Cymry: Arcane Abilities

Arcane Nature

The Ley Lines are streams of immense magical power that flows through the world of Gaia. They also surround the world much like another form of gravity. The Cymry are physically connected to the Ley from birth. This connection allows them to manipulate the world’s natural elements: earth, air, wind, fire, and water. The stronger the Cymry’s connection with the land is, the more powerful they can become. However, attaining any degree of usable magical power requires talent, a tremendous amount of training and experience. No Cymry springs from the womb with full use and control of their abilities. Are there arcane prodigies out there? Sure there are, but they still have to grow up, have the talent and be trained to use it. The training simply comes easier to them.

Will these types of character be allowed in the game? The Game Managers will review each character application and bio on an individual basis.

Additionally, they use ritualized magic, not the wave-a-wand and poof, you’re a duck magic. Depending on the working or result they are trying to accomplish, they can be seriously drained physically and spiritually.

Arcane Affinity

The Cymry’s powers have another element that dictates their use, and that their affinity to particular natural elements. Some of their powers are not restricted by the elements their bloodline is aligned to, but the majority are. A Cymry’s affinity can be any combination of Gaia’s natural elements and mostly come in complementary pairs such as wind and water. Rarer combinations are opposing elements such as fire and water. Opposing elements take far longer to learn how to control and manipulate. It is extremely rare for a Cymry to be aligned with several elements. Those that usually manage to find Adepts or Archadepts (Derwydd) who can teach them how to control and use elements that they are not naturally aligned with.

House Azarov, which later became House Stormdanovich, is the only one known to be naturally aligned with all the elements of storms. Even then, those within the House that train to use their powers will have a stronger alliance to certain aspects of storms.

Affinities usually follow bloodlines. There are endless combinations because of the intermingling of the various Houses through marriage and procreation.

There are a few abilities that the Cymry have that are not directly related to elemental magic. Those are detailed further down.

The Rings of Marnwr

Along with the Cymry’s natural affinity, the Rings of Marnwr influences their abilities. When the rings of the moon are waxing to full, the power of the Cymry is at its peak. Their powers diminish as the rings wane. Since Marnwr’s rings follow thousand year cycles, this ebb and flow seem to be reflected by events in Cymry history.

The Land is the King

The Cymry are tightly bonded to Cymeria. In fact, their other name for their homeland is simply that, The Land. They have a belief that appears to be born out by historical events that state: The Land is the King and the King is the Land. Simply put, it means that the ruler of Cymeria’s well-being affects the Land and the Land’s well-being affects the ruler.

There is more to it than that, although that is an intrinsic aspect of the High Lord’s life. The Cymry’s powers diminish with a prolonged absence from their homeland. Their higher powers become even more arduous to use if they are not within the borders of Cymeria. Some of the higher magic ceases to work for them at all. This may be why, despite a very war-like nature, the Cymry have never sought to invade foreign lands.

There is an archaic ritual that harkens back to the ancient belief in The Land is the King, and the King is the Land. It is said that the Cymry ruler, while seated upon the Throne of Ages, can impale his (or her) hand with a Shard Dagger and become one with the land. By their will alone, they can then raise a Veil that will keep all enemies outside the border. The downside is that the end result is ruler’s death.

Blood and Land

Gwaed a Thir (gwide-a-theer) is the Cymry’s innate belief that they are irrevocably bonded to Cymeria. For them to survive and to be able to perform the higher magical workings, they must be on their home soil.

Taking that one step further, to fully use their powers, blood must be spilled on the land. This does not involve opening a vein and bleeding out, but the higher workings require a few drops of the practitioner’s blood. Many of the rituals of their magic require the Cymry add a drop their blood to the working. Most families will give a drop or two of a newborn’s blood to the land, and some still perform an archaic ritual involving the burying of the placenta and afterbirth on the family property.

There are references to ancient arcane documents detailing rituals that will allow a Cymry to bond to a new land. As the connection to the land is meant to be part of their gift from the Mother and the Great Maker, it is suggested that the bonding rituals carry aspects of the Shadow in their working. It is also rumored that these rituals require true blood sacrifice…a member of the Cymry’s family must have their blood spilled on the land.

