|2002/11/13 21:20:45 PST by Dev [manager]
Edited by Fang Xianfu at 2003/06/09 08:42:49 PDT
I think it's about time we started working on the particulars of the Antarean Dynamic Magic Language. I have three out of four of the pyramid faces done (which I will upload here when I get a chance), with the fourth on its way. For those of you who'd like to go reread the original FoI Forum thread, it's (broken). For everyone else who just wants a recap of the intro, here it is as I had written it prior:
So, we've supposedly got the Antareans which know all this cool magic controlling language, right? And we have the Proteans which guard the magic empowering ore, right? So where do the two interact, and how so? Here's a proposal (a proposal, mind you) on how magic is implemented.
Casting a spell draws upon three different semantic clauses that the user will have to specify: source, action, and target. The Antarean language is built to facilitate this need with keywords that are often used to reference those needed three clauses. Some important notes on each three of those...
The source of magic can be found in specific ore. Before a user can cast magic, they must call upon a specific source of magic energy. The simplest way to do that is to have the source physically at your disposal. For example, the source clause might be "The ore in my hand," or "The ore sitting two wingslengths in front of me." (Why not? Antareans might measure things in wingslengths...)
It's often not very handy to be carrying around a whole bunch of ore, of course. However, a user can cast a concatenate spell over any amount of ore, and they must also provide a reference name at concatenation. The reference name alone then becomes a substitute for calling upon the source. Thus if you named a large pile of ore "bagel," your source clause could simply be "bagel." Only the user who concatenated the source is allowed to use it remotely in this fashion (however, a source can be re-concatenated to effectively add another person to the source's "user list"?this would be what Brooke has to do as her rite journey thing).
Now that we've summoned the energy, what are we going to do with it? This clause might be "cause tornado," or "launch ball of fire," or whatever. Note that each clause has an inherent element implied. Tornado is essentially a "violent column of air." I already mentioned a "ball of fire." You could also have a "pool of water," or a "wall of earth." What about, say, a "storm of ice?" I think ice would actually fall between water and earth. Think about our elements and the four corresponding states of matter: earth-solid, water-liquid, air-gas, fire-plasma. The action clause basically creates any combination of those concepts and does something with it.
Where is my magic going? This functions similarly to the source clause. You basically need to identify your target, such as "the ogre I'm touching," or "ten wingslengths directly in front of me." I suppose there also would be some little-known way of targeting a person or thing from a remote location.
Levels of Spells/The Ore
Some of what I've gone over (especially the action clause) is specific to elemental spells. While these are the simplest to cast, they aren't the only ones. There are other categories as well, and the higher the level, the more ore you need to draw from.
Ore isn't so much a resource like, say, gasoline fuel. Rather, it's a base of energy that has a certain capacity, kind of like RAM. Certain spells, even within the same level, need more ore to be effective. For instance, I'd say it's easiest to cast spells that manipulate elements of fluid consistency (water and air), while it's more difficult to control more extreme elements (earth and fire).
Above the simple elemental spells would be more advanced spells that affect all the elements at once, and then some. This would include things such as healing, psi abilities, and the Proteans' morph ability.
Above the advanced spells is a class of omnipotent magic. You need a heckuvalotta ore to cast these (thus Kydran's desire to mine it). The rez spell, and a de-exist spell (if we use it) would fall under this category.
To use the Protean morph spell as an example:
The source clause would be the reference name each Protean used when they went to the Labyrinth Grove to initiate their magic powers at age 16 (which has become a cultural ritual). The action clause contains something to the effect of "bestow physical characteristics of [some living thing]" where the Protean user must study [some living thing] to be able to employ a meaningful reference name in the action clause. Finally, Proteans only know one target clause: "The living thing that I'm touching."
Thus, Brooke's spell in Part II might look like: "From the labyrinth grove ore, bestow physical characteristics of a skunk upon the living thing that I'm touching." You might find that a bit wordy, but Antarean language has specific words for each clause, so that the spell ends up being only 3-5 words. Also note that Brooke must first study what "a skunk" is before she can use it as a meaningful reference name in the action clause.
There are probably many more things that I could get into, but first, let me know what you think. Is there something that escaped you completely? Something that's a little fuzzy? Something you would change?