The ability to use Supernatural Powers, "Magic", appears randomly in creature of Asmythe; it is not hereditary and there is no way to predict who will have magical ability. Any person or animal could manifest the ability to use magic at any time.
In Asmythe magic can manifest in two different ways: Primal Magic, the magic of life and change, or Arcane Magic, the magic of energy and movement.
Supernatural powers are very rare in Asmythe. Only about one in a thousand humans have the potential to wield arcane or primal magic. Elves are ten times more likely to have primal magic, and ten times less likely to have arcane magic; and visa versa for dwarves.
The dagapesh sleep and dream and those dreams change the world. Some people have the ability to become part of those dreams through music and song, and direct those dreams to change the world.
Primal magic is the magic of life and mind, of thought and living things. It can not affect non-living things directly. Those who have mastered the ability to walk in the dreams of dagapesh find they can affect the emotions of others and even cripple or heal other people.
Nobody knows why primal magic can only affect living things. Some speculate that the dagapesh only dream of living things and therefore can not "see" non-living things in their dreams. Others speculate that while life only takes days or years to change, stones and metals take centuries or millennia to change and that the dagapesh do dream of these things but nobody has been able to maintain a connection to the dagapesh long enough to affect them.
Those who can work primal magic use music, poetry, dance, meditation, and other rituals to effect change. Primal magic works slowly and requires concentration.
- Humans who are trained to use primal magic are divas of The Hand of Sol.
- Elves who are trained to use primal magic are druids.
- Anybody else is untrained and their use is sorcery.
The Ilthura were masters of the elementals, able to summon elementals into Asmythe and control them. Some dwarves and humans have the ability to learn the methods of the Ilthura and use them to summon and bind elementals to the will of the magician. Arcane magic can not directly change anything in Asmythe.
Arcane magic is the art of building and using devices, in a "wizard lab", to summon an elemental of raw energy and to bind it to an inanimate object. The wizard then commands the elemental to create specific magical effects.
Arcane magic is a very precise practice and difficult to do correctly, even for master wizards. When a summoning doesn't work it usually just doesn't work, but it could also summon the wrong elemental or an elemental following the wrong commands.
- Humans who are trained to use arcane magic are wizards of The Eye of Horus.
- Dwarves who are trained to use primal magic are alchemists.
- Anybody else is untrained and their use is sorcery.
Elementals are manifestations of concentrated elemental energy. Elementals are not alive in any sense that we currently understand but they can move around and may appear or disappear unexpectedly. Elementals are rare and mysterious and the cause of many unexplained and dangerous occurrences. When a fire jumps out of the stove to take a nap in the linens, that is an elemental. When the cobblestone road starts migrating West, that is an elemental. When a stream becomes shy and won't let you take a drink, that is an elemental.
Elementals are indistinguishable from the element they are made of and can move freely though their element and even change the shape and properties of the element through which they move. An air elemental can create a wind, an earth elemental can sculpt a stone statue, and a water elemental can turn a puddle into a pool of bubbling liquid. The laws of physics still apply; an earth elemental can not levitate a platform unsupported and an air elemental can not pass through a solid barrier.
Each element directly opposes another element as pictured on the chart below. Opposed elementals are not usually hostile to each other but may diminish or cancel each other; adjacent elements may enhance each other. There are infinitely more elements than the ones described here, these are the simple ones and the only ones accessible to arcane magicians of non-Ilthura origin.
These elementals take a physical, visible form. These forms have all the advantages and limitations of any other physical form on Asmythe. When bound these elementals convey characteristics of the element into the object they are bound to. A fire elemental makes an object warm, and air elemental makes it transparent, etc.
The primary elements are Fire, Magma, Stone, Ice, Frost, Water, Air, and Electricity
These elements do not have a physical form and are not affected by any physical object, unless it is also magical. Elementals of the outer elements don't have predictable or consistent shapes and appear, if they are visible at all, as pulsating and shifting blobs of energy.
