“The emotions of man are stirred more quickly than man’s intelligence.”
Empathiomancy is the magical art of utilizing mana to emotionally connect to, and influence other individuals. It is distantly related to Oneiromancy, but functions through a different, poorly understood mechanism, and focuses on conscious interactions rather than functioning through the dream. Instead of the mage and any they are affecting being in a trance, Empathiomancers instead link leylines and exchange mana to influence emotions and potentially even share memories. Leyline linkage is an extremely potent and dangerous method of interacting with an individual, and similar to the effects of a dreamwalk gone wrong - Empathiomancy done in an incorrect manner can result in leyline burnout or even cerebral hemorrhage from emotional overload.
As the interaction between leylines and the biological structures of the body are currently poorly understood, the exact mechanisms of how consciousness is able to be linked through the meshing of leylines is even more poorly understood. The current running theory stands as such - that leylines run along the central nervous system in some sense or another and thusly ultimately terminate within the brain. As leylines are a soul’s linkage to physical flesh, ergo, emotions and memories are intrinsically accessible through them with the right training and magic. Empathiomancy, however, is a two way street.
One may consider the linkage of leylines to be a one-way phenomena, but this is fundamentally incorrect - the receiver of the linkage is just as capable of influencing the empathiomancer as the empathiomancer is capable of influencing them. This, however, does require the knowledge that such a thing is possible and the knowledge of how to do it.
Empathiomancy taken to another level, backed by the raw mana of sorcery or the Rhystian energies of evocation, may go even further and allow the exchange of entire sensory perceptions and longer-lasting linkages that function over distances - although the effects of such a linkage being severed by death may be disastrous to the linked individual on the other end.
A fully trained and magically capable Empathiomancer is capable of inflicting emotions, sensations, and memories onto another person, however, doing so without consent is an enormously straining and borderline lethal process.
Empathiomancers are also somewhat capable of retrieving portions of a person’s ego. This is an extremely violating and damaging process - and should never be done to a living person who is not in extreme mortal peril or on the verge of death. An empathiomancer who performs such a thing is irreversibly altered, their ego merging with the shard of said ego with completely unpredictable and unstable results which in most cases leads to schizophrenia-like behavior or complete insanity with no hope of return.
Empathiomancy, similar to Onieromancy, has two distinct paths operating through different means. Neither path strictly rules out a form of Empathiomancy, or limits an Empathiomancer's capabilities, but rather predisposes them to accomplishing certain methods easier than others.
"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart." Empathiomancy accomplished through traditional means, such as Evocation, involves the concept of burden-sharing; rather than direct manipulation of the emotional states, the emotional centers of both parties are linked through leylines, and emotional burdens are shared between the empathiomancer and the one being linked with. Typically, this is utilized in a more healing method. This is not to say that Empathiomancy accomplished through evocative magic is strictly limited to this form, however, it is the easiest to accomplish. Burden-sharing typically involves a connection on a deeper level, with an equal exchange of memories and concepts between individuals, and repeated sessions can generate a sort of 'kinship', as exchanged memories and experiences influence the respective egos. The path of the soothsayer is typically an employment of highly ordered, complex mana that affects the linkage between soul and mind in the way the empathiomancer desires.
"Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions."
Empathiomancy may also be accomplished through sorcerous magics, although this is a less gentle procedure and involves direct manipulation of a person's emotions. It is typically more invasive than accomplishing empathiomantic contact through other means. Instead of the leyline linkage being a mutual understanding, it may rather instead be quite one-sided, with the empathiomancer free to impress emotions and memories onto the receiver without regard for just how much of a burden it may be. It stands, however, that empathiomancy must be a willing process for any sort of meaningful communication to be had, and so while sorcerous empathiomancy may be more akin to a hammer using brute force, it is still a process that may be confounded and resisted actively by an individual. Consequently, sorcerous empathiomancy may lead to mana overload in the individual being linked with, which may have catastrophic effects if the empathiomancer is either unprepared or unskilled enough to induce such an overload.
Empathiomancy, while relatively ‘safe’, is still a dangerous procedure. Emotions running wild may influence the physical form to the point of breaking, with death being the result.
An empathiomancer who attempts to control the emotions of a being more powerful than them against that being’s will may find themselves dead by similar means as a dream druid that delves too deeply into the dream.
Breaking the linkage of leylines without the Empathiomancer being ready to do so is also fraught with risks, including wild emotional disruptions and even long-lasting traumas that affect the brain on a physical level, similar to long-term chronic depression, or even wasting diseases which target the brain.