Place of Power
"There is a place in the galaxy where the Dark Side of the Force runs strong. It is something of the Sith, but it was fueled by war. It corrupts all that walks on its surface, drowns them in the power of the Dark Side — it corrupts all life. And it feeds on death. Revan knew the power of such places ... and the power in making them. They can be used to break the will of others ... of Jedi, promising them power, and turning them to the Dark Side."Places around the world where magic is said to naturally gather in large amounts. These areas are often geologically significant, such as the top of a hill, or the intersection between two or more rivers. Natural rock formations are also common sites, as are many others. Some are given significance by events that occurred at that location. Battlefields, for example, are often said, in fiction and real life, to contain "vibes" left by those who fought and died there. Another common place are so-called Ley Nodes, which occur where two or more Ley Lines intersect. Or you may just find one At the Crossroads. These places may be used by priests and mages for various rituals, such as worship, sacrifices, summoning, or all of the above. For some, spells with a high requirement may be possible to cast there, with the ambient magic of the area making up for the mage's own deficiencies. Some can gather even more power during certain times of the day (sunrise/set, noon, and midnight), year (solstices and equinoxes, for example), or other times (such as solar and lunar eclipses, planetary alignments, and the like). A Magnetic Plot Device is sometimes explained this way. Often acts as a Field Power Effect. Compare and contrast the more malevolent Eldritch Location. If it exists in Real Life, it's a Landmark of Lore. Such places fall under studies such as Psychogeography, arts like Feng Shui, and other teachings. Much of it, of course, is dismissed as pseudoscience, but in fiction, if the idea is mentioned at all, it is far more likely to be true.
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Anime and Manga
- In Bleach there is one moving around the Earth and is currently situated under Ichigo's hometown - explaining the going on weirdness and making it the vital location of the Big Bad's Evil Plan.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha has two spots outside of the planet Mid-childa where something like the Saint's Cradle could position itself to absorb the magic from Mid-childa's two moons.
- Pokémon has the Spear Pillar, ancient ruins on top of a mountain where Cyrus uses the Red Chain to summon Dialga and Palkia (the gods of time and space).
- Psyren as a whole is a place of power, since the atmosphere amplifies psychic power and grants it to those who breathe in the air there.
- Lands in Magic The Gathering, especially the five basic lands (Plains, Islands, Swamps, Mountains and Forests}, as they can be tapped for mana to cast spells.
- Basic lands in Magic The Gathering are the inverse of this trope; they're just, well, basic. Many nonbasic lands fulfill this trope, though, from "dual lands" which count as any two of the types of basic lands to lands that can produce more than one mana, which basically means that they naturally generate or have more magical energy than most lands, to lands that do completely different things like animate and fight like creatures. Then there's that change how every other land does its stuff.
- Back to the Future:
- Back to the Future Part II uses time instead of location, as when Doc realizes Biff chose November 12, 1955 as the date to return to to give his younger self the Almanac.
Doc: Unbelievable that Biff has chosen that date. It could mean that this date might hold some special significance, being the temporal junction point for the entire space-time continuum! Other than that it could just be an amazing coincidence...
- Back to the Future Part III reveals that there are at least three versions of Doc Brown and the De Lorean present during that moment in history; the 1955 Doc native to that timeframe, the 1985 Doc who travelled back there and his future self, the 1885 Doc buried in Boot Hill Cemetery, in addition to the nuclear powered De Lorean from the first film, the fusion powered De Lorean from the second and the De Lorean sent back to 1885, buried for 70 years in the Delgardo Mine.
- Back to the Future Part II uses time instead of location, as when Doc realizes Biff chose November 12, 1955 as the date to return to to give his younger self the Almanac.
- The Empire Strikes Back introduces the concept that certain places are stronger in the Force than others, with the cave on Dagobah that Yoda sends Luke into as a test. The Star Wars Expanded Universe and Legends pick this up and run with it.
Yoda: That place is strong in the dark side of the Force. A domain of evil, it is.
- In Diana Wynne Jones' Deep Secret, Hotel Babylon is hotel built right on top of a power node, giving it hallways that turn ninety degree angles and keep going on past the point of a perfect square, a clear path to the next dimension over, and a hotel full of people unconsciously attracted to the fan convention it's hosting. (Admittedly, the protagonist's fiddling around with fate may have something to do with the last one).
