Elemental Blast(cantrip): Speak the incantation and keep the appropriate configuration in mind when casting this. Draw a circle with your index and middle fingers whilst pointing them towards your target, then thrust forward. Afterwards, a blast of elemental force will burst forth from your target in whatever location you intend, dealing minimal damage. A great spell to use when building up to your bigger ones.
(Make a ranged spell attack, and deal base damage (4) to a single target upon a hit.)
Elemental Expulsion: Take a moment to feel the forces around you, bring both your hands to your heart and dip your head towards them. Inhale deeply, and then stomp the ground beneath you, thrusting your hands out to your sides with immense vigor. For every angular shift in power (72 degrees) on your memorized calligraphy you can either increase the amount of energy expelled, or increase your radius by three yards. Once the energy is released, it will affect everything within the designated radius with your chosen conditions. Do not exceed 360 degrees. The excess energy could kill you.
~Note, when in extreme elemental conditions such as volcanic badlands, torrenting thunderstorms, or raging blizzards. Using the appropriate element could make the attack stronger.
(AoE attack centered on the caster. Range 12 yards. Targets must make a DC 16 dexterity check or take base spell damage (4). Depending on the elements used, effects such as burning, bleeding, compromised motor skills, ect can linger for 1d8 rounds afterward, dealing 1d2 points of damage each round. For each RM spent, you can either increase the range of your attack by another 3 yards, or deal an extra 1d2 points of damage. Base damage goes up to 5 if you are in the decided element's ideal conditions. Cap: 5)
Elemental Fury:Take a moment to feel the elements around you, extend your hands out to your sides and lift them to your head in a manner that mimics the wings of a bird. Bare in mind the appropriate elemental configuration when casting. Once your wrists are touching, thrust your hands down to chest level and push them outward in front of you, palms facing your target, or targets. For every angular shift of power (72 degrees) on your memorized calligraphy, you can affect an additional target.
~Note, when in extreme conditions such as volcanic badlands, torrenting thunderstorms, or raging blizzards. Using the appropriate element could make the attack stronger.
(Target’s must make a DC 16 dex save, or take 4, or 1d8 points of damage to up to three targets without consequence. Damage goes up to 5, or 1d10 points if you’re in the decided element’s Ideal conditions. For each point of RM spent, you can affect one additional target.)
Elemental Strike: Lift one hand to eye level and extend your index and middle fingers up. Lower your other hand to crotch level and do the same, except down. Insure your palms are facing the surface you want to affect. Inversely rotate both hands, keeping your fingers parallel to each other, in a circle until they both make 180 degree rotations, and have swapped places. Once this is done, pull both hands back and cross your wrists at chest level, keeping the same hand gesture, and then thrust them outward toward your target. Bare in mind the appropriate elemental configuration when casting this spell, as well as your intent. Afterwards, an explosion of elemental force will force itself outward from the point you’ve chosen, engulfing everyone within. For each angular shift in power, you can extend the AoE range of twelve yards by another three.
~Note, when in extreme elemental conditions such as torrenting thunderstorms, volcanic badlands, raging winds, or unstable caves, Using the appropriate element could make the attack stronger.
(AoE spell centered on a point of the caster’s choosing. Rage, 12 yards. Target’s must make a DC 16 dex save, or take 1d10 points of damage. Damage increases to 1d12 points if you’re within the decided element’s Ideal conditions. For each RM spent, you can increase the rage of the AoE effect by another three yards.)
Elemental Wall: Clap your hands together, and then open them up towards your targeted area, palms directly vertical, and parallel to an imagined wall. Bare in mind the appropriate elemental configuration when casting this, and keep a clear view over the area you hope to affect. Once the spell starts affecting the zone, move your palms up, and/or to the side to have some level of control over the size of the wall. Walls can be three feet, to fifteen feet tall depending on your conviction, and about equally so wide. Alternatively, you can also create a wall that surrounds a three to fifteen foot area depending on your conviction. This spell is best used in enclosed quarters, where simply moving around the wall isn’t possible. Walls made up of energy: such as fire, electricity, and arcane energy deal damage to creatures whom try to walk through, whereas walls made up of matter such as earth, water, or air serve as an obstacle unique to the element. For each angular shift in power (72 degrees) you can increase the height, width, or radius of a wall by another three feet. Exceeding 360 degrees may cause extreme draining, and possibly death. This spell lasts about twenty four seconds on average.
(Moldable AoE, can affect up to a four yard x four yard area (12’x12’) without consequence. This spell can also make a ring around the caster too, forming a six foot wall around yourself for a twelve foot diameter. This lingering effect lasts for 1d8 rounds. Target’s behind a wall of matter must make a DC 16 strength save, or be stopped by the wall, unable to move past it. Target’s behind an energy wall who try to move through must take 1d8 points of damage, and make a DC 16 conviction save to move past it, or be blocked as well. For each RM spent, she can increase the square area, and diameter affected by another yard.)
Spellsurge: Draw an Alodi configuration on the ground beneath your feet. With training one can do this rather quickly, and speak the incantation. Latent arcane energies will be drawn to you like a magnet, granting you immediate access to extra mana, and empowering your next few spell casts. Duration can last anywhere from 3 to 30 seconds depending on your conviction and skill level.
(Sacrifice an attack turn, and afterward increase your base damage by 1 for 1d8 rounds. This, in turn, also generates 1 extra RM per round it lasts.)
Mold/Influence Elements(cantrip): Place your fingertips upon a body of water (frozen or not), a mound of earth, near a small flame, or wave them through the air. Bare in mind the appropriate elemental configuration when casting, along with your intent. Afterwards you'll find yourself with a little bit of control over a small stretch of the element your influencing, allowing you to mold or shape it into whatever you want, as long as it fits in with that element's parameters.
Mending(cantrip): When dealing with a cracked or broken object, if you gather all the pieces together and fit them like puzzle pieces, you can then run your fingers over the seems to mend them as though it was never broken in the first place. Bare in mind the Ormou Configuration when casting. You can not affect objects greater than the average height, width, or weight of a medium humanoid, such as a human or elf.
Prestidigitation(cantrip): Lift your hand towards your target, and bare in mind the appropriate elemental configuration when casting, as well as your intent. Once you speak the incantation, you can create a multitude of different effects. You can create a harmless sensory effect, instantaneously light or snuff out a small flame or campfire, Instantaneously clean or soil an object that is no larger than a medium humanoid such as a human or elf, you can chil, warm, or flavor nonliving material no larger than a medium humanoid, change the appearance of an inanimate object no larger than a medium humanoid (as long as it fits within the limits of it’s material), or create a non-magical trinket or illusionary image that can fit inside the palm of your hand. Spell only lasts for an hour.
Polymorph: Pull your hands back towards your shoulder, and roll your fingers to the heartbeat of Azeroth. In this two phase spell, you must first bare in mind the Alodi configuration when evoking, then the Neptulon configuration when casting. As always, intent is important. For each angular shift in power (72 degrees) you can either increase or decrease the size of the target you're polymorphing, or increase the number of targets you can effect for a number of seconds. This duration can last anywhere from 6 to 30 seconds depending on your conviction. Do not exceed 360 degrees, as it will drain you to the point of uselessness.
(Sacrifice an attack turn. Roll a 1d20+4 against the will of your target(s). You can affect up to two targets, plus one additional target per RM spent for 1d8 rounds. You can also change a single target's size by 1 shift per RM spent.)
Anomalous Earth: Drop to one knee and gather two small geodes into the palms of your hands. If you don't have geodes as a spell component, crushing some soil in your hands works too. It's just not as powerful. Speak the incantation, and bare in mind both the Alodi, and Thrall configurations when doing this two part spell. After you're done evoking power, sharply stand up and throw your geodes to a location near your targets. Afterwards, a massive crack, and explosion could be heard as a spatial anomaly is formed beneath their very feet. Targets standing upon it when it forms will be swallowed down into an expanse of churning earth where they must fight to stay alive... or suffocate. Each angular shift in power (72 degress) can increase the radius of the impact point by 5 yards. Exceeding 360 degrees results in death, and it's often unwise to make a hazardous area so large it could potentially swallow you too.
(AoE attack centered on impact point. Rage: 12 yards. Creatures within must make a DC 16 strength check or be swallowed up by the sink hole. DC gets progressively harder by 1 shift for each failing roll, and for each failing roll the target suffocates and is restrained, dealing 1d2 points of damage to them. For each RM spent, she can increase the radius of the effect by 3yrds)
Warp Gravity: Bare in mind the Starwhisper configuration when casting this spell. Lower your hands to about crotch level, palms faceing out towards your targeted area. From that postion, keep your arms straight and trace a large circle that stops up above the center of your head. Speak the incantation while doing this and soon a rune will appear upon the surface you whish to affect, and keep your intent in mind. For each angular shift in power, you can increase or decrease gravity's effect on things within the area of your targeted surface. Don't exceed 144 degrees, as it'll drain you to death.
(AoE attack centered on a chosen point you can see. Lasts for 1d8 rounds. In the spell itself, she can increase or decrease gravity by one decided shift per round. Increasing gravity increases strength DC's by shifts equal to the number of gravitational shifts you willed. Decreasing gravity does the vice versa. For each RM spent, you can increase or decrease gravity by another shift past your limit. Once gravitational shifts get to 3 or greater, Targets are either imobilized as they can't even lift themselves up anymore. Or disoriented as suddenly they're floating. 4 or greater gravitational shifts, and targets start taking 1d2 points of damage for the rest of the spell's duration as they begin to suffocate. Increase because their lungs can no longer expand enough to breathe. Decreased because the external air pressure is too thin.)
Time Warp: Gather two light feathers into the tips of your index fingers and thumbs, lift your arms above your head, and release the feathers as you rotate them down to crotch level. Bare in mind the Ormou configuration when casting this spell, and speak the incantation. Bare in mind your intent as always. For each angular shift in power (72 degrees) you can incorporate an ally into the spellcast. Afterwards, you and the allies you added are affected by the timeways in such a way that they move through it much faster than normal, allowing you to out think, out maneuver, and outrun your foes far more easily. This effect lasts anywhere from three to twenty four seconds… or more depending on your conviction.
(Lingering effect that lasts for 1d4 rounds. During this time, up to three party members, or more per RM spent, gain 2 actions in a round, a +1 to attack and defense rolls, and athletics DCs are reduced by one shift.)
Plane Shift: Close your eyes and take a deep breath inward. Take a moment to feel the forces around you. Keep your arms at your side when starting the cast. Bare in mind the cosmic configuration when casting this spell. As you start your incantation, face your palms outward and steadily lift your arms in an arc at your sides. By the time you finish your incantation, your arms should make a wide obtuse angle above your head, or about 60 degrees on each side. In one swift movement after you finish your incantation, arc them both up into each other, clapping them just above your head. The sounds around you will dull, and by the time you open your eyes you will notice that the world around you has taken a whitish blue filter, and you can't see past sixty or so feet. The border of your vision will look like a wispy white fog that has engulfed the rest of the world around you. Don’t panic, that means you’ve done the spell right. You have phase shifted into the ethereal plane. Just be careful where you tread… as the spirits native to it will be able to interact with you.
(You shift into the ethereal plane for 6 or 1d12 rounds, a land that borders our world, and the spirit realm. You have in effect become a ghost. You are completely invisible and imperceptible to creatures on the physical plane, and the truest aspects of your own spirit come out. Spirits on the ethereal plane can interact with you, but creatures on the physical plane cannot in any way, shape or form. Creatures on the physical plane with the ability to detect magic can make a DC 16 perception roll to notice your presence if they suspect you’re there.)
Suggestion(cantrip): In order for this spell to work, you must be close enough to the target for them to hear what you're saying. Speak what you intend for them to do while twirling your wrists once or twice, and once done, keep your palms upface, with your fingertips pointed towards the target you wish to effect. Afterwards, they will be compelled to do what you suggested. This spell works best if you mask the gesture by incorperateing it's gesture into your typical hand gestures when speaking.
(Target must make a DC 16 conviction check, or be forced to comply with the caster's "suggestion." You cannot suggest that someone do something that puts their lives in danger. Survival instincts are too strong.)
Sleep: Place some sand, ground poppy seeds, or dried rose petals into the palm of one of your hands. This spell also works with a live cricket, assuming it doesn't jump away. Once you've done this, whisper the incantation into your reagent, and then proceed to blow towards the direction of your target(s). Bare in mind the steller configuration when casting. If it's a powder, it will disperse from your hand and morph into a magical dust that surrounds your target(s)' head. If your reagent is a live cricket, it will chirp until your target(s)' fall asleep, and then jump away. For each angular shift in power (72 degrees), you can affect one additional target. Do not exceed 360 degrees, doing so will cause the spell to backfire on you.
(AoE effect, centered on a chosen point. Range: 12 yards. Creatures affected must make a DC 16 fortitude save, or they will faint. Getting put to sleep for 1d12 rounds.)
Confusion: Extend an arm out and flick your wrist up, so that your palms are facing your target(s), at the last possible second of this gesture. Roll your fingers in a circular rhythm, and bare in mind the Steller configuration when casting. As you're doing this, magic will cause the neurons in their brain to malfunction in a way that confuses them. Their minds will be muddled, and unable to formulate clear trains of thought. This could have a number of effects including the inability to cast spells, the inability to determine friend from foe, the inability to plan out strategies, so on and so forth. For each angular shift on your memorized calligraphy (72 degrees), you can affect one additional target.
(Target's must make a DC 16 intelligence save, or be confused for a duration of time. The caster determines what effects the confusion has--so long as it's all mental--and can include multiple effects in the cast. Just keep in mind: For each effect the spell has, the duration is reduced by one shift. (1 or 1d2 rounds) She can increase the number of target's she affects by 1 per RM spent. Cap: 5)
Animate Object: Touch a mundane inanimate object, such as a book, weapon, or shield, speak the incantation, and bare in mind the steller configuration when casting. Given that the object isn't already magical, it will then shape to life as if it were it's own person or entity, and begin to move around on it's own. The object obey's your will, and you get to determine what roll it serves. It can serve as a spellcaster, a warrior, or a defender on the battlefield, or as an assistant outside of it. This temporary enchantment will last for about twenty four seconds by default. But for each angular shift in power (72 degrees) you can increase this duration by another six.
(Touch a non-magical, inanimate object and it will come to life for 4 rounds, plus one additional round per RM spent. During this time, it'll serve as either a warrior--an object that deals physical damage to enemies--, a spellcaster--an object that casts offensive cantrips--, or a defender--an object that defends party members. If you are outside combat, an object can also serve as an assistant, aiding you in simple tasks for it's duration. Rolls MUST make sense for the purpose of the object. For example, a shield can't write in a book, while a quill can't defend a player.)
Charm Creature: Stand within visual, or touching range of a creature, so that they can see your most important details. This enables them to identify you clearly. Bare in mind your intent, and the siren configuration when casting this spell. As you speak the incantation, insure that your tone is soft and welcoming. Wave your hand whilst rolling your fingers in the direction of the target, then turn your hand so that it’s back is facing them, and form a gesture that becons them over. For each angular shift in power (72 degrees) you can affect one additional target. Afterwards, your target, or targets should be wholly compliant to you and your requests if they were unable to resist for a good long while.
(Up to two targets (without consequence) must make a DC 16 conviction check, or be charmed by you. Causing them to be wholly compliant to you, and your requests for 1d10 rounds. For each RM spent, you can affect one additional target.)
