Broken Leylines and Circuitbleed Physical / Metaphysical Law in Numiastra | World Anvil

Broken Leylines and Circuitbleed

An overview of the nature of Numiastra's broken magic and Leylines, and the dangers of the Circuitbleed phenomena

History of a Broken Land

Though it would be hard to imagine in the current day, the lands of Numiastra were not always so broken and desperate as they are in the modern day - once, the lands of Numiastra were one contiguous continent rather than the scattered and disparate lands that they are now. It was not until several thousand years ago, when the Skyfall Calamity rocked the land of Numiastra and changed it forever that it would break apart into its current disjointed state - and while records of a time before the Skyfall Calamity have been lost completely and utterly, enough remains to piece together the times immediately during and after the Calamity.   To many, it began with the advent of a burning comet that fell from the sky towards the area of the continent that is now occupied largely by The Blasting Sea - a burning star of destruction that fell to the surface of the planet the size of a gigantic asteroid trailing a stream of silvery fire. This comet, in truth, was one of the ancient Skycities of the Aurelian Hegemony of Man - the Ancient Empire of Humanity whose wondrous Magitech Skycities once crisscrossed the globe floating high in the skies above - though the exact name of the city which crashed into Numiastra's surface has been lost, the city was knocked out of the sky during the final hours of the Hegemony's collapse many thousands of years ago as its highly experimental and prototype magical reactors which powered its numerous Magitech inventions went haywire due to catastrophic damage suffered during the Hegemony's collapse.   Slamming into the grounds of the lush, rolling fields of green that were once stretching across the continent of Numiastra where now stands only The Black Desert like a hammer, the sheer force of the impact sent a plume of dust and debris into the air that nearly blocked out the sun for miles in every direction from the point of impact, causing a massive earthquake whose shockwaves bowled over entire cities and forests near the impact zone and caused untold chaos for dozens or hundreds of miles beyond the immediate vicinity. However, in the moments after the city's impact with the ground after falling from the sky at Terminal Velocity, the city's hyper-advanced construction in this moment served to work against it - the invincible silver metal that made up the city's superstructure held together after the city's collapse, and began to superheat as the city's countless magical reactors began to destabilize and shake themselves apart.   In this way, several hours after the city's initial impact, the invincible silver-shelled Skycity superheated to such an extreme degree that it began to sink and list into the now liquefied ground it had landed on - rapidly falling deep into the ground as its magical reactors continued to destabilize in runaway, wildcat detonations that rocked the city's internal infrastructure but which were contained thanks to the city's invincible silver superstructure. It was not until the city had sank deep into the earth and plunged itself into a Leyline nexus, a central nexus for Atlen energies flowing across Numiastra and much of the surrounding parts of the Planet of Ea, that the city finally gave out as all of its remaining reactors went supernova in unison - sending the city up in a hail of invincible fragmentating supershrapnel whose magical shockwaves not only caused the formation of the Blasting Sea and transmuted hundreds of miles of verdant grasslands into the Black Desert, but whose unmatched destructive energies detonated inside of the Leyline Nexus and shredded the Leylines in not only the land of Numiastra, but much of the south-western hemisphere of the Planet of Ea as a whole.   This shockwave, which ripped through the Planet's Leylines like a blast wave, threw Atlen and Mana out of sorts all across the planet - no continent was spared the aftereffects of this blast whose magical aftershocks caused Atlen Blackouts and countless other Magical Catastrophies across the world even as Numiastra itself experienced the worst of the feedback; Atlen itself was blasted and shredded so utterly than for a time in the immediate afterfall of the Skyfall Calamity Atlen itself collapsed almost entirely - becoming a limited resource and plunging all life on Numiastra into barbarism as millions simply died or vanished, mages began furiously hoarding the remaining Atlen to preserve themselves, and all life flocked to the few leaders that remained in a desperate bid for survival.   In the early days after the Skyfall Incident, Magic was nearly unusable - so unstable and impossible to reliable use and activate that mages hoarded Atlen to power bastions of normality to continue their work; the main issue was its chaotic and limited nature, but it otherwise would work fine with enough effort in the right circumstances - leading to the rise of mage-tyrants and mage-kings whose greedy accumulation of Atlen to further their immortality or other goals likely only quickened the "shift" of The Lattice that was to come. Over the decades that followed, as the fallout from this hyper-dangerous event settled across the planet and the God of Magic and his followers began to stabilize Atlen across the planet and fix the broken Leylines, the "settling" of the damaged and/or destroyed leylines and the completely unreliable Atlen around Numiastra caused a catastrophic "glitch" in The Lattice that caused it to "shift" in the space around Numiastra, irreparably damaging The Lattice itself and forever damaging the means of using magic for any who lived within the area. With the settling and the shifting of The Lattice, the once chaotic and unusable nature of Atlen in the aftermath of Skyfall has changed to its current state - The Lattice has "shifted" to accomodate the new nature of Atlen while Atlen itself has "settled" as well, leading to faulty mismatches in The Lattice's functions that, while still usable, often cause irreparable harm to the caster or the surrounding area with the casting of each new spell.  


