Siels are magical objects used to interact with the magics and even spirits of the Whisperverse. Originally designed as an obsolete means for multiverse travel, Siels became known for their usefulness as catalysts and storage artifacts in the Whisperverse. Siels come in many different forms and qualities, and are now found in abundance in the Whisperverse. There are three major components to Siels: (1) the material composing the Siel; (2) the magic infused into the material to make it a Siel; and (3) the bond between Siel and bearer connecting to the Siel's power.
A Siel can be made of a varying amount of material, meaning they can be destroyed, repaired, or even upgraded and downgraded. Siels are as fragile as the object they take, so a Siel in the form of a glass orb or gemstone can be shattered simply by throwing it on the ground, rendering it unusable until repaired or recreated. Siels can be damaged, even in repair, causing various unknown effects. To prevent certain Siels from destruction, powerful Siels are often placed in nigh-indestructible means of manifestations, such as a specially prepared Celestial Nexus or Citadel Vritra.
The highest quality and most versatile substance a Siel can be composed of is a "Pure Siel" which is made out of pure crystallized Radiance. It is the same substance as the crystal fragments that encase the Kingdom of Stairell and other Svanian civilizations just beneath the outer surface of Radiance. This crystal substance is as fragile as most crystal minerals are, but is potent enough in use as a Siel to reach the limits of what Siels are capable of. Obtaining the material is often highly dangerous both to the environment and to those attempting to gather it. There are only two methods for obtaining crystallized Radiance to make Pure Siels. Pure Siels require virtually no bonding and most holders of a Pure Siel are able to quickly learn to unleash its full power.
In order to synthesize crystallized Radiance from Radiance itself, you must capture a strong enough emanating ray of Radiance similar to tracking a solar flare, and immediately forge it into crystal by using the many elements of the Whisperverse to steer, contain, and compress the escaped ray of Radiance. This process is extremely difficult and is impossible to do without a large number of expert Whisperers working together, and even with ample support, the success rate is low because the ray of Radiance will either annihilate most of the magic being used in an attempt to contain and crystallize it, or the magics used will assimilate and destroy enough of the ray of Radiance that you will be left empty-handed. To add to the difficulty, there is a high risk of Radiance contaminating everyone involved in the process, causing Radiance Sickness.
The outer crystal shell of Brilliance are a natural source of crystallized Radiance, and the Stairellans once conducted mining of Brilliance's outer shell in order to provide the Council with a ready supply of the material to use as their own Pure Siels. The process involved divining proper protection to individuals to survive a prolonged dive into the outer surface of Radiance, where they would use magic and tools to carefully chip and remove pieces of the Brilliance crystal. This practice was short-lived as it was quickly discovered to have a devastating detrimental environmental impact on Brilliance, as compromising the crystal of Brilliance would weaken the protection it offered the Svanians against Radiance which would eventually lead to annihilation of all civilizations in Brilliance. Additionally, diving into the surface of Radiance long enough to extract any Brilliance always lead to contamination and Radiance Sickness, even under the most powerful protections available.
The most common form of Siels consist of gemstones and mineral stones. These Siels are commonly found around Sirellan and other Whisperverse civilizations founded on combinations of the elements. Unlike crystallized Radiance, these Siels are often a byproduct or synthesis of a medley of elemental-based magic that makes them stable yet malleable to different elemental affinities. Most creators of Siel Stones are adventurers that carve them in forms that are easy to travel with such as use as jewelry, embed in equipment, or carry around as a personal charm. Precious gemstones and aesthetically pleasing rocks are some of the most common minerals obtained or synthesized as Siel Stones. While these Siels can grow to become quite powerful, they are only outshined by the capacities of Pure Siels. This material often requires little bonding in order to utilize the magic within the Siel Stone, meaning constant use of the Siel Stone strengthens its baseline powers.
