Sanowret crystal

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Sanowret crystals are magical crystals imbued with knowledge, based on the workings of an achaedi crystal. Sanowret crystals both teach the Arcana skill (regardless of guild and skill) and come with extensive notes about one of nine topics of magic theory.

To use it, one merely gazes upon the crystal while fully concentrated and absorbs the knowledge therein. Arcana is learned as the notes on magic theory progress, over the course of approximately half a minute. The amount of Arcana experience granted scales upward with your skill.

This is a permanent item, without needing to be recharged. Non-magic users can use them. It consumes concentration to use. The initial lecture the crystal is prepared with is random, although more may be unlocked with potency crystals. Unlocking additional lectures does not increase the experience granted, and they are primarily for role-play purposes or "fluff".

They were available as consolation prizes from the Bacon Man's Birthday Bash's token auction as a special sneak-preview. They were scheduled for general release some time after Hollow Eve 2016, and arrived for sale at Web of Fate (3) at Guildfest 423. Chris' Mass Festival 425 (2017) saw special frost-colored sanowret crystals that held new wintry stories.

Usage

Looking at the sanowret crystal, you believe it to contain some hidden knowledge that you can access if you GAZE into the crystal, or EXHALE on it to gain rudimentary knowledge of arcana.
You also think that you can turn, raise, rub, and clean the crystal.
The crystal looks fragile. You think you could LOWER it to put it on the ground instead of dropping it, which might damage it.
View a lecture on a magical subject. Arcana experience is earned with each new pulse of information.
Gain a single pulse of Arcana experience.
Used to put the crystal on the ground without damaging it.
Changes which lecture is viewed when GAZEing at the crystal. Only available for crystals that have been upgraded with a potency crystal.
Activates wrist-worn position:
You gently clean your sanowret crystal, buffing it to a crystal clear shine.
You also notice a hidden chain attached to your crystal and pull it free, allowing it to be worn around your wrist.

Notes

  • GAZE seems to take roughly 30 seconds to discharge the lecture. Each pulse of lecture information gives a pulse of exp. It seems to consume 51% of concentration regardless. Learning is dependent upon current arcana ranks.
  • EXHALE appears to teach roughly half as well, but it's instant and does not have a wall of text. Concentration hit seems to be the same.
  • Both commands have no noticeable cool down and can be used as soon as concentration hits 100% again.
  • No other skills gain exp regardless of the subject of the lecture.
  • Initially, sanowret crystals randomly generated a permanent wrist or neck worn position, though various worn locations, including generally worn, are now available.

Care and handling

  • Crystals should not be DROPped or they will be damaged.
  • They can be LOWERed to the ground instead to avoid damage.
  • Damaged crystals can be repaired by using an infuser stone on them.
  • They do not require any other special handling and are weather-proof.

Lectures

Arcane Magic

Knowledge from your sanowret crystal about Arcane Magic rings clear in your mind:

Arcane magic is, by definition, a poorly understood field. A generous reading of the field includes all forms of magic that are unquantified or poorly fit the categorization of the four frequency model of magic. More typically, it refers to sorcerers and Necromancers. Scholars with an unhealthy interest in the later often try to hide behind the former to gain a veneer of respectability, further polluting opinion of the field.

Focusing on its 'legitimate' face, Arcane researchers attempt to categorize the great bounty of magical phenomenon on Elanthia, everything from the nature of mana-reactive materials (such as cambrinth) to the attunement practices of animals. Analogous Patterns are also traditionally considered Arcane, due to no one guild or discipline being able to claim them, and spell researchers that delve into this 'pure' theory of magic are (often unwillingly) categorized as Arcane.

Sorcery is the major focus of Arcane magic. Scholarly understanding of the practice changes practically from decade to decade, but in recent years there has been a general consensus that sorcery refers to a style of casting which allows the magician to exceed the known limits of attunement and the frequency model. By invoking powerful, negative emotions, a well trained magician can intuitively manipulate mana that they are otherwise blind to.

