On The Occult Disciplines

Ge’thyrimancy relies almost wholly upon Talent with lore coming an important second and ritual coming an almost inconsequential third. A’thyrimancy, like Ge’thyrimancy, depends mostly on Talent and lore, though ritual, as an aid to concentration and focus is important. Chi’thyrimancy, on the other hand, depends fairly equally upon ritual and Talent with lore taking a secondary by very important place. In Malythrimancy ritual and lore share the place of primary importance with Talent bringing up a helpful third place.

Sorcery, where the flows of power in the world are directed, redirected or tapped to supply the Magician with power with which to perform those acts that are called magic.

Sorcery is generally considered to be one of the higher occult sciences (along with most aspects of Healing). Sorcery is also called True Magic for it is with Sorcery that we most associate those things that are called Magic rather than conjuring. Both Witchcraft and Necromancy involve memorisation of spells and summonses and the use of charms and magic signs and words of command. Sorcery, however, requires the mage Talent and years of practice in its use but does not require the performance of those things that are commonly called spells, nor does it require charms, signs of summoning and warding for its performance. Many Sorcerers do use wards, and perform concentration exercises that are sometimes, erroneously, called spells. Sorcery is, quite properly, sometimes called Mind Magic, in that the whole structure and direction of the magic comes from the mind of the magician rather than from the performance of a set and structured spell. This makes Sorcery much more flexible and adaptable. The spells of Witchcraft can take many years to structure and great care, concentration and the right materials, to perform. The same is true of Necromancy which is why both are so dependant on the books of knowledge handed down from master to apprentice and from school to student for these spell books represent millennia of experimentation and experience. Sorcerers do not require these books of spells in order to be able to perform their magic but Sorcerers do need years of practice and years of mind-expanding study before they reach the fullest extent of their capabilities. It may be queried as to why mind-expanding study is necessary, but it has been proven that those with a wider knowledge of the world and the causes behind the phenomenons that happen within have a greater ability to direct their power to good effect and a wider range of uses for their power. Those who have mastered the greatest extent of their power are known as Adepts.

Only Adepts however can tap into the deep flows, most magicians are not able to use this method of acquiring power. They tap into the aura of power that rises up like a well to support the life within and upon the planet. These magicians don't store power but they can use stored power, even when it is in an Object of Power such as a sword, jewel or book because these animated vessels have minds of their own that can be communicated with. Power can also be stored in an already animate creature, like a cat, dog, bird or person. The problems with this are that any creature (animal) that you do it to will gain in strength and intelligence and it is very hard to get it back again if you want it. Secondly, you cannot do it to yourself. If you want to give yourself more power then it has to be done by someone else, someone who totally trusts you and who you totally trust. If this bond is not there then it can backfire, badly hurting everyone involved.

Someone who works with the primordial power can bring great changes to the world in a very short time, changes that will last a long time. These people can also live a long time if their minds are not stripped away when battling with the great power. So those who tap the deep wells have great power, but it’s dangerous, so they prefer to use it as little as possible because the more often you go into the great elements the greater your desire to stay there and the harder it is to fight free. The greater the power a magician uses the longer their body will live, if they survive, because they are pulling that power into themselves and then channeling it where they want it to go and the power rubs off on them, strengthening their bodies and minds.

Sorcerers do not need the props and rituals of other forms of magic for it to succeed but that does not mean that some props and rituals are not used to facilitate the magicians’ concentration or magnify the magicians’ powers. Whilst charms and talismans are generally considered to be the purview of Witchcraft and focuses and alembics are the part of the Necromancers tools, this does not mean that Sorcery has not partaken of the lore discovered by the witches and necromancers. Sorcerers have built some of the most powerful and famous talismans, focuses and alembics; sometimes even going so far as to combine all of these aspects in one artefact, such as the sword Raygar. Such artefacts are things of incredible power and, over time, come to have an awareness of their own for it is known that an artefact imbued with an abundance of Life-force comes to have a life and will of its own and thus will serve only whom it chooses and cannot be compelled to serve a master unwillingly. Another example of this are the Masks of Adiron which are each supposed to provide the wearer with different strengths and skills but which have been called cursed because they have caused the weak-willed to go mad. Sorcerers also create artefacts that are used for magic, but which do not contain any of the power themselves, artefacts such as the Garden of the Spheres which was said to contain a gate to every known world and dimension. Or, indeed, such artefacts as the gates themselves.

