Knowledge Arcana 5 ranks
==== Nature of Magic ==== [Famous lecture by the great instructor Citizen Galidor. Updated slightly it has become a standard introductory text.]
At it’s most basic magic is nothing more than the “burning” of mana. Similar to how one may burn wood to generate light and heat. Except the effects of burning mana aren’t limited to simple heat and light. They are in fact quite infinite and outstanding.
There are innumerable ways in which to classify mana and it’s applications. Today I will discuss the three primary methods utilized to harness mana; Channeling, Essence, Mentalism.
Channeling describes the act of being a conduit for mana from some source. Whether this source is divine or not I shall leave to fools to argue over. Most channelists conduct raw mana. Raw mana can be nice to have but is volatile and not terribly useful until manipulated. So, in addition to learning how to access their particular “source” channelists must also learn the basics of mana manipulation similar to how an essence caster would. What, you may ask, does Channeling offer over Essence? Other than dispensing with the tedium of mastering the means to release mana, arguably the hardest part of Essence, channelists conduct huge amounts of mana and also have access to raw mana types that are normally very rare.(2)
Essence is the process of releasing mana inherent in certain materials, objects, beings and the manipulation of that free mana into useful forms through formula, ritual, or sheer force of will. The methods are complicated and exhausting restricting the frequency and amount of mana that is so utilized. Despite this the only limits to the efficacy of Essence are mana availability and ability to control it when unleashed. Although, a few see lack of control as a legitimate technique(1). Mental and physical barriers may be burst by several essencists working together over longer periods. Patience and teamwork are not only virtues they are also paths to supreme power.
Mentalism(3) is the activation of mana without releasing or manipulating it. Quite a feat indeed! Underestimate mentalists at your peril. I can only dream of direct activation. Instead, I’m stuck with hours of study and gathering enough dragon’s blood(4) to bath three. Rather than those torments mentalists incite mana to directly produce causeless effects. Mentalists themselves are sources of mana, continuously generating minuscule amounts. Even full, their pool of personal mana is insufficient for even a simple cantrip. But, without small portions of this self-generated mana they are incapable of delivering the “instructions” that motivates significant amounts of mana in the environment to do their bidding.
I refer, of course, to wild mages. A likable group I recommend you stay well clear of.
Such as positive or ‘white’ mana. So often used for channelists signature ability, healing.
[Ed, Over the years, as various theories have gained popularity or are discredited sorcery and other “force of will” magic have been placed under Mentalism rather than Essence or Channeling. Some have even pompously seen fit to revise the Great Galidor’s definition of Mentalism. To this day there is no consensus.]
Dragon’s blood being a rather concentrated mana source that is easily manipulated. [Ed, no doubt the reason dragons have become so rare in modern times.]
==== Nature of Matter ====
Pure matter has three forms; solid, liquid, and gas. It is agreed(1) that all matter may attain any of these forms. Although most matters have a “common” form that it is likely to be in. Through application of energy either mundane or magical the form of matter may be changed(2). Most matter can be transformed by heat and cold. Other energies such as acid, electricity, negative, positive also cause certain matters to change forms, often in novel ways.
Most of what we see and use is not pure matter. Rather most substances are in fact mixtures of various pure matters. From the simple bronze(copper, tin) to the unfathomably complex plants, trees, even you and me. The very air you now breath is composed of several invisible gases and water in the gas form(3). As alluded to, metals are common pure matters. Iron, tin, copper, silver, gold, admantium, mithril. All are important matters. [Ed, many scholars continue to insist water is a pure matter but they are idiots. The electrical experiments conducted by Varwedae Silverskin of Philopolis Tricademy clearly prove it is a mixture of two or more gases. Explosive gases, sadly, as we all know. Varwedae, may Myri allow you peace.]
Many score of matters have been identified, yet there most be many more awaiting discovery. This is an important research subject I encourage all of you to spend time on. Pure matter greatly simpliflies the extraction, manipulation and storage of mana. Your efforts in its study will be returned thrice-fold.
But not proven.
Water is an excellent example; its common state is liquid, apply heat and it becomes a gas, apply different energy say Ray of Cold and it becomes a solid.
Gas form water is the true nature of clouds.
==== The Powers That Be ==== [note on ages: elves only live for 2-300 years, Pelosian humans live half that.]
List of the most powerful known essencists and a few notable mentalists.
Melinar of Pelos/Galidor the Great: Elf male, 600+yr, Empire Citizen. The oldest and probably most powerful arcanist, perhaps ever. Formerly known as Galidor. No one is sure why he changed his name. In later life he achieved his long held goal of melding Mentalism into his outstanding Essence base. In the past he has been an instructor at several tricademies and served as First Instructor of Philopolis for many years. In 777 Melinar finished construction of a tremendous tower. It is located at end of Great Road were it drops into the channel between Theops and the Corcyra Seas. Since about 820 little has been heard from him and visitors to his tower are not welcome.
