History of Magic

The first soul of the people woke the magic in times almost forgotten. Anenky was the first summoner's name, who called from the heavens the powers of magic. The Familiars came to be under his command, and with the spirit Nofre he had a love as bright as the stars. The fields of death never held him, for he tricked even the gods. Travelers still call upon Anenky and Nofre as they pass through the dark night. The lucky may meet the ethereal couple upon the strike of midnight, and be guided to shelter.
— The Legend of Magic by Omius Helvius
  Magic upon Macalgra has had a storied past. It may seem to the people of today as normal as the air, and civilisation has for the most part embraced magic in every aspect of life, but it humans have only had magic for around 8,000 years of their evolutionary history. It was around 5000 RC that a mage was born, the first human with a soul of significant enough power to wield magic.   Myth and legend tells that this mage was Anenky, of the Plains of Hakassa - near where modern Senet'tu now stands. The legends of Anenky are longer than the history of magic, for he is one of the most famous heroes in the psyche of humanity, but the part he played in the development of Human magic is most relevant.   Anenky was born with a powerful soul for his time, though his innate magic was likely small compared to mages born in the modern era. But the most significant act, besides being born as the first mage, was when he called the first familiar from the realm of the Immortal, the spirit Nofre, and forever created the concept of Familiars by providing the knowledge of magical contracts to both humans and the spirit realm. It would be his daughter Tamenei who would later make the first deal with a Divine.   Anenky was not a scholar and the study of magic as a discipline did not arise until many millennia later.  

Magic as a study

The study of magic in a disciplined way is often credited to Zhen Kang, court mage to the Shen of Liang. He was the first to study why some could perform magic but not all. His theory, that it was related to genetics, did not provide fruition for he discovered that magic could often be traced in a family line, but individuals would be skipped without explanation and individuals with no magical heritage could emerge as mages commonly. His data, from studying the families of Liang, was later used as the basis of later scholar Lin Xun's work.   She combined Zhen's data with theories by another scholar, Xue Jing, on the magical ability of an individual being dictated by the size of the soul. Lin Xun measured the brightness of thousands of souls over a decade, and eventually proposed the theory that magical ability is determined entirely by the soul. That soul reincarnation leads to the magical families as souls often choose family members of previous hosts, but sometimes by the time of the birth of a family member the soul has already reincarnated into another available vessel. This is still the most widely accepted theory on magical inheritance.  

The discovery of soul templates

Xue Jing, whose work on magical power being dictated by soul size helped develop the theory of magical inheritance, is also credited with assisting another major discovery. For centuries before his revolutionary ideas, mages had been unable to explain the limitations of healing magic and its inability to solve birth defects. Xue Jing created the theory of Soul Templates.   Within Xue Jing's theory, the soul creates a blueprint of the body at the moment it enters (birth). This template is then a permanent fixture, unable to be modified by external magic. The apparent resistance of the body to magic that fixed defects such as poor eyesight was Xue Jing's proof of this idea. Xue Jing's theory was met with skepticism initially, but became popular outside of Liang when his writings were spread by traders.   A Suran mage, Garlvius Aon, read of Xue Jing's work a decade later and used it to create the Spell of Soul Sight. He modified the classical Mage Sight spell, which allowed the soul to be viewed, so that the soul template could also be seen. His work revolutionised healing magic, allowing mages to actually view the soul template and use it to restore lost body parts to the blueprint that the soul had stored.


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