[alchemic metals thing] (needs setting name)

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[alchemic metals thing] (needs setting name)

Postby Kappa » Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:44 am

Once upon a time I played a lot of Opus Magnum and then got really interested in the alchemic metals. I didn't draw on the game for anything else, but I did get inspired to reorganize an unrelated world-in-progress around the metallic hierarchy.

Originally, this world was going to be primarily about Interestingly Organized Varieties Of Dragons. However, dragons are strangely absent from the final product, having appeared in-thread only as unsubstantiated historical rumours, and I have no idea how they fit into the world. What I do have on the magic system is this:

  • Gold: associated with the sun, the colour yellow, the gems sunstone and citrine, and the elements of light and life.
  • Silver: associated with the moon, the colour blue, the gems moonstone and sapphire, and the elements of water and healing.
  • Copper: associated with the Dawn Star, the colour orange, the gems garnet and topaz, and the elements of lightning and mind.
  • Iron: associated with the Blood Star, the colour red, the gems carnelian and ruby, and the elements of fire and ice.
  • Tin: associated with the Crown Star, the colour green, the gems jade and emerald, and the elements of earth and poison.
  • Lead: associated with the Dark Star, the colour black, the gems obsidian and onyx, and the elements of shadow and death.
  • Mercury: associated with the Quiet Star, the colour white, the gems pearl and diamond, and the elements of air and song.

(The five Stars named here are the local equivalents of Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mercury, respectively. I haven't yet decided whether this world is an Earth; if it is, those are the literal planets, whereas if not they are merely thematically similar. If I end up going with a non-planetary cosmology for the world, they might not even be planets at all.)

So that's the chart of the elements. There are also a number of different magical disciplines in the world besides direct elemental manipulation. Those are as follows:

  • Alchemy: the art and science of combining mundane objects and substances to produce potentially magical results. The practice of alchemy is looked down on by the magical academic establishment for historical reasons I have yet to fully explore.
  • Ritual magic: The source of nearly all magical artifacts, or other persistent magical effects not sustained by someone's ongoing personal attention, in the world. A magical ritual may incorporate other forms of magic, such as a healing artifact being created with the use of elemental healing, but some things can also be accomplished by ritual alone. Ritual magic is incredibly complicated and difficult to learn, which is why the magical academic establishment exists and has as much power as it does.
  • Vanishing: Includes tricks such as spacefolding, pocket-dimensional storage, teleportation, and 'conjuration' which is really duplication of preexisting objects or substances. Like elemental manipulation, it's more often than not a very fast and immediate form of magic to work, but like ritual magic it's capable of producing persistent effects, including portals, objects bigger on the inside than the outside, and pocket dimensions that can store items seemingly frozen in time for arbitrary intervals. The magical academic establishment looks down on vanishing somewhat because it has a gentler learning curve than ritual magic and so is more accessible to people outside the magical academic establishment.

Someone who has been formally educated in ritual magic and the other disciplines taught by the magical academic establishment is called a wizard. Someone who has no formal magical education, but has nevertheless learned some elemental manipulation and sometimes a few simple rituals and occasionally a bit of vanishment, is known as a hedgewizard or hedgewitch. (There is no feminine term for a properly accredited wizard because the magical academic establishment is very sexist.)

For historical reasons involving the fact that most of the things you can do with them are pretty sketchy, the use of the elements death and mind collectively falls under the umbrella of "necromancy", and it's borderline illegal in most jurisdictions to study them even in the abstract; actually attempting to use them is generally outright forbidden. Some people also consider poison a necromantic element, but for the most part even necromancers don't bother with poison, because it has such a reputation for uselessness that no one else has ever bothered with it either and so there are no interesting things to discover about it in ancient forbidden texts.

For historical reasons involving status games among long-dead wizards, even though there is an entire element for healing and it is in fact better at healing than any other form of magic, most magical healing is accomplished using the element of life.

Most of the elaboration on the basic framework of this world that I've done since I came up with it has been accomplished by getting someone to ask the local alt of my Trickster template to talk about how magic works. I could probably fill in some more of the gaps by threading him some more.
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