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Spirits of History

The history of a person or object is visible as a kind of four-dimensional trail. One can follow something's trail backwards to see where it has been, and how it changed over time. This is not precisely vision -- if observing the history of a tree, for instance, it does not matter that the past of the tree is contained in the area that is now inside the tree. The sapling, seedling, and seed are all still visible inside the tree. Large trees are fun to look at, because the actual history lines up so nicely with the rings recording that history. Also, if something has moved a long distance, one does not need to physically follow its trail to see where it has been (although one does if one wishes to see what else has been there). It is much easier to focus on a physical object, then follow its trail, than to pick up the trail of something that has simply passed through an area at some point, but it can certainly be done. [This sort of sight is what the minor divinations are. Major divinations are like zooming way out to see great swathes of history at once, and require effort, not just concentration.]

Some interesting historical nexuses (nexii?):

The other sort of spirit of history is a ghost. Ghosts are formed when large numbers of people remember a person or event more or less correctly. This fixes "echoes" of that event into the world, which can occasionally be seen by mortals. These echoes generally consist of a vision of a strongly remembered portion of the event, which repeats over and over, often on significant dates. As the memory of the event or person fades, the ghost also fades. However, if the person or event is remembered incorrectly, an interesting thing happens. If only one version of the event or person remains in the public consiousness, the ghost alters to fit that perception. Some vestiges of the true nature of the event will usually remain, but the main body will come to resemble the remembered version, as opposed to the actual version. If there are several versions of the event or person in common belief, the ghost begins to develop free will. If there are enough versions believed strongly enough, it can become a proper entity in its own right, with personality and the ability to move about, even to places it is not remembered as having visited. Frequently, particularly incompatible versions will split off into separate entities.

Some interesting ghosts:

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Last edited 13 February 2004 6:25 pm by Theresa (diff)