Developments in Direnni Sorcery
By: Janus Scinia
From their humble beginnings in the Summerset Isles, the Direnni Clan have been well-regarded as capable wizards and innovators of the magickal arts. Prime amongst their accomplishments was Asliel Direnni's formulation of Alchemy into an art of its own. This novel act would have such an impact on the well-being of his people that Direnni today conflate and honor Asliel alongside their patron divine Phynaster.
Their mastery of this practice would serve as the backbone of Direnni domination of the Iliac Bay, and would continue to be researched up until their collapse, with modern propitiates on the Isle of Balfiera merely keeping developed practices alive. Alchemy as practiced by the Direnni, however, differentiated from modern uses by way of Numericism, the application of precise calculations in discerning and accounting for the active principles of nature, allowing for the enhancement and efficient use of magicka in exercising a reaction at the most cosmologically favorable moment. While this exercise set the foundations for the modern practice, the entire context of Numericism has tragically been lost; and with it, the knowledge of transmutation as opposed to mere manipulation of matter and elements within the school of Alchemy.
While the origin of Direnni Numericism was in their development of the alchemical arts, its tract of study would give way to an entire school of magick known as Thaumaturgy. This school would utilize the lessons learned in Alchemical Numericism to the active world, enabling a renaissance of Direnni innovation and expansion. Utilizing its principles of mathematical precision, the Direnni crafted spells manipulating known forces and objects along the natural laws that confine them, and engineered weapons such as the Trebuchet of Granvellusa, a weapon which utilized enchanted mirrors as magickal foci, concentrating the light of Magnus into beams of great destructive potential beyond the often-limited bounds of Thaumaturgy.
By the Third Era, much in the way of Thaumaturgical study was lost with the relegation of Numericism to memory, the reformed Direnni College of Battlereeves at Adanorne being among the few institutions which still recognized and taught the distinction between this sorcerous philosophy and its 'children' Alteration and Mysticism. While the name 'Thaumaturgy' was kept alive by the Mages Guild for a time, by all respects the school had lost its fundamental character and was practiced as an extension of other schools, a mistake which had been corrected sometime during the chaos of the Warp in the West; its effects incorporated into the aforementioned 'children' schools.
How the practical application of Thaumaturgical spells differ when applied under the philosophies of Alteration and Mysticism is a contentious topic, and one still debated amongst Tamrielic scholars as well as the remaining Direnni. While a spell may effectively the same between schools, it's the application of said spell and the philosophy behind its use that determine the end result. Here we will attempt a concise explanation of these differences: Unlike schools like Alteration, whose exercise is bound to natural laws, or Mysticism, which focuses on utilizing magical channels to bypass natural structures; Thaumaturgical magic seeks to manipulate the fundamental laws of the world, elevating the effects of spells whose uses are otherwise crippled by the opposition of natural forces like gravity upon their effects. As a practical example, a spell of levitation practiced under Thaumaturgical principles allows one to negate gravity, floating through the air like a weightless eagle, while levitation as practiced by Alterationists merely allows one to walk upon air as if it were land.
Past applications of Thaumaturgy are today little-understood, with some having been forgotten even by the Direnni, who have taken to sealing these devices in the folding halls of Athcarae. Among the more mysterious of these are the varieties of instruments, weapons, and financial record-mazes created during the time of the Hegemony, which are regarded as among the more dangerous antiquities to be found across Tamriel on account of their principles being antithetical to the reality of one uninitiated in advanced Thaumaturgy, and sure to cause anything from brain-blasting and spontaneous combustion to wholesale negation or banishment of one's soul. Throughout many of their ruined fortresses remain central Magus Consoles, presumably the source for whatever energy keeps the internal lights and defenses of these bastions active, such as their Animus-Emitters, which project spectral figures that many a Breton have mistaken for ghosts. For even some of today's Direnni, these machines and other developments of the Hegemony remain untouchable due to the hidden magics incorporated in their functions and extradimensional means of engineering. While one learned in its functions may perhaps glean more of Direnni magick, caution is best taken lest they suffer the same fate as this humble scholar's last apprentice: Teeth chattering and melting upward toward the ceiling.
1 post • Page 1 of 1
A scholarly work on the Alchemical and Thaumaturgical practices of the Direnni, expanding on the concept of Thaumaturgy included in my Direnni write-up.