Sunday, April 2, 2017

Crystal Caves (Part 4 of 4)

This is an ongoing four-part story related to the Mancer Trilogy.  For an explanation and the first post, please click here.


Text below (like all text on this site unless otherwise stated) © Amelia Atwater-Rhodes.  If you share this work, please include clear credit and a link back to this site.


We last saw Naples in the crystal caves, feeding a baby Abyssi.

The Crystal Caves: Part 3 of 4

He let the Abyssi feed for a few moments and then stood with it still latched onto him.  He tapped the Abyssi on the head with the blade of his knife; it opened its eyes for a moment, then closed them again and started purring.
Shaking his arm seemed like a good way to lose more skin than he wished to, so instead he walked over to one of the pools of liquid from which the crystals grew and leaned down to dip the baby Abyssi's tail into it.
The Abyssi gasped, and that was enough to allow Naples to shake it off.  He hadn't intended for the entire creature to fall into the pool, which was deeper than it looked; Naples cried out as the baby was enveloped in the scalding liquid and sank entirely out of sight.
Before he could decide if he cared enough to reach in after it, the first paw emerged.  Claws like mercury bit into the edge of the pool.  Another paw appeared, and then a head.
As the creature drew itself up, it shook, and this time its fur was clean.  It shone in the most beautiful, impossible shade of blue that Naples had ever seen.
Naples finished breaking off the crystal he had chosen while the baby Abyssi engaged in a long, intricate grooming session—drying and fluffing, rolling in the crystal dust that littered the floor, and then preening until its brilliant cobalt fur glistened with an iridescent aquamarine sheen.
Its form shifted as it cleaned itself.  Sometimes it reverted to inky darkness, much like the lower level Abyssi who had crossed the planes to make the sacrifice that had seeded these crystals and conceived this small creature.  Trying to make out details of that shape with a human mind was impossible.  In its more solid form, the baby Abyssi had hands almost like a human's, with slender fingers and thumbs—and claws at the tips of each, which it sharpened by tearing through the crystals as if they were silk.
Naples forced himself to focus on the crystal.  He kicked it free of its last restraints, and then yelped, startled, as the Abyssi pounced on the broken piece, sending dust and shards flying.  It chased motes of crystal in the air, playfully batting at them, and occasionally catching pieces of crystal between its razor-sharp teeth. 
Is it bigger than it was a few minutes ago?
The Abyssi lost interest in that game quickly and turned to lap at one of the pools on the ground.  Naples wondered at what point they developed the ability to speak as humans could.
The Abyssumancer gathered his tools, especially the cloak that would keep him alive across the fire planes, and then began his trek back to the enclosure he had made his home.  Temporary home.
 #
After the first day spent among the flames on the path home, Naples woke to find the Abyssi next to him.  It was definitely larger now—about as big as a medium-sized dog—and its body was starting to gain a masculine shape beneath its fur.  When Naples woke, it was again grooming itself, washing ash and blood from its fur and claws.  It must have hunted amid the fire.  Hopefully that meant it wasn't hungry, since Naples didn't want to fight it.
"Hello," he said, wondering.
It regarded him quizzically, breaking off from its ritualized grooming to peer at him with its glowing indigo eyes.  It tilted its head for a moment and then tensed, growling low with its tail lashing.  Naples started to draw his knife, but when the Abyssi pounced, it flew past him.
When Naples turned to follow its movement, he spotted the lesser demon that had slunk near.  It was one of those that he and Azo had struggled to take down in order to make the cloak and boots he wore; its carapace was nearly impenetrable even to his power.
The Abyssi's form turned to shadow and melted into the lesser demon, which let out a scream of rage and pain as it fell.  The amorphous darkness savaged the beast until it lay quiet, at which point the Abyssi returned to solid form and began to feed, utterly absorbed in its prey.
Unnerved, Naples continued walking.
He did not see the blue Abyssi again on his journey, and for that he was grateful.  Though he let Azo believe that he and Modigliani had actually battled, he knew he had won the two fights he had had with the former-prince and now Lord of the Abyss by guile, not force.  Having seen in brief what even a newborn Abyssi was capable of, he reaffirmed his desire never to cross one.
It didn't matter; he was nearly free from this place anyway.


End of excerpt! If you want to know more of Naples' story, check out the Mancer Trilogy -- he features in some way in each of the three books, as an important supporting character in Mancer 1: Of the Abyss and then as one of the narrators in Mancer 2: Of the Divine, which takes place before Abyss.


