When you channel mana
of a specific aspect and shape it a certain way, you can expel that mana from your body as a spell. There are a potentially infinite number of spells, but only so many have been discovered and their shapes recorded. A spell's shape can be transcribed on paper, but these are only used for learning the spell, and not as references while casting; casting happens far too quickly to read as you go.
Spellcasting is typically broken into two parts: channeling and shaping.
To begin spellcasting, one must channel mana
out from their core
. If the spell is of an aspect different from one's natural aspect, they must shape it into the correct aspect. As each aspect has a wildly different shape, it is much easier to study spells only from your natural aspect, and perhaps another aspect that complements it. Once you have the correct aspect of mana, you must channel it into the part or parts of the body from which the spell is cast. This is dependent on the spell, and is often flexible; for example, holy fire
is traditionally cast from the hand, but could be cast from the foot if necessary, at likely less power and accuracy.
Once the correct mana is in the correct place, you must mentally shape it into the proper pattern for the spell you're casting, and then expell it from the body. The shaping process happens in an instant, and requires great mental focus on the desired shape. More advanced spellcasters know how to subtly change the pattern to alter certain variables in the spell, such as altering the geometry of a zone of truth
or changing the cone size of a fire breath
. For warlocks, the patron can shape spells for the host, and oftentimes hosts never learn more than basic shaping techniques.
Spells are categorized firstly by their aspect -- shadow spells, lightning spells, golemancy spells -- and then by their complexity. There are five levels of complexity:
There are fewer known spells as the tiers climb higher, up to forbidden spells, for which there is only one per aspect.
There are also rituals, which are spells that take far more mana and time to cast, but leave much more permanent effects. These usually meld many different aspects together in far more complex ways than your typically compound aspect. The Warlock Pact is an example of a powerful ritual spell.