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An ability is a general term used for techniques which utilize ether in order to create certain phenomena. Depending on the user and the techniques used, abilities can vary from simple communication to defensive and offensive abilities that can aid in combat. Practitioners of abilities can be found throughout the Harmonic Realm, and is integrated into the educational system of academies in various areas.
Common features of abilitiesEdit
Usage of etherEdit
Ether is the elementary requirement for an ability. It serves as fuel for the user to enable the manifestation of the desired ability. Ether can be directly tapped into the human body, converted from certain rituals, or derived from an external ether source (e.g. ether fuel). The amount of ether required may vary from the type of ability utilized.
In some cases, the user is required to perform activities to allow the usage of abilities. Shinto abilities, for example, is centered on the offering of ether or material objects so that certain abilities can be performed.
Types of AbilitiesEdit
(I'm not sure if 'expenditure' here is Bless) Abilities are put into effect through various means; declaration, crests, characters and the like, as long as they are intended to convey one's will. Abilities allow the transformation of physical laws and, if a resultant law is manifested, the mediation of this law to the world via the Allowance of Contradiction. ATELL being the lowest denomination of Ether, units of 'Ability ATELL', purified to act in agreement to the user's will are needed. 3600 units of Ability ATELL are converted into functional use per 'expenditure'. Depending on the religion, one expenditure's worth of Ability ATELLs are purified in about 2-4 hours of devotion, meditation and the like. Many religions redirect purified Ability ATELL from the user's prayers to accumulate at a central pool of Ether via Earth Pulses for industrial use, etc. with equivalent amounts returned to the user (External 'expenditure') during the time they are needed to perform the Ability. As this will incur a time delay between return and operation, some Abilities allow users to accumulate remains of their meditation (Internal 'expenditure') into themselves, thus permitting immediate use or intensification of their Abilities.
Divine Abilities — Divine State: Far EastEdit
Abilities that allow possession of purification and divine power through invocation and signs. Invocation constitutes a rental-type use while signs vary. Combined usage of Internal and External 'expenditures' is possible. After forming a contract at the shrine, Abilities are purchased in shrines or shrine stands in town and used. Assistant terminals known as Mauses (走狗) exist, which allows the utilization of Shrine-side services via Divine Communication and mail-order of Abilities. As all the shrines on the Land of the Gods (i.e. Japan) are connected via IZUMO and Ise, users can use Abilities of non-contracted Gods provided that they can afford the mediation charge. Divine power is prevalent in farming, working and natural force Abilities, with flashy types (Godspeed, Thunder Summon, etc) prominent in battle-type applications. Purification types have roles in illnesses and the like, offering prevention and protection in addition to purifying functions.
Old Testament Divine Abilities / Classic Sign - Divine State: Old Testament-practicing countriesEdit
Abilities that allow possession of God and the Saints' power viadivine protection and written contracts. Consists of two types: a general public-use type Divine Abilities and Old Testament Saint Divine Abilities that base themselves of the saints. Written contracts are disposable while divine protection is in permanent ownership, but the former is more efficient. Contracts are made in churches, but if a person's birthday and the saint which protects his town match, he will be able to gain Saint Divine Abilities of the corresponding saint. Internal 'expenditures' are forbidden, leaving only external ones possible. Assistant terminals known as Mauses (走徒) exist, assuming the roles of identification proof and status symbols in an effort to resemble Saints and those related to them as much as possible.
New Testament Divine Abilities / Modern Sign - Divine State: New Testament-practicing countriesEdit
Abilities that allow possession of the Testament's power via written contracts and divine protection. Compared to the Old Testament, disposable written contracts have become multiple-use in nature due to the propagation of alms-giving centers designed to produce them. Divine protection is rental-type, thus resulting in less costs and longer duration on the users' part. Contracts are made in chapels, and generally no Saint Divine Abilities exist; copies of the Testament with personalities embedded are given during contract formation in place of Mauses. The resulting impartiality allows continued support of the working class. Internal 'expenditures' are forbidden, leaving only external ones possible. As to why both Old and New Testaments forbid internal expenditures, it counts as an act to imitate God, which is prohibited in Tsirhc-type religions.
Auspicial Abilities / عرف غناء (Irfan Ghuna'a) - Divine State: Murasai practicing countriesEdit
'Irfan' and 'Ghuna'a' carry the meanings of 'knowing' and 'song' respectively. Users are able to bless items or their own bodies with divine power via the evocation of contracted spirits known as Jinn. The contract with a spirit is made in mosques, based on a semi-ownership system. The Jinn, which also serve as assistant terminals, are dependent on the physical strength of the user, but because of this the advantage of users being able to operate them freely exists. As the land of Middle Eastern Earth Pulses are too weak and dry, the returning process in external BLESS would take too long so use of Internal BLESS is permitted.
Magic / Technomagi - Divine State: EuropeEdit
Magic used to be widely practiced among the people, but users were prosecuted by both intolerant Tsirhcian religions and those who hold resentment towards society. Practitioners are still oppressed to this day, but due to their essential existence from the standpoint of historical recreation, use of Technomagi has strongly widespread throughout the world. In an effort to oppose the Tsirchian religions, Magic has associated itself with the academics (Science, etc) starting with their reform during the Renaissance Era; the system of Ether manipulation in a formulaic/numerical sense became its principal concept. Magic utilizes Ether in units of ATELL, expressing the denomination of BLESS as 'Exhaust'. Abilities of this type need to be constructed by oneself or in reference to tomes, using ATELLs merely as catalysts for their direct manifestation. Assistant terminals known as Familiars exist, though personal-use focal instruments need to be bought before they can be used. In opposition to Tsirchian religions, Magic is founded on internal BLESS, though external BLESS can be used as well.
- Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon Encyclopedia, page 66.