"The trick to mastering a miracle is knowing how it works." – Marakessa, Seeker Transmuter
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Extended Information
- 3 Ether
- 4 The Steps
- 5 Flaws
- 6 Qualities: A Transmuters Palate
- 7 Reference Guide: Knowledges Required
- 8 Dangers and Overstepping
- 9 Initiation
Of all the magics, Transmutation is one of the more curious.
Transmutation, while technically a branch of artifice, pales before the creative prowess of Dustforge. However, in lieu of the Miracle-Smithing, Transmutation takes a purer approach to magic in general. Transmuters consider themselves Etherists, studying the nature of Ether and its raw manipulation. Before any discipline, save Attunement, Transmuters hold a more complete understanding of the ether limitations of mages and the world around them. Some more arrogant practitioners consider Attunement and Transmutation to be sources or Pure Disciplines, the start from which all other magic began. The truth of this claim is lost in history but a considerable body of mages consider this to have some truth to it. Practically understood, Transmutation is the art of creation, understanding, and ether manipulation.
The most assumed part of Transmutation is the transformation of one substance to another. Historically, Transmuters were said to be capable of transmuting base metals to gold or onyx, suggesting Transmutation was the path to true wealth. While compelling claims, early Seekers spread this rumor along with many others in order to turn public opinion toward the more prevalent use of magic. They, like the rest of the rumors, were mostly false with kernels of truth.
Transmutation does transform, although it never changes the base substance being modified. Instead, Transmutation is the process of weaving ether into the fabric of a substance to alter its properties. A transmuted steel sword is still a steel sword, but the Transmuter might weave additional qualities to improve its performance. Dustsmith’s call Transmuted objects ‘Melds’ for the process of melding ether into the nature of a substance, often used derisively. Transmuters, however, call the art of Dustforge ‘Jeweling’ for their use of wells as the primary fuel for their craft. Ideological differences divide the two magics although a few facts can be drawn for certain. Transmuters understand the nature of ether to a far greater precision than Dustsmiths, but few creations of Transmutation can rival the wonders capable in Dustforging.
Objects modified with Transmutation often have a certain contiguous nature that belies their unnatural origin. Some Transmuters who are not craftsmen do not reconstruct the object as it was, but as they considered it to be. A hammer may cease to be a piece of wood and the head of a hammer and instead become one solid object, making it nearly impossible to repair. While this oversight can be corrected, it illuminates that a Transmuter must be an artist, paying the closest of attention to details in order to excel in their craft.
Ether is the cornerstone of all magic. Native to the formless chaos found in Emea, ether is an energy likened to raw possibility. It is the ‘potential’ of purpose that gives ether its power and makes it the perfect energy source to transmute the miracles of mages. All sentient beings can produce ether through their connection to Emea. For most, this connection to ether plays a largely unobserved role. The natural ether that each soul creates allows a sleeper access to Emea while they dream, creating the sliver of a doorway necessary to slip through uninhibited. While this connection is usually only small enough to allow minds and souls passage, there are some who, through dreamwalking, manage to create physical doorways to Emea for them to traverse through.
No being can escape their connection to ether and it is this connection that allows mages to exist. The Spark feeds on ether when placed in the soul of a mage and grows according to it being nurtured. As mages go through their transformations, the spark grows ever hungrier and larger within them. Transmuters have long ago discovered that a mage has more capacity to channel mana than any other ordinary life form, however the hunger of the Spark that allows them their magical talent largely keeps this gap undiscovered. Although a mage is far more awakened to a soul’s connection to Emea, the wellspring of ether, the appetite of the Spark keeps their ether output largely similar to any of their species, the Spark growing in concert with the mage’s own awakening ability to pull more ether.
