This article is a heavy WIP and untangling of ideas. I'm still adding to and editing this, and hefty edits are likely to happen before this notice is removed :D
(Currently prioritising rest while I fight off another fever)
Who can use it:
all folks and living beings
flora and fauna can use magic, too, but have limited intelligence or maisha reserves to utilise it in great strength.
Who is ALLOWED to use it:
anyone, unless the laws of their country disallow it or if they've been imprisoned (punishments or precautions sometimes include restriction to maisha-restoring substances)
some countries have age limits on learning or using magic, and some places require you to pass a test and become certified before using magic in the workplace or in public
What can it do:
as it's only been around on Melior for 50 years, people are still making huge discoveries about what magic can and can't do. folks are relying on self discovery and trading knowledge from scholars and tutors from beyond the rifts in other planes and realms.
What things are easy / easier:
moving or changing the temperature of clean water in a bucket
causing a movement in still air
slightly changing the shape of something that is made of simple things or that you understand with great proficiency
What things are moderately challenging:
moving or changing the temperature of water in a pool, especially if it's dirty
healing yourself of minor injuries - you can probably heal your own grazed knee if you have enough reserves, but there’s no way you’re gonna manage to fix your broken arm by yourself in one go
healing someone you know well, or someone of the same kind of folk as you
manipulating complex things that you yourself have created
dramatically changing the shape or texture of something
changing the colour of something
What things are hard / very challenging:
moving or changing the temperature of large bodies of water, especially if moving or dirty
manipulating very big things, or very complex things
if the thing is moving it makes it increasingly harder based on its movement
changing the temperature of something to beyond what your own body can tolerate at your point of contact. Don't boil your hand trying to cook things.
healing yourself of significant ailment or injury
healing a stranger, especially if they are a different kind of folk to you
clothing, armour, or coatings preventing direct contact can make things much harder to manipulate
it’s near-impossible to manipulate a living creature’s breathing with magic as the breath is constantly entering and leaving the body, same thing goes with the movement of bloodflow
What can it NOT do:
you can't revive the dead, sorry for your loss
you can't heal an injured creature if you have no idea how its anatomy works
you can't make an item weigh more or less without increasing or decreasing its mass
manipulating fire, lightning, lava, toxins - anything ouchy that you need to directly touch is going to be not very fun and near impossible to manipulate.
magic does not have a will of its own, you won’t find random pockets of it or magical anomalies in nature - everything is controlled by beings
What things are illegal, questionable, or frowned upon:
necromancy / reanimating the dead
What is it called:
it's just called magic
some people categorise it as a branch of science, others say it's completely different
What is required:
What are the different kinds:
magic, used to directly manipulate objects
enchanting, storing reserves of maisha and/or a component to manipulate with
alchemy = not magic, just natural ingredients mixed with maisha-rich ingredients that replenish your reserves faster
Where did it come from:
maisha itself came from another realm and spread through the rift. magic using folk, fauna, and flora spread through into Melior. the folks taught, and the seeds of maisha plants took root in the soil, or were pooped from birds and flying creatures who migrated through
Where can it be learned:
specialised academies, private tutors, community groups, or self teaching (depending on where you live, the laws of the country, and how much coin you have)
Where is it used:
everywhere, for everything and anything, even if it's less effective sometimes (because it's so new and trendy and exciting)
Why do people feel that way about it:
older generations (on the whole) are skeptical of it, but those who embrace magic have enjoyed their small newfound powers. they're scared of it because they had only known magic in a fantastical sense in children's stories and horrifying myths and legends where "powers" were described as destructive and world-ending (as they were often told by religions to invoke fear)
Why can't it do xyz:
When can it be used:
some countries have laws that forbid it's use after sunset due to accidents
some religious faiths forbid the use of magic alltogether, and others forbid it within their religious buildings. on the flipside, there are different religions that are the opposite, and encourage it freely and even teach it.
How long does it take to use:
it depends on how skilled you are, how much maisha reserves you have, and also on your physical energy. even if you had full capacity of maisha, you couldn't do a thing if you're so tired or exhausted that you're about to fall alseep or collapse
doing things for the first time takes longer
delicate manipulations take longer
How do you learn it:
Magic is learned by experimenting and practising, you can learn it from someone else or from a book, but much like learning any other skill it’s useless in your head until you actually practise using it for real.
How long does it take to learn:
it depends on your aptitude for learning, the quality of your teachings, your enthusiasm for what you're learning, and how much you practise and are guided.
some people appear to be prodigies, some people pick things up really easily, and for others it takes a long time to grasp. some people think it's impossible or that you "have to be born with it", which is untrue.
How does it work:
it's based on direct contact with the thing you want to manipulate
you need to have a deep understanding of the thing you're trying to manipulate
complex things made up of many components are hard to manipulate even if you have a good understanding of them
you need to be able to concentrate enough to achieve your outcome and interruptions will mean you may need to start again (if you still have the maisha reserves to do so)
you can’t summon material stuff from nothing, you need a source to expand from
things (or components of things) that have motion are also significantly harder to manipulate
magic uses magical energy reserves, replenished with maisha
you need physical interaction with something to manipulate it with magic - no long range stuff unless you've got very long arms
muttering incantations or running commentary can help with focus when manipulating things with magic, but others find it easier to focus by remaining silent. The choice is yours.
The process involves studying and understanding the item first (which is easier for those who made it), you need to know as much detail as possible to attune the magic so it won’t destroy the item.
Injuries impact on your magic reserves, the same as it does for your normal energy
The purity or simplicity of the source determines what you can do with it
Size of resource will determine what you can achieve (along with your own abilities and maisha capacity)
You can slowly expand your maisha capacity, up to a limit for your species. Folks native to Melior have smaller reserves becuase they are only newly experiencing magic for the first time since 50 years ago. Newer generations are developing larger capacities. Some folks have a different eating metabolism, the same thing goes for magic reserves.
Maisha reserves don't show visibly.
Where is maisha stored? Hard to tell. Where is your energy stored? Do you feel it comes from your stomach? Your mind? Contained within yourself, or in a bubble around yourself? No one knows. You just feel it.
Draining all your maisha in one go is like having your energy zapped instantly, kind of like a sugar crash and a caffeine crash combined
Don’t do it, feelsbadman, takes longer to recover, has side effects of nausea & clumsiness etc, and you may feel “magic starved” and harder to focus until you regain maisha.
The use of gestures and motion can add flair to your manipulation but are purely aesthetic. They might evoke awe, fear, and wonder.
Casting can feel much easier the happier the user is, this can come from within (e.g. well-rested, not stressed), or be their external environments impacting them (e.g. weather, comfort).
with the big interest in defense, conquest, and military advancements (and also just personal self defence classes) - new schools of martial arts have evolved to try and incorporate their learnings of magic alongside their survival and fighting techniques, as well as adapting their learning routines to defend against new physical kinds of folks - because before the rupture, no native folks could fly.
due to it being so new (only introduced 50 years ago), the subject of magic has become a spectacle, craze, and is everywhere seeping into all parts of everyday life in Melior. opportunists are rife and having a field day scamming the uneducated masses with fake potions, enchanted items, and selling the secrets to "lost arts", even going as far as to set up their own legitimite-looking academies, certifications, and accolades
Even as just a long list of ideas, I was able to form a picture in my head for how magic works in this world, its abilities and limitations and more. I like what you have so far.
Gauntlet - my shiniest article this year!