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Webbing

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Image:Scroll2.png "We are all within the web - together - forever. To touch the great web is to touch the hearts of the Drykas - each and every one of us."
- Dakinar Ankal of the Truvant Pavilion of the Opal Clan
Webbing
World magic
Full nameWebbing
AvailabilityMainly Cyphrus
Learned fromMentoring
Key conceptCreating Webs of Djed
UsesEarly Warning Systems, Security, Information Gathering, Communication
RisksOne’s Spirit Being Drawn Into The Web Leaving One’s Body An Empty Shell.


Webbing is a discipline of world magic that allows the user to spin djed into thin strands of incredibly dense and resilient djed which can be interwoven like a fishing net so that they strongly resemble spider webs. These webs are then purposed to transfer information back to the mage that wove the web. This weaving over time has given the arcane its common name though its formal name is slightly complex. Historically, webbing was called Drivankali because of Arin Drivankali, a powerful Drykas pre-Valterrian experimentalist mage who created the art form. However, from its humble Drivankali beginnings, webbing has grown into an elaborate complex arcane that seems to have an extraordinary permanency to its existence.

Though originally designed to be strewn out across the landscape, webs can also be set upon objects, people, and even bodies of water in order to provide information to those trained in the art form. Web mages can tap into these creations and do some fairly extraordinary things with them by manipulating the webs themselves. Webs can be tightly woven and continuously fed djed so that over time they can become enormous, stretch across long distances, and seem endless. Webbers, as the practitioners are often called, can sense existing webs, tap into all known webs, create new webs, add or subtract to webs, and gather information via webs whether they create them or not.. They also have the ability to tie living people, even those with no arcane training or talent, into familial webs and keep track of their movements so long as they are in proximity to the web they are tied into.

Contents

History

Web anchors are often denoted with cairns.

Prior to the Valterrian, while the wars between Alahea and Suvan raged, a large grass valley on the eastern shores of Mizahar was home to the original settlement (called Fort Endrykas) of the Drykas horse clans. In those days, the clan was simply a small settlement (called Endrykas) known far and wide for their swift horses, most of which were much sought after during the war as cavalry mounts. Having herds that ran in the thousands, the Drykas of old numbered a scant five thousand in population, all of which lived in a walled city on the edge of the Eastern Sea. Arin Drivankali was born to these people and ended up training in arcane in Zeltiva when he was a very young man. He was sent to Zeltiva because he was the son of the current leader of Endrykas (the permanent location, no the current mobile city) Dustin Drivankali and the most renown weaver of her generation Sondrasina Drivankali. Arin had a passion for experimental and forbidden arts, and often applied his learning’s in other forms of magic (and trade skills) in new and unique ways. Taking inspiration from glyphing and a forbidden djed involving the manipulation of space, Arin learned to spin djed much like he spun yarn at his mother’s knee forming vast expanses of djed that took little to no effort to maintain. He developed Webbing so that the webs themselves were actually woven not only of his personal djed but of the naturally occurring djed present in living things. By including the djed found in living things, he was able to ‘anchor’ the webs to places and people he normally would not have thought possible.

And so it was that when tragedy befell the Drykas and Arin was summoned home, his new mastery of webbing became an important role in the formation of the current modern Drykas as a people. For while he was away at school, top mage officials traveling with a militarily superior force from Alahea traveled to the grassland home of the Drykas and demanded most of their horses in a war tax stating they would be repaid for their mounts later in the war. Without the vast majority of their horses, the Drykas people suffered. And Arin, attempting to make sure no more horses could be confiscated, cast his first web over the fertile valley grassland of his home. The valley, so much smaller than the modern day sea of grass, was easily covered and when Arin taught others his art form starting with the Ankal’s of Endrykas, they soon woven not only their loved ones into the weave but added their precious horses. Once bound and part of the permanent ‘seed’ web of the grasslands, these horses could be tracked effectively and accounted for accurately. In this way, the Drykas could both hide their mounts as they rebuilt their equine wealth when the Alahea tax collectors came calling, and track any potential thieves or strangers on their lands.

