Magic and Casting 2
Casting channels are objects which can be used to increase the clarity of magic for a spell. Again much like water, magic can be filtered and purified to make its effects more powerful. This is done by casting through a material used as a channel. Because a channel acts as a filter, its effectiveness is a function of the length of material through which the magic travels. This is why, while any object can act as a channel, longer pieces such as staves, rods, and canes, will work the best. Much more important than the geometry of the channel is the material. Different substances have differing levels of magical conductivity. Metal is, by far, the least conductive material. The process of smelting, forging, and tempering disrupts most if not all channeling properties in the material. Using a metal casting channel may have no effect or may worsen the magical clarity, weakening the spell cast. In extreme cases, blowbacks have occurred, destroying the channel and causing serious injury. Stone channels are, at best, unpredictable. While they do not undergo the processes that metals often do, they often have zero effect on clarity. Stone can be helpful as a magical insulator however, and stone instruments with channeling cores are often popular. Organic Materials also have varying affects. Channels made of bone or wood are known to be strong enough to make a small difference, though the exact extent of their conductivity depends on the organism from which they come. These are often starting channels for those who are learning but not yet trusted with more powerful instruments. Channeling Glass is the only truly artificial channel and the standard for Mages Corps and Cleric Circles across the continent. The material is designed to increase clarity of magic and is relatively easy to manufacture with contemporary methods. Lightning Glass is a rather rare casting medium, created when storms pass over the western deserts. The glass created by lightning melting the sand makes for a powerful channel. One natural piece of this material may be only two or three inches in length, but will have the same potency as a Channeling Rod a foot long or an entire wooden staff. In the hands of a skilled artisan, many lightning glass pieces may be melted into a single rod which, while less potent than a natural piece of that size, would out class any lesser material of similar dimensions. Arcecite is a natural precious stone (a variety of quartz) with strong magical properties. It takes on a soft glow and is the most powerful channeling material known to man. Normally it is only found in very thin bands inside of stone deposits, but large veins of it do exist deep under the western highland. Like lightning glass, It is most powerful in its natural state. It can be worked into a larger piece, but doing so reduces its potency slightly.