Explanations on the d20 functionalities of Magic can be found under Character Sheets. Please keep in mind that d20 ties heavily into RP and they're not segregated from one another.

Aurora is a vastly magical world, where everything - in a way - could be considered magical. More accurately, everything is made from an energy called Mana. This energy comes in several Elements, and those are further classified within their categories. There are Primary Elements, Secondary Elements and High Elements - all of which make up the world in some way or another. Most of them are natural forces, meaning they exist in smaller pockets and larger things called Wells situated throughout Aurora (better detailed in the Mana Wells wiki).

In short, everything that your character sees and feels is thanks to Mana, a bit like atoms make up everything in the real world. The warmth in the air is thanks to trace amounts of Fire Mana, the ground they stand on is there because it’s made from Earth Mana, the breeze rolling by is thanks to Wind Mana… Etcetera, etcetera. This is a commonly accepted fact, more than a theory, in the World of Aurora!

Branches of Magic || Mana Wells || The Soul Cycle

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As mentioned above, Mana itself is ‘everything’. It’s an energy that makes up everything which touches your character’s five senses, from sight to taste and all the way around to hearing. Most objects are complex mixtures of Mana, rather than singular elements. One might think the ground, for instance, is made from Earth Mana. In truth, the ground is mostly Earth Mana, but all of the elements come together dependent on the area. A desert’s sandy ground might have a fair amount of Fire Mana in it, while an ocean floor carries a lot of Water Mana due to proximity.

Still, there are things - mostly beings - that exist purely as one Element. A good example is Elementals, which come into being in various ways and are typically both non-sentient and territorial… A bit like animals. Those are concentrations of one pure form of Mana, and are usually one of the Primary Elements - Earth, Fire, Water or Wind. These are rare, however, and how they are born remains something of a mystery as well.

The Elements

There are thirteen commonly known Elements on Aurora, and they’re split up into groups as mentioned above. The four Primary Elements, which are the most common and least complicated to harness, are Earth, Fire, Water and Wind. They alone make up the majority of the world, in their own forms, but can also meld together in order to make up what are called Secondary Elements. Those are Lightning, Ice, Magma, Storm, Force, and Poison.

Primary and Secondary Elements make up the basis of a practice called Elemental Magic, which harnesses all of them to different ends. One person learning to utilize every Primary and Secondary Element isn’t unheard of, but that sort of thing requires both dedication and time in every circumstance.

Removed entirely from Primary and Secondary Elements are the High Elements. These are less natural, though still do occur in the world - they’re Light, Shadow and Spirit. Light and Shadow’s origins are mysterious, and it’s thought that they might have emerged later in Aurora’s lifespan… Whereas the Primary and Secondary Elements, as well as the Spirit Element, were there from its inception. All of the High Elements have the capacity to heal and mend just as much as they can harm.

As mentioned above, those are only the thirteen commonly known elements. Other factors may exist, mysterious and even destructive in nature, but not enough about them is known to explain in detail here. Expect your character to come across Elements that may not be on this list in their travels…

Harnessing Magic

It was alluded above that certain individuals can utilize magic, urging it in certain ways or directions and harnessing it in that way. These people go by many names - Mages, Wizards, Sages, the list goes on - and all are very common in the world of Aurora! Magic and Mana have uses both practical, in the realm of combat, and see use nearly everywhere for just about everything.

The most common form of harnessing mana is for use either in everyday life or in something more dire like a combative situation. Brightly colored bolts of it can be flung by even novice mages, but true masters can even do things like affect the environment around them to an extent - causing things like localized landslides, small infernos, and the etcetera. On the other hand, it can also be used to do things like bolster crop growth and even to power things like lights and appliances.

Who can use Magic
In theory, anyone can learn magic! Some people are born with a certain ‘Affinity’, meaning that they’re drawn to one Element in particular… But there are plenty of people born without any sort of particular calling in that right. They can still learn Magic, of course, but it might take them a little more work to properly attune. In addition, certain races on Aurora are more magically gifted than others… Not everyone starts out on the same foot, but even a lowly Orc could come to surpass a Cubi with enough work and dedication - theoretically.