One of the other paths of power is witchcraft, the summoning and commanding of spirits. Witches are usually looked upon with suspicion as it is felt that someone who communes with and commands spirits must be evil. Witches come into their full power, after years of training, when they visit the Realm of Dreams and manage to summon and gain control over a wild spirit. The more spirits a witch has control over, the more power she has. There are many levels of spirits from tiny and almost powerless things, to great and terrible spirits. The greatest spirits can never be commanded but they can be bargained with, but only if you have enough power that they cannot just tear you to shreds.

Magic is the manipulation of one or all of the elements that make up the Life Force. Magicians tap the aura of power that resides everywhere in the world. Everything has life-force. The force is stronger in those things that live longer and/or have sentience. Black Necromancers tear the power out of animate creatures. All life, however, fights for survival and draining the life-force of a creature by magical means requires a lot of strength, effort and skill.

Y’grénê can be violently extracted more easily from those things that are animated, and of these, the power is strongest in those things that live longer and/or have sentience. But the power itself is strongest within the earth, within the flowing tides of life that creates the expressions of life such as trees, flowers, animals and people, the same force that created the mountains and the rivers. But the very greatness of this tide makes it dangerous, it is very easy to drown in that tide as the magicians own life force is attracted to the great primeval power that it is trying to control and if the mage looses control for even a second his own life force will dissolve in that tide and his sentience also will disappear into the flood.

Y’grénê is wild.

Working with the life force lengthens your life because the life force, flowing freely through you, builds up and strengthens your own life force. Necromancy, the pulling of power from people or animals, tends to shorten your life because you use up your own life source to gain control of the other persons.

It takes time and knowledge of the exact instant of death to be able to take another persons life force without fighting them, because of this it is impossible for magicians to start a war and just take all the life forces lost on the field of battle.

When magic is being used, whether it be black or white, it creates psychic ripples in the Life-force. The aura of this magical use is discernible from some distance, cities are surrounded by an almost constant psychic resonance due to all the prayers and other magic used. In other places, however, when magic is used, it is possible to tell who is using it, where and for what, over quite some distance. This psychic resonance lingers for quite some time in places where some significant magic has been done. Necromancy resulting in the death of the donor whose spirit has been drawn out of them, makes a “noise” that echoes around the world. The magicians of all races can hear this psychic scream and thus know when black necromancy is being used, though not exactly by whom, unless the person has their own distinctive way of doing things and thus creating a distinctive noise, but where, approximately, is determinable.

The effort involved in learning how to access the life-force is considerable and takes time. That's why the Olkarien are more powerful, other than because they are natural magicians, because they live much longer lives and devote more of their time to maintaining their connection to the life-force that surrounds them. The Olkarien are always in touch with the life-force in the area they live in whereas the goblins and the Black Mages aren’t and that's why they are always defeated when fighting in the forests and on the plains against the Rydovians because they don't work together.

Spirit Magic; the Witch uses incantations to draw and bind one of the wild spirits of the earth to her and then commands the spirit to perform that which she desires done.

Soul or Life Magic; the Necromancer performs a ritual that draws out the power from a living source, the necromancer can then direct this power using other spells. Soul Magic often puts much reliance on charms and talismans prepared by the necromancer and containing a soul with which to power the spell.

All magic is dangerous, Mind Magic draws it’s power from the wild elements of nature itself and the mind of the magician can be plucked away into that maelstrom leaving the magician both helpless and witless. Spirit Magic, with it’s reliance on capricious spirits, can be dangerous if the skill of the witch isn’t up to creating a strong enough incantation to control one of the great spirits. If the spirit gets away from the witch’s control it might kill her and escape to wreak havoc on the surrounding countryside or it might just depart. Soul Magic is dangerous in that a soul fights hard for its life and the necromancer can be severely weakened by this struggle. Then there are the side effects of the containment of a soul within an artifact, the artifact can gain sentience and turn on its user or refuse to protect it’s user. The only way to keep this from happening is by constantly using some of the power stored within the artefact, this will keep the artefact from reaching it’s maximum power but will also keep it from reaching sentience level awareness.

