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Architectrix

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Image:Scroll2.png "At first they are just like their makers. But as time and space separate them from their Masters and Mistresses, they change. Some grow delightfully happy while others fall into a seething pit of loathsomeness. One never knows with Architectrix what four-walled child will be born of the magics of Suva.”
- Van Nakiki from the Book of New Souls
Architectrix
World magic
Full nameArchitectrix
AvailabilityRare
Learned fromVery few users
Key conceptGranting Life to Physical Structures.
UsesHabitats and Dwellings
RisksSetting a sentient building of dubious temperament loose in the world.


Architectrix (ancient tongue: Arivas) is a discipline of world magic that breaths a piece of a mage’s life force and the life force of another Architectrix into a physical structure and gives that structure full and unquestionable life. Once ‘infected’ the structure begins to slowly assume sentience and develop a personality of its own. The higher the level of mage the faster this effect happens and the more control the mage has over the structure’s personality so long as the mage keeps working with the structure.

Contents

History

A great many details have been lost because of the Valterrian, but some basic information is still known passed via word of mouth from Architechtrix mage to Architectrix mage about the origins and development of Architectrix. Well before the Valterrian in the heart of the Suvan Empire, Vivian Roscanali, a champion of Kihala, developed this magic bridging the gap between divine magic and world magic to do so. The first Architectrix was said to be Vivian’s stronghold Cyprus Manor located somewhere in the modern day Kalean West Coast on the edge of a massive Swampland that is still exists today in the form of The Gyvaka Swamp. Vivian breathed the essence of life into this structure after spending her whole life on creating its process. From Cyprus Manor all other Architectrix’s have been born, and can trace their linage backwards to Cyprus Manor. The Manor has been lost since the Valterrian so no one knows if it is still alive or not. Due to its nature, there is a distinct and high possibility that Cyphrus Manor did survive the Valterrian and has been in hiding ever since.

Initiation

Though Initiation into Architectrix is incredibly rare, it still happens. The rarity of this world magic depends on a would-be mage coming across an actively sentient Architectrix structure which will accept the mage and perform the initiation. Initiations are wholly dependent on Architectrix structures and cannot be preformed by other mages unless other mages have pieces of Architectrix structures. Typically a sentient structure will remove a piece of itself, such as a splinter, and insert it beneath the mages’ skin where it will rest undisturbed by the mages natural abilities to fester the foreign substance out like a mage would do with other more normal splinters. Once a splinter or another such piece of the structure is safely within the mage’s body and does not kill the mage, the newly inducted mage will slowly develop the full capacity to understand an Architectrix building and communicate with it. Mages can be initiated by other mages, but again they need splinters or pieces of a fully sentient Architectrix to have the initiation be successful. Initiation is dangerous and sometimes the splinter will reject the mage resulting in death.

Architectrix In Practice

Architectrix is incredibly simple in nature. In fact, its design operates more like an infection than anything else. Once a mage has been initiated into Architectrix they can successfully locate and communicate with existing Architectrix structures. To create more Architectrix structures, the mage simply needs to safely and without harming the existing structure, remove a piece of its form and successfully implant it into another structure. Pieces might include bricks or a single board of lumber. A window pane would work. Even a single shingle or roof tile could be transported and successfully installed in a new structure to infuse it with sentience. The level of the mage determines how fast the building acquires this ‘life’ and gains its sentience. However, one critical element is that all Architectrix structures must give of themselves freely and cannot be ‘stolen’ from in order to transfer this life. If a piece such as a roof tile or brick is taken without the structure’s permission then the piece will not transmit the infection and create a new Architectrix.

Architectrix’s Results

The most important thing to consider about Architectrix is that these structures have sentience and thus develop a mind of their own. Their experiences are shaped by the people and living things that dwell within them. Initially their personalities start out mimicking the mages that crafted them. However, very very soon afterwards they can deviate drastically. Houses that are sentient, once they reach full ‘maturity’ (which again depends on the level of the mage) have the ability to add and subtract rooms. They can change their own layouts. They can hide things from their owners, rearrange furniture and decidedly throw people out whom they dislike and do not want dwelling within their boundaries. Structures infected with Architectrix can go on killing sprees and use their own structures to rid themselves of their residents. Conversely Architectrix structures can anticipate the arrival of say visitors and create spontaneously a new guest room or an entirely new wing, basement, or floor. Architectrix structures can throw tantrums and turn themselves from eighty room mansions to one room shacks just to spite their owners as well. Most Architectrix structures are in harmony with their owners, often searching long and hard to find that perfect fit. Castles that evil mages inhabit tend to have evil streaks themselves. And the cottage that the crofter family lives in might see to it that a pie cooling on a window seal will not be disturbed until the family is ready to eat it.

