Magic Physical / Metaphysical Law in Journals of Yesteryear | World Anvil


An overview of magic, its different kinds, and how you can use it.

This article is currently a WIP! What would you like to see added to it?

An overview of magic

All living things in the world have magic within them. It's similar to the type of energy that makes you feel awake and vitalised when you're full of it, or tired when depleted.   Some beings seem to have more magic than others, and those with greater levels of intelligence are able to wield it with great power. Much like any skill, it takes a lot of practise and learning from mistakes to reach such levels of mastery.   Just like physical exercise or studying a new subject, you need a healthy body and adequate rest to avoid burnout or injuries.  

Active casting

Magic requires active casting to perform spells, and abilities. Great feats of magic require collaborative effort to accomplish, such as manipulating strong winds or currents, or moving incredibly heavy or fast moving things.   Though the jindo once achieved it thousands of years ago before they vanished during the Great Betrayal, it's not possible to imbue an object with magic and leave it - as soon as your casting ends, so does your effect.
  Learning magic is often done as a team so that beginners can both observe and feel how a spell is cast or ability is performed.  

Environmental influence

A being's proficiency with certain types of magic is often influenced by environmental factors in their local habitat. Folks and creatures living in arid regions may find it more challenging to learn and practise aquaboreal magic, but could find that geoferric abilities come more naturally to them.   Folks with a desire to learn a diverse skillset benefit greatly from travelling to different regions, learning from other cultures and spending several months (if not years) there to acclimatise and gain an affinity for new magics.   Similarly, when creatures migrate to different climates they often end up using different magic types based on the season, climate, and ecosystem they're currently in.  


There are 12 recognised types of magic in the world and they pair together to form six overarching "schools" of magic:
Featured article:

Vivemic magic

The term Vivemic refers to that of life and of blood and is the most commonly used type of magic throughout the world. Any living creature has the ability to use their magic in ways to briefly enhance their physical abilities, strength, reflexes, speed and agility, or to produce venom or toxins.   With their in-depth and specialist knowledge, vivemic magic also encompasses the abilities that physicians and veterinarians use to heal other beings, perform surgeries, and heal diseases.   Some folk have mastered the art of changing their physical appearence, but this takes a lot of practise and concentration to maintain.

Aquaboreal magic

Aquaboreal magic is the collective term for water-based spells and abilities, and root magic (relating to all plant and fungal life forms).   Many folks associate this genre of magic with arbin folk and their arboreal architecture. Some cultures use their root magic to influence how trees grow and manage to encourage them to make living structures that grow to accommodate their families.   Renzar folk are also frequently associated with aquaboreal magic due to their natural proficiency in water, often manipulating currents to aid in propulsion of sailing vessels or even diverting water to make way for the construction of new bridges and dams.

Geoferric magic

Geoferric magic pertains to the practise of manipulating earth, rock, and metal with magic. Common applications of this magic are seen everywhere you look: the cobbles beneath your feet were shaped with magic, the statues adorning grand entrances like those at the Museum of Mysteries were also formed this way.   The cutlery you eat with and pans you cook upon were all artfully made with the help of geoferric magic. Some professions such as chefs, blacksmiths, and ironmongers have learnt to use pyrolumic magic to finely control the temperature of the metals they work with in their craft.

Tempest magic

The practise of manipulating wind and electricity is called tempest magic and is typically associated with sea captains and airship pilots to help control and propel their vessels. A team of scholars at the Academy of Arcane Sciences use tempest magic to control the direction of the floating island on which the campus proudly perches on.   Lightning from the sky is incredibly difficult to manipulate with magic, and very few people (even as groups) have accomplished this feat. However, there are many species in the world that create their own lesser forms of electricity through forms of charges and static shocks that they use to hunt their prey or as defensive mechanisms.

Pyrolumic magic

Pyrolumic magic is the genre containing heat-based and light-based magic. Small applications of this are commonly used in daily life without much thought to its significance: simple acts of heating water to a boil, cooking food with a metal pan without need of a flame, or causing a candle's wick to ignite without need of a match.   Other spells and abilities can be spectacular or even frightening to behold. Firefighters bravely work as teams to control and quell raging infernos, and skilled magiciains can put on incredible light displays and performances that form visual illusions and storytelling.

Deep magic

Deep magic is more common in polar and subterranean regions of the world and encompasses cold type and dark type magic.   Mastery of these areas of magic can be incredibly useful for keeping things cool, freezing and preserving food, and also for seeing better in the dark and concealing things in shadows.   Folks who live in warmer climates try to save up and travel to colder regions at least once in their lifetime to acclimatise and learn cold magic spells to bring back with them to help their families manage with the heat. Having such abilities in the family is considered a rare luxury!

