Imagine the world around you being made up of infinitesimally small parts interacting by defined rules to form what you inherently know to be real. Layer upon layer of static buzzing around and making the world by emergence. Every object standing out only by its properties and definition. This is the world through the eye of a mandate. This is the world as you would see it at the smallest scale.
Mandates are normal humans that can control the world at that scale. They retain all of the flaws we have but can use the energy around them to change matter with only their will. This ability can be broken down into two parts, sight and control.
The ability to sense the world as individual parts and understand how it interacts at every scale at a given moment in time. This grants mandates access to an immense amount of information at all times, to them everything is always exploding with new knowledge, a new key or avenue to explore and discover. However, understanding can be a curse without the power to react to it.
The ability to alter what they see once they understand it. The key to this ability lies with their sight. To take advantage of it they must know how the world works when they try to alter it. Understanding is the currency here, the more essential their understanding, the more impact this ability has.
With these two abilities they can do what science only dreams of and what we wish for in our most grandiose magic systems. Networks of energy built with defined tasks, interconnected intelligent machines, and solutions to modern everyday problems like locking the door behind you!
Just like with real life skills every mandate has a specialty. Making, defining, life, and specific materials like fire or wood are all examples of what a mandate can specialize in. The more basic and broad a specialty the more power it can have, but when a specialty is focused the mandate has more refined control over that area.
A mandates abilities are a simple tool to them. As intuitive as your arms and hands while having a scope just as vast. Easy to use and impossible to ever truly master. The use of their abilities are reflexive at times, allowing for near misses and an integrated life with them. They live with their powers, everything thing they do is with them in mind.
While they are a simple tool, their powers can do grand things with the right wielder. Each mandate has to learn how to use their powers from the world around them, they must make inferences and leaps to find new knowledge about what they can do. Their powers require an innate understanding of what they are doing at every scale before it can be done, making what they can do very limiting. Such is the power of a stupid god, without the knowledge of your task, you are trapped.
To me mandates embody the human characteristic of creation and still have the beautiful flaw of differing perspectives. Each mandate, while they have the ability to accomplish anything, has their own perspective and way of doing things. They have to go through the same processes of learning logic and understanding the world around them that we do, leading to mistakes and misunderstandings that, with the scope of their abilities, could lead to disaster.
At the end of the day the mandates are humans playing with the powers of gods, mistakes that happen can be beautiful or catastrophic.
This is where the core of this lies for me. The grand scale of what can be done with such an open magic system as well as the places it can clearly go wrong along the way entices me. Everything is fair game, any rule, any limit, any angle. Its all here and ready to be laid out.
I will keep updates about the mandates going here, more refined ideas as they come and discussion starters as well. I’ve been working at this for a few years and this was me trying to go back to what brought me to the idea in the first place.
It jumps all over the place, I know, but the idea has become so expansive over the years that its hard to find the beginning again. I still remember the first day I thought of it, and that’s what the next post in this theme will be about.