There is not sufficient space in this crystal to emphasize how unusual this is. Conventional magic is, by its nature, a very meticulous practice that requires intense concentration and discipline. Sorcery not only flies in the face of physics, it requires a wholly different paradigm.

This method, sometimes referred to specifically as 'sorcerous casting,' allows a magician to cast spells that would otherwise be beyond the ken of their attunement. It also is required to cast 'sorcerous spells,' or spells that by their very construct require two or more frequencies of mana to function. The generic term 'sorcery' is used colloquially to refer to both the casting paradigm and the broken spells that require it, resulting in often unnecessary confusion.

Debate rages within the adventuring community as to the morality of sorcery, much to the horror of other strata of society. While sorcery is illegal across Kermoria and seen as reprehensible by the vast majority of its inhabitants, adventurers will often argue the utilitarian merits of sorcerous casting. Within their subculture there is relatively little censure for 'mild' sorcery usage, to the point that they often forget that they can be accused of heinous crimes should it be witnessed by others.

Necromancy is a specific form of sorcery, which occurs whenever Life mana is added to a sorcerous spell. It focuses on the manipulation and perversion of the life cycle. While Life magic is perfectly at home with death and decay, necromancy focuses instead on mutations, reanimating the dead as soulless minions, and bizarre, unworldly malaise such as psychic diseases and exploding blood.

The light and crystal sound of your sanowret crystal fades slightly as you come to the end of the knowledge about Arcane Magic. You feel quite enlightened, if a bit mentally tired.

Attunement

Knowledge from your sanowret crystal about Attunement rings clear in your mind:

Attunement is a descriptive term referring to an individual magician's capacity to see and manipulate the mana of a particular frequency in their environment. While attunement can happen naturally within certain species of animal and even in extremely rare instances spontaneously within people, in modern times the various guilds are responsible for the vast majority of attunements and each possesses their own traditions and methods. In particular, the Moon Mage Guild has been known to persecute those who pursue Lunar attunement outside of the hegemony of their organization, ensuring their monopoly on the practice of Lunar magic. For other frequencies, small and exclusive enclaves of hedgemagicians still exist largely in rural areas and practice various means of their own attunement processes and minor feats of spellcasting.

Through guided meditation a nascent magician learns to see or feel the normally invisible, incorporeal frequency to which they wish to become attuned. This process and the resulting experience of a particular frequency of mana depends on the magical lineage of the teacher and can vary wildly between traditions. The experience of mana to the senses can be thought of as an illusion or sensory shortcut rather than a literal manifestation of the force in question for example, an Elemental magician trained by the Bards' Guild will experience mana aurally as a kind of ambient harmony, while one trained by the Warrior Mage Guild experiences a visual illusion of a more roiling, violent force flowing around them. Neither is a more correct way of experiencing Elemental mana than the other, but instead reflect the traditions and dispositions of either guild.

The initial process of attunement can take anywhere from hours to months based on an individual's proficiency with the exercises in question, but once a magician is attuned to a frequency certain changes take place within the nervous system that allow them to access that frequency with relatively a small exertion of mental effort. This alteration is effectively permanent and attunement to more than one frequency at a time is physiologically impossible. Certain exercises have proven capable of 'shifting' a magician's attunement to a different frequency, but in the process they completely lose access to the old one, and such a shift is has not been known to occur without the specific effort of the magician in question.

Once attuned, a magician may then concentrate to feel their mana and manipulate individual streams into patterns to produce the spell energy necessary to create a magical effect. Doing this is mentally and physically exhausting as well as potentially dangerous. Simply through normal spellcasting, a magician will eventually find themselves too mentally depleted to continue without a period of rest, much as one may need to rest their body after lifting and carrying a heavy weight. Additionally, as the nervous system is the means by which a magician interfaces with their attuned frequency, channeling spell energy through it or mangling spell patterns -- known colloquially as backfiring -- can lead to increasingly crippling damage to the nervous system, which in turn affects a magician's ability to continue manipulating mana.

