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Author Topic: The Twelvern Gems (Aurytes, Dreamstones)  (Read 10769 times)
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Artimidor Federkiel
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« on: 24 April 2006, 05:56:00 »

Here's the entry so far, rest still to come.

Overview.
Twelvern, also called "Aurytes" or "Vála'galnín" in Styrásh (which translates to "Dreamstones") are extremely rare, shiny golden-white auratic gems, which nearly exclusively can be found in southern and mid-Sarvonia only. They are said to already contain divine powers when found deep down in the bowls of the earth and are supposed to further store such energies when purified and blessed, only to release them when beliefers in need seek the Gods help. The stones were named after the Twelve Santharian Gods and are precious religious icons. They can be found as parts of clerical artifacts and are key elements in various shrines throughout Santharia, primarily at Gods related to the elemement of earth. How they work precisely nevertheless is disputed - while clerics interpret them as miraculous creations of the Gods and thus proof of their existence, scholars see in these gems only another way of a yet uncontrolable kind of magic affecting a person's mind or soul. Magicians however so far have not been able to utilize these sacred gems for their own purposes, and further investigations have been strictly forbidden by the Council of the Santharian High Priests in Caelum in 1589, labeling any such researches as "blasphemous".

Appearance.
Twelvern are crystals of the most absorbing Cyhalloian white and Korweyn gold colour combination you might ever encounter - in polished state that is. Its similar colour to the Aurium mineral obviously is responsible for the second common name of the gem, "Auryte", which is mostly used by scholars to allow a more independent view on the stone, detached from clerical interpretations. When found in a mine the stone's splendid, nearly blinding colours for sure are not that obvious and breathtaking as they can be observed after proper treatment. This might apply to other gems as well, in the case of the Twelvern the raw form however is barely comparable to the final result: While the raw crystal appears almost grey, once freed from the mountain and other minerals, the stone changes colour and gets brighter the lesser influential factors exist around it. Once a cleric with a jeweler's skills works on the gem and frees it from last remnants of other sediments, making the surface smooth to the touch, a Twelvern will start to glow and radiate and a clearly visible aura will appear around the new form. Thus the gem's secondary name, "Aurytes", referring to the stone's unique aura. Usually prepared stones are made into the form of orbs, beads, sometimes into symbols, very rarely into small statues.

Twelvern stones are not very hard and easy to work with, but care needs to be taken as they are considered sacred, especially once they have been blessed by a priest. A closer look at a Twelvern gem also reveals very thin crack-like lines all over the stone's structure, in an arrangement which resembles a spider's perfect web at the first glance, but the more one looks into it, the more the thin lines seem to disappear into nothingness and the structure at some point seems completely smooth to the eye of the beholder. Looking into the blinding light of a glowing Twelvern is difficult anyway and definitely not recommendable.

Abilities.
In polished form - when the aura of the stone is clearly recognizable - and after having been blessed by a cleric, Twelvern gems are capable of performing small miracles to beliefers in the Twelve, usually of healing nature. They might also help not so pious people if they pray in front of a Twelvern cage (see Usages), but to a much lesser degree, if at all. Nevertheless in cases of approaching deadly peril or an imminent death a Twelvern might serve as a sheet anchor and for instance cure a person from the effects of life-threatening poison.

To active the powers of a Twelvern one needs to reach a state of uttermost contemplation through prayer. Getting close to the gem will help the worshipper to achieve just that state of mind and mood, which makes a person feel humble and submissive, more receptive to a communication with the Gods. Elves say that the Twelvern allow people "to sense and perceive the Dream [of Avá] from another side, unknown to mortals", thus they call them "Dreamstones". Leaving the wordly things behind, forgetting about sorrow, pain and joy, the connecting with the transcendence will be short, but very intense and a return from this contemplation may result in an effect Ximaxian mages would describe as a "focusing and releasing of magical energies" on the worshipper. The way this is achieved however differs greatly from Ximaxian spellcasting.

Without any doubt the powers of the Twelvern are claimed by clerics as divine interventions, as answers to prayers to the Gods, as visible signs of their existence. What strongly contributes to this claim is the fact that the gems cannot be used by magicians in order to draw from their energies. Eventually this was one of the reasons why the Council of the Santharian High Priests in Caelum declared the stones as sacred and off limit for any magical experiments. But even wehn the kingdom was still young, even Ximaxians surrendered when investigating the phenomenon. The declared non-beliefer, the Ximaxian Xeuatán Thumatragh, who lived in the 5th century a.S., once wrote the following remarkable lines in his diary:

"Indeed, after months of researches, I have to admit: There is no doubt that all our wizardly skills are useless when it comes to the Auryte, which the Santharians like to call the 'Twelvern' in reference to the Gods they worship. While the stone has a clearly visible aura, what would indicate a magical presence, its cár'áll is difficult to sense and even more difficult to manipulate - actually I've made experiences, which force me to describe certain attempts of interaction with the stone as 'hazardous', even 'perilous'.

