The Art of Stepping
The hotspot of the Seven Winds activity that is the Inoas grants many potentially powerful magical applications to those sensitive enough and willing to learn. Perhaps more significant, however, is the magic even a child could apply. Such simple magic is widespread and used in daily tasks across all Inoans, magically sensitive or not. An excellent example of such a technique is the art of stepping.
Stepping is merely exerting force on the general Winds with one’s foot and having it react. Elders often explain this as a command moving through the leg and out of the foot. Stripping on the soul is negligible from stepping, and it can be used exhaustively with no harm. It does not call upon a specific Wind yet has a multitude of uses.
A common use of stepping is providing something to kick off of in mid-air, propelling oneself even higher. This method can be used to scale buildings and obstacles, and many gather coconuts and breadfruit from trees this way. Note that consecutive mid-air steps require more focus and cannot be chained indefinitely. The use of stepping mid-air has been known to save workers from falling to their death during construction. Adepts of stepping may even use it as a platform to hold them. However, the Winds are never still, and such a platform will become unstable and potentially dangerous the longer it’s held.
Because of the accessibility of stepping and its use by everyone, it frequently features in Inoan culture. One example is its significance as a rite of passage. Children who learn stepping have cleared their first milestone in their relationship with the Winds and are worthy of praise. However, taking to it later than usual is a point of ridicule and a sign that one is closed off to the winds and unfavored by the gods. Another notable appearance of stepping is within the famous play ‘Foolish Would-be Thief’, which displays the many comical mistakes the foolish thief makes in an attempted burglary. In the thief’s escape, he steps and launches himself directly into the doorway’s lintel, rendering himself unconscious. In addition to conveying the lintel as a symbol of guardianship, the ending tells the audience a clear message: even a fool can step.