For eons before eons, men and magi alike have debated, philosophized, studied, and theorized about this unknowable, unconquerable, undefinable, and unchanging force of reality. As Tordarian once wrote, paraphrased, 'A man's magic is a man's soul', which in the common words would mean something to the extent of 'A man's views on magic can tell much about his character.' Tordarian, in a seperate essay, also wrote 'The study of Magic is the one area, excepting history, wherein man learns more about himself than the subject he studies', a quote I believe needs none more context than it contains. Having myself spent several sections of my long and tumultous life on this topic, I hereby present to you a selection of writings, all with intent to illuminate the many-sided gem that is...MAGIC!
- Ember Martiel II, Primatist, Arcanatician, and Underscribe of the Libris Theologa Arcana
Introduction - From 'The Four Magi' - Trad. Tale
And at this they began to bicker amongst themselves, until the king took anger at them and said,'Silence, ye workers of the world! Ye have come into my hearth, and have unsettled the peace of my keep. For ye are all right; magic is the wind of the world, flowing from castle to farmhouse without any paying it heed. Magic is the earth of the world, tilled by peasants who know not what they do. Magic is the fire of the world, into whom many have thrust in their hand, and burned another. Magic is the waters of the world, holding the souls of the countless who have delved too deep and drowned in its depths. What fools are ye, to think ye hold the truth, when only by seeing all sides of the gem can one hold it in one's hand.'
Excerpt from 'Magic Is' - Trad. Mage Script
Magic is! The essence of the divine, the eye of gods, the blood of the Giver. Magic is! The fount of creation, the breath of life, the spark of thought. Magic is! The pusher of time, the turner of the heavens, the caller of souls. Magic is! The skeleton of the world. The fire in its marrow.
Excerpt from 'Divine Octomancy, Chapter 2 - Arctor's Divine Paradox' - Hidelius Arctor
Magic is a many-bladed sword, and yet it turns in our hands to cut the wielder as often as it strikes true. This is due mostly in part to the phenomenon of 'Arctor's Divine Paradox', which states that 'Magic is the only tool we weild with precise skill, and yet have never seen.' It is a divine paradox, to be sure. Magi cast spells divided into schools of magic, spells that presumably draw upon different areas of magical power to reach their goals. These spells are created, written, learned, and cast by any with enough power to wield them, and each have their own specific feel, appearance, and effect. One may light a torch with a snap of the fingers, or burn a smoking rune into a cold stone, utilizing the same energy for both, yet to completely different ends. And yet, after over hex millenia of working the forces of the world, we have no understanding of how magic works, or even what it is. A farmer does not say to his lord, 'I know not by what means my lands are dug, or how my seeds fall into the furrows, but I do know that by doing what I do, my crops rise each year, full and proud.' A merchant does not say to his customer, 'I know not by what means the goods fill my hull, nor how my ship finds this port, but I do know that by doing what I do, my pockets fill with your gold.' And yet a mage says to any who ask, 'I know not by what means I work the forces of the world, nor even what such forces appear as, but I do know that by doing what I do, I may summon a globe of light, or cast fire into a bale of hay.' We know nothing about magic, yet we wield it like any tool we may forge. Arctor's Divine Paradox is no answer, yet in the following chapters, we will see that...
Excerpt from 'The Magocrats vs. the Matocrats' - The Torwyn Register Archives
A recent theological dispute in the nature of magic in our world has come to a climax, with the leaders of two theological views, Magopremecy and Matopremecy, agreeing to hold a debate in the Plutemetus Ampitheater at Insailles, in which both sides shall present their arguments to the public eye, as well as attempt to influence the minds of attending scholars and magisters.
The magocrats aim to enlighten others in the idea of a Magocosm, a world in which all things physical are but shadows of their magical forms. In such a model, the Magocor, e.g., the divine world, the pure world, the origin world, is a world comprised purely of magic - life, energy, thought, and time. Then, like light cast upon a scroll by a fire, we become the light on the scroll - light, yes, but not its origin. A material chair, for instance, is only a physical manifestation of its magical counterpart, which resides in the Magocor. While it would be impossible to imagine where the magocor resides, some have theorized that it sits directly in and around us, in the exact same area and size as our physical world, yet on another plane of reality, accessable only by those things comprised entirely of magic, e.g. the divine, and human souls*. A relatively recent theory, the Magocosm still has many undeveloped areas, yet the Magocrats seem fairly confident in the possibility that such a reality may be, in fact, our reality.
