Celestialism: Breaching the Veil
”Behold, my student, magic unbound!”
Sourced from the innovations of Iatrilemar Elervathar centuries ago, it was he who first harnessed the powers of pure Arcane energy and welcomed Celestials into the material world. Though the art of Celestialism has long since been rendered out of reach, incarnations of Arcanism have lingered in a state of relative stagnancy, their effects shifting little throughout the ages- against the nature of such freeform, progressive magic.
It required an inventive, perhaps slightly reckless and naive mind to tap in to the lost capabilities of Celestialism, and to redefine the art of Arcanism as a whole, bringing the two arts to a state of complete unity that had hitherto been unattained. Yet after countless years, finally, the practice has evolved. By taking upon themselves a great wound and knowing what it is to truly touch the Void, a new wave of Celestialists have risen.
This new form of Celestialism exists as a merger of the lost art and Arcanism both, and in so doing, redefines the nature of the magics. Once the king of Evocations, these new innovations have brought the merged art of modern Celestialism into a realm of its own, serving a purpose disparate but not entirely dissimilar to the practices from which it stems.
The core aspect upon which this magic functions is a spiritual wound, willingly taken. Though all Magi possess a minor tear in the fabric of their soul which enables them to connect with the Void, a Celestialist is one who chooses to draw themselves closer still to the Void, by exacerbating that injury.
Through this sacrifice a variety of abilities are obtained, ranging from shielding, to limited concussive offense, to the ability to fuel other Magi, and even summon a peculiar variety of Voidal Horror known as a Celestial, from which the magic draws its name.
Breaches, Mana Streams & Celestial Auras
In returning to a Voidal Heath after they have become suitably familiar with the mysteries of the Void, a would-be Celestialist is created by one more versed in the practice through a strenuous process in which the elder Celestialist broadens the wound already inflicted on their spirit, creating what is known as a Breach.
Best equated to a Voidal Tear, this wound in the soul of a Celestialist is what permits them to practice this renewed version of the magic, and also marks them permanently such that they will ever be rejected by the Aenguls as one with an altered soul. Through this newly formed Breach flows a constant and abundant torrent of mana, pouring from the Void itself. In essence, the Celestialist themselves become a hole in the Veil between worlds.
This flow of mana is known as a Celestialist’s Mana Stream, and is a volatile leak that is at all times a threat to the wielder. Through frequent and intense meditation, self-control and abstinence from all that would cause their careful balancing act to falter, a Celestialist may harness this excess mana either directly, or through the use of what is known as their Celestial Aura.
The Celestial Aura is the result of a Celestialist’s mana stream naturally brushing against their own innate mana pool, resulting in an overflow that greatly bolsters their regular aura, but does not grant them any extra innate mana. Celestial Auras are ever-present unless actively suppressed, and are far brighter and more expansive than a typical aura. So too do they act as an extension of the Celestialist themselves, carrying on the flows of mana a reflection of their emotional state.
So vibrant is this aura that it is reflected even on the other side of the Breach, within the Void itself. This light draws to it countless tiny creatures within the Void, known as Celestials, who seek safety and comfort in its glow, and in the projected calm of the Celestialist themselves.
Nextly, we will discuss the risks of this treacherous state of being.
Risk & Control
Whilst having an endless supply of mana leaking from oneself might seem a very beneficial trait, it is rather more complex than it may seem. A Celestialist cannot directly harness the contents of their Mana Stream for the purposes of regular spellcasting, its only function being in the control of its direction and in the Celestial Aura it creates. The only exception to this is found in Meditation, discussed later.
Celestialists must adhere to a strict lifestyle in order to maintain control over their wounded spiritual state. It is a threat on two fronts, that of the Mana Stream, and then that of the Breach itself. The risk posed by the Mana Stream is that, should one falter in their focus, it is very possible for a Celestialist’s internal supply of mana to become caught up in the flow of the Mana Stream, resulting in it being cast out into the world, leaving them drained to extents that vary depending on the amount of time focus is lost, anywhere from a single spell’s worth of mana, to complete exhaustion.
