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Author Topic: Wind School: Sphere 1 (Spiritual): Lightness: Floating Thoughts (L1)  (Read 6994 times)
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Aos
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« on: 31 July 2010, 05:41:37 »

Hiya all! My very first entry - looking forward to your comments! (Here is the link to my introductory thread.)

Notes:

(1) Range, duration and casting time based on Silfer’s ‘Weaken Resolve’.

(2) I searched the site but could not locate any famous wind mages to quote from. So I invented a Maeverhim one (seemed rather appropriate, given that they live atop trees in a very windy environment, do not want their feet to touch the ground, and have very light, non-chalant, child-like personalities.) Do you think this is workable?

(3) Is "Aelephtháer" a legitimate elven name? I think I may have bastardised the elven words for 'white' and 'whisper' to craft that. I don't really understand Styrash so please be gentle :P

(4) I attributed a rather long quote to Coren. I hope that will not pose a problem?


(5) I am not really sure about the name. I've come up with a few alternatives (see below) - which one would you go for?

(6) Coren and Drasil disagree on whether the property of lightness can be used in the way I described here. Coren thinks it can, Drasil does not:


Quote from: Aos
Floating Thoughts causes the thoughts of the target to become lighter and float away like a feather caught in a morning breeze. Eventually the whole mind becomes as light and fleeting as a puff of air, making the target more likely to drift off to other worlds. As this spiritual form of “lightness” becomes dominant in the carall, the victim starts to forget his duties and gets distracted easily. This may also cause the target to become inattentive to his immediate environment: his thoughts may have wandered off elsewhere...

Quote from: Drasil
I'm not comfortable with your property choice here, though what the spell does is fine.  Would it be possible to switch it to the element's property of being insubstantial and impermanent or something along those lines.  Then you could make them have less 'weight' and disappear.  The idea of them becoming so light that they float away doesn't really strike me as plausible.

Quote from: Drasil
like the general idea of working through the properties and creating spells for each to show newer members the differences between them.  That being said, they still need to be plausible spells.  Having thoughts "float" away is far too metaphorical.  A floating thought is a description used by a poet to provide a better image for his or her reader, not what actually happens.  In reality, when you "forget" a thought, it disappears from your mind, hence why the property of insubstantiability is what is actually being used.  By increasing the influence of wind, you are dimming the 'physical' form of the wind, causing it to fade, and disperse and disappear (or 'float') out of the caster's mind.

Quote from: Drasil
As I mentioned, above, I'm still very opposed to the use of the lightness property.  If you insist on using it, you are going to need to dredge Mina or Fox from the depths of the world to do it because I am not comfortable blarrowing it.

The solution (or rather: clarification) I proposed, with which Coren agrees

Quote from: Aos
Increasing the property of lightness in a solid object will make it less heavy (see: Feather L1) – but it would take quite a bit of effort to make it so light that levitates off the ground and begins to float away (see: Levitation). Thoughts on the other hand are things of Wind – weightless, wispy, ephemeral; here one second and gone the next... Thoughts are already light, enough to coast effortlessly on the currents of the mind (Water) – the slightest inducement and off they fly.

In the words of the scholar Coren FrozenZephyr: ‘Thoughts are like tides; constantly they course, swell and reflect off the shores of the mind. One wave passes away so the next can be born into the Dream. Water flows, and so does the mind, shifting from one idea (wind) to the next.’ (Extract from Serenity L4)

Knowledge is Wind, but cognition (or awareness) arises from Water, from the currents circulating through the mind, carrying the thoughts, bringing ideas (Wind) together, integrating them, providing the opportunity for connections to form like a lacework of foam riding the crest of the wave.

Every mind has a unique balance between the weight of its thoughts (Wind) and the current on which they coast (Water). Increasing the influence of Wind in the carall does not cause the influence of Water to rise too – if anything, as the influence of Wind waxes, that of the other three elements wane. If thoughts abruptly grow lighter but the speed of the main current (the speed at which a mind thinks, the speed at which it sifts through ideas) remains constant, cognition can no longer keep up with these thoughts and they will be swept away by the next impromptu current surging past.

Mina/Fox's input would be greatly appreciated  undecided


Please let me know how to proceed :)





EDIT 1:
  • Additions
  • Edits

EDIT 2 (3 August 2010)

Wind School: Floating Thoughts

Name, School, Spell Level
Floating Thoughts: Wind School: Level 1

Name: Absent-mindedness? Distracted Mind? Floating Thoughts? Feather Thoughts? Feather Mind?

Overview
Floating Thoughts draws on the spiritual aspect of Wind to make the target’s thoughts lighter and lighter - until they begin to drift away like foam swept upwards by a mischievous zephyr.

Spell Effect
Floating Thoughts causes the thoughts of the target to become lighter and float away like a feather caught in a morning breeze. Eventually the whole mind becomes as light and fleeting as a puff of air, making the target more likely to drift off to other worlds. As this spiritual form of “lightness” becomes dominant in the carall, the victim starts to forget his duties and gets distracted easily. This may also cause the target to become inattentive to his immediate environment: his thoughts may have wandered off elsewhere...

Rather curiously, the effects of the spell are significantly reduced on Krean monks – or at least those few who wander across our continent from time to time, most likely visitors to Varcopas. In various documented attempts by Ximaxian scholars of rather impish temperament, the monks showed only the slightest signs of distraction or forgetfulness. Ximaxian mages have come up with numerous hypotheses to explain why the spell does not seem to work on Krean monks. One theory, put forward by the mage Drasil Razorfang, is that the monks' years of study have altered their minds, making wind extremely dominant in the mind's carall.  Since wind is already such a potent force in these targets' minds, increasing its influence does not really have noticeable effects because they are already heavily displaying wind's properties. Over time their minds have acclimatised to the ever-increasing lightness of their thoughts and the speed at which they move.

