Magic and the Arcane
Alathra holds host to a wide range of magic and mystical creatures. Some are givers of life and others bring rot and destruction.
Types of magic
Several types of arts exist and have been displayed in use.
Basic construct of magic
Magic is split up into four energies. These are:
- Flux - life energy that exists all around the world. Levels of flux can determine how much life exists in a place. Too little can cause a place to become barren but too much can damage the area. It is split into five sub parts.
- Arcane - Pure energy that can affect other energies and subsequently shape them. Is often also referred to as mana.
- Taint - Energies foreign to a world. Often come from other worlds and dimensions. Too much can cause chaos.
- Daemonic - Energies from the Other or similar places.
Flux is split into five parts. These parts are often referred to as Elements. Everything has some aspect to them that causes it to be related to an element. This also applies to people. The Elements can also relate to certain concepts. These elements are:
- Fire - Often associated with destruction, fire is one people often avoid. However it can also represent safety and rebirth.
- Water - Often seen as representing change as well as death. It's often said that a river is what separates the living world and the afterlife and the water from that river comes from a cosmic tree.
- Earth - Earth is seen as representing creation and life. It is neither chaotic nor has order but can withstand the test of time and crumble to the architect's tools.
- Air - like water it can represent change however it can be a more destructive, however it can give life to the world. Because of this people see it as something that ties the elements together.
- Spirit - spirit is the most free of the Elements. Nothing physical truly contains it yet one can be surrounded by it. It is often associated with the mind and can heal it or control it.
People are attuned to certain elements. While this doesn't affect the person's personality it determines which element one can wield and manipulate. The Attunement of a person is random but can never change. A person also has another type of attunement that is based on the species of that person. This represents the 'nature' of the species. For example, terrestrial creatures are attuned to earth while aquatic are attuned to water. This type of attunement is called the lesser attunement while the other is the greater.
The lesser attunement can often aid the greater attunement making that person stronger than another. The way this system works can be complicated. The lesser attunement, e.g. Air, aids the greater attunement, e.g. Water. However this works only one way, e.g. Air aids water but water doesn't aid Air. A similar system works with which element is stronger or weaker to another element, e.g. Air is weak to earth but strong against spirit.
Determining the attunement of a person is difficult and is best done with a ritual of revealing on one's self. The only acceptance is when a person is attuned to spirit, be it lesser or greater. This is due to a 'trait' that can occur in these people, however it doesn't occur in everyone attuned to spirit. This 'trait' is the ability to see into the Other, also known as mediumship.
Nexus points refer to places with extremely high levels of Arcane powers. This can often cause strange effects to happen in the area but nothing can also happen. Mages and sorcerers try to base themselves close to one of these however they are extremely rare. Only one is known to exist in Alathra and it is underneath Redwood.
Alchemy is the art of changing a substance into a preexisting or theoretical substance. It primarily uses flux to shape materials but a input of a secondary power is needed. The most commonly used is heat. Alchemy is often used to make potions and treatments in Alathra but some have used it to make other materials, but be it rarely.
Thurgy is the ability to change mundane materials into something Arcane. It primarily uses Flux but also uses Arcane powers alongside it. Because of this it is easier to create complex materials and mechanisms. However, with the aid of Other entities one can surpass what is normally possible.
Biomancy is the ability to control and change living material. It makes use of primarily earth flux though Arcane powers are used for more complex procedures. It has the ability to alter plants and animals but is often used in healing as users of this art can heal devastating and life threatening injuries. It has also shown the ability to replace lost body parts with no problems.
Necromancy is most often the communication and gathering of information from the dead. Though more experienced and practiced necromancers can raise the dead. However this side of magic is rarely used due to its representation as an evil and dark magic. Necromancy strangely uses water flux as a primary source of manipulation.
Runes are a form of controlled magic that use symbols to perform certain activities. This is most likely due to content use of the Runes over an extremely long period of time, so much so that they were given power. Runes are commonly used as remote spells or as wards that keep out some entites.
