World-Building Website by Daniel-André Sørensen

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Magic is often difficult to define, since its purest definitions suggest that magic is able to manipulate and change anything on levels that are sometimes incomprehensible. Another explanation is to say that magic is a power used to describe the process of altering and bending energies to a user's will or through natural cause; expanding and changing those energies into a different form.

Magic is not so much a thing as it is a concept or power. It grants the ability to control and bend energies, and when it does so it becomes much more visible as something one could grasp, feel or see.

In a broader sense one can explain that magic is everywhere and it's an infinite power. It is an ever-present phenomenon that persists in all things, and becomes more noticeable in larger quantities. It acts independently and is often mysterious in its ways, as if it was a living force. Magic is believed to be the key to existence and the explanation for the creation of life through astral and arcane energies.

In a cosmic sense, magic can change absolutely everything in the universe and is limitless in its applications; able to change the Cosmic Laws and Primal Laws both. However, in Nym's Eye, the Creator Tiral's Arcane Laws stand above magic, and effectively limits its uses to preserve the magical balance and fabrics of reality in the world.

Magic is sourced from three origins: Natural, Deistic and Cosmic. However, it first spawns from the Arcane Threads and is arcane in nature. The Threads transfer the Astral Light between them to feed the Dark Beyond's many stars, and in doing so they produce magical energy, and thus give birth to energies that allow for control with and through magic.

The manipulation of energies is done mainly through the use of manaistic or deistic energies, though in the case of deistic energy, magic is often referred to as prayer or divine alteration. Creators and other godlike beings are shown to have a superior mastery in terms of magic, as they can alter and change almost anything they want, albeit at the cost of substantial amounts of energies; energies which they often can't afford to expend, unless when extremely necessary.

The use of magic is often difficult and unpredictable, and it has been shown that a clearer mental understanding of it leads to better control, thus suggesting that it is a power that responds most effectively to the mind. Since magic is not entirely understood, even by those who see themselves as experts on the subject, it is considered to be a very dangerous power that can cause irreparable damages to reality if used irresponsibly.

When controlled and used in sufficient moderation, magic can alter other energies and greatly double or triple their original power. If a user can contain those energies as they expand, it is only a matter of using magic to bend and shape those energies into a desired shape; which is the essential understanding of creating and casting spells.

Generally magic is an invisible force that can't be seen unless it is heavily concentrated in larger quantities or when it strongly reacts to energies. However, those who experience Awakening and have their bodies infused with a rapid growth in mana can see magical energy much more clearly in its calmer states. Most individuals describe it as sparkling dust that persistently floats in the air. In some cases it has been observed as delicate, thin strings, which can be interacted with and manipulated to force a magical response. Some don't see magical energy but can feel it more clearly, and others experience it as floating waves or globes of light. What this suggests is that the appearance of magic is undefinable as it changes depending on the individual.

In cases where magical energy gathers and becomes strong, even those who haven't been magically touched can see it. Most commonly it appears as storms in the ocean, or creating magical anomalies in the countryside, whereby a temporary cease of gravity might persist, or a time disturbance occurs. It is, however, very rare for such events to happen frequently, save for in the Worldsea, where magical energy is often at its strongest.

Magic is usually described as a natural force that has a inherently neutral disposition. It is neither the force of good nor evil, and acts according to where it is most needed or to the whims of users. Magic is also a necessary force in the cosmos, as it controls the flow of energy and feeds the universe with the energies needed to maintain it. While it can be used to upset the magical balance and rip apart reality, it is also there to maintain them. It is often through the weakened or chaotic state of magic that the balance is threatened, which typically occurs from the irresponsible misuse of magic, or indeed the overuse of magic.


 

A R C A N E   W H E E L

The Arcane Wheel is the cycle for which magical energy travels through our world, and is thus the reason for why and how magic can be utilized on Nym. It accounts for the three main magical sources (Natural, Deistic, and Cosmic) and explains the path and effects that magic has, as well as the importance of its system.


1. Arcane Threads, and especially ripped and torn ones, leak chaotic magical energy into the Dark Beyond (Cosmic Origin).


2. Some of this magical energy will reach Nym's Eye and traverse through the Shimmering Belt, where it will interact with the Tearworlds first.


