Shinoba
By n8amis.

It seems a veterinarian, of all people, has managed to tame a massive ape-like creature residing in the forest in the foothills of the mountains at the edge of his village, and succeeded with a surgery in which he’s implanted a circuit onto its brain stem signaling an autonomic redirection of a portion of the Magic the beast feeds on to a mechanical repository. It’s quite fascinating! At this point, the technology is crude, labor intensive, and returns little emissions—but imagine the implications should the process become refined! I intend to visit this farmer immediately to offer guild assistance towards improving the design. I’m already picturing entire farms dedicated to the harvest of Magic! Please give my regards to Cornelius and begin the process of proposal for guild approval to release funds for further research if my visit proves successful.
You probably noted the excitement in the tone of my first missive, but truth be told, I was working hard to keep a level head. The disappointment would have been too great if I allowed my fullest hopes to manifest and arrived to find nothing more than a science experiment performed on a poor and broken animal. Now that I’ve seen this thing in person, I am happy to report the rumors are true. Vincent (the veterinarian), has shown me the most wonderful hospitality and proven to be a kind hearted and intelligent man. Oddly enough, his great pet Shinoba has a similar disposition. Gentle and slow moving, the giant ape loves nothing more than a good scratch behind the ears.
You must be wondering about the technology more than the personalities though, and in regards to that, let me start by saying– incredible! The surgery itself seems to have had no effect on Shinoba’s disposition. The implant flows seamlessly with the creature's natural function. You’d never even know anything had been done to it, which I had worried about. It goes about its business foraging in the forest, which it does by deliberately pacing about until it finds a place it's happy with (unsure of how it determines this, but our working theory is that it can feel a sensation as it walks over a deposit of magic close to the surface). Shinoba then stands to his full height, balls up his massive hands and pounds them against the ground, sending great clouds of dust into the air. Branchlike appendages attached to bony protrusions on Shinoba's back with flat, green, hand-sized “leaves” at the tips excrete a sticky dew as Shinoba pounds the ground. The leaves collect the dust as it settles around the great apes back. According to Vincent, the leaves separate and absorb magic from the dust. The magic travels from the leaves down through the branches into Shinoba's spinal cord and is used for energy from there.
What Vincent has done to obtain magic with Shinoba’s help is truly extraordinary! I will explain it the best I can for you. The process relies upon artificial magical collection units called “harvesting parts'' composed of interlocking cylinders designed to crudely resemble tree trunks (complete with artificial branches and leaves for the magic enriched dust to settle upon) that attach into “outlets” Vincent has installed directly into Shinoba’s thoracic vertebrae, beginning at T6. From there, a bundle of wires fashioned to look like a vine runs along the base of each harvester, connecting them in a circuit series. The vine stretches beyond the harvesters running alongside Shinoba’s spine back to the base of his skull where it connects to the implant Vincent surgically implanted in the brainstem. The implant is designed to inform Shinoba that the artificial harvesting parts are natural to his physiology. Shinoba sends a signal from the implant back down the vine instructing his body to activate the harvesting parts along with all the rest of his receptacles. Magic is then pulled into the harvesting parts through the artificial leaves and branches. When the harvesting parts reach capacity, Shinoba instinctively begins to pull magic from them. As magic passes through the harvesting parts towards Shinoba’s spine, it becomes diverted into a large silow called an “extractor” via tubes running like spokes, situated towards the base of each harvesting tower, into the extractor centrally located amongst the network of harvesters.
As I said, the process itself is miraculous to witness. The biggest problem we face inhibiting collection and scaling involves the metabolization that occurs between the time the magic is separated from the dust to when it ends up in the extractor. Magic in the reservoir has already been broken down enough by this time for Shinoba’s purposes, that its potency (for our purpose) is greatly reduced.
In order for the magic to be useful, Vincent must boil the contents down over a period of hours., reducing the liquid into a paste of highly refined Magic, however, the amount of work involved for the return in Magic is counter productive. If we can discover a way to divert the magic to the reservoir before (or by inhibiting) the metabolic process…I dare not get too far ahead of myself on this as a long road lies ahead. But, if we are successful–I believe this technology will have the power to reshape the world. Please pass on my regards to the guild and send more funds along as soon as they are approved.
Copy link