Arcane Renaissance: Terra Rynn
Magic is the ability to reshape the reality you see with a reality you desire. In order to perform magic, an individual must be able to shape their consciousness in such a way that the alteration they desire can be made to exist with the input of a limited amount of energy, and they must be able to channel that energy effectively.
In terms of magic, scholars refer to consciousness as that part of an individual that exists beyond their mere corporal form. Sometimes known as a soul, or just the mind, this aspect of an individual is what ‘understands’ the world, and is essential for the ability to transform reality with magic.
The energy that allows for the transformation of reality is ever-present in nearly every dimension, and exists in different concentrations. An individual may specialize in gathering this energy from one source or another. Scholars refer to the collective dimension, the weave, to encapsulate every and all dimensions that possess the energy that can be channelled for the use of casting magic.
In order to draw out the spell energy, a spell user must be able to communicate the idea to the weave. Not in some vague abstract notion, one must be able to describe the effect in all its clarity. This type of communication can be very taxing, and may or may not be intuitive. In order to develop this communication, mages have developed several techniques to formulate their mind and alter reality in such a way that matches their conscious desire. This is a stage in casting a spell referred to by academics as drawing.
Wizards perform drawing through rote memorization, using advanced mental heuristics and recessed memories to store a wide variety of possible scenarios and ideas, and using mnemonic triggers to pull those memories to the front when needed. Sorcerers, in contrast, are born with the memories and visualizations. The first sorcerers were descended from immortal creatures, whose morphology allowed their memories to become part of their body and heritage. As sorcerers tap into these genetic and latent memories, they unlock the capabilities to cast magic.
Bards are closer to wizards, they learn their power, however they use emotions to organize and recall their visualizations (see below). The power of song and story are powerful, able bring a powerful or specific memory to mind. Warlocks gain their drawing ability from their patron, gifted through ritual. Once gained, they work similar to to a sorcerer. However, the patrons limit the ability of the warlock to continually draw on their power, and inhibit their endurance, as a price for their service.
Artificers work by finding a means to divert much of the visualization into objects (see below). By using mineral, either in crystal or powder form, the sympathetic visualization is imprinted into the substance. From there, artificers can channel their own or artificial energy into these objects. As a note, it is much easier for an artificer to make an object that is linked to just them. It takes a great deal of skill and practice, to create objects that are truly separated from themselves.
Once a spell has been drawn, the caster must next frame the spell. In order to merge form and energy, the body and mind must be in a specific alignment. Breathing, heart rate, and mental state must all be in a perfect set of patterns to allow the energy to flow from your body to the world. Because each spell requires a different frequency of theses, a system is needed to organize them. This system is the verbal and somatic. Using the process of biofeedback and behavioral training, casters can practices a certain set of words or verbal gestures to train the to respond in a reliable way. Once learned, the repetition of these these components will adjust the bodies state (temperature, heartbeat, and other physical qualities) to the necessary pattern that allows the spells energy to pass through. Some spells require more or less triggers, and are altered accordingly.
The last phase is Pooling. This is simply the process of matching the timing of visualization from memories with the biorhythms started their components.
Magical aptitude comes in all sorts of shapes and specialties. Below is a bit of knowledge on how a few of these origins operate.
In the drawing process of casting a spell, artificers develop an efficient system for executing the process to an inanimate object. One of the techniques in artificing is called grafting. By taking specially prepared minerals, an artificer creates an anchor with the mineral. Then, as the artificer channels a spell in the drawing process, the mineral becomes the focal point of the magic, and retains the energy for reuse, using the same mental patterns from the artificer.
When creating an artifice object, the object’s exact form is mostly up to the creators whim. Many artificers default to creating objects that are similar to existing objects and/or try to express the magical effect in their form. However, the crucial aspect of an artifice object is the graft. It is a predetermined surface area of the object that is coated with a fine grit or ground mineral. Once completed, an artifice object will have a rough like texture, and a measure of sparkle in light, as thousands of grains of mineral, that while appear random, are in fact a physical representation of the mental drawing process.
From there, this physical surface must be coated in protective material and/or secured on the inside of the object to avoid scarring or scratching; such damage renders the object damaged and useless.
Many artificers use runes as a form of schematic logging to help them keep track of the grafting process; as the graft is not obvious upon observation once set, runes provide a quick reference for their form and function once.
Bards are arguably inheritors of the oldest style of arcane magical casting, and the technique manages to survive through the ages despite the disciplines of wizardry that formalized magic and its use. Like wizardry, the magical techniques and spells a bard has access to is rooted in one’s memory; unlike a wizard though, the ability to retain and recall these memories is based on emotion rather than logic.
In retrospect, it is understandable. A general trait with mortals seems to be that an individual’s strongest memories are often linked with a powerful emotion or feeling. Bards are able to learn spells by anchoring those memories to important events. One of the primary ways this association is done is through music. Music, in all cultures, appears to hold an uncanny ability to distill a memory and allow memories to retain their shape through the ages with little alteration.
For this reason, bards are often either accomplished performers, or consumers of various music. A breadth of understanding of music allows them to shaping more varied songs and notes to important mental triggers that allow for the casting of magical spells, and allow those memories to remain unaltered as a mortal ages.
