By the Weave
Magic in Saleh'Alire
It is a source of irony that the discovery for which I am most likely to be remembered are the Salanti Ruins. I spent that year in the Niesen Mountains with a group of natives who lived much like Priests; older members insisted on an elaborate name in their mother tongue, which the younger members simplified in common as "Star-Gazers". Regardless of what they called themselves, it was clear to my more educated eye that they were dedicated to the knowledge and observation of planar movement- which they mistook for Stars.Viewed as just another form of technology by Aliran denizens, wherever you look in Saleh'Alire, and wherever you go, magic is not far behind. Indeed, it is everywhere- from the basic postal service between average settlements, to the very light which lights one's home at night. Magic is so plentiful and commonplace, in fact, that there are few people in Saleh'Alire (or any of the various Planes of existence, for that matter) who do not use it in any form, for one reason or another. Some even dedicate their entire lives to studying and mastering it- sometimes with deadly results. Outside of acknowledging that it exists, and understanding that anyone can tap into it, however, few Alirans honestly care what it is or how it came to be. Colloquially called The Weave by many, what it is, and how it works, is a question that has baffled Arcanists until roughly the last few centuries- especially since historical books on the subject have deliberately falsified information in an attempt to limit knowledge of more advanced spellcasting, for which an inherent understanding of The Weave is fundamental. Significant study by Arcanists over the centuries has verified the belief, however, that it's an invisible energetic force which surrounds and permeates everything. But recent headway in research has greatly expanded knowledge of it, and all it contains.— Arcane Anthropologist Dhinha Vudir, The Star-Gazers of Southern Martova
The Universal ModelThe answer to how magic works and where it comes from, surprisingly, lays with the various Planes of existence themselves; the major discovery of how the Planes of existence are organized in the first place, and the fact that they exist in a constant state of rotation around one another, has forever changed the understanding of The Weave among inhabitants of the Planes.
Sitting stationary at the center of this new model is the Material Realm. Around it orbit the Inner Planes: The Shadowfell and Feywild, and their sister planes, the Elemental and Astral. This is known as the Formulative Sphere. Orbiting the Formulative Sphere are the Outer Planes, which are divided into two additional Spheres. The Liminal and Ethereal Planes are in direct orbit of the Inner Planes, and make up the Energetic Sphere. This is, in turn, orbited by the Lucent Sphere, comprised of the Celestial and Abyssal Planes. The Material Realm, despite existing at the center of this model, is where The Weave is at its weakest and most difficult to access- but also where it's the most stable and likely to produce exact results. Instead Magic, and the unpredictability of its affects, increases as one moves outwards towards the Celestial or Abyss. Perhaps more interesting, however, is that while magic increases as one moves out, the tangibility of the realm and its inhabitants decreases in corresponding measures. The rotation of the Planes of existence around one another acts as a sort of extraplanar generator; an energy field of sorts which surrounds and permeates the very planes whose orbit creates it. It is the harnessing, condensation, and manipulation of this force which Alirans and other planar denizens call ""magic", "spellcasting", and "arancum"- among other names.
The Weave is the fabric within which all existence is possible- the maker of all things. In one respect, it is like the sea, forever undulating- producing and consuming energy and matter alike as the Spheres rotate. In spaces where calmness abounds there is very little magic, while spaces of higher energy are hotbeds of it. But we have observed that the densest areas are other planes of existence entirely... And just as individual drops can be pulled from the water, so can individual effects be born of the Weave. And just as each drop that falls back to the sea loses itself, so too does all magic rejoin the Weave eventually.— High Arcanist Duragon Vasiliri,
On the Nature of Reality