Cár’áll is a Styrásh word meaning “natural astral aura of all things or
beings”, though many humans, especially the
mages at the Ximaxian
Academy, look at it as “magical energy” or “aura” (which is
also used in the context of ethics). Human scholars often use the word
as a term in their studies and theories of metaphysics, which, as it means literally
translated “that which is above life”.
Cár'áll is life's substance ("soul"), in the most general way this can be interpreted. In short, if you want to say so, the alignments within someone's personal Cár’áll is what constitute this person: how one looks, acts, feels, thinks and exists in general. Cár’áll, as the substance, on which everything else is grounded, influences our personalities and how we act and see the world around us. Cár’áll effects a person both spiritually and physically, however, Cár'áll is more than that - it also determines the form and orientation of beasts, plants and inanimated things. The way a rock is shaped, whether it is hard or brittle, is determined by the structure its Cár’áll has. However, Cár’áll is nothing determined and unchangeable. It is a substance, which can change its consistency and alignment temporarily or in a more permanent way. You can lose Cár’áll and add Cár’áll through magical means and/or belief, and you can change the structure within your Cár’áll to make you feel stronger or to make yourself feel more energized. In a way you can interpret Cár’áll as energy, as a power living in everything and which needs focus and alignment. Changing yourself into something you’re not is incredibly difficult, if not impossible, at least physically. You cannot easily change yourself into a lizard or a fly or a bird, though you can create the illusion that you did by re-aligning the compositions of the elements within one's Cár'áll e.g. through a spell. Spiritually, changes in one's Cár'áll throughout a person's life are nothing unusual and often overlooked, but a wizard manipulates the same Cár'áll only in different ways to achieve effects.
Composition. Cár’áll is not, by any means, made up of one homogeneous mixture. Each Cár’áll representing a seperate entity (be it a being, a spirit, an inanimate thing) is composed of different elements that makes it up. It is the diversity of each person’s Cár’áll that gives distinct characteristics and different personalities, and the same is the case in a similar sense with objects of various kinds. It is the altering (the expanding, contracting and moving around) of these elements resulting in a more or less ordered alignment within the Cár’áll that the system of magic is built upon. There are four different elements of which the Cár’áll is composed of, relating to the four types of Elemental magic.
The Element of Wind
Mages of Wind can only alter the Element of Wind within their own Cár’áll or the Cár’áll of other persons or objects. Some of the main qualities of Wind include transparency and movement (physical), as well as matters of the mind (spiritual). For more information on the spells and qualities of Wind, see the Wind Magic Entry.
The Element of Water
Mages of Water can only alter the Element of Water within their own Cár’áll or the Cár’áll of other persons or objects. One of the most prominent qualities is change, especially when it comes to emotion (spiritual). Water can also be manipulated as an element itself (physical). Water is meant to be an element symbolizing Wind attempting to act more as Earth (as suggested by the elven myth of the Cárpa'dosía). For more information on the spells and qualities of Water, see the Water Magic Entry.
The Element of Fire
Mages of Fire can only alter the Element of Fire within their own Cár’áll or the Cár’áll of other persons or objects. Fire is often associated with compassion, love, and urges of all kinds (spiritual) and also deals with the manipulation of actual fire (physical). Fire is one of the most chaotic elements of the four, and represents Earth trying to be more like Wind (as suggested by the elven myth of the Cára'dosía). For more information on the spells and qualities of Fire, see the Fire Magic Entry.
The Element of Earth
Mages of Earth can only alter the Element of Earth within their own Cár’áll or the Cár’áll of other persons or objects. Stagnancy is the most prominent Earth property. Things that can be made unchanged like emotions (spiritual), also relate to this element, but also dealing with actual properties of the Earth, like hardness and sometimes the exhibition of growth (physical). For more information on the spells and qualities of Earth, see the Earth Magic Entry.
Manipulation. Cár’áll is held together by a number of flexible links called Xeuá, and often times these links can be used to manipulate certain elemental connections within the Cár’áll. Strengthen or weakening them is what allows mages to cast spells. The ways in which Cár’áll is manipulated it what determines a spell’s sphere. Each element has three spheres, which are further separated into physical and spiritual classes, called Spell Classes. The different spheres manipulate the Cár’áll differently as shown on the table below:
Sphere: Intension & Removal of Elemental Energies
The first sphere manipulates the Cár’áll by contracting or expanding the cár’áll of the element you want to make more or less influential on the target of the spell. However, the amount of Cár’áll does not change, but the more the Cár’áll is expanded, the greater the influence that element has on the target. Xeuá (links) are elastic that the mage can stretch as he or she wishes to get a desired effect.
