Mater – The Magic of Denestia
What follows are some of the basics around the magic I created for Denestia.
And for the curious, I chose the name Mater for its Latin meaning of mother because that is in essence what it represents, the mother of all things in my world.
Mater is the core elemental power which exists within everything. It makes up the three elements the gods represent and their individual essences. Mater is more than just the elements driving one world. It drives all worlds.
The three elements are the solids of the Forms, the liquids of the Flows, and the energy of the Streams. Those are further broken down into separate essences e.g Earth, wood and metal are a part of the Forms. Fire, heat, cold, light and shade are a part of the Streams. Water, wind, air are a part of the Flows. Then there’s sela essence, a combination of life and death which sits outside the three elements and is required for anything to live or die.
This also provides a connection and backdrop to the three main religions: Streamean, Formist and Flowic. And they all have connections to their gods and to Mater.
Mater is more than just magic, it’s compromised of living entities. These entities range from malevolent to good. One constant remains for them is that in order to live, they like us, must feed. They feed on sela essence. In order to gain sela something must die. These entities inhabit people, plants, or creatures strong enough to use the actual forces given off by the essences in physical or mental acts in what’s called Forging.
However, once one has Forged, it affects your psyche and slowly begins to drive you insane and causes your own sela to begin leaking from you. To stem the tide of this effect and stabilize the mind and body, one is forced to kill to feed Mater itself. This cycle continues until you go completely insane, unleash all your power and die. In turn the entities of Mater get what they want. To feed.
There is a way to nullify this process on a whole by being strong enough to force the entities into what’s called your Shunyata, your core. It is the place where your sela is held. There, the entities can feed off you and you can use their power without the bad aftereffects.
Mater is also linked to the Matus, (one who can use Mater), emotionally. Strong emotions can trigger its use and the entities then use that in a form of bloodlust to encourage the Matus to kill. The main extremes of emotions like rage, love, intense fear, grief and being overjoyed reflect the state of the entities and what they represent from malevolent for the darker emotions to benevolence for the lighter ones. This is also another function of the Shunyata or the Eye as it”s called in some places. To gain emotional control of oneself, you attain the Shunyata. However, the Matus cannot always remain in the Shunyata because the entities will deplete their sela to such an extent, the Matus will either go insane and die or both. Using too much Mater or doing a Forging that’s beyond the Matus’ means can tear the aura that surrounds his body and cause his sela to begin leaking. An aura is a type of container that surrounds anything containing sela and shows the attributes of Mater they can touch, and furthermore can reflect their intentions and emotional states for those with such an ability to read the aura. The only way to heal that process is to enter a special place called an Entosis that holds primordial elements of Mater. There are very few of these places in the world, and only the strongest Matii can enter them.
Mater can be imbued into items called divya that those who weren’t strong enough to actually Forge, can wield. Divya serve many different purposes and come in many different forms. From helping with mundane tasks such as blacksmithing to use as weapons against certain enemies. Mater can also be imbued into living creatures and men. This is a special type of imbuing called Etching and only a creature from the Nether can use this power. The Nether is where the gods are currently banished to, and is where the world and Mater originated.
There are other rules governing Mater called the Principles. And there are Tenets applied to each essence. These are supposed to be followed, but very few know their full meaning.
The first Principle of Mater is: The elements must exist in harmony.
Examples of Tenets:
The Tenet of Light reads: “Light to balance shade. Light to show honor. Honor to show mercy,”
The Tenet of Shade reads: “Shade to balance light. Mercy to gift death. Death to those found wanting.”