Aether Vent Manipulation Technology

Essential for any permanent magic (and Academy). I can scarcely imagine living without it now.

The vast expansion and availability of magic over the last 600 years is chiefly due to the development of 'aeromantic aether vent manipulation technology', more commonly referred to as aether vents, current, and lines. These refer to the source, the traversal of aether, and the enchanted tubing carrying said current, respectively.  

Aether Vent

While the existence of aether vents is recorded in historical records dating back thousands of years, the magical theory of their inner workings were discovered only 700 years ago. There remain fierce debates as to the original author of Aeromancy and Aether: Lightning In the Vents, which detailed the findings of the team of scholars devoted to such research. Each of the major nations in eastern Turan claim their own led the effort and should be credited with the discoveries, but non-partial commenters from Rundheart note the group in question was multinational.   Vents are locations where the latent energy beneath the earth's surface is both particularly potent and close. Other areas where it rises exist, but without sufficient raw quantity it does not manifest as a vent. While modern aeromancers and enchanters have taken advantage of some 'aether streams,' they can power only minimal enchantments. Vents, by contrast, contain a considerable flow which can be seen without aether sight and even by commoners. In its natural form, a vent may appear only as smoky green wisps rising out of otherwise normal ground. However, should one dig, the situation is vastly different.   The viscosity of the aether is so thick soil and rock sits upon it. By digging deep enough, a raw pool of aetheric energy is found and sometimes bursts forth if not properly controlled. The glowing green-and-white 'waters' seep through the earth and coalesces into pockets around the vent, each of which may be manipulated independently or as part of a whole. Workers, or 'venters' as they are colloquially called, are strongly advised to avoid touching the substance because the subsequent abundance of aether on the skin and in the flesh causes swelling and rapid aging. In the most extreme cases, the excess energy results in death. Wizards, who can control their mana, do not suffer the same fate if they actively manage the added aether, but nonetheless expose themselves to an increased risk of developing Vector Pox.   Despite the risks, magical scholars continued to investigate aether vents, discovering they could restore and power enchantments by suffusing them with the wispy exhalations of the vents, just as a wizard might when infusing an object with mana. This finding stirred further study as the possibilities for naturally-occurring and sustainable 'mana' were innumerable and potentially world-changing.  

Aeromany and Aether Vents

For centuries if not millennia, scholars studied vents under the assumption they were derived from geomancy. This is a reasonable assertion due to it rising from the earth. While some modern theories posit the aether is non-aspected, the accepted model treats them as aeromantic phenomena based on experimentation across all manner of magical disciplines during the 400's PoA.   While geomancy, pyromancy, and cryomancy showed some signs of success, aeromancy performed spectacularly. The aeromantic torus drew the waters of the vent upwards and through its center. This basic principle formed the basis for all future innovations.  

Aether Current

Scholars dubbed the flow of a vent's emissions through a torus an 'aether current.' Experiments using torii revealed several important laws which govern aether currents:  
  • The inner radius of the torus dictated the maximum 'rate' at which energy flows.
  • The outer radius determined how dense a mana flow is maintainable through the inner radius.
  • The speed of the mana flow within the torus sets how far the aether would continue past the torus.
  In combination, these three facets of aether currents allowed aeromancers to stream energy from the pool and into enchantments. By creating a permanent enchantment holding an aeromantic torus, the current continues without a wizard's intervention. While this was a useful invention, it waited nearly fifty years before it could truly be harnessed practically.  

Aetherlines

The problem with using a series of raw torii to control the current is in its scale. A vast number of them were necessary to channel the current around bends or for longer distances, limiting inventions to the immediate vicinity of the vent itself. A clever, dual-attuned aeromancer and enchanter, Drak Sees-With-Air (of Al'Orphic descent) solved the issue with two devices.   First, Drak solicited a cryomancer to aid her in enchanting copper tubing with a minor cantrip lowering the temperature. Prior experiments had shown the metal retained aetheric energy readily, though it dissipated too quickly to normally be useful. Cryomancy had likewise accelerated the aether current, but in erratic directions. However, combined, a cryomancy-enchanted tube of copper would accelerate a current through it, losing a minimal amount of energy to the ambient environment.   Second, Drak developed a ring-shaped device to house an permanent aeromancy torus within it, which could easily be attached to the end of her tubes. Together, along with appropriate bends and turns, it enables a quick dissemination of energy from the aether vent to wherever desired.   Subsequently, magical institutions rapidly adopted the technology and even relocated themselves to nearby vents to advantage themselves compared to competing schools, such as was the case with the Grand Arcane Academy. Today, aetherlines are extensively used for everything from lighting to cooking to beauty products to warfare. Even so, as there are only six large-scale vents in the Aemark Kingdom, few citizens have ready access to the technology.

Lightning Forge, AeM

The premier crafters of Lightning Forge exist for one thing only: helping supply the citizens of Aemark with their aether current needs. ('Sal' or lower midnanes need not inquire.)   Gods, I didn't realize how expensive it was to get aetherlines installed outside the Academies...
Written by Sheyla Enelladalcol Aeleat

Edited by Shikya Enelladalcol Aeleat

Mindcepts by Ella Enelnasalcol Malric


Cover image: by Mia Stendal (Shutterstock)

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