On the nature of Aether
(translated from Italian by Lexi Burkett)
After decades of research, I feel confident to entrust some of my findings about aether onto these pages in the hopes that it may benefit my readers and lead them to even greater insights.It is well known, of course, that aether is found everywhere on earth; it clings to us shaping our aura and even the most mundane human is imbued with some of it. I have heard some witches and warlocks describe aether as magic, obviously they are wrong. Aether is what fuels our Spells and rituals and maybe even fuels some instinctive casting by creatures that do not possess the intelligence to create a Spell. However, no ‘magic’ may occur without the proper guidance of the aether. Why would we spend so many years bent over ancient tomes to learn new ways of channelling aether, to the right effect if aether were at all useful without the proper Spell or ritual to guide it?Before we are Fated the existence of this most useful energy source is entirely unknown to us and like every other human we flail around in the dark. It seems without the help of our demon, we are incapable of seeing the world for what it really is.Furthermore, it seems that our understanding of aether is different depending on the kind of demon that has Fated us. Each Fate starts out with very different Spells and maybe the demons simply impart on us their own perspective, leaving us to find out about the other possibilities by ourselves. So far they have not tried to stop us from broadening our horizons.When we use the aether inside ourselves to cast Spells, we seem to expend it as we do our physical energy when running a marathon1. Too often I have found myself incapable of casting after a long day spent on the fine-tuning and researching of my own Spells and my young assistants become drained even quicker. Like our physical energy we seem to regain aether simply by resting. I, myself, often feel greatly refreshed after my research has led me to new insights and even more so if I can take that insight and shove it right into Ersilia Bersani’s big, conceited face. Yes Bersani2, I know you will read this and I would like to use this opportunity to tell you once more that your shabby research into the Gradl Paradox has led you to conclusions that are not only false, but utterly absurd.
I’m sorry my dear readers, I digress. There are six basic ways for us to channel aether. The one I already mentioned and the most obvious one is Spell casting, followed closely by the performance of rituals. These two methods may seem alike to the untrained eye, but I can assure you that they call upon very different skills. Rituals ask for a very precise execution and aether is infused slowly and carefully. Due to this meticulous execution it is possible to gain great reward for a nominal aether expenditure. Spells are performed faster and come at a greater price. They do not require the finesse of a ritual and are therefore much more suited for unexpected situations.
A third method to channel aether is to brew it into a potion. It is a far more grounded procedure that I’m rather unfamiliar with, but it is favoured by many. I’m not sure exactly how spider webs and eye of newt can be combined to hold aether, but from what I’ve seen experienced brew-masters achieve, potions can be very potent indeed.
My personal favourite and the most important way for us to use aether to our benefit is that of ‘occult knowledge’. This may sound strange, but by combining study and aether we can reach heights unassailable by any other means. By making use of this exceptional energy source we can find a richness of sources that most will never discover. Who better to ask about history then the spirits of the dead, correct? Although, some caution is advised, I once nearly died of boredom when I foolishly asked a Clockwork Manitou to give me a short description of life in the 19th century! Those fellows can get a little too enthusiastic about helping you.
I want to end this introduction with two methods that, like rituals and Spells, have some common ground. The first of the two is not a way to use aether, it is the art of sensing it. All Fated are aware of the existence of aether, but only a few can sense a Dracula from three miles away (and any person who has stumbled upon one of those monstrosities knows what great advantage it is to see it before it sees you).
The second of the pair has to do with manipulating aether and not just the small amount we hold inside ourselves either. With this method, a witch or warlock can manipulate the gauze of the world, which is made up of aether. This is a very useful and greatly facilitates the manipulation of ‘magical items’, more importantly it can also be used when dealing the Devil’s Deck.
My dearest readers, I hope I have been able to provide you with some valuable information about aether and the ways to use it. For further reading I would like to refer you to the abridged list of sources below.