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Condensed Magic only functions as a physical material when it is in contact with living beings. Condensed magic comes in 3 varieties, air, liquid, and solid. For example, if you spilled condensed liquid magic onto a table, it would fall through the table, then fall through the floor, and be impossible to recover. If you held it in your hand, it would behave as if it were a liquid similar to water when in contact with your skin.

People can spend their magic points to create this material, and consume it later to replenish their magic point reserves. Magic points replenish on their own, but Condensed magic works like an MP Potion does in most video games.

How would a society that uses condensed magic as a form of currency, reliably store these materials for transport and use, if only living matter will contain them after their initial creation?

Separate storage methods for each form are acceptable, but a single method is preferable.

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    $\begingroup$ Your best bet is probably going to be plants, something like a venus fly trap. $\endgroup$ – FlyingPiMonster Nov 5 '16 at 4:18
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    $\begingroup$ Morn had a solution he used to store latinum from his bank heist on deep space 9. May cause hair loss though. $\endgroup$ – John Meacham Nov 5 '16 at 6:04
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    $\begingroup$ Does dead material that was once living still store this material? Or does the "spark of life" per se change whether or not the material can pass? $\endgroup$ – Zxyrra Nov 5 '16 at 15:53
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    $\begingroup$ If you spill liquid magic and it falls through the table, and then through the floor, etc because it does not function as physical material... then why does it fall? If it is not a physical meterial, it shouldn't be affected by gravity, but should float as a bubble in the air, no? $\endgroup$ – Damon Nov 5 '16 at 17:44
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    $\begingroup$ @Damon Passing through physical material does not require that it not be a physical material itself nor that it not be subject to gravity. Lots of physical material is both passing through you every second and also affected by gravity. $\endgroup$ – user2338816 Nov 6 '16 at 3:28

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If the microbiome counts, then anything sufficiently filthy ought to do the trick. In this case magic would form puddles on the ground outside but just drop through a stone floor. it would also probably behave like oil on pond or puddle water.

If you can make solid as well as liquid magic, then the easiest option might be to store the liquid magic in containers of solid magic resting on the ground (if microbiome counts).

Hollowed out and/or deformed living trees might also be an option.

For short term transportation one might cover a normal container in blood (you said living matter not living beings, right?).

Metal spheres could be implanted into cattle, slaves or the mages themselves - maybe with small openings accessed via blood covered syringes.

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    $\begingroup$ +1 for "anything sufficiently filthy". In particular, the keyword OP might want to Google for is "biofilm". $\endgroup$ – Ilmari Karonen Nov 5 '16 at 14:16
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    $\begingroup$ You might notice how many times biofilm has figured into an answer here! 14 total, 6 from me. (Including my answer on this topic) Does that make me an unusually filthy poster? $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Nov 6 '16 at 3:56
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Bags were originally made from natural materials, and that usually meant living materials. A sheep’s stomach made a good liquid-holding container.

Do you mean it has to be currently still living? That raises some interesting definitions, since your skin is made from dead dried cells and you said you could pour it in your hand. So there is some flexibility and interpretation in the definition.

So maybe the stomach or bladder has to be filled when it is fresh from the slaughter and the individual cells are still alive; then the liquid magic causes the container to retain its living essence as long as it remains in continuous use for this purpose.

That makes them a lot like lithium batteries! In particular, you should not discharge fully but must retain a minimal charge for it to remain reusable, and if stored it will self discharge slowly over time.

Another idea, which I think is less cool, is to grow a sheet of some kind of plant, fungus, mold, or bacteria biofilm. It would grow on the outside of a substrate to give it shape (e.g. an ordinary bag). It grows on the outside so it can be exposed to the needed environment; e.g. tucked into soil or exposed to light. The lining will be ignored by the liquid which passes through it, and it is the living layer which holds the contents.

This makes it difficult to seal the containers, other than by simply growing the hole together. You have to cut it again to access the container.

