Magic, one of the three great energies is the result of one gathering and transforming raw Aether into another form. It is not just the act of casting spells, but the study of and uses of Aether and its properties. The uses of Magic and Aura are similar, although they use very different energies, it is common for the two to be mistaken.
The Source of Aether
What Are Its Origins?
No one knows the exact origin of Aether, no mortal at least, they only know its source relevant to Saera.
It is common knowledge that Aether comes from the void, the vast space beyond the Dawnshield, however, there are some who believe that Aether itself is produced by the gods themselves to be bestowed upon their chosen, but this is only partially true. There are many theories amongst scholars as to how and where Aether forms, but they can all agree that the void is responsible in some way or another.
Over the millennia various magic systems have been brought up and used, each having been improved through the passage of time in their own ways. The first beings to wield magic beyond the gods were the Dragons and Spirits, who themselves were shaped by Aether, to them, magic came naturally they used no spells and could call forth torrents of magic without a thought. When mortals first got their hands on this power they could barely light a fire without engulfing themselves in the flames, yet today casters are able to wreak havoc with magic calling upon powerful storms, crushing waves, devastating earthquakes, and a hail of fire.
Where is Its physical location?
As stated previously Aether comes from the void, but only in small quantities, that is because of the Dawnshield. The Dawnshield itself is a rather intricate assembly of runes and enchantments that have been placed upon Saeras sun, Aetherion, if one were to stand on Saeras surface and look upon the sky they would see an enormous magic circle spanning its length with Aetherion at its core. The magic circle itself is responsible for keeping the Aetherion system isolated from the rest of the greater realm and this includes Aether. Nothing gets in and nothing comes out, most of the time. So how does Aether reach Saera one might ask, well that would be Aetherion, stars are responsible for converting Aether from its chaotic state using the Vitae (lifeforce) of the dead into a more stable form -- Arda, it is this Aether that Saerans use to cast magic (it is also possible to use one's own lifeforce or Vitae to refine raw Aether around them for use in spells but most use the lifeforce of others in this regard). At its core, aether theory posits that overlaying all of known reality exists a parallel field or realm that is both (paradoxically) separate from and combined with all aspects of being this realm is known as Aontas the dream plane to mages or the undying land to regulars and its connection to our realm is known as the weave, it is from the weave that mages pull Arda. It is believed that originally this realm and ours were once one but at some point in history, their connection was severed theorists call this separation the veil.
Aether in its more chaotic form does still reach Aetherion and Saera, and this is through tears in the Dawnshield. The Dawnshield has weakened over tens of thousands of years which has allowed more and more raw Aether to seep through, in fact, the current Dawnshield wasn't the first and probably not the last in existence when too much strain is placed on it the shield will weaken to the point the enchantment shatters, this is what results in an Aetherfall.
During an Aetherfall an innumerable amount of Aether floods into the Aetherion system, in turn, Aetherion itself begins to churn out an exponentially large amount of refined Aether affecting Saera in various ways. Those who weren't able to harness magic suddenly find themselves capable of casting, mages are able to grow their power to breathtaking heights in a short span of time, in short magic itself becomes far more powerful and dangerous. There are more effects of an Aetherfall and a better explanation of why the Dawnshield exists, but we'll get to that another time for now more on magic.
How is it Gained?
Well to use magic one has to be able to gather and transform Aether this can be accomplished in three different ways the most common is to be born with the ability to harness Aether, the percentage of the population that are born mages varies depending on race, but for humans, it is about 1/10 of the populace. This doesn't mean that only born mages can use magic, although they are more powerful, this is where the second way to acquire magic comes in, Awakening.
Awakening is the process of attuning someone or something to Aether to get their bodies used to the sensation.
There are three types of Awakening, Natural Awakening
which is caused by being exposed to magic, and Aether on a regular basis simply by staying around casters, this process is the slowest and can take many years.
, which is caused by getting struck with magic or having near-death experiences with magic, is by far the most dangerous method.
Finally, Guided Awakening
, requires a mage that has excellent control over magic to tune their mana to another transferring it in the process.
Not every one that attempts to Awaken succeeds in doing so, in fact, most fail, but just the chance to be able to use magic is worth the effort for most.
