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Takór Salenár
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« on: 09 July 2008, 15:21:52 »

Forming in my head for several years, written two years ago, posted to not get lost, not finished (the corrections the main submission needs have to be added here as well)

Edit_2011_0608: Viarian Magic has to be replaced by Twelvern magic!





Overview


The Aviaría are the twelve main gods of the elven belief system in Santharia (next to Avá, the Dreameress) who are worshipped by the human population as well. Twelvern Magic ( or  „Magic of the Twelve“) is the clerical magic the priests of the twelve Santharian gods are performing. The main factor which determines this kind of magic is the faith in the gods, which is believed to be the main cause a prayer is heard by the gods or not. Though the Santharian elves know the way of the  Twelvern magic as well, it is mostly a human matter.


Prevalence


The Twelvern Magic is  the human clerical magic of Santharia. Only where significant  trade posts are found, small groups follow the belief in the Aviaría and therefor clerics may be found there. However, this depends as well on the tolerance of the host country or better the there practised religion. So there exists no openly shown worship of the Twelve in Shan‘Thai , though Strata is relatively near and the trade relations are good with the southernmost town of Sarvonia, whereas a small group  exists in Shan Furionis, for the elves there care less about religion than the humans of Shan‘Thai. In the Kuglimz‘ Lands a few followers are found as well, but nothing is known of any other major appearance in Northern Sarvonia or Cyhalloi.


Concept/Worldview


Faith is the central notion of the Viarian magic. Without faith, no magic is possible; with a faith which is strong and does not waver basically everything can happen, whatever the follower of a god has prayed for.  Of course this is a simplification, for somebody who is not believing in the gods will not attempt to practise clerical magic, and there is rarely if at all a faith which is not interfused with doubt. And doubt is the second basic factor within the Viarian magic; it is important for it is opposed to the faith in a god, it is what causes prayers to fail.
In contrary to the Aeoliran Religion, where good deeds and not so much the belief in the gods are counting, the faith in the gods is the essential in the  Magic of the Twelve. This strong faith in a god is enough that a follower is  granted the wishes for which he has prayed, the believer is accepted in all his lowliness, no struggle from his side to please the god in another way than believing in him truly and steadily is needed. However, doubt is an enemy who sneaks in quietly. And as soon as a cleric (or any other non-clerical person as well) starts to question his own faith, the granting of a wish submitted in a prayer is in danger. Only the generosity of the gods who evoke the faith in their worshippers again and the trust in their ability to believe can prevent a sliding down in the dungeons of  the  gods being distal.



Basic Principles


It lies in the nature of the subject, that  people with a different background will explain the basic principles differently. To ease the approach to the subject, the strictly conservative clerical view and the Ximaxian view will be presented here, though most people occupied with delving in these matters have the opinion, that none of the strict theories are convincing.

Conservative Clerical Explanation:

The unwavering faith of a worshipper moves the addressed god and he awards the believer with granting his wishes, if there are no reasons speaking against it. However, nobody is free of doubt, and the more doubt infiltrates the faith, the more likely it is, that the god  will not fulfil the prayer generally. Alone the decision of a god to not to fulfil a special prayer out of reasons not lying within the faith of the worshipper can cause the first doubts. In addition, it is always the choosing of the god, if a wish is granted, so there is never a certainty, that a prayer will be heard if the worshipper is faithful, nor that  a cleric with doubt in his heart will nevertheless experience the grace of the gods. Viarian Magic is predictable, but not reliable.


Ximaxian attempts of explanation:

There exists already an older essay about clerical magic which uses the Ximaxian terminology (casting, spells) to explain what an outsider may notice. (1) However,  an attempt shall be dared to explain Santharian Clerical Magic on another level, without using words like „cár'áll“ or „ounia“.

The basic element in Ximaxian magic is the „Sentence of Will“, or like it is formulate in the main essay about magic by Artimidor Federkiel: „...that the essence of magic is mainly manifestation of will - and it is this principle on which all other magical theories are based..“ (2)
So it is the will of the Ximaxian Mage to achieve something which sets his spells in motion. He does this with concentrating and focussing on what he wants to achieve while actively trying to manipulate the cár'áll.

The cleric uses his „will“ as well - but in another way. He doesn‘t focus on the  „how“ as the Ximaxian mage does, but on the „goal“. While praying he focusses his mind not only on the god, but on the subject of his desire, on the altered state he wants to have if his prayer will be fulfilled. He does not care how this will happen, if he uses elemental magic, Xeuá or Ecua Magic or even Raw Magic, he may not even know these Ximaxian terms nor have ever heard about cár'áll or ounia.
The term „will“ out of the  general magic entry (2) is nothing else than  the strong desire to get a specific wish granted, accompanied by devotion and the love directed towards the god. In rare cases, even an untrained non-clerical person might be able to perform great Divine Magic, if the need is strong, the desire great and the faith, that the god will help doubtless. However, most times a long training with the help of meditation and other means is needed to be able to focus his own will on the desired effect. Therefor an apprenticeship as long as when studying Ximaxian magic is needed , in most cases longer. Hence clerical magic can  surpass Ximaxian magic by far, not being limited to the lower levels of magic , but being in the reach of Raw Magic.

