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16  Santharian World Development / Magic in the Lands of Caelereth / Re: Wizard's Chains/Earth Magic/Level III on: 26 July 2010, 03:48:58
Eldor, Drasil is referring to the 'general' nature of the spell. He wants it to be more specific towards a single application--for example, just stilling muscles. This way it leaves room for someone creating another spell that, say, stills a moving non-living object from rolling down a hill.

It's not for any mechanical reason, but for categorical ones. He just doesn't want the spell to do everything, because that then cuts off additional development. It's too broad.
17  Santharian World Development / Places and Map Design / Re: The Magical Island Name Poll (vote please!) on: 10 June 2010, 01:39:59
I went Chelonae :D
18  Santharian World Development / Miscellaneous / Re: The Shortsword on: 09 June 2010, 22:49:14
Hrm. I don't see the shortsword evolving *from* longer swords. Before longer swords would have been developed, shorter ones would have come first, because the earlier the history the more difficult it is to work quality metal and so the shorter the sword needs to be by necessity.

19  Santharian World Development / Magic in the Lands of Caelereth / Re: Demonology Revision? on: 28 May 2010, 11:13:21
It's not so much denied as just not being applicable with our main magic system. :) As I said though, a similar thing *is* planned, just my time is fairly limited these days.

20  Organization and General Discussions / Non-Santharian Stuff: Life, the Universe & Everything / Re: Happy birthday, Sage Federkiel! on: 28 May 2010, 11:02:00
Happy Birthday Arti!

21  Santharian World Development / Magic in the Lands of Caelereth / Re: Demonology Revision? on: 28 May 2010, 10:59:38
While I do plan on a form of demonology for Thalambath, it should be noted that Talia is the principle demon handler and that you'd have to go through her in terms of creating a 'general' demonology system.

@Agran: That kind of ritual wouldn't work for the Ximaxian system, and Ximaxian summoning doesn't work that way. Thalambath magic however will be using something similar in terms of heavy use of reagents, wording, circles of power, and so on.
22  Santharian World Development / Santharian Artists Workshop and Resources / Re: Anilya the Everbright Pic on: 27 May 2010, 20:11:36
That's awesome. :D

My one comment would be that the left forearm looks a little thin. Like, bone thin. I'm not sure if that's what you intended, but it's a bit offsetting, at least for me. :P

23  Santharian World Development / History of Caelereth / Re: Cort'Mangar, Osthemangar and the North - History Revision on: 18 May 2010, 14:08:50
I'm going to grab Fox's Frankenstein map of the north

I lol'ed.

24  Santharian World Development / Santharian Artists Workshop and Resources / Re: Random Collection of Links on: 15 May 2010, 22:07:53
Yep, this forum runs on BBcode, not HTML.

You'd need to use alt codes to use accents here. For example, holding the Alt key and then typing 161 on the numpad results in í.

25  Santharian World Development / People of the World of Caelereth / Re: Khaius Onderfaust ~ Thalambath arcanist (WIP) on: 10 May 2010, 08:59:35
Some notes:

First, in the first sentence, it would be 'Thalambathian Arcanist Khaius Onderfaust'. Arcanist is being used as a title/rank in that instance, and so would be capitalized.

Second, he can't be the forefather of ritual summoning magic as a whole. Thalambath has been around for millennia, and been summoning for just as long. He can be one of the foremost researchers of the last thousand years, possibly making some rituals more efficient and having maybe discovered the formula to a few new ones (which would be a very important achievement considering it's a very stagnant system where only a few new rituals are learned every thousand years), but not the forefather of the entire system.

Otherwise, can't wait to read the rest. :)
26  Organization and General Discussions / Non-Santharian Stuff: Life, the Universe & Everything / Re: Archery! on: 10 May 2010, 06:27:49
Okay. I did that, and also did some tests I saw on Wikipedia. So yeah, apparently my left-eye is dominant. O.o

27  Organization and General Discussions / Non-Santharian Stuff: Life, the Universe & Everything / Re: Archery! on: 10 May 2010, 06:22:47
How do you even tell if you're left or right eyed? I have a feeling I might be left eyed, but I don't really know how I'd determine it.

28  Organization and General Discussions / Non-Santharian Stuff: Life, the Universe & Everything / Re: Archery! on: 10 May 2010, 03:43:35
I've tried it several times, and own a small compound bow (with just two arrows :(), though I haven't had nearly the amount of practice I'd need to get good at it. I wish I had more opportunity to do it more often.

