Aura, in the world of Occulted, is a type of subtle matter that surrounds people and objects, and fills certain places. Aura can be inert, in which case it has no effect and whatever it is associated with acts like anything you’re familiar with, or it can be active, in which case its generator is Occulted. It is that latter category, of course, that this essay is really interested in.
An active aura owned by a person reacts to that person’s will. What effects the aura has on the world changes from person to person. Jessica’s aura gives her super-strength. Vanessa’s let’s her become invisible. Many Occulted, like Eric and Angelica, can physically transform because of their auras.
Perhaps I should note here that when I say ‘will,’ I don’t refer to only to intentional actions. In particular, Eric’s transformation into a beast is linked to the phase of the moon. The idea was that he received some kind of energy from the moon, and when it built up to a certain point, he would have to transform into an uncontrolled state, where he was a danger to everyone around him.
There’s also the strangeness of Alima’s body. Physically, she is little more than a heart surrounded by a body that’s prone to turning to dust under stress, but I want it to be possible for her to live as a human, eating, drinking, even possibly raising a family. In a sense, her powers are a reverse of Eric’s. While his powers allow a human to become an unnatural existence, hers allow an unnatural existence to become a human. Or maybe it should be that her powers are instinctual and defensive, leaving her monster-form nearly helpless (but alive) while most others make them more dangerous.
I need to think about the monster-forms. I only realized that while writing this essay, but they probably deserve one for themselves. However, I’ve also introduced several other concepts that need to be covered; namely, I need to consider the difference between active and inert auras, and to think about the auras of things and places, as well as people. Funny how essays can branch like that.
To get back on track, aura is a form of subtle matter associated with a person, place, or thing. I’ve decided to call the associated person/place/thing the aura’s generator. Everything, or nearly everything, in the world is a generator for an aura, however, most things a person encounters in life has an aura that’s inert, and has no effect. The Occulted are people that have active aura’s, which lets them use their superpowers, including transformation.
From this, it is obvious that different generators have different kinds of auras. Different kinds of aura’s have different attributes. I might be able to make use of this kinds of things as an explanation for the rituals. However, I still need to figure out how inert auras figure into things.
Another thing I want to think about is spirits, beings that are made out of aura. As they would be independent existences instead of having generators, it might be wrong to call them aura. There’s another essay to write.
This essay is a mess. I’ve touched on aura proper and the free-floating stuff I also call aura, and on the difference between active and inert aura. I’m slowly groping my way towards an understanding of Occulted’s magic system. I’m not sure how the ritual spellcasting works, but I think I need to figure out how an Occ’s personal superpowers work first. I think that can be the next part.
I’m sorry about how disjointed this essay wound up being. I didn’t know what I wanted to write about when I started it, and in the actual writing, I wound up figuring out what the other parts of the essay were going to be about. I’m still going to make it available, just so that you can see how I thought of things.
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