Catalurgy: Flow from the gods

Magic from those who came from nothing

Everything came from something... aside from the Gods. Popular theory is that they've always existed -- which requires far more power than you can even imagine. Now that they're "dead", we can extract some power their Husks, and use it for ourselves.
— Professor of Catalurgy at the Veiled Academy.
  Incredible power flows through the veins of ancient gods. Old wounds gape and drip ooze from the still standing eternal undead, occasionally dripping upon poor unfortunate wildlife -- spawning forms of terrifying Rendlings. This liquid is known as Ichor, which is incredibly dangerous when unrefined -- poisonous to the point of mutation -- but incredibly powerful when properly treated. Catalurgists may use specific Ichor to create, to modify, and to enhance.
~
Through the use of an artificial organ, a Thymalladus, Ichor can be refined down into a substance that has become known as Catalyst -- something that can grant a sliver of the gods' powers. To be able to conduct Catalurgy, a willing or subdued human must undergo a dangerous operation. One of the patients kidneys is removed to make space for the Thymalladus. The veins, arteries, and adrenal gland from the removed kidney are all transplanted and connected to the new organ.   Ichor gets stored in tanks, located in harnesses across the Catalurgist's body. Through a series of tubes, Ichor is pumped into the Thymalladus, and Catalyst is pumped out. Sent to specific "key" points across the body, Catalyst fuels a Genesist's creation magic, a Transmutists modification magic, and an Aurists personal field magic.

 
Catalurgy and YOU!
Tradition / Ritual | Mar 8, 2020

The field of Catalurgy is dangerous, mysterious, and exceedingly exciting. Join the late Champ Winstar as he takes you through a short but informative journey through what it means to be a beginner Catalurgist.

 

The Cost of Magic

To even begin down the road of learning Catalurgy, one must pay a heavy cost. The operation replacing a kidney with a Thymalladus is dangerous, painful, and irreversible. Approximately 30% of all operations result in death; even more rarely, 1 in every 1,000 of those death cases results in a horrific event known as a Rendling-Human Chimeric event. This means hopeful Catalurgists must find a doctor willing to risk a chimeric event, pay them enough to go through with the operation, and still have a 30% chance of losing their life.  

Burn.png

Burn

The life of a Catalurgist gets no easier after the operation is complete. The recovery time is long, sometimes taking more than 6 months for the implanted Thymalladus to be ready for Catalyst to be introduced. Catalurgist must get used to living with tubes and harnesses all across their body in preparation for Catalyst tanks and pumps. The style of harness worn is often a point of personal style, as Catalurgists work it into their wardrobe.   Once the Catalurgist is ready, they can introduce Catalyst to their system, and begin learning what it is like to experience Burn. Burn occurs at a slow, constant rate at any time the Thymalladus is processing Catalyst. Low level Burn presents its self as a deep restlessness, and a mild ache in the bones. Some Catalurgists report feeling mild unscratchable itches, and report body temperatures that are always just slightly too warm to be comfortable.

Active Burn

Actually conducting magic causes the Thymalladus to go through and metabolize Catalyst at a much faster rate, sending it across the body to the Catalurgist's key points. At this point, Burn becomes an effect that is much more important to mitigate. Active Burn matches it's name -- the Catalurgist's core temperature rapidly rises, and hotspots begin to flare up across their body. This is combated with ice packs and coolant systems within their garments, but those can only do so much. Should a Catalurgist push their limits too far, they will erupt into a ball of acrid flames, and ultimately die.  
Ichor is only to be introduced to the body via the Thymalladus. Should it enter the bloodstream directly, or be ingested... well, there's more than one way have a Chimeric Event.
— Professor of Catalurgy at the Veiled Academy

Catalurgy Hand.png



Practitioners, instructors, and creators of Catalurgy work hard to keep this arcane art secret. Common knowledge is limited to: Catalurgists are always seen carrying tanks of liquid, are capable of extraordinary feats, and are to be feared.

