Cipher Marks

Cipher marks are the components of spells used by Cipher mages, and can best be described as rune-like symbols, when they are used in such a way as to render them visible.

Utilizing the Marks

To utilize the Cipher, a mage focuses on visualizing the Cipher itself. Most are trained to visualize it as a river of energy, flowing with Cipher marks. The mage visualizes reaching into the flow, and grabbing the mark or marks they require for their particular spell. They then visualize the mark moving from their Cipher brand on their forehead (and it is at this point that their brand will begin to glow) and out into the world - through their hands and out their fingers for a written or signed spell, to their tongue and out through a breath, word, or song, or even into other parts of their body for other purposes. Powerful Cipher mages can even force the mark out into the world through a thought.

For example, to light a candle, a mage may visualize taking the mark for fire out from the Cipher, out from their mark to their tongue, and force the mark out through their breath or a on word to the wick of the candle.

It takes a large amount of focus to create a spell, especially complicated spells that utilize a lot of marks, and maintaining a spell takes a concentrated effort to hold the spell together and on target for large amounts of time. If the mage loses their concentration, the spell could break down into its component parts or just fade away entirely.

Some marks and spells fade as soon as the mage releases them, while others can linger for a very long time.

Using the marks considered forbidden, such as those associated with Necromancy and death, evoke intense feelings of disgust and even pain in most mages, with effects that can vary between individuals, and may include such things as having the mind flooded with revolting imagery or having the sensation of swimming in raw sewage.

No mage can use the marks that describe another mage in a spell, it simply will not work (that is, a spell which is intended to affect another mage must be targeted through touch, vision, or location).

Cipher Brands and the Branding Ceremony

Please see Cipher brand