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Summoning Charms & Anima

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Rondstat

Rondstat

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So, I typed this up quite some time ago, and just realized I never posted it. Masochists rejoice, another gratuitously dense Rondstat thread has arrived!

This is a bit of a take off on an older thread I made regarding the relationship between demonology, arcane summoning, and druidic summoning. This thread touches on the same topics, but goes much more in depth on the nature of anima, and how it specifically relates to summoning, divination, and the afterlife.

Read post 3 if you just want the main idea in 2000 characters. Otherwise you can skip it.


A quick disclaimer: This thread starts with a lot of headcanon before going into more specific examples. While I think a lot of this touches on very intentionally designed features or back-formatted lore by the developers, there is probably quite a bit that has just 'happened' to arise this way over the years, with shifting mechanics and new content. I don't think that weakens the theory – our job as lorehounds is to make sense of this fictional world, down to its minutiae, make observations and formulate laws and principles out of the evidence we observe. I think our parsing of lore can stir the attentions of developers, even occasionally inspire them. Which is all pretty much a long way of saying, if you think “
A wizard did it
” is a satisfying explanation, you probably won't like this thread.

19-Aug-2015 08:09:23 - Last edited on 19-Aug-2015 09:53:23 by Rondstat

Rondstat

Rondstat

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1. READ THIS IF YOU JUST WANT THE GIST OF THE THEORY WITHOUT WADING THROUGH TWO PAGES OF PEDANTIC BS


2. INTRODUCTION - MANIMA, WANIMA, AND GANIMA

3. UNDERSTANDING ANIMA - RIVERS, TRIBUTARIES, AND SPRINGS

4. MAGIC AND GODHOOD

5. THE "SELF" AND THE AFTERLIFE

6. MAHJARRAT

7. THE NATURE OF SUMMONING CHARMS

8. DIVINATION

9. THE MECHANICS OF SUMMONING

10. RITUAL MAGIC

11. UNIQUE FAMILIARS

12. THE SPIRIT PLANE

13. IN CONCLUSION

19-Aug-2015 08:09:45 - Last edited on 19-Aug-2015 09:44:58 by Rondstat

Rondstat

Rondstat

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QUICK VERSION


Mortals act as a battery and conduit for anima.

On a perfect world, they act primarily as a battery. A plant native to Gielinor will draw next to nothing from the world anima, but produce plenty of Manima (mortal anima) that they input onto the anima mundi, or Wani*a (world+anima).

On a less perfect world, it's easier for mortals to channel the world's anima, and they produce less that goes into the anima mundi, resulting in a world with less flora, less environmental diversity, etc. Prime examples include vamp**ium, Infernus.

All mortal life, however, has a reciprocal relationship of producing Manima that they channel into Wanima, and drawing Wani*a that they store. This is the source of magic. This is also why every mortal creature's immortal soul is linked to their home world, or the world in which they currently reside. Their Manima is inextricably linked to Wanima, and thus does not die, and returns to its place of origin. Creatures can carry this link beyond the bounds of their homeplane, and even pass it on genetically.

Ascendant beings, by contrast, cannot draw on Wani*a, or channel Manima into a world's anima mundi. Rather, they generate their own anima, or Ganima. However, because it is not linked to any other world, the destruction of a god is absolute.

Transcendent beings (tiers 2 & 1) also produce Ganima, but are unique from ascendant beings in that they can draw Wanima and store it as Ganima. However, they are still unable to store any of their anima into the Anima Mundi, meaning no piece of their soul is in any world, and they experience no afterlife.

A summoning charm is a coalesced piece of Manima. It is required to call a familiar into being on the plane of Gielinor because it allows it to interact with the Anima Mundi and the soul of the summoner. The charm acts as a very small portion of Manima to fuel the familiar's brief existence. They link and draw to the summoner's soul as Wani*a.

19-Aug-2015 08:14:25 - Last edited on 19-Aug-2015 09:03:14 by Rondstat

Rondstat

Rondstat

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THE OBLIGATORY INTRODUCTION


Before I relegated my Charming Imp to the unplumbable depths of my toolbelt, I thought it would be worthwhile to go through his dialogue one last time. I came upon this gem~

Charms are the essence of a living being - you could think of them as part of a creature's soul. Without the link to a creature of this plane, it would be impossible to summon a spirit creature here


Now, a lot of folks have wondered about the nature of summoning charms, but I hadn't realized that this mystery has already been solved! It aligns with what most folks have guessed in the past, but seeing the theory confirmed got me thinking about summoning, and just what soul, anima, magic, and the links between planes really mean.