3. As Lucine travels around our world, her shawl will catch large amounts of magical energy.


4. Lucine's shawl will slowly transfer magical energy through the Veil and into the Weave, where it is further transferred and distributed to the Worldsea.


5. As this magical energy is chaotic, it will cause anomalies and storms as the Worldsea attempts to swallow and absorb it. Once the magical energy has been tamed, it will travel further into the world, until it reaches the Worldsoul.


6. Within the Worldsoul, the chaotic magical energy is cleansed, until it is transformed into pure magical energy.


7. The Worldsoul will expel the pure magical energy and send it via Wendveins back into the Worldsea, where the Ebb will take portions of it throughout the world to where it is needed (Natural Origin).


8. Remaining magical energy is caught by Celunar's shawl as she passes over. She then distributes it to the rest of Arkath's Divide, and it is used to maintain the integrity of the Divide's structure and threads. Most of it will be absorbed by the Creators in their Halls (Deistic Origin).


9. Anything left of the magical energy that is unused by Arkath's Divide will go to the Weave and the Veil, where it will over time seep back into the Dark Beyond and likely return to the Arcane Threads.



 
 

M A N A

Magic is controlled through the use of mana, which is an arcane form of energy and essence. Mana essence forms from condensed manaistic energy, which can then be found either physically in a crystallized, liquid or even vaporous form, or from within a body, usually present in a person's blood. Basically, mana is an energy that allows for the control, manipulation and storage of other energies, and thus chiefly correlates to magical affinity.


It is mostly found in living beings, but can also be found in circulation around the world, typically in areas magically strong. It is most largely condensed in the Weave, along with all other energies within Arkath's Divide. When an individual uses mana to perform magic, it is drained from them, and if it is completely drained it can lead to severe fatigue, known commonly as Mana Burnout.


Over time they will replenish their mana pool through rest as it is passively siphoned from the Weave, but the process can be sped up by mentally reaching into the Weave or consuming substances consistently strong in manaistic energy. Mana potions are the most common and most efficient way, although there is a risk for mana addiction that can lead to fatal drawbacks.


Mana was given to mortals when the Wildgod Zirche created the Mortal Soul, and implanted the greater essence of the Pool of Mind within it. Through the Pool of Mind mortals have a connection to the world's energies, and it created the basin which allows mortals to store mana within them. At the time, all mortal races held equal affinity for magic, which was to become an issue for the Creator Tiral when magic began to cause instability in the world.


During the Time of Stars, mana was taken from mortals as it had grown out of control. Tiral stored all mana of the world within Tiral's Tome, and entrusted her Creatorforged children, the Maaré, with safekeeping it. For a time only the Maaré possessed mana, but their developed arrogance and ignorance lured them to open Tiral's Tome before mortals were ready to control mana again. As a result mana became part of all living things in the world, instead of only to those who were ready to use it.


It is suggested that the premature opening of Tiral's Tome is what causes some individuals to develop larger than normal pools of mana; hence experience Arcane Awakening (which isn't to be confused with Deistic or Spiritual Awakening, as those two don't spark randomly), which typically occurs during puberty. It is also the reason why most mortals only possess small, standardized amounts of mana within them, although it varies depending on race, as some races are more attuned than others.


The size of a mana pool of a person directly affects the ability to make use of magic. The larger the pool, the greater the control of various energies, and the longer it takes for mana to drain. All living beings, with few exceptions, have traces of mana within them, which allows them to control energies on a basic level, should they learn to mentally access their mana pools. 


However, only a few ever develop large enough amounts to control energies on an advanced level, as they uniquely possess mana pools that grow and expand at a more rapid rate than others. These few individuals are a rarity and the circumstances for how their magical affinity develops is still largely studied.


Every being with mana within them will see their mana pools expand over their lifetimes, but only those who experienced an Awakening has it grow at a faster and greater rate. The risk offered is that the more mana one possesses, the more effort is needed to control it. Those unable to do so are typically overtaken and consumed by their own manaistic energies, and in many cases it appears as a form of fatal crystallization of the body. Sterility is also a concern, and every individual who has experienced an Awakening will be affected by it. This simply means that those with greater mana pools can't reproduce to pass down their powers through natural inheritance.