The Elements

When we refer to the elements and the Cymry’s arcane powers, we are speaking of the basic natural things of Gaia, the Mother. These are earth, air, wind, fire, water, and the Ley.

.Cymry that are unaware of their powers, those that have no idea that they are Cymry might find themselves becoming highly skilled in a job that uses their affinity. A master swordsmith could be a Cymry with an affinity to metals and fire. Another thing to note is that a Cymry that is unaware of his or her heritage will still read as arcane to those with the ability to sense the arcane. Likewise, he or she might sense a difference in an arcane individual without knowing how or why that person gives them such odd feelings.

Earth

Elements: Soil, Stone, Minerals, Metals

A Cymry would not be aligned with the earth in general, but with a specific aspect of it such as wood, stone or metal. In most cases, if an earth element is involved then so is another such as wind. No matter what training they have had and their affinity, an individual Cymry cannot make a volcano erupt or cause an earthquake of any significant magnitude. Those in the vicinity of a substantially empowered Cymry might feel a vibration of the ground in response to his or her power. It is rumored that the Cymry can come together in a Grand Coven, a group of thirteen powerful archadepts, and actually cause events such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

If the Cymry’s affinity is with minerals or metals, this only refers to naturally occurring elements, not man-made alloys of any kind.

Wind & Air

While wind and air are not the same elements, they tend to be related when it comes to a Cymry’s elemental affinity. Cymry whose affinity is wind can usually manage air volume and movement to some extent. As with everything else, the extent is dependent on their knowledge, experience, and level of training. As there is often a breeze blowing in their vicinity or winds high aloft, calling the wind is one of the easiest skills to master. Increasing winds or making them circulate into tornadoes, hurricanes, typhoons, etc. is a major working and requires many years of training and practice.

Wind also responds most readily to the passive wish magic ability. Again, as this element is rather pervasive, a Cymry thinking the day is too warm and they wish a cool breeze would spring up is likely to get their wish.

Air is included with the wind. To some extent, it would include clouds. A Cymry cannot significantly increase or decrease the volume of air. A very highly trained archadept might be able to affect the volume of air immediately around an opponent in a Duel Arcane, thus affecting their ability to fight or even suffocating them.

Water

The element of water is another that is rather easy to learn to manage initially as there is always a degree of moisture in the air and Cymeria is riddled with underground aquifers, streams, rills, creeks, rivers, lakes, ponds, etc. Like the wind, water readily responds to wish magic. For example, a Cymry watching a sporadic drizzle might think how nice it would be if his or her crops could receive a steady rain and the drizzle would increase accordingly. Combining water with another element requires major training and knowledge as water tends to cancel out other affinities due to its innate power.

Saltwater is another matter entirely as it is denser (i.e., heavier) than freshwater, it takes more effort to manage, manipulate and control.

Fire

The affinity with fire includes lightning, but exclusive of one another (i.e., the affinity is either fire or lightning, they cannot generate both) although a suitably trained and powerful Cymry might be able to draw fire out and make it appear like lightning. Fire does not respond to wish magic and, in fact, takes a great deal of training and discipline to manage and control it without incinerating oneself. Many Cymry Adepts with students attuned to fire keeps a well-trained water Cymry in the classroom as well.

Storms

This is the only affinity that includes a combination of the basic elements of wind, water, and lightning. It can also include snow, ice and the other elements of a blizzard. While storms will be accompanied by thunder, it appears that thunder only responds independently of storm conditions to the High Lord of Cymeria (Mikhael of House Stormdanovich).

There are affinities with specific storms (snow, ice, rain), but only the House Stormdanovich is known to be able to generate all types of storms. It is suspected that House Tsarimov was also aligned to storm magic.

Flora & Fauna

This is a very rare affinity and is incredibly specific to the type of plant or animal. The skills are also restricted. Trees and plants can be enhanced (i.e., the Cymry can, to some extent affect their growth, but nowhere near the same level as a Sidhe). Animals can be summoned and controlled briefly. The higher the animal’s intelligence, the less control can be exerted. Cymry cannot take over the mind of an animal! They cannot talk to dogs (or newts, frogs, horses, dolphins, birds – except maybe parrots and ravens).

