Magic in Adylheim is divided into two categories; High Magic, which is dependent on an innate ability and usually has a relatively limited effect, and Low Magic, which requires ritualistic spells, but can achieve effects of a much greater magnitude.
- Nothing comes from nothing - Magic cannot create something from thin air, magic is the art of manipulating the forces around oneself.
- Something must come from something - All magic requires a source of power. There are a multitude of these found throughout the Multiverse, the foremost among which are the life force of the magi, the Numen, as well as Ley Lines, Artifacts, Divinity and other beings.
- Magic is effecting change - Magic takes on several forms, but they all work to alter the environment around the mage, or to alter other things forcibly to the mage’s advantage. Magic is manipulation, not creation.
The Divide of MagicEdit
High Magic deals with the manipulation of reality through using the Numen to manipulate the forces around the Magician. High Magic is divided into Talents, where each Talent manipulates a certain phenomenon. Some manipulate life, some manipulate fire, some manipulate plants and so on.
As High Magic uses the Numen, or life force, directly, it may have adverse affects if a mage overextends himself using High Magic. These effects can range from premature aging, dizziness and exhaustion to outright death. High Magic usually relies on immediate, localized effects. Sometimes the innate abilities of certain races may be categorized as High Magic.
Low Magic is a catch-all phrase for things that are close to High Magic in effect, or which are vastly different but are still considered magical. Low Magic often relies on rituals to unlock the potential of the Numen or outside forces. Examples of this is such practices as Alchemy and similar. Most crafting skills when reaching a certain level will be considered Low Magic. Low Magic is the primary source of artefacts, High Magic is not capable of producing artifacts.
Artifacts are items which have some supernatural function. They are primarily created by those who dabble in Low Magic. Artifacts can also be created by gods and other deities.
High Magic relies on the manipulation of certain forces. There are very few spells in the repertoire of a High Magician, those that exist rely on the manipulation of nearby phenomenon or elements. The traditional sense of a spell which you find in Low Magic cannot be found here, as the more one develops their Talent the better their ability to manipulate whatever their talent allows them becomes. A Fire Talent would be able to change the size of a fire at a relatively low level, whereas later they might be able to shape this fire into specific things or even keep it from burning someone. However, due to the manipulative nature of High Magic someone with a Fire Talent would be more or less powerless in an environment where there is no fire to manipulate.
There are many forms of High Mages, the more common choosing to apply to the Four Elements. The rarer Talents include Plant manipulation, Life itself, temporarily increasing the abilities of others, or some are even capable of manipulating the Numen, allowing them to change the spells cast by other High Mages and even some Low Magic spells. No one can have more than one Talent. It should be noted that the Talent someone is born with often reflects their temperament and demeanour; someone with a Fire Talent will often be rash for instance.
Low Magic is also known as Ritual Magic. Ritual Magic allows one to tap into stronger forces than High Magic, but the spells invariably take much longer to perform and have much more precise costs and effects. Where High Magic cannot be said to have any set spells in any sense of the word, Low Magic relies on elaborate rituals taught from master to apprentice to create specific spells with specific effects.
Ritual Magic is divided into several different Arts: Alchemy, which attempts to activate the Numen in others through potions and elixirs as well as strange items. Summoning, which creates portals to other worlds and brings creatures into this one, either for knowledge or for service. Mantra, which can create miracles through extensive prayer, sometimes seeming to be the closest to High Magic, though some argue that the power from this comes from the Gods and not the Numen. Artificing, which specializes in creating items with strange and intense powers. Artificers are are the producers of the vast majority of magical items. Necromancers, who deal with the dead and the undead, raising them through elaborate rites. Enclosing, which temporarily or permanently create magic fields with various purposes and Creation, which endeavours to create or manipulate into being magical organisms.
It should be noted that mages are not bound to pursue only one Art, though it should be noted that Mantra is rarely used by those who claim to be mages and is rather used by priests and religious figures. The Arts are the tools of the magus, not the path of the magus.
Though it is rarely spoken of outside the practitioners of Necromancy, most users of Low and High Magic can boost their efforts through the illegal use of sacrifice to ensure that they do not expend their own Numen too much.
Spells and RitualsEdit
The casting of spells in Low Magic is heavily ritualized, usually requiring several steps to be taken before any effect takes place. Most require hours, if not days, to cast and the general rule is that the more powerful and delicate the spell is, the longer it will take to get it ready and to cast it. These rituals are ways of harnessing the energy which is necessary to cast the spell. As a rule of thumb, the advancement of a mage depends on what kind of energies he has learnt to safely handle. The weakest and simplest spells usually merely require the use of Numen and Prime Words whereas more potent spells often use the power of leylines or sacrifice to power the spells. It should be noted that while ritual and spell may be used interchangeably, spell usually refers to the effect, while the ritual refers to the effort necessary for creating this effect.
