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Author Topic: An Introduction to Ximaxian Magic through the Carall  (Read 9482 times)
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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« on: 13 June 2009, 06:38:47 »

May I present the present incarnation of the thread formerly known as "A BRIEF Exposition of Coren's Thoughts on Magic"?

It is supposed to be a transcription of one of Frozenzephyr's lectures at the Academy of Ximax. The aim is to introduce newcomers to Ximaxian theory. I tried to keep it in plain Tharian, with lots of tables and diagrams to ease its absorption. Hopefully it will be accessible for developers who know very little about ximaxian magic. I think this marks - or rather consolidates, given my latest entries - a new Corenic Era of Simplicity!

I would appreciate if one of our general developers (such as Talia or Bard Judith) - in addition to our resident magic experts - could give the text a quick read-through. I want your honest opinion on whether the text is comprehendible for people not well-versed in ximaxian magic.

Hope you like it! After three years of procrastination, I've finally summarised that lengthy discussion into a format that can be uploaded to the site! :D

PS: I removed the earlier drafts and
attached the final version as a Word document under this post.
« Last Edit: 27 June 2009, 16:25:42 by Coren FrozenZephyr » Logged

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Drasil Razorfang
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« Reply #1 on: 13 June 2009, 08:25:39 »

I like it so far except for the definition of carallia.  I am pretty sure what you define is not possible.  Car'all as I was taught, is one large, fluid entity, not a sum of a series of smaller parts.  Every object has its own car'all, but that aura smoothly flows into that of the air around it, ect.  As such, I don't think such quantification can occur.  We can say every object has a car'all that creates it, but I don't believe it is possible to define where that of one object begins and another ends...
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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #2 on: 13 June 2009, 16:21:01 »

I don't think I said anything contradicting that. I believe I already mentioned that concepts like ounia and individual carallia are simplifications/metaphors we use to teach a mage what he has to do to cast a given spell. Now a universal aura flowing in a continuious stream from one object to another, with each entity representing a node or concentration in that unified field, might work well enough for elves but I think human mages need something a little bit more specific to use as a mental peg. I mean how can you teach someone how to move ounia from one carall to another if he has no idea where one carall  roughly ends and another begins - even if he cannot exactly pinpoint the line separating the two?

I'll make that more explicit. Thanks Drasil :)

Also, when you critique something always make sure that you enunciate the issue clearly and identify the sections of the text to which you are referring.  "except for the definition of carallia" doesn't really tell me much, given that there are two whole pages describing the various aspects of the carall. Then I can't tell what is confusing/what needs to be changed. ;)
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"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
Drasil Razorfang
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« Reply #3 on: 13 June 2009, 23:54:12 »

Ah.  Well in this particular instance I was refering to here:

Quote
Individual entities are also said to have carallia (plural for carall), referring to their individual aura or carall through which they manifest in physical form. Hopefully the meaning will be apparent from the context

and here:

Quote
If thinking of carallia as interconnected puzzles helps you conceptualise how Ximaxian magic works
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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #4 on: 14 June 2009, 04:55:26 »

Added a few more sections, addressed Drasil's question, and updated the Word file above accordingly. Also added a number of other tables and diagrams. I've reworded the original to resemble a lecture format. So this entry is supposed to be a transcription of one of FrozenZephyr's lectures in the Academy of Ximax. I should be able to finish the rest tomorrow. I hope you enjoy the entry - let me know what you think!
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"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #5 on: 15 June 2009, 02:27:35 »

Finished! Hurray! I am a free man now!

Comments welcome :D

(Final version attached under the first post of the thread)
« Last Edit: 15 June 2009, 02:43:34 by Coren FrozenZephyr » Logged

"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
Drasil Razorfang
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« Reply #6 on: 15 June 2009, 02:44:54 »

I've read through the whole thing and I like it.  I am glad you took out the examples about the different Spheres since I didn't really agree with your metaphors there.  The only thing I am really concerned about is that it is described, Ecua and Xeua are so interdependent that it seems that niether are able to create a full effect independently.  It seems to be that either the two schools need to be fused or their differences(as in what a Xeua mage would be able to accomplish vs what an Ecua mage would be able to) need to be more clearly elaborated.

Edit:  The above might of been a bit confusing.  It is a fact that Xeua mages re-create links while Ecua mages destroy them, but in the example you have given you make it seems as though to create a finished product you first need to destroy and then you need to re-create.  In this model, niether school would be able to function independently, which can be problematic.

Also, I think the chart showing Idea, car'all, Form, Content, Structure, Substance is a bit confusing.  The way you have described it, Form dictates Strucutre(part of Content) which dictates Substance.  Rather then putting Content(which as it is described, is subject to Form) on the same level as Form, at least to me, it would make more logical sense to put it underneath it and then to place Structure under Content and Substance under Structure and finally Physical entity on the bottom.  It would make the table appear more logical and easier to understand even though you risk visually losing the idea of the "hierarchy" as you have it.  Another way to deal with the problem would be to put in two charts, leaving one the way you have it to show the "Hierarchy" in concept and having another to show how the different tiers affect each other in actuality.
« Last Edit: 15 June 2009, 02:47:33 by Drasil Razorfang » Logged
Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #7 on: 15 June 2009, 03:21:03 »

- At the risk of sounding haughty, I am going to quote a section of the text back at you: Examples are useful only to the extent they help us conceptualise the abstract theory; we should not allow analogies to become our masters. This is not a dissertation on the finer points of Xeua and Ecua, or the differences between the two. I used the metaphor of the pink pants to compare the archschools with raw magic. In light of that purpose, it would have been confusing to spell out the technical aspects of link-making and breaking. At any rate, I cannot summarise something that has not been written in the first place! :P To answer your question: I think Rayne had come up with a theory of inertia to explain how the two schools could function independently of one another. The idea is that a Xeuatan can achieve effects that would normally be obtained by link-breaking due to the natural inertia of a carall: When you create or strengthen certain links in certain places, that weakens other links in another part of the carall. The converse is true for Ecua.