Whenever a child was born or a foal birthed, they too were tied into the web. Lost children became easily found. Relatives could send messages, and even keep tabs on people far distant. Webs stretched further and further, unseen by the Alahean mages who were more often than naught occupied elsewhere. And eventually, as more Webbers appeared within the clan, a noticeable change came over the Drykas people. They started realizing that by being part of the web, they were becoming bound to the grasslands in a way that was quite extraordinary. They did not die and move on like normal mortals did to either return to their gods or reincarnate elsewhere.

Instead, over time, individuals bound into the webs were reborn over and over again in the grasslands. They were also discovered to be born also into the bodies of the horses the Drykas were entrusted to care for. Some said it was Semele’s gift or curse for allowing her stone’s djed to be tied so neatly to the webs to feed and anchor them. Others called it a blessing for the horses of the Drykas grew more intelligent until they had recognizable personalities and empathy that someone trained in webbing could really recognize. Webs were information highways - where thoughts, feelings, even dialog could be exchanged along with visual images. And the more bound to the webs the people became, the closer they grew. Even the striders themselves learned to tap the webs, feeding off the energy bound into the web rather than their own equine strength in order to cross vast distances. The further from the grasslands the Drykas stretched their webs, the more effective and swift their mounts became.

In the end, it was the webs that saved them from the Valterrian. And at the beginning, it was their vast network of carefully laid arcane that told them when it was safe to come to the surface again. Surviving the djed storms and the sundering of the world, the webs of Cyphrus all originated from the original seed web Arin Drivankali laid on the coast. And if a curious enough sort were to follow the webs down through their network towards their intricate center, they would find the ruins of Endrykas left from a time when the city wasn’t mobile across one of the richest and harshest environments known to Mizahar.

Size & Type

All people tied to the web exist a little within it.

Webs come in all sizes and shapes. Just because the name is suggestive of a spider’s web, that is not wholly true to their actual appearance. Webs can be a small as a Web Mage wants or as large as the whole of the Mizahar continent. Webs can be singular strands wrapped around objects or stretching from one place to another as a simple line of communication. Small webs are often used to gather information. The rule of thumb is to create the smallest weave possible to get the job done. For example, a Web Mage might cast a web over a book which in turn will record everyone who touches the book or opens its cover. Camps can have security webs cast over them to notify anyone tied to the security web when someone crosses the parameter of the web, alerting camp to intruders. These webs, obviously, would follow the shape of the camp (whatever that shape might be) and would have multiple alarm lines an intruder must cross in order to get to the inhabitants and do whatever nefarious purpose they have in mind. Individuals have no trouble casting small to medium webs at lower levels. Larger webs and those that cross entire regions can be cast only by groups or higher level Web Mages. Any Web Mage can read any sort of web, even if the web is far larger than they can actually cast, due to the web’s passive nature. They are, however, restricted in how far they can read along the web and their rank dictates if they know who contributed to the web or not. Someone more skilled in Webbing might read larger webs faster, however, gaining instant information from large regional webs than someone of a lower level who might take a lot longer to gain the same information. Larger webs are obviously a whole lot more complex and take a lot more time to read than smaller webs. Smaller webs often give instant information. In order for a web to be considered ancient, it must have an origin pre-Valterrian in design and directly linked to either Arin Drivankali of one of his first Ankal students.

Weaving Webs

Webbing works on the principle that everyone and everything has djed whether they use it or not - whether they are aware of it or not. And each individual’s djed has a slightly unique essence to it that Webbers especially have an easy time distinguishing. Webbers, unlike most other forms of mages on Mizahar, have the ability to weave not only their own djed but the djed of others for the purpose of tying them into the webs themselves. And, unlike most other forms of magic, web mages can weave the djed of inanimate objects found in nature into their weavings as well.

Weaving is simple.

Web mages take their own djed, extract it much like reimancers do, and begin to spin it into silken strands. The more djed they put into a web, the larger the web can become. Webs are often anchored at their point of origin by a complex woven rune called an Origin. Origins are the call signs of the webbing mages and each creates their own style and patterning. Equated to an artists mark or signature, an origin rune acts as an anchor that ties the web to Semele’s body and holds it there until such a time as the origin rune is destroyed. Most of the ancient webs that stretch across Cyphrus have their origin at the heavily guarded runes of the old pre-Valterrian Endrykas enclave. The origins themselves are said to be Arin Drivankali’s actual signature woven in his own djed. The longer an origin has been established, the more complex and powerful it becomes.

