Magic is a force and energy that permeates the World and the realms beyond the World. It is both created the very existence of Concepts, and the souls of mortals and immortal alike.
Types of Magic
Magic comes in many different forms, and over the millennia many have tried to categorise magic and it’s phenomena into a coherent system with limited success.
Divine Magic, more correctly referred to as Contracted Magic, is utilised by borrowing or taking magic from another being and channelling it through oneself as a vessel via a metaphysical binding between the two parties. Contracted Magic is dependant on the entity that a Contractor has bound themselves to.
Gods are the most common source of Contracted Magic, and where it has gained the name ‘Divine Magic’ in common culture. Gods trade worship and adherence to their dogma or beliefs, in return they share a miniscule fraction of their power with their most devout followers. These kinds of contracts are the most stable form of Contacted Magic, with the Gods actively capable of maintaining their connection and communication with their followers.
Users of this kind of Divine Magic are called Paladins or Priests of the Gods.
Nature Contracts are more akin to godless Concepts. Although Concepts by themselves lack sapience or even sentience by the standards of mortals, they can still be influenced in certain ways. By aligning oneself to a Concept and venerating it with the power of one self’s beliefs, the Concept, or multiple Concepts, may bless the worshipper with a fragment of it’s power. However these powers can be fickle, and have been known to be abruptly taken away from the host at the unknowable whims of the Godless Concepts.
Users of this Natural Contract are typically referred to as Druids, and commonly align themselves with the idea of Nature as a whole.
Spirit Contracts are created between an individual and a Spirit whom chooses to share their power with another being, usually a mortal, in return for a service that the Spirit itself is incapable or unwilling to do themselves, or a favour in the future or past. More often than not, the contractee will build a rapport or mutual understanding and friendship with multiple Spirits whom will ask minor by friendly gifts or favours in return.
Users of Spirit Contracts are most prominently known as Shamans.
Outsider Contracts refers to making deals with the inhabitants of either the Celestial Realms or the Infinite Hells. These contracts will almost always stipulate advancing the contracted creature’s own agenda, and often come at grave prices if done incorrectly. Celestial Contracts are far fewer in number compared to the Contracts of the Infinite Hells, primarily due to the Goals in mind for such Contracts. While Celestial Contracts are without doubt much more benign, they are also far more difficult to live upto. Infernal Contracts are insidious, but also significantly easier to pay off, if one ignores the question of morality.
Those whom form an Outsider’s Contract are known as Warlocks.
When a Contractor calls upon ‘their’ power, they are actually invoking their contract. Invoking a contract allows them to draw upon the powers of the one they have contracted themselves to, calling fourth might and power shaped into a requested form. As such Contractors do not shape their spells, or even how much power they utilise, exhausting or overusing the source of their powers may cause the Invocation to fail should their patron be too weak or sufficiently unwilling to acquiesce to the invocation.
Blessings are gifts, rewards or otherwise permanent empowerments given to a Contractor by a patron. Blessings can affect many aspects of a person such as their body, mind and even their very soul. Blessings come in many forms and effects as a result of this versatility, however they are nearly incapable of being removed safely from a being once they are given.
Blessings are absorbed into the soul and existence of an entity as a natural process, enhancing and complementing them. It is one of, if not the only, way of changing a Soul without delving into the Dark Magic of Black Necromancy, and in addition to this Blessings are the only safe way to alter a Soul without causing it to deteriorate from the interference.
Curses are the opposite of, yet similar to, Blessings. Like Blessings they are external energies and effects that are bound to an individual on a physical, mental and spiritual level, merging into their very being. Like Blessings they can have many effects and forms.
However unlike Blessings, Curses are by their nature rejected by the individual they are bound to. This rejection prevents a Curse from being permanently merged into the individual’s being, and as a result the curse can be removed from an individual through the right methods.
These methods of removal vary as greatly the curses themselves, often at the discretion of the entity responsible for the curse in the first place. However Curses can also be dispelled by the intervention of a more powerful and/or skilled entity in the form of a Blessing.
Wild Magic is arguably one of the least understood forms of magic in the World and beyond, as it is true magical energy in it’s raw state, and as such fluctuates and changes with the most minor of influences. It is the power of Sorcery, the lifeblood of magical creatures and source magical phenomena that defy explanation.