Nearly everybody possesses the basic mental and physical capacity for attunement to any frequency given adequate training, though attunement in the population at large tends to be quite rare and restricted to those privileged with wealth, power, or those otherwise capable of accessing some kind of formal magical training. Individuals who attempt to become attuned may also fail to be able to attune to a particular frequency of mana while being capable of attuning to another for no readily discernible cause. The most common anomaly however is a condition known as mana blindness, defined as a physiological inability to attune to any frequency of mana. Mana blindness is congenital, can be inherited from either parent, and is known to breed true, with magicians estimating anywhere from 1-5% and growing of the population lacking the ability to perform magic entirely.

Fables exist about attunement the same as any other magical subject with the most famous being legends about so-called 'true sorcerers': individuals capable of attuning to multiple or even all frequencies of mana simultaneously. As noted, the nervous system is not physically capable of being altered or adapted to attune to more than one frequency at a time, and attempts to do so at best lead to a magician's attunement simply shifting from one frequency to another. The manipulation of mana outside of a magician's attuned frequency is possible but dangerous and must be done blindly, with no means of actually measuring or sensing the mana in question. No evidence has ever been found to suggest that multi-attunement is anything but an urban legend, and sorcerous casting remains a dangerous and frequently hubristic pursuit.

The light and crystal sound of your sanowret crystal fades slightly as you come to the end of the knowledge about Attunement. You feel quite enlightened, if a bit mentally tired.

Elemental Magic

Knowledge from your sanowret crystal about Elemental Magic rings clear in your mind:

The oldest scholarly body of work on magic concerns Elemental magic. While Holy and Arcane magic have mythic histories and Lunar magic a scattered archaeological record, only Elemental magic has a continuous history stretching multiple millennia. Broadly, Elemental mana derives its power from natural forces and interacts with the physical fundament of the Plane of Abiding.

At the heart of Elemental magic is the knowledge that all things on the Plane of Abiding are complex mixtures of simple building blocks. The commonly accepted elements are Aether, Air, Earth, Electricity, Fire, and Water, though fringe scholars within the Warrior Mage Guild have recently begun championing the existence of Metal as an additional element. These compose the atoms of which all material is made, and Elemental magic exploits (and, commonly, explodes) this.

Elemental mana is resonate with or created by (depending on your point of view) natural forces. Everything from waves to earthquakes, storms to volcanoes, find Elemental mana in abundance. Conversely, places that are stable and geologically 'dead' are bereft of elemental might. In addition, some mana appears to come into Elanthia from the Elemental Planes, springing forth from seemingly nowhere.

The Warrior Mages are perhaps the most iconic magicians on Kermoria, summoning relatively simple but powerful manifestations of pure elements. Lightning bolts, sheets of ice and pyroclastic clouds are their staples. Bardic magic, through the medium of sound waves, focuses more on subtle manipulations.

Elemental magic has the distinction of being the first 'legitimized' branch of magic in the current epoch. While the other branches were still mired in mysticism and elaborate ritual, Elemental magic had already grown to regard itself as a science. The first consistent Attunements were to Elemental mana, and the first magical devices made by mortal hands were Elemental powered.

By the Imperial era the study of Elemental magic was so well entrenched that the College of War Magics was the single institution of scholarly magic within the empire. This hegemonic force would last until the formation of the Moon Mage Guild, which sought and acquired legitimacy despite the College's best efforts.

The light and crystal sound of your sanowret crystal fades slightly as you come to the end of the knowledge about Elemental Magic. You feel quite enlightened, if a bit mentally tired.

Holy Magic

Knowledge from your sanowret crystal about Holy Magic rings clear in your mind:

is theoretically the oldest form of magic known. While Elemental magic has the oldest continual record, there have been tales of priests and wonder-workers for as long as there has been accounts of mortals upon the Plane of Abiding. It is assumed, then, that Holy magic has been with us the entire history of the Plane of Abiding. Broadly, its domain is the soul, spiritual energies and the fabric of magic itself.