Arcane Abilities & Skills

Arcane skill refers to what a Cymry can physically do with their innate abilities or talents. A Cymry may have years of textbook learning and know the theories associated with his or her arcane abilities, but without proper training, their efforts to use their powers will be hit and miss, not to mention potentially suicidal. There are also other factors that affect a Cymry’s use of their powers such as their physical condition, strength of will (needed for the control of their element(s), and actual practice (preferably supervised by an Adept).

It should be noted that the Cymry cannot produce sustained magical effects. When they are no longer actively manifesting their power through will and control, the conditions will return to whatever state they were in previously. For example, if the Cymry summoned rain on a sunny, dry day, as soon as they leave the area or are no longer maintaining the magic, it would quickly become sunny and dry again. A created element will last longer as the environment would have been actively changed. It would, however, dissipate faster than a naturally occurring situation.

Skills are required to actively use any of their abilities. However, some skills require far more talent and training than others. A Cymry with fire as an affinity would not want to summon fire unless he or she also had the skill to control and direct it. Otherwise, all they would succeed in doing is immolating themselves as the fire would seek the nearest flammable objects. Most Cymry prefer to avoid becoming a crispy critter.

The various skills and how much training and effort it takes to use them are detailed below. It takes time, intensive training and practice to balance all of them and then to use them effectively. Even Cymry that share the same affinity will not necessarily share the same talents. One Cymry with an affinity for water might have a talent for enhancement while another might actually have more talent for channeling and directing. Both can increase their skill level through training and practice.

A poorly trained or an untrained Cymry can harm themselves and others with their powers. This is yet another reason Cymry that use their powers have gained a measure of censure, particularly from organizations like y’Carthu.

Enhancement

This ability is exactly what it sounds like. A Cymry can enhance their aligned element if it is already present in the environment without really thinking on it or expending much energy. If there is a fine drizzle falling, they can increase it to a light rain. With more training, they could take a fine drizzle and enhance it to a steady hard rain. At the highest levels, they can even direct or channel the rain to a specific area or even use it in the manner of a high powered water hose as a defense or weapon.

This is the most basic of a Cymry’s active abilities, barely one step above passive wish magic. It only affects the elements they are aligned with (i.e., their elemental affinity).

Control

A Cymry needs to learn control before proceeding to any of the other skills. Once they can actively enhance elements they have an affinity with, they need to learn to control the level of enhancement. This is basically fine-tuning the intensity.

Summoning

Summoning is the ability to call an element into being as long as the basic conditions in the atmosphere or environment support it. There must be moisture in the air to summon rain, static electricity plus something combustible to summon fire. The caveat is that a Cymry with little experience and training is more likely to set themselves on fire than anything else as they must also be able to at least control the fire’s intensity.

Channeling & Directing

Channeling and directing cannot exist without one another. A Cymry must be able to channel an element to direct it, and they must be able to direct the element they are channeling. If they cannot do both, the end result will be disastrous – or, at least, hilarious.

Channeling is the actual ability to summon or for those with enough training, create an element and channel it through an object or, more rarely, through themselves. If channeled through a Cymry’s body, it would appear that they were creating the effect from within themselves. This is an illusion as all effects, except lightning, are external.

Directing requires channeling. If a Cymry cannot control an element enough to channel it, they cannot direct it. Directing is basically what the element does or where it goes once it has been channeled. Therefore, a Cymry must have the training and skill level to tell it what to do once they have it.

The Cymry’s arcane abilities provide some protection from the elements they are aligned with. Still, it is never advisable to channel an element such as fire or lightning through the body. If the Cymry is not well beyond the basic degrees of training and practice, they most likely will be toast.

Conjuring

First, the term create is somewhat misleading. In ancient times, the era known as the Age of Dreams, it is said the Cymry could create the elements by simply willing them into existence. Modern Cymry archadepts do not have this ability. This means that even the most powerful Cymry alive cannot create an element from nothing, not even those they are aligned with. There must be at least a minuscule portion of the element available to them for them to create a more substantial amount of it. At the very least, the potential must be available. It would be impossible for a Cymry to create a rainstorm in a desert even though the air itself contains some moisture, the amount needed for a rainstorm of any significant force would not exist under normal desert conditions (i.e., not enough humidity in the air). If they wished to pull gold from a stone and create a gold nugget from it, there would have to be enough gold flecks in the stone to make the transformation. Adepts and archadepts with enough power and training can create the illusion of these things.

