"To be a mage is to challenge the limitations set by the mortal form. To be a Rupturer is to claim that the idea of a limitation itself is obsolete." - Reyard Seymour, inventor of modern Rupturing
As a mage, the goal is to strive to surpass physical limitations in all things. To oust science and mathematics and create your own reality, filled with unique possibilities. Rupturing is a great reference point when beginning to discuss how magic takes principles circulating around the sapient races and furthers, expands them into near perfection. This magic is one that does one thing alone, but better than others may - the act of transportation to a target location.
This magic is titled Rupturing due to the booming, ripping noise that can be heard in the wake of its usage. This is due to its nature - Rupturing quite frankly moves apart matter, making a tear in space. The way in which it does this is complicated in detail, but simple in standard explanation. The mage may project Ether into pockets around them and manipulate those pockets to their interests. These pockets of Ether then produce an energy that, simply put, defies surrounding matter as an incorporeal and volatile reaction. In place of solid space, this rift forms in the location of the pocket (which can be anywhere the mage desires), and the mage may step through this pocket to transport themselves elsewhere.
There are two ways in which Rupturing can utilize pockets to enable rapid transportation. Firstly, there is The Chasing, often called pocket-hopping, chasing, tethering, so on and so forth. Chasing allows one to create a rift, to be utilized by one's self and others, at another pocket of Ether located within sight and within a certain range. This is the most common form of Rupturing and it is known to produce the loud, booming tearing sound when demonstrated. The second method is Compression, which is used to enable very long-distance transportation, especially if guided by a sundial. Compression is a much more dangerous and complex form of Rupturing, one that quite literally defies space-time to enable the rapid movement across distance and obstacles.
These will be explained in more detail below
Note: All portals must be opened via a gesture, usually a wave of the hand or a simplistic circular drawing in the air (which projects an image). As one advances these can simplify dramatically if necessary, eventually even to the mere twitch of a finger to blink or open a portal.
Chasing, the manipulation of pockets to transport an individual or multiple others short distances, can be cast relatively quickly at all stages, especially at higher mastery. Chasing has within it two different functions to start with: blinking and portal creation. Blinking allows a mage to quickly latch onto or tether themselves to a pocket of Ether within sight and proper range. They will thus almost immediately transport themselves there, disappearing from their previous location and often in a flash of energy.
Portal Creation is of course what Rupturing is known for; it is the loud and disruptive tearing of matter via pockets of energy that allows for one to accomplish blinking but in a more complex fashion. While blinking is a quick, one-shot sort of endeavor, portals have within them many complexities. Portals can stay open longer, can transport specific individuals as well as objects and spells, and can even have magical effects associated with their location. Portals will develop as the user develops their magic, and gain a variety of new and unforeseen uses as one learns and grows in Rupturing. Chasing and the portals it creates also acts as a basis for much of what compression enables the Rupturer to achieve. Chasing portals, particularly, are considered the lighter combat portals. They are utilized far more commonly than Compression portals in a combat scenario, faster to open and cheaper to utilize, though usually with a reduced range. Appearance-wise, they appear more distorted than Compression portals, appearing almost like an ungainly gash in the world waiting desperately to be closed.
As a note, there is no standard or basic appearance for portals. Their appearance depends on how the spark manifested in the mage when the magic first made contact with them, though their general size and dimensions tend to be about the same.
Compression is a longer-distance form of transportation than Chasing. While it can follow similar premises, specifically when it comes to portals, the way in which it operates is completely different. Compression's portals often require significantly more preparation than those of Chasing, and do drain more Ether from the mage as well. This is due to the logic-defying way in which compression operates; compression allows for the mage to compress space and distance to a tiny, thin decimal. As they cannot see and directly grab onto pockets of ether if they're quite far away, they are expected instead to rely on memory and information about a location, which is required for the sundial compression as well. Sundial compression that is inter-city or inter-continental requires you having previously been to that location from the start of your character playing in Standing Trials, meaning you cannot simply have been there in a memory thread or have it in your backstory.
