EARTH SPELLS: WEAKEN RESOLVE (LEVEL II)

SPELL EFFECT - CASTING PROCEDURE - FORMULA - FOCUS/TARGET - REAGENTS
SPELL CLASS - RANGE - CASTING TIME - DURATION - COUNTER MEASURES

Weaken Resolve taps into the mind of the victim, dampening the influence of Earth and thus reducing the firmness of his resolve. The practical applications include making someone tell you something they don't want to tell you (reducing their resolve to stay silent); making a stubborn guard let you pass; preventing a rash act; and in general, making someone hesitate and maybe not act on a notion at all.

There are some misconceptions about this spell, which shall be addressed in full below. Mainly, this spell does not in general make someone easier to persuade, nor less likely to attack you if tensions run high.


Spell Effect. The purpose of this spell is to weaken the resolve of a sentient target. But what is resolve, and how do we, in accordance with the above, alter resolve alone? And first of all, why would we want to only alter resolve, without affecting persuasibility, or obstinacy, or other properties associated with Earth?

Starting on the bottom, there is a use for specifically reducing resolve, without altering other properties. (And if one does want to alter other properties as a heap, it is all the easier - no specific focus needed, one can simply reduce the power of Earth in general.) Consider, for instance, that you desire information, from one who has no desire to give it to you. Lowering his resolve to stay silent will help, but if you accidentally make him easier to persuade, you may well achieve that he tells you what you want to hear, and not the truth! This should suffice to answer one of the questions. Altering resolve alone, on the other hand, will probably make him speak.

For the second question, I shall start with noting that resolve is a state of mind, not an innate characteristic of the sentient - as resolve can change, while characteristics endure. Furthermore, it is associated with an action, not with the individual. One can be resolved to go to war, yet ambivalent as to by what means. Furthermore, it does not make sense to say that one has resolve if one does not have an intention to act at all.

From this, we can theorize that resolve is a state where the mind of the target, having already the belief (Wind) of something, and the intention to act (Fire), is influenced by Earth to facilitate the resolve, strengthening and hardening that state, thus making the sentient committed to act. Water, being a chaotic and unstable element, is still, due to the influence of Earth, and does not express its property of instability. Thus, we can achieve our goal of weakening resolve by lowering the influence of Earth, more specifically, lowering the spiritual representation of Solidity - causing Water to express instability, thus making the target doubtful, uncertain, uncommitted, not acting on his intentions and generally always reconsidering.

Persuasibility is not specifically affected because the belief of the target is not the focus of his mind the desire and commitment to act is. Therefore, resolve is weakened in this specific case. Should the mind of the target shift, towards thinking about his belief, perhaps as a consequence of this spell, then persuasibility may well be affected. The logic in the above is rather simple: Solidity of what? Of that which is on the mind of the target - in this case, commitment to act, i.e. resolve.

The Fire of the mind does not change significantly in terms of what it expresses, but its dominance is naturally increased as much as the other two elements due to Earth being lowered. This brings us to the reference in the Overview, dealing with anger and aggression. The desire to act when "ignited" does not possess resolve, as passion is a fickle thing, prone to change and even vanish as quickly as it came. This goes starkly against the idea of resolve, which is a stable state. Passion makes you want to act, but not want to do something specific - essentially, the difference between the stable Earth and unstable Fire. Thus this spell does not alleviate desire to act when angry and dominated by Fire, and is of little help if you wish to avoid your own funeral. Fire magic should be consulted for that line of effects. Return to the top

Casting Procedure. The mage focuses on the target, usually while holding a small lump of clay. Clay is hard when dry, but as you add some water and mold it, it becomes pliable, losing its firmness. This represents the recession of Earth and ascension of Water, and that is what this spell desires to do to the target. The mage typically also mentally imagines the mind of the target losing its firmness. (As a metaphor only we do not desire any... physical effects.) Return to the top

Magical Formula.  Not yet defined. Return to the top

Focus/Target. The target of Weaken Resolve is a single sentient being, in a state of resolve. The stronger his resolve, the more draining it is for the mage to weaken it. Also, targets of a different race may be less similar to the mage in the way they think, thus making it somewhat harder to change their mind precisely. Return to the top

Reagents. A lump of clay and some form of Water that is added to it at casting time, to represent the receding stability of Earth and ascension of Water. Return to the top

Spell Class. Elemental School of Earth, spiritual representation of Sphere I. Return to the top

Range. At the beginning, touch is required. From level three, distance can be added. See this chart:

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

Casting Time. Usually from one to three minutes on the lower levels to achieve the effect from there the mage has to maintain the spell to keep the effect. Note, however, that the mindset of the target can change, messing with the intentions of this spell.

This poses an intersting conjecture by Coren Asaen, who suggested that the spell would be difficult to use at the lower levels as the mind of the target might well change before the effect is achieved, thus getting the mage unintended effects only. This is correct, but depends on the situation - one can often walk and build resolve and courage to do something, and this state of mind can persist well long enough for the spell to be cast, even at the lower levels. The point to emphasize is that after the effect is achieved, the target's mind may very well change, and if the spell is not released, it may have different effects. Therefore, one usually casts this spell, does what needs be done, and releases it.

Of course, casting and "doing" something at the same time is difficult on the lower levels, so it could be useful to have others for diverting the target's attention from the action we wish to avert. Return to the top

Duration. This spell, being Sphere I, lasts as long as the caster maintains it. The mind, however, is fickle resolve can vanish if dampened, as the mind moves on to other things. The mage will notice it, as the "pressure" of Earth on his will decreases, and will usually break the spell. At other times, resolve can be enduring, and in that case, will return if the spell is lifted. Prolonged casting of this spell can make the target appear very much ambivalent, never acting upon his intentions. (In theory, as it is difficult in practice for the caster to always be around the target.)

How long the caster can keep this spell active without breaking it due to fatique varies, but rough estimates are as follows:

Level Duration
Level 2 About five minutes
Level 3 About ten minutes
Level 4 About half an hour
 
Level Duration
Level 5 Several hours
Level 6+ Here and onwards it is a question of normal fatigue, and not fatigue caused by prolonged casting Return to the top

Counter Measures/Enhancing Measures. This spell can be countered by breaking the concentration of the caster, as it will break the spell itself. One can also reinforce the resolve of the target verbally this would drain the mage more, as Earth rises and the caster fights to keep it down.

As for enhancing measures: This spell is well coupled with verbal reinforcement of doubt and no doubt some mage "behind the throne" does exactly that, if need be. Also, an interesting case would be if one casts that spell, becomes interrupted but keeps on speaking to persuade the target not to act, gaining time to recast this spell. Return to the top

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