Magic Physical / Metaphysical Law in Etharai | World Anvil

Magic

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"Of all of the topics of study across Etharai, it's strange that Magic, one of the principal forces driving the world itself, is one of the most controversial."
Magic in Etharai is split into two major categories, known as Amyth and Thyic, best translated as "passive" and "active", respectively.

Amyth

Amyth, or "passive magic", is the magic that comes from Etharai herself. It is thought to originate from the core, or "heart", of the world, and affects all life and natural phenomena on the planet. This magic is the foundation for Thyic, and is a core part of the belief systems of most cultures.

Thyic

Thyic, or "active magic", is the magic that is harnessed by the creatures of Etharai. It acts and feels fundamentally different from Amyth, and in some cultures, it is outright forbidden and seen as an affront to the natural order. Other cultures embrace it, viewing it as a gift from the gods that should not go to waste.
Type
Metaphysical, Arcane

Thyic - Cultural Tensions

The way that Thyic is regarded differs greatly between cultures - and often, these cultures have to interact with one another. Many of the cultures that are strongly against the use of Thyic can't help but speak up when they see someone using it, and those from cultures that revere Thyic take offense at the idea of not using the gods' gift. While these arguments are settled peacefully soon after they start, they have led to tense feelings between certain groups.

History

While Amyth has long existed in Etharai, it was not always understood, and Thyic is a much more recent advancement. The presence of Amyth seems to have been discovered long before the War of World's End, though if there was any real understanding of its nature, such records have since been lost.
The first notable advancement in recent understanding of Amyth was the discovery of Auras. Anything that was affected by Amyth had a metaphysical representation of the amount and type of Amyth that was affecting it. Through this discovery, people were then able to use these auras to predict natural phenomena - Amyth-induced storms could be predicted by simply looking at the Aura of the clouds, and so on.
As Auras became more understood, ways to harness it were soon found. Driftboats were one of the first inventions to come from this discovery, flying sailboats that would use any surrounding Auras to power their travel. Soon the visemeter allowed people to measure Auras, which would later become instrumental in the invention of future technologies.
It was not long after this that Thyic was discovered. There had always been children who were naturally talented at seeing and interacting with Amyth, and it only took one being strong enough to morph the magic of Amyth and bend it to their own will. Many societies across Etharai made this discovery at various times, though the reactions were very different regionally. Some viewed this use as a perversion of the natural gift of Amyth from Etharai, while others saw it as a gift in and of itself, from the gods. From here, the cultures that welcomed Thyic would develop more magically, while the cultures that rejected it would focus more on science and technology.

Amythomancy

Amythomancy is the practice of harnessing Amyth to regain energy, allowing one to cast more spells in a shorter period of time. This practice is often studied in conjunction with more difficult Thyic practices, and is very popular with species that have a low natural capacity for magic. When practiced correctly, the study of Amythomancy can increase a person's capacity for other types of magic - like flexing a muscle.
The possibility of the use of Amythomancy in a mechanical setting is one that is being explored.

Amyth: Use and Cost

The use of Amyth is fairly simple and easy - most people across Etharai are able to interact with it in some form. When done by an expert, the use of Amyth can be an energising act, at little to no cost to the caster. Novices, however, do expend some energy to interact with Amyth. This takes the form of fatigue. Some species and individuals are able to use more Amyth before becoming too tired and collapsing, but others have a very low threshhold for this use. Amythology, the science of harnessing Amyth, often has a focus on using Amyth while expending as little energy as possible, which has gained a lot of traction with species with a naturally low magic threshhold. Aurology, the study of the Auras caused by Amyth, has become popular in many modern technologies as well. Other species, however, see it as a useless field to advance, as interacting with Auras and Amyth comes much more naturally to them.

