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. Elementals can not do any kind of primal magic, only those native to Asmythe and living in the dreams of the dagapesh are able to affect those dreams. Elementals can be affected by primal magic, because the elemental is a living entity.
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, art, meditation, and 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 chi.
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 language of the Ilthura and use it to summon and control elementals. Arcane magic is the magic of summoning and manipulating elementals, it can not directly change anything in Asmythe.
Arcane magic can summon elementals and control them long enough to create an effect or bind an elemental to an inanimate object. The Ilthura mastered methods of manipulating the AEther and thus manifesting and controlling elementals. These techniques are the source of arcane magic in Asmythe.
Arcane magicians use a specially prepared tool to draw a glowing summoning circle of Ilthura glyphs and then speak words of command. When done correctly an elemental appears and performs its task. Summoning circles can be inscribed on any surface, even in mid-air, and usually include complex interlocking shapes. [GM Note: Imagine something similar to the magic effects of Doctor Strange in the Marvel movies or gallifreyan writing from Doctor Who.]
An arcane magician's tool is a specially prepared wand, staff, rod, or similar device constructed of an organic material such as wood or bone. Preparing a tool is a simple but tedious process of purifying it of all magical and elemental influences.
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.
Each elemental realm is distinct and separate from each other and from Asmythe. Any entity from any of the elemental realms is called an elemental. In strength and power they are as varied as animal life on Asmythe, simple elementals can be used to create direct effects and weakly powered objects while intelligent elementals can be used to create autonomous machines or animate constructs.
Elementals are creatures of pure energy and can not exist long in Asmythe unless they are imbued into a physical object. When unbound they can move freely though their element and change the shape and density of their 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 gather a puddle into a ball. The laws of physics still apply, an earth elemental can not levitate a platform unsupported and an air elemental can nod blow 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, similarly 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 on non-Ilthura origin.
These elementals take a physical form when summoned. These forms have all the advantages and limitations of any other physical form on Asmythe. Elementals usually take on an animalistic appearance enveloped by a characterization of their element; but the weakest elementals may appear as nothing more than an orb or spark.
These 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 realms don't have predictable or consistent shapes and often appear, if they are visible at all, as pulsating and shifting blobs of energy.
The outer elements are: Light, Force, Dark, and Sound
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
The dwarves that have mastered arcane magic are able to empower and animate their devices by binding elementals to them. To the other races of Asmythe this looks like advanced technology.
Dwarven magic works by creating a device and making a pact with a powerful elemental to animate that device. The pact is only between the creator of the device and the elemental. Dwarven devices never work properly for anybody but the dwarf that created it. Dwarves are also able to bind less powerful elementals into simple devices, creating single-use devices that can be used by anybody.
Worldbuilding Note: Dwarven magic resembles Steam Punk technology, like that found in Girl Genius.
An untrained magician can use arcane magic (sorcery) or primal magic (chi) 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 untrained magicians.
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 elemental.
- Can create, summon, or destroy elementals.
- Can summon elemental messengers, couriers, and servants.
- 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 acquire information about something nearby without inspecting or interacting with it, by asking an elemental, though the information is typically vague, unreliable, and limited by the kind of elemental summoned.
- Can create an "anti-magic" effect on an area or non-living thing by disrupting the AEther.
Primal Magic Primal magic is the ability to change living and natural processes.
- Can affect the mind and emotions of creatures.
- Can create a telepathic connection with another creature.
- Can cause or cure wounds, diseases, and curses.
- Can change the shape or 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 things.
- Can detect and disenchant a persistent magic.
- Can acquire information about something nearby by inspecting it magically or "talking" to a living creature.
- Can create an "anti-magic" effect on an area or living creature.
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 a few things that it can never do.
- No kind of magic can directly transmute or change non-living things, such as turning lead into gold.
- 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".
- No kind of magic can teleport a creature or objects from one place to another.
- No kind of magic can permit creatures of Asmythe to exist on any elemental plane; the creatures of Asmythe are composed of essence from all planes and moving them out of Asmythe would remove most of their essence and destroy them.
- No kind of magic can bring a creature back from the dead, or even communicate with a dead person. When something dies it is lost forever: dissolved into AEther or consumed.