Places of Power - Leylines

Jagged rivers of raw power, cutting the careless and feeding the world with magic.
  Leylines are veins of arcane or planar energy, surging through Ithekshem like arteries through a body. Within them flow the blood of dead gods, the remnants of destroyed planes, or other sources of strange, terrifying power. For spellcasters and magical creatures of all kinds, Leylines can be tapped, like ticks on a body, and channeled to cast spells or conduct ritual. Though they do not have the same influence on the world around them as a Demesnes, rarely does a leyline leave a land untouched by its passing.  

Magic Geomancy

Few leylines are the same, even those with the same origin have since been warped by their time upon Ithekshem and marked by the meddling of those who dwell within them. Just as few are a straight-forward line, with most racing across land, water, or even air in unpredictable patterns, and of varying lengths. Some only stretch across a region, while others span continents, burrow deep into the earth, or reach towards the stars.   Leylines are identified by their type, energy, and strength.    



Steady Leylines are stable and relatively uniform, with a roughly equal power along the entire Leyline. The permanence of Steady Leylines mean they invariably attract creatures who live and feast on it.


Like a beating heart, the energy along a Pulsing Leyline ebbs and flows. Their strength moves along the length of the Leyline, and are often more powerful then Steady leylines, but unpredictable.




Among the most subtle and most brazen of Leylines, Astral Leylines are uncommon compared to other Leylines. Some are little more than corridors of whispering voices or thought, while the most powerful are surging rivers of screaming starlight. The land along an Astral Leyline become marked with raw magic ability or pollution, wearing unknowable runes or glyphs. Suggesting most are actually in the starless night sky, well out of mortal reach.  


Leylines of Blood are unpleasant, putrid streams of slow-moving mud or tainted waters. Mosquitoes and other bloodsuckers invariably swarm the passage of a Blood Leyline, with vegetation and wildlife becoming stronger, but twisted and hostile.  


Almost always, Leylines of Necrotic energy gain reputations for being haunted. Nomadic Echoes flock to Necrotic Leylines and other places of power, making them solemn reminders of the toll that the End of All Things took on the world. Life around Necrotic leylines weaken and wilt, producing stunted offspring and weak, feeble plants.  
The appearance of Leylines are often subtle, bar a few exceptions of great power, and rarely take the shape of raw energy. In most cases, the Leyline is seen in the way plant grows along its path, the sudden chill in the air, or the constant, strange slime along the trail.


Leylines of Earth can be difficult to detect, often manifesting deep underground or as veins of especially rich ore or trails of geodes. They are especially common in Ithekshem's underground realms.  


Often manifesting itself as little more than a stretch of warm climate in an otherwise temperate or cold region, Leylines of Fire are common in desert, wastelands, and other hot environments where they are either hard to spot or smouldering patches of heat.  


Leylines of Air are most common in the sky, and show themselves as corridors of constant winds or a propensity for oddly arranged lightning strikes. Flying creatures of all kinds are drawn to the Leylines of Air.  
The River Styx is one of the most well-known leylines, created from the waters of various aquatic planes of the Abyss, home of Demons. The hundreds of mile long river is murky and brackish, and said to be hungry for blood, as suits its elemental type. Not recommended for bathing or drinking.


More often than not, Leylines of water are actually that - rivers, streams, or brooks, sometimes where none should be found. Sometimes, they are trails of slime or a low, drifting fog of unusual density.   Others are found with ocean, seas and lakes, as distinct and sharply different streams within the water.  


Marked with remarkable fecundity of both flora and fauna, Leylines of Nature are found everywhere in Ithekshem. With civilization reduced to scattered enclaves in a vast and uncertain wild new world, they may be the most common Leyline.  


The most rare of all Leylines, the Divine have little in common with one another. Each one is spawned from some aspect of divinity, the most common being splattered blood or gruesome dismemberment of some godling during the End of All Things. Filled with the raw stuff of creation, their appearance and effect on the land they pass is wildly unpredictable.


Magic is divided into 9 types of energy, with new and stranger forms of power discovered with every passing year in the chaotic world left after the End of All Things.   All Leylines are formed from one of these energies, with a rare few beginning to mix together in unpredictable ways to create new sorts of Leylines altogether.    
Magic in Ithekshem
Physical / Metaphysical Law | Dec 14, 2020

An overview of magic in the world - a natural force run amok, an energy disrupted, a world-shaking disaster without end.



Magic involving leylines, demesnes, shards, and manses are a growing field. Before the End of All Things, nothing like this exist in the world except in some of the most powerful places in the world and even those were barely explored. Now, mages are figuring out how to detect and interact with these places of power, the earliest success of which were the Manses.  
Places of Power - Manse
Building / Landmark | Dec 6, 2020

Power, bound and caged with stone, steel, wood, and plaster. Raw magic channeled through geometry and architecture.


Leyline and Elementals

Comprised of pure force or matter, Elementals are drawn to and sometimes birthed from places of power like Leylines and Demesnes. Though Leylines aregenerally too weak to give rise to anything but the lowerst of elementals, they're often sought out as havens in regions otherwise poor in the kind of energy an elemental might need.   ...And everyone is just waiting with baited breath to see what a Leyline made from Alcohol elementals will look like.    
Alcohol Elemental
Species | Dec 7, 2020

Spawned from the primal energies of drunkards everywhere, alcoholic elementals are here to party.



Leylines vary in strength, just as demesnes do, and the stronger the leyline is, the more pronounced affect it has on the world around it... And the easier it is to find. The weakest leyline can be barely noticable, while the most powerful can't be missed by even the most oblivious adventurer. Most Leylines fall somewhere in the middle, with some elements skewing the scale - Divine Leylines are almost always on the higher end of power, as the last power of the gods bled out into the world.  
Rating Description
0 - Slumbering Slumbering Leylines are places with the potential to one day awaken and become a leyline, either by accident or design.
1 - Faint Faint Leylines are bring a faint murmur of power. Most on this level are barely visible, if at all, and do little to change their environment.
2 - Weak Weak Leylines begin to meld magic with the world. Living things are usually not changed, or at least not drastically, at this power.
3 - Moderate Moderate Leylines are often visible to the naked eye, their path lined with manifestations of their Element. Living creatures begin to change.
4 - Strong Strong Leylines drastically alter the environment with their passage. Rivers run red with blood, verdant blooms crisscross a wasteland. Generations of altered creatures are born here, sometimes becoming unrecognizable.
5 - Overwhelming Overwhelming Leylines are torrents of visible magic energy. Floods that glow with magic pollution, procession of Echos, or other overt manifestation of raw power.

Cover image: by Sebastian Wagner


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Dec 7, 2020 00:42 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

'Surging rivers of screaming starlight' is a beautiful image. Love it!   I really like the table explaining the ratings of the different leylines. Really useful and it gives a sense of how they interact with the world.   I definitely do not want to stumble across a blood leyline.

Dec 7, 2020 15:07

They are definitely not pleasant. :D

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
Dec 7, 2020 01:27 by E. Christopher Clark

This is super-interesting. I first encountered the term leyline while playing the TTRPG Rifts in the mid- to late-90s, and I sometimes think of the Veil of the World in my own universe as being a type of leyline.   I really like how you broke down the different types, and I also loved the River Styx reference. Loved hearing how it works in this world of yours, as I have a hankering to write about the River Styx in my world too.

Track my progress on Summer Camp 2024!
Dec 7, 2020 15:06

Thank you!   The trend will continue with the demesnes and manses once I get to those.. And probably shards, too. The inspiration I'm using for Ithekshem here comes from Rifts, Exalted, and Dominion. :)

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.