The Use of Magic

Title of Practitioners Catalurgist
Specializations Genesist, Transmutist, Aurist

Catalurgy is fueled through the use of Ichor.   Genesists have the power to create. Beginners create simple temporary objects, most often water or ice, or other compositionally simple objects. Experts can increase the complexity -- including making things permanent.   Transmutists generally go through a long period of research before attempting their form of Catalurgy, as Transmutive Catalurgy is so dependant on understanding. Beginners are usually tasked with something simple like pulling heat from water to create ice, while intermediate Transmutists can attempt to change colour, size, or even composition of things.   Aurists take a unique research path, learning to recognize and control their emotions, as well as understanding how their emotions modify the electromagnetic fields that surround them. These fields, referred to by Aurists as their "Aura", are what they are able to affect. At the beginning they work on hardening this "Aura" into a protective barrier. Once mastered, Aurists will begin to learn how to apply different effects to their "Aura" -- things like heating the space around it, or projecting it away from their body.

Ignore the black sooty mark behind the desk, and focus on your studies.
— Professor of Catalurgy at the Veiled Academy
catalurgy midbar 3.png
 

The Creation of Magic


Specialization


Ichor varies depending on which God-husk it was extracted from -- resulting in three distinct forms, and three different specializations of Catalurgy. Further differences in Ichor may be distinguished on a per God-husk basis, but this field of research is exceedingly new, and under developed.   When the specific Ichor is pumped to each Specialization's Key points, the Catalurgist is able to conduct magic. Each specialization has different "scaling" factors, which determine how much Ichor is consumed, and how much Burn results from casting magic.

Aural Ichor is the easiest to source, aye. Just makes it all that more bothersome. Aural Catalurgists can wreak havoc anywhere, and are a real pain to take down -- so it's become some sort of "mad arms race" to train the best ones.
— Alindah Patsic, Intelligence operative of the Russin Army

 

Genesis

Source of Ichor:
Dimiti, Codod, Farad

Genesis.png

Opaque, with colours shifting between seafoam green and vivid aquamarine. Genesis Ichor gives off a soft glow and feels cool to the touch. It allows for a special type of Catalurgy responsible for the creation of both temporary and permanent physical matter. Key points across a Genesis Catalurgist's body include their heart, hands, and stomach. Genesis Catalurgy scales with both complexity and mass of the object being summoned.

Transmutive

Source of Ichor:
Rak'tos, Tatete, Qetzel

Transmutive.png

Often described as crystalline liquid, Transmutive Ichor is a transparent liquid that shimmers and sparks, and often takes on odd flowing formations within it's container. Transmutive Catalurgists use this Catalyst to change properties of things they understand. The only key point on a Transmutive Catalurgist's body is their head. Transmutive Catalurgy scales with both the complexity and the resistance of the object being modified.

Aural

Source of Ichor:
Old King Caed, Farad, Miyu, Qur, Xiuthan, Avartarian, Sharenskus
Aural.png

The most common form of Ichor, and therefor Catalurgy. Aural Catalyst is a deep purple tinged with cool streaks of violet and indigo. It is warm to the touch, and not very viscous. Aural Catalurgists use it to alter the electromagnetic field around themselves. Key points are an Aural Catalurgists hands, feet, and lungs. Aural Catalurgy scales with the amount of energy poured into the field around them, and the distance from their skin the field is projected.

 
catalurgy midbar 2.png
 
 

The Practice of Magic

While Catalurgy is fueled by Catalyst, it is guided by body and mind. A Catalurgist uses the key locations across their body, depending on which form of Catalyst they are using, and focuses their mind on what they want to accomplish. For the physical touch portion of Catalurgy; Genesists will touch an object or hold it close, a Transmutist will press their forehead against something, and an Aurist will focus on their breathing while assuming certain stances.  


Genesists are able to summon objects into existence by visualizing the intended object perfectly. The object summoned always comes into existence in contact with the Genesist's hands, chest, or abdomen. Beginner Genesists are often tasked with creating simple temporary physical objects -- water, ice, pure metals -- as they learn to build a tolerance for the burn of Catalurgy. Temporary Genesis induces Burn for as long as the object is allowed to "exist".

