usually refers to magic dealing with the manipulation of matter as practised by eodean
mages; in a wider sense it includes any magical perception and manipulation of matter in that world.
- 1. Working Magic
- 1.1. Perception of Matter
- 1.2. Manipulation
- 1.3. Perception of Active Magic
- 3. Domains
- 4. Resistance
- 5. To Do - What do you think is missing or needs clarification?
1. Working Magic
1.1. Perception of Matter
A common factor of all conscious, direct magical manipulation of matter is an way to perceive matter outside of the normal senses. This is achieved in a more or less deep trance state. On a shallow (low detail) level, this perception may overlay the normal senses, on a deep (high detail) level it will replace them, and will be limited to one or two domains.
Mages formally call this process "structure immersion" (but practising mages more commonly just "have a look", or similar turns of phrase).
This sense can permeate matter, but usually has a range of a few metres at best, and at that distance does not produce great detail.
The perception is "translated" into a conventional sense. Seeing is common, less common are feeling and hearing. Smelling and tasting are unheard of in humans, but do occurr in some other species. Which sense is involved does not influence how factually detailed the perception is - it does not matter if a piece of wood is "seen" as a lattice of olive green lines, or "felt" as a lattice of a certain texture, or "heard" as a low, slightly pulsating hum with an underlying patting rhythm.
It is possible to work an effect on something just by normal sight (or other senses, or blindly), provided it is a simple one. The "cost", energy wise, is considerably higher than a properly prepared working, but it is much quicker.
One way to imagine it: The magic worker channels spirit
in the shape of lines that they connect to certain points in the structure of an object, then they channel more spirit through those lines, to apply force, and, depending on the level of detail, thereby move, shape or change the object.
The way this happens is different depending on the schooling of the worker and their predisposition. Using gestures and/or vocal cues as memory hooks for certain articulations of lines is very common.
A skilled magic worker can prepare a working they have practised often and for a short while keep it ready to spring on a target (imagine the lines are coiled up and to some extent "keyed" to fit certain points in a material structure).
1.3. Perception of Active Magic
This basically works in the same way as perception or matter as described above.
Things that are easy to detect are a working in progress (of any school), active magic that still has effect from a shape- or change-working on a living being, spirits, and spells stored in objects.
Shaping or changing a dead object, or a living being with so much force it overrides said beings natural form, can be detected with difficulty for a relatively short time, but soon fades.
A detailed analysis is only possible in areas the worker has some familiarity with, either actively or by repeated observance and instruction.
Perception alone already has some uses. Shallow immersion can be used to find concentrations of one element hidden by another (water or metal under rock or earth, a hollow space - ie air - in a solid object, etc.).
Deeper immersion in an object of an element the worker is familiar with can uncover flaws that are not detectable easily by normal senses.
The simplest manipulation is telekinesis, which can get more complicated and quite versatile if you add special forms like concentration, attraction, etc. Shaping is important for many manipulations; a magic worker is able to shape dead material in ways that cannot be reproduced with conventional means, for example mending broken items of wood or stone without leaving a trace. A manipulation that does not mainly change the outward form, but the finer structure, is formally referred to as changing rather than shaping. (Example: Turning a coin into a ring is shaping, turning human skin into reptilian skin is changing.)
It is possible to change one element into another, but workers capable of that are extremely rare.
Another form of manipulation is control. It is mostly used on living beings (ie in the domains flesh and plant) to control metabolic functions, and can on dead matter be used to influence natural processes like rotting or rusting one way or the other.
It is possible to create matter from raw spirit, but in addition to being difficult, it is more draining the more "substancial" the element is, to the point of pointlessnes (eg very nearly kill yourself to create one grain of sand). Light, heat, cold and fire, however, are quite simple to create.
The number and classification of elements, or domains, is under constant dispute, and there are many areas of overlap. A studied mage will have rudimentary familiarity with all, or nearly all, elements, although they will concentrate on a small number, sometimes only one. Other schools may by their nature concern themselves only with one or two elements at all.
- Apart from the obvious wind, this also includes sound manipulation and aural illusions.
- It is disputed if heat and light are aspects of fire, or fire is a combination of the domains heat and light.
- Manipulations of living animals require knowledge of the domain water and air; if it concerns bones, knowledge of the domain stone is helpful. (Living bone is sometimes considered a third domain halfway between flesh and stone, sometimes a mixture of both.)
- Basis for magical healing.
- Dead animal matter (including leather, wool etc) is somewhat different, so they are sometimes considered different domains.
- It is disputed if a combination of water and cold, or its own domain, with cold being an aspect of it
- Some consider this an aspect of fire, others consider fire a combination of light and heat. It is occasionally suggested that darkness is a separate domain.
- Includes visual illusions.
- Studied only by some eccentrics, who may have found some strange interplay with metal.
- The ways in which a worker familiar with it can manipulate active magic are reasonably similar to other standard procedures...
- There is some overlap between metal and stone where ores are concerned.
- Some metals, including iron, are difficult to manipulate unless the domain is the magicker's explicit speciality.
- Manipulation of living plants requires some knowledge of the domain water; knowledge of the domains air, soil and light is helpful.
- Manipulating dead plant matter (wood, plant fibres, paper...) is somewhat different from manipulating live plants, so they are sometimes considered different domains.
- It is disputed if crystal is a subsection or its own domain.
- With knowledge of wind this can be used to manipulate clouds/fog.
Dead matter has certain deep level structures that are as "should be" and present some difficulty to change. It is relatively easy to shape a silver coin into a ring, because this affects only shallow level shape
, but it is very difficult to change a silver coin into a gold one, because that affects deep level structure
However, once such a shape or change is done, it is permanent, and leaves no active magic behind.
Living beings in addition to that have some protection from their spirit:
First, it carries a memory of the right shape of the being. Most shaping or changing workings have only temporary effects since the spirit of the target restores the original state. (It is possible to override that, with a great deal of energy poured into the original working; if we're talking higher animal, that would require several magic users working together.)
Second, it can act as unconscious or half conscious block that interferes with the shaped "lines" that try to affect the target. This hindrance is stronger the more danger to life the attempted attack poses. For example it is no particularly great problem for someone familiar with the domain flesh to paralyse someone's arm or leg, but stopping their heart beating is probably impossible.
5. To Do - What do you think is missing or needs clarification?
- Different schools and traditions
- Magic objects