Sunday, September 25, 2016

Aether and Aquamancy: Sight, Cup and Storm

Another installment of magic in #Crux.  Water spells this time!  Aquamancy is flowing.  It has ties to blood and the emotions that drive that blood.  Click here for where I started this sorcery rambling, the "part 1" if you will.

Ocean.  All ocean around us.  

"Aye, lass."  The criminal smiled his toothless smile at me.  "Don't fight, we got your ship."

I resisted the urge to just jump over the edge of the ship.  My ship.  My ship, full of people I'd brought out here.  These criminals thought they could take them.

"We'll take just the Unsorcerous.  That's a fair shake, ain't it?  We'll take 'em back to New Guidthorn.  After all, they're just Unsorcerous.  They'd be better enchanted and workin' the fields like them Dirters were made for."

Then I snapped.  I could've just called a minor spell or two.  But instead, I expended all I had.  I felt my aether reserve melt into flowing water.  My hands and mind bellowed out.  A storm.

Ocean.  All ocean around us.  I wondered if this jerk could dodge the massive wave I turned the ocean around us into.  Or watch that wave squish him like a bug.  I could enjoy that little thrill.

Sight of Aquamancy

Sobriquets: Read Emotions, Heartsight, Truthsaying
Cost: 1 Aether
Duration: Until Sunset

The Sight of Aquamancy taps into the emotions that flow in those they see.  Heartsight makes emotions audible, like another layer upon the world around them.  With a bit of quiet study, a mage can use Heartsight to spot lies and misdirection.  It can help one to ferry out truths.

Heartsight isn't perfect.  The perception of emotions can get muddled.  There are six core emotions: anger, disgust, fear, joy, surprise and sadness.  But like pigments in paint, they can be mixed together to form complex images.  Heartsight gives you the way to see it, but sometimes one can't parse what emotion means what.  It has to be interpreted, which is where problems can arise.

One can fool Heartsight.  Fire magick, especially that fire magick that heightens emotions, can confuse it.  Or one can fool it through good acting.  Good acting can fool heartsight, as great acting triggers actual emotion.  An excellent liar can fool heartsight by forcing themselves to feel the right emotions.  But that requires a great deal of skill to perfect.

Cup of Aquamancy

Sobriquets: Water Breathing, Seawalk
Cost: 1 Aether
Duration: Concentration

The caster drinks a bit of water.  While that water remains in their lungs, they can breathe underwater as though it were air for them.  Further, they can also walk across water while still holding that water in their lungs.

The caster can perform this spell for others, but it requires them to still hold the water in their lungs.  Each additional person they have to breathe for costs the caster.  It isn't clear right away.  It costs them an extra breath.  A caster could breathe for hundreds of people, but the exhaustion from it could kill them in seconds.

It is like running a marathon.  It requires focus and any break in the focus might cause the spell to end and the mage to drown.

Storm of Aquamancy

Sobriquets: Control Weather, Control Water
Cost: 3 Aether
Duration: One Scene

You take control of water.  An enormous amount of water.  Your will directs it.  This spell manifests in two different ways.

First, the caster takes control over a body of water.  A lake or river or coastline of the sea.  They can calm the water, or drive it into a mad froth.  They can raise it or lower it.

They can redirect the flow of rivers.  Make coastlines recede.  Have lakes change their shapes.

The other way this spell manifests is that the caster takes control over water in the sky above.  Moisture permeates the skies.  All weather comes from the flow this moisture.  The Aquamancer can create rain during a sunny day.  Or they can call up a fog in the darkest night.  They can have it snow in summer.

The limits on the Storm of Aquamancy are practical.  First, is that the aquamancer can not create water where no water exists.  A cloudless sky in the desert gives them little to work with.

 Second, the scale of Control Weather is small.  Not unless the caster pours more aether into the spell.  Without extra aether spent, it only affects the immediate area around the caster.  If an Aquamancer wishes a larger effect, they must expend aether for each scale of magnitude more they wish to effect.  Worse, the cost of such aether is exponential- it doubles with each scale up.

Third, other magick can interfere with the spell.  If struck by any flame while controlling the spell, the caster loses it.  The tether of control can be severed by any flame that touches the caster.  It burns away that tether in an instant.