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Author Topic: Druidic Magic: Any thoughts?  (Read 34387 times)
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Pikel
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« on: 11 October 2005, 21:34:00 »

Overview
Druidic magic requires the veneration of nature and is practiced in a very special way by the Druidic orders, including the heretical order of the Black Druids. It is based on their belief in 'essence‘ and the ability of the sentient mind to merge with it and then to manipulate it .This takes quite a long time to learn as to perform, but the results are often quite spectacular.

Prevalence
Only druids are able to practice the merging of essences. That limits the prevalence of druidic magic to those places where druids live. That is mostly throughout Southern Sarvonia and parts of Northern Sarvonia, however there are some scattered communities on other continents as well.

Concept/Worldview
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, its material counterpart changes to accommodate it. One could say that an essence is the spiritual make-up of its counterpart.

Basic Principles
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.

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.

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. Nothing in this world has an essence that fits into two categories. It is always has a dominant essence type. Sometimes this is confusing, for it seems that someone objects in the world could theoretically be classified as two, but this is mainly due to confusion. For example, if one were to mix sand and water, a new essence would not be created, there would merely be two essences next to each other, water and sand, and while their physical aspects may be mixed, their essences are still quite separate.

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 essences. Its corporeal counterpart has a vague notion of something trying to control him, but they are not sure what is actually going on. However, if one can get past that, then they are able to merge. If one's essence is not as strong willed as the essence it 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 actual changing is quite natural. He changes something like he would move his arms, he merely wills it to change, and it changes. Of course, the more complex or intricate the change, the more a druid must concentrate on said change, or he may wind up with unexpected results. Making a seedling grow into a full grown tree is fairly simple, while making it grow into a tree of an odd shape or into a different color or texture than what is natural, that is a bit more complicated, and requires more concentration, and more practice.

There a few factors that may reduce the amount of time needed. For instance, the greater the number 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. Thus, if an inexperienced druid is added to the task, the task will get done faster, but not nearly as fast as if an expert druid was there, for experience is another factor. A practiced 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.

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. After these three days, the druid dies, for causes unknown not only to this compendium but to druidic society as a whole. Because of this, these transformations 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.

Limitations
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. To maintain this concentration, the druid can only merge with, or attempt to merge with, one essence at any one time. 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. For example: A 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.

It should be noted here that druids have placed a ban on changing one’s own essence. They have gone so far with this ban that they even teach that it is impossible to do. 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), which is also banned by druidic society. 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.

It should be made clear that the merging process takes far too long to have any practicality whatsoever in most fights. 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 how to learn to meditate effectively which takes up a huge amount of time, and learning how to merge with an essence that is so unlike that of the druids. It usually takes roughly fifteen years for a human to learn druidic beliefs and magic, although there are rare cases of people taking a faster or , in some cases, longer amount of time to learn it. It should be noted that if the druids cannot use druidic magic until after they have completely learned the belief system and completed their training. 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 essence. 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 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, 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? Why must we speak of my profession? Come, let us have a drink. - Pikel

Pikel

Edited by: Pikel Thunderstone at: 5/4/06 0:00
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Theodorus Holzman
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« Reply #1 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,
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Luca the Thief
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« Reply #2 on: 12 October 2005, 00:11:00 »

Looking pretty good so far, Pike! (though I spotted a few grammar and spelling blips I'm too lazy to point out at the moment)

As I said in the people thread, I think it should be worked out how much of a uniform concept there is among the druidic sects. They are so few and far between, and the races you have mentioned here do not intermingle very often or particularily well. So if a fire druid percieves his ability in the same sense a blue druid would hers, when/how did this connection become established? Of course, it seems rather druidly to keep such things a secret (they're good at that), but it's a bone for your brain to gnash on :biggrin

Oh, and what about white/wind druids? (I think the Maeverhim would do nicely here)


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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #3 on: 12 October 2005, 03:52:00 »

A good start, a start though only. I hope you know, what you have started here - it will be a lengthy bit of work.
But it is not a bad idea, to get the basics right first before starting to write the whole thing together using a template.

So I would propose, to work out a single point first - till it is cleared: I think, the „how does it work“ should come first, but keep in mind, what Theo has said (for later.)