29  Santharian World Development / Magic in the Lands of Caelereth / Re: Life Magic Rewrite on: 03 May 2010, 00:28:04
Okay, blarrowed!

As for the no-caps-on-adjectives. I'm actually not sure on that myself. I've heard conflicting reports on whether you should or not. Technically since most previous works have had them capitalized, they should be capitalized here too, but I've left them uncapitalized since I figured Arti can make the ultimate decision of whether they should or should not be capitalized.
30  Santharian World Development / Magic in the Lands of Caelereth / Re: Life Magic Rewrite on: 30 April 2010, 08:48:57
Okay! Finally read through it all.

It's a great entry, and there isn't really much needed to be changed. I can blarrow it after the following small changes are made.

I left out the sections where no changes were needed, so the following just includes a few specific sections of the entry.



The Brownies say that every living thing possesses something called “lifeforce”, a source of energy which they need to move, think, grow, heal or repair themselves and make more things: all the activities that distinguish them as living things.  It is invisible to the naked eye, but a life mage can learn to sense it.  When describing it to a non-life mage they usually describe it as moving waves or lines that circle and entwine the being’s physical body.  The lines move through the body as if it wasn’t there at all, but always clearly belong to it, making an ever-moving, ever-changing pattern around it.  

Although many actions deplete being’s store of lifeforce, nature gradually but constantly replenishes it, so it doesn’t vary too much in day-to-day life. A life mage can take lifeforce from something else into their own body’s store, artificially replenishing themselves.  They could also take lifeforce from their own store and give it to another being.  Notice that the lifeforce always has to be travelling between their body and another being’s; they cannot transfer it between two separate beings.  Nor can they take lifeforce from one being whilst giving it to another at the same time – the two actions each require their full concentration.

Lifeforce is homogeneous: it doesn’t change from being to being.  A tree’s lifeforce is the same as a human’s, or a Shir’s, or any other living thing.  The two things that do distinguish one being from another are the amount of lifeforce they have and the way it moves around their body. The normal amount of lifeforce that a being has is the easier of the two to manipulate, and is normally the first thing a life mage learns to sense. Generally, larger beings with a longer life span will produce and store more of it than smaller, shorter-lived beings.  So a huge tree that could live for hundreds of years would have far more than a tiny Jeshanna Lily.  Strangely, sentient beings do not follow this rule: all have far larger life magic stores than would be expected for their size.  Still, larger races do naturally have slightly more lifeforce than Brownies.  The few non-Brownies who do become life mages find they can work more on their own than their Brownie counterparts, as they have larger resources within their own bodies.  

The way that the lifeforce moves around the being’s body is often called the being’s “flow” of lifeforce.  The Brownies say that this flow around the body is the being’s spirit, the part which gives it its identity and produces more lifeforce. Beings that move and think little, like trees, have the simplest flow, and the more intelligent the being the more complicated this becomes.  In terms of physical structure plants are indeed just as complicated as sentient beings, but the speed of the lifeforce flow is affected by the speed and complexity of their reactions.  A plant would change the direction of its growth to take advantage of sunlight or water, but it does this very slowly and fulfils very basic needs.  A creature that can learn to avoid a certain place because a predator lives there, or learn to associate a certain smell with large claws is reacting on a higher level.  A sentient being who constantly makes decisions based on wants, fears, potential reactions of others, and long-term benefits or problems is reacting on an even more complicated level.  Some life mages say that sensing a being’s lifeforce flow is like watching their thoughts whizz around them, although in truth it is even more complex, as the overall pattern also determines their permanent attributes, like appearance and personality.  The lifeforce of trees and plants much easier to manipulate than anything else’s, because the lifeforce moves in far more predictable ways: slower and smoother, with few spontaneous changes of direction. It’s hard to siphon off lifeforce when it is wiggling around as much as a Brownie’s or human’s, changing direction and density with every new thought that pops into their head.  The more experienced life mages are able to change and manipulate this flow as well as change the amount of lifeforce a being has.

Ximax mages would call a beings lifeforce flow it’s Car’all, and say that the Brownies were somehow able to encourage it to warp itself into different formations. Although the key to life remains a mystery, they do notice that living things tend to have a fairly even balance of the four types of ounia and there is some speculation that this balance is what allows the Brownies to manipulate it.  By temporarily tipping the balance, the Brownies can cause one type of ounia to momentarily rule over the others, and if they can do this in a precise enough spot, they can have minute control over the being.  If they could locate the part of an animal’s brain that deals with fighting and protecting its territory, they could tip the balance of spiritual ounia so that fire ruled for a moment, and cause the animal to lash out in anger.  However this model doesn’t really explain how a life mage infuses their patients with lifeforce from other beings around them, though some mages explain this as being a method of creating Xeua links between the Cár’áll of one patient to another.

