On Kandara, what is commonly called ‘magick’ is a conscious manipulation of a fundamental field her inhabitants refer to as ‘The Weave’…
A subtly perceived synesthete shifting palette of colours, sounds and textures. How the Weave is perceived by individuals changes in accordance with their siddhi; yet the overall effect is to manifest and create circumstance in accordance with the casters (in Kandara, called a ‘weaver’, threading the substance of the Weave) willful intention. The Weave, as a natural force, is generally understood to exist and be the Source of spellcraft.
All spells, effects, and the like play out as imprints; sigilic forms of held energy, made of the substance of the Weave. It is a matter of accessing the deep vibrations upon which surface circumstance plays out. To invoke a fireball, one would access the element of fire; influencing it with one’s will.
Note: Spellcraft in Kandara is affected by the environment. For beginning spellcasters, environment affects their ability to cast. It is more difficult to cast a fireball in a place with little fire; for example. yet, since the six elements exist in all dimensions of the physical World; as one becomes more adept in their casting; it becomes easier under all circumstances.
In Kandara, the world is, like ours; a field of pure consciousness that crystallizes into form. It is the place of pure potentiality, of Change; itself. Deep adepts have described it as a shifting; changing watercolour of light; kaleidoscope patterns that coalesce from subtle to gross and manifest form. What appears as physical phenomena reveals itself to be endless combinations of the basic elements of Life; of Earth; Air; Fire and Water; Time and Space.
Whether a mountain or a mystic siddhi (a spell or other phenomenon); a gargantuan creature or a lightning storm; all such things are the gross manifestation of these subtle energies; the crystallization of a pattern that exists in subtle space.
In Kandara, this field is known as the Weave; and the various manifestations of form the result of patterns within that weave. An energy field from which ALL form is drawn. Weaving, also known as ‘bending’; is the action of intentionally affecting the field of consciousness to create effects; essentially building subtle patterns with one’s intention which create effects on the physical (gross) plane. As in our World; the Weave moves from pure formlessness into more and more gross manifestations; building upon the basic blocks of earth, air, water, fire, time and space. All effects are a combination of these elements woven into pattern.
In it’s purest form; the Weave is wish fulfillment itself. The light of Consciousness in gross form bent (woven) by the intention of the individual. And, as in our World, it exists in an infinite variety of combinations.
For this reason, players in Kandara may design their own abilities; weaving effects based in their affinity and practice with the various elements of the Weave.
Take the example of casting a lightning bolt. A caster (also known as a weaver or a bender) would alter the very substance of the Weave with their consciousness; invoking a pattern, an imprint; associated with the elements of fire. The pattern established would manifest itself in the gross planes as the desired effect. Similarly, items which are to invoke a particular effect (a mystic blade or item) are etched with runes that contain the basic pattern. It should be noted; there is a difference between the feeling of a pattern in the subtle planes and the language used to invoke it. Different races have their own runes, their own patterns; which access the Weave in different ways; invoking similar; though marginally different effects. Such differences can be major or minor; depending on the skill of the Weaver.
Weaving; or ‘bending’ or ‘patterning’ as it is known across the globe; essentially creates something that would not normally happen. *Bending* the timbres and textures of potential reality temporarily.
Casters of spellworks have varying degrees of ability and depth of perceiving the weave.
All effects are based in this; the weaving of various elemental energies(?)
In Kandara as in our World; all abilities are based in Consciousness. Siddhi, the invocations of ‘spells’ have potency relative to the awarenes and focus of the Weaver. Such becomes the very definition of potency; or “level” in game mechanics.
Kandara is a magick-rich world. That is, the understanding of the Weave is a common one; an accepted phenomenon; and a high percentage of the population possesses some degree of weaving Talent; though it is the focus and training of these talents that differentiates the commoner from the heroic.
The Green “The Gaian Arts”
Amongst the Prime Forces of Kandara is the Green; the fundamental pulse of life-force emanating from the planet herself. The force could easily be referred to as ‘Mother Nature’; incorporating the web of interconnected forces which promote the cycles of life.
Characters who tune into this energy signature have access to all manner of disciplines that draw upon the strength of Gaia herself. Practitioners of the Gaian arts could be most commonly related to the idea of ‘druids’ and the life-enhancing properties of ‘clerics’.
There is an important distinction between Weavers and those who work with the Green. Whereas Weaving works with the fundamental essence of Change; of temporarily altering what is through imprinted desire; the Green arts focus primarily on the essence of Life. On honouring the way things are, naturally. Connected is the Spirit realm; which works with the energy of Consciousness; the thoughts and psychic actions of beings in their various states of awareness. All aspects of the Trine are linked.
