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The Static

Can you feel that? It's Like White Noise...

To learn The Prestige, you must go through a rite. If you survive, you will experience an entirely new sensation, a sixth sense. Often called "The Static," this sensation earns its name due to how it feels. Many equate it to experiencing a static charge in everything around them, even within themselves. It's reminiscent of white noise on a TV screen.   The Static is a form of sensory perception that the mind develops after the rite. It is a strange sensation that literally represents an extension of the self. It is a natural awareness of metaphysical energy in the environment, and a tool used to project that energy.     In the end, the prestige, and even the true magic of yore, is nothing more than the manifestation of this energy and the transformation of it. In this article, we shall cover how the static works, how it's used, and its influence on arcane theory, study, and practice.

Going Loud

Surviving the rite in one form or another will inevitably lead to a state of being practitioners call: "Going loud." It is the first and most powerful burst of arcane talent the initiated will receive.   Going loud means that all the metaphysical energy stored inside yourself over the course of your life will begin to leak. Its as if the seams holding the soul together split, and the energy is what bleeds out. As one ages, they gain experience, this experience causes metaphysical energy to build up in one's body. Going through the rite will cause this build up to overflow, resulting in a massive but temporary burst of power. While going loud, the prestigious are more powerful than they will ever be again.   Practitioners will be capable of complex mental processes, immense arcane displays, and even possess knowledge they never learned before. This will fade in time and the practitioner will return to normal. The static is left behind, allowing use of the prestige.  

The Illusion of Static

What The Static is cannot be fully defined, as those without it cannot experience it. To use the cliche, imagine explaining colors to someone that will never observe them, which surprisingly has more in common with the static than most realize.   Color doesn't exist. We see colors the way we do because it is essential to our species' survival. It was a construct of the mind to make it easier to sort information. The static is no different. It is an illusion. It's not actually there. The static is a form of perception that allows us to perceive metaphysical power. Without it, spells couldn't be cast.   This helped many push the boundaries of what The Prestige can do, allowing for the rediscovery of genres that haven't been used in millennia. This also helped train new practitioners, as a further understanding led to new ways of teaching.

Fun Fact: A Second Train Of Thought

When one learns how to use The Static, they will often find "multitasking" takes on a whole new meaning. While no human being is capable of truly multitasking (performing two different actions simultaneously as opposed to switching between two actions intermittently), those with The Prestige find they have "A Second Train of Thought" that is entirely devoted to arcane practice and awareness of The Static.   This is instinctively done, and this train of thought sorts out most of the details so the caster doesn't have to. They take variables into consideration through experience and knowledge. The more you have of each, the fewer mistakes you make, and the more efficient your spells become.

The Ins and Outs of Static

The static is overwhelming, especially in one's first moments of going loud. The practitioner is unlikely to realize it until they quiet down. Once they return to normal, they will come to sense the static in everything. Everything that exists has static. Every particle radiates static, even light. Sound also has a static, but living beings tend to have slightly more, and even more if they are a practitioner of The Prestige. The static is all in your head, and to sense it efficiently, it must be trained like a muscle. As one learns, it becomes easier to sense the contrast between a potential target and the background noise. One can easily tell if someone has the prestige, if someone is human, and even gauge intent with the static.   Being able to use spells is another matter entirely. When learning to cast a spell, practitioners must first learn how to harness the static. They start by focusing on where the sensation is within one's body, which will be the most noticeable case of the static they perceive. The static will then resonate, as if knowing it is being focused on. After this, the practitioner visualizes the spell, and the effect occurs.  

A Fickle Art

Regardless of the genres a practitioner can use, each manifestation has the potential to hone their craft. It's essential to learn as many as you can, though due to the way The Prestige works, it's never certain if you can even use a specific manifestation over another. One caster may be accomplished with spheres, but no matter how they try, will never learn traps or vice versa. Another interesting thing to know is The Static can come on many forms. Some don't feel the static, but can hear the static, view the static, and even smell or taste the static. The Static can be just as varied and personal as The Prestige.


A focus is used to do exactly what you'd expect. It's designed to focus power to a given point, usually on an object. This does many things, and it is almost vital to have a focus, though it depends on the genre a practitioner uses.

Usually, melee weapons are the most common form of foci. Foci must be attached to the caster and act as an extension of the caster. A focus will increase effective range, strength, and the stability of spells cast through it, as well as have various enchantments that allow it other unique traits. A focus can also protect the user as it can withstand stress the user cannot.

A fine example of this is a simple spell that projects a burst of force. One could wind up for a punch, project the spell to their hand (essentially using their hand as a focus), and hit many times harder than ever before. This is a terrible idea. Never forget: the prestige has some grounding rules in reality. It can hurt to punch a brick wall and now you've punched it with enough force to shatter the wall. What do you think this will do to your hand?


A catalyst is like a focus, but with a key difference. The focus is like the barrel of a gun, where the mind is a trigger. A catalyst is both the trigger and the barrel. A catalyst has some element of variance to it, some way of having multiple states or outcomes inherent to its design. Catalysts are rarely used, most often found in Arcana Discordia where every spell can be "flipped" and the opposite effect occurs.   Coins, dice, playing cards, bullets in a gun, and even a book, can all be used as a catalyst. The catalyst is a trigger that must be activated for a spell to cast. It requires little focus from the caster and requires less though, though the variables of a spell still need to be considered. A caster can prepare up to 52 distinct arcane effects when they use a standard deck of playing cards, even more with a tarot deck, but the randomness tends to discourage others who want more control over their casts.  


