Tuesday, November 27, 2012

[Valanas] Kisetsu: The Study of Miracles!

As the development of Valanas continues, having a good grasp of the personality of the setting will really help make this a fun experience for all.

Though how does it all hold up? Is it all consistent and does it all make sense? Follow the jump to learn more and what elements one can look to be familiar with existing popular manga and anime!

A magic circle from Fullmetal Alchemist

To start off, there have been three key manga that helped to inspire the Valanas setting: Bleach, Full Metal Alchemist, and Naruto. In Bleach, many of the characters have multiple dimensions revolving around them, and it is filled with jam packed action. With Full Metal Alchemist and Naruto, there is a strong tie with the mysterious and a decent level of progression that all characters revolve around.

Though more noticeably with both Full Metal Alchemist and Naruto, there is a "science" to how things work. In Full Metal, there is always equal exchange, and to some extent, the rules can be broken, but only at the expense of a "mirrored world." With Naruto, all the characters are able to tap into physical reserves in the form of Chakra or even in some rare cases superior monstrous power sources.

In both of these examples, the rules are fairly consistent, with very few "alternatives" breaking the rules. In Valanas, this will be no different.

Ki Rituals

In essence, all living things have the ability to manipulate the energy surrounding them through rituals. These rituals allow the caster, or casters, the ability to focus their will on a single task that when combined with the ambient energies in the world to manifest minor miracles, called Ki. The science revolving these practices are commonly called Kisetsu (The Study of Miracles).

Kisetsu has been implemented in varying degrees over the course of time, and started some time after the Laws of Creation were established in Valanas. Despite the best intentions of the Creatoa, the very fabric of the Valanas cosmos was rich with potent magics that were just itching to be manipulated. Through study and collaborative ritual practice, many were able to master these elements and produce spectacular miracles.

Now in modern times, there are many who see themselves as master of the Kisetsu, and are capable of manipulating the Laws of Creation in new and unique ways in order to produce Ki on the fly with little effort outside of a simple thought. Though to reach such levels of power, many have to use hand motions or fast arcane markings in order to manipulate the very elements themselves.

Ki Breathing

Alternatively, there are many people who instead study the techniques that allow one's self to manifest miracles that push the very boundaries of one's limitations. Rather than a study, these typically revolve around a technique, or Jitsu, that is considered limited to one's family heritage, or even strictly to a bloodline.

Jitsu, in essence, is manipulating the forces of Ki by breathing it in through the air and into the blood, allowing one's own body to absorb and utilize the Ki. By doing so, the Jitsu Artist is able to allow for their bodies to push the limits and manifest powers beyond what is typical of their bloodline.

Regardless of the Jitsu, any one who practices the jitsu must name it in order to allow them the ability to master it, let alone understand it. Those capable of understanding the names of the Jitsu are typically capable of knowing what to expect, and as a result, allow for those knowledgeable enough the ability to counter these abilities.

Ki Shards

Then there are those who manipulate the very essence of Ki found within the elements. Instead of forcing one's will or body on the very element itself, there are artificers who are capable of harvesting the Ki from much more potent elements in order to fuel powerful constructs, powerful armors, or deadly weapons.

Over the course of time, there have been many who have mastered the art of Ki Shard Forging, allowing for the creation of artifacts that have, to this day, been indestructible. And then, there have been those who have combined elements of Kisetsu and/or various Jitsu with their artifacts to devastating effect.

In those few cases, there have been some who have utilized Ki Shards in order to give life, or at least a sense of false life, to what are known as Golems. Despite the broad term, Golems all consist of infusing Ki Shards into various materials, that when combined, give an object a new life. This can be done as technology, magical golemancy, and as a means of giving sentience to an otherwise dead corpse.

There have been a select few who have also attempted combining Ki Shard Powder with their Jitsu to produce even more outrageous feats of power, at the expense of causing great harm to their bodies. Additionally, by utilizing a Ki Shard as a focus for any ritual, many have found that such items help augment their rituals in ways otherwise not possible, but at the expense of being reliant on the focus.

Bloodgates

Where many try to force their skill and mastery over the elements of Ki, there are a select few who are capable of tapping into an almost unlimited reserve of power through what are known as Bloodgates. Bloodgates exist in every sentient being, though only through traumatic events or some unique trigger do the Bloodgates actually manifest. And even in these few cases, do very many actually survive the experience.

The Bloodgates were, at one point, the very essence of what many of the sentient races consisted of before the Laws of Creation forced many of them into their now physical forms. Over the course of time, the boundaries and limits set by these laws have began to weaken, stressed to the point of breaking due to encounters with the dark energies that continually try to break free into the world.

At the same time, one's spirit is always seeking to break free. And in those rare instances where they are not only capable of surviving, but also manifesting their Bloodgate, they are capable of manipulating such power that knows little to no limits and capable of changing the very landscape of Valanas.

Thematically, the Bloodgates may produce similar effects across the bloodlines though it is well known that each of the various sentient races are capable of manipulating them in different ways. Some are capable of realizing their power through art, some through worship, and some through sheer dedication to a single goal.

Regardless of what it is, those with bloodgates have been feared by many, as they are capable of controlling their bloodgate with little to no skill, and it requires a substantial amount of Kisetsu skill in order to "close" the gates. Even then, the gates are only closed temporarily, making those who have such power a force to be reckoned with.

Conclusion

As many can see, the elements of how Legends are made in Valanas are fairly consistent and share similar elements. Everything, to some extent, revolves around the manifestation of "miracles" called Ki. These miracles can be manifested in a number of unique ways, allowing for players and GM's alike the ability to give their players unique ways of manifesting their abilities.

Now the question I leave with you all, is what of these have you found the most interesting and why? Additionally, what other ways could you see yourself manifesting Ki in this world? As always, if you have anything in particular you would like to see, feel free to share that as well!

Till next time, happy gaming all!