How arts works in most parts of the world is pretty simple. Each person is born with latent potential to harness arts, and that latent potential usually has an affinity. This affinity can be tested using a seer stone, which glows a specific hue depending on your affinity. Seer stones are common and can be found all over the world, most countries have them readily available for young children to determine the path they want to pursue. If you are capable enough, there are ways to "shape" your affinity into a more specific power. This shaping can sometimes happen at random, where you realize your ability without trying to obtain that specific ability, but it can also guided provided you have adequate skill and training.
Arts manifests itself via a series of manipulations and techniques. Manipulations relate more to an affinity and is basically the "kind" of art that is controlled (earth, water, metal, sand, etc.) while techniques relate to how each person utilizes their arts. Essentially what would be considered a spell is called a technique.
There are four major groups of that the affinities are typically categorized in, the categories are made on simple relations made with the affinities and the world. The earth and water affinities are known as the life affinities, as they make up the basis of life. The fire, lightning, and light affinities are known as the energy affinities, as they are the different manifestations of energy. The air and darkness affinities are known as the soft affinities, as they tend to be less tangible. Potential is in a category all by itself, as it is mysterious and unnerving and unique and can manifests itself in many ways. It can also be thought of as the quintessential affinity in all of the previous three categories, being the ultimate life, energy, and soft affinity. It is said that Creation of All Things art, the only art that utilizes all affinities, is inherently the potential affinity in its purest form.
While being able to use art is rather common in the world, it is quite difficult to be able to shape that energy into specific things and takes a large amount of both skill and control. There are certain styles of art, such as that practiced by the Cerule, that train high levels of energy control.
Seer Stones Edit
Seer stones are smooth, round, dull grey stones used to determine one's affinity. When one's energy is applied, the small stone will slowly begin to float and glow a specific color, and that color determines your affinity. If the stone remains grey and doesn't float, it means that you do not have any latent affinity, and even though you still have latent potential for arts you'll likely not be able to utilize it without the help of some tool, weapon, or artifact. The seer stone can also break into pieces and display different colors for each piece, which means the person holding the stone has an affinity for more than one element. After breaking a part, the seer stone will eventually reassemble to its normal state.
- Fire: The stone becomes a fiery red hue.
- Water: The stone becomes a soft blue hue.
- Earth: The stone becomes a string green hue.
- Air: The stone becomes a smoky white hue.
- Lightning: The stone becomes an electric yellow hue.
- Light: The stone becomes a brilliant pale-yellow hue.
- Dark: The stone becomes a bold black hue.
- Potential: The stone becomes an ominous purple hue.
There are eight affinities present within the world. Each affinity can develop into a myriad of powers and abilities, and can also be mixed with multiple other affinities for even more types of powers and abilities
Characterized by a fiery red hue, the fire affinity is a very common affinity to have. It can manifest in its purest form, or form other elements such as ash and magma. This affinity typically adds some sort of energy aspect when mixed with other affinities. Fire, as well as lightning and light, are called the energy affinities because they all have to deal with energy in some of its purest forms
Characterized by a soft blue hue, water affinities are typically thought of as life-giving affinities, as many of them have to deal with living things. Water affinities can mix with other affinities (especially earth) and can make such affinities as plant and wood based affinities, used to create living things.
Characterized by a strong green hue, the earth affinity is said to be the most versatile of the affinities due to its large variety of derivations. The affinity can manifest itself into many derivations of earth, including sand and metal.
Characterized by a smoky white hue, the air affinity is slightly overlooked at times, but is indeed extremely versatile. It can create powerful offensive techniques as well as quiet stealth techniques. Due to being categorized as a soft affinity, it is somewhat difficult to learn to control this affinity based purely on its nature. Once trained many leaders have held this affinity and used it to perform powerful techniques.
Characterized by an electric yellow hue, the lightning affinity is a very powerful affinity. The pure energy that emanates from this affinity lends to powerful offensive techniques for those who harness it. It is also said to be the fastest affinity, allowing someone to gain an extreme advantage over the battlefield.
Characterized by brilliant, pale yellow hue, people who use the light affinity have been taken as gods and holy deities. People have developed this affinity into powerful techniques, including invisibility.
Characterized by a bold black hue, the darkness affinity is one of the more esoteric affinities and it is somewhat more rare to find a practitioner. Also called the affinity of insanity, this affinity has been known to wear away the minds of those who wield it, driving them to madness.
Characterized by an ominous purple hue, potential affinities are curious and not well understood. instead of being based from some natural element or concept like the other six affinities, the potential affinity is based from pure power and can therefore materialize itself in mysterious and varied ways.
Archaic Arts Edit
Archaic arts are arts that mortals were able to obtain before the advent of arts. These archaic arts are powerful and took a lifelong commitment of studying in order to learn. In the present day, these arts are somewhat rare but no longer take a lifetime of study to learn. Each category archaic art has its own hand symbol, used to stabilize the art and contain it. Having existed before the advent of arts, archaic arts are not locked to any sort of affinity, but they can have affinities applied to them. Some archaic arts, such as binding and body modification arts, have become much more common in the modern world while other archaic arts, such as summoning and time arts, are still rarely seen.
Binding Arts Edit
Binding art is one of the more common of the archaic arts, as it still practiced by powerful art users. The hand symbol for binding art is both hands clasped together with the fingers interlaced. The name is rather self explanatory, as this category of archaic art is used to trap and conceal other sources of arts.