I‘ll summarise:

Next work:

„How works druidic magic GENERALLY?“
„Differences between the druidic orders“


Work which has to wait:

„The Ximaxian View“
„Why do we know more now, since it was a mystery till now?“

A comment on the post itself:


I don‘t do a spell check now, for it will not be the final entry anyhow:



Druids and their their magic have always been mysterious. This is mainly attributed to the secretive and hermit-like lifestyles. But now, the magic of the druids can finally be explained. However, Depending on who you ask, the answer will be different. A druid describes his power in a much different way than a ximaxian mage.

You want to describe druidic magic here, and not compare both, so  would not mention Ximaxian magic here, but in an extra paragraph later on, at the end of the entry.

Druid's Explanation: Everything in this world has an essence. This intangible essence is what makes everything different than everything else, and can be described as a soul of sorts. If one learns how to communicate with this essence, one can convince it to suit one's needs. This is what the druids have learned to do. The essence of a druid is linked through meditation to the essence of what he is trying to alter. Once this link is established, the druid continues meditation in an attempt to coax the other essence into altering itself to his needs. The more drastic the change, the longer a druid must meditate. Example: It would take merely a few minutes to make a flower bloom, whereas it might take weeks or months to coax a seed into growing to a full grown tree.
I still feel unwell with this ‚convince‘ and ‚coax‘ thingy. It sounds like you use a soft form of force. I would rather propose to say, that with the meditation, the essence of the druid and the essence of the other being (animal, plant , water) come to get in resonance somehow, come to „exist“ on the same „wavelength“, so that the other „being“ does what the druid would like to have because they were for a moment „one“. I know, it is difficult to write down, I‘m not happy with my wording either. maybe think in this direction. My approach would have the advantage to be quite different from ximaxian magic and clerical magic, because the Ximaxian use a kind of ‚force‘ , don‘t ask if it is ok what they do with their target or with what they use to achieve their wishes, while clerical magic tries to persuade to achieve their wishes.
In addition you have to think about what has Theo said  where form comes the energy to let a tree grow. Though we never talked about this - I think the sentence of the conservation of energy or however you want to call it is given (you can‘t really create anything out of nowhere without having to give something back). And we should think about how much a single druid (the strongest) can achieve - growing a whole tree in a matter of a few days is pretty much, compared what else is possible in ximaxian realms or with clerics .


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. Also, the stronger the personality of the druid meditating, the faster his goal will be completed. A stubborn dwarf is much more convincing than a nervous gnome. 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.

Certain races ave an affinity for certain essences, and thus are able to coax the essences much faster than one of another race. The list goes as follows:
Earth - Dwarf
Animal - Human (Eyelian)
Water - Merfolk
Fire - Orcs
Plant - Elves

I‘m not too happy with the categorisation here, and though it is not a must, I would stay to what the elven myth says about the affinity of the races to the elements, which are:

elves-wind
dwarves-earth
humans-water
orcs- fire

In addition, we can say:

elves-plants
humans- animals
dwarves- ?
orcs- ?

(the Eyelian are a different thing, they are not all druids and should achieve their goals in taming the animals in a different way)!)

I would not mention the merfolk, for they are half sentient only and surely not able to be druids - apart from a lacking interest in such things. you could however think about the hobbits and other minor races (mullog, trolls? surely not a gorba..)- ask their creators or post a general question in the forum , what other people think - but not before your concept is on a more solid base.

I don‘t think, that the fire druids in Aeruillin are a problem, for they could just be an exception, a joke of history. I don‘t know at all now, how and when to include them in aeruillin history.
And don‘t forget, that this is only an affinity..



Ximaxian Explanation: Druidic magic is not completely dissimilar to ximaxian magic, through druids would deny this vehemently. There is, however, one (at least) fundamental difference, and that is this: Ximaxian mages deal with only one aspect of an objects Car'all, while a druid deals with all of the car'all in an object. Example: Air is made of up of both wind and water Car'all, the former being the dominant. A windmage would deal with just the wind car'all, while a wind druid would deal with all aspects of the car'all. The druids, of course, know nothing of Car'all. They just speak of their essences and refuse to learn different, especially from those whom they consider to use unnatural power.
Keep this for later, no need to do it now, concentrate on the above - my proposal

Limitations: This form of magic has no real limitations should the druid be willing to spend enough time coaxing the object to do his will. If a druid spends enough time meditations, he can do basically anything.
As mentioned above and by Theo - it has to have limits - the power to do it has to come from somewhere - and it is boring, if everything can be achieved generally - single individuals may work miracles though...




