An Introduction to Arcana [2]

flame

This article is the second entry on Arcana. You can find the first part here: Introduction to Arcana (Magic): Lore.
In Eldfall Chronicles, Arcana (magic) is a vibrant variable that adds complexity, utility, and unpredictability to the gameplay. Spells represent a large portion of it, with factions offering the player a variety of characters who are well-versed in wielding Arcana. They offer different options and solutions to the players, who will find magic challenging to master but well worth doing so. Based on seven different elemental energies (called mana), the magic system is diverse, intricate, and brought to its maximum potential with some strategic thought.
Once again, let us read the accounts of our senior lecturers at the Grand Academy of Arcane Arts, located in the Sand Kingdoms. They will let us peer into the world of magic on Calad.  

Spellcasting

Spellcasting, shaping the raw energy called mana into spells, can be used for various purposes. We can use magic to fight, build wonderous things and the cities we reside in, make our daily tasks and chores easier, create precious materials, carry heavy items, or make our food grow abundant. We can affect the weather, replenish and maintain abundant water sources in the desert, and even keep the body healthy. And just like our civilization, it was first created with a tiny spark – we created fire from thin air. 

There also exist lifeforms that need mana to sustain their vitality. Just like we all have a bond to mana, latent or active, some creatures are made of it. Plenty of them exude the radiance of mana in the form of light – a form of bioluminescence – but carry only a tiny amount of energy. Certain species native to Calad live in mana-rich environments or were created by arcanists using large amounts of energy. But the extraordinary ones cross over from the Void (discussed later in the account) and are made of pure energy; the most notable subjects we were lucky to study are, for example, the Djinn, who are currently regarded as the most powerful beings to come in contact with us.

In summary, the world of Calad is home to many sapient and non-sapient races capable of interacting with mana.

The Arcanists of Calad

The Grand Academy of the Arcane Arts & The Sand Kingdoms ​

The driving force of understanding and researching mana is the Grand Academy of Arcane Arts, the largest educational institution with thousands of arcanists (practitioners of arcana) learning about magic and its intricacies. Situated at the heart of the Sand Kingdoms in the capital Men’Nefer, it encompasses a large complex of lecture halls, student quarters, experimentation and study rooms, alchemy halls, artificeries (where artificers perform their craft), wrighter’s halls (where sculptors wright their constructs or sculptures), scriptoriums (where things are written), and of course, the most extensive library in existence, the Grand Library where all knowledge is methodically stored and cataloged by the illustrious Librarian. His visage is that of no ordinary man: his enormous but lean body is always clad in darkened cloth, his head resembles that of an ibis. He speaks no words but knows all languages. And even though it is said that the Library holds at least a few lifespans worth of reading, the Librarian wrote it, rewrote it, or read it to sort it properly. At least that is what the rumors say.
As you would expect, since the Grand Academy has the forefront of magical learning, the Library is home to myriads of scripts, tomes, books, scrolls, and all other forms of written knowledge. Some are so incredibly old that translation is impossible.
As evident by the prosperity of the Academy, the Sand Kingdoms lead the arcane academic research across all Caladian realms, including the fact that their land is riddled with ancient ruins and artifacts. It bases its social structure on a meritocratic system, preferring the arcanely gifted, and seeks to expand the bounds of our very existence through the research of other worlds and the Void. 

 

The Empire of Soga

In the Empire of Soga, the gift of manipulating mana is scarce. In contrast to the scholastic methods of the Academy, the Empire of Soga is successful in understanding the mystical ways of mana. In the Empire, the workings of arcana is understood in a more spiritual, inward manner. While certain citizens of the Empire have the arcane potential and develop it by attending more academic arcane lessons, the bulk of human practitioners can be found among Rishinkyō monks – the ascetic, reclusive followers of Rishin, who are known for their introspective ways and a profound understanding of all things spiritual and arcane. While they consider themselves uncompetitive, it is noteworthy that they come head to head with the Academy in certain regards and offer a different perspective on established topics. In general terms, the monks of the Rishinkyō faith tend to the spiritual and physical health of the ordinary people and fend off malevolent spirits, the undead, and otherworldly monsters that plague the land.