Being Krean on the one hand and a visiting scholar at the Academy of Ximax on the other, Coren FrozenZephyr’s comments could perhaps offer insight into both worlds:


Through years of mediation, Krean monks train their minds to become light and agile. They dedicate their lives to attaining a mind that is free and spontaneous: as spacious as a clear blue sky and as still as a lake at Firstflame. They spend their entire life seeking – and embodying – a state of radiant or pure awareness. It is not that the monks go about and counter the spell – they do this habitually, almost effortlessly. To them this is no different than dealing with distractions during meditation:

First, because they are fully alive and aware in every moment, they do notice when a particular thought suddenly grows lighter and begins to float away. Then, because their minds are equally swift and sprightly, they simply go with the flow, trace and gently touch the thought again before it vanishes – just as, in meditation, if you find that your mind has wandered, you bring it gently back to the breath.

There is also a rather nifty trick the monks use when they realise a mischievous wind mage is playing with their mind. The idea is ‘using softness to defeat hardness’ – that is: not meeting force with force, but using the caster’s own energy to defeat him. To understand their technique, you need to first understand how Krean monks meditate. If you want to meditate the Krean way, when thoughts arise, do not push them away but also do not indulge them either. Instead, just let go of them and let them evaporate. Say you have ten colourful thoughts in your consciousness – nine green and one blue. Now suddenly a wind mage casts the spell and all these thoughts grow lighter, surface and begin to float. The monk does not try to push them back down; instead, if he wants to retain his focus on the blue one, he simply encourages the green ones to grow even lighter and be carried off and away from view. It is a bit like releasing a cluster of balloons – the lighter ones will go up and vanish faster, leaving only the blue balloon in sight.




Coren Frozenzephyr also notes that Krean mages are surprisingly vulnerable to spells like this: Direct manipulation of the mind is taboo in Krean magic, so they are taken by surprise when a spell begins to alter the very make up of their thoughts. However, the initial shock only allows one to get a foot in the door, to incapacitate the Krean mage before he realises what is going on. After that, it is one mage’s will and skill against that of the other.

Casting Procedure

'Feel the morning breeze? Feel its gentle touch – now here, now there, never grasping, never pushing, always light, ever elusive? Make yourself one with the Element - and now reach into his mind, softly, softly. Felt it yet? See how heavy, how focussed, how burdened it is! So attached, so resolute, so possessive – each thought tethered into the soil of the mind. Now make it more like the breeze you feel on your face... "Liberate" his mind, make the thoughts lighter, allow them to rise and escape. Let them float and drift away, driven by a gentle wind...'

(Extract from The Teachings of Aelien'epthaer the Maeverhim. Aelien'epthaer was a visiting/guest lecturer at Ximax - or given the Maeverhim's cultural taboo against touching the ground, perhaps it could be more accurate to say he was a 'come visit me' lecturer on the elven view of Wind.)


‘Enough with this elven nonsense of “tapping into” minds or “attuning” yourself with another’s carall! Logic not mysticism; study not unverifiable, irreproducible, whimsical sensations. Off with the elves and their romanticism!

Every mage knows that carall is not something magi can ‘see’ or ‘become one with’. We impose our will on it through intense focus and knowing the carall is there, not because we can touch or see the carall. So stop whining and FOCUS! Focus on that carall, bend it to your will, bend it towards Wind, bend it until Wind and its property of lightness rise to ascendancy.

Here, in Ximax, we pay the bills, we provide the funding – so I propose we teach it the human way. We must strive to understand magic through logic - and through that understanding, master it.’


 
(Extract from Understanding Magic through Logic – and Logic alone!: A Ximaxian Treatise, by Wizard Thaelnoric Tempestbringer of Astran - a major opponent of Aelephtháer’s teachings. Thaelnoric was human mage hailing from the Erpheronian people, a tribe known in Santharia as ‘the Proudmen’)


Floating Thoughts taps into the target’s mind and raises the influence of Wind to give the target’s thoughts a light, ephemeral quality. The mage does not increase the influence of Wind globally, as this might create unintended consequences as well – such as making the target’s thoughts ‘invisible’ to himself (see: Concealed Sentiments) or increase movement, thereby making the target mind more agile. Instead, the mage will focus on a single property and amplify the spiritual aspect of ‘lightness’.

(Isolating a specific property and working on that alone is harder than augmenting all aspects of Wind across the board. This is why, comparatively speaking, a spell such as Floating Thoughts would take longer to cast and have shorter range and duration.)

Increasing the property of lightness in a solid object will make it less heavy (see: Feather L1) – but it would take quite a bit of effort to make it so light that levitates off the ground and begins to float away (see: Levitation). Thoughts on the other hand are things primarily of Wind – weightless, wispy, ephemeral; here one second and gone the next... Thoughts are already light, enough to coast effortlessly on the currents of the mind (Water) – the slightest inducement and off they fly.

In the words of the scholar Coren FrozenZephyr: ‘Thoughts are like tides; constantly they course, swell and reflect off the shores of the mind. One wave passes away so the next can be born into the Dream. Water flows, and so does the mind, shifting from one idea (wind) to the next.’ (Extract from Serenity L4)

Knowledge is Wind, but cognition (or awareness) arises from Water, from the currents circulating through the mind, carrying the thoughts, bringing ideas (Wind) together, integrating them, providing the opportunity for connections to form like a lacework of foam riding the crest of the wave.

Every mind has a unique balance between the weight of its thoughts (Wind) and the current on which they coast (Water). Increasing the influence of Wind in the carall does not cause the influence of Water to rise too – if anything, as the influence of Wind waxes, that of the other three elements wane. If thoughts abruptly grow lighter but the speed of the main current (the speed at which a mind thinks, the speed at which it sifts through ideas) remains constant, cognition can no longer keep up with these thoughts and they will be swept away by the next impromptu current surging past.


Magical Formula
To be defined.

Target
Any sentient being. Note that Floating Thoughts is harder to cast on dwarves and other creatures whose carall is dominated by the Element of Earth and its associated qualities of heaviness and stability.

