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When grouping magic and spells, they're categorized in what are known as Magic Arts, or Schools of Magic. A Magic Art typically consists of spells that source many different energies rather than only one, but the way those energies are used for those spells is what defines them in their given school.

The world of Nym is home to many various Magic Arts, some of which have yet to be created or discovered, and there are likely a number of which are only found in obscure places of the world. Some Magic Arts also possess sub-categories that split off from the major Art.

What can be considered to be a Magic Art or not might change between cultures and groups, and some Magic Arts might simply be known under a different name in those cultures. But, generally, at their core the basic principles of their  individual practices and uses remain mostly the same.

The thirteen most recognized schools are officially recorded by Candle Scribes of Candlehold, and practiced and studied variably by the major Mage Orders of the world, depending on what Schools are preferred or legal in those Mage Orders or nations.

Most practitioners of magic choose to discipline themselves in the use of maybe one or two Schools of Magic throughout their lifetimes, while others might attempt to gain mastery of as many as they can, or choose to sample and memorize only a few spells from many different ones. It depends on the individual's own training, their chosen path, and which Mage Order they studied under; if they studied under an Order at all.

 
 

ALTERATION

Alteration is the art of changing components and properties of an existing object or entity, often to create a new variant of the object/entity in question. Alteration can also allow its wielder the ability to enhance certain bodily functions, such as enhanced sight, strength, speed and reflexes. Similarly, it can also be used to cause negative effects, such as blindness, muscle weakness and paralysis. In some cases, Alteration is used to transform a person into another; more commonly referred to as polymorphism.


While it is not possible to create new components entirely, Alteration allows one to shift the composition of elements, energies and minerals within an object (or person) to change not only its appearance, but also its internal structure. This basically means that one can transform rock into gold, though it should be noted that doing so will only allow for a temporary effect, as Alteration magic can’t last for long periods of time. When an object’s components are changed it will, in usually a short time, either turn back to its original state, liquefy or crumble into dust. The after-effects depend on the caster’s level of understanding when using Alteration magic.


After-effects are less so unpredictable or damaging when it comes to interactions with living tissue. Alteration allows for a caster to temporarily expand muscles, enhance sight and hearing, or improve a person’s reflexes. But if one should do it too much within a short time-frame, it is possible that a person’s internal organs will wear out and fail due to the constant stress. Other applications of Alteration include severe paralysis, where it can halt a targeted person’s motor system and lock a body entirely, or appearance alteration, where a caster of considerable skill can change his or her appearance entirely; known as a more physical form of Glamour Magic. The latter can last for a long duration, at the cost of control and constant reapplication by the caster.



ARCANISM

Arcanism is the art of controlling, rearranging and purely manipulating energies, and utilizing those energies to materialize concentrated forms and effects. Arcanism is the closest relative Magical Art to the purest definitions of magic. The use of Arcanism allows a caster to ignore and bend the Primal and Cosmic Laws, but under the control of the Arcane Laws. Arcane magic can bend space to shift a caster or object’s position briefly, temporarily alter time and manipulate gravity. Arcane magic is dominantly used to gain better understanding of the universe and how it works, though it is ultimately the basic form of magic and surrounds most common spells.


Arcanism can be used to reflect or, though difficult, absorb spells to convert them into pure magical energy. Arcanists can create shields of magical energy, slow down or speed up an object or person’s movement, amplify the effects of spells and magic in general, and project thoughts or physical objects through teleportation, otherwise also known as Telemancy. However, the act of Telemancy is tricky, and those who can teleport typically find that, although their own conception of time is brief, once they arrive at their destination time will have progressed for as long as the teleported distance would have taken on foot. Additional aid, typically from some sort of Magetech device, stabilizes the Telemantic focus and reduces the travel-time.


