Psychomorphation Technology / Science in Vazdimet | World Anvil

Psychomorphation

Psychomorphation is the magic of changing emotions, recognizing the feelings sensed through Psychometry and slowly altering those inputs to adjust the memories and emotions of an individual. For the health of the patient these changes must remain small and incremental until the desired output can be achieved.   Those knowledgeable about the full capabilities of Psychomorphation consider it the most dangerous known Magic, with the possible exception of Necromancy's Soul Shatter spell.   Classified as an Endoarcana spell, much as the other Psychic Magics, Psychomorphation draws its strength from the spellcaster's natural magical energies, in addition to the usual Imperium costs. The more powerful the mage, the more powerful their spell.

Utility

Where Psychometry revolves around merely reading emotions and memories, Psychomorphation is the magic used to alter or exploit them. Use of Psychomorphation first requires mastery of Psychometry, as a caster must understand their starting point before they can make changes. In some locations, legal practice of Psychomorphation requires a license, with the recognition that small adjustments are best. The magic can be used to successfully treat a vast array of mental health issues and conditions, although its possibilities can easily be abused by the unscrupulous.   The skills of Psychomorphation can be split into three general goal categories, although this does not mean they are three distinct sets of spells. Often a spell will require influence from two or even all three categories in order to operate properly, and not all abilities fall neatly within these classifications. The brain is a complex organ, after all, and tends to have a mind of its own.  

Emotional Shift

After identifying an individual's emotions, a Psychomorphic mage can shift them into a similar but different emotion. This will not work on widely disparate emotions but only in cases where a simple nudge will suffice.   Often practitioners of Psychomorphation will attempt to influence their subject's emotions through other means first, to bring their feelings closer in line to the mage's intended results. Alteration of memories can also prove useful.  

Share and Alter Memories

Memory is fallible, and the process the mind uses to store these memories requires linking them to similar events or external stimuli. A psychomorphic mage can learn to read the memories of a willing subject, provided they are brought to mind by the individual's emotions. The stronger the emotion, the more vivid the shared memory.   With practice, mages can also learn to influence those memories. Spells built around the alteration of memories utilize small adjustments to nudge these links and thereby change the memory itself and its meaning to the individual.   Major changes are also possible, albeit via a slower process requiring multiple sessions to draw the intended memory to the forefront of the target's mind before slowly adjusting the resultant recall. In cases of traumatic memories, these repeated sessions will leave an emotional scarring effect upon the individual, and so it is recommended to limit the use of memory alterations unless absolutely necessary.  

Mental Suggestion

A particularly skilled Psychomorphic mage can even plant a Suggestion into the mind of their subject, either altering a facet of how they view the world or directing the individual to perform some specific action. The targeted individual cannot be forced to act in a way that would violate their personality or code of ethics, but they will feel compelled to try and fulfill their directed end goal and so may take some creative measures. Repeated exposure to careful Psychomorphation can also shift morality over time.   The power of suggestion relies heavily upon the memories and emotions of the targeted individual, often requiring the mage to also alter those memories and emotions in a way that push the individual towards that suggestion. As an example, if a Psychic Therapist is helping a patient work through their fear of a particular species of pet they may choose to adjust happy memories of interactions with other pets such that the pet in the memory is the currently feared pet, while simultaneously shifting the emotions tied to memories of actual interactions with that species, in an effort to compel the patient towards a less fearful reaction when interacting with that animal.

Social Impact

Legion and Freeholds

It is important to note that while the successful use of Psychomorphation on a subject requires a certain level of trust and consent from that subject, the very nature of Psychomorphation will allow an unscrupulous mage to accelerate the process of building that trust and obtaining that consent. For this reason, some governments - most notably the Space Defense Legion and an assortment of Freeholds planets - require their citizens and visitors to register their knowledge of Psychomorphation. These are often accompanied by other laws and requirements ranging from licenses to practice their magic, to requirements of full disclosure of the skill during business negotiations.  

Sparnell Confederation

The Sparnell Confederation has no laws regarding the use and regulation of this mind-altering magic, seeming to dismiss the use of Psychometry in its entirely. This doesn't mean the magic is not practiced, but rather that the government seems to discourage its use. The Starraze Family is rumored to have been skilled in Psychometry and Psychomorphation, although whether this is the truth or merely a ploy to further discredit the magic in the wake of the Starraze Rebellion and the Family's subsequent status of Dishonored has become a matter of debate among the recently conscripted.  

Hydell Order

Among the Hydell Order, those with skills in Psychomorphation are highly coveted within the Militant Order of Descendants, often accompanying ground teams in quelling citizen rebellions, or serving aboard the fleet in positions to improve crew morale. The tactic has proven effective, both in encouraging those with talents in Psychometry and Psychomorphation to report their skills to the authorities, and in maintaining a largely loyal - or at least docile - populace amongst its most valued planets and ships.  

Mordena

The mercenaries of Janikk have embraced Psychomorphation as they have all other magics, with a joyful and reckless abandon to find the best uses within their fledgling society. Psychic therapists freely offer their services, and are welcomed openly in the name of mental health. Even the Mordena's stern founder, Shane Lawrence, is said to have a soft spot for the magic - if he can be said to have a soft spot for anything.
Parent Technologies
Emotional Shift Spells Psychomorphic Memory Spells Psychomorphic Suggestion Spells
Complexity
Psychomorphation is a highly complex magic relying upon precision and practice. A single mishap could severely alter the personality and mental health of the patient, resulting in slower cast times for spells and even slower incremental changes when performing the actual adjustments.   Patience is also a necessity. The magic only works with careful nudges to the subject's emotions or memories, unless the caster and their subject have built up an incredible level of trust and rapport throughout their relationship.

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Generic article | Jan 7, 2024

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Cover image: Planet Moon Solar by LoganArt

Comments

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May 2, 2023 05:55 by Soulwing

Hmm, given how complex this magic is supposed to be and how loose Mordena is with it getting practiced … I can imagine that the likelihood of mind altering side effects would be fairly common amongst these psychic therapists.   If such a thing happened, would it getting public change Shane‘s grip on its regulations?

Creator, artist and writer of the science fantasy world Kingsmaker.
May 2, 2023 12:10 by Morgan Biscup

They're very careful with it. Accidents can happen, but due to the incrimental nature of the spells - a little bit at a time per session - an accidental mistake can be found and corrected.   Shane is biased because he is married to a Psyc***rphic mage. He has seen the dark side of its use, too, but has determined it's too useful medically to bar access.

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
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