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Notes on Fate's Metaphysics/Magic

Discussion in 'General' started by TheRussianBear, Apr 21, 2021.

  1. TheRussianBear

    TheRussianBear Getting some practice in, huh?

    Mar 8, 2020
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    For the confused

    Note: This interpretation, and system of magic, relies on the Platonic conclusion that ideas are real. If you are a scientist, this is fairly intuitive, and probably not much of an assumption and more like a fact, but I'm no philosopher. Think what you like.

    The Root:
    • The origin and end of all things. It is, or is extremely closely associated with, conceptual nothingness, as you would expect. From ashes to ashes, dust to dust, we come from nothingness and that is what we will eventually become. It is The Truth, the one absolute in the universes.
    • It produces infinite 'Mysteries,' some of which manifest as physical Laws of Nature, if they happen to be closely associated with the Mysteries that comprise the physical world.
    • By approaching The Root, one can touch it and seemingly become a god. Or, they can approach it and return, and become a Magician wielding a True Magic.
    • True Ether is a physically-manifested Root/Origin. It is manifested nothingness, capable of being used in infinite ways, if one has the ability to call it up and use it, once manifested. In the Age of Man, only the First Magician seems capable of materializing this True Ether. The original First Magician is implied to have been Jesus Christ, or a close relation, and their magic was gifted in the night before his birth. If that is what happened, was the ability for humans to handle True Ether an important moment in the movement toward an Age of Man?

    • Stray things that fall from The Root, but interact in a limited or peripheral way with the physical world.
    • Some do not interact at all with any other Laws or Mysteries that connect with the physical world, but we’ll never know them. In that case, they may collect into gods that are alien to humanity and the physical world, Cthulhu being a good example. Beast VII is another example.
    • Mechanics:
      • A Mystery has a certain pool of effectiveness. The more people who have access to the Mystery, the less it is able to affect the physical world. No, this not an inherent property of Mysteries, just of the relationship between reality and Humanity.
      • I have no clue. Please discuss.
      • Maybe they're called Mysteries because they make my head hurt.
      • Okay, how about, a Mystery is a general feature of the world with unknown mechanisms. It comes straight from The Root, thus, is like a cog in the system. It has no deeper mechanics, it just is. It is a discrete packet of force, affecting something, because that's just how the universe works.
      • You can find a Mystery by studying a mystery? Yes.

    True Magic:
    • A miracle.
    • An impossibility made possible by a soul managing to throw themselves at The Root and take a novel Mystery for themselves. This Mystery is now bonded/essential to that soul.
    • Gods used to have a direct connection to The Root, so these miracles were common in the Age of Gods.
    • These Magics are often ridiculously powerful, due to their exclusive nature, and their sheer impossibility. For example, The Third Magic materializes the soul, creating human analogs to nature spirits. These are literally immortal, with a direct connection between their soul and the physical world, needing no core or circuits to bridge the gap. This should be impossible because a soul without a body always disappears from the physical world, and is utterly irretrievable. Thus, a miracle, and completely brokenly powerful.

    Magical Energy
    • A Mystery produced and used by ideas? Please discuss.
    • From souls, this can be used to facilitate the emergence of certain Mysteries into the physical world. How? What is the process?
      • The process: A man reaches into his imagination and 'makes contact' with the Mystery, then uses Gradation Air to manifest it.
      • I now understand why it is said that Mysteries deteriorate in effectiveness as more people begin accessing them. Every materialization makes a Mystery less exclusive, and Alaya begins to crack down on the new Mystery affecting her reality.
    • It is an energy currency like any other. Like ATP, a universally-transferrable store of energy. Well, ATP isn't nearly universal, but still a good comparison.
    • Note: I will be confusing mana and prana and od in this discussion. I don't think there is a meaningful difference in the substance, only in the producer, or refiner.

    Magical Circuits:
    • A connection between the soul and the body, transiting the mind and nerves.
    • Leylines are the analogous structures on The Earth.
    • Dragon or Goddess cores are like artificial souls, in the sense that they generate magical energy. They are distinct because they are mana generators, and nothing more. Do these cores exist in the soul, or more like a link between soul and body?

