Ambient Magic

Magic used to be all around us, and in some places in the world you can still find it. There you can feel magic in its purest form.
The magic used by people filtered by their nature, be they human, birdkin, or rabbitkin. Ambient magic on the other hand... Its the closest thing I've felt to the magic of the gods themselves, be they good or ill.
— Lecturer at Yiselxà Academia
Ambient magic is the magic present in nature. Whether one looks at the air, stone or the sea all inanimate objects are infused with at least a little magic. All magical creatures draw upon this field to some extent, some indirectly. Sentients or Monsters convert it directly into their mana, an approach more commonly known. On the other hand, some plants may draw it in from the water along with other nutrients, making the plant magical just by being in the right spot.


Field Types

Ambient magic comes in several forms depending on the surroundings. There are two 'base' forms of magic that all magic breaks down to: ether and void magic. The general effect of a ambient magic field comes from the percentages of these two.

The safest kind of ambient magic is a 50/50 mix of ether and void. Here, the ill effects of both magics are balanced out by each other, leaving a neutral field of magic. People prefer living in areas with this sort of magic, but unfortunately, among other things, the Starfall destroyed most of these areas.

Secondly, there is high ether/low void magical fields. Very common in the modern age, this type rarely does anything unless in high concentrations. If the density is high enough, the ether magic can shut down the systems of anything living over time, right down to the plants. Only a Monster produced from pure magic could live in this long term.

Ether Magic

Ether is essentially a stabilizer. It can't do much on its own, but is still dangerous to non-magical systems. Ether is found most in inanimate matter, rather than living creatures.

Void Magic

Void magic is chaos, infinite possibilities. While having more options than its opposite, its nearly impossible to control and often rough on biological systems.
Third, a low ether/high void magic, which is commonplace in the Wastelands. High void fields are the most well known and the easiest to see the consequences of. While a high ether could produce pure magic Monsters, only high density void magic produces the mutated Monsters than are seen across the continent.
All magical fields are somewhere along this scale, one way or another.

Field Density

The second form of categorization for magical fields is about their density. Known as Mertush's Scale, the ranking starts at zero and goes to ten. At zero, no magic at all is present in the area. Only one place with this sheer lack of magic has been recorded, and the magic has since recovered to a one on the scale. At one to three, minimal to small amounts magic is present. Four to six was the average density before the Starfall. At seven and above, animals are at risk for turning into monsters. At eight and above, Mana Poisoning is a real threat to the average human adult.
Once the density reaches ten, the local environment is at the point of saturation. At this point magic will either form Monsters, or crystallize into a Dungeon's core. Dungeon cores anchor the magical field and keep it from dissipating naturally. With the magic unable to leave, excess magic will either change the environment around it, or go into the core, making it larger.

Metaphysical, Arcane
Mana Deficiency
Condition | Jan 29, 2019

Critical lack of mana

Mana Poisoning
Condition | Jan 4, 2020

Dangerous intake of magic

Physical / Metaphysical Law | Oct 24, 2018

Crystallization of ambient magic

Articles under Ambient Magic


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24 Oct, 2018 21:37

Fantastic article, very well presented and engaging narrative. You've struck a really grate balance here between informative details and aspects of lore in your world, and I'm keen to explore your linked articles! The only critique i have is: where you start with "The safest type is 50/50..." I am left wondering which type exactly you are referring to by name, but other than that, fantastic concept!!

Creator of the dark fantasy world of Melior
I also make worldbuilding resources!
24 Oct, 2018 23:19

Thank you very much!! I'm glad that I finally struck the balance with this article, I've been writing and rewriting some version of this for months now.
As for your critique, I meant that its the safest kind of ambient magic to find in the wild. That line is a bit ambiguous though, I'll fix it.

27 Oct, 2018 07:47

An interesting basis for a magic system. A few things of note though, overall the article could use one more proofreading. Some of the sections had errors that made the meaning a bit confusing. The excess energy turning into a dungeon, is like a standard RPG dungeon?

