The Arcane Manifestations
The arcane manifestations are common ways of expressing magical effects. They are the standard for magical practice and once one learns the manifestations, the world of magic opens up for the practitioner. Most genres use the same manifestations or a select number of them. Learning the manifestations means half the battle is already won.
The 10 Manifestations
Self/manipulationThe manifestation of self often referred to as manipulation or control is the first thing any Mage learns about the arcane. The concept of this manifestation is to learn how to channel magic internally and use it to affect self. This usually involves applying various Buffs or resistances as well as increasing one's own ability to do any combination of tasks. Well learning this particular manifestation mage will also learn how to enter Gnostic states of meditation and they will learn to various Arcane energies and usually choose which ones they will master and which genres they will adhere to. This particular manifestation is considered the most important as its primary function is to teach an individual how to manipulate and control the energies that flow through reality.
ShieldsThe Manifestation of Shields is often the next manifestation learned by Mages after the manifestation of self. they have mastered the ability to manipulate and control energies as well as being able to enter a gnostic State and affect themselves with that energy, they cannot learn one of the most important things a mage will ever learn: defense. The manifestation of Shields seats to teach the mage how to properly use Arcane energy to construct barriers and shields around them around allies or around a large area. How many students often find this process long or tedious it is often done in their benefit first one must learn to defend themselves before they can learn the more fun offensive capabilities a Mage can employ. The manifestation doesn't necessarily Focus entirely on defense, in fact, another element that is taught us how to use the barriers and shields created to enhance offensive capabilities. In pyromancy, for example, the Shield of flame can be cast onto a weapon which not only protects it from heat but also can apply damage as the will be coated in flames. The Shield is also useful when fighting is anyone who attempts to harm you when you are inside of a flame Shield risks burning themselves.
Touch/handsOnce a student has mastered Shields the next process of learning is the manifestation of hands often referred to as a manifestation of touch. This is the first manifestation that seeks to teach students how to apply effects to something that is external rather than themselves. This will be the very first method of offensive capability Mages learn. The manifestations meant to teach Mages how to affect things through touch hence the name. Applying effects to physical touch are often the first step in learning how to actually project Magic
CreationThe manifestation of creation is often called the manifestation of form since it marks the first time a mage can produce a specific form as a spell. This manifestation is particularly crucial in Arcana Creaturae as conjunction would not be possible without it. Mages learn how to shape and form the energy they channel externally. They learn how to produce flames and quickly learn that they can customize the visual effects of their spells.
ArmsThe manifestation of arms teaches the mage how to actually shape the energy they manifest into a specific form. While they can now produce flames, it takes a little bit of practice to shape those flames. The practice by forming a crude weapon. A blade of flame does not look like a true blade but behaves and maintains a general shape of one. Producing a true blade would require more training in conjuration.
WallsThe manifestation of walls has always been used as a tool for strengthening the mage and increasing their endurance as considerable amounts of energy are needed to fully cast a spell using it. The spells taught are usually focused on creating basic stationary structures. Walls are the most common hence the name, but domes, pits and many more are included.
SpheresThis is the start of the main offensive capabilities of a mage. The manifestation of spheres or bolts is quite simply a process of producing energy, shaping it into a sphere or spike and hurling it at a target. The mage is taught how to focus on the desired target and almost guide the spell to it, which is the main reason spells seem to follow a target as they move. Spells can have a detonating effect upon impact if the mage makes it so, allowing multiple targets to be effected in a single area.
ConesThe manifestation of cones often called channeling, is a means of casting a spell that targets opponents who are much closer but not close enough to touch. A channeled spell usually involves energy being focused, shaped, and then projected in a 15 to 25 ft long cone from the spell's point of origin. The cone expands and spreads horizontally the further it is projected. The density of the effect, however, is diminished the further the target is in the cone.
CubesThe manifestation of cubes teaches mages how to effect an area over time usually in what visually can resemble a cube. The spell scorched earth in pyromancy involves targeting an area, preferably the area around something the mage wants to burn, and then casting the spell with the mental template. The effect leads to flames and molten strata that surrounds the targetted area that will stay there until the spell is complete or until the mage desires.
