"To wield magic is to unite the will of living man with the will of god. Through right faith, right practice, and right action can the mortal uncover a power to superior to himself. To wield it, it is necessary to align one's self with the divine will, and act as its instrument. To strike against creed, true faith, and practice leaves the heretic with nothing, while orthodoxy rewards the gifted faithful with power. Man cannot strike against god with god's own power."
Tabia, Scholar and High Kuhani of Hamshu in his treatise "On Sorcery: Wielding the providence of greater beings".
Magic is the use of power that does not have a physical or natural source. To use magic is to wield a force that bends reality to its will, defying calculation and explanation. Through magic, practitioners accomplish the impossible, and perform feats that their bodies and minds would be incapable of otherwise. Magic is however not inexhaustible, and individual practitioners can only perform their greatest feats of reality bending every so often. Far from a solitary art, magicians that combine their powers can achieve feats greater than any of them could alone. There are a few types of magic, not all of them are achievable by mortals.  


The most common type of magic, providence is sorcery achieved through faith in a greater power, with right action and right practice to guide the magician's use of power. Thus, the use of divine miracle is heavily steeped in ritual, and practitioners take great pains to ensure that they say the right prayers and perform the correct rites for whatever they are trying to do. This type of magic is the only one that is regularly seen, and practically all magic users belong to some sort of religious tradition that guides them in their path to understand the miracles of their gods and other spirits they might worship.  


In some sense a subgroup of providence, and in some sense apart from it, Göetia is the use of an external source of power that is not divine. Generally a borderworld demon of some sort, the process of wielding Göetic power is very similar to wielding power from providence. The main things that distinguish Göetia from Providence is that Göetia more often involves an explicit bargain, and borderworld demons are generally thought to be weaker but more malevolent than true divinities. Borderworld demons are also typically easier to observe. However, rival faiths have often considered each other's practices to be Göetia as most religions do not acknowledge divinities other than the ones they themselves worship.   The gnomes have often been thought to practice a form of Göetia, but rather than drawing on borderworld demons, they draw on the powers of wildland Fae.  

Exodite Sorcery

A curious breed compared to the first two, the elves of Exodus do not seem to draw their power from any higher entity. The Exodites do not worship gods, and slay most borderworld demons they encounter. With Providence impossible and Göetia impractical, the powers of the Exodite Starseers seem unexplainable to other peoples and races. However, on closer examination the Starseers' use of magic is just as steeped in ritual as any other religious order, and though the Starseers have attempted to dissect their own practices to understand what exactly makes them work (and by extension what makes any other magical tradition work), they have thus far failed. Their lack of faith in any greater force, or even in the powers of a devil's bargain seem likewise strange, but the elves themselves profess faith in the unity and destiny of their people and race.  

Elder Powers

An elder power is a law unto itself, an entity that needs no faith, ritual, or practice to bend reality to its will. Greater than mortal in nature, these creatures wield magic by instinct, with the same ease as a man holds out a hand. Though often limited to their inborn, natural powers, elder powers often eclipse mortal magicians in the sheer scale of what they are able to accomplish. Perhaps fortunately, elder powers are also relatively rare, at least in the world of mortals.   Fae, whether making their homes in The Light or the wildlands, can be thought of as elder powers. Most borderworld demons are likewise. The dragons of the world are among the mightiest of these creatures. Some elder powers lend their power to mortals through Göetia, but few are so kind as to explain their mysteries.  

Shaftbuilder Artifice

The Shaftbuilders were a group of dwarves that lived 6000 years ago, and the works they have left behind seem to break the most fundamental rules of mortal magic. It is understood that whether the magician be an elf or human or halfling or anything else, and whether they receive their powers through Providence or Göetia, the living will is needed to guide and sustain power. Thus, magic not tied to a magician is impossible, and the investure of power to an inanimate receptacle impossible for any length of time. Yet the shaftbuilders, dead for 6000 years, have left behind magical artifacts that still function, obeying the commands of those that have uncovered the secrets of using them. Mining a strange crystal from the ground and using it as the focus of all their power, the shaftbuilder art of "Imprinting" has never been since recreated, and how it was possible to begin with remains a mystery.
Metaphysical, Divine


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