Sorcery is the expression of magical energy guided by the will and intent of the individual or being whom wields it. Drawn not from the world around them, Sorcery is the act of drawing upon the excess of power from one’s own soul and shaping it outside of the body.
While the Souls of mortals are strong and eternal, they are not infinite. To draw power from a Soul would weaken and consume it, a horrible act of evil when performed upon another, and a terrible sacrifice when performed by an individual upon themselves. Sorcerers and magical creatures however have souls that, for whatever reason, produce energies in excess of what is needed to sustain their existence, allowing them to draw upon the energy of their souls without fear of harm.
Wild Phenomena, also simply called Phenomena, is an occurrence of Wild Magic coming into contact with and interacting with a portion of the World. Such Phenomena can lead to the birth of Spirits, the genesis of magical creatures and entities, or strange events that defy all reason. Mixing concepts and ideas in ways unimaginable to many entities both mortal and not.
When an occurrence of Phenomena settles itself, it is very difficult to know what form it will take, and it is nearly impossible for it to take a form of another product of other Phenomena.
Some entities have can learn to invoke or create Phenomena purposefully, whether as a tool for destruction or creation. Such individuals are regarded warily, as their actions risk terrible and unpredictable repercussions should their control falter for even a moment.
Arcane is the common term used to describe the art of mortal wizardry and use of the language of magic. Arcane magic is structured, built upon decades of work and centuries of traditions, to create spell matrices, formula and teasing out the many translations of magical words used to invoke magical energy.
Evocation is the formation of magical energy to replicate or create the expression of energy in the World. It is often considered one of if not the most simple form of Arcane magic.
Through evocation a wizard can form light, fire, lightning, kinetic force and more from nothing more than magical energy. Evocation also governs affecting those same energies that already exist in the world, influencing and changing them.
Abjuration is the study of dispelling, breaking, and refuting magical energy, spells and phenomena. It is the art of paradoxically protecting oneself from magical energies, with magical energies.
Those skilled in abjuration study how to unravel spells of their opponents before they can strike their intended target, deflect or even dispel sorcery. Abjuration’s roots exist in the very basis of Arcane learning, taking in magical energies and guiding them being the very thing that allows Arcane spellwork to exist.
Also referred to as Creation magic, Conjuration is the study and practice of creating matter out of pure energy.
It is a troublesome magic, as constructs of pure magic can rarely hold their form for long before collapsing into the energies they were formed from. True creation of matter from magic is a complex thing that will often overlap with the study of Transmutation due to the necessity of understanding the elements on matter and their properties, which is required to create them with arcane spellwork.
Rarely called by it’s true name, it is also called Summoning or Transportation magic. Apportation is the study of planar barriers, physical displacement, and dimensional travel. It is most well known for enabling practitioners to open portals between the mortal World and the Infinite Realms, summoning demons, angels, devils and celestials into the mortal realm.
The more mundane uses of Apportation include the summoning of objects from other locations and teleportation of individuals to and from desired locations, and even the personal teleportation of oneself.
Divination is the art of seeing the unseen. Divination is often used to describe the art of foresight, visions and far-seeing, and is associated with seeing the future and prophecies.
However Divination deals not only with the future and the present, but also the understanding of the past and history. Divination can also be used to see past illusions and hallucinations, and divine the nature of the unknown, such as if a drink has been poisoned or if an individual is telling the truth.
Such feats of Divination are owed to the study of enabling mortals to see the world as other entities do, such as animals, magical creatures, spirits, and even gods.
Transmutation is the study of using magic to alter the properties of an object or entity into something different or new. Transmutation can range from magically strengthening or weakening an object or being through magic, to altering what an object is into another form.
Strengthening something through transmutation is the most basic form of transmutation, charging the desired entity with magic that either positively or negatively affects it’s being. Though the most basic form of transmutation it is by no means less complex than any other form of magic, and many wizards find a use for it to handle their more difficult projects.
The more complex, and arguably dangerous, form of transmutation is the art of turning one object into another, such as the infamous transmutation of dirt into gold. This art is not limited to mere metals and earth however, but can also act on gasses such as air to turn into poison, acid into water, flesh into stone and vice-versa.
