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1  Santharian World Development / Magic in the Lands of Caelereth / Re: Druidic Magic ---- Set To Template on: 09 January 2006, 09:17:00
Quote:
I am confused as to this, I thought i was supposed to come UP with the creation myth / origins of the MAGIC, not the orders, whereas i would come up with the origins of the orders, in the orders entry (which btw, i i have started work on the druidic orders history, although it is gonna be awhile until it is complete)


Well, yes. But what you tell in the overview concers itself more with how the essences came into being, rather than how the first Druids came into existence.
Magic is the manipulation of essences, rather than the essences themselves. So I think your origin could use some extra information on how people learned to manipulate the essences around them, thus laying the foundation for Druidic magic.

KR,
Theodorus

2  Santharian World Development / Magic in the Lands of Caelereth / Re: Druidic Magic ---- Set To Template on: 09 January 2006, 09:05:00
Quote:
The question of where an essence comes from could be posed to Ximax as well, "where does a car'all come from". So I agree with Pikel, it doesn't really make sense in this setting.


They seem different to me, actually. What I understand from Ximax is that Car'all is there, alongside normal matter. And although it changes over time, it doesn't really come into existence out of nowhere. I regard Car'all a bit like energy in the normal Terran world. It's there, and although it can be changed, Law of Conservation of Energy exists.

Essences I view more as would they be the equivalent of a "soul" of some sorts. And if you look at Terran beliefs concerning souls, you'll see they all have some sort of explanation whére this soul comes from. Especially if it is believed it is only conceived upon "birth" of a being.
For instance, some faiths say souls come from some universal Source, or from Heaven or God.
Point is, that it seems strange to me that the Druids wouldn't have speculated about the origin of the essences, and never took the time to construct some idea about their origin.

KR,
Theodorus

3  Santharian World Development / Magic in the Lands of Caelereth / Re: Druidic Magic ---- Set To Template on: 08 January 2006, 14:01:00
I was asked to comment on this particular entry, and so I did.

Most comments concern themselves with content of the entry, and are in red. A few grammatical/stylistic things have been changed, and are noted in blue.

Overview: Druidic Magic is the magic of nature. Why is it specifically the magic of nature, if it is focussed around the idea of essences? What’s the basic link to nature, aside from Terran associations?  It is the magic practiced by the 6 Druidic orders, and the ‘rogue order’ of Black druids. Why name the Black Druids aside from the others? This magic takes a quite a long time to perform, but the results are usually quite spectacular. Wouldn’t Druids be able to do smaller things as well?

Prevalence: Druidic magic is, obviously, the magic of druids. Only druids, in places where druids can be found (which is primarily Northern and Southern Sarvonia), practice druidic magic.

Concept/Worldview: Druidic magic is based on the Druids’ belief in essences. The way they explain it, they merge their own essence with the essence of what they want to change, and from there merely will it into changing. This of course takes time, for they have to meditate for a time to actually make the merger. The older the essence one is trying to merge with, the longer it will take to merge with it. For example: a coastal redwood that has been standing for over two millennia will take longer to merge with than a seedling flower. An older essence has "gotten used" to being the way it is. It is set in its ways, and thus harder to merge with. A younger essence is less set in its ways, and thus easier to merge with.
Is this relative or absolute? For I would think that it depends on the kind of essence how fast it ages. A sentient or animal-essence might age faster than that of a plant.
Otherwise, some Druids (working with earth, for instance) have a much harder time than others (who might work with animals). As animals generally are much younger than mountains.


Basic Principles: Druids teach that all things in this world exist on two levels; the physical level, and the spiritual level. An "essence" is the spiritual side of any given object. Nobody ever sees an essence, although with the proper training, it is possible to interact with it. It can be called a soul of sorts, but it is only as sentient as its material counterpart is. An essence is the very core of an objects existence. If an essence is changed somehow, so too does it's material counterpart. One could say that an essence is the spiritual make-up of its counterpart.