Compression allows one to nearly infinitely compact space and distance for themselves alone from one location to the other. They must have been here before and must know its location at least somewhat vividly. This will always open a portal, and stepping through it will send the Rupturer through the compacted space and directly to their location. The process is almost instant, though many Rupturers and those who travel within their portals report feeling nauseous and lightheaded after traveling through a portal. For but an instant, you are moving at an extreme speed and ignoring all matter around you. It is a very intense process and is certainly not for the ill and faint-hearted, though it is made cleaner and easier by more experienced Rupturers.
To travel extremely long distance locations, like from city to city, one must use a Sundial. That is non-negotiable, as only a Sundial and the conduit within it can properly direct and tune the compression of space across massive distances.
The Sundial is an artifact built by a Rupturer to enable full, long-distance transportation via Compression. It is generally a flat circular artifact held up by a tall and thin metal stand, not much larger than a typical telescope. In the center, a conduit is inlaid and a dial lays on top of it. The dial can be moved to any direction, though many mages ensure it requires physical exertion to move the dial to ensure it does not skid along and send mages to an incorrect location. This dial, unlike the ones that exist to tell the time, will often have hundreds of markers along the edges that indicate the directions to each location, each mark with numbers below the labeled markings to determine the distance between the sundial's mounted location and the marked areas.
For this reason, a sundial must be built to stay in one location and cannot be moved too significantly without completely throwing off the long-distance teleportation. Furthermore, the marks must be properly indented or carved into the dial, rather than merely drawn on; they are imbued into it and must be in order for it to work. The appearance of the Sundial when it is used is often one of extreme beauty; it flows with all sorts of bright colors that seem to project into the entirety of the room around it, setting eyes alight with wonder.
The artifact is utilized only by more advanced rupturers, beginning at the rank of Expert, though the ability is unrefined at this stage and remains difficult and dangerous until Master. Much of your Expert usage of the sundial will be testing it to traverse distances only barely beyond that of what basic compression offers. Before this stage of proficiency, the Rupturer may have begun to build their sundial, though altogether they cannot use it properly without extreme and often mortal risk to the Rupturer. In order for the process to work correctly, one must align their energy to the conduit within the Sundial and allow their energy to flow around the circular dial. As a result, the sundial creates a portal that lasts usually for a few minutes, allowing the caster and allies passage.
Of course, this is not an easy process in the slightest. Many would say travel by sundial is much more expensive than by boat, mount or otherwise, because the building of the sundial can be a laborious and costly process. Firstly, the material of the dial must be very sturdy in order for it to not break (and kill its user) during the rupturing. For assured safety, many Rupturers build their sundial with a fragments of a gemstone called 'Mayanite,' one that is known to resist physical fragmentation even in the face of great kinetic impact. Other tough materials are also used; corundum, diamonds, even onyx for the wealthiest of mages. To fully build and reinforce the tower and dial, a mage can expect to dole out 500 gn for Mayanite-infused corundum, up to 2,000 for a diamond and Mayanite sundial, and tens of thousands for an onyx sundial.
Additionally, a conduit must be inlaid into the sundial in order for it to work properly, and carvings must be made to the edges of the sundial to enable it to travel. Usually this will be done with any regular carving tool and doesn't need to be perfect. What's most important is thoroughly researching the maps and coordinations of cities before you carve their distance and direction into the sundial's edges. The risk of using a sundial incorrectly is one that is great, and lethal. Sabotaging a sundial's conduit (such as cracking it) or damaging/vandalizing the coordinates can lead to the mage being ripped apart to mere atoms.
It must be noted that while a Sundial can be used indefinitely unless shattered, your sundial does not travel with you your desired destination. Thus, many mages must build multiple sundials in order to consistently use Rupturing for long distance teleportation. As a benefit of the sundials, however, teleportation from them tends to be much more concentrated and focused - allowing for more quiet travel.
Note: To calculate the distance and trajectory of your location to the desired location, one must only spend 20gn to buy the Idalosian Global Index, written by Sedaias Reyloth. This text will have the distances and trajectories from cities and towns mapped out, and can be studied independently without asking staff. All writing of the book's texts and the calculations can be self-moderated - don't worry about the specific number crunching. Also, a player cannot use NPC sundials unless approved, in a moderated thread.