I'll never forget the time I watched a student attempt to create an actual star. Of course he wasn't able to visualize it properly. He forgot he had to touch it too. Nothing's grown in that forest for years.
— Jeain Swayzweller, journeyman Genesist


As a Genesist progresses, they train their mind and are thus able to visualize more complex objects. At the same time, they strengthen their body to withstand the greater burn they incur with complicated Genesis Catalurgy. When one is found to be approaching mastery over temporary Genesis, they can begin learning how to make objects permanent. Permanent Genesis incurs a much greater initial Burn -- so much so that it often results in the fiery death of the Catalurgist.   Transmutive Catalurgists follow similar training to Genesists; though instead of seeking perfect visualization of objects, Transmutists instead desire perfect understanding of their intended target. Once a Transmutist is able to fully understand something, they may then begin to use Catalurgy to alter it. Exceedingly powerful Transmutive Catalurgists have even occasionally been seen modifying energies and intentions. Once, through a particularly violent conversation, the very words coming out of someones mouth were altered with a well timed headbutt.   The only thing off limits to Transmutists appears to be the modification of one's self. The reason for this is commonly thought to be that it is impossible to truly understand the self without a view from the outside.  

Scraps from The Comprilith

    • No books, paintings, records, or any information at all has been found within the Comprilith regarding Catalurgy. By all accounts, Catalurgy is a modern invention, though it's exact conception date remains unknown.
    • Vague records exist regarding the magical properties of Ichor, but no substantial information exists on the subject. Most information about Ichor is related to Rendlings.
    • This lack of information is one of the main reasons why the general public fears and dislikes Catalurgists, as it's seen as unnatural and not "of the Gods".


More common than Transmutive and Genesis Catalurgy is Aural Catalurgy, the art of altering electromagnetic fields surrounding the Catalurgist. Aural Catalurgy is not rooted in understanding or visualization, but instinct and emotion. As their Thymalladus receives its first few doses of Aural Ichor. beginner Aurists will start to notice and feel the electromagnetic fields around them. Aurists are given time to study how their own personal emotions affect the field that surrounds them -- like how when they are angry, the field around them "feels hot".   After enough practice and time, skilled Aurists can learn to infuse their surrounding field with elemental energies, harden it, or even enhance their senses. Modifying this personal field requires power to be funneled into the space around them -- something that costs a proportional amount of Ichor, and induces a proportional amount of Burn.

 

Locations

Every single country has some form of Catalurgy agency or institution set up, and all of them do their best to remain hidden.  

Institutions

The countries work hard to keep their academys secret -- hiding them deep in the wilderness and in hard to reach places. Some places forgo the secrecy, existing in densely populated areas, as if daring the public to wonder about what goes on within the buildings walls. While the location of these schools may be known, the general mystery surrounding Catalurgy still keeps the public in the dark about what Catalurgy really is.
  Known location:
Azca Wastes home of Catalurgic Progress  

Research Centers

Catalurgists that complete their education and choose not to follow the path of war often further themselves in Research Centers. Usually paired with a Mass Storage Site, these locations are as secretive as the Institutions, and even more heavily guarded.
  Known location:
The Peninsula Estates  

Mass Storage Sites

The most heavily guarded of all Catalurgy sites -- large quantities of some or all types of Catalyst are stored in these locations. Generally paired with Research Centers or Institutions, though sometimes found on their own -- the planet's governments work very hard to keep their location secret.   Individual Catalurgists are then granted small tanks of Catalyst that they carry on themselves in specially made harnesses.
  Known location:
The Underwater Silos of the Shattered Isles

Professions

Most Catalurgists are quick snatched up, or commissioned by various military, as they make for very strong special forces. The remainder of Catalurgists find work in furthering Catalurgic research, or doing their best to remain hidden.
 
catalurgy midbar 1.png
 
 

The Limits of Magic

The limits to which Catalurgy can be pushed are defined by the Catalurgists themselves. An athlete can only push themselves so hard before their muscles fail. A machine can only take on so much stress before it collapses. Training and reinforcement can help push boundaries, but there is a limit. Catalurgists are just the same, and are held in check by both physical and mental limits upon their bodies and minds.  