Body Modification Arts Edit
Body modification art is, as the name suggests, related to changing the body. This art is still to this day not well understood and tends to vary completely from one technique to the next. While not well understood, this art seems to be somewhat intuitive and allows for easier development of body modification techniques after one or two are learned. An example of its intuition is that High General Sarrow was able to develop a body modification technique to edit the bones of his Legion, Modric, after learning a separate but similar modification technique that he had used on himself. The hand symbol for body modification art is both hands creating an upside-down triangle by touching the tips of every finger.
Teleportation Arts Edit
A very uncommon art to witness, teleportation art is thought to be one of the rarest of the archaic arts. Teleportation art is unique in that it is the only archaic art with a one-handed hand symbol, which likely developed due to the fast nature of the art. The hand symbol is composed of all fingers curled into the hand with only the thumb and pointer finger extended forward.
Summoning Arts Edit
Summoning art is arguably the rarest and most powerful archaic art. This art has the ability to summon almost anything, as long as the technique is known. Very few successful examples of summoning art have happened in the world, such as the summoning for the stonework war. The hand symbol for summoning art is both hands pressed together as if in prayer.
Time Arts Edit
The rarest of the archaic arts, time art is a very powerful art that has been almost completely lost through the ages. Time art, as the name suggests, is used for the manipulation and distortion of time. The hand symbol used to invoke time art is forming a circle with both thumbs and both pointer fingers.
The Advent of Arts Edit
The advent refers to when mortals began to be born with the innate ability to use arts. Before the advent of arts in the world, arts were not commonly able to be used by mortal creatures. Arts were still very much a part of the world, but it was rare, ancient, and fickle. Mortals were taught how to use arts by mortal sympathizers of the tynar race, a race of superior beings that had conquered all corners of the world. The tynar are a race of intelligent bipedal magical beasts that were the first being ever to be able to use arts. During the Millennium War, a tynar named Enix Myrtemer created a resistance army and began teaching the mortal races how to use their latent energy to manipulate arts. While weak and physically draining at first, over time people who were able to train their energy to high levels were able to pass those traits on to their children, who could attain even higher levels of energy control, eventually becoming strong enough to manipulate powerful arts.
This advent did not affect the country of Methos Gran because of a large structure known as the Boundary. This structure was created by the first ruler of Methos Gran in a practice of isolationism in order to protect objects known as sigils that started appearing in the country.
Practitioners of Arts Edit
While once rare, practitioners of arts are quite common in the modern world. However, not all who use arts use it at the same level of skill, and there are different classifications, called castes, denoting your status on how skilled of a user you are. Your caste level is an international indicator of your adeptness at using your art, and is usually only useful in military situations. For most countries, castes have no impact on socioeconomic status. Since there are only four different castes, the breadth of each caste is wide, and there can be large differences in abilities between two members of the same caste.
Common Caste Practitioners Edit
Most practitioners of arts fall under the common caste. This is the weakest caste of arts users and consists of many non-combat users. Most people who aren't in any sort of military and therefore generally don't train their arts fall under this caste.
3rd Caste Practitioners Edit
The weakest of the combat castes, this caste consists of low level and beginner fighters.
2nd Caste Practitioners Edit
A powerful caste consisting of skilled and veteran fighters.
1st Caste Practitioners Edit
This caste consist of the most powerful users of arts in the world, many rulers and generals, as well as powerful villains, fall under this caste. The skills needed to attain this caste require both natural talent and rigorous training, and many don't ever make it to this power level.
Energy Practices Edit
Energy is in all aspects of nature and within all creatures. While it is abundant and naturally reoccurring, it is still limited by the source. When creatures use energy, they consume the naturally generating energy within their bodies. This comes back over time, faster for some than others, but can still cause severe symptoms such as fatigue, exhaustion, dizziness, and even fainting if depleted from the body. Some creatures naturally have more available energy within them, and while there is no way to increase energy reserves there are methods to reduce consumption rates.
Energy Shielding Edit
Energy shielding is a basic technique used by arts practitioners to defend against other arts. It requires the user to create a thin skin of their own energy around themselves to protect them from both physical attacks and offensive arts. While more advanced arts practitioners are much better at this technique than novices, even at its most basic level energy shielding can protect one from an otherwise lethal attack.
Energy Observation Edit
Energy observation is a wide category for sensing energy. Energy observation is the awareness of different energy within the observation area of the user. The most common use of energy observation is energy perception. This is the ability to distinguish between sources of energy and determine the strength of that energy within a given area. High-level energy perception allows the user a larger range and the ability to pinpoint the location of that energy source if out of view, as well as being able to distinguish between sources that are close together. An example of an adept use of energy observation is the ability to distinguish between different energy signatures and determine the identity of a person based off of it. An example of an easier to learn use of energy observation is energy concept, which is the ability to be able to recognize the flow of energy within objects, allowing the user to sense attributes such as thickness and density.
Energy Manipulation Edit
This is the most basic practice regarding energy and is the basis of all arts. Energy manipulation is simplified into two aspects; force and control. Force is the strength of the manipulated energy. Techniques that are purely related to the force aspect are incredibly strong but lack precision and form. Techniques that are purely related to the control aspect lack power but are precise and hold an intricate form. Both aspects are important in all techniques, but the aspect that the technique leans more towards depends on the use of that technique.
Energy Alteration Edit
Energy alteration, more commonly known as energy mending or energy healing, is the ability to draw trace amounts of natural energy from the environment in order to use the natural healing properties of it and speed up the recovery time of wounds. This practice requires diligent training but is still taxing on the user's energy. To better control the healing speed and energy consumption of this practice, users often combine this with their art. Various medical tools and advancements have been made in modern times, so energy alteration is usually only seen on the battlefield.