Psychometry centers around reading emotions. Excluding Psychomorphation
, the spells cannot directly alter emotions but do assist the caster in better understanding the present emotional state of an individual or the history of an object or space.
Those capable of passively picking up the emotions of those around them without conscious effort are also known as Empaths.
The core of Psychometry, empathy spells focus on monitoring the emotions of an individual or group within range of the Empath. Those born with an affinity for Psychometry are often able to cast most of these skills passively even without formal training. Others wishing to learn Psychometry are also able to reach the point of passive Empathy, after devoting enough time and study to the magic.
Most people have some level of natural defense against these psychometric readings, but a skilled Empath can bypass these without harming the individual. Empaths can also learn to share these emotions with those around them, although this will also amplify their own experience of the emotions, and so must be undertaken with caution. This is not a targeted ability, but will rather share the feelings with anyone within range.
It is possible to learn to block Psychometry spells. tyrellium
shielding and Antimagic
can defend against both active and passive Empathy spells, while advanced Shielding Magic
can block them completely.
As a more advanced variance on reading people, Psychometry can also be used to sense the intent of an individual. Basic uses of this skill monitor the emotions of the targeted individual, while more advanced casting such as the most powerful forms of the Empathic Insight
spell can even identify the target's next intended action in great detail.
Items and locations exposed to strong emotions tend to carry those emotions with them. Psychometry allows Empaths to experience the strongest emotions related to that space or object, to gain an idea of the emotional side of its history and the individuals closest to it. Particularly skilled Empaths may also be able to elicit a memory based upon the strongest emotion tied to the object or location of interest.
As with Empathy spells, psychometric mages can also share these emotional echoes with those around them, amplifying the emotions' effects on their own feelings.
These spells do have their weaknesses. Casters cannot focus on a specific individual or time period, instead facing the greatest emotions tied to their focused target. The emotions at important historical sites, for example, are often overridden by more recent intense emotions, including historians' own emotions at their discoveries. Fortunately, the spells are also unable to bypass any emotional protections used by those tied to the location or object, limiting what can be felt of the past but allowing ways to protect the surviving emotional echoes of the past.
Many memories are tied to strong emotions. A skilled Empath can use this to recall a memory or memory echo from the target of their Psychometry and choose to either experience it themselves or share with those around them. When reading an individual this can also be directed towards just that individual, causing the mage and their target to experience the memories and its emotions together.
The memory cannot be chosen by the mage, but is rather the one most strongly tied to the present circumstances and the emotion being experienced. While the Emotional Echo
spells for places and objects typically reveal a major event leading to the emotions in the echo, the memories drawn from living individuals and creatures can be influenced by other memory triggers such as smell, taste, sound, the present location and company, and even a statements made during conversation.
A dangerous subset of Psychometry, Psychomorphation
enables the caster to also alter the emotions of their subject, and even their actions and reactions when experiencing certain emotions. As a result, Psychomorphation is considered the most dangerous magic in Vazdimet.