Part of the reason that anima becomes so difficult to try to parse is that people seem to think of it as a single phenomenon * anima is anima is anima – and it just behaves differently in different contexts. We can see several of these just by looking at our skill list – magic, runecrafting, divination. I think that, rather, anima has hundreds of potential forms. However, for my purposes in this thread, there are three primary forms of anima:

Manima
Wanima
Ganima


Manima
is the variety of anima produced by mortals (mortal+anima).

Wanima
is the variety of anima produced by planets/planes (world+anima), which we also refer to as Anima Mundi.

Ganima
is the variety of anima produced by divine entities (god+anima).

19-Aug-2015 08:18:30

Rondstat

Rondstat

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A LONG-WINDED METAPHOR


All three forms intersect and interact with each other in unique ways. Manima feeds into Wani*a. Wani*a feeds back into Manima, but can be diverted to manifest “magical” effects. Wani*a sometimes feeds into Ganima, but Ganima only ever feeds back into itself. This can be best visualized through a water analogy.

Imagine a coursing river. This is Wani*a, the anima of an entire planet, flowing and difficult to impede. On a more perfect plane, like Gielinor, this river is wide, its surface tranquil but its volume immense – something like the Mississippi. In a more primitive realm, like Vamp**ium, the river is more akin to a rapid, narrow and violent, but with a relatively small quantity of water (anima) flowing through it.

Now imagine a small natural spring, bubbling up near the river. This is a spring of Manima, and every living mortal lifeform on a plane can be thought as having their own spring of Manima – the anima they individually generate.

Now imagine this Manima spring is at the bottom of a large basin. A tributary of the Wani*a river flows into one end of the basin, and together with the Manima spring, fills the basin, turning it into a reservoir. At the opposite end of the reservoir is a dam, and this empties back out into the Wani*a river. Thus, Wanima and Manima both feed the reservoir, which in turn feeds the end-flow of Wani*a.

19-Aug-2015 08:20:23

Rondstat

Rondstat

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This reservoir is an individual lifeform's reserve of anima, its soul, and the dam represents their power over their own anima. For a 'perfect' lifeform – that is, the ideal lifeform for feeding the Wani*a of a perfect plane – the dam is practically non-existent, and Wani*a flows straight through and back into itself, only becoming stronger with the added 'water' of the Manima spring. This is the anima contribution a tree or non-sentient beast might make. For a more primordial entity, your vyres and demons, this dam is high, and while Wani*a easily flows into their reservoir, it only trickles back out, leaving the flow of Wani*a stunted downstream of its 'tributaries' - its mortal life.

Early planes with weaker Wani*a can only sustain a small number of Manima reservoirs. Their populations are limited, and biodiversity is lacking – the plane can appear barren, with few animals and precious little plant life, while those who survive are immensely strong. Conversely, a strong Wani*a plane can sustain almost limitless reservoirs, and will appear lush, covered in life.

Some planes have an over-abundance of free-flowing Wani*a, but have physical presences too chaotic or unfinished to naturally sustain life, or the formation of Manima springs. In this case, the Wani*a may divert, forming 'natural' tributaries and reservoir pools on its own. These natural pools represent 'near-lifeforms,' pure anima/magical constructs. We see this most obviously in the Runespan, where chaotic energies naturally coalesce into the appearance of lifeforms, but I suspect an element of this phenomenon may occur in the early days of most planes. It is even possible that Vorago is a manifestation of Gielinor's over-abundant anima pooling outside the stream.

19-Aug-2015 08:22:15

Rondstat

Rondstat

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In order to maintain a 'reservoir,' a supply of standing (non-flowing) anima, a lifeform needs some sort of physical body. By this I don't necessarily mean a living body with mass and volume. Just some sort of 'form' on one (or more) of a plane's 'layers' of existence – whether as a shadow, a spectre, or fleshy critter. [Aside: for more discussion on the possible 'layers' of the Runescape multiverse, check out Attila's excellent thread here.] This body is able to 'store' their reserved anima. Every mortal lifeform requires a reservoir of standing anima, neither flowing in nor flowing out.

19-Aug-2015 08:23:11 - Last edited on 19-Aug-2015 09:24:37 by Rondstat

Rondstat

Rondstat

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OOH, OOH, OOH, IT'S MAGIC. ALSO, GODS.