Thyic: Use and Cost

Thyic is much more costly to use, and comes at a higher risk to the spellcaster using it. While overextending one's capabilities in Amyth can cause fatigue and, eventually, for one to pass out, the use of Thyic is much more risky, as it can lead to drastic consequences - overextending oneself in use of Thyic can cause permanent damage, potentially causing death in extreme cases.
However, Thyic is in many cases much more useful than Amyth. It is much more customisable than the natural forces that Amyth is used with, and can be morphed to essentially anything that the spellcaster wants it to. It can do things that Amyth is already capable of, as well, but it is not often used for such purposes, as it is much more costly to use Thyic than it is to use Amyth.
Thycology, the study of Thyic, is particularly popular recently with its capabilities for use in conjunction with machinery, which has led to the development of the field of Technomancy, currently focused on the advancement of technologies that are able to wield Thyic in the stead of people, in the hopes that it would be slightly less energy-draining. Some advancements have been made in this field in the past few years, particularly regarding the energy sources of ships via Iterithycomancy, which, if successfully automated, could allow for travel into space.

Thyic: Risks & Consequences

The first thing taught in any classes using Thyic is how to measure and keep track of one's energy and ability to use Thyic. Often, this is taught as an entire class, with heavy emphasis on knowing one's limit and spellcasting accordingly. When a person expends their energy and continues to try to use Thyic, it can lead to consequences such as Thyic Collapse, a condition permanently decreasing a person's capacity for Thyic use, or Energy Death, a condition cutting of one's ability to use magic at all, forever. Unfortunately, these two conditions are not the worst that can occur from overuse of Thyic, however. Arcane Deterioration can occur in severe cases, causing one's body to slowly decompose from negative magical energy. It is also possible to contract Vampirism from overuse of Thyic, a condition that forces one to consume the magic of others in order to stay alive and healthy.
The presence of these conditions is the source of another field of study, known as Arcanopathology. Arcanopathologists study and attempt to understand the internal causes of the symptoms of these conditions, and work to come up with treatments accordingly.

Amyth: Advancements for Modern Use

Amimorphology is a recent field of study dedicated to attempting to find a use for Amyth that is akin to the purpose of Thyic, but without the use of Thyic. The reasons for this research is twofold: First, it allows communities that shun the use of Thyic to accomplish the same or similar magical feats as those who embrace it, but second, it can allow for more costly magical feats, technologies, and abilities to be much easier and cost-effective to use. However, these fields are not always funded or understood by some communities. Certain species that are highly talented in the use of Thyic do not understand the need for Amimorphology, however, as they have the capabilities for the use of Thyic regardless and see Amyth as indirect, impricise, and ineffective. There are also some communities that reject this for the opposite reasons: they see Thyic as a heresy, and anything trying to emulate its effects is viewed similarly.

Popular Fields of Arcane Study

Amyth Sub-Fields

Amimorphology
The study of uses for Amyth in traditionally Thyic applications.
Amythology
The study of Amyth as a whole.
Amythomancy
The study of the use of Amyth to regain energy.
Aurology
The study of Auras.

Thyic Sub-Fields

Arcanopathology
The study of conditions that are arcane in origin or nature.
Iterithycomancy
The study of the use of Thyic to power transportation.
Technomancy
The study of the use of Thyic to power machinery.
Thycology
The study of Thyic as a whole.


Cover image: Yellow Bokeh Lights

Comments

Author's Notes

Wow, this is a bulky article - Thank you for making it this far!


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Nov 24, 2023 09:31 by Mochi

I love this! struggling to write my magic article, great inspiration!

I hope you have a great day!   Explore the endless planets brimming with life of the Yonderverse! Go after creatures, discover new places, and learn about the people you find along the way.   Check out my new world, Ava Admira!
Nov 24, 2023 12:01 by spleen

Thank you - good luck!

Nov 24, 2023 15:47 by Aster Blackwell

This is amazing! I love all the different branches of study and the detail put into how cultures treat each form of magic. I'm so hyped to learn more about all the threads you hinted at here! Especially those nasty-sounding conditions you can get from overusing Thyic

Nov 24, 2023 17:41 by spleen

Thank you! I'm planning on expanding more on those during WorldEmber for Cato's event :)

Dec 8, 2023 00:03 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

This is a great overview of your magic system. I love the different attitudes across cultures to the two different types of magic, and the different research fields such as arcanopathology. :D

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Dec 8, 2023 00:06 by spleen

arcanopathology was such a fun article to write (and not just because ive been looking into real-life pathology xD)! I'm hoping to expand on some of the other fields of magical study at some point this WE :D