Forcefield: This spell is reactionary, and serves as an expansion upon the famous Prismatic Barrier. When you notice an incoming foe, projectile, or spell that's threatening your livelihood, lift both your hands to it. Insure that your index fingers and thumbs form a diamond in front of you, and spread them out in an arc to your sides. Speak the one word incantation, and bare in mind the Alodi Configuration when casting; as well as your intent. This slight modification to the usual prismatic barrier hand-gesture allows you not just to protect yourself, but your allies as well. Forming a prismatic wall of force that surrounds all of you... assuming they are in the twelve yard area. For each angular shift in power, you can, however, increase this area by an additional three yards.
(AoE effect centered on the caster. 12 yard range. Those within range gain a +4 to all defense rolls for 1d8 rounds. For each RM spent, you can increase the area it effects by 3 additional yards. This spell can also be cast as a prismatic barrier, affecting just the caster. This also lasts for 1d8 rounds, grants you a +4 to your defense rolls, and can absorb up to 4 points of damage at one point in time should you fail the defense anyway.)
Counterspell: A simple but effective reactionary spell. If you notice that your foe is casting, and have quick enough reflexes, lift your hand towards them and mutter the one word incantation. Doing so will send a waft of arcanic smoke snaking down their throat for a short duration of time. This smoke silences them, and temporarily saps their mana from them, stopping their current cast, and preventing another.
(Roll 1d20+4 against the will of your target. Succeed, and you silence them. Interrupting their current cast, and silencing them for 1d2 rounds after.)
Spellsteal: If you notice that a target is warded, enhanced, or magically infused in any way shape or form, then lift your hands towards them and speak this incantation. Bare in mind the Alodi Configuration when casting. Point your fingertips towards their chest, almost as if you were grabbing them with one hand, and pull back. All the while closing your hand into a fist. When you finish the gesture, the tops of your fingers should be facing your chest. This... may be a bit of a struggle if your up against someone powerful but keep pushing through. Succeed, and the spell that foe had cast now belongs to you for the rest of it's duration, and is yours to do with as you see fit. Just keep in mind... some "Buffs" can still be dangerous for you to wield if you don't understand how it's magic works.
(Roll 1d20+4 against the will of your target, and chose the spell effect you want to take from them. Succeed, and you take it granting you both its positives, AND it's negatives for the rest of that spell's duration. If the spell matches, or is compatible with your attunement (Arcane), then you can chose to remove the negative of its effect, or even remove the spell from yourself entirely.)
Detect Magic: Close your eyes and look into yourself for a moment. Steadily wave your hands through the air beside you, and mutter the incantation. Hum it over and over again, if you want to prolong the spell's effect. Soon you'll begin to feel the forces around you, most notably on your hands. Follow the sensations on your hands, and you may be able to not only detect it, but discern it's source.
(Sacrifice an attack turn, roll a perception check. Beat the DM's DC, and you can then make a Knowledge Arcana (or just intelligence if you don't have the skill) roll to discern it's source, and what type of magic it is. Beat that DC, and you will have a keen understanding of what it is, where it is, and will be able to sense it even if it moves away or ties to hide from you for 1d8 rounds afterwards. If the magical type matches, or is compatible with your attunement (Arcane) then you gain a bonus for all rolls made to detect and identify it.)
Rituals and Wards
Reagents required: The spell reagents appropriate to the spell you're empowering.
Preferred Conditions: Be within places of great elemental or arcanic power when casting. Nudity helps too.
Casting time: Six additional seconds per angular shift.
Effects: Chant the incantation and "dance" the dextrious movements of your spells over and over again, baring in mind your intent. This allows you to cast your normal spells as rituals, giving them more and more power as time progresses. If a spell is cast using this method, you can make them far more powerful without facing as many drawbacks, or being limited by the reccomended angular shifts.
Mechanics: For every extra round you spend casting a spell, you can add another spell effect to it. These can be effects such as damage increases, duration extensions, and aoe radius extensions. If you cast this spell within an elemental or arcane empowered area, you gain 4 extra spell effects within the first extra round. Do this naked, and you gain 2 more within the first extra round.
Reagents required: A bowl, urn, or other medium container of water. Incense from appropriate plants. (Grave moss, Sage, or Winter's Kiss) Blue and grey candles. Insure they're virgin.
Prefered conditions: Be near a large body of water (such as a lake, river, or swamp), or a preexisting storm. Also insure you have a clear view of the sky above. For best results, strip down, or wear very light, loosely fitting cloths to better feel the elements surrounding you. Being barefoot helps too.
Casting time: Between five minutes to an hour depending on the severity and duration of the storm you want to summon.
Effects: Chant the incantation over and over again during cast time, and lift your hands to the sky. Rhythmically "dancing" around your container in a circle evokes the power faster, and to greater effect. Once the storm is gathered, keep an eye on effects it causes, using your hand, and baring in mind the right configurations while viewing allows you to control them. Bare in mind, using a pre-existing storm can shorten cast duration drastically.
Mechanics: For each shift of damage, and duration (1 or 1d2, and one round) you want the storm to contain, spend a round casting. Damage caps at six shifts (6, or 1d12), and duration can last as long as an hour. (360 rounds) If you cast this on a pre-existing storm. You need only determine the damage shifts you want to do, and spend about one extra round gaining control of it. If you are both barefoot, and naked or wearing very light cloths when starting and ending the ritual, then you gain an automatic 4 rounds of storm control in addition to what you gained from the cast time itself already.
Anti Magic Zone:
Reagents Required: A magically conductive knife, or other blade. And a bag of salt.
Prefered Conditions: Insure the ground beneath your feet can be penetrated by a blade.
Casting time: About eighteen seconds (3 rounds).
Effects: Chant the incantation rhythmically, and move forward. Drop the bag of salt onto the place you wish to center the spell, and thrust your blade into it upon finishing the incantation. Afterward, a rippling pressure wave will spread out about as far as the salt explodes outward, and stagnate the fabric of reality. Rendering it's manipulation in any way, shape, or form impossible for a good ten seconds or so.
Mechanics: Spend three rounds casting this ritual. If the casting goes uninterrupted during this time, then the zone will affect a 12ft radius area centered upon the caster for the rolled duration. All spells being casted in, or at this area will fizzle out and disperse upon entry. Harming and effecting nobody. The spell lasts for as long as the blade sticks out of the center.
Banish Extraplainer Entity:
Reagents Required: Burning incense. (Osha for demons and void entities, sage for spirits, roses for fae, and earthroot for elementals.) or a bag of runestones.
Prefered Conditions: None really, however the spell is much stronger during the light of the harvest moon, blue moon, or blood moon.
Casting time: About eighteen seconds (3 rounds) ... or longer depending on how staunch your target's defiance is.
Last edited by Emmy Brightrook on 2019-02-18 12:15 am; edited 6 times in total
Emmy's Spellbook Cont.
Reagents Required: The materials needed to make it's physical body. A diamond tipped chisel. About five ounces of Arhkana per shift in size. A medium to large crystal containing latent arcane energy, and chalk.
Prefered Conditions: Be near a leyline for easier access to massive amounts of arcane energy. Also insure your creation area is wide open and circular, with a proper place to place the gathered materials needed to create the golem you're trying to make.
Casting time: The time spent gathering the correct resources, five to ten minutes to draw the Quel Configuration, and about six seconds per shift in size, and six more seconds per level of programing complexity.
Effects: Gather all the mundane materials into one area, arranging them to form the shape of the golem you wish to create. Put the core crystal in its chest, draw the Quel Configuration around it, and evenly sprinkle the Arhkana amongst the three surrounding circles. Afterwards, step away from the configuration and speak an incantation detailing what you want your golems to do. Lower your hands to the configuration as you do so. Once done, pull your hands away and snap your fingers. Afterwards, the pieces of your golem will levitate and place themselves appropriately, molding together to form it's structure. Congratulations. Now you have a servant to do your bidding, granting you the ability to give it commands telepathically.
Mechanics: Once all the appropriate pieces are gathered, determine the tasks you want your golem to be able to do, and take into account it's size. For each task, and each shift in size (starting from small), spend a round casting. If the ritual goes uninterrupted during this time, you will have successfully created a golem.
Reagents Required: Flat, moldable ground, and a large stick or other utensil to draw calligraphy with.
Prefered Conditions: Know your sigil coordinates, and insure you have enough space to accommodate the amount of people you're teleporting with this ritual. Also make sure you know there's enough space for the people at your destination as well.
Casting time: One minute per every five people (about) to draw the Alodi configuration, and about eighteen seconds of active casting time.
Effects: Draw the Alodi configuration on the ground. Insure that it's large enough to fit all the people you wish to teleport. Make sure your sigil coordinates are correct. Once done, move to the center circle and speak the incantation. Bring your palms close together, and rhythmically shift them in circular motions around each other to synchronize with the heartbeat of Azeroth. Gradually, a bright white light will spawn beneath your feet, and at the last second expand rapidly to engulf everyone in your circle. When it fades, you will find yourself, and everyone else within at your destination if it all went right.
Mechanics: Once the circle is drawn, spend three rounds casting this spell. If the ritual goes uninterrupted during this time then the caster will have successfully teleported everyone in the circle to the correct destination.
Create Lasting Ward:
Required Reagents: Burning incense appropriate to the creatures and forces you wish to repel, enough salt to encompass the area you hope to cover, and a crystal or rod containing latent arcane energy within it's center... or... a camp/bonfire of some kind.
Prefered Conditions: Be inside, or within a slightly isolated and enclosed area of wilderness (such as a cave, clearing, or tent circle)
Casting time: Enough time to place the salt down and burn the incense, and about six seconds per radius of area covered, as well as six seconds per desired repulsion.
Effects: Surround a desired area with a line of salt, place down a rod, crystal, or fire in the center. Once done... speak the incantation over the focus detailing the forces you desire to repel, and how you wish to repel them. This process can take anywhere from six to thirty-six seconds depending on the amount of area you wish to cover. Afterward, a pressure wave should spread out from you, and fill the perimeter with a domed mirage effect along the edges.
Mechanics: For each force, and each area shift (12yards) you wish to cover, spend a round casting. Forces described outside must make a DC 16 conviction check or be repelled. This can be a simple matter of being compelled to leave if it's an entity. Canceling out it's effect if it's a spell (in which case the caster must make the save), or absorbing up to 4 points of damage at once if it's a projectile or other weapon. The ward also emits an alarm if someone tries to breach its borders. If the ritual goes uninterrupted during this time, you successfully create the ward. The ward lasts for as long as the focus remains intact.
Reagents Required: A paste made from moonwater, charcoal, and osha. A mortar and pestle made from hardend clay, a thin paintbrush, and a smooth stretch of living skin or leather to draw upon.
Prefered Conditions: The closer you can draw the calligraphy to the forehead, the better.
Casting time: The time it takes to grind up the materials into a paste... if not already premade, the time it takes to draw the configuration, and about six seconds of active evoking time.
Effects: Draw a reverse stellar configuration on someones skin, or piece of tanned leather with the matierals you created with the mortar and pestle. If you're reacting with this spell, then in the center circle you need to draw the universal symbol for the type of magic you're hoping to repel from someones mind. If not, then the titanic symbol for a shield is a perfect placeholder. Afterwards, hover your hand over the defiled spot and speak the incantation. Bare in mind your intent while doing this. If done right, arcane energy will pulsate from your hand and infuse the paste with magic, allowing the charcoal to do it's work on a magical level, absorbing the harmful magics within, and preventing it from doing any further harm.
Mechanics: Take about a minute createing the paste (6 rounds) if you haven't had any premade, and about three rounds drawing the calligraphy. Afterwards, spend a round casting. Any creature trying to psychically influence the warded creature's mind using spells from the school of enchantment must succeed on a DC 16 conviction check, or fail. After that, they cannot try again for as long as the charcoal used to draw the ward remains.
An Analysis on Magic - Less is More
Chapter 1 - Introduction
Many are confused by my habits. Particularly when they find out that I preform some magical spells "In the Buff" as some would say. To many it's such a foreign concept that they quickly dismiss it as superstition and irrationality. "Mages wear robes all the time! And it doesn't seem to affect the power of their spells at all!" I often hear. And while it's true that mages wear robes, many forget the reasons why. They chock it up to the understandably earned reputation we have for being rather, shall we say, eccentric. A reputation it seems has not surpassed even I. I promise you this however, everything I do has a reason, and a substantial amount of thought put into it. When it comes to magic, I rarely do anything just because "It's fun" , That would be rather irresponsible of me because as many of you know, treating magic as a toy often has devastating consequences. Something my students know very well...
First and foremost however, I would like to clarify: I do not cast every spell I weave skyclad (Naked). I only go skyclad when I'm casting spells that both A: Work very closely with the natural forces of the world, and B: Require very long evocation periods. My students know these types of spells as "Rituals"
Second, imagine this analogy if you would. Your hand is your willpower--your soul--and your physical exterior is a glove. Put a glove over your hand and what happens? Your manual dexterity becomes hindered. Even if to the slightest degree. The thicker the glove, the less precise the movements in your fingers become. Take off that glove, and suddenly you have full range of movement once more.
Now, obviously, we can never really gain "full range of movement" as it were, based on that analogy. We're all physical beings that have been too long separated from the energies that formed the cosmos. If that weren't the case there would be nothing stopping us mages from standing on an equal plane to the gods themselves. If you ask me, that would insight far too much chaos. However, that doesn't mean we can't come close.
Chapter 2 - The Glove
Have you ever sat down and really wondered why mages wear robes? Most of us are just as strong as the warrior standing next to us. It's part of our training after all. Yet we still refuse to equip the best protection we can afford. It seems nonsensical when you really think about it. Well, here's the thing. Heavier, thicker armors interfere with spellcasting. How? It dampens your sense of touch to perceive the forces around you. You can't feel it as effectively. And when your entire profession is centered around attunement to said forces... that can cause a problem. Your ability to pull and reshape the forces surrounding you gets hindered. So mages across all humanoid cultures have opted to wear robes instead. It's a "Thinner glove" than leather, chain or plate armor.
So, what difference does casting nude make? In essence, that makes the "glove" around your soul even thinner still. For many spells, this is by a trivial amount that makes no difference in the end. But that "trivial difference" can really add up to be a more substantial difference when casting longer, more intricate, and more precise spells. Spells that can change the face of an entire battlefield, and preform feats on par with genuine miracles. By casting in the nude, I have observed a bit of an enhancement in myself and my spellweaveing than when I had worn robes. I gain an ability to control the weather for longer periods of time, and with greater control over factors like where lightning strikes, or a swell of snow gathers.
I've also been able to feel the anomalies many otherwise imperceptible entities have caused in the air, for my clothing doesn't cushion and disperse the force I impact when brushing up against or walking through these irregularities. That makes it easier to find out where they are, and where I need to go to trap, banish, or bind them. Let me tell you, that has most certainly helped me identify a few would-be impish invasions before.
This? This is just the beginning. There is actually a long list of minor but powerful differences I've noticed when casting ritual spells this way.
Of course, I'm not the only test subject.
Chapter 3 - Witness Accounts
Of the ten mages I've been able to convince of helping me test this; nine of them reported feeling the same phenomena I did. A deeper, more accurate perception of the forces surrounding them. A they had this to say:
"I must admit, when Archmage Bluefire first asked us to test this, I thought she'd completely lost her marbles! More than you'd expect an Archmage too anyway. I've always figured that it was a practice only the savage Arathi witches of old engaged in. I figured that by agreeing to test this, I'd prove her wrong. I was mistaken... I managed to tune into and gain control of the wind by feeling it move past my skin. Clever bitch..." ~Magus Maxius The frail.
"I went to school with Archmage Bluefire. In fact, she was my tutor several years back. I'd always known her to be a bit... shall we say, "unconventional" but this!? This had to be the most outlandish idea she'd forwarded to me! But I figured "Hey... got nothing better to do." and tried it out. I soon came to realize the truth she was speaking though when I managed to banish a ghost from my home! That nuisance had been so illusive before now. The second my skin felt the cold of his presence moving through me, I had him! It really worked!" ~Magistrix Clareece Lorent.
