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Aethertide: The Power of Correspondence

Once a person is properly attuned to space, it’s possible to see or chart anomalies like singularities and point masses. Gravity wells, wormholes and curved geometry are second nature. Remember how your math classes told you that a triangle always adds up to 180 degrees? Take a triangle and lay it on top of a globe, with two points along the equator and one at a pole – suddenly, it’s a triangle with three right angles! That’s just the least trick of Correspondence.

Guide to the Technocracy, p. 49

“Bullshit,” Case said. “The globe trick is yeah, okay, true. Sure. But it’s bullshit. No one gets that, man.” He threw his fork down and leaned back.

Jamie sipped her coffee. The young man sitting next to her in the cafe booth looked back and forth at the two magi. “Did I say something wrong?” he asked.

Case began to open his mouth, but Jamie interrupted. “Don’t worry, Will. Case here is…animated. But…” She glared hard at him. “…he’s the best Correspondence guy around, and you need someone to show you the ropes. Even if he’s a technomage.”

Her smirk melted a bit of his frustration. Case took a breath. “Okay, so, you see this fork?” He picks up the fork.

“Yeah,” Will said.

“Can you move it? Teleport it? Clone it?” Case pressed.

Will concentrated, furrowed his brow, when Case quickly withdrew the fork. “Dude, not here. We’re in fucking public.” He looked around, gesturing to the other cafe patrons that were paying absolutely no attention to them.

Jamie winced. “Case, don’t egg him on.”

He brought the fork out again. “Thing is, I’ll bet you can’t. I’ll bet you’re trying some Matrix shit, all ‘bend the spoon’ and everything, right? Visualizing the fork being somewhere else?”

Will shook his head.

“That’s not Correspondence. That’s the Sphere we call Hollywood Bullshit.”

“Case…” Jamie warned.

He ignored her. “Get your phone out.”

Will grabbed his phone. Case grabbed his, and gestured with it like he was on a virtual pulpit. “You want to know what Correspondence is?”

“Yes!”

The adept’s eagerness caused Case to crack a grin. He quickly thumb-tapped on his phone. A moment later, Will’s phone chimed. He looked on the phone, which said “This.” Will furrowed his brow, puzzling over what Case just texted him.

Case handed Will his phone, showing the short text conversation of “This.” He waited for Will’s eyes to light up, showing that spark of initial understanding.

Will looked up at Case. Jamie grinned; she could feel her charge starting to understand.

“Look at that. One thing that exists in two different places. More if you count the servers and backups it’s suddenly stored on. Texting…that’s the least trick of Correspondence.”

Will handed Case’s phone back to his outstretched hand. “Okay, so, that means no moving fork tricks?”

“On the contrary, my young padawan…” The other two groaned at that. “…it means you’ll be able to move anything, once you truly get it. Once you see that everything is information.” Case finished the last of his coffee and threw down some money. “Let that sit in your head for a bit. I’ll see you next week.”

The three got up and headed to the door. “And get used to the Star Wars references, kid. Because I’m going to pull some Yoda shit on you.”


Correspondence is Data

Cell phones. Wi-fi. Satellite transmissions. Television. Cable.

Before that, telegraphs. The early telephones. Shortwave radios.

Before that, letters. Books.

Before that, our voices.

Information can exist in our minds. It can exist on pieces of paper or hard drives. It can be transmitted through light or sound. It can be corrupted or destroyed. Information can be manipulated by nearly every Sphere, but there’s one Sphere that is information: Correspondence. Information has no sense of space, and yet it exists everywhere. That is the true power of the Correspondence master.

But because data is ephemeral, Correspondence alone does little. It can transfer and move information, which in this day and age of info-warfare is crucial. But with the right combinations of other Spheres, it can do more. Here are a some incomplete ideas about how to use Correspondence for Data manipulation:

Correspondence + Mind

Reading & transferring knowledge from one person to another, spanning distances. To the mind-hacker, your secrets are hers no matter where you are. Two mages with this can communicate with each other over distances, even sharing what another sees, hears & experiences. After all, that’s information in your mind.

This is a key (in my mind) to making the Digital Web 3.0 work. True neural networking, baby!

Correspondence + Matter

Duplicating hard drives or letters, nearby or in vast distances. The old adage that the most secure computer is the one that’s powered off and unplugged is untrue to someone who can just clone a hard drive by thinking about it.

Correspondence + Entropy

Early adepts of this technique are good at disrupting information flow. But the true master uses this to encrypt or decrypt knowledge. Add Mind to this, and suddenly you’ve encrypted thought itself. Necessary in this War.

Correspondence + Forces

Sense and feel information being transmitted around you. Add Mind to it, and you can read the information flowing around you. You’re a walking radio antenna. A walking broadcaster. A walking disruptor.

