Akasha is an ancient form of magic whose use predates most forms of spellcasting known to the mortal world. Long before wizards began unraveling the secrets of the cosmos and codifying them into arcane formulae, and even before dragons, demons and other beings of magic began mingling their blood with lesser species, wise mystics and abstruse visionaries bound the raw magical essence known as akasha into crude physical forms and bent its might to their enigmatic purposes.
Akasha is a somewhat simplistic form of magic, generated by mixing life energy, called essence, with the small amounts of arcane magic that suffuse all things and shaping them into rough physical forms. These crude magical constructs are sustained by attaching them to points in the body that naturally conduct energy, called chakra. While modern spellcasters scoff at wielders of akasha as crude and unrefined amateurs, non-traditionalists still practice the ancient arts of shaping akasha – known as veilweaving – and trust implicitly in its power and reliability.
Akasha is the power of creation itself, the very essence of magic. Akasha resonates with arcane, divine, and psionic energy, often acting as a natural amplifier for those power sources, though it is potent in its own right. Sages and scholars have debated whether akasha is the result of those power sources mixing and meshing with the life energy of mortal beings, or if perhaps it is the undiluted source from which those diverse powers sprang. What is known is that all creatures have some facility to access this power or be accessed by it.
Veils are the most common tools by which akashic magic is utilized. These veils are created when a creature channels akashic energy through natural conduits in the body known as chakra. This energy is then molded by the willpower of the creature from which it sprang into a semi-tangible construct capable of converting the wielder’s life energy, known as essence, into a near infinite variety of effects.
Every creature has a finite amount of essence in their being, referred to as an essence pool. While essence is not typically expended when veils or other akashic effects are activated, a given creature can only devote a certain amount of their essence to any particular function. This is done by investing the essence into the chosen receptacle, which could be a veil, akashic feat, or other ability.
Veils are limited only by the wearer’s focus and imagination. When a character first gains access to a veilweaving class, he has the potential to manifest and utilize any veil available to that class. The character’s facility with any particular veil may vary depending on the size of his essence pool and whether or not he has unlocked the associated chakra, which enables him to bind a veil or effect.
Binding is a process veilweavers and other wielders of akashic magic learn through experience and growth. When they’ve utilized a particular chakra long enough that it has become imbued with a surplus of akashic power, akashic characters learn how to build even more complex and powerful constructs by utilizing the reinforced channels of energy in their bodies. This is the process known as binding, and it is possibly one of the most potent abilities any veilweaver can learn.
Every veil is associated with a chakra, even if it is not bound to it. Chakras are points on the body that conduct magical energy. Veils do not interfere with magic items that occupy the same slot. The veil appears as a translucent eldritch construct surrounding that part of the body. You cannot shape two veils that occupy the same chakra. Each chakra corresponds directly to the matching equipment slot. Some veils can occupy one of two or more different equipment slots; you choose when you manifest your veil which of these slots you want it to occupy. Even if the veil can occupy more than one slot, you cannot have more than one instance of a given veil shaped at the same time.
The available slots are: hands, feet, head, wrist, shoulders, headband, neck, belt, chest, body.
Some classes may gain access to specific and unique veils and chakra slots not normally available. veils can be bound to a slot to increase their power once a character has reached a certain level of experience in manipulating akasha. By binding a veil to that slot you gain the most potent abilities from the veil by flooding it with even more of your inherent akashic energy. Once a character has gained the ability to bind veils to a particular slot, they can automatically bind a veil there as part of the process of shaping their veils for the day.
While veilweaving is quite different from standard spellcasting, the basic rule for the interactions of veils and magic is very straightforward: veils interact with spells and vice versa in the same way that spells normally interact with other spells or spell-like abilities.
Spell resistance is effective against most veils that directly target a creature or emulate an enchantment effect, but unless otherwise specified does not apply against area of effect abilities or auras. Veils that grant or enhance natural attacks or weapons, such as the Horns of the Minotaur, are never subject to spell resistance. A veilweaver’s veil effects always overcome their own spell resistance.
Veils are mostly physical constructs of akasha, and as such can be targeted by effects like a sunder attempt; a veil that takes more than twice the veilweaver’s level in damage in a single attack is suppressed and does not function for 1d4 rounds. Veils have a hardness score equal to the veilweaver’s level and gain a bonus to saves vs. targeted effects equal to the amount of essence currently invested. Veils can also be targeted by dispel magic, mage’s disjunction, or similar spells effects, and are treated as magic items when determining the effects. A veil successfully affected by a mage’s disjunction is suppressed for the duration of the spell and any essence invested in a suppressed veil becomes unavailable until the effect ends. Veils are nearly invisible until invested with at least one point of essence; a veilweaver gains a +5 circumstance bonus to Disguise checks to hide the fact that he has an uninvested veil shaped, though detect magic, true seeing, or similar effects automatically reveal their presence. As soon as a point of essence is invested in a veil they flare into tangibility and are easily noticeable.
Bonuses from shaped veils: Note that the general rules for stacking still apply; two bonuses of the same type do not stack, even if they come from two different veils or a veil and a spell or spell-like effect.
Identifying veils and effects: Information about a veil’s properties or effects can be determined using the Knowledge (arcana) skill according to the following table:
|Identify a magical manifestation as akasha or veilweaving||DC 10|
|Identify a specific veil’s basic properties||DC 15|
|Identify a specific veil’s bind effects||DC 20|
In areas where akashic magic is uncommon or otherwise unheard of, increase the DC of these checks by 5.
Descriptors Veils use many of the same descriptors as spells. Whenever a veil contains a descriptor, it carries all the same connotations as the spell descriptor of the same name. Since veils do not have schools, subschools, domains, or disciplines, these descriptors are the primary way to categorize and identify a veil and its effects.
Ongoing effects and unconsciousness: Veils do not require conscious action to maintain, but if a veilweaver is rendered unconscious while he has active veils shaped a number of things may occur. Any active aura powers granted by shaped veils are suppressed until the veilweaver regains consciousness, at which point the veilweaver must spend a move action to reactivate them. Any effects that occur automatically over time, such as the temporary hit point generation of the Stone Giant’s Girdle, continue to accrue as normal. Veils that are sundered while the veilweaver is unconciousness are not just suppressed, but destroyed completely and cannot be used again until the veilweaver reshapes his veils.
Essence Capacity: However large your essence pool is, you can only invest a certain amount of essence into any one veil, feat, class feature, magic item, or other akashic receptacle. Your character level determines this essence capacity as shown below, though some feats, class features, magic items, or other abilities or effects may modify your base capacity:
|Character Level||Essence Capacity|
Akashic Mysteries, © 2014 Dreamscarred Press; Author: Michael Sayre