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  • $\begingroup$ It wouldn't necessarily have to be on the outside -- just pick the right microbe for the environment inside the bag ;) $\endgroup$ – Shalvenay Nov 5 '16 at 19:54
  • $\begingroup$ The inside of the bag contains the liquid to store, not agar, fertilizer, or other “environment”. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Nov 5 '16 at 20:10
  • $\begingroup$ You could seal the containers by growing the biofilm over the top and into a little bit of the inside, then tying it tightly with some string. The biofilm would double back and then touch, preventing the magic from exiting the container. $\endgroup$ – wizzwizz4 Nov 5 '16 at 20:10
  • $\begingroup$ @wizzwizz4 I know that. I was responding to Shalvenay’s comment. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Nov 5 '16 at 20:13
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    $\begingroup$ Skin is very much living material, though dead skin cells can take time before flaking off or being rubbed off of the remaining living skin beneath. For most of us, the thickness of our living skin is much more than any dead skin adhering to the surface. $\endgroup$ – user2338816 Nov 6 '16 at 3:33
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The answer depends widely on the properties of these materials. For example, is the liquid viscous? If so, one might encase the liquid condensed magic in moss or another organism which is easily grown and which can survive for some time after being uprooted. If it is viscous enough, it won’t leak through the moss.

One might use animals as carrying containers for magic, depending on the absorbitivity of the liquid magic. I could see cutting open frogs, and sewing shut liquid magic inside of them and keeping them alive. Perhaps less macabe might be very clever use of honeypot ants to store the magic.

Of course, currency is all about efficiency. Your currency may be in the form of bills redeemable for condensed magic, akin to how our dollar was originally redeemable in gold. This would permit banks to store their liquid magic in much larger containers (like gourds while still on the plant), while the actual transactions are done with slips of paper.

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Form solid magic into wearable objects -- probably mostly bracelets, but headbands, girdles, etc would also work. Wear it or trade it to others.

It might be possible to store liquid magic in an orange for a few days, or to inject some into a chicken's egg. But honestly that sounds super inconvenient compared to using the solid form. I think all but the craziest magic users stick to the solid form exclusively.

(The really crazy ones might just drink or inhale it.)

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    $\begingroup$ What physical tools would be used to form solid magic? $\endgroup$ – user2338816 Nov 6 '16 at 3:35
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seeds or nuts. coconuts, beans, or oily nuts could naturally concentrate it. carob beans were actually used as a form of measurement because they were so identical in size.

you real problem is going to be counterfeiting, there will have to be some sort of non-destructive test to show the seeds contain the magic and are not grown without it. But as someone mentioned tokens of exchange and banks will be invented very quickly since a purse of any size will be very bulky and they could rot. Money was invented because the valuable things, food, were bulky and/or perishable so people put it in common storehouse for a token and people exchanged it when they needed food. this way the food stayed fresh because there was a constant in and out exchange happening.

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The way you have explained tells us the condensed magic can however exist in and around air which is non organic matter . If that happens to be true we can use ionized containers which keep the desired material suspended in air for storage and transportation purposes. To avoid this costly affair however we can use leather bags (leather is manufactured out of organic animal skin). This must work if the condensed magic is said to exist even in the contact of air.

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"People can spend their magic points to create this material, and consume it later"

There's your answer: consume it. Or make some other person or creature under your control consume it.

For solid or liquid magic, you'll get it back out of the container eventually. It may need cleaning up or filtration after storage, but that's life.

Air magic is a little harder to manage in a predictable way.

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  • $\begingroup$ Once the magic is consumed, it's gone. (At least, that's how I interpreted the question.) $\endgroup$ – wizzwizz4 Nov 5 '16 at 20:14
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    $\begingroup$ @wizzwizz4, I can see that's how the OP thought of the meaning of "consume", i.e. that the act of eating or drinking the magic also activated it to do the healing and used it up forever. But we could get round that by saying that using the magic to heal yourself required both eating it and saying the highly secret and personalized magic word. If you just eat the magic without the word, you can store it for a few days. If you knew you were likely to be in a fight, you would store some magic in your own body ready to be activated instantly by the word on its own. $\endgroup$ – Lostinfrance Nov 5 '16 at 21:02
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i signed up just for this question,

