Does Erf mean the firmament?

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Re: Does Erf mean the firmament?

Postby Lilwik » Thu Mar 13, 2014 5:28 pm

j_scheibel wrote:Fate magic is strictly speaking magic that deals with how things "are/should be".
I would have said that Fate magic is the magic of the future, because it's disciplines seem to be dominated by powers that work best when you are planning ahead. Healomancy, Dollamancy, Croakamancy are all about having units for future turns, not doing stuff immediately to the enemy. Changemancy is about equipping your troops, something one would naturally do before a battle rather than during. I'm not really satisfied with that description either, but surely that's at least some sort of clue to the true nature of Fate magic.

j_scheibel wrote:Numbers magic is all about how things might be. think of it as a game of statistics. If a number is involved it can be manipulated. This deals in averages and randomness. things that work in a quantum physics sort of way.
I don't see how it can be called the magic of randomness. Mathamancy seems to be the only Numbers discipline that touches upon randomness. I think that Numbers magic is about measurement and analysis. It's about figuring out the structure of the world precisely. Mathamancy, Dittomancy, and Foolamancy are all about creating simulations of real things. Consider how Foolamancy is described in B2T10. In order to fake a thing, Jack must know what it looks like in every detail. I'd bet that Numbers magic assigns numbers to everything as it measures and quantifies the world.

j_scheibel wrote:Erf magic is all about the manipulation of the two. Think fractals and where you stop in zooming in.
Without being really sure what "erf" means, the fact that the world is called Erfworld leads me to believe that maybe Erf magic is the magic of manipulating the world and getting immediately powerful results. It is less concerned about the future than Fate magic and more concerned about getting things done now. While the Changemancer is busy making better weapons for some possible future battle, the Dirtamancer can be raising barracks so the troops will have a place to rest tonight. The Erf magician doesn't analyze, like the Luckamancer doesn't calculate odds; that's for a Mathamancer.
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Re: Does Erf mean the firmament?

Postby j_scheibel » Thu Mar 13, 2014 6:50 pm

Lilwik wrote:
j_scheibel wrote:Fate magic is strictly speaking magic that deals with how things "are/should be".
I would have said that Fate magic is the magic of the future, because it's disciplines seem to be dominated by powers that work best when you are planning ahead. Healomancy, Dollamancy, Croakamancy are all about having units for future turns, not doing stuff immediately to the enemy. Changemancy is about equipping your troops, something one would naturally do before a battle rather than during. I'm not really satisfied with that description either, but surely that's at least some sort of clue to the true nature of Fate magic.

j_scheibel wrote:Numbers magic is all about how things might be. think of it as a game of statistics. If a number is involved it can be manipulated. This deals in averages and randomness. things that work in a quantum physics sort of way.
I don't see how it can be called the magic of randomness. Mathamancy seems to be the only Numbers discipline that touches upon randomness. I think that Numbers magic is about measurement and analysis. It's about figuring out the structure of the world precisely. Mathamancy, Dittomancy, and Foolamancy are all about creating simulations of real things. Consider how Foolamancy is described in B2T10. In order to fake a thing, Jack must know what it looks like in every detail. I'd bet that Numbers magic assigns numbers to everything as it measures and quantifies the world.

j_scheibel wrote:Erf magic is all about the manipulation of the two. Think fractals and where you stop in zooming in.
Without being really sure what "erf" means, the fact that the world is called Erfworld leads me to believe that maybe Erf magic is the magic of manipulating the world and getting immediately powerful results. It is less concerned about the future than Fate magic and more concerned about getting things done now. While the Changemancer is busy making better weapons for some possible future battle, the Dirtamancer can be raising barracks so the troops will have a place to rest tonight. The Erf magician doesn't analyze, like the Luckamancer doesn't calculate odds; that's for a Mathamancer.


I tried to be quick in my definitions. I wasn't really trying to site examples that covered specifics for everyone just samples of the generalities of their nature.

I think fate magic can be viewed the way you say it without changing how I was thinking it would work.Your picture is more clear. Perhaps a better way of saying what I was trying to get at was. Things have a nature that goes on for a time. Changing that nature now or later falls in fate magic.

