The Lattice Physical / Metaphysical Law in Zheng-Kitar | World Anvil

The Lattice

The omnipresent canvas which all casters use to cast spells


The Lattice is, in its most basic and fundamental form, is the all-enveloping and omnipresent "interface" that serves as the way through which Atlen(See The Origins of Magic for more info) is accessed by all beings, both mortal and divine alike. The Lattice, enormous framework or rigid laws and systems, is controlled and managed by the Yema God Tet, The Adamantine Sage, who serves as its caretaker, controller, and mender in times of great emergency or catastrophe. The Lattice, irrevocably bound and conjoined with the ineffable energy of "Atlen"(See The Origins of Magic for more info) as it is to allow for all beings access to the otherwise semi-sentient and chaotic force, is the way in which raw magic, taking the form of Atlen(AKA Mana), is used by those who seek to invoke effects that warp reality in ways both infinitely minute and unfathomably vast - ways known colloquially as "magic". Built and constructed by the Yema God of Magic Tet, The Adamantine Sage and masterfully woven into the very essence of magic, the Lattice exists throughout the entire Planescape, touching almost every corner of existence with the exception of Dead Magic Zones, Antimagic fields, and similar areas.   However, as much as the Yema God acts as the caretaker and master of The Lattice, the Spirit Kings Guanyong and Xu-Jie serve as the eternal opposition force to the vast, structured, and infinitely rigid and ordered system of the lattice as they by their very natures make up the "Yin" and "Yang" of Atlen itself on a more fundamental level which The Lattice binds and controls, both of whom serve to balance the oversight of the Yema God and create an eternal "tug of war" in which Atlen, as a natural and ineffable force, seeks to be free of the shackles of the complicated and ordered "interface" that is The Lattice, while The Lattice and the Yema God which runs it seeks to fully anchor and bind the mysterious force of Atlen to allow all beings to wield it according to the Lattice's rigid structures and methodologies(Chiefmost of which is the 9 level casting system which binds most all magic wielded by modern mages both mortal, immortal, and divine).  

Nature of The Lattice

The Lattice is known to be and considered to be many things, but is best described as a framework which was built and designed by the Yema God of Magic in the early days of the cosmos to allow for any beings, even gods and mortals alike, to take the ineffable and often semi-sentient force known as "Atlen" or "Mana" which so often chose its own wielders and pass it through The Lattice's golden frameworks and ordered systems to produce predictable, reproducable effects of easily understood and codified levels, rather than the chaotic and intuitive nature of more primal magics such as Kinetic Magic. Many see The Lattice as a "fabric" or "Canvas" on which magic is "drawn" using Atlen as the ink and the caster as the brush, to serve the all-important role of allowing not only mortals to explore the mysteries of magic along predictable and pre-determined paths and ideologies, but also to allow even The Gods to properly wield control over Atlen itself - which, being the remains of the Overdeity Atlas said to retain a vague conscious in its own right, has always resisted being controlled. The Lattice itself, its definition, and the very term "Lattice" or "Interface" was discovered and coined in the early days of the Sapphire Elves(Later copied by foreign empires and attributed to them), and is the source for the modern fundamental knowledge of Magic and The Universe on which all things have been built - including the schools of magic(Abjuration, Conjuration, Evocation, Divination, Transmutation, Enchantment, Illusion, and Necromancy - the latter of which is believed to have originated primarily from mortals moreso than being inbuilt into The Lattice as the others were) and even the Nine Levels of Magic.   In this vein, casting an arcane spell is akin to telling The Lattice to rearrange itself using Atlen as fuel to create an effect with nothing but one's own personal power, inner strength, and understanding of The Lattice's mechanics and interfaces, while casting a divine spell is likened to the act of beseeching one's god or patron to rearrange The Lattice on their behalf in specific but myriad ways. Nature Magic, however, though it is based upon the manipulation and rearranging of The Lattice like all magic, is done altogether differently than Arcane or Divine magic. For more information on this topic, refer to The Origins of Magic.   For druids and the like, they work similarly to Divine Casters but in more specific ways, each nature based caster drawing their magical power from a large gathering of Natural Atlen(AKA Mana) such as massive forests or large woods, who they draw their power from to beseech their "source" to alter The Lattice in different, myriad ways. In this way they are similar to a Divine Caster in how they manipulate The Lattice, but from an altogether different source...and unlike Divine Casters, their power is wont to vanish if their source is reduced, diminished, infringed upon, or otherwise tarnished, meaning they have strong motivation to protect the forest or whichever source of power they draw from.  

