Friday, July 11, 2014

Starfall: Mysticism

Soundtrack: [1]

Mysticism is the name given to a group of powers innate to every sapient mind.  These powers operate based on the bond every spirit shares with the World Spirit.  This interconnectedness allows spirits and souls to affect each other spiritually and mentally; this is how ghosts possess people, mystics access the Akashic Library, and sleepers dream.

The World Spirit
Everyone and everything in the world has a spirit from the smallest grain of sand to the largest mountain, and even the world itself.  This great spirit is the source of every spirit and every soul in the world, and each one shares in the World Spirit.  From their birth when the spirit separates from the World Spirit, but that bond is never severed.  Throughout a spirit’s existence, be it as the soul of a person or the spirit of a tree or stone, the spirit remains connected to the World Spirit, and when they die, their spirits are reabsorbed into the World Spirit itself.

Mystics often speak of the Astral Plane.  This plane is a metaphysical representation of the myriad connections between the spirits of the world and the World Spirit.  Everything – every blade of grass, every hill, every squirrel – is connected to the World Spirit.  This web of connections forms a collective consciousness in which everything shares, known as the Astral Plane.

Most people visit the Astral Plane regularly without even realizing it when they dream, but mystics use the Astral Plane regularly.  It is through this web of interconnections that they use their powers to affect others who share in this common soul.  As they master their own body and soul, they learn to discorporate temporarily and visit other locations spiritually.  They even learn to enter the minds and spirits of other humans.

Mysticism & Demons
Mystical powers only work via the World Spirit.  This simple fact can cause tremendous difficulty when dealing directly with something not of this world.  Because demons and their ilk do not share a connection with the World Spirit, mystical powers cannot affect them.  Mystics theorize this is the reason that the Akashic Library holds no known information on the Maelstrom from before the starfall.

Mystical Powers

Body Mastery:  Mystics are capable of exerting extreme amounts of control over their own bodies' functions.  They are often supernaturally fast, strong, and fit, and capable of actively altering involuntary bodily functions.  By meditating in their physical form, mystics develop the skills required to open ones senses to the unseen world.  This is usually the first step in becoming a mystic.

Projection:  As mystics delve into what exactly comprises a person, they learn that the body and soul are not rigidly attached.  In fact, one's soul can be ejected from one's body, changing the person's sensory perspective and leaving the body a mindless shell.  This is usually the mystic's first step into the greater world.  Those with highly developed projection powers can even project their souls into the Ethereal Plane, or even the Astral Plane.

Perception:  By projecting his soul, a mystic learns to control his soul and discovers the first shadows of an enormously powerful soul deep within himself – although "within" is not quite the correct word.  As he concentrates on this soul, he first experiences the World Soul and true interconnected nature of all souls.  By developing this connection, a mystic learns to perceive the world not only from his own perspective, but from that of anything within the world – including the World Soul itself.

Dream Mastery:  Often developed in tandem with powers of perception, a mystic's ability to project into the Dream Plane is common, as well.  The mystic may enter the dreamworld through his own dreams or by projecting, but once there, he acts not as a dreamer, but as an observer and shaper of dreams.  Some mystics learn to enter other people's minds in this manner.

Fate Mastery:  A common latent talent, the ability to bend the world to one’s will in minor ways – e.g., ensuring a coin always comes up heads, regularly rolling seven on a pair of dice, etc. – is a relatively trivial matter once one is open to the World Spirit.  If developed, this power can become a powerful tool in the hands of the mystic.  He learns to manipulate the fate of himself and others, blessing and cursing those around him as he sees fit.  Moreover, where some may hope for a lucky coincidence, such serendipity seeks out the mystic.

Telepathy:  Once a mystic realizes the true interconnected nature of all life in the world and develops sufficient control over his own connection to the World Spirit, he can begin learning to enter the minds of other entities, creatures, and even people through that connection.  He can see through the eyes of others, manipulate their thoughts – even possess them as a spirit might.  This is among the most powerful powers available to a mystic, as he can attempt to bend anything to his will.  As such, masters are often reticent to even teach it to pupils before they first prove their intentions.

Soul Mastery:  Both a dark and light power, this is the most advanced set of abilities a mystic might learn.  The closely guarded secret of manipulating a person's soul itself is held by few masters and rarely taught to pupils.  With such power, a mystic can mend spiritual wounds, cleanse a person's soul of corruption, siphon away a person's life force, or even steal his soul outright.

Note: Power names are not yet set in stone.  I want to get something more fantasy/zen-sounding.

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