Monday, 5 June 2017

Ghabnah and Turachgekhan

The speakers have entirely opposite (but to the voiceless, indistinguishable) plans how to achieve understanding of the world. Wizards believe that the world will make sense only as a whole, while mages seek to understand each detail first, then assemble them all. Both ways have been codified early in history by the greatest thinkers of their time, who are today's idols of their respective beliefs, Ghabnah and Turachgekhan.

Ghabnah, who is thought to have been a beja mage, wrote the first magical tome collecting the spells strung together from the words of power. This First Book of Magic, or Ghabnah's Book, also contains the principles mages should follow. It is constantly being revised and modernized, and there are different interpretations of her thoughts.

"Look at any one thing and find that it is made of parts. Learn their workings - learn every thing's workings, and you may finally understand the world's workings as well."
— Ghabnah

Wizards follow the teachings of Turachgekhan, a rhu'khach sage, who said that the world is wondrous and whole, and can be only understood if one dares to broaden one's mind to encompass it. Today, wizards are acknowledged as skilled holistic thinkers. Each spell is invented at the time it is cast and has widespread effects.

"Look at how marvelous the world is intertwined, and everything inseparable from everything else. We know the Great Spirit is at the foundation of it all, but we only know this, we do not grasp it - and when we finally do, I believe it will be most grand."
— Turachgekhan

Neither Ghabnah nor Turachgekhan said anything about hating on the other half of the human supernaturals. Some very optimistic philosophers even believe in unification of both schools. The fact however remains that in six millenia, no-one has learned both the way of the mages and wizards.

Artists' notes
There had to be idols among the speakers, and the most important idols would of course be the founders of their way of life. There's much to say about speakers, spells, and the philosophies. It's sometimes thought that maybe spells are "poisonous", because it's only after casting their first spell that speakers are set in one way.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! Is there a part of the two spellcatsers' schools you like best? Personally I love the strong opposite between the meticulous mages - who can count a handful of sand grains while they fall - and the intuitive wizards - who can make it through a garden maze at a full run. It would be so cool to have either ability :)

  2. I'm interested to see how each school shapes the experience of either wizards or magi; from the novice to the Grand Master, how does their philosophy / cosmology change how they pursue their respective arts? For example, I see an errant wizard as a Kurtz figure deep in a jungle Vista crowned an immortal God by the primitives; or a mage, toiling away in an underground lab trying to perfect the genetic secrets of a certain monster.
    It's interesting to see a reasoned take on the differences that can be made between the wizard and mage.
    With Ghabnah and Turachgekhan , there's so much possibility for legend and say, mystical sects devoted to any part of their life experiences. From relics to bloodlines in the more literal sense, to competing prophecy or perhaps even a necessity for mutual annihilation to complete a rumoured available synergy of the two schools; what a goal for the ultimate pursuit of power and understanding, maybe even immortality and beyond.
    Just in this one post you've given a lot to think about for anyone creating a world where magic plays a role. Even if these only pertain to, say, human magic, it's a lot more than the familial old standbys give us, which is ultimately vaguery and ambiguity. And thinking back to my 2ed schools and spheres, this is a much more cohesive and comprehensive foundation to build a structure from for a character or story arc than a dozen separate schools of 'spell-type'.
    Brilliant work. I've already changed the way my school's work in my own RPG world to reflect your approach. It's got this charm that is hard to describe, rarely stumbled upon but universally appealing.

    1. Wow, thanks a lot for such a great compliment, to be inspired to change your own world after reading this.
      Magic needs to be carefully invented, and it's true that there is a sort of "classic" approach to it, with highly specialized mages. I have long been very interested in how spellcasters affect society as a whole, especially since there are so many - one of ten is a born speaker, and you can become one later in life.
      I imagine levelling up in special ranking systems and classes is cool to many players (myself not excluded), and that leads to so many obscure categories mages can be classified by. Genius Loci's driving motive always was to be beautiful first, and then make that work in rules.

      Now, bloodlines are a great idea I hadn't thought of before! Of course there would be arguments about that.