Ara Arcana

The universe flows with the energy of its own creation. It courses among the stars and pulses in the veins of the earth. Its ebb and flow are tied to the celestial spheres, and its powerful currents shape the scapes of time, space, matter, and energy; influencing the very interactions of the universe. We call this energy Arcana, and the knowledge of how to see it, understand it, and manipulate it we call Magic.

Arcana is visible only to those who know what to look for. It takes a trained eye and a sixth sense of the forces beneath and beyond the obvious world around us. Some call this the "supernatural" but the fact is there could be nothing more natural. This enegy binds the universe, allowing the smallest components to collect in patterns more complex than any mortal mind could imagine. However, mortal minds can learn to control it. Some do so naturally, having an innate sense for the forces around them. These are often called Sorcerers. Others spend their lives training themselves to understand it, these are often called Wizards. Still there are those with the power to control with almost unlimited power particular forces within that energy, and they are called deities. The deities often choose mortals to whom they teach rotes, prayers and rituals to access their power, and these are called Clerics. There are others, though, who are so open to the magical energies around them that the deities may channel their power directly through them. These are called Prophets, for through this connection they also often have prophetic visions.

However understanding of Arcana is attained, those who know how to use it are able to perform spectacular feats. Magic itself is the manipulation of arcana, to influence and alter creation. However, there are many who use magic and never understand the full potential of Arcana.

Arcana flows in currents, and sometimes it pools in places that become powerfully charged. These places of power are given various names in different cultures, but they are most commonly called a Arcane Well. Those who know how to spot these Tarns, and access them, can channel that energy into their own efforts or even into their own spirit. It is through the channeling of Arcana that many of the worlds greatest magic has been performed. Thus, these places of power are of incredible importance, and are often the cause of major contentions in the world.


Currents:

All currents flow upon a generally predictable path. They rarely change course, and where their energy gathers is usually nearly as fixed. Currents can flow in almost any direction, and can be of almost any power. Some flow quickly, driving more Arcana through a location over time, while others flow slowly, seeping Arcana through slowly. Some are broad, powerful currents, though they may be slow they carry a great deal of Arcana with them. Some are narrow, weak currents, barely moving any Arcana at all.

Pools:

Currents progress by the paths formed by the order of the celestial spheres, the stars, and Aminus. As Currents move along, they sometimes leaving behind small pools of Arcana. The power of those Currents often matters very little to magic users. Instead what matters most is what happens when a Pool of Arcana forms. How much of that energy gathers into that place and how much can therefore be accessible per hour? Does any of that energy take on a phyiscal manifestation, called an Arca? Does it dissipate into the atmosphere, or does it hover as simply an energy cloud? These are all possibilities.

Arcane Wells and Places of Power:

When a Current ends abruptly and its energy gathers, or when two or more currents cross and some of the energy gathers, the rest flowing on, an Arcane Well forms. Where these wells of Arcana form become Places of Power. They are powerful and important places. Sometimes the arcana that wells up here manifests into a physical form, called Arca. Often times, though, it is gathered by magic users seeking to channel it into themselves or into the magical items they are creating.

Most Wells are stationary points with a predictable flow of Arcana that is rarely broken. However, just as magic itself is various in its manifestation, so is Arcana. Places of Power can occur in strange and wonderful variations. Often times a Well will be tied to a celestial sphere, or a particular constellation. These Places fluxuate in their power with the movement of that celestial body. Some are tied to the forces of nature around them. A Current of Arcana may be tied to a stream, and form a Place of Power where it becomes a water fall. The stream and the waterfall are both the location of the Place of Power but also the force that binds that power there. A drought that reduces the flow of water may reduce the amount of Arcana flowing along the current. If the stream is dammed, it may also dam the flow of Arcana, thereby nullifying the Arcane Well. If the dam is broken both water and Arcana may flow again. Finally there are Arcane Wells that seem to shift constantly. The flow of a current feeding it may constantly change, affected by some other unknown force. The location of a few Places of Power tied to currents like this are so random that they are unpredictable. One may discover an Arcane Well that stays for a few days, years or even centuries, and then suddenly one day it just moves. The place loses its power. All these variations and many more are possible.

