Hello all, and welcome to my post on the traditions, rituals, and magic of Ejoma! 😀
As with several of the other bonus material posts, this one will be updated as needed as the story world grows across upcoming novels.
Until next time, Take Care and Happy Writing! 😀
~ Magic ~
Shimana are born with innate magical ability, based on their aspect. It can take thousands of years to completely master all of their powers, and they have to be careful not to push too deeply into the darker sides of their natures. They cleanse themselves regularly, especially those who actively study magic or those whose powers naturally lean a little more towards darker magic.
Shimana who can transform are able to tap into more of their power when they’re transformed. Their magic becomes stronger, and their senses and abilities are heightened. Transformation is a very high form of magic, and can take hundreds of years to master by itself.
None of the aspects can use void magic unless they have been tainted by hajithra, and when they do it only makes them sicker. The energy of the void is repellant and sickening to healthy shimana. Over time, shimana who suffer from hajithra become numb to it though, and so addicted to the drug-like high that they are constantly seeking their next fix of power. This usually leads them to drain and kill humans as well as other shimana. Over time, they’ll keep drawing on the void and using dark magic until they’re consumed by it and die.
On rare occasions, humans are born with heightened senses and psychic abilities. Their energies are closer to shima energy than that of other humans. Most of the time this is due to having a shima ancestor, but once in a great while a human will just be born this way, without any shima influence at all. Regardless, these humans tend to draw the attention of both the human societies and the rogue shima factions.
The most powerful magic is the arute itself. A barrier that keeps the human and shima realms separated from each other, there’s a space inside it where the opposing light and dark energies combine to form the destructive force known as the void. The realms have naturally opposing energies, and the balance of light and dark flowing between them has to be maintained to keep the arute stable. If the arute ever fails, allowing the two realms to touch, the void would consume everything and the realms would cancel each other out completely, destroying everything on both sides. This is why the arute is closely monitored by shimana who learn how to become bidkoilna. Kronen and the other nine Fenirna also keep it stabilized.
- darhum – Teleportation. This is a spell that only yalirna can use, allowing them to disappear momentarily and reappear somewhere else.
- gensa yokeshi – Blood golem. Can only be summoned by a powerful sathra. The sathra uses a small amount of their blood to create a temporary golem. They are extremely powerful, and made up of whatever materials are nearby; stone, wood, dirt, metal, crystal. Very high level magic.
- lisudari – Void creature, made up of dark energy. Non-living and non-sentient, lisudarina have no will of their own. They have to be summoned and commanded by someone, and do not exist in the world naturally. Only a shima suffering from hajithra can summon and control them. Starving for energy, always hungry, they attach themselves to shimana and humans alike, draining and killing them. The void energy that clings to them can poison healthy shimana and burn their skin in large concentrations.
- nava – Air crystal. This is a nalu obine specific offensive spell. A nalu obine can create and gather air crystals in their hands and hurl them at enemies.
- warud – Magical shield. This is a defensive spell that casts an invisible barrier around the caster to protect them from harmful magic. This does not deflect physical attacks, however.
- yokeshi – Golem. Can be summoned to each of the four elements (air, earth, fire, wind), but only by the corresponding obine aspect. Very high level magic.
~ Traditions & Rituals ~
This is the jewelry worn by shimana when they find their prasuri. It is a symbol of the bond between prasurina. Otherwise, shimana don’t wear any kind of jewelry, aside from beads woven into their hair.
An anso starts out as an orb, about the size of an egg, made of a gemstone and metal specific to the shimana meant to wear it. It splits into two, allowing both shimana to wear half of it, and can change its shape to match whatever kind of jewelry the wearer prefers; a necklace, choker, bracelet, ring, earrings, etc.
Only a lukesh can create an anso, and ansona are only sold at Ishonu, a shop in the heart of the trade district in the capital city, Neluk.
Blood Bonding & Rituals:
Blood is the purest source of magical energy in the body; the power of life itself. Because of this, many rituals depend on the use of blood. Usually only small amounts of blood are needed.
Blood bonding occurs naturally in families, but is used to form telepathic links between unrelated shimana as well, such as in the case of a Jiru or Sijo having a bond with their Telesil and Ushara. These links allow for telepathic communication, and sensing emotions and intentions, but not full mind reading. Blood bonding is also used in the prasuri ritual to completely join two shimana, or when someone is adopted into a family. Jiruna and Sijona usually have the largest number of telepathic bonds.
Another kind of blood ritual would be a blood contract, which is very rarely used because it compels those involved to fulfill the promises made in the contract. It is a form of mind control, and is usually only used on criminals to complete their sentences.
On rare occasions, blood is also sometimes used in the granting of certain kinds of wishes.
