An Ozolithian Legacy
He felt the pain again as the stick struck his side. He gave a yelp and collapsed to the ground. He was young, about 17 and the man who towered over him looked rough with scars on his face. His grey hair made him look much older than a man in his 30s should look.Rage is the term used to describe a meditative trance-like frenzy that one enters when in battle. While this a broad definition it should be made clear that many warriors experience a state similar to this, but it is not the same thing. Rage is a specific experience that requires training and conditioning to take advantage of as most forms of Battle Meditation do.
"Two weeks now. You don't feel it?" The boy shook his head in reply. "Get angry, boy." The man talked low and angry but never yelled. He struck the boy again and the boy brief out in pain writhing on the ground.
"If I was trying to kill you, you'd be dead. Your enemy won't show you mercy." The boy cried again as the man struck him once more.
"What?" The man took a step back and tried to hide his smile. The boy was getting mad...
The particulars of rage differ from one person to another. Different people have different ways of achieving it and different ways of using it.
Let It GoWhile difficult to fully explain to anyone who has not experienced it, rage is a blend of psychological conditioning and a latent arcane power that exists within most living things While it is not an Arcane Genre in and of itself, Mage towers in Estoya have worked closely with the The Mhirrian Circles, who worked hard to preserve rage and ingrained it in the cultural genome in The Provinces of Mhirriah.
This correspondence has greatly increased the understanding of rage for both parties. For example, the circles once taught that one should not indulge in their rage too often and that the whole reason rage exists is because of the demonic forces that took their Homeland who act as a source for rage.
This idea made the people of Mhirriah believe that they are cursed. The towers proved this wrong and in a very surprising move the high matriarch acknowledged the religion's mistake and rewrote the doctrine which led to a huge rise in those who use rage in the nation. While the reasons why were hidden from the flock she did send a letter to each druidic circle explaining herself.
We admitted the mistake for several reasons but the biggest issue is that there are so few things that bind the tribes together. We are a compilation of many cultures and rage is one of the few things that connects our nation. We've been able to suppress Pyromancy and when the towers refer to our beliefs on pyromancy as false we refuse to acknowledge it for that very reason, but this is different. We've never had something so integral to Mhirrian culture questioned. Call it into question and people are going to start looking at the Faith with skeptical eyes. It'll create a schism and that is something we cannot afford.
A science and an ArtThe power of Rage developed in the Empire of Ozlith, but it was the Mhirrians who perfected it. the sheer amount of work that went into the development of this unique art of fighting has developed a series of different ways of doing so. All of these schools of thought, however, seem to agree on two distinct elements that must be present to fully experience rage.
TriggersTriggers are the psychological element I've rage. A trigger, when talking about rage, is a condition or a scenario that must be present for the effects referred to as direction and manifestation to emerge. For some, this is as simple as the sight of blood or more specifically the sight of blood being spilled during battle, usually from one's enemy.
Other forms, however, emerged that instead decided to focus on personal injury. These individuals can often be seen going into battle with whips that they would hit themselves with to increase their rage, and like The Mad Legion before them, would carry ritualistic daggers into battle that they would carve themselves with.
Another common form is the use of intoxication where an individual will enter rage upon experiencing the effects of a narcotic usually a very powerful stimulant or hallucinogens.
DirectionThere are two directions rage can go the first is internal the second is external. Internal rage is the act of empowering the self-making one very difficult to kill and able to sustain significant damage before even be given to feel the pain or possibly to make themselves stronger than the average person possibly could be. The external direction is where the arcane elements come in and show themselves. Rage can affect those who see it just as much as those who experience it. It can demoralize foes or send them into a frenzy that is uncontrolled and makes them prone to mistakes. Some have even heard maddening whispers that cause confusion and hallucinations while fighting enraged opponents.
"Please..." The boy stammered and the man hit him again before kneeling down to him.
"Do not beg me to stop. Make me stop!" The pain of another blow hit him but at this point he was numb. The boy stopped writing, confused at that fact. Why didn't that hurt? He thought to himself. The man struck again in the same place and he felt it even less. The boy cracked a smile of disbelief. Maybe the old man was onto something. Pain is only temporary. The man noticed his silence.
"Brandon? Are you alright?"
"I said stop." The boy muttered. Strange, he thought, that's not what i intended to say but it works just fine. The boy stood and felt almost dizzy. The first thing he saw was his father, smiling wide for some reason before winding back for another swing of the stick...
Blaze of GloryThe way rage manifests can vary depending on who you are and how you were taught. The way it manifests, however, is often the clearest indicator that one has actually successfully entered a rage. Due to the incredibly subjective nature of the art, it is difficult for someone to determine whether they are experiencing rage or not. While it does vary there are a few key indicators that determine an active state of Rage. A few good examples would be a massive dump of adrenaline into the bloodstream, complete dilation of the pupils and a series of sensations that differ from person to person.
One such example would be going temporarily color blind and only being able to truly see the color red or some other color the individual fixates on. For those who are more magically inclined, certain magical effects that are unintended may occur such as red electrical arcs emanating from the body to the ground and a glowing of the eyes. The first time an individual experiences rage I can be a very terrifying experience. This fear dissipates very quickly as the rage takes over and begins guiding individuals actions.