Transmuters study ether as Attuners do, through the identification of its nature and properties. While magics like Defiance uses ether to connect a mage to elements and Becoming uses ether and totems to guide transformations, Transmutation is the study of wielding ether as a raw resource for the mage, the understanding of this potential energy. Transmutation, then, is the study of the transformative properties of ether and its ability to direct reality with instruction. Perhaps more than any other mage save an Attuner, a Transmuter understands the nature of magic best.
The first step of any Transmutation is deconstruction. Other Transmuters call this process Basing, taking the object in question and immersing it within a field of ether created by the mage. While within this field, the object begins to lose coherence in Idalos. In a process that can take only a few bits for small objects and up to entire breaks for larger objects, the item in the ether field will grow translucent and begin to fade. Ether temporarily destabilizes the existence of the object in the material plane, directed by the will of the Transmuter, allowing a mage to move to the next step. Absolute concentration is vital at this and subsequent stages. If a Transmuter is interrupted or their focus is shaken, the object returns swiftly to reality, but always damaged in some irrevocable way, its durability shattered.
Alteration is the second step of Transmutation. Others call this Detailing, or Painting, the idea of inscribing new qualities into the object. At this stage, the Transmuter directs the ether into the very fabric of the item in question, carrying with it the Transmuters instructions. This process can be much shorter depending on the complexity of the qualities a Transmuter is imparting or the details of where and when these qualities might manifest. Typically no more than a break is used encoding these instructions.
The third step, Reformation or Finishing, is to bring the object back to Idalos in its new state. For novices, this is always a recreation of the original piece. The true creativity of the art is lost to them at such a low threshold of understanding. This process is usually twice as long as it takes to deconstruct the item. For practitioners at a higher level of understanding, this stage can be used to reform the object, into an entirely different shape...or make minor alterations on the original. When the ether field is finally dispelled, the object needs a moment to Firm or ‘Dry’, as the last vestiges of ether firm into reality within the object in question. If done correctly, the Transmuted object will be largely the same, save for a number of new qualities the Transmuter has designed.
By dint of their unnatural creation, most Transmuted objects have a limited lifespan. The ether that provides the magic to their effects is by its very nature, fleeting. As a Transmuted object degrades, it begins to lose its magical effects and, worse, shows signs of advanced deterioration. The process that makes the objects also limits their lifespan without magical intervention. Many Transmuters will renew the process on their favored items before the magic completely fades to avoid purchasing new ones. Regrettably this makes Transmutation only of limited useful in commerce. The base lifespan of a Transmuted object is six trials. Each new quality decreases this by 10% the base duration. The base lifespan of a transmuted object grows with expertise, twelve trials at competence and 30 trials at expertise. A Master can expect dependability from his creation up to 60 trials from creation and a Legendary Transmuter expects a base lifespan of 90 trials, but supposedly is capable of imbuing permanence.
Generally, a flaw is an accepted reality of Transmutation. Flaws are more common when ascribing qualities to an object that defy its shape. Creating a ‘sharp’ club, for instance. Mostly, flaws can significantly lower the lifespan of the object created but sometimes can cause unexpected qualities or attributes to awaken within the new object, much to the detriment of the wielder. The aforementioned club might release an etheric discharge when used, damaging the wielder as the magic explodes out of the club created. Creativity is encouraged with these flaws and sometimes, rarely, a flaw is an unexpected blessing Transmuters will look to capitalize and learn for future creations. Most Transmuted items have Flaws in cosmetic appearance. Cracks of light or a curious shimmering radiance will emit from objects created this way, a side effect of ether, which cannot be erased while the object is in existence. Transmuters accept these flaws, however, understanding that any process has a learning curb and that as time goes on, their mastery will grow.
