the unnamed comic

Magic
drgodzey at 2:00PM, Feb. 19, 2010
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We have all been talking about magic and it's constraints, and where it derives it's power from. I figured we should start a new topic, since I am sure it will play a larger role in many of our stories and races. So I will start: The one god that I came up with is Marduk. He is a worm god. Not wyrm, oh no, worm, as in the little creature that eats dirt. HE has many devout followers and he grants them power by letting them call on himself and his minions from time to time. Minions being most wormlike things such as maggots and centipedes, etc. However, the magic or calling,can only work if the follower is in a climate or situation that these creature would be naturally present in. For example, unless Marduk himself is there, a rocky mountain probably will not have worms. And conversely a jungle will be home to millions of the creatures. The followers of Marduk can only call upon the creatures if they know their names, that is the names that Marduk himself has given his offspring. They are taught these names throughout their lives. Even children when they are young are taught the name of a basic garden worm, so that they can always call upon their god. Some of the names are secret and only taught to warriors or leaders, women have names that they can only use, and of course there are secret organizations that hold names of great power. Then we get to the issue of power, can a child call upon thousands of earthworms to swarm a field and eat all the grocery, probably not. However, a group of villagers calling in unison would be able to. Since worms mostly eat, the sacrifice present at the site of the calling, will decide the strength of the worm or worms that show, the more powerful worms will never show, no matter how great the need, unless a worthy dinner is present.
We Out Chea!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
wtl at 12:42PM, Feb. 22, 2010
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Well, where to start…

I guess I should touch on the two overall schools of magic that we talked about at work the other day. Kalli, please help clarify after I screw this up. Basically, there are two types of magic, one that directly manipulates physical materials and one that is more spiritual in nature. The physical magic (in my head) is basically telekinesis. You would just be pushing around elements that are already there. For instance, if you wanted to throw a fireball, you would suck all of the hydrogen out of the nearby air, and you would have to set some sort of spark. You could then telekinetically throw the fireball. The point is that there are at least semi-plausible scientific reasons for the magic.

The spiritual magic I’m a bit more fuzzy on. I’m so fuzzy, in fact, that I’ll leave it to the Baron to explain. I think I’ve got more wrong than I’ve got right with that aspect of all this. My magic idea is pretty much based in the physical school anyway.

Favorites

Ok, so…Favorites. I’m going to try and give the backstory a dramatic treatment. As always, this is up for debate. Let me know if there’s too much backstory here and/or if it infringes on stuff anyone already had in mind. Let’s see how this works.

In the time before men, when the world was new, the gods toiled to shape our world from naught but a boiling sphere of magma. The gods brought cooling rains, and from the slag and cinder they ground the supple black loam from which all life sprouted. Although their backs were bent to their tectonic industry, the gods desired companions. For if this world was not to be inhabited, to what purpose were their exertions?

The first companions were made without lungs, and could not take breaths. The next were formed without hearts, and could not pull the aerated blood through their forms. The next were born without mouths, and could not drink from the springs that bubbled up between pumice stones, nor eat the luscious fruit that grew on the trees. These miserable creatures were stuck down with furious fulminations of blinding light. The gods gnashed their teeth and pounded their breasts in anguish, for they did not like to see their hard work made so meek.

After an eternity of wretched experiments, the gods began to create companions that had the ability to live. Abominations to mortal men, they were beautiful to the gods, and were treated as such. These companions were each granted their own names and abilities according to the desires of its creator. The last companion to be named was the pinnacle of the gods’ efforts. Lithe, graceful, intelligent, it was granted the abilities of the gods themselves. But the last of the companions yearned to shed the yoke of the gods and to wander the world as it pleased. The gods desired a capable servant, not an absent impenitent. The last companion attempted revolt, drawing other companions to its cause. The companions lost a short and vicious battle against the enraged gods. What survivors there were scattered in fear across the globe. But the last companion was taken by the gods, its name revoked, and imprisoned in some dark and remote recess. The gods, and the occasional mortal, now simply refer to it as The Obdurate.

So the basic idea is that these companions are still hiding out all over the place. They can run the gamut physically, from something humanoid looking (probably one of the later “versions”) to a jumbled mass of legs, fur, and eyes. Each of the companions still remembers its name and still retains what ever abilities or powers the gods imbued.

