MODERN MAGIC

Magic described below is how we come to understand magic in Tam'nýer—a' now. That is, without the power and the help of the artifacts; remnants of the Gods & Goddesses of this far -off world. Artifacts are a vital thing in Tam'nýer—a', countries go to war to claim them. The reason for this is that it is believed that if all the artifacts are found and brought together, one can bring the Gods back to life.

Another reason lies more effectively in the present and that is within a radius of them, magic can be what it once was when the Gods were among us; juggling fire without props at festivals, children blowing bubbles of aether. Artifacts increase the quality of life as well. If you find yourself to be in the propensities of age such as arthritis, the ebbing power of an artifact will make you feel as if in your prime again. Think of it; passing away in peace with no natural pain. Alas, without artifacts, one must travel the road without such luxuries, and magic is merely a husk of what it used to be, relying on basic talisman enchantments, or the mastery of apothecaries.

However, recently there has been a new continent discovered, aptly named the Feet Continent as it seems to be the end of the earth, as it were. On this new continent, a new species was discovered, but also just as important was the most important artifact of them all: Jn's Heart. Throughout Tam'nýer-a' there have been things that people merely thought were trail markers from days of old. Though on the Feet Continent, they all glow. Trail markers throughout Tam'nýer—a' are a common sight. These very distinct markers appear to be patterned spheres cradled by a receptacle, though most tend to be mossy due to a lack of upkeep and of course, exposure to the natural elements. These trail markers appear more so at crossroads or along long roads for traveling. However, these beautiful sculptures have a much bigger significance rather than merely being a marker for travellers. They are actually dormant nodes for magic.

These nodes are 'strewn' around all of Tam'nýer—a', including the ocean. However, those that are underneath the surface of the water are most likely there thanks to earthquakes, volcanic activity, erosion and other things of that nature. The unfortunate thing is that information and the ability to use the nodes was lost as they all went dormant the moment the Gods perished. Consequently, as their usefulness faded away, so too did the knowledge of them, despite housing such untapped and unadulterated potential, as well as power. It is only with the discovery of the Feet Continent that minds are being opened and changed.

Slowly but surely, these trail markers-- or nodes, if you will-- are slowly becoming active once more. If they do fully re-awaken, the ability for magic to blossom across the lands may be possible. Perhaps not as strong as when the Gods were alive, but still much better than the current placebo based form of magic that Tam'nýer—a' has currently. What is required to reactivate the nodes is unknown to the people of Tam'nýer—a'.

Aside from the nodes and the discovery of Jn's Heart, magic in this world is an ability that most are born with the capacity to do. However, some magics are race-specific, and some are not. Below the different types of magic will be broken down and explained for you to better understand. Many of them have limitations as magic is not an indefensible weapon or an unbreakable shield. Ultimately, magic comes from within. In order to have the energy to do magic you must be well-rested or carry Focus Stones or Talismans which you have stored some of your own energy into for later use. Know though that this energy source will be used up if you draw from it and you will need to recharge again when you are able.

Magic is part of your essence. Using it to heal, for example, will wear you out over time. If it is a deep wound, you most likely will use up all your energy for magic in order to heal it to a point where you will not die. But, if you use too much of your power, it can put you into a coma, or kill you. It should be mentioned that falling into a coma for a week or two is not uncommon with students of magic as they learn what their limitations are. Sleep is a necessary thing in order to replenish your magic stores.

*Disclaimer about Magic: If your character is exhausted, this means that they have not enough stamina or energy to do magic! This means that if your character tries to do magic whilst exhausted the magic will either backfire and either cause injury to your character, affect them as it was meant to affect another or not work at all.

**Do note that magic is easier to be performed, and does not require as much stamina or endurance during the Summer season. It is believed to have something to do with all the lightning, and it consequently changing the heaviness in the air. Although, again, a reminder that magic with the Gods now dead is still primarily strength of belief, stamina, endurance and the proximity to the Trail Markers.

TYPES OF MAGIC

CHANTING MAGIC:
Ãoni specific.