 
 

P A T H S

Four main paths come to mind when concerning the study of magic. Generally speaking, most Mage Orders in the world dedicate themselves to at least one of these paths; either partially or wholly. Each path describes a desired way of thought when it comes to magic, and helps guide those who seek to study and wield magic.


Control is the path that is considered the most secure, but also the slowest. Mages who walk the path of Control undergo training dedicated to complete control over magic, which means that they try to limit themselves from wielding magic irresponsibly or excessively. This means that they will only actively use magic when it is necessary, and even then they might hesitate some more.


By exercising complete control, spells are more easily handled and are performed with little mana cost, and thus there is little risk of consequence or side-effects. However, spells' cast-times might be extended to accommodate for safety, and those spells are not necessarily very powerful. To further ensure successful control, mages who walk this path are less likely to take on more than one Magical Art.


Mastery is a path that welcomes challenge and accepts the risks; thus it is a very dangerous path to walk for a mage. In pursuit of mastery, mages are encouraged to take on several Magical Arts at the same time, combine them and empower them, and reach the highest possible strengths they can achieve. Power is the ultimate goal of this path, although power is often obtained only through very hard training and years of studying.


Mages who seek Mastery will see their spells become strong, fast and very effective, but control over those spells might suffer, and the wielder's magic might become unstable and volatile; possibly endangering the mage or those around them. Likelihood of Mana Burnout is high, meaning that a Mastery mage will quickly require rest after only a few cast spells.


Knowledge is the path considered the practically weakest, yet it is powerful in its own way. Mages in search of Knowledge seek greater understanding of magic, and try to find ways to effectively wield magic through theory. But most importantly the path of Knowledge is meant to unlock and understand the Arcane Laws, which in turn allows better control over magic and the energies that surround the world.


Possessing the necessary Knowledge lets a mage more easily inscribe scrolls, construct and control Magetech, practice magical sciences or brew alchemical potions with the use of magical ingredients. A mage's mental power is greatly improved down this path, and consequently so is their mana reserve and memory; meaning they are more likely to retain more spells in their arsenal. However, those who walk the path of Knowledge aren't very powerful or skilled when it comes to practical use of magic.


Wild is the path typically ascribed to illegal mages or mages who didn't receive traditional, academic training. This also holds somewhat true to druids and shamans, though in their cases their magic is tempered by either deities or spirits. The path of Wild is unpredictable, difficult to control, deteriorating to the body and mind, and it's the most dangerous of the paths. Spells are extremely potent and strong, but often transfer random effects due to poor to little training.


Mana Burnout occurs very quickly, and since spells aren't learned traditionally they're not easily understood or taught to others. However, those who walk the path of Wild are quick with their magic, learn to wield it solely from personal mental power and prowess, and their spells  are highly effective, despite lesser grasps of Control, Mastery or Knowledge. Magical Arts are often learned in a mixture of each other rather than focused upon individually, which can lead to very random, interesting and risky results.



 
 

A W A K E N I NG   &   S P E L L C A S T I N G

Almost anyone can cast spells or use magic, but only those who have experienced an Awakening can truly wield magic to its full potential; beyond a basic level by actually controlling it, rather than wielding it. Awakenings come in the form of Arcane Awakening, Deistic Awakening or Spiritual Awakening. A person will know they have Awakened when they start to feel more frequently queasy, experience repeating headaches or physical changes become noticeable; such as glowing eyes or slight magical changes in one's skin-colour or composition. The queasiness and headaches will abate in time as the body adjusts to the increase in mana, but physical changes tend to remain.

In all three cases a person's ability to wield magic becomes more apparent, as their mana pools rapidly begin to expand and grow at higher rates than normal people.

Arcane Awakening is the only one that is unpredictable, as it can happen to anyone randomly; typically around when puberty hits. It is the most violent Awakening of the three, as the powers that awake within a person are unexpected and can be difficult to control for someone young who can't properly control them yet. The frequency of Arcane Awakening varies between races as some races are more attuned to magic than others, but the maturity always happens at a race's point of adolescence. The ability to predict a person's chance to experience Arcane Awakening is considered impossible, as the apparent powers that awaken a person lie deeply hidden and dormant for that time.

