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“What is that... Like an infection?"
"Not quite students, not quite. It’s impossible to boil down something as abstract as the Cosmic Mesh to such a simple concept. The mesh makes up the fundamental building blocks of existence itself, and even after centuries of study we have barely scratched the surface of what laws and conditions truly govern it, if any even do.”
- Tylus Corlmwyn, a lecture on Arcane Theory & Research, Cyridon Spire, c. 7C-267
The loci of A’therys are a planet-wide, atmospheric phenomenon that accounts for concentrations of magical influence and force (or lack thereof), and the ease with which magical forces can be accessed, harnessed and manipulated. These thin dimensional borders between the mortal plane and the Cosmic Mesh are the primary means by which mages of the House of Candles harness their spellcasting. Loci wax and wane in intensity, before moving on to the next position in their cycle. These fluxes can be predicted and tracked via the constellations and rings of A'therys with a high degree of accuracy, a several-millennia old practice that predates the founding of the Mage's Guild. Modern gatherings of mages often occur when a locus appears, and such events are usually quite festive with frequent trading of artifacts and knowledge between mages of all backgrounds.
While most loci are temporary streams of energy from which mages can “refuel” their tools, the Cosmic Mesh doesn’t always need to be manipulated by a mage in order to fill an inhabitable focus. In very rare cases, particularly strong concentrations of energy have created permanent Loci nestled within the mortal plane itself. Some are considered to be sacred ground and are well-guarded, while others have been depleted long ago to make powerful weapons. The mythical Mosiach Obelisk in Daidama is one such binding point, still worshiped and guarded by the Adjudicators of Mosech-Tan. The Azdovikh Forest in Vrovona is another such locus, whose presence has long made natives wary of the the ancient woods. Cyridon Spire, home to the Arcane College, was deliberately placed within the Farendale Locus in order to allow for ease of their students' training.
In such areas heavily saturated by magic, the environment often undergoes strange and unexplained changes. Stone begins to glow with strange light, trees grow with a natural affinity to be made into staves and wands, and animals may undergo dangerous transformations. Magically-infused resources gathered from these locations have led to a greater understanding of the latency of different materials. Gemstones are the most potent material for an arcane focus, metallic alloys are less effective, natural fibers weaker still.