The final method of acquiring the ability to cast magic is through Bestowal
, this can be done in a multitude of ways, one is to be given magic by a deity, only done for the most devoted, but for the less faithful forming a contract, pact or bond with demons, dragons, and spirits respectively will allow them to gain magic related to the being it was formed with. Some artifacts are also able to bestow the gift of magic to their wielders.
Vitae is the total amount of energy or life force that a creature carries in their bodies that allows its soul to be bound to it. The amount of Vitae the body houses is genetic so some people or species may hold more than others, most only hold trace amounts of Vitae, but just enough to bind the soul, others produce more Vitae than their bodies need. This excess can be used to protect or enhance both the body and the soul, the most common use for Vitae is to manipulate Arda and turn it into mana which is then used to cast spells.
When a creature dies it releases most of its accumulated Vitae and Mana, over a long period of time these energies seep into the earth and spread through the air, but more importantly, they are drawn to the sun to be used again to convert Aether into Arda in a slow never-ending cycle.
What about casting?
Magic is cast based on the will or intent of the user, but imagining what you want to cast is difficult if you can't visualize or don't understand the fundamental elements behind what you intend, for example, a tornado of flame might seem easy enough to visualize, but not if you've never seen a tornado or have only been explained what it is or what it can do. Then, even if you are able to visualize the form your magic takes, you run into two more problems, first, the price of casting, if you don't have the needed mana to manipulate Arda into the form or scale of a tornado much less fueling it with flame the spell could backfire, more than likely killing the caster. Second, intent, now that you're able to cast your flaming tornado who is its target, and where does it go?
Casting is divided into three phases: Sourcing, Rendering, and tuning.
- Sourcing, The first phase of any casting begins when a mage enters an altered physical state in preparation for casting. Most mages learn to source as an instinctive process some mages learn to do this instinctively; however, those who lack a natural affinity must spend considerable time learning how to control such an intense level of power. Some describe the practice as a sort of controlled meditation wherein they can feel a chaotic flow of energy surging through their bodies. Much like holding one's breath or clenching a fist, sourcing seeks to focus that energy into a single, sustained shape.
At this stage, the caster can release the energy without complication, though doing so too frequently can be tiring. Novices often learn this technique by priming their energy at low bursts, before learning how to render. Too much energy can cause backlash and hinder a caster's ability.
- Rendering, To impose one’s own will upon reality, a magician must be able to communicate his or her will to the fabric of space-time itself. We speak of communication, but such a feat is far beyond what any language can convey. When performing a magical act, the magician attempts to focus his or her mind and consciousness on the creation he or she seeks to enact. Many magicians describe this process as trying to create a “memory” of an event that has not yet happened. This means developing a coherent mental picture (as well as other sensory memories) at a moment’s notice.
Some mages believe this process to be achievable through various methods, including meditation, ritual, or even simply repeating a phrase or incantation. However, most practitioners view this process as being achieved through a combination of both mental and physical effort. The former allows a mage to develop a coherent mental image of what he or she wishes to create, while the latter provides a tangible anchor for the memory fragment.
Another method of creating a mental image is through the use of mnemonics. Mnemonics are a set of techniques used to help a person remember things. They are divided into two categories: association and imagery. Association mnemonics involve associating objects with each other. For example, a person might associate a word with a picture of something related to that word. Imagery mnemonics use visual images instead of words. For instance, someone might imagine a red apple falling onto a green tablecloth. This technique is also called "visualization". Some people believe that visualization is the best type of mnemonics, although others disagree. Regardless of which type of mnemonical technique is used, the goal of all mnemonics is to make it easier for the user to remember something.
Oration Magic, as it is practiced, relies on linking such fragmented memories to emotional references. An orator, by mentally reciting a story, poetry, or song (or oftentimes aloud), is able to retrieve specific fragments that allow him or her to achieve the same process as if it were always present. Other such casters may rely on more esoteric or unorthodox means of acquiring these memory fragments. Regardless, once acquired, they provide a mental “armament” that a caster can draw from before tuning.