Limitations of magic


With the disappearance of the jindo during the Great Betrayal, the ability to imbue magic into inanimate objects or surfaces has been lost to the ages. Whilst their magical traps and "living" constructs remain to guard their enchanted artifacts, no one has yet been able to unravel their mysteries.


Once a living thing has truly perished, there is no amount of magic that can bring it back to life.   Reanimation is illegal and frowned upon in the majority of cultures worldwide due to moral concerns over consent of such puppeteering of deceased or reconstructed beings.

Common misconceptions

Despite popular old folk tales and children's stories, magic cannot be used to manipulate the mind in ways of: communing with other beings (living or dead), mind control, or the modification of memories.   Some folks make a living with these false magics - claiming to be able to see into the past or future, tell your fortune, or predict events. Some truly believe in what they do, either for their own abilities or in their belief of dieties or faiths, and for many cultures it's a core part of their everyday life.   The most commonly wished for magical abilities (especially among children and novice students) are: the ability to influence luck, levitation or flight, teleportation, time travel, time control, and of course - immortality.   Despite many scholars' best efforts, these are still beyond the realms of common folk.

Cover image: Zendu field by TJ Trewin


Author's Notes

WorldEmber 2023 pixel art stamp

Pixel art stamp by TJ Trewin

WorldEmber 2023
Date: December 2023
Wordcount Progress:
10k complete!
25k complete!
Overview Article: TJ's WorldEmber 2023 Plans & Progress
Entries: My submitted articles for WorldEmber2023

Please Login in order to comment!
Dec 10, 2023 01:19 by Morgan Biscup

Oooh, I love this and the names you picked. The icons by each header are also perfect.   Ending with "beyond the means of common folk" leavese wanting to know who *has* mastered those spells. Intriguing.   Also, JOY brings me joy. And the CSS makes me feel happy.

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
Dec 10, 2023 02:07 by TJ Trewin

Thank you!! I'm glad it brings you joy :D <3

Journals of Yesteryear

Please consider voting for me in the 2024 Worldbuilding Awards!
Dec 10, 2023 01:27 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

I love the names you picked for the magic. I love how pyrolumic and geoferric feel on the tongue. :)   This is such a great overview, and I like that you have included things that aren't possible as well (yet?).

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Dec 10, 2023 02:08 by TJ Trewin

Thanks!! "Yet" indeed! There are plenty of folks trying to achieve the seemingly impossible

Journals of Yesteryear

Please consider voting for me in the 2024 Worldbuilding Awards!
Jan 3, 2024 18:06

Interesting take on magic and magic schools. I'm curious to know how someone comes about magical abilities. It is only learned/studied or can some be gifted by nature/divine? I like the take on travelling to different parts of the world to learn different types of magical influences.

Mar 19, 2024 17:33 by TJ Trewin

Thanks!!   All living things have magic within them (though some more than others)! Much like any skill, learning through tuition and practise can produce greater results :D

Journals of Yesteryear

Please consider voting for me in the 2024 Worldbuilding Awards!
Jan 9, 2024 18:38

This is such a clear explanation of magic and I absolutely love it! The names of the various schools of magic are well thought out and explain themselves even before you start reading the descriptions.   As always TJ, your articles are such a JOY to read because of how well they are written and how clean and clear your layouts are.

Co-creator of the fantasy worlds Isekai & Seireitei
Co-creator of the TTRPG System Storybook
Mar 19, 2024 17:33 by TJ Trewin

Thanks so much RiverFang!! :D

Journals of Yesteryear

Please consider voting for me in the 2024 Worldbuilding Awards!
Jan 12, 2024 14:19 by E. Christopher Clark

The storyteller in me loves all the possibility for adventure you've introduced with the "Environmental Influence" section. I'm imagining a story or stories about a young mage traveling the world to learn different magics. Well done!

Check out my progress on the Cabinet of Curiosities
Mar 19, 2024 17:34 by TJ Trewin

Thank youuu!

Journals of Yesteryear

Please consider voting for me in the 2024 Worldbuilding Awards!
Jan 19, 2024 00:49 by Ezra Aldrich

This was a beautiful article in both writing and its layout / aesthetics. The use of icons and the flip animation when hovering over article blocks add a fun touch. I like how the magic types are tied to different regions which play into who can use them.

Mar 19, 2024 17:34 by TJ Trewin

Thanks so much!

Journals of Yesteryear

Please consider voting for me in the 2024 Worldbuilding Awards!
Jan 25, 2024 22:13 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

This was a great way to present your magic system. I love the name geoferric XD I also love your take on environmental magic - this is a great limitation to have anda way to make geographical/cultural variations!

Mar 19, 2024 17:35 by TJ Trewin

Aaaa thank youuuu :D :D

Journals of Yesteryear

Please consider voting for me in the 2024 Worldbuilding Awards!
Powered by World Anvil