In the case of Deistic Awakening, the power to cast spells is a gift given by godlike beings to those they choose; typically devoted worshipers who are training to become priests. A Deistic Awakening can occur at anytime throughout an individual's lifetime and, unlike Arcane Awakening, is prepared for. The awakened mana is not as great as one who awoke through Arcane Awakening, but Deistic Awakening is more noticeable as the individual will obtain physical changes that relate to the deity they are sworn to. In most cases it's something simple such as glowing eyes or having parts of the skin changed, but in more extreme cases an individual might grow horns, feathers or receive metallic skin. It's all dependent on the worshiped patron deity.

Spiritual Awakening is similar to Deistic Awakening, except it is almost always granted by spirits. In the case of Spiritual Awakening, the individual must unlock it him or herself through extensive mental and physical training; meditating to gain access to one's inner soul, spirit and the spirits around oneself. Upon Awakening, the person will be able to clearly commune with the spirits of the world and draw power from them to wield magic. Like with Deistic Awakening, the awakened mana is not on equal footing with one who experienced Arcane Awakening, but the size of the mana pool is more variable. Spiritual Awakening also doesn't resonate well with spells that are forced, like Arcane Spells, as the individual must wield magic through patience and understanding with spiritual powers.

Magic is materialized through mortals by the use of spells. Depending on what energy an individual uses, spells can come in the form of arcane creation, deistic prayer or communion to spirits, body and the land. These three types are the main and only sources of spells, excluding individual, specialized abilities which are often imprinted in a person on birth.

Arcane Spells are devised and created by mortal mages. Although not necessarily surrounded by arcane energies, Arcane Spells are typically created from those energies and are more reliant on the use of manaistic energy. When a mage first experiences Arcane Awakening, he or she will have access to some spells that are ingrained in the mind from birth. Mages refer to these spells as Awakened Abilities, and don't necessarily recognize them as actual spells. These imprinted abilities are almost always the same, such as being able to project a forcible mental push, spawn a flame from one's hand or create sparks of lightning. It varies between individuals.

Deistic Spells are granted by deistic entities, believed to be versions of their own godlike powers. Wielders of Deistic Spells must draw power from their patron deities through Prayer or Divination, and are entirely reliant on the whims of their benefactors. Some passive abilities might be present in a person if they received Deistic Awakening, but for the most part Deistic Spells must be summoned through the communion with the deity, and can't be fully cast through the individual's own power.

Spiritual Spells are similar to Deistic Spells, with the difference being that an individual using Spiritual Spells doesn't necessarily have to draw power from an entity. These spells are reliant on an the self, spirits and the natural energies of the world. Druids and shamans most commonly make use of Spiritual Spells, with druids wielding a mix as they are often also dedicated to a deity. Spiritual Spells rely on communion through Meditation or Divination, similar to Deistic Spells.

The actual act of spellcasting varies between the different cultures and organizations of the world. Most types have been devised and perfected by mages throughout the ages as their knowledge of magic grew, which allows for a decent variety of ways to spellcast. Those who wield Deistic and Spiritual Spells have always practiced spellcasting through Prayer, Meditation and Divination, and other techniques of spellcasting don't really function with those individuals, since most spellcasting methods are inherently arcane in nature, and the act of summoning Deistic or Spiritual Spells is dependent on benefactors rather than the forced manipulation of energies by the individual.


SPELLSPEECH
In some circles Spellspeech is called Words of Power, and in others it can also be found to be known as Arcane Tongue. Spellspeech is basically a collection of words that, when spoken, stimulate the mind to the point where a spell is easier to cast. There are several variations of Spellspeech words throughout the world, invented and devised by many mage-centric cultures. The most common words are made through a combination of ancient elven words and old Iltamite; created by modern mages of the Old Imperium's First Sanctum, then later altered by the Convocation of Mages. Modern Spellspeech is now adopted by many other Mage Orders throughout the world.

Spellspeech is mainly used in relation to already established spells, since the reproduction of spells between different individuals is made much easier if there is a baseline to imitate for accuracy. Correct pronunciations of words are important, and mages practicing Spellspeech are disciplined harshly to ensure that the proper sounds are made when Spellspeaking.