- In Dragon Bones, castle Hurog is built on such a place. Ward, the protagonist, who has some (weak) magic power, can feel the magic of the place, and feels rather alone, cold and incomplete when he's not there. It is implied that other family members feel this too, and that's why the yearn to own the place. There is also a hill, that's also a place of power, and where there was once an ancient temple. The heroes spend a night there, with unpleasant results. Even the non-magically talented group members say they get a feeling of being watched. Ward can tap into the magic of the place, but it doesn't work with him like the magic of Hurog, where he is born.
- Invoked in The Wheel of Time. There are arguably three Places of Power: the Eye of the World, the city of Rhuidean and Shadar Logoth. However, they are all man-made; the ones useful to protagonists were even made for those specific purposes. The magical power of those places can be destroyed or used up, and when it happens there's nothing special left of them. However, the world of the Wheel of Time also has many places where certain locations prevent magic from working.
- HP Lovecraft's work sometimes features places like this. The best example would be The Dunwich Horror, where there are several large hills topped with ancient monoliths around the town of Dunwich. Strange noises and smells are often reported around these hills, and some are completely devoid of all plant life. A passage from Necronomicon in the same book links such site to the Great Old Ones.
"They walk the lonely places of the world, where Words have been spoken and Rites have been committed. The wind howls with Their voice and the ground rumbles with Their thoughts."
- Heralds of Valdemar series:
- Termed Nodes, these are formed by the intersection of two or more Ley Lines and are much sought out by mages and other creatures that feed on or utilize magical power. Only the most powerful of mages (Adept-class) can handle the energy of a node without being burned out or destroyed.
- The Hawkbrothers improve upon standard nodes with their Heartstones. Each Clan has one, which maintains its Hidden Elf Village. While nodes require an outgoing ley line to drain excess energy, Heartstones can collect magic indefinitely and use it to power ongoing magical effects. They're also calmer and easier to handle than nodes, allowing access by Master-class mages (one step below Adept). The only Heartstone outside the Clans is in Valdemar's capital city, placed there by the Hawkbrother-trained Vanyel and mostly dormant since then.
- The Dresden Files
- Near Chicago there's an island that is said to be the source of a major ley line. Harry forges a connection to it, giving him awareness of whatever happens on the island, as well as gaining the spirit of the place as a dubious ally. It turns out that said ley line is the "body heat" of all of the Eldritch Abomination prisoners of the island.
- Ley lines in general. There are places where several of them converge, and those are places where much more serious magical power can be drawn, so there are fortresses and temples at these places - the seat of the White Council is on one, the Red Court's Chichen Itza, and others.
- The Land of Faerie itself, where the laws of physics work differently, allows things like the gunpowder in guns to work very well or not at all.
- A Song of Ice and Fire: High Heart is a place in the Riverlands where apparently the old gods still have power, despite the weirwoods being cut down. The red priest Thoros, who follows a different god, doesn't see any visions in the fire here. Godswoods in The North are also this by virtue of having Heart Trees, weirwoods with faces carved into the trunks so that the old gods (and, incidentally, sufficiently powerful wargs) can see the goings-on there.
- In The Witcher novels, the sorcerers can only hold to a limited amount of Power at the time, so they must draw it from the crossing points of natural energies, usually following underground water veins, in order to cast their spells. The video games have these places giving the player character short boosts to various abilities when he activates them.
- Myth Adventures had lines of power that went through the air or ground. One of the first things Aahz taught Skeeve was how to find these. They also used them to track down the big bad in the opening book.
- American Gods has these, one of which is the site of the House On a Rock, which is a real place. The meeting of the old gods happens there, because the wall between the physical world and the Spirit World is thinner. There's also the antithesis, dead zones of utter mundanity where nothing interesting or important happens. The parley between the two factions of gods is held in one such place, the exact geographical center of the US.
- Journey to Chaos: Zones were mana gathers into heavy concentrations are known as "Fog Clouds" because the magical energy is so intense that it forms a visible Fog that obscures visibility. Breathing the air within this cloud can send anyone's physical or magical power through the roof. It can also send them over the edge of sanity.