Qualities: A Transmuters Palate
Qualities are specialized Knowledge a Transmuter picks up as they explore the world around them. In order to guide a transmutation to success, a practitioner must wholly understand the kind of qualities they hope to inscribe. Without knowing the heft and feel of steel, how could one impart it to the woven shirt they wanted to make into armor? Transmutation: The Rigidity of Steel, Transmutation: The Quality of a Fire’s Heat, and Transmutation: The Slipperiness of Ice are qualities that can be memorized by a Transmuter through intense study and then projected into their work. Qualities are memorized instructions a Transmuter encodes into the ether during Alteration. While no Transmuter can create a sword that bursts into flame, they can create one that burns to the touch along the blade. Qualities are parts of a reality. Colors, touch-based stimuli, sounds. A Transmuter does not imbue electricity into a glove, they imbue the sensation of being shocked, which is mimicked through the ether when touching a target.
Many Transmuters appear over-curious, experimenting the sensation of item and substance qualities on themselves to teach their minds and flesh the memory of sensation. While more existential sensations such as fear or the certainty of death are not qualities, the color gold or the sound of silence is. Unlike Mirage which has a much wider array of sensations and memories to weave into illusion, a Transmutation is not an illusion. If the sensation is one of burning, the item will use its inner ether to burn all and any that touch it. Although true elements cannot be called of transmuted items, the ether within them will mimic the sensation the Transmuter wants to impart. Often manifesting as eccentric behavior, Transmuters would argue they truly understand the world, as their art requires constant exposure to its myriads of states.
Reference Guide: Knowledges Required
A technique shared in common with Attunement, Identity allows the mage to use their own ether as a way to identify, catalog, and inform. While not as extensive as an Attuner’s grasp, Identity allows a mage to analyze non-living material and objects. A Transmuter who learns Identity will be able to pick up a sword and identify the different metals used in its construction (provided they are familiar with the metals). They can sense impressions of the function of magical items, innately understand the object’s durability, age, and weak points. Transmuters use this ability throughout their journey as mages to aid them in all manner of tasks and investigations.
The most basic step of Transmutation, Destruction, necessitates damaging an object with ether in order to recreate it. Corrosion is the accelerated version of that principle, forcing ether into small explosions of magic designed to compromise the integrity of non-living objects. While ordinary Transmutation is a much slower process, Corrosion destroys without any intention of recreation, allowing the magic to work quicker. Transmuters have used this, transmitted by touch, to destroy locks, bars, and doors with enough effort and concentrated ether. Damage from Corrosion takes the form of advanced wear and tear on the objects at first, but something destroyed by Corrosion is eerily ‘melted’ despite its actual composition. Curiously, while Transmuters seem to have no trouble extending this principle to doors, dead flesh is not something Corrosion seems to effect. Some have compared the basic element of Corrosion to the necromatic Decay in necromancy and certainly the principles are similar...but ‘what’ the ether is capable of decaying seems to be the main difference. When pressured for a reason, Transmuters cite that it must have to do with the natures of the Necromancy and Transmutation Spark.
Ether is a miraculous substance. Ordinarily it is completely invisible to the eye. Only with Attunement can one train their senses to actually see the currents of ether that each living being naturally produces. Transmuters, however, have designed another way to bring ether into the physical spectrum. Technically a minor form of Transmutation, a mage with this ability is capable of encouraging his own produced ether to glow. Conjuring and pulling it into a small orb around their hands, Transmuters have used this magic in lieu of torches at times. The light tends to be much more consistent and lasts as long as the Transmuter is willing to supply the ether. As ether stems from the soul, within the body, Transmuters have found that using this ability without projecting ether tends to cause the user’s body to gleam in a dull sort of luminescence. Most haven’t found much use for that particular ability, but some Transmuters have expelled a great quantity of ether, only to ignite it suddenly to distract or blind an opponent. Unfortunately, a Transmuter is only capable of making this change in their own ether, not the ether of others.