Auryte does not seem to be the source of magical energy. Auryte also doesn't need any recharging, though the blessing of a priest might initiate its powers, but I have no scholarly reason to explain why. Auryte seems to work as an entity of its own to a certain degree and function as a channel to guide other energies. Divine energies, the clerics say. A person's energies, I might suggest. As there always needs to be a person praying in front of a Twelvern cage to be rewarded with a 'blessing', maybe it is not at all a God at work here, but the person itself with a strong will for realization of what one wishes for, and the gem only helps to attain that goal. [...] Maybe we Ximaxians are too simpleminded in some way to accept the forces that lie outside our limited imagination, forces we cannot reach with our way of approaching magic, but every peasant can if he wants to. Could be though that we Ximaxians once will breach this border, just as an elemental mage needs to overcome his deadlocked ways of performing what he is used to in order to clear the path for a new approach that goes beyond what he has known so far."


-- Thumatragh: "Notes. Diary of a Xeuatán", p. 73.

Thumatragh was a well respected magician at his time, and his diary notes were published only centuries after his death, ironically by a cleric. Rumour has it that Thumatragh left the Ximaxian Academy after having passed his 70th cycle and that he - incognito - become a monk in Courtward Abbey in the Maethetilon Forest near Naios. Ximaxian mages shrug this story off saying that if true at all, old Thumatragh must have gotten senile.

Aside from the usage of Twelvern gems in human shrines, the stones are also supposed to once have served as healing stones in elven communities like at the now extinct Goltherrhim or Cyrathrhim elves. Whether they are still used for this purpose couldn't be confirmed yet, what is known for sure is that existing elven tribes are reported to use healing stones which wounded elves hold tightly in their sleep, but if they are identical with the Twelvern we can't say at this point.

Territory.
The stones are extremely scarce to say the least and aren't part of whole veins, but appear irregularly, scattered throughout a whole mountain. This makes them extremely difficult to locate and collect.

Furthermore they appear to only exist - with a few reported exceptions - in southern and mid-Sarvonia only, seemingly in a hardly foreseeable pattern. Stones have been found by humans in the Allsiscaey Mountains, the Warnaka, the Lower and the High Fores, the Twinnean Peak and further south for example in the Caeytharin Mountains or Mount Cheiftan near the Vale of Brownies. In some places of mid-Sarvonia like the Mountains of Oro and the Prominent Mountains Twelvern have also been found. Elves on the other hand, who know these gems as "Dreamstones", surely are in the possession of a fairly amount, but how many precisely and where they use to discover them has not been documented. Elven sources indicate however that occurences of Dreamstones around the Thaelon region are much more frequent than elsewhere. At the Thaelon elves suppose that the Tree of Life, Eu'reóll, the source of all living things, once existed, and the Dreamstones seem to have a direct relation to this divine phenomenon, at least to the elves.

Researchers also like to point out that in ancient times Twelvern in general were much more common. Or for some reason people knew where to find them, as is proven by statues and shrines being part of ruined structures featuring the Twelvern. In many such an old construction the gems were used either at parts of the structure in whole form or chips of Twelvern were added at the surface, all that in a way of proficiency concerning artistry which today seems impossible to comprehend.

Usages.
[...]

History/Origin.
[...]


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Edited by: Artimidor Federkiel at: 4/23/06 15:24
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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #1 on: 24 April 2006, 07:23:00 »

You posted the appearance section twice ;)  

Also: "Twelvern stones are not very hard and easy to work with". Although I understand you mean it as two separate clauses, currently it reads a little awkward.

Edited by: Coren FrozenZephyr at: 4/23/06 15:25
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« Reply #2 on: 24 April 2006, 07:25:00 »

Ok, fixed.


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« Reply #3 on: 24 April 2006, 09:30:00 »

How much magical development have you missed, Arti?  I don't mean to offend, but you seem to speak of magic as someone quite ignorant of them.  Ximaxian magi would never speak of magical energies, or of recharging.  Magic is performed through direct manipulation of a car'all's components, and does not involve any special form of energy.  Nor would they talk about sensing car'all, IMO, or of things having visible auras.  A glow is just a glow, produced by the light-generating property of Fire, not an aura.  