Zenobia the Evoker: Hu female, unknown(over 100), Republic Citizen. Second only to Melinar, certainly a more formidable evoker as it is her specialty. Her power and abilities were first noticed during the 2nd Kjore war. Zenobia has been a Senator many times. Occasionally lectures at the Amphipolis Tricademy. Twenty-seven years ago the current Aegis(1) retired and Zenobia was elected to take his place. A position she has and continues to use for lobbying the Senate to expand military funding. Well respected and liked by the population especially citizens, less so by senator’s and families not heavily invested in military businesses.
Vervigis: Hu male, 2-300yr, Empire Citizen. Clearly the most talented transmuter, perhaps ever. Infamous for the many labs, retreats, towers and “zones” he has left scattered around the world. When he was young, Vervigis would find a desolate location at which to conduct experiments and research until one backfired. He would then move on to a new location. Although, he stopped this practice years ago his “leftovers” are still being found. Typically dangerous (he did have to leave) and often lucrative (he often had to leave in a hurry and Vervigis cares little for the trinkets of his youth. So more often than not finder’s keepers) But beware, selling “Map to Vervigis’ Lab” is a common scam. Vervigis has had brief stints as a tricademy instructor but found the structure, “staticness”, and rules against experimenting on students tiresome. He currently, as always, travels extensively rarely staying long in one area. He has many properties through out The Empire, Republic and beyond.
Davimus the Denyer: Human male, 60, Darsian. Davimus earned his name through his mastery of abjuration. He started life as a rogue unburdening wealthy Darsians of their valuables. That ended when Sextus Reginus caught him prowling about his uptown mansion. Sextus recognized his arcane potential and made an offer to Davimus, become his apprentice or become his next sculpture. He has since surpassed his master. Last known to have left Beroea Province on road to Sunesh in 1023.
Hippon Iosis: Elf male, 100, Empire non-citizen. As much as other members of this list are scholarly and academic Hippon and his twin sister are the opposite. Each is a powerful wild mentalist. They have recently manifested unique powers. Hippon’s are related to heat/fire. “The Twins” are always together and typically leave a trail of chaos in their wake. Balancing on the edge of legality. Their powerful and connected family(2) handles matters when they slip.
Haidee Iosis: Elf female, 100, Empire non-citizen. See Hippon, her twin, for details. Haidee’s new powers are cold/ice based.
Sextus Reginus: Human male, 80, Darsian. A sorcerer past his prime, but what a prime it was. He gained fortune and fame by exploring and surviving(important 2nd part most forget) Ancient ruins in and around the Wildlands. A master counterspeller, it is claimed no spell landed on him that he did not desire. For years casters of all sorts would challenge Sextus for besting the unbeatable Sextus Reginus was sure way to fame. None of those brash fools live today. He never cared for mundane matters such as politics. He was happy to be alive, enjoy life, and train not a few apprentices. He has sold most of his possessions and properties, retiring to his first abode, a tower in old town Darsis.
Pelandar: Elf male, 120, Empire non-citizen. A dual specialist psychoportaionist/evoker he is strongest in Mentalism. Pelandar is a recluse living high in Cabalia mountains, far from any settlement. His abode there is rumored to be the entrance to an underground Eldar ruin. Pelandar is enough of an evoker to deter those who wish to determine the validity of this rumor.
Nilus: Half-elf male, , . A talented Egoist, he was troubled with the inadequacies of corporealness and became obsessed with transcendence. Nilus fervently pursued any knowledge that promised to aide this goal. Very few of his peers believed transcendence was anything but hogwash until 998. The year Nilus became a being of pure thought. He left his body in the great lecture hall of Philopolis Tricademy for the doubters to dispose of. He incorporated frequently for first few years meeting with friends, giving lectures, etc. But the time between his “visits” has slowly increased. Where he goes or in fact exactly were he is when he’s not here is tortuous discussion few can grasp.
Lunarasae Slystrider: Gnome ??, 60, Oakbrook Forest Gnome Clan. A master illusionist Lunarasae has changed gender and appearance so often that saying exactly what s/he is, is rather academic. She (Lunarasae is a female name) assures everyone she is a gnome and the Oakbrook Clan proudly claims her as a member. She has stated her age to be 60ish since at least 982 and from appearances she has looked it since then. She has a residence in Oakbrook lands and is often reported being there. Although, it is her nature to be hard to find. Many a petitioner has spent months in Oakbrook waiting for Lunarasae to reveal herself. Housing and entertaining these folk have become a profitable business for the Oakbrook gnomes.
Astera: Elf female, 265, Republic Citizen. A kinetisist, she has spent all of her long life in Tricademie. She is currently 1st Mentalism adviser of Amphipolis Tricademy. She has a reputation for cruelty and harshness. But her former students are some of the best mentalists and she is the best overall Mentalism adviser available.
Talos Atokos: Half-elf male, 110, Republic Citizen. 1st of Symi Tricademy. His specialty is Mentalism artifacts, of which he is the greatest craftsman alive. Other than that he is a stuffy academic who is not very well known.
