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 The Nature of Magic

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PostSubject: The Nature of Magic   The Nature of Magic EmptySun Oct 06, 2013 4:56 pm

In the universe of Elementum, magic is based on the four elements, like the four worlds. Fire magic, earth magic, water magic, and air magic, while a fifth type, not entirely represented by any element per say, represents magic or energy. It is possible for a powerful enough wizard or Mage to gain mastery over all of the four, but such individuals are rare and have honed their skills through decades of study. However, anyone born with the capacity to use magic must first learn to control the fifth element, energy/magic itself. They reach out and manipulate the natural energies of the universe, and this allows them to control the other base elements. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages, but one universal trait is that not all magic is meant for simple offensive spell work. Even fire, an element that can destroy, can be used as the basis, the foundation for spells meant to protect, create, or reveal. For example wards, enchantments for items, and even ritual based magic.

Fire: Fire based magic is used for a variety of purposes, the most basic of which is simple destruction; summon fire to burn objects to ashes for starters. From fire though, also comes light so many mages use fire magic to illuminate areas. Use of fire is not restricted to simply calling up flames or lighting up a dark cave; Mages understand that there is a connection between heat and fire and through magic they are considered one and the same. A skilled wizard can use fire magic for example to either increase the heat of an area or drain it entirely.

Air: Air magic allows a wizard to either create short but powerful gusts of wind, and even give them a boost when they need to get to a high location (it does not allow them to fly or even hover or float, just gives them a bit of a super jump). Other uses allows a wizard with sufficient skill to cancel out or diminish the noise they create as they can interfere with the medium (in this case air) that it travels through, or allow them to hear better by again, altering the medium.

Earth: Earth magic gives a wizard control over.....well, earth. They can reach out and control rocks, sand, the ground itself to do a multitude of things. Wizards can use earth magic to destroy objects by ripping chunks of the land out with magic and then flinging them at a target, or make the ground at someone or something's feet open up, swallowing them, and then crushing them as it closes. Earth magic is also used to create things; improvised bridges or walls, even forms of art if the wizard has enough precision and fine control.

The Rules of Magic

Despite the fact that it is magic, there are still rules and limitations to how it can be used.

1.  There are limits to what a mage can do in a single day. They are limited by their skill with magic, and their own reserves of energy and personal endurance. Attempting to defy those limits can lead to a wizard passing out at best, and dying at worst. Personal limits differ from wizard to wizard. Some naturally have high limits, others have lower limits.  But no matter what level, they have all started the same way: as novices.

2.  The use of magic, or in this case a spell, requires these two things: words, and intent. There are no true magic words, but the words help build a framework for the spell. The actual spell starts as an idea in the mind of the caster; they say a word they've made up, that to them is the defining word of the idea, and they combine it with their will or intent. If for example a wizard said "Pyrus," but did not actually intend to perform the definition of that word, there would be no effect. With magic, it is all about intent, as you cannot work any form of magic without meaning to work it. Therefore, there are no accidents.

3.  Even though it is magic, a wizard cannot essentially break the laws of physics, or the laws of energy conservation. For example, energy cannot be created or destroyed, so the energy behind a spell must come from a source, the source usually being the wizard. Magic is simply an understanding of how to manipulate the natural forces of the universe, but they still obey the same laws as the universe. To call fire, one needs heat, and that heat must come from a source. A wizard cannot also call an object into being, such as food, weapons, furnishings, etc. However, a skilled wizard with an understanding of certain attributes of the world, can form certain things seemingly from nothing. In this case, a wizard can use their magic, combined with the moisture in the air, to create even more water. (This is dangerous however, as it will use a large amount of energy from the wizard and risk killing them)

4.  Shield or defensive magic, used to block attacks, does not negate the force behind the attack. For example, forming a shield of energy to stop a charging bull does not cancel out the impact, only cushions it. You would still be pushed back but by a smaller margin than if you let the bull ram you without the shield. Also, the more force behind the blow, the more energy that must be poured into the shield, which if it requires too much will lead to the negative aspect of the first law. Another limitation is that basic shield of physical energy, does nothing to stop heat. To prevent being cooked, a wizard must concentrate both on forming a physical barrier and a temperature barrier.

5.  Wizards are limited to certain elements and skills in the use of magic when they start out, in this case when they're ranked between novices and apprentices. Some are better at fire or air magic, and then from there some are better at combat or illusion magic. However, the potential for using other elements or skills in magic is there, just not as strong as the existing potential. Say a wizard had a strong talent for Earth and Water magic, along with a talent for illusion magic. The potential for their use of fire or air is still within them, but when compared to their power over Earth and Water it is not only weaker, but would take more time to strengthen and refine. The only ones that have ever mastered control over all the elements, are the High Wizards of the Sidhe Court, the Magisters of the Aquarius Empire, and the Arcana Archmage of the Fortes Kingdom.