After the chaos that followed the decades immediately after the Skyfall Calamity, Atlen had returned to a relatively usable if not incredibly unreliable and chaotic state, while The Lattice that has traditionally enabled the use of Magic as a whole for mortal casters had "glitched" and "shifted" - now, instead of simply being unable to handle the use of Atlen to cast magic unless absurd amounts of Atlen was pumped into each spell as was the case in the decades following Skyfall, The Lattice's circuits have since adapted but misaligned largely as a result of so many Arcane Casters and Mages around Numiastra abusing it after Skyfall. Now, The Lattice's circuits are misaligned, and as a result magic is usable again without as much effort - however, now the use of magic contains an inherent danger that many refer to as "Circuitbleed" - what was once perfectly streamlined and hyper-efficient conduits and systems within The Lattice to allow for the normal, streamlined casting enjoyed by all other places around the Planet of Ea now has developed faults and "leaks" that bleed out part of the Atlen that is put into them during casting, leading to catastrophic and often completely random results ranging from magical detonations, rampant physical mutations, total organ failure, alterations to the caster's mental state and/or psychology, to any other number of chaotic and unpredictable magical side effects. As one may expect, more powerful magic therefore "bleeds" more Atlen out during casting, leading to more dangerous effects that are typically thematic to the type of magic attempting to be used.   Because of the dangers of Circuitbleed, aspiring mages are forced to turn to drastic means to practice their craft - the most common way to blunt the effects of Circuitbleed is to offer up more Atlen as a pre-existing buffer for the Circuitbleed to slam into and consume like a Tidewall to blunt an incoming Tidal Wave; in this way, the caster is insulated from the worst of the effects. However, this means that practices such as Blood Magic, Living Sacrifice, and other nefarious methods are a common practice for casters on Numiastra, as is the demented practice of using other living beings as batteries or barricades for one's casting - all for the simple fact that to practice such magics without these protections will cause the Circuitbleed to fall onto the caster alone, leading to mutations, psychological changes, and more as described above. Alternatively, casters can also try to alleviate Circuitbleed in more humane ways by carving 'channels' into their magic to allow for the effects to flow into the environment, which can help casters influence what form the backlash will take, pushing it towards environmental feedback rather than personal feedback. This, however, is much less reliable and prone to errors or total failure and often simply does not work for higher tiers of magic.   Thus, the only option remaining to many Casters is to burn their decency and humanity upon the pyre of their own ambition and fear in a selfish bid to keep not only their power and prestige like the Mage-kings of the Skyfall aftermath, but for the simple science of self-preservation; because the alternative is madness, mutation, corruption, death, or any number of fates worse than death, such nefarious and terrible means of avoiding or blunting Circuitbleed are a fact of life for those who seek to practice magic. Unfortunately, while all who practice magic experience the effects of Circuitbleed, none feel it so keenly as Arcane Mages - in the absence of other third parties inherent to other systems of magic such as Divine or Natural Casting(Read The Origins of Magic for more info) which can often help serve as a buffer or insulation against Circuitbleed(See The Rite of Subsumation Below), Arcane Mages have none to rely on and nothing to lose other than themselves...which has naturally resulted in drastic measures taken by Arcane Mages and other Mages of all kinds to preserve themselves, even if it means sacrificing everything about themselves to do so.  

