Geomancy (判断地, Handanchi; lit. "Earth Divination") is an ancient and widespread magical knowledge that explains the interactions of magical energies based on the form and shape of substances. Nearly all forms of magical technology have their bases in the fundamentals of geomancy. Geomancy, unlike most magical arts, can be practiced by a non-magical human, provided they have access to an external source of magic. Geomancy is also the only magical art that is capable of producing artificial lacrima. Some historians believe Geomancy may be the first or original magic of humankind, but this hasn't been fully verified.
The first origins of geomancy aren't certain; every human culture that has ever practiced non-inherent magics has evidence of primitive geomantic constructs in their early histories. Anthropological investigations reveal that, for most of these cultures, these constructions served as a means of guiding or influencing human behavior (in the case of ceremonial worship), or as magical wards to repel hostile spirits. What is clear, is that humans were likely the race that invented geomancy. Magical beings, such as dragons, have no use for machines; their bodies can naturally conduct and alter the flow of magic, and in many cases this innate magical potential even interferes with the operation of geomantic technology.
It is theorized that humans developed geomancy as a rudimentary means of controlling the flow of ambient magical energy. The word geomancy translates to "Earth Divination", and this likely is related to its origins. Early geomancy employed stones of varying sizes and shapes, which were then cast to determine fate or the future. Over time, the shapes and form of these stones became more refined- it was discovered that particular configurations and shapes resonate with magical concepts. A tetrahedron, for example, corresponds to the concept of fire. The large pyramids, circles, and other monuments of ancient societies were likely scaled up from their smaller counterparts in order to enhance the power and range of magical influence.
Over the succeeding ages, new constructs became more elaborate, incorporating improvements in design and refinements in the construction processes. It was discovered that particular materials behaved differently under the influence of magic. These variations in channeled magical energy was attributed to the "microform" of the material; the most fundamental shape of the smallest division of the matter.
Lacrima was eventually discovered, leading to immense breakthroughs in magical devices. The constructs of the past, which would often have required thousands of feet and centuries of dedicated labor to construct, could be miniaturized. Magic had finally fallen into the hands of the common man. Consequently, geomancy as a magical method has been entirely replaced with smaller, more efficient designs that employ the magic of individuals, rather than the magic potential of environments.
All magical technology is based on geomantic principles related to elemental configurations, internal resistances, and magical lensing. Nearly all modern magic uses lacrima as the primary conduit for the formation of a specific magic effect. A raw lacrima shard is specially purified, hewn, and polished before being placed inside a device. The device itself usually serves as a circuit for conducting magical energy from the wielder into the lacrima, which then re configures the magic based on its internal geometry, before expelling the energy to produce the effect.
Most modern conveniences of Fiore came about as a result of the widespread use of these devices. Items to produce artificial light. Constructs to produce fresh water or heat homes. Spheres by which to divine distant people or locations. The applications of geomancy are as broad and limitless as magical potential itself.
Geomancers often dabble and experiment- but there are typically two kinds. Most do so for an income- they craft and sell magical devices in order to fill a need in society and make a living. These tinkerers largely stick to simple constructions, and rarely make new discoveries (and those that do, usually on accident).
Theoretical geomancers, on the other hand, do so out of a desire to learn. To them, geomancy is the key to understanding the true nature of the world around them. A set of common philosophical questions and existential problems plague these intellectuals.
Harmonic and Destructive Resonance (Standing Wave Theory)
One non-conventional view is that all matter is energy, and energy matter. The phase properties of a duality of matter and energy allow for transformation of matter into energy and vice versa. According to this theory, all matter has a potential energy state based on its mass (the total number of microforms). By breaking down the natural balance of matter (its "standing wave"), energy is released. The converse had not been proven until recently. A small team of geomancers in the town of Ymir have managed to grow lacrima shards via an infusion of magic that matches the resonant frequency of the lacrima. The precision and energy requirements of this experiment make industrial applications restrictively unprofitable.
The World Spirit
Seen by many geomancers as a splinter cult, a group of mages calling themselves the Order of Hierarchs posit that the world itself is a living thing, and that all facets of its geometry (continents, mountains, rivers, jet-streams, and even humanity) are part of a united will. Their intent is to bring about a Catalyst Event to awaken the will of Earth Land.
A prevailing belief among geomancers is that should mages discern how to transform and influence matter on the microform level, they would become able to create any substance, material or effect they desire. Such a discovery would bring about a new age of magical discovery and creation the likes of which has never been seen. So far, however, attempts to perceive and interact with microforms has proven fruitless; the difference in scale between a microform and a human is so vast as to make a detailed examination impossible using modern means.
Magics of Geomancy
Ward Magic is a type of structured holder magic that employs geomantic principles to interfere or alter the flow of ethernano in an area.
Circle Magic is an ancient magic that has been resurrected by Merrdoin Wilt and his fellow mages of the Arcane Research Consortium. It is a type of holder magic that employs the use of ambient eternano flow in combination with a complex sigil constructed from the geometry of the city of Avalon, and complex personalized body-seals.
Artisan Magic constitutes all types of crafts that are employed in the design, fabrication and construction of holder-type magical items. This extends to lacrima-powered objects, and even large enchanted complexes such as traps or temples.
Alchemy is a common form of holder magic known to nearly all reaches of Earth-land. This sub-school of Geomancy and Artisan Magic primarily deals with the transformation of materials, the brewing of potions and alchemical items, and the crafting of various poisons and cures to magical conditions.