Arcanists are constantly unraveling the universe’s arcane mysteries, and as such Arcanism is one of the most progressive and world-changing schools. As the understanding of the arcane grows, so too does Arcanism to the point where it is only becoming more powerful. Even so, Arcanism is considerably dangerous and is to be looked at as an unstable school, since irresponsible casters are more likely to upset the magical balance and fabrics of reality when using Arcanism.



BLOOD

Blood Magic is the art of stealing and altering life energy through the use of blood energy; typically empowered by strong emotions or the purity of the blood in question. It is a common School for directly causing pain and suffering to its victims, by means of sapping a person’s life to feed the wielder with it. Blood magic draws its powers from life and blood, either from the wielder or another person. This School of Magic is typically very draining to one’s own energy, but in return it holds the potential to grant some extremely potent power. In some cases, Blood Magic is used to transform a victim’s blood into temporary, golem-like beings of pure blood and magical energy; creatures mainly bound in service to the one who created them. Similarly, Blood Magic is used to bind contracts; such as trapping summoned demons or other planar beings to a caster's will.


While Blood Magic is very powerful, it will rapidly drain a person of his or her own life energy and will begin to cause harm to one’s body. Most wielders of Blood Magic will avoid using their own life energy and instead use that of their enemies whenever possible, or utilize slaves as sacrifice. By doing this the caster can replenish his or her own life and mana by siphoning the strength away from his or her target. The presence of fresh blood empowers the abilities of Blood Magic, and so it is not unheard of that a caster will cut himself to increase the effectiveness and power of his or her spells, or, in more sinister circles, perform blood sacrifices to significantly empower rituals.


Blood Magic doesn’t necessarily only cause harm and suffering, as it can be used to revitalize a person’s life energy to some degree. Though in its overall core, Blood Magic is a school which effectively causes a lot of pain and death; with the trade-off being more powerful spells and energies. Wielders of Blood Magic often become addicted to the suffering they perform on their victims, depending on their own willpower to resist its sating effects. The strong emotional side-effects of using Blood Magic have proven to be dangerously addictive, and it is ultimately a Magical Art that corrupts body, soul and mind.



CONJURATION

Conjuration is the art of summoning or re-materializing energies, and in many cases it's used for summoning purposes. For example, a mage proficient in conjuration can summon creatures from other planes, establish portals or materialize the components of an item and reassemble it elsewhere. When summoning planar beings, a caster using Conjuration must firstly establish certain rules or laws that the summoned being cannot disobey. However, depending on the strength and power of the summoned creature, these rules can sometimes be broken, or the creature is able to find a loop-hole to free itself from the summoner’s control. Also, the longer a summoned being is being shackled, the more likely it is that it will be able to escape. As such the act of summoning is often taught to be extremely dangerous, and should not be practiced too often, if ever.


Conjuration can also be used in conjunction with magical energy to craft temporary magical armour or weapons. Such magical equipment dissipates depending on the amount of magical energy used, as well as on the caster’s ability to control said magical energy. Conjurers also use this school to dismantle and then de-materialize any nourishing residue that hangs in the air; effectively creating food or liquids that, while not as nourishing or tasteful as the real deal, can be consumed to replenish small amounts of energy.


The general act of materialization allows a conjurer to create temporary, magically infused phenomenon such as rain and fog; depending very much on what available residues that circulate in the surrounding air. Typically Conjuration is most effective in areas strong with magical energy, and will become less effective as the magical energies in that area are dissipates.


The most common uses of Conjuration fall under techniques and methods of gathering and assembling energies. Conjuration is in this sense a rawer version of Arcanism, where Arcanism is more focused on altering of energies to shape and reassemble them, whilst Conjuration gathers energies and uses them in their raw form.