This is supposed to be one of the very first lectures novices encounter at the Academy. Should we really assault them with the complex theories on how Xeua, which is based on link-making, can achieve effects that require some links to be severed, without actually using direct link-breaking? I think there is a reason Ximaxian mages cannot even begin to study Xeua/Ecua and switch over to the Archschools until he reaches a high level in one of the Elemental schools.

The person you really want is Rayne!  buck She's the one who knows about all this Xeua and Ecua business :P


- Re the composition of the Carall chart: I disagree. Two issues:
(i) "The way you have described it, Form dictates Strucutre(part of Content) which dictates Substance" That last part is not correct. Structure does NOT dictate Substance. Substance is the material, the ounia that's there; Structure merely describes the way in which that Substance happens to be arranged. You cannot change the Substance of a carall by changing its Structure: Modifying links and moving ounia around may change which qualities are expressed and their intensity, but it will not suddenly convert water ounia into wind ounia. That is why the two are interconnected aspects of the Carall's Content. There is no hierarchy between Substance and Structure. One cannot exist without the other; they exist in relation to one another; the fact that one exists implies the existence of the other.

(ii) The Carall has two faces: a Form and a Content. Form and Content are not like Structure and Substance, in that Content presupposes a Form. So in one sense, Form must have come first. The reason I did not list them one under the other is because that would imply that there are two subsequent stages a carall passes through. Instead, Form and Content are two aspects of the same carall which exist simulatenously.

Does that clarify the matter somewhat?


PS: +1 Aura to Drasil for his perseverance and meticulousness in commenting on this entry. Much appreciated!
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"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
Drasil Razorfang
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« Reply #8 on: 15 June 2009, 04:11:16 »

First issue:  Meh...I still am going to argue the two ought to be fused next time I see her.  But until then I shall just live with it  ;)

Second Issue: It makes more sense, though I always have been fuzzy on the concept behind Form.  The chart confusion is probably just a physical manifestation of that inability to understand it(the concept of Form).   :P
« Last Edit: 15 June 2009, 04:18:11 by Drasil Razorfang » Logged
Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #9 on: 15 June 2009, 04:16:06 »

Think of Form as the blueprint, the pattern.

EDIT: And do the homework at the end of the entry ;P
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"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
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« Reply #10 on: 15 June 2009, 23:21:56 »

I was feeling a bit lost until I realised what you call Idea is what I've been calling Form, and what you call Form is what I've been calling Pattern.   lol

I'm liking it so far, but I'm not feeling very well at the moment and I'm not sure if I could finish reading it, so I think I'll wait till tomorrow or so before actually commenting. 
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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #11 on: 15 June 2009, 23:58:15 »

No worries! I hope you get better soon!
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"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
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« Reply #12 on: 17 June 2009, 14:09:00 »

Finally finished reading.   buck  Let's see...

You have "THE CARALL" representing a different concept from "the Carall".  This isn't a problem in writing, but how would they be distinguished in speech?  There is the term "Universal Carall", but it's stated in the entry as being a Human term, so there's still the problem of how the Elves refer to it in speech.  (BTW, isn't it spelled Car'all, or was the spelling changed while I was away?)   

Similarly, what do the parts in brackets represent?  Some look like they could be part of the lecture itself, but others seem more like they were added later by the transcriber/editor to clarify certain things. 

Quote
Reader be warned.
That sounds like an odd thing to say in a lecture. 

The entry goes quite a bit into what ounia are, but what about xeua links?  Or maybe that's reserved for more advanced students? 

Should there be a section on the Weavers at all?  The original concept was a group of mages so secretive that no one outside of their order knows about them.  Later I think Rayne reworked them into mythical beings.  Neither seem to be the sort of thing that would fit into a such a lecture. 

Well, I think that's more or less it as far as the entry concerned.  Nothing major.   :)

I have a couple of somewhat related questions though. 

1. Are there actually any Raw mages, or people believed to be Raw mages, or is it something predicted by Ximaxian theories but not yet proven? 

2. Am I right to say that not all of the Universal Car'all is qualified, and that Raw mages may unqualify or qualify energy in order to create their effects? 

Hmm...homework?   shocked 
Quote from: Mina's Answers (highlight to read)
Sand particlesOunia
Sand-castleIndividual Aura
Act of building the sand-castleSpellcasting
SandSubstance
BeachUniversal aura
Castle coneptIdea
Shape of sand-castleStructure
Mould for sand-castleForm
Sand-castle with mouldIndividual Aura
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« Reply #13 on: 17 June 2009, 16:31:12 »

I had  a very brief look at it, and the "lecture type" looks great. That does not mean, that the content is easier. If you want to have a more thorough check, sentence by sentence (and me understanding it finally), I need more time (two or three weeks). For it needs some thorough thinking through and at some points I'm at the limit of my English understanding. However, with some re-formulation of some sentences it might be fit afterwards for simpler minds to understand it ;) . :D
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« Reply #14 on: 18 June 2009, 07:24:33 »

Suggested answer to Mina's question:

How about you change it up so that

The Car'all(always spoken with the article in front of it and written with a capitalized T and C) i= THE CAR'ALL in your current draft

and simply

car'all = the car'all(Always written and spoken in all lower case without an article and if one is gramatically needed[which should be rare] use a [also lowercase]
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