Reagents
A feather and indeed any other object that is characteristically light or weightless may be used as a reagent. The presence of a light breeze might also function as a reagent – the wind acting as a tangible reference for the (spiritual) qualities the mage wishes to bring forth in the carall.

Magical School
Elemental School of Wind

Magical School / Spell Class
Spiritual Representation of Sphere 1: Property of Lightness.

Range
At the beginning touch is required. From level three onwards, Floating Thoughts can be cast from a distance:

Level – Range
Level 3: Half a ped
Level 4: About two peds
Level 5: About ten peds
Level 6: Forty peds
Level 7: About a hundred peds
Level 8+: Here sight becomes the determining factor, replacing distance.

Casting time
Lower level mages might need anywhere between one to three minutes to cast Floating Thoughts (since this is a Sphere 1 spell, once cast the mage will have to keep maintaining the spell or the effects will disperse).

Duration
As a Sphere 1 spell, Floating Thoughts will only last as long as the caster continues focusing. Once the concentration is broken, willingly or otherwise, the car'all quickly returns to its natural state, causing the spell effect to end. Therefore, the only limit to the duration is how long the caster can sustain the manipulation.

Counter Measures/Enhancing Measures
A wind mage can counter the spell by weakening the property of lightness, whereas an earth mage would increase the influence of earth and its property of heaviness. As for countering the spell without using magic, the techniques used by Krean monks might be of inspiration (please see Spell Effect, penultimate paragraph).
« Last Edit: 04 August 2010, 15:42:36 by Aos » Logged

"Logic in the service of appreciation, and appreciation in the service of reverence, which, in the face of wonders not of our making, is our only proper response." Colin Tudge, The Secret Life of Trees
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« Reply #1 on: 31 July 2010, 05:49:35 »

WOW a newbie starting off with a magic entry.  Very brave worship.  I have been around for a year and a half and i still don't understand magic around here. Having said that i can't really help with the critique, so good luck.  I will be impessed if you get by with minimal changes.  grin
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Drasil Razorfang
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« Reply #2 on: 31 July 2010, 05:54:47 »

I haven't read through the spell yet so I don't know if it all works mechanically, but I just wanted to say its good to have a new face on the magic boards.  I'll give you a full read-through when I have a bit more time. 
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« Reply #3 on: 31 July 2010, 05:57:17 »

LOL Seeker - none so brave as a blind mare, I guess! ;P

I forgot to mention: I checked the information regarding Krean monks with Coren first. But he has not seen the spell or the quote I attributed to him, so I guess I will just have to wait and see...

*wonders if he should invest in protective gear*


EDIT: Thank you Drasil :)
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« Reply #4 on: 31 July 2010, 07:37:53 »

For the guts to tackle something I still wouldn't touch, an aura from me, Aos. I can see you've done your reading into what's already onsite which is always a plus around these parts.

Dek
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« Reply #5 on: 31 July 2010, 09:00:43 »

Quote
I searched the site but could not locate any famous wind mages to quote from. So I invented a Maeverhim one (seemed rather appropriate, given that they live atop trees in a very windy environment, do not want their feet to touch the ground, and have very light, non-chalant, child-like personalities.) Do you think this is workable?

There's a couple I can think of off the top of my head: Raeis Boldsnouth, Melone Swanvild and Eckra the Cruel (though he was a Chosen so I don't know if he would work).  If you search through the wind spell entries I'm sure you could find a few more.  Making someone up is fine as well, since there are hundreds of Wind Magi who have lived over the years so there is no need to apologize.  The fact that you chose an elf, however, doesn't really work.  Ximax is a school for humans to study in.  The Elves have their own magic school, which has yet to be developed.

Quote
(4) I attributed a rather long quote to Coren. I hope that will not pose a problem?

It shouldn't be.  Just drop him a bell-ring or a PM to be sure though.

Quote
Floating Thoughts causes the thoughts of the target to become lighter and float away like a feather caught in a morning breeze. Eventually the whole mind becomes as light and fleeting as a puff of air, making the target more likely to drift off to other worlds. As this spiritual form of “lightness” becomes dominant in the carall, the victim starts to forget his duties and gets distracted easily. This may also cause the target to become inattentive to his immediate environment: his thoughts may have wandered off elsewhere...

I'm not comfortable with your property choice here, though what the spell does is fine.  Would it be possible to switch it to the element's property of being insubstantial and impermanent or something along those lines.  Then you could make them have less 'weight' and disappear.  The idea of them becoming so light that they float away doesn't really strike me as plausible.

Quote
Rather curiously, Krean monks – or at least those few who wander across our continent from time to time, most likely visitors to Varcopas – seem to be completely unaffected by this spell. In various documented attempts by certain Ximaxian scholars of rather impish temperament, the monks did not show any signs of distraction or forgetfulness. Some Wind mages argue that it would be wrong to conclude that their carall must be impervious to Ximaxian spells: Their carall is altered, wind and its property of lightness does become dominant in the mind – it is just that, due to the monks’ mental discipline, the spell does not produce any observable effect.

Two comments here.  First, I wouldn't say they are completely unaffected by the spell, but would rather say that its effects are greatly reduced.  Anyone, regardless of how trained their mind is, is going to be affected by an altering of the very make up of their thoughts. 

Secondly, the theory you propose as to why the spell doesn't work doesn't fit well with Ximaxian theory.  A more plausible solution would be that the monks' years of study have altered their minds, making wind extremely dominant in the mind's car'all.  Thus, since wind is already such a potent force in these targets' minds, increasing its influence doesn't really have noticeable effects because they are already heavily displaying wind's properties.  You got the explanation right in the quote you attributed to Coren, however, even if you might not have realized it so just have this passage reflect that by making the change mentioned above. 

Quote
Coren Frozenzephyr also notes that Krean mages are surprisingly vulnerable to spells like this; given that direct manipulation of the mind is taboo in Krean magic, they do not expect ‘mental attacks’ and seldom erect shields around their minds. However, the initial surprise only allows one to get a foot in the door – after that it becomes a battle of wills and strength between the thief that tries to break in and the housekeeper that tries to slam the door shut.

