Fic fragment – Kotodama part 5

There are, however, a few commonalities. A landing spot, a way to twist the spell, a focus, and something undeniably real. Even if it didn’t exist seconds before.

First, a place to land. A way of seeing the world in a form magic fundamentally understands. The four elements, the five elements; Light and Dark and Shadow, or what have you. Such as… oh, say, a mystic division of forces into heroes who work by Mind, or Spirit, or Magic. 

Second, a way to twist the spell into order instead of chaos. Such as drawing on Janus, god of gates, mystical doorways, and portals between universes, in those aspects, instead of the chaos of pure division of self.

Portals and doorways. Like the Hedge. After all, the Others do exist, even before Ethan cuts loose. Call them Fae, demons, the Wild Hunt – they may not have quite the form Changelings recall, but they are already real. And Janus, counterpart to Hecate, knows them well.

Third, a focus. A conduit capable of handling that power, even just the fringes of it; channeling magic as it rewrites reality.

Yukiatsu pulls power from the very essence of names. Reality tends to take one look at her and head for a stiff drink.

Last, and most critical, a way to anchor the focus. So it – and the magic crashing around it into new forms – is unshakably, unmistakably real.

Which is generally the sticking point. Real people don’t exist alone. They have friends. Allies. Enemies. All of which have to be just as real as they are.

For Yukiatsu to be real, the youi have to be real. The Other World has to be real. Ayashi have to be real.

Meaning somewhere not too far away, magic has to find a bookish young youi hunter in government service, a dancer who faces down monsters, and a half-mad young painter. And all of them – all of them – have to be tied to Yukiatsu before the spell can get to them.

And no poor souls would be that unlucky, right?

Riiiight.

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14 thoughts on “Fic fragment – Kotodama part 5

  1. I think I want to see your take on Halloween World. Like, hoist the hope flag and see what happens. And this, just the base analysis, sounds fascinating. In the words of a fic, magic will get less and less picky about its criteria the longer it goes without a match.

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      1. I think I concur. Googled my way to the first Halloween World story, and had two thoughts after starting. (I haven’t gotten far in yet.) 1. Belt and Suspenders apocalyptic suckage 2. Underkill. Suppose that between initial die off, die off, and breeding incompatibilities, you get one in one thousand breeding. That’s a breeding population in the millions, much larger than some of the apparent prehistoric bottlenecks in human populations.

        I’ve got to wonder whether the world wide effects are as keyed off of American culture as the Sunnydale effects were.

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      2. *Snrk* And it’s worse than that given the Valentine’s Day spell that shows up later – which basically nixes breeding incompatibilities, among other annoying things.

        And, hmm. I’m not sure if it’s ever stated outright, but given it was Ethan who cast the spell based on Halloween, a lot of places it did take effect even if people were only vaguely “in costume”, even if they didn’t celebrate Halloween.

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      3. So far it has mentioned pumpkin creatures in Sunnydale. Did these show up in the Siberian backwoods? What kind of transformation patterns happened in Pathan mountain villages so isolated that they had barely even heard of Russians? Did the Chinese get a bunch of Xianxia/Wuxia characters? There seems to be a lot of room for authorial fiat here, which could have drastically different effects depending on which assumptions are picked.

        That kind of keying off culture. Or does the transformation have to be keyed off of what the person to be transformed knows of?

        I need to do more research before I can really make any informed speculation. 🙂

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  2. The only things I dislike about Hallow Earth are Xander’s no fighter in it and the Digimon cast got grimdark twists. On the other hand I could see Hallows crushing puella magi so… Btw puella magi is warhammer 40K applied to magical girls.

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