The Spirit World
The Spirit World and the Dreaming are linked; aspects of the evolving and gestalt consciousness of the many races of Kandara. As beings live, they generate thoughts, intentions; etc. As they dream, the same; as they pass from one life to another their ancestors and such exist in the Spirit World; the atmosphere of psychic energy that holds the imprint of the masses.
The Listening Arts tune into this particular energy; using their consciousness (mana) in a different way than spellcasters. Whereas Weave energy often appears kaleidoscopic; the Spirit realms, the psychic realms are dreamy, silvery; shifting, cloudlike formations of astral forms and manifestations.
The Unliving are examples of beings who are distorted from the natural cycle of life, death and rebirth; sometimes not even appearing to the planes of the spirit world, so removed are they from the flow.
Note: Blood sacrifice releases life-force; which affects the spirit plane; the green; and the weave; all of which are connected. Dark-intentioned magicians use such arts to increase their power.
“Gods” and “Deities” in Kandara
(i’m feeling going more with Perfections in this arena)
When the energies of the Spirit World; which is a manifestation of the raw thoughts & dreams of living creatures; reach a certain critical mass of shared ideals; they form a being; made of Spirit. These entities, at their core; are a form of collective coalescence; a generalized idea that maintains. This the the basic form of “Gods”, “Goddesses”, and general “Deities” in Kandara.
They are not, technically, the same type of being as elementals and creatures of the Green or the Weave, or even creatures native to the plane of Spirit. Yet they are consistent as to their particular manifestation; the gestalt creation of the conscious and unconscious beliefs of the people.
As such, ‘Deities’ can transfer spiritual force from the collective into their followers, granting them power. This is the basic principle of the Priest and Priestess class. Like all beings, priests and priestesses are connected to the Trine.
New idea – “Gods” and “Goddesses” on Kandara are beings who have achieved a number of perfections, and have become so aligned with the Trine that they enlightened, and became something greater. They became the archetypical manifestation of an imprint in the Trine.
The Listening Arts
Essentially, these are the ‘psychic’ arts of Kandara. Inherently; the Listening Arts relate to perception; to deepening one’s perception of the psychic fields of thought and vibration that are generated by cognitive beings. Whereas the Green arts relate to the primal energies of life-force; the Listening Arts relate to the energies of the mind.
Telepathy, clairaudience, clarivoyance; psychometry; area perceptions; implanting thoughts; influencing others; dominating their consciousness; psychic illusions; all of these are the listening arts.
Divination is one of the listening arts; which involves connecting with the spirits and ancestors.
Perception is DIRECTLY related to the Listening Arts. Whereas Weaving could be considered an ‘assertive’ process; Listening is a ‘receptive’ process. High-level listeners have incredible advantages to initiative and action; and gain combat bonuses being able to “listen” to what opponents are doing; or to precognate what a being is about to do, etc.
Author’s Query – where does telekinesis and the ‘physical’ psychic effects come into play?
Psychic energy and Spirit energy are the same; a kind of silvery; dreamlike atmosphere of thoughts and shifting planes that changes often and is comprised of the field signatures of all conscious beings. Like all Talents, the Listening Arts require mana to operate.
Unlike Weaving, which works on temporary change; or the Green Arts, which focus on the cycles of Life; the Listening Arts work with perceiving, divination; and affecting the subtle vibrations of consciousness. There are assertive Spirit (psychic) arts. Telekinesis is a good example.
The perceptual ability to sense psychic movement, or perceive the movements through the air of subtle vibration; to sense beings intentions and alignments; to perceive the emotional bonds and connections between others; to sense the frequencies of Weave imprints or life force or spirit; all of these are within the bailiwick of the Listening Arts.
Weaving skill examples – illusions, magic missiles; teleportation; fireball, lightning bolts; prismatic constructs; shapeshifting; mirror magicks; etc.
Greentending skill examples – healing; drawing life-force from the Earth; sense life energy; sense undead energy; speak with elementals; grow plants; grace of plants (protection from/by); increased life-force; heal constituion; stay strong; knowledge of herbs and teas; sense plants in locations
Listening skill examples – telepathy; divination; perception in all forms; intentions; emotional connections; scan for damage, psychic healing, seeing through illusions, detecting lies and truth; sensing the destiny lines; etc.
