- users are obviously called Mentalists
- not *always* psychics, surprisingly, though that can happen
- people have been "hearing voices" all over the world since forever. For some, it's the recently deceased. For others it's honest mental damage. For a rare percentage of mages with no selkie or Karthian DNA present in their makeup, it's been the fact of hearing the thoughts of others
- this obviously helps with Divination, to the point where some form of hazy prescience tends to go hand-in-hand with telepathy. The Mentalist-Diviner combo is a frequent one throughout all of History
- it's also, unfortunately, landed people in asylums or in psychiatric institutions
- not everyone who's a Mentalist is aware that he or she is technically a mage, and not everyone can understand why they sometimes can't bring up their gifts on cue
How Does it Work
- this is another School where the main focus of all the tutoring is learning to temporarily deny it, largely for the practitioner's own sanity
- thankfully, like anything else, it runs off via and basic focus. An exhausted Mentalist won't hear shit, no matter how hard he'll try
- primarily, though, the non-telepathic elements of the school are all regrouped under the act of Decyphering
- in the arcane context, Decyphering means allowing via to flow not just through your arms for later projection, but through your head and waking mind
- you're essentially learning to use via as a means to visually map out all the links between all the seemingly disparate physical elements you might have before you
- you don't get names or clues or outright hints to solve any mystery, but the direction of the arcane flow between two objects tends to match the sequence in which they were used, and the importance they took.
- using that map, it's up to your more standard reasoning skills to put names and purposes on top of these elements
- with a little effort, you can make items of particular interest network to you instead of to one another, to maybe try and goad yourself into noticing clues or important details
- to outsiders, the end result feels a bit like a rapid-fire show of deductive reasoning. The catch is, you aren't Sherlock Holmes. You've been given the pieces of the puzzle, but not the order in which to assemble them. Decyphering the same elements multiple times over the course of an investigation might help, as new symbolic links might form
So Who Uses It?
- private investigators, government agents, police detectives - or, you know, your average obsessive fanboy putting together his basement-dwelling Theory of Everything in Fiction and the Metaverse. It's also unconsciously used by writers putting plots together, playwrights, artists of several different stripes..
- this is actually a fairly passive School that takes a lot of time to diagnose more than to learn. It takes a special kind of person to tolerate the info-dumps on a long-term basis, and not every eager mage is cut out for it. ADHD types or just very quirky personalities who get bored extremely quickly and desperately need to seek challenges are more the type who will push this as far as it can go - within certain limits
- this still being an Arcane School and not a superhuman ability, the feeling of being "in the zone" whilst in the middle of Decyphering something tends to wear out within an hour. Exhaustion then hits the practitioner rather harshly.
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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