- Tuning is the final stage of spellcasting and is most commonly associated with the act of "aligning" oneself towards the desired outcome. A mage must frame themselves towards their target before beginning the process of shaping a spell around them. They do so by using their mental faculties and bodily position to focus and align their energies toward the desired outcome. When a mage casts, they make physical contact with the Arda, allowing them to channel their power through their body. The ability to shape a spell comes from the caster’s connection to the Arda. The closer a caster can align themselves with their goal, the easier it will be for them to properly shape the spell. In cases where a caster has difficulty focusing, they may try to force their mind to perform the task, or simply relax and allow the forces of nature to guide them.
Origins or the schools of sorcery, not to be confused with schools of magic or magical techniques, are the ways in which a mage utilizes aether to cast. There are three main origins: Blood, Lunar, and Void
Blood Origin (Vitaeic)
More commonly called Blood Sorcery this origin arises from 'living' materials, namely from the combined life force (Vitae) found in the Blood of mortals but also in plants and through the soil. Blood Sorcery relies on either the leaching of life from other sources, the use of one's own blood, or the full sacrifice of another soul to be used. It is also the most common form of Sorcery and is widely accepted in much of the world.
Lunar Origin (Mekharan)
Those who use Lunar origin do not utilize Arda like other mages instead they draw power from the fragments of Mekhar, one of Saera's two moons known to many as the cursed moon because it looks like an eye with an ever vigilant malicious gaze. These Fragments are known to suppress the effects of Arda while enhancing the effects of raw chaotic aether making Lunar magi very effective anti-mages. Lunar Magi rely on Mekharan Cycles for their strongest power, and on any given night or day can go from essentially powerless to godlike with a single shift of the moon phase. Lunar Sorcery is very rare, but is an established school and generally accepted in most of the world.
Void Origin (Aontic)
Void origin arises from the ethereal, a void mage uses Arda to plunge their psyche or soul into either the realm of Aontas or the Greater Void
to commune with beings beyond the veil using emotions and the suffering of the world as a catalyst. These magi are seen as emotionally and mentally void allowing them to overcome some of the drawbacks of regular mages. Seemingly becoming more powerful the more chaotic and damaged the world becomes, Void Sorcery is exceedingly rare and dangerous and seems to have near limitless potential in the dying world. Void Magi are subjects of both fear and fascination, and other Magic users (and most living creatures) feel a natural repulsion that radiates off of Void Magi. They are often killed on sight, being associated with the Void, though doing so is far easier said than done. Masters of Void Magic can interact with and alter or even destroy human minds, manipulate and maneuver through Aontas, and can interact with and commune with spirits from the other side of The Veil. They are generally associated with blindness, an affliction common among their kind as they see less of the material and more of the ephemeral.
Application and Effects of Magic
Magic is divided into power levels known as "circles" to differentiate and categorize mages into their respective ranks, this rank correlates to the number of mana circles around a person's heart. The only way to increase in rank is to form a new circle around your heart, the core where all Vitae are stored and produced, which enables a host of new abilities and benefits for a mage. There are 10 official ranks from circle 1 to circle 10, any more than that is seen as being legendary or mythical as each circle is harder to form than the last, and most never make it past 3 circles.
- Circle 1 - Gives the ability to alter mana
- Circle 2 - Gives the ability to sense mana
- Circle 3 - Gives the ability to "Dreamwalk" into the realm of Aontas, gives increased affinity for an element
- Circle 4 - Opens the path to the mage's mental world allowing them to interact with their Persona
- Circle 5 - Gives the ability to create a domain
- Circle 6 - Gives increased affinity for a second element
- Circle 7 - Gives increased affinity for a third element
- Circle 8 - Gives increased affinity for a fourth element
- Circle 9 - Reforms the body bringing it to its ideal prime, giving the mage a greatly extended lifespan
- Circle 10 - Bestows the mage a fragment of divinity effectively making them an empyrean or demigod (only two people are known to have ever reached this stage)
each circle allows the user to hold double the amount of mana as the last and in turn, a mage must gather a certain amount of mana before they are able to form another circle. The first two circles are formed naturally by the body by taking in Arda from the environment but each circle after this must be formed manually by condensing and shaping the mana until a circle is forged, Failing to form a circle or having it destroyed can cripple or kill the caster it is also possible to steal or take a circle away from another person. Transplanting another person's circle into your body is very dangerous especially because every person's mana has a different frequency meaning if you were to transplant a circle that doesn't have a similar frequency to your mana there is a very high chance you would die -- a more than 90 percent chance to be exact.
