Magic in Cradle (via Aria): Origin

In Aria, an Origin is simply a source of magic or powers or whatnot. There are as many combinations as there are settings, from single sources (such as Cradle) to more complicated arrangements as seen in many fantasy rpgs with divine magic; magic magic; elemental magic; etc.

The foundation of the Origin is four basic questions:

  • Where did it come from?
  • How is it obtained?
  • What can it do? 
  • Who can use it?

Luckily I already have answers to three of those questions. Magic in Cradle comes from an element (currently I’m calling it Torchstone, but I am likely changing the name). This element is present everywhere in some quantity, and there are numerous ways to be able to tap into its energy. Who can use it depends on how the energy is tapped, from pre-prepared implementations usable by anybody to methods that require innate talent. I have some ideas about what I want it to able to do – for example, as an energy source or being alloyed to make things stronger, lighter, etc. Other than that, I’m hoping stepping through Aria will give me some ideas on what the upper boundaries.

This is (as of now) the only source of magic in Cradle. It’s has a Non-Sentient nature. The paragraph on Origin Natures mentions these Natures possibly having Aspects with a few examples.  As an aside, something I either forgot or never realized was the existence of Aspects in Aria – they’re not exactly like Fate Aspects, but it makes me wonder if Aria was originally FUDGE-based. Each of the elements of the Origin Template can have different Aspects, but I’m going to leave defining any Fate Aspects for the very end of this process.

Next is the Origin Form, which we’ve already defined as a physical element. This makes it an Essence in Aria terms. The various actual forms that Torchstone can take will actually be explored when defining the “Omnessence Fundamental” (which is just a fancy way of saying how magic is actually used). But this is a good place to explore how Torchstone is distributed and some of its interactions. I’ve already established that Torchstone is prevalent in the setting, in the form of underground deposits and veins. The concentrations of various sizes can have a visible impact on the environment – they effectively form a network of magical nodes or places of power. Additionally, it can cause phenomena such as magical springs, plants, etc.

Torchstone’s genesis is Inherent – it’s part of the world and the reality. Nothing really to talk about there. Similarly, given the inert and non-sentient nature of Torchstone, Orientation and Relation aren’t really relevant because it doesn’t have a mind of its own.

But the paragraph on  Origin Connections opens up some interesting possibilities. While this (and the next couple elements on the template) normally would help define how the various Origins work together, I’m thinking more of how the various concentrations interact with one another and the setting as whole. I alluded to this above when I mentioned it forming a network of magical nodes.

The general idea is that the energy associated with the Torchstone is kind of a magical weak force. The result is a field that is strongest in close proximity to the element and quickly becomes weaker. Strong concentrations tend to find a path of sorts to other concentrations, channelling the field. In this respect it’s sort of like ley lines, but I imagine them more as a spiderweb or rivers versus being straight. This would likely have interesting implications as I get further down the rabbit hole of what magic is capable of.

After going through the Origin Template stuff, I feel like I have a better feel for what Torchstone actually is. It’s a pervasive element that produces an energy field that quickly drops off in power. Large concentrations form networks of energy currents between one another.

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