Geomancers: Wielders of Nature's Force (03/21/2013)

Wielders of Nature's Force

Fear the darkness.

Unfathomable abominations lurk within its umbral cloak...
Its impenetrable color the very origin of terror...

Entrust yourself to the darkness.

Its visage a rejuvenating slumber...
Its breath a comforting embrace...

Lend an ear to nature with your heart and soul.
Let it show you the path to understanding the darkness.

—From "Grasping Darkness" in An Introduction to the Arts of Geomancy

Geomancers lovingly coax out the energies that course through the world's lifestreams so that they may survive another day amidst the Ulbukan continent's savage wilds. The practice of geomancy—concentrating organic powers within luopans and enhancing their potency with the sublime sounds of handbells—is as storied and enchanting as the Ulbuka itself, and while both their existences had remained hidden from Middle Landers for years, the archives in this western land house ample stores of information on this mysterious art.

Sih Renaye's Miracle

The infant's life may have been saved, but the beastmen would go on to slay Sih in cold blood and then endeavor to raze the village. Luckily, the thaumaturgical barrier she had erected held strong even after her death and repelled the creatures' seemingly indefatigable efforts to wreak havoc on their settlement.

Sih Renaye sacrificed her life for the sake of that village. While we retained a settlement, we also lost our continent's most powerful and renowned geomancer. In addition, the five apprentices in her charge disappeared without either a trace or a goodbye.

To what far corners of the world they departed is a question that shall likely remain unanswered for all eternity.

—Excerpt from Sih Renaye and Her Five Disciples, author unknown

In a far bygone age, before flora enveloped the land and effectively barred entrance deeper into the continent, Ulbuka consisted of one vast plain. The people who inhabited this grassland lived in total and constant fear of the beastmen and their Velkk overlords that stalked the plains. The savages were fond of pillaging and plundering, so much so that the rising sun only etched the atrocities they committed more vividly into the minds of their victims rather than offering temporary respite from the bloodshed.

Then, one day, a wandering sorcerer by the name of Sih Renaye appeared before us. She reported to have obtained magnificent powers from a locale emanating heretofore-unheard-of natural energies on the sacred Mount Kamihr. She was gracious enough to demonstrate some of her extraordinary abilities—she could turn mere sparks into searing wildfires, rend the earth in twain, make powerful geysers gush forth from the ground, and cause the winds to dance with only the tiniest of motions—and use them to keep our humble population safe from the Velkk's unrestrained violence.

The barrier of energy she erected with the help of her five disciples not only kept the barbaric leader of the Velkk—Skov-Trok—from unleashing his merciless brand of complete and utter destruction upon our people, but rumor has it that the field also exudes some sort of healing force and bestows exceptional powers upon those within it.
Though Sih Renaye was forced to leave this world, her techniques were passed down from generation to generation, and somewhere in its long history, this ability to manipulate the lifestream was eventually given the name "geomancy."

In Search of Ergon Loci

Those who lost their lives in the woods,
Are greeted by the Mother,
Embraced by the soothing notes of her song,

Rocked gently to sleep in the cradle of her mercy,
They return to the land.

Her every word spoken,
Her every action taken,
Her everything given to her children of Adoulin.

—Exerpt from the play The Legend of the Siren

The term "ergon locus" is used to describe certain locations from which energies buried within the earth well up and overflow. Those who seek to master the geomantic arts all inevitably must depart on a journey to seek them out and give themselves up to the natural power—ergon—that resides within these veritable veins of strength.

Indicolure spells are one of the most fundamental tenets of geomancy—concurrent with the origins of the art itself. Geomancers, however, were able to enhance their own craft by creating a new type of magic called geocolure, in which concentrated amounts of ergon are summoned through luopans. Geomancy has advanced dramatically over the years, but recently, geomancers have been able to turn luopans into portable devices by applying certain astral substances to their surfaces.

The art is constantly evolving, but one principle remains unchanged over time: geomancers who wish to stand proudly upon the summit of their craft must possess both the mental fortitude with which to shake themselves from the grasp of mortal preoccupations and the drive to simultaneously become one with the vibrations of their handbells and ergon itself.

Illustration: Mitsuhiro Arita