Sphere: Application & Initiation of Elemental Energies
The second sphere effects gathering up scattered components to make them more influential to the overall Cár’áll. In a target’s Cár’áll, the seperate components of each element are often scattered throughout, and each piece only holds a limited influence. However, when the pieces are gathered together and combined, they have greater focus in the Cár’áll of the entity.
Sphere: Creation & Recreation of Elemental Energies
The third sphere deals with adding or subtracting actual Cár’áll of a certain element to make the element less or more apparent in the target. This deals with indirectly making Xueá (links) between the original Cár’áll and the new Cár’áll and, in doing so, make the element more influential and get a desired effect. The Cár’áll connects like hands that can grab on to each other or break apart. The kind of elemental Cár’áll, be it physical or spiritual, will influence the target in different ways. By connecting to or ‘covering’ a person’s Cár’áll with one’s spirit, it is possible to gain information on that person based on their Cár’áll.
The alignment of the
Cár’áll, as thus far may be clear, is very affected by Xeuá, or the links that
connect them. The breaking of these links (called Ecuá) can also affect the
alignment of the Cár’áll a great deal. Those who break and create links (Xeuá and Ecuá Mages)
are classed under the two Archschools. Such schools are extremely powerful in
their ability to be able to create and destroy things by directly targeting the
structure of the Cár'áll. If enough of one’s links
are broken, one may suffer great trauma or even death. Xeuá mages have
the great ability to summon things and create things by making connections
between different amounts of elemental parts within the Cár’áll.
Weavers, too, use Cár’áll, but the way in which they are able to use Cár’áll and Xeuá and Ecuá links is rather extraordinary. Weavers, instead of having to experiment and do connections one by one, have a set pattern in their head of how Cár’áll connects or breaks in order to create in effect. In this respect, magic tailors itself to the mage and the desire of the mage instead of the mage having to tailor him or herself to the magic. Because of this pattern, weavers are able to use magic with relative ease, and without having to utter spells or incantations. Because of their ease with magic, weavers are incredibly powerful.
Usage. Different mages use Cár’áll differently. The way Elemental Mages use Cár’áll has already been explained, but the differences in technique differ even between humans and elves. Elves have an instinctive desire to see how things work, how different things can be put together to make something new. For elven mages, magic is a part of their life and not often something they can learn or study, but rather discover. For this reason, elves are more likely to be Xeuá mages, or mages that make connections or links between different kinds of Cár’áll to create something. Elves are not ones to categorize spells, but see them for what they are and what they do without feeling the need to organize spells into different sects based on what they can do or how they work. For the elves Cár'áll is not an idea, a term, which means categorization, but something that accompanies their life, which certain elves can manipulate as this is how the Gods and nature have laid out life for them.
While elves are more inclined to understand the way of nature, how the world around them works and functions, humans try to capture things, to find terms and explanations for things and put them in boxes instead of accepting the unexplainable and live with it. Humans prefer the result rather than the direct path it takes to get there. Thus, while elves constantly desire to find new ways and discover how things work, most humans are content to merely follow the set formula that they’re given without questioning how it’s all done. For this reason, humans are more likely to be Elemental mages, or mages who cast magic to gain an effect. Elemental Magic is more or less something for beginners because it is fairly easy to do. It is merely following a set pattern and gaining a result. Most elves are not happy with just learning the formula, but have more of a desire to learn how it all works, how the formula is reached and why things affect the spell in the manner that they do. The reagents in magic are primarily for humans, who need to be able to visualize things.
So humans, in the manner that they deal with understanding of nature and magic as a whole, have difficulty because they have to learn bit by bit what most elves understand naturally: the connection of things and the way the world works transcending human explanations. The Styrásh expression "to infuse something with one’s Cár’áll" is best translated into human terminology by "casting a spell". But whereas for the elves any sort of manipulation which is conducted on the basis of the personal aura and in harmony with nature is qualified "magic", human magic is fundamentally unrelated to auratic phenomena within the caster and consequently a manipulation of other energies and objects; it is therefore as a rule utilitarian. An elf, for example, will just infuse a piece of wood with his Cár'áll to make it burn, which in fact is nothing different to an elf than to shift the aura in the boundaries of nature. Humans on the other hand in general need means to focus existing auras to cast a spell. While elves only shift their own Cár'áll, humans more often use the Cár'áll of others (beings or objects) to achieve the desired effect. Certain elves also are known to instinctively sense others' Cár'áll, a rare ability, an inborn perceptivity which is also known as the Oh'mód'hál.