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Magic

Page history last edited by Anonymoose 3 months, 2 weeks ago

The introduction of magic to world irrevocably altered nature to its core. Records are not conclusive about the earliest of days when magic was first introduced to humanity, but the consequences of its genesis is as acutely felt millennia later. What few records remain, and what legends and myths reveal, depictions of high standards of living are immutable. Yet as time marches on, the greatest heights of the ancient past have never been repeated. If one were to track these heights along a graph there would be a series of peaks and valleys which have shrunk in height. It is within this duality that the wonder of magic springs from. It produced such wondrous marvels, but also utterly destroyed the world time and again. Magic is the catalyst by which the cycle of nigh eternal and bloody conflict has persisted throughout the ages.

 

Magic is pure energy with an extra-dimensional origin. This place of origin is commonly refereed to as the astral plane and has been intertwined inextricably with the material plane. Prior to its inception, the ability to affect the world was solely in the realm of the gods alone. Humans were relegated to the use of tools and labor. Man was considered fortunate enough to have fire on loan from the gods. Fire was considered sacred and the property of the gods. Prayers and offerings to be sacrificed were expected for so much as a simple campfire lest their wrath be incurred by disasters. Magic, however, works on both a conscious and subconscious level that can also be infused within intimate objects and even lower lifeforms. Although magic cannot break the laws of reality, like miracles can, it permits otherwise mundane humans to bend and warp it to their desires. The mind becomes a tool unto its own and can go so far as to conjure a flame by will alone. Symbology of magic across time and across cultures have always involved some manner of flame iconography as a result.

 

Magic functions much like electromagnetism, so much so that magic interferes with it. Just as electromagnetism governs the interaction of atoms, magic manipulates the most basic to complex forms found in nature. Magic exists in two states: waves and particles. These particles are known by their standard nomenclature of mana. Magic permeates the world exactly as an electromagnetic field does, hence the parallelism. These waves form lines which intersect and focus at areas known as ley lines. These are physical locations are where magic is at its strongest. From these locations mana radiates outward from to cover the globe. Those attuned to magic find it easiest to conjure and draw upon its influence in these regions and find it more taxing to do so the further they are away from such sites. This phenomenon is visible to the naked eye on the occasional night and those that observe it will say it is not at all unlike the northern or southern aurora. Scholars have long correlated the arcane kissed birth oddity upon it. Although no hard evidence exists for it, the prevailing wisdom is that children conceived on such nights gives them their strange colored hair which can manifest as any hue of the color spectrum. This being so, because it is most common in those born at the highest and lowest latitudes of the world.

 

Magic is measurable by the presence of the mana particle which is normally invisible to the five senses. Only when it is in extremely high concentrations can one begin to sense it physically. Sensing mana conventionally is thus considered a sixth sense. It is through the sensing and channeling of mana through the brain that allows for spells to be cast. The degree to which mana can be channeled by an individual is reliant upon innate talent. One is born with the ability to sense, or not, and those who can develop and their skill crystallizes with age. In ancient times this included nearly everyone. Over time, however, it has become increasingly rare. Enchantment, a magical field dedicated to imbuing magic on objects to be used by others, has become more elaborate to compensate. Magic was raw and omnipresent in earlier ages and more became rarer, yet refined, in later eras.

 

**Due to the conflicting nature of magic and electromagnetism, one should expect technology based on the latter to fail in this world. There exists, however, a whole field of magical study known as magitech. This refers to the art and science of channeling mana via circuit-like structures. It is an advanced form of enchantment which could theoretically produce results similar to the technology more familiar to the reading audience**

 

Although genealogies often predict it, the genes necessary for being mana sensitive can skip generations seemingly at random. Great families have been recorded as falling from grace after being spurned by it and producing no talented heirs. Meanwhile, those born of low station have throughout history been elevated in status because it. While a sorcerer does wield tremendous magic beyond the imagination of common men, and can shape reality at his whim, passive endowments of magic from items can also reinforce the body to similar ends. Wearing such trinkets can give lesser, but still potent, results. Magical wands and staves can provide a limited facsimile of real raw magical talent. Even those with little to no aptitude for magic can still use something like a magic wand to wield magic. The object itself channels the mana into spell effects, but the application is limited and nowhere near as free-form as a magic user's imagination. So too can magic be used to augment the abilities of the wearer. A ring, bracelet, weapon, tool, piece of clothing or armor which has been augmented by magic can provide supernatural abilities on its wielder.

