What is magic?   Magic is the product of 1)arcane energy and 2) the will of an arcana user.   We know that arcane energy has been unleashed and made readily accessible upon the surface of Rifts Earth in the form of Ley Lines and Nexus Points. But just because it is there and ready to be exploited does not mean that everyone who can does so the same way. There are many different means that people have of accessing and manipulating it to their own ends.   This is a list of who can access arcane power and how they use it:   Shifter: Like directing the flow of a stream using earthenworks, pipes and valves, Shifters direct the flow of raw arcane energy through the use of rituals, sigils and runes. This gives them access to more raw power than any other arcane user. Shifters rely on the flow being constant but will install safety reliefs into their constructions to deal with power spikes and troughs. Unfortunately, sometimes power surges in the arcane flow are so massive they overpower even these safety devices, to disastrous results.   Ley Line Walker: Ley line walkers tap into the flow of arcane energy, drawing it through themselves and manipulating it with their own mental discipline. Since Ley Line walkers draw only the power they need to produce the desired magical effects, there is very little risk of runaway magic.   Tattoo Magic: Those who use tattoo magic do so in a meld of how shifters use sigils and runes and how Ley Line Walkers tap into arcane energies. Users of magic tattoos tap into arcane energy the same way Ley Line walkers do, but rather than manipulating it through practice and discipline, they just channel it through the tattoos to achieve the desired effects.   Spirit Magic: Arcana energy is actually the energy of life, from which the raw lifeforce of living things comes from and to which it returns. So it can be said that every living being inherently possesses a certain amount of arcane energy. If Shifters manipulate raw arcane powerflows while Ley Line Walkers tap into it to draw what they need; so it is with Biomancers. Biomancers manipulate the raw lifeforce of living things, working with and reshaping it while it resides there, in those living things, to produce the effects they desire. Since they believe in the sanctity of all life, they refuse to bring it to harm by their actions.
But besides biomancers, there are others who tap directly into the lifeforce of living beings, consuming or even sacrificing it for their own desired effects. Among these are Psi-Stalkers, Animators, Diabolists and BioWizards.
There is even an entire parallel world populated with real lifeforms shaped from raw arcane energy and given form by the collective beliefs of the people of Earth. Shamans have the ability to beseech this spirit world to grant them powers and abilities. In these cases, the spirits dole out arcane power to Shamans for the requested effects.
Warlocks, like Shamans, also draw their powers and abilities from the Spirit World. But rather than beseeching the spirits for power, Warlocks actually invite elemental spirits to coexist in themselves, merging their spirits together and accessing this surplus of life energy to produce their effects.
  Stone Magic: Even inanimate objects can be affected by the flow of raw arcane energy. Like how magnetism affects the patterns and arrangement of ferrous and magnetic materials and crystals, so the flow of arcane energies also affects the formation and state of magic-compliant materials. Practitioners of Stone Magic have learned how to arrange these materials and even pump arcane energy through them in order to achieve their desired effects. It was the study of pyramids that led to this unique branch of magic. Anyone with an arcane background can learn stone magic, but only Atlanteans and a rare few others have ever learned it.   Technowizardry: Technology obeys the laws of the physical universe. Magic does not. When magic and technology interact, the results are unpredictable; often causing neither magic nor technology to work as intended. However, there are some who work in the overlap of magic and technology, who can not only predict the resultant interactions, but who can achieve the interactions they desire. These people are called Technowizards and their twiz constructions channel the arcane energy of their weilders, and in some cases use it to magnify and direct raw arcane energy itself.   Others: Finally there are those who produce magic-like effects. Witches and most Mystics fall into this category. They are granted powers and abilities through the direct intervention of a greater power. Whether this power comes from the access to arcane energy or some other method depends entirely upon the nature of the greater power.

Cover image: Voidwielder by Chase Stone


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