Some visual elements to break up the paragraphs would be great as well. Without seeing pictures its a bit hard to imagine the monsters born fron the imbalance and such. Good concept though, curious to see where you go with this!

27 Oct, 2018 20:18

Thank you! I'm not surprised it needs proofreading, after a certain point my eyes just started missing the mistakes, that's why I put it up for review. Could you mention which sections have the worst errors, just so I know where to start?
And yes, its a standard RPG dungeon. I created this setting in order to try and explain/justify RPG cliques, I hope that succeeded.

And I'll be adding some visuals at a later date! A picture of some monsters, and a chart for magic density are some of the things I want to add later on. I'm glad you like the concept though, thank you very much!!

27 Oct, 2018 19:57

Not a bad article, simple but effective, with a lot of good details that help explain the magic in well-done detail. The only thing I want to ask is mainly if there are ways to "reduce" ambient magic? Since by reading it it seems that it only tends to get worse over time without any records of being able to lower said magic.

27 Oct, 2018 20:14

Thank you very much! Ambient magic can lower just as easily as it increases. In fact, most of the continent is suffering from a lack of ambient magic, because most of it is trapped on the west coast. However, its like water, it seeps into things. Thus, if you can absorb it into something else and move the magic elsewhere, you've gotten rid of it. Conversely, if ambient magic gets too high, it tends to dam itself up. In that case, if you get rid of the dam, the magic is free to leave. (But of course, just breaking a dam has its own consequences.) I hope that explains the process fairly well.

27 Oct, 2018 20:23

Yeah, I can see how it works. Have some stuff that can absorb the magic to get rid off it, or if the stuff begins crystalizing find a way to break it and avoid the arcane atom bomb that follows next!

27 Oct, 2018 21:43

Yup! Unfortunately for my characters, even getting to the crystallized magic is tough, let alone mitigating the damage, haha. I should probably add a section in my article with this explanation to clear this up for others later.

Declan Ward
28 Oct, 2018 10:34

Very simple to read, yet every engaging! I like you don't bog the article down in convoluted technobabble. Though, there is one question on my mind: Can Ambient Magic users perform magic innately or does it need to be taught to them?

28 Oct, 2018 19:00

Thank you, I'm glad you liked it! And ambient magic is more about magic in nature, but for those who can use magic, basic uses of magic are fairly intuitive. However, intuitive magic tends to be less efficient, and complicated uses require teaching and practice. The efficiency aspect is the most important part in the modern era since wasting magic could lead to health issues. Hope that explains it!

Elias Redclaw
10 Dec, 2018 08:55

A great and solid article I would say. You went quite deep into the magic system yet have managed to keep it interesting to read. I personally like the blending of science and magic here and it really makes you want to read more about this. I also liked the fact that you linked multiple other articles to this which gives you a complete sense of information about this magic system and answers a lot of questions that would otherwise been left unanswered. Overall a great article and I give it a 9 out of 10

14 May, 2019 02:57

Thank you very much!! A little bit of science goes a long way with an article like this I found. I'm glad that you liked it!

Elias Redclaw
14 May, 2019 03:34

Again no problem! Recieving this comment all out of a sudden was a surprise though but it reminded me to look at your world again! So thank you!

24 Apr, 2019 20:44

Congrats on being the featured article today! That was a nice read. Some feedback to improve the writing of the article:   # Whether one is looks at the air -> Whether one looks at the air # Sentients or Monsters the convert it directly into their mana -> Sentients or Monsters convert it directly into their mana # The general effect of an ambient magic field comes from the percentages of these two. # Only a Monster produced from pure magic could live in this long term -> Only a Monster produced from pure magic could live in this long # but still dangerous to non-magical systems -> but is still dangerous to non-magical systems # Only one place with this sheer lack of magic is one record -> Only a single place with this sheer lack of magic has been recorded   Keep it up! :)

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
14 May, 2019 02:54

Thank you very much!! I was very excited to see I got featured, but I've only now gotten out of the rush of college work haha
I'll get right on those fixes, thank you for spotting them!