The outer elements are: Light, Force, Dark, and Sound
Most of the elements are self-explanatory but sound and force may be a little confusing. Sound, or dynamics, is the element of motion and change. Change traveling though another element is usually perceived as sound. Force, or statics, is the opposite; it is the absence of change. Force in another element creates an area without movement, which is usually perceived as an invisible "force field".
Elven Nature Magic
During the Second Era elves learned how to use primal magic. They developed their power into a mastery of nature. Elven druids are able to affect how plants grow and to talk to animals.
Nature magic is slow and tactile compared to how humans use primal magic. Elven druids must be able to touch and manipulate the subject of the magic and they prefer to use rituals to create long lasting effects. Elven druids are adept at creating potions and empowered tools made from organic materials.
Dwarven Alchemy Magic
Dwarves that have mastered arcane magic are able to empower inorganic materials by fusing an elemental into it, and thus change the characteristics of that material. Such materials are highly resistant to entropy and dwarves use this to create intricate gears and contraptions that are nearly impervious to damage.
Alchemists are also able to fuse powerful elementals into mechanical devices, producing magical and spell-like effects. Dwarven devices are mechanical and clock-work in appearance with articulated joins and complex gear-work.
An untrained magician can use arcane or primal magic but have little understanding of its use or capabilities. They have raw magical power that they can manifest but don't have the knowledge to generalize their power to the wide variety of uses that divas and wizards developed. Ritual magic requires knowledge and expertise beyond the ability of sorcerers.
Rituals and Enchantments
Rituals are spells that create long lasting effects.
Arcane rituals can be used to bind an elemental to an inanimate object and grant elemental power to that object. Enchantments are as dangerous and complex as the elemental used to create them, so they tend to be rare and treasured. All but the most powerful enchanted items deteriorate and are eventually consumed by the elemental that inhabits them. Most enchanted items last only a few months to a few years before they are too brittle or rotten and once they break the enchantment is gone.
Primal rituals can create long lasting natural effects and change the nature of living things. With enough time and focus it can create massive trees, transmute a cat into a dog, imbue a wooden staff with courage, or create the water of life.
There is no such things as a "sword +1", instead there is "Fang", "Icebane", and "The Nightmare". Read the page on Enchanting for more details.
Arcane Magic Arcane magic is the ability to summon and bind elemental energy.
- Can summon, control, and banish elemental energy.
- Can bind elementals into inorganic objects and use them to create magical effects.
- Can fuse elementals into inorganic materials to alter that material.
- Can use elementals to move objects without touching them.
- Can create illusions that exists without an observer.
- Can enchant an object or area with an elemental.
- Can create an "anti-arcane" effect on an area or non-living object.
- Can detect and dispel elementals and arcane magic.
- Can NOT detect or affect primal magic in any way. Arcane magic only deals with elemental energy.
Primal Magic Primal magic is the ability to change living and natural processes.
- Can affect the mind, body, and emotions of living creatures.
- Can create a telepathic connection with another creature.
- Can cause or cure wounds, diseases, and curses.
- Can change the physical characteristics of a living creature.
- Can create illusions in the mind, especially ones that provoke an emotion.
- Can create persistent effects and change the nature of living things.
- Can create an "anti-primal" effect on an area or living creature.
- Can detect and reverse primal magic.
- Can NOT detect or affect arcane magic in any way. Elementals are not living creatures.
Exceptions Magic in the world of Asmythe comes from elementals and the dreams of the dagapesh. It can do many impossible things but there are also things that it can never do.
- No kind of magic can directly transmute or change non-living things, such as turning lead into gold. Although arcane magic can change the properties of things it can not transmute something into something entirely different.
- No kind of magic can change the flow of time or move anything through time, although primal magic can put a creature into a "timeless sleep" or otherwise change perception of time.
- No kind of magic can teleport a creature or objects from one place to another, although a coordination of arcane and primal magic can open a portal to subspace.
- No kind of magic can bring a creature back from the dead or communicate with a dead creature. When something dies its soul is lost, forever unreachable.