Channeling is the act of using our magic system. It is made up of a power wielded by channelers, but in the First Age, these magicians may go by many names:
The five elements
In short, there are five threads that holds the universe together: Air, Water, Spirit, Earth, and Fire. Similar to channelers, the names of these threads may vary from person to person. A channeler who has the ability to manipulate these threads see them as faint, thin lines to their eyes, in any manner of combinations.
The more powerful the channeler, the more threads which may be woven at the same time and in one or more combinations. Men are naturally adept at Fire and Earth, and women are naturally adept with Air and Water. While actively channeling, the sensation felt is described as exhilarating. In fact, without learning control, the Power can become very addictive.
Unless a channeler learns control, the Sickness is a condition experienced by all Wilders during the First Age. Wilders who unintentionally and unknowingly channel unsafely, may, at the time, generally feel nothing. The sickness, a violent reaction to using the Power, is delayed as much as ten days later. However the length of time between channeling and severity of reaction is proportional to how much and how often the person channels. The effects (headache, nausea, fever, exhilaration numbness, dizziness, lack of coordination, to name a few) return after each incidence of channeling. Each time the reaction comes closer to the actual act of using the Power until the two are almost simultaneous. At which point death usually results. It is a fast, violent and gruesome death. The victim dies in agony that no medicine can alleviate. Some die within a year after the first reaction, some die as many as five years later. Unless the Wilder learns control, death is inevitable.
Channeling for extended periods of time is physically straining in inverse proportion to the strength of the channeler.
The oldest channeler, the Ascendency, is sixty-one years old. Added to the rumor of strange powers, his lack of aging adds to his overall mystery and allure. However, we are still yet unaware the lifespan of a channeler might last a millennium. Interestingly, being a channeler makes you immune from infectious disease.
Channelers must always be careful, as the One Power is dangerous. Besides providing an addictive stimulating effect, channelers who draw too much of the Power into themselves can kill themselves or render themselves brain-dead. If they are lucky–relatively speaking–they will only burn the ability to channel out of themselves, leaving them unable to channel ever again.
Until you learn control or someone teaches you the way, you are probably unaware you are channeling. You might attribute the strange events around you to “luck”.
Each channeler has a maximum capacity to wield a certain amount of the power. The rankings of these power levels are described here.
- Average strength of all female channelers (including NPCs): Level 6
- Average strength of a PC: Level 18 – 25.
- Exceptional strength for a PC: Level 35 – 38.
- Maximum: 38
- Average strength of all male channelers (including NPCs): Level 9
- Average strength of a PC: Level 27 – 37.
- Exceptional strength for a PC: Level 38 – 42.
- Maximum: 42