taieli

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taieli

Postby Kappa » Sun Aug 27, 2017 3:45 pm

So once upon a time there was a magic system called taieli. It was originally genetically inherited. However, here are two interesting facts about this magic system: (1) you can use it to invent new ways to give it to people, (2) the total amount of functional-way-to-give-someone-this-magic is constant across all of the ways, and so the more ways you invent, the less effective they all become.

By the time the relevant community noticed this was happening, they had already rendered genetic inheritance completely nonfunctional as a method, and all they had was a very large pile of vague and unreliable transmission methods, each of which might stop working at any moment as people continued inventing more.

This was something of a problem.

So they all pulled together and put years of work into constructing a One True Way To Give People Taieli, and they poured immense amounts of magic into making sure that it would definitely pick up all of the available functional-way-to-give-someone-this-magic and definitely keep all of it forever and ever no takebacks and definitely never stop working and definitely work exactly how they wanted it to.

The method they ended up with was the taieli monument, which looks like this.

It is indestructible. All the stars in its universe have burned out and most of the planets have crumbled to dust, which is why you can't see anything out the windows, but the monument is still there and still works just fine. Luckily for visitors, it has no trouble providing a habitable environment for anyone who enters it. Just don't walk out the door into the totally inhospitable void.

If you go into it, it will offer to evaluate you; evaluating you involves you spending nine local days inside the monument, alone, with all your bodily needs suspended, communicating with the monument. It might ask prying personal questions or show you strange visions. If you don't know how taieli works, it will teach you; if you don't speak the language spoken by its creators, it will magically give you fluency in that language while you aren't looking.

All of you has to be inside the monument before evaluation can begin; if you don't fit, you can't be evaluated until somebody builds a bigger one. (Only the first monument is indestructible, but more monuments can be built and they'll work as long as they follow the specifications closely enough.) This means that e.g. people with a lot of forks, or a distributed consciousness, or a metaphysical identity-link with a big chunk of landscape, might have trouble qualifying for evaluation. But the monument is very large - here it is with a humanoid figure for scale.

If you pass the evaluation, you come out of it with the ability to use taieli. (A taieli-user is called an atailora, plural atailoran.) If you fail, you can come back and try again later.

The magic system itself is based around nine ainelin - 'aineli' translates as something like 'aspect' or 'element' or 'force' or 'field' or 'domain'. The list is as follows:
  • naharr: Chaos - transformation, change, formless, random, catchall element; always acts at least a little unpredictably when used
  • epru: Void - destruction, erasure, absence, vacuum, cold/dark/still/quiet, draining; very good at erasing things, no help at all with putting them back if you change your mind
  • ileyi: Sun - creation, beginning, heat/light/motion/noise; can be used for conjuration and an easy supply of unlimited energy, but you may find yourself with more energy than you were prepared to handle
  • rilte: Moon - reflection, connection, copying, continuing, innovation; good for making minor alterations or producing copies of something
  • poai: Life - organic, biological, self-sustaining, self-replicating; good for bioengineering, but tends to be messy in the ways that life is messy, e.g. producing unexpected results
  • kiina: Heart - volition, vitality, agency, identity, essence; really good for unfalsifiable identity checks, but if you imbue something with agency and identity and it goes on to disobey you you have nothing to blame but yourself, and of course there are obvious ethical issues to creating sapient life
  • beshenn: Ward - protection, permanence, structure, stability; really good at making things permanent and static and durable, no help at all if you decide that on second thought you didn't actually want that thing to be stuck exactly like that
  • tsaer: Edge - boundaries, separation, liminal, thresholds, ending; good for separating things that were connected and connecting things that were separated, excellent at forcefield-like effects that involve defining a space and deciding what may pass in and out of it
  • soryo: Tide - erosion/formation, slow change, cycles, balances; good if you want to set up a long-running stable cycle, but that cycle is going to be very stable and long-running so you'd better be sure of what you want before you finalize

In addition to the ability to do magic to things using the ainelin, every atailora also has a Sense. This is a specific, personalized magical power, always sensory/informational in nature - you can't affect things with it, only perceive things. It could be very very useful, or nearly useless, but it's always something that suits you in particular. It is impossible to perfectly predict in advance what you'll get for your Sense, although if you know yourself well enough you might be able to guess.

(Example Senses so far include 'ability to perceive and understand the functionality of complex systems nearby, whether mechanical or magical', 'ability to perceive all mass within an approximately astronomical range', and 'ability to examine in detail all the properties of yourself and anything you touch'. Those are on the high end of usefulness.)

Taieli also has a range limit: there are approximately six range levels, which you progress through as you practice magic.
  1. Touch - objects you are currently touching
  2. Arm's length - does not strictly depend on, but can usually be estimated at, what things you could reach out and touch without moving around much
  3. Stone's throw - does not strictly depend on, but can usually be estimated at, what things you could reliably hit with a thrown object from where you are
  4. Line of sight - does not strictly depend on, but can usually be estimated at, what things you could see from where you are if you were looking at them
  5. Any familiar location or object - things you are personally familiar with
  6. Any specified location or object - things described to you in enough detail to pick them out

The range levels are cumulative; if you're touching something but can't see it, and your range level is line-of-sight, you're fine. But the final range level is also a hard limit on the system: you have to have the target of your magic specified in your own mind well enough to distinguish it from other things it might be confused with, or you can't work magic on it.
Last edited by Kappa on Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:00 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: taieli

Postby DanielH » Sun Aug 27, 2017 5:58 pm

Can a Materian nymph fit into the existing monument?

I am surprised by you including “forks” in the category of why somebody might be too big; most forks in glowfic are not mergeable and are effectively separate people with a shared history.

IIRC, some threads involve somebody magically appearing inside the monument without warning. Is that an unrelated phenomenon, or is the monument grabbing people, or what?
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Re: taieli

Postby Kappa » Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:12 pm

A Materian nymph would have to bring their field along.

Forks are an edge case that might be interpreted either way depending on context. You're not <em>definitely</em> in trouble if you have a lot of forks, but e.g. if you're in the habit of forking-and-merging a lot and there are currently ten of you...

The monument cannot grab people and has no particular interest in doing so even if it could. You can assume that people who randomly appear there were transported by unrelated phenomena.
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Re: taieli

Postby DanielH » Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:06 pm

I was asking about scale with the first question; can it hold a typical nymph field? I assume fields vary, but Celo’s garden was almost as big as the castle in the Enchanted Forest, and I assume that’s on the small end.

That makes sense about the forking. My default model for that is similar to the one for space elves in Silmaril, and I would be surprised if any of them had trouble just because there were other forks of them elsewhere.
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Re: taieli

Postby Kappa » Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:20 pm

Ah. No, most nymph fields would not fit in the original monument.
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