Friday, June 6, 2014

Idea: A new system of elemental magic [B]

Continued from Wednesday

Metalshapers are able to manipulate emotions in their manner as well. By hardening the Inner Metal, a shaper can protect against psychological manipulation, whether this is attempted through shaping, or more mundane means. Softening the Inner Metal is possible as well, but an even more effective means of manipulating someone is by using one’s own Inner Metal to cut at the other person’s psyche like a scalpel, removing undesired behaviors, beliefs, and traits. In general, these shapers are tougher than many others, because they well know the benefits of keeping their Inner Metal hard and protective, but they can also make themselves softer than any other person can. Those few who have accepted the risks have become the most compassionate people in the world, though they can pay very well for their sensitivity. Take care in rousing them, however, for even a soft Metalshaper, when roused, can harden his spirit and take his Inner Metal to carve away his victim’s every last memory and even sense of self.

A Thundershaper can be very calm. They are, day to day, the most normal of all shapers, with no general tendencies in the mainstream, if only you can ignore the undercurrent of intensity which each one projects. Every so often, however, like lightning out of a clear sky, that intensity bursts out of them, magnifying the strength of whatever they are feeling and tearing down their restraints. These shapers can act as attractors or repellents for intense emotion, making people feel more comfortable with letting loose with their emotions, or making them feel very uncomfortable with doing that. Above all, though, the Inner Thunder of a person speaks to the sensation of fear; by letting the souls of others hear the storm within him, a Thundershaper can inspire terror like no other. Despite the name, Thundershapers are masters of lightning, but there generally is not much attention paid to the difference between the two in most cultures.

Shapers who are associated with wood are generally put into two categories, which are usually referred to as “reeds” and “great trees.” Where reeds are easy to bend, quick to go along with the demands of those who are the most powerful, great trees stand firm and never waver, moving only when their deepest convictions move, and not when the situation makes moving the more attractive option. Where reeds bend, and remain unharmed by the winds of conflict, however, the great trees stand tall and strong, but also snap and break entirely when those winds eventually prove to be too strong.

Neither should the reeds be considered cowards— they know their convictions, and they will follow them; the reeds among the Woodshapers will simply subvert through less direct and open means, pretending loyalty while providing shelter for the enemies of an undesired master. Both varieties of Woodshaper find that their ability to manipulate Inner Wood is not nearly so quick in its effects as their ability to control plants in the world. Still, over the course of years a Woodshaper can manipulate the mental and emotional growth and development of those under her influence and in a single decade could, if she were sufficiently skilled enough to do so, turn a small community of pacifists into a community of warmongers.

Windshapers are… flighty. Perhaps it’s a horribly obvious word to use, but they aren’t liable to stay in one place, physically or mentally. The Inner Wind is the drive to wander, to move, to change, and Windshapers are never spared from the effects of this driving force. Manipulation of the Inner Wind can halt someone’s journey in its tracks, or turn a hermit into a relentless wanderer. It can steal a person’s sense of foundation in the world, making him feel as if there is nowhere that he can rest even his beliefs and that the only choice is to pick up and discard philosophy after philosophy.

The Earthshapers, on the other hand, are far more steady. They are nearly immovable when they set their mind to it and draw on their Inner Earth. Even the most powerful Windshaper cannot hope to affect a proficient Earthshaper, for the Inner Wind can no more affect such a person than the Outer Wind can move a towering mountain. Earthshapers resist all comers, never backing down, regardless of the odds, and a powerful Earthshaper can strengthen the Inner Earth of a rabble of hundreds, turning them resolute and keeping them steady even against the greatest army in the land.

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