Bolstering is a competent technique Transmuters learn that allow them to use the ether they produce to reinforce the reality of an object. The ether, rather than corroding, protectively forces the object to be stronger and less likely to break. The durability of the object and how long it remains so depends entirely upon the mage...as the process is only continuous as long as fresh ether it supplied to catalyze the new resilience. Transmuters have used Bolstering to hold barriers that should have fallen or take simple sticks to defend themselves from swords without having them snap. Some Transmusters will Bolster their own clothes as a kind of armor, although so much bolstering over a period of time can leave the mage spent, if not encourage Overstepping. Overwhelming force will still shatter the object in question. A Transmuter cannot bolster something into an impregnable shield, as that's more the properties of Abrogation.
Ether is simply a tool, something to be shaped, tasked, purposed. An Ether Missile is a pocket of ether produced by the Transmuter and then energized. Hurled like a javelin or throw like a stone, an ether missile is force and crackling magic, pure. Those struck by an ether missile describe the sensation as both burning and eerily cold. Ether is a fairly destructive force and an ether missile often carries the properties of Corrosion when tasked to do so, degrading objects it crashes against.
Sculpting is a principle learned in competence that allows a Transmuter to reshape the object they are currently working with. Rather than firm it in reality as it was before, the Transmuter has the option of making alterations to its shape. Sculpting can also be used in repair as well, Transmuting a broken item back into a whole one. By gathering the pieces and transmuting them all at once, sculpting can reforge a broken blade or restore something shattered, although some of the finer manipulation for the complexity of the object may be tricky and take much more time. Sculpting requires no additional expenditure of ether, it simply comes as an enlightenment of understanding the creative power by which Transmutation can be applied.
Developed for use against other mages and as a defensive measure when approaching Fractures, Absorption allows a Transmuter to redirect the ambient ether generated by others. While not as powerful as an Abberant’s flaying (or any Flaying), Absorption is not meant to be a fatal technique. Instead it steals power from magical constructs and mages, redirects it through the caster and out again. Mostly Absorption does little to augment the power of the mage using it. While Absorbed ether can be redirected to spells, generally it simply extends a mage’s stamina in spellcasting rather than adding to their raw ability. Absorption is triggered when a Transmuter interacts with another magic or mage. Most often this has to be done by touch. Transmuters risk great bodily harm by leaping straight into the way of spells, but the principle of Absorption is to rob the spell of its ether content and force it unmade. A Transmuter can cancel any spell they can get their hands on that is at a competency lower than them, and steal some of the power of the spell from anything at their level and above. Sometimes it’s enough to simply weaken the spell. With this ability, Transmuters have been remarkably effective against necromancers and Aberrants. When a Transmuter touches a thrall, they can steal the ether that animates it. Granted, if the thrall has an implanted well this technique is not effective, only momentarily arresting the thrall in its progress or control. Absorption has been used in a multitude of situations involving magic, making Transmuters one of the more effective duelists among mage-kind.
That said, Abrogation is a unique challenge for Transmuters. Abrogator shields harden ether, making it difficult to conventionally absorb or destroy. A Transmuter must redouble their efforts or risk no damage to an enemy mage's shields.
Shapecraft is an expert technique in Transmutation, involving the instant deconstruction and reconstruction of objects. Shapecraft can only be used on a single material at a time and is generally most effective on simple material like wood, dirt, and stone. Channeled from the hand, Shapecraft allows a Transmuter to nearly instantly reshape the substance around them into whatever their minds can imagine. Raising a dirt wall, constructing a fist made of stone to leap from the wall they’re touching, a Transmuter’s mind is the only limit in what they can create. Anything transmuted in this way does not last long in its state. After only a break, the new shape breaks down and crumbles to dust, unable to handle the rapid reshaping process.
