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Thaumic Charge and Metathaumetry

Many sources exist for the raw doingstuffness of magic, and the manipulation of this energy defines the struggle of humanity against the greedy hoards of immortals. The manipulation of gold charges is therefor highly important to humankind. Effectiveness and efficiency are essential in all acts of spellcraft. Students of magic seeking their C.W. diploma perforce must commit to memory all concepts hereafter elucidated.  


  The material universe and all that it contains is underpinned or encoded into a parallel plane of very silly ballooney things called thrombins. They wiggle about and tie themselves in knots to represent or possibly to control the manner in which physical items and forces interact. Ordinarily the activity of thrombins is proportional to the activity of the material which they describe, but in some regions and in some circumstances they begin to show unwarranted squiggly energy. Very strange effects can be observed in the corresponding firmament.   This anomalous wriggliness is known as thrombin agitation, but its reflection in the material world is called either spellcharge or thaumic flux. It emanates from thaumically-charged materials and objects, and from spell effects, like heat from an iron brand. It can be obscured, absorbed, and reflected by appropriate materials. The units of measure of the characteristic quantities of flux will be set forth below.  

Natural Sources

  Gold naturally contains a strong charge in thaumic energy, and therefor holds the distinction as the most sought-after resource on Earth. It is a relatively rare metal which is almost totally chemically impervious, and is almost never found in alloy except with thaumically-useless silver. The latent energy contained within passes in tiny paths from particle to particle within a chunk of each substance, and only escapes from its exposed surfaces into adjacent materials. This emanation can be manipulated by trained spellcrafters to form spell effects or to recharge lead with the beauty and magic needed to convert it back into gold. This is a zero-sum process, and so gold and enchantment-ready magic are a non-renewable resource in the Overlooked Regions. 1 pound of saturated (fully charged) gold contains around 7300 thaums of total stored energy.   There exists a more rare and more potent source of natural thaumic energy, namely, greengold. This material is normally found in hard, brittle inclusions among sandy ore veins, and occurs in black, yellow, or green crusts. It is often separated from the dross using a chemical process to densify its thaumic storage. Greengold contains 50 times the thaumic charge of an equal mass of gold. When its charge has been expended, it degrades to an uninteresting salt of unknown but totally useless composition, and cannot be recharged.  

Measurement and Units of Magic

Hereunder are remarked the Principal Measures of Metathaumetry. Any aspiring Wiz is well-served to keep them in his heart.  
Measure: Spellcharge
Unit: Brevithaum (bT)
Symbol: c (charge)
Description: The fundamental quantity of magic, as contained in raw gold. 1 brevithaum = 1/86,400 thaum. The thaum is now depricated in the Scelulose Interspacial (S.I.) measurement system, now that units can be measured on much finer time scales.    
    Measure: Spell Flux
Unit: Glevons (Gv) or thaums per day (T/day) or brevithaums per second (bT/s)
Symbol: f (flux)
Description: One glevon of flux is equal to a passage of one thaum per day. Ten pounds of pure gold in a roughly spherical lump emits energy at a rate of roughly 1 glevon. Note that surface area has a strong effect on flux per pound (See Transmissions. below).
Measure: Spellspace
Unit: Sips (S)
Symbol: s
Description: The amount of unreal space which the caster erects beyond the arcane factor at spell preparation. This space contains all spellcharge expended on the spell. Greater spellspace allows a larger total thaumic charge to be stored with less effort, but doesn't provide as much turgor (see below), and so the overall effect is not improved by the greater thaumic expenditure. It is therefore best practice to use as small a spellspace as the spellcrafter can manage for the needful spellcharge, and to develop sufficient potential via higher turgor.  
  Measure: Turgor
Unit: Melvins (M) or brevithaums per sip (bT/S)
Symbol: v (level)
Description: The total unreal "pressure" developed beyond the arcane factor during spell preparation. Turgor is the quotient of spellcharge per spellspace (see Calculations, below). Turgor is the fundamental unit of spell-packing difficulty, and so provides a standardized measure for student casting competency. It is not advised for students to attempt higher turgors than they are instructed to achieve by school faculty. Our fire insurance only covers the replacement of two dormitories per semester.  
Measure: Spell Potential
Unit: Cats (C) or brevithaum-melvins (bT*M)
Symbol: p (potential or "plow")
Description: The net effective energy measurement of a given spell. Plow is the product of turgor and spellcharge, and so is inversely proportional to spellspace (see Calculations, below). All enchanting applications are fundamentally constrained by plow costs, rather than by total spellcharge or pressure at the factor.
Measure: Time
Unit: Second (S)
Symbol: t
Description: The fundamental unit of time.