*(The idea that the Gods, and our souls, are made up of pure magic, is sadly only another theory, yet a widely accepted one.)
The matocrats, on the other hand, are more of a name that has only recently been given to an idea that has been around for millenia, than a newfound theory. The matocrats are believers in the Matocosm, the idea that the physical world is in fact very real, and that magic simply flows through and into it. In the Matocosm, magic, being dealt with as a still unquantifiable idea, imbues every object, and gives it life and existance. The matocrat's chair, for instance, would be an actual object within the world, through which magic runs (To refresh the minds of those who have forgotten, and enlighten the minds of those who have never known, within the Matocosm, magic is everywhere, and to cast spells, one must draw upon the magic in one's physical surroundings - items such as plants and gems will have high amounts of magic within them, while items such as chairs would have much less). This idea is backed up by the documented existence of mancopolic pulsations, as well as the ancient writings of the scribe and theologan Sevelius Tordarian. Also, in the Matocosm, the divine and the mundane live in the same planes of reality, only very far apart, with the divine residing in the far reaches of Celestia, the heavens and night world.
Given the magocrats' ideals on a seperate plane of existance for the divine, it should be interesting to see how such a theory will affect the religious orders of the land, and which theory will eventually attain the both literal and metaphorical blessing of the houses.
In other news, a recent development in Upper Plutor has...
'Essay 2 - Unexplained Occurances of the Magical Variety' - Velod & Theod Lilan
Several times in the history of the magical world, various odd and unexplainable occurances have been linked to magic, although many times simply because all other mundane explanations have failed. The following is a short list of two select abberations that have been documented extensively by both scholars and laymen alike.
1 - The Living Spell
During our travels, we have met several wizards who have claimed to have spells of theirs take on a life of their own after casting, often disobeying the rules of the spell, taking on altered forms, and moving at will. A prime example can be found in the account of Ember Martiel II, a young apprentice to the Wizard Hidelius Arctor. In our meeting with him, he described casting a weak practice fire spell, to cast a bolt of fire at a nearby target. However, almost instantly after the fire formed and left his palm, it '...took on a form much like a winged heron, and rather than traveling straight as bidden, it curved off to the left and flew wildly around the chamber, as a moth seeking light, until finally attempting to burrow into the cracks in the stone, at which point Magister Arctor doused it with water.' Tales even exist of human-like spell abberations dwelling in remote areas, feeding on streams of magical power. While such wild reports are to doubtless be met with skepticism, the idea of living spells is highly plausible, as it would support the ideal that magic is the essence of creation. We can then assume that the magician casting said spell would have unknowingly (and seemingly impossibly) injected thought into the spell's energy, taking on, for a few seconds, the role of a God, and creating life, of a rare and unusual form. Such occurances are the making of legend, and bring to mind such stories as those of Opyrus, the Shadow-That-Kills, a beast of malice and magic created in the clash of gods, yet as of now, we truly have no reason to disbelieve them.
2 - Mancopolic Pulsations
Several strange events in history, both ancient and recent, have led to the theory that, as magic flows through the world, it sometimes intersects with the physical and the mundane, and, as a stream that runs against a dam, builds in pressure until it breaks through. This 'breaking through' manifests itself as a wide pulse of magical energy, whose effects are determined by the type of energy contained within the flow of magic. Many times the pulse goes by unnoticed, save for a few spells going widely awry, or coming out amplified and intensified. However, there have been documents detailing exact circles of wasteland exploding into life after a pulse of growth energy, or, strangely more prolific, the denizens of entire graveyards or catacombs becoming infused with unlife by waves of necrotic energy. Sometimes the results are much more subtle as well, such as dry wells refilling by sparks of water energy, or a strain of allergy cropping up after small pockets of corruption energy burst. While such occurances are certainly more difficult to pin on this theory, this widespread evidence has made it a widely accepted hypothesis, one that backs up the theory that magic infuses much of our physical world.
