[02:34] <@David-Visage> I was pondering this for a fantasy world where magic, and the supernatural, are different than you might expect. Magic here is, to be blunt, too large to naturally dwell in something as small and fragile as a human being. How can the currents of mana settle themselves into order, without assistance, in such a tiny frame which lasts such a brief time?

[02:36] <@David-Visage> Items of magic, ancient swords or jewels especially, can be crafted over generation through the proper methods and at the right locations. Made through careful gathering of suitable materials, put together, then left to 'bask' in the right location. Creatures of size and longevity, such as dragons on the ancient giants and ogres, have magic of their own but those are magic of what they -are- rather than what they do.

[02:37] <@David-Visage> Even then a dragon needs to set up a lair and coax the currents of the land to help them grow stronger or to, through long and careful effort, hatch a dragon's egg.

[02:37] * Ditto hms.

[02:37] So magic is less about items, more about architecture, landscaping, and playing the long game.

[02:38] <@David-Visage> In theory, yes. At the most basic level that's the way that anyone, and anything, can do magic. Once something -is- magical then you can end up using it in useful ways. You've 'wired it in' so to speak.

[02:38] * Ditto nods.

[02:41] <@David-Visage> However, dragons and giants may be powerful but they are not the Powers which exist above, beyond, and sometimes behind the kingdoms of men. In certain places chance configurations long ago sparked something new, compressing the flows until they infused an area with life and magic of its own.

[02:42] Genius loci of a sort?

[02:42] * @David-Visage nods, "At the most basic, and limited, level this might be a single magical grove in a forest which unthinkingly births lesser magical creatures like willow-whisp or a rare unicorn. A part of a swamp which takes those placed into it and remakes them into the twisted goblins which worship it."

[02:44] <@David-Visage> There are even more powerful, and generally ancient, things which had used their magic to reshape both themselves and the lands about them in order to become more powerful. There is the primeveal Ardent Forest, a huge expanse of plants and trees which are not seen anywhere else in the worlds. The Standing Stones, three mountain peaks long since formed into sheer sided monoliths of mindboggling size. The Swirling Desert where the sands shift in arcane patterns…

[02:44] <@David-Visage> These are, by those who know of them, refered to as 'Gods'.

[02:46] * Ditto grins.

[02:47] <@David-Visage> Huge things they have difficulties in interacting with the flickering minds which are humans. They need intermediatries to help interact with those small, but potentially dangerous things, and have much to offer in return. They accept, lure in, or otherwise wait for a suitable human then delicately change them, a process which most can not manage without cooperation or special circumstance. The gods can bestow a 'blessing' so that this one can feel, or know, its desires while also weilding a permitted sliver of the magic of the god itself.

[02:47] <@David-Visage> People call these individuals many things. Priest. Oracle. Wiseman. Magician…

[02:48] * @David-Visage pauses.

[02:49] Avatar, Incarnate, Shaman, Channeler…

[02:50] * @David-Visage nods, "Technically, they can't do magic themselves. However they -are- a walking link for the god who, when prompted and not irritated by the magician, can do the magic and project it through them. In practical terms though this -is- them invoking magic."

[02:51] * Ditto nods. "Power tends to come from higher entities."

[02:52] <@David-Visage> Assuming that you're vaguely doing what it wants, this works fine and nothing more. It is possible for the God to directly reach through one of its magicians and do something directly. But that is… unhealthy for the magician in body and mind.

[02:53] <@David-Visage> In a 'ancient god-being just brushed aside my soul to puppet my body… better hope it remembered that whole breathing thing' way.

[02:54] * Ditto nods. "Very 'fire on the deep' sense of things."

[02:55] <@David-Visage> The lesser 'gods' can have a magician, but they tend to have less to offer and harder to get the attention of. The greater gods have almost standardised methods, hard to accidentally perform sets of actions which call its attention, when someone is to become one of its chosen. If they have enough then this attention can be… bad.

[02:55] * @David-Visage eyes the three mentioned gods.

[02:56] <@David-Visage> They can also sometimes be choosy, fickle, or just make further changes.

[02:58] * Ditto nods. "Or just plain alien."

[02:58] <@David-Visage> I have ideas for each of the mentioned three. Which would you prefer to hear about?

[03:00] * Drunkfu looks over at Tsu_zzz

[03:00] The Stones sound pretty epic…

[03:03] <@David-Visage> Around the base of the Standing Stones are a series of tunnels which extend down into the bedrock below. These are twisting things, hard to trace or return to a particular cave, but with an ever present sense of 'inward' and 'outward'. If you travel, alone and barefoot, far enough into the tunnels then eventually you will find yourself at a small dead end with oddly shaped pieces of rubble littering the floor.

[03:05] <@David-Visage> A careful person, a patient person, could begin assembling the rubble. Could place the right places together and find that they fuse seamlessly together when the right peices are found. They could discover that these peices can also be fused with the narrowest point of the dead end, slowly forming a wall if you would so wish. And, if you continued, you could wall yourself inside this place…

[03:06] <@David-Visage> You could seal yourself inside the Stones themselves and, in the darkness, slowly feel the Stones weight pressing down on your mind as you are judged and examined.

[03:08] Eep.