Attuning to the Elements
The process of ‘Attuning’ to an Element can be completed in many different ways. You must be attuned to an Element before you can use it, which means that most mages are almost forced to specialize in one way or another. For the patient, Attuning to an Element is simply staying in an area where it’s very present - usually a Well, and a Major one if possible - and gradually becoming familiar with the way that it moves and operates. This process can take years or even decades, however, depending on affinity and magical skill…

For those who value their time, however, and don’t have the time or means to do things the old-fashioned way, there are always other options. Securing a tutor who has already attuned is the most common one, as learning with the guidance of another makes things exponentially easier and faster. A tutor can tell you the tricks and shortcuts they personally used while also providing guidance on a personal level, making the process of learning that particular Element’s quirks and methods much simpler.

A less common though even faster method is by consuming something called an Elemental Font. While technically nothing more than a potion, these are supremely rare and their recipe has been kept closely guarded by those who can create them for millennia. Drinking one of these doesn’t instantly attune a person to the Element they were created for, but it does make the process infinitely faster… As little as a week for basic utilization and a month for what could be called ‘acceptable’ utilization, in some cases.

How Does Casting Work
There are many ways to cast spells, dependent mostly on regional tradition and especially on the way a character was taught. While sweeping gestures and quiet incantations may look like ‘form over function’, these practices can empower spells… Or, in some cases, make it easier to squeeze out every bit that you can from a spell. While spellcasting requires a catalyst, the body is still something like a conduit and shaping it into the proper form can assist your chosen Element in its path through you and your weapon.

Water channels better with smooth and gentle movements, for instance, while Fire prefers quick and aggressive gesturing. Wind performs better with a graceful-but-quick maneuver of the arms, and Earth with more ‘rugged’ posturing like stomping or even dancing. There are even more way to amplify one’s casting, however, based on the environment! Keeping your feet bare in a meadow or plain might help eke out just a bit more Earth Mana into your spells, and casting Wind Magic from someplace high up - like a tower, or even an airship might give you a small boost as well.

These are miniscule boosts for most practiced mages, but can mean the difference between success and failure for novices in particular. It’s not uncommon to see beginner spellcasters utilizing every gesture, word or situational preparation that they can in order to squeeze what they can from their chosen Elements. Some keep these habits after they’re unnecessary either because they’re used to them, they just like doing them, or they still feel it helps on some level.

'Rules' of Magic
Magic has a few requirements in order to be able to use it, and then more of them to properly do so. First, your character will need to be attuned to an Element - described above. If they aren’t attuned to an Element, they cannot use it. Elements that are properly attuned are called ‘Favored Elements’ colloquially. Second, they’ll need a Catalyst to channel Mana through. A Catalyst itself is nothing more than a gem with the capacity to hold and disperse Mana, but they’re typically attached or built into one of several forms called a ‘Focus’.

A Focus is what’s built around the Catalyst, be it something like a large staff or a small and thin wand. The shape of that Focus can change the way that Mana funnels through the Catalyst, producing anything from a bigger bang to helping the wielder conserve energy while casting. Mana travels through its caster like a conduit, but always releases from the Catalyst as a point of impact. Without a Catalyst, it simply can’t manifest in any meaningful form - it has nowhere to ‘release’.

Third, of course, your character will need to be that conduit. Mana’s all around them and is therefore easy to gather, and can be made easier in certain environments. A breezy plain makes it easy to channel both Wind and Earth, while a group of mages gathered around a bonfire would find it just as easy to pull Fire through them. While these are not end-all be-all, typically…

Water, in the absence of a pool of it or something similar, is typically taken from vapor in the air. Fire comes from the warmth in that same air or, in a colder environment, can even come from the warmth of the mage’s (or their allies’) bodies. Earth is rarely difficult to conjure, as you’ve got to be standing on something, and almost always comes from below. Many Earth mages stay barefoot while practicing for this reason! Finally, Wind can come from even stagnant air - but is especially potent under the open sky.

Light, Shadow and Spirit operate somewhat differently. All of the High Elements come from the earth, curiously enough, or more accurately from something far below it. Spirit Mana is known to be pulled from the roots of the World Tree, Yggdrasil, and they stretch to all corners of Aurora - meaning it will never, ever be difficult to channel Spirit Mana without a very extraneous circumstance. Light and Shadow are more nebulous, though seem to come from a similar place ‘down below’. Magic is, of course, a subject of great mystery even to masters.

world_setting/magic.txt · Last modified: 2017/10/20 01:00 by nexxus