Illusion, also known as ‘Mind-Magic’ by some, is as the name implies magic that focus’s on illusions and befuddlement of the mind. Affecting the perception of sight, sound and touch are all the domains of Illusion, as is the delicate alteration of memories and thoughts of the mind.
Illusions can take the form of spells which project their affects towards others, impressing images and sounds onto others. These can form illusionary constructs which appear real in all aspects until disturbed, and even then are capable of confusing and obstructing their targets for long periods of time.
The subset of Mind-Magic of Illusion functions by altering an individual’s perception directly. Rather than senses being projected, they are controlled directly, fooling even the most persistent attempts to prove themselves false. This can be used to alter memories, and even affect a person’s thoughts.
Mind-Magic is inherently oppositional to an individual’s own state of being and even without being aware of it, the individual being affected will slowly erode the invasive magic through the power of their Soul.
While it is possible to force the effects of Mind-Magic to be permanent, such acts directly harm the Soul of a being, and as such those who cross that line are referred to as ‘Mind Rippers’.
Necromancy, also known as ‘True Necromancy’ or ‘White Necromancy’ is the art of summoning and calling upon the souls of the deceased and the manipulation of the energies of both Death and Undeath. Necromancy is a difficult form of magic to work with, not only because of the stigma surrounding it due to the existence of Black Necromancy, but also because of it’s narrow window of function and the dangers surrounding oneself with the energies of Death and Undeath.
The summoning of the dead can happen in several ways. The easiest form is to call and summon the lingering spirits of the recently deceased whom have yet to move on or been unable to do so. One of the more difficult methods is to intertwine Necromancy with Apportation and using a sympathetic link of either mental or physical nature to summon a soul from their afterlife in either the Celestial Realms or the Infinite Hells.
Using magic these souls can be given semi-corporeal forms, or even bind them into objects such as their former body, a construct, or another form of specially prepared container.
Enchantment is the art of granting magical power and effects to an object through the use of either Wizardry, Sorcery and rarely Alchemic methods.
Imbuement is a simple method of a magical being, such as a sorcerer, elemental or even a god, conceptualising an intended effect into an item via a catalyst of raw magic, turning the object into a magical item that naturally circulates magic throughout it’s being and with the ability to express an effect with that magic, usually at the prompt of a wielder.
Due to the art of this method, it’s results can vary greatly depending on the source of the Imbuement. For novice practitioners this method of enchantment is inexact and can often have unexpected side-effects, and the enchantment may quickly collapse and fade away. Those of both great power and skill however can perform Imbuements that are not only permanent, but also exact in their desired effect.
Runework is a method of enchantment devised by mortal wizards from the language of magic itself.
For each idea, concept and thought in the world there is a corresponding magical Word, and so a corresponding magical Rune. This not only takes into account what the Word/Rune is, but also in what context it is being used. The Rune for Fire said in wonder is notably different for the Rune of Fire that is spoken in fear, and the meaning of these runes will also change as they are paired together with others in sequences.
In this, Runework can be viewed as a form of program coding, but a frustrating one in the extreme. A single misjudged rune at the end of a sequence can change the meaning and function of the rest of the runes it is working together with, causing the entire magical array to collapse.
This necessitates many hours or even days of work checking a sequence for each rune that is added. This results in much tedium that most Wizards are unwilling to put up with in order to discover now runework arrays and effects. This is not helped by the fact that the more detailed the desired effect, the more exacting the details of the runework must be.
Despite this arduous labour, the rewards for completing a runic array is stunning and repeatable. Complete and functioning Runic arrays can be recorded and replicated, becoming many times their value in effort and work.
Runework however does have one significant flaw; the only way to test the effect of a supposedly functional runic array is to activate it. If the runic array does not function as expected, disaster might result from the unintended effect it might have. The more complex a runic array, the more dangerous it becomes to fail in working them.
While it is possible for mundane hands to create runes, the precision needed to craft runes of high quality in wood, stone and metal requires the use of spells that have been created for the task. The more precise the spellwork used in rune-crafting, the smaller and more complex runes can become, and the more accurate towards their intended purpose.
Similar in nature to Alchemy, alchemic enchantments are often the result of adding an alchemic substance to an item. Due to the nature of such a bonding, enchantments caused through alchemy are often temporary.