Each essence comes into being at the same exact time that its material counterpart comes into existence. Example, A human essence comes into being as soon as the child is conceived. Also, an essence can be said to have died once its material counterpart is destroyed or otherwise no longer existent. Example, a mountain has an essence. An earthquake occurs, and the mountain is split in twain. Since the "mountain" is no longer there, its essence can be said to have "died". But now there are two smaller mountains in it's place, and a completely new essence is created for each of them.
Perhaps I overlooked it, but I fail to find a notion of “where” the essence comes from. You tell us it comes into existence, but does how does it do so?

Each essence is as completely unique as its counterpart, but like its counterpart, it shares similarities as well. All Essences fit into one of the seven sub categories, which are: Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Plant, Animal, and sentient being. For instance, a small rock's essence is as different from a mountain's essence as their physical bodies are, but the essences are still earth based.

With training, one could learn to merge one's essence with the essence of something else. If such a merging occurs, the stronger willed of the two objects will be able to influence the essence of the other object, thus changing its characteristics. If the spiritual side is changed, its physical side will follow, and vice versa. If the physical side is changed, its essence will change to accommodate it. The exceptions to this are sentient beings. The merging of the essences is resisted by sentient beings. Sentient beings recognize that an essence is trying to merge with its own, and resists, although the person may not know exactly what is transpiring. However, if one can get past that resistance, then they are able to merge with the essence. If one is not as strong willed as the person who's essence he is merging with, then one might find his own essence being manipulated, instead of vice versa.

Abilities: Once the merger is actually complete, the essences of the druid and what he wants to change are one. The druid then has the chance to change what he wants. The actual changing is quite natural. He changes something like he would move his arms, he merely wills it to change, and it changes.

However, there are limits. The main thing that must be remembered is that the druid must maintain his meditation while performing what he wants to perform. If his concentration is broken, than the merger is also broken, and any control over his element is lost. Beyond that, the druid’s limits are few. He can change anything about the essence, as long as it remains based on the same category. Example: an Gray druid can do anything he wants to an animal, except give it sentience, because that would change it from an animal based essence, to a sentient being based essence.
About the limits. You say they are few, but your analogy gives rise to problems. If a Druid changes the essence of e.g. a mountain like he would move his arm, is he able to defy physics (even for a short time). The broader question would be: Is a Druid able to change an essence (and the connected object) beyond naturally imposed limits?

Druids also have the ability to physically merge with their element. In Green Druids, this produces the Kroi’lon, or war dryad; a gigantic half man, half tree being. In Red druids this produces the phenomenon known as the firedance. The Druids body is completely turned to flame, but retains its humanoid shape. Gray Druids can merge with an animal of their choosing. This often makes for interesting, often bizarre and horrific, transformations; such has a half-man/half-flunki, or a half woman/half-Cartashian Bear. The Brown druids can merge with the earth, making the Sfomm-Kereen, Thergarim for stone baby, who have bodies of moveable rock, not unlike a golem. Stone baby is a misleading name although, for considering the Somm-kereen's size, very few of the people of Caelereth would consider it a 'baby'. Similar to the Brown Druids, the Blue Druids can merge with ice, making their bodies a sort of moveable ice, again, not unlike a sentient golem. The druids all retain their sense of self, and their intelligence during these transformations. These transformations last for three days, and they cannot revert back during those three days, for that would require changing one's own essence, which is not only tabooed, it is thought to be impossible. Tragically, it costs the druids their lives to use these abilities for three days, for the essences between the druid and what he physically merges with are incompatible, and thus, the being dies after a few days. Thus they are only used in a last desperate attempt to protect nature. Black and white druids do not use this ability, for White druids are too aloof to become martyrs, and Black druids do not love sentient beings enough to die for them. Considering how formidable these transformations are, the attempt often works.