StormsThe manifestation of storms is the hardest to master but by far the most effective. To cast a storm is to take energy and manifest it in its primal form. It encompasses the entire area and every bit is in control of the mage. It is hard to fully understand the template and as such most mages can't even use it. Those who master their genres however often find they have near limitless potential and understand the template perfectly. The following is an account of a mage using this manifestation to great effect
The situation was dire indeed. He raised his hand and felt the power rise within him. A burning in the chest that expanded as he allowed it to grow. They were also upon him, having pursued him since he left Mhirriah. If they caught him, he would be killed. The fire continued to grow as three armored men appeared before him. He didn't hesitate, he spoke a single phrase. A trigger he was taught that would spark the magic within him like a powder keg. He ignored the warnings of his tutors. "What you unleash is of your own making, and the consequences are yours alone." They had said, cautioning him to only use this power when all else fails.
"to ashes and cinder... " When the words left his lips, all hell followed with it. A strange reaction from a whisper, he thought.
The skies grew dark as clouds coalesced overhead. A strange sensation rushed through him. He felt winded like all his energy left him in a single moment. A crackling sound rang out into the air and the dry flora around them sparked and ignited into flames and in the skies above them, the sounds of explosive thunder announced the arrival of molten rain and streaks of raging embers that fell with it. He had charged the spell too much. The radius was far too wide and it was all he could do to cast a shield of flame around him. His pursuers were not so lucky, burning alive in their armor as the small embers grew into massive orbs of raging fire that impacted the ground like meteors. He passed out then, unable to continue sustaining the spells. When he awoke, he was greeted by what he asked for. The skies had cleared, his assailants were burning heaps of charred flesh and molten steel on the ground and all that was had been rendered to ashes and cinder.
The purposeThese manifestations are a way of creating a standard for magic. Magic is a vast near the infinite sea of power and possibility. Almost anything is possible and as such a series of basics were established to speed up education and efficiently of use. This bypasses a lot of the initial experimentation early practitioners had to go through to figure out what the most efficient ways are.
How and why they workThe manifestations are concepts that usually surround a shape such as the manifestation of spheres or a surrounding an action such as the manifestation of hands or the manifestation of the storm. These shapes and actions are meant to provide a mental template for how the arcane effects manifest and how they are cast. They are also specifically designed to be learned one after another, each being harder than the last. This makes sure the manifestations build strength and endurance while the student practices them. They imagine the template and they utilize what they learn from their chosen genres to manifest their desired effects in the shape of action of the template.
The efficiency gained is a form if study all in itself. The manifestations have shown many times that they are at maximum efficiency, especially for less experienced casters.
The Freedom to TinkerAs a practitioner masters the manifestations they will almost certainly experiment with them and attempt to invent new ways of casting spells. Some do this for dramatic effect rather than sheer force. The power of shock and awe is a useful tool and some can extend the extra energy to add the strength to match the theatrical display. Many mages have their own methods and manifestations they created, discovered or borrowed along their journeys.
A Mage's WeaponWhile it should be said that anyone with the will and desire can learn the arcane powers, mages are the ones who use these powers as mages draw their magic from the energy of the universe itself. These manifestations do show up in all forms of magic, however.
a bard can cast a spell that is indistinguishable from a cone of fire. Its name, lore, and the process of casting it may be different, but it is, in essence, the same spell.
The Arcane PrincipalsThere are four arcane principals that all practitioners of the arcane use, not just mages. These principals define how one can trigger magical effects. The principals do not relate to the cause of those effects, and only deal with how to actually make the effect happen. They are the last step in the process of casting a spell. Some use a combination of these principals and others even utilize all 4
The Principal of IncantationThe principal of incantation states that a practitioner of the arcane can trigger an effect by reciting a meaningful word or phrase that the practitioner understands to be the trigger of the particular spell they are trying to cast. It is the easiest of these principles to learn.
The Principal of ThoughtThe principle of thought states that a practitioner has the capacity to trigger the effects of a spell through thought alone. This is widely considered the hardest principal to learn as it requires intense concentration and understanding of the spell one is trying to cast.
The Principal of MovementThe principle of movement States that a practitioner can use a series of motions that they have memorized to trigger Arcane effects. This principle is most often used when discussing arcane forms which are effectively movements arranged in routines that are built to achieve specific magical effects.
The Principal of IntentSimilar to the principle of thought the principle of intent is the most recent development in the arcane principals. It states that thought incantation and movement all stem from intent, the true trigger of arcane effects.
It states that a practitioner needs only to intend a desired effect to trigger it provided all other requirements are met to cast a spell such as one's meditative state and knowledge of how to actually cast the spell. This principle is the most widely applied in the world of the arcane in the vast majority of practitioners utilize it in one form or another, allowing them to cast spells almost as if it were instinctive.
- Metaphysical, Arcane