The Rite of Subsumation

A common practice that has arisen from the discovery of Circuitbleed and its dangers is "The Rite of Subsumation" - a means of relying on another more powerful entity to essentially store a record of one's biological, physiological, magical, mental, and spiritual "profile" or "essence" at the exact moment of the Rite's activation to allow for the entity accepting the Rite to help the caster return to that base "profile" or even simply to allow for the entity to recognize changes being done to the caster and alert them should blowback from spellcasting and the resulting Circuitbleed begin to change their body, mind, soul, or otherwise.   This Rite, while useful, requires a prospective mage to allow another being into their very soul - and thus effectively ingratiates them to this other entity and requires a great deal of trust - or a patron-like exchange between the two parties where each can be sure the other benefits from the arrangement in some way. Versions of this Rite that can function without a second party(functioning more like storing a copy of oneself on an arcane medium or database) are rumored to exist but are incredibly rare. While this rite does reduce the dangers of Circuitbleed, it does not remove them entirely - depending on the entity in question being called upon by the caster to accept the Rite the protection offered may be more or less comprehensive or work against different aspects of the Circuitbleed as a whole, but none will alleviate the Bleed entirely.  

A Land Beyond Repair

Though many cry out for the repair of the Broken Leylines and The Lattice whose damaged frameworks have led to Circuitbleed and the extreme dangers of Spellcasting as a whole within the lands of Numiastra, it is no longer such a simple endeavor - since most of the Gods present across the rest of the planet of Ea fled or were expunged during the chaos immediately following the Skyfall Incident, few beings remain on Numiastra who have the capability or the desire to try and return their broken land to the way it used to be. The stewards of the God of Magic, based on faraway continents, still yearn to fix The Leylines and The Lattice around Numiastra but are hampered by not only the advent of The Divine Gate which prevents Gods of the Outer Realms from manifesting their central cores and bodies upon the Material Realm, but also the dangers of Numiastra itself - The Iron Empire who holds nothing but hatred for magic and its wielders, and the Vrykus Throne who seeks the extermination of all life alone mean that both the stewards of the God of Magic who would see the land fixed and the servants of the natural world who would likely seek to facilitate the natural healing of the Leylines such as the Kami, Druids, and more are either killed or driven out in short order.   Despite it all, however, there are no shortage of those who would try to enact change in this broken and dying land - even if it will lead to little change overall many throw themselves at the task regardless, weighed down by the heavy burden of the worst and most pervasive of all mortal traits: hope. A currency more valuable than any gold in these broken, shattered lands.
Metaphysical, Arcane
To pursue the spark of the arcane is to eschew the whole in favor of the self. To prioritize the self over the needs of the whole - it is a fundamental flaw built into the mindset of every single last one of those filthy, selfish mages of the Arcane; they will always put themselves over others because that is what their ethos demands. They seek knowledge - understanding of this world and its vast intricacies - and wish to bend those secrets to their own ends for no other reason than they seek to - that they have goals they would see fulfilled. They work for the sake of none but themselves and their personal ambitions.   They are not like Druids, who work in service of the forests - they are not like the Clergy who work in service of a higher power - they are not like the Mythmakers who work in service of the people - they work solely in service of themselves. They may fake and pretend, but we are nothing more than things to them; lesser beings whom some may see as pitiful enough to look out for, but things that they will not hesitate to sacrifice if it means empowering themselves. This sickness inherent to their minds betrays the way with which their kind views us - lesser things to be protected or even sacrificed. And what good is it to be cared for by one who thinks themselves so above us?   Even their magic is selfish - they draw upon the Atlen, the Mana of our world, to power their own rituals and selfish ends; Not that of the forests nor the leylines nor that of a higher power. The lifeblood of this land itself - your life, my life, the plantlife, all of it. A degenerate, disgusting branch of mages who are to be pruned wheresoever they are found, and nothing more.
— Lily-Rose Kennedy, Sacrament Mother First Class of the Faith of Tavross, The Iron Emperor