DEITISM

Deitism (sometimes referred to as Divine Magic or Holy Magic) is the simple art of prayer to call upon favours from the gods themselves. This is a School of Magic that holds a wide variety of different energies, depending on the deity that grants them; though the majority of energies are of Deistic origin. Deistic Magic can only be called on through the power of deities, and thus the majority of those wielding deistic magic are priests, cultists or similar. Deistic Magic can be used to cause cleansing damage, heal wounds or remove curses. Sometimes Deistic Magic can allow for resurrection, should the proper conditions be met, meaning that it largely depends on which deity the caster worships, or which deity the person being resurrected worships.


When a person fully devotes his or her life to a deity’s cause, it is likely that his or her prayers will be answered by that deity, and all of that deity’s willing powers will be available to that person. Depending on the deity, the methods of gaining favour is extremely varied. There are gods who grant powers to all their followers, and there are gods who restrict their gifts to only a select few individuals or sometimes even none. It is typically those who prove themselves worthy or those who are strongest in their faith who gain access to Deistic Magic through Deistic Awakening.


Since Deitism is largely dependent on a deity being the source of its powers, it is not possible to teach this School of Magic to the undevoted. The actual abilities of a worshiper depend on a mix of devotion and skill, meaning that the stronger one’s mind is, the more powerful the Deistic Magic becomes. Typical powers involve healing and smiting, and, depending on the deity, specialized powers will be available. Someone who devotedly serves the Auros will have powers infused with light and fire, whilst someone who serves Kelmora will have access to necrotic or soul energies. The full range of powers are unknown, since new ones are granted every so often by the gods themselves, so that their worshipers might serve them better for their purposes.



ELEMENTALISM

Elementalism is the art of utilizing the elemental energies that surround the world and the elemental Planeworld of Elementum. Elementalists can materialize elemental energies from the surrounding area into condensed magical energy, converting that energy into more focused elemental properties such as flames, ice or wind. If there is a nearby flame from, say, a torch or a pocket of water in a glass or pond, then the Elementalist can either draw even more elemental energy from these sources, or bend and shape these sources to expand or lash out against their targets. This School of Magic holds a lot of potential to cause harm, though some spells can be used to protect or, indeed, heal injuries and some ailments.


Elementalism is an extremely varied School of Magic due to its potential and tendency to tap into all elemental energies that help build and sustain the world. But to most Elementalists there are four main elements they draw powers from: fire, earth, water and air. Fire is mostly focused on causing harm, earth on granting protection, water on rejuvenation and wind on disruption and confusion. Elementalism is the most common magic school, though only a fraction of casters truly learn to master all four main elements. A majority of casters will focus on mastering one or two elements.


While a common School of Magic, Elementalism is also considerably unstable and requires more and more concentration, knowledge and skill as a caster’s elemental abilities develop. In return his or her spells grow considerably more powerful, though the danger of losing control is still present and much more likely to occur. Since Elementalism is the most common of magical Schools, it is thus practiced by most spellcasters, even those who are not naturally gifted with magic. It is, of the many Magic Arts, the most commonly used one as it's a School that is recognized by shamans, druids, priests and mages alike.


The most typical sub-arts within Elementalism are known as Hydromancy, Pyromancy, Aeromancy, and Geomancy.



ILLUMINATION

Illumination, also known as Light Magic, is the art of using the power of light; most commonly by drawing energy from sunlight or moonlight. A skilled wielder of Illumination can focus the solar or lunar energies to strengthen them, alter their properties and create new sources of light; though typically Illumination requires an actual light source to be functional. Illumination is generally useful for causing extreme burns, blinding of foes, dazing, or even for dispelling. Illumination can use the purity of light to remove the effects of curses, depending on the skills of the caster and the power of the curse in question. It also serves as an excellent counter to Shadow Magic.


Illumination is known to allow for healing, though not for mending wounds. Light can be used, if focused correctly, to purge a body of various ailments, in particular ailments that pertain to curses, but also negative effects such as nausea and blindness, and it is also able to soothe pain. While Illumination can remove blindness, it can also cause brief blindness, and it can be focused to the point where the heat of light can scorch or melt most surfaces through a condensed beam of light. As such Illumination is not necessarily only used for good, and holds the potential to cause serious injuries to targets. Even so, it is in a general sense considerably weaker than other Schools when it comes to causing harm.


