WATER SPELLS: SERENITY (LEVEL IV)

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

Often considered as the ‘advanced version’ of Calm, the Serenity Spell appeases a fretful or temperamental mind. This spell orders the target’s mind into a state of tranquillity rather than temporarily quietening down the chaos raging in their consciousness. Consequently, although still temporal, the effects of the Serenity spell last longer since the cár’áll is rearranged instead of simply stretched (metaphorically speaking).

Spell Effect. The purpose of the spell is to calm the psyche and induce a state of serenity in the target. Metaphorically speaking, the aim is creating a tranquil, quiet lake from the storms of the mind. By redistributing the water cár’áll, spreading it about in an even and orderly fashion, the mage causes the swirling undercurrents of the mind’s water to settle down and become unruffled.

Elven myth tells us that water is wind trying to be like earth. Some mages speculate that movement (wind) is the inherent characteristic of this element, but that when earth starts to get more dominant the currents calm and settle down, becoming more stable.

Others claim that although water is the intermediate stage between wind and earth and although it is existentially closer to wind, there is a vital difference: Unlike wind, water does not move unless an external force give it a push. Water does not represent movement in its natural state. Although the element is inherently closer to action (movement), it existentially desires stillness (inactivity). That is why, they say, although an outside power needs to set it in motion, water will try to settle down by itself.

A third group still, advocates an “oscillating movement” to account for the behaviour of this undecided and confusing element. Water needs a push to become active, then it will calm down by itself, but soon “becoming bored” so to say and will start moving again. They try to mediate the two theories above by arguing that since all water needs to move, given a very small push (even negligible some say) it will react to almost everything. Likewise, since water can never examined in a “void” (i.e. can never be found purely on its own) in the real world, it will never completely remain at a standstill. Thus, this faction of academic opinion maintains, water is a fickle element and disputing whether it is existentially more earth or wind oriented will yield no practical results.

Whatever the ultimate philosophical truth concerning this element might be (if there is indeed one), the Serenity spell is based on one key presupposition: Water is random and chaotic; attributes such as confusion, indecisiveness, distraction etc. can be ascribed to this element. Dispersing the water ounia in an organized, equitable structure is thus seen to ease mayhem in the mind.

At the lower levels, when control over the characteristics of the element is not yet seasoned, the spell may have the side effect of making the target very quiet instead of merely calming them. The pre-eminent trait of water is change – prevent that and you are preventing the element’s fulfilling its existential course/charge. 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. If the mage, in trying to distribute the water evenly tidies (organizes) them too rigidly or creates too great a ridge for the water to flow over and reunite, he is in fact not only calming the turmoil of a subject’s thoughts but stifling the person's creativity.

If ripples emerge too far apart from each other no connections can be made between them. With no flows to link the disparate sets of concepts (wind), isolated pools of knowledge (wind) form. The mind (temporarily) can no longer associate one idea with the other, thus can no longer create – only retain. The information is there, dispersed throughout the cár’áll, but not the current to bring them together to assemble an answer. Hence, although the target’s mind is not ‘numbed’ (like in an overpowered Calm spell) and retains all its faculties, it still becomes unresponsive to her environ.

Some mages thus refer to the spell as “Tranquillity” at the lower levels, while others ridicule this categorization asserting that the difference in effects is as inconsequential as the distinction between “serene” (peaceful and calm; troubled by nothing) and “tranquil” (calm and peaceful and without noise, violence, anxiety). Return to the top

Casting Procedure. The caster raises his arms as if following the flow of a majestic river and then opens them out as if the river has now just coursed into two arms. It is essential that the act is performed in flowing movements, and indeed the Krean mage Lord Coren ‘FrozenZephyr’ Asaen has remarked that the whole thing rather resembles a flower blossoming. More experienced wizards need only picture the rite. The ritualistic movement does not have to be performed physically as long as the caster fully understands the essence of what he is doing without feeling the need to revert to makeshift symbols. The vital point here is the even-handed rearrangement of the water ounia, not the ritual.