Divining Arcana:

When a magic user wishes to channel Arcana they must find a Arcane Well. These locations can be very difficult to find.

Arcana masks itself. The more powerful a Current or Arcane Well, the more ambient "magical energy" it gives off. This ambient energy makes it more difficult to locate. A weak current gives off such a small amount of ambient energy that it is easy to spot. A large, powerful flowing current of Arcana, though, gives off so much ambient energy that it is often difficult to see the proverbial "forest for the trees". Another way to see it is this: If one were to stand in a room full of blinding light, it would be difficult to find the brightest light source in that room. However, if one stood in a room of total darkness, it is easy to spot the dimmest candle. It is this way with Arcana. Thus, the greatest Wells of Arcana may never be known, as they are almost impossible to find.

Channeling

The advantage of Arcana is that those who know how to use it can supplant that energy with their own personal energy for the creation of magical items or casting of powerful spells. Everyone who uses magic is channeling Arcana, but not everyone understands this. Clerics and Prophets serve as a conduit for the arcana being channeled by their god. Druids and Bards have a natural talent to draw upon certain arcane forces through which they may channel Arcana. Sorcerers are born with an innate abiltiy to channel arcana without effort. They are often unaware that they are even doing this. Wizards learn the true secrets and power of Arcana. They often understand better it than anyone, but accessing it is far more difficult for them, since it doesn't come naturally. However, because they are learning its secrets they can often exceed the limits that binds those others that channel Arcana.

When a spell caster channels Arcana from an Arcane Well they can either use it immediately or they can store it within their own personal reservoir. The more experienced they are at using magic the greater their reservoir.


Game Mechanics

Currents
Currents vary in power. These are classified in a Rating, which is both a reflection of the difficulty in detecting that current and the potential power it gives at the Carn where its Arcana pools.

Currents range in ratings from 1 to 5. Rating 1 currents are common and represent a mere trickle of Arcana. They are easy to detect. Rating 5 currents are a torrent of Arcana, and are very rare. They are the most difficult to detect.

The DC to detect a Current is calculated as such:
DC= 20 + (Rating x 5)

Hence a Rating 3 Current has a DC of 35 to detect.

Table 5-11 Currents of Arcana
Category Arcana/ Hour Detection Difficulty
I 5 DC 20
II 10 DC 25
III 15 DC 30
IV 20 DC 35
V 25 DC 40

Note: no more than 4 currents can feed into one pool.

Tied Currents:
Many Currents are tied to one or more material places. Sometimes there is a point where the Current is tied to, such as a mountain or lake, where the Current always flows around or to. Sometimes this is a celestial connection, so that the current flows under the guidance of particular astralogical movements. There are also those that are connected to an instable point or series of points on the mortal world, such as a river, a sea current, or an air current. When these currents change the Arcane Current changes with them. Most currents, though, are mostly stable. They follow the same course always, and may only change every few thousand years or longer.

Arcane Wells
How much Arcana gathers in an [[[Arcane Well]] is determined by the number of Currents adjacent to it and their ratings. Each current has its own Arcana rating, and as many as four currents can coalesce at one Arcane Well. Some or all of the Arcana from any Current may flow into the pool, while the remainder outflows as a lesser Current.

The DM should decide how many Currents feed the Arcane Well, what their ratings are, and how weak their outflow should be. Simply sum the ratings of the in-flowing Currents and subtract the ratings of the out-flowing Currents to get the Power of the Arcane Well.

The Power of the Arcane Well is multiplied by 5 to determine the Arcana per hour that it can produce. This is how much Arcana can be channeled.

Arcana that is not channeled in any hour is either dissipated or produces some other effect, such as Arca.

Since no more than four currents can feed one Arcane Well, and no current has a rating greater than 5, then the maximum Power of any Arcane Well is 20 (100 Arcana/Hour). That is, of course, if four of the greatest currents had a point where they ran tangent to each other and deposited all of their arcana in that one place, without any outflow. Even the gods would covet such a place of power.

The greater the power of an Arcane Well the more difficult it is to detect.
The DC to detect an Arcane Well is calculated as such:
DC = 28 + (Power x 2).