"I overheard Miss Bluefire talking about this the other day. Figured there was no harm in trying it at my own apartment at some point. I had just finished with my shower when I got the crazy idea to conjure a lesser water elemental from the steam. After a few spins, I noticed that the hairs down my arm and legs could actually feel individual droplets. I simply placed my hands inside the spot with the highest concentration of water vapor and poof! Two minutes later a little water guppy was starring back at me!" ~Apprentice Kinsey Kenzington
"Bluefire is such a show off! Yeah, she can control the weather and shit like that, but Me? Oh, I do something far more delicate! Magitech engineer Manacog at your service. Chief pioneer of Artificer...-ing here at the Kirin'Tor. I had just finished copulating with my wife when I decided to calibrate one of my scrying apparatuses. I felt my hair stand on end. Nothing unusual when working with enchanted electricity... but then... some of them started to tingle. That couldn't have been good right? RIGHT! It wasn't! I was two watts away from completely overloading the pool! I don't think Id've ever noticed that if I were still wearing robes. I'm not saying Bluefire is right... but I guess she was onto something..." ~Artificer Pinwheel Manacog
Moreover, if you can get past the embarrassment you'd likely feel for being naked and exposed around your peers, you'll find yourself feeling much more empowered. Much more connected to the world you live in.
Just ask any naturalist, or individual who's been to a nude beach. Many return from their outings feeling more confident in themselves than they were before, more refreshed.
This resulting confidence also serves to boost the power of your spellweaving. Confidence means your intent is far more clear to you, making your spells much more in line with your goals. And as any mage would tell you: Clarity of mind is very important!
Now, this is great and all... but here I only speak of people within the mage community. How about those without?
Chapter 4 - Applications In Other Spellcasters
Of course, this doesn't apply to all forms of magic. At least not in the same way. Priests and Paladins can tell you, the power gained from serving the light isn't exactly yours, it belongs to a higher force more in-tune with that particular set of changes, and simply channels it through you. Shamans can tell you that the same principle applies. It just comes from elementals and spirits you serve instead of divine forces such as the Light or Void. Though it's worth mentioning that some shamans believe appearing before the spirits Skyclad helps them communicate more efficiently. They seem to like the air of natural humility that comes with doing that. I personally know a shaman who is quite the avid nudist herself! Her name is Av'laa, perhaps you've heard of her.
She once mentioned to me that when she gets married, she'll take her spouse to a place where she can easily contact her Ancestral spirits and have them both strip down. The reasoning behind it is to come as humbly as they can before her ancestors to profess their love for each other. For if you can't both appear before them as you did when you both entered the world, then the magic that binds you together in life will not be able to take precedence within your souls. A bit of superstition? Perhaps, but a beautiful concept nonetheless. All I know is that when she finally did get married, the magical essence surrounding them both felt more... pure, somehow. More refined.
"What about druids! They wear leather!" Have you ever noticed that despite this, many druids still don't wear much? They expose quite a bit of skin. Even so, the leather they wear doesn't hinder them, as it seems some of their power may actually come from it! Or rather the animal it once belonged too... if they even wear leather at all. Otherwise they wear leaves, branches, and other natural materials in which they also siphon power from.
Chapter 5 - Conclusion
Long story short, based on everything I've seen and heard in my recent years of studying this phenomena, I can draw this conclusion. Once you get past whatever conditioned embarrassment you may feel when attempting this, you'll find yourself more focused, more confident, and more attuned to the movements, traces, and wills of the forces or entities surrounding you. This in turn allows you reach out and impose your will over it far more efficiently, and to greater effect. With that glove off, and your mind free of any worry, the world will look and feel more vibrant to you than ever before.
But of course, just telling you this doesn't make your nervousness go away. Here are a few simple steps to get started, should you desire to start practicing this way.
First: Surround yourself with people you can trust. Not just with your valuables. Not just with your possessions. With your secrets, and your very lives. Such people are the ones who you know you can sit down and speak your worries away. People who will carry your secrets to the grave, and calmly, respectfully, listen to you when you explain yourself.
Second: Understand that nudity is natural. You were born with this body, and nothing can change that. You had it as a baby, and all throughout your life growing up. Your parents have seen it, you have seen it, and more than likely your spouse will see it. It wasn't a disgusting thing to be ashamed of then. Why should it be now?
Third: Practice privately at first. Baby steps are the key to success, after all. This will give you some practice and experience with the concept, while at the same time allowing you to grow more comfortable in your own skin.
Fourth: Understand that society's viewpoints have always been, and will always be dynamic. There was a time once when people could walk around naked during the summer and it was perfectly normal. It's just that over time the weather forced us to wear more and more clothing to keep ourselves warm. Now it's so normal we don't understand people who think it isn't. Nothing wrong with that. You can both comply with societies current viewpoints, and practice skyclad elsewhere.
And Finally: Don't be afraid to explain yourself. This step is hard if you don't have the confidence for it. That is particularly why I told you to surround yourself with people you trust earlier. Those people will build you up, and teach you indirectly how to stand your ground. If you're forced into a situation where you must publicly go against society's current norms, then a simple and clear explanation will more often than not clear things up without much judgement from anyone.
For those of you who made it all the way to the end, thank you very much. I must say this was a bit of a passion project of mine. Skyclad casting is a concept that so often gets misunderstood. But sadly, I find it very hard to find any good analytical transcripts exploring it in depth that both takes it seriously, and gets the facts straight. So! I sought to explore it myself. Five years, dozes of failed experiments, and a dubious writing session later, It brings me great pleasure to present this novella to you, the reader. Thank you so much for your support by reading this book, and may you find success in your own endeavors.
~Thaumaturge Emmy Bluefire, Archmage of the Kirin'Tor.
Last edited by Emmy Brightrook on 2019-06-20 2:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
An Analysis on Magic - The Power Within
Chapter 1 - Introduction
I would like you to stop for a moment and think. Think about the world, and everything in it. The ocean tides move because the moons above enact a gravitational pull on the water. Fire is ignited when enough energy gets transformed into heat, and remains for as long as the object it ignited provides it with fuel. The sun and stars move across the sky because long ago--in Azeroth's formation--an equally large object smashed into it at such an angle, and with such force, that it began to rotate forevermore. Plants thrive because they slurp up energy from the soil, and the sun to grow. Animals who eat those plants thrive because they've consumed energy from said plants. And the creatures who eat those animals? Well, you know where I'm going with this.
Everything in our world requires energy to function. Without that energy, it begins to fade away. The same can be said with cosmic forces as well. Our world, our reality, exists in a delicate balance. Everything that happens in our universe has a price. It's a law of reality us mortals will never be able to rise above. Not even when we seek to bend it to our will...
Magic users--of all types--report feeling progressively exhausted, both physically and mentally, the more spells we cast.
It has been this way for all of recorded history. In the modern age, however, this phenomena has been given a name. "Mana" At least, that's what mages call it. Other magical classes, however, swear up and down that they don't use mana. Instead, they use some other mystical force. Though many of them fail to provide any kind of scientific evidence to back up their claims; leaving many of us skeptical as to what's really going on within ourselves.
However, I seek to take a bit of a different approach with this book. Instead of ridiculing others for their beliefs and ideals, I intend to look at the way they use magic. I intend to take them seriously, and perhaps bridge the gaps in understanding left by magic's inherently mysterious behavior as a whole.
I also hope that by doing this, I might bring about a better understanding of what "Mana" really is. I assure you, it's more than meets the eye.
Chapter 2 - “Mana” Through the Ages
First and foremost. What is mana, as defined by most people in the modern age? Outside the scholarly halls of mages, most people understand it as being the residual energy that seeps up through the earth, from the leylines miles beneath our very feet.
An understandable notion, as there are countless examples of arcanic things being labeled as mana. Mana Crystals, Mana Dust, Manawraiths, Mana Wyrms, Mana Potions. These identifiers are so common, that even us mages have taken to formally calling them by those very same names.
But how accurate is this really? Is there truthfully a difference between what many understand as "mana" , and the other energies that people find within themselves? Energies such as "Chi" , "Insanity" or "Astral Power?" Well, that is a far more complicated question.
In studying the arcane, mages need to first learn the languages associated with it. Titan, and Ancient Elven. In both languages, there are two separate identifiers for magic, and the energy within you that you use to conjure it.
Beyond that, though, there is no further identification. Magic, by in large, is all considered the same in their books. If further identification was needed to specify a caster's intent, then adjectives like "Dark" , "Light", "Natural", or "Control" were added in, along with terms like "Healing", "Destruction", "Transformation", or "Deception."
With all this information in mind, it should come as no surprise to know that, to them, "mana" was all the same. To them, "mana" only described the strength and reach of your soul. The residual spiritual energy within it.
Where these different iterations of "mana" came from in the modern age is widely unknown. But based on my own research into linguistics, and the way different magics change you, I can theorize its predominantly the result of different user's soul attunements, and belief systems.
The void drives you insane. The Fel makes you more violent. The Light makes you more faithful. Nature insights wanderlust and the desire for freedom. And the Arcane makes you more orderly. Observe any magic user for long enough, and you'll start to notice these quirks. Granted, more often than not, these sorts of behaviors were already apparent within them when they began their practice. That might be the reason those sorts of magics called to them in the first place.
So, in a way, different magic users are both right and wrong when they say "They don't use mana." But wait. That's a contradictory statement isn't it? Well, let's elaborate a little further.
Chapter 3 - Your Spiritual Essence
In the last chapter I briefly mentioned that I'd been looking into the way different magics changed you. I then went on to only mention the psychological effects magic has on you. I did not look at the physical, and most importantly, the spiritual effects it has on you.
These changes are what many would classify as "Corruption", or "Purification" These two classifications are, much to a believer's dismay, one in the same. What this phenomena gets called is based on an individual's personal beliefs. Mechanically though, I myself think of it all the same way. Different strands of magic alter your spirit in different ways.
As I mentioned in my last book: "An Analysis on Magic - Less is More", your spirit is what gives you the ability to manipulate the energies around you. It's the reason why ghosts, incorporeal as they may be, have the ability to manipulate the unfortunate objects and temperatures in your household. It's what gives them the ability to harm you despite the fact that they can't actually touch you. They summon up the energy needed to do so.
But as these energies are, in themselves, a potent spiritual force it makes sense that the more you allow these forces to touch you, the more they will start to rub off on you. Much like a toxic person’s awful personality rubs off on a good person’s decent one, and vice versa. Magical energies operate in a similar fashion.
A potent Fel user will start to manifest demonic features, and their magic will become more and more chaotic. As seen with the Illidari.
A potent Light user will start to manifest divine features. Halo's, Angel wings and the like. And their magic will become more and more... shall we say, "Righteous" , as seen with the Lightforged.
A potent druid will start to manifest more wild features. Crazier hair, animal features and the like. As seen on Malfurion.
A potent shaman may start to radiate elemental energies when they get emotional. As seen with Thrall.
A potent void user will start to manifest, shall we say, "empty" features. Expressionless faces, gaunt bodies, pale skin, shrunken eyes, tentacles and the like. As seen with the Ren'Dorei and the Faceless Ones.
And a potent Arcane user? Well, they start to radiate arcane energy from soul-heavy places like the eyes. And their personalities will become more meticulous and orderly. As seen with Jaina, Khadgar, Archmage Antonidas, and Myself.
Look into it further, and you'll notice something else. Their spirits start to merge with the energies they manipulate. Eventually it gets to the point where the two forces seem almost indistinguishable. It is at this point where the ability to detect magical auras--as some people are able to do--begins to work.
At this point in your magical development, the residual spiritual energy that was once your "mana" is now residual light energy, or void energy, or whatever force you've come to manipulate. And this, my readers, is where many individuals start to diverge from saying that they "Use Mana"
So... what exactly is it then? Truth be told, cultures have diversified to such a point now that it's impossible to find any one single definition all people can agree upon. But I think it's as simple as this: It's your residual spiritual energy. It is the part of your soul that isn't being used constantly. It's that spark that pushes you to keep going even when all hope seems lost, and your body gives way to exhaustion. When it goes away, you must restore it or you'll start to pull from your very lifeforce.
It's why many magic users start to age more rapidly, if they consistently push themselves too far.
Chapter 4 - Tying Up Loose Ends
So we've discussed most of the fundamental forces of reality. Arcane, Fel, The Light, The Void, the natural spirit essence of the world and the elements. We've also looked into how those forces alter your spirit and change your physical stature and psychological state of mind.
But what of the, shall we say, more obscure forms of "magic"? Energies like the pandaren Chi, necromantic shadow energy, or the odd forces of decay seen in Drustvar? These are outlying things that fall into uncertain places on the cosmological scale of magical energies. Where do they sit?
Let's start with Chi.
Chi, to my observation, is simply a manifestation of one's own spiritual energies in it's purest form. It's an interesting skill the Pandaren have learned, and are now teaching others. It's all willpower, in a sense. Perhaps even the purest form of magic in it's definitive sense.
"Changing things in accordance to one's will."
They've spent years learning to balance out their own virtues and vices to bring about harmony in one's soul. And hence the energies that would have changed them are simply kept at bay. However, I am far from an expert in Pandaren culture, and as such will concede my notes should further research yield different results.
My only other thought on this matter is that "Chi" is a form of Nature and elemental magics combined together. But that's based on very loose ground. As the only observation I've made to support this is that Chi is used primarily as a sort of physical/mental enhancement, and the skills of the mistweavers.
Necromancy, on the other hand, I can provide more insight on. On the cosmological chart many of us mages use, nature magic is identified as "Life and Growth" ... which of course has its opposite: "Death and Decay"
Manifestations of death and decay are what many know as "Undead" It's worth noting that necromancy wasn't ever practiced in this world by witches and wizards until Arch-Warlock Gul'Dan was forbidden from using fel magics after the first war by his clan. He sought the counsel of his master, Kil'Jaden, who then taught him necromancy as a workaround.
Of course, before that manifestations of death and decay did still happen on rare occasions. Sometimes the souls of the dead inhabit and animate their old remains out of rage, or to fulfill a purpose.
Practitioners of Necromancy often start out as mages trying to find ways to make themselves immortal without having to deal with the pesky mana addiction and complex rituals the Guardians underwent. And it becomes a downward spiral form there.
Their spirit becomes froth with the energies of decay and soon they begin to decay themselves, despite still being alive. Which brings me to Drust magic.
As you've likely put together by now, it is possible to hybridize forms of magic, and even balance out your soul. Drust magic is interesting, as it is exactly that. A hybridization of two opposing forces; life and death. This is perhaps why many individuals who've been to Drustvar have observed similarities between druidic magic, and what's now unfairly defined as "Witchcraft." The only difference between the two, truth be told though, is the focus.
Conventional druids focus on the powers of life and growth to make changes in the world. While the Drust focused on decay. Honestly, a true "Witch" by that definition would be focusing on both, and the balance between them. Weather those changes are good or evil is up to them.
Magic doesn't have an alignment after all. Just a purpose.
The only spiritual change I've observed in "Witches"--as they're being called now--is a bit of a tendency to be a hermit, and a very neutral mindset. Along with both wildness and decrepitness in small doses.
Chapter 5 - Conclusion
So what is mana then? In ancient times it was just a term used to identify the extra spirit juice within you. Now it is a word used only in conjunction with the arcane energies that seep up through the leylines. I still stand by the old definition though, as it's the one that makes the most sense to me, and my studies of magic. That, however, does not mean you have to follow in my footsteps.