As a Transmuter progresses in their understanding of the magic, they come to realize that their own ether grows in range as they do in mastery. Many magics employ an effective range where magic is capable of working and Transmutation is no different. An expert Transmuter becomes capable of using their techniques within an area of distance, so long as they establish a Pathway. A Transmuter Pathway is built of two components, first being the transmuter’s own flesh and the second being a common substance. A Transmuter could, within their range, channel a transmutation through the dirt to react at the edge of their range...so long as the Pathway did not need to pass through a different material to get there. If there was a statue in the way of the reaction, as ether moves in a straight line (unless directed differently) from one place to another, the Pathway would end at the statue rather than past it. Likewise a reaction could be sent across a wood floor, but not into the dirt past the edge of the floor. All ether can naturally be conducted through the substance it is traveling through, but only one at a time. Still, Pathway allows a Transmuter the sort of range and area that allows them to be terrifying in combat.
For a Transmuter, their art is not one of an instant nature. Magic infused objects deconstructed and reconstructed takes time and patience. At mastery, however, this process can take place nearly instantaneously...at the expense of an object’s lifespan. Galvanize is a furiously swift Transmutation where a mage works through the transmutation process in a matter of seconds, imbuing traits without worrying about flaws. In truth, the flaw is that the item never lasts longer than a break. But for the Transmuter on the run or in a tough situation, Galvanize can be the distance between life and death. A Transmuter might slap the ground at the mouth of an alley and Galvanize the surface to be as slippery as ice in order to evade attackers, or ward a wooden door to be burning to the touch. Objects imbued in such a way often come out worse for wear. At the end of the break, cracks and weaknesses roil through the object, making it nearly useless to use conventionally again without magic or expert craftsman intervention.
Most of Transmutation is guess-work. Ether, for all its ways of being measured and channeled is still a primal form of creative energy. It is not always clear how ether will react when mixed into an object through Transmutation. This is often how flaws develop, a tangible example of ether’s unpredictability. A master, however, has studied these permutations and begins to understand the nature of how ether truly interacts, enough to even predict and speed certain reactions. Formula is a memorized process of imbuing a specific kind of object with specific attributes. In order to become a Formula, it must be practiced several times. Eventually, the master becomes capable of Transmuting a Formulaic item in half the time it would ordinarily take to Transmute an object. In addition, Formula Transmutations last half again as long as they ordinarily would. Unless a flaw is desired in the item’s construction, a Formula Transmutation rarely has any flaw to contend with.
A uniquely powerful aspect of master Transmutation and only available to the caster who understands the nature of ether, a Transmuter can focus the ether in their own body and the area around them to consolidate into a well. Forgoing the need to harvest wells from Fractures or Flaying (except for the truly exceptional well types) the Transmuter is able to form their own at the expense of exhaustion and overstepping. The most common wells are easiest made and so long as only one or two are created per few trials, a mage does not risk overstepping. For Imedyte, only one can be created every four trials and minor overstepping will always result. A mage can create the Imedyte variants like Ashyte and Umadyte at the upper limits of this ability (So long as they have the Knowledges of studying the wells before), but will always invite moderate to severe overstepping as a result. Most mages in need of wells for conduits or other creations accept this risk in order to minimize the abhorrence of Flaying or the danger and time of questing for Fractures.
A weapon developed almost exclusively for the battling of other mages, especially Abberants, Ether Cyclone ignites all Ether within a Transmuter’s range into a sizzling explosion of energy. Most mages have no choice but to rapidly expel the ether from their body without casting a spell to keep from being burned by their own etheric reserves. Absolutely fatal to Abberants who often carry far more ether than a normal mage, this ability can only be unleashed by a Legendary Transmuter who truly understands the link of ether to each soul. This ability is dangerous to anyone, however, as their link to Emea guarantees a latent ether in their system. In a radius around the Transmuter, sentient beings will burn and agonize in the throes of crackling energy. Unfortunately, a Transmuter must unleash their own ether in order to avoid burning themselves. However, given their mastery over ether, a Transmuter using this ability can control the sheets of shattering ether around them to terrifying effect. Only magical items, artifacts, and wells can withstand the effects of an Ether Cyclone.