[03:08] <@David-Visage> Those who are judged well will find their thoughts being pulled from them and their wandering mind shown many things in the darkness. Stone is their freind, their ally, their patron, and exactly three days after the last stone was seal in place they step out of the solid face of one of the stones.

[03:10] <@David-Visage> Somewhere on their body, perhaps as a piercing or perhaps just sealed around a finger behind the joint or around their wrist, they will have a band of stone. They'll also probably shiver a lot as it's -cold- and that sign of favor is the only thing they'll have on.

[03:11] * @David-Visage murmurs, "The Stones are concidered one of the -friendlier- greater gods."

[03:11] * Ditto grins.

[03:13] <@David-Visage> How to actually use/invoke magic needs to be learnt but there are some basics imprinted. As a minor gift they always know where they are relative to both the ground level and the Stones.

[03:13] * Ditto hms.

[03:14] <@David-Visage> Hmm?

[03:15] What kind of requests and conditions do the Stones make/offer?

[03:19] <@David-Visage> Relatively few. There are some concerning the surrounding geomancy (which can extend a pretty long way), but it seems as if it enjoys 'watching' its magicians and travelling around (especially to distant places) is good.

[03:20] * Ditto grins. "Great. I'm a tourist-by-proxy."

[03:21] <@David-Visage> It's better than the Swirling Sands. Which is basically 'fed' people to act as its oracles and to keep it happy.

[03:21] Fed? ^_^;

[03:23] <@David-Visage> To become an oracle of the Swirling Sands is a more elaborate than the Stones. This was -specifically- made more elaborate at the repeated request of the tribes which live around or partially upon it and those kingdoms which had boardered the desert. It took them several centuries, and much effort, but it was concidered worth it.

[03:23] * Ditto listens.

[03:27] <@David-Visage> Currently it requires that the would-be oracle be youthful, attractive, and in good health. They are buried (typically bound up as well) up to their neck in the sands before dawn. The requirements say that blood and wine must be spilled on the sands around them, that fires must be lit, and that music and dance performed. This generally takes the form of a celebration or party.

[03:27] <@David-Visage> But not a drop of liquid nor a fleck of food must pass the lips of the would-be oracle.

[03:29] <@David-Visage> After two nights of such activities the oracle must be left like that for the entirity of the third day such that no other person can see them for that time. Despite how they feel, the sands hve already begun to sustain them and while they -feel- the heat, cold, hunger and terrible thirst they can not actually pass out or die from them.

[03:29] * Ditto winces.

[03:31] <@David-Visage> The Sand… show them things and gently swirl around them beneath the surface. Teasing, scraping, and touching every part of them body even as they -See- so much. When the celebrants return at night they can address the Sands through the oracle, asking questions of of the past, present, and some about the future, until the next dawn when the ritual is complete.

[03:32] And at that point?

[03:33] <@David-Visage> The unfortunate person is a full oracle and can be dug up. They cannot come to harm through exposure or deprivation while in the desert, cannot deliberately bring themselves to harm if there is another choice, and can See swirling visions and Hear the whispers of future days.

[03:34] But…?

[03:36] * @David-Visage smiles faintly, "But?"

[03:36] <@David-Visage> They do tend to be a little… unstable after that.

[03:36] I get the impression there's more to it than enviromnental immunity and longsight, that's all.

[03:37] After all, it is one of your ideas.

[03:39] <@David-Visage> But you've paid the price. That horrible unending thirst, seeing those things, watching the celebrations in front of you. It isn't as if you'll be compelled to re-enact it at least every year and a day. Have fun with your visions too.

[03:39] hee.

[03:41] <@David-Visage> Before the 'arrangements' were made, the Sands tended to grab people until it had enough oracles. Usually someone partially buried, but other occasions it was just someone on the sands.

[03:41] Ahhh.

[03:41] hence the ritual. Makes things more convenient.

[03:42] * @David-Visage nods.

[03:43] <@David-Visage> Although Bad Things happen if the ritual is disrupted. Don't feed or give water to the buried oracle. -Really- don't. No matter how much they beg or what they promise.

[03:43] * Ditto nods.

[03:44] Party foul? ^_^

[03:45] <@David-Visage> Well, the term 'sudden application of a sandblaster' could be concider an understatement.

[03:45] Eeeesh. Point taken.

[03:47] <@David-Visage> It has been known to be 'forgiving'. In which case the buried oracle dies, along with one in ten of the people there, right before the one who broke the rule finds themself buried up to their neck…

[03:47] * Ditto grins.

[03:48] * @David-Visage looks to Trusting and Polk, "Any comments?"

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[03:51] * @David-Visage eyes Tsu.

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[03:52] Guest is guest

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[03:55] sorry David was afk in ch1 rping with polk

[03:57] <@David-Visage> No problem.

[03:57] we got in a good block of RP but gimmie a sec to back scroll

[04:08] hmmm having red a bit I think id prefer to be the queen of that earlier kingdom then a oracle of the desert

[04:10] Ehhh…

[04:10] * @David-Visage murmurs, "The 'druids' of the Arden Forest are, in their own way, even more fun…"

[04:10] Ooooh, you forgot to tell us about the forest.

[04:11] * @David-Visage eyes the time, "Mind if I leave that until tomorrow?"

[04:12] * @David-Visage does need to be up in a few hours…

[04:12] okies , but just this once

[04:13] hehe, fine by me.