Aurora's Echo: Castaways of the 23rd Century
|Principle of Continuity|
|Requirements of Transmutation|
|Base Mancer Merits|
New Kind of Magic
Mystical beliefs and claims of magic ability exist in abundance among the inhabitants of Cygnus-39-Echo. For each culture in some form has what we as humans would consider occult practices. These individuals who practice these occult arts take it upon themselves to act as a vessel for other worldly powers to communicate or act through. This is of course just superstition. In fact most of these traditions are little more than petty sorcery meant to frighten the masses into complacency or hold political power among their own kind.
However, on Echo there is one exception. There exists an ancient practice that is found in some form among several of the native cultures. It most often is presented as a pseudo-scientific study, similar to ancient Earths Alchemic and Hermetic traditions. Like the similar traditions of Earth, it is also a philosophical and semi-religious practice. The Tailyn call it “Sycekdno” and those who practice the art “Sycekdan”. There is no literal translation, but the closest approximation is either “mancer”, or “magister”.
The origins of the practice are shrouded in mystery. However, within each culture is a common story of a traveler from a far away land coming to teach the art for the first time.
The unique art of Mancery is a strange mix of scientific method and alchemic pilgrimage, striving continuously to discover the world and in turn discover what it means to exist. The fundamental principle is simple. Using the Mancers knowledge of the world coupled with a ritualized occult methodology, the Mancer is able to invoke a transmutation in normal matter. This art is driven by the willpower and mind of the one performing the act and is done through the Mancers’ mathematical and geometric language known as “Source”.
This language is partially a mathematical method and partially an encrypted personal code. While the underlying principles are the same every Mancer undoubtedly develops their own system and own symbolisim for the same things. Deciphering such writings without some kind of frame of reference is very difficult. The reason for this is the Mancers’ principle tenant “Knowledge is Power, those who do not safeguard it are fools”. It is through this language that the Mancers are able to command the world around them.
How this transmutation manifests is subject to much debate among colonial scientists.
|“It was incredible, a flicker of light and a shimmering afterimage that became more… real more solid. Like tearing a hole in reality and pulling a rabbit out of your hat. I watched in awe as the the Tailyn Mancer took the bar of tungsten in hand, the air seemed to warp around it as the translucent afterimage of a bar of gold became more real than the tungsten it replaced. My god… could they be… no… that’s impossible… all possibilities?… all that ever could be… in the palm of your hand…”
- Quantum Physicist 1st Class Jessie Taylor
While this art seems to at first be capable of great feats, many of which appear impossible or miraculous, you are in fact severely limited by a number of factors. These include the amount of material that can be transmuted, how complex a transmutation that can be performed, and the physical laws it is able to bend or subvert. As the Mancer progresses in his studies he will gain more capability with the art and eventually utilize highly advanced techniques or even come up with her own.
The path to becoming a Mancer is not an easy one and consequently rarely undertaken alone. Simply, you need a teacher. Oftentimes an established Mancer will take on an apprentice to continue the traditions and Practices of the Masters methods. Alternatively the aspiring Mancer can join a guild or workshop and learn through its members. However it is done, it is very much considered a learned art requiring dedication and practice. We will attempt to detail the typical progression from Prospective to Master of the Art.
Before the First Step: Those who decide to become a Mancer often begin preparing at an early age. Typically it begins with study into the nature of the world. At the end of this training a good Prospective Mancer has a firm grasp on the physical underpinnings of the world. In game terms, a character of this type will have at least two dots in science by the end of this training. During this time the Prospective will learn about the world through the application of the Natural Philosophy. In this regimen the Prospective will study chemistry, physics, mathematics, logic, biology, and pharmacology. The reason for the emphasis on this knowledge during the early education of a prospective Mancer is to instill understanding. Without understanding a Mancer is useless. It is this background that allows the Prospective to enroll in a masters tutelage.
Initiate: Once a Master has been sought out, the Prospectives introduction to the occult concepts and esoteric knowledge will begin. In addition to the physical sciences the Mancer will also engage in the study of the occult language of the Mancers known as “Source”. This is a very crucial part of the Prospective’s training. This language will be her own personal voice to the universe around her. It is through this medium that Mancery is conducted and directed. She will learn to create it, read it, write it, and understand it enough to painstakingly decipher the language of others. As each persons version of source is different from the last. At the end of this next phase of training the Mancer will have at least two dots in Occult or have a single dot with an occult specialty related to Mancery. After the completion of this field of study is the next step. Attunement.
Apprentice: After the years of study the Prospective is allowed to take the final step to becoming a Mancer. In the last month of training the Prospective Mancer will work with her teacher to prepare for the final test, her first transmutation. In this the senior Mancer acts as guide and only such as this is the students own journey. This final month is filled with searching through tomes, practicing her source, planning for and gathering materials for the rite. With the ultimate goal of creating an occult array that will enable her transition from initiate into apprenticeship.
How this manifests is always different from Prospective to Prospective but typically the transmutation will bear some resemblance to the First Transmutation of the Master. Despite the differences and variation, there are aspects common to all First Transmutations. Such as the creation of a series of source runes that form the transmutation array, a visible gathering of energies, and a physical sacrifice. When complete the reaction will yield the creation of a physical implement (the occult focus through which transmutations can be directed), and the “Attunement” or the marking of the Mancer with the sigils of her Source. The end result of this ritual is that the Mancer is now able to tap into the abilities of the Mancer outside of a laboratory environment.
A Mancer has a certain set of tools that are needed to perform the act of transmutation. What follows is a listing of the term and its definition.
A product of the Mancers first transmutation. Directing and focusing a transmutation with this in hand grants the 9-again or 8-again rule towards a specific kind of transmutation. Use the following as a set of examples.
Life/Death – Healing, harming, life energy, mutation, Necromancy, Entropy, Disease, Blood
Matter/Energy –Reconstruction, Deconstruction, Mass, Alteration, Fire, Ice, Shock, Kinetic
Time/Probability – Branching Timeline(avoiding bad ends), Directed Timeline(creating specific results), Curse, Boon, Time Acceleration, Pre-cognition, Time Deceleration, Post cognition
Space/ Void – Void State, Warding, Void Disruption, Casting, Scrying, Sympathetic Magic, Transportation, Space Distortion
Mind/Spirit – Thoughts, Dreams, Control, Communication, Spirit Communion, Summoning, Spirit Warding, Spirit Disruption
A Foci with a broad purview like a Field (twilight, energy) will get the 9-again bonus while an 8-again bonus is bestowed on something more specific like the disciplines above.
These are unique symbols that are created by the Mancer during her early training. The language that the magic of a Mancer is written in. Often used to detail a transmutation before hand, they are used to both write and study Manceric Techniques and in active transmutation, help guide the transmutation being performed.
This is a unique symbol that is branded via the first transmutation into the flesh of the Mancer. It is a physical extension of the Mancers soul and can be used to remotely transmute an object. This symbol is unique and allows a Mancer to be identified.
The primary limiting factor in all forms of this art is what is refereed to as the Principle of Continuity. Like an equation in math, physics, or chemistry the reaction must be balanced before and after. The larger the discrepancy between what is sacrificed and what is asked for, the more likely something will go wrong.
Different methods of transmutation have different prerequisites. This section details what a Mancer must do in order to satisfy those requirements.
This section lists the actual merits which can be purchased with EXP. This includes both the base “Attuned” merit, the three Path merits, and all there requirements.
This section lists the individual practice merits grouped together based on the culture that teaches them.