Numen (numɪn)

Magic on Eivrall is a manifestation of numen, the spiritual energy of life that permeates all of creation. Numen flows through everything, and most people are born with an affinity for some level of magic. Like muscles, they can get stronger with use or atrophy with disuse.

At the cellular level, numen is the process by which internal energy is converted into external energy.  It produces an electric charge within each cell, similar to how the body generates adenosine triphosphate. Numen transforms resources such as food or energy produced by neural responses into magic. This magic is then released as a neurotransmitter and travels throughout the body.

Understanding the process by which people convert energy into magic is important. Magic saps both emotional and physical energies. There is a limit to how much energy one can channel before depleting their reserves, which is harmful to the body. When emotional energy sources are exhausted, the result is apathy, and emotions may only be regenerated naturally. Physical symptoms include intense pain, blinding migraines, and a burning sensation in the veins, among others. People may try to withstand the pain, but they will not be able to recover. If a person overuses their magic, their body will continue converting energy into numen. It will eventually cannibalize itself due to its inability to keep up with the body's energy needs, offering a strong incentive to avoid abusing one's numen.

Concentration and focus can transfer magic stored in cells back to the mind, similar to how muscle memory works when performing actions that have been ingrained in the subconscious brain. The amount of numen needed to produce a desired result is highly dependent on intent and degree; for example, the amount of numen required to heal a wound is often less than 10% of a person's overall power, while the same quantity used to cause fatal injury would likely exceed 100%. Complex spells often require more numen than the average human body can generate; nevertheless, it is possible to create spells that do not require such large amounts of magical energy, especially when technology is involved.

 

 

Basic healing, defense, survival, and offensive techniques are taught to every student in primary school. However, because magic cannot be defined generally, these lessons focus more on coaching and etiquette. Some individuals continue to study for the remainder of their lives and make careers out of their arcane powers, despite the fact that professional magic demands a great deal of determination and commitment. Those who pursue professional magic are known as mages. The majority of people are content with their abilities and do not pursue greater magical instruction, particularly among the human population.

A person's magical aptitude varies. Jobs requiring high levels of expertise or surgical precision demand not only remarkable self-discipline but also substantial training. Errors can have disastrous effects. Best practices for developing and refining one's own magic process are taught in magic schools and other accredited training facilities. Because of its introspective nature, formal education requires discipline, patience, and financial resources; although the majority of schooling is free or inexpensive, tools and materials are costly.

Professional magic requires years, if not decades, of practice. To achieve the desired effect, one must figure out exactly where, how, and how much to apply their numen, and the specifics differ from person to person. Even with extensive training, it is more common for professional mages to specialize in a single aspect of a certain kind of magic rather than the entire form. Despite this, numen functions on four distinct levels, each of which corresponds to a distinct philosophical foundation of magic.

 

Foundations

Vital magic is utilized more intuitively. It pertains to life and being and can be used to either protect or harm. Vital magic encompasses healing, fertility, growth, and protection, among other forms of life-force magic. Because its efficacy is dependent on the organism's vitality, it is more effective in healthy and robust organisms than in sick or dying ones. While it can be extremely dangerous, it is also one of the most potent forms of magic.

Energetic magic is applied deliberately. Is encompasses fundamental, basic forces and principles and is based on the movement of energy, with a focus on controlling and harnessing that energy. Depending on how the energy is focused, energetic magic can be used to either heal or harm. It is more versatile than axiomatic magic, but also more difficult to master.

Axiomatic magic is ubiquitous and plainly observable. It has a direct influence on the tangible and physical world. For example, the law of gravity may be altered, allowing mages to levitate themselves or objects. Mages might also alter the speed of light to create illusions or make objects appear to move faster or slower than they do. Despite being the most limited type of magic, axiomatic magic is the most reliable and predictable.

Supernal magic is more enigmatic and mysterious. It effects both cosmic forces and the psyche. It is one of the most powerful and dangerous foundations of magic since it can be used to create spells that affect the thoughts and emotions of others, and it is heavily regulated by governments or other authority figures. It is also rare and highly desired because it is both the most powerful and versatile form of magic and the most difficult to learn.

 

Applications

 

Deleterious Effects

Cybernetics

Studies have found that augmentations, or any other significant intrusive modification, disturb the natural flow of numen in the same manner that a blood clot disrupts the circulatory system.  Due to this, the majority of magically active individuals eschew cybernetic enhancement.

Conditions

Bionumen Pathways Degradation (BPD) is an uncommon genetic condition that results in people being born without numen. Those who have the condition are labeled arcanix. There have been less than 20 people born with this condition.

Rampant Numen Fluctuations (RNF) on the other hand, is a far more volatile condition. People with RNF are unable to control their magic, which explodes from them at random, frequently hurting themselves or others.

 

History

The first act of magic ever performed was the creation of the universe, and it has since been refined over generations by ancient mages who studied its subtleties and developed new methods to enhance their abilities. Primitive spellcasters, such as warlocks and tribal shamans, utilized the earliest and most rudimentary forms of magic as tools and weapons. These techniques evolved into magic over time, becoming a discipline unto itself. Magic practitioners eventually mastered the fundamental concepts and principles of the craft, creating magical artifacts and laying the groundwork for the creation of spells and rituals.

It has since evolved into a science, used for countless purposes, including:

  • Military use, militech, and robotic soldiers
  • Artificial intelligence and other technological use
  • Economic use with the creation of a new industry for magitech
  • Scientific studies
  • Medical use
Magic, science, and religion are all the same; whether divine miracles, demonic power, or novel theories on phenomena, they can all be recreated by formulae. All phenomena have set rules that can be measured and quantified, and their manifestation may be deduced via magic.
— Professor Aryn Blythe of Taedora University
Sukha, Meshev
 

Previous and more ceremonial uses of magic such as rituals, art, sparring, and healing are now regulated.

 

Future

There is an increased amount of research being put into figuring out ways to expand the magical potential within each being and whether numen can be replicated or synthesized. Numen storage and effective magical practice are at the forefront of magical research. Still, there are many unanswered questions regarding the nature and scope of the field.

Despite magical research being a priority for most nations, some people seek the elimination of magic altogether, although this is more prevalent in human nations. According to them, the loss of productivity caused by using magic for mundane tasks is not worth the potential consequences; people could accomplish more each day if they avoid the mental and physical fatigue caused by numen depletion. In addition, they assert that their cybernetics can supplement or replace the use of magic in any scenario, and groups supporting this claim have proliferated at an alarming rate.

Type
Metaphysical, Arcane

Excerpt from Observations of the Arcane
Page from Observations of the Arcane by Gabrielle Decker
                                                                         


Cover image: by Gabrielle Decker

Comments

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8 Jan, 2022 08:50

That is a nice explanation! I like that it includes its history, the areas it is being used in etc. Great article!