Taking advantage of their numbers, and their religious attributes, the Ãoni have a history of using chants that have turned to magic over the millennia. The Ãoni's lookouts use their large dwelling tunnel systems like a megaphone to alert the entire colony by chanting back into them if there seems to be a malevolence approaching their coasts. Their voice will soon be joined by more voices that will cause the spell to grow in power and absolute magnitude to protect their colony. Soon, the entire colony would be surrounded by a protection spell; a magical barrier of which no one can enter or exit until the threat has moved on, or they run out of energy.

The Ãoni are a steadfast race though, so be prepared for a long war of attrition. Aside from large defensive/protective spells, the Ãoni can affect their surroundings on a massive scale, altering the weather in the way of hurricane winds and the like. It should be said that chanting magic has never been achievable by any other race or member of a different race, and the Ãoni are extremely protective of their chants. By far this is the most amazing feat of modern-day magic within the realm of Tam'nýer—a'.

To give you a better grasp of an Ãoni magic barrier and its circumference, if half of a single colony began to chant, the barrier would be no less than 1 km (0.62 mi) to start. The Ãoni can see approximately 25 km (15.5 mi) into the distance, so they will have plenty of time to set up this meagre beginning.

However, the barrier grows over time, think of blowing air into a bubble to make it grow. The more the Ãoni chant, the more that join in as well, the bigger this barrier will grow, going to a maximum of 6 km (3.73 mi).

 

Evolution of Chanting

With Trail Markers becoming active, the Ãoni will find that they will not need their entire colony to begin chanting in order to protect it. One voice, loud enough, passionate enough can start a pulsing in the air, instinctively calling their brothers and sisters to answer the call and join the chant. The markers will act as amplifiers, megaphones if you will. Barriers are now stronger, but with a cost. While they used to block anything from getting in or out once fully erected, anything that comes crashing into it will now shatter apart, living or not, like a rose in liquid nitrogen.

ENCHANTMENT & TALISMANS:
Khah' proficiency.

Talismans are a type of magic that essentially are summed up to simple good luck charms, albeit they are usually very pretty. Crafted mainly by the Khah', they are usually worn by workers in affluent brothels, who sport them not only for the look but make for good marketing as a man can purchase one for their lover back home as a heartfelt token he got for them on his travels. Another usual place to find a talisman would be as an heirloom in a Khah' family, passed down through the generations.

The Talismans are usually imbued with protection spells, or words promoting good fortune, luck in love, beauty and wealth. But, if the charms mean little to you, they make for a lovely little piece of jewelry.


 

Protection Spell Talismans: Now, when it comes to a Talisman with a protection spell this usually happens via a little nudge when it comes to fate, or unbeknownst to you, deterring you from making decisions that may lead you to danger. Think of it as being guided in a way to make smarter decisions. For example, you could be traveling on foot, and you have the decision to stay at an inn or keep going. Being so focused on your journey, your heart could be pumping so much so that you don't really notice how tired or how hungry you are, so you would naturally keep going since your destination is only 2 more hours from this inn. But with your talisman, it guides you to rest your body instead, which you become all the more grateful for as soon as you take off your boots and discover blisters, and you're so hungry that you are on the brink of a sugar crash.

Good Fortune Talismans: With Lady Luck on your side, how can you do wrong? Talismans imbued with good fortune are usually coveted by those who deal in business. Despite it being a 'pretty trinket', there is a lot of belief in some for these talismans that it is not unusual for some merchants to have a pile of them hanging around their shoppes. Some pregnant women even hang them in their houses to bless them with an easier pregnancy as it may lessen aches, pains and grant a woman an easier time when it comes to getting some actual sleep. Good Fortune benefits everyone as it tends to make people happier as well, and with more positive outlooks, what's not to love?

All in all, good fortune talismans can do things like tip the odds in your favor during a business deal, sometimes even when you least expect it, or, pertaining to the example of a pregnant woman, she may not suffer any pains, and have a quick labour if she happens to be wearing her talisman during that critical moment.

Love Talismans: Ah, now here is a popular type of talisman! Who doesn't want to find their one and only? Now, love talismans can be a bit tricky as you must be wearing them when in the presence of your crush, so it's best to wear these all the time, even to bed. It's believed that any time you might be thinking of them, you are putting your desire for that person into the talisman as if coaxing it and letting it know who exactly to 'work on'. Meaning that this kind of talisman will work best if you treat it as a voice recorded diary in a sense.

