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 delvers.
The dagapesh sleep and dream and those dreams make the world. Some creatures have the ability to affect those dreams through sound and music.
Primal magic is the magic of life and mind, of thought and living things, of destiny. It can not affect non-living things directly. Those who have mastered the ability to play the music of the dagapesh find they can affect the life and mind of others, predict the future, and even change destiny.
Nobody knows for certain 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 play a song long or strong enough to affect them.
Those who can work primal magic use music, song, and poetry to effect change in living things.
- Humans who are trained to use primal magic are divas of The Sound of Sol.
- Elves who are trained to use primal magic are druids.
- Anybody else is untrained and their use is sorcery.
The document on #Religions has more information on the seven dagapesh and the role of primal magic in Asmythe.
The Ilthura were masters of elemental energy, able to summon elementals and control them. Some creatures have the ability to use Ilthura methods to control elemental energy, this is arcane magic. Arcane magic can create and control elemental energy but can not directly change anything in Asmythe. Elemental energy in physical form is an elemental and the terms are usually interchangeable.
Wizards are able to cleanse and attune crystals to specific elements and use them to channel elemental energy. Delvers infuse elemental energy into metals.
- Humans wizards are able to attune crystals to specific elements and use them to channel elemental energy. Empire wizards are trained by the Hand of Wizdom.
- Delvers infuse elemental energy into metals, they are known as alchemists.
- Anybody else is untrained and their use is wild magic.
Elemental energy are the forces of nature in Asmythe given familiar names. Elemental air is not the air we breath and elemental stone is not the rocks under our feet; they are forms of energy that manifest in ways we associate with "air", "fire", "frost", and "stone".
Elemental energy can exist in any material and is generally indistinguishable from the the material it inhabits. Elemental energy imparts its qualities into the material it inhabits. Elemental fire in air would make the air warm, elemental stone would make air thick and slow, elemental frost would make it cold, and elemental air in air would create swirling winds.
Each element directly opposes another element as pictured on the chart below. Opposed elementals may diminish or cancel each other and adjacent elements may enhance each other. There are many more elements than the ones described here. These are the simple ones and the only ones known to arcane magicians.
The primary elements are well known to wizards and represent the four fundamental forces. These are known by the materials Air, Fire, Frost, and Stone.
- Air - intangible dynamic motion
- Fire - heat and light
- Frost - cold and dark
- Stone - solid and unmoving
The secondary elements are each adjacent to two primary elements. They are forces in intersection between the primary forces: Electricity, Ice, Magma, and Water.
- Electricity - Air and Fire is energy in motion
- Ice - Stone and Frost is without movement or heat
- Magma - Stone and Fire is heat without movement
- Water - Air and Frost is motion without heat
Outer elements are a pure manifestation of the basic forces. These elements don't naturally exist in any material; they must be called forth by a wizard. Such elementals don't have predictable or consistent shapes and appear, if they are visible at all, as pulsating and shifting blobs.
The outer elements are: Light, Order, Dark, and Chaos
- Light is pure energy without form or heat
- Order, or statics, is solidness and rigidity without substance
- Dark is the absence of light: darkness without shadow
- Chaos, or dynamics, is entropy and change without direction
Elementals are physical manifestations of 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 events. When a fire jumps out of the stove to take a nap in the linens, that is an elemental. When a stone refuses to break, that is an elemental. When a stream becomes shy and won't let you take a drink, that is an elemental.
Sylvani Nature Magic
During the Second Era elves learned how to use primal magic. They developed their power into a mastery of nature. Sylvani 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. Sylvani druids must be able to touch and manipulate the subject of the magic and they prefer to use rituals to create long lasting effects. Sylvani druids are adept at creating potions and empowered tools made from organic materials.
Delver Alchemy Magic
Delvers 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 Delvers 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. Delver devices are mechanical and clock-work in appearance with articulated joins and complex gear-work.
Goblin Sorcery Magic
Hobgoblins use magic as a natural ability. Hobgoblins learn one power and becomes an expert in the use of that power. A Hobgoblin sorcerer can learn and use both arcane and primal powers.
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. Elemental energy doesn't have a physical form; elemental water can not quench thirst.
- 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 affects 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 blessings and curses.
- Can create illusions in the mind, especially ones that provoke an emotion.
- Can affect the physical characteristics of a living creature.
- 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 create something from nothing. Arcane magic can manipulate energy and primal magic can manipulate life but neither can create something that did not already exist.
- 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" and otherwise change perception of time.
- No kind of magic can teleport creatures 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 mind and soul are lost, forever unreachable.
- No kind of magic can distinguish between "good" or "evil". Every emotion and intention has a purpose and designations such as "good" and "evil" are meaningless. Demons from subspace are anathema to Asmythe and could be considered "evil" in the sense that most fantasy settings try to use it but that doesn't apply to zombies and such, which are golems.