Another avenue that bards employ in the remembrance of spells is the collection of stories. Story is an important distinction from mere lore or history. A story is imbued with the personality of the storyteller, and is an emotional experience. A storyteller seeks to not just recount the details of an event, but to help the audience imagine themselves in that event. Much like music, each story is unique and personal, and is full of clear emotions that help a bard associate that story with important memories, or in certain cases spells.
Regardless of the source, Bards merely must be able to recall the memory in detail in relation to the spell – they need not actively perform a song or a story in order to cast spells; though a verse or line often helps. As long as the bard can recall the memory completely, they are able to draw the form of the spell to the fore, and sync their body to cast it.
Arcane tattoo magic is an older version of Artificing, wherein the anchor of the grafting process is another living creature, rather than innate mineral. Due to the complex nature of living creatures, who inherently possess their own consciousness mind. As such, the process is much more complex, and requires a different set of criteria to perform.
At the end of the process, however, the result is a process that creates a resonance and allows the recreation of a set of magical abilities to be used consciously by the recipient. This process was initially presumed to be able to allow nearly any creature to inherit magical power without the need for rigorous training or divine creation. Yet, repeated failed experiments have shown that not all creatures are created equally, and there is some element that is not yet understood that makes the acceptance of such power unreliable in many living creatures.
Creatures that successful undergo this process are considered sorcerers, as their ability to benefit from it is considered possible due to an innate potential of magical power.
Runes and Words
Common superstition holds that words, whether spoken or written, are full of magic. While this may be the case in a metaphorical sense, it is not so much a literal once. The power of most written words of magic are realized in either the reading or speaking of them; their existence alone is not enough to create magic.
Runes, however, are different. The nature of runes often include symbols or letters that can be comprehended in language, and so the conclusion is reached that the mere inscription in itself is magic, but this is merely an error in perception. The nature of runes is merely a formalization of a process of enchantment where a magical creation is crafted into an item (usually the surface of paper, stone, or metal) and is marked with notation as part of the process.
In reality, runes magic comes from the caster who create them, and who imbues the material in and around the inscription with magical energy. The tools of the enchanter, be they ink, chisel, or hammer are almost always magical in some form themselves and allow for the transference of the drawing and framing process into an inanimate object.
While artificers have developed more advanced systems that allow runes to retain their drawing and framing schemes to work multiple times, many casters are able to develop simpler ‘runes’ that allow for one off use. Some spells, such as ‘Glyphs’ function in this manner, allowing for the temporary storage of a magical effect until a trigger is met. Otherwise, scrolls are the most common form of runes, usually etched in mana-infused ink that helps anchor the magic to the page, and doubles as an instructional manual on how to release the magic.
Magic & Society
While magic is not ubiquitous as was in the fabled cities of Maedrabara, Zaholi, Ladtanta, or even in the golden age of ancient Turath, it is prevalent enough that most people have interacted with either magical items, or practitioners at several points in their lives. For many citizens of more prosperous civilizations, such occurrences likely happen on a weekly or daily basis. Regardless of the average person’s experience, magic has likely improved many aspects of their lives, often without them knowing it.
The exact prevalence of magic users is unknown, but best estimates are that every 1 out of 5000 souls possesses some level of magical prowess. The density of mages is not equal though, and several civilizations have more than others; nations like the sciettish, muscovan, and the svanesse have an above average number of practitioners, whilst groups like the orgol and the xianlian have proportionally less than the average.
Magewrights & Mageknights
Most mages in a society are little more than novices; often know as magewrights, they usually specialise in a couple low level spells and cantrips and perform services as highly trained artisans, merchants, and professionals. Depending on the size of a nation’s territory, magewrights may some may wander, and provide service to several villages over the course of a year, while others may establish themselves in a small town and maintain the local populace. Most users often apprentice under a more skilled master, much like a blacksmith or a tailor, though the investment for such training is often much higher.
Conversely, many apprentice magicians who serve in armies are known as mageknights. Often, these warriors are either trained from an early age or selected from the current caste of soldiers. They are instructed in the ways of magic to enhance their ability to command troops and defend against unusual attacks. These magical warriors often have a variety of different names depending on their role and origin, such as Svanesse Magus, Xianlian Bahaku, or Muscovan Cossicars.
In either case, only a rare number of individuals have either the resources, skill, or ambition to obtain the higher limits of magical power. Individuals may be injured or killed in such an attempt, or may be dissuaded from further investigation without the proper support from various entities. Those that do succeed, however, often hold important responsibilities, such as maintaining critical magical infrastructure (like teleportation circles), powerful advisor positions, or as elite special operatives. They often sit near the heart of power in many nations, and have great influence on the events of the world.
For most individuals, they may only see a magic employed when they take a trip to the city. Despite the support of tinkers repairing farming tools, priests able to tend to minor wounds, and the occasional druid able to bless the harvest, much of the labor in daily life goes on without the need of magic. Magic is not prevalent enough to be available to every citizen at the same time, so most have had to develop the means to do without. It’s considered a rare treat to get a magewrought tool, or a blessing to have a sickly loved one tened to by a sanctioned priest.
There is some superstition about some sorts of magic used versus others, these beliefs manifesting usually in more isolated communities. Its rare to find anyone who genuinely denies the power of mages, but more common to find someone who questions its use. As far as legal protections, the occasional use of magic usually isn’t grounds for hostility, but the use of magic for commerce is either regulated to protect the populace from charlatans, or else controlled by the forces in power, in order to curb threats to their monopoly.