Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Idea: A new system of elemental magic [A]

Elemental magic is pretty common. Some people try to switch it up by using an Eastern elemental system, but there isn’t really much beyond that (I’d like to someday try an elemental system which adds mercury, sulfur, and salt to the Classical Four). Let’s go with a bastardized Ba Gua arrangement of elements, then, forgetting about their general associations and switching Lake/Marsh/Mist with Wood, and Mountain with Metal.

Now, there are there eight elements, then: Heaven, Wind, Water, Metal, Earth, Thunder, Fire, and Wood. Each of these has components within the body and outside in, in the physical world, and people who can manipulate the elements are able to manipulate both Inner and Outer Manifestations of their element. Of course, if you’d like to switch it up a little bit, you might have it so that most magic-users can manipulate only one or the either and that only a few people can manipulate both, if anyone can do it at all. This’ll probably mean that shapers who manipulate Outside Manifestations don’t display any specific personality traits, though.

Heaven was a hard one to come up with, since my first two immediate thoughts were taken up already by Wind and Thunder. So let’s associate Heaven with intelligence, spirit, and awareness. Heavenshapers are able to affect ghosts, spirits, and other such beings which exist in the setting. They are also able to wake up the ‘sleeping spirits,’ which exist in everything from rocks to the chair which you’re probably sitting in right now. Sleeping spirits are rather unintelligent most of the time, but they can at least convey information, meaning that Heavenshapers have a sort of secondhand psychometry. Both the sleeping spirits and the Heavenshapers themselves could be lying, though, and only another Heavenshaper would be able to tell if the first one was making something up, and so on, and thus any information which they bring to light must still be backed up by other evidence, if you’re going to be having Heavenshaper-acquired evidence be admissible in court, and have that court be sensible. Heavenshapers also have control over the Inner Heaven, the subconscious and the spirit which currently resides in a person, and so they are, out of all people, the most in-tune with their repressed desires, being able to speak to their deeper urges as easily as they talk to other people— and other people’s deeper urges.

Fireshapers are pretty easy to conceive when it comes to manipulating Outer Fire, but because of their Inner Fire they are far from the highly passionate, hot-tempered maniacs who are commonly given fire powers in other settings. On the contrary, a Fireshaper is likely as not one of the most calm individuals you will ever meet. They manage this by feeding their emotions to their Inner Fire, in the process getting rid of anything which they don’t want to deal with at the moment. Not only emotions can be fed to the Inner Fire, either. Memories are also flammable, but unlike with emotions the damage is permanent.

Shapers of fire may be calm, but Watershapers are most certainly not. At least not all of the time. When left to her own devices, a Watershaper can be just as collected as a Fireshaper. Just as the smallest pebble will cause ripples in a placid lake, however, so too will even the slightest of interactions have an equal effect on the Watershaper. Except when alone or in the company of others of their kind, Watershapers cannot remain passive, but instead become emotional to the same degree that others are emotional with them. They are mirrors, in a way. A Watershaper can also take advantage of their and others’ Inner Water, by taking advantage of the natural rising and lowering of the tides in one’s soul. They can lower the tides of emotion in a psychotic killer, bringing him back to calm, or throw a stone in the emotional pond of a crowd and turn it into a mob.

Continued on Friday

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