This is a meditative practice that rids the body of excess energy, especially dark energy. It helps shimana keep their magical powers balanced. Some aspects naturally have a balance with more light energy than dark, and others have more dark than light.
Naturally spiritual in nature, this meditation is also a time of prayer. Shimana will find a quiet place to sit, close their eyes, and turn their palms up to the heavens. Taking deep, slow breaths, they calm their mind by focusing on the ebb and flow of energy inside them.
Many shimana prefer to do this outside, surrounded by nature, but it can be done anywhere.
This is the bond that only two mates can share. It can happen between two shimana, or between a shima and a human, but it doesn’t force the two to be together. Either of the two can reject the bond, or fall in love with someone else. Relationships outside the prasuri bond, called utsaruna, will never be as powerful as what a shima could have with the prasuri bond.
The prasuri bond blends the energies of the two people involved, sharing their aspects with each other. A shima with the prasuri bond will gain the powers and abilities of their mate’s aspect as well. If a shima has this bond with a human, the human becomes their mate’s aspect, turning into a shima themselves. Two garshikna will never share the parsuri bond.
Children will be the aspect of their same sex parent. With garshikna, children will always be their mate’s aspect.
If there is a large discrepancy in power between the two people, usually in the case of a shima and human who are mates, they go to locations with dampening stones to ease the bonding process. When a human becomes shima through the prasuri bond, it’s easy for them to get overwhelmed at first. This is a way of protecting them against that, and giving them time to get used to their new powers.
When a shima finds their prasuri, whether their mate is human or shima, a mark will appear on both of their left wrists. This mark, known as a nunej, is a pattern specific to the couple and resembles a birthmark in coloring. It’s usually invisible, but darkens to be visible when in contact with the magical energy of their mate.
According to tradition, the merok has to be initiated first when a shima thinks they’ve found their mate. It’s similar to a courting period, or being engaged. Because of the way energy transfers through touch with shimana, it is considered extremely rude and intrusive to just grab someone’s wrist and see if they have the mark.
In the case of Jiruna and Sijona, traditionally they have to be the ones to initiate the merok with their potential prasuri.
Telesil & Ushara:
The Jiruna and Sijona of each city have one Telesil and one Ushara. The Telesil is always a sathra aspect, serving as first protector, and the Ushara is always a tifire aspect, serving as second protector. They also give orders to the armies of their city, and are members of the Junak alongside their Jiruna.
The Telesil is assisted by the Ushara, and they balance each other’s power since they are on opposite sides of the magical spectrum. They are also bonded to their Jiruna, Sijona, and each other through blood, and they all share telepathic links.
~ Natural Abilities & Other Connections ~
The word biranij means epiphany. This is a pivotal moment in a garshik’s life, and it’s irreversible once it happens. It’s when their emotions are unlocked, and their powers begin to level out to more manageable proportions.
Leading up to the biranij, garshikna only experience emotions as echoes when they look at the memories they collect and keep for study in the Hall of Memories in Iseyba. The memories offer garshikna a weak secondhand taste of emotion, both to help them understand humans and other shima aspects and to prepare them in some small way for the biranij.
Shimana believe it’s fate that causes the biranij. Every garshik is destined to go through it at some point, but nobody knows when it will happen. Each garshik is different. Usually it’s some kind of big event that triggers the biranij, such as finding their prasuri, or going through something extremely stressful.
When the biranij happens, there’s usually very little warning. Sometimes garshikna will experience small bursts of emotion immediately leading up to the biranij, but when it finally happens the onslaught of emotions is usually so overwhelming that their powers go out of control and they can even collapse from the strain. This is a dangerous time for a garshik, and for anyone else around them, until they learn to sort out their new emotions and control them.
On very rare occasions, a garshik is created with the biranij, with emotions and full power. This is considered extremely dangerous, and that particular garshik is watched very closely for signs of being overwhelmed. A garshik who falls victim to hajithra becomes bloodthirsty and extremely dangerous.
Dream Walking, Illusion, Manifestation, and Wishes:
Lukeshna are the only aspect who have these powers. These abilities are closely tied together, and also relate to a lukesh’s ability to create ansona.
Dream walking is the ability lukeshna have to enter the dream world, fully aware both in their own dreams and other’s, and bend and control it however they want. This can be used both in healing, and in instilling fears in the minds of enemies. Lukeshna work to control this ability, however, since it is intrusive and they can accidentally find themselves wandering into the dreams of others. It’s illegal to purposely walk in the dreams of others without permission, but it can accidentally happen with younger lukeshna who are still learning to control their powers, or in extremely rare cases where a lukesh doesn’t realize they’ve moved from their own dream into another’s. This usually only happens with someone the lukesh has some kind of telepathic link to.