I have warned you, Pikel!  ;)  

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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #4 on: 12 October 2005, 03:54:00 »

Yeah, and what Luca said, white druids could be invented as well - stick to what we have but bring forward new ideas as well....

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Marvin Cerambit
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« Reply #5 on: 12 October 2005, 07:06:00 »

I agree it's probably best to wait with any Ximaxian stuff untill the end. First work out what druid believe and than try and find a Ximaxian explanation for it.

And it's probably best to leave out orcs. I don't think they're really the druid type of persons. That and pictured them to be more clerical. (I'm really going to start with that orcish religion/shaman thing soon. Just need some time to write things out :) )

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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #6 on: 12 October 2005, 07:40:00 »

Yes, Marvin is probably right - at least orcs won't fit in the sheme which works for all others (just imagined an orc using druid ways of coming in contact with the fire essence - terrible things could arise.
Maybe a special group of orcs (Nybelmar?) is different and uses druid ways of manipulating fire, just an idea.Marvin?

Btw, I would not stress the differences between the different druid orders in the general entry - they should work all the same way, but mention difference (which will mostly be the visible way, rituals etc to approach the essence)  in the druidic entry itself.

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« Reply #7 on: 12 October 2005, 08:49:00 »

You've already have several great comments, so I'll just mention how trolls could fit into this entry.;)

Trolls could become red druids, as they believe that they are animated by an inner fire that does not perish. Thus, Talia's suggestion with a druid becoming "one" with his element would work great with trollish red druids. They would not be druids of any other element, not even earth. They were born of the earth, but it was fire that truly gave them life, according to their myths.

Anyway, I'm rambling on about trollish beliefs. Basically, trolls could become red druids but not any other kind of druid. If you choose to include trolls, then keep their strong family bonds in mind. In fact, I've got a suggestion on how you could use trolls.:biggrin

Trollish red druids would be trolls that left their bands after learning that they were fated to be killed by an insane spirit (natural disaster). Not wishing to bring disaster upon the entire band, a troll that learned of such a fate (he would have learned it from the shaman) would wander in search of somewhere he could belong. Upon finding the base of the red druids (wherever that will be), the troll would be relieved to find others of his kind and the trollish red druids would become his new family. The very first trollish red druid would have left his band in the same way and would have respected the red druids for their connection with the element of fire. Over time as more lone trolls joined, the number of trollish red druids would have slowly grown.

Of course this is only a suggestion, and it would not give you many trollish red druids. In fact, I would not want there to be more than thirty trolls that are red druids. Even though there may be enough trolls to form a band, they would not consider themselves to be one as it is not a band unless there is a shaman to guide it. By the way, no trollish shamans would ever become red druids.:p  It probably looks like I'm rambling and I may be, but I just like the idea of trollish red druids.:D  


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« Reply #8 on: 12 October 2005, 11:52:00 »

A good first draft, summarizing the discussion and outlining your work to be done, Pikel.

What strikes me as I read the comments is the programming dogma: "If the work seems big and incomprehensible, divide and conquire!"



Applied here, I see that the concept of Essence should IMHO be separated into an entry on its own, and worked out. How it behaves, what kinds there are, if there are kinds of it (your draft suggest fire essence and such), and so forth. Look to Car'all entry for inspiration. Once the concept of Essence is known to us, we can begin to speak of the druids, what they can and cannot do, and how they would do it.

Essence can be divided further still:

Essence itself, what it is and what it consists of. Here, be wary not to make it "yet another car'all".

The question of persuading (is guiding a better word?). How, etc.

Are the types of essence associated with not only races, but personality traits? And would it then be so that a stubborn dwarf is good with earth (similarities), or good with wind (opposites)? (This is Ximax speak, of wind and earth, of course. My point is the similarities vs opposites.)

Would essence of a certain type resist certain influences? Would a tree resist a druids attempt to kill it? Or would fire resist to be extinguished?