In contrast, the Kitsune peoples, (who are native to the Kirijima archipelago), keep a vigil on more monumental events. They are ancient chimeric peoples bearing fox-like features who are said to predate humans. Well-versed in arcane arts, although focusing on shamanistic aspects, they can command spirits. They tend to keep to themselves and their tribes.

This often makes them appear aloof and sometimes unearthly in the eyes of the common folk. Despite disapproval, their rituals are key to the people’s safety. Their dances and melodic rituals appease the all-powerful primordial spirits of the land, which would, in their absence, leave the Empire and Calad, to suffer from what would seem like catastrophic natural disasters. Lastly, the third central circle of arcanists in the Empire are the Court Ritualists, who tend to stately matters and perform vital ceremonies.

Rin

The rin, in general, are gifted with the ability to interact with mana. The Helrin prefer wielding mana through spellcraft, while Thenrin prefer an intuitive approach. Rinan knowledge of mana is said to be intuitive and transmitted from ages past, handed down through bloodlines – from parent to child. 
We observe two significant currents in the Helrin society: the scientific approach, which explores a systematic insertion of arcana into practical spheres of our lives through experimentation and observation of mana, mana veins, and other connecting phenomenons. For instance, this current of thought frequently reaches breakthroughs in the field of arcane apparatuses and the invention of ingenious artifacts. In a sense, they focus on creating mechanical tools that utilize mana’s power to perform spells that require an extreme amount of mana.
The other current reproaches these inventions for blasphemy; they are a faction that follows the legacy of gods that preside over the pious spheres of Helion. Accordingly, their interests lie in discerning holy creations and ancient remnants, the evidence of a higher power that once directly ruled Calad.  

The Thenrin are, on the other hand, less prone to organization and methodical research or pious worship of the arcane. They are instead known to find alternatives to standard arcane practices. Thus, the predominant field in Thenion is alchemy, scoping the possibilities of altering one’s physique and psyche. Their tourism thrives on trinkets such as “attunement potions,” capable of shifting one’s disposition from one arcane element towards another. They are masters of psychoactive substances that ease an arcanist’s way into new territories by aligning the state of their mind. Apart from these, sometimes frowned upon implementations of magic, the Thenrin excel in body modification achieved through enchanting. Lastly, the most sizable mounds of premium mana crystals are found in the depths of Thenian caverns, making Thenion the chief exporter of crystalized energy used by all other major factions.  

Soulrot

When spellcasters shape their spells, they channel the mana (from the environment, their amulets, or mana crystals that keep, change or amplify elemental mana) through themselves and outward into desired manifestations, which we call spells. Whilst this process is fairly common, when used over-extensively, it may harm the arcanist in the form of soulrot.
Soulrot is an affliction that occurs when the individual’s body becomes overly-worn by the channeled flow of mana, which the body fails to adequately project out of itself. The amount of mana an individual may project before they fall ill affects various races differently. However, when the individual’s threshold is reached, the unexpelled mana starts to pool inside of the body, materializing and crystalizing within. The veins become overflown with a tar-like substance (the crystalized mana), black and congealed. It spreads throughout the affected’s body, leading to paralysis. In severe cases, soulrot punctures the skin and leaves the victim perforated with profane protrusions that seem like blackened glass or broken shards. Extensive and immediate care can cure the patient, yet, one should never exert their body in this manner as recovery is without guarantee. The grimmest result will render the patient lifeless, killed from within, and left without hope of resuscitation.

Despite popular belief, this ailment is not contagious. However, there have been many instances in which larger masses fell to this affliction, spawning such misconceptions. When people find themselves prolongedly exposed to a large amount of profane mana, usually the ramification of a potent mana rupture, outbreaks of such a disease are common.

