For as long as there has been practice there have been tools to hone that practice. Of the three defining rituals of the Western practitioner, the Ritual Implementum dates back the furthest and is the most frequently carried out.
Think, if you will, of the implement as a segment of a diagram. The arrow pointing outward with an epithet written within, the symbol for life with spokes radiating outward, the attached figures and circles drawn as an adjunct to tie the effect to the practitioner, or the barrier raised against outside harm with a symbol for fire inscribed on it. In actuality, of course, these are material objects the practitioner bears, that they may channel practice through.
Once chosen, this segment of diagram is with the practitioner always. The ritual, from the point it is performed, will influence the practitioner’s practice in subtle ways. When the implement is wielded, worn, or borne, that influence is far stronger. Just as the forces of our world react to a diagram that points outward, they will react to the presence of a sword that does the same. They will recognize the sword’s guard as they do a barrier, and they will recognize everything about that sword’s history, culture, and appearance as they would the writing within and around a chalk circle.
In actuality, there is no fixed diagram, but the parallels and effects are much the same. When the practitioner wishes to do something aggressive or direct a force forward, the sword is a boon, a way to lay down that outward-pointing effect with scarcely any effort, or it may augment a complementary effect they do put effort into.
At the same time, however, some other practices may be negatively affected, just as they would be if they were close to or connected to an inappropriate, outwardly-pointing segment of diagram. They may be destabilized, weaker, or the practitioner may end up putting some extra notations down to divorce their work from the sword’s influence.
In the current context, many practitioners are provided with a clear course to follow, or they are encouraged to decide on a course early by their teachers or families. This does make sense, when the nature of practice makes commitment so essential. The earlier you start, the young practitioner is told, the sooner you will come into power. Then, making their decision, the beginner practitioner is often faced with a wall. Power can be hard to come by and the master of the apprentice or the head of the family may see fit to take the better sources of power because they can more efficiently render it.
To take the implement, for many, seems like the next natural step, raising the beginner to the point that they can start to participate in this handling of power. For the master or the family head, the clear definition of the student allows that student to be used and positioned. Even if the student is an inexperienced handler of loose power, the fact they bear an implement makes them easy to fit into the master’s work. They may be slotted into proceedings as any piece of diagram work would be.
However, this is a decision made for life, and it is a decision that will affect how the practitioner faces and addresses the world of Other and practitioner. It has been said that there are no explicitly wrong choices, because when one chooses an implement, they match themselves to it, as much as it connects to them. Choose the stone or the technological doo-dad, and the practitioner will be weak as a consequence but they will -must- adapt and come to terms with it, for it will be a part of them in the same way one’s hand or eye would be.
Let us discuss, to inform the choice. In this work, we will discuss the implements, their utilization in combination with make and appearance, their relationship to Others, some variant cases, and the meaning of the object on a broader level.
This text is written with the understanding and expectation that young practitioners will be reading it with the assistance of teachers or mentors, with an eye to performing the ritual, be it early or late. Some exercises and details are listed, where appropriate.
Chapter One: Sorting out Implements
The implement has a few essential requirements: it must be a material, solid object. It must be easy to carry or wear. It should not be magical, or its nature should be well accepted and understood before the practitioner ties themselves to it. Objects with mechanical functionality and/or many moving parts may lack functionality due to the way the separation between parts or outside momentum interrupt their functionality as an effective piece of diagram.
Once the ritual is conducted, the implement is preserved, tied to the owner. If damaged, the owner can put some of their Self into the implement to repair it. If emptied, spent, or partially lost, for those implements that may be part of a complete set (as with a handful of dice, for example, or a pack of cigarettes), the Self will be tapped to replenish what is spent.
The practitioner will maintain a great deal of claim to the item, and this operates on a cosmic level; if lost or stolen, it will find its way back to the practitioner. If given away, loaned, or taken hostage, it will remain gone, but those Others much weaker than the practitioner may find it slips their grasp and finds its way back to the owner in short order. Loans with a binding word on the owner’s part or loans to very powerful Others will be lasting. While without the object, the practitioner will be lessened, their Self reduced by as much as a third. A permanent destruction of the implement, while rare, may be akin to losing an arm or a leg.
The number of objects that could be implements are too numerous to mention, and thus, instead of collecting the information on all of these implements, this text will work with twenty-two objects, selected with care from among those objects that are most commonly chosen as implements, and those that are best for illustrative purposes.
Exercises are listed for each entry, but the beginner practitioner may not know enough to answer every one. These exercises are optional, of course. If one option appeals, one might consider doing the exercise and then revisiting it after each subsequent section. If many appeal, then perhaps make an attempt at answering now, then revisit the answers once finished familiarizing oneself with the Implementum text.
The Stone is one of our illustrative examples in addition to being our first example implement. An unadorned, uncarved raw stone, such as that which is found in nature, presumed to be heavy. It is our sole ‘undesirable choice’ that can be considered a virtual non-implement. The stone gives us some opportunity to address some pitfalls of a bad choice of implement. It is heavy, impractical to hold and to wield, and it harbors little appeal or history. So how does this matter?
Consider that the implement, through the ritual, is tied to the practitioner. What, then, is the effect of a practitioner chaining themselves to a rock for life? One’s effective mobility is hampered, and this will act as a symbolic and functional impedance in the practitioner’s life. As spirits take note and start to act in accordance with this badge of office, the practitioner will find that travel becomes hard. It represents the practitioner’s handling of practice, and it is hard to deftly handle; practice then becomes cumbersome, heavy, and slow. It may have more impact and longevity, but the cost is not worth it. Finally, there is the social impact; with an audience Other and practitioner, and in subtle ways even mundane people, what would the collective thought be about the man who is chained to a rock? That he is a fool.
As a part of diagrams, to return to the analogy given in the introduction, the stone is heavy and has little functionality as anything but an impedance, and not an especially nuanced one.
Exercise: What might be the difference between a square granite slab and a smooth igneous rock?
The Wand, a thin, wooden or metal pointing instrument that may be carved or decorated, is a common choice for practitioners, and is rooted in a long history and tradition among practitioners. It is the tool of practitioners who intend to deal with other practitioners and the practice, and this can be its strength and its biggest caveat. It dwells on practice and little else, and because of this, much of its functionality is as a flexible, light, and nuanced tool, a stark opposite to the stone’s cumbersome nature in that it is so easy to handle and flourish that it can be applied after the fact or in the moment. A tool for the subtle and the expert, used to redirect, and to make small changes to ongoing practice. It can be used on one’s own practice, or used to target, alter, or deflect another’s. A fine choice for many, closing few doors and harboring next to no drawbacks, outside of its tendency to work primarily with practice and practitioners rather than on the powers of Others or on the mundane.
An exercise: what are two objects that are not on this list that you might consider a close relative of the wand? How might they differ in use?
The Talisman is, for our purposes, an inscribed gemstone, ring, piece of jewelry, or other ornament. The choice of what is carved and the choice of inscription will define the talisman and its ultimate effect. When used with practice, the Talisman is linked to the wearer, and allows its fundamental symbolism to be easily inserted or augmented. Where other implements discussed thus far are akin to the ornamentation of a diagram, pointing its forces outward or making adjustments here and there, the Talisman is better likened to a specific word or symbol that one wishes to regularly insert into their work. A talisman of water can allow one to assume water by default, filling in the blanks by impressing the talisman on the practice at hand, or to force water into an ongoing practice.