The pinnacle of creation for a Transmuter. By investing some of themselves into the object in question, they can make the object created permanent. It will face no corrosion and the ether will not seep out in time. In the wake of a Legendary Transmuter, strange and inexplicable items are often left for others to puzzle over. Strangely, a transmuted item imbued with permanence cannot have its ether taken through Absorption. Instead it is somehow sealed, maintaining the integrity of the object in question through the ages. A Legendary Transmuter is capable of making up to ten objects permanent, and these objects are irrevocably linked to the mage in question. Magic that seeks the owner of such items will be particularly strong on Permanent transmutations and the Transmuter will feel wrenching pain if the object is ever damaged or destroyed. It is said legendary Transmuters who perish haunt their objects, that vestiges of their personality are imbued within each permanent object.
Another ability designed against mages, Ether Drought changes the fabric of reality in the radius of the Transmuter, making it impossible for magic using ether to be cast. While this is less useful against divine abilities, any magical item created with Domain magic or Domain magic of any kind is neutralized. For many mages who focus only on their magical prowess, this ability can end duels and battles before they even begin. A Transmuter is also subject to this limitation so long as they maintain the Drought, but uses of this ability have been instrumental in allowing a Transmuter to travel deep into a Fracture, minimizing danger, or even to survive in the ether-rich environment of Emea...sometimes becoming terrors to those denizens that exist there naturally.
Dangers and Overstepping
Sudden pain, Spontaneous bleeding, Ether Explosion, Dizziness, Nausea, Weakness, and Numbness
Agonizing pain (especially centered around the head and hands), Reopening of old scars, Domain Corruption, Ether Intolerance (minor), Complete loss of balance (a few trials), Spontaneous Transmutation
Ether Intolerance (Major), Spontaneous Wounding, Etheric Devastation, Fractured Portals, Broken bones, temporary (or permanent) mental damage.
Ether Explosion is the unfortunate side effect of overloading the object ether is being poured into, resulting in its explosion. The danger of this depends largely on the size and amount of ether being used. For items of multiple qualities and changes, these explosions can be dangerous although rarely deadly. For smaller objects the risk is far less but always is surprising.
Domain corruption is a moderate overstepping that affects mages with multiple domains. Domain corruption simply gets the sparks confused when the mage is casting and tends to disrupt spellcasting or cause random effects between both magics for the time the domains are corrupted. Usually this corruption is temporary and abates after some trials, but extreme cases may cause the mage to have to develop entirely new spellcasting practices to avoid the corruption.
Ether intolerance tends to be a fairly unfortunate overstepping consequence. The mage experiencing this side effect of overstepping acquires a temporary allergic reaction to the manipulation of ether. This can include all kinds of symptoms from persistent fever, severe aches, shortness of breath, and other uncomfortable maladies. As soon as the mage ceases using magic, these symptoms slowly dissipate but the more the mage uses their own magic, the more uncomfortable and longer the symptoms persist. Major Ether Intolerance involves much more deadly reactions like throat swelling, terrible coughs, high fever, and seizures.
Transmuted allergies tend to associate with the material the Transmuter was using at the time of the overstepping. Temporarily the mage becomes unable to handle the material without sustaining scalding burns on whatever part of their body the substance touches. Etheric Devastation- Etheric Devastation is a rare side effect of heavy overstepping and involves the chain reaction of all ether in a mage’s body, detonating it out and around them in a pulsing radius. By the process of expelling it, the mage often keeps their life...albeit sorely wounded, and all areas around them are ravaged with a pulse of etheric discharge.
Another result of heavy overstepping, a Transmuter will begin to accidentally begin transmuting any objects he touches, often simply damaging them. In order to counteract this side-effect, the mage must expel the ether from their body and temporarily exhaust themselves. Only after a few trials of the ether steadily returning will this effect dissipate.
Sometimes, rarely, in the midst of heavy Transmutation overstepping, a mage accidentally creates a minor Fracture and are subsequently drawn within. The mages that fall into Emea in such a way are often lost forever trying to find their way back, though some have met curious denizens that showed them the way.
