Found Document: On the Concerning Normalization of the Spirit World


Three copies of this document have been found in our tower, with a few more in various decomposed state. We date it to the late 890s ST. A partial note was attached to one of the copies, reading:

“Lestimus, none of the Council members have gotten back to me on this, and I’m afraid we may soon reach the point of no return. I think we need to appeal to the High Sorcerer Argalis directly. Please check with your contacts in the Confederation to make it happen as soon as possible. Love, K.”

To the office of <space is left blank on the original document>,

We are members of the Collective Chapters in Maniria, Wenelia, and Kethaela, sharing deep concerns about observed phenomena affecting the Spirit World. With most of the Collective’s budget and resources going to research in the theoretical Runic and applied Burtae/Srvuali departments, Spirit taxonomy and study has been rushed and overly simplified for the past four decades. In particular, projects such as the Worship Interchange Stability Experimentation and Assessment has left any Spirit-related studies scrambling for funding, especially now that its consequences are starting to be understood. Although we understand the value of these projects, we are deeply disturbed by the changes we are witnessing in the Spirit World and we urge the Council to turn their attention to them.

Archived data and differential analysis show that the landscape, characteristics, and efficiency of Spirit Magic has noticeably changed since the beginning of the century. For instance, a study conducted across Wenelia and Kethaela between 791 and 792 showed that there were 16 variants of the Bladed Tool Efficiency Improvement magic (vulgarly known as the “Bladesharp family of spells”), with efficiency improvements varying from three percent to almost eight percent per Magical Energy Unit [Baskith and Shinos, 793]. Each variant was attributed to different local traditions contacting different Spirit entities, each with their own names and characteristics (“Fineblade Enchantment”, “Karl’s Whetsone”, “Raven’s Blessing”, etc.) A similar subsequent study conducted in 812 found only 12 notable variants of BTEI magic, with efficiency improvements only varying between four and seven percent [Orlmas, Ven K’lati, and Wys, 812]. That study attributed the discrepancy to a sub-par data collection process on the part of the previous study, but Valastos With Seven Pens theorized that something else was happening in his Spirit World ecology essays [Valastos, various, 813]. Our own recent surveys confirmed and deepened Valastos’ discoveries. According to our highly peer-reviewed studies, the number of variants had decreased to 7 in 867, and further down to only 3 in 885, with efficiency improvements normalizing around five percent per Magical Energy Unit [Lestimus and Klogran, 868] [Lestimus, Klogran, and Horth, 885]. Simply put, Spirit Magic is losing its heterogeneousness and, in some places, its efficiency.

We believe that the act of classifying Spirits and Spirit Magic in too broad strokes is having a normalization effect on this delicate ecosystem. The simplistic taxonomy that we have been using for decades has been adopted by the indigenous population at an alarming rate. Traditional names have been replaced with our own terms (such as “Bladesharp”) in more than 65% of the communities surveyed by the signatories of this letter. This percentage is increasing with each generation. We believe that this has in turn affected local spiritual practices and modified the fabric of the Spirit World. We are losing localized idiosyncratic magic to this normalization effect, and it might soon be too late to reverse this trend.

We urge the Council to allocate resources to Spirit World studies without delay. We hope that we can not only save local magical variations but make efficient use of them by genetically selecting for the stronger strands of magic and spreading them to neighbouring communities. Given the scale at which the Collective operates, even a two or three percent improvement in magic among the Dronar caste could have incredible potential.

Here follows the names of the signatories:

<the list contains 54 names and has been cut for brevity>

As far as we can tell, this is the first time the entire text of this letter has been recovered. Only fragments of it had been found in Seshnelan ruins until now. Historians theorize that this letter was widely ignored by the God Learner Collective because of the increasingly dramatic political changes that shook the Middle Sea Empire and the EWF at the time it was published. Seven centuries later, it seems evident that Spirit Magic is entirely normalized across Genertela and possibly beyond.

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