The Breach then is a slightly less persistent threat, but still not an uncommon one. Due to the volatility created in a Celestialist’s soul by said Breach, their emotions can have a direct effect on its state. Severe negative emotion such as fear, anger, grief, etc. can lead to the widening of this Breach, which essentially increases the intensity of the Mana Stream’s flow, and overwhelms a Celestialist’s ability to keep hold over their personal mana pool. The result is that an emotionally imbalanced Celestialist will find their mana being rapidly drained, potentially to the point of complete exhaustion if they cannot reign themselves in quickly enough.
Four so-called ‘studies’ are used to help Celestialists stave off these risks, known as Focus, Consciousness, Meditation and Composure. Every Celestialist must dedicate themselves to the practice of each, lest their Breach and Mana Stream get the better of them.
The Four Studies
To learn Celestialism is a taxing and dangerous process not lightly undertaken, permanently marking those who embrace it and necessitating a very particular lifestyle to cope with the changes that it brings. In order to even be capable of learning this art, one must already know what it is to connect with the Void and wield mana, meaning that they must be at least tier  in one Voidal magic.
Provided that the risks and costs are accepted, and the would-be Celestialist is suitably attuned to the Void already, the endeavor can be undertaken at the hands of a master Celestialist who will enact a ritual of Rending detailed in the ‘Abilities & Spells’ section to inflict upon the student’s soul a fresh Breach, thus granting them their own Mana Stream.
Immediately after this is done, the student will begin to have their innate mana swept off in the flow of their new Mana Stream, and their Celestial Aura will manifest. It is for this reason that a would-be Celestialist is necessitated to have a previously established grasp on mana and the Void, so that they can quickly be instructed on the process of actively holding back their own mana pool from being caught up in the flow of their Mana Stream.
After the new Celestialist has been introduced to the rest of the Four Studies which will keep them from being robbed of their innate mana, practice proper can begin. A budding Celestialist will first need to be acquainted to their newly formed Celestial Aura, to be taught how to manipulate it by force of will, as well as how to attune themselves and control the amount of mana which is allowed to escape their grasp at any given moment.
It is this control over how much mana essentially ‘evaporates’ off of their Celestial Aura that differentiates a master of Aura Control from a novice, as novices lack strength and wastes the vast majority of mana that is carried on their Mana Stream, whilst a master is more capable of retaining that energy in their Celestial Aura, thus making it more dense and potent.
Additionally it is the ability to influence their Mana Stream itself which differentiates a master of Stream Control from a novice. Where a novice finds it somewhat akin to a firehose that’s gone out of control, difficult to wrangle and direct, a master has learned how to restrain and orient its flow more proficiently.
Progress in these two areas is the path to mastery of Celestialism.
Abilities & Spells:
The abilities of a Celestialist are differentiated into three categories: Passive Effects & Misc, Aura Control and Stream Control.
Due to the fact that one’s Mana Stream brushing against their mana pool and spilling over to their aura is what creates a Celestial Aura, Aura and Stream Control categories cannot be rapidly swapped between. It requires a single emote in order to either redirect one’s Mana Stream and begin manipulating it, or to reconnect the Mana Stream to one’s aura and remanifest the Celestial Aura.
However, since Celestialists by default manifest their Celestial Aura, they are not required to do any variety of connection emote before utilizing Aura Control, unless they are switching from using a Stream Control ability.
With Stream Control, a connection emote is replaced by an emote of the Celestialist’s aura diminishing as they begin to redirect their Mana Stream. This is excused for subsequent uses of Stream Control, until the Mana Stream is reconnected to the aura.
Many abilities can be cast on a sliding scale of power determined by tier. This will impact mana cost and overall effect, but not emote count. A tier  casting a spell at the intensity of tier  may still abide by tier  emote count rules, and so forth.
Personal mana is expended in order to direct the mana sourced from one’s Mana Stream and to control their Celestial Aura.
Passive Effects & Misc:
Due to their strange and intimate connection to the Void, Celestialists experience a number of passive effects that influence both them and those around them.
Celestial Aura: A trait already touched on many times, the most obvious and defining trait of a Celestialist is their aura. This aura may appear as a simple glow, as a slight fog or even a flickering fire-like energy, changeable at the Celestialist’s whim, and retains the color of their natural aura. This aura makes the presence of a Celestialist extremely obvious to anyone who sees them, mage or otherwise. Broadly speaking, the Celestial Aura of a novice will be less vibrant than that of a master, due to its lower mana density.