So, a web mage goes into a trance, begins producing djed, and then weaves it into his origin. Then, once the origin is complete, he anchors it to a single spot by weaving it into the djed of surrounding objects. From that stage he can move outwards, weaving, pulling his own djed (if a novice) and that of others (if competent and higher) into the weave expanding it. These weaves are then laid down in the way they are most effective for their purpose – covering an object – surrounding a camp – stretching out from a pavilion to another – covering mile upon mile of a new territory that’s not been woven.

At competent level or higher, Web Mages can sink origins anywhere (normally they mark where they have been sunk and a natural landmark or cover their weavings with a pile of stones called a cairn and lay webs in just about any location. Each time a mage taps into an ancient web to augment it, they must lay down an origin before their weaving can be permanently integrated into the ancient web. The oldest webs in Cyphrus in fact commonly have an origin sunk into their length every few feet or so as web mages have tapped into them permanently or reinforced their weaves as time and the natural environment wears them down.

Groups of Web mages working together can often weave webs that turn out to be one level higher than the highest ranking web mage in the whole group weaving effort. This is because the energy and focus put into the web strengthens it tremendously and makes a little magic and djed go a long long way.

Learning Webbing

You must touch it to tap it.

Unfortunately webbing cannot be learned any other way besides mentoring. A mentor must first draw his or her students djed into a weaving and then allow that student to travel via that weaving into a web itself. Once bathed in the waters of web, so to speak, the student is inducted in a way, because once they come out of their deliberate immersion, they will be able to see webs if they concentrate on them from that moment on. Careful mentoring is needed to bring along a students training. Generally, among the Drykas where this arcane originated, Ankals teach their successors and heirs the art of webbing so they can tie their pavilion families into the clan as the family expands. Others may be taught webbing - especially talented young Drykas - though it is rare for an outsider to know this art form.

Appearance of Webs

Webs appear as glowing lines across the land (or around an object or parameter) that are partially sunk into the land itself. These webs are only visible of the web mage concentrates on seeing them. Otherwise they have a habit of fading into the background and not making themselves blatantly obvious. At night, however, these lovely arcane weavings appear as almost glowing ley lines across the land. They can be so bright (in the case of ancient augmented lines) that they turn the night into day in the eyes of a web mage.

Using Webs

Web Mages must disconnect to their physical awareness’s in order to ‘connect’ to a web and fully experience what information that web can impart on that web mage. These mages leave their bodys vulnerable, unresponsive and often almost lifeless as they travel in a sort of web body along the web lines and gather the information a web might house for them. Webs can record who has woven into them (via the origins sank along their way), who has crossed them, where, how, and when. Webs also can give off specific information like who or what has used their energy or fed from them and who or what has attempted to repair or restructure them. Web mages can review these ‘records’ stored in the djed weavings of the web as easily as reader can read a book. For the most part, webbing is a passive information gathering art form and is treated thusly by Web Mages. Webs who are tied to individuals - or which individuals have been bound into (and trained in webbing) can give directly and instantaneous feedback when intruders cross webs. The only restriction is distance on this early warning system.

  • Level 1 = 100 miles.
  • Level 2 = 500 miles
  • Level 3 = 1000 miles
  • Level 4 = Unlimited miles

Wear And Tear On Webs

Webs are not permanent. Like any other source of djed, they can be damaged by numerous things. Weather, predation, or simply wear and tear via time and use can damage them. Even ancient webs need to be reinforced and repaired. Smaller webs, ironically, have the best chance of survival throughout time. And web mages have been known to combine their subtle arts with that of other known magical disciplines (especially glyphing) to store other spells within webs that are triggered only at the time a web is disturbed in such a way that indicates the person disturbing it is not a web mage. One of the most common forms of this type of use is webs cast over magical volumes of text. Once an origin is woven and sank into the djed of the book, then web can then be woven in the shape of a glyph that houses a spell (such as a fireball) that will go off if the book is opened without someone being proficient in webbing. Meaning, another web mage gets a hold of the book, identifies the web is woven into a glyph, and rather than try to break through the web (and thus ignite the spell) they simply expand the web to cover the whole of the book while it is opened thus bypassing the fireball spell in order to read the text.

