When he’d felt strong enough, Richard had ventured out with his newfound magic, ready to change the world for the better. He hadn’t expected opposition. He hadn’t realized that his dabbling with gravity had been noticed. He hadn’t understood that there were people who didn’t appreciate his efforts and were willing to steps out of their shadows to fight him. And, because he had been caught off guard, he hadn’t had a way to defend himself.
What gravity spell could he use to block a blood spell? What could he move to protect himself, to heal himself? What strings could he pull on to keep the various magics being worked against from taking hold and tearing him down?
That first night? None. There was nothing he could do, nothing he could think of to attempt.
He was assaulted by magic he recognized, spells he had cast himself when he’d dabbled in the darker arts. He couldn’t see his assailants. He couldn’t understand why he was under attack. He took hit after hit until he pulled the strings that would send him flying, literally, to the safety of his home. There he had used the last of his strength to put in place wards and other protective measures that he hoped would keep alive through the rest of the night before he lost consciousness.
The next morning Richard had woken with a start, ready to spill blood, his own, and cast dangerous spells at those who had attacked him. Finding himself alone in his house, he calmed down but it took hours for his heart to stop pounding and his head to clear. It took the full day to get himself off the floor, fed, and into his actual bed. From there he strengthened the wards he’d placed the night before and then fell into a troubled sleep. People he couldn’t see were chasing him and every time he tried to pull the strings so he could get away he found the strings had all been cut. He was grounded and they were getting closer.
When Richard woke again the sun was shining and he felt strong enough to get up and get some more food. Over breakfast he poured over what he could remember of the attack and tried to figure out the who and the why. Who had attacked him and why? It had definitely been blood magic. He would need to figure out if he could use gravity magic to defend against that. But, that didn’t help him solve the unanswered questions.
His contemplation led to zero concrete answers, though. He had ideas but nothing he could prove and certainly nothing he could act on without more information. He would need to draw them out but he would need to be better prepared to fend them off when he did. So, switching gears he bent his thoughts towards how he could counteract the spells he’d been hit with. Then, he thought about what other spells he would have used if he were on the offensive and tried to figure out how to defend against those as well. The people who had attacked obviously knew about him so they likely knew that he wouldn’t be venturing forth again until he felt confident he could stand up to the same sort of attacks. Richard wanted to make sure he was prepared above and beyond that.
So, he went back to training and testing and failing and trying again and again until he felt like he knew which strings to pull on to keep himself save from all sorts of blood magic spells. Unfortunately, he wasn’t about to cast those kinds of spells on himself so he had no way to know if they would work in practice as they did in theory. He would rest and then he would venture back outside and see what happened.