The Blackout

0 BF 335 AF

The period of time immediately following the legendary Skyfall Calamity, which saw a great silver meteor crash into the center of the continent and detonate with such force that magic itself fell to pieces for decades and even centuries afterwards. During this Age, all nationalities and civilizations were atomized by the chaos of the meteor or the centuries of anarchic lawlessness that followed, as Mage-Tyrants hoarded the remaining life-energy of the land to power their spells for their own selfish ends and all life and unlife warred ceaselessly for their own ends with no end or beginning in sight. Violence was the only rule and the rule of law was a distant memory for those who lived during this time, where only the strong and the violent could thrive.

  • 0 BLA

    The Skyfall Calamity
    Disaster / Destruction

    The Shining silver meteor said to have once been one of the invincible Skycities of the Aurelian Hegemony of Man crashes into the center of the Numiastran Supercontinent and detonates inside the depths of its central Leyline Nexus, forever destroying and altering the physical and magical geography of Numiastra and beyond forever. With this calamity, Atlen, the mana of the world, becomes a limited resource coveted by mages and living beings alike as mass extinctions even rock the Numiastran Continent and the newly created outlying islands as well as the newly transmuted Black Desert of seemingly infinite Blackpowder.   For more information, see Broken Leylines and Circuitbleed.

  • 335 BLA

    The Settling of the Lattice
    Disaster / Destruction

    The Great Magical Framework reaches its breaking point after centuries of Mage-Tyrants abusing what little Atlen remained across Numiasta during The Blackout and "disjoints" in the space around Numiastra, forever and indelibly breaking the way Magic works and leading to the Broken Leylines and Circuitbleed that plague the lands to this very day, though in the process magic settles and becomes usable once again, albeit irregularly.

The Age of Silence

336 AF 588 AF

The time that followed the chaos of The Blackout, where the forces of Magic had settled enough to allow a semblance of life and order to return to the anarchic continent - and in the wake of this settling, a great silence overtook the lands of Numiastra and beyond as those who had survived beneath the banner of those few heroes who had led them through the chaos of the Blackout realized the existential terror of the lands that now confronted them, scrambling to build villages, empires, and anything to survive the coming bloodbath at the hands of the land's new, monstrous inhabitants. The silence of the age was at the time mistaken for peace, as with the death of the final Mage-Tyrants near the Age's beginning many incorrectly assumed that peace would at last return to the lands of Numiastra.

  • 588 SIL

    The Rise of the Vrykus Throne

    The relative peace and silence of the age is forever broken as the undead hordes of the south which had been historically unwilling to accept centralized rule and had fallen to constant infighting and violence amongst each other since the time of the Skyfall Calamity are beaten and broken into line by a rising Vampiric God-Queen who leads them on a feast of cataclysmic proportions against the living creatures of the north who have been rebuilding in the "peace" of the age.

The Age of Blood

589 AF 700 AF

Following the unnerving silence of the previous age where the survivors strove to rebuild following the Skyfall Calamity that destroyed all life and civilization on Numiastra, an age of destruction was heralded with the arrival of the first hordes of Undead that arrived from the deep south and beyond; hordes of bloodthirsty horrors led by a Vampire Queen who, in their apocryphal rebirth, sought to cleanse the lands of the stain of life to settle it for its new Undead masters. With what meager protections they could muster, the few remaining bastions of life and civilization fought desperately against the darkness if only to survive a minute longer.

  • 700 BLD

    The Ignition of Lumisterra
    Scientific achievement

    After a century of unchecked destruction, violence, and bloodshed on the living survivors of the northern lands of Numiastra by the Undead Hordes of the Vrykus Throne far to the south, the leader of the allied living forces who names himself Tavross oversees the completion of the great city of Lumisterra and, in a feat of scientific achievement felt across Numiastra and beyond, oversaw the creation of the first Iron Sun and ignited the ever-burning sun that hangs above the sprawling city of steel, creating the first ever safe haven from the forces of the Vrykus Throne beneath its radiant light.