Also, because creatures like Striders and Karvinar’s use the energy of webs, webs must be renewed and restored by passing web mages as time goes by. Such maintenance is often the lifework of a cast of web mages called Webwalkers.

Cyphrus Striders

When in Cyphrus (and of course in proximity to an ancient web) Striders harness the energy latent in a web to increase their speed.

If someone in life was well entwined and versed in webbing and used it, especially in Cyphrus, their spirit gets tied up in the massive web that surrounds Cyphrus. They become so entangled that once they die they can't really move on. It is a danger and a blessing in both regards. This means most of the wise men and women of the Drykas, the Ankals, and any sort of mages or highly gifted people are simply interwoven too much to leave. They get either reincarnated on the grasslands as Drykas once more due to that fact, or they can come back as striders. Striders are Semele and Zulrav's children, gifted to the Drykas to help them. Semele has a very special affection in her heart for the Drykas and wanted them to have something to help them – her gift was these magnificent horses. The Drykas had good horses before the Valterrian, but they weren't exactly Striders until the Valterrian’s circumstances changed them. By living in the bowels of Semele's body and feeding off her subterranean bounty, these horses evolved and transformed into what they are today. And rather than house the spirits of horses, they enclose the spirits of people. And much like their spirits in human form, these horses retain a measure of their proficiency at webbing. Thus the striders of 'modern day' tap the web and the energy in the web as they move which is why they can 'stride' twice as fast as a normal horse on the plains because they use the energy of the web not their own energy. And of course the web ties them to their riders even further. If a Drykas say was never tied into the web by their Ankal, then they wouldn’t bond so easily. Striders who bond to Drykas are often relatives passed beyond. And because of the spirits these animals house, they often have a sentience attributed to be far superior to normal horses.

Vulnerabilities

Since most webs are anchored, laid, and then left, they are very susceptible to having their djed energy ‘poached’ or ‘leeched’ from them. While Cyphrus Strider horses do this as part of their natural abilities (being one of the only creatures that can harness actual web energy without touching them but by being only in close proximity), others can out right tap into a web, leech off its energy and do a great deal of damage to it. The Karvinar is one such creature - a soul eating bull/lion with many faceted eyes - for it moves along the energy of the web and devours lost souls found along them.. Leeching mages run the risk of taking too much if they tap a web that is too big for their ability to control their inflow. But by and large, a subtle skilled Leecher can find him or herself a great deal of energy fast by venturing into Cyphrus. Leechers are typically killed on sight without question once they are discovered leeching - however it generally takes an Ankal or someone of competent level to understand when a web has been tampered with.


Origins can be found almost anywhere.

Webs can also be susceptible to natural predation. Rumor has it some creatures, monsters, and even fragments can tap web energy and feed off it. It is fully possible, as well, to have creatures that can avoid web detection due to their skill at djed manipulation themselves. Web anchors can be damaged through natural wear, damage to the web itself, or subtle shifts in the environment. Ancient webs need to be maintained like any other arcane creations or else they are equally vulnerable to tampering by both natural environmental and sentient sources.

Dangers for Web Mages & Those Woven Into Webs

As in any other discipline, Overgiving is common among those learning to weave webs. Unlike other disciplines though, the dangers in webbing are a bit clearer cut. A Web Mage must extend his senses into a web - his whole essence leaving his body for a time - and that creates a very dangerous situation for the mage. It is incredibly easy for a mage to get lost in a web and unable to find his or her way back to their physical self. Traveling webs is very seductive. One can witness beautiful sights, speak with the ghosts of people long gone from the world, and travel long distances. In a manner of speaking, Web Mages face the seduction of being more ‘free’ and less bound in a soft shell of a body when moving through the webs. Rather than be referred to as overgiving, Web Mages call this scenario ‘overextension’. Webs are addictive. It is also not uncommon for young Web Mages to find the world within the web far more appealing than the reality outside the web - and thus they loose touch with themselves. It is also not unheard for young web mages to meet each other inside the webs - in essence forms - and get tragically attached when perhaps they come from different clans or clans that would never allow the two personalities in the ‘real world’ to be together.