Here’s how it (finally) ties into the magic system. Mortals can seek out these companions (or be sought out in some cases). They can then do something for these companions that will allow them to become a Favorite, who can then ask for Favors, of that particular creature. Again, this can really run the whole spectrum. Maybe one of the companions only wants a fresh pail of water, but the favor that the mortal can ask in return would be relative in return. So that particular companion might not be very powerful, and would only be able to grant small favors like creating light (allowing a twig to burn slowly, while sucking in extra hydrogen=instant torchlight) or something like that. I think that particular reward is worth way more than fetching a pail of water, but it’s just an example. So the tasks and rewards will vary greatly from companion to companion, but one thing will have to remain constant. There will have to be some way for the Favorites to communicate with the companions. It will probably be similar to the way the gods and the companions originally communicated, but there has to be a way to ask for the favor. Thus, “casting” a spell will be replaced by some sort of request to the companions, either a prayer, or some sort of rune or something…I’m not sure yet. Ideas?

What this boils down to is something along the lines of : “Oh shit, there goes a Favorite of Blesphal, better not fuck with that guy. He can throw fireballs.” Or “Here comes a Favorite of Annis, perhaps she can favor me with a spring so that I can drink.” The guys who can throw fireballs basically at will have spent a long time performing what ever task was assigned to them to become Favorites, which is obviously different in most respects than some sort of magical training. There may even be a school of Blesphal, because he chooses to stay in the open and surround himself by his Favorites, and is eager to gain more of his own companions. But there are others that prefer not to be disturbed and are hard to find.

Adam: I don’t want to take over your idea, but I thought it might fit into this type of system as well. Perhaps one of the early companions was a worm of some sort and becoming a Favorite of his would grant the types of abilities you were talking about.

General story idea: Someone wants to become a Favorite of the Obdurate (I’ve got some ideas about who and why if anyone’s interested in this.) The task the Obdurate sets for this someone is to start a global war. It figures that either the human race will wipe itself out, its prison will be broken, or the world may even end. Best case, the Obdurate is freed from its eternity of torturous captivity. Worst case, it at least really pisses off the gods. Obviously the aspiring Favorite would be an enemy of the gods. I don’t know, I think that story could get interesting.

I feel like I left a lot out, but this is two pages of a word doc so far, so….yeah.
I apologize for my avatar.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
drgodzey at 9:23AM, Feb. 24, 2010
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I think that is great Will, I especially like the idea of these beings as primal forces that have existed for ages. The fact that some are hidden and some out in the open is also great.
The Baron brought up a good point: Is the magic draw from the same source but it is interpreted differently by different cultures or are there multiple different forms of magics? If it all draws from the same place than it would be easy for us to place power caps and understand what can and cannot be done. However, I am uneasy with making a common magic interpreted differently, eventually I worry that it will mean that there is a competition for resources that provide the magic. Use the fireball hydrogen example (as a totally ridiculous example), if that is the only way that a fireball works (even if different cultures believe it comes from different sources) there is a limited supply of oxygen, etc in the area. Again, this makes it incredibly easy for us to place power limits, and govern what can and can't be done. I like the ideas of different peeps pulling power from differing sources. I do however feel it is necessary to differentiate between the physical and spiritual magics, and I feel that all of us have a pretty good understanding and agreement on that difference. Anyway, let me know what you two think.
We Out Chea!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
kalliikak at 2:59PM, March 3, 2010
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i wrote this up sort of like a creation myth, because i feel like the philosophical ideas come across a little better while not being too restrictive. i think we have a pretty good understanding of physical magics (maybe i'm wrong here) the point of this, is to tie in something beyond the physical, and give a basis from which to build a spirit world/magic system to work along side the physical magics.

some vocabulary as i fiddle with it.
Nu (nox-tolar) – a creator god. will not detail. an origin for the planes and the many denizens of those planes, unclear what part Nu plays on the world beyond its creation.
Ilishuda – the immediate spirit world residing just beneath the physical world. The plane to which the rule was applied by Nu.
Mosk - (may change this name) the original denizens (lords) of the Ilishuda. by right, the only ones who should be able to lord over (i.e. willfully influence) the Ilishuda, though this ability was mostly stripped from them by introduction of the rule upon Ilishuda.
The rule – a collection of ideas taken from the various planes and woven into a static collection of principles by which the physical world is bound.

