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Author Topic: The Living Cár’áll  (Read 5895 times)
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Rayne (Alýr)
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« on: 16 August 2005, 23:18:00 »

Well, if there was one thing I wanted to finish...

I’ve made some changes here. The more I write, the more I’m decided that this is a “medium-high” level explanation of magic that requires the reader to have a pretty good understanding of cár’áll, oúnia, an xeuá. The more I look at it, the more I’m afraid that if I try to put it into a Socratic dialogue, the form will create more confusion than understanding, so I'm leaving it in its current form.

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The Living Cár’áll

Everything has cár’áll—plants, animals, rocks, rivers, etc. Sages and mages alike still have difficulty pointing out what factor, what strange and elusive combination of xeuá and oúnia makes life possible; it may be that which truly gives “life” is something external and mysterious. Some mark it as being the work of gods, while other still look for answers in the vast seas of theory and philosophy. In any case, the living cár’áll bares some connection with the oúnia and xeuá contained within it, and the nature of these components, which give it structure, balance, and, ultimately, life.

Potentials and Qualities: All cár’áll is made up of oúnia and xeuá (either as ahm or soór). Though all cár’áll, regardless of whether it lives or not, contains at least a little of one of the four oúnia (wind, water, fire, earth), living cár’áll tends, for the most part, to have equal “amounts” of all oúnia in them. (Note: oúnia can’t actually be “counted” as they really aren’t physical things, and so oúnia is most often expressed as a rough estimated percentage). Obviously, the balance isn’t exact. A fish, for example, tends to have a bit more water oúnia in its cár’áll, while a bird tends to have more wind. Even in sapient creatures, where the balance is almost exact, elves, on average, tend to have a slight inclination toward wind oúnia while dwarves have a slight inclination of earth oúnia.

These variations by no means imply that an elf is always dominated by wind, or dwarves by earth. These inclinations do not reflect actively influential qualities in a cár’áll, but rather the capacity for great influence, or certain propensities to one of the elements. A fish (high water/low fire) simply does not have the capacity to be dominant in the qualities exemplifying fire. To pull an example from a nonliving but less balanced cár’áll, wind itself (which has very little earth oúnia in it), may be able to be still (“air”) but cannot by any means become heavy: it simply isn’t possible due to the low percentage of earth oúnia. Sapient beings, because of the near equal balance of oúnia among the four elements, have the capacity to be slightly dominant in any of them, with respect to the other elements that help to temper this dominance.

Cár’áll, however, is not made up only of oúnia, but also of xeuá, the links that determine which elements are dominant in any given cár’áll. In living cár’áll, soór (or active links) have to exist between oúnia of each element in a close to equal amount. Qualities from all the elements are necessary in providing the living cár’áll what it needs to maintain life. In magic, these xeuá are altered slightly to cause the prominence of the qualities of a certain element. However, the basic soór links in the body, for the most part, remain the same. A mage only alters only a small portion of the xeuá links in the body at any given time. The inability of some links to be altered or changed by even the most powerful magi is thought to be due to the cár’áll’s great power over itself. Every person, regardless of their magic ability, has enough willpower to maintain life to a certain point. However, some theories that dwell on the boundary between magic theory and theology claim that there is perhaps another force that helps maintain the stability of the cár’áll: a force that silently decides when the balance should end and a person should die.

The cár’áll’s willpower and/or the force that helps the cár’áll maintain the balance is needed not only to help against the manipulation of magi, but also temper the tension between the elements. Each element fights for its own dominance in the cár’áll, and the willpower of the cár’áll helps to keep them balanced and contained. After death, observations note that often times the elements would fight for dominance, but in the end, the movement of wind would cause wind oúnia to form soór links with outside wind cár’áll and cause the earth to dominate the cár’áll. Of all the elements, earth tends to be the hardest to alter and change and thus tends to win out dominance in the end.

Living and Nonliving: Living cár’áll differs from non living in a few ways, some of which have already been touched on. Living car’alls tend to have a more equal amount of oúnia from all elements, and has a more rigorous balance than a lot of nonliving cár’álls do, thus making them easier for lower-level mages to manipulate. One of the main differences between the living and the nonliving cár’álls is a being’s ability to respond to the surrounding environment by making changes to its own cár’áll. When the weather is hot, a creature will find ways to alter its own cár’áll in order to release heat and keep itself cool—that is, make changes to its own cár’áll in order to maintain the balance between the elements. This kind of change rarely occurs in non-living cár’áll, where a stone may become heated in the sun yet have no will to respond to the imbalance.

