Darkover Wiki


Matrices are blue crystals, which amplify the resonances of the brain and transmute psi power into energy. They help a leronis to concentrate his or her powers, thus amplifying them greatly. The first matrix was given to humans by a Chieri, and matrices are also called star-stones for that reason.

Physical Description[]

Personal matrices are described as small blue crystals. They are known to glow with an inner light, or to have dancing lights in them. This all usually depends on the bond between the matrix and its owner.  Many people have said they seem to be "alive."

Matrices can come in many sizes but all are blue.  A famous or infamous matrix is the Sharra crystal. It's described as being large, but it is mounted in the hilt of a sword.

Matrices can form naturally or can be fabricated. Fabrication was common during the Age of Chaos when enormous matrices were constructed.  The Comyn Council eventually forbade the fabrication of new matrices. Matrices were given a power level number, and after the Compact any matrices over 5 were destroyed.

Certain matrices have a special purpose. The Sharra Matrix, because of the devotion of the Forge-folk to its purpose, appears and feels like a goddess, or as fire, an elemental force of nature.  If a matrix is continuously used as a weapon its "memory" makes it difficult to be used for more peaceful purposes. If it has "tasted blood" it will always crave it. 

Matrices: the Science[]

The brain emits psychic waves called energons. Each person emits them at a different frequency, once a matrix is keyed or attuned to a telepath, its frequency becomes similar to that brain. The flow of energons is then amplified by passing through the matrix. The telepath controls this flow and is able to convert the energy into various phenomena.

Keying A Matrix[]

When a child is tested and found to possess laran they are given a matrix.  Even without training, a telepathic mind will tune into the matrix and match psychic frequencies.  When properly keyed, the luminous points within the matrix brighten. The amount of light emitted is closely tied to the owner's laran potential; the brighter the light, the stronger the telepath.

Once the matrix is keyed to its user, only a Keeper or a skilled leronis should be allowed to touch or handle the matrix. Even then, it can be irritating or painful for the person touching it.  To have anyone else handle or touch your matrix is extremely dangerous for both parties -- they can be sent into a state of shock.  Just the mere separation of a telepath from their matrix can kill them. If they survive separation, they will be physically and mentally "ill" and weak.  If they are separated for an extended time, death can occur.

Also. one of the greatest punishments for a leronis is to have his or her matrix confiscated or even destroyed by a Tower Keeper.

Matrix Storage[]

Silk is a natural insulator of matrices. A person's matrix is usually kept in a silk-lined leather pouch around their neck. Larger matrices or lattices are kept wrapped in silk for storage. In Towers, the walls can be draped in silk to provide mental shielding. Unkeyed matrices must be shielded because they will become keyed to the first person that is around long enough or in the most contact.

Large Matrices[]

Larger matrices are usually too powerful for a single person and must be manipulated by a Tower circle,  The Keeper takes the energons emitted by the circle and channels them through the matrix and manipulates the energy for whatever application is desired. The power level of a matrix indicates the number of people necessary in the circle for comfortable and safe use of that matrix.

The Sharra Matrix was said to be extremely powerful and guessed to be level 9. it was said to be powerful enough to alter the orbit of one of Darkover's moons.

Monitoring Matrices[]

The Comyn Council dictated that all matrices must be monitored.  A monitored matrix is recorded in the nets of the Towers (almost like a computer screen) so that if stolen or any illegal usage is detected it can be found and contained.  The monitoring of matrices is an important task for many security reasons.

There are still some unmonitored matrices, such as the Sharra Matrix. They are very dangerous and usually are from the Age of Chaos.