For a Transmuter, initiation is understanding the true nature of ether. One of the more dangerous initiations, a teacher will impart their spark through an ether missile into the body of their student. This spark transmutes the soul, in a way, to make it receptive to the magic of Domain it imparts. The student will be overcome with agonizing pain as their body fights to remain in Idalos. Students begin to lose tangibility, appearing as if they are being transmuted. Those who do not meld with the Spark will vanish entirely, leaving no trace of their body or belongings. Those who do will grow solid again as the pain passes. It is said those who fail Initiation are transported directly to Emea, no longer mortal and yet, not anything else wholly of Emea. These strange beings wander Emea with dangerous Transmuters power, forever denied Idalos. Some have postulated that failed Transmuter initiates become the Harvesters that bond with Aberrants, but the truth has never been confirmed.
Between master and student, a unique ether link will develop. While within a city block of each other, a master or student can both transfer their own soul’s ether to the other, making a student and master dangerous opponents in combat.
For Transmutation, Mutations tend to be a curious sort. As the magic most aligned to the raw nature of ether, transmutation mutations tend to follow that ethereal and fantastical quality. Brands tend to be simple things, a soft glow to the eyes in the darkness, a glow that envelops the mage when they are casting magic, or curious glimmering cracks that grace parts of their body.
Mutations, however, tend to be more dramatic. Sometimes a Transmuter will accidentally end up with part of their body transmuted with a new ‘attribute’. This would inevitably come with both flaws and qualities from the transformation. Some Transmuters begin to glow in darkness, the etheric radiance of their personal energy. Others develop a curious taste for only complex foods, meals that have been prepared through chemical or physical transformations. Change, Ether, and Transformation are the properties of a Transmuter’s mutations and they can tend to be unexpected and grand.
Not many Transmuters have ever made it to Legendary status. Those that do often Reveal in a truly unique way. A Revealed Transmuter has more ether capacity than any other legendary mage (save a Lich with the aid of their well phylactery) and often become radiant beings comprised of pure ether, transmuting their disguise as necessary. Revealed Transmuters are beings of pure transformation and etheric understanding. Many turn their attention to the chaos of Emea and not a single Legendary Transmuter currently exists on Idalos. Most simply lose themselves in Emea, eventually, seeking greater heights of understanding.
A Novice Transmuter has only just begun to understand the ether within them. After initiation, most beginners are given simple materials to memorize the qualities of and then imbue other simple objects. Care is taken to restrict the size of the object for the safety of the learner. As the mage progresses, they begin to learn the basics of Transmutation. While their objects do not last long and tend to always have flaws, up to a single quality can be inscribed on anything the Transmuter chooses to work their craft on. Their range of transmutation remains only that which they can hold in their hands. Novices notice a small but noticeable increase in the potency of their magic. While some would misread that, a Transmuter knows that they’re only learning to better utilize the strange Emean substance, moreso than other mages who do not study the components of their spellcraft.
Identity, Corrosion, and Brilliance all become available to learn at the novice level, further expanding the student’s exploration of the effect ether has on the world around them and within themselves. At novice, a Transmuter is only capable of Transmuting simple substances like wood, stone, or unaltered minerals. Regardless of this transmuting limitation, Identity will work on all materials.
A competent Transmuter has begun to get the hang of their craft, and while they are still limited to that which they can physically interact with and touch, they become far more competent at the process of Transmutation itself and all the basic abilities they learn. A Competent Transmuter usually strikes out for their own at this stage of the relationship, more than able to fend for themselves in Idalos while pursuing their craft. Corrosion and Bolster become powerful offensive and defensive tools in the Transmuter’s arsenal while Ether Missile creates a surprisingly unexpected weapon in their hands. At competency, the Transmuter begins to hone their own ether, finding that some of their magic tends to have a unique signature in its radiance or feel. A certain smell or color may become associated with the mage’s spellcasting that remains throughout all their magic.