The range of effects that Holy magic can conjure up is impressively wide, recalling the dominion of the Immortals over Elanthia. However, the discipline is most at home augmenting or cursing what already exists, as well as manipulation of subtle energies such as spiritual energy. Metamagic is a particular passion of the Cleric Guild, born from early attempts to 'bless' magic.

Holy magic derives both its name and its power from the Immortals. Holy mana is resonate with or created by (depending on your point of view) places where the Immortals have, or will, exercise their power. Metaphorically, Holy magic springs out from the 'footprints' of the Immortals. Since this is irrespective of time, causality is often muddled and Holy mana can appear effectively random.

Moreso than any other discipline of magic, Holy magicians consider high concentrations of mana to be sacred in and of itself. This has often led to the construction of altars and cemeteries in high mana areas. However, taken that mana appears irrespective of time, this leads to a great confusion of causality. Was the altar placed in an area of native high mana, or is the area highly attune to Holy mana because we would place an altar there?

While Holy magic is powered by the activity of the Immortals, as a rule it does not directly invoke divine attention. Like all magic, it is ultimately mechanistic in how it functions. There are, however, exceptions to this rule, such as the Divine Intervention magic that Clerics wield.

It is fair to say that Holy magic has a moralistic bend, but this is found in the confounds that empower it rather than the spell patterns themselves. Clerics rely on a poorly understood connection to the Immortals that they cultivate through ritual veneration. Paladins depend upon the purity of their sanctified souls to channel magic. The spells themselves are indifferent to the piety of the Cleric or goodness of the Paladin, but suffer in the hands of 'fallen' members of these guilds due to their confounds dictating codes of conduct.

Despite this discipline's strong connection to the Immortals, other entities have historically made use of Holy magic. Priests of the western gods were verifiably using Holy magic prior to contact, as seen through their artifacts (including the Barrier, which kept Lyras contained for decades). A frightening but poorly understood adjunct to this is that demons seem capable of replicating Holy magic, either in whole or in effect, and there is insufficient study to determine how deeply the similarity to Holy magic this 'unholy' magic runs.

The light and crystal sound of your sanowret crystal fades slightly as you come to the end of the knowledge about Holy Magic. You feel quite enlightened, if a bit mentally tired.

Life Magic

Knowledge from your sanowret crystal about Life Magic rings clear in your mind:

Life magic is perhaps the most mysterious realm to Kermorians, lacking the scholarly body of the other three conventional realms and the critical eye placed upon Arcane magic. Broadly, it derives its power from the cycle of life and death, expressions of biological order and entropy.

Despite the name, Life mana is strongly identified with the natural processes of decay. This has been a matter of some confusion, since common sensibilities would place the 'magic of death' as being Necromancy, but this is not the case. Necromancy deals with perversions and unnatural permutations of life and death. The actual process of dying and decaying into constituent parts is part of the power of Life.

While sufficient Life magic can accelerate or delay the march of time upon an organism, the central principle of Life magic is 'Life cannot defeat Life.' Life magic, again, draws its power from life's cycle, and it thus has no power to totally usurp or stop it from happening. This chiefly creates two problems: Life magic alone cannot forestall death beyond a certain point (usually 100 years), and Life magic cannot create whole life out of nothingness, it must work with energies and organisms that already exist.

Despite this, both the Empaths and Rangers have made an art out of stretching the limits of what Life magic can do. While it cannot defeat death, it can bring someone back from the furthest brink. While it cannot create life, it can channel existing energies in living beings to incredible ends.

Life mana is created by or resonate with (depending on your point of view) with vibrant ecosystems. Places with great concentrations of birth or death will spill out Life mana, while even serene places that are static or slow to develop will stifle it. While great wilderness regions are the iconic example, busy cities are by no means bereft of Life mana either.

The history of Life magic is incomplete, in large part due to the disbanding of the Imperial Healers Guild in the Imperial era. Fragmented records suggest that there was a vastly sophisticated understanding of biology and Life magic over a thousand years ago, but for an unknown reason the guild did not survive the empire. While the Empaths are famously scholarly, there is only limited scholarship across the intervening centuries to try and recapture some of this body of knowledge.