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Friday, March 31, 2017

Crystal Caves (Part 3 of 4)

This is an ongoing four-part story related to the Mancer Trilogy.  For an explanation and the first post, please click here.


Text below (like all text on this site unless otherwise stated) © Amelia Atwater-Rhodes.  If you share this work, please include clear credit and a link back to this site.


We last saw Naples crossing the fire fields on his way to the crystal caves, in search of a power source that can help him break the veil between this realm and the realm of the living.

The Crystal Caves: Part 3 of 4

Naples waited in silent stillness at the top of the wall that had once housed a coAfter three full nights and two searing, maddening days, at the start of the third day he began to see crystals not formed just of molten glass, but grown from pools of still... water? It sparkled like water.  He dipped his hand in it, and then drew back with a cry of pain, expecting this time to find his skin melted away as if by acid.
His hand was intact, but he wasn't about to put it back in that glistening pool, now gone still again.
The crystals grew taller and shone with unimaginable colors and light.  Overwhelmed, he crossed his arms across his chest, his pack heavy on his back, and closed his eyes, breathing in a scent like… like expectation.  Like waiting. He could never describe it, but he knew he would never forget it.
One of the crystals would suit him, he decided once he had control of himself again.  They pulsed with raw power, enough to let him breach the veil between this plane and the mortal plane he called his home.  He touched one tentatively and found it hot, but not as impossibly searing as the liquid had been.  He would be able to carry it, if he could break it from the base.
He moved deeper into the cavern, until the power became too thick even for him.  The air seemed solid, impossible to breathe or move through, and resonated with sharp, discordant chords, an assault against every sense.
He knelt, careful not to slice a knee open on a sharp edge, and examined the base of a crystal about as tall as a man's forearm and wide enough that Naples couldn't quite reach his two hands entirely around it.
A scratching sound made him hesitate.  It stopped, and was replaced by an entreating croon.
He drew his knife, though he didn't know if he would fight whatever came from the caves, or if he would do better to run.  Abyssi were born in these caves.  He would probably be able to best a newborn Abyssi, but he wasn't sure how the other Abyssi would feel about that... especially since the young Abyssi currently crawling about these caverns would have hatched from crystals seeded by the Call and the sacrifice of the last Lord of the Abyss.
The soft crooning broke off, replaced by snarling, yelping and hissing.  Naples flinched from the splash of power that followed, and then smiled a little at the triumphant howl.
With half his attention on the noises deeper in the cavern, he sheathed the knife again, and looked back at the crystal he had chosen.  There were smaller shards of crystal laying about, so he picked up one of those, ignoring the pain, and used its edge to chip at the base of the one he had chosen.  The work was mind-numbing in its repetition, and because every time he chipped the crystal, it was like being doused in a bath of energy, until he was fairly vibrating with it.
Drugged, giddy, he leaned back against the nearly-freed crystal when he heard the noises move closer.
He looked up to find a soggy, sorry-looking creature crawling toward him, its fur matted with the viscous, glowing fluid that among the Abyssi passed as blood.  It pierced the edge of the nearest crystal with its claws in order to drag itself upright.
It was the size of a large cat, and shaped somewhat like one, though Naples could see beneath the clumps of fur and flesh features that might have been closer to human.  Its claws shone like silver, but its tail dragged limply.
Naples' heart went out to the newly born demon as it licked at the fluid that seeped from the crystal its claws had pierced.  It tried to shake itself, and succeeded in sending a couple gobs of others' flesh flying, but by no means cleaned itself from the last of its cannibalistic feast.
Against the better judgment he apparently didn't have, Naples crawled closer.
The Abyssi looked up at him with eyes that were pools of pure blue, lacking any pupil, and let out a whining growl.  It struggled to lash its tail, but managed only to drag the appendage across the crystals, once, twice, before it collapsed, exhausted.
It snarled at him as he reached for it, and snapped at his hand.
Naples drew his knife and it hesitated, watching, its head tilted, until he pulled the blade across his own flesh, drawing a fine line of blood from his forearm.  The Abyssi was on him in a flash, its teeth and claws digging into his skin with energy it hadn't seemed to possess a moment ago.  Naples debated what to do... and eventually decided to lean back against the crystal wall.  He set the palm of his free hand to one of the crystals, and he drew that scalding power inward, fortifying himself.



Story will update Monday 3/27, Wednesday 3/29, Friday 3/31 and Sunday 4/2.  Stay tuned for Part 3! 

