Santharian Development

Santharian World Development => Magic in the Lands of Caelereth => Topic started by: Coren FrozenZephyr on 17 March 2013, 19:21:23

Title: The Krean Arcane Pyramid (sub-entry)
Post by: Coren FrozenZephyr on 17 March 2013, 19:21:23
Menu placement: Sub-entry of Krean Arcane Arts; next to "Ardelor Hypothesis" and "Olesian Obstruction". :)

The Three Tiers of Krean Magic

The Krean Arcane Pyramid is a metaphor for the three tiers of Krean magic: Magic Constructive; Magic Persuasive; and Magic Existential. Each tier represents a different method through which magic is applied and reality shaped. These three fundamental techniques of casting magic are: Moulding; Persuading; and Being.

The Three Tiers of Krean Magic

  • Magic Constructive utilises efficient causation - an event being determined by its antecedent cause - to achieve its effects. The technique used is that of Moulding: guiding magical energies into a composition which manifests the desired outcome. As the craftsman shapes clay into pottery, so the mage shapes magical energy into spells. Thus we speak of ‘casting’ magic – casting a spell almost as the artist casts a statue from mud.

    The essence of Moulding is direct manipulation of magical energy. The mage changes the energetic structure behind reality to alter reality. According to the Krean, Constructive Magic is the basis, the technical workings if you like, all magic operates on.

  • Magic Persuasive: Magic Constructive builds the entire concatenation of events, step by step, in a logical sequence which ultimately yields the required result. Magic Persuasive is an advanced way of casting magic, which carries out exactly the same process, but does so through a ‘short-cut’: the mage outlines the purpose, what she wants to accomplish, and leaves it to the First Wave to take care of the technicalities in the background. The Persuasive mage is the architect that draws the blueprint and the First Wave the builder on the construction site. In the words of Archmage Akiris Akai: “By the process of final causation, Persuasion makes the First Wave perform the necessary processes of efficient causation.”

    Magic Persuasive is the ‘Arch-school’ of the Krean System, where we speak of ‘depictions’ and ‘arguments’ instead of ‘spells’; ‘describing/defining’ rather than ‘casting’ etc. In a sense, casting magic through Persuasion is akin to building an argument in logic or proving a mathematical equation. The mage ‘describes’ the possibility he has in mind (say, a fireball), outlines the ‘prerequisites’ which must exist to make that state possible, and marshals various ‘arguments’ - all in an attempt to ‘persuade’ the First Wave that the existing reality is to be substituted with the alternative. The more lucid the ‘description’ and the more cogent the ‘arguments’, the more likely the Web is to integrate that possibility, thus the less energy the mage has to spend to force his vision into reality.  

    Persuasion is not to be attempted without a sound understanding of the Mechanics: one cannot ask the First Wave to do for one something one could not theoretically do on one’s own (this is known as ‘the Ardelor Hypothesis’). The greatest advantage of Magic Persuasive is in saving time: Since she no longer needs to work out the basics step by step, the mage can construct much more complex spell structures.

    Persuasion is what made the magic of the Ancient Krean transcendent. In the present day, the technique is only taught at the Academy of Nybelmarasa, albeit in a much watered-down manner. The many ways of magic one encounters among Krean tribes today are just different faces of Moulding.

  • Magic Existential: The technique is often described by the rather unhelpful axiom “The Mage of Being no longer Does but Is”. It is said that mages of this tier are those who have understood, and embody, the ‘Unity of Existence’; they change the world by changing themselves.

    The closest sensible translation the author can arrive at is that mages of this order no longer need to do anything consciously – rather, what they want, becomes. There are, it must be said, problems with this reading – not least in its blatant contradiction of the popular Absolute adage “Wishing will not make it so.” Again in the words of the founder of the Order of the Absolutes, A.R., “Arriving at a contradiction is admitting an error in one’s thinking.” The author can only apologize.