Personas and Concepts
When a mage reaches the fourth circle they gain the ability to delve into their own mind or mental world where they are met by their "Persona". A persona is a being that exists beyond the veil given form in a mage's mind these beings can be anything from celestial beings and demons or even a god to an idea or emotion given "physical form" these Personas will offer the mage power if they can deduce the concept they convey, some may even try to combat the mage in their own mind whatever method is chosen if a mage succeeds they are granted the power to manipulate that concept. If they are however to fail the Persona will gain a degree of control over the body increasing until the mage succeeds, many of these Personas tend to go berserk when they take over a mage's body and can cause massive amounts of destruction, one of the many reasons mages are looked down upon around the world.
Concepts can take on many forms such as time, life, rage, or even the void to more mundane things like food and art or obscure things like intelligence and fate. Whatever the concept a mage that has succeeded in their "Ordeal" has complete control over its manipulation increasing with the number of circles they possess.
Everyone on Saera is born with an affinity to a certain element some people may even have an affinity for multiple elements or all at birth although this is rare. However, don't be mistaken even if one has no affinity with an element they can still use it as long as it isn't an advanced type like spacial or time magic, or if they have trained long enough with said element. There are 7 main elements fire, wind, lightning, earth, water, darkness, and light. There are also an almost infinite number of subelements some being unique to a certain bloodline or individual.
Magic is used in a variety of ways and specializations there are many to name but few shall be named below.
The user has the ability to use anti-magic which can nullify and destabilize most if not all forms of magic and even destroy a mage's capability to utilize magic. They can also achieve a variety of destructive effects on magic users, including crippling and/or killing them.
Anti-Magic works nearly similar to actual magic like manipulation and casting but only for the sole purpose of nullifying magic in general such as undoing spells, manipulation of anti-magical energies to destroy magical energies, and so on, having a myriad of possibilities against any and all magical arts.
Analysis is a type of anti-magic wherein a mage breaks down the runic composition of a spell's magic circle allowing them to either cancel an opponent's spell outright or "hijack" and/or redirect the spell for themselves effectively allowing them to combat their adversary with their own spells.
Weapons or Items that make use of Mekhar stones naturally repel magic making them ideal tools for non-mages (regulars) to combat magi. Lunar magi inherently use the Mekhar stones and pose a similar threat to their fellow magi of opposing disciplines.
An alternate form of Artificing wherein an "Artist" transcribes runes or tattoos upon their body acquiring either incredible physical abilities and superhuman powers like those of an Aura user or the recreation of a set of magical abilities to be used consciously by the recipient. This process is very dangerous and rarely produces reliable results leading many to berate the art.
The most basic applications of Artificing involve applying runes to inanimate objects and materials to replicate the effects of spells. Plans for artifacts are called schema. Artificing also involves precise, painstaking work with acids and caustic substances, various types of fine metalwork, and other work that seems, from descriptions, to be a sort of fusion of chemistry and metallurgy. Artifice is the complex process of manipulating nature artificially through some kind of material.
The ultimate goal of artifice is to allow a Saeran society to exist while still benefitting from magic. In essence, artifice aims to make magic users irrelevant. Artificing has a wide range of applications, from household goods to devastating weaponry. For this reason, many Saeran societies have a strict system regulating the creation and distribution of magic items. Most creations, particularly those produced in large quantities, are carefully controlled and regularly kept track of. Magic items intended for military use are even further restricted and rarely end up in the hands of ordinary citizens.
