The Ethyr

The Ethyr is a form of power generated by the metaphysical interaction between the Black Zone and the end of normal Shadow. It isn’t magic, exactly. It’s more an interference pattern between the two forms of Shadow. It’s only present about five Veils either side of the border between the Black Zone and “normal” Shadow.

On those worlds, those would would be “Talented” in the Courts can interact with the Ethyr, to generate techno-magical effects. Like the Talent, there are different strengths to those who are considered Ethyric. They don’t cast spells exactly, but they can manipulate the Ethyr field to get certain effects, most often to do with energy generation and offensive stuff, or transport and navigation.

The power of the Ethyr can be captured in Ethyr Generators, which are a form of dynamo arrangement that takes the power of the Ethyr and turn it into electricity. Generators can power houses, carriages, airships, etc, but get much beyond a large building, and you can’t store enough of the Ethyr to make it work. As a result, cities in the Ethyr Zone aren’t solely Ethyr powered: they also use steam. There just isn’t enough of it, plus Ethyr Users aren’t that common (maybe 1 in a 1,000 has any feel for it at all), and the Generators are expensive.

It can also be stored into items, to make things like Ethyr shields and weapons. Ethyr shields will protect people and places against physical damage (they’re no use against mental attacks). Ethyr guns can project electricity at a target.

As it isn’t exactly magic, but it takes the place of magic in the Ethyr worlds, mages will find casting spells hard going. However, if they can get hold of an Ethyr Generator, they may be able to use basic mech-tech to access the Ethyr and convert it back into magic or use it as an anchor for their spells. Chaos Conjuration, on the other hand, works rather well on Ethyr worlds.

Sensitive to the Ethyr

A Sensitive can feel the Ethyr in the world around them, and can access it to a degree to cause small effects to happen, at the same sort of level as Power Words.

Ethyr Apprenticeships/Adept of the Ethyr

Apprentices have a better connection to the Ethyr. They can still do the small Power Word-type effects, they can also coalesce the power of the Ethyr to store it in Generators, etc. The apprenticeship is served at their home world’s “School of Ethyr Studies” or equivalent, or under a noted Master or Doctor of Ethyr.

The training takes a couple of years, and is basically a mech-tech course to full specialisation, with a focus on making devices that can trap, store and use the Ethyr. Apprentices can’t make vastly complicated things, but they can make ones that work well. The items aren’t conjured in any way: they’re just normal items that are infused by the Ethyr.

Once they graduate, they can call themselves Adepts of Ethyr.

Master of the Ethyr

Masters can store more Ethyr and can use it in different ways. They can make more complicated devices, at a larger scale. For example, no-one at less than this level can make a Ethyr Cabinet that will take one person from point A to point B. They can also do more spell-like effects. These are limited, in effect, to the following classes, but with effects up to the equivalent of Partial in all of them:

  • Combat
  • Defensive
  • Investigative (as put into devices)
  • Industrial (scaling up devices to as far as they’ll go, or manufacturing items with Ethyr Generators)
  • Structural (shoring up buildings to make them more robust)
  • Transport

Doctor of the Ethyr

Doctors can wield the Ethyr like a weapon, and depending on their strength of will and endurance, they don’t even need devices to do so. There aren’t very many Doctors of Ethyr. They can make yet more complicated devices, at a larger scale. For example, the Ethyr Cabinet could take six people from point A to point B; or they could set up a system of multiple Single-Person cabinets. They wield the above classes of magic at Full level.

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