Arcana can only be channeled from an Arcane Well.
The DC to channel Arcana from an Arcane Well is calculated as such:
DC = 18 + (Power x 2).

Table 5-12 Power of Arcane Wells (examples)
Power Arcana/ Hour Arcana/ 10 Hours Arcana /Day Channeling Diff Detection Diff. Mask Radius Diameter
1 25 250 600 DC 20 DC 30 1 Mile 100 ft
2 50 500 1200 DC 22 DC 32 2 Miles 200 ft
5 125 1250 3000 DC 28 DC 38 5 Miles 500 ft
10 250 2500 6000 DC 38 DC 48 10 Miles 1000 ft
15 375 3750 9000 DC 48 DC 60 15 Miles 1500 ft
20 500 5000 12000 DC 58 DC 70 20 Miles 2000 ft

Arcane Well Size

Exactly how big an Arcane Well of Arcana is depends on its power level. The higher the Class, the wider the area where it can be accessed is. However, it is never very big. A good rule of thumb is a sphere equal to its Arcana/Hour in feet diameter (ie an Arcane Well with a Power rating of 20 provides 100 Arcana/Hour and is thus 100 feet in diameter).

The size of a Arcane Well of Arcana is important because it is often sealed and protected from others who may wish to take it from the magic user or users who currently hold it.

Detecting Arcana

To Detect Arcana, a magic user must first cast a detect magic spell. Then a Spellcraft check must be made at the difficulty given above. The caster must be within visual distance of the Current. If it is out of visual distance, but within 1 mile, the DC can be raised by 5 to sense the Current, though its direction and power are still a mystery to the caster.

Detecting a Current is very useful, as the magic user may now track that to an Arcane Well it is feeding. However, the closer one comes to this Arcane Well, the harder it may be to find it. Generally for every 5 points of Arcana/Hour a Pool generates, it masks itself out about one mile. Thus an Arcane Well with a Power of 9, generating 45 Arcana/Hour creates ambient energy out about 9 miles from its source. Once someone enters that area, they must now make a Spellcraft check against the difficulty given in the charts above for an Arcane Well.

For an Arcane Well, this is calculated as such:
DC = 28+ (Power x 2)

For example, a Class 9 Arcane Well has a DC to detect of 46
DC 46 = 28 + (9*2)

Channeling Arcana

Now that the magic user has found the Arcane Well, they may channel the Arcana. To do so, one must sit within the area of the Arcane Well, and concentrate. A concentration check is made against the DC rating of the amount of Arcana the magic user wishes to channel at that time. The Magic User may channel up to the amount of Arcana the Arcane Well can offer per hour, but is himself limited by his own ability. This Arcana can also be divided up amongst other magic users, which is common practice in organized wizardy.

A magic user's ability to Channel Arcana is based on their spell caster level. Non-spell casters can Channel Arcana, but can only do so as a 1st level Spell Caster.

A magic user may channel, normally, for 10 hours a day.

Over Channeling:
Normally one does not channel arcana for more than 10 hours per day. However, it is possible but dangerous. Doing so can kill the channeler, and is very difficult. For every hour past the 10th the channeler attempts to channel the Arcana, the concentration check must be made again with a +2 (cumulative) difficulty. Failure, though, means that the arcana channeled in the prior hour is unleashed as magical energy on the channeler, causing 1 point of damage per point of Arcana.

To Channel Arcana, the individual must follow these steps:
1. Position oneself within the Arcane Well
2. Cast detect magic or be able to otherwise detect the magical energy
3. Make a concentration check at the beginning of the channeling, to begin channeling. If failed, then the individual does not realize it until after one hour, at which point the check can be attempted again.
4. Make a concentration check anytime there is an interruption (see the rules for concentration checks for casting spells). Failure means that hour's worth of Arcana is lost.
5. After 10 hours of channeling, make a concentration check with a +2 difficulty for every hour there after of channeling.