We know also, that the different magical essences that surround you can influence your very being. For some the change is very little. For others it's quite substantial. How far you've teetered to one edge or the other is up to your willpower, and what other forces you've allowed to enter you.
Regardless, one fact is certain. All magic users, of any kind, have their limits. We all have a "Glove" over our souls. Perhaps mana, in that sense, could also be used as a name for that limit.
Creatures who can drain it aren't exactly draining you of your magic. Rather, they are forcibly exhausting your soul of it's residual energies.
"Mana" is just as much a part of you as your arm is. It's the extension we all have within our souls. And like your arm, it can recover with time, energy, and rest. So eat healthy, get plenty of rest, know your limits, and drink water. Was that the true moral of this book? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Perhaps it was a joke I decided to shove in just because. Who knows? I don't.
I just hope that this book, at the very least, provided you with some valuable information for you to think about. Perhaps it even inspired you to do your own research into what mana is. Perhaps it even made you realize that you aren't so weak after all, and can study magic regardless of your vices and interests.
For those of you who made it all the way to the end, thank you very much. I must say, this book took far longer to finish than I had originally anticipated. Finding out all of the information contained within this book was no easy task, let me tell you. But six months, lots of research, and several long writing sessions later: I'm pleased to present to you this novella. Thank you so much for your support in reading this book, and may you find success in your own endeavors.
~Thaumaturge Emmy Bluefire, Archmage of the Kirin'Tor
Portals vs Teleportation - What's the Difference?
As Emmy steps up to the stage, she waves a hand in a wide, sweeping arch that seems to encompass the entire audience. Dozens of small pieces of parchment, and a thin stick of charcoal swiftly float up to the audience, landing, and resting, right in front of each lap.
“Time, and space, are fundamentally linked. You cannot affect one without affecting the other. It is this very principle that makes the conjuration of portals, or the evocation of teleportation spells, such an intricate science.”
“Greetings everyone, my name is Thaumaturge Emmy Bluefire, Archmage of the Kirin’Tor, and professor of Transmutation, Evocation, and Enchantment here at stormwind university.”
“If my little excerpt earlier didn’t make it obvious already, I will be speaking to you tonight about portals, and teleportation. How do they both work? How do they really affect the world around you? And most importantly: what’s the difference?”
“However, Before I get started tonight, I want you to do a brief activity on the slips of parchment provided. Here’s what you do.”
“Take your piece of charcoal, and draw a dot on one end of the parchment slips provided. Go hard, don’t be stingy, the residue will be useful for the next step.”
pauses and waits for the audience to do as they’re told. A bright, enthusiastic smile on her face while she watches.
“Alright, next: Fold that slip of paper in half, and press the charcoal’s contact point with the other half as hard as you can.”
“Now. Unfold your parchment, and lay it flat on the ground. What you should be seeing now, are two dots, the one you drew, and a stain that charcoal placed on the other side.”
“Now, imagine this slip of parchment as being the entire universe represented on a two dimensional platform. Your two dots, are now two points in that little space/time continuum of yours. Consider this as we move along.”
“Interestingly enough, despite having very similar functions, portals and teleportation actually belong to two entirely different schools of magic. Portal spells belonging to the school of Conjuration, while Teleportation belongs to the school of transmutation.”
“Does anybody have an Idea as to why that is?”
peers around the room, looking for a show of hands with percolated ears and inquisitive eyes.
if someone is close, the response is dynamic to the answer
If nobody is close lifts up a similar slip of parchment to the ones she provided, only this one already had the dots on it pre-prepared. “Follow along with me, if you will.” she nodded
“This…” she reaches into the side pockets of her satchel, and pulls out a sticky ball of some amalgamation of plant matter, and places it to the drawn dot. With a few harsh strokes, the charcoal dot is erased, leaving only the stained one. “...is teleportation.”
“This…” she folds the paper directly in half, and holds it up like a target. A swift, ebony fletched raven feather quill whips out of her satchel and stabs a hole through the parchment… it’s tip coming out the other side. “... is a portal.”
“What’s the difference?”
peers around once again for a show of hands.
at this point someone is bound to understand what she’s getting at. Response is dynamic to the closest answer
“When you create a portal, you are effectively conjuring up a wormhole. You are pulling one point in space/time closer to your point in space/time and creating a doorway.”
“Hence-because conjuration is defined as summoning/pulling, creatures, people, or objects closer to you-portals belong to this school. This is helped by the fact that most conjuration rituals/spells involve the use of temporal gateways to other realms.”
“Transmutation is defined as changing time, space, and even matter from one form to another. When you cast a teleportation, you are not pulling another point in space/time closer to you.”
“Rather, you’re manipulating space/time in such a way that it places you on your target destination seamlessly, as though you were always there to begin with. It is because of this intricate change in the time/space continuum that teleportation spells belong to the school of Transmutation.”
"So I guess you can say that the difference a portal and a teleportation spell is much like the difference between masturbation and sex. The goal is the same, but how you get there and the potential repercussions of which are completely different... and arguably more destructive."
“With one you’re completely safe from any major repercussions… aside from perhaps the crushing loneliness you feel. With the other, one misstep and you’ll screw up EVERYONE'S life.”
smirks slyly at the audience.
“You need to know when one or the other is appropriate to your specific circumstances.”
“But what are the potential repercussions of a portal? When would you want to use a portal over a teleportation spell, and vice versa? Well, look once again to the slip of paper you stabbed a hole through earlier.”
“Based on just what you see, who can guess what the potential dangers of a portal is?”
response is once again dynamic to audience answers
“Due to the very nature of bending the universe in that way--a way it wasn’t necessarily meant to bend--creating a portal puts a tremendous strain on the fabric of reality. In our world, the only reason it hasn’t completely unraveled is thanks to the leylines beneath our very feet.”
“The leylines, in this way, help to mitigate the damage by supplying a steady stream of energy to the veil--the space between realities that ensures everything remains in order--to repair itself.”
“It’s, actually, much like folding the torn edges around the hole in your parchment back into place, and sealing it with an adhesive, except far more efficient. With time, the veil will be sealed completely.”
“Here’s the thing though. Sealing the veil takes time. Time and energy. Energy which the leylines can only provide a limited amount of before they themselves start to break.”
“In that time many dangerous things can happen if the proper steps to creating a portal aren’t followed.”
“The rift can start manifesting juvenile manawraiths. You could tear a hole into the twisting nether and beacon a bunch of wild demons in. You could get places like Kharazahn where nothing makes logical sense, or follows our conventionally held senses of order and normalcy.”
“Heck, I’ve even heard reports of apprentice conjurers disappearing for weeks on end only to return with moon sized heads and mouse sized bodies.”
“Okay… that one is a bit of an exaggeration, but it is an exaggeration of a true story.”
“Another unique property of a portal is that it doesn’t quite mesh well with transmutation spells. Such spells malfunction when passing under the threshold of a portal. Often with destructive results.”
“Why this is though, is a matter of hot debate in the scholarly community. Though, the running theory I keep is that the patterns holding a transmutation to a person directly contradict with the patterns that keep a portal open, due to the way both spells are woven.”
“It’s like when you add a positive and negative number together. In reality you’re just subtracting from the positive number and reducing it’s value.”
“So because portals require significantly more energy to sustain than most transmutation spells, the transmutation spell is canceled out. The resulting energy expulsion being sudden, and destructive.”
“The Kirin’Tor, at this time, would like me to remind you that you should never shove or throw a polymorphed creature or object through a portal. The results are often… explosive. It also leaves a mess of both bodily parts and paperwork. Believe me, nobody likes cleaning that up.”
“So what’s the alternative? Based once again on the activity from earlier, what do you guys think the damage teleportation can cause to the space/time continuum? What do you think the ‘eraser marks’ represent?”
pauses for a moment, once again looking for a show of hands.
“Brace yourselves, because of all the spells in a mage's compendium, teleportation has one of the most mind-bending principles. If at any point you need me to pause and further elaborate on something, please let me know with a raised hand.”
“There is a spell any mage who specializes in arcane evocation specifically would know, and know well. It’s called ‘Displacement’ . The basic function of the spell is that you blink to the location you last blinked from. A simple concept, really, but it’s application is anything but.”
“When the spell is cast, the recovery period of your blink spell is reset, almost as if it were never cast in the first place. In a sense, you are undoing your last blink spell.”
“This spell is possible due to the way in which teleportation works.”
“Time and space are fundamentally linked. I’ve said it already, indeed. But now you guys get to know why.”
“It takes time to move to a new space. By teleporting, you are skipping that time. So? The universe needs to compensate for it… lest it start to unravel.”
“When a teleportation spell is cast, a lasting impression is left on the fabric of reality. That impression will remain there until enough time has passed.”
“How much time needs to pass is solely dependent on how much time it would have taken you to travel to that destination on foot, assuming you continue on foot relentlessly, in a straight line, with no obstacles in your way.”
“For a blink spell, the time needed to pass is only a few seconds. Fifteen at most depending on how far you were able to blink. But for full fledged teleportation spells, that take you halfway across the planet? This time can be anywhere from a few weeks to over a year, or more!”
“On the surface though, these impressions seem harmless enough. They aren’t really dangerous to be around, and for the most part you can’t even see them. Not unless you’ve been specifically trained to detect them.”
“But don’t let the relative safety of their presence fool you. Such places are spots where the fabric of reality has been weakened, or frayed. Much like how the spot you erased has become weakened and frayed.”
“This means that, while not necessarily damaged, they are much easier to puncture or rip apart. Put too much strain on the spot by, say, casting a portal or channeling a powerful spell, and you could wind up having the exact same problems you face with reckless portal usage.”
“And that there, combined with the fact that most people aren’t trained to detect displacement fields such as these, is what makes them dangerous. This is why the Kirin’Tor, and most other mage organizations, have specifically designated arrival spots for people who enter via teleportation or portal.”
“By keeping these spots located in a controlled environment, they can much more quickly, effectively, and immediately spring into action if something goes awry.”
“So what does that mean for everyone else? Simply put, you have to be cautious about where and when you use one spell or the other. It also means that, if you want to save yourself a load of trouble, you need to be very picky about what mages you pay to transport you elsewhere.”
“My recommendation? Only allow mages who have a D-6 through G-16 license to create you a portal or teleport you elsewhere. Such mages have been specifically trained and formally qualified to use portal spells.”
“and have been entrusted not only with the health and stability of the leylines, but with your life and livelihood as a person. Never be afraid to ask a mage about their licensing!”
“If you ask, and a mage starts to act shifty, nervous, or calls you out for being ‘rude’ , that is a huge warning sign. It’s a strong indication that they are trying to remain out of the system. Trained mages with D-6 through G-16 licenses are all too happy to tell you as such. Speaking from experience.” Emmy smirks.
“For those who actually wish to cast the spells, then there are multiple things you ought to consider.”
“First, Reagent tax. Repairing a Leyline, and by proxy the veil, is expensive, and requires an intensive amount of magical components to do. The leylines, after all, are far larger than the parchment before you.”
“By the way, to those who use these services, this is why you're often prompted to pay.”
“So, if you intend to cast a portal or teleportation spell, be sure you either have the reagents on hand, or have the means to pay for them. It is never a bad Idea to charge people for your services.”
“Next--especially if you’re new to the practice--stick to established city drop-off points. That way, if something goes wrong, you won’t be scrambling to fix the issue on your own.”
“If you want to cast portals to places not within established city drop-off points: then I recommend places you know are both familiar to you, and you visit frequently enough to make preparations.”
“Creating your own pseudo drop off point, where you can reliably survey the area for irregularities, is always a good habit.”
“So, that’s all the safety jargon down. Much to everyone’s relief I’m sure.” she laughs. “Let's get back into the more interesting stuff.”
“As I’m sure you’ve all gathered already, both spells have their advantages and their drawbacks. Portals are destructive, but also easy to comprehend. Teleportation is considerably less dangerous, but much harder to comprehend.”
“You can also see your destination through a portal, with teleportation you cannot.”
“As a general rule of thumb, creating a portal is much more applicable in a wartime or battlefield scenario. Not only is it simpler to learn, faster to cast, and easier to understand. Your comrades can also trust where they're going and would likely be less reluctant to step through.”
“Despite this though, I can never recommend casting a portal in the midst of conflict. You become too much of a target for one. And secondly, your enemies, or your enemies’ projectiles can enter through it as well.”
“Portals also come recommended more when you need to transport multiple people, but can’t exactly do it all at the same time. As long as you maintain concentration on a portal, you can hold it open. With teleportation it’s a one time blip and you’re there.”
“A teleportation spell is not without its merits though. Once again, however, I can never recommend using it in the midst of conflict. Not unless it's a mere blink meant to avoid attacks.”
“I would also recommend using a portal when it’s the first time you’ve transported yourself to that destination, and aren’t 100% clear on the details and conditions that’ll be found there. It gives you a brief period of reprieve in which you can assess all of that yourself.”
“For casual transportation use, in which you know where you’re going, I cannot recommend teleportation enough! If you’re able to put the time into it needed to understand the spell, a mass teleportation is always a better option than a portal.”
“In conditions too, where you’re in a warzone, but aren’t actively in conflict, teleportation is a good option as well. Because unless your enemy is known to have a skilled Arcane mage at their side, a teleportation is relatively subtle compared to a portal. Albeit, less common.”
“The only thing I would recommend, especially if you’re attempting to transport a larger group of people, is to draw a circle and insure each teleportee can fit within it through relative organization.”
“I would also insure that the topographical environment you’re teleporting them too is similar, if not exactly the same, as the one you’re teleporting them from. I.E. , don’t teleport someone from a flat environment to a hilly one.”
“This ensures nobody gets sunk into the ground, or falls off a cliff thanks to your negligence. It also saves you a significant amount of calculations to run in your head. And trust me, any mage can tell you that’s an absolute godsend… as most of our spells have to be cast in under a minute.”
“So, in conclusion, portals, and teleportation are both extremely useful, but also extremely dangerous. It takes any mage an extreme amount of skill and precision to manage one or the other regardless of the differences in difficulty.”
“If you commission one, ensure you can trust that mage’s track record. If you cast one, insure you know exactly what you’re doing, and where you’re going. Always err on the side of caution when you channel one into existence. Especially when the lives of others depend on it."
Leylines - The Threads of Reality
“I want all of you to stop for a minute and tell me honestly: do you take mages seriously?”
“Do you listen when they warn you of the havoc your spells can reap if you aren’t careful? Or do you simply discount them as being self-righteous assholes who fetter your ability to learn?”
looked on at the crowd, her expression intense, and her gaze unwavering. Stoically she scanned the crowd for a good long while, a stare piercing each and every single one of them, pulling from their body language things they wouldn’t otherwise communicate.
“Magic is powerful. The forces you pull energy from all have the capability to destroy our world in an instant. As such, it needs to be respected. A balance needs to be kept. And it’s infrastructure needs to be maintained.”
“But what is this magical infrastructure? Well the answer is clear. It is the Leylines. However, let's pause there for a moment.” she smiles, folding her hands behind her back.
“Tell me, when you hear the word ‘Leyline’ what do you all think of?” She asks, peering at the crowd gathered before her in search of raised hands.
The next little stretch of this lecture is dynamic to the responses.
“For many, I reckon the leylines simply refer to the large twisting, winding, nexus of subterranean rivers that move arcane energy through the world.”
“The residual energies that break off form it then surface in the form of mana, which mages utilize to cast spells.”
“But this statement is widely generalized, and wholly inaccurate, as there are multiple examples in the world of the Leylines being channeled to do more than just weave together a flame, push energy away from an area to create frost, or blast them with raw magical energy in the form of arcane.”
