Essence Gathering and Storage Devices

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2 months 3 weeks ago #69380 by Erianaiel
Erianaiel replied the topic: Essence Gathering and Storage Devices

Sir Lee wrote: Not an expert here, but from what has been said in canon over the years it is everywhere on Earth, but not spread uniformly. There is the issue of "ley lines," which are described in slightly contradictory ways.

One one hand, ley lines are said to be everywhere and there are techniques like Feng Shui for manipulating them in order to achieve results.

On the other hand, there are places that are said to be "confluences" of ley lines which are particularly propitious to magic.

The way I see it, there are two ways to read it. One is that not all ley lines are created equal. They are everywhere, true, but some are stronger than others.

The other is that ley lines are a bit like magnetic flux lines, or perhaps sea currents -- there are places where it's strong and places where it's weak, and you can deflect and distort them, but they aren't actually discrete lines, more like a continuous flow that can be represented as lines.


Not directly relevant to the Whateley Universe but I always liked the system that Mercedes Lackey set up for her Valdemar series.
You have the hedge wizards and witches who can only use their personal power. Not much raw power, but it is subtle and will not have a noticeable impact. And weak power does not mean ineffectual power. The rules of magical judo apply. Get the more powerful wizard to overextend and a small amount of power can topple them.

One step up from that are the journeymen wizards who can draw on the ambient power that is everywhere. They have more power to work with but their magic leaves a more noticeable footprint as the ambient magic around them is drained and needs time to replenish, harming the plants and animals living in that area as they are drained of some of the force that gives them life.

The ambient magic is drawn into leylines but it takes a master level mage to safely draw from that source and not burn up. Much more power can be drawn from that source but it has a much wider effect on the environment as well. Mages can tell when another taps a ley line for greater magic and it will likely disrupt weather patterns for a time or cause blights in otherwise fertile areas. Depending on how much ambient magic there is and how much of it flows into the lay line they may be too strong for a single master level mage to safely tap into.

Ley lines 'flow' and meet in Nodes. There are one or a few outgoing ley lines as well, to relieve magical pressure but most of the magic in these nodes 'evaporates' and gets recycled through all living things into the ambient magic. It takes a rare adept level mage to be able to, cautiously, tap into a Node, as they are the equivalent of raging waterfall. A lot of power cycles through a node at any given moment and it takes a rare mage who can shield against that torrent and take only the little bit that a mage can safely handle without quite literally and spectacularly burning up.
And that is the quiescent Nodes. Most of them are way too strong to shield against or flare unpredicatbly. Those nodes can only be approached by a group of adepts who each spend most of their energy and concentration shielding against the flares and a small part to syphon off the power for a major spell. Tapping into nodes is extremely noticeable as they affect the ambient magic for hundreds of miles around them. The extreme weather and failed harvests are hard to miss.

There's also the oddball magic sources like blood and death magic, or Heartstones (which are artificial nodes that have no natural outlet but instead channel all that power out through a (large) number of preset spells.
In Whateley terms World Trees fall in this category: magical regulators for an entire continent ...

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2 months 3 weeks ago #69388 by Softdreams
Softdreams replied the topic: Essence Gathering and Storage Devices
Using "tainted" Essence to power spells of its type for efficiency makes a lot of sense. Thing is, what sort of oh-so-great effect would a Mage want to achieve to go through the trouble of obtaining or even risk using these Essence types?

Could emotions work as/be made into Essence? Or acts such as dancing, singing etc... My curiosity on this particular topic was sparked by the use of Carmilla's lust Essence in certain stories, although as a supernatural being her natural production of Essence makes sense. We saw the Three Little Witches rip off some Essence from Hellfire Sheba so apparently spirits/supernatural beings can be used as Essence batteries.
Familiars - depends on the familiar.
Could this be expanded upon?
Tying one into a paricular 'flavour' of essence would be more efficient IF you can leave it next to a strong source. So a fire item would benefit from being next to a volcano, yes, but only while its there.
I assume this confirms my question about the possibility of obtaining certain Essence types by drawing the Essence from the ecosystem you find yourself in rather than trading with Elementals/other Mages. (?)