firstly since this is a magical society im going to assume that we are all able to do/make magic. So being the vain humans we are and having such power in our grasp im going to assume everyone is able to be presented and look like how they want to. Now the answer is so obvious and simple and we don't need any other plants or animals. Well the "PG" answer is we store it within ourselves, and payment can be made via a kiss. Now you know where im heading for the MA15+ answer right people? Guys can store them in you know where and ladies have their own places to store them too, and transfer of magical credit for a job well done can be given via a release of the magic to the recipient in question. now before you guys start flaming about how if we were such divine and magical creatures we wouldnt just go round giving magic in such a way let me just point out how much pornography is on the internet. thank you and goodnight

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  • $\begingroup$ Not anything close to th answer I was expecting. All I can think is that it would make arguments with prostitutes regarding payment that much more convoluted and problematic. Or maybe it would simplify it? Either way, your answer got a laugh out of me, even it it's off topic from the anticipated responses. XD $\endgroup$ – Jonathan Nov 7 '16 at 0:48
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Unless magic is consciousness-based, there should be plenty of plants or other evolved organisms in the biosphere already harnessing this magimaterial. (New coined word?) Since magic specifically responds to organic material, and can be consumed by players for various uses, it seems likely that various organisms would have developed to use the mana in more specialized ways than players.

How the creatures gather the mana probably depends on the world. If mana is produced automatically in small amounts by living creatures, then some options might be enormous glades covered in a single moss or fungus (a la Pando that maximize surface area in a distributed way. Possibly they even all funnel that mana to one central area, which is one way to explain why something exists in the wild that would need massive stores of mana to exist.

Alternately, if it exists outside of the creatures, then enormous plants might form to catch it in its travels. For instance, if the mana were to travel in currents up in the sky, you could get giant floating things that, again, maximize surface area to catch as much mana as possible, and then maybe use some of it to help stay afloat.

Regardless, if creatures are involved, you'd probably end up with a food chain: herbivores consuming the equivalents of photosynthetics, predators chasing down creatures with greater mana stores than them. However, going too far down that line may make the resource too mundane. Possibly, using the material requires some rare resource, or for whatever reason it can't be used to power cells -- this would make it less useful, and hence less likely to develop creatures that use it for more uses beyond what the players are using it for.

Alternately, make all forms of the magimaterial extremely uncompressable: you simply can't make it denser than some arbitrary number designated as 'small'. Combined with the inefficiency of energy transfer in predation, this might well exclude from existing any more than a few 'gremlin' species that consume the magic moss species, since a creature that needs to rely entirely on mana to survive would need to be excessively large to store it. That said, that might be another idea entirely requiring worldbuilding, and in any case would provide a hard limit on how much mana the players themselves can store.

Alternate, far weirder idea: The mana is itself 'alive', in a way, or can be made to be alive -- and conscious. Thus, magic from players might be fine because their will somehow makes their mana do what they want, but storing mana outside a body could require 'awakening' a different bit of mana and telling it to form a bubble around the stored mana. Again, though, that feels like it'd be pretty far rom your original idea.

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Can your magic be used to create "pocket dimensions" large spaces within small object? If so you use terraria that contain full sized trees grown as living containers, large flat trays for solid ingots, cauldrons to carry liquid magic, airtight boxes that can hold a volume of gaseous magic, although realistically gaseous magic is not something I would think to see much of due to the difficulty of getting it into a storage vessel. Solid magic can be worn as jewelry etc... as well, anything that stays in contact with the user at all times will suffice.

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Magical currency kittens overfeed with liquid magic which causes them to become feline rainbow unicorns. They are stored in boxes or transfered electronically via virtual catcoins exchangeable to magical kittens at nearest national bank office.

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    $\begingroup$ Could you make this answer a little more... serious? $\endgroup$ – wizzwizz4 Nov 5 '16 at 20:13
  • $\begingroup$ @wizzwizz4 I'm wondering if he can make it less serious, which amounts to the same issue. $\endgroup$ – Ash Sep 5 '17 at 19:03

protected by James Sep 7 '17 at 14:05

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