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Exposition on the contents of the Metanovae Astrae

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Being a family originally derived from the ancient stargazers of Chaldea, the Jikan Magic Crest is attuned to the Foundation created and cultivated by their parent clan. The Metanovae Astrae is based on the model of the constellations, initially allowing it to tap into the Mystery of the stars, but this had to be adjusted over the years to instead derive from asterisms instead - hence the name. It is a hybrid of various astrological systems from around the world and across history. Rather than relying on a specific record or catalogue, it instead draws from the human tendency to impose meaning upon the constellations.

In other words, it is a supersystem that exists on a level above mere astrology, and so it can operate in any part of the world by invoking mythopoesis. Because it draws on constellations rather than stars, the Mystery is not that of the physical stars themselves, but of the human information inscribed upon them. One could say that its function is to transform the “sphere of the fixed stars” into a “sphere of animus”. Primarily using the Twelve Great Constellations still housed by stargazers even in modern times as a system of elements, the Astrae provides a variety of effects depending on which stars are invoked, as each of the constellations and sometimes some individual stars hold a great degree of information within the collective human consciousness. To put it another way, the stars function as an index of complex concepts. Due to following the motions of the heavens rather than the earth, the Foundation itself has a Noble attribute.

Constellations, especially the Twelve Great Constellations, tend to have attributes attached to them from the Five Great Elements in western Magecraft. As such, it is rare that one is able to realise more than around a quarter of the potential in the Astrae. That said, because Ether is strongly associated with the stars, it is possible to make use of any asterism if one has that affinity, causing those aligned with Ether to be uniquely valuable to the Metanovae as a kind of false Average One in the context of this Magecraft.

Astral Logic is the unique Sorcery Trait of the Metanovae, and the only one that they ever perfected. Using the information imposed on the sky by humans - the formulae that compose the Astrae - it is possible to impose that same information from the stars upon the world to enact nature interference. To put it another way, this is a Sorcery Trait that takes in an asterism as an element and interprets it as a cluster of concepts, and these concepts can be imposed upon the material world. As a Magecraft, it is not especially impressive by the standards of the clan’s peers: its effects are ultimately little beyond the likes of high-level transmutation, not unlike more advanced uses of Reinforcement or Alteration. That said, the ability to sculpt something on a conceptual level should not be thought of as a trivial power by any stretch.

This culminates in Spirit Genesis, a ritual that makes up the fruit of the generations of the Metanovae family’s research. Its current form was first completed around 200 CE, and further refinements across various iterations have opened up its versatility to an astonishing degree. It is an extremely commendable High-Thaumaturgy that can be said to be the one and only “great achievement” belonging solely to the Metanovae when it comes to Magecraft. As a clan that contributed a large amount to the development of the Fifth Imaginary Factor, they have an in-depth understanding of its mechanisms that they have passed down.

Despite its rank and complexity, it is a process that is easy to understand. By forcing the casting of a spell to fail, an Ether Clump is produced. As Ether is the basis for a spiritual body, it is possible to then implant information into the Ether Clump using Astral Logic, shaping it into an artificial Ghost Liner by using spiritual evocation techniques while carefully layering the imposition of concepts in a manner similar to a curse. The concepts are not formative components, but rather directive information on the behaviour of the Ether Clump, and thus by changing the laws that govern it, it is possible to completely change its nature. This is without doubt their signature Magecraft, the expression of their craft that approaches the First.

The resulting artificial spirit can vary wildly in terms of its material form, ranging from shikigami-like beings to something more comparable to a summoned Heroic Spirit’s manifestation of their Noble Phantasm. However, they are constructed strictly as machines. They do not have personalities, and while they may demonstrate some quirks from time to time, those quirks are always expressions of the creator rather than any kind of independent will. Despite appearances, they are not true familiars, and are something closer to automata.

