Magic

In contrast to the inscrutable boons and miracles offered by the gods to those who honor them, “magic” is the manipulation of preternatural forces. While the powers that inhabit various magical devices can be used by almost anyone, true sorcery is limited to those who have deeply studied rituals and spells, and penetrated through to gnosis.

Every magical formula has three forms:

  • An underlying principle — the metaphysical underpinnings of a given supernatural effect,
  • A rote, or “spell,” that wizards will commonly work through — a toolbox of spirit-names, elements, patterns, star-signs, or strange geometries that can be used to create the effect, and
  • A ritual — a spell-form that has been expanded to put less strain on its caster, usually by increasing the time, material components, number of participants, etc. required.

Magical research usually follows one of two pathways. Traditionally, trial-and-error or careful derivation from known formulae has produced new rituals. This is a relatively safe process, although occasionally an accident will level the researcher’s lab, which is why magical research areas tend to be isolated from other habitations. Need may then drive someone to condense the ritual into a rote, and hard-earned intuitive familiarity may allow someone to work the magic through Gnosis, and eventually the principle behind it all may be derived.

Alternatively, ambitious magicians may delve into theory in search of spell-principles. While less physically destructive, this can take a heavy toll on sanity as the mind confronts the counter-intuitive patterns behind reality. Yet some still pursue principles directly, mastery over them allows rotes and rituals to be derived with somewhat less effort, and much less danger, compared to trial-and-error.

Magic

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