Excerpt from 'The Philosophy of Divisitocracy in Magovirpotent Reality' - Kahle Kalem Harambaad (second edtion translated from high Kieran into the commmon tongues)
In modern mancy, magi are taught of the existence of the three major schools of magic, the Elemental Magics, the Augmentational and Transmutational Magics, and the Kinetic Magics, as well as the ephemeral fourth school, the Transcendental Magics. Each school is also divided in two, having negative and positive aspects. Within the school of Elemental Magics are spells dealing with the natural elemental energies of Heat and Fire, Cold, Water, Wind, and Earth, as well as combinations of those such as Ice, Acid, Weather, and Electricity, as well Light and Shadow. The elemental school's spells are not affected whether one is working with negative or positive magics, although a mancer working with negative energy cannot summon light, the following of which is oppositely true for a mancer of positivity. The Augmentational Magics, on the other hand, have spells that vary much more widely when made positive or negative. The Augmentational and Transmutational Magics contain spells (listed with their counterparts near each other) involving Healing and Necromancy, Growth and Corruption, Transformation and Mutation, Illusion and Mindbending, and the ninth field, the mysterious school of Animation, the art of imbibing inanimate objects with magical life and conscience. The Kinetic Magics are, like the Elemental, unaffected by positivity or negativity, and deal with the manipulation of invisible kinetic forces to move or harm objects. Lastly, the field of Transcendental Magics involves all magics that involve the working of unclassified and mysterious otherwise ungrouped forces, and include the arts of Enchanting, Scrying, Soul-Calling, and Teleportation. Magi learn to focus on one school, be it elemental, augmentational, or kinetic, and become proficient in specific arts, as too broad a range of magical casting can weaken and overextend one's ability.
While the theory that magic has both negative and positive forms, otherwise known as Dualistic Weave theory, is largely undisputed, the idea that magic itself is divided into distinct energies has been argued for ages. While Divisitocracy, or Seperatism, the tradition of dividing magic (and thus conquering it) has been around for over a millenia such, there have always have been those who have shunned it. Such people, followers of the Omniperian movement, argue that magic is a whole, a single entity, a field of wheat in which we are simply picking out grains closest to our hand. Tales do tell of the days of old, before the tempest, when magi wielded power that rivaled the Gods', and cast spells of fire and healing from the same hand. And yet magic has been draining from this world for eons, just as the bloodlines of magi have waned. Some say that today's workers of the weave are naught but shadows of their father's fathers. So, in truth, this theory has much relevancy, for one can see that as the power of magi wanes, they begin to lose grasp on magic, having to focus on small areas in order to succeed. And there is also the existence of Fey magics, a strange side of this entity that men have yet never grasped. Fey magic, Fire magic; after study, I have become an Omniperian. Yet, is there any hope in this modern age for anything but malism for the future?
Excerpt from 'Men and Gods - and Magi' - Ember Martiel II
It is commonly accepted that all men have magic within them, magi have gods within them, and gods are made of magic. So where within is found the difference?
I shall begin with the Divine, as they stand first, before men and mundosi. The divine are the children of the Giver, the creator of this world. The Giver is magic - this fact is undisputed. Thus from him are his children born, and they are made in his image, thus they are made of magic, for his children, the Divine, shaped this world, and set upon this world its life. Thus, the Divine are magical energy given thought and consciousness, and the ability to create.
From the Divine sprang the magical races, races of both magic and flesh, the Dragon Lords (the Daragim), the Leviathans (the Merlian), and the Seir, beings who appeared as men yet had within them magic. The magical races could work the forces of the world, shooting fire, raising storms, and growing trees and plants. Yet their power was their folley, and their time was short, and soon after their decline, the Divine set upon the world a final race, a race made in the image of the Seir, yet unable to work the forces of the world - and wreak its destruction. This race was the race of men, the heirs of the mundane world. Yet although they could not work the weave of the world, men were still born of magic, and thus within each man is a consciousness, a soul - a part of him that holds his beings and identity. When men's mortal bodies fade, the soul flees, and man becomes magic, and leaves the mundane world, coming to rest with his Gods in their hells and paradisiums.
In between the two, between Men and Gods, stand Magi. Magi are men, men who, in the dawn of their race, bred with the Seir, bearing offspring that were neither magical nor mundane. They held the hearts and souls of men, yet had the ability to work the energies of the world. Magi are all that are left of the race of Seir, and their power has long since waned, as over the ages and generations, the mageblood soon spreads thin. Yet they still walk upon the earth, touching forces men cannot feel, and working energies men cannot see. Arrogant, they are, but would you not be as well, if you claimed a God in your lineage?