Want to discuss? Please join us on the newly-opened message board: http://board.atwaterrhodes.com/phpBB3/index.php

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Crystal Caves (Part 2 of 4)

This is an ongoing four-part story related to the Mancer Trilogy.  For an explanation and the first post, please click here.


Text below (like all text on this site unless otherwise stated) © Amelia Atwater-Rhodes.  If you share this work, please include clear credit and a link back to this site.


We last saw Naples narrowly rescued from a crispy end by Azo.  We find him again months or perhaps even years later.  It is hard to judge the passage of time in the Abyss.

The Crystal Caves: Part 2 of 4

Naples waited in silent stillness at the top of the wall that had once housed a community of shades.  The compound had been infested several years before with lesser demons who had torn apart most of those inside.  He had not been involved in that fight—he had been at Azo's home—but he had salvaged what was left of both building and survivors later.  It was now habitable once more.
The wind ruffled his hair as it began to rise.  Wisps lifted into the air and shone like stars before drifting down to bury themselves in the black sand.  He continued to wait.
"This is madness," Azo observed as she lounged beside him on the wall.
"I need the tools," he replied.  "I can't think of anywhere else I will find a more concentrated source of power."
"You're still mad," Azo said.  "I'm stealing your harem if you get eaten or cooked."
"At least I wouldn’t have far to go," Naples answered, with the ever-present thrill that went down his back as he wondered what would happen if he died here.  He wasn't even sure what had happened to the shades who had been destroyed.  He hadn't seen any of them since.
Shades did sicken and "die" in this realm, usually after being injured, at which point their forms faded.  But no one knew for sure what happened next.  Azo said they dropped to a lower realm, but admitted she only knew as much through hearsay.
The wind grew stronger, making conversation impossible.  Naples' eyes half-closed of their own accord, with the lashes separated just enough to see the fire as it flickered ever lower.
"Naples—"
He jumped as Parylene spoke.  It had been... how long had it been, anyway? How long had he been down here? The days blurred together.  Night seemed to become night without ever becoming day, and Naples didn't think it was a matter of the Abyss's rhythms of wind and fire changing.  His mind didn't track time right down here.
It had been a while.
And after all that time, he still wasn’t used to the way Parylene drifted about... well, like a ghost.  He was almost invisible to power, which was a sense on which Naples relied heavily down here.  It kept him alive.  It kept them all in food, and water, and beds, and enabled him to do his work.
He hadn't given up on his plan to return to the mortal realm, but breaking the veil between life and death was apparently not so easy.  He had managed in the past to almost see into the mortal plane, but then his power had given out and he had been pushed back.
He needed more power.
"Naples?"
Parylene, again.  His mind had drifted.  It did that this time of night, when he stood in the wind, as if the air itself stripped and scattered his thoughts.
"Yes?"
Parylene must have seen something in Naples' expression, because he stepped back, shaking his head, and said, "Never mind.  It will wait."
Naples nodded, and looked back toward the wind and the fire.
"What can I help you with?" he heard Azo ask.  She and Parylene retreated into the house, and Naples dropped down from the wall with more grace than he'd had when he did something similar long ago in response to the Call.  He had practiced.
By the time he reached the planes, the fire existed only in sporadic patches, pushed ever-lower by the howling wind.  The air was hot and smoky, but he moved through it.  His boots were soled with the shells of one of the beasts that lived on this plane during the fiery days, but he could still feel the residual heat through them.
It warmed him.  Despite being deep in the Abyss, he always seemed to feel cold—the result of only ever lying in the arms of the dead.
He crossed the planes with determined strides, trying to note the passage of time as well as he could to anticipate how long he could linger.  He kept his dagger sheathed, but held a stave with blades at both ends, which had served him well in the past for both defense and offense.  It was not as powerful as the dagger alone, but neither did it require being so close.  It also had a razor-edged ridge only a few inches from the grip, in case he had to draw his own blood during a fight.
Will they recognize me, he wondered, when I reach home?
He had not aged, physically.  That was one of the mysteries of the Abyss, he supposed.  Though alive by the technical sense of the term, he did not live on a mortal timeline.
He jumped back as a spurt of fire, skittering up the side of a jagged barb of what looked like obsidian, flared into sudden life.  The fire licked him, but did not burn.  That, too, was where he seemed to differ from mortality; though he believed Azo that the planes of fire at their peak would end him, lesser fire seemed unable to scald or blister his flesh, or even darken its color.
He traveled through the cold night.  When the winds started to die and the fire to rise again, he wrapped himself in a cloak he had created from, again, the hides and shells of the fire-living creatures... and he prayed to no one in particular.  The roar of the fire was deafening, and it beat against the sides of his cocoon until he feared he would pass out from heat or lack of oxygen... and then he did... and then he woke, when the world grew cold again.

