The world of Tarvedel possesses an 'ocean' of omnessence which most practicioners of the Art call Starwater. This is not to say Starwater is visible or tangible under ordinary circumstances; it is not. But Starwater displays many of the same characteristics as water: it flows in the path of least resistance, widening its channels as it passes and collecting in places of low resistance; it can be poured from one container to another; artificial channels and wells can be 'dug' for it; and in large enough masses, it is affected by the pull of Tarvedel's moon slightly.
Terynas and Avanath have quite a different effect on Starwater. In addition to pulling it tidally, they also infect it with their own peculiar effects. Those born under the magical influences of Avanath as it waxes or wanes tend to work the magics of rage and battle more effectively; while those of Terynas are the only ones capable of performing healing magics.
Archmages are often born in the rare years when the cycles of the two Realms overlap.
[Avanath is assumed to be waxing 0.5 year before its appearance and 1 year after its appearance; Terynas is waxing 1 year before its appearance and waning 0.5 year after. Add a bonus to appropriate type of magic, based on how close the persona's birthdate is to the season of appearance. Terynas' next appearance will be in 285, four years from now; Avanath will next appear in 295. Terynas and Avanath last appeared in the same year in 193- slightly less than a hundred years ago. (current year is 281). Starwater is the only known Omni at this time.]
Year Tery. Avan. 193 x x 210 x 216 x 227 x 239 x 244 x 261 x 262 x 278 x 285 x 295 x 308 x
The would-be mage must possess the Gift. Often transmitted by blood relationships, it does occasionally seem to jump around. Only those with the Gift are able to sense the innate balance of Starwater, and thereby draw it off for their own use; however, the adept's own internal balance aids in the use of Starwater for magic. [Primary trait: Insight; prerequisite: Gift; see Role- playing, p. 144. Gift is defined as 'ability to work with Starwater'. Affinity determined by Aura.]
Certain materials are suitable receptacles for holding Starwater, and the energy which it represents, for magical purposes. It flows most easily into precious materials, although gold, being of the day and not the night, is a notable exception. Ferrous metals, unless alloyed in unusual combinations with more suitable metals, are notorious for not holding a magical charge for long, without major enchantment. By far the best magical alloy is 'silver-steel', a combination of an unusual metal similar to silver, and carbonized iron. [Affinities: silver 4; gold 8; platinum 4; iron 9; ivory 2; mahagony 1; rowan 1; oak -1; liquids 6; steel 8; silversteel -4; gemstones 2.]
[Starwater has three principal Archetypes: those born under Terynas; those born under Avanath; and those born at other times. A fourth, possessing a level 5 affinity in all Powers and Dominions, comes into play only for someone born in a year in which both Terynas and Avanath appear.