Psychically Tainted or Blessed Locations Physical / Metaphysical Law in Scarterra | World Anvil

Psychically Tainted or Blessed Locations

Scarterra has places that are magically tainted (or blessed) and they tend to have very predictable effects. Life stones and similar static magic effects enhance the growth of foodstuff bearing plants and fungi. Mera's Lake magically purifies all water that flows in, etc.   Magical locations have existed since the dawn of time, though their numbers have increased dramatically after the First Unmaking. Psychic locations are new. Until the The Third Age , psionics were only known in Void Demons, and Voids Demons used to be a rare sight before the Second Unmaking .  

"Evil" locations

  Psychic locations pick up on the emotions, hopes, fears, and longings of the people dwelling in a locations. Void Demons hunger, so any site where many Void Demons died or living Void Demons camped out in a solitary location for a long time is likely to be tainted. Such locations are going to be very similar to the hotel in The Shining. The locations will be hungry.   Sensitive people might get a weird feeling in such areas, but others won't notice anything. At least if the location is in the middle of an unremarkable forest or desert. If no one visits the area, the psychic taint may disappear over centuries or millennia.   Problems begin is if people start living in one of these areas, such as building a castle (or lavish hotel) here. Effects would be gradual but overwhelmingly negative. People would get sick easier. The area would have more suicides. The areas would have more fits or rage and murders. This would cause a feedback loop to make the area gradually become more and more dangerous. Eventually the sight might create figment people (hereby referred to as psychic ghosts) that reenact memorable events and say creepy things.   Given how poorly understood psychically tainted locations are, A psychic ghost would 9 times out of 10 be mistaken for a regular ghost . They are often semi-translucent, they are often appear and disappear and they driven by primal emotions. The problem is they are not ghosts so they would not be susceptible to most magic that ghosts are susceptible to. Generic magic that targets incorporeal beings and Silverwood weapons would be able to harm psychic ghosts but because psychic ghosts are from the memory of the place and are independent beings, if you destroy a psychic ghost, it might come back later. In fact it might come back more angry than it was before.   It's all fine and good if I want to tell a ghost story. I put in a hapless group of nobodies and the story is about survival and escape.  

Non-Demonic Tainted Locations

  It's possible that a location can pick up on emotions and feelings other than a Void Demon's murderous hunger. It would not be on the same scale, but a location used for repeated executions could develop a fearful psionic "flavor." If most executions are in public before gleefully cheering crowds it could be as dangerous a Void Demon tainted spot because the location would actively hunger for death.   A prison or torture dungeon could pick up negative psychic residue. In most cases, these evil locations would not be on the scale of one created by the Void. There might be psychic effects that make someone's neck hairs stand up, but it's unlikely to create psychic ghosts or effects capable of harming the living.    

Benign Psychic Locations

  When I thought, if a haunted castle can pick up on negative actions and emotions, it's got to be possible for the reverse to happen.   The first thought I had was a family shrine to the ancestor. If generations of a family give praise to their families departed at the same place over and over again it's possible that psychic ghosts might manifest that are not the actual ancestor but based on the memories and stories of the ancestors. In most cases the ancestors would probably be more noble and good looking than they really were though probably a bit more simplistic.   A psychic ghost of the ancestors would certainly want to aid his/her ancestors but they are not actual ghosts or spirits so they wouldn't have the actual soul's memories. They couldn't tell you the name of their second dog or the location where they buried the McGuffin.   Alternatively such a site could manifest abstract family guardian "spirit" like Mushu in Mulan (the good one, the animated one). Such psychic "spirits" would of course be well disposed to defend "their" family, but their powers would be very area dependent. They probably wouldn't be able to manifest many powers more than a mile radius from their family shrine. I imagine most powers from a family guardian would be subtle, such as pot suddenly falling off a hook and hitting a burglar on the head if said burglar is threatening the family.   To an extant, praying to the family ancestors could literally generate good luck if the family guardian creates minor miracles on the family's behalf.     By extension, if there is a statue or monument to a national hero, there could be a psychic ghost created that represents what people thought the historical figure was like or there could be a non-anthropomorphic psychic "spirit" that tries to enforce that person's ideals. I'm not sure what such a being would want to do or what their powers would look like, but they could theoretically manifest anywhere where that nation or ideology holds sway.   I'm not sure how many people on Scarterra have enough patriotism to create a psychic impression of their patriotism, but such groups that could would benefit from minor miracles on their behalf.     An area that is primarily used for celebrations could develop a psychic aura of joviality. It would probably spawn psychic ghosts that just party. If spotted, people probably will think there are regular ghosts that want to party and they may or may not be threatened by this. Not every Scarterran ghost is malevolent.     A red light district could manifest a lustful aura and spawn some pervy psychic ghosts, but that's probably a detail I don't want to include in my stories or RPGs.     I'm not sure what other locations routinely face the same emotional types over and over again. A theater maybe? But most theaters have a wide variety. The psychic impact of a wonky academic debate, a tear jerking tragedy, and a thigh slapping comedy would all cancel each other out.     A temple or Nonagon might develop an aura of piety. I'm not sure if the Nine, the Nine's theurgists, or the Nine's spirits have any ability to manipulate psychic energy or not. On some level the Nine's priesthoods generally view psionic powers as "dirty" or "impure" mystical energy, so they probably wouldn't want to see psychic emanations in their holy sites even if the emanations are on their side. Alternatively, very few priests and priestesses have enough understanding in advanced metaphysics to even identify what psionic manifestations are even if they are literally under their nose. They probably think anything weird they see is from The Nine directly, and therefore not to be questioned.
Metaphysical, Psychic

Cover image: Film still from The Shining by Stephen King


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