He wondered if he could die, here.

Story will update Monday 3/27, Wednesday 3/29, Friday 3/31 and Sunday 4/2.  Stay tuned for Part 3! 

Want to discuss? Please join us on the newly-opened message board: http://board.atwaterrhodes.com/phpBB3/index.php

Monday, March 27, 2017

Story: The Crystal Caves (Part 1 of 4)

In response to a question on a blog post:

Noah Hite asks on March 9, 2017: "I was actually wondering about something that's mentioned in the book a couple times.  The crystal caves where Abyssi are born, does that mean there are baby Abyssi? Or are they born fully grown or something? It was never quite clear to me how they came to be as they are."

Scholar Faolan wouldn't have a detailed answer to this, but I'm happy to share an excerpt from a work I call Mancer 0, which shows the crystal caves and how the baby Abyssi are born. 

Minor spoilers for the Mancer trilogy.  This story takes place before Mancer 1: Of the Abyss, and it does include characters we meet in Abyss.  That said, I've edited it to avoid any overt spoilers, and I do not think reading it at any point in the series (before reading any of the books, or between them) will harm a person's enjoyment of the novels.

Background for new or returning readers: As mentioned previously, this is an excerpt from a longer work.  This section of the story takes place in the Abyss, one of the two realms in which spirits might find themselves after death.  The main character, Naples, is not dead (and how he ended up here is a story for another day) but is in fact a powerful sorcerer known as an Abyssumancer.  At the moment he has a fractious relationship with the half-Abyssi woman Azo, who saved his life once before despite her better judgment, and all his focus is on finding a way to escape the Abyss and return to the mortal realm.

As our story begins, Naples has been exploring the Abyss and has just reached a walled-in compound populated by a group of shades-- the spirits of the dead-- who assume he is one of them.


Text below (like all text on this site unless otherwise stated) © Amelia Atwater-Rhodes.  If you share this work, please include clear credit and a link back to this site.