Table 5-13 Channeling
Max Arcana/ Hour Max Arcana Stored
Lvlx25 Lvlx125
Example Level Max per Hour Per 10 Hours Max Stored
1st 25 250 125
5th 125 1250 6250
10th 250 2500 12500
20th 500 5000 25000
30th 750 7500 37500
40th 1000 10000 50000

Using Arcana:

Arcana can be used by magic users to fuel the creation of magical items, cast spells, and perform other various magical effects.

Creating Magical Items:
When being used to create magical items, a magic user can channel Arcana directly into the item to be created. This replaces the use of costly expended components. Each arcana replaces one gp in item creation expenses, but can only do so for up to 1/2 the cost of the item. Thus, with enough arcana expended one can reduce the cost of creating a magic item in half.
1 Arcana = 1 gp for magical item creation purposes (up to 1/2 the cost of the item).

Casting Spells:
When casting spells that requires material components of value, arcana can be used to replace that component. Each arcana replaces one gp in spell component expenses. Thus as Wish consumes a 25,000 gp diamond a magic user can channel up to 25,000 Arcana to replace that component.
1 Arcana = 1 xp for spell casting purposes (Note: this is not applicable in Pathfinder).

Example:
Wish: 25,000 XP 20th Lvl= 500/hr
So, a 20th level magic user, channeling at a Power 10 Arcane Well, could store his maximum Arcana of 500/hour. In 10 hours he would have gathered 5000 Arcana, so in 5 days he can have gathered the necessary 25,000 Arcana. He then casts wish and in lieu of using XP he uses his Arcana.

Flooding, Diverting, Subverting and Drawing:

Flooding a Arcane Well:
Those who are highly skilled at channeling Arcana can attempt to damn the flow of Arcana through the Arcane Well, thereby increasing its available Arcana/Hour. This is only possible when there an outflow already coming from the Arcane Well. That is, assuming that not all the Arcana flowing into the Arcane Well is staying there, but rather a new current is flowing out. If that is the case, then the channeler may attempt to channel all the energy passing into the pool, stopping the flow of Arcana out. When this is done, do not subtract out the Arcana flowing out of the Arcane Well, but instead set the Class at the level based on all Arcana flowing in. Then increase the DC by 5.

DC based on Class +5

Diverting:
Redirecting the Arcana going into the Arcane Well.
The Arcana must have a place to go. Usually this is into a permanent magical effect that requires a constant flow of Arcana to work. This is a practice performed by both Druids and Queleshan.
This could also be into a recepticle, though such an object would fill quickly.
Finally, it could be diverted back into another Current, created by the channeler and redirected away from the pool location. This would only be useful if trying to keep someone else from using the Arcane Well.

Subverting:
When another person is channeling Arcana, that energy is usually tied up and inaccessible. It is possible to subvert the energy for their own purpose. This requires a comparative concentration check. The winner maintains the Arcana for that 1 hour period, but must make another check in the next round.

Drawing:
Drawing more energy out of a Current then it normally offers.
Can increase the output of a Arcane Well by up to +10.
Increase the DC by the same amount.
Requires hourly checks.
If a 1 is rolled, make a Will save DC 15+ the

  1. of Arcana overcharged

If fails, neutralizes or even destroys the Arcane Well
(See special rules on neutralizing nodes).

Dissipation, Outflow, Arca and Gates:

Arcana that is not channeled from the Arcane Well must go some place. This arcana usually manifests in one of three ways:

Dissipation: The most common, and most unfortunate, result of an Arcane Well, is that the Arcana doesn't build up at all, but rather just dissipates into the void. This Arcana simply is reabsorbed by the cosmos and returns to its original source, which some say is the Celestial Gate.

Outflow: Often the Arcana flows out in the form of another Current. No single current may be greater than a Category V, though, so it is still possible that some of the Arcana gathers in other ways.

