Strings are the vital components of The Loom, energetic connections between living things that are manipulated via Tuning to alter the material world. The Strings exist in a space that is interacted with through sentient thought and emotion, as strings somewhere between the realm of ideas and the real world.
Most sentient beings have a Knot within themselves of seven strings bound together to form the personality, reason, and emotionalism of a person. Other creatures have fewer strings, and plants usually have only a single string tying them to the Loom. Creatures with six strings are usually considered liminals, a complicated term attempting to designate a space between beast and sentience.
There are usually considered nine basic types of strings, though the shades people see sometimes varies between disparate cultures. The nine different types each have a different direction of energy and matter— that is to say, whether they pull energy in or out of the world, whether they destroy or create matter. Three strings, líhtung, wyrd and nýthmaeg, are exceptions. Wyrd operates with the direction of time rather than energy or matter, and nýthmaeg and líhtung deals with the connection between the Loom and the body and mind, respectively.
They also have different connections to various character traits, an extension of their existence as metaphor-made-semireal. People who can see into the Loom, either through practiced magic or by being an Adept (someone who has all a single type of string), can often infer elements of a person’s character by viewing the appearance of their knot.
The nine types, and the qualities they possess, are as follows:
Physicality, awareness of your own body, sometimes entails submission to the wills of your body (eating and sleeping, sex) and sometimes entails a mastery of it.
This string is used for magic that deals directly with the body, most commonly healing magic.
Passion, belief, anger, conviction, extreme emotion.
This string is used to directly bring energy into the world.
Free thinking, chaos, artistic creativeness.
This string is used in concert with other strings to manipulate and shape their path. It is also used in kinetic magic.
Stubborn, unforgiving, the act of creation in adherence to fundamental principles.
This string is used to manipulate the form of matter, such as in crafting magic.
Insight, ability to adapt, fluid intellect.
This string is used to manipulate energy already present in the material world, as well as the flow of energy along the loom. It is used commonly in counter-magic.
Independence, seeing deeper meanings, the philosophical mind.
Used to pull energy out of the material world into the Loom. This is the string that fills in the Loom where otherwise there would be Void.
Memory, crystallized intellect, far-sightedness.
This string is used to see potential futures and into the past. It is very difficult for most magic-users to use, and most often mastered by Adepts.
Secrets, solitude, detachment.
Seen as the “absent” string, the hardest energy to control, the ability to “unmake.” It is used to deconstruct matter.
This string is not very prevalent in the Loom naturally, and is most often considered a product of aberrant souls or Tekne.
Observance, connectedness to others, empathy.
Considered the inverse of nýthmaeg.
Used in psychic magics.