This is something I thought I'd share with everyone, because I figure there might be interest in the lore behind the skillsets even if you're not one of the few within the guild.
This was written by one of our volunteers, with a small amount of guidance on my part as so to stress certain aspects of the underlying rules and mechanics of the skills. It's all their writing though.
Either way, I hope you enjoy it!
ARCHIVISTS NEWS #2
Date: 3/7/2017 at 3:43
From: Sneak, the Numerologist
To : Everyone
THE PRINCIPLES OF BIOESSENCE
Bioessence is, at its core, a derivation of Necromancy, and its central mechanisms are thus quite similar. The main source of energy which motivates it is that of ambient shadow essence. This should not be understood to mean shadow essence existing outside of the self; instead, it is internal shadow essence, assimilated by means of breathing air, drinking, and eating, that drives the clockwork of Bioessence.
The reason we draw upon shadow essence, in preference to spirit essence - both forms exist within the Sapient frame, whether alive or undead - is owing to the fact that shadow essence possesses greater volatility as a property, and thus a greater aptness to forceful applications. This suits our purposes, particularly when we want to use it to enhance our own personal capabilities. As a consequence of its volatile nature, shadow essence imposes fewer limitations at a lesser risk, and so it is shadow essence which we dredge forth from our cores and employ as our tool, impelling the unnatural from the natural.
One of the applications of this principle is that, when we make use of elemental material assimilated from our own mass, we can charge it with shadow essence to render it capable of warping living material to which it is exposed. By structuring this material in specific patterns, we can by extension produce specific and reliable effects. We refer to this form of structured elemental material as a 'mutagen', for it is an agent that brings about marked and unnatural change in the structure of Sapient creatures.
Aside from Necromancy, theory drawn from the practice of medicine, as well as both historic and modern forms of healing magic, informed the development of Bioessence. It would be remiss of me not to mention an inspiration from Kaido, as well. These distinct influences, I believe, create an efficient and versatile art that can be easily employed while focusing one's higher consciousness upon the applications of Geometrics and Numerology.
THE PRINCIPLES OF GEOMETRICS
Geometrics draws upon the ritual diagrammatics explored and perfected by the old Cabal, which use lines, patterns, and symbols to direct and control various forms of force. Given as you are employing them for personal use, the source of power will, most frequently, be your own mental force. Expressed outwardly, the risk of diagrammatic feedback is minimized. This low-risk expression of force, combined with the need for definition, creates the potential for powerful applications; however, this comes at the cost of flexibility and adaptability. Given that
Geometrics alone is not your sole tool, I find this drawback to be far outweighed by the benefits.
By extension, the benefit of Geometrics, by comparison to Numerology, is its structure and its firm rooting in more worldly forces. The abstraction and complexity of Numerology is an easy trap for the novice practitioner, and it was my hope that, by creating a counterpart to it whose structure was consistent, externalized, and well-defined, we might lose less Pupils to implosion, head explosion, and other common Numerological causes of death. The full principles of diagrammatics are broader than this, however, and best explained elsewhere.
Aside from diagrammatics, inspirations for the art of Geometrics emerged from Crystalism, which likewise relies upon the theory of shapes for directing energy; Telepathy, too, claims a rightful role here, with regards to the use and direction of psychic energy. Broadly, it is my
belief that the use of specific symbols make Geometrics a fitting counterpart to Numerology, uniting specificity and abstraction into a unified whole; and, moreover, that this practice upon distinct symbols will train the mind to focus more easily upon the less specific Numerological order.
THE PRINCIPLES OF NUMEROLOGY
Numerology is the most abstract and ancient of our three arts, and dates back at the very least to the Second Epoch and an Ankyrean Cabal whose infighting rapidly consumed them. At this point, Numerology was a crude and unrefined art, but the practitioners of that time gave the prime numbers names that remain in use today. It is unknown whether these names were invented, or acquired from other sources. There are seven proven Numbers and an eighth hypothetical, referred to as the Immortal Number.
The fundamental principle of Numerology is abstract symbolism, herein understood to mean that although there are core and objective points of reference, each practitioner understands these points of reference in a slightly different light. Thus, one Numerologist can approach it as a science; another, as a kind of religion; and both may achieve markedly similar results. Some interpret it as a kind of crafting; others as music, hence the reference to the music of the Spheres; still others as art; and some as mathematics, formulas and proofs iterating endlessly
into the void of the hypothetical. Ultimately, Numerology is a lens through which reality is rendered more procedural.
What all of this amounts to, given the proper focus and clarity, is the ability to indirectly observe and alter reality. As your expertise grows, you become able to contemplate more and more points of reference - the numbers, if you will. A very skilled practitioner indeed may grasp
the Spheres, their mind bent upon all currently discovered points of reference. Each point of reference provides a different insight into reality, and thus lends itself to different applications. Numerology's flexibility and power are considerable, but the art demands an unparalleled amount of mental fortitude. Study your philosophy. You will not regret it.
If you fail to demonstrate the proper respect for Numerology, it is a very quick way to kill yourself; at worst, you can erase yourself from existence entirely. It has already happened to one of you. The fact that you do not recall is something that I do not hold against any of you.
Sad to say, poor Jonsa will not be rejoining us.
Penned by my hand on Tisday, the 14th of Lanosian, in the year 464 MA.