It is noteworthy that the rinnian physique is significantly more suited to spellcasting than that of a human. If a rin projects large amounts of mana, a chemical-like reaction starts within their bodies. Mana shines through their skin in the shape of luminescent markings, alarming them that their threshold is about to be reached. After, their bodies start to repel mana and deny it entry, rendering them inept. Rin can however still fall to soulrot if their natural protection fails or if they are exposed to profane mana.

Mana Ruptures

The ruptures are a poorly understood phenomenon. Usually, the tears appear at potent locations, which are oftentimes linked to ruins and holy sites built atop them. They begin with the crackling of earth above swelled mana veins. This can escalate into the violent opening of a chasm that we believe is connected to the Void – a chaotic plane dividing the material worlds. Fierce light and mana can burst from the chasm, carrying creatures and abominations to our world. There are divergent opinions on whether the ruptures should be closed; some fight to keep them open as the tears present a gateway to the Void. However, ruptures are incredibly dangerous; not only because of the heinous spawn that plagues the land for a distance of several hours of mounted riding. They can suddenly shift or enlarge, swallowing whole villages or separating communities. Elders forbid one falls onto the ledges or inside the walls of the tear; they are lost forever. 

The interval in which the ruptures appear seems to be quickening as of late, forcing the hand of the Academy to turn its energies into researching and managing them. 

The Void

The Void is another complex topic. The Void is home to all known mana-based lifeforms, such as the Djinn, and lesser mana-based creatures, such as the aetherspawn. There, everyday physics does not apply as everything, even the laws of the natural world – here, unnatural, consists of mana.
Conjurers learned to summon creatures from the Void to our world. With proper binding, they can command them and keep them here for as long as their grasp lasts – usually not very long. After the binding fails, the creature can turn on its caller and run rampant for a time, then disappear, or it can disappear immediately.
It is accepted that mana pours to our world from the Void through the mana vein network underneath the surface. And that the Void is the origin of mana and a link to other worlds. However, much is yet to be learned if we are to overcome the hurdles presented by the chaotic plane. 

Other Articles

An Introduction to Arcana [2]

flame

This article is the second entry on Arcana. You
can find the first part here:
 Introduction to Arcana (Magic): Lore.
In Eldfall Chronicles, Arcana (magic) is a vibrant variable
that adds complexity, utility, and unpredictability to the gameplay. Spells
represent a large portion of it, with factions offering the player a variety of
characters who are well-versed in wielding Arcana. They offer different options
and solutions to the players, who will find magic challenging to master but
well worth doing so. Based on seven different elemental energies (called mana),
the magic system is diverse, intricate, and brought to its maximum potential
with some strategic thought.

Once again, let us read the
accounts of our senior lecturers at the Grand Academy of Arcane Arts, located
in the Sand Kingdoms. They will let us peer into the world of magic on
Calad.  

Spellcasting

Spellcasting, shaping the raw energy called mana into spells, can be used for various purposes. We can use magic to fight, build wonderous things and the cities we reside in, make our daily tasks and chores easier, create precious materials, carry heavy items, or make our food grow abundant. We can affect the weather, replenish and maintain abundant water sources in the desert, and even keep the body healthy. And just like our civilization, it was first created with a tiny spark – we created fire from thin air. 

There also exist lifeforms that need mana to sustain their vitality. Just like we all have a bond to mana, latent or active, some creatures are made of it. Plenty of them exude the radiance of mana in the form of light – a form of bioluminescence – but carry only a tiny amount of energy. Certain species native to Calad live in mana-rich environments or were created by arcanists using large amounts of energy. But the extraordinary ones cross over from the Void (discussed later in the account) and are made of pure energy; the most notable subjects we were lucky to study are, for example, the Djinn, who are currently regarded as the most powerful beings to come in contact with us.

 

In summary, the world of Calad is home to many sapient and non-sapient races capable of interacting with mana.