Ren has made something of an advancement of his own, being able to vastly reduce the casting time simply by changing the construction sequence. Ordinarily, Ether Clumps would be shaped layer by layer, but by importing the asterism’s information (already stored in his Magic Crest) into his magical energy whilst it is still inside his own body, it becomes possible for the Ether Clump to spontaneously take shape as an extremely crude spirit immediately - a casting technique he has nicknamed Null Count as it reduces the spell size to that of a Single-Action and removes the need for an incantation. While these spirits break down extremely quickly, they are remarkably potent, allowing him to cast Spirit Genesis with a single asterism for instantaneous use.

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Catalogue of constellations:
Aries
♈︎ The Golden Ram and its famous Fleece. Sired by Neptune and a nymph descended from Sol, it rescued Phrixus, and its wool became a legendary magical item coveted as one of the highest of Greek mythology. The constellation thus encompasses the concepts of “protection”, “wealth”, “kingship”, and “triumph”.

As an element incorporated into a spirit, it has the most basic function of expanding its magical energy reserves, allowing it to process outputs on a mildly increased scale. This is not its primary function, however - it first and foremost is used to elevate the rank of a spirit using this magical energy, thus allowing it to operate at a higher order than usual. In this way, the power of the spirit can be artificially increased on a qualitative level rather than a quantitative one, and in turn it allows it to take priority over other spirits, especially when interacting with other creations of Spirit Genesis that do not have Aries incorporated into their structure. On a pragmatic level, the concept of protection is also not to be understated. Combined with the elevated rank of the spirit, a great bonus to defensive power is granted, shielding it from damage through a kind of “astral armour” that reduces the effect of any and all incoming influences. With a dedicated spirit of sufficient size, even blocking high-ranked Noble Phantasms is possible.

This astral armour is also applied through the use of Ren’s Null Count, allowing him to protect himself from damage. Furthermore, the magical energy will naturally form a barrier when expelled using the constellation of Aries. While a barrier of pure magical energy is usually not too efficient, the cost-effectiveness is significantly raised by Aries’s tendency to elevate its own quality as an existence, meaning that the armour class of the barrier is automatically amplified upon creation. Whether circulating through Ren’s body or expelled as a shield, the defensive quality does not particularly change. Obviously, he considers Aries’s Null Count to be his most critical Magecraft in combat.
Taurus
♉︎ The Divine Bull. Although originally the Bull of Heaven owned by the goddess Inanna, the meaning of the sign has changed since then along with its name. It refers to the Divine Beast form of Jupiter, who took the guise of a bull to lure in Europa. This constellation contains the concepts of “heaven”, “lightning”, “order”, and “justice”. Due to the specific episode it encompasses, “fascination” is also included as a bonus.

A spirit constructed with Taurus as a basis can enforce a specific “order”, causing behaviours and traits to be bolstered in prominence. In other words, it is basically just a high-potency form of ordinary Reinforcement. Normally, the Reinforcement would be generic strengthening, but when combined with other asterisms, it becomes possible to focus the effect on some specific elements of the spirit’s vessel. Due to the concept of fascination, it is possible to even enforce order on a mental level, casting a charm effect.

Because Jupiter possesses the attribute of a king of the gods who holds the authority to even transform things into gods, it is also possible to replicate a kind of quasi-divinity if time is taken to properly apply it. The vessel does not become divine in itself, but acts as though it has been imparted with divine will, meaning that it can interact with other systems as though it has divinity.

Furthermore, in recent generations, the lightning attribute has become more pronounced than it had been originally due to electricity becoming something within reach of humanity, thus allowing the transfer between magical and electrical energy. This allows Taurus to generate and manipulate electricity to a certain extent, although this is without a doubt one of the weakest powers of Astral Logic as there are few practical applications.

When used with Null Count, these effects can be achieved on a singular basis. Ren can cast Reinforcement on anything he can fill with his magical energy, including his own body if the magical energy is not expelled. If it is expelled, but not into any specific vessel, then the magical energy will disperse into the air as electricity. Like all Reinforcement, it can be cast on others, albeit with great difficulty. Failure to actualise the strengthening instead results in a charm-type mental interference.
Gemini
♊︎ The divine twins, known to the Greeks as Castor and Pollux. Pollux is said to have shared his immortality with his brother. These stars thus contain the concepts of “entanglement”, “duality”, and “overlap”.