Inner Planes of Kandara
There are many dimensions within the physical/energetic framework of Kandara. Items and magicks which access interdimensional space, such as objects that are larger on the inside than the outside for example; open into an interdimensional space; a maintained inversion created by weaving.
From a gameplay perspective; alternate ‘planes’ are accessed by changing one’s basic vibrational frequency; using Time and Space to reorganize Earth, Air, Water & Fire temporarily.
“Holes” – There are tears in the very fabric of space and time that exist in Kandara; points like wormholes that open up …..
One of the unique qualities of Kandara is the ability to have any ability the player chooses. The understanding of the nature of the Weave is fundamentally felt by most, if not all the beings of the planet to one degree or another. A high percentage of the population has one Talent or another; to varying degrees of skill. This can fluctuate between barely able to make a flower grow to living for hundreds of years through alignment with the life-force of Gaian force within the planet.
To create a particular skill or talent; characters learn to focus their attention into the type of effect that they want. This naturally draws their resonance with the aspect of the natural world of which it is constructed.
Casting on Kandara is akin to playing a musical piece, a spoken word piece; a dance piece; or some other form of art. As one advances in facility, their ability to wield the energies involved become simpler, clearer; more efficient. Spells take less time to cast; the become stronger; the magi’s particular association with the elemental forces deepens; etc. It is a personal and evolutionary process. For example; a being can focus on the fields of fire; of electricity; and cultivate a Talent of wielding lightning. In the beginning, it may take them a full Action or two to cast a bolt; yet as they increase in facility, this changes. Becomes easier.
Rules of Operation – Actions
The first major thing to understand about Kandara is this: She is designed for great, heroic Stories. Adventures are meant to be inspiring to the players; and the rules of engagement, interactions; combat; resolution; are designed to encourage this.
An action is a unit-of-story. Meaning; something that happens. Roleplaying games are, at their Heart; Stories. They are heroic journeys through avatars within a perceived world. The characters are the heroines and heroes of those journeys; and their actions are meant to be; well, heroic.
Level discrepancy –
Sometimes the distance between beings of relative skills is so great the lesser skilled one simply cannot match the higher skill. Other times, they may receive an attempt to block or parry the manuever (or Weaving, or effect); yet this is up to the Storyteller’s discretion. The basic idea is, sometimes you’re just not as quick as they are, not as skilled. And it serves the Story.
It is the Story that matters. So, in terms of Storytelling; the role of the master teller who orchestrates the World around the players; bits of time and effect are broadly categorized under ‘actions’. For example; swinging a sword is an action. Casting a spell could take an action (or longer). Actions exist in relative time. Time relative to the progression of Story.
This is not to say that time, and initiative; do not exist in the roleplaying world. Initiative takes precedence over actions; determining who acts first in any given situation. Listening, for example; to psychic emanations; at it’s beginning; requires an Action. It is a focused talent.
Ultimately; in the gameplay of Kandara, Actions as units-of-story are the players decisions, how quickly they happen and how long they take to execute (should actions have a number associated with them in terms of time-to-execute that affects initiative? As beings grew in speed the number could go down)
(ultimately, it’s up to the Storyteller; yet approach-wise; the recommendation is to use what facilitates Story)
First off, Perfections in Kandara are rare. They are the most aligned embodiment a being can have of a particular aspect of interest. Characters in Kandara are working towards a perfection, mastering the subtleties of their areas of interest.
Perfections are the fundamental expression of a thing; a weaving in it’s highest expression. It implies a level of spiritual understanding and thus carries a lot of weight amongst the people.
The quality itself is regarded with celebrated interest. ex: “Did you hear?!? A Perfection is coming to towne”; or spoken about with hushed awe.
Perfections are essentially a level of skill or integration with a talent that is far, * far * beyond that of the common people. Some beings claim to have achieved perfections; bragging about their abilities. It’s all relative.
Beings achieving a perfection do still increase in ability, ever deepening. It is simply understood that they have achieved a level of understanding of the aspect so deeply that it flows for them in an exceptionally clarified way. Beings who have achieved a perfection experience an ease of the use of their talents with much less mana usage to achieve the effect.
To achieve a perfection, a character must devote all their mana to the technique. They are highly specialized.
Multiple lives exist in Kandara, she functions by way of reincarnation; of layers of souls moving through their individual destinies. Some beings are born with more natural talent, etc. they are considered to be avatars of earlier lifetimes moving towards a perfection.
