Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura Wiki



by Archmage Naomrin Palanar

Before travelling onward through the divergent dimensions, it is my wish to leave behind a reference guide for those whose journey may one day parallel my own. This work is intended for all young beings who seek to live an impassioned interest in the wonder and beauty of the arcane through a devoted and disciplined pursuit of their dreams.

Reality as it exists from the truly unbounded perspective is infinitely more than the variously limited dreamscape of any particular living mind. Belief is the most powerful and influential factor in shaping what an individual experiences of reality and is therefore both the source and ultimate focus of our responsibility and personal power. Ability in shaping magick must not be seen merely as a way of accessing more exotic and powerful versions of physical tools and implements with which to achieve certain objectives. True understanding does not flow from such a separation of oneself and the focus of manipulation.  Learning to shape the runes of magic must be completely interwoven with the broader journey of personal development and transformation if one is to know true mastery.

Black Necromancy, Mental, and Summoning are colleges of magick composed of spells which no rational mage would cast upon themselves and are thus entirely useless without another limited being apart from oneself as a participant in the casting process. To accept such a constraint upon spellcraft is to place the focus and potential of magick outside of oneself and the larger reality which encompasses all being. Artistry requires true control which flows only from the independent extension of conscious will. The colleges of Morphing, Nature, and Phantasm do have some aspects of manipulating oneself or reality directly yet rely too often for their efficacy upon a limited entity apart from oneself. These are the paths an adept must reject when beginning the journey of subsuming magic into transcendent being.

Exploration of personal identity is bound inevitably to an exploration of reality in its entirety. In seeking out the wisdom and knowledge of others, achieving insight through personal reflection and meditation, and the imaginative utilization of divinatory arts, there is much that can be discerned of what and where we are. The physical universe is composed of an incomprehensible myriad of patterns woven with unfathomable subtlety and diversity from a single energy that which we perceive in its most basic form as light. Every individual entity comprises an interwoven segment within some of these patterns which form a cohesive set, ranging from an infinitesimal point of infinite energy to an infinite expanse of infinitesimal heat. The energy from which every pattern is shaped does not exist only as innumerable actualizations but also as potential. Parallel to the physical reality composed of a single energy in various patterns and relations is the universe of ideas composed of thought, which can be referred to as the energy of mental illumination. Just as every individual body is a tiny pattern within a much larger physical pattern that is itself a tiny fraction of all possible patterns, so an individual mind is a unique set of specific ideas within a set of particular cultural ideas within the realm of all possible ideas. Both mind and body are ever changing as they travel through instantiation in one possible physical pattern to another and one potential set of ideas to another. Spirit describes the energy which forms and is formed by the convergence of a specific metapattern of ideas and a specific metapattern of physical matter. Discovery and consideration of personal insights such as these provides a clear path for an adept in reaching toward magical development.

Divination is the magickal extension of a unique pattern of mind and consciousness within the realm of the abstract. Conveyance is the magickal control of a unique pattern of physical energy in relation to the larger pattern of reality in a single moment. Temporal is the magickal control of a unique pattern of physical energy in relation to other patterns of reality than that of the moment. White Necromancy is the positive shaping of the energy which flows both from and into the convergence of a unique mind and body. Force is the direct shaping of the potential energy which flows through all of the patterns of reality. Meta is the magickal reshaping of reality patterns which have been altered via conscious will and allows for complete mastery of the magickal arts. The path through these colleges requires much perseverance and devoted development of skill, yet a mage who has mastered these has come a very long way and is capable of holding her own against any other. There is an even further transformation of power and style within reach of those with the fortitude and desire to travel on. The elemental grouping of Air, Earth, Fire, and Water is a very basic and useful perspective of reality in its broader physical qualities. Balance and compliment between elemental oppositions form a dynamic that can be grasped very personally and intuitively amongst conscious beings. An accomplished mage should choose one element from each axis of opposition based upon their own sense of empathy and aesthetic taste in relation to each pair. My own affinities reside in the elements of Air and Fire and form a connection that weaves itself into the very name I have chosen to take.

The path set forth in this tome reaches its zenith in completely mastering half of all known magic. More important is the transformation into magical being which takes place as an adept reaches finally to the level of archmage. It is here very important not to let oneself be consumed by the drive to acquire more magick. An archmage who has reached true mastery can instead enjoy the freedom and opportunity that a self transformed through magickal ability allows. Personal development can now be focused along new channels, such as the abilities of unarmed combat and the refinement of physical and psychic characteristics. It is the true archmage who can focus on such wonders as artistic creation, exploration, and teaching others.