If divination is a shortcut around the weave, then by all current understandings, psychic magic is a direct feed into the fabric of reality. Arguably the least common of any source of magical discipline observed, psychic magic seems to ignore many constraints and limitations of other types of magic. Among these powers, are the ability of psychic mages to seemingly ignore the tuning requirements of so many other casters. From what can be observed, psychics seem to always be in continuous, sympathetic contact with the weave, such that their will is manifested with little more than conscious thoughts. Many researchers speculate that once upon a time, all mortal mages were psychic, and only with the shattering were many arcanists cut off from that connection to the weave, and have been slowly reattaching themselves since. Perhaps more troubling is research that indicates that some of the original demonically aberrant creatures that once invaded the dimension often possess this psychic connection to the weave. Making the limits of their potential powers unknown to any who still possesses the capability to record them.
Orators are arguably heirs of the oldest style of archaic magical casting, and the method manages to survive through the centuries despite the disciplines of wizardry that formalized magic and its use. Unlike wizardry, however, the ability to retain these memories is based on emotions rather than logic.
In hindsight, it is understandable. An individual's strongest memories are often linked to a powerful emotion or feeling, and orators are able to learn their spells by anchoring those emotions to important events. One way this association is done is by means of music. Music, in every culture, appears to hold an eerie ability to distill a recollection and allow memories to retain their shape through the ages with very little alteration.
For this reason, orators are often either accomplished musicians or consumers of various musical genres. A breadth of knowledge about music allows them to shape more varied songs and notes into important mental triggers that allow them to cast magical spells, and allow their memories to remain unchanged as a mortal ages.
Another avenue that orators utilize in the remembrance of spells is the collection of stories. Stories are an important distinction from mere history or lore. A story is imbued with the personality of the teller and is an emotional journey. A storyteller seeks to not only recount the details of an incident but to help the listener imagine themselves in that incident. Much like music, every story is unique and personal. A storyteller strives to not just recount the facts of an event, but also to help the listener imagine what it would feel like to be there.
Regardless of the source, so long as the orator remembers the story completely, he or she is able to draw the form and sync their body to the spell. Orators do not require to actively sing a song or tell a story in order to perform; though a verse or lines often helps.
Common superstition holds the belief that words, whether spoken, written, or otherwise, are full of magic, but this is only a metaphor. The power of most spoken words of magic is realized in either the reading, writing or pronouncing of them; their existence is not enough to create any kind of magic.
However, runes are different. The nature and purpose of runes often include symbols or letters that can easily be understood in language, and so it becomes clear that the mere inscription of itself is magic. The nature of runes, however, is merely a formalization and codification of the process of enchantment, where a magical creation is made into an object (usually the surface of parchment or paper), and is marked with notation during the process.
In reality, runes magic does come from the caster who creates them, and who imbue the material in and around their inscription with magical energy. Their tools, be they ink, chalk, or hammer, are almost always magical in nature and allow for the transfer of the drawing and framing processes into an inanimate object, thus creating the illusion of magic.
Scrolls, however, are the most common form used by casters to store their runes, usually etched in magical ink that allows for the anchoring of the magic to the page and doubles as a manual on how to release said magic. Most casters, however, are able to develop simpler forms of runes that allow for single use. Spells, such as glyphs, function in this manner, storing a magical effect until a specific trigger is met. Otherwise though, scrolls are the most popular form of runes, usually inscribed in magical ink that allows the caster to anchor the magic to the parchment or paper, and doubles as a manual for how to release said magic upon command.
Bloodline Magic also called Family Ability or Inherited Skill is a type of Magic that is unique to those sharing the same bloodline or ancestry. It appears that children usually inherit the father's power although it is possible for a child to inherit both parents' power.
The origin of Bloodline Magic at least for humans comes from the old gods who intermingled with human society giving their descendants the ability to wield their special abilities.
Magic from the gods can be described as a shortcut through all of your requirements for the rendering and tuning process, instead of having to develop the intellectual, emotional, mental discipline to interface with the weave. Creatures of divine inspiration are able, through the gift of divine inspiration, to receive the tools necessary to channel magical power. As the nature of these beings remains unknown, it is not clear whether they are receiving power from the weave directly or if they are directing the power from a god or gods. Also, unsurprisingly, such magic is so far unreplicable, and the presence of it within creatures often defies any logical consistency.