As a function of a greater spirit, Gemini can be used to establish two-way communication with a specific target or party. Differing to a contract, it is only strictly an exchange of information - or rather, an exchange of concepts. Reflecting the incident in which the immortal twin shares that nature with the mortal twin, this can be selectively used to share traits between the paired. In the case of Astral Logic, the sharing of concepts is naturally extremely useful, but it is limited somewhat in breadth due to its strictly dualistic nature. Beyond just two parties, the cost-effectiveness and even the stability of the Logic is strained exponentially.

As a Null Count, it is normally a kind of Projection. By targeting something on a conceptual level, a conceptual duplicate can be created, causing the spirit to take the form of the target through a means similar to the shapeshifting of certain spiritual beings. It is also possible to “interchange” two objects by connecting them together, causing an exchange between their states, although to do so in any depth requires a great deal of time and effort. It theoretically can even be used to store a copy of a spell that Ren did not originally cast. When not externalised, it can change his appearance to a target using the concept of another person, but he can also make another person appear as himself in the same way. The communication is not ongoing as just a Null Count, so the “state” will remain the same even if the original changes.
Cancer
♋︎ The crab that wounded Heracles during his combat with the Hydra, a Divine Beast who championed the goddess Juno Lucina. Contains the concepts of “cycles”, “protection of life”, “vitality”, “youth”, and “purification”. Due to the western astrology's conflation of Juno and Luna, “the moon” is also included.

As a component of a spiritual system, Cancer is of unusually high intensity. Its most notable function is the establishment of temporal cycles, enabling the system to loop itself in time. So long as it has sufficient magical energy to do so, it will revert back to its state at the beginning of the cycle, including replenishing any magical energy lost or spent in the interim. In addition, any special conditions can be reset, and even wear and damage can be reversed entirely. This is primarily done to ensure the long-term establishment of a creation of Spirit Genesis by maintaining its “youth”.

As a Null Count, the likes of temporal manipulation would be much too extreme. Instead, Ren often opts for the imposition of the concept of “cycles” by itself in a fairly simple way, forcing something to “return to how it was”. While this would function as a healing or repair spell in most circumstances, it has a number of useful applications from defence, to investigation, to simply dispelling effects applied to something, to making a thrown object come back to him. Naturally, if he is to repair an object or some similar act, all the pieces must be present for this to work properly.
Leo
♌︎ The Nemean Lion, a monster immune to the creations of mankind as a living anti-human singularity. It is associated with the concepts of “victory”, “conquest over nature”, and “valour”, but also negates the concept of “humanity”.

Leo's primary function as a component of a spirit is to react to the influences surrounding it. For example, it may be used to cause the spirit's output to magnify in response to high amounts of external magical energy. Due to having the concept of both Heracles's exploit (victory over nature) and the Lion's own power (rejection of humanity), it also grants high effectiveness versus things both connected to humanity and to the planet. Because of the concepts “victory” and “valour”, this asterism is most effective in a combat scenario.

As a Null Count, Leo generates an anti-human, anti-nature singularity on a very small scale, only within the borders of the Ether Clump’s actual shape. Due to being “the weapon of the brave”, magical energy imparted with the constellation Leo has a tendency to shape itself into a sword, but can be forced into other forms as well.
Virgo
♍︎ The goddess Ceres, presiding over agriculture and the harvest, head of the Aventine Triad who preside over the common folk. Though in Greek tradition it is the goddess Astraea, Roman tradition holding Ceres as the constellation is more advantageous from the position of Magecraft due to Libra also representing Astraea. Contains the concepts of “people”, “fertility”, “work”, “cultivation”, “nourishment”, and “contracts”.

