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Amber: Ramius' discourse on the principles of sorcery - Ed's journal
Amber: Ramius' discourse on the principles of sorcery
(Mostly irrelevant nonsense to those who aren't aware of the Amber books by Roger Zelazny, or the Amber Diceless roleplay game. And yes, I'm aware that this is probably so much bollocks. But that's the good bit about writing IC stuff. You can be just as wrong and deluded IC as you can OC)


Once you accept the basic premise of the Universe, then the essentials of Sorcery are actually remarkably straightfoward.

Reality as we understand it is a blank canvas of nothingness. That which we understand as shadows are simply ripples created by the primal forces of order and chaos. All things exert a force on this primal canvas. Most things have a minimal effect, the key sources being the extremes of the pattern and logrus.

However, the psyche of all living things has an impact on this fabric of reality. Sorcery is essentially no more than basic level shadow manipulation. As the accomplished sorceror will know, the simplest forms of sorcery involve blasts of energy. Inelegant, but effective, they are also very tiring. Even the most robust individual cannot sustain bursts of power indefinitely.

The more complex sorcery, involves the creation of a spell form. It is also a shadow manipulation, however since it's a little more complicated, then it also takes longer to accomplish. A spell form takes the basic components of shadow manipulation, and strings them together to create the desired outcome.

The problem is, that as a spell becomes more convoluted and complex, it also takes longer to perform. An accomplished sorceror can prepare and 'hang' a spell form, ready to use at a later date.

At a fundamental level, however, a sorcerous spell form accomplished by brute force, what the experienced Logrus master (or initiate of the Pattern) accomplishes by finess.

My understanding is that a manipulation performed through sorcery is simply the sorceror exerting the force of his psyche on the shadow around him to accomplish an end. This is why sorcery is so much easier the nearer to the centre of chaos you go.

In a way, a spell form is not entirely dissimilar to the Pattern itself. You see, a spell form is also a pattern (lower case P), that effect an alteration of reality. I would hypothesise that the Pattern is of itself, and in some measure also a spell form. I know not how the original creator managed to create a permanant and persistent spell form, that is now such a key part of the balance of the universe. Speculation would suggest that there is something intrisic in the nature of the Eye of Chaos that allowed a permanant spell form to be created.

There is also a very simple reason why more may be accomplished via the Pattern or the Logrus. Quite simply that the manipulations of shadow are not conducted by the sorceror, merely on his behalf by these primal forces.

I would hypothesise that it is possible to, for the want of a better word, request a manipulation of shadow from the Logrus or Pattern without being _of_ the Pattern or Logrus. It's unlikely to work however. No, not because the Pattern or Logrus cannot be wielded by the uninitiated. But because the traversal of Pattern or Logrus is a transition point. You stop being entirely independant, and instead become a tool in their primal struggle. At which point, your manipulations are much more likely to be successful, simply because there is a mutual synergy.

I would also add, that the traversal of Pattern or Logrus also seems to add a 'weight' to the initiate. Their influence of the primal stuff of reality appears increased. Is this because they have increased in power, or merely because they carry with them a fragment?

The primal forces of the Universe are powerful things. I would be wary of making the mistake of assuming that you are manipulating them however.

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