Illusion is the ability to project images that aren’t really there, or otherwise fool the senses into believing whatever the lukesh wishes, and manifestation is the ability to temporarily bring these illusions into existence. The stronger the lukesh, the more convincing an illusion will be, and the longer a manifestation will last. These two abilities go hand in hand, and the more a lukesh practices illusion, the more naturally manifestation will happen.
Similar to mind reading, the only real difference with granting wishes is that a lukesh automatically senses these specific thoughts. Lukeshna actually have to train themselves to block desires and wishes from naturally filtering through their minds constantly. In wish granting, crystals are used, along with some kind of grounding material. The bigger the wish, the stronger the grounding material has to be. The manifestation of wishes requires different kinds of energy as well, depending on the type of wish and how big it is. Wishes are temporary glimpses of what a person desires most, but there are rules about what kinds of wishes can be granted. Wishes that would cause harm to another are forbidden, and lukeshna bend the power they store in the crystals to prevent those kind of wishes from manifesting.
This is a naturally occurring phenomenon with shimana where energy transfers through touch. This gives both parties a heightened awareness of what the other person is feeling, and makes mind reading a little easier.
This is a big reason why it’s considered impolite to randomly touch people, and why shimana tend to wear clothing that covers their limbs to try and stifle the effect if they accidentally bump into someone. Shimana will suppress their energy to shake hands with others, or they’ll just bow to those who are higher ranking than them. Something like hugging is usually reserved for family and very close friends. People who share the prasuri bond are the exception to this. They don’t bother worrying about energy transference between them at all. Because of the way the bond works, it actually feels unnatural to them if there isn’t energy transference.
In the case of higher ranking shimana, such as Jiruna and Sijona, with the exception of their prasuri and family, it is forbidden to touch them unless they offer their hand first.
The Fenirna were the first ten shimana God created, each a different aspect. These are the ancients, more powerful than any other living shima. This makes them both extremely dangerous and vitally important to the survival of the two realms. Other than Kronen and Bejarn, the garshik and jahuni Fenirna, the identities of the other Fenirna are unknown. They all answer to Kronen, the first and most powerful of the ten.
If a Fenir dies, it’s up to Kronen to find their replacement. There are ten talismans in Iseyba, where the garshikna live. When a Fenir dies, their power is transferred to their corresponding talisman. Kronen uses this talisman to find the replacement, who is always the same aspect as the Fenir who died. A ritual is performed to transfer the power to the new Fenir, involving a location with dampening stones to ease the physical and psychic strain of the huge influx of energy the new Fenir will experience.
There have only been three replacements, and their identities are still unknown.
This type of magic is considered very dangerous, and is rarely used. It can be extremely damaging to the mind of the person being controlled if done wrong or against their wishes. The harder a shima digs in to the mind of another, trying to force their way through the natural mental barriers others have, the more pain and psychic trauma they can cause, even extending into psychological damage as well.
Sathrana have an affinity to this kind of magic, and it comes much easier to them. It is easier to use mind control on a human than on a shima, due to the strength of the natural barriers shima minds have. Sathrana are often called on to teach mind control to other aspects in high ranking positions, such as Jiruna and Sijona.
For a short period of time, slave collars were used as a form of mind control on criminals. They never worked quite right, however, and often damaged the minds and bodies of the wearers. Rogue shimana tried to use the collars to enslave humans, and any shima who got in their way. Since then, both because of the rogue shimana and because of the damage they did, they have been outlawed.
A step down from mind control, this is still considered dangerous if done incorrectly or against someone’s wishes. It can still damage the mind of the person whose mind is being read. As with mind control, it is much easier to accomplish on a human than a shima, because the barriers in human minds are weaker since they aren’t bolstered by magic.
Sathrana also have an affinity to this kind of magic, and it’s easier for them to use than other aspects. In general, all aspects can get a basic sense of the intentions and emotions of others. Otherwise, the minds of others are closed to mind reading unless the person being read allows it, or the shima trying to read their mind forces their way in.
Lukeshna are the exception to this. They can hear the wishes and desires of others, and have to actively train themselves to filter them out, so as to not accidentally intrude. These are the only thoughts lukeshna can accidentally hear, however. Beyond that, they only have a sense of intentions and emotions.
This is certainly more depth and more expansive in scope than anything I am likely to ever write.
A lot of discipline in evidence here.
Thank you! 😀 Lol, I’ve worked on this story world for over a decade now – that dreaded “book two” was actually written first – and I had been laying all the ground work for that. I guess it’s turning out a little better that I had to switch the order of the books in the end.