An excerpt take from A History of Magics.
417 - The Fifth Year of Flame
Blesséd be Huaki
We know, as the forefathers knew, that all magic comes from the Gods. No mundane man could wield the awesome powers to which the Gods give access. Be it from Mar’Saflem The Storm Lord, or Huaki The Librarian, it is only the Gods who can so empower a man. Each God has an alignment, something that makes them unique. And accordingly, they attract different kinds of worshippers. Faith, of course, plays a large part in the understanding and wielding of Magics. A man or woman of great Faith will be able to commune more closely with their deity, thus exerting greater power in their spellcasting. The hierarchy of Magic is clearly delineated; the Gods choose their champions who in turn rule by force of Divine Right.
An excerpt taken from Understanding the Underlying Principles of Forces.
3462 - The Third Year of Anger
25th Year of the Enlightenment
32 years since the start of the Divine War
Before the enlightenment, the ancients believed that all magical activity was divinely inspired; that none could perform magic without the blessing of the god or goddess. We now know better. Through the application of intense study, rigorous logic and assiduous experimentation, we have discovered what magic is. We know that what was called Magics is nothing more than an ability to manipulate the natural – albeit not mundane – elements that are all around us. And with this advancement, it has been possible to delve even deeper into this once-mysterious force.
Magic, for a want of a better term, is one of the core forces that work at a basic level all around us. We know, and we have known for a long time, that everything around us is made from a mixture of elements. Research has shown us that magic is nothing more than another one of the elements that is part of the building blocks of our world. It is, however, different to every other element. The ‘Magic’ element has been, and continues to be, invisible to all but the most trained eye. It has taken decades of research and experimentation to unlock its secrets. But what secrets they are! If magic is an identifiable element, then by manipulating this element, a layman could, conceivably, wield magic.
Over the recent past we have seen exactly this.
Since this discovery, we have seen an explosion of non-academics take this knowledge in an incredibly diverse number of routes. If you walk into any city in the Eastern Continents, you will see numerous blacksmiths forging armour imbued with powerful defensive spells, apprentices fixing trivial breaks in magical equipment that would have previously required the focussed prayer of a holy-man, and questing adventurers hefting swords that dance with dark fires!
As we have dug deeper, our understanding has broadened. The study of magic is now a focussed, academic pursuit. Students can enrol at any number of schools to begin a journey of magical discovery. Away from superstition; Away from the assumption that your faith dictates your magical ability. Through study and hard work, the meanest farm-hand could – in theory – become a master enchanter. That said, there is no getting away from the fact that some people are naturally attuned to
magic. Some people are able to wield magic in a variety of forms without any study at all. As with any other area in life, there are the lucky few who are naturally gifted. Some only need to see a spell worked once before they master it. There are some whose magic prowess far exceeds that of their teachers after only a short amount of schooling – sometimes none at all! These, we can assume, are those who in the past would have found their way to a monastery or temple under the tutelage of a priest of shaman, and learned to ply their trade in the name of their deity. It is a sad truth that some still do choose to walk this path. Some people prefer to hide in the shadow of superstition instead of walking in the light of understanding.
It is important to note at this point that these divinely-inspired magic users, while clinging to an archaic understanding and practice of magic, still remain to this day some of the most powerful mages, paladins and clerics our land has seen. As an element, magic imbues everything around us. This has led to some fantastical changes in the natural evolution of life. We need only look at some of the creatures which adorn our continents to know this is true. Over the centuries, we are able to track an awesome arms race – played out countless times – between predator and prey as they use the magic in their environment to their advantage. Look at the Silver-Snake, a distant cousin of the common inland Grass-Snake, which has developed the ability to turn itself invisible for short periods of time. Studying this evolution has helped our alchemists to develop potions which confer upon the drinker temporary invisibility. It is this author’s belief – after much research and study – that the ‘natural mages’ of our world are simply humans that have walked further along the evolutionary path than others.
The study of magic as an academic pursuit will do little for the ‘natural mages’ - many of whom prefer to cling to an outdated understanding – but, it has been a way of opening the door to magic use for the average person. Now, we have more people who can cast spells, imbue weapons, fix magical armour, breed terrifying animals of war, and many more things than any other time in our history. A whole branch of this magic has developed which is concerned with the creation and upkeep of magical items; a pass with a Kirling Stem will easily identify, to the trained eye, the way in which an item has been magically imbued, if and how it has been damaged, and how best to repair it. One thing that has not changed as our understanding has grown has been the amount of magical power one can wield, and how it affects you. As with the physical, the use of the magical takes a strain on our bodies: the more you do, the more tired you are. Also, attempting to perform magic beyond your capacity can be dangerous, and can seriously harm, or kill, the wielder. Through study, it is possible to increase your natural ability, thus heightening your power.
Many people who study magic will tell you of seeing a spectrum of light which represents the various ‘flavours’, for the want of a better word, of magic. Through study, a user will gain an ‘affinity’ with certain magical ‘flavours’. Unfortunately, there is still a lot we do not know about magic, but through the continued application of dedicated research, we will continue to shed light on areas of unknown knowledge.