Pitch Meeting Part 2


Kyle nodded, “Just a bit more setup, stand there, if you would.”  He gestured at a spot of empty carpet in front of Taylor’s desk, large enough that both men could stand in it and still have a bubble around them free of office furniture.  While Taylor moved into the spot with a bemused expression on his face Kyle shut off the office lights and closed the door. That made the office dark enough that he had to pull out his cell phone for light as he walked back to Taylor.  Once they were both standing together he triggered the program he already had queued up on his palm size autocaster.

A ball of light swirled into being, and then resolved itself to a globe.  Looking at it he realized his program had moved where the band of dusk fell as well.  Now it was somewhere over England that the world turned to night and lights rather than visible contents picked out the land.  Kyle didn’t know if that was the correct place for night to be at this time of day, and he assumed the patches of light and darkness were in the wrong places, but it still looked good.

“That’s pretty good,” Taylor said, sounding a little less impressed then he had been by the light absorption earlier, “You did that all with the hand unit?”

“I did.”

“I see you’ve been working with your photomancy.  This was, what, probably created with the spells licensed under the ‘Thomas Illusions Home and Small Business Kit”?  It’s pretty good, I’m surprised you managed to get it up that quick working with those tools, and typically stuff done with those effects waver and glow just a bit.  Have you added some other new effect?  I’ve got that meeting, but I think it might be good if I introduced you to some of the boys in our production shop and let them show you what you can do with the full professional license kit.”

Kyle shook his head slightly.  That was pretty much a brushoff, but it sounded like a positive one with a job offer wrapped up in it.  He could work with that reaction.  He smiled though perhaps it didn’t come across in the still dark room.  “Well, that would be great.  But I didn’t use any public license.”

“Oh, really?”  Strangely Mr. Taylor’s tone had changed to one of mild disappointment.  “Well, this is sterling work for someone coming up with things on their own.   Now, we’re pretty solidly aligned under Thomas Illusions products here, but I bet you could do great things with those tools.  If you you’d like to try it out.”

“Sure, but you might want to see this as well.” Kyle tapped the next button on his autocaster display.  The last phase of the spell triggered with the small spell shattering and glints of light flying out and around the office.  Lights swirled for a second and then they were in the Alpine forest.  Kyle, stood under a tall pinetree thickly weighted with snow, still wearing his best interview suit.  Mr. Taylor stood a few feet away his feet vanishing in a drift.  Only one set of tracks lead off into the forest, they were Kyle’s and they seemed to indicate he’d walked further for this meeting then he actually had.

Taylor’s mouth opened.  The gesture was slight but it was clearly visible in the bright, if fake, sunshine of the forest.  He looked around for a long moment taking it all in.  It took him a moment to hide his surprise and come up with something reasonable to say, “I think I recognize the forest.  It’s a modification on a Real Dreams stock image, but are you really running this all off of the palm unit?”

Kyle nodded.

“How many minutes can it manage?”

Kyle brought up the auto caster’s magical charge display and silently handed it to Taylor.  The executive looked at the flow numbers.  Muttered something, looked at them again, and mumbled again.  “You must have new spells for every color in the illusion matrix.  Astoundingly efficient ones.”

“Pretty much.”

“How did you find them all?  That should have taken…”  He trailed off.  It should have taken lifetimes.

“Well, that’s the new bit.  I mean, obviously I can’t discuss it in detail, but lets say I’ve come up with a new technique.”

Taylor nodded and handed back the autocaster still looking half dazed, “So, of course, there are no other casters, at the moment, to trigger non-scalar effects.”

“I actually might have found a way around those totally.”

Taylor’s eyes snapped up, locking with his own.  “Are you trying to con me?”

Kyle shook his head keeping his expression open.  “It’s part of my new technique.”  Thinking now was the time to close in for the kill he deactivated the autocaster, and mentally dispelled the blackness across the windows.  They were in an office again.  “You’re the first one I’ve shown.”

Taylor’s reaction, again, was off.  He shook his head as though trying to clear it.  Then scowled, looked at the floor, and muttered something about, “…for this I almost would…”  Then walked back to his desk chair and sat heavily.  After a moment of glaring at his desk calendar he looked up, “I’d really like to do business with you.”

Kyle felt his face fall, then fought disappointment, and tried to salvage the meeting that had just gone so suddenly and strangely wrong.  “But for some reason you can’t?”

“As I said, we’re a Thomas Illusions shop.  We’ve got a contract that gives us incredible prices on all his products, but it binds us up.  We literally, can’t buy your license.  At least not without paying a huge early termination fee.  I’ll talk to the legal department, but I’m not sure there’s much I can do.”

Anger flared, Kyle let a tiny amount of it through into his tone.  “You know, I’m going to be meeting with a number of people.”