I'm still feel that the miracles might be too reliably performed, though at least you state that they are relatively minor ones.  I'm also not sure about the theological implications of this, whether it might prove the existence of the gods of that particular religion, or whether it might restrict the gods' choice, as was brought up in the other thread.  You might want to check with someone reasonably well versed in theology whether something like this is a good idea.  Also, what about magi who aren't atheists, people from different sects/denominations of the religion, and people of other religions?  Can they use these stones too?  


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« Reply #4 on: 24 April 2006, 09:42:00 »

What else is cár'áll (aura) if not magical energy? Sorry, but the post definitely has its funny moments.


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« Reply #5 on: 24 April 2006, 10:38:00 »

"Belief" > "Believer"



About the magic issue in the Abilities section:
I agree with Arti here. Personally I don't see any reason why these stones should contradict or not be explainable by Ximaxian magic. Here's the gist of how I see it:

1) Everything has a carall, right? (actually everything is part of a universal carall, but let us overlook that for the explanation's sake) Assuming Gods exists (or some other form of 'higher energy' or inexplicable natural force performs the duties ascribed to them); they too would have car'all, correct?

2) One key point of sphere 3 is that Carall connects like hands clasping each other.

------
Quote:
Leaving the wordly things behind, forgetting about sorrow, pain and joy, the connecting with the transcendence will be short, but very intense and a return from this contemplation may result in an effect Ximaxian mages would describe as a "focusing and releasing of magical energies" on the worshipper


So this is what actually happens:

3) The damaged (unbalanced?) carall of the sick person through a "leap of faith" (pun intended) is able to "grasp" the greater universal carall (or if you believe in the Twelve: the carall of the relevant God). For the briefest moment the two carall are one, the person becoming an extension of the Dream's essence. Just as a person's mind always attempts to restore the balance of his carall after it has been tampered with (magically or otherwise), the will of the greater carall seeks to balance itself (which now includes the sick/'damaged' person). This in effect heals or "empowers" the 'torn' carall of the sick person, thereby curing the man himself.

Of course either due to the profoundness of the energies involved or because this 'clasping' wasn't at all a conscious, "focused" act, the merged state (oneness) is transient and can be maintained for only the briefest of moments. (maybe because otherwise the smaller carall becomes too much like the greater carall, in effect losing its "idea" and form. Therefore the person no longer remains a 'person' but becomes a true part of the universal carall (ie the body - which is really a very special organization of ounia and the links between them - 'evaporates'/'ascends'/disappears as the ounia are ordered into a different pattern as part of this new, transcandent essence).

Does that make sense at all?

I don't think what I mentioned above is too different from the concept of 'covering' a person's Cár’áll with one’s spirit, it is possible to gain information on that person based on their Cár’áll.

Also I think the above explanation is very consistent with the elven view on magic:
Quote:
The Styrásh expression "to infuse something with one’s Cár’áll" is best translated into human terminology by "casting a spell".

Quote:
An elf, for example, will just infuse a piece of wood with his Cár'áll to make it burn, which in fact is nothing different to an elf than to shift the aura in the boundaries of nature. While elves only shift their own Cár'áll, (...)


The basis of all elven magic i think is changing something / changing a carall by "covering" it by one's own aura. The elves (i don't know if this is correct, but this is how i've always envisioned it) manipulate the carall of an outside object as an extension of their own carall. So elven magic is a very internal, meditative act imho.


But on one point I agree with Mina: The magical explanation as it stands is rathe poorly written and will give way to confusion.





Mina: "or of things having visible auras. A glow is just a glow, produced by the light-generating property of Fire, not an aura"

That's not what Art meant here. See:
Quote:
While the stone has a clearly visible aura, what would indicate a magical presence, its cár'áll is difficult to sense and even more difficult to manipulate


Aura does not equal carall in this context, Mina. We should be careful, aura as carall is a very specialized usage of the term by Ximaxian scholars. This is not how the average person - or even a non-mage scholar would use the word. See the very first paragraphs of the Carall entry.



I also think we should not be stiffle creativity this much just because Ximax cannot come up with explanations of a certain phenomena - or even just because we ourselves cannot think of an explanation. This is a fantasy world afterall and too many, rigid, restrictive rules are just not fun and not at all conducive to creativity. Also, even in Sarvonia, Ximax is not the only authoritive voice in magic. Different scholars could follow different schools of thought - even ones we may not currently know as developers at the moment.

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« Reply #6 on: 24 April 2006, 11:12:00 »

Arti, car'all hasn't been energy ever since Xarl and Tarq stopped working on magic, as far as I know.  It certainly isn't now.  

Coren, Ximax is pretty much the highest (secular) authority with regards to magic amongst Santharian humans.  There are different schools of thought, but most are nonhuman or of foreign origin.  Any well-documented (to Ximax) phenomenon can be explained with Ximaxian theories.  


