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Five Magical Geometries

Ever wonder why magical weapons are shaped the way they are?

It's because the 5MM force them into those shapes. As haren puts it, the 5MM 'bend' the flows of Essence that pass through them, the way that glass lenses bend light; each has different properties of Essence refraction, some of which don't behave like light. The Essence flow patterns make it easier to shape the materials in certain ways, so devices tend to converge on those shapes.

Generally, there are 3 ways to shape the Essence flows of the 5MM:

  • Gross Geometry
  • Subtle Geometry
  • Symbology

There is also a theory that the celestial metals are the way they are because they are alive. I will attempt to tackle this theory in italicized asides.

  • In orichalque, Essence moves like light. This makes it possible to shape it into very simple forms, like mirrors and rods. The subtle geometry of orichalque overlaps with its symbology, consisting of wavy rays and concentric rings. As with all the Materials, occult sigils and the ancient tongue of the Realm can manipulate its Essence with ease.
    • Orichalque is nemuranai, that which no longer sleeps. The fires of earth and sky awaken it into its mystical state.
  • In moonsilver, Essence is a tide; it ebbs and flows predictably, but in details it is ever-changing. Moonsilver is one of the hardest materials to shape, because a smith needs to surgically change its True Form to maintain the shape for any length of time. Because of this limitation, it is rare to see intricate forms in moonsilver. However, it is relatively easy to tame it into animalistic forms.
    • Moonsilver is notoriously easy to kill; it is nemuranai like orichalque, but if it is improperly harvested or worked, its spirit will flee it, never to return. Unlike orichalque, awakened is the natural state of silver.
  • Starstone moves Essence like electricity, so it is often made into "Essence circuits" atop some less rare substrate. Like the solar metal, its subtle geometry takes the form of rings, though starstone rings intersect with more grace. The Signs of the Maidens and the Constellations also govern starstone energies effectively.
    • There is a rumour that starstone is crafted out of Celestial gods. A ritual performed on them causes them to fall out of Heaven, and the fall burns away crime and consciousness until only the half-alive metal of destiny remains.
    • Another rumor carries a different story. They say there are some people who are fated to do important things - to change the course of a world. But not all of them get to fulfil this fate, because the Maidens' servants harvest the energy of their destinies, cutting these heroes short. They are shunted off into aimless, indistinct destinies so that their heroism can be distilled into starstone. Proponents of this tale say that starstone can be unwoven to infuse a mortal with the destiny of a hero, but no one will say how this can be done.
  • Soulsteel is the least predictable of the metals, but it also takes a strong role in shaping itself, due to the souls inside it. Often the best way to tame this metal is to wound it.
    • Soulsteel obviously draws its power from the soulforged ghosts that inhabit it.
  • Jade is difficult to generalize about, but some statements can be made. Jade does not harmonize well except when all five colours are present, so more jade devices are one colour or all five than in between. Some exceptions exist. Sorcerors of the Realm have discovered a way to make the modern Realm script command jade, and dragon images are universally efficacious.
    • Windjade is among the easiest to shape, because it favors elegant mathematical spirals and the sharp-edged asymmetrical polyhedra of ice. It can also be formed into feathers, and the spiny stellations of the icosahedron.
    • Briarjade is much more difficult, preferring forms of branching tree roots and delicate ferns. This is among the reasons that Wood Aspects prefer the bow. It will also take claw and limb forms.
    • Firejade takes wavy flame-forms and irregular cloud-of-smoke shapes; masterful artisans can stylize these into the simple forms of candleflame and flawless column of incense-smoke in still air. It also favors the shapes of faces.
    • Floodjade likes the shapes of crashing waves and whirlpools, though it will also take the raindrop's sphere or the rippled surface of a pond. It will also hold the forms of fin and tail.
    • Mountainjade perfers to look accidental, or at the minimum unworked. It prefers shapes that look like natural forms - weathered boulders, sharp-edged cliffs, and so forth, though it can be ground into sand and the sand compressed into any shape the worker desires (quickly, details will erode away). It will also take the shape of bones and Platonic solids.