Are the Krean mages different than these monks?  As I said, I know nothing about the Krean so you are going to need Coren to come in and make sure all the theories you are throwing out here are accurate.  Also, the 'shields' you describe do not exist in Ximaxian magic.  If a mage recognizes that his mind is being tampered with he can attempt to cast a spell that creates an opposite effect and thus nullify any influences on his mind, but he can not establish a "ward against mental attacks" if you will.  All that being said, the casting of spells to influence thoughts and feelings is not done in the process of "mental invasion" that you describe.  A Ximaxian mage does not attempt to break into another's subconscious through a mental assault, but rather attempts to influence it by altering the car'all of the target through the use of their element to create a desired effect.  On the other end, a defender is not attempting to force the mage out of his thoughts.  Finally, its not really a battle of wills and strength but strength of will.

This problem with your description of "breaking into the target's mind" can also be seen in the quote you attribute to your wind mage instructor.  Car'all is not something that magi can 'feel' or 'become one with.'  They impose their will on it through intense focus and knowing the car'all is there, not because they can touch or see the car'all.

Quote
cast on dwarves and other creatures whose carall is dominated by the Element of Earth and its associated qualities of heaviness and stability.

All of the theory crafting about how "elves are wind, humans are water, dwarves are earth and orcs are fire" has no basis in Ximaxian theory.  The mind of every sentient being is going to have a mixture of Earth, Water, Wind and Fire that reflects the nature of that individual, not some formula pre-determined by their race.  Each of the elements deals with a different part of the mind.  For example, Earth is generally associated with memories and mental stability, fire is passionate emotion and drives.

Quote
by focussing the caster’s mind on the desired property.

I think you mean focusing the caster's mind on his element?  Also, focusing only has one s.


Quote
Magical School / Spell Class

Split these into two sections please.  I know it seems foolish, but it makes it easier when it comes time to integrate.

Quote
Counter Measures/Enhancing Measures

You forgot Enhancing measures.

Some general comments.  I noticed you forgot the Magical Formula section.  This isn't really a big deal since Magical Formulas are still undefined so all you have to add there is "to be defined".  I know this seems foolish, but it keeps consistency throughout the spells on site and makes Arti's job easier (I think.).

Overall, this is a very well thought out spell and you have a lot of the concepts of Ximaxian pretty solidly down.  I'm thoroughly impressed, especially by the extensive theory-crafting and referencing of other systems of magic you did.  I don't think I gave you that many corrections so if you get these implemented quickly, I should be able to give you another look through and hopefully a blarrow by the next update.  Please remember to color the changes that you make and if you have questions about any of my comments, feel free to ask and I will be happy to answer you.

Once again, I wanted to say congrtaz on a job well done and I look forward to working with you again in the future!  thumbup (Also, I gave you an aura for impressing me[which is a very rare feat]).
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« Reply #6 on: 02 August 2010, 23:22:09 »

I've just read both Aos's spell and Drasil's insightful commentary. (Drasil, you spotted a few things that I didn't notice myself so an aura point for your thoroughness and perceptivity!)

Apologies in advance for the brusque tone of this post: Unfortunately time is very scarce, so I'll work my way through both Aos's entry and Drasil's comments using bullet points.

I disagree with Drasil on a few points. However:
  • The fact that I disagree does not mean Drasil's point is utterly unacceptable and should be ruled out. Please treat these as theoretical divergence of opinion rather than ultimatums.
  • Divergence of opinion is a good thing: It gives us an opportunity to discuss and deepen our understanding of Ximaxian magic.
  • Even if the ensuing discussion (in a separate thread please!) leads to a 'solution', I think we should still retain the different opinions it sprung from. Personally, I'd like to see more dialectics in Ximax. Currently things are a bit too.. umm.. 'monolithic'. Is it really plausible that all Ximaxian see eye to eye on EVERY SINGLE magical issue? I think it would be more realistic (and desirable) if we had differing 'schools of opinion' among Ximaxian scholars on certain controversial subjects.



Quote
(4) I attributed a rather long quote to Coren. I hope that will not pose a problem?
1) The info on the Krean is accurate - so no problems from a Nybelmarian perspective. Lol, I quite like the fact that I seem to be generating all these rather eloquently phrased musings on magic without even having to open my mouth ;)

Quote
There's a couple I can think of off the top of my head: Raeis Boldsnouth, Melone Swanvild and Eckra the Cruel (though he was a Chosen so I don't know if he would work).  If you search through the wind spell entries I'm sure you could find a few more.  Making someone up is fine as well, since there are hundreds of Wind Magi who have lived over the years so there is no need to apologize.  The fact that you chose an elf, however, doesn't really work.  Ximax is a school for humans to study in.  The Elves have their own magic school, which has yet to be developed.

2) I don't think Eckra is a wind mage - wasn't he the Chosen of Queprur (which is an earth goddess)?

3) Hmm... I thought there were elven mages (most of whom would be wind or xeua) in Ximax? I'll open a new thread for discussion. Meanwhile, I think Aos can keep the elven mage.

Quote
I'm not comfortable with your property choice here, though what the spell does is fine.  Would it be possible to switch it to the element's property of being insubstantial and impermanent or something along those lines.  Then you could make them have less 'weight' and disappear.  The idea of them becoming so light that they float away doesn't really strike me as plausible.

4) Re choice of property (lightness). Here I disagree. I think Aos's intention was to systematically work his way through an element's properties, creating spells for each - which is something I'd very much support. So you'd have one spell for the spiritual representation of 'lightness' and another for that of 'immaterialness'.

Once all these spells are on the site, perhaps they can be condensed and complied into a 'table' format -which would instructive in teaching newcomers the differences between the properties, by comparing let's say the spell effect achieved by 'lightness' with that of 'immateriality'.

