Kelicho: Magic Primer
For a moment she didn't notice pulling away from him. It was only after he failed to answer her question that the widening gap grew apparent. It was a struggle against the crowd to return to where he stood glassy-eyed, fingers tracing the top of his cane as he idly gazed to the horizon. He hardly responded at all to her hand reaching to his shoulder, so trapped was he in whatever vision had struck him. "We should go home," he droned. He swayed unsteadily on his feet as his hollow stare grew wary. Uneasy. It was easy to follow him as his eyes lowered from the mountains to the treeline past the rough wooden palisade that had been erected around the town. "The tide is coming in." Ari stifled the sigh that threatened to escape her, smothered the dull ache in her chest. She chanced the risks of snapping him from his vision of the past, gently turning his head to face her. "Oh, Papa... We haven't lived near the sea in years. You're just remembering-" "No, Ari," he hissed. There was a fire in his pale eyes, weathered knuckles turning white with his grip on the cane. "The Tide is coming in."
The Ebbing TidesThe tides of Kelicho's great and treacherous oceans, much like those of a more familiar place, are wholly bound to the will and whims of the Moon. The essence of magic is much the same, the remaining power in the world inexorably drawn to something in Kelicho's silver ring. While the ambient presence of Kelicho's inherent power has reduced enormously over the life of the New World and the times prior, its residual presence has proven more than sufficient to fuel the Spelltides globally. This Spelltide ebbs and flows and idles through the lands with little care for direction or duration, drifting as it pleases to seemingly random and often inconsequential places. Much of the phenomenon remains an enigma even after centuries of comprehensive study by an indeterminate number of dedicated scholars. The heights of power available to individuals capable of applying Magic in Kelicho are often limited to the heights of the Tide. While the residual dregs of power left behind as the Spelltide withdraws from a region are more than adequate for spellcasting there remain some subtle, potent benefits to its full presence. Directing magic is significantly less strenuous when encompassed by the Tide, and recovering from its use is similarly accelerated when faced with an abundance of magic in the environment. In stable, civilized regions this is an enormous boon as magically-proficient defenders are empowered and those with the potential that had otherwise been overlooked find their inherent talents unleashed.
... Wood splintered as the still air suddenly roared to a howling frenzy. Wind cracked across skin and flesh like a harsh lash, carving the flesh of any poor soul caught outside cover... ... The earth twisted and warped before their eyes, clawing at the roots of buildings and trees alike until they were pulled below the surface. The river churned as it slowly became a wasteland... ... The clouds above thundered. Not water but fire poured forth, fit to consume the land below... ... Something walked from the Woods. Was pulled from the Woods. Something followed the Tide...
Form and FunctionThe practice of Magic is one of numerous facets, be its purposes Arcane or Occult, but these facets would be meaningless without a means of manipulation and conveyance. While the lingering essence of magic passes through all living beings equally, not all beings are capable of twisting its presence to their benefit. Some, such as the Azekarans, simply lack the properties that permit them to inherently channel the power. Others, such as Nulls, are nigh impervious; so resistant that mere physical contact can disrupt magic entirely.
ChannelingChanneling is the art of manipulating the energy that passively flows through the body at all times, forcibly twisting it into the catalyst of your desired effect and redirecting it to your target. A wave of flames boils out through the skin of your arm. A shimmering ward growing from your back deflects a hail of crossbow bolts. A single step springs dozens of meters between heartbeats. Exhaustion and pain overwhelm you as you push too far and lose your hold on the foreign powers. These and more are examples of Channeling.
Ritual CastingThe limitations of Ritual magic are not well documented, capable of producing effects otherwise thought to be impossible. Otherwise impossible powers are all in the domain of Rituals, including things such as full Regeneration and Teleportation. Unfortunately, not all Rituals are consistent; two with the same end result may require wildly different requirements. Many a recipe requires some ghastly item or unsightly act to function at all. Whatever the end result, Rituals are draining and best performed in communions. For your own sake.
Runic TattoosWhile Runes are generally designed to appear artistic, the actual appearance has no impact on their efficiency. The ink alone is responsible, capable of absorbing ambient magic like a battery to release on command at a later time. Volume and quality of ink both have a substantial effect on how powerful or efficient the rune can be, and as an externalized power source there is little risk of harm or fatigue to the user. The main drawback is a lack of versatility. Any single batch of ink is only attuned to one exclusive form of magic, such as the single element of fire, and some options available to Channeling simply cannot be replicated in the medium.
Glyph EngravingIn most circumstances these engravings are used to temporarily alter the physical properties of whatever material they are etched into. These alterations can range from simple effects such as strengthening or weakening a physical object to more complex ones that can radically modify the chemical composition of working materials in the correct conditions. Due to the precise nature of the etching and propensity towards utilitarian effects over flashy and direct, the variety of options available for combat uses are extremely limited. At their most dangerous Glyphs are a key feature in a number of ancient trap mechanisms. This still leaves them only a threat by proxy and their limited duration may only mitigate it further.
Even still, past the practices and understanding of magic, there are things that cannot and should not be done by mortal hands. Some, like Necromancy, can only be conducted with the assistance of a focus; an object so attuned to unknowable forms of magic that they cannot be produced without an outside influence.
Magic is not a toy. Not a game. Some day you will remember this lesson and grieve for your folly.
Earth - Air - Ether
Light - Darkness
Lemme tell y'what. You go poke fun at th'mage because y'think Starlight sounds too pretty t'be dangerous, and I'll skip town while he's busy.Merged Elements are measurably more taxing than individual forms, but make up for the increased drain by being dramatically more powerful when used in the right conditions. Elemental combinations are all categorized as Sorcerous, Celestial, or Tainted.
For our list, this order will be matched.
Sunlight - Moonlight - Starlight
Banefire - Felrime - Soulburn