Physical Limits

When performing exceedingly difficult Catalurgy, like a Genesist summoning a permanent complex object, the Thymalladus is known to consume Ichor a blistering rate. Two to Three tanks of Ichor are common to be used in the highest tier Catalurgy, resulting in a large amount of Burn occurring in the Catalurgist's body.   The most powerful of Catalurgists push these bounds by carrying yet more Ichor, or by wearing cooling packs to mitigate burn. Much Catalurgic research is done into developing newer, more efficient, and more compact cooling equipment.

Mental Limits

Mental limits are expanded through study of the world, and study of the mind. Those furthering their abilities will take Art courses focusing on complete visualization, Science courses dedicated to total understanding, or Human studies committed to comprehending emotions.

Resistance

In special cases, the resistance of the subject is taken into account as well. For example, a Transmutist attempting to change someone's mind will find the willpower of their target vastly increases the difficulty of their attempted magic.

I look out across this sea of faces, and I see a lot of eager new Catalurgists. Some of you are probably think that you can now do anything you want, create anything you want, affect anything you want. Well, you're right. You can. However. Many have attempted to overstep their bounds, just to catastrophically fail from trying to do too much with Catalurgy. Learn from from those dead Catalurgists. Respect your body's limits. You can only handle so much Burn.
— Professor of Catalurgy at the Veiled Academy

Articles under Catalurgy: Flow from the gods


Comments

Author's Notes

Thanks for giving this big ol thing a read! I hope you enjoyed it. If anything stands out as not making sense, or you'd like more info on any part, please let me know! I'm looking for the best parts to expand into more sub-articles. :)   And for those of you that made it this far and read down to here, just for fun... Which would you want to be? Genesist, Transmutist, or Aurist? :)


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20 Feb, 2020 21:42

aside from the God-husks
  Wouldn't the people of this world first refer to them as gods? As I assume they remembered the gods while they were alive... Or do they? Questions abound!  
Popular theory is that they came from nothing -- which requires far more power than you can even imagine.
  I kind of get what you are coming from with this, but I find the delivery to be a little... Underselling the concept. The line of logic is also a little difficult to follow; they came from nothing, which required a lot of power. I kind of understand what you mean, but...   Well, consider revisiting the quote at some point.  
Some of which, we can still use today.
  Don't need the comma, I don't think. You could probably also cut the "still".  
somewhere within the Degrundan Mountains.
  Could probably cut that, since we already know he's in the Veiled Academy?  
The liquid found inside of the God-husks is known as Ichor, a material with many innate magical properties.
  I don't usually think of a liquid as a material.  
Ichor, when unrefined and mixed in dangerous ways can often spawn terrifying beasts known as Rendlings.
  I would change the flow of information here and maybe punch up the description. "Oozing from eternally dying gods, Ichor breed with dead flesh to spawn the terrifying Rendlings" - or something like that. I might also put that ahead of the sentence before this.  
Through a complicated process, Ichor can be refined down into a substance that has become known as Catalyst -- something that can grant a sliver of the gods' powers.
  This is a bit of a show-don't-tell moment; what makes it complicated? Maybe give the reader a evocative hint of what horrors are to come.  
where a semi-artificial organ is implanted
  "semi-artifical" is a strange qualifier and I think there must be a better way of describing it, though I can't think of it right now!  
replacing either of the person's kidneys
  Only kidneys?  
This organ, known as a Thymalladus, is connected to the subject's nervous system.
  This is a bit strange to me - why would a kidney replacement connect to the nervous system? Why does it do that? It doesn't seem like something it needs to do to convert Catalyst to magic energy.  
llowing for the conductance of Catalurgy; magic.
  I would probably use a different word than Conductance. I think a lot of readers would have to look it up.  
The Cost of Magic
  I would put some more space between this header and the image above it. Also might be worth considering upping the font size or something to make them stand out more.  
Rendling-Human Chimara
  I believe the spelling is usually Chimera, unless it is particular for your setting  
horrific event known as a Rendling-Human Chimara. This means hopeful Catalurgists must find a doctor willing to risk a chimeric event,
  Is the event called a Chimeric Event or a rendling-human chimara event? :)  
All while the Catalurgist must get used to living with tubes and harnesses all across their body in preparation for Catalyst tanks and pumps.
  This part feels like it should be introduced in the second paragraph, after we learn that they pump Catalyst into themselves to fuel their magic.   ((To be continued tomorrow :D ))

20 Feb, 2020 21:48

This is wonderful stuff, Q! I've been so close to this for so long now, unable to see things that are off/need fixing. Really really appreciate it, I'll definitely be updating this to fix its issues!

