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to irritate Blaylock, on many levels. Chief among them was Alwyn's notorious love for wine, women, and song.

Blaylock was the one mage who could make Elric feel like a hedonist. Second in influence only to Kell, Blaylock believed an ascetic lifestyle was the only one appropriate for techno-mages. Blaylock's body was scoured completely of hair, including eyebrows, which gave his pale face and high forehead a dramatic starkness against the black skullcap he wore. The skullcap was made of felt and fit tightly, tracing out the line that hair would have made. Blaylock felt that keeping the body scoured was a sign of respect for the Code, but that displaying the head was a sign of arrogance. His gaunt figure in a plain black robe somehow always seemed vaguely accusatory.

Blaylock believed that mages could find true unity with the tech implanted in their bodies only if they foreswore all physical pleasures, focusing on the inner life rather than the outer one. He fostered the idea that the mages should cloister themselves in an austere environment. While waiting for the rest of the mages to see the light, he and his many followers had learned how to cast spells that would deactivate different sensory centers in their own brains: taste, smell, touch, hearing, and even sight. Before eating, they would deactivate taste and smell. In the presence of beauty, they would deactivate sight. Blaylock told his followers that the tech was a blessing that tapped into the basic powers of the universe. The goal of all mages, according to Blaylock, should be to attain a complete, spiritual union with the tech, and so with the universe.

Elric respected his abilities, but felt that knowledge could never be attained by cutting oneself off from life. Self-denial was unnecessary. Discipline
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