Excerpt from 'A Philosophy of Magus (2nd Ed.)' - Sevelius Tordarian
In precoming years, magus has been worked, weaved, yet never understanden. Magim oft wield a forke whose tines they cannot see; thus are men sunder'd. It is hereby set upon all those who reade this, that forthcoming texts attempt to make senses from, and classificate magus, in that we as men and magim may better understande and work its forces.
Some as welle as I, believe Gods are of magus. Many also, as welle as I, believe that magus runs through mundi, mundus, Aryth, our world. Thus, the theorem is devised, one, being that Gods are of magus, and two, that magus is an engergie that flows throughin mundus, yet is not mundus. Secondly, some as welle as I believe that magim wield the poweres of the gods, the poweres of creation, and the poweres to work the energies and forces of magus. Thus, the second theorem is devised, one, being that magus is the essences of creation, and two, that magim worke the energies of magus by channelling the magus that runs through mundus.
So thus is magus appeared as as the heart of mundi, the known world, being in which mundus is the flesh and muscle, and being in which magus is the blood coursing throughin the veins. Thus do magim channel its blood, as they are able to work the energies as Gods. Magus is the givere of life and lifes, and it is magus that turnes the cogs of time and light. Our worlde is infused with the magus, and with it coexists the mundane, the mundus, as a balance to a counterbalance, and a shelle to holde our mundinite forms. Thus the final unificated theorem states that Magus is an energie of the world, it flows throughin mundus, and it is a thing of the Gods, and the half-gods, the magim.
Excerpt from 'Libris Theologa Arcana' - Ember Martiel II
Magic is many things to many men, yet I now believe it can be defined, in a sense, by the following sentances. I will call it 'Martiel's Theory of Primitive Unimagus', and it reads as follows -
'Magic is the essence of the world, comprising thought, time, and natural energy. It flows through all that is mundane, and builds all that is divine.'
...and is entirely, incomprehensibly...unexplainable!
The Book of Ordered Aeons, 1:1 - 1:5
1 There was nothing. The nothing was all that ever was, and ever would be, and it was all of these all at once, and never at all. And it was all places and no places, and all of this was without form, without meaning, and without order. So it was.
2 And we came upon this nothing, and it displeased us. And so We filled this nothing, with Order, and with Place, and with Things, and with Light, and with Darkness. And We gave to all of these Form and Purpose. And by these Acts We came to Be, and by Our coming of Being, these things were done.
3 And of the Form, and Place, and Things, and Purpose, so We were woven, even as these same things came forth from Us. And so All the starry skies and earth below them are a part of Our Being, e'en the things which speak and the things which walk and the things which fly, and so on. Through Us, the Gods, All Things are interwoven.
4 And of this interweaving, Of the very Form and Substance which Forms Us, comes that which those things which speak have named Magic. The interweaving may bend to the will of those things which speak, so long as it does not oppose Our Will. And through the bending of that interweaving may many a thing be changed, or re-ordered, or placed, or created, or even returned to the nothing. This is the thing named Magic.
5 And through Magic all things which can be may be. That which cannot be accomplished through Magic, may not be accomplished, because We have Forbidden it. Seek not the Forbidden things, those which speak, for naming them shall be your doom.
Excerpt form 'Entropic Sorcerers: How Souls Affect the World, A Study on the lesser known magic.'
Recently it has come to the attention of many theolomagicians that a sub group of magic users exist besides the classically trained. These sorcerers, or entropic mages, seem to affect the material world in a way fundamentally different than the magically schooled wizards of the Acrcanium.
In this study, we begin by exploring the methods of affecting the flow of magic that these mage use, and how their own resolve serves as a focus points for transforming the universal medium. It is then shown how the flow of magical energies is controlled using evidence collected by a series of experiments by researchers during the past five years.
Finally, we conclude on the possibilities this opens for further studies, as well as the many practical usage of such a method to forego many of the currently neccessary rituals and components of traditional magic usage.(...)
The workings of the individuals
(...)In Effect, these individuals are capable of affecting the flows of magic with their instinct alone, and need not know how the flows can be modified by elements, spells, components, or gentle manipulation and tranfsormation, but instead, it is as if they bend the flow of energies to their will, in much the same way a blacksmith hammers a blade into shape, they hammer reality with brute force to create the desired affect.
For example, when a trained wizard wishes to set fire to a bail of hay, he may increase the temperature by using a spell to resonate the element of fire in the material, to the point of combustion, or he may use a component to focus the raw ebb and flow of magic into the element of fire, or perhaps remove the element of water until the surrounding elements of fire ignite it.
