Jump to content

"The doctrine of victory" & "the carbon of magic"


Recommended Posts

Shortly before my mind betrayed me and started devoting random excesses of time to the hexaverse story, I had already come up with a more well-developed setting/magic system/philosophical theme, something that altogether would be much shorter in length and, hence, much more doable as a project. (I have written two novels to this point, but for various reasons neither seems likely to be the breakthrough for me, alas...) To illustrate this prior tale, I will focus on two of the main concepts at play in it:

The doctrine of victory

Theoretically, the structure of the story would play out over two full-length novels, with two novellas in between. The first full-length text would be called Before the Dark Anfract, and the second would be In the Meridian of Time. Now, besides being an LDS phrase par excellence, "the meridian of time" is used here to signify the overarching problem of the story. That is, cosmological time has certain built-in transition points, commencing from the origin, like phase-transitions on a universal scale (and post-inflation, although technically there's not the same kind of inflation in this early cosmos as there was IRL*).

*[I highlight this difference to emphasize that the standard model of early inflation incorporates the notion of phase-transitions into its description of the shattering of the four forces.]

The prevailing quasi-mythology of the focal planet(oid) is the doctrine of victory, according to which the creation of the world, the initial expansion, was caused, directly-physically, by Good winning a specific battle over Evil. Now, in this universe, known (ironically :P) as Isræl, Good and Evil as such are the Uncreated Light of Sei Eẋen, and the Uncreated Darkness of Vangmord Hæll. The reason that the doctrine of victory is quasi-mythological is because of the symmetry of cosmological transit: the Uncreated Light, at t = 0, exnihilated an infinite amount of matter, emanated an indefinite amount, and enharmonized a finite amount of pre-existent substance. At t = 0, the Uncreated Darkness by contrast exnihilated a finite amount of matter and neither emanated nor enharmonized anything else. At t = 1, the Darkness enharmonized a finite amount of relatively pre-existent substance, i.e. it corrupted a finite amount of the matter exnihilated by the Light. The negative results of these two phases of creation were (a) the advent of the Emissary of the Uncreated Darkness, Malevir Soridin (whose name translates to "the Victory of the Apocalypse"), and (b) the foundation of the Dark Anfract, an evil labyrinth that surrounds the trillions of galaxies in the observable universe. [Now technically, Soridin was granted the auspices of the Darkness forthwith, so that it is He Who builds the Anfract, and He Who comes to emanate the Darkness into the universe, as one of His methods of attack, for instance.] And at t = 1, the Light did not affect the relatively pre-existent Dark matter of the Emissary. ---SO, eventually, in "the meridian of time," the Darkness will radiate itself outward while manifesting an infinite wave of Dark matter from nothingness, etc., and the Light will affect the Emissary internally somehow, and so on and so forth.

This peril is first fully discovered by scientists on the galactic level of the tale, although of course the Emissary knows about it, has been working towards that moment since the creation. It is noted that at t = 2+, until the end of the Septimation (a cosmic war in which the Emissary emanated a number of terrible ships, the voidships, into existence), when 1/7th of all life was destroyed, the Darkness was being generally emanated at a certain rate, whereas now there is a seal on the Emissary whereby He can't summon the Darkness, as such, anymore. But this corresponds to how at t = 1, the Light couldn't emanate itself in a certain way, either, so now at t = omega - 1, well...

The carbon of magic

The system of magic upon which the story turns is focused in the notion of magic charge. That is, exnihilated matter is magically charged dependent on which element is in question and which physical phase it is in, e.g. exnihilated oxygen is positively magically charged in a liquid state, say, and negatively magically charged if in glass form (the assignment is stochastic in that positive and negative magical charge, for exnihilated elements, are not correlated to greater and lesser degrees of temperature per se nota). By contrast, emanated matter becomes magic (charge) when at either thermal extreme (absolute zero or the transit to energy), negatively at the low end and positively at the high. The Uncreated Emptiness of pre-existent substance is not susceptible to magic charge.

Now, for purposes of trying to avoid having to overanalyze IRL chemistry, I decided to simplify the magic system by having there be the equivalent of a "carbon" of magic, that is a specific element that theurgically bonds with itself and other elements in the most munificent fashion. And because I love LOST way too much, I chose vanadium (atomic number 23, I believe, haha) to be "the carbon of magic." Throw in some notion of Venn-chains as an important physical embodiment of abstract mathematics (related to the trifold form of creation), and I got an exotic and poetic enough design out of the basic concepts.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

This sounds really cool and mystical/neo-gnostic, like something Michael Kirkbride would come up with for the deep Elder Scrolls meta-lore. Unfortunately, also like Kirkbride, I have no idea what you're trying to say, and have a sinking feeling that I'd need to take some physics and/or comparative religion courses to figure it out. 