Conspiracy theorists claim that the Empath Guild is suppressing knowledge of the history and advanced applications of Life magic, but there is no proof of such claims (which, admittedly, may simply be the sign of an effective conspiracy). The Ranger Guild, while it has scholarly members, has never been focused on the production of high theory, so has not contributed to the debate.

The light and crystal sound of your sanowret crystal fades slightly as you come to the end of the knowledge about Life Magic. You feel quite enlightened, if a bit mentally tired.

Lunar Magic

Knowledge from your sanowret crystal about Lunar Magic rings clear in your mind:

The youngest of the magical disciplines, Lunar magic's scholarly study begins in the Imperial era. Broadly, it is the study of the powers derived from the celestial bodies, which include magical ('enlightened') geometry, psychic phenomenon, and light manipulation.

Lunar magic is, befitting the name, strongly affected by the rise and fall of the three moons, but all the heavenly spheres play a role in the production or resonance of Lunar mana. It is theorized that Lunar mana specifically results from the kinetic energy of massive bodies, with the planets and sun being incomprehensibly massive but also so incomprehensibly distant that they pale compared to the relatively nearby moons.

Due to the nature of the forces that Lunar mages use, the seemingly insubstantial nature of their powers often take a very real, almost surreal, edge. Lunar magic does not merely create or manipulate shadows, it can make it substantial or worrisomely alive. Psychic attacks do not merely cause distraction or headaches, but crippling neurological damage.

Another facet of these forces is that they tend to be more volatile than other forms of magic. Certain forms of Lunar magic, though especially teleportation spells, can backfire dramatically, leaving little of the incautious magician than a depressing mess.

This volatility combined with a generally malicious edge to Lunar spells has historically lead to misunderstandings regarding its nature. Prior to the Imperial era Lunar magic was conflated with Sorcery and Lunar magicians were hunted down and killed regularly. It was only through extensive political and diplomatic efforts that the disparate sects of Lunar mages won their legitimacy in Imperial society.

Archeological evidence proves that a highly advanced form of Lunar magic was practiced sometime prior to the waking of the World Dragon. The nature of these 'proto-Moon Mages' are almost completely unknown, except that they possessed magic that can best be described as more broadly 'celestial' than limited to the power of the moons. Whatever secrets these magicians held, only scattered artifacts survived Grazhir's fall.

Moon Mages specifically derive much of the character and power behind their magic from a psychic connection to the Plane of Probability, a distant plane where time warps and concepts are living, breathing things. Moon Mages have been locked in conflict with the denizens of the Plane of Probability since the guild's inception, though little is known of why the beings that dwell there are so hostile to Elanthian life.

The light and crystal sound of your sanowret crystal fades slightly as you come to the end of the knowledge about Lunar Magic. You feel quite enlightened, if a bit mentally tired.

Magical Devices

Knowledge from your sanowret crystal about Magical Devices rings clear in your mind:

Magical devices are, simply, devices that use mana or spell energy to function. While this covers the vast majority of all 'wondrous' items seen in Kermoria, it is not all inclusive. Godly artifacts, soul stones, Chakral and Gnomish steam-engineering are all examples of objects which defy common understanding but nonetheless do not rely on magic to function, therefore are beyond the scope of this topic.

A popular theory of magical genesis places the first magical devices as naturally-formed runestones, where wind and water by sheer, improbable happenstance created spell patterns in stone. No such natural magic has ever been found (though there have been numerous hoaxes in recorded history), but it's a convenient theory for explaining how mortals first learned to manufacture spell patterns.

The mechanism for devices typically come in two forms: conductive or resistant. Conductive devices contain a core of some kind of mana-conducting material in a configuration that, when charged, forms a spell pattern. Resistant devices are made out of mana-resistant material so that when enough mana is 'pushed through' it the hollow interior forms the pattern. Both forms of device have advantages and disadvantages to manufacture, keeping both styles alive.