The Arcanists of Calad

The Grand Academy of the Arcane Arts & The Sand Kingdoms

The driving force of understanding and researching mana is the Grand Academy of Arcane Arts, the largest educational institution with thousands of arcanists (practitioners of arcana) learning about magic and its intricacies. Situated at the heart of the Sand Kingdoms in the capital Men’Nefer, it encompasses a large complex of lecture halls, student quarters, experimentation and study rooms, alchemy halls, artificeries (where artificers perform their craft), wrighter’s halls (where sculptors wright their constructs or sculptures), scriptoriums (where things are written), and of course, the most extensive library in existence, the Grand Library where all knowledge is methodically stored and cataloged by the illustrious Librarian. His visage is that of no ordinary man: his enormous but lean body is always clad in darkened cloth, his head resembles that of an ibis. He speaks no words but knows all languages. And even though it is said that the Library holds at least a few lifespans worth of reading, the Librarian wrote it, rewrote it, or read it to sort it properly. At least that is what the rumors say.
As you would expect, since the Grand Academy has the forefront of magical learning, the Library is home to myriads of scripts, tomes, books, scrolls, and all other forms of written knowledge. Some are so incredibly old that translation is impossible.
As evident by the prosperity of the Academy, the Sand Kingdoms lead the arcane academic research across all Caladian realms, including the fact that their land is riddled with ancient ruins and artifacts. It bases its social structure on a meritocratic system, preferring the arcanely gifted, and seeks to expand the bounds of our very existence through the research of other worlds and the Void. 

The Empire of Soga

In the Empire of Soga, the gift of manipulating mana is scarce. In contrast to the scholastic methods of the Academy, the Empire of Soga is successful in understanding the mystical ways of mana. In the Empire, the workings of arcana is understood in a more spiritual, inward manner. While certain citizens of the Empire have the arcane potential and develop it by attending more academic arcane lessons, the bulk of human practitioners can be found among Rishinkyō monks – the ascetic, reclusive followers of Rishin, who are known for their introspective ways and a profound understanding of all things spiritual and arcane. While they consider themselves uncompetitive, it is noteworthy that they come head to head with the Academy in certain regards and offer a different perspective on established topics. In general terms, the monks of the Rishinkyō faith tend to the spiritual and physical health of the ordinary people and fend off malevolent spirits, the undead, and otherworldly monsters that plague the land.

In contrast, the Kitsune peoples, (who are native to the Kirijima archipelago), keep a vigil on more monumental events. They are ancient chimeric peoples bearing fox-like features who are said to predate humans. Well-versed in arcane arts, although focusing on shamanistic aspects, they can command spirits. They tend to keep to themselves and their tribes.

This often makes them appear aloof and sometimes unearthly in the eyes of the common folk. Despite disapproval, their rituals are key to the people’s safety. Their dances and melodic rituals appease the all-powerful primordial spirits of the land, which would, in their absence, leave the Empire and Calad, to suffer from what would seem like catastrophic natural disasters. Lastly, the third central circle of arcanists in the Empire are the Court Ritualists, who tend to stately matters and perform vital ceremonies.

Rin

The rin, in general, are gifted with the ability to interact with mana. The Helrin prefer wielding mana through spellcraft, while Thenrin prefer an intuitive approach. Rinan knowledge of mana is said to be intuitive and transmitted from ages past, handed down through bloodlines – from parent to child. 
We observe two significant currents in the Helrin society: the scientific approach, which explores a systematic insertion of arcana into practical spheres of our lives through experimentation and observation of mana, mana veins, and other connecting phenomenons. For instance, this current of thought frequently reaches breakthroughs in the field of arcane apparatuses and the invention of ingenious artifacts. In a sense, they focus on creating mechanical tools that utilize mana’s power to perform spells that require an extreme amount of mana.
The other current reproaches these inventions for blasphemy; they are a faction that follows the legacy of gods that preside over the pious spheres of Helion. Accordingly, their interests lie in discerning holy creations and ancient remnants, the evidence of a higher power that once directly ruled Calad.  