“The Kaldorei are famous for the creation of the Moonwells, fonts of supposedly holy energy. We all know this. What many don’t know is that each and every single one you see, is built on top of an intersection of Leylines.”
“On the edges of Mulgore, there are hot springs within the mountains that have mysterious healing powers who--just so happen--to rest on top of yet another intersection of leylines.”
“And as many of you know, healing is not the kind of spell most mages have in their repertoire.”
“The Throne of the Elements, a sacred place to the shamanistic orcs of Draenor, was also discovered by Khadgar to rest on top of a large intersection of leylines there. And yet, we can all agree, mages aren’t shamans.”
“And finally, in the Stonetalon mountain range, there is one that is appropriately named ‘Mount Fairview’ in which all of your senses seem to get amplified. You can see farther, sounds are amplified, and the winds carry even the slightest and most subtle scents to your nose.”
“An ability rarely seen in anyone but hunters and druids.”
“And, surprise surprise, the Leywalkers have also discovered a large intersection of leylines there as well.”
“There are many more examples of these places one can find when out adventuring, in history books, or even in your own backyard. But no matter where you look, one thing is patently certain: these leylines aren’t just fonts of arcane magic. They are magic incarnate.”
“But… for now, let's stop there. I wouldn’t want to overwhelm you with information right off the bat.” she chuckled.
“Instead, let me ask: Where do you guys think runes come from? What are they? How do you think they were discovered?” she pauses finally, looking over at the crowd for a show of hands.
Glances back behind her and draws a few sigils in the air with her fingers then bends her hand back, index and middle finger and thumb pointing towards… something. She lowers her hand gradually and reality shimmers behind her.
The effect drops as if a veil or cloth was pulled from a large flat object, revealing to everyone a large chalkboard. Upon it was drawn a map of Azeroth, with a few runes inscribed over key locations. Some she mentioned, others she hadn’t.
Steps to the side and grabs a large wooden pointer from the storage plate of the board, and lifts it, pointing to Mt. Fairview in the Stonetalon mountain range. Particularly the rune used to represent it.
“Hunters, Druids. I know you all recognize this one. This rune is used in the sigils for spells like “Farsight”--Also known once as Aspect of the Eagle--Aspect of the Hawk, and other spells of that nature.”
“Some mages might have also seen it in the use of divination spells such as truesight, and scrying.”
Swiftly moves the pointer to The Valley of Ancient Winters, in Northrend, hitting it with a sharp smack, jostling the rune there.
“Frost Evokers, and Water Elementalists. You guys see this one all the time. It is used in the weaving of nearly all frost and water attuned spells meant to damage someone with biting cold.”
And finally, Emmy whipped her stick to the northern segment of Kalimdor, between Darkshore, Ashenvale, and Winterspring. It was Moonglade.
“Healers, Priests, and even alchemists might recognize this one. Found in the Valley of Dulvarinn, a place known for its diverse ecosystem and variety of rare plants. The rune found here is used in many of our known healing spells.”
“But where did they come from? What do these runes have to do with the leylines? Well…”
She sets the pointer down on the storage plate and lowers her hand to the bottom of the board, gradually lifting up. As she did, lines of chalk of variant, and gradient thicknesses drew themselves across the board, infuseing the map of Azeroth like a web.
Most particularly, a lot of them melded into the runes that previously adorned the chalkboard. Several letters that seemed unrelated to one-another now seemed completely, and utterly, interconnected, pulling it altogether into an expansive nexus of elegant lines and shapes.
One might even be able to see new intersections forming as the lines netted their way across the board.
“The Leylines. Are. Everywhere. They infuse everything, and impact everyone whether you realize it or not.”
“Many of the spells we’ve developed today owe their thanks to the Highborn Scholars of old, who developed what we know today as magic by exploring the world, discovering these intersections, and documenting the patterns they saw.”
“It was through the leylines that we’ve developed the expansive runic alphabet we know today, opening up possibilities for a wide variety of spells and enchantments.”
“Magic is possible only because each of these letters, these runes, are interconnected and forever linked… enabling us to cast a spell from any-” she blinks to the back of the crowd, launching a bolt of arcane energy towards the front.
Lifts her hands and blinks back to the front, lifting a hand. It spiraled with a grand calligraphy of runes in an intricate sigil. The bolt hit it, being held in a sort of stasis for a very brief period. She rotated her wrist clockwise and twisted it to face her chest, the bolt fading back into energy, and spiraling back into her arm.
Lowering her hand to her side, she looked upon the crowd, gauging their reactions, before speaking once more.
“-where. From anywhere.” she smirked.
“Interestingly enough, many of us have taken transcripts of these runes, brought them to Titan facilities and compared them to the documents found there.”
“While the nuances of our spellcraft, and Titan spellcraft are very different, the general shape of these runes is the same.”
“This has led some to believe that it was the Titans who created the leylines.”
“The theorized reasons vary from scholar to scholar, some saying that they were created to sustain order on the fledgeling surface of Azeroth. More on that later. While others say it was merely to power their facilities. Still though, some have a different theory entirely.”
“Do I have any medical professionals in the crowd?” she glanced around.
Dynamic response. Either *pulls out a chart of the humanoid circulatory system and holds it next to the chalkboard “Can you draw any parallels?”
“The leylines remind people of blood vessels. Avenues by which nutrients are carried to different parts of the body. What nutrients go to where is determined by the constant ebb and flow of your blood, and where your arteries expand and constrict.”
“In the case of Azeroth, those nutrients are cosmic energies. The leylines pull energy from the cosmos, transform them, and move them to different parts of the planet to breathe life into her.”
“The runes that formed on this map are junctions by which these newly transformed energies get infused into her being.”
“The life that formed on her surface in the wake of some of these energies leaking was merely a happy side-effect. One that many of us are grateful for to this day I’m sure.” she chuckled.
“Today, this is the theory that is regarded as the most plausible by many of us mages. Particularly after reports of an audible heartbeat being heard in the chamber beneath Silithus.”
“I myself have also done research that more or less confirmed this by looking into the properties of Azerite--a substance often considered to be the congealed lifeblood of the planet.”
“Interestingly enough, I’ve found that it contains essences from nearly all documented forms of magical energy. Yet… in trace amounts along the outskirts of the main substance, as though it were mid-transformation.”
“So that, my friends, is what the leylines are. That is what they do, and that is where we draw much of our magic from. They are, as I said, the infrastructure of all magic. But, just like any infrastructure, they can also be damaged.”
“And when Infrastructure gets damaged, a multitude of horrible things can happen. Especially when you’re dealing with the fabric of reality itself.”
She sighs softly, folds her hands behind her back and looks down to the ground with a frown. Pausing for a moment to let that all sink in.
“If you all would like to stand, and follow me into the cavern behind, there is something I would like to show you.”
As the group stepped into the cavern, an immediate sense of disorientation would overtake them. For a brief moment, all concepts of direction and senses of what’s up and down would lose its meaning and confuse their minds. Though, this was not a mental attack.
As their bodies adapted to the new gravitational circumstances, they would suddenly feel lighter on their feet. A tickle rippling up their spinal chords as their bodies became completely engulfed in raw, latent magic.
Stops for a moment to let everyone collect themselves… seemingly used to, or unaffected by the strange magics that now surrounded them. “Do not be alarmed, you are completely safe. The situation here is much less dangerous than it used to be.”
Emmy's lips moved… but her voice didn’t seem sourced from them as normal. Instead, it sounded disembodied. Coming from everywhere, yet nowhere at once, adding yet more weirdness to the situation.
“Whatever you do though, don’t jump straight upward. You will be jettisoned in that direction and potentially break your neck on the ceiling.”
As Emmy continues to move down, the group would find it hard to keep their footing level… instead, they would have to push themselves forward using more effort than typical walking took. The lower gravity makes each step mimic a wide arch forward.
They continued on until they reached a ledge of obsidian. Though, looking into it was like looking into a window to the entire universe. Large Leycrystals coalesced in patches around them, and strange alien creatures flew above them, keeping a long distance away.
“This… is a minor form of what happens when a Leyline gets damaged. The effects here have been lessened since the damage was first discovered, but… well.” she clears her throat. “Does anybody want to wager a guess as to what caused all of this?”
“If you remember from my last lecture, I explained that portals damaged the leylines by putting too much strain upon the veil. In a sense, this is what happened here.”
“The Warpwind Cliffs were once home to Chief Telemancer Occuleth, who has so graciously given his permission for me to teach within his home.”
“When he was banished from Suramar though, he began to wither. An ordeal which kept him from tending to his telemancy pads properly.”
“After many years of neglect, they fell into disarray. So all the ingenious anchors that prevented his portals from damaging the leylines broke down… leaving the energy to bleed out.”
“This formed a rift in the fabric of space/time, causing it to unravel. The combined efforts of the Kirin’Tor and Suramar have slowly begun to reverse this damage--hence why it’s safe enough to remain within here--but the scar it left will stay here forever.”
“You see, in the same way our planet’s rotation creates an electromagnetic field that shields us from cosmic radiation, the pulsation of the leylines creates a metaphysical shield known as ‘The Veil’ that prevents an excess of magic, and other realities, from bleeding into ours.”
“When a leyline get’s damaged, it creates a weakness in that veil that allows foreign forces to seep through into ours. And that, my friends, creates what you see behind me.”
“Of course, as I said, this is a very minor case… as this happened gradually over time, and was caught before the damage became too great. But there are a few more extreme examples I can throw at you.”
“Firstly, Azuna. A telemancy network malfunctioned there, choking a leyline and creating a ley fissure. Now you have anomalies like Manawraiths roaming about, dangerous animated objects, and just walking into the area causes severe disorientation, force damage, and fatigue.”
“Dalaran Crater is another example… in which an abrupt decision to teleport the entire city to Northrend created a massive wound in the planet where similar anomalies happen.”
“Even more severe is the mage tower known as Kharazahn. Its unfathomably powerful enchantments weakened the veil enough that it became a beacon for the Burning Legion to invade from.”
“The resulting energies of chaos unraveled what was left of the veil and created a place within its walls where all senses of ‘how it should be’ become null and void.”
“Halls and time warp, people shrink, gravity changes with the moon, and the spirits of those who were killed there are cursed to never rest.”
“And perhaps the most extreme example of all… Draenor. Our Draenor. The one that eventually became outland.”
“Ner’zul, a man trying to redeem his people, used the staff of Sargeras to open up a portal to another world. Only, it wouldn’t stop. Reality around them began to deteriorate, and the entire continent was thrust into the Twisting Nether.”
She stopped for a good long moment, allowing it all to sink in once more. It became apparent now, that her voice was gradually growing louder, and more severe, this entire time.
“But why? Why does this happen? Well… the answer to that is actually quite simple.”
“If the leylines are blood vessels, then like blood vessels, they can only handle so much energy--so much blood--at any given point in time. Call upon too much--pump too much--and they burst.”
“This is why the spells we cast can only reach a certain potency. Go beyond that, and you must take more time with it, resorting to rituals to cast, rather than a much quicker incantation.”
“This is why people like myself push so hard for others to be mindful of their castings. To be mindful of the impact they have on our planet through these castings.”
“Damage a leyline, and you never know what could happen to you. What could happen to the world around you.”
“The preservation of our world is a must. Keeping the infrastructure in proper working order allows life to flourish. Destroy that infrastructure, and you’ll wind up with a dying world in the long run.”
“Thank you, for listening. I hope this was informative.”
Shadowlands Field Notes
First Impressions - Revendreth
Entering the Shadowlands for the first time was rather... overwhelming, to say the least. At first. I entered via mirror, where my first view of it was a crypt, and a massive graveyard of what the Venthyr call "Sinstones." More on that in later entries.
I was... shocked, to say the least. I had always assumed the realm of death would appear bleak in some areas but Revendreth was something else. The atmosphere was steeped in shame, and I could almost hear the wailing of souls in the distance. Now, this isn't to say it's inhabitants are evil. Quite the opposite, I've come to find. But the raw emotion was... oppressive. I felt as though I had to be humble in every way, shape, and form lest I draw the ire of Revendreth's inhabitants. The Venthyr.
Alice Nadradina acted as my guide. I entered there with the goal of "making my sword sing" as she put it. Apparently it's inhabitants can awaken sentience within a blade, and such sentience would guide the blade to it's master. As this sword was made and enchanted by my brother, I had hoped I could do the same to it. At that point I would use the blade as a sort of "compass" for finding my brother. Sadly, nothing is that easy.
The Venthyr I spoke to explained that such swords could only be awakened if a portion of the master's soul lingered within it. As you can Imagine, the sword being of Azerothian make meant that this wasn't the case. Horcruxes in our world tend to have... disastrous side-effects. Naturally, this immediately showed me how different living and dead souls were. And how different crafting is in this realm as opposed to ours.
It was two parts scary, and fascinating. I will have to look into it more later. Thankfully, I wasn't in Revendreth for long.
Architecture and Culture - Venthyr
The Venthyr are a race of vampiric individuals who's sole purpose is to bring about atonement and eventually redemption for even the worst of souls. A last chance before they are sentenced to eternal damnation in "The Maw." Naturally, this means the Venthyr harbor sadistic, and even masochistic, tendencies at times. Ironicly though, despite this, they are far from barbaric or uncultured. Their realm contains a sort of... brutal elegance to it. Yes, they like spikes. They like bats as well. But this arguably jagged aesthetic is brought together by droves and droves of gothic architecture. I honestly had to pause for a moment and make sure I didn't just take a portal to Gilneas when I first laid eyes upon them.
They also speak common fluidly, and carry with them a very educated vernacular and a truly elegant range of vocabulary. They do what they do for a purpose, and they are proud of what they have overcome. Of what they have enticed other souls to overcome. They stand as a living testament of spite to temptation, selfishness, and evil. A true mockery of what would of been eternal damnation. At least... they did.
First Impressions - Oribos
After the Venthyr smith realized he couldn't help me, he told me of the other realms and craftsman within them. He recommended Maldraxxus, and the runesmiths there. However I must impress: I was not ready to go exploring everything just yet. I had already learned much from seeing Revendreth. From seeing that the cosmic forces are at work everywhere. That our world is not as special, or as lonely, as I once thought. So I was guided out of Revendreth, and shown to Oribos. The central city within the Shadowlands, where all souls go to be judged by a being called "The Arbiter" by will of what the denizens there call "The Purpose"
I was pulled through a waygate. Where the bat I was riding promptly turned into an... abyss wyrm, I think is what Alice called it. An armored serpent-like entity comprised entirely of energy. It reminded me of the Ethereals in a way, but this was before I met with The Brokers. To be honest, I was more preoccupied with the wormhole it was flying through.
Oribos itself was... beautiful. A near perfectly symmetrical pillar of stone floating soundlessly through a colorful abyss. From a distance, flying in, I felt a strong sense of order and serenity. But upon entering the city proper, I was nothing short of stunned. It was active, indeed. Hundreds, if not Thousands of people moving through it between shops, and bars, and waygates--most of them not even corporeal. Places of business bustling with crowds far surpassing the markets of Stormwind or Orgrimmar. Yet despite this, there was still quite a bit of space to move through comfortably.
Architecture and Culture - Attendants, Bulwarks, and Brokers
What I was most captivated by was Oribos's architecture. It reminded me, in many ways, of Titan facilities. Particularly the ones you'd find in Pandaria... except not oversaturated with red and bronze that kills your eyes just to view. Indeed, they had many similarities. The Symmetry, the sparkling essences in the walls, the oversized corridors that make you wonder if you've been shrunk... Even down to it's passive sense of history and grandure. The walls are ancient. Every bit as ancient as the Titan facilities on Azeroth, if not more. The more I looked, however, the more I began to notice the differences.
