Magic/Metaphysics FAQ

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An attempt to clear some things up regarding magic and metaphysics. While we try real hard to be smart about this stuff and have it make as much sense as possible, we may have to call on good old Suspension of Disbelief every now and then, and remind our players that while the world of CLOK is very similar to our own real world, there [b]are[/b] some differences in the universal fundamentals. If there are any huge, gaping flaws, do feel free to point them out. Also, feel free to ask more questions that could be added to this list.

Why isn't cryomancy available to Elemancers?

A: Cryomancy is fundamentally different than Elemancy. Elemancy is forming a pattern and essentially conjuring matter in the form of one of the four basic elements (fire, earth, air, water). Cryomancy is not channeled in the same way, and is essentially expelling heat in controlled ways - it is not constructing or conjuring any type of element.

Then why are there available combinations of Cryomancy with other elements?

A: Because some creatures and NPCS have access to Cryomancy as well as Elemancy. No, this isn't intended to be commonly available to player characters. Sorry.

Why can't a geomancer make crystals, his own house out of stone, a big stone wall, etc.? Are there clumps of dirt and small boulders lying around the area after a geomancer has fired geobolts during a battle?

A: Geomancy is by far the most difficult branch of Elemancy. Generally speaking, the denser and more solid (and larger of single form) something is, the more it resists alteration via channeling, so anything denser and more solid than soft earth is going to be troublesome. The fact that conjured elements tend to want to disperse after the channeler is through maintaining them further compounds the issue. This is why most geo spells have more to do with dirt and "rocky earth" than, say, solid stone, crystal, or metal. When a geomancer does successfully put together a form more solid, like solid stone (metal is outright impossible), even then the form must be actively maintained - once the geomancer stops channeling and maintaining that form, the stone will fall apart into tiny particles, becoming little more than a scattered cloud of dust.

Why can't a hydromancer just flood the world?

A: If you haven't already, read the above question regarding geomancy first. The same principle applies here - conjured water will disperse once the channeler is no longer maintaining its form.

Are thaumaturgic Light and nether opposites?

A: No. While they have many attributes that seem opposite (warmth vs cold, illumination vs consuming (normal) light, restorative (living, organic matter only) vs deconstructive (nearly all matter)), they are not meant to be exact opposites. The sad truth for wielders of nether is that, toe-to-toe, Light will always trump nether. Nether is burned away and destroyed by Light, but Light is not negatively-effected by nether (as nether being in contact with Light would be burned up). Nether effects far more types of matter than Light does, however, and is much easier to wield.

How does thaumaturgy heal? What are its limitations?

A: The Church of Light teaches that thaumaturgic Light causes healing by attempting to restore a living being to its ideal form. This "ideal form" alters over time, allowing for things such as physical growth (or even withering, on the other side of the hill) as a being ages. Some limitations are that, should a wound be left alone too long and allowed to heal naturally, the resulting form would then be considered the body's new "ideal form." If you lost a finger, and allowed it to heal over, your finger isn't going to just grow back on its own. This is now your new "ideal form", and thaumaturgy would not restore the lost finger. Additionally, slow-acting diseases will not be healed by thaumaturgy, as the disease effects the body slowly enough that the body's "ideal form" changes over time to match. Thaumaturgy is also ineffective at expelling foreign materials, such as poisons or viruses. The thaumaturgy might heal some of the effects, but the poison or virus would remain. Thus it is that conventional medicines and antidotes are still required for treating illnesses and poisons.

Where does thamaturgic power come from? Does it come from Serafina or some other deity?

A: The Church of Light teaches that thaumaturgy is the harnessing of one's own Inner Light, an innate power of every living being. Thus the power comes from within the individual, and not without. However, there are cases where thaumaturges call on another being, most often Serafina the Torchbearer, to lend aid and empower or grant greater thaumaturgic powers. The discipline taught by the Church to hone and harness this Inner Light is based mainly on one's sense of compassion, honor, and righteousness.

What is nether? What are its properties?

A: Nether is a dark, cold, physical substance naturally somewhere between liquid and gas. It has been found to naturally consume light and heat, and is destructive to nearly all types of matter, rather like an extremely powerful acid. However, it has a natural reaction to ferrous materials (iron, steel, celestium) that causes it to disperse. It is also very susceptible to thaumaturgic light, which burns it away extremely effectively. Fire and other sources of extreme heat are also quite effective at burning away nether.

Why aren't sorcerers harmed by the nether they wield, considering nether is so destructive by its nature?

A: Nether is peculiar, particularly in relation to the Basic Four elements, in that it seems to almost want to be used and controlled. It is by far the easiest method of channeling. Because nether is so much more easily controlled, a sorcerer can manipulate nether to an extremely fine detail, and have it be extremely close to them, yet not be in actual contact with them. This is why, for instance, when a sorcerer prepares sorcery and you see those spooky tendrils crawling and writhing around their arms and hands, the sorcerer doesn't then begin screaming "Sweet, merciful Serafina, my arms, they're melting!!" The nether is crawling around the form of their arms and hands, but it is just above the actual surface of their skin (or gloves, or gauntlets, or whatever they might be wearing there).

How does druidry work, anyway?

A: According to the majority of its practitioners, druidry is calling on the aid of the Gaea, the spirit of the planet itself, and asking for its aid and assistance in influencing and manipulating plants or animals, which the Gaea is believed to have ultimate control over. Some consider druidry to be respectfully asking favors of the Gaea, others consider it to be willfully manipulating the ambient energy of the Gaea to their own purposes - either way, it tends to work so long as the channeler doesn't end up being ultimately destructive to nature.