Cathedris, the world of God-Husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
21 Feb, 2020 08:14

It's some real fun stuff to read, too. <3 I'll continue today or this weekend

22 Feb, 2020 09:11

metabolize Catalyst at a much faster rate, sending it across the body to the Catalurgist's key conductance points.
  Does this mean the human body can metabolize catalyst without this organ? Or is there a much more adverse affect if I chug a bottle of it?   This suggests the former, but it doesn't seem like it'd be great.  
Active Burn matches it's name -- the Catalurgist's core temperature rapidly rises, and hotspots begin to flare up across their body.
  I think this is a great idea! It just makes sense - like a very extrapolated version of "burning" fat, except it's magic and dead-god-juice. Very very good.  
Should a Catalurgist push their limits too far, they will erupt into a ball of acrid flames, and ultimately die.
  How I feel after exercise.   (Excellent stuff)   However, the Catalurgy sidepanel just besides it is essentially repeating the same information that we have just read - that burn causes restlessness etc. Similarly, the "specialization", "cost", "type" and "danger" feel mainly like things you already cover in the main panel.   If you want some sort of summary of w hat they are, I would probably put it on the top of the side panel, though the specializations doesn't mean much to us at this stage of reading the article. (What is Genesis? What's Aural?)   This information is in the section just below, so it might be fine as a sort of teaser, but it is worth thinking about the flow of information.   And speaking of the flow of information, I'm now 2/3rd's done with the article and I still don't know anything about what Catalurgy can do. It's not ideal and I would suggest moving things around to help us get a more complete picture about things - perhaps putting the Use of Magic as the first header. At very least, give us a paragraph about what it can do.  
Found within the veins of the thirteen God-husks across Cathedris is the source of Catalurgy; Ichor. This godly substance is refined into Catalyst
  This is repeat information. The important part comes after. "a different kind of Catalyst is formed depending on which God-husk the Ichor was extracted from. "  
Different Catalysts will provide energy for different forms of Catalurgy, and comes in 3 distinct forms with specific visual properties.
  Distinct form of Catalurgy or Ichor/Catalyst? You repeat "form" twice in a row there, which muddled the sentence a little.  
The only key point on a Transmutive Catalurgist's body is their head.
  What's a key point? You introduce a new concept here without explaining it :)  
Storage
  This part and the quote box next to it is kind of awkwardly sandwiched between the two more important sections. I would move them to the side panel or the bottom of the article, after Use Magic.  
Individual Catalurgists are then granted small tanks of Catalyst that they carry on themselves in specially made harnesses. The tanks are hooked into a system of pumps and tubes, and fed into their body.
  I'm of two minds on this. On one hand, it is information you have already provided us. On the other, a really in-depth look at the Harness in detail could make for interesting reading material - perhaps even an article all in itself.  
A Catalurgist uses the key locations across their body,
  Ah, here it is. Introduced, then later explained. I would definitely have a look at the flow of information inside the article. <3  
an Aurist will hold their own body in specific poses.
  Interesting, but the word "pose" makes me think of a power ranger pose or the fusion dance.  
pulling stones, sticks, and coins from thin air, as they learn to build a tolerance for the burn of Catalurgy.
  Are these objects permanent? If so, what's preventing someone from making a whole bunch of gold, gemstone or enriched uranium?  
I'll never forget the time I watched a student attempt to create an actual star.
  Well that seems like a *real* bad idea. :D  
The only thing off limits to Transmutists appears to be the modification of one's self, which falls within the realm of Aural Catalurgy; the reason commonly thought to be that it is impossible to truly understand the self without a view from the outside.
  This is a pretty long sentence, at 44 words.  
Aural Catalurgy is guided by intention just like Transmutive and Genesis Catalurgy
  Isn't transmutative guided more by understanding? And I got the impression Genesis was guided by visualization, not intent.  
Beginner Aurists will be taught to control their emotions, and to work on hardening their aura into a suit of armor.
  Here, you introduce the concept of a aura or personal energy field, which is a little out of nowhere. Does everyone have an Aura? What about aura manipulation lets you transform your body or enhance your senses?   It's a bit unclear how the magic links together both shapeshifting and explosivemancy.   Some general questions:   What is the scope of Catalurgy magic? Can an decent Auralmancer blow up.. A man? A house? A castle? The dude trying to make a star raises a lot of questions.   What are the long-terms effects of Catalurgy? Can they be mitigated? Can they be accelerated?   Are the effects permanent? Can they be resisted (in the case of someone transmuting someone's thoughts/intents)?   There's a quote earlier about an arms-race: are they an integrated part of society? Common enough for nations to have an Corp of magic-slingers?   How is the Ichor harvested and gathered? How/where is it made into Catalyst? How long does a tank of the stuff last?   If I read correctly, you need to touch the thing you are transforming - does that mean the Transmutator who transmuted thoughts/intent/words had to head-butt the other guy?   You mention Aural being tainted by emotion and that they need to control it, but there are no examples or additional insight into that. What happens if they don't?   And last of all; the background of the comment box means I can't see the curser when it is selecting text ;D   I think that's all I had. Great stuff, Storm-y! There are the makings of something really special here :) I hope this helps   Does catalyst from different gods within a specialization manifest differently?

