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Psionic Manifestations: What Are They?

Some people can change, bend, or alter reality with nothing more than their minds. But what exactly are the abilities that psions can manifest?

“Psychic and paranormal phenomena will always be a source of controversy, because it is an inconvenient reminder that there is more to our reality than meets the eye.”

— Anthon St. Maarten

Narrated first section.

IIImagine, if you will, that you could perform an action with a mere thought. What would you do? What could you do? To individuals who awaken their psionic capability unknowingly without training or direction, these are questions that are frightening. Especially as the world at large looks upon individuals with psionic capability with fear.

Psionic manifestations vary, like other supernatural powers. We find them with different forms or functions across the planes. Understanding the abilities of a psion is not as easy as understanding a wizard’s spell or a prophet’s blessing, however.

Here I will discuss the general ideas of how psionics function, as well as the different ways it has manifested across the planes.

“What powers you ask? I dunno… how ‘bout the power of flight? That do anything for ya? That’s levitation, holmes. How ‘bout the power to kill a yak from 200 yards away… with mind bullets! That’s telekinesis, Kyle. How ‘bout the power to move you?”

Narrated second section.

LLLet’s begin with a comparison between the Arcane, the Divine, and the Psionic. This will give us a baseline that acts as a springboard going forward. We will do this by assigning two tasks and describing the primary difference between the three.

  1. You are tasked with delivering a small package of goods to a nearby small town.
  2. A parent has lost their child in a populated city with no idea where they have gone.

And the differences between the three?

Arcane magic uses ambient energies to achieve an effect that, while temporary, may create a permanent result. A temporary fireball still creates a permanent corpse, though a levitating orb slowly falls to the ground unless the magic is maintained.

Divine prayer to a deity requests a particular outcome on behalf of the believer. Permanence depends on the deity’s whims, and their worshipers’ dedication and piety.

Psionic manifestation ties the user’s mind to a different level of existence, where they can effectively rewrite portions of reality on their whim. This, of course, is always permanent, but simple tweaks can often spawn generated unintended changes.

On to the tasks!

The First Task

The First Task, narrated.

Delivering a small package of goods and getting it to a distant location could be incredibly easy, or outrageously difficult. With a supernatural toolset, however, this becomes a much simpler task, regardless of many external influences.

The Wizard: With access to arcane magic, a wizard could accomplish this task in a few different ways. By manipulating the ambient magical energies around them into codified spells, the wizard could employ Aerotheurgy to fly, Naturatheurgy to effectively tree-step and teleport between trees, or just ignore the trees altogether with Omnotheurgy and either teleport themselves or the package to its rightful destination. A Pyrotheurgist would have to be a little more creative, however. (You can read more about the different Arcane Magic Colleges by clicking here!)

The Prophet: Praying to their chosen divine child, a prophet gains the benefits of divine magic. (You can read more about the Divine Children, the Gods of the Trigate Universe, by clicking here!) The divine child of travel could bless their prophet with swift feet, a tireless stride, and safe passage. Prayers to the divine child of stealth would simply just have the worshiper not appear to anyone else on the road. Lastly, a devotee of the divine child of beasts could likely summon a beast of burden, or a mount of either land or sky. Meanwhile, a prophet of the divine child of judgement would find the purview of their god lacking for this enterprise.

An Andazhu Dwarven Prophet of Beasts, praying to their Divine Child ot bestow upon them a mount of the most radical and epic proportions. Art by Fabio!

The Psion: Using their mind to manifest psionic powers provides different options for how to complete this task. Through the discipline of psychokinetics, a psion could fly to deliver the package. Through psychometabolism, they could take on an psychoplasmic form, appearing like a ghost and being unsubstantial and effectively immune to harm, all while simultaneously horrifying everyone they came across. A psion specializing in metacreativity would create a temporary servant of ectoplasm to deliver the goods. A psion of substantial skill, through the use of metapsionics amplifying manifestations of clairsentience to visualize the desired location of the package, telepathy to let the recipient know they are receiving it, and finally psychoportation to teleport the package into their waiting hands, could deliver the package in a few moments.

The Second Task

The Second Task, narrated.

Locating someone who needs to be found within a population center is a daunting task. A child will both stick out while being harder to find. How would our three practitioners of the supernatural handle this task?

