In Halax, magic has no pre-defined spell list. Spells are created through research and imagination of those who wish to learn. Sure, there are some spells that have become common knowledge, but even fledgling magi yearn to manipulate the flow for their own purpose.
If you were to break it down to nuts and bolts, magic is nothing more than the manipulation of an unseen essence. Magi learn to exert their will upon this essence, forcing it to perform desired results. The skill of the magus is what defines the success and failure of such experiments.
(Spells are created using a free-form system, leaving some room for abuse and game masters should keep a close eye on this)
Magical Theory and Practice
Magic is an inherent part of reality, interwoven with the very fabric of existence. The ebbs and flows of magic are sublime, and such tides cannot be directly affected by living beings. Rather, they are the result of different currents of magic, and their interactions with the world. When those currents crash together, they throw off an energy called Astra, much like waves crashing over rocks spray foam and spume. There are those who have found ways to interact with Astra, and such individuals go by many names. All can be classified as magicians or magi. These magi have been able to harness Astra, to channel and manipulate it for their own purposes.
While each magi could have their own agenda when channeling Astra, the extent to which they can manipulate is governed by the discipline they study. The most common disciplines are linked to the 4 elements; Fire, Water, Earth, and Air. There are those who have discovered more in-depth means to manipulate Astra, but acceptance in those leagues is highly sought and difficult to earn.
There are creatures that seem to be sculpted by Astra itself. Its very flow seems to bring life to these beings and bestows unique powers. While some have been identified as Imps, Faeries, Seylunes, and Grindors, it is believed that others exist, but they have yet to be encountered.
The manipulation of Astra makes the magi susceptible to a phenomenon known as feedback. Forcing Astra to do your will turns the body of the magi into a conduit, the Astra directly interacting with the magus life force. Much like overfilling a funnel, drawing on Astra runs the risk of interrupting the flow, sending the magi into a catatonic state. During this state, the magus is unable to cast spells, but remains conscious. The duration of rest is directly related to the amount of Astra manipulated.
Average spells are constructed by bringing together various elements needed to create the desired effect, known as Cendi. Spells with multiple effects will require the use of multiple Cendi of similar nature or even multiple of the same Cendi.
- Feedback Value: The degree of difficulty in overcoming the chance of succumbing to feedback, determined by the sum of all Cendi used in the creation of the spell.
- Element: All spells derive from an elemental focus. Basic spells use Fire, Water, Earth and Air. Some magi choose to specialize in one or two elements, increasing potency of their spells, but increasing the difficulty to overcome feedback when casting from the other elements. More advanced elements are Divinity, Nether, Arcanum, Blood, and Time.
- Cendi: These exist in varying degrees of power and are the backbone of spell creation. Access to these must be earned through experience and research*.
- Binding: Within each element there are varying aspects that must be mastered to cast and create spells. Access to these must be earned through experience and research*.
- * Experience and research is defined as character creation and the leveling process, but worded as such so that if those mechanics differ greatly in a game, this magic system can adapt more easily.
- Potency: The value placed on the overall power of the spell, generally defined as the highest Cendi value.