Katina of Symi: Elf female, 90, Republic Citizen. A seer(mentalist) she has chosen to perfect her craft by living amongst priestess of Airlan Synarion in their temple complex on Etebos Island. She is not yet insane. Katina travels occasionally to the Symi Tricademy where she is an honorary mentor to lecture and share her Mentalism discoveries.
Sabas Swordtongue: Elf male, 190, Empire Citizen. Renowned conjurer and priest of The Nine, Sabas has given up arcane research for politics. He has been very successful holding all important posts and was elected 1st Clerk of The Empire in 1020(3). He has been very successful in politics gaining support from priests, tricademie, and military. Sabas is a fairly unstoppable (mundane)power.
Polymede of Tarsi: Half-elf female, 50, Empire Citizen(former). Derisively known as Mind-twister. She is not all that powerful but is the most skilled enchanter known and scandalously infamous. She enthralled the entire Tarsi Council, numerous other city and military leaders and was living like a Sunesh King. In 1017 her schemes were uncovered and she fled with a not small portion of the city treasury, was captured twice, escaped both times(she still had many “friends”), and is currently in the Wildlands. Spending her time manipulating various local warlords. She is rumored to occasionally visit Darsis. There was a substantial reward for returning her to face trial in Tarsi. But it has been withdrawn as those who left to seek it, returned lobbying for Polymede’s name to be inscribed as a hero on the city’s stela, nominating her for town council, petitioning for Polymede’s complete pardon, etc. The petition actually got a referendom and 23% of Tarsians voted in favor. Enchantment has been stricken from the Tarsi Tricademy curriculum.
Aegis: Protector, essentially the highest rank in Pelos military. Technicaly the High Council and, of course, the Senate are superior. The Aegis is a “field” command meant to take charge and make the choices that can paralyze the normal three person councils and military hierarchy.
Iosis family, dominate business and politics on Ios island. They also own farm land throughout the Athe valley on the mainland.
Clerk of The Empire: The clerks handle day to day operations and importantly wording of referendums and when they are called. The 1st Clerk is close to a modern day Head of State.
==== Tricademie ==== Tricademy (s), Tricademie (p)
Tricademie were originally charted to conduct research and instruction on the three colleges of magic Channeling, Essence, Mentalism. They have evolved to become general repositories of knowledge and training centers for all the Sciences, Arts, and Philosophies.
== Athe == Located along the Athe river in Pelos Empire. It is dominated by the Iosis family. Notable for it’s martial training. Nearly all great military leaders of The Empire and even a few of The Republic’s have been instructed here at one time or another.
== Beroea == The smallest and newest Tricademy, chartered in 881. It is located in The Empire colony of Beroea on the Southern Continent. It has rapidly earned a reputation for Conjuration, Animal & Nature magic. The influx of new concepts, methods, and materials from the local Ka’im shamans and hedge wizards while primitive, obviously have sparked a great deal of innovative research.
== Pelkidgora == Was/is located on the Lost Isle. Many great instructors of this Tricademy perished fighting Kjore. At the time no sane person imagined the entire isle could be lost. So, little attempt was made to preserve the knowledge and artifacts held here until it was too late. The few attempts at salvage made in later years all ended in failure.
== Skyros == Located outside of Psili on Skyros island, Empire. It was chartered to continue the Pelkidgora Tricademy tradition. Although well-funded it has never really been popular, failing to attract quality instructors and students. It does, due to it’s proximity to the Lost Isle hold and conduct the best research on Kjore, Demonolgy, Transmutation, and other distasteful subjects.
== Symi == A smallish complex, it is located on, in, and around a small island off of Symi in The Republic. It’s known for hydro magic and research. Of late it has gained notice for divination. Completely due to Katina’s novel research.
== Tarsi == Large campus dispersed throughout Tarsi and it’s vicinity, Empire. It claims to be the 2nd oldest Tricademy, a claim contested by Amphipolis. It does admit the highest percentage of foreign students mostly from Darsis and the Wildlands but in past years it was common to see the sons and daughters of Sunnesh priests attending lectures. And so has accumulated the largest store of non-Pelosian knowledge anywhere. Other than that it is not particularly noted for any specific focus. Although, those seeking advanced enchantment instruction would be wise to look elsewhere.
== The Tricademy == Located in, Philopolis, the capital of the Pelos Empire, it is the first and most prestigious Tricademie (as least in The Empire). The largest concentration of magical and intellectual talent in existence. Innumerable famed instructors have lectured here. It’s prestige has, sadly, led to a downturn in the quality of students as more and more families pay for their less-than talented youths attend for no reason other than to can claim they have.
== Tricademy of the Republic == Locted in the Amphipolis, capital of the Pelos Republic. Although smaller than Philopolis it is deemed a superior institution esp in regards to Mentalism and evocation. Mostly due to presence of Astera and Zenobia as instructors/lecturers. But the quality of every other field is top notch and approached with the seriousness and dedication typical of republicans and so lacking in the empire of today.