An exercise: consider the effects if the item inscribed was a dismembered finger.
The Scepter is a symbol of authority, and for our purposes, is assumed to be a stick, heavy and heavily decorated and imbued with some ceremonial significance. Weightier than the wand on every front, the scepter can be considered some of the other options combined; the wand without the subtlety, a talisman, a standard, and jewelry. It draws on many of these things at the cost of being hard to use casually or carry in easy display. Consider the scepter to be an especially elaborate segment of diagram.
Exercise: Consider an early ritual you learned. How could you decorate a scepter to create a similar effect on a regular basis?
The Sword is an aggressive choice, and a more common choice in older eras. It is a blade, covered earlier, the sword points, has some limited defensiveness to it, and can be decorated. When applied to practice, it can act as an outward-pointing segment of diagram. It may penetrate defenses and provide the owner with an easier time of defending themselves, albeit not in a way that easily extends to nearby others. Others of a hostile bent tend to respect the sword, but it is hard to carry in the course of daily life, and does not tend to reflect the habits or approaches of the modern practitioner.
Exercise: In a brief writing exercise, explore what the spear might be like, compared to the sword. What might the axe be like? What would one gain and what would one lose?
The Chalice is a cup, ornate and decorated, once a common implement. It can be a symbol or a limited means of taking action in a diagram, but more than anything, it is a repository for holding power and then partaking of or distributing that power. Favored by practitioners dealing with the divine and the management of power. The Chalice is less adroit when it comes to dealing with those who are not practitioner or Other, as it is often gaudy or out of place in a mundane setting, but the symbolic sharing of drinks extends to its significance as a social implement elsewise.
Exercise: What is an object not on this list that might have a similar social meaning to the chalice’s? What’s an object not on this list that might have a similar ability to hold onto or manage power?
The Tome is a book, which may or may not have writing in it. A second illustrative example about the breadth of possibilities in implements. As tomes take time to read or write in, the practices with the book as a part of them will be extended out. The contents of the tome, if any, will play a strong role in determining the effects on a practice. Cumbersome, but not in the same way a scepter or stone might be, choosing the Tome may make all of the practitioner’s practices slower, but it can be considered a repository of ideas or symbols, and as one might page through a book, they can set it as part of a practice they intend to do, and page through until they find what they want to add to the diagram. Some may even lay that down, putting the book down, paging through it, then deciding on something to add, transferring something from the page to the chalk. In other cases, it could be the opposite, storing learned information or memories, or it could be a way of holding onto a collection of bound Others. Knowledgeable Others may respect the tome as a choice. For all its merits, however, many eschew this choice because of the costs in one’s quality of life.
Exercise: What might the effect of a book filled with poetry be? A book of names?
The Ring is a very symbolic choice, akin to the talisman, but with no overt inscription. Instead, the design of the ring often imparts some quality. Worn on the hand, the ring applies itself to the manual handling of practice and Others, its design and its closeness to the wearer imparting some benefit or effect. In short, by having the ring of a specific design, it becomes its own closed diagram (as the ring itself is closed). This can be a way for a practitioner to attain a lasting effect such as the ability to ward off heat or the ability to hold one’s breath for longer underwater. In other cases, tying to the idea of the wedding ring or other symbols of engagement, the ring may connect to an Other or another practitioner, linking them.
Exercise: Go look up or find three rings, as different from one another as possible. From their designs, infer what benefits they might offer.
The Chakram is a close cousin of the ring, but is symbolic and aggressive at the same time. A metal ring as large or larger around than a dinner plate, often with a sharpened outer edge and heavily decorated, it forms its own closed diagram and houses its own effect. The chakram can be worn as jewelry with turbans or as bracelets, be thrown as a weapon, or be held and used to slash in close quarters. Because it houses its effect and is aggressive, it can sometimes impart an effect like a curse or element to the one struck. The claim one has to their implement helps ensure it bounces back to the owner.
Exercise: The last two implements were closed circles. What might another closed circle be that you could use as an implement. Can you think of any other objects with distinct shapes that are related to shapes you know from elementary diagrams?
The Plate is a very old type of implement, seeing virtually no modern use. Traditionally a decorative plate, individually crafted and painted or tiled to serve as a very large symbol and/or a periodic means of delivering an offering to the gods. At a time when art was expensive, the plate was a means of carrying and displaying images, often held during formal events, when posing for portraits, or they were mounted on the walls and above doors. More modern interpretations or replacements have been discussed, including the mirror, but we include the plate for illustrative purposes; its tie is specifically to the past and avoids the present, and because of this, it carries a great deal of weight when dealing with old Others. The quality and nature of the art may make the plate a good vessel for transforming an area; should it depict a region of the Faerie it could be held up to transform the immediate surroundings, or if it is tied to subservient service to a god, it may reflect that god’s influence.
Exercise: Can you think of another very old object that sees almost no use now?
The Staff is a flexible instrument, with staffs in history being used as symbols of office, weapons, a means of self defense, and a means of steadying or helping oneself while walking. Comparisons are often drawn to the wand, which is subtle and versatile, to the staff, which is hard to ignore or put away but equally or more versatile, and to the sword, which has its balance of offense, defense, and ability to point. Unlike the sword, however, the staff is more balanced, and has its relationships to the tower, the fencepost, and is more often carried upright than extended. It bears strong links to ground and heaven, and can help with altering or traversing the environment. The staff’s variants can include the shepherd’s crook, the cane, and the rod, each with their nuance.
Exercise: The staff is comparable to the wand and sword. Can you think of another object that could be a close cousin of two other things on this list?
The Coin is a small token, subtle, and tied heavily into the notion of fortune, fate, and exchange. A typically metal, stamped disc that can be held in the palm. Rarely the centerpiece of a practice, though it may act as a very weak talisman if marked, or as a token of power that can be easily handed away, replaced with Self over time. The coin is instead a sign of one’s relationship to power, marking them as a broker, gambler, or hoarder, depending. The specific coin and one’s handling of it are big determinants of its ultimate effect and what it attracts; consider the defective print, the rare coin from a faraway place, the handful of coins dating to a series of specific years, or the shaved coin. More common among those who deal with Others or dwell on the contests of Faerie or Other.
Exercise: a practitioner flips a wooden nickel, his implement. What does this tell you about him?
The Emblem is a cousin of the talisman, but it is specifically a symbol of a particular organization, person, or force, including national symbols, flags, or signs of membership to a group. The shape of it or the material it is on does matter, but for our purposes, in outlining what it is, we care only that it centers around the emblem itself, often front and center, in cloth, leather, metal, or some other form. The emblem does not lend itself to practice, but it does pay special mind to relationships, to kin and to enemy. While its effect on practice may not be anything special, those who bear the emblem often find their practice and Sight are better attuned to enemy and ally; for offensive uses the power may slip past those who ascribe to the emblem, leaving them untouched by the harmful, and drive harder against those who are longstanding enemies of the group. Sometimes made part of a closed circle, such as a ring or a scarf forming a loop at the neck, to impart an effect appropriate to the role.
Exercise: A member of a secretive group chooses an implement with an emblem of a flower that represents their resistance group, but in their case, the emblem is hidden by default. What might be the effect of this?