Spells and rituals
Some categories of magic fall under what are known as spells. These are designed to best suit the user and can be adapted to perform other tasks. The way these spells are performed is best done by what is preferred to the caster. Rituals on the other hand can't be changed with ease and follow a strict set of rules and requirements. Often they are activated by a catalyst such as a phrase of words or a sacrifice. It should be also known that spells are designed around an element and if the caster is attuned to that element then it will be easier for them to use. If the person has a lesser attunement that aids the greater than the spell will be stronger and easier to cast.
Goetia is the use of demons to help a person. It makes use of greater demons to perform a task. However the person can not control the demon and must ask for its help. A summoner must also know what demon to summon first as every demon does something different. Demons can be called upon via name said or written down as a sigil. One must remember to respect a demon and never demand something. No demon is stronger or weaker than another and no demon is above or below another.
Druidic magic is the manipulation of nature while not changing it. Unlike its more chaotic and rule breaking cousin Biomancy, Druidic magic can not change what there is but instead makes use of the abilities of what is around. In some cases it is thought as a request system instead of one controlling. Druidic magic is highly common around Alathra as many depend on nature to aid them. Earth flux is primarily used in this form of magic.
Blood magic is often seen as a highly forbidden type of magic. It often revolves around blood sacrifice, the giving of flesh, cannibalism, and the creation and birth of life. Blood magic is a quick and fast acting type of magic. People who use it often do so because it is cheap. However it doesn't last long and can require constant sacrifice to maintain it. Its most commonly used for a quick gain of power or for a bountiful harvest, though it has other uses.
With the aid of dark gods and spirits one can perform dark magic. Dark magic is the most dangerous type of magic as those who find themselves performing the arts are lead down a spiral path to doom and death. Due to the harm it can cause it is seen as a taboo to perform and practice it. In other words it's forbidden. The definition of what falls under dark magic can be vague but it often refers to those who gain help from dark spirits and gods who have a malicious intent. Despite it being extremely dangerous, a very small number take part in aspects of dark magic.
Golemancy is the art of creating golems. It's self-explanatory as it requires little in terms of magical knowledge to perform. The harder part of Golemancy is being able to create a free mind for the golem. This requires extensive knowledge of life but often it is not done as golems are made to perform tasks and not be free.
Metalamancy is the art of manipulating metal. This art is preferred by blacksmiths and others who work with metal. However it is extremely useful in combat though such use of it in combat is forbidden.
Also thought of as Light magic, the Divine arts is usage of magic from more benevolent gods. It uses the faith of a god to create power and to cast unique spells. However it takes extreme focus in the arts, so mastery often means complete focus on the art as dedication is key. Clerics and Paladins use this magic.
Anti-magic is the art of nullifying most arcane and mystical abilities. The more one hones and practices their skills the stronger they can use it, able to temporarily stop magic users from casting to fully stop a spell. The magic is not without its risks however as it can cause one's self to decay and become empty. This is primarily due to the fact that Anti-magic doesn't use Flux, rather to drains it. It is therefore seen as a void used elemental magic.
Eldritch Alchemy is a lost art form of magic. In fact, it isn't considered a type of magic.
Unlike actual Alchemy, which is used to reshape matter, Eldritch Alchemy is extremely different. It allows for one to warp reality itself, changing it to ones will. It also combines all forms of material manipulation, making it a master mystical art. However it is not without risks as it is often said knowing the secrets of Eldritch Alchemy can cause anyone to go insane. It's usually because of this that no documentation of the art exists, and also mainly due to the fact that any text written about it has to be done in a format near impossible to understand. It's often thought that the 'Old Gods' are people who understand Eldritch Alchemy and have therefore ascend to godhood.
"If Alchemy is the starting point of all magical knowledge it is therefore humorous that Eldritch Alchemy is the end of all mystical understanding." - Unknown mage
Often thought as a sixth element, the empty is an extremely rare occurrence where a object or person is lacking an attunement. This rare occurrence often causes the object or person to become unstable and begin to cease to exist. However, in extremely rare cases, the object or person can be stable and live with this lack of attunement. What this exactly does to a person is unknown as all who have been found with this obscurity have been killed.