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« Reply #7 on: 24 April 2006, 11:15:00 »

...or not.


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« Reply #8 on: 24 April 2006, 11:21:00 »

I don't look for a few hours - and there is the entry with a lot of comments already.
I don't have the time to read it now, I just looked at the overview.


Overview.
Twelvern, also called "Aurytes" or "Vála'galnín" in Styrásh (which translates to "Dreamstones") are extremely rare, shiny golden-white auratic gems, which nearly exclusively can be found in southern and mid-Sarvonia only. They are said to already contain divine powers when found deep down in the bowls of the earth and are supposed to further store such energies when purified and blessed, only to release them when believers in need seek the Gods help.
„They are said“.. who says this? these stones are not a myth, but reality, so this wording might not fit here..maybe „common people believe“

The stones were named after the Twelve Santharian Gods and are precious religious icons.

Icons are symbols, pictograms... what are they the symbols for?

They can be found as parts of clerical artefacts and are key elements in various shrines throughout Santharia, primarily at Gods related to the element of earth. How they work precisely nevertheless is disputed - while clerics interpret them as miraculous creations of the Gods and thus proof of their existence, scholars see in these gems only another way of a yet uncontrollable kind of magic affecting a person's mind or soul.
Now you picture clerics all as people who belief without thinking about those things they handle, who don‘t have scholarly interests, while scholars are the opposite of those who believe without questioning these artefacts - one could assume, that they are all  are non-believers.  

Magicians however so far have not been able to utilise these sacred gems for their own purposes, and further investigations have been strictly forbidden by the Council of the Santharian High Priests in Caelum in 1589, labelling any such researches as "blasphemous".

Don‘t know, if I like the way you are going with this not yet developed clerical structure... that reminds me, to set it on my schedule ;)  

More to come hopefully this evening..

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« Reply #9 on: 24 April 2006, 12:05:00 »

Mina, to change something you neeed energy, changes don't occure without a kind of energy.

This is the same for Cár'áll, to change it you need the energy of the willpower, Rayne proposed a Will in Cár'áll's that would be bent by a mage Willpower, to bend it a kind of energy is needed, thus the focus and all that things.  

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« Reply #10 on: 24 April 2006, 12:33:00 »

That's will, not energy, and it's nothing particularly magical.  Besides, will is required for all changes, whether natural or caused by a mage.  Anyway, the concept is still being developed.  


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« Reply #11 on: 24 April 2006, 13:13:00 »

I disagree Mina. Orril is right. Will (focus) itself is a form of energy. I think our main problem is that we have come to think of Ximaxian magic too much in terms of technical "changes in the carall's form or content" and that only as manipulating the arrangement, influence or amount of ounia (or the links) that constitutes the aura. What we shouldn't forget is that all changes require energy to occur. You cannot implement an alteration without 'acting'- which implies some sort of energy.

Once again we are talking too much like humans. I doubt elves would even contemplate discussing "magical" energy.  

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« Reply #12 on: 27 April 2006, 13:49:00 »

Yep, I don't see how a spell could work without a magician's energy. When would a mage be exhausted for example when casting "Shape Earth" - there need to be limitations in the caster's will. This reflects in games usually as a mage's "mana" and its more or less the same as "willpower". Don't know how you'd cast a spell without the ability to focus. We can have different Santharian terms for a caster's energy/focus ability, though.


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« Reply #13 on: 27 April 2006, 15:05:00 »

To me, will is more like a fundamental force than energy.  It governs what occurs, and how it occurs.  The energy a mage needs for performing magic is no different from the energy used for other mental exertions.  Frankly, I don't see the need for a special type of magical energy to explain Ximaxian magic.  Changes occur due to will, whether that of a mage, or a 'natural will', and are all powered by natural forms of energy.  Besides, we already have a magic system (Brownie magic) that does think a special form of energy is used for magic.  


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« Reply #14 on: 30 April 2006, 08:27:00 »

I will agree with Mina on this account, although i also want to state that what the Ximaxian mages believe true is not nescesarilly true for everyone.

Recent developments in Magic, wich i've tried to keep up with despite the dazzling pace have concluded the primary enercy, or force that allows ounia and links to change is the Will, wich mght be the Will of the Magi trying to work with the cár'áll, or the natural Will that infuses everything. ( otherwise natural càr'állia would not rebalance automatically ) combined, possibly with the power of Desire, wich makes the elements chase eachother in an endless cycle of earth, water, wind, fire, and back to earth again.

I know i might be completely wrong, since i'm reknown for misunderstanding magical rules

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