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Windwalking Magic System


New Member
Hello! This is my first post and I have a draft idea of a magic system :]
This is a magic system centering around the usage of air and breathing. This system is called Windwalking, and those who are able to use it are called Windwalkers.
Windwalking is not an innate or a learned ability. Rather it's more like an intentional wish, and people can become one if the right deity is sought out. Though Windwalking is not a blessing. Windwalking is one of the three magic systems in its world along with Shadestalking and Seadrifting.

All Windwalkers, when breathing in, are able to turn the air they inhale magical to the user.
A Windwalker can manipulate this air, and only this air they have control over (for a limited amount of time depending on the willpower of the Windwalker).
With this air, they can choose to hold it in their lungs to turn their physical form into an air-like state, or exhale it to do wind-related feats.
Breathing plays an essential part in Windwalking, as it determines the potency and intensity of the magic results and how long the Windwalker can hold it.
However, all of the Windwalking abilities can be rendered useless if Windwalkers cannot get access to air that they can breath. The potency of Windwalking, aside from relying on breathing, also relies on the quality of air (the purer the better)

This is one of the feats Windwalkers can perform, and is the feat all Windwalkers can do.
This allows the Windwalker to change their physical form into "air form", making their bodies blurry and intangible and air-like.
The action of changing into air form is called Holding, or Half-Holding if changing into a half-half state of physical and gas form.
By breathing in and holding their breath for three heartbeats (aka Holding), Windwalkers would get access to air form whether intentional or not.
Their form becomes more air-like the more they breath in. Holding little breath helps the Windwalker to still retain physical form but still able to alter minor details of themselves.
However, Holding can be very risky for beginners (so it's advised they should only Half-Hold). The most important thing to note about is that once you Hold, you must remember to hold your particles together to not let them become too separated.

If a Windwalker doesn't hold their particles together, it will drift apart. This can result in body alterations (once exhaled), missing body parts, and most commonly death.
Death, in this case, happens when a Windwalker drifts too far apart and literally becomes air.

While Holding, Windwalkers can move around obstacles easier, float or fly, and can phase through attacks (unless Half-Holding). Exhaling out again would make the Windwalker return to physical state and retain again physical properties.
Here are some feats that are well-known amongst the Windwalkers.

a. Drifting
Drifting is a word amongst Windwalkers meaning to 'drift in the winds'. This is a mode of transportation for Windwalkers, and also what earns their name.
They'd go to a windy place and Hold or Half-Hold. Then the winds would lift them up and they'd drift to their wanted destinations. This lets Windwalkers move fast over far distances.

Because exhaling means returning to physical form and falling from the sky, Windwalkers either try to inhale as much as possible (to the safe limit) or exhale little by little then inhaling again (to not reset the Holding process of heartbeats countdown, and prevent becoming too physical).

b. Altering
Altering refers to the change of shape of a Windwalker (either physical or air form). This is a rather intermediate to advanced feat, and the experienced would try to do this sparingly.

Whenever Windwalkers Hold, they can choose to alter their air form. This helps the Windwalkers to navigate obstacles easier, or drifting through enclosed spaces that their physical couldn't, or escape a grappling situation.
This involves rearranging your particles in a way that's useful and convenient to you.

However, whenever exhaled, the Windwalker must rearrange their particles back to where it once was to retain back their bodies. This is not a simple task of putting back, and Windwalkers must keep track of their particles.
If this is neglected, Windwalkers can end up with extremely deformed bodies (and often they choke to death in those bodies), placing organs/body parts in wrong positions, or missing body parts.
This is especially dangerous to beginners if they're not taught how to rearranged themselves back together again.

But this ability can be utilized in physical form. Windwalkers can intentionally locate their limbs for better reach, or put their eyes onto different places, or even healing.
Healing involves collecting the damaged particles and rearranging it to its original position, or fixing a broken limb or sealing up a wound. This works as long as a body part isn't dismembered or disattached from the body (so if you loose a finger, you loose it. But you can heal it back if that finger is still dangling from your hand).

c. Invisibility
This is the most dangerous and hardest to master form of Holding (also called Full-Holding)
This is, surprisingly, extremely easy to access. But what makes it so hard to master is able to return back to physical form in its original shape.

Invisibility is a branch of Altering, and is accessed through taking in as much breath as possible and scatter your particles as much as possible - thus making you invisible.
This is dangerous because high chance is that the Windwalker would disperse and die when trying to be invisible. And once they're invisible, they must hold their particles and return back to original form which is difficult when they're that dispersed.
It's incredibly rare to have an invisible Windwalker, but definitely possible.

Aside from Holding, several Windwalkers are able to manipulate exhaled air and make them do air-related feats
The result depends on how much breath is used and the air manipulation skills of the Windwalker. The duration depends on how long can the Windwalker can hold onto the exhaled particles before it slips.

Here are some examples of exhaled air-related feats, though there might be more I haven't thought of:
- Push/pull objects from afar
- Pressurized wind slash
- Pressure
- Illusion
- Air temperature manipulation
- Barriers
- Conjure/manipulate wind gusts
- etc.

I'm planning on making how Windwalkers can enhance their wind feats to the extent of conjuring strong winds or storms, or let them take in/hold breaths for longer periods of time. Should all Windwalkers be able to perform exhaled air feats or only several ones? Though I haven't thought of how yet and needing ideas.
I'm not sure if the limitation is enough though.I might add that Windwalkers are paranoid whenever they sleep (since they can Hold even when unconscious) so they breath shallow breaths or are light-sleepers.


The whole breath thing makes me think of WarBreaker by sanderson, which I thought was weird in that book as well.

Without knowledge of the story behind the system, I could not say whether it is thought out well enough or not. For my enjoyment, I dont require a well planned system. If having such a defined system is a bog detail of your story, than you need it. I would let the story tell me if I needed people to hold in their sleep, or have exhale powers and such. Otherwise I think the idea windwalking, shadestalking and seadrifting sound different enough to be interesting on their own.