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Artimidor Federkiel

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« on: 10 May 2002, 05:35:00 »

This guide contains all information relevant to the developing of things related to magic.  You should read through these before you proceed to work on an entry, especially if you are new here. 

All entries should be marked with one of the following posticons: 
- Entry is incomplete, might not be ready for comments yet. 
- Entry is done and awaiting comments. 
- There is a major question regarding this entry, which requires the attention of an expert.  The topic of the question should be included in the title of the post, in brackets. 
- Entry is ready for integration.  Do not switch to this posticon unless one of the magic experts has given you permission to do so. 
- Entry has been integrated by the webmaster and should show up on the site after the next site update. 

Ximaxian spells
Magic systems

Propeties for Ximaxian magic
Guide to Ximaxian magic

Ban on new magic systems
« Last Edit: 23 April 2007, 03:14:41 by Mina » Logged

"Between the mind that plans and the hands that build there must be a mediator, and this must be the heart." -- Maria (Metropolis)
Artimidor Federkiel

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« Reply #1 on: 25 March 2006, 13:40:00 »

The Ximaxian magic system is the only one which we are accepting spells for currently. 

In order to design new spells it is essential that you understand the basics of the magic system here in Santharia. Therefore make sure to check out the general Magic Overview on the site.  Also, read the following first:

Quote from: Coren, in another thread (with some minor edits)
- Do NOT start dozens of spells they cannot finish and post them all at once causing massive pollution on the Magic Board

- Do NOT come up with complicated spells that are bound to give way to lengthy debates on the nature of magic if you:

a) do not understand the fundementals of Ximaxian magic
b) have little or no idea what they are talking about or what their proposal entails
c) are not able to defend their views logically - key word here! - by putting up a coherent argument expressed in decent grammar and spelling
d) are not willing to integrate logical commentary, critique, suggestions and alterations put forth by fellow Santharians and magic-experts. This entails thinking through the comments given to your spell, deciding on which ones you want to include and always listing the reasons for things you will be leaving out. "Thinking through" means not mindlessly copying comments and changes from a uri-check to the entry just to get "instant approval". That agreeing with magic-experts on every point without really contemplating what is being said and pasting their exact wording into spells will get you this magical seal of "instant approval" is a myth. That simply does not happen. Refusing to cooperate on any point or objecting to everything said by magic-experts (Silfer, Marvin, Mina, Rayne, Coren, and Artimidor) without giving reasons won't get you anywhere either. You need to - once again watch for the magic word - refute assertions you do not agree with. "I don't agree(period)" does not classify as refuting.
e) if they do not have the patience to wait for comments - and yes, gods forbid, for more than a day as well! - or go through all the steps mentioned above

Name, School, Spell Level
The first thing you have to decide is what the spell should be called and to which school it belongs.  The only schools currently available are the four elemental schools: Earth, Fire, Water, and Wind. 

Select a magical school, then a spell level (there are 12 levels). The lower the level the easier the spell can be cast, and the less powerful it should be.

Provide an overview on what the spell does, why it is so important etc. But don't mention any technical details here like cár'áll, ounía, link breaking etc. The overview is supposed to be understandable by anyone, not just magical experts.

Spell Effect
Describe exactly what the spell does: What effects it produces, how it affects people, things etc. Try to be as detailed as possible here.  This section is where most of the technical details should be put. 

Casting Procedure
Describe what is done in the casting of this spell. Where does the mage focus and for how long?  Are preparations of any sort necessary? 

Magical Formula
The format for magical formulae is currently undefined, so this section should be left blank for now. 

What is the target of the spell? This could be the caster itself, another person (one or more, enemies or people on the caster's side), a thing.

What reagents are used for this spell?  Reagents have only supportive function, so powerful mages won't necessarily need them. However, it is essential that they be included in the spell description. 

Magical School
See above, Name, School and Spell. But the Magical School has to be written here again.

Spell Class
Each element is divided into three 'Spheres', each of which as a physical representation and a spiritual representation.  For this section, just specify which representation of which Sphere the spell belongs to. 

Depening on the spell level it is also possible that the target range changes (e.g. a level 5 spell affects only 1 person, a level 8 spell 2 etc.) Range can also contain e.g. a certain amount of peds - for measurement details see the entry on Weights and Measures.  There is also a converter available, if you are not familiar with the Santharian units. 

Casting time
How long does it take to cast the spell? Instantaneously, 10, 20 seconds? A minute?

How long will the spell last (if applicable)? This is mainly important at spells which strengthen, weaken or change things in general for a period of time. Duration is not applicable for spells like Fireball etc.

Counter Measures/Enhancing Measures
If possible, please inlcude how the effect of the spell can reversed or weakened (e.g. how to counter a "Turn to Stone" spell) or how the effectiveness of the spell can be increased.

written by Artimidor Federkiel, Santharian Webmaster
updated by Mina

There is currently a ban on new magic systems.  However, should the ban ever be lifted, or if you have special approval to create a new system, this is how it should be done. 