For the diverse applications of Rupturing!
Phasing: Obtained at Novice rank. Allows for the user to create a portal that only allows vision and through extremely short distances (such as a few feet). This will not appear on the other side, which allows for one to spy on someone from another room. Requires little time, effort and ether to maintain. At Competent, you can hear through this portal as well. These portals make no volume, considering they cannot be entered, and thus do not truly tear space.
Skystepping: Obtained at Competent, Skystepping allows the Rupturer to create miniature portals - acting as stepping stones - to increase their mobility. These portals momentarily sterilize the effect of space where they're created, acting as spatial anomalies of dense physical properties. They are cheap and can be utilized frequently throughout a situation, and typically can be utilized to gain aerial advantage. However, creating a longer-lasting Skystep (such as a full-blown platform) will slowly drain ether for as long as it is active.
Roaring: Roaring is an ability unlocked at Competent that - momentarily - destabilizes matter and space in a specific area (that one can see). The result of this is an intensified reverberation of the air, far moreso than merely the typical crackling and ripping of a Rupturing portal. The air around it will appear imbalanced, distorted, and will emit a violent sound as it continues to reverberate, causing a clear distraction, especially for any creatures which rely on sound or benefit from an enhanced sense of hearing. This ability is typically used to cause a distraction for the sake of escape.
Scrying: Scrying - some would say - is a much more advanced form of Phasing. Scrying allows one to project a portal to view and observe an object, person or other thing. One can learn to mark an area's mana as a lore, such as a specific room, street corner, or alleyway and with concentration, open a small portal to the area. This practice is known as scrying which grows far more potent when a mage has achieved an expertise of Attunement and can mark the people they meet, allowing small 'view/speak only' portals to open around the marked in order to spy on their movements. There is no distance unattainable at this level, so long as the mage has been there before and memorized the mana signature of the area. Due to the immense distance, these portals can only be viewed or spoken through. Attempting to pass items through them will instantly collapse the portal, rending the object passing through into bits. Scrying portals make no sound when opening, likely due to the weakness of the passage.
Pushing and Pulling: Pushing and Pulling - obtained at Expert proficiency - allows the Rupturer to drag pockets of ether towards or away from a portal they have opened, which consequently pushes or pulls individuals into or away from the portal. This can be used for a variety of purposes. Notably, the mage who cast it is immune to being pushed or pulled by this effect. As one grows in expertise to legendary/master, the push and pull effect increases with their proficiency.
Splintering: Obtained at master proficiency, Splintering is the more low-cost and low-risk form of portal usage. Splintering can be used to do things such as create a portal pathway that starts on one end of a wall and ends on the other, allowing for passage through walls. It appears merely as cracks imbued with energy, but can be utilized seamlessly by the Rupturer. Casting Splintering is nearly instant and mostly thoughtless at this point, and it has a variety of uses; for example, you could splinter a warrior's armor and make your sword hit their flesh directly, the armor being bypassed entirely. At legendary, Splintering becomes so natural that it is often used in daily life. As an example, there have been legendary Rupturers who quite literally did not build doors for their homes because they merely ruptured through their walls.
It should be noted that Splintering cannot be utilized to ignore living organic materials, meaning someone cannot splinter someone's skin and flesh and plunge their knife straight into an opponent's heart, without any resistance.
The Nail: The Nail is an ability unlocked at Master. It is named as such due to its ability to staple two sides of reality to another. Typically, this begins with a Rupturer memorizing a particular location, generally one with a volatile environment. For example, a Rupturer may place this Nail - or spatial connection - within the confines of a body of water. Utilizing this later, they trigger the ability at their location, creating a one-way portal that funnels the contents of the location to their desires, such as flinging the water of said body throughout a battlefield. This is done by intense suction, similar to the Pulling technique.
