Symbols are designs etched, carved, or traced into alucinara-rich surfaces. They are used to interface with higher-order beings, or as a method of casting enchantments.
Symbols interface with Higher-Order beings and the First Laws due to the nature of the universe. The universe, having been created as an art piece by the Judges, is heavily connected design and order, meaning that any artwork can spawn strange effects.
This phenomenon is largely unnoticeable, irrelevant, or has no effects. The most effective way that it can express itself is through intricate designs in the presence of Alucinara. These designs are termed Symbols.
Some groups, such as the Morellic minikin, make use of Symbols. Knowledge of their existence is largely passed down through the generations. Minikin use Symbols by spitting Alucinara-rich saliva1 out onto objects and then tracing a design into their surface.
Sometimes, some species may add Symbols to their skin using tattoos or controlled scarring. This is done with caution however, as permanent symbols on a living being can be drastically detrimental if the symbol is botched. This is because living beings are rich in Alucinara, and the effect of the Symbol would not cool down and end.
# Charms and Curses
The specific design used can change the effect of the Symbol, allowing for the ability to enchant items and beings with certain charms or curses. Enchantment isn’t exclusive to Symbol use, but Symbols are the only way to cast a great amount of them.
For example, the charm of levitation can be cast by tracing the shape of a floating object, such as a bird or cloud, into an object, where it will begin to float. The curse of misfortune can be cast by tracing a skull into a boulder or rock, where it will fall over on top of the next person who walks beneath it.
Symbols are restricted by two factors:
- The durability of the object they are traced into, and
- The amount of Alucinarium fuelling the Symbol.
These two factors decide wether or not the symbol breaks apart after continued use and repeated tracing, and how long the effect last for.
As Alucinarium is used up when it is converted into energy, Symbols don’t last forever, they last until their Alucinara reserve is refilled. Settlement Councils generally maintain the reserves of charmed objects when they are integral to the infrastructure of a given community or civilisation.
In addition, the effectiveness of Symbols is also a factor. That is, the overall strength of the effect generated and length that it continues for.
Effectiveness is affected by the shape of the Symbol, certain features such consistency in shape and visual cohesiveness can affect how well a Symbol behaves. Sorcerers receive training in the technique of creating symbols, being taught the motifs that seem to please reality the most.