The Chain binds the wearer if wound around them and can be turned around to bind another. The chain may be a fine silver chain or a rusty steel one with a hook on it, meant for towing cars, or it may be something in between. The nature of the chain determines its focus, and the fine silver chain could be stronger for binding than the heavy steel one, if what one wants to bind are specific ethereal Others. Versatile, strong, and sometimes used by those who would bind themselves more than anything else, to restrain that which dwells within them. As a part of a diagram the chain can be likened to the border, warding off or containing. A favored choice of binders, wardens, and sealers.
Exercise: Consider how the rope might differ. Conversely, the thread is very different from the chain, but how might they be similar?
The Skull is a stark symbol, linked closely to Death. Just what it is a skull of will influence the outcome, but like the talisman, the skull will often functionally serve in the place of a rune or bit of guiding text. Outside of immediate and active practice, its link to Death connects the bearer to undead and to the Incarnate forces of the world. Certain Others will find an affinity toward the one who bears a skull, but practitioners and the innocent may find themselves subtly unsettled, as the skull influences things around the practitioner.
Exercise: the skull is linked to Death incarnate. What sort of object might be intrinsically linked to Nature? To Adoration? To Mourning?
The Knife is akin to the sword, but more subtle. Deft, aggressive, and easier to use as a tool than the sword is, at the cost of defense. Knives have a long and storied history that extends further back than the sword. We can look at the knife and say there’s less reach, and thus, in the ‘diagram’ analogy, the effects of practice may not extend as far as they did with the sword. Consider also that the sword is threatening, but a brandished sword can be something noble, proud, and impressive, while a brandished knife rarely is.
Exercise: Think of an ignoble version of another implement on this list.
The Standard is an old fashioned banner or flag, mounted so it can be held high above, in plain view. Akin to the emblem, the standard is rooted in battle and in command of large numbers, which influences how it becomes a ‘diagram’ and what it does. It is hard to bring out in public without drawing attention, more than even a sword or scepter, but it can also be mounted on a wall, much as standards of old could be raised or flown on captured ground, marking it as one’s own. Assists the bearer in commanding larger numbers, managing those they command, and may have its own influences as an emblem or talisman, among other possibilities. Not a common choice, but used by some summoners and managers of goblins, echoes, or other common Others.
Exercise: When using one’s own national flag as a standard, what sorts of Others might be drawn to it?
The Lens may be a monocle, spyglass, or spectacles, but could include a gemcutter’s lapidary. Enables one to see what they otherwise could not. Ties in directly to the Sight, and may enable the blind or hard of seeing to not see better, but to See better. Does not often exaggerate or benefit a given practice, unless that practice is centered around information gathering or Sight, but can provide additional insights that help with all practice.
Exercise: Thought experiment: what materials or design would one use if they wanted to make a lens that would help keep an eye on Death? What about War?
The Mask serves to conceal one’s identity, while acting as a symbol or second face. Subtle, but in very different ways from the knife or wand, the mask may allow one to adopt a certain role or even alter one’s own Self in a pinch. Used in practice, the mask may be a substitute for oneself, or a deflection or barrier when the Self might be at risk. Masks have long been used by Summoners to hide their identity from the Others they call, who might seek revenge once released, and there is some measure of protection afforded by the mask here. Some masks have ceremonial or symbolic meaning, and others may be more whimsical, but virtually every mask has some Others with whom it connects with more.
Exercise: Give some thought to what a mask of one’s own face would represent or mean.
The Lantern takes power and radiates it outward, and in its default function of pushing light out, it overrides darkness. In other types of power, it may drive away other forces or effects. Were one to put heat and fire out with the lantern, for example, they could ward off cold and certain cold-related Others, among other effects. By contrast, a ‘lantern’ could be Abyssal, and would let one express some abyss into their immediate surroundings, translating everything close by to an Abyssal alternate. Other realms can be cast out into the immediate environment in this manner. Less directed than the sword, wand, or even staff, it keeps effects closer to the user, with some types of lantern allowing their effect to be narrowed to a cone or line. Tends to be power hungry.
Exercise: Consider the differences between lantern and candle. What other object might ‘cast out’ an effect into the immediate environment?
The Trumpet requires careful attention and skill to use, but can influence the mood of an area very quickly, while also being a call to battle or entertainment. Focused largely on others, the trumpet tends to require one’s breath and attention, but can be tied to nearby effects or diagrams and express their intent out to the spirits or other forces. Other instruments are possible, but have their nuances. The trumpet is far from subtle, but at the same time, can be carried out among the Innocent without much undue attention. Variants date back into early history, including the conch and the horn.
Exercise: What might the flute or pipes do, as an instrument? Can you think of other instruments with a long history of association with magic or fairy tale?
The Coffer is a box, often wood, that may hold items or may be empty, but whichever it is, that property is typically decided when it becomes an Implement and carries forward therefater. The empty coffer can be a storehouse for things or for power, while the full coffer may eat power while providing an unusual amount of things relating to one’s Self and practice, be it weapons or coin. Use of the coffer in a ritual may be an extra measure of security when seeking to trap an Other, with the coffer serving as a temporary ‘cell’ for that Other, or it may be the opposite, with the box unleashing minor Others. If the Stone can be considered the filled-in circle, the coffer is the open circle.
Exercise: the coffer has a lid. What might be the properties of a handheld, cast-iron cauldron with an open top?
The quality and make of an object will exaggerate and improve its effects, as will the practitioner’s power, at the time of the Ritual Implementum and as they grow.
Chapter Two: The Implement Borne
Once the ritual is done, the implement, while carried, can be used. The various uses have been detailed in the extensive list of twenty-two example implements, but there are some other facets.
Know first that the implement reflects the Self. If the practitioner’s tool is hidden, transformed, or kept locked away, the Self will be diminished. In practice, this will make the practitioner less effective at what they seek to do, more vulnerable, and less capable of expressing power.
Conversely, while held, the implement augments the Self. The specific things it reinforces are subtle, but over time, the individual will grow to match the implement. Some examples:
The Tome-bearing practitioner will find that reading comes more naturally, as does memorization and facility with language or art.
The Knife-bearing practitioner will become more skilled with the blade, and more able to use the knife in a fight.
The Crown-wearing practitioner will have an easier time with leadership, being comfortable with being looked up to, and appearing noble.
These aspects of personal growth are not usually above and beyond what the individual could do or learn, but are best described as the effect of spending one’s days with a book, or spending one’s days handling the knife or bearing the crown. Because the implement is an extension of the practitioner, use of it and related things become very natural.
By a similar token, the material and make of the implement do have their influences. An item of gouged steel, torn leather, and sharp edges will impart familiarity with places, people, and things in a similar state. Something crudely made will appeal to the crude, and something expensive will appeal to better Others.
Items made by the practitioner, by contrast, may not have the same value to them, but afford a greater connection between item and owner. This influences one’s claim over the item, and the flows of power or the effects like the growth and natural ability with the object, noted above.
Items with a bloody history will impart familiarity with the bloody, so care should be paid to whether an object was used to kill at any point. Longer histories mean the practitioner must spend longer with the ritual and may take longer to become intimate with the item, but allow for far more depth and nuance.