Also for essences, the talk about only "fully sentient" races to be able to be druids: Is it necessary? Does druidism firstly require power of mind in terms of intelligence, or strong emotions, feelings etc.? Do not limit yourselves too much by Ximax, my friends, for it will be your doom.

A final comment: Clear the concept! You are speaking of fire essence, then saying that a wind druid deals not ONLY with wind, but all aspects.

This all would fit into the the Essence entry, IMHO.



The druids entry:

Do the druids believe that a gift is needed to be a druid, or is only learning needed? Perhaps a personality? Strength of mind, or gentleness of it?

Also, here you would duplicate some of the Essence stuff, with personalities and such, if you chose to implement it. (To make the druids entry readable without having to memorize the Essence entry)

Orders of druids. Are there known organization of druids, or do they all operate alone?

The question of energy. Tio, your physics are appreciated ;). Ximax also has such problems, to an extent. Sometimes we say that car'all is energy and fuels things, other times we omit that and it looks just like what you commented on here.

However, the simplest explanation is to say that the druids use their own energy, same as they use to move, breathe etc. to guide or persuade. If they want a tree to grow faster, they would give it energy/take it from somewhere and give it to the tree. See this spell here, Burning Regeneration. There is a lot of presedence for "possible ways to practically solve magical problems".



Talia, are you sure you don't know magic? Your comments are fully adequate.

Finally, in this post there is only one proposal which I strongly burn for, and that is "divide and conquire". The rest are questions - answering them will give you something to write, Pikel. Also, some are alternatives - they are by no means complete, and there are surely many possibilities I have overlooked. IMHO, Pikel shall have the artistic freedom to make some of the choices for the druids himself (opposites vs similarities, personalities altogether etc.)

Keep up the good work.

Edited by: Silfer Darkflare at: 10/11/05 21:20
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« Reply #9 on: 12 October 2005, 12:03:00 »

:lol

Pikel, you have a lot to do, you got many good comments!

I see just one thing different, and that is what Silfer writes about a better description of "essence".
I don't think, it is necessary here to be so "scientific" like in the ximax entries. It depends a bit "who" actually writes it - the author could just not be interested in diversifying it too much. However, you as developer should know, what you want and where it should be heading. It could even be an extra entry (the essence), to not to make this entry too big.

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« Reply #10 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

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Luca the Thief
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« Reply #11 on: 12 October 2005, 15:17:00 »

Just a quick reply to something Silfer said:
Quote:
Are the types of essence associated with not only races, but personality traits? And would it then be so that a stubborn dwarf is good with earth (similarities), or good with wind (opposites)?


I think this relation between essences and personalities could work, but remember, to be a druid in the first place a person must have a certain amount of discipline and drive. It's not like magic where anyone can walk into Ximax, read some books and set somebody on fire (okay, so I'm exaggerating, but I think you get my point? :biggrin ) . So, though a druid's personality may slightly influence what essence they are capable of manipulating/coaxing, to understand and harness the concept at all, the person in question must have certain qualities to begin with.


Also, just another idea, I think it would be neat if gender played a role among druids. Perhaps they beleive in feminine or masculine spirits? Or at least, among the four core elements. Perhaps because Plant and Animal souls posess "life", they are both? Could be a neat angle to explore.


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« Reply #12 on: 12 October 2005, 15:21:00 »

Theo, that was what I meant with "becoming one" - merge.

And I like Lucas idea, that the gender might play a role!

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"For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path  that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length. And there I travel looking,  breathlessly. ~Don Juan"
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« Reply #13 on: 12 October 2005, 15:50:00 »

Luca, discipline and drive is the Ximax way. Discipline and focus of mind. Also, Ximaxians believe that you need a gift, and that not all can become mages. (Partly I think this is assumed, Artimidor should back me/disprove me on this.) Therefore, I am asking Pikel if a) The druids believe a gift is needed, (If this has somehow been established already, point me there please.) and b) If personalities should play a role.  

Edited by: Silfer Darkflare at: 10/11/05 23:51
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« Reply #14 on: 12 October 2005, 19:11:00 »

OK, I am looking through all the comments and will be writing them down to figure out responces to all questions and working on incorporating anything i feel should be incorporated.

Thanks everyone for all the help....Ava knows I need it :p  

What? Why must we speak of my profession? Come, let us have a drink. - Pikel

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