The Age of Steel

701 AF 1159 AF

An Era that saw the formation of the Iron Empire and the rise of Tavross, The Iron Emperor, this age was heralded in with the ignition of the first of the Iron Suns above the first city and capital of the Iron Empire, Lumisterra. With his capital complete, Tavross lead his newly resurgent empire of humanity against the forces of darkness and led them through an age of unprecedented expansion and victory; his radiant will unbreakable and his steel invincible, He and His Empire seemed at the time utterly unstoppable, expanding across the lands of Numiastra at breakneck speed on a crusade that knew no borders, boundaries, nationalities, or creeds. Under Tavross, there was only victory - a shining light of hope for Humanity and the living races to reclaim their birthright from the undead hordes of the south.

  • 1159 STE

    The Betrayal of Lord Percival
    Disaster / Destruction

    Ending the seemingly invincible outward expansion and crusade of the Iron Empire, the trusted son and long-beloved right hand of Tavross, Lord Percival, betrays his father and liege for the embrace of his archrival Kali and her Vrykus Throne, plunging the Iron Empire into an age of rebellion and war from which it may never awaken. Turning brother against brother and human against human, Lord Percival sells out everything he once held dear and becomes a Dread Commander of the Vrykus Throne.

The Age of Heresy

1160 AF 1437 AF

The tragic and abrupt end to an age that many thought would lead to the complete restoration of life and hope across the continent, the Age of Heresy saw the increasingly massive Iron Empire fracture with the betrayal of Lord Percival, once closest ally and son to the Iron Emperor, to the Vrykus Throne. An age of bloody wars and violent rebellions against the Empire and the Vrykus Throne alike, this period of unrest rocked the world at the time to its very foundations and was seen by many as a coming apocalypse to rival the Skyfall Calamity - were their Iron Emperor to fall, many feared the continent would be plunged back into an age of Darkness from which it would never awaken or free itself from.

  • 1430 HER

    The Sinking of the H.G.V Iron Tyrant
    Disaster / Destruction

    The first and only Tyrant-Class Supercarrier ever constructed in the Iron Dockyards of the Empire, the nearly mile-long Supercarrier known as the H.G.V Iron Tyrant, constructed to bring an end to the Age of Heresy once and for all, crushes the Heretic's base of operations before eventually being sunk in the waters to the north of the Empire's borders. With it, the hopes of an easy resolution to the Age are dashed, and the age enters its final, bloody hours...

  • 1437 HER

    The Miracle at Lumisterra
    Military action

    As the forces of the heretics under the Dread Commander Percival surround the Iron Empire's capital of Lumisterra, driven ever onwards by the insidious whispers of The Broodqueen at their backs, The Dread Commander engages his father atop the highest spires of Lumisterra, empowered by the Dark Powers and made into a being beyond comprehension, and is ultimately slain by his father in a duel so cataclysmic that the Iron Emperor himself is fatally wounded and falls into the Diesel Vats that power the city's Iron Sun after slaying his own corrupted child and once closest ally. With his death, the Iron Empire is saved and destroyed in equal measure - left leaderless even as the forces of the heretics scatter with the death of their leader.

The Age of Recession

1438 AF 1530 AF

A short era immediately following the tragic end of the Age of Heresy that saw the forces of the Iron Empire and the Vrykus Throne, beaten and exhausted from the cataclysmic struggle at its end, collapse at their edges as a handful of other nations began to form in the vacuum; small nations forming and emerging from hiding without fear of reprisal from the weakend nations that once surrounded them. During this time, small edges of both empires broke off and became independent, emboldened by the weakness both displayed in the aftermath of the prior Age.

  • 1530 REC

    The Diesel-God's Awakening
    Life, Birth

    In a miracle beyond mortal comprehension, the Iron Emperor himself, believed slain at the hands of his son Percival nearly a century prior, emerges from the Diesel Vats deep within the bowels of Lumisterra wholly and utterly changed - from his pores the first true Divine Diesel weeps like blood, within his limbs his bones now stand as divine steel, and from his head roars the eternal flame. Newly reborn and forever changed, he wastes little time reclaiming his throne and reconquering his own fragmenting empire...though those close to him call him forever changed by the experience in ways they dare not fully vocalize.