Quote from: Aos
Rather curiously, Krean monks – or at least those few who wander across our continent from time to time, most likely visitors to Varcopas – seem to be completely unaffected by this spell. In various documented attempts by certain Ximaxian scholars of rather impish temperament, the monks did not show any signs of distraction or forgetfulness. Some Wind mages argue that it would be wrong to conclude that their carall must be impervious to Ximaxian spells: Their carall is altered, wind and its property of lightness does become dominant in the mind – it is just that, due to the monks’ mental discipline, the spell does not produce any observable effect.

Quote from: Drasil
Two comments here.  First, I wouldn't say they are completely unaffected by the spell, but would rather say that its effects are greatly reduced.  Anyone, regardless of how trained their mind is, is going to be affected by an altering of the very make up of their thoughts.

Secondly, the theory you propose as to why the spell doesn't work doesn't fit well with Ximaxian theory.  A more plausible solution would be that the monks' years of study have altered their minds, making wind extremely dominant in the mind's car'all.  Thus, since wind is already such a potent force in these targets' minds, increasing its influence doesn't really have noticeable effects because they are already heavily displaying wind's properties.  You got the explanation right in the quote you attributed to Coren, however, even if you might not have realized it so just have this passage reflect that by making the change mentioned above.


5) Re Drasil's 'firstly': Well spotted! My mind completely skipped over that until I read your comment. I must be getting complacent, buying whatever people tell me these days ;P

Re Drasil's 'secondly': Drasil raises a very valid point. But do not remove what you have. Just keep that as 'the Krean explanation / the monks' own explanation of what they're doing' and add Drasil's alternative as 'the Ximaxian explanation'. That way we will have the best of both worlds! :) (I admit I am biased. The more Krean references, the better! We will slowly but surely take over the Disk ;) )

6) I take Drasil's point about mental shields and 'breaking into' another mind. Perhaps Aos did not mean that the caster actually 'pops into' the target's mind and a 'telepathic'/dreamlike battle ensues. He might have just used that as a turn of phrase and sort of ran with it. But yes, Aos, perhaps you could rephrase the section to align it a bit more with Ximaxian terminology?

However, I actually disagree with this:

Quote
Car'all is not something that magi can 'feel' or 'become one with.'  They impose their will on it through intense focus and knowing the car'all is there, not because they can touch or see the car'all.

Ditto your point about not being able to 'see' the carall, but I think mages can 'sense' it  to a degree(or at the very least the 'quality' of a given carall, the 'quality' that particular auratic energy has - which they then re-interpret in their mind as a certain composition of ounia).

Maybe, when I have more time (perhaps in September) I could write a very short essay on this, presented as one Ximaxian scholar's views on the subject. A bit like the way academics here on Earth publish articles to pose questions and put forward their hypotheses. At any rate, this is more about abstract magic theory so we could gloss over it here. Just brought it up to draw attention to the fact that this is not something that is universally accepted as a 'given'.


Quote
All of the theory crafting about how "elves are wind, humans are water, dwarves are earth and orcs are fire" has no basis in Ximaxian theory.  The mind of every sentient being is going to have a mixture of Earth, Water, Wind and Fire that reflects the nature of that individual, not some formula pre-determined by their race.  Each of the elements deals with a different part of the mind.  For example, Earth is generally associated with memories and mental stability, fire is passionate emotion and drives.

Drasil, the first sentence is not right. I think you are confusing two things: (1) Every mind DOES have a mixture of all four elements. And every mind does have a unique balance, a unique proportion between Wind, Water, Earth and Fire. (2) However, an individual's race does have an impact on this composition. Or shall I say: certain races are more attuned to certain elements. Certain races reflect the qualities of certain elements more than others. Dwarves, for instance, tend to be more tenacious and focussed because they reflect the properties of Earth, an element that is much more dominant in dwarven carall than in say an elven or human one.

So yes: An individual's temperament is determined by the particular composition of the four elements in his carall - but an individual's race (human/dwarf/elf/orc) influences which element tends to be more dominant (compared to an individual from another race) in the carall.





I hope that was helpful :) Thanks again Drasil for your thorough and insightful analysis!

PS: Oh - and I love Aos's idea of including atmospheric excerpts under 'casting procedures'. Ximaxian magic had become somewhat... 'dry' I guess is the word I am looking for. I am a big proponent of maintaining logic and consistency in the Ximaxian system - often to the point of splitting hairs over minutia. However, 'logical' should not necessarily mean 'boring' or 'abstruse'. So I for one would be very supportive of this new movement, that of instilling a touch of the magical back into Ximaxian magic!

True to his word (see below), Aos really did manage to 'not change' but 'enhance our appreciation' of the existing system, which Artimidor has crafted out of his imagination with such finesse. This is why I like having new people show an interest in magic - they are like a breath of fresh air, opening our eyes to the beauty and wonder that is already around us.

In short: A toast of welcome to Aos - and one of gratitude to Artimidor, the mastermind behind the Ximaxian system!





Quote from: Aos, from his introductory thread
I have always regarded trade and science not as a tribute to human ingenuity and power, but truly in a spirit of reverence. I will try to bring that same sense of wonder to my efforts here. In my travels across Santharia, I wish not to change this world but to enhance its appreciation.

Quote from: Aos
I do not know if I will ever become an expert in magic, but I hope I can at least aspire to be a connoisseur of the arcane – connoisseurship implying a combination of knowledge on the one hand and love on the other, each enhancing the other.

Quote from: Aos
I understand newcomers are expected to say a few things about themselves. I guess my guiding principle in life is: Logic in the service of appreciation, and appreciation in the service of reverence, which, in the face of wonders not of our making, is our only proper response.
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« Reply #7 on: 03 August 2010, 00:08:23 »

Thank you for your comments! I worked my way through Drasil's comments - it took me a few days to post as I did not have a block of time to go through them in one sitting. I've also just read Coren's comments. Thank you both for your kind words and insight - I feel I am already learning a lot.