In addition, a Celestialist’s Celestial Aura conveys to those within its radius a sense of their emotional state, which generally translates to providing others with a sense of clear-headedness and calm, though this can change if the Celestialist loses their composure or feels a different intense emotion.
Voidal Static: A trait only notable by other magi, a Celestialist at all times carries with their presence a distinct hum, buzz, or static of sorts that will alert other magi to their presence. This cannot be hidden or quieted, and though magi may not be able to pick out the specific source of the sound or sensation, it will always be evident to them that one is nearby. Though usually a sound, Voidal Static can also be represented as a subtle vibrating sensation.
Overflow: Enchantments or entities fueled by mana that linger in the presence of a Celestialist will be passively subject to the leakage of their Mana Stream. Enchanted items kept in their possession will gradually be topped up, and while entities like atronachs will not be buffed in any way, they will experience a pleasant ‘lively’ sensation from lingering nearby.
Flawed Soul: Due to the damage caused to their spirit in the act of becoming a Celestialist and obtaining a Breach, the souls of these magi are extra susceptible to other magics which might negatively impact them. They are also rejected by the Aenguls, and cannot regain the magic slot dedicated to Celestialism.
Meditation: The ‘misc’ part of this section, Meditation is a vital part of every Celestialist’s lifestyle, and is distinct in practice and effect from standard meditation. By drawing their focus to the flow of their Mana Stream, a Celestialist may enter a trance-like state wherein they will be able to recover both mana and from physical exhaustion. The aesthetic details of this spell vary, from changes in Celestial Aura shape, to floating a foot or so off of the floor, to even a subtle hum lingering in the air around a Celestialist.
A notable part of the experience of a Celestialist’s Meditation is the awareness of Celestials gathering to their Celestial Aura within the Void. This is perceived as the dim sense of being watched, not unsettling but notable, as well as the perception of subtle, flickering lights somewhere at the fringes of their awareness. Later on, one can perform Undertow to drag out one such light to bring a Celestial to the material world.
As the name suggests, this category focuses on the manipulation of one’s Celestial Aura to a variety of defensive, offensive, and artistic effects. The pinnacles of this category are the abilities to patch the Breach of another Celestialist, as well as create dome shields and surround oneself in a hail of arcane projectiles.
Aura Control has no specific tell, as all spells will be evident simply by the movement of the Celestialist’s Celestial Aura.
Rebound: The first and most basic offensive ability of a Celestialist. It is performed by having the Celestialist draw their aura inwards and work to stem the leakage of mana from it, causing tension to build as it struggles to expand once more. After sufficient tension is built, this control is released to create a concussive effect within the Celestial Aura’s usual range. As a Celestialist reaches higher skill levels, it can even deflect spells and projectiles.
Shield: By directing their Celestial Aura to a single spot, a Celestialist may condense it into a barrier of size and solidity dependent upon tier. This is done by first ‘gathering’ one’s aura to a location, condensing and shaping it, and finally solidifying. The destruction of this shield causes a Celestialist’s Celestial Aura to disperse back to its regular state.
Flourish: Through the infusion of extra mana from one’s Mana Stream into their aura, it can be made to shine with significant levels of brightness, able to light the way in a dark passage, or even disorient those around the Celestialist.
Encompass: The only spell which allows Celestialists to expand their Celestial Aura, Encompass requires a Celestialist to be of a journeyman level before it can be used, and involves them entering a Meditative state and focusing the entirety of their attention on their Celestial Aura. While in this state, the Celestial Aura’s range increases vastly, within which they can will it to create all manner of artistic display or demonstration. These arcane structures can be semi-solid but will do no harm, and cannot stand up to any amount of weight or stress, nor are they able to take textures or appearances beyond that of colored glass, fluid, fog or light. One could feel a surface, but not lean or push on it.
Barrier: Celestialists of significant strength can solidify their Celestial Aura on the borders of its range, creating a dome-like shield for them any anyone else in the vicinity.
Patch: The ability to temporarily and haphazardly seal the Breach of another willing Celestialist. This is necessary in instances where a fellow Celestialist has lost their composure to a great and lasting extreme, such as in instances of deep depression or grief, lest they be rendered comatose with a perpetually near-empty mana pool. Though it does not require their waking approval, their spirit must not resist the act. This is also how a Celestialist may free themselves from the risks of having a Mana Stream, and effectively give up the magic and all it entails. However, they remain afflicted with the Flawed Soul passive.