The strongest aspect of Illumination is its ability to dispel and purge other magic. While it is strongest against Shadow Magic, the School is also quite potent when dispelling against most other magical Schools. For instance, Illumination is quite effective against Illusions, allowing a wielder of light to dissipate most illusions. Most spellcasters utilize Illumination to battle against foes that revel in darkness, or to revitalize areas that have been cursed or corrupted. The most skilled casters can use light to project imagery similar to illusions, or even gain brief precognition. The latter is considerably difficult to master, though if done correctly it is possible for a light wielder to predict events that are about to occur from within a few minutes to potentially a few hours. Particularly aged and strong seers can look even farther beyond, though it is admittedly very difficult, and thus it requires a lot of focus and ritualistic setup.



ILLUSIONISM

Illusionism is the art of bending and manipulating energies, such as mystic and mental energies, to create false imagery, hide objects or persons, and simply trick minds. Illusionism is a considerably basic School of Magic, often considered weaker than the other schools in terms of power, since it can more or less cause very little physical harm. However, a skilled illusionist can easily create enough tricks and illusions to fool even the strongest minds, to the point where insanity in the victim becomes a factor, or even just manipulation to the point where the caster can willingly control another person to a limited degree.


Additionally, Illusionism is a School which requires very little actual magical knowledge, so even people who are not as gifted as mages in magic can learn to use it fairly easily. Though it should be noted that mages are generally more likely to have greater understanding and control over the school.


Illusions can be anything from a simple, minor trick to creating entire realities that exist both within an individual’s mind and before an individual’s eyes. As such it is possible to trick a person’s senses to either mask the presence of pain, to cause confusion, or anything else similar that affects a person’s thoughts and feelings.


Targets of Illusionism see, hear, touch, smell and/or taste things which do not actually exist, or they perceive things differently from what they truly are. Illusionism can allow a caster to manipulate several individuals at a time, and to mask not only themselves and others in invisibility, but objects, rooms and, indeed, even larger objects or areas.


Some illusionists can disguise their visual appearances, or alter an entire space to appear differently in one's mind. The greater the magical power of the caster, the stronger the illusions. The most skilled illusionists make use of Glamour Magic that change their own appearances, which has often been popularly used by female mages to appear younger and more attractive, or by male mages to seem more vigorous.



NECROMANCY

Necromancy is the art of reanimation of deceased bodies and control over undeath by controlling death and necrotic energies. Using deceased bodies and trapping souls, a caster proficient in Necromancy can infuse these empty husks with necrotic energy to grant undead life. These creatures are often without a will of their own, and are controlled solely by the caster and his commands. The alteration through necrotic energy is also capable of direct control over souls, which allows casters to utilize a victim’s life energy to drain him of life, to the point where the victim is nothing more but a husk. Using negative energies, a caster can focus beams of necrotic energy infused with the power of both death and undeath. 


Necromancy is first and foremost about manipulating the dead and the energies of death. When raising the dead, they infuse necrotic energy into an empty husk to animate it and bind it to the caster’s will, or by calling forth an apparition from a mortal spirit. The more powerful the caster, the more undead minions he or she can control. There is no limited time-frame when it comes to controlling the undead, and control can last for as long as the caster wishes, or until the connection between caster and undead is severed. Necromancy can also be used to resurrect the recently deceased, though if the soul is no longer present near the victim’s body, then the resurrected body will have no apparent will of its own, and can thus be manually controlled by the caster.