A magical system represents a complete concept of a world view. It may be linked to a belief system (shadowmancy, druidic belief in essences, clerical magic) or exist in itself as the Ximaxian.

In order to design a magical system you should have the following scheme in mind:

The usual overview stuff. Try to put in the most important things concerning the magical system and its relation to a belief or world view in this section or state if there are no relations at all Make sure that the reader sees from the first glance what it is all about, without having to dig into all the details.

Prevalence (Territory)
This is the "where" section. Put in here in which region of the world of Caelereth this magical concept is common, how much it is spread in general (no need to mention single occurrences).

On what is this magical concept based? Which is the belief behind it or why does it work without one, what is the world view of the users?

Basic Principles
How does this magic work basically? What tools are needed to be able to use, practise this magic? Are any auxiliary means or devices needed to accomplish the tasks? Are spells used or necessary? Differentiate if possible between magic users and the observations of outside investors. (A cleric will describe his magic with other terms as a Ximaxian mage f.e.)

Abilities, Limitations, Restrictions and Practice
What are the possibilities (in principle) Where are the limits? Where the restrictions?
What kind of "actions" perform those who practise it? What can theses people achieve (general explanation with some examples)?
What is principally possible, what is achieved in reality?

Are there special places where this magic is performed or which are necessary for the success ( f.e. forests, a well, a plateau in the mountains) , places which should be avoided? Are any special buildings needed? Is the magic performed only underground or only in open air etc.

Everything has a beginning, and so do magical concepts. How and why came it into existence? Was there a single person who "invented" it? Was there a historical reason for it to evolve? How quickly has it grown from its origins? Does it have a future? All this information here, please!

written by Talia Sturmwind

This is a guide originally written for the RPG, but which could be very helpful to those intending to develop things related to the Ximaxian magic systems (eg. spells).  Take note that the information provided here is incomplete; there is more the Ximaxian magic system than this.  It is, however, good enough for most purposes. 

A newer (and more detailed) guide may be found here

The Magical Academy of Ximax
The Magical Academy of Ximax, often referred to simply as Ximax, is located in the center of the City of Ximax. It is the most prestigious magic school in Santharia, and its magic system is the one followed by most of the human mages in the kingdom. Ximaxian mages are divided into 12 levels, though no level 12 mages has existed for a long time, and the only level 11 mages are the Archmages. Students graduate at level 6, but may choose to continuing studying at the Academy.

The Basic Stuff
Ximaxian magic is based on the manipulation of car'áll, which can be thought of as the non-physical, or spiritual aspect of an object. It does not involve the channeling of 'magical energies' and such things. Magic is also not an ability certain people are born with. It is an ability almost everyone can learn. Probably the only ones who can't learn magic are those who are really unable to focus, as performing magic requires quite a lot of that.

In general, people cannot perform magic without having learnt it yet. However, there is one exception. A few people are, when under extremely great stress, able to unconsciously produce magical effects. These 'spells', being cast unconsciously, are obviously not under the control of the caster, who are probably unaware that they are the one causing it anyway, and thus can be quite dangerous to both the caster and those around him. Such people usually turn out to be rather talented mages after being properly trained.

When performing magic, a mage essentially imposes his will on the target car'áll, making changes to it so as to achieve the desired results. Ximax divides magic into 4 elemental schools (Earth, Fire, Water, Wind) and 2 archschools (Ecuá and Xeuá). A mage may only learn one of these. The magic of the archschools are very powerful, and are not directly accessible; a mage must reach a relatively high level in one of the elemental schools before switching over to an archschool.

More Technical Stuff
Each car'áll contains a number of ounia which are the basic units of a car'áll. Each oun is of a single element, and is connected to every other oun in the car'áll by bonds known as xeuá links. The strength of the each xeuá link can be changed by a mage. Elemental mages work with the ounia of their element, and may only affect the xeuá links connected to the ouns of their elments. Ecuá and Xeuá mages work with the xeuá links directly.

Each elemental school is divided into 3 Spheres, arranged in order of difficulty and power. Sphere One is the easiest and weakest, while Sphere Three is the hardest and most powerful. Each Sphere deals with a different way of manipulating car'áll, with the objective of increasing or reducing the influence of the caster's element on the car'áll, thus causing changes to the properties of the target. Each element is associated with certain properties. Fire, for example, might include heat, light, and passion, amongst other things. Changing the amount of influence an element has on the target thus causes the properties associated with that element to become more, or less prominent. So, increasing the amount of influence fire has on the car'áll of an object could, for example, make it warmer, or even cause it to burst into flames. A mage can select which properties are affected, so the prominence of certain properties associated with an element might not change when the influence of that element changes, while others do. The more skillful the mage, the more precise he is at selecting the properties. Thus, setting a flamable object on fire magically is easier than merely making it glow brightly without a change in temperature.

Sphere One alters the strength of the xeuá links connected to ouns of the caster's element, changing the amount of influence that element has on the car'áll. It's effects are temporary, and the xeuá links will begin to revert to their original strength once the mage stops casting.