    Discussion Topics:
    • How do Magic Circuits work as Mysteries?
      • They have one function: Gradation Air, the materialization of imagined things.
      • Which Mysteries are tied to this function? How and where?
      • Note: Gradation Air is likely a magecraft technique. It is likely that the only property/Mystery of magic circuits is their ability to transfer magical energy from the soul to the physical world. However, I consider Gradation Air to be inextricably linked to circuits, somehow.
      • Note: Structural Grasping Magecraft is not a fundamental of magic circuits. It is an extension of the ability of mages to sense mana, not an inherent feature. In fact, it is likely an Emiya-family mystery, or a Shirou-only mystery. This really confused me for a long time, so I'm mentioning it here.
    • How does mana manifest Mysteries in the physical world?
      • Gradation Air. I'm dumb. Keeping this question here because it relates to and clarifies the topic just above this. This question is also answered in the 'Magical Energy' section.
    • How does magical energy relate to Mysteries?
      • As in, how are Mysteries affected by magical energy?
      • How is magical energy produced by Mysteries (such as souls)?
    • What is the difference between a Natural Law and a Mystery?
      • In Fate, there is hardly a difference. In the Age of Man, science is like a foundation that has stabilized The World. Alaya, the collective human unconscious, has knitted the Mysteries into a consistent structure that it enforces. Is this the fabric of the world, pinned by Rhongomyniad? Wiki says yes! That's super cool. Independent minds coming to the same conclusion is always a great way to verify something.
      • In Fate, Natural Laws were pattens in the world discovered through the Scientific Method, a philosophical framework for discovering objective properties in reality. This separation of reality and illusion, Law and Mystery, did not exist in the Age of Gods. Which Laws were first to undergo this process of separation and objectification? What seems to be the basis, the foundation, of this reality? What does this say about our own reality, or about our Scientific Method?

    Note: This system does not rely on Kant’s hypothesis regarding Phenomena and Noumena (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noumenon), but knowing about this controversial philosophy can help with understanding this material.

    Note: I'm making this because I can't find a thread for this, and I want this to show up on my account. I'm making a fic about Magecraft, and it's a tricky thing to understand. I just think it's too cool not to make something about it. I hope this seems more intuitive than what you can find on the Wiki.

    If you want to officially change this understanding, please cite your source.
  2. ShizaRiku

    ShizaRiku Know what you're doing yet?

    Aug 3, 2019
    Likes Received:
    For "Spiritual Evocation" magecraft there is borrowing powers from the past and try to learn them in the present. "Among magi, there are even those who attempted to let personalities of past lives possess their bodies in order to utilize their skills. These are the attempts to transcend time and inherit skills that one possessed before he was born." - Kara no Kyoukai - Volume 7: Murder Study (Part 2) - Shirazumi Lio /5 Though I don't know an example of this happening off hand, but demi-servants are an example of this.

    In Babylonia singularity Ereshkigal moved her underworld and was quite literally underground. You could travel to that mythical place. However, this changed.

    From this information it seems like the physics or metaphysics in this case? Will change overtime based on the current dominant powers. Hence Age of Gods and Age of Man. But, the word used is suppress. The "world", ayla or gaia, specifically suppresses magecraft. So It implies while you might be able to-do these things it will come at an increased cost due meddling.

    Things of the age of gods creatures got put into the Reverse Side or now reside there not specifically killed by the "world" (unless it was an agent sent by the "world"). The environment where humans were just became inhospitable rather than them not being able to exist at all.
    • With how Avalon (scabbard) was found, that Shirou had in FSN, and being the actual scabbed lost, rather than being a Nobel Phantasm summoned by a Heroic Spirit, was still functioning.
    • "A God Spirit Class Servant should naturally possess Authorities, but to use them in the modern age requires a corresponding compensation to be paid (involving strain/damage inflicted on the user)." Fate/EXTRA material - Encyclopedia: Authority [Miracle], p.179
    • "Originally, this holy spear is the "pillar of light" that fasten together the two sides of the world (reality and illusions) itself, and it has been said that, in the unlikely event that this is undone, reality will be tear off from the world." Altria Pendragon (Alter - Lancer) Translation I think the wiki did better describing the effect this will have, but here is the source.
    With these facts I think that the physics didn't change, but rather are being suppressed to support a view of how things function. Not believing in things may give them less power, but a fairy can still mess with you in modern times. (Was a plot of an episode in Case Files of Lord El-Melloi II)
  3. Threadmarks: Edit #1: Spiritual Evocation and the Reverse Side of the World

    TheRussianBear Getting some practice in, huh?