  Identity Equivalencies: Flux is a measure of spellcharge passage per unit time:
f = c / t
Turgor is a measure of spellcharge per unit volume:
v = c / s
Plow is the product of turgor and spellcharge:
p = v * c
  Melvin's Equivalency: Plow varies as the square of spellcharge quantity per unit spellspace.
p = c2 / s
Comment: Since the apparent efficacy of a spell is determined by its plow, and the limiting quantity of thaumic application is spellcharge, higher plow can be developed by the minimization of spellspace to optimize the use of non-renewable thaumic sources. In short, never enchant with a high spell level or caster level if a crapton of lower-level items can suffice.   Packing/Enchanting Efficiency Formula: Enchanting efficiency measures the ratio of the theoretical minimum thaumic expenditure to the actual cost of a project.
(spell potential * 5.17 gp/C)*100%

(gp cost expended)


Material Characteristics


  Gold and greengold stockpiles must be insulated to retain their charge. The flux emission of a given mass of gold is determined by two quantities:
  1. The surface area of the sample
  2. The materials in contact with the sample
  Flux moves directly into and through solid objects which are not complete insulators. Research at Knottedham College has revealed that it is in fact refracted and reflected much like light, only that the apparently opaque functions as translucent to the passage of thaumic energy. It is considered that propagation of thrombic agitation functions according to wave mechanics in the unreal, and so potentially may be subject to local interference and cancelling. No experimental success has yet been achieved in this area.   Flux is slightly reduced by passage through imperfect insulators, the excess energy being expended in warping reality in the material world, and so only perfect transmitters are completely immune to its effects. It is known that, when taking readings with a Thaumoscale, the degree of absorption is correlated to the effect of thaumic flux on the material. The bodies of Mystic Folk are almost completely absorptive, hardly reflecting at all.   Flux insulators: Moving water, depleted lead, chromium, platinum, aluminum, most opaque ceramics, strongly magnetic metals. Flux conductors: Saturated gold, quartz, glass, gallium.    


  To control surface area, stockpiles are often molded into hemispherical or lozenge ingots to minimize surface area per unit mass. Further, ingots are stored in packed piles if possible. However, such an ingot has a lower flux curve when the time comes to harvest its charge, so the storage ingots are remelted into cylindrical "spellcharge slugs" of different standard sizes.   Controlling the environment of a sample is much more important and practical than the shape-control. Lead is an inexpensive and effective insulator, but due to its tendency to absorb a small portion of the flux which it reflects, it eventually can lose its efficacy by partial conversion to gold. More expensive materials are listed below which do not have this disadvantage.

Physical & Chemical Properties

Thaumic flux emission, degradation to other materials.


Greengold is known to ally with many organic and inorganic compounds in nature.

Origin & Source

Underground veins, sometimes excavated and deposited in mountain piedmont streams.

Life & Expiration

At least 20 years, even for very small samples. Half life is longer depending on ratio of surface area to volume.

History & Usage

Everyday use

Living creatures seem to be the only extant sources of new thaumic energy aside from the sun itself. The willed actions of spellcasting (or very unlucky) creatures can hijack thrombins and set them in an unstable state without any external agitation from emissive materials.   For all nonliving, long duration magic applications, the use of stored thaumic energy is obligatory. Using a Kerfin complex and a rudimentary artifact daemon, students of magical engineering can pipe thaumic power straight from a reservoir into spell effects. This can simple harnessing interchange can only maintain static effects by renewing the agitation of a pre-packed stack; a more complex Newtcase architecture and grade II or higher daemon are needed to use spellcharge to capture and properly pack thrombins. This has been achieved under lab conditions, but all such experiments have been halted for the time being due to running out of labs which still have roofs.

Cultural Significance and Usage

The Mystic folk, including both the Immortals and the Usurpers, rely upon medium to strong flux to survive. They experience a sort of wilting withdrawal when deprived, losing much of their unnatural vigor and strength. When possible, mystic folk are known to harvest native gold and even high-greengold sandstone chips and add them to their rudimentary jewelry. This seems to serve both vanity and health, as proximity to more emissive substances increases local thaumic flux even above the HMZ background energy.   There are several "cultural" processes in which different immortals have been observed to partake, and many of these involve the placement of gold supplies in a large, semi-magical fire, with various dancings and cavortings occurring about the circumference. The regularity of these primitive "scerpae" gives the only suggestion of the mysties' awareness of the cycle of a year, though possibly the scerpae are triggered by some seasonal threshhold, like that which triggers plants to bloom. Greater research is needed to understand this topic, but such investigation implies that a congregation of Immortals be spared from extermination, which has thus far been deemed untenable on this side of the Interstitial Ocean.

Industrial Use

The budding craft of daemon manufacture has increased demand for gold and greengold greatly. To maintain a daemon in constant operation uses something on the order of a glevon as a theoretical minimum, and so any experimentation or application incurs an unavoidable cost even aside from any expenditure in autospelling.


See Thaumic Flux Exposure .

Enviromental Impact

In places overlying large deposits of gold or greengold a background flux can be induced far beyond the safe limits for mundane folk's safe exploration. These naturally become infested with Immortals and often support Old Growth forests, which thrive in high-flux environments. Such areas are termed High Magic Zones or HMZs. See High Magic Zones.


Elemental / Molecular
18-20 g/cc
Common State
Raw (gold) or carbonate ore (greengold)
Related Technologies
Related Professions

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