However, what is the drawback for the clerical magic to the Ximaxian magic is the factor „doubt“, which is rarely found in Ximax. Their mages know, that their spells will succeed if prepared and exercised properly. Not so in the Viarian magic. Doubt is what lets the focus, the concentration fizzle and the prayer „fail“. The greater the doubt, the less focus is left and even the wish to pray may get lost. And nobody is free of doubt, not the wisest and most devoted old priest.


Modern clerical explanation:

On the last meeting of the open council on „Questions of faith and order“ of the  clerical council of The Twelve in  - thisplace in the rimering ring -  following paper has been published after its ending. It is not an official statement of the „Wise Twelve“, but more a working paper to prepare the official document of the „Wise Twelve“ concerning the relations of the clerical community towards  Ximax.

„We agree with the Ximaxian view, that „will“ is the deciding element of any magic. We acknowledge, that when a god fulfils the wish of a praying persons, that while doing this, carallia may be altered, links broken and ounia gathered. However, though the „will“ of the praying person is of importance for the fulfilment of the prayer, for it initiates the magic, the „will“ of the god is the most deciding factor concerning the  „success“ of the Divine Magic. It is vain to speculate, if and to what degree the will of the praying cause minor magic changes on the level of elemental magic or if it only the will of the gods who have influence on the magical event. It is obvious, that normal mortal beings  - as our clerics are -  are not able to achieve great wonders which can - in Ximaxian terms - only be explained with raw magic. This is the work of the gods and the power of the Chosen was nothing more than the gods lending them their might to intervene in Caelerethian affairs.“ (Paper 7, ..datum name)



Tools

There is principally nothing needed to practise Viarian magic than a faithful heart. The worshiper can bring his problems and wishes in whatever form he can think of before his god, no rituals, no fixed prayers are necessarily needed.

However, there are  tools which make it a lot easier to communicate with the gods, though even with them a lot of patience and endurance is needed.
Maybe the most important  tool to get the ear of the gods is meditation, the  concentration on what one wishes to get from the gods. (More about the practise of meditation in xxx essay about meditation in Santharia. ) Another help are fixed prayers. Though everybody is free to invent his own personal prayer when speaking with the gods and not only one outcry on the battlefield has found its way to the ears of the gods, it is especially for apprentices recommended to use the „Common Book of Prayers“ or any other of the main standard prayer tomes for his respective god. Fixed prayers help to concentrate on what one wants to do, one is not distracted through having to search for words . And it is definitely helpful in times, where the sorrow is so great, that one is lacking of words. More about the advantages in ... More about prayers can be found in the essay of ...

Less common, but nevertheless well known are the Dreaming Stones which are said to contain some of the power of the gods. However, the author is convinced, that they have only the ability to focus the mind of the one who prays, allowing the person who uses them to find a quicker  or even immediate contact to the gods. For it is very doubtful, that gods would give away part of their possibility to decide, when and how to help, which would be the case with these dreamstones. Read more about the Dreaming stones in the essay of ..

There are other means as well, which help mostly to concentrate on what one is doing, be it little figurines of the gods who are either held in the hands if small enough or are adorning an altar if bigger, or other items like bracelets or necklaces which are often said, that they are blessed or enchanted. It is however doubtful, that they have any other effect than that to reassure the praying person that his god is hearing him or help him to concentrate his thoughts on his prayer.

Wellknown as help for  meditation are the Alad‘namas (or mantras - would like to avoid that word), pictures with a symetrical design, either a circle or a quad. Concentrating on them helps to forget the outer world and all the sorrows and joys which may distract the praying person from his foccussing on his god.



Abilities, Limitations, Restrictions and Practice


Nobody knows exactly, to what a priest is able to do and where the limits can be found when speaking of clerical magic. If we take the Chosen, from whom many assume, that the kind of magic they performed was nearer to the clerical magic than to the Ximaxian and that they were endowed by the gods with their powers, than there are virtually no limits, for they tore the world apart. Thinking at contemporan priests, then we think more in terms of influencing the weather with the help of Grothar like in the year, when aridness held the whole Santharia in its grip, no end was in sight and the prayer of the  priest of Grothar brought the relieving change. Those are the great wonders done and everybody thinks at clerical magic when stories are told about these events. But what is far more important is the small magic done every day by everyone, though an immediate result is only seen, if a prayer fails. Here I am talking about the prayers performed before and after every meal, where everybody thanks  Jeyriall for the last good harvest or prays for a better to come, about the prayers to Baveras many Santharian girls do when washing their face in the morning to keep their youth intact or the more official ones by the local priests asking for good weather, health or protection from evil forces. All in-between is possible for clerical magic, though it is not always obvious, when or if the gods have answered.