Easily one of the most terrifying powers wielded by magi, the art, and craft of Flesh Sculpting involves the dexterous rearranging of an organism's own physiology. With but a touch, a Flesh Lord or similar servants of the Flesh can change a normal human into a monstrosity by making severe alterations to their own facial structure, limbs, internal organs, etc.
Flesh Sculpting is often utilized by the Flesh to take normal animals and transform them into hideous, formidable beasts of war.
An Alchemist is an expert at combining reagents to produce mystical effects. Alchemists use their creations to give life and to leech it away. Alchemy is the oldest of artificer traditions, and its versatility has long been valued during times of war and peace.
Alchemists are not only masters of creating mundane alchemical substances such as alchemist's fire and smokesticks, but also of fashioning magical potion-like extracts in which they can store spell effects. In effect, an alchemist prepares his spells by mixing ingredients into a number of extracts, and then “casts” his spells by drinking the extract. When an alchemist creates an extract or bomb, he infuses the concoction with a tiny fraction of his own magical power—this enables the creation of powerful effects but also binds the effects to the creator.
Created not by a god, but by pure science and magic, an automaton is a construct designed to emulate life. Gears and cogs turn within their carapaces. Thinking, processing, learning. Due to the complexity of crafting sentient constructs, most Automatas are heavily magical in nature and usually possess a core to power their minds; in most cases this is a magic crystal. Depending on the creator, an automaton may have a very life-like face or a single curved surface with holes where the optical sensors reside. Automatons can be modeled after any of the races, usually human or elf is the standard choice. However, if the creator wants a strong servant, they may be modeled after an orc, or a half-orc. If they want a nimble spy, the automaton may be modeled after a halfling.
As stated before, every automaton is created by a person or even a team of people. Usually the body and general appearance of the automaton is based off the race of the creator(s). This is not the case if the automaton is made for a specific purpose, of course. If an automaton is designed for infiltration, assassination, or quick escapes, it will sport an agile, athletic body; Akin to that of an Elf, or Halfling. Alternatively, an automaton may be made with protection, defense, or offense as the main priority. automatons built this way have thick-built muscular bodies, modeled in the way of half-orcs, dwarves, or brawny humans. In rare cases, automatons are constructed for personal purposes, such as a friend, companion or even an intimate partner, these Automatons are crafted to embody to most appealing physical appearance of either gender of any race desired. More often than not, automatons built for intimate relations have over exaggerated body parts, large genitalia, over sized breasts and buttocks, these automatons are the most frowned upon.
Most often, automatons have a thin outer layer of metal sheets that hide the inner-workings of the machine. Designed to imitate skin as well as protect the automaton's insides. This outer layer, or "metal skin", will emulate that of a male or female body, shaped to the creators wishes. The metal sheets are not connected in places like the abdominal section of the torso or shoulders, but slide over each other to allow joint movement. These sheets can be made from any range of metals from iron to bronze, brass, silver, or even (in rare cases) adamantine. The heads and faces of the automatons are surrounded by the same material but do not compare as well to real-life faces as the bodies do. The faces of automatons struggle to show emotion, this is mirrored by the automaton's inability to feel emotion. Automatons very rarely have moving eyebrows, or cheeks. Their lips are stiff, and eyes shallow. Normally only the chin and lower lip move to simulate speech. When an automaton is made with a specific purpose, such as carrying crates or firing a weapon, their hands will be crafted to only do those things. An automaton designed to fire a bow will only have the fingers necessary to fire a bow. An automaton designed to carry large crates might not have fingers at all.
The greatest automatons are the Titans, powerful war machines designed to overwhelm even a dragon in a fight as long as a few are present. Unlike other automatons, they are designed to allow a person to pilot them into battle.
Schools of Magic
Any magical institution worth its salt teaches the eight schools of magic although many choose to forego the teachings of the school of necromancy.
Abjuration is a school of magic that deals in protective spells and the suppression of others' magic. Magic of this school creates physical or magical barriers, negates magical or physical abilities, harms trespassers, or even banishes the target of the spell to another plane of existence. Wizards who specialize in this type of magic are known as abjurers or White mages.
One of the eight schools of magic recognized throughout Saera, conjuration focuses on summoning magical effects and creatures. A wizard that specializes in conjuration is called a conjurer or a Blue mage.