The Nail can also be manipulated - as the contents travel from the memorized location to the Rupturer's presence, their velocity or speed can be intensified to a level tolerable by Idalosian physics, such as throwing a boulder through at high, but realistic, speeds. The propelling effect of the Nail can never surpass the speed of an arrow, though other factors could potentially increase any propulsion, such as creating this window high into the sky and allowing for gravity to increase the velocity of the fall.
The size of the Windows, at base, is around 3x3 feet - however, other factors, such as conduits, and potential bonuses via Revelation can effect the size of the Windows accordingly.
Rending: Rending is accessible only by a Legendary Rupturer. It is the creation of a massive tear in space, abyssal portal that can be maintained as long as the caster focuses on it, which requires great mental fortitude and of course the exceptional skill that comes with truly mastering this domain. Everything that enters the portal between two points comes out on the other side, without fail, and due to the size of the portal this is often used for nefarious purposes. There have been mages who have flooded cities by Rending the city on one side and leaving another in the middle of an ocean. There have been those who have used Pulling to grab individuals into a Rend and launch them into the clutches of a volcano.
Additionally, Rending can be used to transport armies or large groups of people. The options available are varied; it could be used for invasion or decimation, or evacuation and refuge. To be sure, however, it is an extremely dangerous magic and the caster must truly be focused on it to maintain it properly.
Rends can be compressed in size with less danger and expenditure, however require a great deal of mastery before their size can be manipulated.
Dangers and Overstepping
Much of the dangers of Rupturing come from incorrectly opening portals in crisis heavy situations, or simply due to your own negligence or laziness. Due to the precise nature required by portals, Rupturing is in fact one of the most dangerous magics to pursue. Realize that when you are dealing with the complex compression of space and ethereal energy, and putting your physical form as a whole into this complex equation, the failure to maintain the spell or portal means the immediate rending of your body to nothingness. Rupturing is for this reason often considered quite distinctly the most dangerous magic to go into. It must be cast with precision. It is extremely unwise to use it in a combat situation without previous practice in creating portals.
Once the user becomes more practiced in opening portals, it starts to become more natural to them and they are unlikely to enact cataclysmic failure in the creation of their portals. As a result, another danger appears. Overstepping. When the mage is no longer under extreme pressure and fear of botching their portals, they may become prone to using them far too much. While portals don't actually drain a ridiculous amount of ether from the mage, and thus can be cast to some frequency, going beyond your limit results in consequences.
*Note - these consequences will not all be experienced at once, these are merely some of the possible consequences.
A few small portals or a large, significant portal over your limit
Light Overstepping: Fatigue, Slight Dizziness, Light Blurry Vision, Motion Sickness
Many portals over your limit, whether small or large.
Medium Overstepping: Onset of Exhaustion, Distorting Vision (fading in and out between seeing through your own eyes and through your portals), Notable Dizziness, Pain & Aches, Complete loss of direction for a trial, Temporary lack of depth perception
A great power unleashed when you've already gone beyond your limit (such as Rending)
Heavy Overstepping: Vomiting of Blood, Violent Nausea, Extreme vertigo for the length of a trial, Internal Bleeding... and the possibility of transportation of your body parts or limbs through spontaneous portals that remove them from your body. This could even result in decapitation, thus instantaneous death.
The initiation is performed by the teacher drawing pockets of ether to the body of their student, and via an inversed Blink, moving these pockets inside of the body of their aspiring apprentice. This sets their body metaphorically alight with energy, which triggers the physical reaction that is the initiation. The bond between the master and apprentice of this magic can grow quite significantly, the two of them sharing the experience of Transcending, traveling formlessly throughout space alongside one another. This melds their energies together in a way and often creates a close, sometimes parental bond between master and student. Afterwards, they tend to know where the other might be when away from them, and while this sense is not exact it is a hunch that can be followed upon with relative success.
To experience being initiated into Rupturing is to - for a while - explore space. The spark manifesting within your body sends your ethereal energies into a highly compressed hyper-reality, where one travels through distance, space and matter freely and with ease. Rupturing's initiation is often considered to be one of the most beautiful of them, and some claim to have discovered the majesty of the universe after being initiated into this magic, staring into stars and galaxies beyond.