And nothing scares people quite like suddenly being in an information blackout. It’s like turning out the lights in a horror film. And that’s what the CorFor mage can do.

Correspondence + Mind + Matter

The college dream of sleeping on a book to absorb it through osmosis is not a dream for the Correspondence mage. Information is it Matter, and so it can be in Mind. Of course, that book could be anywhere in the world to someone with proficient enough Correspondence. (Which, by the way, would model The Archive from The Dresden Files.)

This also allows for some very scary Progenitor + Iteration X experiences, like the Enlightened Shock Corps.

Correspondence + Forces + Matter

You’re reading this blog post. Congrats. This rote is something the Masses[1] believe in.

 

I’ll leave it to readers and to the future to flesh these ideas out. But this is a core part of my Aethertide campaign, since we live in a world so saturated with wireless information. We had to figure out how all that worked, and given the Virtual Adepts and the nature of information, it just made perfect since to link that to Correspondence.

– Ryan

[1] Oops, did my allegiance just slip? ;)

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16 Responses to Aethertide: The Power of Correspondence

  1. MrPrim says:

    This is how I’ve always written My Virtual Adept/Convergence mages – mostly because, by the time I got to Mage, L33tsp34k was completely passe. The coolest way to talk on the internet was properly punctuated and capitalized sentences – and thus, my Virtual Adepts were eloquent intellectuals who could reduce all of reality to it’s raw informational state.

    They were lame hipsters, too, but so was i :D

  2. Lon Sarver says:

    Don’t mind me, I’ll just sit over here and have my braingasms quietly.

  3. dr_ether says:

    This is exactly spot on. I covered some of this in my essay on the Zero Coders, the Mage: the Awakening legacy I wrote based upo the Virtual Adepts. I’m big on information since I am a computational chemist and muse about such things as the universal wave function and the idea of a holographic universe. http://wiki.white-wolf.com/worldofdarkness/index.php?title=Zero_Coders

  4. Eddy Webb says:

    Just awesome. Looking forward to more!

  5. Jess says:

    I’ve always considered Correspondence to be one of the most important Spheres, probably right after Prime, and much for the same reason. Even the Ahl-i-Batin were intersted in information, creating their vast networks across the world.
    The Correspondence+Mind+Matter combination reminds me very much of downloading information from the Matrix as well, or of tapping into the Akashic Record. Though you might have to add in Life if you want the trained muscle memory that comes from martial arts training.
    Correspondence +Life could explain hologram communication as well.

    • Dave says:

      Woulnd’t a hologram be Cor. + Forces? I mean its light that looks like a person not an actual person…

      I don’t know if I agree with this… It seems to be that data can not exist without the thinker to give it some relative place in exisitence.. thus all data requires Mind, but I may be more Hermetic then you whipper-snappers and your viral movie images

    • Ryan Macklin says:

      Dave,

      For a pre-recorded hologram, totally. For hologram communication, maybe Cor+For+Mind.

      I don’t know if I agree with this…

      The first step in recovering from being a Reality Deviant is admitting you have a problem.

      thus all data requires Mind

      Many years of software development have taught me that this is not the case. :)

      – Ryan

    • Ryan Macklin says:

      Or another take on holograms:

      Realtime is Cor + For. Pre-recorded is Cor + For + Time.

      It gets weird when you think about hypertech. :)

      – Ryan

  6. Dave says:

    You know, I should know better as well. 10 years in customer service should have beaten this out of me, but hope springs eternal for how things should be

    • Ryan Macklin says:

      The idea that data is Mind is an interesting view, because it highlights the hubris and solipsism of man. Which is a quantum physics take on data.

      But given that quantum physics is at best unreliable, data-as-Mind is probably hypertech.

      Which could mean…the Technocracy is attempting to eradicate the Virtual Adepts by metaphysically destroying data’s connection to Correspondence by causing the Consensus to re-map the concept to Mind, thus destroying the Tradition’s vast communication networks. Perhaps as an example to others that may look to defect (like, say, the Void Engineers).

      – Ryan

  7. Jess says:

    [quote]
    The idea that data is Mind is an interesting view, because it highlights the hubris and solipsism of man. Which is a quantum physics take on data.

    But given that quantum physics is at best unreliable, data-as-Mind is probably hypertech.

    Which could mean…the Technocracy is attempting to eradicate the Virtual Adepts by metaphysically destroying data’s connection to Correspondence by causing the Consensus to re-map the concept to Mind, thus destroying the Tradition’s vast communication networks. Perhaps as an example to others that may look to defect (like, say, the Void Engineers).

    – Ryan
    [/quote]

    This makes me want to play a Technocratic philosopher, spouting truisms and abstract Kantian notions, disproving someone’s ability to exist.

  8. John Courage says:

    [1]. It did, Agent. Be Seeing You…