10/10 for creativity, though-- reminds me of the time I spent a summer trying to create a magic system based on Ancient Greek numerology and the Golden Mean.

Edited by Unlicensed Hemalurgist
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Argh :P Well, for a more... relatable... discussion of the themes in question...

TBH I "retconned" the magic system to explain the visual nature of the final battle between the protagonists and the Uncreated Darkness. (The Emissary is involved, but with quite a twist as far as the combatants go---think Moridin from The Wheel of Time mixed with Jesus Christ.) I wanted to have it be a beam duel like the showdown at the end of The Power That Preserves from the Thomas Covenant series, or like in Dragonball Z of course, where the good side is firing off a ray of pure light, and the Darkness is shining, well, darkness, against them. But there had to be a reason for the Uncreated Darkness to itself fight the protagonists, rather than through the Emissary, and so on and on. As it stands, the magic system actually seems overly detailed, to my mind, since the story doesn't seem long enough to justify the kind of analysis that went into coming up with the notion of Venn-chains made of vanadium (as "cords" for magic-electric charge), or whatever; but I've been thinking of having an appendix or two in at least the novel-length entries in the series, where the analysis becomes self-justified (as flavoring for the audience, even if they don't happen to see those flavors added to any of narrative dishes, so to speak).

Now, the other ingredient I would like to describe, is the philosophical side of the story. This revolves around the question of whether it is possible to commit evil for its own sake. This is parsed as

i) Doing a given evil thing, for the sake of that thing (lying for lying's sake, say), or

ii) Doing a given evil thing, for the sake of the fact that that thing is evil.

The Emissary's motive is to try to do (ii), and the theory is that evil can be defined opposite goodness, so that evil is either I) making a good object evil (corruption) or II) negating the good object itself (destruction). So, the Emissary wants to use the dynamics of creation to destroy the world, by causing a new inflation event inside the already existent world, so that the original world collapses from internal pressure and the new universe of darkness is crushed by that same collapse, thus dissolving all physical reality as such.

But now on the planetoid that the final combatants (on the good side) come from, there was a semi-recent Enlightenment-style event, called the Vow of Knowledge. This was the debut of a moral principle that more or less everyone on that planetoid accepts as if it is as obvious as, "I think, therefore I am," or, "2 + 2 = 4," or whatever. The principle is, "It is good to try to know what is good." A corollary to the Vow was the Law of Hell, whereby most major governments passed a law according to which the ultimate sin, whatever that is determined to be, is fundamentally outlawed. (This might seem a no-brainer rule, but just think, it's not like such a rule is in the American Constitution, after all.) There is a nation, Carvok Kyrs, whose international economy trades off its legal resources, e.g. well-trained lawyers, and they have the ultimate sin as committing evil for its own sake. The two major factions in that country, then, are the Particularists who believe the Sin is (i), and the Generalists who think it's (ii). But other countries outlaw other things as such, e.g. sleeping with the Emissary (for an actually not entirely obscure option). And the punishment for breaking the Law is being sent to the Land of Hell, adjacent to Carvok Kyrs. (This entire region is tied to the seal on the Emissary's power of creation-by-emanation, and one part of the plot revolves around the fate of a man wrongly imprisoned in the Land of Hell, whose freedom is related to the occasion of cosmological transit.)

So, other major characters are a man on trial for the Sin, in a rare instance of a Generalist prosecutor having their case brought to court (the prevailing doctrine of moral psychology in Carvok Kyrs is that pure evil would be internally incoherent in such a way that no being can actually intend it, so up until now the Generalists haven't had a case of theirs heard by the Kyrsian supreme court; but the man in question did something [still not sure what he's been accused of, honestly] that the Kyrsian authorities are open to debating as a counterexample to said doctrine), and a woman from another country (called Sthalt) where it is believed that sinning in dreams is possible, and such is criminalized: she's a police officer tasked with arresting dream-sinners, who pursues a given target across her continent, all the way to Carvok Kyrs, where she becomes embroiled in the high-profile trial.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...