Self-evidently, Stream Control is the manipulation of one’s Mana Stream to a variety of supportive and utilitarian effects. The pinnacles of this category are the abilities to create Breaches in new Celestialists, as well as summon Celestials.
Stream Control spells are always preceded by  starting emote to redirect the Mana Stream, resulting in one’s Celestial Aura vanishing while in use. This is only avoided if one has already done so for a previous Stream Control spell, and is casting another without reconnecting the Mana Stream to their aura. Though not accounted for in emote counts, this must be taken into account for them if relevant.
Tributary: The first, most basic and selfless spell involving the control of one’s Mana Stream, Tributary allows the Celestialist to link their Mana Stream to a single mage and decrease the cost of their spells, allowing them to syphon off part of the Mana Stream’s energy for their use.
Disperse: By carefully limiting the flow of their Mana Stream and directing it away from their own mana pool, a Celestialist may conceal their Celestial Aura to better blend in.
Undertow: Upon reaching a level of near mastery over Stream Control, a Celestialist may draw out one of the many Celestials gathered to the Celestial Aura exuded on the other side of their Breach. This creature becomes their constant companion, though has no functional value.
Rend: Finally, with complete mastery over Stream Control, a Celestialist becomes capable of inflicting a Breach upon the souls of other magi to turn them into a Celestialist.
General Red Lines:
At tier , a Celestialist has just been awakened and is still adjusting to their newfound powers. They have been informed of the Four Studies and do their best to adhere, but will frequently falter in their practice of these concepts. Their control over their Celestial Aura and Mana Stream is rough at best. This stage lasts  OOC weeks.
At tier , a Celestialist has become more familiar with the nature of their power. They have learned to more effectively keep a low level of focus to avoid accidental mana loss, though are still prone to failure relatively often. Their control over their Celestial Aura and Mana Stream is still imprecise, but significantly improved. This stage lasts  OOC weeks.
At tier , a Celestialist is now significantly adept with the powers of Celestialism. The Four Studies are near becoming second nature to adhere to, and interruptions to their focus or composure are only occasional. Their control over their Celestial Aura and Mana Stream now comes somewhat naturally. This stage lasts  OOC weeks.
At tier , a Celestialist is near mastering their Breach and its results. They can easily maintain a consistent passive focus to prevent mana loss, and have by now likely gained greater mastery over their emotions. Their control over their Celestial Aura and Mana Stream is now adept, coming with ease. This stage lasts  OOC weeks.
At tier , a Celestialist is a master of their nature. The Four Studies come as easily as breathing, and only extreme circumstances or injury will cause them to falter on any front. Their control over their Celestial Aura and Mana Stream is second nature, as natural as breathing. This is the final stage.
Celestialism is compatible with:
Celestialism is incompatible with:
”He is a strange beast, but I suppose that says more of me than him.”
Creatures born within the Void as but wisps of ill-defined light, Horrors of the lowest rung in the scales of power within that strange space. Terrorized and victimized in the place of their birth, these sorry beings are drawn to the light of Celestialists where it is reflected in the Void, their Celestial Aura shining through the Breach in their souls. They take comfort in the balanced and disciplined minds of Celestialists, taking refuge in that oasis of calm and light amidst the chaos and dark.
Celestials are a presence that every Celestialist becomes aware of upon their first meditation, their existence sensed on the very edges of a budding Celestialist’s consciousness, like flickering lights at the very corners of their vision, a silent audience to their luminous power.
Through practice and discipline, a Celestialist may bring forth one of these creatures as a personal familiar, inadvertently giving them form and nature in the process.
The behaviour of Celestials varies wildly from individual to individual, only three reliable traits being notable.
As with most Voidal Horrors, a common trait shared by Celestials is curiosity- they are compelled to learn and experience more of this strange, material realm, and tend to be very inquisitive and nosey. The next factor is intelligence. Celestials are possessed of fully formed minds and are capable of detailed communication with their Celestialist, though this takes place through a mental link, leaving their exchanges unheard by others. Finally, the final trademark of Celestial behaviour is that they are fearful and cautious, unwilling to engage in any manner of direct combat.