SPELLCHANTING
Similar to Spellspeech, Spellchanting, or simply just Chanting, is the chaining of Spellspeech words to cast more powerful spells, or to relieve the pressure of spells that require more than one or two words. Chanting takes longer and is more dependent on correct pronunciation of words, but it is also very flexible. Other than mages; spellbards, harpers, spellsingers and similar use altered versions of Spellspeech to create magical songs in the form of song notes or by implementing them in lyrics. The words are shortened and less powerful, but the act of Spellsinging often allows for longer-lasting effects that even those untrained or unattuned in magic can use.


SPELLWEAVING
Spellweaving is the art of seeing the magical strings and threads, and rearranging them into desired forms and effects; drawing symbols in the air or altering the life-threads within a person. It was a technique first used by the ancient Arachnyr, but was later taught to more common mortals in Aesudarh and Northcrown, and later discovered by Weavers in Ashanor. Spellweaving is uniquely only viable to some individuals as not every mage is capable of detecting the magical strings, although it can be mentally unlocked and taught with extensive physical and mental training.

A different and related form of Spellweaving, known as Palmwriting, is found in Ashanor's Eternal Cities, and it is frequently used by monks. It is largely based on Sigilism, but instead of writing on a surface, Palmwriting creates symbols from magical dust in the air, much like common Spellweaving, with the exception being that Palmwriting uses no assisting implements such as scepters or staves, and instead draws power from the inner body's soul and spirit to create concentrated energy, which is referred to as Chi.

Palmwriting is believed to have stemmed from ancient elves when they lived on Eldareth, but is now used almost exclusively by monk orders found in the Eternal Cities. Some smaller elven circles still practice the old arts.


SIGILISM
Not to be confused with Spellspeech, Sigilism is the act of imprinting magically powerful symbols on surfaces. It acts similarly to Spellweaving by rearranging energies into a symbol's shape to create various effects, and is often used in rituals or to create magical scrolls and items. The drawn symbols must be precise to properly arrange and transfer the energies, otherwise the energies will escape the confinements of the symbols. Ancient elves popularized Sigilism while they still ruled Eldareth, although it is believed that the art was first used by the tengan, and shortly after by the Scaleshaped races. 

Today there are many different types of symbols used by a large variety of spellcasters and cultures, and come in shapes of runes, glyphs and other similar imagery. What material is used to draw the symbols is also important to consider, as magically infused ink or even blood can have empowered effects.


THOUGHTCASTING
The most common of spellcasting techniques. Everyone learned or gifted in the arts of magic learn first to control it through their own mental strength and body. Spells are unleashed quicker and mana is drained more slowly, but in exchange spells tend to be limited to lower tier types, although combinations with other spellcasting techniques can allow for higher tier spells. Thoughtcasting heavily relies on a person's own mental power and mental control, but it's generally the easiest form of spellcasting, once one has gotten over the first hurdle of learning it. Thoughtcasting is the complete enforcing of one's will and willpower to bend energies from within and around the caster to obey.


SPELLBINDING
Spellbinding is an act similar to Manipulation that draws energy directly from a source, except instead the source is generally a living being. In its essence, Spellbinding is the siphoning of energy from a living source to preserve and expand one's own energies. This is a form of spellcasting that is very common in Ryumar, where mages trap elementals and djinn in magical containers to draw energy from them, and use them as a conductor to cast spells.

In other examples one can look to contracts, which is when warlocks or the like use Spellbinding to lock eldritch or demonic beings into the caster's servitude to be used as sources, or to employ the creature's own magic at the caster's command. The risks involved in Spellbinding are dangerous, since it relies heavily on dominant mental control over the creatures the caster enslaves.

Contracts hold powerful bindings but must be very specific and thorough, or else the bound being might find a loop-hole to escape its entrapment.


SPELLMERGING
In many cases various spells can be combined or linked in a chain as they are cast, called Spellmerging. The benefits are faster casting speeds between spells, and some preservation of mana reserves. There is supposedly no limit to how many spells can be combined, but each addition tends to cause further strain and requires more control. Depending on the spells used, time between casts can also become longer than if they had just been individually cast, and the cost of fatigue and mana will eventually reach a point where benefits are no longer applicable.

Spellmerging is generally reserved for those who are extremely experienced, and in many cases the draining acts of Spellmerging is relieved through Rituals and done between several spellcasters rather than just an individual one. But any mistakes, even slight ones, can lead to very unfavourable results.