There a few factors that may reduce the amount of time needed. For instance, the greater the amount of druids working towards the same goal, the faster said goal will be accomplished. This is accomplished because the experience of all the druids is put as one, and they all merge with the object at the same time, thus the time is divided between the druids. They are able to achieve their same goal through communication, for in merging with the same essence,they create a link to eachothers thoughts, and can project any ideas they have through this link. They cannot send any actual words, but only ideas, or notions. If an inexperienced druid is added to the task, the task will get done faster, but not nearly as fast as if an experienced druid was there, for experience is another factor. An experienced druid gets his task done much faster than one who doesn't use his gifts. Therefore, it is quite possible for a young druid who uses his abilities often to be more skilled than an elder who rarely finds need to use his skills, even though the elder has been a part of the order for a longer amount of time. The last thing that effects the time is how often a druid has merged with a particular essence; the more a druid merges with the same essence, the faster it takes every time.

Limitations: It should be noted here, that druids are not able to change their own essences, for they have nothing to merge with. This is strange. They can “will” another essence into changing, but not their own? I thought the actual process of change was caused by the “willing”, and not that much by merging. The merging seems to me only necessary to change other objects.  Not only that, one would have to be a Black druid to do it (for changing oneself would usually mean changing a sentient being essence, unless one is less than sentient) and thus, there is a taboo on even trying to tinker with one’s own essence. There are stories of the elven Black druid, Mehán’chón, who figured out how to change his own essence. The stories say he made himself grow wings, and jumped off a cliff to learn how try them out. Unfortunately, he made the wings too small to hold his weight, and, much to Mehán’chón’s dismay, he remade acquaintanceship with the ground much sooner than he originally intended. However, for the most part, druids believe the story of Mehán’chón to be only a fairy tale.
Another thing. Are Druids able to merge with multiple objects simultaneously? Otherwise, their inability to do so could be noted as a limit.

It should be made clear that the merging process takes far too long to have any practicality whatsoever in a fight. Although, if one wanted the grand effects of an "artillery" of sorts, the druids are the people capable of fulfilling that role. Druids are capable of creating smaller effects; it just takes far too long to be practical in some cases. For example, a fire druid could burn down a tree, but it would be much faster merely to chop it down with an axe.

Training: Of course, one must learn how to do all this, and to get training one must first find a druid (which is a task in and of itself.) If the druid decides that the hopeful has the personality and drive and love that are required, then the druid trains him. This training mainly consists of mass amounts of time meditating, and learning how to merge with an essence that is so unlike that of the druids. I suppose there is also enough time to meditate on Druid ideology? Black druids however, must first become a druid of one of the other six orders, and then learn by themselves how to merge with a sentient being's essence. I don’t think anyone would be able to join an order with the purpose of becoming a Black Druid. It seems to me that such a thing only develops later on. Perhaps you could mention that in your entry. They are able to do this because they already know the basics of merging with essences, even though they know not how to merge with a sentient being one. Thus it takes much longer to learn to become a Black druid than any other druid. Black druids are far too distrustful to take on apprentices, and the other six orders hold a taboo on Black druidism. Thus, there are very few Black druids in the world.

Origins: This compendium holds no concrete evidence on the actual origins of the magic of Druids, although there are several reports, stories, and myths concerning it, and depending on which druid you ask, you will likely get a different story, assuming that the druid would be willing to tell you his stories in the first place, which is not likely unless you have proven your worth to him. Elven Druids tend to tell people that Avá, Coór, and the Aeolía placed the essences, or énh’cár'ámn in their tongue, in to their physical ‘bodies’. Some druids say that the first person to access an essence was an old farm lady, who managed to merge with one of her many cats, although this story is unlikely. Some Druids say that everything started as one essence, and thus one body, and slowly split into many, until finally all the essence that exist today, exist, as do all the bodies. What you say here concerns itself more with a creation-myth/worldview of the Druids, rather than the origin of their orders. You should perhaps explain more how Druids actually came to practicing magic.