Creating is actually one of the most energy-intensive skills and very difficult to learn. In general, Cymry must have mastered all other skills before they can hope to achieve creating. Also, if a Cymry cannot control, channel and direct what they have created, chaos would ensue, not to mention potential death and dismemberment.

Arcane Workings

This refers to the various things a Cymry can use their powers for. As stated, manifesting and using their power is based on age-old rituals. However, the Cymry take these rituals and make them unique to themselves. So, Manon’s ritual for manipulating fire will be different from Ynella’s. Most Cymry set their rituals down in grimoires, but as each ritual is very esoteric, elements of them still become lost over long periods of time.

The rituals do not have to include cute little rhymes or phrases although many Cymry use these devices as a way of focusing. Some also have an object that does the same thing for them. Yes, these objects can include wands, but they cannot brandish the wand about and have magic spring from its tip. Their will must be gathered and concentrated, and they must connect to the element they need to create the working.

Below are a few of the various workings a Cymry can achieve with their powers.

Scrying

For a Cymry, scrying is not the same as with a human that has the psychic gift of clairvoyance (where they claim to see the future or past) or other races that have prophets and seers. For the Cymry, scrying is more akin to remote viewing.

The Cymry can gather their aligned element (such as fire) and use it to view what is happening in the here and now at a distance removed from themselves. A good example would be gazing into a bowl of water and seeing an approaching army.

There are very, very rare cases where a human bloodline that is strong in the gift of clairvoyance has crossed with a Cymry bloodline and created a powerful Cymry Seer. Usually, in this situation, the psychic ability to see is exclusive, and the Cymry cannot use other skills beyond the passive ones.

The media a Cymry uses for their scrying varies, but it must be of the natural elements of earth. Iron and steel, while formed of the earth, and in the case of steel of several naturally occurring metals that have been combined, do not work for them. In all cases, the media used for their scrying must be related to the elements they are aligned with (their affinities).

The most common types of media they can use are reflective, translucent, or luminescent substances such as crystals, stones, glass, mirrors, water, fire, or smoke. For a detailed or in-depth scrying, the worker would need quiet surroundings and time to perform the task. A highly trained adept could perform a very brief and not very detailed scrying on the fly, such as gathering drops of water and using them much as one would use monoculars, binoculars or a telescope. In this type of working, distance is even more limited as is the scope of the images.

Warding and Trapping

Warding drifts into the realm of true magic rather than the simple elemental abilities that the Cymry have at their disposal. Warding is a physical manifestation of arcane shields. It falls into the realm of high magic. Warding is an acquired skill and one of the few that can be taught to Cymry. They still must have the knowledge and background training to use it. Learning the theory is far easier than the actual practice of warding.

Essentially, warding is the ability to call on the power of the Four Winds to protect an area. It creates a barrier, often seen as a faintly shimmering aura that nothing can pass through. Even the Cymry that created the wards must dispel them before leaving the warded area.

Setting wards (aka warding) requires physical objects for use as markers or focus points to control and anchor the shield’s power. There are usually four objects that must be set in each of the four cardinal directions (north, east, south, west) and at a distance that will encompass the area being warded. The larger the area, the weaker the wards and the more energy required to bond the elements into a ward.

Warding is never taught by non-adepts. The knowledge is not readily available.

After being taught the theory and working with an adept or archadept, each Cymry then develops their own unique Warding Ritual. It and the Wards themselves are different for each Cymry.

Trapping is simply another aspect of Warding. Areas can be natural arcane traps, such as some of the great cylchs. Some of these were likely portals at one point that were either improperly closed, semi-destroyed, or simply became blighted through misuse. Trapping can also be done purposefully to bind someone or their spirit to a place or to an object. Trapping is not considered a clean magic.