In addition, devices can be characterized as self-powered or requiring an external source of mana or spell energy. Self-powered devices employ what's typically referred to as a fount (or, in gnomish circles, a 'mana engine') to deliver the necessary power. Founts can be incredibly complex, up to and including self-recharging. Other magical devices either are built to hold a limited magical charge, or require the input of energy from a magician for every use.

There are some practical limits to these devices, especially self-powered ones. While founts of sufficient simplicity (or ingenious craftsmanship) can be 'free standing' or purely magical in nature, most of them require a cambrinth core. The more power, the bigger the core. This places a practical limit as to the power of a device, before you start needing a wagon team to haul it around. Likewise, there is a limit to how miniaturized a spell pattern can be while still remaining coherent at a desirable level of potency. Once again, particularly powerful devices tend to be larger.

Activation of a magical device can range from simple to incomprehensibly complex. The simplest devices include physical levers or buttons, while increasingly complex devices can require complex ritual, chanting, or even esoteric qualities like projecting an emotion or having a specific parentage.

Due to the nature of mana incompatibility, devices tend toward being based on one frequency of mana and accept no other kind of energy. Typically this is the mana most aligned with the device's effect, however relentless ingenuity has time and again proven you can create very similar effects from different frequencies if you try hard enough. However, in recent decades an Analogous Pattern that 'scrubs' spell energy into a mana-neutral state has become increasingly popular for pan-discipline usage. First seen in the Crossing's temple defenses, the 'scrubbing' pattern has since been miniaturized for common usage, though it remains an expensive and rare enchantment.

The light and crystal sound of your sanowret crystal fades slightly as you come to the end of the knowledge about magical devices. You feel quite enlightened, if a bit mentally tired.

Mana

Knowledge from your sanowret crystal about Mana rings clear in your mind:

Mana, simply, is the basic building block of magic. It is a form of energy that surrounds and suffuses all of Elanthia and the raw potential that is shaped into spell patterns.

Invisible and intangible to untrained senses, mana responds to psychic effort by an appropriately attuned nervous system. Mana is manipulated through the nervous system into specific, usually complex, patterns that compose the spell. This manipulation generates a secondary energy called 'spell energy' which gathers in the shape of the disturbed mana. Upon completion of the spell, the mana returns back to its original configuration and the spell energy, suspended in the shape of the pattern, activates, generating the manifested spell.

It is spell energy, not mana, that is created and expended in the process of casting a spell. Mana itself is considered by all reputable scholars to be impossible to create or destroy by mortal hands. Sufficient magic can shape it, divert it, or even enable wide-scale change of its layout, but nothing short of an Immortal or the forces of nature can create it. This answers one of the questions many apprentices have regarding magic: There is no threat of mana ever running out due to too much magic use.

There are two competing theories for to categorize mana, the frequency theory and the field theory. Frequency theory is by far the more popular and colors all of our descriptions. In it, we describe mana as existing in discrete units called, frequencies or realms, which do not interact with each other. Each frequency of mana is a separate natural force which shares many similarities but are nonetheless complete unto themselves.

Each frequency of mana is traditionally arrayed within something confusingly called the 'mana spectrum,' though careful scholars note that this metaphor is misleading. Mana, according to the frequency theory, does not exist in the smooth granularity of a spectrum, but instead is separated by stark leaps. Nonetheless, it is at least helpful as a construct that mana is categorized as going from 'more physical' to 'more rarified' from Lunar, to Elemental, Life, and then Holy.

Field theory, which is proposed to better explain sorcerous casting, argues that mana is a holistic force. Mana field theorists imagine mana as a single field or 'aura' of energy emanating from Elanthia, which in turn is aspected or 'colored' by various forces to produce the different sub-types that we know.

While field theorists lack evidence for their model, it is fair to say that sorcerous casting flies in the face of frequency theory and cannot be accounted for by conventional scholars. Meanwhile, field theory accounts for this by stating that since mana is a holistic force that we are selectively blind to, it is possible for any one manipulation to impact and warp the rest of the mana field, allowing for manipulation of other realms.

The light and crystal sound of your sanowret crystal fades slightly as you come to the end of the knowledge about Mana. You feel quite enlightened, if a bit mentally tired.