    Mar 8, 2020
    Likes Received:

    Spiritual Evocation:
    • “One of the Thaumaturgical Systems that allows one to summon beings or perform spiritual possession.” Fate Wiki, Day 4 of Fate Stay/Night.
    • Categories:
      • Invocation: a magecraft technique that attracts a higher being/spirit into oneself.
      • Evocation: a magecraft technique that attracts a higher being/spirit to a point in time and space.
    • This is an entire field of modern magecraft, so I’d guess there are a lot of Mysteries and ways to get these results. The Holy Grail summoning system uses a very energy-intensive summoning process, with elements of the Second Magic and Third Magic, the Matou binding magecraft, and the Einzbern wish magecraft, all to make a very powerful ritual that evokes powerful spirits. There are many examples of the summoning of, or communion with, lesser spirits, within the series.
    • As EMIYA (Archer) shows in Fate UBW, a spirit can come from the future or past. Merlin (FGO) discusses this as well, noting that he can be summoned by the grail system from the future by virtue of ‘not being alive’ during the era of Babylon.
    • Uses:
      • Spiritual possession to gain knowledge or techniques.
      • Spiritual evocation to gain access to certain miracles, magecrafts, Mysteries, or techniques, that are not otherwise available.
      • Independent Manifestation (skill/spell).
      • Partial or complete reincarnation, as seen by Michael Valdamjong, who has his own independent manifestation technique. Invocation, rather than evocation.
    • Discussion:
      • These spirits often have thrones. Their souls are said to have been upraised and engraved into human history. Is likely to be an inherent property of Alaya, or an active process done by them?
      • What are some of the mechanics of possession? Surely there are many ways one can use a Mystery to become possessed, but what can that look like?
        • Two souls can inhabit one body.
        • One soul can resonate with another soul in another time and place, to produce a sympathetic relationship or bond.
        • Et cetera.
      • A nature spirit or fairy is often still alive when possessing or interacting with humans. They, like Merlin or Faye have simply come from the Reverse Side of the World. This is not always the case. If a nature spirit is actually dead, is it possible to evoke them back into the world, even if they never had a Throne, a place, in human history? Also, is it possible for a nature spirit to be independent of humanity?

    Reverse Side of the World:
    • A dimension that exists apart from the physical world, similar in nature, but not composition, to:
      • Imaginary Number Space, which is a dimension of the world that exists alongside but apart from the physical world. If the physical world is composed of real numbers, this dimension seems to be composed of imaginary numbers. This analogy is likely due to the imaginary unit (i), which is always multiplied by a real number in a way similar to how imaginary number space is always constructed in reference to the physical world, with the component of imagination added into the process. Feel free the debate this, sources seem slim.
      • Reality Marbles (especially those comprising the Moon Cell), which are a swapping of one’s inner world with the physical world. In the Age of Man, this technique is extremely costly, and temporary.
    • The other interesting layer of reality. It sits ‘above’ the Earth layer of the world, the base, and ‘below’ the physical world, which has become overcome by Alaya and the Age of Man, as described earlier. https://typemoon.fandom.com/wiki/Texture
    • Description: A dimension where spirits still roam, as the environment is still agreeable to them. The Age of Gods still persists, and therefore, Mystery is still dominant over the natural laws established by Alaya, with spells having comparatively high magical return on investment, facing little resistance.
    • Note: this is not one single area, more like a collection of dimensions that are similar in nature.
    • Gates:
      • ‘Avalon,’ the sheath of King Arthur
      • ‘Garden of Avalon,’ the noble phantasm of Merlin, that manifests Avalon on the earth.
      • Whatever Seig did at the end of Fate/Apocrypha, likely some inherent property of dragons. Whatever Jenne D’Arc does to find him.
      • A wish on a Holy Grail.
      • Whatever Bedivere, Shirou, Merlin, and King Arthur do that brings them to Avalon.
      • Whatever Francis Drake did with their ship, The Golden Hind, which brought them to Avalon.
      • A Mystery contained in Wills Codrington’s Fairy Eyes/The Marburry Workshop.
      • Physically digging into the earth. In the era of Babylon, this is possible, and you will find yourself in Kur. After the advent of the Age of Man, over two millennia ago, this option seems to be no longer available, as shown in the case of the dragon Albion.
    • Discussion:
      • How does the Reverse Side of the World differ from the two imaginary dimensions?
      • How do the three layers: Earth, Reverse Side, and Physical, compare to each other in mechanics or appearance?
      • (sidenote) In the Age of Gods, without the corrective pressure of Alaya, would a Reality Marble just be its own stable dimension?

