Hydromancy is water magic; a Hydromancer can cause whirlpools, drown an opponent, scry in pools of water, or breathe in water, depending on power level. Anything that can be done with water, the Hydromancers have mastery over it.
Following the death of Elorac Seamere in 1274, Miri Bayani became the first Half-lo in remembered history to wear the mantle of Archmagess of Hydromancy. An intensely private and reticent woman, she is hounded by those questioning her right to the position and constantly in danger of being used as a pawn in the political upheaval within the islands. Staunchly neutral to the ebb and flow of political ties, she devotes herself to Keiki e Kala'una, the School of Hydromancy.
"Ah, hydromancy, the element, the way of the water, the will of the Archmagess, all the veritable forms beheld by the council. The magic, or Seun, as the Old Tongue translates, is viewed as a charm, held by the practitioners of the Fathoms Of Hydromancy. It is seen to exist in many forms, or apparitions. The secret of the gift is held in the abilities of one to focus their energies within the water droplets, to call them forth, together, for the benefit of the denizens of Lyran Tal."
Since the rise to power of Aikiliano Bashar, the Pirate King, in the islands of Southern Oceanuus, the influence of native islanders (the self-proclaimed S'oshans) on politics, society and economics has been profound. Archmagess Elorac and her Council of Six are gone, and the order of the hydromancers has been drastically reorganized. The S'oshans are aggressively putting their own unique stamp on the Oceanuusian way of life.
There are eight levels of Hydromancy. Most students only learn up to the fifth level. The seventh level has been achieved by those on the Hydromantic Council and the eighth level is the Archmage. The levels, expressed as Fathoms, in order from neophyte to expert are as follows:
First Fathom - Tasi Ke'ana
Second Fathom - Vai Ke'ana
Third Fathom - Hina Ke'ana
Fourth Fathom - Aro Ke'ana
Fifth Fathom - Tea Ke'ana
Sixth Fathom - Noni Ke'ana
Seventh Fathom - Maru Ke'ana
Eighth Fathom - Elua Ke'ana
The Seventh Fathom (the Maru Ke'ana) is the Hydromantic Council of Seven in Southern Oceanuus. Each member of the council is called a Wave (Noari) of the Council. The Official title is Noari (last name).
All the Hydromancers are called the ranks of the Ino'a te Noari'a, the 'Followers of the Wave'.
Hydromancy works two ways: A Hydromancer can draw either from the resources within themselves or without. Drawing on the Gift within is easier, but drains the Hydromancer faster. Drawing power from the outside (ley lines) is more difficult, but the Hydromancer can sustain a spell (or group of spells) longer this way. Drawing on both at the same time for extra power is possible, but not taught to all students, as this technique has been known to drain some Hydromancers into a comatose state. Only those considered strong enough in their Gift are taught this technique. As a matter of course, this applies to mages of the highest levels. The quantity of water in an area or distance that the water must move is the most limiting factor on spells except for the most advanced practitioners of hydromancy. Temperature also effects the ability to move and to control the water at lower levels until this is overcome by the understanding and manipulation of the very nature of water and the forces that bind it.
Keiki e Kala'una, the training center for aspiring hydromancers, is located in an underground cavern on the Big Island. It is said that its landward entrance is guarded by maze.
Tasi Ke'ana are taught the touch of the waters. Spells and talents are limited to very simple basics. They learn centering, discipline and concentration techniques, as well as the theory of magic. Typical spells: Find Water, Predict Tide, Mark the Path (Water Mark).
Vai Ke'ana teaches the movement of water until the waves thrown to the shore grow in magnitude and force. Here before the apprentices' eyes, they watch their powers grow as the droplets hear their voices, responding, moving together within their element. Typical spells: Mirage/blur with water (increasing size of blur with increasing power), Obscuring Mist, Mist/Fog, Water Bandage, Slick Surface, Locate Sea Creature, Identify Sea Creature (ability, not spell).
Hina Ke'ana begins the ability to change the density of water. Students learn to call the water forth from the land, from the sky, or from within. They learn to pull a cup of water from the air. This is the fathom at which the learning of spells truly begins as focus widens. Typical spells: Water Breathing, Precipitation, Speak with Fish, Illusion with water droplets (simple mirages at first), Quench Non-magical Fire, Detect Invisibility, Create Water (even in dry areas), Influence Sea Creature, Water Shield (increases protection with increasing power).
Aro Ke'ana works on increasing the concentration to strengthen and widen the focus of the magical ley lines. As the force of the mancer's concentration grows stronger, they are able to bind and move the droplets in great spouts and waves. They can raise geysers from the ground, raise large waves to roll about the Imperial fleet offering their protection. Typical spells: Geyser, Surface Tension, Drizzle/Sleet Storm, Water Ball, Water Walk.
Tea Ke'ana touches on opening the third, or inner, eye to see the ethereal, to sense what one cannot touch -- where believing is seeing. With this skill they are able to part the waters, or bring them smashing together. They learn to understand the laws and the nature of the waves themselves and to use water and begin to move water wherever it is: in the air, in ice, in rock. It is this level of accomplishment, where all but the best, all but the most gifted end their quest. Typical spells: Lower Water & Raise Water (level dependent), Scrying Pool, Summon Sea Creature, Wall of Water, Water Sphere/Protection from Fire, Warp Wood, Stone or Soil to Mud, Dry Mud (desiccate inanimate objects), Water Rope/Chain, Water Fist, Quick Rust, Shape Change.
Noni Ke'ana continues the tightening of focus. They can become one with the water. Teleportation becomes possible if a body of water equal to the displacement of the mage is available. The tides themselves can be altered and whole ships -- even ten ships, with a strong mancer -- can be hidden in a mist of water that is almost invisible to most eyes. Typical spells: Teleportation, Dehydrate, Drown (water lung), Influence Tide, Strengthen Waves, Solid Fog, Guards and Wards.
Maru Ke'ana is the Hydromantic Council of Six. There are few who know the spell effects that can be achieved at this level. Let us say that they may not even know themselves, the limits of their power. It is impossible for a Wave to drown, since they can breath the water itself. The nature of water is part of them. Typical spells: Polymorph into sea creature that breathes water, Tidal Wave, Rainbow Bridge, Hail, Cage of Water, and many more combinations and more powerful versions of aforementioned spells.
Elua Ke'ana (the Archmage), the manifestation of living water. The Living Expression of Water. The Archmage can be seen as one would see any other inhabitant of the continent -- Or as a mirage standing before you, the element walking and recognized, but quick to disappear and run like fluid beneath a door, into the sands of the desert, through the seams of mountain stone, to drift through the air, and then reappear, reconstituted. This feat may be attempted by only the most highly practiced of Mages, and it is from this ability that the Archmage receives his title. The secrets of the Archmage are the culmination of the knowledge of all the lower fathoms.
It is the rare individual indeed that learns either the tongue or the ways of the Merfolk. In the frigid waters of the north those below the water learn that their thoughts will speak to others and move the waters.
Among the peoples of the Frigin Sea it is rumored that there is not one, but two Archmages -- One 'above' and one 'below.' Rumors, too, surround the manner in which these two are linked like twins, each feeling -- each knowing the other...
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