Spell Patterns

Knowledge from your sanowret crystal about Spell Patterns rings clear in your mind:

If mana is the building blocks of magic, spell patterns are the buildings magicians make out of them. Spell patterns are three-dimensional drawings, often but not always geometric, that are the raw 'formulae' of the spell being cast. While spell patterns vary in complexity, they are often extraordinarily complex 'images' that are vanishingly rare in nature. There are legends of spell patterns manifesting naturally by freak happenstance in the waving of tree branches or carved in gulleys by wind and rain, but no example of this has ever been formally documented.

While each magical guild has a corpus of spells unique to themselves, spell patterns tend to vary by frequency rather than guild. For example, Bardic and Warrior Mage magic both use very fundamentally similar patterns, even though both guilds keep their own grimories. This, in addition to attunement and mana compatibility, allows magicians that share frequencies to also share spells relatively easily.

Conversely, spells across frequencies tend to look bizarre to those who are not used to the rules and physics of that type of magic. For example, Holy patterns most often appear to have trinary elements to them, while Lunar patterns most often look like spirals or fractals. Nothing stops a Cleric from making a mana-spiral, but the figure would make no sense in terms of Holy magic and, at best, backfire.

Most spell patterns are rigid in their definitions and effect. The Clear Vision pattern does one thing and only one thing, and cannot be casually modified to do other, even conceptually similar, things. An exception to this rule is the relative rare 'spell matrix.' Spell matrices are an advanced form of pattern that have built-in redundancies and adaptive functions, giving them a limited ability to shift function based on environment or other contingencies. Even matrices are limited and mechanical, however. There is, as far as modern scholarship is aware, no such thing as a truly adaptive or 'living' spell.

The science, or perhaps art, of creating new spell effects is called spell research. Spell research is an incredibly dangerous practice of trying to find new, functional patterns from the basis of existing ones. While some of this work can be done theoretically to some success, radical new inventions in magic require physical, and typically explosive, experimentation. Spell researchers tend to blur the line between genius and madness, especially those that survive long enough to be published.

Complicating both casting and research further is the existence of confounds. A confound in tradition research is an unaccounted for variable; in spellcraft, it is a natural or supernatural force that influences the effect of magic. Many, perhaps even most, spells in existence benefit from or even flat out require a confound to function.

Each confound is unique and all known magical guilds have at least one if not more. For example, Moon Mage teleportation magic requires an extensive and intimate knowledge of multi-planar geometry to function correctly. The Teleport pattern, in what other guilds would consider a fatal flaw, does not include proper handling for targeting the destination correctly. That aspect is 'missing,' but the average Moon Mage is perfectly capable of filling in for it.

Indeed, to outsiders confounds often look like missing bits in patterns. There is no part of the Resurrection pattern that actually deals with the reunion of flesh and spirit. Likewise, the Fire Rain spell by itself lacks sufficient elemental power to form a pyroclastic cloud. In all these cases, the magician adds something special to make the spell function, and without it the spell is simply nonsense.

The light and crystal sound of your sanowret crystal fades slightly as you come to the end of the knowledge about Spell Patterns. You feel quite enlightened, if a bit mentally tired.

Variations

There are various types of sanowret crystals

ItemSource isRare item
Aurulent sanowret crystal set in a platinum wildling spiderAccents for the Arachnophile (5)true
Blood-red sanowret crystalFinest Box of Gems (1)true
Carmine sanowret crystalFinest Box of Gems (1)true
Electric blue sanowret crystal set in a covellite wildling spiderAccents for the Arachnophile (5)true
Frost-blue sanowret crystaltrue
Frost-green sanowret crystaltrue
Ghost-white sanowret crystalHollow Eve 425 Raffle Centertrue
Heretic black sanowret crystalDroughtman's Challenge 426/Incidental loottrue
Hoarfrost white sanowret crystalDroughtman's Challenge 426/Incidental loottrue
Kaleidoscopic sanowret crystal set in a tomiek wildling spiderAccents for the Arachnophile (5)true
... further results


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