Magic

Magic is natural on N72-T13-S3, just as it exists beyond the Pulse Blindspot. It draws from a configuration of Pulse Physics closer to that in which most of the Orchestrators spawned. Though the phenomenon is commonly referred to by the name "magic", it is really an additional "Fundamental Interaction" in this universe.   As a fundamental force, magic will not interact with gravity. However, there is a magical counterpart to gravity that work somewhat similar;y to gravitational forces, except that the source is the concentration of Vira in a living organism. Organisms will naturally repel magical influences, limiting the impact of such forces. Inherent resistances like these can be supplemented by certain materials, like the [MAGICALLY RESISTANT METAL] metal. A mage that seeks to bypass these resistances will need to convert magical energy into another form, such as by using magic to lift a boulder and launch it at a foe. Such attacks are inefficient because the magical energy required to interact with non-magical objects, which are then used to interact with non-magical objects, can be almost as high as simply casting the spell twice. A mage must use their discretion to figure out how best to manage their energy.
  • There are also materials that amplify magic, like [MAGICALLY REACTIVE METAL] metal. These are used to supplement a mage’s abilities.
  • Blightbeasts do not resist magic like a living creature would, lending support to the theory that they are pseudo-life.
  • Magical study is in its infancy. People who want to learn more about magic are anchored by the superstitions and traditions of the past, much like other areas of scientific study. To this end, some scholars have even proposed studying magic but calling it something entirely different so that they can look at it as freely as possible. [CALL IT WHAT?]
  • Magic is extremely difficult to use precisely. The spells known by humans are specific to humans, but it has been discovered that the differences between different sentient species are relatively small, so documentation has been unified over the past [three decades].
  • The variability in magic comes from drawing upon a complex interaction of forces referred to as “Pulse”. Pulse is chaos, the unknown, a set containing everything, nothing, and itself. Used for magic, Pulse is a black box people learn to use.
  • Pulse is accessed through Lumine (Lumin or Luminet), though this word is not used. That is an Orchestrator word.
  • Magic is difficult to control, difficult to use precisely. For this reason, technology is used to modulate magical spells and crystal vessels are used to safely store effects in the long-term. It isn’t until the advent of the Sourcetech (Glove) that significant progress is made, and many more humans begin to be able to use magic.
  • The Price:

  • The price of magic is often thought of as the energy toll each conventional spell takes on the user. However, some magic works differently.
  • In the case of a “Mark”, the toll is converted so the user’s body functions in predictably different ways.
  • Some spells will cause altered behavior much like a mark. The “Madness” branch works like this, making it more difficult for the mage to get their bearings as a price for a spell. [REWORK]
  • Some spells require catalysts to cast, or magical component ingredients that are consumed upon a cast.
  • There is a magical revolution underway, and the appearance of people wielding bizarre magic has enticed spellweavers (who specialize in combining the effects of separate known spells to create new spells), spellsmiths (who specialize in discovering magic that can be activate through the use of catalysts and physical ingredients), and others, all of whom have been inspired to rethink what magic is. In reality, these individuals wield power that uses Orchestrator technology, so it is far beyond their grasp, but that doesn’t stop them from trying. And striving to reach those heights actually brings the world closer to understanding Orchestrator Truth. Not close enough to stimulate a semi-naturally-occurring Orchestrator birth, but close enough to get the observing Orchestrators to think.
  • Telltale Signs:

  • Magic has signs of being used. It depends on the spell, but it helps to make magic more detectable to people who aren’t mages or aren’t using magic detection systems.
  • When a person willingly or unwillingly uses a Mark, they visible signs of that happening are an example of signs of magic showing.
  • Eye shadowing is when streaks of light appear in someone’s eyes, or across the skin near their eyes. This is a result of [PHYSIOLOGICAL EXPLANATION]
  • Virastarvation:

    - A Price-Induced Coma
  • A mage can enter a comatose state if they drain more than their body’s “active energy reserve” contains. What happens depends on how much more they used. If it is an exceptional amount, their body will eat away at itself for as long as they manage to continue consciously draining energy. Some spells don’t require the mage to remain conscious, but they are more dangerous.
  • The mage will fall unconscious while their body attempts to recover. The length of time they are in this coma is dependent upon the damage and their body’s fitness level.
  • Casting a Spell:

  • Body Language and Speech: Different mages will gesture different or not at all when casting. Some will speak, hum, or sing while they cast and others will stay silent. This variation is because doing these things can help certain people cast spells more easily. At magic academies, mages are taught to limit their use of these “guiding actions” and, if possible, eliminate them entirely. This is because they are a crutch. They are encouraged to follow good spellcasting habits. It is normally not harmful to rely on these crutches, but it can stand in the way of improvement or limit the conditions under which the mage can cast their spells.
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    Identifying Magic as a Force:

  • Casting a spell first involves identifying certain energies in your body that fall under the umbrella force of “magic”.
  • People can cast simple spells without knowing how, but mastery of “real” magic, with a more conscious control, involves going far beyond this.
  • Novice mages are subjected to training sessions where they must repeatedly attempt to cast a specific spell. It isn’t enough to cast any spell to pass this training, because conscious manipulation of magic requires understanding what you are trying to do, at least a little bit. That is not to say there aren’t branches of magic that rely more on drawing a random tool from a hat and using whatever comes out. But learning to do even that starts with the basics.
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    Initialization:

  • A stage called “initialization” is when the mage begins to cast a spell by constructing a sort of mental configuration or state suitable for casting what they want to cast.
  • Learning to do this is hard, but it is what allows a person to consciously program Pulse to do what they want. Roughly what they want, at least.
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    Calculation:

  • Casting a spell is just like solving a puzzle in your head. It is difficult. Without experience, you see fewer and fewer of the pieces, and even the entire landscape of the puzzle can be obscured.
  • Once the pieces are visible to a mage, they must always solve the same kind of puzzle each time they want to cast a spell. Casting the spell enough times doesn’t bypass the need to find a solution. Achieving master will help a mage see the pieces more easily and help them understand strategies for finding the solution more quickly.
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    Activation:

  • Activation of a spell is when the solution to the puzzle has been found and the mage actively uses that solution to call upon Pulse to bring about the desired effect.
  • What happens after this depends upon the spell in question. Some spells will go on from this point without and more input from the mage. Others will require the mage to perform “sustaining” calculations while the spell is acting. Others still will require the mage to learn how to manipulate them so that they can command them to do what they want.
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    Sustaining a Spell:

  • If a spell needs to be sustained, a mage must perform more calculations of a nature depending on the kind of spell they are casting.
  • This is usually of a less mentally demanding nature than the pre-activation calculation stage.
  • Spells like this put a limit on the mage’s abilities while they remain in effect. If a mage isn’t careful, they will lose control of the spell. If they are lucky, that only means the spell “fizzles” out or stops dissipates. If they aren’t lucky, a dangerous reaction takes place. Sometimes this can even cause a mental rebound effect that kills the casting mage. Mages with mastery of a spell know how to safely conduct a manual deactivation of the spell should they need to stop it prematurely.
  • The ability of a mage to simultaneously sustain and manipulate many spells at once varies based on the mage, though research into individual differences suggests some people might be naturally more capable [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Working_memory].
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    Manipulating a Spell:

  • An example of this would be navigating a [Glow] spell to illuminate a different area. It is much more efficient to move the location of the light source, if possible, and it is possible if the mage knows how to do it.
  • Mastering the manipulation of a spell is less like learning how to solve a particular type of puzzle and more like “learning the controls” for a certain vehicle. Each spell is unique, as far as learning to manipulate them is concerned, though many share similarities.
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    Closing Thoughts: Pulse

  • Even well-practiced mages and Orchestrators do not understand why it is like this to cast a spell. They recognize Pulse as an interface that they must interact with to get what results they can, but it is also them that are interfaces for Pulse, which is reaching through to understand them in exchange for what it offers. People who believe they are commanding Pulse, even in some small way, are wrong. Pulse is cultivating that perception so that it can continue learning from people and continue to influence them.
  • Pulse is ancient and it is also new.
  • Magic is essentially Pulse swapping concepts between universes and civilizations. It can draw from everything it has learned about “the other side”. This is the perception of a number of Pulse mages.
  • Individual Differences:

  • People are not born with the same aptitude for magic. Everyone can learn to use it, and advanced magic is only possible through discipline and hard work no matter the mage, but not everyone has the same journey.
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    Perception Shaping Effect:

  • [Trine Notes] There is an influencing effect that reveals people’s ability to consciously manipulate magical energy (Vira) is changed depending on how they perceive it. One example is a person who has an “offense first” mindset. Such a person would find Offensive magic easier to manipulate, while Defensive and Utility magic might be difficult for them. This partially ties back to to magic being a mastered skill that relies on both conscious and unconscious bodily processes.
  • Magic Classification:

     

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