I have now updated the main post with the edits:

  • I have kept the elven mage, as Coren suggested - but I have also included another passage, this time from a human mage to bring home the very valid point Drasil raised.
  • Can I have some help with the name please? I've included a number of alternatives - which one sounds best? *does not like naming things*
  • I have also sent Drasil a PM requesting clarification on one of his comments. In the meantime, I have aligned that section with what I think Drasil was saying as best I could. If it turns out I misunderstood what he had in mind, I could always alter it again.
  • I made several stylistic changes to the text, but did not mark each little one in colour. Hope that is ok. I have also re-aligned the quote attributed to Coren: it was a wall of text so I broke it off into paragraphs.
  • Couldn't really find anything to say on enhancing measures - but again few spells on the site do. Do you think what I have there is enough?


Let me know what you think :)



EDIT: Whoa - that became way too colourful. So colourful that it's hurting my eyes... There's a lesson here for my next entry ;)
« Last Edit: 03 August 2010, 05:08:36 by Aos » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: 03 August 2010, 05:50:33 »

Comments on Coren's comments (wow thats confusing) from me in a little bit.  As I'm sure you can imagine, I don't agree with his logic in some areas.   evil

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« Reply #9 on: 03 August 2010, 05:56:58 »

Could I respectfully ask that any disagreement between our magic experts, Drasil and Coren, be handled in a separate thread? And that the comments posted here centre around the new version of the spell I posted?

As a newbie, finding my way around Santharian magic is difficult enough. I fear that if our magic experts start a debate on high magic theory here, I'm never going to be able to make heads or tails of which parts should go into the entry.  (I will of course follow that discussion as best I can, to deepen my understanding of Ximaxian magic.)

Since this is my very first spell (indeed my very first entry) please whenever people post here, could you point me specifically to how I should rework the spell? :)
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« Reply #10 on: 03 August 2010, 07:28:15 »

Seeing as the discussion pertains to your spell, I think it would make sense that they took place here, no?  I promise any discussions of 'high magic theory' can occur elsewhere. 

Now then back to the commenting:

Quote
2) I don't think Eckra is a wind mage - wasn't he the Chosen of Queprur (which is an earth goddess)?

Hmm...it is true that he was the Chosen of Queprur, but I remember when doing my research for the Tome of Time I got the impression from some entry that he was a wind mage.  I can't seem to find the entry that gave me that impression though so I guess it would be best to either a) ask an expert in the field or b) just choose a different person.

Quote
3) Hmm... I thought there were elven mages (most of whom would be wind or xeua) in Ximax? I'll open a new thread for discussion. Meanwhile, I think Aos can keep the elven mage.

There are elves at Ximax, just like there are members of all the other races, but they are a very very tiny minority.  Ximax is a -human- school and therefore isn't really compatible with the elven way of learning and teaching.  The principles and skills taught at the elven school of magic (Its called something along the lines of the Two Towers) are similar to those of Ximax but the manner in which they are taught is what makes it unique.  The two schools are basically an embodiment of the differences between elves and humans.

That being said, Aos, you can keep the elf mage since it is possible there would be an elf mage at Ximax, but, just for future reference, remember that elves are supposed to be quite rare in Ximax.

Quote
4) Re choice of property (lightness). Here I disagree. I think Aos's intention was to systematically work his way through an element's properties, creating spells for each - which is something I'd very much support. So you'd have one spell for the spiritual representation of 'lightness' and another for that of 'immaterialness'.

Once all these spells are on the site, perhaps they can be condensed and complied into a 'table' format -which would instructive in teaching newcomers the differences between the properties, by comparing let's say the spell effect achieved by 'lightness' with that of 'immateriality'.

I like the general idea of working through the properties and creating spells for each to show newer members the differences between them.  That being said, they still need to be plausible spells.  Having thoughts "float" away is far too metaphorical.  A floating thought is a description used by a poet to provide a better image for his or her reader, not what actually happens.  In reality, when you "forget" a thought, it disappears from your mind, hence why the property of insubstantiability is what is actually being used.  By increasing the influence of wind, you are dimming the 'physical' form of the wind, causing it to fade, and disperse and disappear (or 'float') out of the caster's mind.

Quote
Ditto your point about not being able to 'see' the carall, but I think mages can 'sense' it  to a degree(or at the very least the 'quality' of a given carall, the 'quality' that particular auratic energy has - which they then re-interpret in their mind as a certain composition of ounia).

Maybe, when I have more time (perhaps in September) I could write a very short essay on this, presented as one Ximaxian scholar's views on the subject. A bit like the way academics here on Earth publish articles to pose questions and put forward their hypotheses. At any rate, this is more about abstract magic theory so we could gloss over it here. Just brought it up to draw attention to the fact that this is not something that is universally accepted as a 'given'.

The ability to 'sense' the car'all falls into the realm of Oh'mod'hal, which is supposed to be a very rare ability.  Giving it to every mage defeats that purpose.  Perhaps a change to Oh'mod'hal so that instead it is ability that allows someone to 'physically see' the car'all.  We could then say that mages on the other hand, can just sense the car'all and thus impose their will on it.

What are your thoughts on this idea Coren, Mina, Fox and Artimidor?

Quote
So yes: An individual's temperament is determined by the particular composition of the four elements in his carall - but an individual's race (human/dwarf/elf/orc) influences which element tends to be more dominant (compared to an individual from another race) in the carall.

...Ew.  I don't like that at all, but I guess since its been established I'm forced to accept it.  Good thing I wasn't around when this was decided otherwise I would have fought it tooth and nail.   ;)  You can leave that sentence as is then, Aos.

Now to Aos' updates:

As I mentioned, above, I'm still very opposed to the use of the lightness property.  If you insist on using it, you are going to need to dredge Mina or Fox from the depths of the world to do it because I am not comfortable blarrowing it.

Leaving the elven scholar is fine. As for the content of the quote, see my comment immediately preceding this one.  Your name choice for the wind mage looks fine to me as well.

Looking at your second quote, I really like how you placed it in direct opposition to the first.  However, based on the prose you use, I think it would be better if you had the elf come from the elven school.  An elf teaching at Ximax would follow Ximaxian styles so therefore critiquing him for his elf dribble doesn't really make sense.  Alternatively, you could alter the beginning of the quote to make it a more focused personal attack on the particular elf you mention.  That would solve the problem as well.

