CastingThe simplest magic requires nothing more than raw aether; lighting a small flame, forming a small bowl of water or a pile of dirt. These things can be done instinctively, given the caster is familiar with the simple act they wish to perform, but they are but brute force and use more magic than necessary. Spellwords are the backbone of modern magic. They coax magic out of the soul instead of wrenching it free. Spellwords are created by the nature of the soul; the memories they collect over countless lives slowly condensing to give words power and meaning. The oldest memories the most powerful, and so most spells use dead languages or archaic forms of present ones. The process of discovering words of power is ever ongoing, a process of questioning until a word is found that activates magic. Magic also requires practice; to know how much Aether to use, how to shape your desire, and to control the flow of power through the body. An untrained mage may damage their body or far worse while performing magic recklessly. An expert can manipulate a simple spell to deadly efficiency. Many schools and masters teach magic in the form of schools, training mages to specialise in the finer details of a particular type of magic. Healing magic is a particularly notable case of this, for a detailed understanding of the anatomy of the patient is necessary. The gods and spirits have no physical bodies, and so need no conduit between their magic and the physical body. Allowing them to perform magic with simply their thoughts.
The AnimusThe Animus is the physical life force of beings. When magic collides and sticks together naturally, overtime it gains a field of attraction that pulls more Aether close. Large enough, this ball of Aether becomes an Animus. This process is natural enough, but slow and so the Immortals create seeds of condensed Aether to expedite the process. The smallest of Animus are the lifeforce of plants and animals; the largest the souls of the Divine. The first Animus where those of the gods, and Drewel was the creator of the first mortal animus, when she shaped creatures to corrupt the world. When Frugi struck down these first mortals Drewel’s creatures revealed themselves as like the Immortals - possessed of Animus. Frugi seized upon this revelation and to Ramio, the Bright Star, gave the job of creating seeds from which new souls could grow to fill the bodies of mortals. The Animus is always growing, but when small it requires a body to protect it. The buffeting of the currents of wild Aether can split the soul apart if it is exposed for too long. Mortal Animus seek out bodies to contain them. It is only when an Animus grows so large that it can hold itself together simply by will that the Animus no longer needs a body. These Animus become Immortal, beings of pure energy with no need of physical body.
FamiliarsMost individuals have too little Aether to perform much more than the lighting of a candle, but there are methods that can overcome this. The most common is to acquire the favour of a powerful Immortal, who will loan Aether for short periods. The boons they grant can be immensely powerful, but the price asked by the deity may be very high and new contracts must be signed every time power is needed. More stable and usually more successful is to acquire a Familiar. Familiars are lesser Immortals, often the children of Divines, who are willing to sign a long term contract in order to live upon the mortal realm. They are to acquire. Familiars can afford to be choosy and often their parents will also require appeasement. However a Familiar has a large store of magic that their contracted mage can access at any time.
Laws of Magic
- The Animus is the store of magic. Its age dictates the magical ability of a being.
- Aether is the most basic form of energy, and the power of magic.
- Spells are the channeling of magic through the mortal body to affect the physical world.
- Spellwords must hold meaning to the soul.
- Matter always seeks to return to Aether.