The strength of any spell, no matter what type though, is based solely on the discipline and strength of the wizard, along with how much magic they can build up. A wizard who has practiced for decades will be able to perform spells of greater power, and even perform more as their level of magic increases. As ones level in magic increases, so does their ability and capacity to cast more spells. It is very much like increasing your stamina so you can run longer before needing a break.

Magic can be used in two ways: Evocations, the somewhat quick and dirty form of magic ( albeit highly effective) and thaumaturgy, the ritual magic. With an evocation, it can work one of two ways: the wizard can either say the words to a spell, or use the spell with only their mind, the latter is highly dangerous and in many ways suicidal, because any break in concentration or stray thoughts risk the spell blowing up, quite literally, in the casters face. Or blowing their own head off their shoulders. However, evocations are not limited to spells meant to destroy. A wizard can create a barrier, or form bridges. No matter what it is, so long as it does not require a ritual, it is still considered an evocation. However, for most mages, mainly for those of low experience or with trouble concentrating, the use of a Talisman is required. A talisman is an item, enchanted to a certain degree, to help channel the magic of a Mage. And they are not limited to simple wands or staves, but can be expanded for weapons, shields, even certain types of jewelry.

Ritual magic, is slower but more powerful. It requires the use of objects for representation of certain qualities, elements, or senses, and from there a wizard can pool a large amount of magic into powerful forms of spells, enchantments, and even the formation of wards (defenses). Any ritual based magic requires the user to remain in a fixed point, mostly because of the large amount of concentration and focus required. Rituals also require certain items to serve as focal points in the spell itself. If a wizard tried to gather too much energy into them during the ritual for example, they could potentially blow themselves up like a blown transformer. The focal points serve a similar purpose to talismans: the storing of energy. However talismans can store energy much more efficiently, and more permanently. Focal Objects are short term storage items for the energy behind a spell. When the ritual is ready, the energy stored within gets released and from there the spell gains its power.

When it comes to magic there are, like the ways in which it can be used, two different types. Illusion magic, spells that allow the user to create either simple or complex illusions, hide objects or themselves behind a veil, and physical magic, spells that have a physical effect on the world, such as destruction or creation spells. For example, a wizard can use fire to burn a forest, or earth to create a bridge. The uses are limited to the power and imagination of the wizard, along with the limitations of the third rule of magic.

Enchantments (Talismans), such as those imbued on weapons, armor, or simple items like keys, are normally eternal unless broken or undone either by the wizard that made it or a wizard of high enough power, and who knows just how to unmake the enchantment. To unmake an enchantment when you are not the wizard that set it, you need an extensive amount of training, years or more in the school of enchantments. It is not enough to know what the enchantment does, to unmake it. It requires careful study of the magic runes that were drawn into the object, and using spells to see the framework the enchantment was built into. In other words, you need to see how the enchantment was built into the object to know how to unmake it, akin to learning how to safely demolish a building with little to no blowback. An enchantment draws power very much the same way wizards draw magic: from the world around them. So long as there is a plentiful supply of power, the magic and effects on the item will hold. In order to set an enchantment onto an item and create a talisman, a wizard must use ritual magic, to help focus the magic of the wizard, into the object to give it its properties.

Necromancy is a style of magic, where a wizard of sufficient power animates a dead body, be it one of the races (except golems) or an animal. At best, necromancy used on an intelligent being is considered rude, and disrespectful. At worst, it is viewed as a perverse, sickening use of magic. It is not illegal, but the use of necromancy is heavily frowned upon and considered a taboo among most magic users.

Mental magic, or Psychomancy is, as the name implies, the use of magic on the mind of another living being. A wizard would invade the mind of another being and, if successful in crushing the subjects will, would be free to do what they pleased with the mind. They could enslave the mind to their will, forcing them to do whatever they wished, even think whatever they wished. Or they could drive them utterly mad, sending all sorts of images and sensations into their mind. Unlike necromancy, the use of any form of mind magic on a sapient being is considered illegal, punishable by death.

There is finally, one last, more abominatable method of controlling someone. Use of water magic, to manipulate the bodily fluids in a subject. You do not control the person per se, as they still have total control of their thoughts. You simply control every part of the body that contains water. And it can go far beyond simple control of a body; it can be used for somewhat grisly forms of torture, executions. Drain all the water out of a target and reduce them to a withered husk, or crush all internal organs. Even make the body explode. However, this type of magic also has some medical benefits. A skilled water mage can manipulate their bodily fluids, like blood, to slow or even halt the flow of blood around a wound, and keep themselves from bleeding out in the event of an injury. It can also be used to heal.

Counters to Magic

Counters to Magic:

Magic by Race







Last edited by Razgriz on Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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