Breaking Wards or Traps

Only the Cymry who has set the Wards can dispel them although they can key the Wards to another person who can then raise and lower them. This is useful in the case of portals that have been warded. A suitably powerful Cymry might be able to dispel Wards created by another, but it is unlikely. The same holds true for Traps. This is why they are Traps. If they could be easily dismissed, then they would not be a trap.

Travel Portals

Other Names: transfer portals, portals.

Portals allow people to travel from one place to another instantly. They may be anchored to a specific place or fluid and created by very powerful and suitable trained adept as needed. The nature of portals is little understood even by the Derwydd.

Since there is so much information to disseminate on portals, please read the full article: Cymry: Travel Portals. LINKS.

Arcane Shields

Arcane shields are a psionic measure of protection and disguise for those individuals possessing an arcane nature and powers. These shields only deflect immediate and casual recognition of the arcane nature of a person. They are not impenetrable. Also, use of them and their actual functionality will vary slightly from person to person.

Even if arcane shields are included in an arcane gift of power (such as the Templars’ Blessing), there must be some training to learn to use them. They are not automatic. That would defeat the purpose of being able to sense certain arcane beings. Few Cymry, even those with sufficient training and skill levels, bother using their shields because it takes a certain level of concentration and will to maintain them. This makes them physically draining thus affecting the ability to use other powers.

Arcane shields are NOT a defense or a weapon. They are, at best, a temporary mask. At the other end of the spectrum, they only deflect casual recognition, and someone with very strong arcane senses that focus on the person using that level of shielding might penetrate it (someone very highly trained in how to focus their arcane sense, such as a Theurgy mage).

Just to make it clear, arcane shields are not an offensive or defensive weapon. They do not repel attacks (besides, think about the Enterprise, her shields always fail at the most inconvenient times).

Illusions

The ability to create an illusion that others can see (and in some cases feel) is relegated to the Cymry with the highest levels of training. It involves being able to focus their elemental magic on the real world in such a way as to trick or fool people into seeing what is not there. These illusions will not stand up to testing.

An example of an illusion a Cymry could use would be to take chips of wood carved into the shapes of boats, set tiny sails on them, and then literally breathe their will into them and cast them into a body of water. The tiny wooden chips will then appear to be great ships under full sail. The illusionist would then call up wind to push the ships away or maybe fog and rain to disguise the illusion more.

Duel Arcane

The Duel Arcane is ancient beyond measure and is the only arcane working where causing death via arcane means is not illegal by the standards of the Mathian Council, and there are no active laws in Cymeria regarding its use. A duel is most often fought with both weapons and magic.

A Challenge is issued. By honor, a challenge cannot be refused, but a Champion (if the challenged is ill, injured, infirm or a child) can be selected.

The duelists agree to a date and time. In rare cases, a Duel Arcane is issued and fought on the spot. The latter most often happens just before a Ddyrchafael (Choosing / Coronation).

On the appointed day, Observers gather with the Duelists. The Observers ward an area so that the arcane powers unleashed cannot harm the innocent. This ward will not be dispelled until one of the combatants surrenders or is dead. The Duel Arcane does not have to be fought to the death but it probably will due to the amount of magical energy expended.

Major Workings

Cymry with enough training, skills, experience, and talent can combine their affinities to produce major workings. It requires that at least one of them has a minimum of ten to fifteen years of training. An adept or archadept is required to lead and control the working. Legend says a Grand Coven (thirteen) of Cymry were able to make the mountains of Atlantis walk during the war with y un Cysgodi (The Shadowed One). None of them survived the working.

Psychic Abilities

The Cymry, like anyone else, can have certain abilities that would fall under the realm of paranormal gifts. Such gifts are not common amongst non-arcane races and even more rare amongst the Cymry. The few that do have some psychic ability are trained to use it in conjunction with their natural abilities.

One example is scrying. A Cymry having the gift of clairvoyance and with the proper training can use the elements to focus that gift, such as seeing in a droplet of water or fire. A highly trained Cymry, at the adept level, can scry by using the elements but not to see the future or past, only for visions of the here and now, like perhaps glimpses of troop movements during a campaign. They cannot hear sounds or words, nor can they affect what is occurring, it would be akin to watching a silent movie play out.