Love talismans also can open up conversation with the person you're interested in, particularly if you get one that might  appeal to them. Another way to get a love talisman to work is by wearing it yourself, putting your energy into it, and then gifting it to who you desire. This melds both yours and their energies together in this talisman and definitely should create a bit of a spark where there wasn't one before.

 

However, it should be said that love talismans aren't an end all be all. While it is a nudge in the right direction, may spark  conversation and curiosity, and/or help your desired person to think of you more often, it doesn't mean that they'll fall in love with you, but it most certainly can guarantee a bit of flirting, which is that bad really. At the very least, you'll get to know your interest a bit more personally.

The charms tend to be made from glass, metal, carved bone or sealed wood as well as being adorned with bits of shell and various dyed furs or threads to make the tassel that is indicative of a Talisman.

Now, Enchantment is the other side of this coin. Enchantment can be taught, but mainly Enchantment is primarily done by the Khah'. All talismans, in order to work, must be imbued with energy focused on the type of spell that is attached to it. For instance, a Khah' whilst crafting a talisman for luck in love will constantly speak to it, tell it that it is lovely, attractive and say things such as 'certainly, no one could deny you!' putting that energy and confidence into the talisman, that will feed into the wearer.

Nonetheless, speaking to the talisman, and putting one's energy into it during creation is the act of enchantment. One could do this with a piece of jewelry they own as well simply by wearing it when they are most energized in the morning, and taking it off before they get tired, essentially 'charging' the piece of jewelry, which that person can then 'drain' later when they need to stay up all night to study. Draining this charged jewelry will aid them to succeed in being able to focus and be awake enough to study. The best way to practice Enchantment, however, is by using Focus Stones.

 

FOCUS STONES:
Focus Stones are a major player when it comes to Tam'nýer—a''s version of magic. Focus Stones are a tool for Enchantment magic and pertain solely to storing energy and drawing energy. The whole idea of them is that each person has their own hum as the artifacts do. Each person has a certain energy if you will, and with that, every individual also 'resonates' with a particular stone's energy more than others. Hence the term 'focus stone', because whatever stone happens to be the stone that you and your energy resonates with most, will be the type of stone that you can store the more energy into and drain energy from more easily. It is as if the stone is an extension of your 'hum'.

With this in mind, it should be said that each individual must find what stone is their Focus Stone and the only way to do that is to expose yourself to as many gems and minerals as possible. Merchant stalls would be a good choice to visit. From there all you need to do is touch one stone of each type. Don't worry about not knowing of having and inkling, as long as you don't try to force a stone you find very pretty to be your Focus Stone. That's not how it works.

But how will I know which stone is the one? Great question! You'll know because as soon as you touch it, you will feel something akin to a magnetic pull. Your energy will begin to seek out that stone. Just wait, you'll touch the one, and walk away from the stall, but find yourself returning again and again until you purchase one of that type. Talk about a nag in your soul. That being said though, Talismans can be bought rather easily, so if your character would like a good luck charm to protect them whilst traveling, it is simply to obtain one without being able to enchant themselves.

*Note that Minor Enchantment is something that anyone can do. Minor Enchantment is what storing your energy into a piece of jewelry with a precious stone is considered to be.

 

**Keep in mind that if your character does have a piece of jewelry that they do store their energy into for later use and it is perhaps a family heirloom that the jewelry type matches what is attributed to that race, unless there is crossbreeding in the family, or that it was purchased on a trip somewhere.

 

***When doing Minor Enchantment, i.e., storing some of your energy into a piece of jewelry for later use, please note that jewelry that consists simply of metal will hold much less than a piece of jewelry with a stone. Jewelry made of wood will hold even less than one solely of metal. Jewelry made of bone is not considered Minor Enchantment, and requires a master of Enchantment as it needs to be 'cleansed' of the essence of whose bone it was first.

 

Evolution of Enchantment

With the Trail Markers now starting to flicker on and off, people will find that energy restoration comes easier. Charging a stone or talisman takes less effort and less time, and some may even find that they can charge a Focus Stone with more energy, or make their enchantments stronger.

Mercenaries or those with the knowledge of Enchantment are now finding that they can manipulate storing energy, using Talismans and/or Focus Stones to fight longer, or drain the energy for one last and final big push.