The Nine Tiers

Perhaps the greatest innovation set down by The Lattice and its creator, the Yema god of Magic, when it was first brought into being at the dawn of all things, the Nine-Tiered Spellcasting System is known across the entire cosmology for a good reason - though many may believe it to be a mortal innovation, the truth is far simpler and more ancient; the Nine Tiers form the most basic underpinnings of the great, cosmos-spanning mechanism known as The Lattice to allow for any being from the lowliest mortal to the highest god to divide the magical and wondrous effects of magic into tiers based on their power, scale, scope, and breadth of effect with higher "Tiers" of magic being stronger. Of all these tiers, Ninth then is the strongest - capable of invoking magic such as the Wish spell to change reality or mighty terraforming spells to alter the landscape on a massive scale. The greatest advantage of these levels, however, is one many mortals do not fathom - consistency. Without The Lattice to provide a predictable "Input X and Recieve Y" system for mages to use, all magic would revert to a more primal nature similar to Kinetic Magic, where nothing but instinct and mindset could help one wield it no matter their dedication, knowledge, or study.   Perhaps less well known is the fact that there exist levels of magic beyond the Ninth Tier - commonly known as "The Divine Tiers", these rarely utilized Tiers are poorly understood and rarely seen utilized by mortals as even the mightiest Mortal Spellcasters can study for an eternity and never achieve the "spark" needed to break through into the "Tenth Tier" of magic. These Divine Tiers are believed to occupy a seldom-traveled and even more seldom-seen part of the Lattice by mortal eyes and experiences - one typically reserved for use by the gods(And even then mostly The Yema, as The Spirit Kings have no need for this, as Atlen itself obeys them more easily). While Mortals thusly refer to spells of these tiers as "Tenth Tier" and so on, it would be more accurate to refer to them as the "First Divine Tier", "Second Divine Tier", and so on - as mortals have magic of the first through ninth tiers with first being the weakest, so too do the gods; with their lowliest First Tier Divine spell being greater than the mightiest Ninth Tier of mortal magic.  

Special Powers

The Lattice, on top of being the font for all casters to cast magic, is capable of granting extra, special, and/or unique powers to certain individuals. Most notable among these is White Fire(Or Jade Fire), an ability most typically granted by The Yema God of Magic that is also rarely granted by Guanyong or Xu-Jie to their Chosen which enables its users to envelop themselves in white flames that gives a myriad of incredibly potent magical abilities and powers. "Atlenflame" or "Atlasfire" is a rare talent that allowed its user to manipulate The Lattice in a variety of unique and powerful ways - however, as these twin Spirit Kings can so rarely exert control over The Lattice and instead more commonly wield influence over Atlen itself(The ineffable energy that permeates the cosmos which The Lattice has bound itself to or "over top of"), they rarely can grant this Atlenflame as a blessing, as the Jade-Green variant of it is a more common blessing given to faithful of the Yema god of magic.  

The Root

Though merely a myth and something of a legend amongst all casters dating back to the times of pre-history, it is believed that if a mortal mage were truly capable of reaching such a sublime level of mastery over The Lattice and its divine mechanics and become so innately intertwined with it that they bordered the likes of the Gods with their command of it(Their perceptions broaded to infinity and their magical stores broad beyond compare), they would reach "The Root", the mythical source or "control center" of The Lattice and the font from which all magic is controlled...and the centerpoint of Atlas, The Ineffable's consciousness(Or what remains of it) as well as the greatest and innermost secrets of The Yema God of Magic.   Though its exact nature is undefined(Some claim reaching it would entail learning every spell both Arcane and Divine in existence, others claim more nebulous means), in theory, reaching The Root and achieving this "Oneness" with The Lattice would grant a caster with such overwhelming power that mortal minds would be unable to comprehend it, and giving them the same omniscience and omnipresence enjoyed by The Lattice itself...extending their consciousness to every concievable corner of The Planescape while wielding every facet of magic at their disposal.   It is no stretch to say this goal of achieving "The Root" is the dream of almost all mages during childhood, and even some well into adulthood...though many eventually give up on this dream for its seeming hopelessness, there are few who do not dream of doing so at one point.  

Wild Magic Zones

Wild Magic Zones, areas where The Lattice is terribly distorted, corrupted, or damaged, are places of extreme danger where spells can backfire back upon their casters, target the incorrect locations, be dramatically increased in power, or a plethora of many, many other things. These zones and their parameters can often be detected by simple spells such as detect magic, but on a more fundamental level, can oftentimes be detected in some way by more incredibly powerful casters the moment they enter them. Depending on the power of the Wild Magic Zone and the level of distortion, corruption, or damage to The Lattice there, reality and its laws might even be heavily distorted which adds even more to the danger of these places.   Thought to be incredibly tough by not impossible, it is theorized that these zones can be temporarily fixed with dispel magics...but to permanently do so, magic of the highest tier such as wish or miracle would be needed.   Most Wild Magic Zones appeared during Cosmic Disasters such as the Invasion of the Infernal Host or others where The Lattice was heavily damaged. In time, most of these zones vanished but some have been known to linger over the eons, most notably some sections of the Shenchuan Tundra where remnants of the Invasion of the Infernal Host still burn holes in sections of The Lattice.   Rarely, these zones can also be caused by the creatures known as Warlock Bugs, when they grow old, become corrupted, or experience some disease or sickness that causes their natural ability to intake Atlen(AKA Mana) to malfunction, which can cause severe damage to the stability of the local Lattice.  

Dead Magic Zones

Dead magic zones are places where The Lattice is no longer in existence. These zones and their boundaries can be detected in the same way a wild magic zone can, but from outside the zone, as there is no possible way to do so from within, where The Lattice does not exist. Unlike wild magic zones, most all casters innately know when they step into a dead magic zone, as their connection to The Lattice is immediately broken, akin to a body part being severed very suddenly. A dead magic zone generally can only be fixed by either the very pinnacles of mortal magic such as wish or miracle spells, but can also be fixed by White Fire.
Metaphysical, Arcane
Alternate Title(s)
The Interface, The System
Overseer/Managing Entity
Tet, The Adamantine Sage, The Yema


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