Architectrix structures come in all shapes and sizes, though by and large most are homes, shops, or an occasional wall or bridge. Ancient structures tend to be castles or keeps. Rumor has it Stormhold is a well mannered and well settled Architectrix. Castle Xy, set in the Cyphrus plains, is also said to be a very malevolent structure, though it doesn’t seems to mind the Zith that have made it their home. Along with Cyprus Manor, Ironrock was reported to be another such structure.

Architectrix’s Limitations & Hazards

The size of an Architectrix depends always on the size of the land assigned to it. So if a structure was built on 60 acres, potentially the structure could grow that large. Conversely a structure built in a small city housing parcel can only grow as large as that parcel. Buildings can expand upwards and downwards at will. Nothing within a structure will be lost or destroyed during the structure’s endeavors to transform itself. Structures can and will rearrange their furnishings and create new or destroy old furnishings. They can hide things within their depths and create secret rooms to house secrets within. Architectrix buildings can and will act like people, shaking on their foundations when enraged and throwing their windows open when too hot.

No new material needs to be added to the Architectrix structure for it to seemingly edit its design and create or destroy rooms. This self-editing seems to take a great deal of effort on the part of the structure so the frequency this occurs is rare. A well settled Architectrix home might anticipate the coming of visitors (especially if its been home to Konti and some of their fortune telling or divining has worn off – or its overheard gossip by servants or its owners) and form a room overnight adding a guest bedroom to house the guests expected. No new building material would be needed for this effort, though the house might not be able to shift its shape for a while or do any more building until its djed supply is renewed and it has ‘rested’. Such remodels might be seasons apart or even years, but they do happen.

Structures infused with Architectrix magic can fall prey to the same catastrophes that effect other buildings and structures. They can be ‘killed’ by fire if their parts are flammable. They can be buried in snow, mud, and sand during natural disasters. Their walls can be knocked down and the rubble scattered to the point where the building ‘dies’. The longer the structure has existed, however, the harder it is to control or destroy.

Structures which have been infected by Architectrix end up taking on a life of their own. They develop personalities different than the mages who created them as time passes. Often these structures outlive the mages who breathed life into them. They can be disobedient and have their own ideas that deviate from the will and wishes of the mage that created them. And like other sentient creatures, Architectrix buildings suffer mental disorders and have been found to be enraged, smothering, and sometimes simply insane. Such buildings generally form the baseline to the haunted house mythos as ghosts are incredibly drawn to sentient structures and seem to have no barrier in communicating with them even in the absence of being initiated into Architectrix..

To stave off boredom, Architectrix structures often take up hobbies. They’ll collect residents at times (sometimes not letting them go), branch off into landscape design and work on their own ‘grounds’. Some will take up painting and produce internal and external murals that are anywhere from appalling to stunning. Some will even experiment with form, being all glass one season and all stone the next. Only well settled buildings that have come to firm understandings with their denizens are considered ‘stable’ and somewhat unchanging. The rest are wildly different, from their mages and definitely from each other.

One important thing to note is that surrounding these sentient buildings tend to be an aura of 'didn't notice that'. Meaning, people living right next door or walking by said buildings every day will tend not to notice the changes unless they are mages themselves. If an Architectrix Building takes on an all glass structure one season and switches to wood the next, people will just naturally assume it was always glass the first season and then always wood the second season.

Architectrix And Archi Mages

There is very little an Architectrix mages needs to do once they infect a structure with Architectrix. The structure will grow on its own and gain sentience. However, there is a lot an Architectrix mage CAN do if they choose too. Depending on their levels they can speed up the growth of sentience. They can communicate with these buildings and find out their needs and issues. Architectrix buildings need repairs just like other buildings so one can become vastly unhappy if one’s roof is leaking and a current resident family refuses to fix it for example. These mages often become ‘caretakers’ of these structures, healing their wounds and hearing their problems. A well schooled Architectrix mage can often back an Architectrix Structure off from the brink of insanity or drive one straight too it. The more interaction an Architectrix mage has with its structure the more it can help shape or bend the will of the structure.

