Leylines Physical / Metaphysical Law in Malkora | World Anvil

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Leylines

Arcane magic travels through Malkora through its leylines, which flow through the earth below its overworld. On occasion, leylines will rise beyond the surface, in a phenomenon known as emergence.   Leyline emergences cause great changes in the lands in which they take place, as the surge in magic in the area alters the landscape and all living things residing within them. These leylines each carry different forms of magic, bringing with them unique effects — and these leylines may emerge in close proximity to one another, causing even stranger blends of effects as different forms of magic overlap in one space.   The arcane's five physical domains flow through the world in the form of ten leylines. Each of the five forms breaks into a duality in the direction of either extreme, and leylines of each type may, at any time, turn to its opposite end of the spectrum.
An Ever-Shifting World
Malkora's landscapes are ever shifting at the whim of the leylines' magical influence. These cycles are unpredictable and can be very destructive, often giving civilizations just enough time to find stability anew before changing on them again.
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The Human Experience

The emergence of a leyline brings with it an intense flow of arcane magic that is incredibly damaging to living creatures; thus the innate magic found in each human's blood reacts to bring about a change for their protection. Each emergence affects living things differently, depending on their anicent bloodline.   Those of leyborne blood are most succeptible to the magic of the leylines, but often do not experience much change in their physical forms. Those whose forms do change often appear but slightly non-human; one could compare this effect to the uncanny valley. Rather, much of their transformation is metaphysical or mental, and some find their essence permanently tied to the leyline in the process.   The worldspirit are the most consistent in their transformations, as the primals imbue their human kin with the natural qualities of the earth and its elements to protect them from the magic of the leylines.   The faithkept are the least predictable, as their transformations are often chosen at the whim of their gods, being granted whichever form their deity believes will best protect them against the sudden barrage of magical energy which comes with a leyline emergence.
by Strixxline

Physical Domain: Energy

The domain of energy controls heat and activity of anything within its range of influence. That which lies dormant may arise, just as that which has ever been active may fall to slumber — ancient processes may grind to a halt, as new systems rise in their place. Intense shifts in temperature may wash over regions affected by this physical domain, and that which lives within the influence of the domain may fall to lethargy, or to hyperactivity.   This domain is represented in the leylines of Agitation and Oblivion.

Leyline of Agitation

The Leyline of Agitation carries the magics of energy and activity throughout Malkora. Wherever this leyline emerges, chaos rules, bringing with it effects such as intense volcanic activity, destructive natural disasters, and rapidly accelerated natural processes.   Current known emergences of this leyline include the region of Bolkan, which now exists in a perpetual volcanic state, as long-dormant volcanoes beneath the region were spurred into activity again.

Leyline of Inertia

The Leyline of Inertia carries the magics of passivity and idleness throughout Malkora. Wherever this leyline emerges, stillness takes hold, resulting in effects such as steep drops in temperature, pure silence, and loss of energy in living things.   Current known emergences of this leyline have not been documented.

Physical Domain: Form

The domain of form controls the mobility and physical state of all matter within its range of influence. Within the domain of form, solid, liquid, and gas are fluid in their states, often turning and shifting at the whim of the magical energies of the leyline. Forms may be strengthened or weakened, fortified or dispersed, and the unmoving may be granted uncharacteristic mobility — and vice-versa.   This domain is represented in the leylines of Tenacity and Celerity.

Leyline of Tenacity

The Leyline of Tenacity carries the magics of rigidity and longevity throughout Malkora. Wherever this leyline emerges, form is bolstered, bringing with it effects such as restricted movement ability, increased earthen formations, and impenetrable or indestructable surfaces.   Current known emergences include locations within the Earthen Kingdoms, which is now known for its high-rising peaks and impenetrable stone wall barriers.

Leyline of Celerity

The Leyline of Celerity carries the magics of haste and dispersion throughout Malkora. Wherever this leyline emerges, form scatters, bringing with it effects such as dissolving structures, rapid uncharacteristic movements, and intense winds.   Current known emergences include the Isles of Celerity, where the cliffs dance like sand in the wind, dispersing and reconstituting on a whim, and the winds sing ancient songs.
by Strixxline

by Strixxline

Physical Domain: Life

The domain of life controls the essence and growth of all living things within its range of influence. Life force may be strained or amplified, siphoned or redirected, and the laws governing natural life may be twisted. Characteristic vitals may change, and proliferation of all manner of life may occur in varying degrees.   This domain is represented in the leylines of Genesis and Atrophy.

Leyline of Genesis

The Leyline of Genesis carries the magics of life and vitality throughout Malkora. Wherever the leyline emerges, life surges, resulting in effects ranging from rapid overgrowth, to mass proliferation, and an abundance of megafauna.   Current emergences of this leyline include Nimavi, where the forests have grown mighty and its beasts immense, its effect amplified by an adjacent emergence of the leyline of potency.

Leyline of Atrophy

The Leyline of Atrophy carries the magics of death and decay throughout Malkora. Wherever this leyline emerges, decay follows, resulting in effects such as withering life, proliferation of fungus and carrion crawlers, and undeath.   Current emergences of this leyline include Ba'logor, where the frozen forests of the north are known to bear the ruins of lost civilizations, teeming with unliving creatures and entities.

Physical Domain: Vision

The domain of vision controls aspects of clarity in its range of influence. Vision in all its forms, be it the vision of one's eyes, or the intuition of one's heart may be enhanced or clouded, and tricks of the shadow may be unveiled or further cloaked in obscurity. Truth and falsehood may become a line blurred, or may be wholly divorced from one another.   This domain is represented in the leylines of Revelation and Obscurity.

