Scribing

This is for those who do more than just your average card tricks. Artificers, Wardens, Diviners, Healers and more reprehensible types, welcome!
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IamLEAM1983
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Scribing

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- Scribing refers to the practice of laying down visual forms of magic, either in a complete form or as spell aids
- specialists are called Scribes

Short History
- this includes not only sigils with recognizable written text or drawings, but also simple lines and delineated perimeters. Technically, Scribing was born the moment the first dragons understood that drawing a line on the ground and investing that line with power turned it into a boundary.
- every mage ever knows the basics of Scribing, even if it isn't his chosen focus. Every wizard has to draw circles or "close off" rooms from bad arcane emanations once or twice in a while. Specializing in Scribing only means you're looking to find ways to imbue visual patterns with power. It's usually a very research-focused domain.
- few outright practical applications, but has become essential in Clank production and modern electronics. Without special patterns laid inside silicon wafers, there's no means to keep modern-day electronics mage-proof
- was initially largely used to ward off rooms or to add a layer of permanent, if limited protection against blows directly against the skin
- is closely linked to several cultures' tribal marking customs

How Does it Work?
- if you're into electronics, you have to spend years studying the configuration of circuit boards and microprocessors, understand how electric fields traverse them. You then need to be able to apply microscopic abrasions to the soldered components' surface in the pattern of those elements that were designed to keep via from interacting with elements laid with them. These "arcane electronic engineers" work with microscopes and a sort of "nano-lathe" that does the inscribing for them. Once the inscription is done and passes their quality tests, the protective elements can be activated with an effort of will

- if you're more of a tattoo artist, then odds are you're dealing with people with adventuresome lifestyles. People typically want to be bulletproof or knife-proof or have some degree of resistance to particularly bad falls. No Scribe can offer precisely that, but you *can* tattoo someone with a subtle webwork of sigils designed to cancel out the kinetic force of a few incoming bullets. It's still a lot easier to try and scratch these patterns into leather or stitch them into fabric, generally. Most likely because it's easier to "recharge" spells you can actually take off

- unless you're doing this to yourself. Then recharging yourself is really just a question of thinking about it. Otherwise you're stuck with people coming and going not for tattoo jobs, but for quick-and-dirty laying-of-hands sessions designed to recharge the wards you put in place

- that's an inconvenient: you don't have to recharge warded hardware, since you can make it draw from the object's own electrical field. You can't make tattooed wards recharge off of their wearer's bio-electric potential, either. That could futz with central nervous system, feeling in the extremities, etc. Considering, warded tattoos aren't common

Aesthetics and Concealment
- a lot of old Mesopotamian and Arabian mages used to wear their formulas on their skin. They more or less permeated their skin with arcane power to kind of cheat their way into being cheap versions of liches. Being covered in via-focusing symbols can be intimidating, so most cultures tend to develop a form of concealment method. This largely means the wards you set in are hidden within larger, more obvious designs
- it's fairly simple. Tattoo in the "frame" for the bigger, purely visual design, and use ink that's barely darker or paler to set the sigils in place. Then, ink over that and cover the wards with the design your client actually wants people to see

- warding rooms or buildings is even simpler. For fast jobs, Scribes pick animal blood from any supermarket, and use it to etch out the designs. They wait a day or two, then wash them away using conventional household materials. A UV trail is going to be left behind, in the shape of those symbols. This means the spell they support will still work, even if the symbols aren't visible to the naked eye. You could always etch them into wood, too, cover the grooves with plaster and paint over it, as well. The designs are under plaster and paint, but they're still there - active and ready to go

- basic barriers against supernatural entry can also exploit landscaping. If wood chips or gravel line your building's perimeter, you can use a self-perpetuating protective sigil that's going to deploy to all similar items. In a few minutes, using one wood chip or one chunk of gravel, you've set up an entire security cordon. Better still, people won't notice it

This Covers What?
- several symbols and patterns from several cultures do many things. You can block off a space against spiritual entry but allow physical access. You could do the opposite. You can lock anthros out and only allow humans in. You could deny clanks or vampires; or set up by-invitation-only boundaries. Anyone who comes up to them - absolutely anyone - will be unable to step inside unless you invite them in

- barriers have limitations, though. Repeated impact *will* wear any barrier out. Passive pressure against it is no problem, but only specifically designed defensive grids can withstand things like several gunshots or explosions. Basic access barriers will stop a few bullets using their determined rules (bullets are not people, ergo bullets are not allowed) but it won't last for long
- the ideal barrier would stretch up to the upper reaches of the atmosphere in a giant column. Magic doesn't work in absolute distances, though. You can "tell" magic to cover your house, your car, you and your friends - but no mage can maintain and impose the concept of a safety net that stretches as the planet's upper reaches
- all wards run on "batteries" of power that's been given to them. If you can't keep them powered, no matter how hard you worked at making them inviolable, they'll be useless
- the more complex the design, the more energy is needed to keep it running. Simple containment circles can be recharged by a single mage without much food or rest several times a day - but a single mage can't recharge a clank's array of Inscribed gears and cogs
- machines can fix certain of these limitations, but there's no machine for recharging sigils you laid down yourself
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