Return To Chaos

The Origins of Magic

What knowledge of magic we have conforms not to the rules of science, but to the arcane skills and unordered ways of art. Be therefore warned that the path to knowledge is not an easy road.

A use of magic is gained through the control of Mana, a mystical energy, the source of all magical power. A spell is a visualisation and recitation that focuses the mind on a specific task channelling Mana to perform the desired action. A spell is therefore made of runes that have both a form and a name; each rune must be recited in the proper order to produce the intended effect. Magic, however, is not commanded easily and even with sufficient Mana a spell may fizzle if the spell caster lacks the experience to cast it. To gain experience the caster should first master the simpler spells before attempting those more difficult.

The runes of magic are divided into the four known influences of power, element, form and alignment. Each influence is controlled by six runes representing the six basic orders of all things; four for the material plane, two for the ethereal realm. Be warned that these runes are not easily remembered and it is for this reason that your spell book is the most important item you own. As you learn the nature of new runes from others ensure that you inscribe the knowlege imparted into your book so that you may call upon it when you need it the most.

As with any precious resource Mana will not last forever. Each rune recited draws from and depletes the store of Mana carried in your body. The amount of Mana required depends on the runes that make up the spell. In time your body restores Mana expended in casting a spell. As you gain experience your body will learn to store more and more Mana. With patience and practice, a skilled user can command enough power to attempt the most powerful spells.

All spells commence with the invokation of power. The influence of power determines the strength of the spell. Choosing a higher power rune increases the power of the final spell, but also increases the amount of Mana required to invoke further runes.

After power, the influence of element is called upon to give substance to the spell. Element determines the fundamental effect of the spell. Many useful spells require only power and element. For example a beginners magic torch spell consists of the lowest power rune followed by the rune of elemental fire. As the caster gains experience with this spell, they may attempt it with higher power runes which will give greater and more steady illumination.

Adding the influence of form to a spell channels the spell into a specific direction. The invocation of the energetic form for example imparts explosive force into the selected element. Form is not required for all spells, but its influence greatly increases the versatility of a spell.

The final influence, that of alignment, connects nature with the world of man; his professions and his concepts of good and evil. Thus these influences are less predictable and require a great deal of Mana to control. The novice would be well advised to leave this influence to the master and the master well advised to avoid this influence whenever possible.

As with all skills, only practice will guide the practitioner to higher levels of proficiency. Only caution will spare them from foolish mistakes.


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