It is here that the implement, if it was magical prior to the Ritual Implementum, may have a strong effect on the practitioner. An item with strong divine influence, for example, will have a deep and everlasting effect on the practitioner’s Self. What that influence is can vary, but it can be akin to a curse in the worst circumstances. Take for example, the example of Archie Meadows, the youngest of four who were born to a family that dealt with goblins. The four children were made to compete, with four objects up for grabs, of varying power and use. Archie lost, and was made to take the worst item, a doll made of meat that included one blood-filled lung that would vomit out blood and goblins of the smallest caliber on command. Once he took it as an implement, he found that every morning and night, he would mimic the doll’s effect, vomiting out gallons of blood along with a dozen of the smallest goblins.
In another example, a practitioner named Sadie Coy took a canopy jar holding a Revenant’s ashes, thinking the Revenant done and the jar simply empowered but unoccupied. The revenant stirred in residual ashes, and she was bound to the Revenant’s revenge.
This isn’t to say that an item with magical influences is a poor choice; an item with a ‘dead’ or sufficiently controlled force within it can be easier to manage and is less likely to find a malicious outlet through the owner, but the best choice of item is one that is fully understood and researched, to the extent that the person performing the ritual knows the full extent of what will happen after the ritual.
All of these things impact the item’s casual use and the relationship between owner and item.
In active use, the item can be used to shortcut practices: a staff striking ground to replace the active portions of a diagram, while the associated elements are held, or personal power being pushed through a talisman while a line is drawn in the dirt, directing it.
In some specific cases, where the item is sufficiently elaborate or, conversely, one-note, a simple thought and some expression of power can achieve that one-note or prescribed effect. This could be the scepter which is in itself a complex diagram with lines, emblem, and meaning ascribed to it from creation, or the cheater’s coin with its specific function.
Most often, however, the effect is a minor to moderate influence. To range, to the lasting power of a practice, to its ability to harm the unclean, or taint the refined. In this, the materials and nature of the item matter. Some example properties:
Weight is the heft of the base object, but also the denser materials and its comparative weight to the practitioner’s strength. Weight imparts more ability to achieve results, including penetrating defenses or covering more ground, but can make a practice slower. The stone and the scepter are weighty. The wand and coin are the inverse, quick enough to deploy they can meet a practice while it is taking effect.
Durability is the base object’s ability to resist harm. A durable object is not only good when the object could see wear and tear, because it costs the practitioner to mend it, but it also lends longevity to practices. Those items that last longer influence one’s practices to endure, taking longer to wear off, and making them harder to break. Steel chain and sword are durable, while plate and wand are not.
Value, touched on above, is the cost of materials and the objective monetary value it might return if sold. Items of value hold more sway over Others, including the spirits as a whole, and the elaboration or decoration that accompanies some added value can add more to the effective ‘diagram’, or add more weight. Items of high value include the scepter, plate, or chalice. Refined items that can hold a sharp edge or are especially good at what they do, like the blades or lenses will draw on value for raw effectiveness that isn’t necessarily impact, which implies added scope or ability to penetrate defenses. Items of low value include those things which are simple, like the staff, or natural, like the skull or stone. Simplicity does have its virtues, touched on in the paragraph below. Another way that an item can be opposed to value is if it is consumable, such as a cigarette pack or torch. Consumable items may be easily ‘spent’ for a benefit, but tend to lack value by equal measure. Items like a deck of cards can be somewhat consumable, with cards thrown or lost, while still having some value, but the cost to replace a card may be high.
Versatility is a property of the item that reflects its ability to serve multiple functions. A versatile item can serve multiple types of practice or situations. The tome, chakram, and chain are versatile items, while the ring and emblem are not. This said, simple items with clear-cut uses tend to impart a straightforwardness to practice, making the practices one does perform harder for others to turn aside or manipulate.
Reach and Scope are largely drawn from the item and how far it extends from the hand. Items that are worn tend to bias the practitioner’s natural abilities toward those practices that are personal, such as worn lenses, rings, or talismans. By contrast, the knife points outward and extends out, the sword extends further, and a spear or staff would extend further yet. Items have a comfort zone for use and impart that comfort zone onto the practitioner.
History, the age and number of events relating to the item, and aesthetic, which is the particular material or style of the item compared to its baseline, are discussed earlier in this chapter, but cannot be easily quantified. They should nonetheless be minded, as they affect one’s relationship to the item and their own practice, and how other individuals and practices interact with them and the item.
In effect, the variables will change for every practice the practitioner undertakes, after the ritual. This can be somewhat shocking initially but a practitioner will adapt or be adapted in time.
Chapter Three. Other Items
Others with extraordinary or nonhuman senses and practitioners who have keen Sight will be able to see one’s relationship to their implement. In many cases, this is a benefit, as such Others are often face-blind when it comes to telling one human apart from the next, but will recognize the individual by their implement.
Much ado has been made about the allegorical ‘diagram’ fragment that an item may represent. Here, we can return to that notion and say that for these Others, the implement and the associated diagram may be placed around, over, on, or through the practitioner. It may be a mark on the forehead, a reflection of one’s sword in their eyes, or a framework surrounding them.
Sighted artist’s depiction of Irena, who bears a lantern.
There are some Others that can affect or touch these diagrams, but they are rare, and are often able to affect one’s Self by similar measures. In some cases, these Others may be beneficial, for addressing or diagnosing issues in the object.
In contrast to these very powerful Others, it should be noted that implements, should they have a concrete enough identity, may act as tools to repel the weakest Other. If one’s Self is strong and the item appropriate, Others of low tiers can be driven back or scared away by the expression of power through the implement. This is, in its own way, an extension or exaggeration of the motif that the powerful Other may see around the practitioner. The lowest tier goblin, the common Echo, and the dull spirit can be driven back or given pause by such a thing, which requires only that the practitioner channel power through their implement. Items meant for display and items of value are better at this.
In other cases, objects may come with an associated Other or they may develop their own identities. In the former case, this could and should be treated like one might treat an item that is inherently magical and tainted. The ability for the Other to affect the practitioner is high, and none of the implicit protections of a familiar ritual are in place.
In the latter case, where items develop their own identities, the effect is often the result of either an excess of power, where the practitioner has power to spare or spends a great deal of time in an area where power is latent and compatible with them, or less power is applied, but the power being handled has a great deal of motive energy to it.
In either case, the item will either form an immaterial body or voice, largely unable to affect the world but capable of communicating with the practitioner and possibly offering a limited set of eyes or help with the metaphysical, or the item will contrive to form a material body.
The latter case is especially common in the event of motive energies running wild. In an example case, we have Windsor, an alchemist who is busy creating life, their workshop filled with homunculi charged with spiritual and natural energies. Windor makes regular use of their personal cauldron, an implement like the coffer, but in a period where they are focused on paperwork, the waste material of dead homunculi is gathered by the cauldron according to its natural flows and influences and formed into a crude body. Over time, this body consolidates and forms an identity, becoming a limited workshop helper.
Such bodies may disintegrate as soon as the practitioner picks up the item, they may be permanently attached, remaining close to the item at all times, or some combination therein.
Living items cannot and should not be mistaken for familiars. This said, there is some room for intermingling the familiar and implement, discussed in the next chapter, though this is not readily recommended given the costs in opportunity and effect. Practically, the living item knows what the item does, which is often limited, and tends to reflect one facet of the practitioner’s personality, appropriate to the item. An axe could take on a personality matching the practitioner’s most combat-ready mindset, while the aforementioned cauldron could reflect Windsor’s diligence. Such items are very single minded, shallow, and often hard for anyone but the source practitioner to get along with.