However, those are the ones who survive. Rupturing sends your energy - and in a way your mind - into a projection, compressed through space. This is your first test as a Rupturer - to gain a feel for distance and pockets of energy and to know how to distinguish between matter, energy and other such things using your ether as your guide. Within the brief and unique experience lays a web of danger, and many aspiring Rupturers have found themselves unable to return their projected conscious to their body, leaving their physical form an empty and comatose husk.
A failed initiation, performed by an unskilled, lazy or untrustworthy teacher can result in the absolute butchering of the aspiring Rupturer. Space and matter within their body would contract and expand, and they would be torn to shreds. The Spark itself within them would appear before the one who failed in the initiation of their student, before utilizing the pockets of ether drawn to them to transport themselves far away, their fate unknown.
Mutations for Rupturing are not particularly odd. Many say that mages who are casting the magic often display bright, glowing runic sigils at certain parts of their body (arms, legs, neck). A common and useful mutation is the changing of one's eyes - usually to a shade of violet, and with this change the Rupturer can see what lies on the other side of their portals. Another, less common and not-so-useful rupturing mutation is the tendency for rupturers to often develop screams and yells that sound much like the tearing open of their portals. There are many possibilities, and Rupturers tend to manifest their mutations the most when actively engaging in teleportation.
The Revelation, upon reaching Legendary, is known as the Visitant.
The Revealed Rupturer, upon fully bonding with their spark, becomes known as a Visitant, an entity that is as much a mortal as they are a physical manifestation of space. A Visitant is, themselves, a portal, fluidly shifting between Chasing and Compression in their output. When they are not linked to any other portal, they appear as they are normally - a mage, almost as if unrevealed. When linked however, they become stationary, and a receiver for matter; a doorway, just as the portals they create around them. They link themselves to a portal, any portal of any type, ability or magnitude, and become the other end of that portal, and that portal becomes the other end of them. As such, they can channel abilities from themselves. They can push, pull, rend, nail, scry, and transport others. As a result of this being their innate nature, portal-based techniques entirely halve in their expenditure, with the other side - themselves - not requiring any cost to maintain.
When they are a portal, they follow the rules of a portal. They are intangible in a way, incapable of being damaged by incoming weapons or projectiles, though they may also be collapsed by a much larger object seeking to enter them. Things and people can move through them. Their clothes, belongings and equipment are considered to be one amorphous unit with them, meaning they do not destroy or disarm their equipment each time they transition. The Visitant can simply unlink themselves, instantaneously, with the portal on the other side in order to revert to their typical state. When they are a portal, the center of their chest outwards looks as their portal would. If your portal appears as if a flame among a black canvas, so too will the center of your body.
While the Visitant follows the rules of a portal, they cannot easily be forced by other magics to close, and other mages cannot easily sever their link either, considering their spark itself is the source of their anomalous nature. If this is to be done, it is incredibly taxing to whomever is attempting it, to the point of serious etheric risk.
While the portal is not open, but instead within their body, random Rupture-like energy courses through their skin at random intervals. Typically, the energy's appearance is based on that of your portal's appearance, with color and texture all determined by that fact.
As a note: in order to prevent your death in the case of someone 'shearing' within your portal (overwhelming its size and thus collapsing it, destroying whatever is within), one must use pushing or pulling, or draw them in or out by some other means, such as by an ally manually severing the part of the body that would otherwise by sheared.
A Novice Rupturer focuses primarily on learning to align themselves to the pockets of ether that exist everywhere in the world. They learn how to grab upon the ether, to infuse it with their own, and to ignite the reaction that manifests as a rift in space. By doing this - and creating portals from a distance - they ensure that their methodology is proper and that they are not walking into their own decimation. Often Novices will merely throw objects into one end and hope that it comes out on the other, making adjustments if their portal demonstrates instability.
