A datamage is a master of illusion and deception with lies, mystery, and deceit being their purview. Datamages are master hackers, literally feeling the flow of information as it swirls around them in currents of electromagnetic waves. Datamages use this information to manipulate and affect the world around them in ways more oriented to the personal and emotional, than the physical. A datamage is often also a quick learner; once the brain of a datamage becomes more accustomed to the implants, they can often download knowledge and even think in computer languages. For this, a datamage is also almost a surefire way to trump any artificial untelligence, rather than simply having a smarter AI, making them quite useful to cyber-security networks – or cyber-terrorists.
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Datamages make for great educators, lawyers, and investigators, able to store precise information or sift through it with the mind of a computer and the storage capacity to match. The added benefit of social connectivity, enhanced learning, and interfacing alone make datamancy one of the most common forms of technomancy; most datamancers are amateurs, and the many of the masters of datamancy hardly ever leave their homes.
Datamages are commonly used by nations as a form of “thought police”, wandering through the streets of their cities enforcing the government line and monitoring the locals for signs of discontent, and then pacifying them. Others are master programmers; once the ability was realized, many software leaps were seen throughout the galaxy.
On the battlefield datamages are the masters of misinformation and misdirection. They can boost the moral of the men around them or damage the moral of the enemy through false messages and destruction of communications. Counter-intelligence and espionage are their greatest weapons.
SCHOOLS OF DATAMANCY
By far the most convoluted form of technomancy when it comes to being tethered or untethered, datamages often dabble in both without realizing it, though the most skilled become very specialized.
A “Hacker” is a tethered datamancer; one who can fully integrate one’s mind digitally into signals and navigate data as they might navigate city streets. While this is unimpressive in some regards, in relation to virtual reality, a hacker can integrate this into any level of reality they so desire. Skilled hackers are often more than a match for standard AI in a battle of electronic-wits.
Followers of the untethered school of datamancy, jammers are skilled in signal emission and interception; in this regard some of their gear largely resembles auramancy, though more finely tuned; less brute force and more surgical precision. A jammer acts much more like an antenna, and can both seek out signal origins and decrypt them with ease.
The balanced school of datamancy, a conduit is the most common form of technomancy. Conduits can find creative ways to hack into systems, though with far less skill than hacker.
The height of skill in datamancy, a Cryptic is a master of the arts. While originally progressing down one path or another, a Cryptic has begun to plateau in skill progression in their primary art and picked up rigs in, and trained in, the other, becoming a master of both tethered and untethered artforms. Due to the ease of mixing artforms with technomancy, many Nexus’ incorrectly diagnose themselves as a Cryptic; while they may be equipped with the gear of both, no guild would accept them as such.
Haptic DIO, or Haptic Direct Input/Output, was one of the first concepts to develop datamancy and ultimately separate it from nanomancy and allow nanomancy to become its own artform.
“Haptic” refers the sense of touch, perception, and proprioception. Incorporating Haptic DIO of electromagnetic data signals into a datamage is what allows the datamage to “feel” signals more intimately and makes the artform more intuitively based vice knowledge and pure logic, though it does not wholly disregard the need for a datamage to understand the science of his art – in fact, it is widely recognized that an education in the field is necessary to truly master one’s art, especially to become a Nexus.
Haptic DIO is both programming and hardwiring of the datamage, linking nerves and muscles to reciever-transmitter units either artificial or grown within the body, giving datamages the ability to touch and directly handle or sense signals, vice merely understanding that the signal is present.
Haptic DIO began as a form of user interface between operator and equipment and was widely used for hundreds of years prior to the formation of technomancy and subsequently datamancy, and was not fully integrated into datamancy until 2905. After it’s integration, few without Haptic DIO are ever considered to be “datamages” in truth.