Some items from the void seem to have this attunement.
The fae are magical creatures that often inhabit the Other. They are known for being extremely powerful magic users while being extremely deadly. Some creatures in Alathra count as fae creatures, most notably Elves, dwarves, gnomes, dryads, and more, though some lack in any magical ability.
Most, if not all, are weak to a material known as cold iron. This seemingly works the same way as silver does to unholy creatures.
The great curses
The great curses refer to four curses that exist.
The curse of Night
The curse of Night causes a person to become a night creature (Werewolf, vampire, ect) and causes unimaginable death. To break the curse one must willingly kill the one they love in mortal form.
The curse of the Impure
The curse of the Impure causes one to look corrupted and cause joint pain. In most cases the curse has a secondary effect that causes an aura of fear and hate towards the cursed person. To break the curse one must kill a symbol of absolute purity.
The curse of Gold
The curse of Gold causes greed to an impossible extent to occur. This causes harm and death to those around them. To break the curse one must give the greed to someone else.
The curse of Seeing
The curse of Seeing causes paranoia in the cursed person. Not only that but one can see the worst fears of people. To break the curse one must be brave in the face of death and hope they survive.
By breaking a curse one will unleash a deadly monster onto the world. What these monsters are is unknown but it's rumored that
- A black hound with burning eyes and bladed claws will walk the world when the fear is gone.
- A headless horseman will ride his wagon of the dead when the greed is gone.
- A skinless decaying horse and rider will stalk the plains when impurity is gone.
- A woodsman without form will kill wanderers when night is gone.
It's said when all four curses are broken, Apollyon is to be set free onto the world.
- Only one of each curse is able to exist.
- A curse can be split into smaller parts to weaken the effect.
- The curses can be moved only to another person.
- If a cursed person dies the next to touch the person is cursed.
- A curse can be stored in an object but the next to touch it will be cursed.
- If nothing is cursed than it can be safely stored away.
It's said that the curses originated from a battle between a ancient sorcerer and Apollyon. The sorcerer eventually imprisoned the greater demon but was cursed with all four curses. When the sorcerer eventually died the curses split into four.
Alathra is often called the overworld and is the primary space in which life exists. Most creatures are born in this world and others go to it. Alathra primarily holds Flux and Arcane energies and only one nexus point is known to exist, the crystal cave under Redwood.
The Other is a place that exists parallel to Alathra. It houses most demons, spirits and fae but can't be seen or entered by any mundane way. Only certain people can see into the Other but entering it is near impossible, unless you are dead. The Other contains Arcane, Daemonic and Spirit Flux energies.
The Kingdom of the fae/ The fairy forest
One area of the Other is not mirrored to Alathra. This area is often referred to as The Fairy forest. It's said to be the birthplace of all fae and be an overlapping part of several world and dimensions. The forest is ruled by the Queen of the Fairies, often referred to as Titania, Mab, Una, and Morgan. Her husband, referred to as Finvarra, rules alongside her.
The Nether, often called the inferno or hell, is a fiery dimension that is crawling with creatures. People often travel to the Nether due to its rich quantity of quartz, gold and a rare material known as Netherite. The dimension is also home to infernal creatures (creatures who have a lesser attunement to fire) and demons. The Nether contains Fire Flux and Arcane energies.
Also known as the void in some places, the end is a dark dimension full of floating islands. It was also home to the Ender Dragon, also known as the Obsidian Dragon. The only other residents of the dimension that are known are the Endermen, also known as Voidlings. Overall the dimension is mysterious. It contains Taint and Arcane energies.
The term void can apply to different places, such as the space under the overworld or the end. However some refer to the empty space between dimensions as the void. This space is not a dimension and is a complete lack of reality. Things can not exist in this space yet it is rumored that something does and something lives in the void.