Oribos is particularly fond of the infinity symbol. In fact, it's sigil is a snake eating it's own tail in the shape of an infinity symbol. Moreover though, there were a number of swirl patterns carved into the walls that portray a sense of "Flow." Weather or not this is truly magical I've yet to determine. What I think is more interesting, is it's people.
The Attendants and the Bulwarks seem to be sentient constructs--yet another similarity to the Titans--who devoutly follow a religion they call "The Purpose." I don't know all the intricacies of these beliefs yet, but I can surmise it very much has something to do with the ferrying of souls to their respective afterlives. Unbiased judgement on their visons of a soul's entire life.
Attendants are small, only a bit larger than a human, and wear robes. For the most part, they seem to be the Archivists. Scribes, maintenance, and voices for "The Arbiter" Priests, if you would. Bulwarks, on the other hand, vary in size, but all are incredibly large. They are humanoid constructs ranging from 15 feet tall, to 30 feet in some cases, and serve as Oribos's primary guards and protectors. I haven't seen their abilities in action just yet... but I can certainly imagine them being very similar to paladins in our world.
-Interesting side note: All the denizens of the Shadowlands seem to speak common fluidly. Odd, considering they are an entirely different culture from an entirely different realm. Sure, they could of learned it from our world. And sure, magic could certainly be at play. But so far? I have seen no signs of this. It makes me wonder if the "First Ones"--as the attendants call them--had a very similar vison in mind for all of us mortals. If, perhaps, all of us share a similar genesis despite being from worlds thousands of lightyears apart.
However, the Oribosian denizen I find the most captivating... isn't even oribosian at all. They are the Brokers. Interdimensional businessmen and women whom remind me heavily of the Ethereals. Their technology is similar, their culture is similar, and even their magical talents are similar. The only difference is the power source. They travel between realms, looking for information and any useful items they can scavenge--or trade--from the in-between. My interactions with them thus far have been pleasant. Though... one did try to con me. Which brings me to my final segment in this entry.
Magical Theory - Anima
Anima is... an interesting substance. Far more mailable than any other magical force I have encountered. It is raw emotion. Willpower manifesting in a very pure form. The stronger a person's will, the more anima they have naturally. Though, it is a finite resource. At least, it is right now. It is intriguing. It can form into a solid, liquid, or gas on a whim and--quite literally--makes up everything you'll find in the Shadowlands. It is even edible in some forms! And provides plenty of sustenance for those who inhabit this realm.
It seems to change color based on the types of emotions and themes presented to a person. I, for one, was able to create a powder from it that served to amplify this effect, for a time, making incorporeal creatures within proximity, like a Broker, show what emotions it is feeling at the present time. And that... is how I could tell he was conning me. His anima turned red when he presented me with what was clearly a bad deal. Ironicly enough though, this seemed to earn his respect. Not his ire.
Anima is a fascinating substance! And I for one am itching to learn more!
While overwhelming at first, the Shadowlands has quickly awakened a new and boundless curiosity within me. A childlike wonder that I haven't felt in thousands of years. I will be--quite literally--setting up shop using my wagon, and a cleverly placed "magnificent mansion" spell. A mobile lab that will double as a literal shop where I can trade goods and services for both information and currency. With any luck, I will discover what has happened to my brother.
Mana and Spellcraft - Knowing one's Limits.
Tucking a stack of papers beneath her arm, Emmy moves up to the center. Straightening them out, she clears her throat and begins to project her voice outward.
"So. Originally, this lecture was going to be about mana. What it is, and how it relates to everything. But then the veil was sundered and literally everything I knew changed overnight thanks to it’s fancy “Anima”. So…"
Flipping the script through her fingers, she shakes her head and tosses it behind her! Papers… everywhere.
"This is useless to me." she chuckled.
"While I don’t know enough about the energies beyond yet to do a substantial and informed lecture on it, I did think of a slightly different topic."
"Along the same lines, of course. However, before I get into it… Violetta, would you take over for a moment?" She grinned wickedly, looking over at the physical education teacher to her right.
The series of exercises that follow are intense, one only need imagine the torturous pain they went through. Well... everyone except Draenei. Slav squats are in their blood. The cheaters...
"So! How do you feel after that? Weren’t expecting to exercise at a lecture, were you?"
"Your unrest is understandable. You don’t come to these lectures expecting to exercise. It goes against everything you’ve ever known, and quite frankly you're utterly vexed."
Emmy snaps her fingers and points at the crowd “Don’t lie, I can see it on your faces.” she snickered.
"You’re questioning why I had you do that. What does exercise have to do with magic? The two ideas are stereotypically disassociated. Mages don’t exercise! They’re all twig-armed eggheads! Right?"
"Well, what if I told you… this is exactly how a mage feels when they run out of mana. How any spellcaster feels, really. Exhausted, thirsty, fatigued, bleary. Perhaps even a bit hungry? Regardless, you just want to sit down and rest for a few minutes. Or an hour. Or a day."
"Can anybody wager a guess as to why this is?"
"Indeed, any spellcaster is likely familiar with the concept of “Mana.”
While it is used in the modern time predominately to describe things arcane in nature, it also unofficially serves as the umbrella term for the metaphysical limit of one's own magical abilities."
"It is a sort of… measurement, describing how much strain a person’s body can endure from spellcasting before they become exhausted and unable to serve further. Much like how you all are feeling now."
"But why does this happen? Well… the answer to that is one woven by many… many threads. I will attempt to cover a few of them today."
"Scientists, I’m sure many of you are familiar with two laws. “The Law of Inertia” and “The Law of Entropy”"
"The Law of Inertia states that an object at rest will remain at rest, and an object in motion will remain in motion until outside forces are acted upon them."
"The Law of Entropy states that energy will always attempt to reach a state of maximum randomness. Or, from a different perspective, a state of equilibrium. The best example I can think of to portray this, is a kid’s bedroom."
"After a mom cleans a kid’s bedroom, within ten minutes, it’ll be a cluttered stie of scattered toys and dirty laundry once again." she smirked, looking over at Amara.
"In short, it is easier for the kid to let the room get messy and leave it that way, than it is to keep it clean and tidy at all times. Because cleaning a room daily takes extra energy to sustain. Energy most people don’t want to give up as kids."
"The same could be said for the state of the universe. It wants to make sure all the energy within it is evenly spread out. It is simply the natural state of things, and it has placed many checks and balances within itself in order to insure this happens, such as the scientific laws described above."
"When you cast magic, of any kind, what you are doing is overwriting these laws, and forcing the universe to concentrate more energy into a certain area than it would naturally. By all natural laws of physics, you are making the impossible--possible."
"To compensate, the universe must take from you half of what you took from it, to sustain some level of equilibrium."
"Strangely, this has never had to mean our very lifeforce. Never. A perplexing conundrum for us mages, but one we are grateful for existing. We simply referred to this phenomenon as using “mana.”"
"The high elves of old discovered that every living being in the world seems to generate this… mystical energy within them."
"And while we could never find out why this happened even several millennium later, it is something we learned to channel. Something we learned to Attune to, and enhance in many ways."
"Of course, with the Shadowlands having opened up, it seems to be that our spirits generate energy when new memories are formed. The more impactful the experience, the more it generates."
"While I wouldn’t go so far as to say “Anima” is “Mana” just yet, I would wager that the two energies are parallel, or even fundamentally linked in some way."
"Alas, that is more research I need to do, and perhaps a lecture for a later date. For now, let’s focus on the facts we do know."
"Spellcasters have limits. Druids cannot cure your wounds all day. Shamans can’t consistently conjure devastating storms for days on end."
"And for lights sake, Mages cannot always open portals for you! You laggards!"
"Learn to wander every once in a while. See the sights. Experience the world! It is truly a beautiful one we live in, once you get past all the apocalypses we tend to face annually." she laughed.
"Every spell a caster weaves has a cost. And while it is most often represented by mana, there are other ways, other limits and side effects, that have been noted as well."
"First of all, recovery time. It is very rare that one can cast the same spell in quick succession. Not unless they have been taught very specific techniques for doing so. But often, this can only be done for cantrips and the occasional novice level spell."
"Fire Blast, Frostbolt, Frost Nova and the like. Along with spells from other castes of magic users as well."
"Next is the evocation period of a spell. It takes time to utter the right incantations and perform the right gestures. Oftentimes, the more a spell disobeys the conventional laws of the universe, the longer it takes to weave into being."
"This is due to two things: advancement, and pull. The more a spell breaks the laws of the universe, the more loopholes you have to jump through to conjure it."
"That means the equations, incantations, and gestures are far more intricate than what you’d expect from a cantrip. Making the spell harder to cast--and therefore--more advanced."
"Pull is the tension, the strain, you put on the veil and on the universe by trying to force its rules to your liking. Naturally, the more energy a spell requires, the longer it’s going to take to gather that energy."
"If you try to quicken the spell in any way without knowing what you’re doing, then at best, it’ll sputter out and relinquish you of more mana than you anticipated. At worst, it will weaken and even tear the veil, allowing extraplanar entities to enter and fuck things up without your prompting."
"Of course, there is a loophole that can be exploited to prevent this. But it is one I fear many are unwilling to do. And this is sacrificing some of your very life-force."
"This was something that two sisters had to do, about twenty years ago."
"Lieren and Loania were twins who were separated at birth and raised by two friends of their mother’s."
"Long story short, their father was killed in Karazhan trying to rescue many civilians from the aftermath of Medivh’s defeat. The event that turned Southern Elwynn into Duskwood and cursed many spirits to wander beneath their boughs aimlessly, suffusing the ground with Necrotic energy."
"Their mother was so grief stricken by the event that she broke mentally, and her friends decided she was unfit to raise two baby girls. Their mother committed suicide shortly thereafter."
"Years later, the Lieren and Loania were reunited and made the Trek out to Duskwood to see if their old home still stood. Instead, they found that their mother was one of the many undead ghouls haunting the grounds."
"When their mother’s corpse was defeated, and her spirit freed, they decided to do the same for their father in Kharazahn. However… that misadventure ended as you would expect. With one of them seriously injured and drastically weakened. Loania, the mage."
"Their father’s ghost--forever bound to the tower--was unable to leave, but he protected them from the horrors within, so that Loania could cast a teleportation spell to get them out of there. Sadly… she was out of mana."
"So, Lieren offered some of her life-force as a supplement. In doing so, strands of her hair turned grey and about three years of her life were taken from her. But… they escaped in the end."
"It is these limits a caster needs to be made aware of. These limits one needs to find ways around."
"The mark of a good mage is not in the size of their mana pool. Nor is it in the raw power of their castings, but in the efficiency in their spells."
"A good spellcaster knows where their limits lie, and can think on the fly. Knowing when it’s a good time to cast a specific spell, and when it isn’t. They also know how to moderate their strength, dispersing it evenly, where it is needed, just as the universe does."
"What really separates a competent caster from a novice is their “attunement” to the forces around them. So to speak."
"When I had you exercise earlier, was I wrong to assume that you guys weren’t expecting it?"
"Had this been a lecture on physical education presented by Violetta, would you guys have expected it more? Would you have not been as annoyed?"
"This is what attunement is. It is when the universe becomes more accustomed to what you do."
"You can think of it as the exercise I had you do. If you came to expect it from me, you would have been less adverse to doing it."
"Powerful spellcasters become enigma’s in their own right. That is why magic seems to make several physiological changes over time."
"Did you know that Malfurion’s claws aren’t external fist-weapons? That the feather’s down his forearms actually grow from his skin?"
"What about practitioners of the fel? In almost every circumstance, they will often grow demonic features such as horns and hooves if they become powerful enough."
"Shamans often become veritable beacons of the elements they represent, their emotions often causing various energies to waft off of them in times of stress."
“And mages? Well… you can see what my eyes are like.” She leans forward a bit, widening her gaze to make a point.
"The more a caster practices their discipline of magic, the more the universe has adapted to their constant alterations. Naturally, you become more a part of it than you were before, allowing you to become one of the facets it spreads into in its attempts to reach equilibrium."
"This, in turn, makes casting easier for the spellweaver in question to insight their will over it. But… that can only extend to a point. Even spellcasters as powerful as Khadgar or Jaina have their limits."
"So how does one know these limits? Well. It’s truthfully as simple as paying attention to yourself. If you start to feel tired, parched, or groggy as you all do now, then it is perhaps not the best time for you to cast magic."
"Especially so, if you can’t seem to focus either. That is a HUGE tell that you have reached your limit, and must rest."
"Do not ever push yourself past your limit if you begin to approach it. Doing so leads to even more dire consequences. Brain damage, unconsciousness, and even a substantial reduction to your total life-expectancy."
"When you reach your limit, it is important that you make sure you eat, drink, and take a breather."
"So, for Lights sake, LET YOUR HEALERS REST WHEN THEY SAY THEY NEED IT!"
"Also. Don’t discount your other spellcasters either! Give them a chance to keep up, if they start feeling out of it too." Emmy laughed, bowing out the lecture.
"Thank you everyone for listening."
Cosmology Revised - A New Hypothesis
After a moment, there is a dull ringing sound… almost as if muffled. Shoved behind an insulated brick wall. Except… it didn’t have much of a discernible source. Nor even a point of origin.
Another second passes, before that dull ringing is heard again. This time… clearer, as if under a blanket rather than behind a wall. The wind in the area starts to pick up, weaving and rippling towards a point just in front of the group.
When the third ringing was heard, it was as clear as day. The source right where the wind had gathered. The dust kicked up by the various gusts gathered with the wind in the center, forming a shape vaguely humanoid.
The features became clearer, and clearer, until the unmistakable form of Professor Emmy Bluefire was seen! A small spoon in one hand, and a tuning fork in the other.
“Greetings and Welcome, Everyone! I am Thaumaturge Emmy Bluefire! Archmage of the Kirin’Tor, and professor of Transmutation, Evocation, and Enchantment here at Stormwind University!”
“Today, I would like to discuss a subject seldom spoken of in most communities.”
“You know them, you love them, and quite frankly you don’t know much about them. Or at least, I would assume that would be the case for most of you.” Emmy smirks
“Of course, if you are a plane-hopper like I have become recently, that statement doesn’t apply to you. But! You know, that is very much besides the point.”
“I jest, of course.” she says, clearing her throat and straightening her posture.
“So what are the planes? To put it simply, they are the various layers of reality that make up our own. The Prime Material.”
“The Twisting Nether is a plane of writhing chaos and broken existence. Potentiality realized… but not quite complete.”
“Time and space mean next to nothing, and merely traversing it is a dangerous undertaking. Most people who enter the Twisting Nether don’t typically come out. At least, not as they were. Not unless they were demons to begin with.”
“It is where chaos resides. Where Fel, resides. But what of Order? What of the Arcane? It’s presence doesn’t seem… potent, there. Yet it has a presence, otherwise mages would have been useless in outland.”
“The Elemental planes are sources. The fundamental building blocks by which all matter in our world and others are created from. They are infinite in their scale, yet we’ve only seen small parts of them.”
“The… fissures, the Elemental lords of our world created to invade, after their long-time banishment by the Titans.”
“Yet despite this, they are not quite the planes closest to us. For that, what we have is the Emerald Dream, and the… well… I don’t think it’s appropriate to call it the ‘shadowlands’ anymore.”
“These planes are echoes of our own. An imprint left by creation to manifest as the forces of life and death. However, the ‘shadowland’ closest to the prime is not one of the shadowlands perse…”
“You see, therein lies confusion. No doubt by now you may have seen a number of holes in my descriptions. Questions risen, yet left unanswered. Sadly, I regret to inform you… I don’t really have answers either. No mage really does.”