As a School of Magic which controls undeath, it is also very efficient at dealing with said undeath. Most undead creatures can be destroyed or taken control over by necrotic energy. There are also many spells that induce pain and act to drain a target of his or her energies, cause rotting, cast curses or simply kill. In its purest essence and by the judgment of its name, Necromancy is the art of controlling the powers of undeath itself. A caster can also extend his or her own life by, in the most common term, cheating death. Constantly staving off death should come at relative ease for someone with the necessary and extensive knowledge and skill in how to do it, though it is frowned upon by most mages and priests, and especially those who serve the goddess Kelmora, who sees Necromancy as a clear defiance of her Cycle of Souls.


Even so, Kelmora often grants her chosen worshipers, such as Gravetenders, Reapers and other Death Priests, with Necromantic powers; solely for the purposes of fighting fire with fire.



RESTORATION

Restoration is the art of mending wounds, revitalization and curing diseases through accelerating the healing process. This is a fairly popular School of Magic and perhaps the one with the most positive effects. Healers are able to utilize energies to heal even the most severe injuries, as well as remove fatal illnesses. Outside of conventional healing and medical aid, Restoration can also be used to remove scars, regenerate life energy and even reverse aging to some degree, or at least mask age. Powerful wielders of Restoration can potentially bring people back to life by mending the broken body, as long as the soul of the recipient has yet to leave the vicinity of his or her body.


Restoration draws no power from one source alone, as it can either come from nature, the arcane, the elemental or from deities. Depending on the source of energy, various Restoration spells can be cast and utilized, but life energy will always be the core requirement. Restoration can’t cause direct harm as it is solely devoted to revitalization of soul, spirit and health.


While a potent and life-saving School of Magic, the chance of healing someone from fatal illnesses or mortal wounds largely depends on the caster’s own abilities. Small cuts and bruises are more easily mended, as are minor sicknesses such as sore throats and coughs. In fact, most ailments can be cured through Restoration, including blindness and deafness. However, severed limbs cannot be reattached or regrown, as Restoration mostly uses existing living tissue to cleanse and mend. Long dead tissue can’t be returned to life or revitalized, and as such Restoration must be applied quickly to most injuries and ailments to ensure that the success and effectiveness of healing is more certain.


Unfortunately Restoration comes at a cost. Most ailments and critical wounds require a lot of energy, and especially life energy. In order to successfully heal someone who is either deeply sick or fatally wounded, the caster must usually draw life energy from a nearby source. Simply explained, the caster will most likely have to draw this life energy from themselves, which in turn means that the caster risks killing him/herself. This is a core reason for why medical sciences are more popularly pursued rather than employing healers who wield magic.


Restoration is also very difficult to learn and master, and any mistakes made by the wielder can lead to worse injuries or ailments. The School requires a clear understanding of the mortal body and the effects any painful strain can cause to the mind. Sometimes Restoration might heal an injury or ailment only temporarily, or the length of life is shortened, or healing an ailment might spawn another in its place. Restoration is thusly recommended only for those who more or less dedicate themselves to it entirely.



SHADOW

Shadow Magic is the art of utilizing the shadows for concealment, and sometimes illusions and summoning. Shadow magic holds the power to hide a person or object in shadows, often by drawing power from local sources rather than that of planar sources. Shadow magic is considered to be a dangerous School of Magic because of its dark and negative effects on both beings and environments, and should see limited use due to the damage it can cause to the caster’s own body. Some wielders of this School use the shadows to shift their form into pure shadow, and also utilize Shadow Magic to teleport themselves for limited distances between existing shadows.


When a caster calls upon Shadow Magic, he draws energy from local sources rather than reach to another plane or beings. This basically means that a Shadow wielder can utilize any shadows in his vicinity to cast spells, merge with existing shadows or simply disappear into the darkness. As such Illumination has proven to be an effective counter to this School, though a skilled and highly experienced Shadow wielder can overpower even Light itself.