Sphere Two moves the ouns of the caster's element around, gathering them to increase the element's influence, or dispersing them to diminish it's influence. Unlike Sphere One effects, which fade away after some time, changes made with Sphere Two are stable and would not revert to their original state by themselves.

Sphere Three is the most powerful of the 3 spheres, and its spells are usually not taught to students of Ximax until after their graduation (ie. mages level 7 and above). It works by adding or removing ounia from the car'áll. It is also possible to essentially remove the ounia, then add them back to the car'áll, causing the amount of ounia to still be the same, but altering the structure of the car'áll. Sphere One or Two can then be applied, if necessary, to create the desired effect.

Xeuá and Ecuá are the most powerful forms of magic taught at Ximax. Both work directly with xeuá links. Their difference lies in what they do to the links. Xeuá magic is used to strengthen links and create new ones, while Ecuá weakens and breaks them. While no single Xeuá or Ecuá mage can both weaken and strengthen, or create and destroy links, like elemental mages can (though indirectly), the effects they can produce are not limited to one element, making them far more powerful then elemental mages.

written by Mina

In the Ximaxian magic system, each element is associated with certain properties.  One could almost say that the term 'element' as used in the system refers to a sort of group of properties.  Here are some of the properties we have identified and the elements they belong to. 

If you have suggestions and proposals on what to add to this list, feel free to make proposals in the Elemental Properties Dicussion thread. 


Physical Representation
- Invisibility
- Lightness
- Movement
- Intangiblity

Spiritual Representation
- Clarity


Physical Representation
- Hardness
- Stillness
- Solidity
- Permanence

Spiritual Representation
- Numbness
- Obstinacy/Stubbornness
- Order/Stability
- Strength
- Reliability


Physical Representation
- Coldness
- Liquidity

Spiritual Representation
- Transformation/Change
- Intuition
- Randomness


Physical Representation
- Animation
- Heat-production
- Light-production

Spiritual Representation
- Chaos/Disorder
- Courage
- Passion (positive/negative)

*Silfer takes out a roll of parchment, and puts it on the door. The parchment reads:*


"We, the Masters of Magic, have decided to effectuate an immediate and supreme ban on any new systems of magic, including, but not limited to: New tribal magic, new universal systems of magic, new clerical systems, and the likes of these. The existing magic systems include Ximaxian magic, clerical magic, and various tribal magic, created before this ban. This ban will last until we find the revisions of the currently existing magic systems appropriate and up to date.

PS: A permission to develop a new tribal magic may be granted, if it a) fits the tribe, b) fits us and the webmaster, and c) if the creator does all the work involved him/herself."


Silfer Darkflare, Master of Magic
Rayne Avalotus, Mistress of Magic
Dasson, Master of Magic
« Last Edit: 23 July 2007, 01:00:23 by Mina » Logged

"Between the mind that plans and the hands that build there must be a mediator, and this must be the heart." -- Maria (Metropolis)

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« Reply #2 on: 14 September 2006, 16:11:48 »

Keeping it here so I don't have to search all over for it.  Original post here.  -Mina

The Carall is this essence, this magical energy out of which everything is created: the essence on which everything in physical reality is based on / is a reflection of. So while everything has a carall, the Carall exists beyond (“beneath”) the physical dimension we see around us and is in fact its essence. In this sense the Carall is the substance of Existence. That is the primary meaning of the Carall on which the rest of the Ximaxian theory (on carall) is based.

So the Carall is the magical energy out of which every single thing in existence is created. At the same time this energy holds everything together and in relation to each other under a pattern. Call this resulting picture the “Cosmological Design” if you like; the Highest “Idea”, the “Idea of the Universe”. (BTW: One thing you should note here is that I have not equated the Carall to the Design/Idea)

Thus the Carall is the sand in Artimidor’s sand-elephant example, it is – in a metaphorical sense – the matter, the substance out of which everything existing / Reality is sculpted. Therefore in a sense, the magician in casting magic imitates the Gods / the Will of Nature (whichever you choose to believe in).

The Carall is (magical) Energy. This energy has a Form and a Content. (Notice again that I deliberately refrained from saying: “The carall is Form and the carall is Content.” We really need to rid the magic entries on the site of such confusing, exclusive phrases – especially when in one section the entry says “the Carall is Form” and in another “the Carall is Content”…)

The Idea, the abstract concept, through the Form, dictates the blueprint of the (carall’s) Structure. (Ok, now you may say there is no practical difference between Form and Idea but I will try to differentiate the two a bit, hoping it will help shed some light to why I insist on Raw magic & direct alteration of Form)

The Content is the actual realization of the intangible Idea. It is the (corporeal) manifestation of the abstract concept. Each entity is an individualization of the Idea it belongs to. This is what Content is all about. The Content is the actual elephant you see, the resulting concrete entity you build from the sand (sand: “substance/essence of existence” = energy = carall/aura).