The Spire Wars

1531 AF 1609 AF

With the two great empires of Numiastra having solidified their power bases and returned to rising power once more, the Spire Wars were an age that marked the return of the land to its old struggles and hatreds - the forces of the Vrykus Throne began a series of lightning fast blitzes against the eastern territories of the Iron Empire, who concentrated their forces in the Hive City of Damnadon, pride of the Eastern Empire. These wars, waged to not only fend off the Vrykus Throne but resolidify the errant corners of both Empires that had grown somewhat rebellious with the silence of their rules in the prior Age, were reminded through force in these bloody wars which served as much to unite them as it did to destroy their enemies.

  • 1609 SPI

    The Destruction at Damnadon
    Disaster / Destruction

    In an effort to deliver a deathblow to the rampaging forces of the Vrykus Throne warring in the eastern lands of his empire and to finally destroy all rebels and naysayers within his own ranks, Tavross orders the deployment of the now-infamous Atmospheric Incineration Lance during the waning hours of the Vrykus Throne's siege of the Hive City of Damnadon - incinerating a 50-mile patch of land in an instant and nearly igniting the entire planet's biosphere in an utterly overwhelming show of force that instantly sounds the death knell for the war and any rebels hoping to resist the newly reborn Diesel-God's autocratic rule.

The Iron Renaissance

1610 AF 1817 AF

With its vast bulk once again brought to heel under the power of its newly reborn God-King, the Iron Empire entered into a period of unprecedented expansion once again under the watchful eye of their newly transformed god - the unbridaled power of the Blackpowder was mixed with the newly discovered "Diesel" that served as Tavross's blood as well as the Divine Steel of his body and more aspects of his divinity, leading to the empowerment of the Iron Suns, the slowly-spreading black-stain corruption of the lands around the cities of the Empire, and countless other innovations both good and bad which fueled an age of expansion across Numiastra and beyond. Expanding across the Ocean and creating a true Empire that united all corners of the surrounding seas, Numiastra encountered several island peoples and foreign nations during this time, all of whom were conquered or brought into the fold through words or violence.

  • 1817 REN

    The Defeat at Saganaoa
    Military action

    A military disaster for the Iron Empire which would ultimately ends its dreams for a true Empire once and for all, the forces of the Iron Empire which had long been stretched to the breaking point with its expansion across the seas and beyond experience a crippling defeat by the forces of the Suzerainty of Ruatiwanga. Their forces encircled, outmaneuvered, and destroyed, the Iron Empire's defeat in the fields and seas surrounding Saganaoa put the final nail in the Empire's dreams of a globe-spanning empire, forcing all to realize what a fool's errand it truly was and forcing the Iron Empire to recognize the might of the Suzerain and his armies for the first time in history.

The Age of Assemblies

1818 AF 1979 AF

An Era which saw the momentary decline of the absolute power of the Iron Empire and brought the world closer towards Globalization with the invention of the Aethergraph(A tool invented by the Iron Empire that allows for instantaneous communication across vast oceans and distances), these age brought the countless nations of the world together in ways they had never before been connected, both with each other, their own connected parts, and even their enemies. The first world assembly formed and held in the Capital of the Suzerainty, this Era saw the formation of the world's politics and all the violence and chaos that came out of them for better or worse. Like it or not, for many nations, they were no longer alone and could never truly return to Imperialistic Isolation.

  • 1979 ASB

    The Bluenail Expedition
    Discovery, Exploration

    As the legendary Explorer Sir Hudson Wimbley leads an expedition into the Bluenail Forest that borders the furthestmost south-western edge of the empire's most distant corner, he is presumed lost for years until his expedition into the frozen forest at the edge of the world returns with the corpse of a truly unthinkable lifeform - a towering giant well over 60ft tall, resembling a humanoid with icy-blue skin and elephantine limbs. This "Leviathan of Wimbley" is interred in the Lumisterra Institute for Higher Learning as an object of absolute scientific wonderment that sparks an interest in the occult and the mysterious the world over, which continues even into the current day as all who bore witness to the mysterious giant suddenly wonder: just what might be lurking in the lightless corners of the world, unknown to man or science?


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