Sacrifice & Ley leeching –
When a being dies on Kandara, all of their still remaining mana bleeds out into the environment. This is not an explosive process, more of a process of simply returning to the environment. However, deathwalkers and other beings may weave patterns that trap the mana, powering their own magicks with stolen ley mana. Some creatures possess larger amounts of natural mana than others, and are coveted for sacrifices or as power sources.
Other factors influence the amount of mana in the atmosphere; notably the movement of the moons. The simple principle is: The grander the weaving, the more mana it requires. Yet ironically, when a Being has achieved a Perfection, their talents require less mana, for their consciousness has become more refined in it’s use. This creates the aspiration to the Grand Weaver; a worshipped ideal that is so aligned they spend no mana to weave their will.
Teleportation on Kandara moves with the flow of ley in the various atmospheres. It is a complicated process of feeling the various flows and what areas of the planet are, or are not open at any given moment.
Teleportation takes more mana the further one goes, less mana as one develops their skill. Mana storms warp teleportation (or cause it to require more mana than normal to stabilize); as do the gravitic qualities of moonstone.
Short-range teleportation is easier than long-range. Line-of-sight teleportation is the easiest for early levels of ability.
Teleportation can sometimes leave the caster (and/or passengers) nauseous or disoriented, depending on the level of the weaver and the current of ley through the atmosphere.
It occurs to me that Actions are fundamentally tied to Time and Space. Actions take a certain amount of time; and function within a certain framework of space.
All of the fields the players interact with; the Spirit plane, the Weave, the Green; are all aspects of Kandara’s biofield; her living energy. Like all worlds; Kandara functions on the basis of certain laws which govern all phenomena. Rules of gravity; of temperature and motion; of the progression and topography of space and time.
In her energetic atmosphere; there is the Weave; the Spirit world; and the Green, amongst other aspects; all of which directly affect and characters within her environs. Each of them represents a different elemental, energetic quality of the planet; the field which is interacted with by the players.
Greentenders are characters on Kandara who have a devotional, sacred relationship with the living spirit of the planet; Kandara herself; the fundamental elemental prime force from which the various other elementals are wrought. As Greentenders increase in depth of experience, they gain visions of the structure of the planet herself; deepening understandings of the placement and occurrence of different elemental fields (like areas of Weave; Spirit realms; the magmic veins, etc.). The eldest of Greentenders; who have gained (or naturally possess) a deepened relationship with Gaia; have geomantic visions of the planet in her past state, in her current, and how she will be as she heals the distortion created by the falling moon.
Strength – how much a being can lift, move; carry
Perception – observation of different energies; subtleties in the World; general sense of awareness
Agility – dexterity; nimbleness
Vitality – one’s general level of life-force and energy
Meditation – active meditation increases the mana of the caster permanently; as well as increasing the recharge.
I saw the gladiator of Pax; fighting against all manner of humanoid or creature; in a myriad of gladiatorial melee. Twin ships in a great watery shoot-out; minotaur on one ship, a human and a vampire on the other.
Then a labyrinth of shifting stones; with fighters moving in and around. The stories of the Last Battle; when a gladiator reaches the top of the pyramid; and gets to challenge the Lord or Lady of Pax for control. Though Pax is a city of thieves and iniquity; the code of the warrior remains strong in the minds of the people.
And the Greentenders. Who bent the Light in alignment with the forces of Nature. The ‘druids’. How they could unravel creatures of perverted life. How their life-giving nature held the healing arts; that to heal effectively one must be aligned with the earth energy. Increasing strength was an earth bend; or increasing density.
How bending was working with the fundamental forces of creation. Earth; Air; Fire; Water; Time & Space. One could blend the spheres; creating an infinity of patternings to bend. To weave.
Benders/Weavers could exist that could work with the fundamental qualities of weave-energy; the rawstuff of it; affecting and bending the weavings that existed around them. Of course; in the Kandara universe; a player could have multiple skills; if they used the mana to acquire them.
It was beautiful.
I saw more clearly how beings could create any skill they wanted; molding the very substance of wanting into being; they could grow stronger and stronger in their own shaping, specializing in aspects of energies. The example was given of a being who went deeper and deeper into the realm of teleportation; gaining the ability to teleport objects, other beings; to flitter between many spaces at once as an attack.
Kandara is a realm of mythic heroism. Where actions are meant to be mythical. And she accommodates the imagination in such a way.
Yet such things paled in comparison to the realization; no longer was I the boy who saw things in terms of melee and combat; but rather in beauty; the mechanics of the game a mere echo of the holism of a conscious World.