Arca: This is a physical manifestation of the Arcana. Often times it appears as something mundane, but with a slightly greater than natural appearance to it. It may be a sparkling pool of slightly luminescent water. It may be large crystals that form with their own inner glow. It may be large mushrooms that have a slightly too perfect form to them. Arca often has unique characteristics when used in spell casting, creation of magical items or just general use. Arca has been known to exist as magical ores of metal, creating magical iron. It has been known to form large crystals that store Arcana, making them very valuable. It has been known to create springs of magical waters, that can cure almost any disease, or even stop aging. Sometimes the plants around the Arcane Well attain qualities that make them ideal for creating potions. Sometimes wildlife around the Arcane Well are slightly more powerful and have strange magical abilities. Any possibility the DM deems suitable can occur. Arca that forms often requires a consistent flow of Arcana to exist. Thus, a healing pool may require 20 Arcana per hour to continue to give its healing powers. Accessing or diverting this Arcana will cause these Arca to lose their power, stop growing, or, even worse, cause some major damage to the area. One example is a sphere of force that formed at an Arcane Well beneath the Sea of Dragons, forming a bubble of air. When a wizard entered the bubble and, unwisely, channeled too much Arcana the sphere of force collapsed and the sea came in, killing the wizard.

Gate: The least common result of an Arcane Well is that it forms its own celestial gate. That is, it forms an opening between the Mortal Realm and the Eternal Realms. This gate bypasses the Veil and creates a place where anyone who knows its there can pass directly into one of the Eternal Realms. Of course, this means that anyone in the Eternal Realms can also enter through this gate. Gates are dangerous places, and it is very possible that one can fall through one not even knowing it is there. These gates often cause a manifestation of the Eternal Realm to which they are connected on the Mortal Realm. For example, a gate to the Elemental Plane of Water may occur at the bottom of a waterfall. A gate to the Eternal Realm of Infernus may occur in a natural cave beneath a volcano. Accessing or diverting the Arcana gathered there can seal the Gate, but this is usually only a temporary fix. A good example is when Faeldonas, a Thrall of Aibhistear, was imprissoned by the druid Machonaech. The Arcane Well at Carn'Kelley had formed a gate to a demi-plane. The druid knew of this small plane, and tricked Faeldonas into falling into it, then he diverted the Arcanan, thereby trapping Faeldonnas within. Unfortunately the other Arcana produced by the Arcane Well had fed a magical stream that allowed the lands to the south to be very fertile. Without this stream they turned into unfarmable bogs, causing the people to lose their livliehood.

Celestial Influences:

In some cases, the changing of the position of the Celestial Spheres can cause the currents of Arcana to change. In the story above Faeldonas had been trapped in a demi-plane when the gate to it had been sealed by diverting the Arcana away from the Arcane Well that created the gate to the demi-plane. On Alban'Reahn, though, exactly twenty years later, that diversion reversed. The alignment of the sun and stars had simply undone what the druid had put into effect. The Arcane Well was fed once again by the Currents and the gate reopened. Faeldonas escaped, and began a series of events that eventually led to the return of Vornikar, called Nalghivorn, as was prophecised.


Glossary:

Ara-Arcana: is a word that means "Ancient Secret Knowledge". It refers to magic.

de'Arcana: means "of Magic." This is often shortened as simply "Arcana".

Arcana: Arcana is the energy of creation, which flows through the veins of the world like the bloodstream of the universe. The advantage of Arcana is that it may be used to supplant ones own personal energy for the creation of magical items or casting of powerful spells.

Arca: Litterally meaning "a sealed container", this word refers to a receptical for magical energy. Any place where Arcana overflows it gathers into natural formations, often spawning magical springs, pools, or plantlife. Sometimes crystals grow in these places, and those that attain true power can be empart special benefits upon those who keep them. These are called Ioun Stones.

Current: Arcana flows through the world in streams, referred to as Currents.

Place of Power: The term used to describe a place where Arcana pools. See also Carn.

Source: Where Currents begin are called Arcane Sources.

Arcane Well: Where a Current ends, or where multiple currents cross, magical energy tends to gather. These pools of Arcana are called "Arcane Wells". This energy can be channeled by those who know how. There are many terms from various cultures to describe such places of power. Druids often call such a place a "Carn".

Carn: The Druidic term for the physical location of an Arcane Well. There are many other terms used by many other cultures.

Channeling: The act of gathering magical energy into oneself. This energy can be stored within the spirit and used as needed later.

Countercurrent: A current flowing parallel but in the opposite direction

Ebb: receding current of Arcana

Flood: proceeding current of Arcana

Reservoir: The amount of Arcana a person can store within themselves.


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