“Magic* occurs when the inflow of Wanima is diverted away from the reservoir, and instead directly transformed into some other form of energy. You can imagine it as a steam plant on the banks of the reservoir. Creatures that have 'evolved' on worlds with large Wani*a flows have wide, shallow inflow channels to accommodate the calm Wanima tributaries flowing into them. This makes it difficult for the 'steam plant' to channel more than a tiny fraction of the flow at a time, and it can sometimes be impossible to channel enough to even transform the Wani*a flow without some means of focusing their input.

Conversely, creatures from planes with weaker Wani*a have narrower, deeper, and stronger flowing input channels that can harness the entire flow at once and practically power these 'steam plants' on their own. Thus, more primordial creatures are preternaturally able to convert vast amounts of Wanima into the 'steam' of magic, but more recent mortals, though less magically able, have a vast potential for improvement and expanded power. This is also why planes with no Wani*a have no magic.

For ascendant beings (godhood tiers 3-6), the system is similar. There is a 'spring' of Ganima at the bottom of a vast reservoir. However, the outflow from the 'dam' doesn't empty into that plane's Wani*a 'river.' Instead, it feeds back into the reservoir's own inflow. It is a closed system, the same Ganima feeding itself endlessly, and because of this, at any moment the entirety of the reservoir is available to be converted into magical energy. For transcendent beings (tiers 1-2), the system is identical, except that the reservoir's inflow is fed by both its own Ganima AND a tributary of Wani*a. However, none of the outflow empties back into the Wani*a river – gods can feed on Wani*a, but they can't feed Wani*a.

19-Aug-2015 08:24:07 - Last edited on 19-Aug-2015 08:26:27 by Rondstat

Rondstat

Rondstat

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CONSCIOUS PEOPLE AND DEAD PEOPLE


There is one essential component in all of this that is not often mentioned, but is vital to directing anima flows – the “self.” The self is the seat of memories, the source of individual identity, and it relies on a supply of standing anima – some sort of reservoir. Non-sentient beings never develop a self, because they have no reservoir of Manima to fuel it. However, the self of a sentient mortal can last as long as their home plane. The Wani*a river, like any body of water, consists not only of the flowing anima, but a deep “water table” of standing anima, comprising both its own Wanima and the Manima from the many mortal 'springs' that have fed it. This creates a parallel and timeless incarnation of that world, its afterlife. When a mortal's physical form has ceased to exist, and the connection between the self and this form has been severed, it reverts to its largest remaining store of standing Manima – in the afterlife of its home plane.

The self does not always recognize when their physical form has 'ceased to exist' – died – and will remain tethered to the now inert anima reservoir of their body. This undead form no longer produces any Manima, though Wanima is still able to flow in and out of it, leaving the reservoir able to sustain a body and perform magical feats, but with only a small supply of standing Manima with which to fuel the self. Because of this, undead creatures are often disoriented or demented, their sense of self only loosely tethered to their form. This phenomenon most often occurs when the physical form is not properly 'destroyed' – that is, not buried or given its proper rites. For the self to enter the afterlife, it must recognize that the body can no longer sustain it.

19-Aug-2015 08:33:39

Rondstat

Rondstat

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There is an important distinction to be made here. The self does not simply voyage to the afterlife of the world on which it died or where it spent the most time. It returns to the place it considers home. This means that individuals have agency over their anima flows. A mortal's reservoir is not simply fed by the planet where they currently reside. It is fed by the Wani*a of the planet they consider home, and it similarly empties into that same planet's Wani*a flow. Thus, a Gielinorian can perform impressive feats of magic even on a nearly-dead plane like Freneskae. The self does not even require direct contact with a plane, but can be passed on culturally along with identity, as the Fremennik have done with their successive generations. While we have little with which to speculate on the nature of the self, it clearly has dominion over anima.

This is why gods sacrifice an afterlife. The ability to draw on the entirety of their anima at once carries with it the price that their Ganima resides nowhere else, and the destruction of their physical form and reservoir entails the destruction of self. Little bits of self can be shed over the course of an ascendant/transcendent being's life, but destruction is always absolute because these are only ever memories, and consciousness resides with the reservoir. We've encountered these fragments of self in the form of chronicles, from the Elders, Guthix, Bandos, V – and the Mahjarrat.

19-Aug-2015 08:34:49

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