    • Thanks for pointing to that Case Files episode, would not have considered it!
    • Metaphysics is just the study of Physics, which is just the study of physics. How meta!
    • This all comes from the Fate Wiki. I won’t actually try to cite, because that would kill me.
    trustworthyCounselor likes this.
  4. ShizaRiku

    ShizaRiku Know what you're doing yet?

    Aug 3, 2019
    Likes Received:
    For specifically Heroic Spirits they reside in the Throne of Heroes. It exists "outside of both the World and the time axis". - Fate/complete material III: World material - Records of Heavens Feel - Servant System: Difference between Heroic Spirits and Servants, p.012
    They are closer in nature to Elementals, a general term for spiritual bodies, than wraiths, ghosts and apparitions. Of note it is a type of Mystery that its "foundations" cannot be replicated by Magecraft. - Fate/side material - Encyclopedia: Heroic Spirits [Circumstances], p.056
    Summed up you can't make one purely though Magecraft, but "granted form using human imagination as a container, they are entirely woven from the ideals of people all throughout.". So you need to make a legend or something. Fate/side material - Encyclopedia: Heroic Spirits [Circumstances], p.056

    Most things that die, stay dead. Souls get recycled when they pass into the Root. So it would take a miracle/magic (not magecraft) to revive someone. Fairies are extensions of the planet and natures touch. Kara no Kyoukai Special Pamphlet - Encyclopedia: Faeries [Others], p.041
    Heroic Spirits can be gods under special conditions, so non-human super elementals, and the case of Amakusa, if I'm reading stuff right, because he was cheat summoned in Apocrypha hes a valid summon in Fate Grand Order. So if you can make a legend and maybe some special circumstance they can be summoned.

    On the topic of textures, specifically the Norse Texture, the name implies it is a local texture where the Norse were, geographically speaking. This might mean that the local spiritual land is tied to or influenced by a texture. This could have led to the Matou since they were incompatible with the spiritual land. This isn't official as it was never explained why they were incompatible, but an interesting theory. What is official is depending on how you use magecraft or a mystery you might be limited to an area. It is possible to not have your magecraft or mystery tied to a local area. This can be done through "orally transmitted teachings, the limited inheritance in clans, etc." - Fate/complete material III: World Material - Theory of Magic - Magecraft: Land and Thaumaturgy, p.043

    Another interesting observation is how they mention dragons specifically generate mana, magic energy, and how there are less of them. "Dragons are creatures that generate magical energy merely by breathing, their lungs acting as spiritual worlds, and they possess traits from other types of monsters." - Fate/EXTRA CCC Into a heart inside a heart and The DDD scenes.
    In Babylonia, Da Vinci explaines modern mana is Ether and the Age of Gods's mana is True Ether.
    Noted in other timelines is how the magic energy levels are decreasing. It's interesting to note coincidence. Its stated in the Mooncell timelines and magical girl timelines and its a noted in the main timelines.