Yer spirit gits strong wit prayin', boy. If yer spirit ain't strong-like, ya must be doin' somethin' wrong...
Spirits live within each living thing, and are the primary source of magical power for most in Umqwam.
What is believed to strengthen one's spirit changes from culture to culture, and religion to religion. One group believes that spirits are bolstered by adamant worship and devout following of their faith's tenets. Another believes that it is strengthened through study, and knowledge. Neither are correct.
In truth, spirits gain strength from balance
within oneself. Balance of happiness, and sadness. Peace, and chaos. Work, and play. Masculinity, and femininity. One needn't possess every type of balance to begin casting spells— just one. Not all balances are equal, either; often, correcting and maintaining whichever is the most imbalanced within oneself is the key to unlocking their power. This creates a challenge that must be overcome for all aspiring spellslingers, more commonly referred to as saawkamut
Each spirit has a core called a Tsaaw. These hold great power for each person, as they are the center of their being. Should one wish to start anew, begin a new life— they may wish to work from the ground up by changing their Tsaaw and thus their very being.
A Tsaaw can be changed through ritual, rare minerals, and forbidden spells.
Changin' yer Tsaaw is like takin' a shotgun t' an unfinish'd basket, rather than simply weavin' it.
However, changing one's Tsaaw is a mere shortcut
to change. It corrupts oneself by rapidly rather than slowly changing who they are. Memories are warped or forgotten, opinions, tastes, and behaviors vary wildly— it is a gamble for a better self, and one that is seldom successful.
Raw spells have little range, and aren't as effective as they can be. To focus and strengthen one's magic farther, tools must be adopted.
These tools are enchanted with spirits of their own— though spirits of objects differ greatly from those of living beings. Enchanting an object requires rituals involving special minerals or locations— and just like strengthening one's spirit, there are a variety of beliefs around exactly what method truly works.
However, there is again just one explanation; the object requires an existing spirit to be grafted to itself. This spirit can be a piece of the wielder's own spirit, a sliver of the spirit of an enchanted location, a spirit from a mineral which inexplicably contains a spirit of its own, or the whole spirit of another sentient being. Grafting someone's entire spirit kills them, and is shunned in most cultures.
As tools, saawkamut choose a wide variety of objects including but not limited to buckles, charms, spurs, feathers, and most notoriously— guns.