Alteration magic can be used to change the fundamentals of physics and biology. It can harden the caster's skin until it is like armor, cause a lock to pop open without a key, or burden an enemy with invisible weight. Alteration magic's greatest strengths are outside of combat. A wizard that specializes in conjuration is called a thaumaturge or Green mage
Alteration is different from Illusion in that it alters the rules of nature, creating a reality that is recognized by everyone, rather than in the mind of the caster and the target.
The art of enchanting involves adding a magical enchantment to a regular item, causing it to have special effects when used. An enchantment is a spell sealed, trapped into an object to confer mystical attributes, which are supported by Souls. A wizard that specializes in conjuration is called an enchanter or Yellow mage
Illusion is one of the eight schools of magic recognized on Saera. It deals with influencing the minds of others, either by subtly charming them or through compulsion, which exerts a more overt control over the subject and it deals with the creation of images, sounds, figments, or shadows, generally to confuse or deceive the onlooker. Wizards who specialize in illusion magics are known as illusionists or Grey mages.
The magical field of necromancy is one of the eight schools of magic recognized on Saera. It is sometimes referred to variously as the dark arts or death magic. It deals with the manipulation of the essential life force which infuses all living things. Its darker aspect is the creation and control of undead creatures. Wizards who specialize in necromantic magic are known as necromancers or Black mages.
Evocation is one of the eight schools of magic practiced on Saera. Wizards who specialize in this form of magic are known as evokers or Red Mages. Evocation deals with the creation and manipulation of raw magical energy, often for a destructive end.
Evokers are fascinated with the unbridled power they command, often reveling in the destruction they can wreak. They are often found in the company of armies or as part of a military unit, as their skills are invaluable on the battlefield.
Mysticism is one of the eight schools of magic practiced on Saera. It deals with the uncovering of mysteries, fortune-telling, and the perceiving of places and people at a distance. Wizards who specialize in this form of magic are known as mystics or Violet mages.
An individual who has mastered each school of magic is recognized as a Rainbow mage, in Astrye these mages are given mysterious prismatic robes.
For being an almost all-powerful energy mana, and therefore magic comes along with many drawbacks and nuances.
Kynslaying, mageslaying, or magicide is the act of a mage killing another while this might sound like a regular murder be assured that it is not, when a mage kills another mage the slain one's psyche is automatically absorbed by the killer putting them into a dreamlike trance. In this trance, they are shown the strongest memories of that mage and effectively enter their mind wherein the slayer can "steal" knowledge from the other mage specifically the knowledge of spells, or more importantly, they can steal the memories that the slain mage uses to cast their own spells. The dead mage may also impart this knowledge to their slayer freely, you may ask why one would do this but it is actually fairly common to see a mage who is near death ask their comrades to kill them to impart their "legacy" before they pass on as all those involved in the slaying are tranced when the act is committed.
The trance is highly and commonly exploited therefore mages have to prepare carefully when fighting another mage to ensure they aren't killed this is done in a number of ways. The first is in a controlled environment, specifically in a 1v1 or small-scale battle, where both sides enclose an area with wards or a large area covering magic such as domains or fields to ensure their battle is uninterrupted by outside forces and that they can safely absorb the opponent's memories. The more extreme method is by becoming a "null", those who sever their emotions and suppress their memories by doing this a mage is able to bypass the trance albeit by becoming less "human".
It is common for a mage to become mentally unstable after multiple kynslayings as the memories of all the people they killed flow into their mind every time they sleep they slowly lose their sanity and their being because the mage finds it harder and harder to differentiate others memories to their own. When this condition reaches its extreme a person becomes a "legion" a being with multiple minds and souls, not one person but a colony of individuals. Legions are powerful people but because their personalities can change at a moment's notice they are considered highly volatile and to many unnatural therefore they are commonly culled. To prevent themselves from becoming a Legion many mages deny themselves the chance to sleep instead they enter meditation surging mana through the body to relieve fatigue. A much more effective alternative is memory transfer, where a mage's memories are literally transferred into an artifact or in some cases another person to be stored and "banked" for later use.
