Magic is the art of manipulating ambient energy known as Mana to supernatural effect. There is no single way to learn magic, as the art is as diverse as the many cultures that exist across Edriel. Throughout history, various groups have developed unique magical arts. Some magic is standardized and can be learned by the public, like that taught by the Baymorne Magi College of the Brazenmark Empire, whereas other magic, like dwarven runesmithing remains a closely guarded secret by its people. Though it is difficult to speak generally of the art, there is one constant across all paths, and that is that the craft requires tremendous skill and dedication to master. It is largely this steep learning curve, as well as societal pressures, that keep magic something only a minority of the population can use. Even then, the art of magic has had drastic ramifications on the history of Edriel, and major world powers often utilize mages to great effect in the current year.
Mana is the commonly used name to refer to the innate magical energies that can be found all across Edriel, and beyond. There are many names for this energy, but mana, an elven word used to refer to heavenly power, is by far the most popular. As mentioned, it is a ubiquitous type of energy, but cannot be seen but the naked eye, except for in great quantities. All things carry with them a concentration of mana, and as such, living creatures are also vessels of mana. Few people have the knowledge or means to learn how to control the flow and manipulation of this internal power or that which is ambient, but all living things have some variable amount stored within them. Even non-living and non-sentient things, such as oceans, rivers, mountains and trees, all carry mana. Learning to properly manipulate and control mana is the first step towards learning the art of magic.
A "school of magic" refers to a specific style or way of teaching the art to an initiate. Often there is overlap in the methodologies employed, for instance, both mages of the Baymorne College and initiate clerics of the Church begin by practicing tolerance to greater amounts of mana. From there, it diverges, with mages studying magic and spellcraft much in the same way mathematics or a natural science would be taught at any other college. There is a great focus placed on memorization and recital, whereas initiates to the church are often trained in a far more esoteric way. Unlike mages who study the exact instructions of a spell, clerics learn to cast without such preparation, relying on their understanding of holy texts and their capacity to control mana in a dynamic way. Moreover, mages are taught to draw from the mana within themselves, and around them, whereas clerics draw from the essence of their god.
Magecraft is the methodical and near scientific study of the arcane world and the way it can be harnessed. Mages, the scholars of magecraft, utilize their studies in a variety of different ways. Some study the arcane in a practical way, utilizing raw mana in pursuit of completing mundane tasks, creating massive, physic-defying feats of magic, or imbuing objects with powerful latent energies. Magecraft is the most widely practiced form of magic, and is typically taught from master to apprentice, or in classes led by a single instructor. Alternative terms include sorcery and wizardry
Shamanism is an ancient form of magic that has existed nearly as long as Astra. Shamans utilize mana just the same as any other, but their connection to the world's essence is far stronger than that of a mage's or cleric's. Shamans typically draw their power from a sylvan god, or from the combined strength of their fallen ancestors. Shamans learn their magic from self-training, by instinct, or from a master. Alternative terms include druidism and witchcraft.
Clericism is the orderly, religious practice of divine magic. Clericism has roots to the earliest age of organized religion, where the gods once walked beside their followers. Today, clerics merely know of the stories and scriptures of their gods, and pursue to uphold the deity's dogma in their absence. Clerics utilize holy magic, using it to cast away the profane and bolster their allies with divine boons. The deity a cleric follows can usually be deciphered by the appearance of their manifested abilities. Auros and his holy sons typically have some sort of golden hue or flame that denotes their spells, while the Elf Queen's children have teal-tinted silver spells. Other terms for clericism include divination and thaumaturgy.
Within each of school of magic lay individual 'lores', each denoting a different type of practice or method. These lores differ from one another in the way they're cast, their purpose, and the training a spellcaster must receive to properly utilize their given lore. For example, while the term 'mage' may refer to a spellcaster whose studied beneath a mage college, any individual mage may vary from another based on the lore they practice and the spells they use. Mastery of lores comes with great training, and those who seek to pursue more than one may find themselves only average at both.
A list of lores can be found on their respective school pages.
|Last editor: Markisbeest|
|Last edit: 2/04/2019|