Quote
Thoughts on the other hand are things of Wind – weightless, wispy, ephemeral; here one second and gone the next... Thoughts are already light, enough to coast effortlessly on the currents of the mind (Water) – the slightest inducement and off they fly.

This is incorrect because you over-generalize.  You can not lump all thoughts into wind.  For example, if I am recalling a fond memory, that memory is said to be primarily earthen or, should I be thinking of how much I hate or love something, that thought would be said to be dominated by fire.

You drastically altered the section in which I commented about needed to make one paragraph reflect the other so the comment no longer applies.  Also, you do a very good job of impersonating Coren.  Your quote sounds exactly like his overly metaphoric mumbo-jumbo.  :P  The only comment I have here is that which I mentioned immediately preceding this one.

As for your enhancing measures, I think it would be better if you just removed them and went back to the way it was before.  They don't really add much to the spell entry and change the effect of the spell.  (Using Sphere III to bring in new ounia makes the spell permanent).



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« Reply #11 on: 03 August 2010, 08:10:18 »

- Eckra was an avatar of Queprur, and though it is not mentioned his specific element in his entry or in the War of the Chosen fact finding thread, it should be assumed that since he is a chosen of an earth goddess, he was of earth.

- One way to solve the elf at Ximax issue is to make him a half-elf. In other words, if he perhaps grew up in a human culture, he would be more acceptable attending Ximax than a pure blood elf.
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« Reply #12 on: 03 August 2010, 16:07:00 »

So it boils down to four issues then, two of which pertain to Aos's entry (and should remain here), the remaining two concerns general magic theory (which should be discussed elsewhere):

Issues pertaining to Aos's spell

1) Wind property of 'lightness': Can the spiritual aspect of 'lightness' be used to make thoughts lighter so that they begin to float, making the target more likely to be distracted/drift off to other worlds? (ie: Does the spell work as-is?) I think it can; Drasil disagrees.

2) Drasil's last comment/objection on the wind-nature of thoughts

  • My opinion: This is an area of high magic theory. A controversial academic subject - perfect from a dev point to introduce some academic divergence between Ximaxian scholars. My personal hypothesis: Thoughts are primarily wind, influenced by the other elements, the presence of each element giving them a different hue/quality. To address Drasil's example: Just like air is predominantly wind, stilled by the influence of earth, memories are thoughts (wind) which have gained a certain degree of permanence by having Earth and its associated properties such as stability, permanence, inertia impressed upon them. (idea  Off topic, but this just sparked an idea: Perhaps earth represents the past, wind the future (would also tie in nicely with Rayne ideas regarding clairvoyancy/foreseeing the future by reading the imprints on wind ounia), and water the present, with fire representing the will/life that lives through them?)

    Wind represents that which cannot be seen but felt, that which is in constant movement, light, subtle, ephemeral - and thoughts are as close as you can get to that, imo.

    And in terms of precedents, it has been laid down from the very beginning that Wind is the school of the mind: The other elements can of course affect the mind and impose their own qualities (passion, indecisiveness, stableness etc) on it - but to a much lesser degree, breadth and flexibility compared to Wind. When it comes to manipulation of the mind and things of the mind, Wind - quite literally - is 'in its element'.


    It is already clearly established on the site that beliefs, ideas and knowledge are Wind themselves, but can be influenced indirectly by the other three elements. Increasing the influence of Earth, for instance, can make a person more stubborn, causing him to become fixated on a single idea. It is not a stretch at all to extend this from ideas to thought. Note that 'thinking' (a process affected by all four elements in different ways) is not the same as 'thoughts' (the products arising from this process). And of course remember elven mythology, in which Wind is quite literally the Thoughts of Ava! :P

    Given that it is a theoretical subject and given that Aos's explanation represents one possible, plausible hypothesis, this should not block the uploading of the spell.



Issues pertaining to general magic theory

3) We agree that generally speaking carall is not something you can 'see', with its swirling indigos and blues and whites - but can it be 'sensed'/'felt' to some extent by mages manipulating it?

After all, how can you construct (not to mention: unravel!) complex enchantments if you cannot to a certain degree 'feel'/'sense' (or perhaps: 'feel-touch' or 'feel-see') the meta-state of the ounia/xeua links? [/b]

This is a rather significant theoretical issue, which needs to be meticulously reasoned out, starting from first principles. That's why I recommended that we start this in September - when I will actually have time to think through it step by step. It would be a shame to brainstorm this without input from the main magic people - such as Rayne, Arti, Silfer, Marvin, Fox, Mina (and me  buck). Perhaps the magic mods could take the initiative and plan ahead by sending all these people invitations and try to arrange a discussion at a time/month which would be mutually convenient for everyone involved?


4) Influence of race (elf/human/orc/dwarf) on the general composition and orientation of an individual's carall - Again, I thought this was pretty much settled. To my mind, it (the myth of the elements) seems to be the very essence, the founding thought behind Ximaxian Magic as Artimidor conceived it.




Quote from: Aos
In the words of the scholar Coren FrozenZephyr: ‘Thoughts are like tides; constantly they course, swell and reflect off the shores of the mind. One wave passes away so the next can be born into the Dream. Water flows, and so does the mind, shifting from one idea (wind) to the next.’ (Extract from Serenity L4)

Quote from: Drasil
You drastically altered the section in which I commented about needed to make one paragraph reflect the other so the comment no longer applies.  Also, you do a very good job of impersonating Coren.  Your quote sounds exactly like his overly metaphoric mumbo-jumbo.

