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TOPIC | The Wanderers of Achainí
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I. OF MAGIC AND SHADE


The continent of Sangoren is the magical core of planet Sornieth. This is where the deities reside, spreading their energy over the land. The dragons of Sangoren have access to two forms of magic: draconian and elemental.

Draconian magic composes the soul of a dragon, its power tied to a dragon’s mental fortitude. Lively and determined dragons will have stronger, and weak-willed or depressed ones will have weaker draconian magic. This kind of magic, being so tied up in the soul and emotions, proves difficult to harness for personal use, and when wielded can be hard to control.

Elemental magic, sourced from the deities, shapes a dragon even in the shell. Its presence and absorption from the ambient magic of the land itself accelerates growth and makes for easy wielding — a dragon draws magic from its surroundings (usually unconsciously) and stores it up in their body until time of need, wherein they may cast it, by breath or spellwork, among other options.

Deities have their elemental magic tied to their soul. Rather than casting as a conduit of the magic, deities cast through the soul, thus subconsciously affecting the world around them: places in which they linger grow in their image, and the very ground soaks up their magic. This is what makes elemental magic accessible to the dragons of Sangoren.

From a blend of these two kinds of magic, the Sangoren dragons create life. A dragon egg is formed first out of the draconian magic of the parents, and afterward taps into surrounding elemental magic as the hatchling within grows attuned to its element of birth. In numbers too great, unincubated eggs can become a liability or even a hazard, for they may wind up depleting the environmental magic before it can be replenished.
I. OF MAGIC AND SHADE


The continent of Sangoren is the magical core of planet Sornieth. This is where the deities reside, spreading their energy over the land. The dragons of Sangoren have access to two forms of magic: draconian and elemental.

Draconian magic composes the soul of a dragon, its power tied to a dragon’s mental fortitude. Lively and determined dragons will have stronger, and weak-willed or depressed ones will have weaker draconian magic. This kind of magic, being so tied up in the soul and emotions, proves difficult to harness for personal use, and when wielded can be hard to control.

Elemental magic, sourced from the deities, shapes a dragon even in the shell. Its presence and absorption from the ambient magic of the land itself accelerates growth and makes for easy wielding — a dragon draws magic from its surroundings (usually unconsciously) and stores it up in their body until time of need, wherein they may cast it, by breath or spellwork, among other options.

Deities have their elemental magic tied to their soul. Rather than casting as a conduit of the magic, deities cast through the soul, thus subconsciously affecting the world around them: places in which they linger grow in their image, and the very ground soaks up their magic. This is what makes elemental magic accessible to the dragons of Sangoren.

From a blend of these two kinds of magic, the Sangoren dragons create life. A dragon egg is formed first out of the draconian magic of the parents, and afterward taps into surrounding elemental magic as the hatchling within grows attuned to its element of birth. In numbers too great, unincubated eggs can become a liability or even a hazard, for they may wind up depleting the environmental magic before it can be replenished.
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II. DEPENDENCY


When dragonkind was newborn to the planet of Sornieth, and the deities only begun to settle in new territories after their release from the Pillar — in these times, dragons grew slower, couldn’t wield elemental magic quite so readily. But as generation upon generation grew in these magically-soaked lands, they adapted. As more magic was absorbed from the slumbering deities, the magic became so easily accessible it went from a catalyst for the Sangoren dragons to a dependency. This is how the Sangoren dragons grew into their strengths — and weaknesses.

Not all dragons stayed in place, in the early days. Some left to explore all Sornieth had to offer. Some didn’t come back. One particular continent, a fair distance from Sangoren’s population, thrives away from the influence of the deities — Kalthos. Here, dragons are slow to grow without the plentiful elemental magic to spur them onwards, and should they come in contact with elemental magic, it would be all but inaccessible to them. That being said, there is one great advantage they hold over dragons of Sangoren…
II. DEPENDENCY


When dragonkind was newborn to the planet of Sornieth, and the deities only begun to settle in new territories after their release from the Pillar — in these times, dragons grew slower, couldn’t wield elemental magic quite so readily. But as generation upon generation grew in these magically-soaked lands, they adapted. As more magic was absorbed from the slumbering deities, the magic became so easily accessible it went from a catalyst for the Sangoren dragons to a dependency. This is how the Sangoren dragons grew into their strengths — and weaknesses.