KR,
Theodorus

4  Santharian World Development / Magic in the Lands of Caelereth / Re: Druidic Magic (Rough Draft) on: 12 October 2005, 13:04:00
Well, just a suggestion here on how the Druidic magic would work.

Instead of the coaxing/persuading thingy, perhaps we could have the Druid personality/essence merge with the essence/"personality" of the object/creature that has to be magically altered. This also explains the need for a strong personality/essence, as the Druid needs to be able to retain its own personality throughout the process.

Then, the mechanism would be as follows:
A Druid enters a state of meditation somewhere near the object (distance depends on skill) and tries to harmonize his own essence with the essence of the "target".
Once there exists harmony, the two essences can merge, and now the Druid can alter things in the target as though he was altering himself.
If there is energe required for the operation that has to be performed, the Druid can drain the target's energy reserves, his own reserves, or perhaps some "stored" energy which he has with him. (A way of storing lifeforce in objects could be developed).

I don't know how you think about this, but perhaps this is a more natural view towards Druids than the "coaxing" thingy.

KR,
Theodorus

5  Santharian World Development / Magic in the Lands of Caelereth / Re: Druidic Magic (Rough Draft) on: 11 October 2005, 23:46:00
Some thoughts on this draft.

1) You say there are no limitations to what a Druid could do, but I must disagree there. You cannot simply expect that by "coaxing" objects/creatures you will be able to do anything.
For instance, I could not, in a hundred years by a hundred Druids, be coaxed into growing to a hundred peds in height.
You need two things to explain the Druidic magic. Firstly, why things/creatures comply with a Druid's request. And secondly, how a Druid enables a thing/creature to comply to this request.

To take your example about the seed growing into a tree. Well, there's no reason why a seed wouldn't want to grow into a tree within a month. So coaxing might not be a problem. But for a seed to grow so quickly, it'd need a lot of energy (call it "lifeforce"), and that needs to come from somewhere. Druids might be able to provide it, but you need to explain how.

2) You say that Druidic magic can finally be explained. But what is the reason it's suddenly possible now, and not before? Why would Druids want to talk now?

3) Why do Druids consider Ximaxian magic to be "unnatural".

KR,
Theodorus

6  Santharian World Development / Magic in the Lands of Caelereth / Re: Krean Magic: Synopsis (Final draft) on: 12 November 2005, 02:15:00
That would be depending on what you'd eventually be altering in this text. But I figured I might be of some assistance in finding more metaphorical and analogical expressions of some of the concepts and terms you use now, as well as a more medieval-philosophical way of writing it.
But you should of course first consider if you want somebody messing with your texts or not.

KR,
Theodorus (who, as it stands, likes this particular way of magic and worldview)

7  Santharian World Development / Magic in the Lands of Caelereth / Re: Krean Magic: Synopsis (Final draft) on: 11 November 2005, 16:48:00
True, but you would circumfere the need for having to adjust the entire piece with respect to the relativistic issues. :)
And well, it adds to diversity as well. After all, would not only the reports written by the Santharian scholars themselves, but also texts, parchments and scrolls they come across be added to a Compendium they would be writing. With an introduction added, of course, but nonetheless.
When describing the world, you need not only describe people, but let them describe themselves as well.

KR,
Theodorus

8  Santharian World Development / Magic in the Lands of Caelereth / Re: Krean Magic: Synopsis (Final draft) on: 11 November 2005, 16:11:00
Well, for one. If Coren would need some help in re-writing his text, I'd gladly offer to help. I don't know how good I am at "translating" such things, but I'd be willing to give it a try.

Secondly, I don't know whether it is absolutely necessary to convert the whole thing to relativism. Firstly, the possibility could be considered that this text was written down by Krean's themselves, and found its way to the compendium as a text, rather than a report. The Kreans would, obviously, not bother themselves with comparing their system to Ximax.
Moreover, I do not at all times grasp the great need for relativism in all entries. I understand we want to keep clear that things in this world are not absolute, however, I also thought that among Terran medieval scholars, alchemists and researchers, relativism was yet to be invented.
In short. The need for absolute relativism seems to me to be just as post-modern as some expressions from Coren's synopsis. And while this may encourage the creativity of people, we must not allow it to suffocate this same creativity at other times.

