In the world of Ruengoethe, the magical arts are referred to broadly as Tuning. This is the capacity of an individual to reach into the otherworldly font of magic, known as The Loom, and pull its energy into the real world in various forms. This weave of energy binds itself to the souls of living creatures, and is only accessible through expressions of the will, in one way or another. The energy can be moved, transferred, or transmuted, but can never be created or destroyed. Moreover, access to this power usually requires a catalyst of some sort, be it the vital force of the mage, the consumption of a Wisp, or the fraying of a living knot. The two primary components to every act of Tuning are first, the method in which they access the Loom, and second, the energy source they use as a catalyst.
Natural, untrained access to The Loom is limited to those who possess what is called, alternatively, a Prime Knot, a Spark, or a Paragon’s Soul. These people with a natural knack for Tuning have a knot (the vernacular for a soul) that is composed of a singular type of thread, or, more rarely, possess a perfectly balanced soul that expresses each variant of thread equally. These practitioners of Tuning follow the Anagogic path.
Since The Loom is accessed through expression of thought, for these people to access The Loom they must be able to communicate with The Loom their desires in a way that purely expresses the change they wish to draw from The Loom, as well as burn away some of their own vital forces to serve as the catalyst to access energy. Anagogic mages are known to be feeble since their art demands so much from their own body, though some possess such bright sparks that they manage to maintain their vitality. Anagogic mages need to have a clarity of thought, to be able to think of ideas not of instantiations of sensation and perception, but pure thought, and to translate this will into energy. Anagogic mages are philosophers rather than poets, mages who rely on meditation, rhetoric, logical formation and simplified, pure ideas to alter reality.
The tuning that poets perform is gnostic wizardry, a magic that can theoretically be learned and taught by anyone with the capacity to learn the complex forms and symbols of language transmuted into reality. Gnostic sorcerers delve inwardly to find their own connection to The Loom, and turn this connection into terms that can be understood through metaphor and relation to the perceived world. Instantiation, not the pure plane of thought, is the concern of gnostic mages. While an anagogic wizard will express lightning as lightning, conceiving of its pure form and drawing the energy from The Loom, a gnostic sorcerer relies on the metaphors of lightning and bring it out as a striking serpent, a flashing blade, or a dancer. Gnostic mages all uniquely express their artistic brand of magic. Since gnostic sorcerers cannot draw on their own more meager knots for the catalyst necessary to access the weave of energy, they rely on the either the consumption of Wisps to tune or draw upon the strength of those who their soul binds to most directly, forming strong bonds with friends, lovers, and allies and using them as a source of strength.
There are also those who gain access to The Loom by using the Rite of Sennit to braid their souls to spirits that exist as entities within the weave of magic. The most common method is to braid oneself to an Ascendant. This requires that the person pursuing the braiding be attuned to the desires, morals, and philosophy of the Ascendant, otherwise the Rite would fail and the potential cleric lose a piece of their own knot in the attempt. Upon braiding, however, clerics of the Ascendant are able to draw on the strength of the distant Ascendant and access the magic of The Loom in a fundamentally different way than gnostic and anagogic mages. Clerics are limited in their capacity to express because of the limitations of their dogma, which to violate would rupture their connection to their Ascendant, but they require neither Wisp nor their own vital essence to command a degree of magic.
The same practice of braiding to an Ascendant can be performed by those who follow a Walking God, or by those who (some would say foolishly) braid themselves to a Vestige. The magic performed by those with these bonds is qualitatively different from clerics of Ascendants, but has a similar process and limitations.
The final form of magic is known as Tekne, and is almost dead to the world. The Tekne was used by the Nonmen, along with their bonds to their Walking Gods, to command vast power. The main separation between Tekne and other magical forms is the catalyst— the fraying of a living soul. When a creature is killed, the knot that composes its self “frays,” releasing its energy into The Loom. Practitioners of Tekne draw this power into themselves not through expression of pure thought like anagogic mages or through concentration on metaphor like gnostic sorcerers, but by transforming their souls into empty vessels. Those who perform Tekne must be able to remove desire and emotion from their minds, to make their own soul appear as an invisible gap in the weave so the energy released by a frayed soul naturally settles in the weave of the voided soul.