The Content of a carall has two aspects: Substance and Structure. The Substance is the actual “material”, the energy that makes up the carall. Structure defines the overall design in which “the what is in there”, the actual Substance of the aura is arranged. Just as ounia are the building-blocks of the Substance of the carall, the links build up the specific arrangement/configuration that is Structure. These xeua links are the ropes/chains that tie each fraction/component, the “ounia”, of the Substance. They (the links) are the “glue” that holds the Substance of a carall, the magical energy together. (Btw: In this sense the elves talk about (the Principle of) Xeua holding Life together).

What we call the Aura (Carall) is actually a form of energy. The essence of the aura/carall is actually “the” prime energy. Everything else existing, physical objects as well as different types of energy like heat, light, electricity, are merely “qualifications” (from “quality”) of this auratic energy Ximax calls “carall”. To quote Art: “An object is cár'áll/energy brought into shape with the possibility of changing into something else.”

Let’s recap: The essence of the aura is energy. What the elves call THE CARALL is an aura that underlies the whole universe (Humans: “Universal Carall”). Everything in the universe is created from this source, from this single energy. Actually let us rephrase that: Everything existing is a “reflection”, an “embodiment”, a “qualification”, an “incarnation” of this energy.

This is why I think Artimidor keeps saying he sees the aura as “possibilities of creation”. The Carall is this “infinite potential” for being. The Carall, the aura, is this pure, ‘unprocessed’ energy. It harbours infinite possibilities of creation in it – simply because it is the “uncarved block” (as a Taoist would say). And since everything existing has a carall, or more accurately: is an incarnated, a ‘processed’ form of a part of the Universal Energy/Aura, the Carall can also be seen as The Defining Principle. It defines what is in existence, distinguishes the Real from the Unreal. But this paragraph is just about the philosophical appreciation of what the Carall stands for and the philosophical ramifications of the existence of a Universal Aura defining, unifying everything existing. As such it is probably of little interest to your practical queries. So read the paragraph above again and skipping this philosophical “bubble” move straight on to the following paragraph.

So the aura is pure energy – or rather the purest form of energy. But this energy, the energy that is the carall, can assume different qualities (can be “qualified”). There are 4 main conditions of auratic energy: These are the four elemental energies of Wind, Earth, Water and Fire. The Elements define the four main states the Prime Energy (Carall) has. Each state, each elemental condition, defines certain characteristics for the auratic energy - or to state differently: bestows upon the Aura/Prime Energy certain qualities. (I am delving into philosophy now but perhaps we should correct that last phrase to: Each elemental condition ascribes a certain quality to the Prime (Auratic) Energy through exclusion. The Carall is the Prime Energy from which everything issues. Since it is ‘the mother of All’, since it is ‘infinite potential’ a logical deduction would be that Auratic Energy (carall) in its pure form already possesses all possible qualities. Sort of like Carall being White Light and different elemental energies being the different colours of the spectrum. So the Elemental Condition of Fire for instance ascribes properties/qualities we have come to associate with Fire only because it excludes all other qualities of the Prime(pure) Energy. You get red light only because you block all the other colours in a ray of white sunlight.)

Since Carall is energy it only makes sense if the actual material (“Substance”) it is composed of is also energy. Imo: An oun is an immense concentration of elemental energy. Ounia can be likened to photons on a ray of light. While a photon is only a very concentrated ‘package’ of energy, due to its incredible density/intensity acts like a particle while the rest of the ray acts like a wave as a whole. The same relationship between ounia and the Aura: We speak of ‘moving’/’adding’/’removing’ ounia to explain the energy transactions, the transfer & transformation of magical energies involved in spell-casting. While an oun harbours within itself all the qualities of the elemental energy it is composed of, Ximaxian mages (I know that Marvin, Mina & Silfer do) treat it more like matter, as a particle that can be ‘moved’ around in the aura and between carallia to achieve certain effects. In a sense ounia are “quantified”, it is the smallest unit of the carall – you either move an oun or don’t, there is no such thing as ‘adding half an oun’ to x part of the aura. Therefore it is okay to view ounia as the “atoms of the carall” – like Mina & Marvin does - to some extent. So the “lego” or “puzzle” method of viewing the Carall and magic, where you make slight modifications to the parts/components to achieve effects/give certain characteristics to the overall object is not incorrect but incomplete. Now I’ve heard all three of you say that this whole “magical energy” business has become outdated, that the theory has ‘moved on’. You put forward evidence that in the past two years these Form, Raw Magic, the carall as magical energy concepts have never been referred to on the Magic Board to support your claim. But that is seeing only half of the issue. Form of the Carall and Ideas have never been mentioned explicitly on the board – which have ‘evolved’ and now deals mainly with spell creation btw – because Ximaxian magic deals with the Content of the carall only. We never spoke about weaving strands of energy or idea-substitution because Elemental Mages (arch-schools included) can only manipulate the Content by modifying the parts that make up the Substance and the links between those components. We have never officially abandoned Artimidor’s original concept. Only details of the lego-model is needed to write spell entries so if other intrinsic parts of magic theory have not been discussed/dictated to newbies, that is only because of the implicit understanding that all newcomers to magic are expected to READ and MAKE SENSE OUT OF the theoretical stuff that is already on the site. I agree given the awful organization – “dis-organization”? – of the magic menu (no thematic classification) and the obscure language of the actual entries the latter part might have been very difficult.

