Nine Fundaments and Three Monads
The Nine Fundaments are comprised of the Four Tangible Fundaments: Stone, Water, Air, and Fire.
The four Intangible Fundaments: Dark, Life, Light, and Death.
And the Unitary Fundament, Force.
The Nine Fundaments
Celegian sages and philosophers have deduced and proven the existence of only nine fundamental building blocks which make up all things. These nine fundaments are as follows: Stone, Air, Water, Fire, Life, Death, Light, Dark, and Force.
There are various groupings and classifications among the Fundaments. Force, for example, is known as the Unitary fundament, since it is alone among the fundaments in having no opposite. One of the raging debates in the learned community is if there is actually a tenth fundament, and if so, what it is. The other fundaments are all arranged into pairs of opposites. There are four fundaments that correspond to the traditional elements, being Stone and Air, and Water and Fire. These four fundaments are known as the Tangibles, since they all have a physical expression and can be felt or touched. The last four fundaments are Light and Dark, and Life and Death. This group is known as the Intangibles, since they cannot be touched or felt, and in the case of the Life/Death pair, they cannot even be seen directly, only their effects. No one doubts that these fundaments exist, however!
There are many other more esoteric measures of the fundaments, such as whether they vault or plunge, their couples, their polar affinity, the strength of Mutative Vector, etc.. that are of primary interest to the sage or other scholar. Since all things are made up of the fundaments, mixed in various ways, one of the more interesting pursuits in the Empire is ascertaining the Fundamental Formulae of various things. Some of the more commonly known Formulae that have made it into popular parlance are as follows.
Everyone knows that people are made up of all nine fundaments, but in differing proportions. Wood is made of Stone, Life, Water, and Air. Rivers are made of Water, Life, Death, and Force. Lightning is almost pure Force and Death, with a little Light and Fire mixed in. Sunlight is Light, Life, Fire, and Death in almost equal proportion. There are many other substances that have been Formulized, but this is a rather esoteric topic and the population in general has little interest or knowledge in these things. A common sight in Celegian books on the Fundaments is the Wheel of the Fundaments, a diagram which displays the Fundaments and portrays their interrelations to each other.
That said, a small expansion on the topic is warranted, as the player characters are likely to be both more knowledgeable on the fundaments and to need that knowledge more. Force is the unitary fundament and is very difficult to find in a pure state. Force is almost always detected by its interaction with another of the Fundaments. These interactions almost always result in the affected Fundament going into motion. The direction of that motion is set by the fundament's basic nature.
The vaulting fundaments, Air, Fire, Light, and Life, move upward when affected by Force. The plunging Fundaments, Stone, Water, Dark, and Death, all move downward when affected by Force. Please note that these observations are all for pure quantities of the Fundaments, a thing that is very difficult to obtain.
Furthermore, it has been found that there is a relation between each of the Tangible Fundaments and a related Intangible Fundament which is known as the Mutative Vector. The Mutative Vector measures how strongly the Tangible is able to propagate, emit, and support the Intangible, as well as the relative strength of that interaction.
For example, the Tangible Fundament Air is coupled with the Intangible Fundament Light. The couple is a strong mutative vector with the vector arrow toward the Superior pole of the fundaments. The two Fundaments are both strongly Vaulting, and are strongly coupled, by a superior mutative vector. This set of relations explain why it is possible to easily see a long way through air. Stone is weakly coupled to Dark (two strongly plunging fundaments) with an inferior mutative vector, in all ways the opposite relationship of the Air>Light couple. This is the reason that solid materials, which contain a lot of Stone, block light and cast shadows, but you never see a normal object emitting darkness, the way fireflies or fires emit light.
Fire is strongly coupled to Death ( a weakly vaulting tangible and a weakly plunging intangible) by a superior mutative vector with a plunging aspect. These couples of a vaulting and a plunging fundament are known variously as equatorial couples , as balanced couples, or as hovering couples. This relationship is why you often see a patch of dead, scorched ground beneath a place where there was a fire. The fire has released a small amount of fundamental Death, which has leeched downward and blended into the ground.
The last couple is the Water>Life couple. Water>Life is a weakly coupled, vaulting, inferior mutative vector. This relationship is the reason why water almost always has something living in it, although it is often slime or other very low level life, due to the weakness of the couple. In addition to these relations, there are other, higher order ones, but they are the realm of the dedicated expert on the Fundaments.
The Three Monads
The Fundaments have been discovered to be comprised of the three Primal Monads.
The Primal Monads consist of: Flux, Rime, and Cosmos.
- Flux is the energetic, moving portion of reality.
- Rime is the absorptive, static portion of reality.
- Cosmos is the expression of the great primal energy, the tension of the world field which lies beneath and infuses all other things.
Flux and Rime can be examined in their nearly pure state in the Prime material, with great effort. The Cosmic Monad can only be isolated with great difficulty in the highest energy states of existence, namely, the Plane of Power.
Whether the monads can form a putative Tenth Fundament is still unclear, and as a result, the debate rages on.