All things in Caelereth are connected by xeuá, but most of these links are ahm. Even with the Living cár’áll, ahm links it to the rest of the world. The boundaries of the living cár’áll are defined only by what links the will has control over. In the magical sense, the only means of separating a living cár’áll from any other cár’áll is the ability of a given will to control it. With nonliving car’all,  the distinguishing factor is influxes of dominance in the elements (i.e. the sky being dominated by wind while the ocean below it is dominated by water). Even things once-living, such as the wood a carpenter uses to construct desks and chairs, tends to be more dominated by one element than the living cár’áll would allow (in this case, earth).

Conscious and Unconscious Will: It can’t be understated the power of the living being has over it’s own cár’áll. Even the most powerful magi struggle to alter the living cár’áll of a creature unwilling to facilitate the change. Magical ability holds little ground against a being’s power to preserve the balance of its cár’áll —a person need not be a mage or have any study in the magical arts in order to resist a spell that may change his or her cár’áll. He or she need only have will to resist. Only if a mage possess a will far greater than the subject of his or her spell can the spell be successfully casts, which is often why magi have more success with docile and/or less intelligent creatures that may have less will than humans which may have quite powerful wills.

Although scholars and philosophers sometimes categorize will as a part of consciousness, it does not always act as such. When afflicted by a spell that harms the stability of the cár’áll itself and, in doing so, threatening the stability that affords life, the being will naturally resist through the subconscious will that fights for its own preservation. All living cár’álls possess this will to some degree, not necessarily as a guard again spells, but in the simple preservation of the self. If too many water oúnia create soór connections outside the body, perhaps due to weather to environment, the cár’áll will seek out new connections through drinking or, in rare cases, reaching out and establishing soór connections with surrounding water oúnia (it should be noted that that later method is rarely used as it tends to require more magical ability and control over xeuá than most cár’áll can maintain through unconscious will).

Although unconscious will has power over the cár’áll, this power does not extend to altering foreign cár’áll. The unconscious will is a will of self preservation, not foreign alteration or design. Only the conscious will can change the make-up of another cár’áll, as through magic or prayer. The conscious will can also make changes to its own cár’áll, but only it and it alone can alter other cár’áll, living or no. It should be noted that the conscious will has far more power over itself and its surroundings than does the unconscious, but the unconscious, ironically, is more aware of the cár’áll. Often the conscious will, not the unconscious will, is what makes sapient cár’álls so difficult to alter in comparison to other animals whose conscious will is not so powerful.

Life, Will, Cár’áll: The strange connection between life, the will, and cár’áll remains a mystery, and while scholars and great thinkers have pondered on the connection, the truth stays hidden. Cár’áll exists, but even with the right balance of elements and suitable xeuá connections, life doesn’t spring forth. No magic, no spell or prayer or summon can bring forth life. While there are legends that such has been done, nothing has been replicated or branded as anything but myth. While the right shell can be constructed, it is generally agreed that life must come first and form, or cár’áll, second.

Will is the only indication of life (some schools argue that will is life). While necromancers of old have brought movement to corpses or immobile structures, and some magi have even constructed golems and other such creatures, these creatures did not contain individual will, but only a will as delivered through their creator. Such structures provide conduits through which the power of one’s will can be extended over larger areas, or perhaps through which a pre-instilled will may be carried out, as in doing tasks. Thus, while things may appear to have a will of their own, the true will arises from another truly living source.

Though the right nonliving cár’áll doesn’t breed life, the imbalanced living cár’áll will certainly steal life away. The stability of the cár’áll remains a necessary factor in continuing life, and explains while the life grants a self-preserving will to sustain itself. If the cár’áll takes damage, the life and will it sustains generally has less power over it, though the will to live tends to be a strong force to overcome. Once life leaves the cár’áll, it cannot be restored, and the cár’áll will immediately begin its decay.
« Last Edit: 20 January 2007, 00:37:41 by Rayne Avalotus » Logged

"There is much misjudgment in the world. Now, I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clod, or a betrayer, and so I must be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem..." -Schmendrick the Magician, The Last Unicorn
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« Reply #1 on: 17 August 2005, 15:29:00 »

I read this view on magic, Rayne, and though most of it seems quite right, there are problems as well.