 

The Thenrin are, on the other hand, less prone to organization and methodical research or pious worship of the arcane. They are instead known to find alternatives to standard arcane practices. Thus, the predominant field in Thenion is alchemy, scoping the possibilities of altering one’s physique and psyche. Their tourism thrives on trinkets such as “attunement potions,” capable of shifting one’s disposition from one arcane element towards another. They are masters of psychoactive substances that ease an arcanist’s way into new territories by aligning the state of their mind. Apart from these, sometimes frowned upon implementations of magic, the Thenrin excel in body modification achieved through enchanting. Lastly, the most sizable mounds of premium mana crystals are found in the depths of Thenian caverns, making Thenion the chief exporter of crystalized energy used by all other major factions.  

Soulrot

When spellcasters shape their spells, they channel the mana (from the environment, their amulets, or mana crystals that keep, change or amplify elemental mana) through themselves and outward into desired manifestations, which we call spells. Whilst this process is fairly common, when used over-extensively, it may harm the arcanist in the form of soulrot.
Soulrot is an affliction that occurs when the individual’s body becomes overly-worn by the channeled flow of mana, which the body fails to adequately project out of itself. The amount of mana an individual may project before they fall ill affects various races differently. However, when the individual’s threshold is reached, the unexpelled mana starts to pool inside of the body, materializing and crystalizing within. The veins become overflown with a tar-like substance (the crystalized mana), black and congealed. It spreads throughout the affected’s body, leading to paralysis. In severe cases, soulrot punctures the skin and leaves the victim perforated with profane protrusions that seem like blackened glass or broken shards. Extensive and immediate care can cure the patient, yet, one should never exert their body in this manner as recovery is without guarantee. The grimmest result will render the patient lifeless, killed from within, and left without hope of resuscitation.

 

Despite popular belief, this ailment is not contagious. However, there have been many instances in which larger masses fell to this affliction, spawning such misconceptions. When people find themselves prolongedly exposed to a large amount of profane mana, usually the ramification of a potent mana rupture, outbreaks of such a disease are common.

It is noteworthy that the rinnian physique is significantly more suited to spellcasting than that of a human. If a rin projects large amounts of mana, a chemical-like reaction starts within their bodies. Mana shines through their skin in the shape of luminescent markings, alarming them that their threshold is about to be reached. After, their bodies start to repel mana and deny it entry, rendering them inept. Rin can however still fall to soulrot if their natural protection fails or if they are exposed to profane mana.

Mana Ruptures

The ruptures are a poorly understood phenomenon. Usually, the tears appear at potent locations, which are oftentimes linked to ruins and holy sites built atop them. They begin with the crackling of earth above swelled mana veins. This can escalate into the violent opening of a chasm that we believe is connected to the Void – a chaotic plane dividing the material worlds. Fierce light and mana can burst from the chasm, carrying creatures and abominations to our world. There are divergent opinions on whether the ruptures should be closed; some fight to keep them open as the tears present a gateway to the Void. However, ruptures are incredibly dangerous; not only because of the heinous spawn that plagues the land for a distance of several hours of mounted riding. They can suddenly shift or enlarge, swallowing whole villages or separating communities. Elders forbid one falls onto the ledges or inside the walls of the tear; they are lost forever. 

The interval in which the ruptures appear seems to be quickening as of late, forcing the hand of the Academy to turn its energies into researching and managing them. 

The Void

The Void is another complex topic. The Void is home to all known mana-based lifeforms, such as the Djinn, and lesser mana-based creatures, such as the aetherspawn. There, everyday physics does not apply as everything, even the laws of the natural world – here, unnatural, consists of mana.
Conjurers learned to summon creatures from the Void to our world. With proper binding, they can command them and keep them here for as long as their grasp lasts – usually not very long. After the binding fails, the creature can turn on its caller and run rampant for a time, then disappear, or it can disappear immediately.
It is accepted that mana pours to our world from the Void through the mana vein network underneath the surface. And that the Void is the origin of mana and a link to other worlds. However, much is yet to be learned if we are to overcome the hurdles presented by the chaotic plane. 

Other Articles

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