I have no intention of provoking quarrels so I promise this is the last time I am repeating this point unless it becomes absolutely necessary yet again. Moving on:

A brief exposition of my thoughts on Ounia: An oun is a great concentration of elemental energy. I consider them to be the building blocks of the carall – and therefore all of Life. An oun is “the summary of an Element”: A fire-oun for instance can be viewed as a condensed form of the raw energy that is Element of Fire and all it represents. Consequently, an oun harbours within itself all the qualities – and the potential to express, impose upon the object these as individual properties – of its Element. Likewise, even a single oun mirrors the Cosmological Purpose (or “Existential Orientation” if you like – though I will argue in the extended version of my theory that there is a subtle difference between the two) of the Element it is composed of – or shall we say: the Element it ‘reflects’? As such the Oun is the Prime Elemental Entity, the smallest elemental particle, the “summary of an Element”.

Back to the main flow of this lengthy discourse:

We have mentioned that the Structure represents the precise arrangement/composition of the Substance of the Carall (the energy of/that is the carall); it includes every single detail delineating that specific configuration. In this sense the Structure forms the skeleton of the carall’s content; it defines how exactly the Content (the manifestation of the abstract concept, the resulting concrete entity) should look like.

Of course no two entities can have the EXACT same Structure (for each entity is an individual, unique manifestation of an Idea), but there are similarities between the carall structures of two objects of the same kind. It is these similarities that help us identify two objects as objects of the same “kind” (Each “kind” is of course the reflection of an intangible Idea – or to put it differently: Each of these classifications represents an abstract concept we name the “Idea”). We can analytically examine these similarities, assemble them together and construct/make out a pattern from them. This ‘pattern’ signifies the Highest Common Factor among objects of the same kind. From this exercise we draw the conclusion that: Each carall of the same “type” has a pattern identifying it as being a carall of that type (as Mina put it).

Now let’s read this in the light of what I had written at the beginning: “The Idea, the abstract concept, through the Form, dictates the blueprint of the (carall’s) Structure.”

The Form of a Carall outlines its Structure. This ‘outline’ is the “pattern”, the Highest Common Factor that is shared by all objects of the same “kind” we just spoke of. Note again that this ‘pattern’ is only a subset, an “abstract”/summary if you like, of the whole Structure.

The Idea, the all-inclusive, is extrapolated from this pattern/HCF. In my opinion: Elves would believe in the actual existence of Ideas (what they call “The Thoughts of Ava”) as separate entities (?) outside Reality much like Plato. The Universal Aura, the Carall, permeates the whole of Existence. It is “the world beneath the World” (btw I copyright that expression for the Krean). The elves usually speak of carall in a universal sense btw.  Just as the Carall is the “world beneath the World”, Ideas lie on a world beyond the world lies beneath the World. The World of Ideas, the Thoughts of Ava, therefore is separate from the Universe, past Reality. Ideas exist beyond the reach of anything in this Reality. They cannot be manipulated – even “touched” – by mortals (this includes the strongest of Ximaxian mages; and yes, I am going to draw a parallel to Raw Magic soon).
Human Ximaxian mages would say “Ideas” are just an abstraction, a theoretical concept extrapolated from the Form of the Carall. It is immaterial and irrelevant whether Ideas in fact exist or not. Btw, I find myself inclined more towards the elven conception but that is just a personal preference of course.

I wrote “The Idea can be extrapolated from this pattern/HCF” but for the vast majority of cases that can be translated to: The abstract concept that is the Idea can be extrapolated from the Form of a carall. This is because most of the time it is clear just what an object is; to put it differently, most of the time an object is the realization of only one Idea: A table is a table, a spoon is a spoon, a bird is a bird.

I am careful to maintain this distinction as I think the answer to the borderline cases Silfer mentioned lies there. Imagine an object that not only functions as both fe a table and a chair but also looks like both. At first sight it is not immediately apparent what this object is – whether it is a table or a chair. So we say two Ideas, the Idea of a Chair and the Idea of a Table, are reflected in the Carall’s Form. Correspondingly, the carall’s Form contains both “patterns” (or perhaps better to say ‘elements form both patterns’). The Form here is a mixture of two Ideas. But through this Form a new concept, the “Table-Chair” Idea, has been created. Or depending on what you believe you can also claim that the Table-Chair Idea already existed (i.e. ALL possible ideas exist), but it has only now been “realized” in corporeality.