The Wizard: A Terratheurgist could communicate with the earth, pavement, and brick, to locate the child. Through Hemotheurgy, the wizard could alter their senses of hearing and smell to track the target down in a way very similar to a bloodhound. An Anitheurgist could attempt to consult with the local spirits, or souls of the deceased, for guidance. Unfortunately, a Mutotheurgist with their magics of acid, radiation, and change would have a harder time.

The Prophet: If worshiping the divine child of cities, one could simply ask for direct guidance. A prophet of community could divinely inspire everyone to help find the child, potentially against their will. A prayer to the divine child of visions could bestow knowledge of where the child is located, making them easier to find. However, the divine child of volcanoes is probably going to assign some legwork to their prophet if they wanted to help.

The Psion: Using telepathy to listen to people’s thoughts, they could try to find evidence the child, or attempt to listen to the child themselves for knowledge of their location. Alternatively, they could create duplicates of themselves to search for the child at a much faster rate through a manifestation of psychometabolism, while through a manifestation of clairvoyance, they could use either retrocognition or precognition. This would mean finding the path the child took at the moment of separation in the past, or taking a peek of the location of when the child is found in the future. The last psion in our example above would employ metapsionics, clairsentience, telepathy, and psychoportation to find the child, assure them of their safety, and teleport them to the psion.

Masters of the Mind

“I suspect everybody has a degree of psychic ability, just as a everybody has a degree of athletic or artistic ability. Some people have special gifts; other people have a particular interest that leads them to develop their abilities. But the phenomenon itself is ordinary and widespread.”

— Michael Crichton, Travels

Narrated list of mentalists.

Across the planes, psionics are found in many different forms.

  • Psions can use any sort of psionic manifestation, but the lack of specialization means they rely more on quantity of manifestations instead of their quality.
  • Imagimages specialize in metacreativity, bringing their “imaginary friends” to life, making them constructions formed of psychoplasm.
  • Adepts focus inwards, specializing in psychometabolism to better their physical form in every way, while simultaneously allowing them to do things normal bodies are incapable of.
  • Vectors are an odd specialist of psychokinesis, using it to move themselves in lieu of other objects as often seen with telekinesis. Their verticality is behind their name.
  • Zen Archers also specialize in psychokinesis but use it to enhance their natural skill of archery. Metacreativity can fashion unique projectiles while clairsentience ensures they always aim true.
  • Avatars also focus on metacreativity, essentially using psychoplasm to create an armored exoskeleton to both protect and grant abilities to themselves, beyond their physical form.
  • Derangers are more of a theme than a speciality, as they ask “What could a mind riddled with madness and lunacy manifest into the real world?” Who knows what a fractured mind is capable of?
  • Dreamsmiths are centered around the dreamscape, a psionic domain that connects all dreaming minds. Metacreativity allows them literally to construct things out of dreamstuff.
  • Nocnitsa are also centered on the dreamscape as well, though their abilities manifest through a dark passenger, a powerful nightmare being that embeds themselves like a psionic parasite.
  • Cerebrugeons are a sort of psionic healer, manifesting acts of psychometabolism to heal the body whilst telepathy allows acts of psionic surgery, an act capable of altering one’s conscious and unconscious mind.
  • Gun-Sages specialize in both psychokinesis and metacreativity to add some psionic prowess to firearms. Bullets telekinetically changing their path to always hit true is a favorite of theirs.
  • Banchos are individuals who specialize in telepathy, focusing on boosting their social prowess to either dominate the scene or ensure they are not noticed, whatever would work best to get the secrets of the crowd.
  • Mindthieves, naturally stealthy and clever, use mental gifts to be even better at their craft. Using psionics to distract people makes emptying their pockets easier, but they can steal thoughts as well.
  • Bladeswarms would tell you they are the pinnacle of the psychokinetic discipline, as they animate physical weapons to fight on their own. Imagine a swarm of swords charging at you!
  • Thrallherds are one of the most feared types of mentalist, as they excel in using telepathy to dominate what they view as weaker minds. Everyone is just waiting for someone else to give them direction, after all.
  • Extrascients have no psionic powers of their own, but an incredibly powerful being, known as an overmind, uses them as a sort of psionic lens so that they may affect the world, albeit indirectly.

We’ll cover the disciplines of psionics in a later post, so keep an eye out for that. Thank you for reading!

Psionic powers made manifest.

“A sixth sense cannot make up for a total lack of common sense.”

— Natsuki Takaya, Fruits Basket, Vol. 3

Zakharov Sawyer, Zakharov Sawyer Zd10.net