Beyond these traits, the demeanor and personality of a Celestial is determined largely by what ‘rubs off’ on them through the process of being brought into the material world, drawn from the unconscious mind of their summoner. This does not mean that a Celestial will always be of similar disposition to the Celestialist, indeed they could end up quite the opposite of the one who brings them into the material realm, but generally their disposition will be one that tends to endear the Celestialist to their presence.
Celestials will never stray far from their Celestialist, as they share an ethereal connection with them that both sustains their physical form and grants them significant comfort through the influence of the summoner’s Celestial Aura.
As with their behaviour, the physical qualities of a Celestial are extremely unpredictable. Their bodies are sustained by something of an ‘umbilical cord’ that connects them to the Celestialist’s Mana Stream, a passive section of its flow that sustains their physical manifestation, but otherwise has no impact upon the magic at large. Due to this Celestials cannot be given away as pets, or even left at home- a Celestial is always at its Celestialist’s side.
Due to this necessity and the fact that their physical form is drawn from the Celesetialist’s subconscious the same way that their behaviour is, Celestials tend to be small in stature. Though not a rule, and capable of reaching sizes up to that of a large dog, the vast majority of Celestials will manifest at sizes capable of being carried or held somewhere on the Celestialist’s person, such that they are not disruptive to day-to-day life.
Celestials are physically weak and lack any means to cause harm to anyone whatsoever, lacking the strength to even bite or scratch to any meaningful effect. Though they look and feel like physical entities, the composition of a Celestial is purely mana-based. This is easily noticed when lifting such a creature, as they weigh far less than a real animal of equivalent size might, even capable of floating regardless of whether or not they have the body parts to do so. This also means they lack significant strength to lift anything heavier than  pound. Their unique composition is also notable should they be injured.
Injury, Death & Banishment
Celestials lack any sort of internal physiology, their general appearance essentially equating to a shell that encompasses a core of undefined mana, which will leak out like steam should they be injured. Sufficient injury will result in their complete destabilization, causing the Celestial to return to the Void where it can be left in favor of bringing out a new one, or resummoned with the same qualities. A Celestial will also be banished if it is taken more than  meters from a Celestialist, or if a Celestialist intentionally severs the ‘umbilical cord’ that connects them to their Mana Stream.
The process of resummining a Celestial is identical to that of bringing forth a new one through casting Undertow, the only difference is intent. Once banished or destroyed, a Celestial will always seek out their summoner’s Celestial Aura’s projection in the void, in hopes of being brought back to their side.
General Red Lines:
The purpose of this rewrite is to both reimagine Arcanism whilst merging it with and bringing back Celestialism. The reason for this is due to Arcanism’s current place as a ‘better evocation’, and because current Arcanism doesn’t do much to add to the flavor of a character. A few rewrites have come through that essentially repackage the old lore, but I am of the opinion that Arcanism and Celestialism both deserve a revamp, not a rehash.
I have given it the unique cost of permanently removing a magic slot, even if dropped, and permanently locking characters out of deity magics. This is to avoid it becoming a ‘must-have’ magic due to its supportive benefits and the enhanced aesthetics. It also cannot be self-taught for this same reason. However, I want to clarify that while the removal of a magic slot and deity magic lockout is permanent for the life of this lore, should it be shelved for any reason, these limitations will be lifted.
Due to the dissimilarity to previous incarnations and the significant cost to characters possessing it, I will be instituting an MA and TA wipe for Arcanism alongside this rewrite should it be accepted. This is also necessary due to the restrictions it places on character behaviour, which will not be compatible with many current Arcanist characters. An MA and TA wipe is, I will be very clear, completely vital.
This is not due to any ill-will I hold against the Arcanism community, it is simply a necessity due to the nature of this lore piece. I will be using the grandfathering system to ensure that the magic is accessible to those outside of my own personal friend group, and that it is not taken from places where it is of cultural significance.
Credits, Citations & Changelog:
Kalehart (Writing and Concept)
BrandNewKitten (Original Lore)
Reworked emote counts across the board for combat and defensive abilities. They now have two separate guidelines for casting at-tier and above-tier. Tier 4 and tier 5 spells are now significantly more emote intensive.
Removed the spell Barrage due to balance concerns and the fact that it has more offensive utility than I intend to give this magic.