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Small settlements of mankind are but specks of dust sprinkling the inhospitable wild lands. In the mountains fly grandiose beasts, spitting fire at any traveller unlucky enough to meet them. In the forests vines creep slowly, yet relentlessly, towards their prey. In the deserts boulders stampede, crushing anything brave enough to get in their way.

Nonetheless, the seeming brutality of this world is perfectly balanced out by the unwavering bastions of mankind. The bustle of these cities is no less formidable and deafening than the roars of the beasts inhabiting this land. It is a mystery how these colonies could have ever come to be with how unfriendly the world seems towards humans. Some claim that what we see today are mere remnants of a grander civilisation, forced back into small settlements by the rampages of nature. Some claim that gods must have taken pity on the weak humans and made safe havens in which they could survive. Some have even more radical theories.

- From Origins by Almustanir


Mages are people who have gained great understanding of the law of equivalence through an event of great loss, usually termed Rapture or Rupture, depending on the speaker's view on magic. Mages are capable of changing themselves and the world around them through manipulating equivalence, conjuring miracles through sacrificing something of equivalent value.

Mages have historically had a tense relation to the non-mage population of the world, the latter finding their power desirable or dangerous (often both). In many regions, mages were stigmatised to such an extent that a mage would either be cast out of their family after their Rapture/Rupture or choose to leave to avoid harming their loved ones. As a result of this, it became tradition that a mage would choose a new name for themself upon becoming a mage, leaving their old name (especially their surname) behind.

The attitudes of the world to magic and mages are perhaps best explained by an actual mage:

Mages have come up with a myriad of names for the event that awakens a mage’s power before more or less settling on the current “Rapture/Rupture” denotation, each of the names reflecting a different understanding of what really happened. It is well known that only through experiencing an event of great loss can one become a mage. Elisaveta writes that it is through this event that a mage first gains a true understanding of the law of equivalence, and thus becomes capable of utilising it. Tim, on the other hand, ponders whether this event should be interpreted as the first sacrifice one pays for one's magic, the cost to balance the gains of becoming a mage.

The name given to this event greatly differ in tone. The more positive names include “Revelation” 1) and “Apocalypse” 2). Examples of more neutral terms include “Catalyst” 3)”, “Trial/Tribulation” 4), and “Seed” or “Egg” 5). The more negatively toned (and some may argue the more straightforward) names follow examples like “Misfortune”, “Sacrifice” and “Loss” 6). The tone of the word choice tend to reflect the speaker's opinion on magic.

The attitude of non-mages towards magic is more unified. Due to the sacrificial (note to self: is there a better word?) nature of magic, there have been numerous occasions on which casting a Spell has lead to severe collateral damage to uninvolved parties7). As a result, the majority of the non-magical populace holds a negative or even hostile attitude towards magic and those that use it, which is the very reason for the formation of the Sanctuary. However, it bears to note that there is a sizeable population of non-mages born in the Sanctuary (not having magic due to its non-heritable nature), who do not hold such negative opinions8)(note to self: rephrase paragraph to avoid plagiarism).

- Unfinished essay of a young mage


The Sanctuary

A Map of the Sanctuary

Far removed from civilisation, amidst tall mountains, surrounded by a forest brimming with various beasts, is the Sanctuary. It is a place where mages from all around the world gather.

The reason for its existence, is the fact that mages face two problems. First, due to the nature of magic, a mage must sacrifice something that they value every time they cast a Spell. Mages are not entirely solitary creatures, and so care for other people, the places they live in and the nations they are citizens of. As such, the casting of Spells can sometimes cause “collateral damage” to those entirely uninvolved with the mage, which doesn't exactly create favourable impressions. Second, in order to progress in magical ability, a mage must gain a deeper understanding of the law of equivalence. This can be done through experience, but such a method poses much danger to a mage. An alternative method is to instead learn from the experiences of others, which was not always possible for mages awakened in the midst of non-mages.

Around one hundred years ago, the Sanctuary arose to provide a solution to both problems, serving as a gathering place and refuge from the rest of the world for any mage that desires such a life. While it cannot stop “collateral damage” from happening, now it at least tends to affect those that are somewhat more understanding, being mages themselves.

The Sanctuary is home to tens of thousands of citizens, both the newly arrived and Sanctuary-born alike. Even non-mages have come to live here (largely those born in the Sanctuary) with a sizeable population in the Outer City. It is a relatively isolated city, situated in the middle of forests and mountains. However, due to the amount of mages that live here and the miraculous goods they can create, trade to the outside world has never stopped and is in fact on the rise.

However, the Sanctuary is not perfect and mages themselves are far from being united. Though the Sanctuary was once an undivided bastion of magic, it has been split into the Inner Sanctuary at the centre and the Outer Sanctuary towards the edges.

The Banquet

     By order of Nullapretium, Archmage and Guardian of Magic — Founder of our Sanctuary
                  You have been cordially invited to the annual Banquet
                              At the Manor of the Archmage
                             Starting 19:00, Midsummer's Eve

The Banquet is the largest and most important annual event in the Sanctuary, being hosted by its founder, the legendary Archmage Nullapretium in his own magnificent mansion. It is an event where mages from all across the Sanctuary are invited to celebrate their city, socialise, and exchange ideas. As the Sanctuary grew over the years in size and population, different factions began to form, and the Banquet became ever more needed - until the differences became so great and any hope for real reconciliation and understanding between the factions seemed lost.

Nowadays, to most the Banquet is exactly as its name suggests, a banquet. A banquet where important people make appearances, intrigues and deals happen behind close doors, and social butterflies have a grand time.

All guests would have received an invitation and a schedule for the evening.

    19:00 Opening speech by Nullapretium, Archmage and Guardian of Magic — Founder of our Sanctuary
    19:05 Buffet opens
    19:30 Exhibition of latest magical achievements by citizens of the Sanctuary
    20:30 Live music and dancing in the ball room
    22:00 Special performance
    23:40 Closing speech by Nullapretium, Archmage and Guardian of Magic — Founder of our Sanctuary
    00:00 End of event

Symphonia consistently used this word in her Thesis Ineffable
Panagiotis argued passionately for the adoption of this term in his famous speech Personal Apocalypse but it never really caught on
almost standard usage around three centuries ago but seems archaic now
an attempt by Glotheuna to introduce a sense of scale to the events
uncertain of origin, the earliest record of usage seem to be an anonymous pamphlet from around 200 years ago
all used, alongside many other terms of similar connotation, most famously in Magic: Blessing or Curse, a Discourse on Ethics by Tim
add example, could mention the Cataclysm
interview a Sanctuary non-mage or steal Ephemata's notes
setting.txt · Last modified: 2022/05/05 00:07 by gm_cynthia