Magic, in the form of Pneuma, is an intrinsic part of life. The flow of energy infuses everything, although it is only readily apparent during shardfall, or in those things that take in shards and can use them. A lot of creatures have adapted to this source, and it has given them advantages, such as flight, special abilities, or just to be bigger, stronger or faster than they otherwise would be. When humans arrived, they quickly realised the potential of this source of power, but it took a while to get any practical use out of it. It was only when children who were born since their arrival hit puberty that real benefits of Pneuma became visible. Since the first emergences of magical talent, the College of Magic in Altruis has been the foremost location for training young people in the proper use of their talents, other schools have arisen since, both in Altruis and across wider human civilisation.
Magic and Humans
Elemental InfluenceWhen a human reaches puberty, their elemental influence begins to manifest, usually in personality traits, but if the flow of Pneuma was strong enough, then they can show magical traits. To have such traits, the flow of Pneuma needs to have been flavoured with one or more of the elemental planes, if the Pneuma at someone's birth is plain, then they won't show magical ability. Not everyone manifests magical power, and the College of Magic has yet to identify what causes someone to do so. Those born when Pneuma was at its peak (Brights) are almost always guaranteed to have magical ability, even if the Pneuma was plain and conversely, those born during dark periods (Darks) never do, even if they have a lot of influences. Without identification and training, this ability is chaotic and uncontrolled, and it can cause harm and damage to the environment around the unfortunate user. If left for too long, it has the potential to consume the source, although this only ever happens with Brights. Whilst elemental influences are mixed, a person's magical ability only ever displays one or more of the four base elements; fire, water, air and earth. For example, one born to Air influences can only tap into the air element, but one born to Mud influences can tap into both water and earth, and one born to Sand can tap into air, earth and water. Whilst it is theoretically possible for a combination of all four elements to exist, it has not been seen yet in humans. Those born under the Null plane are known as 'Shadowed', and absorb magical power from the people and environment around them, although they cannot use it themselves. Such individuals can be trained to focus their absorbing powers, or to create 'shields' against magic, and their talents are in high demand. However, a pure shadowed year has only happened 3 times in the last one hundred years, and their numbers are low.
Incedis (fire)Fire has a bad reputation for being uncontrollable and inherently violent, but it can also be used to inspire, to provide creativity, and to mold one thing into another. Its destructive properties are unparralled, but most magic users with strong Incedis influences take great care to control their powers.
Imperis (air)Air has the enviable ability to allow its users to fly, something none of the other elements can bestow. It can also be used to control lightning, confer invisibility, and create illusions.
Gravis (earth)No other element can provide protection as much as earth, and it allows users to alter physical traits and change form. It is also used to control non-sapient animals, and grants abilities such as telekinesis.
Aquanis (water)Water brings healing, cleansing, and travelling abilities, such as teleportation. It can be used to enchant items, to control the weather and temperature.
MechanicsOnce a person has been identified as having talent, the first thing that happens is that they have their magical powers suppressed, using a combination of spells and mental conditioning. After this, at a school or college of magic, they are then taught how to access their inner power, and craft it into workable 'spells'. As a magician grows more competent, they are taught how to unlock more of their potential. This prevents young, eager, yet powerful adepts from overwhelming themselves or those around them. It is customary for adepts to use spells already created in formal, managable ways; these spells are known to work, and their effects have been studied and are well known. It is possible to use one's magic in an unformatted, uncontrolled manner, but this is discouraged as the effects cannot be truly known until the magic is used. Magic users are classified into six categories, based on skill and experience. As a magic user gains skill, they are elevated to the rank above and their powers increased. Not all magicians have the raw power to ascend to the top rank, and not all magicians gain the required skills to unlock their inner powers to progress either. As one magician's magic is different in style to another's, it is common for this progression to be overseen by the senior magician who instilled the restrictions in the first place, who also mentors throughout a magic user's career.
- Novice - The first rank a new magician is given when their powers are first controlled
- Adept - After 'graduating' from their college or school, a magician is then classified as an adept
- Journeyman - Considered by most to be competent enough to use their abilities to earn a living
- Master - Most magicians rise to the rank of Master, which is considered enough for the majority of users
- Grandmaster - Only the most skilled and powerful magicians can be classed as Grandmaster
- Paramount - Very few magicians have the skill and power to get to this level. They are always the top in their field.