“The nature of the cosmos is an enigma to everyone. Questions like ‘where did we come from?’ and ‘why are we here?’ Have no real answer. Sure. Humans, Dwarves, Gnomes and Vykrul are Titanforged. Creatures created by the Titans to bring order to Azeroth.”
“The Old gods then bestowed a terrible curse on them, to make them softer and more susceptible to corruption. The Curse of Flesh. Everyone, at this point, knows this. But where did the Titans Come from? Why were they created?”
“The more we seek out answers like this, the more questions make themselves apparent. Aspects that were previously Unknown unknowns tend to become known unknowns. But that doesn’t help us much at all.”
“At least… not at first.”
“After all, every discovery ever made by sages and scholars alike started as one thing. A question. A desire to find an answer.” she taps her nose with her index finger and smirks.
“Do we find it right away? Hell no! Nine times out of ten it takes us years; sometimes even decades, to actually make the discovery we sought after.”
“Often, along the way, many other discoveries have to be made before our path to what we actually want is made clear.”
“No doubt, we would have never discovered other planets if we didn’t first discover that folding glass a certain way can magnify points of light. We needed a telescope first!”
“Sometimes, these discoveries are the result of determination and unerring dilligence. Other times, they are the result of shear dumb luck.”
“And my friends!” Emmy claps. “Despite everything going on, we live in a time where we have that luck! A rift to the realm of the dead has opened up, and beyond is a reality very different from our own… yet similar in many ways.”
“Similar enough, that certain… conclusions, could be drawn. Conclusions. Hypotheses that act as enormous stepping stones in learning how our cosmos operates… and might have even illuminated the path towards discovering the purpose of our very existence.”
"So what are the Shadowlands? They are the realms of death. The place your evergreen consciousness goes after it's vessle here expires."
"Yet despite this… It's denizens don't exactly seem to be 'Undead'. They are no longer a wayward soul stuck between the realms of life and death by unnatural magics."
"They are… people. Souls given new lives and bodies. Ones that fulfill some sort of greater purpose."
"So how has this changed my view of the Cosmos?"
"Have the shadowlands really done so much as to fundamentally alter what we've discovered about our cosmology so far?"
"Well. The short answer is… yes. But to truly understand how, I first need some of you to see what I have seen."
Emmy smirks, lifting the spoon and Tuning Fork she arrived with earlier.
"If I could get up to nine volunteers please? I am going to, temporarily, plane shift us elsewhere. A realm not far from ours, but altogether enigmatic."
"Alright. Now I just need all of you to stand in a tight circle around me."
Once everyone was gathered, Emmy lifted the spoon, and tapped it to the tuning fork. A haunting ring hummed out from it, gently reverberating everyone's ears.
She tapped it a second time, this time the hum sounded more echoy, and sourceless. One could hear it all around them, despite knowing where it is.
Before the final tap, the wind picked up and enveloped the group. As the final tap was sprung, they vanished from sight!
When the final tap was rung, color and light faded away for those under the effect of Emmy's spell.
They would find themselves in the exact same place they were before… but different.
There was no color, and a dense fog that shrouded their view past thirty feet. The hard edges of structures were also less defined, hazy, and nearly amorphous in appearance.
The rest of the crowd was still there… but it seems they can no longer see you. Any sound they make is muffled… as of speaking underwater.
"This… is what was once theorized to be the shadowlands. A border between life and death where ghosts reside."
"You come here when you dream as well. Did you know that? Except it's in your own sort of… pocket."
"A private sanctum none can invade, unless they use spells specifically made to do so."
"It's also why druids need to slumber in order to explore this realms parallel. The Emerald Dream."
"But is this the Shadowlands? Not quite. We once believed this to be them. But in reality, the ones we know are up there." Emmy says, looking up and pointing.
The group would see a large vortex of dark wispy clouds up above, all spiraling into a specific point of bright white light. A portal to whatever lies beyond.
"I will take questions after the lecture. But for now, let us head back." She says, holding up the spoon and Tuning fork. Tapping them once more.
After a minute or two, the same three ringing sounds from earlier were heard, and not long after the group that had vanished came back.
"Alright! Thank you so much! Give everyone who participated a hand for their bravery!"
"You all are free to take a seat. But as you do, can I get one of those who came with me to explain to the others what they saw?"
Participants described the realm as being trippy, odd, and strange. A border between realms.
"I took them to a place between our world, and the shadowlands. The place where the bright light at the end of the tunnel resides."
"The place where ghosts linger when they aren't ready to pass on. The place the Kyrian visit when searching for lost souls."
"And even… the place in which we dream."
"It has not been given a proper name. I'm sure one will be made in time. But for the purposes of this lecture, I am going to call it the borderlands."
"The existence of the borderlands, however, suggests that the Emerald Dream itself is a borderland to something we have never witnessed before."
"This is the first change that can be made to our existing knowledge of cosmology."
“We now know for certain now that there is a realm of death, and potentially, that there is also a realm of life.”
“Of course, it also stands to reason: if there is a nexus from which consciousness exits our world, then there must also be a place in which it enters. Another point toward the theory of these… ‘lifelands’ existence.”
“But then again, the Shadowlands themselves do have a plane in which consciousness is sent back to our world. This place is Ardenweald.”
“Of course… Ardenweald specifically only rebirths gods and other powerful spirits. But here’s the thing… gods do have a tendency to create things, don’t they? Things like us perhaps?”
“If this is true, and Ardenweald is connected to the emerald dream in the manor described previously… then that would mean the Shadowlands are more than just realms of death.”
“That their entire purpose is not only to house the souls of the departed… but also to recycle consciousness back into the other planes!”
“Consciousness… Anima. If the Shadowlands have taught us anything for sure, it’s that every living being has a soul. Has anima. Has consciousness. That consciousness is more than just an abstract concept, but a fundamental piece of the multiverse!”
“Elementals are conscious. Titans are Conscious. The void lords are conscious. Demons, ghosts, and even biological beings… are conscious. That is the one thing we share with all the other entities that we live with.”
“Anima is memory. The energy that forms when we experience the things that make us who we are.”
“Everything in the shadowlands, supposedly, is made up of Anima. I have personally taken samples of rocks and water from the shadowlands… and found it to be molecularly identical to rocks and water found here.”
“Which leads me to wonder… if everything in the Shadowlands is made up of memory and dreams… then why is it similar to what we find here? Shouldn’t it fade? Shouldn’t it… demanifest when brought here?”
“This… is the final piece of the cosmological puzzle that has truly baffled me. That has kept me from making the realization I’m about to express now for so long.”
“But then I looked into how each Shadowland was made. I looked into what was between each of their worlds. And there, my friends… I made a huge discovery.”
“The realms of the Shadowlands were made by each of their respective wardens. The Winter Queen. Sire Denathrius. The Archon. The Primus. Even the Jailor.”
“They were simply… willed into being by these entities. And within their respective planes they are gods. At least… according to their denizens.”
“If this is true, this suggests that reality in the shadowlands was much more mutible once-upon-a-time. That with Anima, their will can be made reality with but a thought.”
“Of course, I dismissed this as preposterous at first. No being truly holds such power. But then I actually traveled between the planes. And after I traveled, I started paying more attention to what was above me the whole time.”
“Nobody... nobody at all, knows anything about this plane.”
“Yet within it… there is energy. Anima? No… if that were true, why don’t they just go siphon it from such a seemingly infinite source?”
“Naturally, my curiosity was drawn to it eventually. It seemed to have… parallels with what mages have long theorized to be ‘the astral plane’”
“Like the Nether, space and time have no real meaning in the in-between. If you enter it, and you know where to go, you will eventually end up there through sheer force of will.”
“Force of will… huh, well isn’t that interesting. Force of will, the same thing that the death gods allegedly used to create their planes. Could that mean the in-between was used to create these planes? During a time when Anima didn’t quite exist?”
“Question after question I asked. Test after test I conducted using all principals of arcana I knew.”
“You can pinch space from somewhere else to create a demi plane. Your own dreams create a private sanctum that allows you to explore your subconscious."
"You can enter these sanctums by using spells specifically made invade these dreams. Even weirder, they are similar to spells used to create pocket spaces, and open portals to other realms."
"Our own dreams create new realities, temporary as they may be."
"Oh wait… that was it!”
“The in-between is a realm of unrealized potentiality. A place where reality does not exist until it is made to be so!”
“The Twisting Nether is a realm where potential was realized, but incomplete.”
“And the planes we can explore are spaces where potential was made complete, and forged into reality!"
“The stablest form, with set patterns making it ordered and suitable for conscious habitation. That’s why Arcane magic works everywhere, despite different realms operating under different laws.”
“The dreams, the thoughts, the memories of the conscious entities that dwell within spaces of reality form what is needed to sustain it in an ever shifting flow of changing potential.”
“So again… how does this affect what we know about cosmology today?”
“In essence... It means that our cosmology chart needs to grow exponentially.”
“If this theory, this hypothesis, is true: Then it means every plane is linked. That every plane was created when an entity decided that it should exist.”
“And quite frankly, there are things we need to rearrange. The Shadowlands need to encompass all. Or at least, the In-Between does.”
“Thank you all for listening.”
Deconstructing Dalaran's Whimsy - A Technical Breakdown
Before I start, I’d like to make an OOC Disclaimer. Many of the concepts discussed in this lecture operate off the assumption that Dalaran is much bigger, and looks a bit different than it does in-game. Of course, some of the descriptions of the city I give here will not match what we see in the game proper. But they will match the official concept art of the city, seen in the image above. There is also quite a bit of headcanon going into this, as I’ll be elaborating on technicalities about the city blizzard never discussed in depth.
Instead, I will be filling in blanks using the information that is available to me. Both from what I’ve seen in game, and the research I’ve done on magic outside of it. My goal with this lecture is to provide an interesting and fun level of speculation to get you thinking, rather than to say any of this is cold hard lore that you should never deviate from. So, from the bottom of my heart, enjoy! I think you will, at the very least, find what I have to say interesting.
Dalaran. The City of Spires. Long has this city stood with its impossibly tall towers, with a brand of grandeur and magnificence seen practically nowhere else in the world.
It was built by mages, and remains populated by mages to this very day. This city’s inhabitants have accomplished great feats of magic even the elves have yet to master. Truly, it’s whimsy has no equal.
But how did it do this? How did a bunch of humans with only a few decades of experience each manage to do something even the elves, in their infinite wisdom, have not?
Well… what if I told you that the city itself is one enormous spell focus? A technical marvel intentionally engineered not just as a feat of magic, but of artifice as well?
Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? Well, having been one of the many who contributed to its makeover in recent decades… I’m here to elaborate on just that.
Dalaran was not always able to do the things it can today. When the city was first founded two-thousand years ago, it was merely a haven for mages trying to escape the ire of their own people.
Created with magic, the city–even back then–boasted a level of architecture practically unheard of in the ancient world. Each spire rose, a powerful conduit of arcane energy that served to amplify the abilities of all mages living within them.
Back then, the city was a paradise. The citizens who lived within it enjoyed a great level of protection, regulated weather-patterns, and an unearthly beauty comparable to the elvish cities of old.
Despite this, though, its mages never stopped trying to improve and expand the city.
Of course, they could only do so to a limited degree. Each spire played a role, and over time they found that the extraplanar energies seeping into our world wound up being molded by them.
Much like wind through a ravine, the spires of the city directed the flow of arcana into an invisible mana current. The city’s circular construction naturally molded these streams of energy into something that would resemble an arcane equation.
Emmy pauses a moment, a wry smirk spreading across her face.
Ah, but I’m starting to get ahead of myself. These technical terms: currents, arcane equations, conduits. No doubt they are forign to many of you. So how about I stop here for the time being?
Instead. I want to call everyone’s attention to something. Can I get a volunteer to come up? Perhaps two?
Two members of the audience raise their hands. A man and a woman.
Emmy smiles at the both of them. "Alright. What are your names? So that I might know how to refer to you both."
Woman: "I'm Maddie!"
Man: "... Cedrick."
Emmy: "Alright! I have a very peculiar task for you both. It's not hard! Don't worry. I'm not here to turn you into a frog, or make you float away into the abyss." she snickered.
Cedrick: grins at Emmy wickedly.
Emmy: "Maddie! I just want you to take a look at my spellbook here. Don't turn the page! Just absorb the contents of the geometric shape. Cedrick! I want you to take a look at the painting of Dalaran."
Both Participants: Begin doing as they're told. Taking a few long moments to examine the content provided.
Emmy: "Alright. Let me know when you both think you have a decent understanding of the shapes and details you are seeing."
Cedrick: After a few moments. "Done!"
Maddie: Focuses a little bit longer, before turning to face Emmy. "I think I have it!"
Emmy: Nods, smiling softly. "Alright. Between you both, do you think you can garner any particular similarities? To the shape in the book, and the shape of the city?"
Cedrick: "... Dalaran's shaped like an arcane circle."
Maddie: "That's the shape here as well." she looks to the ground, not sure herself.
Emmy: "You are both correct! Dalaran is made up of four islands. Each district of the city built in a circle. The very same circle as the one Maddie is seeing. What do you both think that means?"
Maddie: Perks up, gaining confidence. "They are very similar. I think it's um... an arcane being?
Cedrick: Remains silent this time around.
Emmy: Chuckles softly. "That's a pretty decent guess. Thank you both! You may be seated.
Both Participants: Return to their seats.
Emmy: "Everybody! Give them a hand!"
Indeed. As they both discovered, Dalaran in its modern form bears a certain similarity to the spell they saw within my book. Would anyone like to wager a guess as to what that spell might be?
Emmy begins looking about for raised hands.
A Blue Whelpling: Slowly lifts her front talon.
Emmy: "Safirgosa! Go for it."
Safirgosa: "Um- might be a spatial stasis of some kind? That'd be my first guess."
Emmy: "And your second?"
Safirgosa: "That would be simple levitation, or just flight."
Emmy: "Alrighty! Does anyone else have a guess?"
A Tauren: Raises his hand.
Emmy: "Mister Lorehoof!"
Lorehoof: "Seems similar to an old mana circuit - A confluence that helps concentrate, direct, and filter mana through an expected space. It seems in service to a specific effect? The circular element suggests more utility than artistry."
Emmy: Tilts her head, nodding with an impressed grin. She emits a sharp, but excited exhale. "Oooh" She taps her nose. "Alright. I see you, mister Lorehoof."
A void Elf: Lifts her hand.
Emmy: "Miss Nadradina! Round us off if you would."
Nadradina: "My guess would be some kind of arcanic syphon or lightning rod of sorts. To draw energy in. The circular design is to distribute that energy throughout the city like an electrical grid. Where the ambient magical energy of Azeroth is the natural engine that produces it."
Emmy: "Mister Lorehoof and Miss Nadradina hit it on the nose. I confess, I wasn't expecting that!"
Emmy clears her throat, and adjusts her glasses proudly.
What you see within my book is not a spell at all! Rather, a sigil configuration. Without runes, the symbol in my book is nothing more than a geometric amalgamation of circles placed at precise points relative to one-another.
In this state it contains no power. And will do absolutely nothing. And yet… I still bring it up. Why?
Raise your hands. How many of you have seen a mage cast a spell?
Most of the Audience: Raises their hands.
Emmy: "Most all of you. Very good! That makes this next part easier."
Have you all ever noticed that, as the spell is being manifested into being, a series of circular patterns, lined with runes, shows up in front of their hands?
My friends, that is what we call an arcane equation. A series of runes, and a sigil–formed together–are the basis of all arcane spells. A mathematical formula that creates ripples in the fabric of reality, allowing it to be shaped and molded into a precisely defined effect.
There are many different types of sigils. I’m sure some of you may have noticed that the configuration seen here differs from the spells you’ve seen your friends cast. However, this trifecta of circles does have a name, and purpose.
