The Heroes of Tolmurr
Speck and Harras Guide to Life the Universe and Everything
Speck and Harra’s Guide to Life, the Universe, and Everything:
Mandatory reading for first grade students under Micinia School curriculum
Chapter 1: Magic and How it Works
Let us start by saying that magic is an unfathomably complicated subject. Even the most powerful Arch-magi does not know everything there is to know about magic. Everything stated in this chapter is a version of college-level magical theory that we have simplified for first grade consumption. If you can grasp these few basic concepts then you will be well on your way to comprehending advanced magical theory.
There are many of terms used to describe magic, so let’s start with definitions.
Magic: A catch-all term for any manipulation of Vis that causes a noticeable effect. A man turning into a bear, a dragon breathing fire, and even a monk paralysing someone by manipulating their “Chi” are all considered magic.
Vis: The magical aspects that make up everything in existence. Trees, dirt, air, swords, boats, birds, dogs, cats, bats, dragons, humans, avians, gods, kings, even you and I: all are made up of dormant Vis.
Aspects: The different Elements that Vis comes in. The 6 most basic (Primal) examples are:
Aer: The Aspect of Air. Found in feathers, reeds, birds, and leaves.
Aqua: The Aspect of Water. Found in water, aquatic plants, fish, and boats.
Ignis: The Aspect of Fire. Found in fire, coal, charcoal, lanterns, and hearths.
Terran: The Aspect of Earth. Found in stone, dirt, and sand.
Ordo: The Aspect of Order. Found in smelted metals, tools, and machinery.
Perditio: The Aspect of Entropy or Chaos. Found in rust, and cracked or aged objects.
Thaumancy: The practical study and application of magic. One who creates magic items is known as a Thumancer.
Essencia: The Vis in its pure, liquid form.
Vis Crystals: Essencia in a solid state. Grows from Dragons.
Chi: Another name for the Vis found within one’s own body. Through years of meditation it is possible to manipulate this Vis – and the Vis in other people’s bodies – to perform grand feats without the aid of a Vis Crystal foci.
Stable Vis: Vis in its natural, stable state.
Unstable Vis: Essencia, Vis Crystals, and Vis being manipulated by magic.
With these basic terms under your belt, magic starts to appear far more simple.
One of the most important things to understand about magic is that magic is magic is magic. A cleric’s healing is magic; when a Monk manipulates chi, it’s magic; a wizard’s staff is just as magic as the divine miracles of Sol; these all come from the manipulation of Vis, the same manipulation of Vis.
But if they are all the same magic, then why are they so different?
This comes from two concepts: Stable Vis, and Unstable Vis.
Vis by default is extremely stable. Neither the Aer in a feather, nor the Terran in a rock, nor the Humanus that makes up your own body naturally give off any magical effect without manipulation from an outside source; this is what is called Stable Vis.
Vis, Crystals and Essencia are Unstable Vis, Aspects melted down to their purest form so that they may be manipulated for spell components.
It is impossible for an average person to manipulate Stable Vis, so it is impossible for the average person to do magic. This is where Unstable Vis comes in. Foci crafted from Vis Crystals allow a person to manipulate the Vis around them, which in turn allows them to do magic.
Divine casters are special. They don’t need Unstable Vis to manipulate the world around them; they have the ability to manipulate Vis in its stable form, cutting out the middleman and allowing them to do magic without a Vis Crystal Foci. Instead of using Unstable Vis to cast their spells, they themselves can manipulate the Stable Vis in the world around them to fulfil the needs to cast spells.
In summary, all magic users can be placed into one of these two categories:
Arcane casters require Vis Crystal Foci. These include sorcerers, wizards, standard rangers, and bards.
Divine casters do not need Vis Crystal Foci; they can manipulate Stable Vis to cast their spells. These include druids, clerics, paladins, monks, warlocks, and new-styled rangers.
This concludes the basic summary of how magic works. Remember, if you think you are showing the ability of a divine caster, inform your teacher immediately. Untrained divine casters can become very dangerous to themselves and those around them.
Other Pages on Magic
Chapter 2 (TBA)