Set up - Physical magics assume only the physical/scientific world. Spiritual magics assume something outside of this world, layered atop the physical world, with beings who claim some stake in the physical world without themselves being physical entities. All they can do from the spiritual world is influence the direction the physical world moves in over time, either by whispering desires in the ears of mortals, or shifting, ever so slightly, the natural direction some physical thing might fall. Often it is said that the wind is the easiest thing for the spirits to control, as its path can be turned aside with little effort. The spiritual world exists just outside of human comprehension. It is malleable, and bends easily to the will of those who reside in this world. The whole of the universe is spiritual in nature, but the earth was given rules, and set into time, to act as a nexus between the various planes and dimensions. When something outside the physical world enters into it, that thing is bound by the rules of the physical world. It can be hurt, it can be killed (though killing it may simply return it to the realm it came from) because of this, some of the denizens of the spiritual world can see the bits and pieces that make it move, and using the rules of the spiritual world they seek to influence the outcome of the physical world.

Nox-tolar, or Nu, created the planes, (planes of fire and wind and things of essence, perhaps a plane of tree or a plane of red) the planes were malleable, and the lords of the planes controlled everything about them with but a thought. The planes became the thing which lorded over them, fed by the willful thought of the beings that inhabited the many planes.

However, after a time (which is a rather irrelevant statement when speaking about things that exist outside of time), it became clear that the malleable nature of the planes separated the denizens, for should a visitor from one plane enter another, he might find himself at the mercy of the lords of that plane, that his very thoughts might be lorded over.

For this reason, Nu took from each of the many planes a single idea, and spinning the many ideas, formed the rule. Then Nu chose among the planes, the Iilshuda, and set upon it the rule, creating from the malleable plane of Ilishuda, the physical universe, such that the many denizens of the various planes could come together under the rule, on even ground, and discuss and trade and flourish.

(now, some say the Ilishuda was a plane that had angered Nu, and it was made the physical plane partly as punishment to those beings that existed there) for Ilishuda existed just beneath the physical plane, and the denizens of that plane had lost lordship over their plane. The Ilishuda became cold and dark, and its denizens could only watch the physical plane with no ability to manipulate it. For this reason, many of the denizens of Ilishuda sought to enter the physical plane, to escape the dark of Ilishuda.

Because the physical plane was set to rule upon a malleable plane, some of the denizens of the various planes could see into its core nature, and understood that through willful thought, the physical world might be bent slightly askew of the rule (though they needed the denizens of the Ilishuda to manipulate it, as it was their lost lordship, some would ‘hire’ the denizens of Ilishuda to ‘influence’ the physical world for them) small influences on the rule and the physical world might give a denizens of another plane the upper hand in negotiations between planes (though who can say what such beings would barter for and argue over)

Perhaps, for instance, a lord of fire might come to the physical realm and create a great supernova, to see how his own plane might benefit from the dusts and other particles that burn in the nova’s display. The lords of fire would best understand the parts of the rule that pertained to his essence and his plane, and even this knowledge might be bartered and traded for by the many planes, or the denizens of Ilishuda. Perhaps some of the denizens of Iilshuda do the work of the lords of other planes in exchange for a place in another plane. Whatever the case, when a denizen of another plane, or of the Ilishuda, takes physical form, he is bound by the rule. He may have secret knowledge of the rule, understanding of how some of the many planes were spun together into the rule, and may have denizens of the Ilishuda working to influence the physical plane for him. He may appear as a god or demon to the people of the physical plane. But by and far, he is bound by the rule while he remains in the physical realm. I suspect the rule has some specifics about how a denizen of another plane can take physical form, to which end, it doesn’t hurt to have followers among the people of the physical realm. Also, I would suggest that denizens of the Ilishuda could potentially obtain more power within the physical realm than any of the denizens of other planes (given that the physical realm was created out of their plane of lordship).


this is the general idea i have for it… should allow for a plethora of external beings that might manifest themselves in the physical world. and while the obvious elemental type planes exist, its important to keep in mind that the planes are the original essence of any one thing in the physical realm, so you can go well beyond simply elemental type creatures. of course, i would also suggest being rather vague when saying just -what- an other-planer creature -is-.

i suspect there will be quite a few questions or complaints, so start throwing them my way and we will figure out whether this particular idea even works at all.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
wtl at 10:36AM, March 10, 2010
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Works for me.
I apologize for my avatar.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
kalliikak at 2:13PM, March 10, 2010
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alright then, i'm not gonna develop the creation myth any further right now, we'll just call this the “actual” creation, sort of keep in the background of any magic or god-type we create. variations of this myth might be passed down by the different cultures of the world (or myths that have nothing at all to do with this one). just so long as the magics work with this creation myth, it doesn't matter what the people planet-side believe.

currently i'm working on the casel-clem culture writeup. hope to have that in a day or two.

seriously though? no questions? that explanation was actually thorough enough? lol.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM

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