Like Alchemy, the art of Alchemic Enchantment can vary greatly depending on the source and purpose of the alchemic substance that is used. While it can be utilised by non-magical individuals, the method of which it is applied must be done correctly as it’s creator instructs.
Alchemic enchantment covers a wide array of methods, ranging from enflaming salves and hardening oils, to the near-legendary art of Alchemical Craftswork and Alchemical Forging.
Alchemy is the art of distilling both the magical and mundane properties of minerals, plants, and other objects into potions and poultices. Alchemy is practiced widely by both magical and mundane individuals across the entire World, and is one of the few arts that can allow the performance of magic without requiring the use and understanding of magical energies.
Alchemy is unique in it’s art in that it can be practiced any anyone, or anything, who can find the time needed to perform it. While formal training helps greatly in Alchemy, it is not required. Many villages and towns have their own alchemist in one form or another, ranging from midwives who help women in childbirth, to village elders whom can craft common potions to restore energy or salves that can heal wounds.
The quality of a potion, poultice or salve greatly depends on a variety of factors. The tools, the ingredients, and the practitioner’s skill all have an effect, and it is rare that potions from different sources will have the similar effects or magnitudes despite sharing the same use. As an example; one healing potion crafted by a master alchemist might be very powerful, but it’s taste will be awful and unchangeable. Another potion crafted by village elder might be weaker, but it’s taste can be improved by mixing it with brandy or a fruity wine.
Also known as the Forbidden Arts, Black Magic, and other such names, Dark Magic consists not of a single type of magic, but of the dangers that form when magic is abused.
In a broad sense, Dark Magic is categorised by threatening to destabilise or harm the World itself, or is so abhorrent that both Angels, Demons and Gods alike would damn it’s practice.
Black Necromancy is one of, if not the most, common forms of Dark Magic. Black Necromancy differs greatly to standard Necromancy. While all other forms of necromancy can be seen as disturbing, they lack the true horrors and implications of Black Necromancy. Even summoning and binding the unwilling dead does not quite cross into the realms of Dark Magic, but it passes close enough to discourage most practitioners who might be temped to go down such a path.
Black Necromancy comes into existence with the editation of a soul, through a process call ‘Soul-Stitching’. Souls that undergo this process are violated in the most precious of forms, and are forever altered from what they were before. Arguably this is the most gross violation of a living creature, as it fundamentally changes not only who they are, but also what they are and ultimately dooms them.
A soul that has been Soul-Stitched will begin to break down and collapse in on itself, as the very process damages something critical to the existence of a soul. This process results in the true death of the soul, and non-existence. Users of Black Necromancy have been known to create elaborate and drastic measures to contain or stop this degradation, with mixed and horrific results, all resulting in eventual failure.
Soul-Stitching can also be used to create a ‘False-Soul’ by stitching together fragments of already existing and the magical echoes of souls that have long passed. These beings are tragically doomed to non-existence, and suffer the same degradation that natural souls would suffer from this process.
The last grand practitioner of Black Necromancy was the Necromancer King, who aspired to use Soul-Stitching in an attempt to amass enough worship of himself to ascend as a God, but thankfully he ultimately failed. Though it was of little comfort to his victims.
Mind Ripper is the term used to describe the abuse of Illusion magic to alter a person’s mind beyond the pale. Few mental spells are capable of sustaining themselves indefinitely, as a individual’s mind and soul with ultimately reject influences that wish them harm or unwilling alteration.
Mind Rippers however do not care for such things. They ignore or reject the finesse needed for mental magics and illusions, favouring permanent and brutal methods that directly enforce permanent changes in the psyche and soul of their victims. The harm upon the minds of their victims is deeper than any mere mortal trauma could imagine. Rarely the soul itself can be harmed by these actions, marking it as a form of Black Magic.
A Great Curse is a powerful form of Cursing. Great Curses are identified by their ability to self-perpetuate to and/or through multiple individuals, or even groups of individuals. Commonly known forms are bloodline curses that can consume an entire family line, conceptual curses that target groups of individuals sharing certain characteristics (such as a home town or common belief) and infectious curses that can be passed from one individual to another (such as vampirism and lycanthropy).
As a result, the instigation of a Great Curse is a terrible danger not only for those whom have been cursed, but also the one who invoked such a curse. The potential for these Great Curses to grow out of control into malignant magical plagues too dangerous to ignore.