Architectrix & Other Mages

Architectrix is not Animation. This ancient discipline is not remotely related. Once a structure is created and infused with life, that structure takes on a mind of its own and while it can be communicated with by an Architectrix mage, there’s no guarantee the building will listen to said mage or do as its told. One cannot design an Architectrix structure for a specific purpose nor can one control said structure. One can only attempt to guide it and feed it energy, which is what a Architectrix’ mage’s true purpose is.

Shielding has been successfully used with Architectrix structures. However, as with all living things, there is a distinct possibility that the building itself can learn the art of shielding from observation which can be a very good or bad depending on the personality of the structure. And since djed is in all things, this can result in interesting consequences. Other structures, throughout time, have reportedly learned other magics – both common practice and lost disciplines – and have even in the past invented their own hybrid forms of arcana.

Architectrix buildings tend to draw mages and other sentience too them. They feel emotions like other creatures and can be lonely as well. However, this might not manifest in ways mages can foresee. An Architectrix structure might invite a widow and her thirty cats to move into its shelter and decide it likes the cats better than the widow. Depending on its personality the widow might find herself permanently locked out or dead by the Architectrix’s means while the cats are coddled and pampered in the aftermath.

There are some magics, mainly divine, that when infused with an Architectrix Structure can be truly frightening. Akarni, the gnosis of Zintila and Webbing come to mind. Infusing a skyglass structure with Architectrix is a dangerous thing because skyglass has unique and highly indestructible qualities to it rendering the structure extremely dangerous if it grows unstable or haunted. Giving a building that’s fully sentient access to the web gives it access to knowledge, and knowledge is power in Mizahar.

Architectrix buildings can bear gnosis marks and use gnosis just like normal people and objects can.

Ghosts are particularly drawn to Architectrix buildings. They seem to have very little difficulty communicating with the buildings and might be some of the sources of the very oldest original haunted house mythos.

Additional Notes

So besides creating new structures, what is the point of an Architectrix mage? The answer is simple. Mages act as councilors to these structures, guide them, and can often feed them their own djed to speed along their sentience and remodels. Mages often act as caretakers and nursemaids, living on the grounds or in the structures themselves. It is rare to find an Architectrix mage which only knows Architectrix. Instead, this discipline is often an offshoot of other magical studies and practices those artforms within the boundaries of these structures potentially creating a very dangerous situation.


Skill progression

Novice (1-25)
The novice is initiated into Architectrix and can communicate (mostly just emotions) with Architectrix structures. He or she is able to recognize these buildings from even great distances and can attempt to talk buildings into giving up pieces of themselves to create ‘seeds’ for new Architectrix buildings. Once a given piece of a current Architectrix building is acquired, the Architectrix mage can then ‘seed’ a new building and create a new Architectrix structure.
Competent (26-50)
At the competent level an Architectrix mage can then start feeding djed into a building to increase its strength, growth and the rate of which it gains sentience. This feeding can cut in half the time it takes a building to reach full self awareness. Architectrix mages at this level can have basic communication with Architectrix buildings in full sentences. At this level, a mage may be able to talk an Architectrix Building into offering a piece of itself to form a new structure.
Expert (51-75)
Communication at this adept level is fairly straightforward so the mage and building itself may communicate in clear dialog that resembles the way two normal people could speak to each other. Mages have no difficulty getting pieces of the building to create new Architectrix structures. Mages can feed djed into the buildings and reduce the sentience time by one quarter of the time. Time depending, of course, on the size of the structure they are trying to infect with Architectrix. The bigger the building the slower the infection. Small buildings infect fairly rapidly.
Master (76-100)
A master is able to understand the needs of an Architectrix building and can often cure problems and sooth mental disorders said structures have developed. They can also conversely cause a buildings worry and fear bringing on ‘disorders’ and speeding up issues. Full Architectrix Masters can seed a building, regardless of what size, and bring it into full sentience the same day by simply infusing the building with their djed as they awaken it.


Part of a series of articles on Magic
Concepts Magic · Magic list · Djed · Personal magic · Gnosis · World magic
Personal magic Auristics · Familiary · Flux · Hypnotism · Leeching · Morphing · Projection · Reimancy · Voiding · Shielding
Gnosis Gnosis · Gnosis list· Gnosis Marks · Religion
World magic Alchemy · Animation · Glyphing · Magecraft · Malediction · Summoning · Spiritism · Webbing
Magic in Society Magic academies · Magic factions · Famous wizards
Lost Disciplines Architectrix · Dominion · Pathfinding · Static · Sensing
Other Antimagic · Paramagic · Wizard psychology