The Olkarien have a natural ability to perceive and manipulate magic. No one else has this ability. Humans have been taught, by the Olkarien, how to manipulate magical power but not all humans can do it and of those who can some are better than others. There are many types of magic user, some of whom are not even aware that they are using magic. All the lesser magicians, healers, seers, diviners, weather wizards, priests, etc usually use a mixture of all the elements. The best architects, hunters, farmers, etc have some ‘knack’ that allows them to do what they do better than anyone else and they often are not even aware that they are using a form of magic when they do it.

The Esoteric and Occult Sciences are not evil, though some branches of the occult sciences are more open to abuse than others and so have acquired bad reputations with the common folk, the intent and the methods of the person using the science is what is good or evil. There are evil people and good people in every walk of life and every station also. Not all of the evil people serve the Shinkan ba’ Marange’, nor do all of the good people serve the Shinkan ba’ Chiroth.

It is not usually possible to drain a persons life-force by accident as the life force will fight for it's existence, a person has to be very weak with all of their defences stripped away before such an accident could occur. It is a slightly different matter for a black magician because they work at overcoming the defences and deliberately draining the life-force from their victims. Only Black Necromancers and the goblin magicians, corrupted by the Shinkan ba Marange’, drain the life-source of sentient creatures for their power.

The study undertaken to open the awareness to the great powers includes study in self-awareness and self-control. With this self-control comes the ability to control the power within yourself. This is vital if you are to enter into the maelstrom. This ‘self-control’ means that the magician can do minor magic, namely, shape changing, telepathy, telekinesis, etc. These are things that only those who work with the great powers are capable of doing.

Incantations: spells, incantations, hand waving, trances, rituals, etc.

These are a way of gaining control over the magic and forcing it to do what you want. Generally used by priests who want a lot of drama to convince the people that they are doing their best.

The problem with incantations is that they limit how much a person can do. If a magician has to stop and incant a, usually long, spell whenever he or she wants to do something with magic it puts a bit of a halt to adventurous living. Learning all the words and motions for incanted spells takes a long time, many, many years. Saying the spell also takes quite some time, so enchanters don't usually go looking for trouble as trouble usually doesn't give you enough time to stop and remember the words to the spell you need and then give you the extra time needed to stand there waving your arms and chanting in the mystic language, by the time you get the spell completed you're dead, the bear has eaten you or the mountain fallen on you or the savage with the big spear has already spit roasted you and is feeding you to his tribe.

Mind and Will: all control comes from within, from a trained and concentrated mind.

The power is there all around, the life force of every living thing, and a mind trained to see this force and manipulate it can do everything a person can do with incantations and more. The limits are not there that having to use a spell puts on you. Your mind is free to do anything with the power that it can imagine and can control. This is why a magician can do many different types of magic, magic from many of the different disciplines, because all they need to do is be able to imagine what it is they need to do.

The problem with this is that a human mind just is not capable of controlling that much raw power. In addition, a magician needs as much, or more, training than an enchanter. An enchanter just has to memorise a lot of words and gestures, a magician has to continue to learn all his life, expanding his mind, learning all he can about every field of human endeavour so that if he ever needs to do magic in that area he will know what to do and be able to direct his mind in the direction it needs to go.

A magician who uses the control of the mind rather than the control of a spell can do a lot more than an enchanter, but the limits are still there, there are things that cannot be done. You cannot change a person's emotions, likes or dislikes, taste in clothing, without damaging the person. You cannot unmake something, destroy it yes, but uncreate it, no.

Witchcraft: the calling up of spirits and forcing them to do what you want done.

This works pretty much like enchantment except that an enchantment can be set, like a magical trap, whereas witchcraft, which uses spirits to perform it's magic, works better with blessings and curses, physical things that the spirits can get a grip on and manipulate.

This is limited in it's usefulness in that a person has to be very powerful to be able to control the major spirits, and if you don't control a major spirit then you can't get much done. Plus there's the fact that most people don't really like the idea that you might be calling up their great grand daddy and putting his soul through untold torments in order to coerce him to go out and turn someone's pigs purple because they stepped on your shadow or something. People, especially peasants, tend to be very abrupt when their pigs turn purple and they think you might be the cause, the effect is usually that you end up with your intestines wrapped around a barbed wire fence and then hung up in the sun for the crows to come and eat, and that’s before they really get started, after that you really don't want to know what they do, It's designed to make sure that no one fucks with their pigs again.

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