KR,
Theodorus

9  Santharian World Development / Magic in the Lands of Caelereth / Re: The true nature of lightning? on: 05 December 2005, 16:03:00
Well, I'm of course no magic expert, so my whole theory could be flawed. I thought however, that the "activity" of wind depended more on the Ahm/Soor-conditions, rather than on the connections made between Wind and other Ounia.

So I just tried to think of a way to explain lightning that was somewhat analogous to Terran way. That is, a certain unstable expression searching for a way to stabilize itself.
So I thought that, when Wind ounia would only connect to other Wind ounia, they might reach some "critical level", where the normal properties of Wind would be changed into something like "superwind'. That is, many Wind ounia moving e.g. so fast they turn into lightning. (Something like fitting the power of a hurricane in a cilinder with a diameter of about 1 nailsbreadth)
Or, something more like my previous idea, about the Wind-linked situation being unstable in some way, thus searching for a large concentration of other ounia (earth) to stabilize itself.

However, the WInd-Fire idea also sounds interesting. Could be fitted to the notion that most things that are hit by lightning tend to ignite.

KR,
Theodorus

10  Santharian World Development / Magic in the Lands of Caelereth / Re: The true nature of lightning? on: 01 December 2005, 12:24:00
It all depends on the perspective you want to explain lightning from. I assume you're looking for a Ximaxian explanation, but I'd just like to point out that for the rest of Caelereth, all kinds of other ideas would do just as fine.
Clerics (and ordinary people?) could/would just regard it as something thrown "down" by the Gods, for instance. (Like Zeus from the Olympos, or Donar in his chariot).
As such, as far as I now understand the ideas on this matter, there's no way we'll be defining the "true" nature of lightning.

Then for the Ximaxian explanation itself. I suppose using lightning as an expression of Wind would be better than just having the "pure energy" idea. After all, the first concept fits much better with Ximax.
Idea could be to regard it as intense connections between Wind ounia, disabling all other connections. You could with that model also explain why natural lightning tends to hit ground. That'd be because such an intensified situation isn't stable, and the ounia would seek a way to stabilize themselves, thus seek immediate contact with nearest "earth" object.

KR,
Theodorus

11  Santharian World Development / Magic in the Lands of Caelereth / Re: Conjure Wind, Wind School, Level I (mostly done) on: 16 November 2005, 17:06:00
Well, I don't know exactly, I'm no magic expert.

However, as far as I know, most theories are formed to explain certain fenomena that have been empirically detected/explored. Thus, a theory involving such elementary particles such as ounia and the like would only come into existence if mages had some reason to invent such a theory. And that reason would, IMHO, mos probably be that they somehow detect these ounia/elemental links.

Also, to use Art's own explanation. You cannot manipulate something you cannot detect. Thus, if a fire-mage manipulates fire-ounia, he needs to be, at some basic level, aware of them.

KR,
Theodorus (who awaites response of the Magic Masters here)

12  Santharian World Development / Magic in the Lands of Caelereth / Re: Conjure Wind, Wind School, Level I (mostly done) on: 15 November 2005, 16:12:00
So what you actually infer here, is that to establish auratic contact requires visual perception of the target.

I still do not see the reason for this. Why would magical perception be bound by visual perception? If the wall would, for instance, made of glass, but still be one meter thick, would you then be able to manipulate the fire?

