Salinan School

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Creation is one entity, and Essence is how it thinks.


Salinan Sorcery

The Salinan school of sorcery was born of the work of the Solar Exalt Salina during the Golden Age, on the concept of Creation as a ‘world mind’. While some might take the idea of a ‘World Mind’ to mean a shared consciousness amongst all of Creation’s beings, Salina and her students had no interest in such a limited approach, nor were they swayed by the arguments of the Devonian School that Essence followed some Golden Rule or even a combination of static laws. Instead, Salinans studied Creation as if it were a being in of itself, a single mind whose structures of logic and memory manifested as the physical world, whose ideals formed the concepts and insubstantial elements of Creation, and whose dreams and inspiration were the living things within it. Salina drew some elements for her theories from the cults of the Earth Mother, which exalted the Primordial Gaia as being Creation itself, her being in Yu-Shan her mind and Creation her body. Salina disagreed with this premise, viewing Gaia as an expression or avatar of Creation’s mind, a mouthpiece which could voice its most comprehensible expressions.


Because all things exist as part of a single mind, all things are interconnected, and the power of sorcery was one individual, one thought, gaining limited influence over Creation’s thinking as a whole.


As sorcerers and sorcery are forms of thought within a mind, Salinan sorcerers believe the greatest source of sorcerous and occult knowledge is Creation itself. The dance of a Flame Duck in a desert pyre can be replicated in the flickers of one’s anima, motes can be woven in strands like a spider assembling its web, and in so doing the sorcerer’s mind becomes closer to the world mind, and as one’s thoughts draw parallel to the other is a spell shaped.


The Salinan School at first struggled to find support amongst the Twilight Castes of the Solar Exalted, many adherents instead coming from the more rustic factions of the Lunar Exalted and Wood-aspected Dragonblooded. Salina herself eschewed working in laboratories and libraries, instead taking to the field to immerse herself in Creation’s mind in hopes of deeper understanding, an approach which meant she was little involved in the fierce factional debates between the sorcerous schools and their political allies. Howver, the school experienced a sudden shift when the great sorcerer Devon, long a staunch opponent of Salina and founder of what was at the time the most widely followed of Sorcerous Schools, suddenly cast a great spell which destroyed all the sorcerous texts he had written, and handed his powerful school at Sperimin over to her along with all its coffers and resources. Daric then vanished from Creation.


Though many have debated the meaning of the gift, and Salina herself was taken by surprise, the Salinan School holds that in his quest for his Golden Rule, Devon’s thoughts came into line with those of Creation and he realized the absolute truth of Salina’s system, destroying himself and his works to encourage the rulers of Creation to support the Salinan way. Certainly his action pushed a number of Solar Exalts into shifting from a Devonian outlook and obsession with magitech engineering in Creation’s Factory Cathedrals to deeper study of the natural world and thought, causing a flourishing of imaginative creations in the field of biogenesis and mind control. But the most lasting legacy of Salina was still to come.


The massive resources bequeathed them by Devon, and a massively invigorated sense of their own correctness, pushed Salina and her followers to deeper studies and more ambitious projects, beginning with the establishment of the Calibration Feast to unite Solar sorcerers for discussion and to keep each other from summoning the most potent demons during that brief window of time, and culminating in the Salinan Working, which used Salinan understanding of Creation’s nature and Devonian studies of the Shinma to carry out a transformation that was felt across the whole of Creation.


According to some savants (the angry proponents of the Darician School and the Sidereal Exalted loudest amongst them), the Salinan Working changed Creation to its very core, encoding what were once rituals and teaching methods for sorcery directly into reality so that would-be-sorcerers were naturally lead down the path to awakening, causing spells to write themselves into the flights of birds and the pattern of sun upon leaves in sheltered groves for sorcerers to stumble upon if their minds were open. The Salinans themselves hold that they changed nothing about Creation, that their Working shifted the minds of all living things to be more in line with the world mind of Creation, the path to sorcerous awakening and the spells found revealed in nature not new at all but having always been there. Given that, before the Working, Salinans learned all their spells in this manner, they felt their position to be quite sound.


Today, while other schools lead students through their own specific courses of study to awaken understanding of sorcery, Salinan sorcerers tend to come to their art naturally, and those who come to their art naturally tend to be Salinan sorcerers: somehow the events of a would-be-sorcerer’s life seem to guide them through the Five Ordeals whether they are aware of their destination or not, and Salinan sorcerers find nature itself provides relevations on spellcraft which no amount of reading tomes or practicing rituals can accomplish. From barbarian shamans to meditating hermits to precocious peasants gripped by unbounded curiosity, people across Creation awaken to and embrace the Salinan School.


The study of natural Creation and the thoughts of the ‘world mind’ leads Salinan sorcerers towards spells that affect the natural world, and those for delving into and influencing the minds of others. Salinan sorcerers view demons as alien to Creation, their presence tainting the thoughts of the World Mind, and thus demon summoning is a difficult and rarely-undertaken art amongst members of the school.


Salinan Spells

Salinan Absorption

Source: Adapted from the White Treatise pp.22


School Minimums: Awareness (Ability) 3.


A Salinan sorcerer believe that everyone is an individual thought in a universal consciousness, and that all Essence flows most freely in its natural state. Such characters can see meaning and connections in the most surprising things, and demonstrate a sensitivity to insights from the natural world... the effect of the Salinan Working is that those with such perspectives and sensitivities find themselves naturally drawn onto the path of Sorcerous Initiation.


Counterspell of Mind: Understanding that her self is simultaneously hers alone and part of Creation’s own nonlocal consciousness, the Salinan sorcerer can use Emerald Countermagic against any unnatural mental influence, as long as it is backed by an Essence or Artifact rating no higher than half her own (round up).


Insight from Nature: A Salinan sorcerer can pull information from the lay of Creation itself (perhaps due to the ripples of the Salinan Working), perceiving truths in the play of shadow on leaves, deriving insights from the duels of stag beetles in the dirt, and so on. Whenever his player rolls a threshold of five successes on any Perception or Intelligence roll involving the natural world of Creation, the Storyteller imparts a piece of relevant, important information to their present circumstances (though not necessarily directly related to the subject of the roll). This Insight can sometimes include knowledge of spells that would help the sorcerer, for the Working preserved all sorcerous knowledge in the structures of Creation itself.


Threads of Connection: Everything is connected to everything else. A Salinan sorcerer can apply Creation’s wholeness to arcane links, for all things exist together in the World Mind. She can substitute one arcane link for any other to the same subject, no matter what a spell’s description says (for example using a drop of the target’s blood, rather than the required lock of her hair). Additionally, with three different arcane links to a person or place, she can connect to one through the other (for example, with three links to a particular resting place, she might cast Silent Words of Dreams and Nightmares upon those sleeping there, even if she has links to none of the sleepers).