Useful in many ways, Magic
Networks are a
way to transfer energy with less 'loss' over distance from it being
spread from its destination on sending. Think of it like shooting a jet
of gas in a direction - some of it is swept away by the wind.
Magic networks can be thought like the cables through which energy flows. Not using a network is like flowing electricity through air with nothing to guide it. Although we focus the energy with our minds, creating an energy network barrier removes the added effort needed to focus the energy. Networks can also be threaded between people, or between energy sources and people for a cleaner energy input/output.
Another advantage of using networks is for things like telepathy - creating a network effect that reduces the 'white noise' you get while attempting to receive telepathy, and increase the change of you understanding the correct message.
How to make the network? Simply focus energy into a static state by programming it to continuously take in energy, give it enough energy to stand for a long time, perhaps by adding in anti-leakage shields to make the best use of the energy. Program the static base network by giving it functions and commands, using more energy to solidify it. Using air energy as a 'foam' in-between aether can block out false telepathy signals and rogue energy well. [This air/element foam can be used for other things, among them force shields, but that's another topic altogether - experiment!]
Set the locations for the web to travel through, and maybe a few switches to increase/decrease or turn on/off the energy flow. Activate it and voila! One magical network. Practicing with a simple kind and then using it will give new ideas for what other things it could be used for, and it can be edited by need. It's also good practice to put a consecrating shield, force shield and stealth bubble around the network and network's energy sources/slave constructs/users to stop energy parasites forming, as well as a good energy defense. Little critters LOVE to soak up the energy made by a magic network, which for them is like an artificially-made mana vault/plane splinter.
If you detect other magic networks in the area, it is very bad practice to blast open a vein and send your messages through it to see where it's from. It's damaging, wastes a lot of the network's energy through the leak created and data will be lost as well. The creators of the network really wouldn't be pleased. Most networks contain a semi-permeable shield for receiving foreign messages without letting in harmful constructs. Try contacting the network users through the shield rather than blasting the whole thing down because you don't think they can hear you.
Energy-link networks are the most common. They are usually a way for a user to get energy most efficiently from the source to themselves for use. The network is simple with one user, one source and one channel connecting the two. The user can bring as little or as much energy through the channel, which is reinforced to stop energy leakage from the transfer. Portals can also be used so that the transfer is not seen all the way from source to user, like a huge beacon. Cloaking can also be used for this, though it is usually more vulnerable. However, crude portals are easy to detect from energy signatures.
Mind-link networks are fairly common; and sometimes have an instant connection between minds for several users to experience the same stimuli. More advanced ones use switches to choose the energy flow, and can have a telepathy system or storage for keeping messages until the storage is viewed, or message importance can be set by need. Empathy can be set in the same way though sometimes shields are hard to form through habit.
To create the mind link requires a burst of energy and the lowering of the mind barrier of the users (having trust that this new energy link isn’t something to be automatically broken and rejected) and then linking the threads together. If all parties are aware of the link being formed, they can help it strengthen in the early days. If they don’t know about it, their mind might well reject the mind link as an intrusion unless you send data beforehand. Don’t do this as it’s basically a psychic attack into someone’s brain.
People who are enlightened and place more value on the eternal generally have an easier time with mind links than animalistic-type humans. I’ve not tried mind linking with someone who is less than 50% human so I wouldn’t know the effects. I would assume linking with something such as a vampire could cause latent energy vampirism from other users, or even get the other users to take up the trait. It’s therefore important to add more shields between users that block such traits.
As said, dangers of magic networks (especially mind links) include taking unwanted traits and similarities from mind link members – the very formation of a mind link brings the linked ones closer to an identical mindset, increasing as the link gets stronger. This can be blocked with the shields but does have an effect on total network strength, not sure how to circumvent that as of now.
Another danger is the spread of magical diseases. Not all diseases are known, therefore not all can be protected against. It’s good practice then to install a magical ‘firewall/immune system’ to the network to detect and block illness through each channel, and disinfect the web on a regular basis. Parasites locating the network can cause instabilities and energy loss, particularly if the parasite is cloaked. The main concerns of the network holder is to stop negative mind effects occurring, keeping out pests and making sure that the web isn’t weakened or taken over by some rogue force controlling a user. Security is VERY important for a mind network.
Firewall – filter
and data that goes
through any part of the web for harmful data and constructs.
Cloaking – hiding the web from parasites and hostile entities. A stealth shield works in a pinch, but creatures that happen to fly into the network or the few that can see through such deceptions can’t help anything. Using a mirror technique or illusions would make it more effective.
Defenses – if something does get through the curtain, then these will fight off the intruder. Pretty damn important.
Energy source/s – Powers the network. A little energy taken from each user in a mind network seems to be effective. For an energy transfer network the source energy is often used.
On a final note: the
advantages of a magical
network are many - More efficient transferal of energy, less
interference when using telepathy, adding effects to the network user’s
advantages and power, bringing together communities, organizing
constructs, etc. The important question is – can you get a good network
working? Energy networks are simple enough, but mind networks are risky
and require a lot of upkeep to be viable. Instabilities of coupling
human minds together are often crippling. They do sound useful, but
sometimes they just aren’t worth the effort.
Be careful and good luck.