Other mages argue that there is some unknown aspect of living things, some extra factor that makes living things aware of their surroundings and of themselves. While Ximaxian magi have explained a similar phenomenon in their writings on the Sentences of Will, regarding the possibility of a transcendent “Willpower” that goes beyond Cár’áll, there is no real evidence to support either it or the ‘spirit of life’ as is used in Life Magic or other forms of the arcane.  It is this self aware part that the Brownies are communicating with – they can somehow “speak” to the part of a being that dictates appearance and behaviour, and convince it to do something different instead.  Perhaps this self aware part needs energy (i.e. lifeforce) just like the physical body does, and this energy can be manipulated by the life mages.

Another common argument made by some Ximaxian magi, based on the ability of a life mage to the change a being’s appearance to a significant permanent degree, is that that Life Magic is a form of raw magic, which has much less restrictions than other forms of magic.

Techniques of the Life Mage

In order to be able to take advantage of the effects that can be caused by lifeforce, the life mages have developed three specific techniques for manipulating it.

Manipulation between Two Separate Beings (or “Transferring Lifeforce”)

The first thing that any new mage learns is how to sense the lifeforce that flows around and within the bodies of various beings.  They study the lifeforce of various different beings in preparation for learning to manipulate them later on, learning how it flows and which parts will respond most easily to manipulation.  They also practise breathing and meditating techniques that[/color] slow down the flow of their own lifeforce, which will make it a lot easier to deal with.

They are then taught to find the right point to focus on in order to divert another being’s flow into their own store of lifeforce, and how to judge how much they can safely store within themselves without suffering dangerous side effects.  As they practice they learn to control the side effects of an imbalance of lifeforce and their bodies become conditioned to them, so that they gradually suffer less and less.   After a year or two of practice (you said earlier it’s a ‘long and arduous’ practice. This seems to imply that every life mage accomplished it eventually. You might want to be specific in the Redbark description above that, though hard, it is a vital step to becoming a Life Magi. The way it was worded made it sound like something most didn’t do.) they should only feel them when their life force store is really low or really high, as a Redbark Brownie naturally would without practice.  They then start to learn how to siphon off the lifeforce in their own stores into another being.

At this point they are working only with their own lifeforce and that of plants, and it is common to see a group of young apprentices traipsing out to sit beside the rushing waterfall, each carrying an acorn cup of soil which contains a small and extremely mutated little plant.  As mentioned before, plants have a slower, steadier flow of lifeforce and therefore it is easier to manipulate, but this doesn’t mean they don’t make mistakes, sometimes replicating very advanced techniques completely by accident.  This is why they are kept away from the rest of the Brownie population, and always fairly close to some very advanced mages who spring into action whenever anything goes wrong.

Although the mage’s own lifeforce flows quicker than the plants’ they are able to slow it down through meditation, making it much easier for them to manipulate.  As it is not possible to move lifeforce directly from one being into another, it must be taken into the life mage’s store and then sent out again. The amount of lifeforce the mage can manipulate at one time is therefore limited by the size of their own store as well as the amount of time they have to repeat the process.  The lifeforce flow is always changing and moving, so maintaining the right point on a being’s lifeforce flow and channeling it into or out of one’s own body requires full concentration.  Any distractions can cause a mage to loose sight of the point on the other being’s flow, so it is fairly impossible to simultaneously channel lifeforce into your body and out at the same time.  The mage must take lifeforce from one being into themselves, stop, and then channel it out into the target being.  Working together as a group is the one way you can get over this issue, but mages do not learn this technique until later on in their training.

The flow of lifeforce doesn’t only differ between species; it is also different for each individual thing depending on personality and appearance.  A bluebark will have a different flow to a greenbark and a male ferret will be different to a female one. However, the flow is similar enough between creatures of the same species that if a life mage is used to working with giant rats, for example, they are not going to have much problem with mice, kuatu or any other rodents.  If the same mage tried to siphon off lifeforce of a horse, however, it would take them a bit longer to locate the correct point to manipulate.  This means that even a fully qualified Llaoihrr mage who has completed the 15 year apprenticeship still won’t be really speedy with all beings and most of the specialist areas for study only deal with a limited number of species.