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2 months 3 weeks ago #69389 by Softdreams
Softdreams replied the topic: Essence Gathering and Storage Devices
Thanks for answering!

So the use of tainted Essences is uncommon among Mages? I believed it to be something expected of a Mage, I thought they simply stored it away in an object and saved it for later usage.

As for humans generating Essence, in the story "Blood-Sister, Blood-Brother" I was fascinated by how Diamondback drew Essence out from the members of the Outcast Corner to perform the binding ritual. I thought non-Mages couldn't be used for Essence, unless they were sacrificed.

What would lead a Mage to using "tainted" Essence?

Is Essence trading uncommon?

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2 months 3 weeks ago #69393 by Mylian
Mylian replied the topic: Essence Gathering and Storage Devices
Outcast Corner would probably be a very uncommon case. Even a coven related by blood would struggle to achieve the kind of bond they have.

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2 months 3 weeks ago #69395 by null0trooper
null0trooper replied the topic: Essence Gathering and Storage Devices

Mylian wrote: Outcast Corner would probably be a very uncommon case. Even a coven related by blood would struggle to achieve the kind of bond they have.


The big problem is waiting for the Stockholm Syndrome to kick in.

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2 months 3 weeks ago #69398 by Softdreams
Softdreams replied the topic: Essence Gathering and Storage Devices
I only brought them up as an example because Diamondback was able to draw Essence out from every member of the Outcast Corner so she could perform the binding ritual. She even went on to explain how their Essences felt to her. No coven/Blood-bound siblings related stuff.

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2 months 3 weeks ago #69399 by Mylian
Mylian replied the topic: Essence Gathering and Storage Devices
The Outcasts have an exceptional kind of bond, she couldn't have done it with just anybody.

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2 months 3 weeks ago #69400 by null0trooper
null0trooper replied the topic: Essence Gathering and Storage Devices

Softdreams wrote:

Familiars - depends on the familiar.
Could this be expanded upon?


That IS the expanded version!

Familiars in the early 21st c. on Earth are rare and unique named beings, each having a private bond to their magician that is specific to those two individuals. Of those shown in WU stories, no two are alike in nature and capabilities. Only two of thirteen instances have yet to be called by name, so they too are very likely to have a magical Name that we as readers don't know. In Schroedinger's case, even ARC researchers aren't sure which of the pair is the familiar. Bitsy is "only" registered as a familiar, but in a highly magically-active place like Whateley Academy, the less said of that the better.

If the urban legends that claimed that all witches get a toad or a cat or an imp as a familiar ever were true, that little bit of lore likely got all the practitioners who did work that way killed centuries ago.


Speaking outside the texts' framework, familiars are rare because they are characters in their own right lest they become boring. Not a tool on the other character's gear list. Not part of the setting. Not an automatic feature of leveling up.

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2 months 3 weeks ago #69401 by Heckfire
Heckfire replied the topic: Essence Gathering and Storage Devices
...sorry it's taken a while to respond, IRL stuff...

What about other planets? Like, well, wizards in space?

I specifically ask because one potential story I'm working on involves someone who, despite being essentially baseline, was being turned into a powerful subservient mage by an entity but escaped before the process was completed, and is now basically "hitchhiking" her way back to Earth. She has a means of her own to generate essence (which she also can absorb as a way around the whole "alien environments/food/atmosphere" thing), but I was curious about both how common essence is in extraterrestrial environments (she's not a fountain of the stuff, after all, although I am curious as to the location of the 3 Little Witches in the Gen 2 timeline JUUUUUST in case...) and whether her introducing it to such an environment would have any lasting impact.

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2 months 3 weeks ago #69418 by Softdreams
Softdreams replied the topic: Essence Gathering and Storage Devices
Thanks for answering.

And I was mostly referring to the standard stuff/abilities all familiars apparently possess. Such as; Mages being able to store away their Essence in them, and the ability to see/experience things through your familiar. But, yes, I understand.

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