Some, such as those who do most of their practice in workshops or in particular areas, may intentionally seek these things out.
Chapter Four: Substitutions and Variations
To begin with, let us discuss some of the edge cases of implements.
The Heavy Implement is one that cannot be carried in the hands, or one that weighs twenty pounds or more. One’s power is rooted in the implement, and the further the individual is from the chosen implement, the more the Self diminishes, with strength of Self and practice fading swiftly if they are more than a hundred and fifty feet from the object. This is an extension of what is described with the stone as an implement, carried further.
As an advantage, the power tends to be fairly well-rooted in the location, and may spread to the immediate vicinity, provided there isn’t any prior claim by lord, practitioner, or innocent. Impact tends to be higher within the affected area, and with the right arrangements, may extend further.
The Digital Implement is any device normally in the Technomancer’s province, including blackberries, handheld televisions, and radios. Too unfamiliar to spirits to have a ‘diagram’, the digital implement foregoes the upsides and uses of an implement for a material means of connecting one’s Self to the digital reaches and better extend that self through those spaces. The item’s value can be expected to sit at middling to low values and then plummet when the item falls out of common use, dragging one’s Self with it. Technomancer families may have the means by which to extend this ‘shelf life’ and protect the Self when using such devices, but many choose conventional implements regardless.
Certain rituals have parallels to the Ritual Implementum, and to outline these, we’ll begin with the closest, including the ascetic ritual and the non-solid implement.
In the Ascetic Ritual, the practitioner not only doesn’t choose a specific implement, but eschews item ownership and claim to material possessions altogether. Favored by evangelists, martial practitioners styled after the world rhythms, and those who wish to maintain immaculate bindings within their own bodies, the ascetic ritual has a resemblance to the implement ritual but leaves the spot blank and includes declarations to abandon all things of material worth.
The benefit of the ascetic ritual is that the practitioner puts all spiritual focus into their own bodies. The body becomes even more of a closed circle, and can better resist outside influences and practices. For the evangelist, this is a way to weather cosmic forces, while the rhythm practitioner can draw elemental or spiritual forces through their body without damaging it to the same degree. Practice is narrowed and solidified, and even simple movements of the body may readily evoke certain effects, such as a gesture to produce fire, in much the same way the implement could be used in place of certain components or aspects of practice. This does require a strong Self, however, as that power must come from somewhere.
While largely an inverse of choosing an implement, the ascetic ritual does share similarities in how it is carried out and in the effect on standing, one’s appearance and relationship to Others, and the finality of the decision.
The non-solid implement is a choice made by some elementalists, as well as some divine practitioners and visceral practitioners. In the elementalist’s case, water, smoke, sand, or some other quantity of fine material may be gathered up and be made one’s own. What it lacks in value (typically) it grants in affinity to elements or specific forces. One can expect to become more Other than with an implement choice, and some attention must be paid to the management of the material, which may be kept in a vessel, released, and then brought back. Amorphous or wild material like smoke or blue flame can be harder and more expensive to manage, but the practitioner may benefit from not needing something extant to work with.
For the divine practitioner, the gathered up essence may be divine light, the divine word, or a vibration. While we say ‘divine’, there are some greater powers that trespass into the realm of divinity, such as great spirits. When bound up and given some material form, this power tends to take some form that is not explicitly physical. It may be lines of light on skin, resembling a tattoo, a shuddering godscream contained in a music player, or a spike of glass that, should it touch anything, will turn that thing to glass.
These exceptional cases are anecdote only and we unfortunately lack a full and rich understanding of their operation, and can only acknowledge they exist. The more mundane, visceral cases may be our closest analogue and our best hope of understanding: art and music or their inverse, corruption and noise, can be treated much as elements are, given a vessel. Still restricted and kept secret by prominent families, we can testify, with their agreement, that the courses taken to codify one’s link to these elements (in our examples, a piece of oil painting that creeps along one’s immediate vicinity or a consolidation of trypophilic ooze that creates thousands of holes in whatever it wets) closely resemble that of the implement. We have been asked not to release the limited information we have on these practices.
The Familiar-Implement Link sacrifices the net strength of a standalone familiar or implement and plays up the ‘living item’ aspect explained in the last chapter, knitting familiar and implement together. Touched on in other texts in more detail, know that one’s own connection to the item is weakened, the costs made exorbitant if the living item or item are damaged or broken, and the item itself is rendered ineffectual.
To perform the ritual, one would secure and thoroughly bind the Other to the item before conducting the implement ritual, with responses given by the other at every step along the process.
The benefits of a familiar-implement link are the close connection of the implement to the practitioner. Once the practitioner and the item are properly connected, the familiar part of the arrangement can access the practitioner’s needs, wants, and knowledge, at the practitioner’s desire. As such, this course is favored by those practitioners who need a manager or close eyes on something close to their Self. It also allows alchemists and enchanters to set the familiar to work without needing to micromanage, and if the familiar grows difficult, they can be bound further into the item, restraining them and shortening their leash without necessitating that the short leash be held to the practitioner.
The Implement-Demesnes connection turns a vehicle into a flexible but low-power hybrid of demesnes and implement. It requires several concessions, as the implement must be a heavy one, with all the downsides this entails. As a practice, it also foregoes the advantages of a demesnes, keeping the space small and making it slow to customize. The advantage of a demesnes that has an interior larger than it would seem from the outside does not apply to the van, boat, or other vehicle chosen, and the spread of influence to unclaimed territory is slow when one is implicitly making little claim by, essentially, choosing ‘forever on the move’ as their approach to life. As an advantage, one can secure basic comfort and protection from common externalities such as weather. Further, there is the assurance that as long as the Self can provide power, there will be shelter and a means of getting to the next location.
Now, let us return to discussion of the conventional, before we move on to the ritual itself, and the lesser practices and techniques one may employ after the fact…
The wand and the non-solid implement both seem like options the Kennet Others would approve of, and I suspect Verona would be drawn to the latter.
LikeLiked by 1 person
From what we’ve seen in earlier chapters, the “obvious” choices are Lucy’s knives, Verona’s scissors, and Avery’s hockey stick. Which means we probably won’t get all of those.
Reading the bit about Implement-Demesnes hybrids made me think of the Tardis. Except… that’s more of a familiar-demesnes, with the sonic screwdriver as implement.
LikeLiked by 2 people
Yessss delicious delicious lore~
LikeLiked by 2 people
So… what’s the bet that Zed’s Demesnes/Implement is his car? Cause, its pretty damn resistant and we have NEVER seen Zed move very far from it.
Also, Verona+Artbook is where I’m imagining with this.
LikeLiked by 2 people
So, I wanna give this whole implement thing a go, and see where I end up. I’m going to describe an implement and try to guess how it might play out, and other people can add their thoughts to it:
When I left home, my friends pooled their money togeather a bought me a geologists compass. They snuck it into my bag, along with a note, telling me it would help me find my way back again.
Now, most of you won’t have seen geoligists compasses, but let me just tell you; they are bloody heft things. A box of bronzey metal, with screws and plates, and a bunch of Trig tables etched onto the front cover (I study mathematics, so hey, it works). Inside is a mirror and (not unsurprisingly) a compass needle.