“Well yes.”  Taylor sighed then shook his head slightly and looked at his watch.  When he spoke again his professional smile had snapped back into place hard “Actually I wish you luck.  This industry,” he shrugged, “for all our flash, we’re pretty hide bound.  But if you make a splash, and you’ve got the juice, you just might, maybe I can talk my bosses and my legal into doing business with you.”  He frowned looking honestly sad, “However, I’ve got a client to wrangle in about five more minutes, and you don’t want to end up running late either.  It was a pleasure meeting with you.”  They shook hands, “I expect there will be no problem with you walking out unescorted.  I doubt we have any trade secrets you’ll be interested in!  The best of luck.”

Taylor didn’t ask for a business card or contact information.  Fuming, Kyle didn’t offer it.

Pitch Meeting Part 1
Interview with a Ylfe

For some reason I cannot adequately explain, even to myself, I'm trying to write and to write better. So if you like my story let me know. All feedback is appreciated.

Posted in The Beginners Guide to Magical Site Licensing
9 comments on “Pitch Meeting Part 2
  1. KnightOwl says:

    Looks like the first thing he needs to start asking prospective clients is “Is your business associated in any way with Thomas Illusions?” And if the answer is “yes” then he just says “Oh sorry to hear that, goodbye.”

  2. Thaumaturgical_Support says:

    I tried to come up with pseudo technical jargon for the magic in this world by building words out of Latin and Greek roots. Unfortunately, there were no roots to use.

    In this update I refer to photomancy and earlier I talk about pyromancy. I expect everyone understood that I meant magic concerning light/fire, but the roots would actually mean *divination* involving light/fire. Likewise a Thaumaturge is a “wonder worker” and the term was applied to christian saints who were thought to have done miracles. A “mage” is, of course, a wise or educated person, and I think wizard has roughly the same etymology. Druid is thought to have meant something like “professional” originally, and I’ve read that the witch in “do not suffer a witch to live” can be translated as “poisoner”. I’m least certain of that last one.

    It’s sort of odd, but “magic” (from middle English meaning “art of influencing events and producing marvels using hidden natural forces,” which comes from Greek magos “one of the members of the learned and priestly class”) like we think of it is a relatively modern invention. Before the middle ages all the words meaning “someone who makes amazing stuff happen” referred to priests or scientists.

    It would, thus, seem that it’s *insufficiently* advanced technology which is indistinguishable from magic.

    • Andrew says:

      It seems to me that he does not really understand what he has made. He understands that it applies to light magic, but it is kind of obvious that what he has found is an optimizer for ANY type of spell. He could revolutionize every branch of magic with this.

      On a different note, when/if he does realize this I am betting that he finds out that each of the Arch-Mages have monopolized their field area.

  3. Sebastian says:

    I really like reading about the names of magic and the assorted areas which they correspond to– the nuts and bolts so to speak, especially in lieu of my own magic system which goes a different. One question for you though; if there is a spell for say, a more modern physical task which ancient societes didn’t have a proper analogue for, like maybe gravity, would you go the well-traveled route and call it earth magic, or or invent a more modern name for that specific field (oddly specific question, but I started to think about reading this chapter)?

    • Thaumaturgical_Support says:

      The trigger for the spell, which is to say the words spoken and potentially gestures made to make it happen once magic is gathered to fuel it, would be in terms understood by whoever invented the spell. If you had a group of people that considered something to be related to earth then that might show up in their terminology.

      It’s going to be very culturally bound. So if a contemporary of Aristotle designs a spell and refers to earth the spell might cool something off, dry it out, or blunt it. Whereas Egyptian “earth magic” is going to summon snakes or perhaps drive away fish. Indian magi, otoh, would be trying to do something with the Muladhara and that might be anything from curing disease and constipation to improving public speaking ability!

      A modern mage can use any spell for the original purpose, but it’s very hard to keep track of what does what because of the conceptual drift over time. This is why they describe the actual physical effects to the best of their abilities when hooking new spells to triggers. Magic itself is influenced by the expression of information but the specific form of that information is unimportant so the word “earth” is a symbol that can be bound to many concepts depending on the caster.

      So far, most of the pre-modern era spells detailed in the story are triggered with religious terminology and imagery. I didn’t consciously choose to line that up with what I said above about ancient concepts of magic. However, it was all sort of floating around in my head when I asked myself, “What would a Greek wizard say to explain fire appearing out of nowhere?” Thus the spell Prometheus’s Gift was born.

  4. DeNarr says:

    [large enough that both man could stand in it and still have a bubble around them free of office furniture.]

    man = men

  5. irrevenant says:

    Typo: “desk callander”. Calendar.

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