Manipulation en Masse

The Brownies have also developed a meditation technique that allows them to temporarily combine their stores of lifeforce for a short period of time in order to be able to deal with much larger amounts of it.   If one lone mage tried to deal with large amounts, they could suffer serious side effects, so sharing the burden is far safer and allows them to deal with far greater amounts of lifeforce than they could alone.  The Llaoihrr Brownies use this technique to keep their Council Tree in good health.  This is a cinnabark pine that is both older and larger than normal, and also riddled with holes for Brownies to live in.  Up to a hundred mages can be needed to work on this huge, ancient tree.  They may also use this technique to save a critically ill patient, as such a sick body will be using lifeforce so quickly.  If four or five mages work together then one at a time can leave to replenish their lifeforce from whatever beings are nearby, or a couple could channel lifeforce into the shared “store”, whilst the others were directing it out.  In this way there can always be a constant flow of lifeforce into the patient, which could be vital if they were close to death.

This is extremely difficult to do, as it requires all the mages’ minds to be completely in tune with each other, concentrating on combining their lifeforces whilst still sensing the point of manipulation in the other being’s lifeforce too. Practice is the key, and young mages are not expected to have much success until they’ve been studying for at least five years.  Even towards the end it is common for mages to still have problems.  However, Llaoihrr students who wish to pass their apprenticeship must show they are able to use this technique among a medium-sized group of about twenty mages taken from their classmates, who they know quite well and are used to working with.  Generally the longer a group has worked together the easier the process is, as they can develop a routine and rhythm to their work which everyone gets used to.

When a group is successfully combining their lifeforces, they look to a life mages senses as if they are one creature with several bodies: the different strands of lifeforce flow around and within the whole group as if it was one body.  It may be possible to pick out which strands belong to which mage if you knew them well but only if you knew the characteristic pace with which they moved and changed direction.

Manipulation of the Lifeforce “Flow”

Manipulating the flow of lifeforce is something not taught until a mage is competent with the first two techniques, because it is an extremely delicate operation that takes a lot of experience and knowledge of how the lifeforce works.  Not even Llaoihrr apprentices have to be able to do this to pass their exams, but it is normally the focus of further study.  The mage must be experienced enough to be able to clearly sense every movement of the lifeforce even before they begin to learn how to recognise which sections affect which parts of the body.  This is what makes it such a time-consuming venture – the mage needs to locate the precise area they want to manipulate before they attempt it.  Remember that this section would probably be moving as they tried to locate it, possibly quite fast if the animal was alert and fighting in battle, as the speed of the lifeforce flow will increase as its reactions become more rapid.

Most simply, the flow can be gradually slowed down to allow easier manipulation of the lifeforce.  This will also often slow down an animal, as its body won’t react quite as fast as it normally would.  It can also be quite confusing or disorientating.  Equally, quickening the flow might make something more agile and more aware of its surroundings, or a mind more focused on its task.

Once a mage can do this, they begin to learn which parts of the flow control what, and can manipulate a being even more specifically.  Using this knowledge to compliment the basic technique they already know, they can influence or control the reactions of specific parts of the body.  They could remove lifeforce from a predator’s eyes for example and cause their vision to blur, or remove it from the legs so that they can’t react quite in time to prevent the creature from stumbling.  However, because the lifeforce flow is so complex this takes time.  Even if the mage is extremely competent with manipulating the species they wish to influence and has practiced this particular spell many times, they will still need several uninterrupted minutes where the being is close by and moving in a way they can predict.  A fully qualified Llaoihrr mage after 15 years of apprenticeship would probably take between a quarter and a half-turn of the hourglass to do the same task.

Mood and temperament change so often day to day, they vary depending on season, weather, setting, time of day, that they do not resist manipulation and can be altered relatively easily.  Something more permanent, like appearance, or even the personality of an animal, needs a different technique.  Whereas before the mage was simply enhancing or diminishing the creatures natural processes, this actually goes against nature, which would normally return the lifeforce back to its original state over time. It is often necessary for the mage to repeat the manipulation many times in order to make the effect permanent. Back in the time of the Birni Kingdom, mages would not expect to be able to achieve significant results until they were over a hundred years old, but then they had the secrets of immortality to play with.  These days it is possible, if a mage concentrates their studies on one species: birds, canines or rodents for example, to learn to change things like fur colour or eye colour with a degree of accuracy.  Plants are simpler, and life magi have been known to study obsessively to be able to increase the potency of a fruit or seed made by a particular tree, or to subtly change the structure of a plant to make it harder for pests to eat.

It should be noted that there are a couple of instances where proper nouns like Santharia and Sarvonia and such are not capitalized. I'd recommend doing a quick run through to pick these up. :)

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