The 8th World
In 2094 the Hermetic Order of the Auric Aurora discovered the concept of Thread Magic and True patterns, which lead to the creation of Spell Matrices in 2099. Not only did this discovery change the world’s understanding of Magic, It allows Magicians and Shamans to continue to cast spells, even in astrally corrupt areas.
The magical energy flowing through our world can be separated into strands called threads. These threads can then be “woven” and used to better perform specific tasks. For example, magicians use threads to supply the power needed for their more complex spell castings. Non-Magicians use threads to activate magical items’ special powers and capabilities. (In this case, knowledge of an item’s history is key to the actual weaving of the threads. Without that knowledge, a character cannot weave the thread that will give the item power, and the item remains inert. The use of threads in this manner, to give power to complex spells and magical items, is called, appropriately enough, Thread Magic.
Threads are conduits for magical energy used to give patterns greater power. They are created from the magical energies of astral space using the mystical ability of Thread Weaving. Threads woven into existing Patterns, whether the Pattern of a spell, the Pattern of a magical item, or the Pattern of an ability, power and strengthen that Pattern. The magical energy fed into the Pattern through the woven thread enhances the Pattern and increases its potential. There are two main types of threads. Pattern threads are used to connect two patterns, such as a thread between a character and a magical sword. Spell threads, on the other hand, connect the pattern of a Spell to astral space, allowing the energy of astral space to power the spell.
When using spell magic, magicians often use astral constructs called spell matrices. A spell matrix is a structure of energy that exists solely in astral space and functions as a sort of container. Through a process known as attuning, magicians can shape a matrix into a mimicry of a known spell’s Pattern. Once this has been done, the magician can cast that spell simply by drawing magical energy through the matrix. If the magician wishes to cast a different spell using that matrix, the matrix must be reattuned to reflect the new spell. It is important to note, however, that once a matrix has been attuned to reflect a certain spell’s Pattern, a magician can cast the spell multiple times (by weaving threads and casting) without having to reattune the matrix. Magicians can have many spell matrices (attuned as they wish).
The spell matrix was created as an alternative to directly shaping and using the raw magic of astral space. That technique, known as casting raw magic, killed many magicians during the magical build up toward the Scourge. While casting raw magic was fine in the early decades of the Awakening, the corruption of Astral space made casting spells very dangerous in the decades leading up to the Scourge. During and after the Scourge, spell matrices served two additional purposes. The first was to protect and shield a spell’s pure astral energy from the polluted energy of astral space itself. The second was to dampen that spell’s “echo” in astral space and thus reduce the matrix’s and magician’s vulnerability to Horrors. The working of magic, the manipulation of pure astral energy, acts as a beacon to Horrors. By using a spell matrix, that beacon is dimmed. Before this dampening effect was perfected, some magicians took to “hiding” their spell matrices in physical objects to conceal them from the Horrors. Of course, if the item was lost or damaged, the matrices were lost with it. Even with the dim beacon produced by matrix spellcasting, Horrors are often drawn to areas where repeated spellcasting has taken place.
Some spells require too much energy for a simple spell matrix. When a spell matrix is attuned to reflect these more complex spells the mimic- Pattern of the matrix is created using a sort of “shorthand.” This abbreviated version allows the matrix to reflect the entirety of the complex spell’s own Pattern, but the magician cannot cast the spell with this form of the matrix. The magician must weave additional threads of power (the exact number dependent on the complexity of the spell) into the matrix. These threads power the matrix and expand its capabilities temporarily so that the complex spell can be properly cast. Once the threads have been woven, the spell must be cast. Once the spell is cast, the matrix returns to its “compressed” state. Each time the magician casts that spell, he must once again weave the required threads to provide the power for the spell.
Thread magic is the process by which a thread of magical energy is woven into an existing True Pattern, thereby strengthening and enhancing that Pattern. Magicians can weave threads to any True Pattern, such as those possessed by any Named person, place, or thing. Once a character has learned the knowledge contained in a True Pattern, he can use thread magic to turn that knowledge to his advantage.
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