Sythyry (sythyry) wrote,


Originally published at Sythyry. Please leave any comments there.

For Monsters Only: “What Is Cley?”

Cley is the currency of magic on the World Tree. A cley is
a purely magical object (viz., it is wholly immaterial, and
can only be percieved by magic sense) in the form of a key
ending in a spray of possibilities.

Primes get a supply of cley each day at dawn, by a sort of
universal magical tide. (Well, I daresay Rhedwy gets
hers at midnight, but that’s wicked and unusual.)
Most people get, oh, half a dozen or so — the exact number
varies a bit from day to day. People who use their magic
more extensively learn to get more — I get, oh, fifteen or
sixteen, more or less. My ~mother~ probably gets twice

You lose all of the previous day’s cley when you get the new
day’s, of course. So most mages get up a bit before dawn
and cast spells to avoid wasting the cley that is about to
get lost. This goes badly with debauchery, of course.

Most spells take one cley to cast. Spontaneous magic takes
up to three. Feather casting lets you cheat the gods
(most of the time) and cast weak spells without
cley. Enchantment piles masses and masses of stuff,
including cley, into a poor hapless innocent physical object
until it sort of ferments, I guess you might say, and starts
getting its own magic.

You can get more cley during the day, by meditating (I
meditate in a fire for better effect), but that’s slow and
only gives a couple. Or you can share cley with someone
else, but that’s inefficient (about half of the cley you
share gets lost) and requires a close embrace. Oh,
sometimes you find cley in fruit or something — I never
have — or get IOUs from gods or such as that.

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