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Magical strength - variable? posted 19 Jul 2009, 23:07 by WrathOfMe, Commoner

Hello, first topic, blah blah. I have a question regarding the nature of magic in PoN and TJE. We are told that the strength of Cishaurim varies considerably, and that this is a known fact. There are multiple levels of Cishaurim strength, as delineated by the Scarlet Spires, Imperial Saik, and so on. It is also referred to as however much of Indara's Water they can carry. I have no problem with this, it makes sense in the same way that it makes sense to me that some people are physically stronger than others. Now, my question is - how would power be variable among Anagogic and Gnostic schoolmen? We know that such a power divide exists, because Eleazaras is clearly the strongest Scarlet Spire and certain Mandate sorcerers are hinted at being stronger than Akka. Also, there is a difference between initiates and sorcerers-of-rank. But how would their power be varied, when the magic is predicated upon language and meanings? Would simply the speed and strength of one's incantations be the deciding factor? Is there some inborn trait among the Few that determines how strongly they can influence the world with God's voice? Or, perhaps, strength is dependent on how skilfully they can maintain a true inuttered meaning to their sorcery. I don't know what it is - I wondered if anyone else had thoughts to share, or even better evidence from the series. Thanks! view post

Re: Magical strength - variable? posted 21 Jul 2009, 22:07 by Nerdanel, Peralogue

I'd say that strength in Gnosis is related to one's intelligence and capability to handle complex cants. In theory any one of the Few could cast any spell, but those of lesser talent can't wrap their brain around the harder ones. For example, most people just can't handle the confusion of using two inutterals, since that would demand them to think three different thoughts at the same time. Hypothetically, the power of magic goes to infinity, but the limits of human mind become unsurpassable sooner or later for everyone. view post

Re: Magical strength - variable? posted 21 Jul 2009, 22:07 by Jerako, Candidate

I think that there can be a definate power difference between them. I think it works in different ways for the three different methods of casting in this world. The Sukhe is linked totally to passion. It seems as adepts become more able to control/harness their passions, they gain more 'power'. The Gnosis seems to be quite the opposite. It appears to be an entirely cognitive (? can't think of the right word here) sorcery. As in, the power comes from being able to think and process information faster. In the same way that one can be better/faster at mathematics or other pursuits, they can become faster, and better at sorcery. Imo, a more powerful gnostic sorcerer is one who can think faster, and better simultaneously. For example, suppose that in a five second period of time, one sorcerer is able to create one ward and one cant. Another sorcerer, who is able to 'think' faster, can create two wards and one cant in the same time. The latter would be more 'powerful' and most likely win the contest between them. Anagogic Sorcery seems to be a cross between the two - or so I presume from Iyokus' "passion becomes semantics, and semantics become real" idea. So 'power' would be similar here as to Gnostic sorcery, except that it involves "thinking passionately", for lack of a better term. I think this is why Gnostic sorcery so easily defeats the Anagog and Psukhe. "No passion is more true than another," but knowledge evidently CAN be more 'true' than passion. Thus, the Gnosis is 'more true' than either the Anagog or Psukhe, and thus more powerful, since sorcery seems to derive its power from 'meaning' or 'truth.' view post


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