Scholars and anyone really with the inclination to store energy are now finding that Tók’Smărrj (Tam’nýer-a’’s version of coffee) is something that they can enjoy merely as a beverage and not rely on it solely for pulling all-nighters. And the more one works this ‘muscle’ of storing energy and draining it, the easier it becomes; almost as if second nature. As it is, this is how it should have been all along.

Furthermore, the longer and stronger the Trail Markers become, it seems that Talismans are taking on personalities of their own. They feel a certain way. Perhaps the one you bought for yourself as a trinket suddenly feels playful or mischievous. Whereas the one your local grocer wears makes him more diplomatic, stand up taller and that’s because one day he reveals to you that he feels noble somehow. Not only this but the more energy you charge it with, the more it seems to be infectious to your person?

On top of this, though this will happen in time, people will find that they can sit together, meditate with their focus stones and if their energy vibes well enough with each other (only possible if the people trust each other implicitly) that they can pool their energies together. What that can amount to - who knows?

TATTOOS & RUNES:
Nkhya'jra proficiency.

Tattoos of rune symbols, or God sigils have been in use for many generations on Tam'nýer—a'. Their applications vary, but all stem from a strong belief of drawing from the Gods' power and/or protections.

In the instance of the Ṅkhya'jra, tattooing is to depict to their peers which deity is the one they worship above all the others. By doing this, the individual will attain a certain prowess for whatever that God or Goddess symbolizes, e.g., a Ṅkhya'jra whose primary deity is VüƑ is a devout believer in Time, and that everything that happens is preordained. A follower of VüƑ, with his sigil, may be imbued with a profound amount of patience, or the ability to be calm in a moment of mob panic because 'everything is written'. Just as a person baring Sùrelï's sigil will have a higher proficiency with languages. This would also include numbers, as math is technically a language.

*Please know that the Khah' tradition of tattooing the face is not a magic practice. It is solely a cultural one. As for the Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa tattoos, they too hold no magical properties, despite wearing them around their wrists, ankles, upper arms, thighs, and occasionally their necks.

 

Evolution of Tattoos

For those who have stayed loyal, devout, and still practice as if the Gods are alive despite knowing that they are, for the most part, departed from us, your faith has not been in vain. Where once if your primary deity was VüƑ you may have been imbued with patience, acceptance & a keen ability to stay calm under high pressure, it is now becoming transmogrified. Your attributes gained from your devotion to VüƑ now surpass merely that; you now can be a leader without fear because you are gaining a new muscle in your mind and your spirit.

Suddenly a candlemark of free time can be stretched. It is not much, it is not all-powerful, but you make small cuts in Time. You can fit multiple threads in your Tapestry where others can only fit one. To be clearer, while others only experience a candlemark and can read a quarter of a book, you can stretch it out and read a book from beginning to end in a single candlemark. This, of course, takes much time and practice, but it is essentially the concept that you are moving too fast to be seen and others appear paused almost, except they are moving exceptionally slow.

If imbued with Sùrelï's gift, it is not only languages that come all too easily (not to mention much more quickly), but you are now finding yourself to be a natural mediator, able to read nuances in body language as if never before. This does not mean that you can read a person’s mind or understand another person by facial ticks 100% alone, but it gives you instinctive insight that something is wrong underneath the surface. Other people aside however, you find you can touch a tree and hear how it is; whether it is healthy, happy or infected with disease. If the tree speaks loud enough back, it may even tell you what it is infected with. This gift is massive, but can also destroy those not mentally strong enough to hear all the voices and understand.

Another example, though perhaps one of the most intense of all of these is by sensing memories attached to places. Of course, this is if you bear the mark of R̂xya'. If enough emotion occurred in a place, you may want or not want to touch a wall, or a pond because you may hear echoes of occurrences that do not belong to you. Depending on your strength, energy, and devotion to the Goddess of Memory you may only hear whispers of things that have happened in a certain place, perhaps too many whispers at once to really make sense of it all, or the emotions scarred into the stone. This aside, your own personal memory will become clearer. A real-life “memory like an elephant”.

BLOOD MAGIC:
Nkhya'jra proficiency.

