Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Anatomy of a Horror Setting #2-3: Evocative Invocations

Let's use the definition, discussed previously, that calling upon some being is Invocation, while calling upon energies is Evocation. This division can also cut a straight well defined line between the requirements for each kind of spell casting. This is a matter of preference and builds specific rules into the setting. To this end the components needed for an Invocation will be verbal components alone. Evocation will require verbal, somatic, and quite often material components. Somatic components involve movement and gesticulations. They run the gamut from inscribing shapes in the air, to specific hand formations, to full body motion like dancing. Material components are such things as wax, incense, and bodily substances ranging from hair, blood, bits of skeletons, and fluids.

If Invocations are the result of the influence of supernatural entities, the first order of business to cast spells by this method requires knowledge or acquaintance with just such a being. How this is done varies by the exact being to be invoked. The first place to look is religion, whether it is the bright spiritual kind or the belief and honouring of malevolent creatures. In a horror setting there is unlikely much of a call for angels or friendly god figures to be involved. Though it shouldn't be written off for all settings. Trucking with higher powers can be frightening even when dealing with the benign if only due to the otherworldliness. Of course also such higher powers may hold characters to difficultly high standards and as such drive the story in that manner.

Evocations on the other hand may be much more almost mundane to deal with. Putting thoughtless, and potentially moral-neutral energies, to use removes a lot of certainty and fear from the equation. This is something easily mitigated by the kinds of material components required. For instance ritual sacrifice may be required, to obtain and to prepare a material component, or as some kind of catalyst, if it isn't actual part of the energies being evoked. There may also be a less tangible material component, that being time. Many are the rituals that must be done at a certain time, whether it be a phase of the moon, the alignment of celestial bodies, or a time restriction such as before so long has passed. This is all without dealing with the horrific dimensions of what spell is cast.

Mood: indecipherable.
Music: Legions by Stratovarius and Slice of Your Pie by Motley Crue.

Stratovarius: Visions
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Motley Crue: Dr. Feelgood

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