For one it most likely isn't that easy to understand for most people, so we should perhaps try to make easier explanations for the "little mage down the lane" or something, you know. I'm really very tempted to use Sokrates'/Plato's maieutics methode in a lecture dialogue to get down to the basic things, making them understandable.

But anyway, quite obviously this was not the purpose here. It's more a scientific approach - and if I may say so: it's too scientific at times. Magic to me is a philosophical "science" if you so want, metaphysics, and not physics. Therefore the terminology should also differ from physics, and you stress the percentage thing quite a bit here. True, we used the mathematical example as well in the Schools definition, but you shouldn't let the percentage thing dominate the discussion. Especially as you say that "a mage only alters about 2% of the xeuá links in the body at any given time" this is definitely over the top, because I see no basis how you'd get to such a percentage. A philosopher would not get down to this. So for one I would change the wording.

On the other hand I'm still not entirely sure why you see a difference in living and nonliving cár'áll. Seems you try to make out a difference in quality, which I don't really deem necessary. I see you've read Plato's "Phaidon" (or is it "Phaidros"?) or the "Symposion", so maybe you know about Plato's philosophy and his theory about the idea. The cár'áll I would see as practically identical with Plato's idea. And why should one make differences between living ideas and non-living ones? A stone is a stone, whether it live or not. Everything has/is cár'áll, living or not.

You write: "With nonliving cár’álls, though, such as streams, skies, ground, rocks, etc, the car’all tends to have a flexibility and continuity to it." Hmmm... Don't really know if this is true. I'd say a living person is extremely flexible in terms of its constantly changing of ahn and soór shifts within its cár'áll. This is what life is. Especially with the last paragraph I have therefore quite a bit of trouble.


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Edited by: Artimidor Federkiel at: 8/16/05 23:31
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« Reply #2 on: 17 August 2005, 21:47:00 »

For me, it seems you started writing about two paragraphs into the necessary text...  :veryconfused

Could you give the definitions VERY clearly and simply in the first couple of paragraphs, rather than including them as bracketed explanations/additions within the text?   And I mean 'simple', for non-technical, non-magic using, non-philosophical bards and other dimmies.

"An oun is......"   "Car'all is simply defined as....".   etc. etc.  

There, now it's the opening chapter of "Magick For Dummies", by Rayne Avalotus... :lol  

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« Reply #3 on: 18 August 2005, 00:12:00 »

I guess it's meant for more advanced people in magic already, not a text for dummies, so the more dummy work still has to be done - that's why I think about a Sokratian dialogue for this purpose.


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« Reply #4 on: 18 August 2005, 04:55:00 »

Well, I would say that the difference between living and conliving Cár’áll would be that the living one tries to keep the same balance of ouns all the time, while the nonliving one adapts the balance of its ounia depending on its environment.

When its freezing, you have ice, on room temperature water and when its hot it will start evaporating. But the human body will always try to keep the same body temperature (for example, it will sweat to cool down).

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Rayne (Alýr)
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« Reply #5 on: 18 August 2005, 14:03:00 »

Marvin... :|  ... That's... BRILLIANT! :clap  I never really thought of that--I was too focused on form and structure and not on the actual properties! That is surely where the difference is! Thank you! :hug  ::whispers to Arti: "He will be a truly remarkable mage one day, I'm sure"::

I shall edit what I have and add that in.

Obviously, I have quite a few things I need to edit. I plan on taking up Arti's proposal and turning this into part of a lecture (perhaps taken from the notes of a intructor or scribbled down by a student). I will probably do another separate "lecture" as well based on my philosophies behind the memory retentive qualities of oun.

Thank you for clearing some of this up for me, Arti. I really do appreciate it, and I'm feeling a lot better on my personal understanding of magic. :hug  

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« Reply #6 on: 21 August 2005, 10:24:00 »

Yeah, this is most likely meant for the experts.  The closest thing you'd find resembling a guide for beginners would probably be the one I wrote in the RPG board (the 'about magic' link in Marvin's sig), but even that is probably too technical for most people.  