Using bits of dead or living individuals, as well as creatures, sometimes paired with the diverse flora on Tam'nýer—a' is a strong and binding magic, referred to as Blood Magic. Some magic can last years after the caster's death and may require a piece of the original caster's essence if it were to be undone.

Because of this, one's essence is extremely valuable, most especially amongst the Ṅkhya'jra, going so far as being a type of currency between nobility families in their culture. If you are a Duke and a Lord owes you a favor it is backed up by either a thumbprint, a piece or lock of hair, blood, tears or skin embedded into a piece of hammered gold. The Lord can only earn back this piece of themselves by fulfilling their end of the bargain. As for the common folk, currency is less of an issue as everything is run on a bartering system. However, above all, the highest price is a piece or filed off dust of a Ṅkhya'jra horn. This denotes slavery or ownership of another.

When practiced in non-Ṅkhya'jra society, a drop or vial of blood from a love rival can make the difference in you superseding them and bringing them into ruin. Blood Magic is considered a dark magic because of this and is therefore taboo, but if power, destruction, and control is alluring to you, you may be called towards Blood Magic.

Do take heed; Blood Magic is not for the faint of heart and may surprise you with heavy consequences. You may bring the downfall to your enemy/enemies, but you may end up trading your life.

SACRIFICIAL MAGIC:
Sk'älik proficiency.

Sacrificial magic is considered a type of Blood magic and is the main magic of the Sk'älik peoples. Giving up things in exchange for power or an effect. This most often comes in the form of the most precious resource the Sk'älik have: food. For whatever reason, most Tam'nýer—a''ns find sacrificial magic difficult to comprehend, because at times it may seem as though the sacrifice is not worth the effect. And unlike blood magic, it cannot last past the caster's lifetime, and dies with the caster.

Sacrificial magic requires a deep belief, a stomach for the act, and a mind capable of withstanding emotional pain. In order to perform a proper sacrifice for the benefit of magic blessing or enhancement of sorts, you must offer up something that is of great personal value, e.g., food, as mentioned above, or an ability you possess. Perhaps a skill you learned during your lifetime is worth forgetting forever for the gained benefit of financial freedom? But do you have the belief and devotion to your God great enough to truly mean it? If deemed false, it will not happen, and you could suffer injury.

In any case, the Sk'älik believe and practice this magic, and shockingly enough, some even sacrifice things for the greater good, not simply for personal gain. They may be a gruff species, but they do have heart.

 

Evolution of Blood & Sacrificial

Blood Magic has always been about control over another person, but as the types of magic throughout Tam’nýer-a’ take a turn from the mundane to a more all-encompassing idea, Blood Magic is no different. While a vial of blood of an individual could gain you a slave, it now is not merely a tool to manipulate someone, but a gift to offer up. The lines between Blood Magic and Sacrificial Magic truly begin blur. They are becoming one & the same now as blood, bits of hair, skin of either yourself or another act as fuel behind spells and rituals.

For instance, if you call upon your patron deity in prayer with candles and want to curse someone, you may offer your hair, or an appendage (perhaps one of your hands is worth it?), even your life, and depending upon the amount of sacrifice, the higher its chances that it will occur. If you use a piece of them, it is to attach the Blood Magic to that person. You could even bleed over a necklace of theirs and the tie will be made. Think of Blood & Sacrificial Magic as truly having the power to call upon and enforce Karma.

You create a mantra, you inscribe your sacrifices on a piece of something that can last longer than you (chisel into stone, brand into metal, carve into a tree) and speak it for candlemarks. If you intend to curse someone, in particular, call upon them until they witness you, say your mantra, speak your curse, and make your sacrifice. They will be marked as they hear it and the Gods will hear you

Example of Sacrifical Magic. © Rome, HBO

Keep in mind though that no type of Magic is 100% bad. Just as powerful as Blood Magic being used to curse or hex, it can be used to give blessings as well. Some people even choose to constantly be in a cycle of growing out their hair and then offering it once each Tam'nýer-a''n month with some of their blood so that they may be protected in one way or another. This usually manifests by means of that neighbor across the street who has a brand new house, furnishings, clothes, and gets that promotion you've been working hard for.

SCORCH MARKS:
Khah' Storytellers are proficient.