With regards to numbers magic. randomness was meant to point to Heisenberg uncertainty principle and normal distributions and things like that. In essence a way to show how to cheat the game and stay within the rules. But really that was me just guessing and again was just one sample. Anything that makes excessive use of exact values or math fits. So again I think I just wasn't clear. It sounds like you understand, I'm just siting a particular piece of it.

I know what you are saying and while the definition of erf is grounded in math I the idea behind it I was trying to convey was intended to be something more a kin to working with inside the margins. I was thinking that everything the magic deals with can be viewed as having no real effect if you far enough removed or if you see the balance ... but I'm not certain I am covering all the bases. It would be easier to know how wrong or right I am if I had a better grasp on the nuances of the rules rob had in mind for each of the magics. Like does Hat magic take it's stuff from somewhere else like luckamacy borrows from good rolls from another event? If not then that puts a pretty big hole in my idea. Does shockmancy just take lightning from somewhere else, or is it saved up and stored... both those might be ok but if it just appears.... another hole. I was thinking with Dirtamancy things change form but at 50,000 feet it still the same structure and is indistinguishable from the original (again with in the margins of error). its not till you get in to see the details that you see differences. etc...
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Re: Does Erf mean the firmament?

Postby Shai_hulud » Thu Mar 13, 2014 6:56 pm

Except Dirtamancers can make long term investments like Golems too, like Dollamancers. My theory is still that fate magic is themed around weaving threads of enchantment, string theory, and quantum entanglement.
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Re: Does Erf mean the firmament?

Postby strijder20 » Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:02 pm

Lilwik wrote:
Lipkin wrote:Reading the text again, I don't think the firmament is the erf axis. I think the firmament was using the erf axis to guide and shape the numbers.
That only shifts the mystery slightly. It still means that the firmament and the Erf Axis are closely connected, since the Erf Axis is the magic that the firmament uses to shape the numbers. That still suggests that "erf" might mean firmament.

The world "erf" actually has dictionary definitions. According to wiktionary, an erf is an inheritance. Is that just an obscure word that happens to be spelled the same as the erf of Erfworld, or is that actually a meaningful connection?


'Erven' (radical Erf, as in ik erf (=I inherit) ) means "To inherit" in Dutch. Probably has a common root in old Germanic.

I always thought that Erf was just a pun/homonym on "Earth". All magic dealing with the Erf axis seems to have to do with the tangible, the solid.

Class Axis (Erf)
Hocus Pocus Findamancy Find tangible things
Spookism Turnamancy Turn tangible units, apparently warp time too (link with Charlie and the Thinkamancer)
Stuffamancy Dirtamancy Link with Earth is rather obvious
Eyemancy Lookamancy Look at tangible things
Hippiemancy Flower Power Stop motion
Naughtymancy Shockmancy Electricity is less tangible, but still very 'real' (as in not a concept, a thought or a rule)
Stagemancy Hat Magic Tangible hats
Clevermancy Luckamancy Doesn't really have a link with the tangible, but still affects matter and not minds

EDIT: Confirmation of Erf's pronunciation can be found here:
http://www.erfworld.com/summer-update-2 ... ep_600.jpg
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Re: Does Erf mean the firmament?

Postby Shai_hulud » Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:12 pm

Except Dollamancers make tangible items and outfits.
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Re: Does Erf mean the firmament?

Postby Lilwik » Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:30 pm

strijder20 wrote:I always thought that Erf was just a pun/homonym on "Earth".
I'm not surprised that pun has been made in the story at least once, but we know it's not just that. Erf is an axis of magic that has a wide variety of powers and a connection to the firmament. If Erf just meant earth, then only Dirtamancy would make sense in that axis, and it would have nothing to do with the firmament.

There are several non-Erf disciplines of magic that deal with the tangible and solid: Dollamancy, Changemancy, Dittomancy, Healomancy, Croakamancy.

Some day some caster is going to explain why the disciplines are organized into axes and what each axis means.
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