Ether manipulation that predates the creation of Magic. Predominantly utilized by individuals who practice physical forms of combat, its performance has come to be used as the mark of a skilled warrior. Unlike the refined and focused cause and effect reaction seen with Magic, Pressure is dictated strongly by the unpredictable aspects of the user's emotional state. As such, it is nearly impossible for the practice to be efficiently taught to a pupil. In turn, most practitioners are primarily self instructed on the usage of Pressure through either natural talent or trial and error. It is incredibly rare for mages and clerics to utilize this skill, as it is generally counterproductive for such individuals to rely upon emtional means to manipulate Ether.Pressure is a primitive form of
- Will Manifestation: As a form of ether is inherently found in all living things, classified under the term Life Force, it stands reason that the presence of living entities has an effect on the flow of ether in the immediate surroundings. While generally negligible this response is a key defining factor used in differentiating between the living, and entities such as golems and the undead. Through the expression of a strong will or desire this minor ethereal disruption can be intensified to such a degree that even individuals lacking the ability to perceive ether would take notice of the event. Achieving the ability to distort the surrounding ether merely though the expression of a strong emotion is the mark of utilizing the first level of Pressure. Most commonly it is witnessed in the form of a chilling killing intent or the burning desire to survive, where the effect radiates outward from the individual. While the effect is primarily focused on the target of the strong emotion, those in the immediate vicinity may also be subjected the will of the user. As manifesting one's will in this manner directly disrupts the ether in the surrounding air, it is uncommon for experienced Arane Mages to practice this basic level of pressure. This is due to the fact that it can hinder spellcasting. As such, it is theorized that the inefficiency of low-tier mages in large battles may be linked to wide scale emotional disruption of the surrounding ether.
- Sword Pressure: Discovered before the invention of Magic, and practiced consistently into the current era, Sword pressure is a weaponized application of the aforementioned ethereal disruption seen in Will Manifestation. Possible only when two individuals manifesting conflicting wills are locked in combat, this technique extends the reach and force of the user's melee strike as a shockwave of invisible ether. While the actual mechanics have been a subject of debate and confusion, especially among true magic practitioners, it appears that the technique is activated by delivering a physical strike which epitomizes the user's will. In doing so a portion of the colliding ether, generated by the conflicting emotions, is rapidly drawn in and swept forward by the practitioner's maneuver, reflecting the strike that initiated it. The shape and power of the ethereal strike varies widely according to a number of factors. Some of this variables influencing the effect include the type of weapon utilized, the manner in which the strike was delivered, and the physical capabilities of the user. Despite those attributes alone being easy to replicate in the field, the proficiency of performance seems to also hinge considerably on state of mind and the individual talent of the combatant. It should be noted that while the technique was originally discovered by a sword wielder, and thus was named Sword Pressure, any melee weapon can be used to perform the maneuver.
- Ethereal Vortex Sword Pressure: A variant of the second level of pressure developed by Raevyn Loch, this technique allows him to substitute the ethereal disruption caused by an opponent's will for the ethereal vortex generated by magical entities and magic users. Both of these targets are generally unable to be targeted by Sword Pressure until the practitioner ascends to level three of the technique. This is directly caused by the lack of a manifested will in such beings. Developed as his extension of his magical training, which bestows the ability to perceive ether directly, Rae took note of the similarity of an individual's manifested will and the ethereal vortex generated by mages. After a considerable amount of trial and error he was able use an enemy's ethereal vortex in place of a ether disrupting will. While a notable leap in the technique's efficiency, Raevyn has noted that using an ethereal vortex requires much more precise timing than a manifested will. This is due to the differences in ether fluctuations when comparing the two effects.
- Unbound Sword Pressure: An advanced application of Sword Pressure acquired by only the most disciplined of warriors, this final level of Pressure removes the necessity of an enemy possessing an opposing will. While normally it requires the combined intensity of multiple manifested wills to generate the necessary conditions for a successful performance of Sword Pressure, those who ascend to this technique tier can achieve the same effects alone. By doing so the user is free to openly target anything they desire, making the skill far more versatile in combat. The number of Unbound Sword Pressure users is quite limited, with the largest countries only possessing a handful of warriors with the skill.
- Spellblade Pressure: An alternative manifestation of pressure developed by Raevyn Loch, this technique serves as a replacement for the use of Unbound Sword Pressure. Rather than relying on his will alone to generate the necessary ethereal intensity, he simultaneously generates the two conflicting ethereal forces alone. By matching his outward expression of willpower with an inward drawing ethereal vortex Raevyn is able to generate the necessary conditions for Sword Pressure. While in practice the skill's would appear indifferent from Unbound Sword Pressure, the necessary requirements on Raevyn's end are much more complex. As such, a notable amount of focus is required to successfully pull off this technique. Therefore, it can be considered a much more technical maneuver than the original skill.