Magic Theory Part 2

From: Hibbs, Philip (philip.hibbs@tnt.co.uk)
Date: Mon 16 Feb 1998 - 20:43:15 EET


II. SHAMANISM
        Shamans simultaneously exist in both the mundane and spirit
worlds. Actually, so does everyone else, but shamans are aware of this
and can see into both worlds at once. Shamans possess spiritual organs
which extend into the spirit plane, and can bring spirits "through" the
life/death barrier into the mundane (and vice-versa). Spirit spells are
simply ripples in the ether, formed by our own focus of will. They are
created by concentration and drawing upon our spiritual and emotional
strength. The ripples are unstable by nature, and once formed, dissipate
at once. The lesser spirit spells are really no more than an adrenaline
rush and can be seen every day on Earth. Who has not been Fanaticized by
rage, had a mother's kiss Heal a minor injury, or focused one's Strength
or Coordination at time of dire need? The stronger spells surpass these
abilities, but in a quantitative manner only.
Now, in a most tedious way, I will explain the various aspects of spirit
spells and how they apply to the theory of magic.
        Casting time - it takes time to focus our minds, align our
muscles and bones properly, and draw upon our souls' power to cast a
spell. Spirits, to whom spells are far more natural, need only draw upon
their power - the focussing and alignment is taken for granted.
        Spell Strength - more MPs in a spell create a larger ripple in
the ether. If the extra MPs are just thrown into the mix, they do not
make the spell itself more effective, but just add to its "bulk", so to
speak. This is what boosting a spell does, to make it likelier to crash
through defenses. If you understand how to formulate the spell in a more
complex way, you use the extra MPs to make a more powerful spell, not
just boost it.
        Duration -- spells have no duration. They evaporate practically
at the moment of casting, and are gone. However, the effects of spells
can be longer-lasting. The Fireblade spell sets up a framework in which
a keen edge actually slices the ether and in reaction produces flame out
of seemingly nothing. (Which is why there is no Firemace spell and, if
there was, it would work on different principles.) The spell is gone,
but the effect lasts for approximately five minutes. And, naturally
enough, the strength of the framework set up is equal to the strength of
the spell - in fact, the MPs used to support the spell's structure, ever
so briefly, are incorporated into the framework itself. When the
framework finally falters, the MPs vanish into the spirit world, where
they are presumably recycled.
        Spells lacking Duration, such as Heal, do not create a framework
to hold their MPs. Instead, the spell's form itself directs the MPs as
raw energy to affect the target object in the desired way. Thus, the MP
contained within a Disrupt spell is used up in causing damage to the
target, and then fades off into the spirit plane, leaving the damage
behind.
        An interesting variant on this process is Speedart, which is
both temporal and instant. The spell sets up a framework on the
arrowhead which contains the MP of the spell. When the arrow is
launched, the framework "fires", in effect casting a second spell. This
spell-within-a-spell takes the energy from the framework (destroying it
in the process) and adds it to the missile as kinetic energy, increasing
its velocity. Hence, the arrow goes faster and straighter, for a better
chance to hit, and more damage upon impact.
        Range -- the answer to this is complicated, and I don't feel
like writing it all down right now, but suffice it to say that there are
different types of "ripples" and energy patterns that can be created.
Two are the static and the transient types, corresponding to the
touch-only and ranged spell types. Be it known that Ranged spells are
not exactly 50m, but vary a bit from person to person. One man might get
only 48 meters, while another got 51.
        Learning spells - spell spirits are, in effect, permanent
ripples in the universe, capable of creating their spell whenever
suitably powered by MPs. A human who defeats one of these beings through
spirit combat is able to get his mind "around" the ripple, feel its
impress upon his mind, and thus understand its nature. Thereafter, he
can cast the spell himself, assuming he's capable of doing so. A
sorcerer has far more trouble understanding a spirit spell, even if he
goes through the same process as other folks, because his mind is the
wrong "shape" to readily take the imprint.

philip.hibbs@tnt.co.uk or phibbs@compuserve.com
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/phibbs
+--------------+
| Philip Hibbs +---------------------------------------------+
| What immortal hand or eye dare frame thy perfect symmetry? |
+------------------------------------------------------------+

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