When incorporated into a spirit, Virgo’s function is to grant the authority for the mediation of contracts. Specifically, it issues binding pacts between parties, usually for the purposes of sharing energy - be it life force, magical energy, or mental energy - or the products of said energy’s expenditure. For example, it would be plausible to establish a contract that allowed either or both parties to cast spells at their own position with their own Circuits that appear at the other party’s location. Furthermore, this can be used to share thoughts and establish telepathic networks, although Ren finds this rather dubious. These contracts can be beneficial or malevolent, but perhaps due to the leftover influence of the goddess of justice, it is difficult to make them unfair. In addition, the capacity for interfacing with the land is a natural addition to the purview of the spirit aligned with agriculture. It goes without saying that this is an exceptionally useful constellation for those who would want to establish a workshop.

As a Null Count, Ren typically uses Virgo to rest and recuperate. Thanks to its connections with the earth, it becomes possible to tap into leylines to recover stamina both physical and magical through the life force coursing through the land. When expelled, it can also increase the efficiency of the transfer of energy between himself and someone else, but if it is not expelled to anyone in particular, it will become a nourishingly warm light that slowly emanates its magical energy to those around it. To generalise, the basic purpose of Virgo’s Null Count is to allow others to receive the energy he has expelled. Ren is also fond of a special technique wherein this is applied to something edible, allowing food and drink to regenerate magical energy at an exceptionally high rate - if one were to compare it to something, a MP potion would be appropriate.
Libra
♎︎ The scales of the goddess Astraea, who was born in the Golden Age as an immortal human and apotheosised in the Iron Age to escape the immorality and greed of mankind. Contains the concepts of “balance”, “guidance”, “impartiality”, and “judgement”.

As a function, Libra has the capacity to detect, solve for, and target imbalances in a system. To put it more simply, it is an optimiser for difference-spotting. On its own, this makes it an effective tool for divination, as it will be able to point out solutions to problems that might normally be in a human’s cognitive or sensory blind spots. By evaluating irregularities in physical structures, it is possible to find hidden places; by evaluating them in a social context it is possible to point out falsehoods. Essentially, Libra is an element that negates and punishes perjury. At the same time, it is possible to pressure imbalances of a physical nature - especially pertaining to forces - to cancel them out and cause them to become balanced again.

As a Null Count, Ren can use this to balance forces with his own magical energy when expelled, protecting against everything from speeding vehicles to gravity. Essentially, a parlour trick to slow and stop things. However, by circulating it through his body and focusing in his mind on something in particular, he can also attempt to grant guidance to that thing. It is very useful for finding lost objects, but requires a clear focus and image, so it is functionally impossible to sense unknown things with it. Regardless, Ren thinks of it as his own personal built-in GPS. As if to complement Capricorn, it can also be used as a kind of Pure Eye that will calculate strengths and weaknesses.
Scorpio
♏︎ Corresponding to the constellation of Scorpius, representing the divine scorpion listed among Orion’s various attested causes of death which broke the heart of the goddess Artemis. Contains the concepts of “pride”, “venom”, “death”, and “severance”.

A corrosive element that is not diluted when incorporated into a spirit. As the killer of Orion and the one who eliminated the tether between the moon goddess and humanity, its pride elevates it to the level in which there is no contract, bond, nor tether that it cannot break with sufficient application of its venom. A spirit using Scorpio can be used to burn connections of any sort that it should target, and for that reason is considered to be the most dangerous when misused. Able to break even its connection to its own creator and erode any binds to restrict it, spirits with Scorpio as a core component will inevitably become a mass of curselike spiritual poison that is indiscriminately lethal to that which touches it: rotting flesh, rusting metal, and even vaporisation as the bonds between atoms are broken. For obvious reasons, it is extraordinarily effective against the likes of the undead who are already decaying. Fortunately, the quantity of the scorpion's poison is decidedly finite under normal circumstances, as it is the result of continuously converting its own mass into death itself. Despite this, because it is merely applying concepts, it is extraordinarily efficient in the purity of its toxicity.