This talk about the difference between living and non-living car'all has given me an idea.  How about if individual car'alls are merely a simplification, and that there really is only one 'world car'all'?  Individual car'alls would merely be the areas where ouns are more strongly linked and changes less easily, but even then, car'alls would always be interacting with each other (consider things like erosion or eating), so it's hard to define where one car'all ends and another begins.  As far as I know, the difference in arrangements of ouns and xeua at different areas in a car'all would causes those areas to display different properties, and I find that it makes sense to extend this view to the whole of Caelereth.  I'm thinking what I've just said is probably rather confusing, considering my mental state at the moment (quite exhausted), so I'll just leave it at that and try to explain later if you guys wish me to.  

As for making a lecture about car'all for beginners, I think that's a great idea.  But, I also think that it'd be good to have a some more technical articles around for the experts to refer to.  


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« Reply #7 on: 21 August 2005, 13:15:00 »

Quote:
How about if individual car'alls are merely a simplification, and that there really is only one 'world car'all'?


That was my intention, Mina! That why I eliminated "breaking" for "ahm links that lack the possibility for activity." I wanted Caelereth itself to be one dynamic car'all. (I'm glad someone noticed. :lol )

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« Reply #8 on: 21 August 2005, 14:33:00 »

Quote:
How about if individual car'alls are merely a simplification, and that there really is only one 'world car'all'?

Wouldn't the living cár’áll be an exception to this? Trying to maintain its own 'balance' of the different ounia and not blending in with the rest of the world. It's still going to be connected to everything, but it will react against changes (to maintain its own balance, like: world gets warmer -> body starts sweating to cool down) instead of following them.

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« Reply #9 on: 21 August 2005, 14:48:00 »

Not really.  I suppose you could say that the arrangement of ouns and xeua in that particular area is what causes such a reaction to happen.  Of course, you could still define that kind of arrangement as a 'living car'all', and other types of arrangements that do not react against changes as 'non-living car'all'.  I don't think it'd conflict with the world car'all idea.  


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« Reply #10 on: 22 August 2005, 02:10:00 »

The world-carall with individual 'intense' pockets is lovely, though it is very much like the Chinese concept of chi.

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« Reply #11 on: 22 August 2005, 04:21:00 »

I had always thought that chi was found only in living beings, much more like Brownie Magic's lifeforce than car'all.  Then again, I mainly know about it through martial arts fiction, so I'm probably missing a lot of information.  

The idea here not about having intense pockets in a single car'all though.  Ouns are everywhere, in what I'd expect is more or less equal density (though considering the fact that they aren't physical, I'm not sure if concepts like density apply).  What's described as an individual car'all is an area where the ouns are linked amongst themselves more strongly than to ouns outside the car'all.  I think I'd better point out as well that all ouns belong to a car'all, so there are no gaps between car'alls.  However, as mentioned, this is merely a simplification.  Car'alls are constantly changing within themselves, as well as interacting with surrounding car'alls.  Think of it as the nonphysical equivilent of natural physical processess, which are taking place all the time.  Nothing in the world is static; changes just sometimes happen too slowly or are too small for humans to notice.  It's the same with car'all.  In fact, I think it's the exact same things happening, just being viewed from a different (nonphysical rather than physical) perspective.  


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« Reply #12 on: 22 August 2005, 09:06:00 »

Well, it doesn't really have to conflict with the world car'all idea.
Quote:
Car'alls are constantly changing within themselves, as well as interacting with surrounding car'alls.

Actually my point was that the living car'all would be special as it didn't change. It interacts with the surroundings, but it doesn't change.
Like when it gets hot, every non-living car'alls gets hot (the air, the rocks, the ground, ...), but the living ones try and keep their own car'all stable (bodytemperature remains the same). It still reacts with the evironment (like sweating), but it acts against it (cooling down) in order to remain stable.

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« Reply #13 on: 18 January 2007, 05:58:41 »

Short note: Rayne is back in town and has updated this entry, I've had the chance to talk to her on MSN for a while. :) While I'm usually not seen in this Forum for good reasons, I had to promise to look into this one, so I'll try to get to it soon! - Nice to see you back, Rayne!  thumbup
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« Reply #14 on: 18 January 2007, 06:30:31 »

Any reason which keeps you away from one of your forums cannot be a good reason. And if it is not a good reason, you should look into it and not avoid it - for the sake of the dream ( if not for your  sake), otherwise the dream will suffer. Avoiding such side blows would be a good start.
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