Laws of Magic Physical / Metaphysical Law in The Sagas | World Anvil

Laws of Magic

Magic may not be a power that comes from this world, but it too has laws that those who use it must follow to ensure that everything is kept in check, or disaster will only follow! - Elder Mage
  The Laws of Magic a series of natural laws that magic users must follow to be used properly by a caster. They cannot be ignored, and shortcuts cannot be made, for magic is pure power, plain and simple, and to ignore the precautions of wielding that power will only lead to one's destruction and the lives of those around them. Making it all the more reason to follow to ensure that it never comes to pass and the caster can survive every time they use it.


The Laws of magic are bound by all who use magic in the world. For that reason, many things must be known before trying to use it to understand the scope of its laws and truly know the consequences if they are ignored.  

Foundation Laws

  Laws that make up the most ground rule of magic are found in all things magic that cannot be ignored, or it will lead to dire consequences.   Price of Magic: A law that states that magic always comes at a price no matter how weak or powerful a spell can be. This results in a mage paying the price, often with their bodies, to perform a spell. Mages that are taught control can lower the effect of the price, but to those inexperienced, a simple spell can easily cause them great pain or even death if they cast it recklessly.   Source Arcana : To use magic, a person must be born with a source arcana to store magic known as Arcane Essence to use to past spells. Each source can determine how much essence can be stored within a person and what magic they can use.   Paths of Magic : For some reason, a person with magic can only perform one type of it and are unable to change it with only a few exceptions being possible. The paths are every type of magic that has been seen and recorded to understand it better. Allowing the user to understand their magic better and focusing on how to use it better.  

Laws of Casting

  Even casting spells has laws to use and avoid suffering to use magic successfully by bringing it into the physical world.   Arcane Speech: The language of magic that all spellcasters must learn to cast a spell. The words of power and the sequence to cast the spell must be said properly for it to work or lead to the spell backfiring on the caster.   Arcane Essence: Essence is the primary energy needed to cast a spell and is stored in the Source Arcana. Every spell needs a certain amount of essence to work properly.   Spell Ranks: Each spell has a rank determined by its power and the amount of essence it needs, with the higher-ranking spell needing more essence to use and preparation to cast.   Item Enchantment : Enchanting a technique that allows a caster to pour magic into an item to give it magical properties. Only Enchanters can do this through training and focus.   Magic Rituals: Rituals are far more complex than any average spell as they take time and material to complete. Some can only be done during certain events or require ingredients to work.  

Laws of Limitation

  Magic Restrictions: Each type of magic is limited by the power that they are bound to in both strength and weakness being only able to do so much with them. While magic items can help and train, changing the magic's nature cannot be altered differently. This can go with environmental changes that can strengthen and weaken the magic.   Gift of Magic: Only those who are born with magic can use a spell, while magic items can be used by those who are unable to use it; attempting to use proper spells is not possible unless attempting to use Dark Magic or Divine Magic which their own set of laws.


Magic Domains: While magic does not come from this world, it does not mean it doe not exist in it. Certain places are infused with magic to allow them to increase the power of magic use and achieve certain feats that can happen in that area. They can revitalize their magic more quickly due to the magic around them being like water to a sponge for a Source Arcana.
Metaphysical, Arcane


  Breaking or ignoring the laws of magic will always result in problems for the user of the magic. The effects that come with them will often be both physical and mental as their body begins to suffer damage from the magic they are using.   Arcane Depletion : Excessive use of one’s source Arcana beyond the point of essence depletion can lead to negative physical and mental effects that could lead to permanent damage to the user's body or even death.   Magic Burnout : When the Price of Magic is not followed, it will lead to burnout with the magic they you causing them unimaginable physical pain and lead to irreversible damage to them. If the price is too much for them, the magic will burn out the soul, and magic will take over the body and kill the user, creating a Hollowborn, a creature that feeds on magic.   Arcane Overflow: In some cases, there is such a thing as too much magic; some people who absorb too much magic into their body will begin to feel their body beginning to tear itself from the inside. The only way to get rid of it is to use the magic to allow their body to recuperate and return to its normal levels.  


  Certain ways can be done to allow the magic-user to increase their power and control. While this may be a safe way to use magic, it can often lead to a mage relying on them too much and weakening their skill over time.     Magic Items: Certain items embued with magic can allow a caster to gain access to certain abilities that can aid in their use of casting and lowering the effects of consequences often being a created item or a potion.   Magic Tattoos: A method that allows a mage to draw magic into them through tattoos that are connected with the magical arts. Through them, essences can be drawn from them without the need to use the Source Arcana.   Spellbooks: Any good caster knows to keep a spellbook on them when remembering how to cast a certain spell or ritual. Due to the book being magical, magic will be drawn to it and help cast the magic being used in the spell.   Channeling: A method used by mages to focus their magic into one area to control the spell they are casting. It often requires focus through one part of the body or through an item such as a staff or wand that can harness the magic through it.


Author's Notes

This article is the winner of Pillars of Progress for World Anvil's 2022 Worldbuilding Awards.

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Jan 4, 2023 02:45 by Paul

I enjoyed reading this because it is very different from how I have been presenting magic in my works lately which has been a little vague and hand-wavy. This has me thinking about how people might try to understand and categorize magic that tries to eschew understanding.   Magic Restrictions is the one thing here I may not be fully understanding. Is it about the spell's power being limited by the particular Arcane Essence that is powering it?

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Jan 4, 2023 03:11

The rules of magic here are a mix of the other laws, first a caster must be focused mentally to cast the spell, knowing the words of power that come with it, second is that they have to control the price of power to avoid a serious or life threading injury as to much magic going into the spell will harm them, enhancements help with that.   Now here is the important fact every magic users Arcane Essence is bound to one type of magic when using the magic they are born with they can use it easily, however if they try to use a different magi such an earth user using wind magic, it will not be compatible with that magic and will not work as their natures are too different from one another, it doesn’t matter how much power or skill they have it will not work and it will blow up in there face as their magic is to foreign to understand it.   Think of it as an immune system fighting a foreign disease entering the body, in this case the immunity of the magic is completely immune to all other magic and it will stay there no matter how the strong the disease is.

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Mar 5, 2023 15:35

Quite the insightful look into what magic is/can be. I basically started with the same idea of magic being another manifestation of power/energy and arrived at very different conclusions, though there are also similarities. Lovely work and best of luck in the WAWA! (I'm one of your competitors, which is how I found this)

Yours truly, Nino.
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Mar 5, 2023 17:47

I know, good luck to you as well and my the best writer win

May you forever find your way on the journey you set out on and make yourself greater.
The Sagas world cover
Mar 5, 2023 17:52 by Lilliana Casper

I really like this system of magic; it's very interesting. The way you presented the information is simple and concise, with all the sections organized carefully. Great job.

Lilliana Casper   I don't comment much, but I love reading your articles! Please check out my worlds, Jerde and Tread of Darkness.