There are basically no restrictions other than moral based ones. So no priest will or should pray for someone who wishes evil for another person, be it out of rage, revenge or any other reason.
However, a severe problem can arise, if the interests of different people collide, be it on a small base like that the one wishes a fine weather for his celebrations and another rain for his fields. This can possible cause a conflict, if two priests of Grothar pray for something which contradicts each other. More serious is this matter, if two war faring tribes are praying for the respective success to their gods. If may well be the same god and how the outcome is interpreted depends on the situation.

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?

I have  problems with this chapter, for it is not defined yet , what the clerics of the single gods are really able to do, I will have to add a few lines to this chapter later, once some abailites of specific clerics are done.



Locations


If in need, any place will do and the gods will not look away from a person in great distress. However it is common to worship the gods at special places. That maybe the washing place of a young girl as mentioned above, or the table at which a meal is served. Though temples are places of worship, clerical magic is not always practised there, for the priest of Jeyriall will go out on the fields to bless them, a Baveras Aid may well appeal  Baveras in any place where her help is needed, though water is most often used if a ritual is performed. Arvins clerics avoid closed buildings, but prefer the open air as many others. More details about the locations and conditions can be found in the entries about the gods or their clerics.



Origins


It is assumed, that the Viarian Magic is the oldest in the  whole of Caelereth, as the elven belief in the dreamer Avá and the twelve gods who she dreamt to form the world are said to have existed - or where known by the races - before any other gods, be it the Aeoliran of Aeruillin ,  the Krean goddess Ankriss(Help!) or the Beastlord of the North Sarvonian Kaaer'dar'shin tribe revealed themselves to their worshipers. (Nothing is known about the age of the K‘ahn‘uck‘tscha myths and the clerical magic practised by the orcs though.)  With the worship comes the clerical magic and this magic was practised over the millennia, though not in  big scale. After the war of the Chosen, all what looked like magic, if it was magic or just macanterie was chased to death. However, the prayers of the priests as those of the normal persons were not seen as „magic“, not as a force which could destroy life. Though many lost their belief in the gods in these times - or at least in their will to care for their worshippers -   most didn‘t want to give up the comfort of being able to ask some superior force  for help, and be it only in minor things. So divine magic was practised through the centuries, though held at a low level and not showing all what it would have been able to „perform“ when times were difficult. The term „divine magic“ was not introduced before 600 b. S.  (3).



(1) Viresse: „Clerical Magic“ (Note from the editor: A Ximaxian View)New Santhala,1662 a. S., Great Santharian Library (LINK)
(2) Artimidor Federkiel: Magic in the World of Caelereth, 1660 a.S., Great Santharian Library
Note: This essay favours the Ximaxian view of Clerical Magic as well (see Viresse‘s essay)


(3) Takór Salenár: „Divine Magic - Introduction and General Overview“ Milkengrad , 1667a.S.

Further recommended readings.

Takór Salenár: „Prayer and Spellcasting“, Milkengrad 1663a. S. , Great  Library of Elsreth

Takór Salenár: „Prayers in the Viarian Clerical Magic“, Elsreth 1664 a.S. , Great Library of Elsreth

Takór Salenár: „Questions concerning Viarian Magic“, Milkengrad1663a.S.,
Great Library of Milkengrad.
« Last Edit: 09 June 2011, 04:33:29 by Takór Salenár » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: 10 July 2008, 00:44:27 »

I promise to look into this one next week after the update, ok, Takór? We should strive to get this one up as well!
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« Reply #2 on: 10 July 2008, 01:29:17 »

I don't know, if this is finished. I thought it was, but questions arose in the main entry which are not yet worked on, this one might have the same. But thank you for the offer, I thought you are not interested in those things.
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« Reply #3 on: 11 July 2008, 00:19:55 »

Oh, I am interested in those things, I only hope that different points of views just don't get in the way of the progress we try to achieve together, as that's what we're here for, aren't we? ;) A little compromise can do wonders here and there, so if we both put more effort in that instead of bashing at each other we might actually get something valuable on the site! :D

Anyway, I'm willing to give the ideas here a look-through, so if you first want to finish it, let me know, otherwise I'll try to get to it as soon as possible after this weekend's update!
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« Reply #4 on: 11 July 2008, 04:07:03 »


Well, yes, that was never my intent. But your disinterest last time shocked me quite a bit - and made me silent.