This uncommon but functional "alternative" form of Siels can be utilized when traditional methods to create traditional Siels or obtain traditional Siel materials are difficult or impossible to achieve. Frowned upon by most in practice due to their instability and potential dangerousness, a Proto-Siel is created by magically "mashing" several things together including personal effects, memories, emotions, any magic that will stick, natural or synthetic spiritual matter, pieces of essences, fragrances, and more. A successful Proto-Siel is stable enough to contain Whisperverse magic, yet of a poor enough "bond" quality that it requires a lot of personal investment by the holder in order to produce results. Once mastered, however, a Proto-Siel can be just as powerful, if not even have a slight edge, against the higher quality Siel Stones that are commonly encountered.
Atma (⟠) is the universal currency in the Whisperverse and technically also a Siel, though defunct. The inhabitants of the Whisperverse break down empty or inert Siels into several rhombus shaped coins known as the "Atma" currency. This currency is relatively new, but universal in the Whisperverse due to the overall value Siels in general have to the inhabitants. While the Siels broken down to create Atma are inert, defunct, and non-functioning, some say that enough Atma currency gathered together under the right conditions could theoretically be used to reform a usable Siel; however, the process is likely difficult and expensive, so it's not often sought even by those with an abundance of Atma.
Siels are a synthesis of matter affinity and often crafted deity-ship, guided by the holder in hopes of aid or even transcendence in return for their loyalty. Uncontrolled and overpowered Siels are known to become volatile and often annihilate the holder. In order to control these Siels, individuals who have learned to 'whisper' with the worlds energies seek out a potpourri of rituals and objects until they successfully procure and infuse something into the Siel material. Infusing a Siel generally means infusing it with elemental ability, a spirit, or both. Siels can even be passive and weak enough to require several to be held together before the effects and powers are apparent to the holder. While there are some fundamental realities of Siels, there are many ways to achieve this infusion of a Siel in order to make it of use, and the only limit is your imagination. As a holder uses the Siel, they grow a "bond" that strengthens the Siel and the holder's skillfulness with the Siel.
The most common use of a Siel natively in the Whisperverse is as an elemental catalyst or as an energy conduit. Siels build a charge over their exposure to elements and exertion which can be used to attune the Siel to a particular element or elements. This "affinity" can be tapped into by the holder to enhance abilities and even add an elemental aspect to even non-magical abilities. The greater the affinity of the Siel, the greater the usable powers become. Unlike the "vessel" style of Siels, these Siels come with little risk other than weakening the holder to opposite elemental aspects when used.
Any portion of an existing spirit can be infused into a Siel to allow it to manifest elsewhere, either by itself or within a "vessel" using a Sentient individual. Once thought to be an uncommon and disfavored use of Siels except for use by the Council of Stairell, spirit manifestation became a popular means of connecting, travelling, understanding, and leveraging the bounties of the Whisperverse among non-native Sentients. The concept of using a Siel to store a piece of a spirit for manifestation elsewhere or within other Sentients as a vessel was originally intended to simply be a safe means of travel within and outside the Whisperverse; however, in the hands of Sentients it became a powerful tool for conquest. Now, spirit manifestation is used by many as a means of summoning powerful forces of magic and even diplomacy or leadership. The spirit, though a piece of an original entity, is able to lead its own independent "second life" flavored by the personality and life of the vessel bearing it. Not all spirit manifestations are the same, as some may not share all the memories, capabilities, personality traits, and so on of the original spirit.
Manifestation was originally done by Siel users to enter non-Whisperverse worlds without running the laws of nature in those outer worlds afoul, due to the conflicting realities of existing in the multiverse. For example, a Whisperverse entity entering a world Radiance does not exist in might normally cause that entity to cease existing, but manifesting in a native vessel of that universe would be safe. The means of these spirits manifesting in the vessel is only limited by imagination, but the commonly accepted lore is that forming a bond with the Siel allows the Siel's magic to "infest" the vessel's body, mind, and soul like an affliction that alters biochemistry and biology, creating and then transferring the spirit into extra space as an extra consciousness and subconscious, then it bridges that space to the vessel's space for shared control. This is why most entities first manifest in Sentient dreams, finding it easier to first connect through the subconscious of a Sentient before the Siel is able to establish with the Sentient's biology a means to manifest in the consciousness. Depending on the spirit, the vessel, and the potency of the Siel, this connection can be anywhere between a pleasant and passive bonding experience, or a constant and active struggle against malevolence.