In this instance, clairvoyance refers to the ability to perceive things or events beyond normal sensory contact, but in the here and now, not in the past or future.

Psychic powers and abilities impact that realm we want to avoid in The Chronicles of Aereth (superheroes, etc.). There are no Jean Greys or Nightcrawlers in the world of Gaia. No one, arcane race or not, can have idle chats or tea parties with the dead. The majority of seers and prophets are charlatans that use tricks and psychology to pull the wool over the eyes of their audience. In most cases, should we allow a character to have a more fantastical psychic ability, this would be in exclusion of any arcane abilities their race might possess. For example, a true Cymry prophet would not have or be able to use, even with training, their higher elemental based powers.

Truth-Reading

Other Name(s): Gwir’darllen

Truth-Reading is the ability to know when another person is being truthful or not. This gift is related to a Cymry’s innate arcane sensitivity. It is incredibly rare and negates a Cymry’s other magical gifts. In other words, a person who can truth-read has none of the other abilities in regards to elemental magic. The ability usually manifests as the Cymry simply knowing whether a person they are focusing on is being truthful or not.

The person that the Gwir’darllen is reading does not have to be arcane themselves. Like arcane sensitivity, this gift simply exists, it cannot be learned or acquired. The Gwir’darllen (p. gweer-dar-shan) can learn to turn the ability on and off as they learn to control their arcane sensitivity, but they cannot enhance it as they can their sense of the arcane. Unlike arcane sensitivity, it does not flood the Cymry’s senses with the presence of lies or untruths. The user must be actively focusing on someone to use the ability. Otherwise, they might feel an overall sense of unease but would not necessarily know who was lying and who wasn’t.

This gift does not make the Gwir’darllen all-knowing and all-seeing of the truth versus lies. People who are very adept at lying or assuming other identities (such as master spies) or those who are pathological liars (people who lie as a matter of course rather than tell the truth) can fool a Gwir’darllen’s senses. Likewise, Cymry adepts can easily shield themselves from a Truth-Reader if aware one is present.

Ethics also need to be considered. Under normal circumstances, a Cymry Gwir’darllen would not read others without their consent and knowledge. It would be extremely rude and ill-mannered. In turn, a powerful enough Cymry who has their shields active might detect an attempt to read them.

Chalon

The word chalon means several things: heart, center, core, and spirit. For the Cymry, it encompasses the very being of each individual, all their knowledge, and experience, everything that they were, are or will become is their chalon.

The Cymry revere the spirit or soul of each individual to the point that the physical death of the body is absolutely abhorrent to them. This is likely why they believe that the curse against Crossing to the White Road was enacted by the Four Winds after the fall of Atlantis. The general belief is that when a Cymraeg Crosses to the White Road, their Chalon is shared with the land by the Anemoi (The Four Winds).

The Crossing

The Cymry can choose the Crossing which is their term for passing through the Veil from this existence to the next or wait until it happens at the end of their natural life. The path to this new realm is called the Ffordd Wen (White Road) as that is how it visually manifests during the Crossing. It is unknown what truly happens as the bodies of those that have crossed no longer exist.

A forced or manual Crossing combines willpower, control, and arcane knowledge. All Cymry are born with the knowledge of how to Cross. It is instinctual, no ritual or arcane artifice is needed. Should a Cymry die suddenly, then Crossing simply happens as they expend their final breath. One instant they are there, then there is a flash of light, like a silver needle shooting toward the heavens and they are gone.

Given warning and having time to prepare, a Cymry can perform a more ritualized Crossing where those that stand Witness see something of what the Cymry becomes after Passing Through the Veil. This is the preferred method as the Cymry feels being able to see your loved ones intact, healthy and not in pain eases the spirit and grief of those left behind.

A significantly powerful and highly trained Cymry adept can interfere with a Crossing, even trapping the chalon of another in their dead and decaying body. This is one of the most heinous and revolting acts a Cymry can perform against one another. In ancient times it was a form of punishment, and a form of it is still practiced by the Mathian Council. Eventually, the body will decay to the point that the chalon cannot be retained, but it is believed the spirit is still trapped and cannot move on to the White Road thus condemned to wander the Abyss for eternity.

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