Evokers of raw arcane, specifically, will likely recognize it immediately, as it’s used in a number of spells along that vein.This precise series of equidistant circles is known as the “Tri-Conduit”. Or, colloquially, the “Eye of Veils."
Throughout history, we’ve seen it in many forms. The Triskelion for example, as seen in Dwarfish and ancient Arathorian cultures. The “All Seeing Eye”, seen minted on some Lordaronian coins, is another example.
Many cultures have long believed that a circle encapsulated in an equilateral triangle brought with it power and knowledge through the various cycles of life. Funnily enough, these superstitions weren’t completely unfounded.
In the case of the Tri-Conduit, mana pulled into this pattern creates a stable flow of extraplanar energy that allows reality to be more easily manipulated.
As such, it is utilized in many enchantments meant to last for long, sometimes permanent, periods of time. But of course, the Tri-Conduit does nothing without precise instructions.
And so, I think now, you can see where I’m going with this.
Emmy takes the three crystal-tipped dowels she made earlier, placing them erect, upon stone atop the enchanting table behind her.
But wait! Once again I am getting ahead of myself. How exactly does one pull mana into this configuration? How do you then determine exactly what that mana is going to do?
On the scale of an entire city one can hardly channel that amount of energy themselves, right?
No! Of course not! Not even Maylgos himself, the Aspect of Magic, could do that. No. He needed artifice. He needed the Focusing Iris, and subsequently the surge needles. And so… what is this artifice for Dalaran?
Earlier in my lecture, you may recall that I spoke of the mages who created Dalaran discovering that the spires they built began to direct arcana into what we now recognize as a Sigil Configuration.
Due to the pattern in which the veil surrounding our reality shifts, extraplanar energies seep into our world quite regularly. In natural circumstances, this energy is simply absorbed by the leylines and dispersed through the world to invigorate it, and continue sustaining the life that’s grown on its surface.
In the case of tall structures, however. Especially ones erected by magic, planar energies are drawn to them like a lightning rod, redirecting the flow of arcana through polar streams. So when you get a number of magically-erected spires together?
Emmy glances back at her enchanting table. She grabs a handful of crystals and siphons them apart, turning them into dust.
She then tosses the dust over the enchanting table, the fine powder beginning to coalesce around the three dowels she'd made.
After a moment, their cloud gradually begins to shape into a circular pattern, glowing faintly with prismatic energy.
You create a current. And when arranged in a circle as they were, you get a circuit flowing through the air.
If they spent time to restructure Dalaran’s streets and buildings, they could have very easily had their spires form mana into a Tri-Conduit a long time ago. The only missing piece would be the instructions given.
Alas, due to complex politics and a great deal of historical pressures, they never took the opportunity. This, of course, wasn’t helped by the inferior understanding of planar physics back then either.
For all they knew, forming a citywide Tri-Conduit would have been an utter waste of time.
But, as the understanding of planar cosmology progressed, two millennia later the possibility was starting to be seriously considered. But again, due to a number of political struggles, there was a great hesitation to do so until…
Emmy’s gaze grows distant for a moment. Her expression fell to that of cold and fearful recollection.
For a while, she just stared off into space. But eventually, she shook her head. Pulling herself back into the moment, and away from whatever was troubling her.
“Erm-” she cleared her throat. “Until the city saw its destruction at the hands of Archimonde, during the Third War.”
Tragic though the event was, it gave its survivors a golden opportunity to rebuild the city better that it ever was before. And so, *we* did exactly that.
In rebuilding the main city, we also expanded it to three separate clusters placed equidistant from each-other in an equilateral triangle. Finally creating a true Tri-Conduit citywide.
Now all that was left was to tell it what to do.
Now, everyone, I want you to brace yourselves. This is the part where my lecture becomes much more technical in nature. So, pay very close attention.
From this point forward, if, at any point, you need me to elaborate more on something. Raise your hand. I will pause the lecture to hear you out, and explain things best I can. Time permitting.
So. Dalaran now produces a Tri-Conduit. Arcana flows in and out of the city with ease and consistency. But, as mentioned before, a Tri-Conduit by itself does nothing.
The framework is there, but it needs to be given a designation for it to be a full arcane equation. Otherwise, it is nothing more than a useless detail of the city.
So how does it form that Tri-Conduit into an arcane equation? How does the city take the framework given to it, and turn it into citywide spellcraft?
Well, to understand that. One must first understand precisely what makes up an arcane equation to begin with.
An arcane equation is made up of three facets. The Sigil Configuration, The angular shift, and the instructions.
The Sigil Configuration is, as we’ve all discussed now, the shape runes will be arranged in. The Sigil Configuration is what determines the types of energy you will be drawing from to form this spell.
The Angular Shift is often a line drawn from the center of an arcane equation, to the edge of one, that determines the amount of mana that will be drawn from a wizard upon casting.
Often, more advanced spells will have multiple angular shifts protruding from different parts of the sigil.
And lastly, the Instructions are the binary usage of runes, and the incantation you speak to finally manifest the spell, determining exactly what it’s meant to do.
Arcane runes are the alphabet and numerical symbols of the Titan Language, and are used in practically every spell ever woven. Possible, due primarily to the Pantheon’s authority over order in the cosmos.
In a sense, the runes we’ve discovered allow us to mimic a small portion of the Titan’s power over reality in our universe.
So… runes. And lines. How do a bunch of spires create those?
The simple answer is: they don’t. In fact, almost every spire in Dalaran only goes to sustain the Tri-Conduit. All… except one. The Violet Citadel. The largest spire in the center of Dalaran’s streets
Emmy reaches a hand up to her shoulders and slips her thumb beneath a gold silken rope, serving as a bandolier for the staff on her back.
With one smooth and graceful motion, she catches the staff and taps it to the ground. Its smooth crystalline core shimmering faintly, briefly dazzling the audience’s eyes with a shimmering rainbow of prismatic energy.
I’m sure many of you, by now, have noticed a certain similarity between Dalaran’s spires, and a common item many wizards seem to carry. A staff.
Before I continue, however, let me get a show of hands. Who here knows *why* wizards such as myself carry staves?
A Female Blood Elf: Raises her hand.
A Male Blood Elf: Also raises his hand.
Emmy: "Jakkie! I haven't heard from you all night!"
Jakkie: "It's a spell focus, focusing the energy of the spell on a task so to speak. I like to think of it as a tool similar to the wrenches our engineering students use to apply rotational force more effectively."
Emmy: "Jakkie is correct." She looks to the male blood elf. "Magister! Do you have any information to contest that answer?"
Magister: Arches his brow, and dips his head in acknowledgment. "I do not."
Emmy: "Alrighty! Jakkie is correct. They are spell foci."
Spell foci are used by many wizards as a conduit. A way to more efficiently, and safely, channel mana into a focused point, reducing the amount of energy expenditure taken directly from a Wizard’s being.
While a mage of any kind doesn’t exactly need a spell focus to cast spells, it certainly helps to reduce the feedback, and its chances backfiring.
Enabling those–who perhaps don’t have innate magical talents–to keep their spells controlled and manageable.
While Dalaran is populated by all sorts of Sorcerers and Wizards–yes, there actually is a slight distinction–the city itself is neither. It is an inanimate object. No soul or consciousness to it.
This is where The Violet Citadel comes in.
This spire is unique, in that its apex is surrounded by several smaller crystals who orbit around it. While the main crystal, the Threshold Crest, pulses gently.
Emmy looks to the top of her staff.
This bears a similarity to my staff, and the staves of many other mages. The Threshold Crest is the focal point, the position on the object where all energy channeled coalesces into a hyper dense ball.
Here, at this coagulation of magical energies, the fabric of reality is at its most mutable. Energy becomes potential, and when released: will be amplified tenfold to create a potent spell with minimal usage of energy. And this, right here, is what makes everything in Dalaran possible.
Emmy loops her staff back over her shoulder.
Dalaran’s political body is overseen by six archmages voted onto the council by the city’s people. The common folk know this ruling body well, as “The Council of Six.”
“Creative name, I know.” she chuckles.
When the Council of Six comes to an agreement on what to do with the city at any given point in time, they will gather together in the Violet Citadel’s primary chamber.
Together, they all cast the same spell in unison, all utilizing the spire itself as a spell focus.
As they do, mana gathers into the Threshold Crest above, becoming ever-more dense and congealed. Eventually, the density of mana becomes so great that it must expand outward.
Normally, this entropic trait of physics would be so explosive that it’s dangerous to use on a large scale. But this- is where the smaller crests come in.
The closer a spell gets to release, the further outward these crystals expand. They rotate faster, and faster, controlling the rate at which the hyper-dense magic expands.
At the final crux of this process, each gem pulses, releasing the spell into the Tri-Conduit and giving it the instruction it needs.
But wait, I mentioned that the Tri-Conduit is utilized in long-lasting, sometimes permanent forms of enchantment. Didn’t I?
The city doesn’t constantly teleport. It doesn’t constantly have a large magical dome around it capable of warding off the blue dragons themselves. And its laser isn’t constantly shooting at things.
No, the only constant about it, is its ability to defy gravity and levitate far above the world’s surface. So what gives?
Well, I also mentioned that evokers of raw arcane would recognize it instantly, as they utilize it in much of their spellwork.
This is where that singular detail in an Arcane Equation, the Angular Shift, matters. The Angular Shift dictates the amount of energy that will be drawn from a wizard upon casting.
Angular Shifts are calculated precisely based on how much energy will be needed to manifest the spell. Spells that last longer require more energy.
Spells that only last but a singular moment require much less. And if there is *no* angular shift in a spell… then the duration becomes permanent.
Normally, if you forgo the angular shift in the weaving of your spell, you are going to have a bad time. But in the case of Dalaran? The spell that was cast to levitate the city is sustained through the Tri-Conduit, and the city’s spires themselves.
For the other spells Dalaran is known for, teleportation as an example, they don’t *need* to make the spell permanent. So when the Council of Six cast it on the city, they incorporated precisely three angular shifts.
One to determine the amount of energy needed to teleport the city from one point to another.
One to adjust the energy levels needed to sustain its levitation at a specific altitude.
And the last to dictate how many times the spell should be cast. In the case of teleportation: once.
When you combine all of this together, the city becomes the marvel of enchanting and artifice it is today.
Emmy grins and snaps her fingers. After a few moments, the miniature spires she created on the enchanting table began to rise up.
Smiling faintly, her posture recedes to a more relaxed state. She moved to the front of her table, and sat down in front of the audience.
"And so-" she nods. "There you have it!"
The city of spires, broken down into every major technical detail.
Its four islands, together with its spires, pull together a pattern of arcane essence that puts us in reach of incredible power.
The council of six then utilizes this essence to weave together spells of impossible magnitude, powered by the currents of the city itself.
Would any civilization well versed in the arcane be capable of this? Absolutely! But few have had the same opportunities Dalaran's had. We are not better, but we certainly aren’t worse.
In time, I’m sure more civilizations will take to the skies with their cities as we have. But by that point?
She smirks, shrugging.
I’m hoping Dalaran will be exploring the stars as the Draenei do.
But for the time being, I think The City of Spires still represents the potential of all Azerothians. A true testament to our minds, and our tenacity in the face of adversity.
Emmy bows her head. "Thank you all, for listening."
Q: Given the importance of maintaining the spires for the purpose of a stable mana flow, are there immense and consistent architectural upkeep initiatives to insure the Tri-Conduit pattern isn't compromised? Would you consider this feature as much a concern as it is a strength?
A: The spires themselves were built from magic, and are enchanted. As such, they are significantly more durable than many people give them credit for. It would take an immense and opposite force of energy, the fel, to take one down. However, the Kirin'Tor was founded on the basis of preventing demonic incursion. While they may not have always succeeded, we have made significant strides in learning how to properly deal with them in the last two decades alone.
Having worked on many of the city's enchantments myself, I can say with confidence that that everything is closely monitored. There are many failsafes in motion to prevent a cascading system collapse. Typically, if one spire is out of commission it doesn't do much to harm the rest. The Tri-Conduit naturally sustains it's shape for days at a time without help, once made.
Q: Um- With you mentioning that the spires are able to to do other functions, such as the big laser and stuff, are they able to change the enchantments by changing the position of the spires? Or would a new spire need to be constructed?
A: Dalaran has indeed shifted some of it's architecture in decades past to do just that! Most notably, during the legion's third invasion an additional spire was added in place of the park it originally contained. It's structure was far more fortified, and functioned as a secondary Violet Citadel, if the first was ever compromised. And it almost was.
Q: I understand the reasoning behind and the fundamental concept of focuses and their applications, but why such an object? At their crudest, most fundamental level, they're designed as foci on long wooden handles... Why is that? Is there some sort of fundamental optimization in the design I'm missing? Why not forgo things such as the handle altogether and make it easier to carry about?
A: Ah! Staves differ from other foci, such as wands, in that they are long and tall. This enables them, much like a spire, to attract the magical energies that seep into our world through the veil to them. Wands have no such luxury, and really only serve as mild, but precise points of focus for spells coming from the wizard's being. In a sense, staves, while clumsier to use, reduce the amount of mana you will expend in the spells you cast.
Q: You mentioned that Dalaran was created by, and maintained through magic. In construction, was it more of: they conjured the building materials? Or did they levitate non-conjured material into place? Also, due to the mystical energetic nature of the city's structure. Would you say this leaves Dalaran vulnerable to attacks from, for lack of a better term, energy vampires?
A: Purely conjured materials often disappear after a short while. So instead what we did was gather resources from the ground like any nation would, and subsequently used a combination of Transmutative magics and levitation to mold them to precise shapes we needed. We've seen an example of this being done on the broken shore. When we were making the mage tower on our foothold there, soldiers and heroes of Azeroth had to gather resources while out in the field and bring them back. After that, mages conjured a "blueprint" of what we wanted the building to look like, and we molded the resources too it.
As for "energy vampires?" The amount of energy sustaining Dalaran today is on a magnitude so immense that most "energy vampires" would not be able to handle the amount of energy they'd draw into themselves. I don't think even Malygos was capable of doing that himself. No, rather, they'd explode and the energy would be dispersed back into the city proper. The city may have a few oddities for awhile. Glitched enchantments, spluttery levitation, but it would go back to normal within a few days.
Q: You've answered some of my questions so far on the nature of spell foci. It being the primary element of your lecture today. Would you like to explain the nature of non-traditional foci? For example, Thalassian Spellbreakers utilize glaives in their spellcasting when silencing a target. Spellswords often do something similar using blades as their conduits instead. Even I utilize metal spheres over a staff.
A: In the case of bladed weapons, they function similarly to a wand. However, they are directed through the blade itself. Arcane magic, after all, is conductive. Metals such as silver, iron, copper, steel and even gold draw mana through it in a very similar manor to electricity. This, by in large, makes it so that magic channeled through a bladed spell focus goes to enhance the durability, kinetic power, and precision of the blade. Of course, you can cast spells through the gem of most bladed foci like a wand. But rarely do I see spellswords and spellbreakers fight at long ranges.
Q: You mentioned staves and spires drawing mana due to their length. Does mana draw based on length or volume? Would a coiled staff draw in more energy based on overall length, even if compressed? Or would it act similarly to a standard solid staff of the same amount of material?
A: So, imagine the extraplanar energies that seep into our world like a cloud. When a cloud comes into contact with a smooth, cool surface, the water within it condenses and drips down. In this circumstance, no, a coiled spire or staff will not draw more energy into it than a normal spire. But in the case of metals? Yes, a coil very much enhances the amount of arcane energy a focus can draw in. That is actually why my staff-
Emmy points backwards to her staff with her thumb.
Is designed the way it is.