Because of the power and inertia of the Tonal, Magi by themselves could only wield the power of Serpent’s Tongue while standing within a Sacred Site. Only in such locations is the Tonal weak enough that frail humans may work the great language. But Serpent’s Tongue is not just an encoded VERBAL language. It is also an encoded SYMBOLIC language.
Magi known as Inscribers know how to encode Serpent’s Tongue onto Inscriptions. These Inscriptions can take many forms: clay, papyrus, stone, leather, or even digital circuitry.
Inscriptions carry with them a powerful resonant field, like the syllables of Serpent’s Tongue themselves. They are much more than just a written record of syllables for a spell. They are quantum creations, existing simultaneously as simple diagrams on this plane and as powerful energetic expressions or engines in higher realms. They form a conduit to the Sacred Site at which they were created.
These engines act as energetic hardware that magnify the effects of Serpent’s Tongue much like a power place, but often to less effect and only to the effect or sphere of influence inscribed.
These inscriptions usually need to be inscribed at a Sacred Site. Traditionalists would say the place’s particular resonance was imprinted through the medium of the Inscribers intent and perfect repetition of Serpent’s Tongue. Modern Magi often see it as the replication of a system onto a portable drive, which can then act independently of the original system. Some ancient inscribers described the inscription as a bridge to the sacred site it was inscribed at, and that it is a remote access to that site.
Benefits and Restrictions to Inscriptions. Attuning Inscriptions
- Regardless of one’s worldview as to how they work, once successfully inscribed, an Inscription allows a Magi to effect magickal changes upon reality AWAY from a Sacred Site, although usually with less power than at the source.
- Inscriptions require certain conditions to be utilized correctly. A Speaker must attune themselves to an Inscription before casting with it. Fortunately this attunement can last weeks but is often used up after activation, at which time it must be attuned again. And the Serpent’s Tongue syllables keyed to the Inscription must be inflected and intended perfectly to achieve resonance with the Inscription.
- The original attunement process usually involves the Magi applying their will to the Inscription while vocalizing relevant Serpent’s Tongue repeatedly, with the intent of charging the Inscription with the effect it represents. After that it is much faster to re-attune an inscription.
- A piece of the Magi’s energy is encapsulated in the Inscription. It then forms part of the energy that the Inscription utilizes to ‘run’.
- Because of this energetic investment there is a limit to how many inscriptions a Magi can maintain at any given time. Also there tends to be a limit on how many attuned inscriptions can be localized on a person without them interfering with each other.
This attunement process is responsible for the concept of Mages studying and preparing their spells ahead of time in order to cast them later. This is also responsible for the creation of the Spell Codex which is, in reality, a powerful artifact designed to separate and hold the powerful energy fields of multiple inscriptions at once.
Over time, Inscriptions are lost, destroyed, wear out or cease to function as subtle changes occur to the Tonal and the planet. Thus every faction covets both Inscriptions and the people capable of inscribing new ones. The Archivists, a sub-faction of the Keepers, have the greatest collection of Inscriptions and the greatest number of those with the skill to Inscribe. The other factions have been forced to be very creative in their methods of replenishing and expanding their Inscriptions.