After all, this whole Ximaxian theory is built from the hypothesis that everything is made of car'all, consisting of ounia held together by Xeuá links.
Now, I ask you, what is, on this magical level, the difference between one meter of air between a fire mage and a fire, and one meter of earth (as in a brick wall). For, as a fire mage, I am able to detect fire-ounia at a few peds away even if there's air (wind-ounia) in the way.
You place yourself, and us, in a box by maintaining that there is a fundamental difference between certain ounia, that disable magical perception. But this box is based on the idea that magical perception should be connected to ordinary perception, which, IMHO, it should not be, as I see no reason to maintain such a distinction.

Your view is analogous to maintaing that it would matter at a microcosmic level what properties a certain group of particles has at a macrocosmic level. E.g. maintaining that at microcosmic level sand is fundamentally different from glass, because you can look through glass, and not through sand. While at the microcosmic level, the differences are not at all that fundamenal. And this microcosmic level is, necessarily, where the mage is operating.

KR,
Theodorus

13  Santharian World Development / Magic in the Lands of Caelereth / Re: Conjure Wind, Wind School, Level I (mostly done) on: 15 November 2005, 15:16:00
You didn't answer my question, Art. You only answered a question you raised yourself. Please do not assume I say things which I don't.

My question didn't concern itself with air being connected from here to the Fidji islands. I don't recall mentioning a connection anywhere in my previous post.
Rather, I asked you what was the difference between air at two meters distance within the line of sight, and air at two meters distance hidden from view.
As you are obviously the one who sees a enormous difference there, you should be able to explain it.

Secondly, I think a mage has the ability to "detect" magical elementary particles within a given radius, which increases with te mage's skill. That would be the natural boundary to any range of a spell being cast by this particular mage. However, such an ability to detect magical particles is in no way necessarily linked to the mage's eyesight.

Bottom line is, you raised an issue concerning a spell that was supposedly too difficult because the affected wind-target was nót within the line of sight of the caster. And though the analogy with the  supermarket and/or the Fidji islands might be interesting, it does not adress the problem fully, or correctly. Repeating the analogy won't change that.

And about redefining magic. Well, adding to a definition could be seen as redefining, but that's of course another matter. What is important though, is that your new approach to the Sphere's is quite different from the approach currently taken on the site. Instead of approaching it from the elementary side, you now approach it from a more practical-restrictive side. And though I do not necessarily see this as a bad thing, it dóes spread confusion.
Moreover, you have also not yet explained why this complementation of the Sphere-system was necessary. Apart from the fact that it supports your current position, but that's no valid argument/reason.

KR,
Theodorus

14  Santharian World Development / Magic in the Lands of Caelereth / Re: Conjure Wind, Wind School, Level I (mostly done) on: 15 November 2005, 13:39:00
Well, "somewhere else" is a rather vague definition. For if "somewhere else" does nót depend on line of sight, on what does it depend?
It's of course only reasonable to assume you cannot lift objects that are 100 strals away, however, to adress the question this all began with: Why is wind around a corner dubbed as "somewhere else", and wind at the same distance in front of you not?

And about the clarifications concerning the Spheres. Well, to me it seems the confusions linger because simply stating that the definitions are X instead of Y without explaining this sudden change in definitions will not clarify things much.

KR,
Theodorus

15  Santharian World Development / Magic in the Lands of Caelereth / Re: Conjure Wind, Wind School, Level I (mostly done) on: 15 November 2005, 13:03:00
Quote:
The thing is about focussing. If you have nothing to focus on you cannot cast a spell - at least not with elemental magic. If you're a Xeuá or Ecuá mage you target links within the target and/or with the universal fabric of time and space in even higher levels, but this is all a totally different kind of magic. You cannot cast elemental spells into nowhere.


But it's not not there, it's just not visible, that's something entirely different. Or do you want to imply that all Ximax magic would be invalid, because one cannot see ounia. Or that clerical magic is invalid because one cannot see a God?

I mean, if a mage can work with ounia-links that are essentially too small to be visible to the human eye, this mage probably has developed a certain magical sense of detecting these magical elements. Thus, if his detection of these magical elements does not depend on visual abilities, why would the non-visibility of an object be such a great problem?

KR,
Theodorus

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