Not all dragons stayed in place, in the early days. Some left to explore all Sornieth had to offer. Some didn’t come back. One particular continent, a fair distance from Sangoren’s population, thrives away from the influence of the deities — Kalthos. Here, dragons are slow to grow without the plentiful elemental magic to spur them onwards, and should they come in contact with elemental magic, it would be all but inaccessible to them. That being said, there is one great advantage they hold over dragons of Sangoren…
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III. THE SHADE


The Shade: an ever-hungry, all-consuming entity from the stars. Devouring and curious, this being is attracted to the movement of elemental magic — such as the flow a wielder creates. As the deities put elemental magic out into the world, wove the boundaries of the world out of such magic, it was drawn to Sornieth. In the early days following the destruction of the Pillar, it only gleaned from the frayed edges between element and void, weakened by its conflict with the deities. When the Sangoren dragons took to manipulating this elemental magic however, the Shade suddenly found itself with potential hosts.

While elemental magic is tied up in a deity’s soul, rendering it useless to the Shade, a mere wielder of elemental magic offers a latching point for the Shade to take hold of. Given direct contact with Shade-matter, or a greatly weakened state, the Shade may enter a dragon’s body and take up residence, binding itself to the elemental magic and feasting off it.

The consequence of this: souls catalyzed by elemental magic, which do not have their magic tied up with their soul as deities do, are susceptible to Shade infection. Those at greatest risk are sick and weak individuals, as well as dragons who deplete the elemental magic in their bodies too quickly — thus forcing themselves to draw even more from the environment. The more rapid or continuous the flow of magic, or the greater the reserve, the more likely such a regular user of elemental magic is to attract the Shade’s attention.
III. THE SHADE


The Shade: an ever-hungry, all-consuming entity from the stars. Devouring and curious, this being is attracted to the movement of elemental magic — such as the flow a wielder creates. As the deities put elemental magic out into the world, wove the boundaries of the world out of such magic, it was drawn to Sornieth. In the early days following the destruction of the Pillar, it only gleaned from the frayed edges between element and void, weakened by its conflict with the deities. When the Sangoren dragons took to manipulating this elemental magic however, the Shade suddenly found itself with potential hosts.

While elemental magic is tied up in a deity’s soul, rendering it useless to the Shade, a mere wielder of elemental magic offers a latching point for the Shade to take hold of. Given direct contact with Shade-matter, or a greatly weakened state, the Shade may enter a dragon’s body and take up residence, binding itself to the elemental magic and feasting off it.

The consequence of this: souls catalyzed by elemental magic, which do not have their magic tied up with their soul as deities do, are susceptible to Shade infection. Those at greatest risk are sick and weak individuals, as well as dragons who deplete the elemental magic in their bodies too quickly — thus forcing themselves to draw even more from the environment. The more rapid or continuous the flow of magic, or the greater the reserve, the more likely such a regular user of elemental magic is to attract the Shade’s attention.
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IV. INFECTION


There are three stages of Shade infection: Shade-touched, Shade-corrupted, and Shade-consumed.

Infection is more apt to take place under two conditions: low draconian magic, and high concentrations of Shade-matter. Even a strong dragon who is submerged in Shade-matter will instantly succumb to Shade infection. If a greatly weakened dragon comes in contact with a smaller quantity, they may still give into its influence.

The Shade-touched have Shade present in their system, but the dragon has yet to be fully taken over by the Shade’s infection, and maintains the ability to defy it in body and mind. In this stage their affliction is most similar to that of one resisting a virus or disease. A common sign is an excess of viscous black sludge in the body, resembling pus or mucus. However symptoms vary from dragon to dragon, and the severity is inversely correlated to strength of draconian magic.

