect to it torn down. The buildings that were going to blot out the sky left incomplete and any poor soul trapped within the fence left to whatever fate awaited them. Courtesy of the mutated monsters that roamed it’s street and hunted them day and night without remorse. None know where they came from and most don’t know of the town’s plight as it was buried like a dirty secret. A black spot on Kazuo Industries record they were all too eager to wipe away. Not even the Inhibitors are aware of this town’s fate and the few survivors that remain within its walls have no means to call the outside for help.
In reality, the town was unwittingly built atop a Rift Gate and the monstrous denizens of the Irradiated World have passed through. The townsfolk were caught unawares and in their haste to cover up the mess, ignored any potential chance to salvage the town. Now one of those horrific mutants prowls the streets for his next meal. The muscles he once cherished now grotesquely oversized to the point he’s forced to walk like a gorilla using his massive arms as support. His eyes a bloodshot red and whatever semblance of humanity he possessed faded long ago. His attention stops when he notices a strange shadow in front of him. Believing it to be prey waiting to be slaughtered, he turns and finds a strange sight. A man glowing with an indigo aura wearing a deep purple hooded cape. The insides like stars as it blew majestically in the wind. He wore a skintight suit with blue on the torso and shoulders that tapered down to his navel at a point. Cyan lining outlined the torso to separate it from the black portions of his suit as well as the forearms. The forearms themselves were a black coloration like the rest of the suit to give the impression of gloves. His eyes glowed like his auras he stared down at his target. His name was Jey Connors. But from now on he’d be known as, Soul.