Novices tend to use blinking - via Chasing - as a way of transportation. While it is not quite as diverse, it is less dangerous as one only need project their energy from point A to point B. Additionally, it costs less ether to blink. The novice can do so within thirty feet of a target and only within sight. Doing so is quite easy after the first few attempts. Additionally, they gain access to Phasing, listed in the Reference Guide.
At competent, a Rupturer learns to hold stable portals for around half a dozen seconds without really bothering themselves. When utilizing Chasing - quick and easily casted portals - they can maintain a portal on both ends within seventy feet of one another, and can blink this distance as well. Compression-based portals are finally available to the Rupturer at this point, but they are dangerous to cast and require a deal of focus, preparation and memory (or vision) of the specific location. Compression-based portals at this point can travel within one kilometer of your location, but they drain quite a bit more ether than other portals and due to their slow wind-up time are nearly impossible to use to escape dangerous situations.
Compression, dealing with space and distance, is the most dangerous form of portal. As a result, this stage of Rupturing too usually involves a lot of "testing the waters" so to speak, usually sending objects one way (perhaps from a high place) and viewing from a long distance if they made it to the other side. One can learn to stably use both Chasing and Compressing portals at this stage however, if practice is put in.
At this point, the Rupturer learns how to forcefully close their portal at any point, which will quickly cause it to vanish and eject any who attempted entering it as it was being closed.
The abilities "Skystepping" and "Roaring" are unlocked at this stage.
An expert Rupturer has likely either begun the building or completed the building of their Sundial, their artifact that allows for one-way travel over extreme distances. The Sundial acts as a supplement to Compression and allows for one to safely traverse extreme distances, using the conduit as a mediator with which you tune your ether to stabilize the long journey. Additionally, a large leap in progress comes about for Rupturing at this stage. Chasing portals and blinks can be done to any location in sight, though with great distance more time and preparation is required. Portals can last up to a minute at this point. Compression reaches a penultimate stage in which it can travel vast distances to places within memory, up to 10 km away, though only with a Sundial can this extend further.
At this point you can create significantly larger portals, though at the expense of their duration to that of half a dozen seconds. The expert additionally gains access to Pushing and Pulling, as well as Scrying, listed in the reference guide.
A master Rupturer has learned to perfectly control and harness pockets of ether, as well as attuning themselves to space and distance. The act of chasing and compression becomes a natural thing, and blinking or creating portals anywhere within sight is easily done without much time or energy invested. The Master can maintain portals for quite a long time. Some have been fabled to have done so indefinitely, though with the aid of dustforged structures and a powerful conduit. Compression can travel absurdly long distances (50km) at this point, though city to city and inter-continental travel is only possible via the Sundial. Using the Sundial has become natural to the Rupturer and they have likely developed a Sundial - or multiple Sundials - with a great deal of etchings, directions, coordinates and so on.
A master Rupturer can fully utilize Rupturing to the littlest or greatest extent. They gain access to Splintering, which allows them to precisely manipulate distance consistently throughout their daily life (listed in the Reference Guide). Furthermore, they gain access to the Nail, also listed in the reference guide. They can maintain large portals for a significant duration of time, capable of sending large groups of people far from where they are. A Master can use portals and blinks across short distances somewhat regularly, with little concern for their ether, as they have learned how to very efficiently and precisely control pockets of ether around them.
A legendary Rupturer is an individual who has likely seen the world in their wake. They are those with sundials in almost every city of import, with great knowledge of the lands that surround them. Using essentially any basic portal, whether Compression or Chasing, becomes second nature. Even using the Sundial becomes absolutely easy to the Legendary Rupturer, who has learned to perceive compressed space around them, and thus can halt their Sundial's teleportation midway, or bode it to go further. The usage of all of the forms of this magic is entirely natural to them, and as such they do not dwell in this world as others do, always coming and going and never leaving a reliable track.
Colossal portals, such as a Rend, can be opened and maintained for a long duration of time. This allows for horrific, cataclysmic or inversely benevolent deeds; transporting a city of people to safety during a siege, or setting a city ablaze by pouring molten lava into their streets from above. The Rupturer can, additionally, access one final trait: The Revelation, the Visitant.
Credit to Incubus and Plague