So… for this item, weight and durability are high. Value and history are… not trivial, but probably “medium”. Versatility, reach and Scope are… hard to define. On the one hand, a compass only acts upon itself. On the other hand, every compass in existence is tied to the entire world. I would expect less active practice from a compass, and more of a “Static/passive effect”
A compass is one of the few items I can think of that is tied both to long history (loadstones and compasses are ancient), but also to industrial era technology (electromagnetism, etc). Associated with finding your way, but not telling you where you are now. Tied to both navigation and science.
Now… I’m a mathematician (hence trig tables are a nice emblem), and in the poetry of science and mathematics, Science (and scientific knowledge) are often referred to as the Map, while Mathematics is The Compass. It points to truth, but doesn’t revel secrets, nor tell you where you are. A compass will guide you, even when you have no knowledge where you are… but it won’t TELL YOU where you are.
Now… the obvious use of a compass is to use it as an explorer, a Finder. I’m pretty sure a compass implement would be AMAZING if deployed in The Ways, or when exploring other realms, and given the particular history of this implement, it would act as a permanent link to “Home”.
The other half of the compass is the connection to measurement, geometry, surveying- something poetentially useful to the likes of an Astrologer, or someone who intends to paint diagrams the size of a city; this is probably the direction I would likely lean upon; an implement with limited outward or inward force, but allowing for measurement, clarity and precision, a tool with which to map the entire world. One tied to truth, science, home, horizons, and mathematics.
LikeLiked by 2 people
Oh, cool – what flavor math? I’m studying singularities.
I was sort of wondering about the idea of taking a chess piece as an implement – seems like there are a lot of different connotations depending on the piece you choose that could be fun to explore. I was also curious about the implications of the fact that a chess piece (maybe other than the king) is something that gets taken from you if your opponent plays skillfully or if you choose to sacrifice it – would having such an implement make you more vulnerable to losing it/a portion of your power in defeat?
LikeLiked by 2 people
Currently I study Mathematical biology: lots of dynamics systems stuff, studying probabilistic models of epidemic spread (lols), evolution of antibiotic resistance, and the game theory models of horizontal gene transfer.
Which Chess piece would you pick? I feel like the piece used would be pretty important. What do you think the implications of different pieces would be?
Or would you consider have a chess SET as an implement (would probably be similar to a set of dice, where you are allowed to lose some, and only take a temporary hit in defeat.).
LikeLiked by 1 person
Very cool! I was kicking myself a little for not having gone in that kinda direction back in March.
I’m not sure I would, personally – I just thought it was a fun idea! A whole chess set seems like one of these more cumbersome implements – I’m imagining a practitioner who just sort of lurks in their demesnes and challenges visitors to contests with power/information/bits of Self on the line.
My thought was that choosing any piece, but especially the King, would lend itself to practices that are complicated and large-scale and require detailed planning to pull off – sort of drawing on the popular image of a chess master who comes up with an intricate, convoluted scheme to achieve their ends. Such an implement would probably lend itself best to a very confrontational style, due to the connotations of contest and adversariality, but perhaps in a subtle way – I’m thinking it would be best suited to practices ultimately intended to thwart some adversary, but which do so via somewhat indirect means.
As mentioned, I feel like the King would just have these kinds of associations – I’d say it’s somehow closest to being a paradigmatic chess piece. Maybe there’d be some association with command as well, making it easier to bend others to one’s purposes. The others might have different effects depending on their roles within the game – I’d imagine Bishop and Rook would both be fairly effective at range, but Bishops would be better suited to indirect attacks that slip by the opponent’s defenses, while Rooks would be more in the vein of powerful, direct practices which bring crushing force to bear but take a while to build up. Knights would be shorter range but maybe more versatile and maneuverable – it might be easier to quickly react to and circumvent opposing practices, and practices which focus on movement might be more effective. (Perhaps one could be a Finder with a Knight piece who can quickly hop through the Paths to surprise foes from unexpected angles?)
The Queen is one I wasn’t sure about – is it really as easy as picking a piece that’s powerful in-game to get a powerful implement? Maybe it would work like this: The range is good, and it lends itself well to powerful, offensive practices (without the buildup required with a Rook), but the connotations of loss and sacrifice are also more prevalent (attacking with a Queen carries a greater risk of suffering a devastating loss, and choosing to trade it for some other piece [or for position] is often one of the most memorable, consequential decisions in a game). So maybe as an implement the Queen would be most suited to powerful but risky practices, where failure means a substantial loss of power and/or Self.
I think you would basically never want to use a Pawn – the connotations are weakness, disposability, and maybe even sluggishness. The only redeeming factor I can see is that there’s some connotation of potential (since a pawn can be promoted) – maybe it could be useful for practices which are initially unimpressive but come with a big payoff down the line?
Of course, there are also the names to consider – can one draw on the associations of the Knight piece with historical knights, for example? I do generally think the vibe is a little different in most cases – despite the names, when I think of Bishop in chess, there’s not a lot of overlap with what I’d think about an actual member of the clergy. Would the Bishop piece make it easier to draw on the Divine? I feel like it might a little, but not a whole lot. The Rook is the exception here – I do think it would lend itself well to the kind of sturdy defensive practices you’d associate with the castle imagery.
The choice of color probably also has some significance – Light versus Dark and so forth. I imagine there’d also be some benefit to having a practitioner family or other group all choose chess pieces – if you had a group of 5 or 6 who Awakened together, for example, you could pick a color and have one person for each piece (possibly excluding the Pawn), and perhaps the thematic coherence would do something for you in practices that involve the whole group.
LikeLiked by 2 people
Astrologer would probably mix well with your Rad Math Skillz, since it’s (as I recall) all about making connected points across a large area.
A compass is one of the better objects for an Implement, imo.
LikeLiked by 1 person
A compass sounds like an excellent implement for many kinds of practice, but I’d go with a more common “pocketwatch-sized” one, not an “oversized steampunk” one, as cool as that sounds as a piece of art. You’d want something you can stick in your pocket, purse, backpack, or whatever when you’re not actively using it.
LikeLiked by 2 people
Oh yeah; on a practical level, I totally agree- a pocket compass would be smarter.
I’m only picking the chunky steampunk one because it has a pre-existing attachment to me, and direct “home” connotations that a regular compass wouldn’t have. I’m picking it because I suspect the one decade history behind it would count as a non-trivial power up (at the cost of convenience).
Actually, thinking more, and about the whole “Metal casing, super chunky”, I wouldn’t be surprised if that particular compass would function slightly in the direction of both the empty coffer and the Cauldron, creating a very minor “Zone” around itself while set up (used more as a desk implement), in contrast to a lighter compass, which are more an extension of the person using them.
LikeLiked by 1 person
A compass is a circle in and of itself. By analogy to the ring and chakram, this suggests that it would be a complete diagram in its own right. This supports your static/passive effect theory.
LikeLiked by 2 people
A big box with diagrams and a compass? Sounds pretty cool to me.
When i think of a compass I agree, it’s connected to the whole world, it always points north, it would be great for a Finder or Pathfinder of some sort, but the think that i think of most is the stereotypical “compass that always points to what you want most”
Is it home? It points home, is it some goal? Maybe it points you to the next step towards that goal.
Maybe you can program in a direction with a sliding bit and a rotating bit and use the math tables (and maybe a sundial) and it’s not just “points home” but “points at anything you want” and maybe even “tells you direction and amplitude to a thing”
The fact of the matter is that while multiple piece implements are frowned upon, multi use items i think are the way to go.
