In the common parlance of the Hsien, Lin Tan is Wood Alchemy, a branch of Wu Tan that deals with the Element of Wood and its correspondences.

Overview Edit

Wood represents the power of the natural world and, as such, has power over much of the world. The natural phenomena it is associated with are any kind of plant, youth, health, and growth.

Wood Soul Edit

Lin Tan-0

The Wood Soul is responsible for a person's morality. It controls lust and empathy. All living creatures posses a wood soul. Even though life feeds on life it also encompasses compassion. Appearance and Strength are its Attributes. Nurses, athletes, doctors, and most mothers possess strong wood souls.

Wood souls communicate the state of health of a being, along other things. Enlarging the soul can create lust while diminishing it can cause impotence. As it also governs goodness, a strong Yin effect souls incite a person to a knowingly evil act.

Attributes Edit

  • Lin Tan
    Virtue - Lesser Yang
  • Constructive Cohorts - Earth and Fire
  • Adversary - Metal tools cut Wood
  • Yin Attribute - Appearance
  • Yang Attribute - Strength

Fortunes Edit

  • Color - Green
  • Direction - East
  • Dzi Dzat - Origami trees or flowers; images of bodies, animals, plants.
  • Festivals - Festivals of the god Kou Mang or the emperor T'ai Hao, planting or harvest festivals; First Moon, Second Moon, Third Moon, Tenth Moon
  • Kwannon-jin - Hou-chi and Fu Hsi gain an automatic Fortune when using Lin Tan.
  • Mu-jen - Made of wood and perhaps decorated with flowers and vines
  • Poetry - Traditional haiku celebrating nature and the seasons
  • Season - Spring
  • Sense - Touch
  • Skills - Herbalism, Survival, Empathy, Athletics, Woodcarving, Agriculture/Farming, Medicine, etc...

I Chih Edit

For more information on systems see the page Wu Tan. Also, you may have noticed that there is no obvious way to speak about healing magics among the Hsien. As I understand it, Wood is the element associated with the body and so healing magics would fall under its purview.

Level 1: The Prodigal Tongue Edit

  • Commune with Wood - Like most elements, wood and its correspondences can only give limited information. A tree in the forest could maybe give you information about the person they felt climbing them (based on the touch) and their general health. Perhaps the way this is most useful, though, as Wood is the element associated with health and the body, one could get information from the body itself on its state of health or injury.
  • Read Wood Soul - See above.
  • Speak With Jimu-Tenno - The Alchemist is able to speak with Lin Shen, provided they are manifest or the hsien as the ability to pierce the Wall.

Level 2: Command Elemental Vassals Edit

  • Summon/Dispel Wood Spirit - The Alchemist can summon and dispel Wood Spirits, which includes spirits of plants, but not animals. Some Wyld spirits involved with health or growth are also included. While Hou-chi and Fu Hsi can command these spirits and expect it to be done. Others must bargain or sacrifice for such favors.
  • Nurture/Diminish Wood Soul - See above. While the alchemist cannot heal at this level of ability, they can foster health in a target, speeding what healing is possible by the body.
  • Increase/Decrease Wood Attributes / Grace of Guan Yin/Curse of Qing Long - The Alchemist may increase or decrease Appearance or Strength Attributes, giving someone the Grace of Guan Yin or laying Qing Long's curse on them.
  • Summon the Dragon Boat - The Alchemist may summon a dragon boat to take them along a dragon line from one dragon nest to the next. Lin Tan would be used if the way runs through heavily wooded areas or to or from a forest dragon nest.

Level 3: Raiment of the Elements Edit

  • The Enfolded Object - The Alchemist can hide a item governed by Wood within his or her own body.
  • The Path of Wood - Fine networks of roots, fungus, and moss create a great roadway that the alchemist may travel through. Plus wood is still a common construction materiel for houses throughout the Middle Kingdom.
  • Wood Form/Wood Fist - The alchemist may turn all or part of their body into wood allowing them to take or distribute more damage in hand to hand combat. While true healing is not yet possible, a clever hsien can use wood to cover wounds and prevent bleeding out.
  • Mask Wood Soul - (Not Canon) If the alchemist can cover themselves in their element it would make sense that they can mask their Wood Soul as well. While a dastardly sort trying to make themselves appear compassionate or empathic is obvious, this could also make a person seem ill or sick if someone is looking for the strong or healthy if they are seeking the weak.

Level 4: Awaken Elements Edit

  • Awaken True Jade - The alchemist can awaken Blue or Green Jade.
  • Move Wood - This I Chih makes it possible to move wooden objects in a way similar to psychokinesis.
  • Shape/Sunder Wood - Wood artisans can use this ability to make beautiful crafts or destroy wooden object. It is also at this level that true wound healing is possible as flesh is knit back together. Tree branches could be made to reach out and grab an opponent.
  • Summon/Dispel Wood / Summon the Forest of Spears - The shinma can summon or dispel wood. The example in the book is a Fu Hsi summoning a thousand wooden stakes to try and stop a Kin-jin.
  • Repair Wood Soul - (Not Canon) Some truly corrupt individuals have destroyed in themselves all that is truly loving, compassionate, or empathic. With this I Chih the alchemist has a chance to heal that and perhaps send an individual toward redemption.
  • Awaken Lin Shen - (Not Canon) With this ability one could awaken a slumbering Wood Spirit in an old tree or field of corn.

Level 5: Master the Elements, Throne of Jade Edit

  • Exchange Properties - At this level Oak could be made as soft as pine or flower petals or grass as tough as oak with the same thinness. Paper could be made as edible as rice.
  • Transmute Wood - Transmuting one wood into another can be of limited use but if the human body is governed by this Element one could feasibly transform a tree into a human. The difficulty is that unless the tree were Awakened (see above) it would only be a soulless construct.
  • Transmute Lin Shen - (Not Canon) Such god-like powers are always dangerous to use and Heaven looks poorly on one who takes such liberties with the natural order. While transforming one Lin Shen into another is not terrible, provided it is not against its will, transforming a spirit into another element entirely through a cohort effect is pushing the limits of acceptable. However if a wood spirit is about to be destroyed, turning it into a Hou Shen would actually re-enforce the constructive cycle.

References Edit

  1. CTDLand of Eight Million Dreams, pp. 14, 98-99, 117.

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