Author Topic: Thoughts on magic in Cephiro  (Read 925 times)


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Thoughts on magic in Cephiro
« on: January 14, 2020, 04:52:45 PM »
I was going through old posts in the Wailing About Writing channel on the Discord chat and came across a discussion that Milieva thought would be useful to have posted here, so here it is (some edits made for clarity):

Also, I seem to have Ascot and Umi having a bit of a chat about elemental magic and would welcome other thoughts/ideas on the topic.

Ooh, what sort of conversation?
I have MANY THOUGHTS on magic in Cephiro and some are even coherent (most not XDD) and I have about five ways I write it, heh.

Basically it came up that Ascot’s never been all that great with the elements, and Umi’s remarking on how hers has always felt intuitive.

Mmm, because his magic is originally rooted in a different pathway?

His magic at the base as a summoner I normally take as being basically made of 'communication-and-creation' in equal parts, so try to have those be the types of magic that come easier to him.

So better at making chairs and tables and the kinds of communication-with-animals things than something intended at the heart to destroy.

The lightning magic seems to be Clef's default he ends up teaching the people who need something offensive but are rooted in non-elemental magic, because it's /his/ default and he knows it.

But also it's about creating the spark of the lightning and then just directing it, rather than gathering something that's there.

Which is how I have Ascot finding his way into it.

But SOMETIMES I go five-elements system and have the central one be 'spirit/void' and in that
instance, that's Ascot's element.

I think I did go with aether for it once.

But then it's fun if Cephiro is four (or five-with-aether) and then you have other people turn up with different belief systems who get Cephiran power and it expresses itself through THEIR elemental theory INSTEAD
and this is why Tarta is a metal element user.

Which she thinks is SO COOL and Clef - is slightly bewildered but ACTUALLY THAT'S REALLY COOL and then Umi shows up and is going 'what the - SERIOUSLY how is she allowed to MANIPULATE ALL HER WEAPONS NOW THAT'S NOT FAIR.

Huh. So much fun today. Yay!
Do you have thoughts on Umi’s relationship with her own magic?

Besides thinking it awesome?


... Yes, that would work well with the conversation.

MORE COHERENTLY I don't know, I tend to go with 'magic is pulled into someone through their connection with Cephiro and stored within them after being converted through that process into power that is ~theirs~ as in it resonates with their element.

And in Umi's case that turns into an intuitive kind of sensing of the water physically around her because it's aligned with the power that's in her.

(So it's stronger in Cephiro when the magic is being constantly fed/refreshed but there's still a slight sense there when she's back on earth.)

Like, “Ascot, you can’t just cast a water spell! You’ve got to BE the water! BE the sea!”

So when she learns to do it, or when she's reaching for a spell, she's literally reaching to manipulate the water in the area - pulling it from the atmosphere to form it into a dragon.

And part of that manipulation is essentially (at least for Umi) inhabiting the element, so yes! being and channeling the water~

You have to FEEL it, have an understanding which goes beyond facts and into an emotional kind of sensing in your heart.

And that's what gives you strong intuitive mastery.

You can force it with just straight factual understanding but without the kind of emotional connection it's not as strong or flexible or responsive~

And the 'feeling', the connection, is tied into your underlying (and cultural) understanding of the element, so someone who say grew up knowing only little lakes and gentle rain would have a different notion of it than someone who has grown up with typhoons and tsunami.

Not necessarily STRONGER, because if the connection is solid you can ask the water to be whatever, ask it to take on your anger and rage to do the same as if you believe that the water has its own anger and rage
but it's DIFFERENT in the way the mage experiences it?

And Umi's expression and understanding is very 'RAGE AND GRACE AND UNFORGIVING AND THOSE MOMENTS OF SUDDEN PEACE'?

Whereas the other naturally-water-aligned character I have that I write more, HI MIURA, is a water-based healer, and for her water is more - support-of-life, and the force that will not be stopped, it is the slow wearing away of the stones and you can direct it but you cannot halt it.

And she works through sensing of her patients bodies through the water that's inherently part of them, so her healing is actually attached in to her elemental understanding.

That would also lend itself well to Umi fucking things up a little while later, just being so caught up in being the sea and the storm and the Goddess and forgetting her current surroundings. (Especially since she’s been so frustrated with being stuck on scrollwork and being annoyed with Clef that that’s kinda coming out too)

And they share a number of characteristics (both are stubborn as fuck and pretty much will not back down) but are very different too. (Umi is more confrontational and will act almost before there's a reason to, Miura doesn't get confrontational until there's an obstacle in her path - like an idiot Guru who won't take care of his own health and keeps scaring her healers - and then she'll Do Something About It.)

Umi is ALWAYS so quick-to-the-point-of-over-reacting and it's GREAT FUN because she's RIGHT so much of the time about the fact there's an issue but her reactions are so often slightly too much, or in the wrong direction, because she's still learning! and it all goes horribly wrong. XD

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah I love them all so much.



My own understanding of the sea is rooted in the North Sea so I'm well aware I don't think of it the way
someone who lives in, idk, the Mediterranean would. XD

I have a running, um, terrible theme of lightning mages being attracted to water and often drowning as children if they get their magic too young.

Clef is very attracted to the sea.


*hides under a cushion* IT IS A TERRIBLE THING AND I HAVE HEADCANONED IT it's one of the reasons there aren't many of them around and IT CAME OUT OF THE FACT IT IS A TERRIBLE PUN.

UM ANYWAY, that combined with the lack of natural storms in Cephiro most of the time explains why there aren't actually many mages with elemental lightning magic that is natural to them - of the kids who have the right understanding that that's how it expresses itself, not all of them survive (also because it's one of the more dangerous forms to use as your first)

But there's a fair number who end up knowing it as their second BECAUSE it's one that Clef finds easier to explain, AND, that lack of a strong connection makes it a pretty safe second power because they're not likely to develop such a strong sense of it that it becomes natural in the same way.

And one of the reasons I do actually think that Clef probably did come into his power young and in the middle of the fall of the Pillar of the time, he was at the right age and had the opportunity to form that feel for the stuff breaking the sky apart and it felt like the scream in his own head that he couldn't let out because everything is going wrong and people are VANISHING and no one will tell him anything but he's not THAT young he's old enough to help if they'd just TELL HIM WHAT'S HAPPENING.

(He's probably about seven. I remember being seven and thinking JUST TELL ME SO I CAN HELP I'M NOT A LITTLE KID LIKE MY BROTHER and looking back it's 'oh. Um. Yes, yes I was, I was seven.')

(And now I’ve also got a bit of Ascot admitting he’s probably just as responsible as Umi for the whole magic fuck-up because he decided to try more of the ‘feeling the magic’ approach and it ended up working too well. “Wow, Ascot, I’m just a bad influence on you, aren’t I?” “No, you’re the BEST!”)

Ascot I headcanon as having been ALONE and in trouble with a definite emphasis on the 'alone' which sometimes falls down to the idea that his village/family was just destroyed in some accident and he was on the margins and is now like five and lost in the woods and his magic expresses as communication-manifestation because he just wants someone to come find him and help so he's calling out
at which point his parents and his village might have been okay but his magic's in before anyone else finds him - and it may have been a while - and from that point on interactions with people Do Not Go Well.

Sounds like as good an Ascot headcanon as any.
Of course I'm normal...I'm 90 degrees off from the rest of the world.


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Re: Thoughts on magic in Cephiro
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2020, 08:34:32 PM »
We really do need to post more of these conversations on here. For posterity.
If your headcanon for Ascot's backstory doesn't make me want to cry, I probably won't believe it.