I'd hope it would sound like me - I wrote it! :P Aos was directly quoting a passage from my Serenity spell - and then expounding on it in his own words ;)

And of course it is metaphorical - the whole Ximaxian cosmology is one giant metaphor/analogy, likening the world and the processes within it to the four elements of Wind, Earth, Fire and Water.  cool

« Last Edit: 03 August 2010, 17:10:50 by Coren FrozenZephyr » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: 03 August 2010, 23:27:08 »

Quote
2) Drasil's last comment/objection on the wind-nature of thoughts

The theory you elaborated upon here comes in direct conflict with those laid out by Fox, Twen, Mina (I think) and myself that serves as the basis for Earth necromancy.  You can look here for the full discussion, but the basic premise is that the Earth mage "binds" the earthen portions of the mind to an object or place, thus creating a spirit or a wraith.  Since Earth is the element of permanence, it was decided that the portions of the mind (and thus the thoughts) it dominated would be those pertaining to memories and the past.  The spiritual domination of Earth in the wraith or ghost is also what explains its repetitive actions (hauntings) and single-minded nature.  While it is true that wind would be quite heavily present in such a spirit, it would be restricted to domination of the physical, providing the incorporeal form of the ghost.  It would have little or no presence in the mind (which is where Wind Necromancy as an art of communicating and dispelling spirits comes in).

The mind and thoughts are complicated things.  Stating that "the whole mind is wind" is an over-simplification of something that is far from simple.  It is correct to state that certain, or even a majority, of thoughts are made of wind.  That being said, there is a significant enough minority of ideas dominated by the elements that they cannot be discounted and ignored.

A compromise I would be willing to make would be to say all thoughts are, in form, dominated by wind.  Wind can serve as the "shell" for all thoughts, providing them with their aloof, fickle and fleeting nature and providing an explanation as to why they cannot be seen physically.  The content of those thoughts, that is to say what is inside that shell, however, can be dominated by any element, depending upon the nature of the specific thought (So to name a few examples for each Earth would be resolve and memories, Fire would be lust and passion, and water would be thoughts of uncertainty as well as those that bring us peace).

As for the passage in question, as long as it is edited to reflect that thoughts aren't entirely wind based things (even if its just by changing it so that it reads "Thoughts on the other hand are things predominantly of Wind – weightless, wispy, ephemeral; here one second and gone the next... Thoughts are already light, enough to coast effortlessly on the currents of the mind (Water) – the slightest inducement and off they fly," I would be fine with that.

Quote
3) We agree that generally speaking carall is not something you can 'see', with its swirling indigos and blues and whites - but can it be 'sensed'/'felt' to some extent by mages manipulating it?

After all, how can you construct (not to mention: unravel!) complex enchantments if you cannot to a certain degree 'feel'/'sense' (or perhaps: 'feel-touch' or 'feel-see') the meta-state of the ounia/xeua links? [/b]

The argument I was provided with is that you can can manipulate and believe in something, even if you cannot fully sense it was there.  For example, when I inhale, I cannot truly sense the air rushing into my lungs and preforming gas-exchange.  I can sense the side effects and results of this action, such as my chest rising and falling, or the sound of rushing wind through my nostrils, or even the fact that I am not yet dead, as well as the side effects and results of not preforming the action, such as the feeling of asphyxiation you get when you hold your breath.  Such could be said to be the same for a mage casting a spell.  The mage might not be able to sense the oun and feel the increase in influence he is giving it in the car'all, but he would be able to observe the side-effects of the spell to know what he is doing is correct.

All that being said, I agree that the theory is rather sticky and inadequate, especially when you move into more complex magic, as Sphere II and III where you are working with re-arranging the structure of the ounia within the car'all.  As such, I would not be opposed to a mage being able to sense the car'all of his target.  If this is agreed upon,however, we would need to change Oh'mod'hal, as I have mentioned because it would be in direct contradiction with this conclusion.

Quote
This is a rather significant theoretical issue, which needs to be meticulously reasoned out, starting from first principles. That's why I recommended that we start this in September - when I will actually have time to think through it step by step. It would be a shame to brainstorm this without input from the main magic people - such as Rayne, Arti, Silfer, Marvin, Fox, Mina (and me). Perhaps the magic mods could take the initiative and plan ahead by sending all these people invitations and try to arrange a discussion at a time/month which would be mutually convenient for everyone involved?

I'm not sure if I should be offended that I'm not on that list  ;).  Either way, your list is a bit out-dated.  Marvin hasn't logged onto the boards in years so really can't be considered an "expert" any longer.  Silfer also has stated on multiple occasions that he isn't a source people should go to for magic explanations any longer since his absences have caused him to fall behind on magical theory.  Also, I believe Artimidor has stated he didn't like dealing with magic any longer?  That being said, I'll send Rayne an e-mail.  Fox and Mina still pop around occasionally.

Quote
4) Influence of race (elf/human/orc/dwarf) on the general composition and orientation of an individual's carall - Again, I thought this was pretty much settled. To my mind, it (the myth of the elements) seems to be the very essence, the founding thought behind Ximaxian Magic as Artimidor conceived it.

There is no need to debate this point, I already conceded it.  Though I stated I didn't really like the idea, and wasn't thrilled about it, its a principle that has apparently already been agreed upon so I am forced to accept it.
« Last Edit: 03 August 2010, 23:31:00 by Drasil Razorfang » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: 04 August 2010, 01:21:40 »

Quote
Earth mage "binds" the earthen portions of the mind to an object or place, thus creating a spirit or a wraith.  Since Earth is the element of permanence, it was decided that the portions of the mind (and thus the thoughts) it dominated would be those pertaining to memories and the past.  The spiritual domination of Earth in the wraith or ghost is also what explains its repetitive actions (hauntings) and single-minded nature.  While it is true that wind would be quite heavily present in such a spirit, it would be restricted to domination of the physical, providing the incorporeal form of the ghost.  It would have little or no presence in the mind (which is where Wind Necromancy as an art of communicating and dispelling spirits comes in).

Just to throw another wrinkle in this discussion...

The above explanation is a Ximaxian interpretation, not necessarily the "definitive" explanation. Spirits explained scientifically, not divinely. Brings up the question of "souls" and "ghosts" after death and the afterlife. But that's another discussion elsewhere. Carry on.

*runs away*
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