Leyline of Revelation

The Leyline of Revelation carries the magics of light and vision throughout Malkora. Wherever this leyline emerges, perception clears, bringing with it effects such as absence of shadow, sun-bleached lands, and inability to deceive.   Current known emergences of this leyline include Everbright, where the sun burns ever in the sky, never setting for even a moment.

Leyline of Obscurity

The Leyline of Obscurity carries the magics of shadow and secrecy throughout Malkora. Wherever this leyline emerges, shadow cloaks the land, resulting in effects such as abnormal darkness, obscured truths, and deceptive landscapes.   Current known emergences of this leyline have not been documented.
by Strixxline

by Strixxline

Physical Domain: Power

The domain of power controls the force and abundance of magic in any given space. Arcane magic ebbs and flows in every space, but never truly leaves it — except where oblivion creeps in to consume it. Where this domain rises, magic comes to its extremes, all or nothing.   This domain is represented in the Leylines of Potency and Oblivion.

Leyline of Potency

Unlike other leylines of Malkora, which carry different forms of magic, the Leyline of Potency is an amplifying force. Wherever this leyline emerges, other forms of magic are empowered, bolstering their effects and the range of any other emergences found within Potency's influence.   Current known emergences of this leyline include Nimavi, where the leyline of potency greatly amplifies the effects of the nearby emergence of the leyline of genesis.

Leyline of Oblivion

Unlike other leylines of Malkora, which carry different forms of magic, the Leyline of Oblivion is a consuming force. Wherever this leyline emerges, other forms of magic are snuffed out, leaving a magical void behind — this is rumored to be the cause of the Nameless Age.   Current known emergences of this leyline include Yulrorim, where oblivion's wake is said to have originated, causing the Nameless Age in ancient times. The land remains a wasteland devoid of all magical influence.


Cover image: by Strixxline

Comments

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Dec 9, 2023 05:16 by Tlcassis Polgara | Arrhynsia

I really like these opposites in magic leylines! They are well named except I think that the names for the opposites of form might be a bit esoteric for most people. I had to go look them up, and I have a really large vocab. Since it sounds like you were looking for a physical form there, perhaps you were going for the ideas of solidity and malleability? That last might be too much too though? Just a thought.

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Dec 9, 2023 13:37 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

I love your interpretations of leylines, and I love the names you have chosen for them. :) The idea of each leyline having an opposite is fascinating.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Dec 17, 2023 17:46 by Polina "Line" Arteev

Thank you! :D Fleshing out more of the lore for the leylines has really been a fun time this year! I really started WE with their names and basic concept, and now there's a whole lot more to them — history, too!


Seek a new dawn, in Malkora!
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Jan 1, 2024 00:08 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

I love the new art! <3

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jan 1, 2024 00:37 by Polina "Line" Arteev

Thank you! :D I was sweating SO hard trying to finish them before the WA stream kicked off and I made it within seconds hahaha


Seek a new dawn, in Malkora!
The Feral Sovereign sleeps peacefully, but will return...
Dec 9, 2023 13:51 by Morgan Biscup

Ooh, these are so cool. I love the naming, and the balance of there being opposites.

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Dec 17, 2023 17:47 by Polina "Line" Arteev

Thank you! Coming up with names is so tough but I ended up with some words that I think are super cool! The balance is fun because their structure throws off the balance all the time... but things even out later. Eventually!


Seek a new dawn, in Malkora!
The Feral Sovereign sleeps peacefully, but will return...
Dec 9, 2023 20:35

Great - I love the contrasting names of the lines, but even more so the explanation of the individual areas and I'm really looking forward to your visual interpretations. Can a ley-born person only recognize/feel one area or just one or several ley lines?

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Dec 17, 2023 17:50 by Polina "Line" Arteev

Thank you! The effects of the leylines would be felt by all, but I do think that the leyborne would be far more sensitive to more subtle changes. Maybe they can predict when leylines will surface in a region? That would make some fun dynamics in certain societies!


Seek a new dawn, in Malkora!
The Feral Sovereign sleeps peacefully, but will return...
Jan 3, 2024 17:51

I love your take on the leylines having an impact on the natural world. Very fascinating. This could have great implications in a campaign setting by also impacting people born beneath a specific line. Could lead to many variations in characters and NPCs.

Jan 5, 2024 17:21

I've never seen the leylines get named like this. It's a cool concept to play with!

Jan 7, 2024 15:55

I am fond of the idea of Leylines, but never thought that they could be different to each other and have side-effects when interacting with each other. That was a great read, love it!

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Jan 12, 2024 14:02 by E. Christopher Clark

I love this, and I really enjoyed seeing your artwork alongside your writing here. Glad you were able to find time to draw this WorldEmber.

Check out my progress on the Cabinet of Curiosities
Jan 19, 2024 11:46

I thought I had already commented on this, but apparently not. Wonderful work here. The descriptions are great, the artwork superbly conveys the duality of the magic (my favorite is Life, but Form is a close second). There is so much cool stuff in this article.   But does anything happen where leylines cross?

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Jan 21, 2024 20:20 by Barron

Well gosh dang, I gave it a scroll through first, and my eyebrows raised in interest at the mix of your layout of the content and the illustrations of the leylines.   Then I went through the content, which is delivered quickly, effficently, and colorfully. You did great at conveying the supernatural effects, and how the world has to live around these just like we live on our tectonic plates.   Speaking of, do these leylines ever get messed up my other natural disasters?


Jan 22, 2024 15:33 by Owen Davies

I love the duality in the domains, but then the different subsets of leylines that allow for such a great expansion of the magical potential!

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Jan 27, 2024 15:09 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

Great article and great art! I love how you've presented each line and how this whole magic system works <3

To see what I am up to: World Ember 2023 list of articles.
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