An entropic sorcerer, however, simply wills the hay to ignite, his own mind serving as a versatile component, focus, and resonator. In effect, the entropic sorcerer can turn a thought into a powerful elemental focus, and as such suffers no limitation regarding which element can be used.
This also has the very potent effect of creating a customized focus for each effect and target. It is also important to remember at this point that this is done totally instinctively, and that the sorcerer has no idea as to the workings of his magic.(...)
(...)By using modified Garlon stones (see appendix for methodology), we were able to record the spell signature of both sorcerer and wizard spells. The results(footnote 1) were very interesting. It has in fact been verified that the signatures of the control wizard group were very regular, with the spells leaving exactly the same signature when cast by any wizard or a scroll.
The signatures recorded in the crystals when a similar spell was cast by a sorcerer, however, not only varied widely with that of the wizards and the scrolls, but even varied within individuals!! Even more amazing, The spell signatures were never the same twice!!! (...)
Theories and recommendations
(...)It is theorised that the sentient mind is the most precise focus in existence for any known spell, and we recommend that a large proportions of academic efforts be redirected to the study of this phenomenon, which has shown how powerfully and precisely magic can be tuned.
Indeed, an example of the potency of this method can be found by comparing the legendary spell, 'Geraldine's icefire', which uses water ice as a medium for bearing flames, and the case study of Miranda Hellvenbruck, who, at fifteen, was already creating ice fires the size of a torch!
As is well known, few mages with less than twenty years of experience can manage to cast this spell, let alone sustain a hot flame for any length of time. This is due to the diametrically opposite elements of fire and water, supported by differing aspects of coldness and warmth, and the differing aspects of moisture and dryness (please see treaties on the elements for further information). Yet Miranda was lighting her parent's house throughout the winter with a simple thought!
In fact, in an interview, she clearly declared:
'...Oh, I think you don't understand. You see, it isn't how complicated something is that stops me doing it, but rather how big or small it is. Its easy to change something small, and if what i want to do is complicated, i just have to concentrate more. But to change something big, even if you only want to make a simple change, is really hard!'
It is therefore believed that the focus that an entropic sorcerer uses has to match the magnitude of the effect, but that the level of complexity is only dependent of their concentration and perception of the effect, this is widely different from the traditional schooling where the complexity and elemental balance of a spell is defined by the wizard's knowledge of magic and its subtleties, whereas the power comes from their concentration.
This new approach to magic, I hope you will see, has enormous potential to reduce our limitations, not only in term of power, but also what it is possible to do with magic. And the Arcane study group will, of course, continue its research in this direction, with the hopes of one day being able to understand this phenomenon further and recreate it.
This recent discovery would also have deep ranging implications, and the effect may be felt most strongly on the Divisitocratic, or Seperatist theories, which could be finally proved wrong, while the Omniperian movement would be bolstered tremendously by this. However, this debate is better left to another place.(...)
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? Responses (9)
5/5-Another very good thread.
A very interesting list of ideas explaining the phenomenon of Magic, some sounding more plausible, while each may be as likely as any other. Nice to read for inspiration.
Mancopolic Pulsations! Truely a deligt, if a mind bender to read. Many of the arguments are of the heavily esoteric variety, and the presentation is superb. Good tohave you back Spark.
mind-boggling magical treatise! Will re-read again, but in the meantime, nice work!
it reads as if its real. I know thats an obvious comment, but thats what makes it so fun!
Some of the titles and names of books and thoeries are top notch!
An excellent idea, and I would suggest that many such writings be collated here, reguardless of author or system. Just be of care not to excessively duplicate.
Heck, these titles can be used to provide 'realistic' titles for libraries found in adventures!
Whoa... this came out a bit longer than expected!
maybe it needs a bit more formatting?
Fantastic Scroll! Shame I can't vote now...
The mancopolic pulse are a brilliant idea! they could even lead to another system entirely, with the mage simply using himself as a barrier to the flow of magic and opening the floodgates when casting a spell. This would imvolve a lot of extravagant gestures to capture as much magical essence as possible! The use of component would also be explained: they are the pieces of the barrier to their elements!
This system would also have the advantage of build in balance, since a recharge time would be mandatory to build up a large blast of magical energy!
I have always loved this scroll. One of the best!
I have always loved this scroll. One of the best!