I would personally choose either the ultimate tool, as in some kind of tool that is always the exact tool you need for the job, but useless for combat or anything like that. Or, perhaps a personally carved protective amulet, linking to the self, protecting the self, bolstering the self, combined with a little bit of emblem, and linking the self with some ideal.
I have a very hard time thinking what sort of implement would be best, because my greatest tool is my mind, a book might be good, if it was a book of all knowledge (a smartphone? Lol) or some way to make my mind my tool, like telekinesis or at the very least force manipulation.
I dunno. I’m a very cerebral person and it can be hard to find a metaphorical thing to represent what I like or want.
I gotta say the Art is also really good and deserves to be commended! Really dig it! Solid work.
Alright, so because of the “used by Practitioners that want to deal with Others and other Practitioners”, I think the Wand suits Verona.
Avery might want something like a pair of running shoes, maybe ones she wore to games her team won?
I’m drawing a blank on Lucy, though. Her mask, maybe? Give her some more protection and something to draw on? Not a lotta reach, but… hm.
Or, here’s a thought: what if they all choose the kind of object they want, and every member of the Kenneteers gets it for another member, like with the masks, but in the opposite direction? Could strengthen the bond, maybe.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Inspired by Snowdrop’s suggestion, I’m thinking fork, knife, and spoon would be funny – probably not too practical though!
LikeLiked by 2 people
Snowdrop: “I thought through that suggestion thoroughly because it was completely serious.”
LikeLiked by 1 person
Back for seconds,
I honestly can’t help but think of a certain character from Homestuck whenever dice as implement is mentioned
LikeLiked by 1 person
Addictions are a powerful thing.
I really don’t know what I’d go for an Implement. And… I wonder, a beach pebble with a hole in it. Not too large or heavy, I’ve personally always associated them with luck, you can look through the hole, would it be a stone or a lens? Linked to earth, but also water, and a natural thing so low value and probably not great history. The one exception I can think of to that is the one on mum’s keys, which she found the first time we took our first dog to the beach, over twenty years ago now.
LikeLiked by 1 person
They’re sometimes called hag stones, and in folklore and mythology they let you see hidden things, so it would probably be a Sight augmenting implement. They are also associated with eggs and snakes in some stories, so maybe something with that? I can definitely see the luck aspect though, since they are sort of like a four leaf clover as a rare naturally occurring thing.
LikeLiked by 4 people
I didn’t know… pretty much any of that, thank you. Possibly a more common Implement for lenses before glass became so cheap every house had glass windows. They’re also more common than four-leafed clovers; I’ve only found one of those, but on Kentish pebble beaches a bit of searching usually results in one or three hagstones.
LikeLiked by 1 person
If we get demense next I may actually faint out of sheer nerdy contentedness. I think I’ll take a run at coming up with an implement, or answering each excersise or both bit I want to think about it.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Speaking as someone who just finished the exercises…it’s a lot more than it seems at first.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Ooh! I wanna have a think about my implement!
Recently I was a good friend to a friend and, knowing I was training to be a maths teacher, they gave me a Silly Tie to wear. So this’ll be an analysis of my Silly Tie implement!
Ring – Between the talisman and the ring, I believe the Silly Tie would err on the side of the Ring. In large part because the Silly Tie would form a closed diagram around my neck whereas I feel the talisman will hang from a string or chain that is separate from the talisman itself. This may impart some benefit related to its design! Perhaps serious others will tend to overlook me, or perhaps it would be very hard to remove me from a teaching position. It would not be nearly as effective as the Ring because of how absurdly unbalanced the “diagram” would be.
Chain – As something which is wound around me, the Silly Tie would bind me. It’s connection to the authoritative role of teaching could make it better than nothing, but generally I feel the Silly Tie would be far far weaker than a chain of any form. Perhaps with it being Silly, Unfashionable, and Orderly it would make a good negative binding for a Fae of Dark Spring?
Weight – INCREDIBLY light. I may be able to deploy the Practice quickly with the Silly Tie, but I suspect it will not have much oomph behind it.
Durability – Middling? Maybe low middling? It would take more effort to tear a tie than to snap a wand I feel but surely it couldn’t compare to the likes of the sword or the scepter. I suspect my Silly Tie will be flexible in how long it’s practices last.
Value – Low. I would hope that the silly nature and the low value of my Silly Tie would make me not much of a target for any predatory Others and opportunistic Practitioners, but I fear it would make me an incredibly easy target instead. It would at least take a while for my word to carry any weight.
Versatility – Incredibly high! The greatest asset of the tie. It can be worn, held aloft proudly, arranged into symbols. But once more this will make each individual spell i cast as flimsy as the Silly Ties own fabric!
Reach and Scope – The Tie can extend a great distance from my self, but generally speaking it’ll either point to the earth or be carried by the wind, I suspect that any far reaching spells I cast would require the aid of such spirits!
History – The Silly Tie is a relatively modern item I feel, but harkens (perhaps in a mocking way?) toward older examples of fashion. I fear that any historically minded other may take offence at my fashion statement.
The image on the Silly Tie is of Gromit reading the book “electronics for dogs”. Perhaps symbolically this could imply that I am a man that has no business being a practitioner. I think the lord of my resident city would need to be very kind for me to be able to get very far.
Since teachers are typically out of touch with the latest technology, I wonder if I would have a hard time getting any technomancy to work?
LikeLiked by 2 people
The silly tie could be stealth by absurdity, easily looked over because there’s no way the obvious guy with the bright hawaiian shirt is the guy we are looking for 😛
Serious others might ignore you, whereas chaotic ones might enjoy you, especially ones with senses of humor.
Since it’s a picture of Grommet, perhaps some connection to local culture? Depending on where you got it from, usually gifts from others mean they’re significant in some way.
You could use the tie as a protective ward around one’s self, or use it to tie up something with absurdity.
The point of the tie is not that it is weak and flimsy, but that it is unexpected, therefore it might be several unexpected things. Unexpectedly handy, like the towel from hitchhikers guide, or unexpectedly strong, unexpectedly funny or useful to get along socially.
Any symbol can have meaning, and like the Heirophant says, the godhead is just a trick or perspective.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Some thoughts on the Implement discussion:
Regarding chess pieces, I suspect material would have just as much impact as piece type and color. A hollow, plastic chess piece is probably a fool’s choice, both cheaply made and of a material too modern for the spirits to wrap their slavishly traditional minds around. One carved from stone would carry much more weight, and while it was said somewhere in Pact that Wood is a dying element, I suspect pieces carved from wood would be a decent choice, material-wise. As for choice of stone/wood, I suspect Black or white marble would be a good choice for reinforcing the color choice, and Ebony might carry some weight for a black piece… though picking a wood that’s of a medium tone, something that could play white against Ebony or any dark wood with “black” in it’s name, but dark enough to play black against really light-colored woods might carry implications of moderation, balance, or rejection of extremes.
Though, what about picking the board itself as opposed to a piece upon the board? Might carry implications of surveying the playing field, either in terms of physical land or metaphorically and dividing territory into distinct units. Though it might also bump up against hybridization with one’s place of power.