Scorch Marks are writing imbued with magic and depicted like sigils. Scorch Marks, for the most part, are used to protect houses, belongings of personal value, be they sentimental or otherwise, and hexes. Like most magics, there are uses for good and uses for bad. Adept magic practitioners may simply use Scorch Marks as a way to communicate highly sensitive topics so that the common folk cannot read them, however, they must be handled carefully. The Khah''s Storytellers are proficient Scorch Mark users and communicate this way with their Empress. That being said, you must be an adept magic user in order to do anything in the realm of Scorch Marks, big or small.

If you are on the receiving end of a Scorch Mark note, and it is a hex, whether or not you can read it, upon touching its intended, the note's paper or parchment (whichever it is written on) will fall apart, as the sigil will ignite, like a sulfur trail, and scorch said sigil onto the flesh, marking the victim. This is in fact where the name of this magic came from.

Now the terrible thing is that sigils from a Scorch Mark hex take an extreme amount of energy and talent to remove. Finding a magic practitioner strong enough, and willing to deplete their energy stores will be difficult, and no doubt, expensive. If, however, for some reason you are a strong magic user yourself, you can deflect the hex of a Scorch Mark and rather than falling and imprinting on your flesh. Instead, it will fall onto the nearest object, i.e. a table or book. The hex will then, luckily, be transferred to that object. However, if the Scorch Mark you receive is a blessing, then the difficulty to undo the magic of said Mark is a major bonus because you'll most likely be blessed with it until your death.

Evolution of Scorch Marks

With the trail markers illuminating, Scorch Marks are becoming much more potent, and consequently, more dangerous. While their primary function is to relay messages, receiving one, you may get more than you bargained for. Scorch Marks, depending on the level of experience, and the power and energy put into one, you may not simply get the message but feel it and/or hear it as well. Of course, the sound won’t be out loud, but in your head, and with their voice, no matter the distance between you or whether or not the sender is still alive. It is as if the Scorch Mark now can copy a bit of the maker’s essence, like a fingerprint, and re-create a sense of their presence from that alone.

If a Scorch Mark is being used as a hex or a blessing, like Blood Magic, it will tie the creator’s essence with the recipient’s. You will know who has blessed/hexed you as you will feel their presence once it touches your skin. Think of it as a very intimate way of blessing or hexing, albeit it also permits long-distance, and you do not need to be in the person’s vicinity, making it inherently more dangerous.

Example of Scorch Marks. © Howl's Moving Castle, Studio Ghibli

HEALING:

Healing magic, despite its sanctified trope, can actually be quite dangerous. On battlefields, many healers have died by wanting to aid the injured and sick to a point that they themselves were not careful in watching their energy reserves. The want and need to heal can become an obsession putting a healer at risk.

Like all magics, Healing takes from your energy, your stamina, in order to help those in need. Now, to be clear, Healing Magics are not an end-all, be-all. You may be able to help blood coagulate faster, perhaps instantly depending on your experience of working this type of magic and energy stores, but it cannot restore someone to a state as if nothing had happened, or cure gangrene without amputation.

If your character has set up shop as a healer, and hands out tinctures and such to help with nausea or irritable bowels, that can be handled solely with apothecary work and requires no magic. However, if you wish to write that these tinctures and powders are enhanced and strengthened by putting some of your energy or imbuing them with your magic, then that is completely acceptable as well, but remember, it will not be a miracle cure.

Evolution of Healing

As the world of Magic changes around Tam’nýer-a’, Healing is not left behind. This magic type too becomes more powerful, and more demanding of one’s abilities. Healing magic, and being better at it no longer solely relies upon experience & your energy levels, but one’s ability to visualize healing, as well as a knowledge of anatomy despite the world’s level of understanding.

With this enhancement, small scratches vanish as if they never happened. This, in turn, also means that an expert healer may not require a needle and sinew to sew a laceration closed. Instead, you may be able to piece together the fabric that is someone’s flesh merely by envisioning it in your mind. But by no means is this a small feat, even for adept healers.

Clearly, it can save a life and reduce healing time exponentially. Keep in mind too, that even if a wound does not close all the way, that does not mean that the depth of the wound has not been ameliorated in some way. Not all healing is done just on the surface.

Example of Regeneration. © 

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