Ren is hesitant to use this as a Null Count - which is to say, import it into his body - for obvious reasons. Its function when expelled will allow him to destroy almost anything that he applies it to, making it perfect as both an attack that burns through all defences and as a defence against which all attacks break. Spells, which are composed of magical energy and thus almost completely mutable with life force, are especially vulnerable. However, internal damage to his body and Circuits (and in his specific case nervous system) is guaranteed on some level directly proportional to the amount of magical energy outputted. Rapid onset necrosis is all but assured should he attempt to dissolve anything more substantial than one or two Single-Action spells. Fortunately, because he simply doesn't have much magical energy, he normally cannot actually kill himself with this, but if he were to somehow gain access to much more magical energy somehow…
Sagittarius
♐︎ The archer Chiron, who educated numerous demigods. In Greek mythology, a number of the greatest heroes credit the wisest of the centaurs for their tutelage. This constellation contains the concepts of “wisdom”, “teaching”, “foresight”, and of course “archery”.

When imparted through Spirit Genesis, the spirit in question can gain abilities of almost any kind so long as they fall under the category of “human skill”. This means while it is not able to bestow additional magical powers, Sagittarius is practically omnipotent when it comes to mundane tasks. A Sagittarius-imparted spirit will perform at the peak of human prowess and expertise at whatever it is designed to do, but it naturally cannot compete with superhuman beings with just this constellation. In particular, skills relating to healing, ranged combat, prediction, and the arts perform exceptionally. However, skills relating to the supernatural such as Magecraft inevitably have poor results due to being the skill of a demon rather than a human. It can still be used to improve one’s ability to study even in that case though.

As a Null Count, Sagittarius can be circulated through Ren’s body to grant him knowledge on a particular subject. Due to the purity of the learned information, it cannot be retained for very long, although he can remember how he did what he does with it for reference in future. The knowledge can even allow him future sight, and this future sight remains as a power of the magical energy even after it is expelled, causing it to take the form of homing projectiles that strike as though Chiron himself had shot them.
Capricorn
♑︎ Enki, also called Ea and Aos, the primordial Mesopotamian deity acting as the patron of humanity. Considered the lord and shaper of the earth and sea, he can be said to be the supreme god of the first religion in history, and handed down the various divine authorities of civilisation. These stars contain the concepts of “life”, “magic”, “intellect”, “creation”, and “knowledge”.

Spirits imparted with Capricorn are considered to be the strongest by far. It affirms that which carries it as a truly extant thing, allowing it to persist for far longer, and it can even grant the spirit intelligence and sentience in extreme cases. Similar to Taurus, just using Capricorn as a component for a spirit drastically strengthens each of the other parts. With thorough enough application, it can cause Magecraft to approach the realm of Magic, though it goes without saying that it requires a vast amount of both magical energy and expertise to do so, both of which Ren lacks.

As a Null Count, it could be called an artificial Pure Eye, letting Ren see and understand the composition of an object or event on sight. When used alongside Libra’s Null Count, the two form an RPG-like identification spell which informs Ren what he is looking at and advises him on the theoretically best way to handle it - useful in battle, but feels somehow sarcastic in social settings. Simultaneously, it also allows for a variant of thought acceleration in accordance with the demand that what is seen is understood. Ren can use this to “expand the number of thoughts he can have in a given time”, which also serves to dramatically increase his reaction time. When externalised, the magical energy will become water, although due to the double meaning of “freshwater” in Sumerian, it is possible to generate another liquid rich in magical energy that Ren would prefer to have struck from the record.
Aquarius
♒︎ Originally representing Ganymede, but now representing the celestial army of Yu-Lin from Chinese mythology due to the Metanovae’s eastern settlement. Contains the concept of “multitude”, “guarding”, and “assembly”, but also retains the concept of “carrying” from the western Aquarius.