Draconian magic in itself is unpalatable by the Shade, and when exposed to strong Shade influence, takes this a step further by actively fighting back. Because it is in essence the dragon’s soul, the Shade-touched’s ability to last hinges on mental fortitude. A dragon strong-willed and determined will struggle on for far longer than one in the throes of grief or depression. Yet this is not an indefinite battle, for unless the victim is strong and cautious enough to overcome the effects, sooner or later the infection will take its toll, and the dragon will succumb to the corruption.

The Shade-corrupted are those who retain their physical form, but they themselves have been lost to the infection. No longer do they display the symptoms of the Shade-touched. The battle is over, their bodies have surrendered the fight and their minds ceded to the Shade — and in doing so, forfeit their ties to their own soul, their draconian core. Emotion, rationality, moral compass and ethics — everything of their previous self is pruned away. Their life as a dragon is no more; instead their single drive is to feed the hunger and curiosity of the Shade. Instincts bloom to life in this stage, leaving Shade-corrupted dragons a violent and unpredictable liability. Savage tendencies and wild urges arise, as bit by bit they forget who they were before.

The final stage is reached upon the corrupted’s submergence in Shade-matter or nearing a breach in the deities’ magical protection. Henceforth the concentration overwhelms the system for a final time, and the dragon-formed Shade unites with the original entity. The body is discarded, and whoever the dragon once was vanishes without a trace. This is the fate of the Shade-consumed.
IV. INFECTION


There are three stages of Shade infection: Shade-touched, Shade-corrupted, and Shade-consumed.

Infection is more apt to take place under two conditions: low draconian magic, and high concentrations of Shade-matter. Even a strong dragon who is submerged in Shade-matter will instantly succumb to Shade infection. If a greatly weakened dragon comes in contact with a smaller quantity, they may still give into its influence.

The Shade-touched have Shade present in their system, but the dragon has yet to be fully taken over by the Shade’s infection, and maintains the ability to defy it in body and mind. In this stage their affliction is most similar to that of one resisting a virus or disease. A common sign is an excess of viscous black sludge in the body, resembling pus or mucus. However symptoms vary from dragon to dragon, and the severity is inversely correlated to strength of draconian magic.

Draconian magic in itself is unpalatable by the Shade, and when exposed to strong Shade influence, takes this a step further by actively fighting back. Because it is in essence the dragon’s soul, the Shade-touched’s ability to last hinges on mental fortitude. A dragon strong-willed and determined will struggle on for far longer than one in the throes of grief or depression. Yet this is not an indefinite battle, for unless the victim is strong and cautious enough to overcome the effects, sooner or later the infection will take its toll, and the dragon will succumb to the corruption.

The Shade-corrupted are those who retain their physical form, but they themselves have been lost to the infection. No longer do they display the symptoms of the Shade-touched. The battle is over, their bodies have surrendered the fight and their minds ceded to the Shade — and in doing so, forfeit their ties to their own soul, their draconian core. Emotion, rationality, moral compass and ethics — everything of their previous self is pruned away. Their life as a dragon is no more; instead their single drive is to feed the hunger and curiosity of the Shade. Instincts bloom to life in this stage, leaving Shade-corrupted dragons a violent and unpredictable liability. Savage tendencies and wild urges arise, as bit by bit they forget who they were before.

The final stage is reached upon the corrupted’s submergence in Shade-matter or nearing a breach in the deities’ magical protection. Henceforth the concentration overwhelms the system for a final time, and the dragon-formed Shade unites with the original entity. The body is discarded, and whoever the dragon once was vanishes without a trace. This is the fate of the Shade-consumed.
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V. SIGNATURES


If a dragon were to become abruptly immersed in the heart of the Shade, skipping the stage of corruption, then the results differ. Given no time to gradually absorb and thus cut ties to draconian magic, the Shade would pounce on the victim’s elemental magic, ravishing as opposed to sapping it, leaving the draconian core intact. This draconian signature of the vaporized dragon remains floating in the depths of the Shade, devoid of sentience but preserving a vague base instinct.