MANIPULATION
A very common form of spellcasting. By manipulating already existing energies, like a source of fire or a body of water, a spellcaster can preserve some of his or her own energy and rely almost entirely on the source. The source can be manipulated, directed and expanded to the caster's will, but the act of manipulation is often very unstable and difficult to control. It is important to possess proper concentration and patience, since independent energies are often very unwilling to be controlled externally. Manipulation is very common among druids, shamans and elementalists.


RITUALS
Rituals involve the preparation of spells through ingredients and ceremony. They are generally done in places of power where energies are strong, but it's not a requirement, depending on the particular ritual. When performing rituals, the process and steps must be undertaken in a correct order and with as little fault as possible. In return for a successful ritual, the intended spells and magical effects are typically immensely more powerful than from more common means. But rituals take far more time and require more concentration and effort, and failed rituals can sometimes backfire with negative results. Spellbinding, Sigilism and Spellchanting are often used in combination with rituals, since different rituals have varying conditions. In most cases rituals relate to religion.

Rituals are similar to spells in that they are memorized and undergo a predetermined process, but are differentiated in their requirement of typically magical ingredients. In some rituals blood and sacrifice is used, whilst in others various components and reagents are needed, and sometimes substitute ingredients are allowed. It all depends on the ritual and the amount of power one seeks to summon from it.


MEDITATION
Meditation is more like a process and state, where an individual finds a way to access the energy of their body, their mind, and their surroundings through achieving some form of inner peace. Mages use Meditation to replenish their mana by projecting their mind to the Veil or Weave, and priests might Meditate to strengthen their bond to their deity. Shamans and similar types use Meditation to calm their own energies and call out to the spirits around them; creating a communion from which they can reach out to to assist them in empowering their spells.

Meditation is often used in relation to Rituals, as it is effectively a kind of personal ritual to an individual's personal body.


PRAYER
Prayer is not so much an act of spellcasting as it is a plea or request from another being, typically a deistic being. It is commonly a technique used by priests and druids, who communicate with their deistic patrons, spirits or other similar entities and ask for power. They draw the energy they need directly from deities to perform magical feats. Only those deemed worthy of acquiring this power obtain it; usually by having shown dedication in their servitude.

Unlike most forms of spellcasting, prayer can be achieved by almost anyone, so long as they serve their dedicated patrons well; typically proven through Deistic Awakening. It is entirely in the control and whim of the benefactor, and can't be summoned from the caster directly. Depending on the request, a spell cast through prayer can occur instantly or take some time to prepare. The act of reaching out to a benefactor will also drain a person's mana, but in most cases the granting entity will provide the needed substitution of mana or work around it entirely.

Prayers also don't need to be vocally spoken as the caster and benefactor commune on an inner, mental level.


DIVINATION
Similar to prayer in that it typically makes use of a benefactor's power, Divination is performed without the need to request the power, and instead maintains a constant connection to the benefactor, which allows the caster to wield power more freely. Divination is then more dependent on the wielder's own efforts while borrowing the needed energies from his or her sources. Divination is like prayer mostly used by priests, shamans and druids and doesn't require a user to possess magical affinity. All that matters is the dedication to one's worship to reach a point when a deity or similar willingly grants the power and energy to perform godlike feats of magic.

Like with prayer mana is used to cast spells through Divination, but it's relied upon more in comparison, since the individual will be using his or her own mind and body more. Most who wield spells through Divination will have been given a Deistic or Spiritual Awakening by their benefactor or similar entity.


SCROLLS/POTIONS/ITEMS
Magically infused objects can be used to cast spells. Magical scrolls are the most common, as they are often created with a spell imprinted on them. Some potions can also be created through alchemy to allow for temporary magical mastery, which then either grants specific effects to one's mind or body, or makes an individual more attuned to manipulating energies for magic. Artificers can also enchant items, such as jewelry, armour or weapons, with specific spells that can be cast through mental activation. 

The limit is then that these objects degrade when used, only hold one or two spells and uses, and are costly to make. However, such items also make it possible for almost anyone to cast spells, as the energy and mana needed to cast those spells are already imprinted into the items. But one would have to learn how to activate the spells first. In the case of scrolls, instructions are written but more complicated spells would require scholarly knowledge in activating the spells; such as the pronunciations of Spellspeech, or the mental training.