People woven into the webs are also susceptible to a strange phenomenon. One their personal djed is woven into a web it is virtually impossible for them to die and move completely away from the material world. They are almost immediately reincarnated into the location where they are woven into the web. Scholars suspect this is because these Mizaharian ties are incredibly strong and seductive to the soul, holding them to the material far more fully than other spirits or souls are free to move to their Gods and Goddesses for judgement. This is also why Striders tend to have the personalities of Drykas people that have long pasted. It is also why Web Mages have often noted that webs feel ‘inhabited’ or haunted by fragments of the personalities of people who have woven or worked with them before. Each Web Mage weaves something of themselves into every web creation. The more powerful they are, the more of themselves they leave.

Please note, webs drain djed. Cyphrus has ancient and elaborate webs, but that is because there are webbers in every pavilion and the 'network' is constantly being maintained. A single individual who tried to lay and maintain even a 100 mile web for any length of time is going to subject themselves to overgiving in a severe way unless they had help in the web's upkeep. The duration an individual can maintain a sophisticated web relies on their rank in webbing and their knowledge of webs. Webs that are tied to cairns and grounded into the very fabric of the land are easier to maintain, especially if they cross natural pools of wild djed. Webs can sometimes be used to drain dangerous wild djed and purpose it into new tasks. For this reason, Cyphrus is one of the safer regions in regards to pools of Wild Djed still existing from the Valterrian.

Progression

Novice (1-25)
A novice Web Mage can sense, locate, and quantify webs. They can actually see them, track where they are going, and understand what rank the webs are. If they are small webs, the Web Mage can determine who wove them and who is tied into the web by sensing the origin and its design (if it is within 100 miles). Medium and large sized webs, including ancient ones are often so complex (created by multiple people over large periods of time) that it is hard to determine origin and design. Only small webs can be manipulated, regardless of who the original weaver was. But, they can determine who is tied to the web (and by whom) within a hundred miles of where they are standing. Novice Web Mages can exchange information via other Web Mages along webs using focus and concentration. Messages can be in verbal form or received as images. Novice Webbers can also create small webs or tie into larger webs adding their own weaves. Novice webs can be no longer than 100 miles in length, though they can be combined with other magical disciplines to do things such as store spells in the forms of glyphs. At this stage, most web work is ‘read only’ unless the web mage is weaving his own small webs. Range: Close Proximity to 100 Miles Distant.
Competent (26-50)
At this level, the web wizard increase his range to 500 miles and begins to weave more complex webs. Competent mages can not only web their personal equipment and link those webs into major webs (to track in case items are stolen), but they can quickly and effectively link their own horses and other companion into existing webs, be they their own or others. Their ‘read only’ skill has started to become ‘read and manipulate’ because web mages at level 2 can repair and manipulate medium to large webs. to create unusual and complex webs, especially on a small scale. Also, at this level, other disciplines of magic can be easily combined with webbing At this stage, Web Mages can start to work with and manipulate existing webs (including ancient webs) to maintain them and strengthen them. They cannot move them physically or unweave them and reweave them in new locations. Information can be received via longer and longer distances away (up to 500 miles) or in fact exchanged as Webbers at this level can easily communicate with less change of overgiving or as is more common among Web Mages - overextension - being a primary result. Concentration is less time consuming, and they can get repair work and manipulations done faster. Range: 500 miles.
Expert (51-75)
Mages at this stage can gather a whole lot of information from a web in a very short amount of time. They take almost no time to concentrate and mediate in order to join with the web and read it. At this stage, Web Mages can move and fully manipulate even the most ancient of webs. Their mastery of webbing is frightening at times, for they can spin webs, especially simple ones, almost without thinking and lay them while they are doing other things. To them, weaving webs is as second natured as breathing and accessing them is as instinctual as breathing. Range: 1000 miles.
Master (76-100)
True Masters Web Mages have no distance limitations. They can work with a web almost anywhere in the world so long as they can travel to that web via its various links to other webs. Web mages at this level are constantly half overextended and often are perceived as being only half in the world of the living, for almost full time they are immersed in the webs they weave. These mages tend to act on a whole different level and are said to be able to weave webs that can tap into the very heart of the Ukalas themselves. These level 4 Web Mages can even tell when a god has passed through an area and caressed a web - or even manipulated one. Their power is frightening and awesome, though again, it usually comes in the form of a passive magic.



Part of a series of articles on Magic
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