The Vigiles Amicae is a roleplaying guild in Everquest 2, on the Freeport and Antonia Bayle Servers.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Selections from: Notes on Diverse Magicka - Elemental Arcana

Notes on Diverse Magicka


Legatus Pax Sytan Fiac

Author's note:

This is a series dedicated to informing those with limited or non-extant abilities in arcana on the various forms of magic and their uses. This is not intended as an in depth study, nor does it go into all details. For many, the usage of leylines or nodes will never manifest, nor will the finesse to guide the blood magicka explicitly.

This discourse will cover the concepts of similarities and differences among the branches, and peel back some of the mysteries.

The first section will cover my specialties of hematurgy and necromancy.
The second will cover natural magicka.
The third will touch on the psionic talents.
The fourth will delve into the divine controversy.
The fifth will touch upon the delicate and complex question of void.

It is to be hoped that the interested student will find the more technical treatises on the above topics more readily accessible for this humble offering. Any errors or elisions in this work must be attributed to the difficulty of enumerating in plain language what becomes a nearly reflexive, intuitive impulse for the grand adept.

Whatever the degree, a Mage has a personal well to draw from in some finite means. The inclination of each Mage will determine how it can be used. For example, some incline towards creating fire through the manipulation of thermal energies, and others to the formation and direction of ice through the same means. Others develop towards what may be broadly defined as kineticism, which mechanisms have been of vital importance to the stability of Industry and numerous mechamagical developments.

Elemental magicka can be broken down into the two base components that are very much related to blood magicka. The first we shall discuss is considered by most academia to be “pure elementalism”, or working only the elements and not adding a layer of compulsion or animation.

As such, elemental mages tend to work like a hematurge, casting by intuition and intent rather than full ritual as they advance and age. Many of the same principles apply, especially the possibility for an elementalist to work some magics generally considered beyond their reach through cooperative or ritualistic forms. The biggest main difference, however, is incredibly stark: there are no Grand Adepts among Hematurges, howsoever much blood may be spilled for their art.

An elemental mage may not necessarily became as powerful in their art. Some are born with the predisposition towards working with leylines and nodes, as in the case of the previously discussed Master and Adept rank mages, and some are not. The issue cannot be forced without serious and usually deadly consequences: cooperative Workings which would touch one of the Greater Nodes must place one arcanist of Grand Adept potential - even if they are untrained - in the central working position, or the Node will consume the entirety of the circle that dared to attempt the harnessing. Similarly, a ritualized Working meant to mimic the praxis of a higher-level magus has an exponentially increasing chance to consume the working Mage as part of its power source as the demands of the Work also increase.

The so-called “weaker” elementalists tend to be called hedge wizards, though it would be folly to assume that someone working the lines and nodes would always represent a more formidable power, whatever the formal designation for them.

This main division causes interesting effects, as a hedge wizard is able to refine their arts gain a vast understanding of what they can and cannot do. Masters and adepts, for all they handle more power, tend more towards be a channeler of energies and act as a funnel. They tend to miss many of the finer details of spellcraft as so much is transpiring during a casting, and to direct such vast power toward anything requiring finesse invites disaster. It would be as well to chain a greater fire-drake to light a single candle. Additionally, there tends to be a higher cost to the castings they make and are too exhausted to immediately set themselves to examining how their spell worked and “felt”.

These classifications are vital to understand as the training either branch will get is vastly different from the other, and again vastly different within their division to further narrow a particular specialty.
Not all people can do all things, and not all mages can cast all spells or work with all elements.

Regardless of form, elementalism can be broken down into intention and connection, and kineticism can be broken down into subjugation and animation. The first style tends to be elemental in nature, such as calling forth Fire or Water, or manipulating the properties of Wind, Wood, or Stone. That is not to say a personal affinity or talent for any one element precludes a kenetic's working upon them: it is more a question of whether the mage works with potential or actual manifestations of their chosen element.

The pure elementalist may seem to create physical manifestations of their magic from nothingness, but in practice they are manipulating the latent potential in a given medium, supplemented by what proverbially "raw" mana is available to them.

The kineticist frequently seems to work in a more accessible fashion, for example, by directing where existing mundane water should go to, and in what form. The reader may rest assured the matter is more complex and wonderful than it may first appear, and do well to remember that nothing whatever prevents the emergence of a Grand Adept among the kinetica.

Intention gives shape to the elemental spell. From a simple fireball to a complex ice wall, the elementalist guides the form of the casting, and again it can be done almost intuitively. Most mages undergo extensive training in the focus and refinement of their will, for a vague intention predictably creates a vague result, but it is entirely common - especially among the shorter-lived races - to encounter a particular innate talent for such focus which requires very little help to manifest exactly what the mage desires.

The major difference comes in connection. Rather than a sympathetic connection to a target, an elementalist relies on an innate understanding and connection with the element of the spell. This, of course, is the reason why pure elementalists are often surrounded by - and work with - creatures of elemental magical nature, even though the nature of their talents frequently preclude any possibility of actually ordering them to assist or carry a Working. The greater the connection, the more strongly the mage may channel, manifest, and manipulate that element.

From that point, the target will find harmony with the spell, or it will not. Elementalist training frequently focuses on internalizing the properties of every possible material relative to the element or elements which the student has the strongest talent for. For example: a fire spell used on water will find harmony if it is shaped to manifest in diverse mage-fed particles throughout the water, exciting and infusing the water with immense heat for an explosive result, even at a great distance from the fuel source. A fire spell which asks the water itself to burn, however, will pull immense power only to fizzle in disharmony as the spell seeks and fails to find sufficient potential Fire in the water itself.

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