The Crystal Caves: Part 1 of 4

          Not much could have derailed Naples' attention from his flirting, but the bloodcurdling screams that began at that moment managed.  The noise sent a shudder down his spine before it was followed by a wave of... something.  Power, perhaps, like a scent on the breeze.
Naples moved toward the edge of the tent, intending to investigate, though he had to push past Parylene's now even paler form to actually get through the door.
          "Naples—"
          He glanced back at the shade’s protest. 
          "You said something about fighting?" Naples said. He wasn’t sure even he could fight whatever was outside, but it made a good reason for why he was moving toward whatever was causing the late men and women outside to scream so high their throats would bleed soon, if they weren't already.
          As far as he could tell, the ones screaming were those who had been waiting at the top of the wall on sentry duty.  Whatever they had seen, it had left them chalky white and hysterical.
          Naples, naturally, responded by mounting the stairs to the top of the wall, ignoring all protests and warnings from those below.  He could sense a familiar power now.  Modigliani was out there, nearby.
          "Naples!" he heard Parylene cry. "It isn't a matter of whether you can fight if it's something you'll go mad just looking at!"
          Too late anyway.
          From the top of the wall, Naples could see the planes of fire.  The flames bowed low like heavy stalks of grain in the rising wind, and flickered from white to indigo to deep, impossible plum-black.  In the midst of that dancing field moved a throng of Abyssi.
          The most powerful appeared as little more than smoke and shadow.  They gave off an impression of danger, of things sharp and savage.  Naples eye could discern no distinct form, but his magic knew Modigliani was part of that seething mass.
          Trailing behind the most powerful—the princes Abyssi of the fifth level—were other, weaker creatures.  Some were furred, others scaled.  Some nearly resembled men, but others were beasts unlike any found on the mortal plane.  As Naples watched, they all pressed forward, trying to get closer to the royal party at the front, scuffling and bleeding each other in the fire.
          Naples jumped down from the wall, oblivious to the jolt of impact that traveled from his feet, through his knees and hips and spine and all the way to his shoulders.  Limping a little but not damaged too badly, he moved toward the crowd.
          The fire had brought sweat to his flesh, and was near enough for him to taste its acrid flavor when something pounced at him, driving him to the ground.  The attack caught him completely by surprise, and he was pinned long before he could consider fighting back.
          "Sorcerer or not," Azo snarled, "that fire will devour you, and leave nothing but ash behind."
          "I'll be fine," he protested.  He tried to struggle to his feet, but she was stronger than he was physically, and the wash of pure heat from both the field and the Abyssi moving through it scrambled his concentration too much for him to use magic.
          "Shield yourself, you idiot," Azo ordered.
          He blinked, trying to focus, instead.  It occurred to him to ask, "What are you doing here?"
          "Saving your skin," she replied. "I heard the call after you left.  I knew you wouldn't have the sense to defend yourself against it."
          "The call?" he echoed.
          "For sacrifice," she said.  "They're slaying the Lord of the Abyss.  They'll spread his blood across the crystal caverns to seed them and feed all five planes... along with the blood of anyone weak enough to succumb to the call, but powerful enough to survive the fields."
          Maybe that should have served as a warning.
          It didn't.
          What it did do was inspire him to relax his body just long enough for Azo to relax in response, shifting her weight before he threw her to the side and tried to scramble to his feet.
          She let out a cry like a diving hawk as she twisted to grab him again.
          He stumbled, and the shock of his hand falling too close to the fire—not in it, but close enough to scald and let off a stench of burning flesh—distracted him long enough for her to grab him again and throw him back toward the stone trees.
          "I don't know why I'm bothering to help you," she snapped.  "Put. Up. Your. Shields."
          He scrambled to his feet, only to have her knock him down again.  He had to concentrate.  If only he could get his thoughts in order, he was more powerful than she was, and could beat her, and get past her—
          The next time she grabbed him, she reached across his torso and grasped the black handle of the knife he always wore.  He was too slow to stop her from twisting it just enough that the blade sliced across his arm, or to keep her from slapping a hand over the new wound and shoving power at him hard enough that he fell to his knees on his own this time, breath catching and his spine bowing.
          She forced his power inside, turning hers into a protective case around him, and at last blocking out the siren song of the greater Abyssi.
          What had he been thinking? Even if the fire hadn't killed him, and even if the Abyssi hadn't already been seeking sacrifice, the last time he had even seen Modigliani, they had fought.  Modigliani wasn't likely to be happy to see him.
          "Thank you," he said, voice hoarse—from smoke, he realized, as he started coughing.  Despite the struggle to catch his breath, he focused on forming his own shields of power to protect him when she withdrew hers.
          He looked up to find her licking his blood off the palm of her hand, as she cautiously let her power drop, replaced by his.

          "Stop doing dumb things," she said.  "I'm not saving your life again."



Story will update Monday 3/27, Wednesday 3/29, Friday 3/31 and Sunday 4/2.  Stay tuned for Part 2!

Want to discuss? Please join us on the newly-opened message board: http://board.atwaterrhodes.com/phpBB3/index.php

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Welcome back to the message board!

My earliest strong memory of this community was an email based Yahoo group called "Nyeusigrube Role Play Group" (more often just NRPG).  Through NRPG, Jaguar and Kel had a torrid affair, and I first experimented with what would happen if I cut all Leona's descendants off from the source of their magic.

Later came the message board, where I grew up with many of my readers.  Massive forums full of twenty-page threads included interviews of characters in published and unpublished works.  Even when we started a new board, we kept the old one as a multi-year project full of information.

Then came the server error.  The board went down.  The entire site went down.  It took me ages to restore even some semblance of the site, and when I finally brought the board back, it was plagued with spam; the only way to avoid having spam-bots swamp it in only a few hours was to make it impossible for anyone to register or post.  For months more, the board languished, as loyal readers prodded me on Facebook, Twitter and the blog to bring it back.

Now, at last, it's BACK.  A bevvy of loyal long-time board members have been testing it out for the last week, making sure registrations and posts and permissions work and giving suggestions about color, content and format.  So, at long last:


Please join us! 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Ssh... secret sneaky peek.

I've been having a Twitter conversation about titles, so I'm *officially* posting this here as a continuation of that conversation- but I'm also posting here because I thought some of you would enjoy it.

Disclaimer: This is a draft of a novel in the middle of revision.  The final version may vary significantly.