Imparted through Spirit Genesis, the capacity for self-replication is granted to the system. By drawing in magical energy from outside sources, the spirit produces Ether, installing its own data into it through a means similar to mitosis. Naturally, the magical energy cost for replication is equal to the spirit replicating itself, but it can absorb this energy from any source available to it, from the land to specific targets. This means that it is possible to use Aquarius to create powerful “curses” that devour a target's life force. However, it is also more than capable of simplifying this function to simply expand the magical energy storage capacity of the spirit, or even adapt it to create smaller and simpler spirits. A large number of Aquarius-aligned spirits can also work in tandem to produce spirits larger than themselves. Overall, it is an extremely useful and versatile constellation, and a personal favourite of Ren’s.

As a Null Count, the effect is simply scaled down. A small autonomous spirit called an Aquarion is produced. They can be directed by Ren’s intentions and commands, similar to a familiar, due to the concept of “guarding”. However, they are created with the single function of storing magical energy, and they are capable of individually holding even less than Ren himself. As such, he relies on large numbers of them working together to support him in cases where he needs support from them. However, using the concept of “carrying”, an Aquarion can be made to "store” another, essentially fusing them together and increasing their capacity. Furthermore, they can be made to carry and replicate another spirit, allowing them to essentially transport and repeatedly cast another Null Count.
Pisces
♓︎ The Tritonic centaurs, especially Aphros and Bythos of Venus who aided her in her rise from the ocean. Contains the concept of “deliverance”, but can also access and invoke the Divine Spirit of Venus on a conceptual level.

Because the concept is of “Venus the entity”, accessing the
Authorities
domains
of “Venus the goddess” is difficult and impractical. However, when used with great care and effort, it is possible to invoke various aspects of Venus’s power within a generated spirit. In this case, “Venus” can be substituted based on an epithet invoked, but only one concept can come out of this. On top of that, the process is so complicated that Ren can’t make heads or tails of it… At least if he were to ever go up against Venus herself somehow, he would have an element specifically targeting her.

Besides that, the concept of “deliverance” is also perfectly useful. In particular, it allows the spirit to be both “mounted” and directed, making it critical for transportation. As well as ferrying objects, it is possible to allow it to also ferry people, although to do so is difficult and generally requires the input of other spirits, as an incorporeal mechanism generally cannot store or carry anything material.

As a Null Count, Ren is able to apply Pisces to “deliver” by allowing magical energy to flow into a target from his own body. This grants him a kind of tactile telekinesis, which effectively grants a strength boost in proportion to his magical energy. He can also apply this to himself, allowing him to better move at higher speeds, even underwater. In fact, it is possible to make short airborne dashes almost resembling flight this way, but actual flight would require a supply of magical energy that would be straining to his shoddy Circuits (not to mention nervous system) at best, so he broadly considers it a bad idea to try for anything more than a so-called “double jump”.
Hebitsukai-Za
⛎︎ The Serpent-Bearer. In the west, it is called Ophiuchus. In Roman mythology, it is said to represent Asclepius, the “founder of medicine”, who was struck down by Jupiter for the resurrection of the dead and became a god himself as the constellation. While often not included in western astrology, the concept of “Ophiuchus as a zodiacal sign” has achieved some popularity in Japan, much to Ren’s personal convenience as someone aligned with healing. A spirit imparted with this constellation contains the concepts of “healing”, “defiance of death”, and “resurrection”.

Properly constructed, the spirit can house itself within a living being to regenerate their wounds on command by using its composing Ether as fuel. If its vessel were to die, it can also take in any curses or corruptions that they have incurred into itself before burning its mass entirely in order to resuscitate them.

Although Ren developed it himself as a cheap and easy healing spell, it is extremely potent thanks to his natural affinity for it. As a Null Count, it heals wounds and cures other ills such as poisons, diseases, and even some minor curses thanks to the system’s astrological interactions with fate and karma.

Updated September 18th, 2022 at 12:07 PM by Random

Categories
Worldbuilding , Fate\last call

Comments

  1. DelRey's Avatar
    great read. i wonder why capricorn concentrates on enki when greek/rome uses a variant of Pan. With a few arguments, you couldve sold similar effects. All others, with exception of Aquarius, concentrate on the classic history, so it sticked out.
    The intro reminds me of your waifu girl and her gemstone foundation.