You cannot create something from nothing. A spell that builds kinetic energy is one thing, but what about the creation of a pillar of flame? What about a sphere of water or a bolt of lightning? These spells would require a source.   A source is a resource pool that the caster can use to harvest essential elements of a spell. A simple ball of fire won't merely appear. You need the fire first, which can be harvested, shaped, forced to grow larger or smaller. The spell won't work without the fire, which is why many practitioners capable of pyromancy carry a lighter or a battery with them. The batter even provides electrical current for the bolt of lightning described earlier.   Sources vary from caster to caster. It all depends on what a practitioner is capable of and what spells they prefer to use. Any item that can contain the needed resource is sufficient, and some are innovative. Those who can use water can pluck it front the moisture in the air. Some ca. use heat in their environment to spark flames or push the heat away to generate condensation or ice.

Effects of Static

Without The Static, casters would find it nearly impossible to cast their spells with any level of efficiency. The static offers many benefits to those who have it.  
  • Detection: By focusing on the surrounding static, you can detect the arcane as well as metaphysical energy in your environment. This could be an enchanted weapon, another caster, or simply another living being.
  • Homing:By detecting what is around you, you can focus on the static of a target, and the spells you cast will not only target the static you're focusing on, but will move if the target moves. If a spell is successfully cast, it will usually hit its target.
  • Spacial Awareness: The Static reacts differently when focused on in different situations. Practitioners call this "resonance" and it circumvents the need to calculate things like distance when casting spells. The Static will resonate if a given spell has the range and power to hit a target or if a target is in a given area of effect.
  • Linked Veins Those who practice Arcana Sanguis will notice that The Static must be used differently to use certain spells. They have to link veins, a process where they connect to the static in the blood of their target. Both the caster and their target's heart rate will synchronize, and in some cases, what happens to one will have an effect on the other.
  • Going Dark:In Arcana Discordia, casters do something unique with The Static. Discordians can internalize the static, allowing them to harvest luck. Doing this also makes them undetectable to others who use the static. While internalizing the static, it disappears and enemies will not be able to focus on the discordian.

Fun fact: The Loophole of foci

If you take a club and use it as a focus, projecting the same spell of force to the club, it will hit hard without shattering your fist, but there is another way to bypass the potential damage, whether it's applied to your hand or to the club.   Some have found ways to take the equal and opposite force that acts on a focus, take 99% of it, and project it back onto the target of the spell. This causes a rapid diffusion over the near infinite set of exchanges in kinetic force that occurs in the moment of contact you make with your focus and the targeted surface.   When this is done, you're not hitting the target once. You're hitting them countless times during the moment of contact, and your focus will experience nothing at all. Not only is this brutal, it's alarmingly effective, and a sign of an accomplished practitioner.

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Articles under The Static

Cover image: by Mariano Wemeck


Author's Notes

This almost seems like a cop out to me. The static and its manifestations were an idea that came from various rpgs, particularly video games, where a template is used to determine distance and targeting area. In video games, using an ability is often followed by a prompt to select a target or show a representation in a circle or cone to represent the area of effect.   I wondered if this is what the characters actually experience, projecting their awareness to a given target in a given way, and then casting the spell. As the idea of the static grew, it quickly answered significant questions like how do spells target enemies, how they follow enemies, how casters gauge effective range, and more.

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Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
30 May, 2021 23:14

Really a great article! I really love this magic system :D   Things that I particularly like are:

  • the multitasking thing about being able to have two streams of consciousness at the same time
  • the punching bricks example "What do you think this will do to your hand?" XD
  • the linked veins mechanisms
  • the whole manifestation sequence that people have to learn one after another
  • In the loophole of the foci, I'm not sure I understand completely what you mean. Doing a simple diagram here showing the different steps might help. You have a strength magic present on the club. This will make it more resistant, right? Then you hit the wall, and at the moment of the impact, you transfer the magic to the wall. I understand what kinetic energy is, but I'm not sure how the magic affects it.   Small note: "Some ca. use heat in their environment to spark flames or push the heat away to generate condensation or ice." you have a typo at "can" here.

    To see what I am up to:WE list of articles and goals.
    R. Dylon Elder
    31 May, 2021 19:40

    Thanks so much! I'll fix that typo! I'll definitely clarify the loopholes. In this case, the kinetic energy is built up, as if the magical energy is converted into kinetic energy. The easiest way is by creating this force and isolating into the smallest surface area possible. An elephant stepping on your foot hurts much less than a woman in stilettos, for example. This build up makes one able to hit harder than normally possible. It hits the wall, but the equal and opposing force is the main issue. The club is made more durable through magic, but the key is that not diffuses that energy, and spares the wielders hand. The energy is absorbed entirely by the club. I hope I got that right and it helps XD thanks so much!

    Eternal Sage AmélieIS
    Amélie I. S. Debruyne
    31 May, 2021 19:47

    Ah I think that explanation did help me see it, thanks :D

    To see what I am up to:WE list of articles and goals.
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