A seemingly natural force wielded by trained practitioners, maejern is the ability to influence the outside world in a variety of ways, through the application of rituals known as saerns.
Saerns are produced through the use of an internal energy known as ess. Practitioners gather reserves of ess through meditation, describing the process as akin to filling a jug with water, leading to the commonly used phrase “ess-pool”. An ess-pool can only be filled so far, it’s depth increasing with practise and training – a full pool giving the user a heightened sense of strength and power, whereas a near empty pool leaves the user feeling drained and exhausted. A completely empty pool, often signified by a misfire when casting a saern can result in a comatose state, or even, on the very rare occasion, death.
Saerns have a practically unlimited variety of outcomes, from levitation, teleportation, manipulation of the mind or even producing gouts of flame from the palm of one’s hand, though typically, each user is limited to a small variety of these. There are many schools dedicated to the training of Maejern abilities, some of which specialise in a certain type of saern.
There are two types of maejern users. The first, Adryne as they are known, have a natural affinity for the craft, displaying tendencies for it at a young age. They have a larger capacity for the storing of ess than that of the second group, and also produce vastly more powerful saerns, the drawback of this being that they take more time to prepare and perform. Another, far more severe negative attribute experienced by each and every Adryne, is a rapid and intense weakening of the physical form, resulting in a vastly reduced lifespan – an Adryne in their early forties is considered to be extremely elderly and it is not uncommon for members of a maejern centric occupation to die before even reaching thirty. This is known as “The Withering”.
The second type are known as Espyers. They gain the use of maejern through intense study and practise, often taking many years and costing a fair amount. As stated, though their saerns are less powerful and their ess pools shallower than that of Adrynes, they do not suffer from The Withering. There is however a social stigma associated with Espyers, very few of whom have ever reached prominent positions of power, whereas Adrynes are almost always respected and wealthy members of the community.
Excerpt from the “Damna-Tibi Encyclopaedia of The Sphere”