 

Such items have always been highly sought after and entire ventures of human enterprise have been invested in recovering long lost treasures. The skills and knowledge required to produce these artifacts have dwindled ever since the later Avalon age, but even then they could not compare to those forged and enchanted in earlier ages. Those found from the third age can be even more frighteningly potent. The procurement of magical artifacts has thus been an obsession with the elite and a dream to the common man since time immemorial. It can keep those with power in power. Magic serves no master, however, as it can just as easily be dug up from the dirt by a lowly peasant and offer him a path to greatness. Something so minor as a ring to grant minor strength can push his natural limits, if ever so slightly, into the lowest rungs of the supernatural. So invasive are such things to the natural order that even children and women, being blessed with magic, could be endowed with such strength, endurance and agility greater than that of mundane men twice their size.

 

On casting magic as opposed to magical enchantment, it is reliant upon focus more than anything else. Arcane rituals have been developed over time to reliably produce desired results. What plagues neophytes is usually how much mana is wasted rather than how much they can muster. Efficiency is more important given how plentiful mana typically is and is the main cause for weak and pitiful attempts at spells. Worse still, the wasted mana still exhausts the spell caster. Critical spell failure is uncommon, but has been known to result in phenomenon such as spontaneous human combustion at its worst, or head aches to aneurysms at the lower end. The far more common risk, however, is fatigue. At worst it may exasperate into brain damage before self destruction, so those practicing magic must be diligent. Typically this means spell casters rely on tried, true and tested methods rather than brute force of will. Focus is thereby taught via magic circles and incantations. Years are spent mastering these two so that the user can reliably use magic as they desire. Learning these are equivalent to mastering whole other languages and modes of thinking.

 

**Those adept at learning languages, including computer code, and mastery of scientific notation and mathematics would find the learning of magic second nature in this world. If he were likewise blessed with the ability to sense mana**

 

Scholars have written libraries worth of byzantine treatises trying to explain the world as it is in conjunction with magic. The most prevalent and enduring example is to think of the world as an hourglass. Stretching off above and below at the two spheres of the divine and the abyssal. Meeting in the middle, where the grains of sand pass by, is the material world as is. With each passing grain of sand is the world as it is at any one point in time. Here the material world, an infinitesimally small sphere compared to the other two, is at the mercy of both extremes of light and dark, order and chaos. It is surrounding this bottleneck where the threads of magic has weaved itself. And in those finite periods of time this whole other force of energy permits mere mortals to mimic the absolute power of the two other spheres.

 

Although magic has brought great boon to humanity in the past, it has always been a double edged sword. The power it permits has given rise to great men of humble and privileged origin alike. But it has also birthed terrible villains. Hubris and the thirst of power has led some to seek and wield magic beyond his station and ability. This has time and time again wrought great calamity. The gods themselves have sought to regulate it after their failures to eliminate it. Not only because it rivals their power, but also to save humanity from itself and the cycle of destruction his greed, desire to dominate others and nature have wrought.

 

Magic is also a tool at the disposal of more traditionally darker forces. Demons and monsters wield magic too. Some are wholly magical beings and their existence relies on it exclusively. A world without magic would render them incapable of manifesting in the material plane at all. As such, their affinity with magic is to them as any mundane creature is familiar with their basic bodily life function. It can amplify their already existing powers gifted to them by abyssal energies too.

 

Yet not even the gods could prevent magic from affecting the world writ large. Nature grows in abundance in its presence. Animals themselves may grow larger and these are known as the dire variant of their respective species. Organisms such as tress have been recorded to have become sapient due to it. Inanimate objects have also been known to come alive as if they animated by living spirits. This has caused much consternation and debate about the differences between souls and magical spirits.

 

Many species of monster have actually come into existence through magical animation. This is opposed to the origins being from the Abyss, or as a result of blood contamination from the great three fiends. Humans once lived parallel to this phenomenon, but have become more suspicious and hostile to these outsiders over time. Under the thumb of Imperial control, the powers that be seldom bother to differentiate. This has rapidly begun to change with the rise of the seventh Monster Lord. These new societies based upon her will have embraced the long spurned world of magic. Those who have squirmed loose of the Empire are quickly ascending back to wealth and standards of living far beyond subsistence. A victory for the Empire of Man would seek an end to magic's influence on the common man while the Monster Lord seeks another magical Renaissance.

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