25 Feb, 2020 00:47

Been slowly working through these, just wanted to again thank you for this effort! It's incredible, Q. I was thinking of going point by point and responding, but instead I'll just focus that effort into the article its self :P   Though...  

If I read correctly, you need to touch the thing you are transforming - does that mean the Transmutator who transmuted thoughts/intent/words had to head-butt the other guy?
  I hadn't thought of that, but yes, because that's hilarious and awesome. Enchantment of minds is usually thought of as like, at a distance hand-wavy magic... but I really really love the thought of like, combat enchantment. Sounds fantastic!   Also, I'll look into the comment box weirdness!

Cathedris, the world of God-Husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
25 Feb, 2020 00:54

actually following that combat-thought-enchantment idea more, I'm now thinking of like... a catalurgist that went rogue and became a serial killer. he hunts people down and transmutes their thoughts with head to head contact, to make sport out of it. gives a great mental image of someone in dark monk-like garb, chasing people down and head-butt-tackling them   great question there, now I have more fun stuff to think about!

Cathedris, the world of God-Husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
3 Mar, 2020 02:06

Oooh, this is so much fun to read. And totally creepy. The thought of spontaneous catalurgic combustion is quite the image.   Hoe dangerous is it to collect the ichor? I presume care must be taken not to come into direct contact with it yourself during collection?   Also, I have to say, I love your horizontal dividers and how you included images of tanks of ichor. Your attention to detail here with little elements like that really makes everything pop in all the right ways. Beautiful work.

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities
3 Mar, 2020 17:08

Thanks for reading and commenting! :D   Depending on which God-husk you're collecting it from, it can be quite dangerous -- special equipment must be worn to minimize contact, and care must be taken to not get stepped on! When I expand upon each of the 3 specializations, I'd like to add an article detailing the Ichor Collection profession too.   Thank you so much for the lovely words as well! :)

Cathedris, the world of God-Husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
8 Mar, 2020 17:59

NICE. Love me some risk/reward magic, bonus for having an unsettling method to obtain it!   Curious about your layout— how on earth do you have multiple sidebars split by full width segments? Is this using a custom template or something else I'm not privy to?

8 Mar, 2020 18:20

Thank you! Happy to hear that you liked it :D   Pretty much over half of the article is written in the full footer! And then I used some boostrap containers from here (https://www.worldanvil.com/w/hacks-and-help-shyredfox/a/bootstrap-containers-article) to break the footer into columns, and for the sidebar just shoved another container inside,     [container:col-sm-8] Main body text here [/container] [container:col-sm-4][container:panel panel-default panel-body] Sidebar Text Here [/container][/container]     I've never used the noparse BBCode, so lets see if this works...

Cathedris, the world of God-Husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
8 Mar, 2020 19:58

Gotta give it to fox, using containers to add in bootstrap elements is an A+ idea.