Since in Sangoren dragons draconian magic is habitually dependent on elemental, these signatures gravitate towards breaches or rifts in the border between elemental magic and Shade. On the rare but momentous occasion when a breach should open, all the accumulated signatures make a rush for the opening, and in the outside world are magnetized to strong elemental sources, such as living dragons.

A signature embeds itself in a dragon’s draconian magic, receiving a ghost of the sensation of having elemental magic flow through a draconian core. The consequences of such vary depending on the strength and degree of decay of the signature, ranging from imperceptible to partial to entire overwriting of the dragon’s draconian magic — and incidentally, their soul and the deep-rooted essence that comes with it.
V. SIGNATURES


If a dragon were to become abruptly immersed in the heart of the Shade, skipping the stage of corruption, then the results differ. Given no time to gradually absorb and thus cut ties to draconian magic, the Shade would pounce on the victim’s elemental magic, ravishing as opposed to sapping it, leaving the draconian core intact. This draconian signature of the vaporized dragon remains floating in the depths of the Shade, devoid of sentience but preserving a vague base instinct.

Since in Sangoren dragons draconian magic is habitually dependent on elemental, these signatures gravitate towards breaches or rifts in the border between elemental magic and Shade. On the rare but momentous occasion when a breach should open, all the accumulated signatures make a rush for the opening, and in the outside world are magnetized to strong elemental sources, such as living dragons.

A signature embeds itself in a dragon’s draconian magic, receiving a ghost of the sensation of having elemental magic flow through a draconian core. The consequences of such vary depending on the strength and degree of decay of the signature, ranging from imperceptible to partial to entire overwriting of the dragon’s draconian magic — and incidentally, their soul and the deep-rooted essence that comes with it.
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VI. BEASTCLAN & OTHER WIELDERS


The Shade cannot infect those who lack a latching point — those without free-flowing elemental magic. Dragons who have soul-bound elemental magic like the deities, or who were born outside of Sangoren’s elementally saturated lands, are immune to Shade infection. It is still capable of outwardly harming these individuals, but those with immunity, at least, have one less thing to worry about when coming in contact with Shade and Shade-matter.

Other inhabitants of Sangoren face different Shade-related problems. Without draconian magic, beastclan have a much harder time channeling and using latent elemental magic, though through dedicated study many have accomplished it — sometimes at great sacrifice. This means it is also possible (and not uncommon) for the Shade to latch onto them, the results far more sudden and violent than that of Shade-infected dragons. As they lack the defense draconian magic would raise, otherwise unnoticeable Shade fragments can significantly affect the beastclan, driving them to madness and corruption, eventually to merge with any active Shade in the vicinity.
VI. BEASTCLAN & OTHER WIELDERS


The Shade cannot infect those who lack a latching point — those without free-flowing elemental magic. Dragons who have soul-bound elemental magic like the deities, or who were born outside of Sangoren’s elementally saturated lands, are immune to Shade infection. It is still capable of outwardly harming these individuals, but those with immunity, at least, have one less thing to worry about when coming in contact with Shade and Shade-matter.

Other inhabitants of Sangoren face different Shade-related problems. Without draconian magic, beastclan have a much harder time channeling and using latent elemental magic, though through dedicated study many have accomplished it — sometimes at great sacrifice. This means it is also possible (and not uncommon) for the Shade to latch onto them, the results far more sudden and violent than that of Shade-infected dragons. As they lack the defense draconian magic would raise, otherwise unnoticeable Shade fragments can significantly affect the beastclan, driving them to madness and corruption, eventually to merge with any active Shade in the vicinity.
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How about one more page just in case…
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How about one more page just in case…
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