Then there is the issue of a hierarchy between ideas. Think of this hierarchy not primarily of importance but of generality. This is needed to satisfy Silfer’s second worry: that the effects of “Idea substitution” are too chaotic, too uncertain. Looking at an object you may instantly say for instance that its carall has the Human Form. But you can funnel it down from Human to Man (as opposed to Woman) than to Old Man than to Sick Old Man etc. At same time you can go the opposite way, up the ladder: Existing(Real) < Animate (Living) < Sentient < Humanoid (Elf, human, dwarf etc) < Human. Understandably, the more general the form the less similarities will be shared; the more specific the Forms, the more the object will resemble each other. Related to this is what I call “Idea Subsets”, where one subset Idea can be the CONTENT of the superset Idea: eg; The Idea of a Chair within the greater Idea of a Room. This last point still needs some polishing…

What are the ramifications of this? That there are “patterns within the pattern” imposed on the carall’s Structure by its Form. The smallest subset will be a reflection of the most general Idea the entity is a manifestation of. And of course logic will tell us that the more specific we go, the more shared features will appear and thus the larger, the more extensive/detailed the relevant pattern will become.
A Raw Mage with the talent will choose the necessary Form according to the task at hand. For example, he may just substitute the Sick-Man Idea with Healthy-Man Idea to cure someone instead of having to insert a Perfect-Man Idea. Or he can refine his focus even more and just concentrate on the specific disease (eg “Cancer” Idea).

So when a mage talks about “the Form of a Carall” he usually refers to the most obvious (this is somewhat subjective of course and depends heavily on the issue) “pattern” the Structure of that aura bears. The actual Form of the carall of course includes reflections/ “seeds” of all possible Ideas that entity might belong to.

To recapitulate the main point in this sub-section:
So you can say I use “Idea” in the Plato-sense to signify an intangible, all-inclusive concept from which each “type”/kind/category/class is reflected in corporeality ((Note: I didn’t use ‘corporal’).

Xeua/ecua & manipulation of Form + “mould” issues:

Even if the actual substance, some ounia, is removed, the blueprint – of what needs to be where and in what intensity – is still there. That is why the Form is so important – and why it is an indispensable assumption in magic theory to explain various occurrences. This is why Xeua/Ecua can never alter the Form directly. All they can ever hope to achieve – and this is no small task – is reworking the Structure - by shifting the links that hold up that skeleton – to such a point where the “pattern” contained in it resembles another pattern which would have been imposed by a different Idea. The Carall always wants to revert to its original state - because there is an idea, a cosmological design, the carall of the object needs to be in line with. If the Xeuatan maintains the new state long enough or if the change is too drastic (like losing an entire limb for a humanoid creature) for the Natural Will of the Carall to re-correct, then the aura undergoes a gradual shift in its Form.

The Form decrees how things are supposed to be. This is why all magic is essentially an act of opposition – against the natural will of things (against the natural will/state of their carall) and indeed against ‘the’ Natural Will. (So to answer Orril: “When a mage cast a spell, he tries to put his will over the natural will of a Cár'áll” > yes, that is always the case for any magical act.) That is also why I think Artimidor has said a mage first becomes Elemental then goes through Xeua and finally ends up as a “monk” (this is not to be taken in the literal sense as a bald-headed cleric living in a monastery on a mountaintop). He realizes that all magical intervention has the potential to well… “interfere” with the Divine Plan, disrupt the Natural Order of the Universe. And due to the immense devotion and respect he has developed for the Carall (universal) and hence Life, he refuses to upset or strain the cosmological balance anymore – at least no more than is absolutely necessary. This signifies the shift from the “Doing-Self” to the “Being-Self” (see also Ursula LeGuin’s EarthSea quartet).

Now back to the question of the different ways – Xeua/Ecua and Raw -of manipulating Form:

So Xeua and Ecua change the Structure by mending all the links they can lay hands on and hope that somewhere in there the “pattern” too has been modified…

But how does my precious Raw Magic complete the same assignment? Firstly: What is Raw magic? What differentiates a Raw Mage from all other wizards?

Raw magic is the ability to use strands of pure (“raw”) auratic energy to create (“craft”) the desired effects/ends.

The first key difference here is that they do not need to work with what is there – altering its various components to affect a greater conversion on the whole. Instead of having to wreck their minds to make the pieces fit, they can just create the missing pieces.

Therefore, “raw magic is essentially a magic of creation” – hmm… where have you heard that before?   

Let’s restate the vital principle: Raw mages handle pure energy (auratic energy, ‘the raw(unprocessed, ‘unqualified’) energy that composes the Carall). They are able to touch the Form, which – as mentioned earlier on – lies outside Reality/the tangible universe, because they work directly with the Prime Energy (the energy of ‘the’ Carall in its prime form) that constructs & powers Existence.

One little detail: Raw mages can not only use this raw energy as it is to create (ie fashion new carallia) but can also manipulate, “tune”/refine it to different qualities. (pink skirt > blue skirt; see below)

I should point out as a side-note that the only difference I see between Weavers and other raw magi is in method: the technique they use to process, operate and conduct pure auratic energy. Loosely speaking, a Weaver takes fibres of energy and binds (‘weaves’) them together to create while the standard raw mage f.e. can only seize that energy in ‘lumps’. At any rate this is not only irrelevant but also immaterial – at least for now.