Without further ado, the Prologue from Mancer 2: Of the Divine.  Yes, it deliberately parallels the prologue from Mancer 1: Of the Abyss, which I highly recommend reading before Of the Divine (which won't be out until this fall anyway):



 Prologue

             The ocean that covered most of the Numen’s first level was clear and sweet. It lapped against diamond sand where tiny long-legged birds spread wings the color of honey as they raced back and forth, plucking drifting seeds from the air. The Numini—those perfect, beautiful sentinels who ruled the divine realm by might and decree—watched the birds’ antics with gentle amusement.
              One Numini looked past the white sands and crystal waters below to a realm where the ocean was cold and tasted of salt, where verdant green cascaded across rich earth, and where the mortal creatures lived.
              Soon, she thought. She was one of the three arbiters who ruled the Numen, second only to the high justice of her kind.
              “I am concerned about the Abyssi,” remarked one of her brothers, a lesser judge. “We have worked for generations to nurture these lines of power, and now they could all be—”
              “Have faith,” the arbiter assured him.  “Abyssi scrabble at the mortal realm like dogs at a closed door.  They always have.  They lack the wisdom or discipline to do more than that.”
              “But do the mortals have the wisdom to keep the door closed?” the judge challenged.
              “Faith,” the arbiter said again.  This time it was a clear chastisement.
She knew their children in the mortal world were defenseless. Humans had minds barely capable of comprehending their own existence, and as a consequence lived short and brutal lives. They needed their divine guardians to guide and nurture them.  The Abyssi—vicious, mindless beasts of the infernal realm—could fight for sovereignty all they wanted.  In the end, it wouldn’t matter.
In the mortal realm, all things served the divine.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Mancers of Kavet (Part 3)

For an explanation and index of all Scholar Faolan posts, please see the site page here:

Topic: The Mancers of Kavet 

Part 3: What are the spawn?

Whether or not the half-Abyssi-half-human creatures known as the spawn even exist is another point of contention.  According to rumor, these spawn- or half breeds- would be the children of Abyssi or Numini who have bred with human women, such as mancers who have either summoned these extraplanar beings across into the mortal realm, or who have crossed into the Other realms themselves.  This possibility seems to defy credulity, and the soldiers of the 126 and the scholars of the Napthol Order all admit that there has never been a proven case of such an individual in Kavet-- but the whispers prevail, so I will acknowledge them here. 
According to a lifelong scholar who spoke only on the condition of anonymity (It is forbidden in Kavet to discuss these matters unless one belongs to the 126 or the Order of Napthol, so her studies are pursued illegally) the spawn have the following traits: 
Spawn are born and grow in much the same way as humans, and they look exactly like humans in almost all ways.  An individual capable of seeing Abyssal or Numen power- such as soldiers in the 126 with the sight- might see a nebulous halo of power around these creatures, but most spawn are capable of suppressing this magical aura unless they are actively performing magic. 
Spawn gain strength from food, as humans do, and from the same rituals that allow mancers to raise power, and from the types of sacrifice that sustain their Abyssi or Numini parents.  In this way they can become quite powerful without the extreme measures that often cause mancers to come to the attention of authorities.  Though they are born with power inherited from their divine or infernal parent, they are not tied directly to a Numini or Abyssi as a mancer is, and do not directly derive power from that creature or provide power for that creature. Therefore, an Abyss-spawn is able to continually generate power without having it siphoned away by an other-planar creature, and is spared the hunger that afflicts an Abyssumancer. 
While one would naturally assume the spawn inherit more weaknesses from their human parent, the opposite is actually true- their most dire weaknesses come from the nature of their Abyssi or Numini parent. 
Abyssi and Numini cannot exist in the mortal realm unless they have a direct tie to a mortal (such as a mancer) with the power to hold them on this plane.  While the spawn do not have this limitation precisely, their other-planar magic still has a tendency to bond to a mortal host, particularly if the spawn engages in activities that cause a power imbalance.  This bond and the circumstances in which it can form seems to have some kind of ritual form, but little information is available. 
Another natural weakness of the child of an Abyssi or Numini is that they are vulnerable to any spell that would target their parent, and thus are more vulnerable to an Abyssumancer’s or Numenmancer’s power than a pure human would be.  Given spawn produce a great deal of the kind of power an Abyssumancer or Numenmancer needs and have few defenses against these sorcerers, one could easily imagine their being victimized by mancers.

This concludes this portion of Scholar Faolan's research into mancers, unless I receive more questions I should answer. Your questions can be on this topic, or anything else relating to the Mancer trilogy or the world in which it is set.