Both entries are tied together, so I would prefer to have the main one finished and have then a look at the "smaller" one, I don't know yet, if any changes are needed, or if the main entry will cover all that problematic questions. But for finishing the main entry I need some quiet hours and a clear head. Next week is soon enough, the entries are so old, so a week more  won't hurt.

Thank you for looking at them :)
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« Reply #5 on: 16 July 2008, 04:57:49 »

So the entry on Religious Magic should go first, eh? I see there was some proof reading stuff made there already, which isn't integrated yet - suggest to get to that, as I already wanted to point this and that out, yet Judy had it already covered. Also don't know how many changes you still want to make with that one, as it still has the pencil icon. Should I still wait until I go ahead with commenting on it?

P.S. Disinterest can happen easily if I'm turned off for some reason. As there are ca. 37 things I should do at the same time on the Forum, once I get turned off by something or someone for whatever reason I move on to something else. That's bascially because I'm here to enjoy developing and creativity. I can live with some stress, but if it gets extremely strenuous I don't see it as my duty to make a culture out of defending positions.

So it's all a mutual thing, as is the case with various other developers I'd say. If I am encouraged to do something, I go on with it, if boulders are put in my path and I don't see the path anymore, I go elsewhere. Caelereth is still there if I decide to go another way. Again, that's nothing personal per se, it's just a fact that I'm doing this in my spare time for entertainment and love for the project and the sake of creativity, so despite all the perfectionism it also needs to be ensured that I have fun with what I'm doing.

So no conscious distinterest here, just an effect of collateral damage, which we should try to keep low.
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« Reply #6 on: 16 July 2008, 05:03:37 »

Yes, the main entry should go first and then I can see, if something needs to be done here, for this one was already finished before I posted the main one. I don't know, if I get three hours straight this week though, which I need to redo the main entry. I want to look at Azhira's rel. submission first as well.
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« Reply #7 on: 16 July 2008, 06:39:44 »

As long as you can go elsewhere, it's fine for you. I had no place left where I could go and several attempts to come back failed after some time. So let us bring some things up before it is too late.
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« Reply #8 on: 16 July 2008, 19:27:51 »

I don't know, if I should include any of the problems addressed in the main entry here as well. I have read it too often, can't say, what is lacking. So I give it free for comments !
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« Reply #9 on: 19 March 2013, 07:08:45 »

/push
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« Reply #10 on: 20 March 2013, 18:01:39 »

Hello! Read and very much enjoyed the entry! It actually inspired me to write an entry on Krean 'religious' magic (as opposed to the Magic of the Priestesses of Ankriss, which, ironically enough, is not 'religious' in method!) :)

1. Do you want a uri-check at this stage?

2. There are still references to 'Viarian' in the text. I think before we replace these with "Twelvern", we first need to be clear in our heads as to what the key differences are between human and elven faith - which is, I suppose, why you linked to this entry in the Avanian/Twelvern thread.

3. It would be good to see what the followers of each of the Twelve can do. I remember reading (in the ancient past!) a beautifully coloured text where you had a paragraph on each cleric. Am I dreaming again? :P

I see from your postscript in the entry that you want to include this section after the powers of each clerical order is decided. But then things will never get done! (I speak from experience...) Easy for me to say, as I'm not going to be the one writing it, but I think it would be better if we have an overview here and then adjust it as the individual cleric entries are written.
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« Reply #11 on: 20 March 2013, 18:22:53 »

Thanks for reading, Coren, but no, no uri-check now. It has to reworked after the General RM is finished. Therefore I didn't clean it up yet. But once that major entry is done, this one should not take much time to finish.

When writing this one, I did not think at the elven faith, but more in opposition to the Aeoliran (?) faith. I imagined, that the people in Santharia believe, that the gods are merciful without having to do good deeds (sola fide, sola gratia), the Aeruillin ones believe firmly, that doing god deeds will help them to gain the favor of the gods.

I don't know what the elves believe, but I think that should be 'high above' such criteria, that they do not think in the categories the humans do, that they have no problems with gaining the mercy of the gods or Ava, having to do good deeds or not does not cross their mind. Or something like that.

What each priest is able to do comes afterwards, as an extra entry. I have a lot stored already, Queprur half done etc.. but time flies.... 'sigh'

I'm hurrying to finish that history stuff,but I dare not to stop now, for then it will drown in the forum as so many other things.

And I started painting again, that takes up time also. I think I have by now 20 sketches of Lysarian already, but my daughter is a strict master and tells me, I have to do 1000 Loomis heads first... before I can start with colouring.
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