The highest mode of raw magic would be “Idea Substitution”. This is probably god-level work. These are so ‘gifted’ that they need not bother even about lacing strands from the Prime Energy consciously to form the required model. All they do is to envision the finished version and the strands weave themselves. The existing ‘Idea’ is swapped – keep in mind my musings about Idea Hierarchies though – with a different one and the carall immediately begins rearranging itself to fit the new Form it has been given through the Idea.

Now let’s consolidate all this abstract theorization with two concrete examples: the “Skirt” and the “Elephant”

Imagine you have a skirt of bright pink colour in your hand. You never really fancied skirts so you wish to make something else out of it. The Xeuatan is the tailor; he will cut a few threads here, stitch them somewhere else until he has finally ‘tailored’ pants out of the skirt. Every now and then while making all these minor alterations he had to look up to the ‘pant-model’ hanging on the wall as a reference point. He has succeeded in converting the skirt into pants but the resulting piece is still bright pink. All through he had to work with the given fabric. The pants are still of the same material that composed the skirt. So while the cloth (the ‘essence’/material of the aura) has remained the same, the fabric (inherently ‘unprocessed’ like auratic energy) has been crafted into a different idea/concept. The Raw Mage is the weaver, instead of having to adjust the skirt here and there he can just unravel the shaped-product (the skirt) back to its raw form (pink fabric) and spin more of that fabric where necessary until he has a pair of pants fashioned. The ultimate raw-mage just decrees “Pants!” and immediately the skirt unmakes itself and pink yarn volunteer out from the spinning wheel and together the two weave themselves into the form (Form?    ) of a pair of pants. The raw-mage grins smugly and leans back on his chair while his pipe is busy lighting itself. Don’t ask what a Raw-master will do with pinks pants – powerful man are eccentric.

Now homework: Can you transpose the above paragraph and write out the sand-elephant example yourself?


Okay you now have enough of a snap-shot of my general thoughts on magic to move onto specific questions:

Question 1: How can car'all be drained? The only thing I can think of is ounia disappearing, which doesn't make sense to me (why? which ones?)

Carall is (magical/pure) energy. Think of magic draining the carall not as some of its components evaporating or being consumed to power the spell. Instead think of the drain of spell-casting as a “dimming” of the ‘brightness’ of the aura.

I already wanted to hint at this in “Ounia & Expression of Properties”, but I guess the suggestion was too implicit. An elemental mage would tune the influence/dominance of his element (or to be precise: adjust how strongly an oun expresses its qualities) as you would regulate the ‘intensity’ of the flame in a gas-lamp (“Coren’s Lamp”). The lamp = the oun ; the flame = one of the elemental properties/qualities of the oun ; turning of the valve to adjust intensity of light/heat = sphere 1 manipulation

Now fatigue, the dimming of the overall ‘brightness’ of the aura, functions a bit differently. I am making the assumption that not all of the aura – not all of the aura’s energy – is “qualified”/specialized; some of it remains in the pure, “un-carved” state.

Or maybe a certain portion of each oun’s energy is exists in its pure state, as raw auratic energy. Accepting an oun is a concentration of elemental energy that does make sense. We can even speculate that a portion of the oun (that immense concentration of energy) has to stay in its pure form to keep the elementalized energy together. Either a) that pure ‘core’ acting like a magnet to attract elemental energy around itself and keep it there OR b) the pure energy acting as the Guiding/Defining Principle of the oun, ‘qualifying’ some of the auratic energy into the relevant elemental energy that constitutes the oun and preventing it from converting – further ‘qualifying’ – into something else. That should also explain why each oun is dedicated to one element only (fe why a water-oun does not suddenly become an earth-oun). It is kind of cool: we have a microcosm of the whole “Idea” theory, the pure energy core performing the function of Ideas on a microcosmic level! This does add a new meaning to carall – auratic energy – being the essence of existence (!) But we digress…

Any physical activity (that includes the working of the brain) requires energy to be completed. Pure auratic energy needs to be converted to power the physical exertion. So for instance Wind might control the property of motion but the actual energy your body uses to move your leg comes from the pure energy of the aura. Santharians don’t need to know that the energy your body uses for physical activities is essentially an outcome of this process called respiration where the oxygen produced there is later used in the cells to burn food down to these little units of energy called “ATP”.

Casting magic is a lot more exhausting from other activities that require a similar amount of concentration or exertion because it is a direct drain on the aura (which is “magical energy”). Let us for one moment assume that playing chess/aiming an arrow and casting Raise Flame both require “hundred units” of energy (type not specified). But the hundred units of pure/auratic energy exhausted in directing/focusing the magical energies involved in casting (I know you don’t like this expression so let’s rephrase to: the actual energy needed to ‘turn on the valve’ (sp1) or moving fire-ounia closer (sp2) etc) can a much tiring effect than hundred units of ordinary mental energy needed for concentration which is converted/processed from only 2 units of pure energy. So even a single unit of the pure, unadulterated energy of the aura can produce / be converted to a much much greater quantity of eg physical or mental energy. Auratic energy in its pure form probably exists in infinitely intense concentration compared to other forms of energy > hence another justification of the label ‘pure’.

