Thaumaturgy - Artifice

Don't drop that, whatever you do.  
— Sodai, Kaia
  Just as a Thaumaturg can channel magic through their flesh, they can channel it into objects and through the art of Artifice bind them there. It is the art of catching fleeting moments of power and brilliance in a physical form and force it to wait until called for, and they are some of the most potent objects in Araea. Such objects are called Artifacts, able to hold a rote magical effect until unleashed.    

Form & Function

Don't judge a book by its cover, especially not that one.  
— Sodai, Kaia


  Artifacts can take almost any form, but they share a few similarities. All are adorned with runes and engravings, similar to the ones that adorn the bodies of a Thaumaturgy, and which serve to hold the energies of the spell within the object. In addition, many Artifacts are made specific to the form of the object - a sword, a pair of boots, and so son. Almost invariably, all Artifacts show the wear from trying to contain its power, warping slowly into impossible shapes or colors. As a result, most artifacts ruin with age, as the mutating material obscures runes and ruins engravings.  
Like their form, Artifact are made from any number of different materials, with some trends. When making armor, most turn to steel or Chitin, and so on.   The choice of material determines both the lifespan of the Artifact and how much power it can hold - something flimsy as bone or iron warps quickly and holds the least, while rare and valuable material remain unchanged for ages.
  The need for solidity limits what can be made into an artifact; soft, pliable material are often insufficient to hold the engravings required, let alone the energies within them. Cadaverurgy is favored art for Artifice, as the creatures of the Far Deep often surrender corpse with components particularly suited to crafting Artifacts - acquiring them, however, is another matter entirely.  


  Artifacts hold magic made for it by the creators, and mimic its effect whenever they are triggered. Unlike the spells of a Thaumaturg, these work the same, every time, and the complexity of the magic worked is limited by the material used and the skills of the Thaumaturg. Most keep it simple and to the point, with no less a horrifying effect. Such spells might be something as simple as twisting stone or tearing metal when stroke to extinguishing fire or mutating flesh.  
The greatest advantage of an artifact is that the wielder does not need to be a Thaumaturg to get a taste of its power.
  From there, the function of an Artifact comes down to two factors; how it is unleashed, and from where (or who) it gets its energy.  


Repositories are recepticles of arcane energy - rare and valuable containers of channeled ichor. Like Artifacts, the often suffer from degradation and mutation from holding the power of spirits within them, and most are used by the most sturdy materials the Thaumaturg can find. Usually, accessing the powers in a Repository requires the user to be a Thaumaturg, but those made together with an Artifact connect directly do the power contained in it.   Once empty, the Artifacts no longer work until the Repository has been charged by a Thaumaturg; a slow and draining process.


Leeching Artifacts draw their energies directly from the spirit-world around them, a constant tick against the skein of reality, drinking the power of the blind, ancient horrors on the other side of existance. These artifacts require no charging and function at all times, but deteriorate quickly, as a constant conduit to the worst of Thaumaturgy's transforming powers. Unless made from powerful materials, most have a lifespan of weeks, if not days.   Some Leeching artifacts taint the world around them in subtle ways, bleeding an excess of ichor into the world around them.
  Artifacts work on simple triggers, based on crude physicality. When a sword strikes flesh, or a bone-totem is broken, a drum struck, and so on. Owners of powerful Artifacts must always take care when they draw them, as these triggers can just as easily apply to the careless.  
by Dive Store Exile
Thaumaturgy   Great power always calls for great sacrifices, and nowhere in Araea is that more so than with the magical arts. Thaumaturgy is the manipulation of the ichors of spirits, using it to weaken reality until it can be reshaped.   While powerful, there is always a price to pay.   Always.   Read The Introduction to Thaumaturgy


All magic in Araea draws their power from Spirits - alien, unknowable things that lurk across the treshold of reality. Most spirits never notice the gnats that bleed them for droplets of energy, and it is never good when they do turn their gaze upon humanity. Most have minds that share so little with how humans percieve the world that only terror and madness follows contact.    
Like an ant trying to understand a whale.

Ruined Form

Just like the flesh of Thaumaturgs, Artifacts are twisted and ruined by the ichorous energies contained within them. Over time, the spell will mark the object and twist it to according to alien whims and unknowable designs. The more an Artifact is used, the faster it will degrade. Careful use can help an artifact endure for much longer, while the addition of a Repository can further extend its life time.    
Artifacts shattered by such fates are considered particularly unlucky, and believed to draw the attention of the spirits whose blood was drained to craft it.
Thaumaturgy - Repository
Technology / Science | Dec 2, 2020

Containers of magical power, scabs on the skein of a bleeding reality.

Working Wonders

  Thaumaturgs capable of Artifice are rare, even among the already unusual Thaumaturgs. It takes a different sort of mind; some describe it as a conceptual leap that seperates their identities sufficiently to channel the magic as if they were the items. Other put it less poetically, but their numbers remain few and those capable of such wonders rarely share their secrets. Some gleam knowledge from tomes such as the Key of the Black Star or the whispers in the dark, others learn the process through trial and painful error.   Many were craftsman before they discovered magic, and take care to do every part of the process themselves to ensure exacting standards are met. Unless the Thaumaturg is skilled, such ideas become little more than hubris, but the best Artificers are those who have mastered the art of creation, both mundane and magical.  
Many Artifacts are made to work only once - as a bone getting snapped or an arrow unleashed - which is both easier to make and ensures the user never holds a permanent advantage over the Thaumaturg.
by Miguel Eins

Example Artifacts



A light club made from the sinew and bones of some unknown Far Deep creature, covered in bristles of quill-like hair and with strange, angular form that have been covered in runes, the Boneshaker is a simple, straight-forward destroyer of men. When the Boneshaker hits strikes bone, it twists it with violent forces, often incapacitating or killing its unfortunate.   The head of the club is usually covered - at least once user rested it against his leg in a lapse of concentration and became crippled as it twisted it completely a round.  

Drum of Fire's Demise

The Drum is a heavy, brass construct covered in arcane symbols with what is reputed to be human skin stretched across it. A small jewel hides within the Drum, a half-empty Repository. When the drum is struck, fires within range begin to shrink- as long as the drummer keeps beating the instrument, even raging infernos are gradually reduced to nothing.   The range of the Drum's effect can make it a powerful, if unpredictable tool. Some claim its effect reach where-ever it's echo is heard.

Cover image: by Richard Dorran


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2 Dec, 2020 19:46

HAHAHAHAHA! ... oh Q, I love that first quote!  

Don't drop that, whatever you do.
  Talk about setting a good first line for an article. And the rest of it is fantastic as always!

3 Dec, 2020 09:25

Gotta get a good quote to start it all off :D   Thank you <3

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
3 Dec, 2020 20:30

'The head of the club is usually covered - at least once user rested it against his leg in a lapse of concentration and became crippled as it twisted it completely a round.' Oops! Lol.   I love how detailed this article is. I particularly like the discussion of how different materials are much more useful than others.

4 Dec, 2020 09:07

That's a big thing I've always had in mind for enchanted items in Araea - they are blind. The effects are simplistic. Brutally efficient, but dangerous to people who enchant their trigger poorly. :D   Magic in Araea is always like that :)   Thank you for commenting so much, we all really appreciate it <3

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.