Normally, spirit manifestation requires use of a vessel; however, powerful Siels may innately have or eventually learn the ability to create their own vessel out of an abundance of ambient energy emanating off the Siel. This "automanifestation" means they're able to create a body for themselves so long as the Siel remains powerful enough to sustain it. The magic used to automanifest often comes with hidden weaknesses that can destabilize or disrupt the automanifestation and "end" its life, forcing the energy back into the Siel until it regains the power to automanifest the same way again, or finds a new way to automanifest. Destruction of an automanifestation without reconciliation may erase the Siel's knowledge of what transpired since the automanifestation.
A special feature of spirit manifestation Sies is their ability to share histories through a process called "Reconciliation" with other Siels identical to their entity, as well as the original entity itself, so the process is not limited to "Prime" entities but any Siel in their series. When brought in the actual presence of a Siel, the Siel and counterpart may mutually cooperatively share some or all of their history with each other, including thoughts, magic, knowledge, etc. This process requires both sides to desire and agree to the Reconciliation, meaning that spirit Siels can choose to have a wholly independent life from their source if they wish. Sometimes, Reconciliation can also lead to merging, where one of the Siels or entities are destroyed but merged with the other in the process. While this does not technically result in the death of the merged portion, some civilizations in the Whisperverse consider this a form of death and mourn it all the same. The one rule of Reconciliation is that a higher-up piece of an entity cannot be consumed by a lower piece. This limitation on the magic was implemented to ensure that a fragment of a being would not cause or become more powerful than the original source and lead to devastation.
All spirit Siels generally contain some history, mind, thoughts, dreams, or memories, which can be tapped into using a variety of different magic related to piercing into a mind or memory. In all cases, the Siel contains the "space" where this plays out, and this "space" inside a Siel is called Memoria Devina in the Whisperverse. Considered a form of meditation, Memoria Devina spaces are often places one goes to to learn and reflect, or even engage in combat against the various manifestations of the mind that can be within a Siel, including even Radiance Sickness. The experiences of Memoria Devina can vary greatly depending on the state of the Siel and its environment, including other Siels around it creating merged Memoria Devina experiences.
A very rare phenomena, but sometimes a spirit Siel is created without any actual entity. These rare Siels are known as "Primordial Radiance" containing Siels, as there exists a newly forming entity within the Siel that's first manifestation is through its vessel or automanifestation, rather than other means of natural life. They also tend to harbor a derivative of Memoria Devina called an "Essence Realm" that is its own created world and abode within the Siel, almost like a miniature Brilliance world of its own, but exclusively inside the Siel. Creating these kind of Siels are exceedingly difficult to do intentionally and considered extraordinarily dangerous due to the damage an incomplete and newly-forming volatile entity of Radiance can cause a Siel holder. These Siels can often become malevolent and parasitic, requiring sacrifices of life and essence to consume for more power, and breaking any lesser Siel they're within, jeopardizing their own existence, until the entity is moved into a Pure Siel if not existing in one to start with.
OOC: Exclusivity Disfavored
⚠️WARNING: CLAIMS OF EXCLUSIVE AUTHORSHIP OR OWNERSHIP OVER WHISPERVERSE STORY CORE ORIGINAL CHARACTERS (OC) IS DISFAVORED. The characters you create and bring in yourself are always your own; however, canon characters original to the Whisper story should not be claimed exclusively by others. While the Whisperverse has a number of story-original characters you may meet, interact with, and even manifest through the lore of Siels as a personal plot component to your own story within the Whisperverse, players must understand that this is an open story universe, so we strongly discourage and disfavor claims of exclusivity over story-original Whisperverse components such as members of the Council and the magic, as the ability to share of these plot devices across many different players are necessitated by the core of the Whisperverse story. Your own character and story within the Whisperverse is your property, but the portions of the Whisperverse created by others are not and must be respected. Any exclusivity of Whisperverse-exclusive "spirit manifestation" characters is a rare case-by-case out-of-character authorship licensing grant requiring set terms and certain commitments, and still expect a certain level of flexibility that denies total exclusivity or ownership of Whisperverse original characters that you did not create. You can view current exclusivity grants on the Authors page.