Ximaxian mages cannot “draw energy from their surroundings” to power the act of casting (ie not the actual energy produced by the spell – which can be done by s3 – but energy required from the mage to bring about the necessary changes in the target aura). Because that would meaning either a) ounia being broken down to supply pure energy – and I certainly don’t want arcane nuclear-reactors in Santharia OR b) drawing that energy directly from the environment, which means being able to touch and channel pure auratic energy – which only Raw mages should be able to do.

The logical conclusion then would be that only raw mages can draw power from surroundings. The most straightforward way to do this would be of course to access the reserve of auratic energy that exists in pure form in surrounding carallia (see above). Raw mages should be able – at least in theory – to break ounia down to supply pure energy but I am not convinced about the shrewdness of doing that when there is so much raw/pure energy available all around. Firstly, only the most skilled – those who have ultimately mastered handling energy in its raw form – raw magi would even contemplate about tearing an oun apart – and only the most desperate will actually attempt the act. Secondly, only the most powerful of raw mages can actual split an oun as dismantling such a tremendously concentrated concentration of energy – so concentrated that it can in fact be moved about (sp2) like matter without being dissipated – requires a force I cannot readily imagine. Further, that using so much energy does defeat the purpose: of tearing the oun apart to utilize the issuing energy in another spell. Short of raising another Mithrals I can’t imagine a spell that would require so much energy in the first place… Thirdly, the oun would probably erupt in an explosion too powerful and horrid to be contemplated never to mention ‘tamed’ or controlled. Fourthly, the result would be probably horribly chaotic as you are now messing around with the very fabric of the Dream in its most condensed form.

So no mage in his right mind raw or not would even think about tearing apart ounia to power a puny mortal spell. And if a mage is actually bold enough to attempt and powerful, wise, smart (though this is open to debate), erudite enough to actually pull it off – well, he does deserve a ticket to godhood…

The moral in condensed form: Not all energy of the aura is qualified. Drain = from pure energy = “dimming of brightness” overall of the Aura.

EDIT: Okay, another reason for not an elemental mage not being able to consume ounia through exhaustion – or rather why he can’t burn down a small, negligible oun somewhere in the carall to empower “one last spell” – occurred to me: That would be against a carall’s primary purpose: existing (Remember the phrases “The Carall is the Esssence of Existence” ; “The Carall is the Defining Principle of reality/existence”?). The mage’s carall simply won’t permit him to tear holes in its fabric to shape more spells. An inbuilt “safety-lock” if you like to ensure survival… Maybe this “threshold” can be surmounted – though I highly doubt it – but that would require an act of willpower and magical force surely a mage too fatigued to even cast a single spell can accomplish. 
« Last Edit: 22 January 2007, 04:04:24 by Mina » Logged

Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #3 on: 13 June 2009, 16:28:15 »

A few more links I keep losing:

- Silfer's notes: magic 101
- (Silfer & Coren) Magic for Beginners: the Essence of the Ximaxian System
- 'Packaging' Magic - Regarding Reagents, Relics, and Enchantments
- Magical Focuses (Reagents, Staffs etc) Discussion
- Ounia & expression of properties
- Artimidor's Magic Commandments Discussion
- Fox's Raw Magic discussion
- Discussion about Sphere 2

Older discussions (mainly for my own reference):
- Necessity of Spell Formulas

- Question about Focusing/Channelling Tools
- Some new spell concepts (inc airconditioning) - By Bard Judith

- Magical Spheres - Basic Implications & Ideas
- Mina on Spheres
- Spell Combos: elemental mages of different schools working together?

- Magic once again - involves discussion on spheres
- Xeua - Original Xeua entry, helpful commentary by Artimidor in uri-checks - useful to see the original intention behind the concept
- Magic Spheres

- Mina's Question Hour - Arti-Mina QA session

Hmm I recall some discussion on spheres that used the analogy of a net with leaves. Can anyone remember/find the thread?

Quotes for my own reference:
- Rayne on "you are what you cast": Mages beginning to reflect their element:
More or less, yes. I would expect the intuition as something that would develop over time as your character uses magic. In every spell a mage casts, she deepens her relationship with her associated element. It's natural for fire mages to have more fire ounia in their car'all than non-fire mages, and therefore for water mages to have more water ounia. A natural side-effect is that mages begin to resemble the qualities of the elements they practice--the magical equivalent of "you are what you eat" ("you are what you cast"?). The properties can be kept in check with a strong, conscientious will, but a little elemental inclination is inevitable. What properties of the element are expressed naturally in a mage's car'all, though, are of course subject to many factors (as a note).

The need for water is fine, but you may want to establish why. To be imbibing so much water implies that Ryvic is losing water ounia somehow and needs to replenish them more often than most. He could be using them for spells that involve the water being pulled from the environment around him (including himself). However, keep in mind that this falls into spheres of the third sphere--very powerful magic.
« Last Edit: 07 August 2013, 04:34:34 by Coren FrozenZephyr » Logged

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