Thaumaturgy & Circuits
Alright… I think I’m going to say that these magic circuits in a person can be wired differently, to extend the metaphor. So that some people cannot activate their circuits, some people can. These people are then wired to either pull energy from their own reserves, which would be a psionic and going to go ahead and call them psionic circuits and others are wired to activate their magic circuits and pull energy from outside the body. In either case, they are blind to the energy that they do not have access to. Thus, the study of both things as a “science” is thaumaturgy.
In either case, a person either balances out the energy in a sort of automatic way, that is nature abhors things out of balance and thus energy moves one to the other - without control of the person - to attempt to achieve balance, which moves energy in or out of the body depending on what happens. Thus, there is a tole taken on the physical body.
Room For Martial Arts & Similar Talents of Focus
Now, as an extension, I would like to have room for non-magic users or non-psionics to be able to do some of the interesting things that someone of martial arts or monks or others of similar archetypes who do things via balance and focus. I’m not sure what form this takes yet, but what I was considering is a concept that by manipulating the body - through calm and focus, one can thus secondarily manipulate it’s energy and move energy in and out of the body to impact the world around them without direct control. I would really like to get some more input on that as well, see what people think.
Impact of Imbalance
When things are out of balance there is a full concept of equivalent exchange. A person who uses an impressively large amount of energy (of either type) will cause a serious imbalance to occur. This imbalance will have a physical tole on the body, it will be exhausting for one but further, the more imbalance has to be corrected and this is corrected by Aether moving into (in the case of a persons personal energy being used moving from the inside to the outside), magical energy moves into the body.
In the opposite case, someone who uses a lot of magical energy to do something (casting for instance), the magical energy around them will be depleted in their immediate vicinity and then the body will be required to release psionic energy to compensate and balance the local energy field out. In this case, when a person loses energy to the outside world, the toll it takes on the person is even more intense, as they are both losing energy and the flow itself takes a toll.
Toll of Energy Transference
This is also the idea of equivalent exchange. Similar to how in electronics there is no perfect system, wires have resistance and thus it takes more energy to move into a system than the system gains from the transfer. This resistance to transfer is quite high and proportional to the amount of energy in movement. By the system, we term the body itself and the energy it contains. Any time energy moves in and out of that system it takes a toll on the body, and that toll is exponentially proportional to the size of the flow.
Thus in a nominal state the body stays roughly in balance with its surroundings, only minor energy flow in and out would have relatively minimal impact on the body. This also links back into some of the Star Trek ideas of, well it goes under a lot of names but the energy of the brain (this amorphous and poorly defined concept as it is state in canon) - which I will discuss in a different post.
However, the toll this takes on the body increases exponentially in proportion to the energy transferred and the first thing to go would be the nervous system, taking its toll on a person’s body in that way.
Progression of Bodily Damage
Damage is not permanent in most cases, and lasts a length of time proportional to the level of damage done, but the damage is a physically quantifiable damage. That is to say, nerves are actually damaged (increasing chemical imbalances, or lining of the nerve being stripped away, etc…), and other damage can be detected with sufficiently sophisticated equipment.
- Nerve problems
- Tingling or painful feeling in extremities.
- Loss of feeling in extremities, as it progresses will get closer and closer to the main body.
- Symtoms intensify to a point, but permanent nerve damage takes a significant amount of prolonged exposure to occur.
- Muscle problems
- Extreme muscle fatigue.
- Lack of strength.
- Lack of endurance.
- Damage here becomes more intense, but also tends not to be permanent until significant exposure has taken place.
- The body’s ability to fight off infection decreases rapidly.
- The person can become generally ill with enough of an energy transfer, though it is more common here when the body is losing energy (psionic energy moving to the outside of the body due to a lack of energy in the local field around the body). These symptoms will be flu-like in nature, generally raised white cell count without detectable root cause.
- Intensity of immediate sickness will increase from the intensity of the problem, however, at this level most of the damage is done by prolonged exposure of an intense energy drain. Low levels of drain should never reach this level.
Low level draining (such as what is going on between Tal and Saber, will result in something more along the lines of difficulty healing and perhaps an extra propensity with becoming ill or staying ill without any major effects or actual physical damage.