- The planet Vjun in Yoda: Dark Rendezvous. Vjun's population had always had a high percentage of Force-sensitives, and then the Viscount Malreaux conducted an experiment to unlock Force potential in the rest. It went horribly right; those who weren't killed outright went mad and murdered each other. Vjun is now steeped in the dark side, one of the reasons Count Dooku chooses it as a retreat. All Jedi visitors, even the Weak, but Skilled Padawan Scout, have their powers amplified on Vjun, and those who are already strong and prone to the lure of the dark, such as Whie Malreaux and Anakin Skywalker, find themselves capable of amazing feats.
Live Action TV
- Rifts: The places where ley lines intersect are called "nexuses" and are places where magical energy is most concentrated. These locations are optimal for practitioners of magic, but are also where the eponymous rifts are most likely to form. Some very powerful super-nexuses with a lot of ley lines running into them exist, and often have megalithic structures built on them, including Stonehenge, the Great Pyramid of Giza and the ironically named St. Louis Gateway Arch.
- Feng Shui's Secret War revolves around capturing Feng Shui sites that generate powerful Chi. Capture enough of them in the right places, and history can be changed in your own image.
- The CCG Shadowfist which is set in the same world as Feng Shui uses this as a win condition. You don't win by destroying your opponent but rather by controlling enough Feng Shui sites. Of course, you'll have to fight to defend them, and that's where the cyborg monkeys come into play.
- Old World of Darkness:
- Werewolf: The Apocalypse has caerns, some of the few remaining "wild places" in the world, where werewolves can commune with Gaia and gain spiritual power.
- Mage: The Ascension has Nodes, places in the Tapestry where the separate strands knot up and generate Quintessence.
- And all nodes can be turned into caerns, and all caerns can be used as nodes. Oh, and the undead kuei-jin also want to use them. Naturally, this leads to conflict...
- Changeling The Dreaming has Freeholds, untamed places that still bear a connection to the Dreaming that provided a font of Glamour for changelings.
- New World of Darkness:
- Mage: The Awakening does something similar to Ascension with Hallows, where Supernal energy either makes it through the Abyss or is trapped and recycled, generating Mana (nodes are where Ley Lines intersect, and can be harnessed by mages for free energy).
- Werewolf: The Forsaken has loci, places bound up in spiritual importance where the border between Earth and the spirit world is a little bit thinner and Essence can be gathered.
- Geist The Sin Eaters features Haunts, the "low places" of the world touched by death and despair. Yes, they often contain ghosts, but they also contain a great store of Plasm.
- The Ordo Dracul from Vampire: The Requiem seek out "Wyrm's Nest," areas where the weird reigns high and power is trapped. More often that not, these Nests are also Loci, Hallows, or Haunts. Which means they're often in competition with other supernaturals for them...
- Exalted has demesnes, manses, and freeholds, all of which are places where Essence pools and/or wells up, often but not always as a result of dragon lines intersecting. The chief difference between them is whether they have been left largely undisturbed (demesnes), harnessed for occult purposes (manses), or transformed by The Fair Folk into miniature Wyld zones (freeholds).
- Dungeons & Dragons has many varieties. Notable examples are Wild Magic zones, which distort spells at random, and mythals, powerful wards that provide permanent spell effects and can augment or restrict the spellcasting of people within.
- GURPS Magic and GURPS Thaumatology both spend some time discussing both natural places of power and ones that the caster must create himself (such as a sanctified room).
- In Big Eyes, Small Mouth, "Place of Power" is an actual character advantage; it represents a place where he or she can recharge his mana.
Video Games, Visual Novels
- The four temples in The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks act as power nodes, connected to the Tower of Spirits by the Spirit Tracks.
- Rainbow Resort and the area immediately surrounding the Fountain of Dreams in Kirby's Adventure and especially in the GBA remake. The landscape is bizarre even by Kirby standards with strange geometric shapes and what appear to be vertical music staffs falling from the sky; even the enemies are oddly colored. This is possibly a result of the dream giving mist that normally flows from the fountain.
- Kirby Super Star goes on to imply that every planet in Pop Star's solar system has similar fountains as Kirby has to gather their power in the Milky Way Wishes story.
