Leylines as Entities

Magic is, inarguable, a large part of the community with its roots in Swords and Sorcery, and High Fantasy. It has given us plenty of tropes and ideas for where it comes from. Today we will talk about one of these: Leylines

I had this idea while driving to my commuter train, what if leylines were entities with their own will and lifecycle? After debating with myself, and making myself look like somebody who is insane talking to my back and side mirrors, I could conclude that this idea had some interesting ramifications for a campaign setting. Because what happens when a leyline is about to die? What catastrophic events occur at the birth of a infant leyline? What happens when two them of different centres cross? In addition, it could even inform you how wizards, clerics, and the like, are viewed in specific areas.

So my idea is as follows:
  1. There are four types of leylines. Infant, Matured, Dying, and Dead.
  2. There are epicentres these leylines form from.
  3. Leylines and epicenters are not equal.
  4. When two leylines from the same epicentre meet, they create a new epicentre.
  5. All Leylines are underground conscious streams of raw magic.

What is a Leyline then? Technically it is considered a pseudoscientific blabble for trying to connect different man-made landmarks that accidently lay on a line, with some spiritual significance (typically Christian).

The St. Michael Lane

I find it to be a cool and very gameable concept, for it gives ways to make highways that connect the world through magic or physically. However, often in fantasy leylines are simply magical lanes that flows through the world, they are assumed often to be just another part of the natural environment. I would like to add the twist to peoples mind, that these leylines are in one or more ways conscious and have a lifecycle as animals do.

What do I mean by an Infant Leyline? It refers that these are new and volatile leylines who do not know how to control their magical outlet. They will, like an infant, vomit the raw magic out into the world in form of active volcanoes, earthquake zones, and the like. Allowing elementals, golems, mutations, and the like to manifest themselves into the world. If the infant leyline goes through the ocean, there might a primordial water elemental roaming the seafloor and mutated giant eels lurking around islands full of snacks. If you grew up near an infant leyline, there might be a high chance you can become a wizard as the magical radiation has empowered you with its power.

A Mature Leyline on the other hand has gotten control over its magic and can now vent it out as it deems fit. In areas with mature leylines you might have your baseline magic here spells and wizards are not as common a sight. Elementals, mutants, and the like a rare. There might be geographical hotspots such as dormant volcanos and magical hot springs that function as ventilation for the leyline. Here you might find cults of sacred places that protect these outlets religiously, taking and appeasing their underground 'god'.

A Dying Leyline is, as it sounds, fading away from the world. It cannot fill its tube with magic anymore, thus radiating very little. Magic in these areas are a rare sight, and magicians are legends such as Merlin and Baba Yaga. Little magic is roaming the surface, but there might still be some magic alive underground.

A Dead Leyline does not simply disappear, as the last magic dries out and life will take over. Now these tubes through the underground may be used as highways for your dungeon delving creatures to fight over, or as a major trade route and cities. Think of how an enterprising Kobold Tribe figured that building around the tube would create trade and give them power over the region above and thus a flourishing city of trade and mercenaries was made. Here all of your orcs, goblins, and kobolds meet for a beer and tell tales of their lost comrades, and their now starving children.

An Epicentre would be the centre where more then one leyline cross. They are the birthplace of these raw magical highways, and their endpoints. The more epicentres there are in a given setting, the more magic it contains and the more conflicting magical systems are present.Above an epicentre you might find highly magical realms, fairies queendoms, and legendary lands of wonder. These are magical infernos for us mortals and are of little use, unless we find a dead epicentre which may hold special metals, gems, or whatever you find appropriate.

A newly born epicentre would create pulses of raw magic that would permeate over the area above and around, providing wild mutations, instantaneous birth to new species, and other gonzo events. What's more important is that it creates new leylines. The amount of leylines can range from zero to as many as you think is appropriate, I would recommend using the Islamic tile folds to create a mosaics for your leylines.

I do not know if it is useful, and I know I have a long way before being able to write gameable material and not simply concepts like these. But that requires that I keep on writing, so bear with my ramblings.

In other news, I will have a setting out soon. I am taking over for a friend who wrote it but did not have the time to finish it. I am allowed to go through and change the shit out of it. Also he gave me this cool cover he made for it a long time ago.
We share the same initials, coincidence? I think so.

See you all next time.