    Magic Existential is a mythical state, analogous in that sense to the title of ‘Chosen’ in the Ximaxian System. Magic through Being was officially considered unachievable within the parameters of the Krean System. It was invented as a label for the transcendent magic of the Orihirim, which Krean academies deeply envied but could not explain. In later centuries, this tier of the arcane pyramid was reserved as a hypothetical account of the superior magic of two groups: the mythical Orihirim tribe (see the entries on the Grand Empire of Krath and the White Advisor) and the Order of Absolutes. Apart from the White Advisor, the history of the past three eons documents only two other mages who have demonstrated mastery of this discipline: Emperor Dearan Asaen, shortly after his second (supposed) visit to Tar Oria, the fabled land of the Orihirim; and Archmage Ren, a few years before his death – both of whom, it must be said, were Absolutes… Whether the High Priestess of Ankriss was another is a controversial and sensitive subject. Although she had indubitably been as powerful as (if not more than) either of the two, there is an argument to be made that, despite its unrivalled sophistication, the essence of her magic remained Persuasion.

Understanding the Pyramid
Firstly, all three tiers ultimately do the same thing: they convert the desired possibility into the most probable one; what differs as one travels through the Pyramid is how the outcome is eventually reached. This can perhaps best be explained by analogy to Ximaxian Magic:

Depending on whether one is a Fire or Xeua mage, one can heat an object either (i) by adding fire ounia to it; or (ii) by changing the links between the fire ounia and the rest of the carall from ahm (passive) to soor (active) allowing the fire ounia to express their heat characteristic more dominantly throughout the object. Ultimately, however, a Ximaxian mage, whether Elemental or Xeuan, changes an object by changing its carall.

Secondly, the three tiers cut across all forms of Krean magic. In other words, the classification applies across the board to all Krean arcane practices. So, for instance, a priestess would also have to progress through the three tiers as she training in the Temple of Ankriss as would a mage studying in the Academies.

Thirdly, despite being formulated as a ‘pyramid’, the tiers do not necessarily reflect a hierarchy of power or expertise. Magic Constructive, Magic Persuasive and Magic Existential are simply different methods through which magic is applied, reality shaped. In laymen’s terms, they represent the ‘how’ of magic. Of course, in practice, mages of the Persuasive tier tend to be more efficient because delegating the groundwork to the First Wave allows them to concentrate on weaving several different interlocking spells (or “descriptions”).

Comparison with Ximaxian Magic
Both Ximax and the Krean aim to analyse understand and reproduce magic in a logical, systematic way. To do so, they must first organise the magic they encounter into categories. Thus, Ximaxian Magic is divided into two schools: ‘Elemental’ (Air-Water-Fire-Earth) and ‘Arch’ (Xeua-Ecua); and the Krean System into three overarching layers: ‘Moulding’, ‘Persuasion’ and ‘Being’.

Can Ximaxian Magic be analysed according to the Krean System? If so, how does Ximaxian Magic fit into the Krean Arcane Pyramid?

According to Krean taxonomy, the whole of the Ximaxian system (including the arch schools of Xeua and Ecua) would be a sub-set of Constructive Magic (Moulding): Certain parts of a carall are manipulated in a certain order to arrive at a carall composition which manifests itself as the desired outcome.

It might be best to consider the Ximaxian concept of Raw Magic as a sub-set rather than an equivalent of Persuasive Magic. This is because not all Persuasion is Raw Magic. Indeed, very few Persuasive mages could achieve what Ximax depicts as Raw Magic.

It is worth noting that Resonance (an advanced form of Raw Magic) seems to have much in common with Existential Magic. For further information, please refer to the lecture entitled ‘Understanding Ximaxian Magic through the Carall’.

Title: Re: The Krean Arcane Pyramid (sub-entry)
Post by: Coren FrozenZephyr on 25 May 2013, 00:33:45
This should be ready to go up unless there are comments/questions. :)

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