If a cup or two separate glasses of water are used as a reagent, their water needs to be decanted when the imaginary surge reaches the fork, which represents the moment the caster directs the raging river of the mind into several calmer currents, and thus symbolizes the magical intervention. Do not splash the water however, as that embodies disorder and randomness – the opposite of what the spell is trying to achieve. Return to the top

Magical Formula. Still to be decided. Return to the top

Focus/Target. The spell can be used on any sentient being. Calming a person of strong will against his wishes is quite a difficult task however. Some mages are also able to apply Serenity on animals, but this is not regarded as an efficient use of the spell. Serenity achieved through water holds sway over the more “intellectual” worries, such as the mind being confused or distracted, where as the fire-way commands primal emotions, such as fear or anger.

One notable example is the aj’nuvic; water mages who have never worked on this deeply loyal and emotional animal before are often surprised to see how gracefully their energies glide into place. Theoreticians at the Ximax Academy speculate that the incredibly strong bonds these animals have with their human (Shendar) companions might account for this remarkable divergence. Return to the top

Reagents. A cup or two separate glasses of water to be poured down as the car’all is being rearranged. Return to the top

Spell Class. Water School: Sphere II (Currents), Spiritual Representation (Thought). Return to the top

Range. Level 4-5: (“Tranquillity”) The spell often has the side effect of making the target very quiet instead of merely calm. The mage should be careful not to order the water ounia into too rigid a structure as that may obstruct the thought process, causing the target to become unresponsive to his surroundings.

Level 6-11: (“Serenity”) Proficiency in sphere II manipulation prevents the unfortunate side-effects of the spell. Unlike in the sphere I Calm spell, there is no risk of a powerful magus anesthetizing the mind as Serenity achieves its effects through the rearrangement of water ounia.

Level Range
Level 4 Physical contact required
Level 5 Less than 1 ped, usually about three to four palmspans
Level 6 1 ped
Level 7 4 peds
Level 8 10 peds or more
 
Level Range
Level 9 40 peds or more
Level 10 80 peds or more
Level 11 Target must be in view
Level 12 Unknown Return to the top

Casting Time. Generally a quarter of a minute, this may change however according to the level of concentration and proficiency of the caster. A very troubled mind - especially if the target is very close to the source of the problem - greatly complicates the procedure, increasing the time required to properly order the cár'áll.

Effects usually start as soon as the mage begins rearranging the water ounia into a more ordered composition. Up to half a minute might be needed for the full effect of the spell to manifest itself without harming the target’s mind. Return to the top

Duration. Water is an indecisive element, always longing for movement and change. The positive consequence is that water ounia is easier to alter and as such water spells take less time to cast. The unfortunate corollary is that water constituents of the cár’áll can revert to their original status more rapidly, causing water spells to wear out a lot sooner than similar spells of other elements.

Nonetheless, the effects of this spell last considerably longer than those of the sphere I Calm spell, as the cár’áll here is rearranged and not simply ‘contracted’.

Level Range
Level 4 Around the time it takes the target to exhale ten breaths
Level 5 About one minute
Level 6 10 minutes or more
Level 7 Half an hour or more
Level 8 Up to three hours
 
Level Range
Level 9 Half a day or more
Level 10 A day
Level 11 About a week (longest recorded case four weeks)
Level 12 Unknown Return to the top

Counter Measures/Enhancing Measures. The spell can be countered by anything that disturbs the orderly arrangement of water ounia in the overall carall or alternatively by spells/actions prompting further confusion or worry in the subject. For example, like with the Calm spell, constantly asking confusing or ridiculous questions in an utterly serious manner to throw the target off balance or demanding answers one knows the subject in its current state would not be able to bring together might once again confound the target, indirectly disturbing the organization of the water ounia. Singing absurd and off-tone melodies or making any sort of incessant, disturbing noise works to a similar effect. Use your imagination…

Once again, environments conducive to a state of relaxation indirectly make it easier to achieve the spell effects.

Some beginners find having something calming to focus on – for instance a beautiful painting of a breeze gently rippling the surface of a lake – helps them in rearranging the water into a more ordered, “peaceful” composition. The aim here is first calming the mind of the caster through and then using the constitution of his own mind as a reference “picture” to organize that of the target. Return to the top

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