Shadow Magic mainly focuses upon stealth and darkness, and only a few spells in its school have the actual capability to cause serious harm. Shadows can in excessive amounts disrupt the environment and corrupt it by robbing it of all of its light. Doing the same to a living body will have the same effect, unless that body is built purely on shadow energy. Beings of death and undeath are not quite so affected by Shadow Magic either. Additionally, Shadow Magic can be used to establish a connection with the shadowy realm of Endomundo by creating a portal or summoning a Shade or other shadow demons from that realm. It is, however, not recommended, since the caster would have little to no control over the summoned being.



SPIRITISM

Spiritism is the art of studying and utilizing the aetheric energies of the Spiritual Planes and the spirits themselves. It also draws power from souls and soul energy, and allows the caster to manipulate a target's soul; either by twisting it or by manipulating memories. Someone adept at Spiritism is able to call upon the aid of spirits; both kind and malevolent ones. This allows the caster the ability to provide spells of healing as well as harm. The actual type of energy depends on the spirit that binds itself with the caster. Spiritism is typically used to summon spirits for aid, assemble spiritual energy, or by channeling or binding a spirit to a body and soul to grant both mind and physical enhancements; though the cost of control often varies and can be difficult to maintain. This School is commonly associated with shamanism and druidism, although not exclusively. Monks tend to employ Spiritism to gain access to their inner mortal spirit, and mages use it to study and manipulate soul energy.


Spiritism is not always used to gain power from spirits, but to simply just commune with them. Actual communication with spirits is difficult, since they are less likely to respond in an understandable way. What Spiritualists will more likely be able to do is gain favour with the various spirits and temporarily gain their abilities. There are many types of different spirits in the world and planes, so these abilities can be very varied. Some powers can be achieved without spirits, and instead by utilizing aetheric energy, which circulates the Natural World and the Spirit Realms.


Summoned spirits must comply with rules set by the Spiritualist, and the Spiritualist must comply with the rules set by the spirits. It is an agreement more than it is a command, and both sides must work together in compliance. As such it is difficult to force a summoned spirit to do what one says, and instead it acts on gaining favours. Spiritism itself isn’t particularly difficult to learn, but the actual communion and control of spirits is a different matter. Shamans use Spiritism to commune with the ancestral spirits and the elemental spirits, whilst priests or seers might use Spiritism to commune with souls in the afterlife.



WYLD

Wyld Magic is the art of controlling naturistic energies, often in the form of animal empathy, alteration of weather and plant-life, and general druidism. Wyld Magic allows the wielder to communicate with the Natural World and land, thus it is mainly practiced by shamans and druids. Through communion with nature itself, the caster asks the natural and fey spirits for power, and, if granted, the caster is then allowed to control the aspects of nature; for a time. This includes giving the caster the power to heal wounds and rejuvenate an individual’s energy.


Wyld Magic largely depends on an individual’s connection to the Natural World and the natural energies that surround it. As such it is not necessary for the caster to be adept at magic, as long as there is at least some magical energies within the individual’s body, which is the case for most mortals. What seems to be most important is the caster’s respect and sincerity towards nature and the natural spirits, as a lack of any will likely not see the spirits return any favours. By establishing a connection with the Natural World or Malendii's Dream, someone adept at Wyld Magic can manipulate anything from roots to animals to fey spirits, as long as what they are manipulating has a connection with nature.


Actual manipulating of existing natural vegetation and wildlife is one thing, but the other benefits of Wyld Magic involve creating nature-like effects from seemingly nothing. Enhancing one’s own skin to become hardened with rock or bark, or transforming oneself into animals or gaining their strengths and abilities are but a few examples of several benefits. Wyld Magic is also used to call upon nature’s wrath in the form of storms, earthquakes and floods. Someone truly blessed by nature can effectively transform a landscape to suit nature’s needs.


Oneiromancers and other Dreamers also sometimes use Wyld Magic to enter Malendii's Dream, or to just draw power from it. Wyld Magic was first devised by druids and wyld spirits, and thus it holds a strong connection to powers and energies concerning dreams.