Origins Of Your RageWhat rage truly is or does cannot fully be explained as previously stated but one can infer based mostly on where you're rage comes from, in other words, your triggers.
BloodThe so-called blood rage is very much so the most common form of Rage. The trigger is obviously blood through either the sight or smell of blood the individual enters the rage sometimes almost immediately without even having to think. The experience is often described as if one is going to sleep or lulled into a drunken stupor. The more blood the more powerful the rage becomes. The towers and the circles are both in agreement that the primary reason that this rage works is due to a primal instinct that can be unlocked by conditioning it to be a psychological trigger. Some individuals who utilize the blood rage condition themselves to only trigger when the blood of an ally is spilled. This often results in more external effects meant to boost and allies resolve or give them strength to overcome the wounds they have sustained. Most, however, respond to an enemy's blood resulting in primarily internal effects. Many claimed that they pass out witnessing the events almost as if they were dreaming. This dream-like concept adds to the idea of primal instinct in that something buried within the psyche takes hold and the conscious mind gets put on the back burner.
PainAnother very common form of Rage, what is also referred to as scaling rage focus is far more on personal injury than that of an enemy or an ally. This form of rage is incredibly similar to blood rage as one can fixate over the spilling of their own blood. Like blood rage, it is thought that this form of Rage also comes from a primal instinct as most living organisms do not like seeing their own blood spilled. Some actually go so far as to fixate on the feeling of pain itself. Instead of focusing on the blood spilled the individual will focus on the sensations that the wound is causing both before during and after the application of the wound. This usually applies internal effects and very rarely are there external effects applied. mostly the external effects have very little to do with the mystical channeling of magical energy and more to do with the horror of seeing an individual willingly put themselves through pain to make them more adequately able to kill you.
InterventionSome individuals are not triggered by the sight of blood be at their own or another's. They are also unfazed by the feeling of pain or rather unwilling to fix upon it. In such circumstances, rage can actually be gained by tapping into some form of arcane power. Sometimes this power is one of the many energies of the universe other times it is the will of a Celestial being. This form of rage is directly translated from that of the Mad Legion as it was their chosen form. The Rage of the Mad Legion came directly from the Mad God and the many horrific sites he showed his centurions. While the source of this rage varies based on the cosmology of the world, it has proven to be remarkably effective.
IntoxicationA newer form of rage involves taking various substances to achieve an intoxicated state. This state often triggers the rage and can be used both for internal and external effects. The practice was first seen in the highlands when a Berserker chose to infuse his blood Rage with the effects of a hallucinogenic mushroom that grows in the forest. The berzerker found new effects the previously he was unable to utilize. Such effects include seemingly slowing down time allowing more time for reaction and euphoric sensations that enhance the rage. Since then the people of Erzhabell took the reins and began making various cocktails to achieve the best possible rage for a given situation. One often has numerous poultices and tinctures they can use to achieve specific results. Magic often has nothing to do with this form of rage. Since everything is artificial one needs very little in the way of arcane training. On top of this, the overall conditioning happens much quicker as it is much easier to learn how to enter the rage state.
unchainedThe Chosen form of Rage Mhirriah, The Warrior Empress herself used, the Unchained rage is the most psychological form of rage. While Magic has its place in this form the focus is more on teaching the mind to let go physical tethers like pain and fear and in some cases death. Mhirriah championed unchained rage and found that own can actually condition the body to forget its mortality, hunger, pain, and other negative nonsense that gets in the way of battle. Those who are unchained are remarkably vicious in battle and tend to throw themselves into light blows for a chance at landing a killing blow of their own.
Magic and RageThe fact that many who use it channel some form of Arcane, those who use the arcane find it incredibly difficult to do so while enraged. Usually, the only magic that can be used with rage effectively is that of Ozlithian Branding, Ozolithian Axioms, and Arcana Formulae. Arcana Sanguis is also an exception though it could take years to learn how to manage the genre while enraged.
TrainingThe training of this unique skill is often a personal experience and only the one training can determine if they are improving. Many small groups have emerged that have their own systems of training. The berzerkers in the highlands, for example, have a master-apprentice system whereas the sea shaman if the highlands often seek the aid of hurricane spirits to teach them how to feel what they refer to as the Rage of the Inner Ocean. One of the main differences between learning the process of entering a rage and improving your ability to use rage is an experience. Some forms of rage cannot be taught but instead show up randomly as if a beast Within has been Unleashed. In some rare occasions, ancestors of the enraged are the cause of the rage filling the mind with sensations of countless battles. In these cases getting better is often a difficult thing to do but generally comes with using the skill and analyzing your own abilities after the fact. Those who enter a blood rage often find themselves able to focus that rage on copper targets and become far less damaging to allies near them the more they use the skill. In the case of the sea shaman, their rage can often be accentuated if they prove to the spirit that they fully understand the rage of ocean storms. Even with the Berserkers, the master can only teach so much and it is up to the student to fully understand their capabilities and practice using them. Often times the progress made is small but noticeable enough. The process of mastery is lengthy and rigorous. Rage can be exhausting and often times at least, in the beginning, it is an everyday activity.
Time seemed to slow for the boy, he saw his father winding back for the swing and the moment seemed to last ages. He felt his blood boil, and an urge to move. The color in the world seemed to fade away. He reached out impulsively and caught the stick in his hand while his face twist into the happiest anger he ever felt in his life.