For the simple folk, magic is an exotic, exclusive force, only applicable in large chunks to massive effects. Either something is magical, or it is not. And if it’s magical, well then it glows! (laughter from the audience)
But we all know, that there are more options. The study of semi-magical items has changed the world as we know it, perhaps more than all of our spells together. They bind the forces of magic for productive purposes, make it predictable and usable for the common folk. They empower us. They save us time.
It is a combination of engineering and magical research, and these two sciences now come together on this sacred place, that will advance our knowledge even further. Ladies and gentlemen, please enter the new Institute For Semi-Magical Research!
(University of Magical Sciences, 70 years before the Great Catastrophe)
Additional Ideas (2)
The important thing to know about The Road is, that it has sides. If you follow it on the right side in the right direction, you will travel a little faster; if you choose the wrong side, you will be slowed down. Magical support will make route much more pleasant and smooth. A road well travelled will change over time, bumps will be trampled into the ground, and intervening vegetation will wither away.
The road changes even more, when there are many travellers at once. Their magics and will to travel make it into something more, almost a collective conscience. It becomes a stream, that wants to push on, and avoids obstacles and dangers by mere instinct.
The construction requires direction markers, in its simplest form pairs of wooden beams, laid into an angle to resemble arrows, the sharper, the more intense the effect, blunt shapes are dampening, as is going against their direction. A basic ingredient are the bones of migratory animals. Some include the seeds of plants, that pass large distances, for a lesser effect. Bones of migratory fish are reported to work as well.
The spiral is used for many purposes. It reacts on streams and movements of magic, and exerts a certain resistance as this force consumed in the infinite loop. Of course, no model will be truly infinite, so only a small part can be captured. The useful part is exactly the resistance - if the item carrying the Spiral allows it, it can move in response to surrounding magic.
- various triggers and traps running on the presence of magic
- primitive machines running on magic, using circular motion, ranging from prayer wheels, through mixers and other kitchen appliances, up to large millls - all depends on the power source
- simple detectors of magic
CodexHiberian String ( Items ) Materials - Non-Magical
Not eternal, but useful still: the string or rope that will last for a while.
The Shadow of Iron Hills ( Items ) Transports - Non-Magical
Tales are leaking from below the Iron Hills, that an unnamed winged terror can be seen on the sky on the darkest of nights. What creature it is, nobody knows, but some of the disappearances in the harsh place are said to be its work. If the moon is hidden, nightly travellers are warned to stay from roads and open places.
Wings of Archimos ( Items ) Transports - Non-Magical
The most guarded secret of the Ancients, was the secret of flight.