Elemental Magic in the Briarverse: Tides

Originally published at: Elemental Magic in the Briarverse: Tides - Ackerly Green

This week, we’re focusing on the magic of the Tides, an element of unique importance to the Briarverse.


Element: Tides

Associated Guild: Ebenguard

Associated Magimystic House: House of Purpose

Associated Time of Day: Afternoon? Dusk?


At face value, many of the six magimystic elements in the Briarverse seem reminiscent of the four more classic forms of elemental magic: earth, air, fire, and water. While they may vary depending on the particular series or belief system, those four are typically the core of most kinds of elemental magics, and you’ve probably encountered them before in a favorite fantasy book or television series. Following that logic, it would seem that the Tides of the Briarverse may seem like just another variation of water . . . but when has anything in the Briarverse ever been quite so straightforward?

What I find fascinating about the Tides as an element is the duality of its immediate physical implications. When one thinks of the tide, they usually think of water, oceans, or the moon. Simple and straightforward, and all true. It’s only when you began to start thinking about the Tides in correlation with their associated guild and magimystic house (Ebenguard, the House of Purpose), that a larger picture begins to take shape.

The magic of the Tides as an element lies not in its physical makeup, but in its motion. In the ebbing and flowing, the push and the pull, the constant cyclical striving towards something. And yet, water is not the only matter subject to the whims of a greater force. We, as humans and as magimysts, often feel just as susceptible to the relentless hand of some invisible force. (After all, our physical bodies are around sixty percent water.) By the very laws of nature, it seems only logical that we should find ourselves often called towards a similar tidal purpose: to move, to act, to create, to be. Or maybe just to rest. Even at our most still, there is a part of us that is always in motion.

Magic, too, is a part of this constant flow. We know that in the Briarverse there exist wells: reserves of magic, deep places that may be dipped into when the need arises. We know too, from Yuridia’s ability to sense magimystic currents, that magic itself must follow some kind of invisible pattern, must exist in a state of flux. Just like everything else, our very knowledge of magic in the Briarverse and where it comes from, how it functions, seems to be constantly changing in this new age. What with everything else going on in the world around us, sometimes it feels like it’s all we can do just to keep treading water.

I propose that, rather than feeling overwhelmed or out of control by this interpretation, we continue to draw strength from the apparent chaos. (Yes, this is partly in preparation for the elemental chaos of The Wilds.) There is a sense of peace to be found in the predictable uncontrollability. We don’t know where it comes from or what it will bring, but we know that it will continue. It will continue being, continue moving, and continue pushing us towards our purpose, if we only let it.

I hope these thoughts have lent you a sense of peace among the chaos if you need it, or a confirmation of your own strength if you see yourself reflected. For what it’s worth, we have always seen this particular magic of resilience and optimism reflected in each of the Mountaineers, Ebenguards or not. As always, we’d love to hear your own interpretations of the magic of the Tides, how you find yourself able to draw upon its strength, or how you give yourself up to it—trusting, as we like to say, in the flow of magiq.