- In Fuyuki City of Fate/stay night, there are two nodes where spiritual energy concentrate: the Tohsaka family of sorcerers built their house on top of one, while the other is located in a temple on top of a hill (an important plot point).
- Star Wars Legends:
- Crystals in Final Fantasy I (GBA Remake) (Each kept an element in harmony)
- Crystals in Final Fantasy V shared a similar purpose
- The "Your Sanctuary" locations in Earthbound, which Ness had to dominate in order to make the power of the Earth his own.
- Mother 3: You have the Seven Needles that keep the Dark Dragon asleep. Once pulled, a "great power resonates."
- Master of Magic has nodes of power that can be tapped for Mana.
- Age of Wonders has a similiar mechanic.
- Daggerfall (from the Elder Scrolls) sort of had that - characters could be better or worse at casting magic when in sunlight, or when in darkness. In practice though, there was never any reason to use magic except in dark dungeons, so people would just use the "Cannot use magic in daylight" thing as a free way to get some more character-building points.
- Used straight and inverted in Heroes of Might and Magic III. There are Magic Plains, where every spell cast (including ones cast by spellcasting troops, like Genies) is at Expert proficiency. On the other hand, there is Cursed Ground, where spellcasting doesn't work at all (or, if you've installed add-ons, where only first-level spells are possible).
- The Witcher has Places of Power.
- Touhou: The Forest of Magic is the favorite hotspot for magic users specifically for this reason.
- Golden Sun: The Elemental Lighthouses boosts the power any Adept of the corresponding element. The beacon of Mercury Lighthouse, which represents Water, has already been lit when the heroes enter. Its power constantly restores Mia's Psynergy points, therefore allowing her to heal and throw ice attacks around without having to worry about running dry. Saturos, being a Mars (Fire) adept, is greatly weakened by the power instead. Later it is revealed that Venus (Earth) and Mars shares a symbiotic relationship, as do Mercury and Jupiter (Air). Even when Saturos and his partner Menardi are defeated again on top of Venus Lighthouse, they struggle to light the beacon, which ends up fully restoring their power. Curiously enough, Garet, the party's own Mars adept, is unaffected by Mercury Lighthouse's beacon. note
- In Dragon Age: Origins, one of the Mage Collective quests has the Warden seek out four places of power, located in the Circle of Magi, the Brecilian Forest, the Deep Roads and the Denerim Alienage.
- In Dominions, magic sites are province features that can provide gems, special units, other benefits or actually harm the province. The fourth game also adds Thrones of Ascension, which have stronger effects effects such as altering your dominion and are required for the Ascension victory.
- Not only does the Whateley Universe have Ley Lines all over the place, but Whateley Academy is set just a few miles from Dunwich. Yeah. That Dunwich. There are Places of Power all around Whateley, and all of them are really, really dangerous.
- In Phaeton the orphanage is built on one such place, the Arks all landed in such places and various man made structures quickly become places like this, which is why ghosts are drawn to indian buriel grounds.
- In El Goonish Shive, the Moperville area is a more neutral version of this; the Background Magic Field is saturated and enables things that would not work anywhere else in the world but otherwise has no inherently malevolent effect.
- The Tower from Tower of God, which will give you powers just by climbing it if you are worthy.
- In Adventure Time, the Lich has a Place of Power, referred to in those exact words. It appears to be its "birthplace," the spot where the Depopulation Bomb hit during the Great Mushroom War.
- In Gargoyles, Avalon is one of these, and its Hollow Hill especially so.
- In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the planet Mortis is an intersection of the Force, and the home of three Anthropomorphic Personifications of the Light Side, the Dark Side, and the Balance between them.
- In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003, there were three Ley Line nodes tapped by the Foot Mystics that had to be liberated to prevent a demon from spreading his reality-warping, undead-summoning power across the planet. Of course, one of these was next to the Statue of Liberty; another was in the United Nations building. The third? At a butcher shop called "Manny's Meats".
- Most incarnations of the World Tree.
- In Mahou Sensei Negima!, the World Tree at the school's campus glows due to excess power every 22 years, right around the time of the School Festival. during that time, six points around the tree also radiate power, enough to turn a simple Love Confession into a magical compulsion.