The Empty Winds Physical / Metaphysical Law in The Lawless Arcanelago | World Anvil
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The Empty Winds

The strangest thing about the Empty Winds is not the winds themselves - it is what they leave behind. When standing in a breeze it is rather challenging to tell whether it is a normal Wind or an Empty one, but once the Wind has left there is no doubt which kind it was. Normal winds simply blow through. Empty Winds, on the other hand, take things with them. Empty Winds don't leave much behind.

Typically falling down through the Biwater Mountains and sweeping from there across the islands, Empties rarely follow the same path twice. They like to wander about and sightsee as much as possible before they squeeze out the sides of the archipelago. This habit is much to the dismay of the civilizations that Empties pass through, for these special Winds have a talent, a talent that nobody likes much (except perhaps the people of the lower Moonpeak valleys): destruction.

When most people picture destruction, they imagine raging fires, colossal waves, or never-ending storms. The destruction the Empties cause, on the other hand, is much more discreet. The places that such Winds enter tend to be lively ones - cities full of busy people or monuments with magic spilling out of them or forests brimming with wildlife. While an Empty is in the area, nothing feels different except a slight breeze, and maybe the presence of a little nip in the air. Detection of these breezes is very difficult. Once this Wind has left, however, things change. The moment the last particle of an Empty leaves an area, it suddenly becomes desolate. In the blink of an eye, inexplicably, the landscape suddenly switches. The effect is dizzying. It's as if life is a video which suddenly cuts to someplace else - far in the future, or perhaps an alternate universe. Someplace where a once-lively area is now nothing but ruins. In a span of time so tiny that no living creature registers its passing, a town is emptied, a river dries up, or a gleaming building turns to ruins. Unfortunately, the Empties visit multiple areas every year, and no solution to their ravaging has yet been found.

Despite their ability to take a bustling city off the map in a matter of seconds, there is one part of a landscape that the Empty Winds never erase: human beings. No other living creature has yet been found that also withstands the erasing power of the Empties. Scientist and Magi alike is uncertain why human populations remain untouched, but it has been proven by extensive research that humans are unaffected by these strange breezes - apart from suddenly being somewhere else, or so it seems. The teleportation-like effect can be a very strange one to experience, especially for the first time, but people have time and time again remained otherwise unaffected.

As is inevitable when an unwanted phenomenon regularly occurs in a land, many people have explored ways to either prevent or stop the movement of the Empties, but none has yet been found. There are promising leads among the Scavenger communities in the Southwest islands that have to do with weather vanes and magical magnets or something like that, but there are not many researchers willing to chase after such elusive topics.


The sudden, less-than-the-blink-of-an-eye change of an area to a new version that is desolate and dilapidated. Takes place similarly to the way videos cut: instantaneously.


The range of an Empty Wind's strange effects varies greatly based on where it blows through. The effect usually spans the whole of a subjective "area", such as a whole city or a whole forest. There have been instances, however, where this border was not so straightforward. Take, for instance, the Temple of Mount Beguile, which was left entirely in ruins apart from the front entryway and gardens. Nobody is quite sure what determines an Empty's reach, and this is a hot topic for researchers in the subject right now.
Metaphysical, Supernatural

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Aug 14, 2023 20:16 by George Sanders

Interesting effect! The fact that it leaves one thing behind makes is so much more complicated.

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