Though, what about other game pieces? Would a Go stone have the same drawbacks as the achetypical stone? Or might it impart a kind of freedom, akin to how the Go player can place a stone on nearly any open intersection. Would a checker carry the traits of a coin, perhaps amplified since the two sides of a checker represent pawn and king compared to the Heads and Tails of the classic coin.
I wonder if the choice of a bunch of d6s versus a set of polyhedral dice affects the effectiveness of dice as implement… and I’m guessing you would want to go for at least metal dice, if not bone, wood, or gemstone dice… Though, now I kind of want to read a fanfic set in this verse where someone picks a set of resin polyhedrals as implement and tries to play things like a Dungeons and Dragons Wizard. Done right, I expect it to be tragically hilarious.
Regarding navigational compasses, while a pocket compass probably makes for a more convenient implement, I suspect you’d at least want one with a metal casing and actual glass, because again, I suspect most spirits would be scratching their heads over anything made of plastic. Does make me wonder what a geometer’s compass would bring to the table… given that compass is half of the classic geometer’s toolkit and compasses are designed for drawing circles, if it doesn’t count as a diagram itself, I suspect the geometer’s compass would make drawing diagrams easier, and perhaps even serve as a tool for binding anything that can be bound within a simple circle.
As for an implement of my own… well, the Wizard character I’d want to play if I ever found a Dungeons and Dragons group to join carries a staff of purpleheart topped with a large amethyst and wears a mala(a beaded necklace of 108 beads similar in style to a Rosary and used in many Asian traditions) around his neck, the beads made of Amethyst and with a amethyst pendulum bob where a medallion or large 109th bead might be on more traditional mala…
Amethyst carries associations of sobriety(the name literally means not intoxicated or something similar and it was once believed drinking from vessels carved from or decorated with Amethyst would prevent drunkeness) and has associations with both Royalty and Clergy… but it’s has also dropped in value in modern times, no longer considered a precious stone(I actually own a mala as described, and while the pendulum bob is an after market modification I made, the necklace and pendulum together cost less than $25). Amethyst is also a type of quartz, considered a rarefied form of earth in some systems, and it isn’t well understood what causes the coloration of Amethyst(apparently, it’s more complicated than the usual introduce impurities of specific elements to the pure crystal and there might be some structural coloration going on with amethyst, which kind of adds to the mystical properties.
I don’t know if 108 is a number of power in Pactverse, but it carries all kinds of symbolic meaning in Eastern religions and has some interesting mathematical properties… it’s the number of degrees of a interior angle of a regular pentagon, thrice the angle of the point of a pentagram, it’s prime factorization is 2^2 * 3^3, it’s nearest square root factorization is 9 * 12… Also, the Mala is a closed circle, so it probably qualifies as a diagram itself, and the pendulum bob forms a means to directing power.
That said, thinking more to what I’d be like as a Practitioner, as a computer science major, I’d probably tend towards technomancy, which isn’t a discipline that sounds like it lends itself well to having an implement, though given my love of math, maybe a graphing calculator like a TI-83, which manages to remain relevant despite being built on outdated technology(there’s no reason you couldn’t combine the form factor of a TI-83 with the guts of a smartphone… which is something I wish someone would do, because I hate the ubiquity of the slate form factor and miss the days when poket electronics had real buttons) might make a decent choice… If nothing else, using polar equations should have some diagraming potential…
Though, speaking of practice in general, I wonder how The Sight would interact with someone who was blinded by mundane means prior to awakening. Would the Blind practitioner only be able to see through The sight, or would tThe Sight morph to fit the senses they do have?
LikeLiked by 2 people
The geometer’s compass seems to be a pretty easy implement to describe. It is highly directed, like a sword. It is a tool, one used when you care about precision. It is fairly lightweight, but it can be made of durable materials. I think it would be very much like a wand, but even more suited to rituals and complex workings, and less towards general use.
I can’t see why 108 wouldn’t be relevant in the Pactverse. Asian magic is definitely a thing, but we’ve only gotten glimpses at it since the stories have been set in Western settings. I would imagine it’s a significant number for divination given its association with stars and destiny.
I’m concerned about the TI-83, because as you point out it’s been artificially hamstrung on its effectiveness — its value is purely artificial, inflated because of a near-monopoly on its use in standardized testing, and the main reason it isn’t more powerful is because of the potential for cheating. (Upsettingly, recent firmware updates have even started restricting the ability to use assembly-language software!) I think it would get doubly burned on the obsolescence thing. (But what about a mechanical calculator? Moving parts are often bad for an implement, but gears are circles, and circles in organized synchronization seem like something that could potentially be a powerful concept.)
I feel like the question about the Sight has been answered before, but I don’t remember what the answer was anymore.
Upon further reflection: What about a slide rule? They’re powerful instruments, rapid in use and accurate in results, they’ve been around since the 1600s, they’re simple in basic design but can be built to arbitrary levels of fanciness… only two moving parts instead of the clockwork of a more complicated machine. It might potentially represent the ultimate in analog mechanical computation from a practice perspective.
LikeLiked by 2 people
As much as I’d like to theorycraft an implement, the only thing I can think of that’s interesting would be a Shield – almost the inverse of a Sword, all defense and no offense, with no real direction to it unless you choose a kite or a tower shield, but with the potential for Emblem-style heraldry. Someone with a Shield as an implement would have an incredibly hard time giving their practice an offensive Oomph, but I imagine wards and protections would be Top Notch.
Also, dancing back to Pact (spoilers if you haven’t read it!!!):
If Blake had ended up making the Hyena (or what was left of it) into his implement, would it have classified as a living Implement? How would that have interacted with Evan?
A round shield could potentially carry a passive/static effect, since it’s a circle in its own right. Comparisons can be drawn to the plate, the chakram, and of course the emblem (which notes in its description how it can be made as a closed circle). Furthering the analogy to the emblem, it has a historical use as a form of identification, because the colors of a shield were easily visible across a battlefield.
A shield is large, heavy, and most of all durable. It isn’t quite as visible as a standard, but it’s more prominent than the emblem, and it can’t be hidden even when stowed out of use. A practitioner with a shield might find it difficult to be subtle. It is directional but not strongly so, separating inside from outside or kin from enemy instead of pointing at a specific target. I imagine that it would have an effect similar to the idea of positive and negative bindings. It would probably lend itself to effects that act on small areas or small groups of aligned individuals, especially when warding. And of course, its use AS A SHIELD should not be overlooked — a shield-bearing practitioner in a fight is surely difficult to overcome even if they aren’t as directly dangerous as one with a sword.
As far as living implements are concerned… I would look to the Skull for parallels, as the Skull is at least formerly living. The Coffer is another place to look, as its text calls out to its effects when containing a spirit.
I expect traditional textbooks would use ‘staves’.
“by the other at”
Vape pen implement:
Hear me out, it’s “techy” and lacks history, BUT when you think about it it’s basically just a plastic wand that you can vape. So it’s just a wand but better. Checkmate.
Depending on how the ritual goes, you might be able to do fun things with the symbolism of the smoke – Is it a noxious barrier or a numbing sedative? When you exhale it, does it form a cloud, a jet, or a ring? What are the contents being inhaled? Do those contents change, and under what circumstances? Etc.
I wonder what would happen if one were to make a writing utensil into an Implement, such as a pen or a pencil. Presumably it would take Self to remain full of ink or graphite, but it would probably help a lot with any written ritual, while being a detriment to verbal rituals.