Casting spells Magically exerts the caster's body, and a Magi can only handle a certain amount of magic before it causes harm to their body. Each spell casts results in Overwhelmation, and if a Magi’s Overwhelmation exceeds a certain point, they will suffer from Exposure Sickness. The effects of extreme amounts of Magic on the body are myriad and extreme. With low levels of Exposure Sickness, a person experiences random bouts of nausea and vomiting, along with periods of headaches, fatigue, and fever. If looked at closely, one can see their veins becoming subtly more pronounced, and see the movement of the blood rushing underneath their skin. Sometimes, blood even seems to pour from one of their orifices. With high levels of exposure sickness, this person becomes quickly incapacitated, spending most of their days vomiting (mundanely and in worse spells blood), and is often unable to walk without help. Blood regularly leaks from his/her eyes, nose, and ear, and sometimes even collects so much under the skin that it seems to begin to leak out. Around those places, the skin has begun peeling and the muscles are seeming to melt within the body due to the intense magical power within. With extreme levels of exposure sickness, the mage is effectively incapable of speaking. Blood pours freely out of every possible exit point of his body, or out of the pores of his skin and flesh. His limbs have started to literally dissolve into nothingness, muscles, sinews, and bones melting down and collapsing inward, and his myriad of failing organs and failing arteries push against his rapidly shrinking skin and visibly pulse and throb within. Survival from this stage is... unlikely.
Mutations are a result of exposure to massive amounts of Magic that do not end in death. While the exposure is common for people near large battlefields between magi, places of power, or sometimes in villages near mana zones, the survival is not. Sometimes, Magi will create mutations through experimentation, normally to horrifying and eldritch results.
Mutations can manifest as everything from glowing eyes to extra limbs to complete transformations. In addition to the beforementioned effects, specific forms of Magic have their own specific forms of drawbacks. Void Magi are known to go blind and people see them as 'ethereal,' as if they're only half there, and can often only remember them like they remember dreams. Lunar Magi can gain a subtle white glow and tend to have increasingly pale skin with blackened veins and green or black eyes, and Blood Magi often have visible veins along their arms and neck while masters are known to sometimes possess red or at extreme levels purple eyes.
Magic on the Battlefield
The use of magic on a conventional battlefield is both what you might expect and also far from it. Because any wise leader knows that a force of magi could obliterate an army some nations deploy with their armies a shard of Mekhar, giant stones that possess the power to suppress the use of most types of magic in a wide range spanning a few miles depending on the size of the shard and the number of Lunar magi channeling it. Normally this would force both armies to meet on the field in melee but there are countermeasures that can be used to counter a Mekhar shard and allow an army's mages to use their full potential.
The first is to send a task force of specialized personnel to go behind enemy lines and kill the enemy magi who are channeling the stone but this is rarely effective as many armies commonly place the shard in the middle of their forces to prevent such a scenario. The second more effective method is the use of artillery which has become much more developed to serve this purpose, long-range cannons fire upon the location of the shard while the defending magi desperately try to hold back the onslaught. However, once destroyed both sides would have full control over their magic resulting in no one having the upper hand.
Because most mages rely on Blood sorcery to use magic both armies going into melee is actually more beneficial because of the sheer amount of bloodshed wrought by both sides Vitae surges through battlefields allowing Blood magi to have a large source of power to siphon to utilize their magic.
Another major component on the battlefield are the Xokrii or more commonly known as Sandmen these mages are nulls and many tend to be Void mages. Their job is to plunge their psyche into an enemy mage from across the field of battle in an attempt to either kill or take over the mind of an enemy and turn them against their fellows. Because this process involves confronting an enemy mage in their own mental realm it takes a very skilled mage to become a Sandman.
The final use of magic on the battlefield is through the use of enchantments and automata. An army with enchanted armor or weapons gains a major advantage over their adversary but because these artifacts are rare and expensive they are usually in the hands of the more elite forces. Automata are commonly found in any armies vanguard the most famous of them being Titans large, hulking constructs said to be able of taking on 1,000 men alone. The amount of Titans a nation can field is the most prominent display of their military power as many believe Titans are the deciding factor of any battle or war.