At Competence the Transmuter learns the ability to Sculpt, to reshape the objects they manipulate while in their midway state before reforming them. Their own prowess becomes greater, able to imbue up to two qualities per object created and with a lower frequency of flaws. In addition the Transmuter can now work with steel and other more complex materials. Unfortunately, the item must still be made of one single material before it can be transmuted.
By now the Transmuter has become powerful indeed. These are the teachers and artisans, seeking qualities across all of Idalos for their palatte, quickly Transmuting longer lasting objects with even fewer flaws. Their craft continues to evolve as does their understanding of ether in general. Ether Missile begins to take shapes at this level and the manifestations that an Expert Transmuter creates with his ether tend to have a certain individual texture. This can be heavily influenced by any Immortal they are currently marked by, as the ether of both seem to cohabit and join. A Transmuter becomes capable of learning Pathway at this level and their range can extend to nearly one hundred feet around them. Ether becomes easier to use and an expert Transmuter will see another increase in their spell casting efficiency in other disciplines. Although it’s not significant, the change is noticeable as a Transmuter becomes more and more in tune with their natural powers.
Expert Transmuters learn Shapecraft at this stage, turning the battlefield into whatever they desire or conjuring temporary blockades and shelters. An expert Transmuter can now transmute nearly any object they come across, save for those of great magical power or etheric properties. Items created with multiple materials now fall under the purview of the Transmuter.
A master in Transmutation is a mage who, save for master Attuners, have the most innate knowledge of ether. At mastery, a Transmuter is aware of spells being cast in their general location, feeling the pressure of ether on the air. This makes them rather adept at handling Empaths as they can become more easily aware of the magic being used on them. For a Transmuter who has also studied Attunement, this ability is overshadowed by the more fine-turned magic of Attunement itself.
Master Transmuters can inscribe up to five qualities on an object during any given transmutation. Although the risk of flaws increases with qualities imbued, a master is capable of learning Formulas to circumvent the risks of flaws and reliably create powerful items in their possession. Likewise at this stage a Transmuter can differentiate where a quality is being transcribed. On one long contiguous pole, they can indicate five different ‘zones’ where an individual quality will manifest. This opens Transmutation to a higher degree of excellence and fine-tuned precision while enchanting. Shapecraft grows easier, as does sculpting as a master has long since adapted themselves to the process of Transmutation down their long road of study. Galvanization is within their grasp at mastery, sacrificing the durability and longevity of a transmuted item for intense speed at creation.
The range for Pathway extends another 100 feet and the master is capable of learning Well-craft, the ability to create their own wells with personal ether. Many master Transmuters will learn Ensorcellment as they tend to be one of the best mages at manipulating and understanding its curious properties.
There are few legendary Transmuters in Idalos, few legendary mages at all, but Transmutation tends to lose their Legendary members early. A Legendary Transmuter has turned a corner and uniquely understands their true nature and the power of their spirit in producing ether. Most will turn to Emea, their innate ether mastery shielding them from the harmful effects of raw Emean ether and Fractures. The few legendary Transmuters over the centuries have all vanished into Emea, seeking answers. Whether they find them or encounter something more powerful still is unknown. A Master Transmuter is capable of inscribing up to eight qualities on a single item. It is easier for them and at this level of craft they can imbue an item with permanence, anchoring the qualities to the object for as long as the object remains functional. Legendary transmuted items are often confused with Dustforge, much to the Smith’s chagrin, but a Legendary Transmuter has usually evolved beyond the petty jealousies between the two crafts. They tend to journey, studying the nature of ether that others produce as well as their own.
Ether Cyclone and Ether Drought both are available for the legendary Transmuter to learn. Few save the Attuner, the Aberrant, and the Lich can match a Legendary Transmuter on their natural ether efficiency. While a Transmuter does not have more than any other average mage, they use it so well it almost seems to be at an increased level from others.