The Scriers rely on meditation and the Numen to aid them in their art. They send their spirit out of their bodies in a process they call “Witchwalking”, often sending them to other places, so they may perceive things that are happening elsewhere in distant places. They can also send their spirit to other Planes of existence. Scriers are also adept at bi-location and therefore are favoured servants of rulers in need of efficient messengers.
A series of prayers that create miracles which often needs acts of sacrifice or days spent praying. Mantra is something of a special case as it is rarely used by mages themselves, but rather by priests. Though it is a form of magic, it is not usually used as such. Typical results include: healing, plagues, great strokes of luck, etc.
Items and Elixirs which may affect the body to produce temporary or non-temporary effects of a wide ranging nature. Alchemy too is a special case, much like Mantra, and though it uses some of the trademarks of Low Magic, such as sigils it is separate enough to be its own skill.
Using ritual chants and summons to bring beings from other Planes to this one.
Uses sacrifice and dead bodies to create horrors. Involves the creation of a fetish as a control mechanism, and elaborate rites which deal with the awakening of the undead. If the fetish is destroyed, the necromancer loses his power over the undead he is controlling.
Can create magical devices which can produce a number of effects, their power is entirely in their ability to create such devices. The prime producer of magic devices/items. Alchemy is seen as a branch of Artificing by most Magi, though Alchemy has developed separately from other magic arts and there are Alchemists who claim no part of magic. Artificing is perhaps one of the most diverse arts out there, it encompasses a wide variety of approaches, some create magical machinery, others create wonders out of meshing clockwork and magic, others again create out and out magical items, such as staffs and swords.
Creates environments wherein the normal laws of nature do not apply, these can be either temporary or permanent. Usually these will have specific effects, such as a light healing, incapability of using high magic and so on. Enclosing also incorporates the easier but somewhat less powerful practise of creating Wards.
Enclosers utilize the power of Leylines, transforming the natural power coursing through the earth, diverting it at critical junctures and restructuring it through intense rituals, creating zones wherein all manner of effects can take place. Leylines may also naturally create places of bad influence, in which cases Enclosers are sometimes called upon to fix it.
Enclosers usually work with loadstones and iron rods which they drive into the earth.
Hexing is hard to quantify as a magical Art, it is a collection of spells which don't really have a common quantifier so much as that they don't fit under any of the other arts.
This Art is one of the more difficult of the magical Arts, it is the creation of magical organisms, usually through the use of Mind Crafting and Flesh Forging.
Several Magical Arts employ the use of geometric shapes to create their spells and this art employs the study of such recurring phenomenon in magic and why they’re important. Not a very practical field of study, but could potentially lead to a greater insight into the field of magic. This is also occasionally referred to as Gramarye.
The study of auras, given off by everyone and everything and how they interact. Also lacks a practical upside, but can theoretically be used to tell a lot about the world around oneself. Requires specific equipment/skills to see auras.
Racial and Non-racial Abilities Similar to MagicEdit
The Elves produce glamours which make them appear prettier to others, glamours depend on the elf being conscious so it will disappear if the elf is knocked unconscious, but not if it is sleeping. With more training Elves can also make themselves look like other people.
Having no mouth, the Dae’vol rely on telepathic communication, though they can only sense thoughts which are specifically directed at them. With more training though, they are capable of grabbing surface thoughts of others, using their telepathic ability as a radar and eventually becoming capable of looking through their memories and understanding things.
Bear men are a race cursed by the gods, they can shift between bears and humans, though their race is a highly unstable one, with babies often being killed because they were not right. They can transform into bears at will.
Magical beings and magicians of various kinds have learned the power of the Numen as it leaves the body is extremely potent, thus they may throw a curse at someone as they die. Being on the receiving end of a Death Curse is not a pleasant prospect.
A Great Work is the equivalent of a Death Curse, where a mage uses the remainder of his Numen to create a powerful spell. Producing a Great Work can mean making something so powerful it drains one of the remainder of one’s life.
Cats are naturally sensitive to magic and will often make friends with magi.
While Alchemists and Artificers make use of Iron in their work, certain forms of magic have proved to be hindered by its presence. Ley Lines may be halted by them, Scrying through Iron is also impossible. Iron has also proved to be a failsafe against most of the Glamours which elves create, while it will not keep someone from seeing the Glamour, touching the Iron to it will make it cease to exist till the elf remakes it. Elves are not fond of Iron for this reason and do not carry any on their bodies, though steel strangely gives them no problem. Iron is also especially useful for hurting extra-planar beings, Iron cannot be manipulated through High Magic.
A rare substance which is impervious to all magic and may be considered the antithesis of magic.