Magic

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Magic is the act of changing the laws of physics, reality, and sometimes time, in the world of Aloria by drawing on essences from another realm, the Gods, or Dragons, to change the way things work. Magic means a great many things for different people, some Elves might consider it part of their very being, while some Ailor consider it something alien or superstitious, while some Sihndar consider it evil itself. This Page explains Dimensional Alignment, and Magical Morality as well as the logic behind Magic in the Alorian universe. If you are reading this Page to decide on Proficiencies and Point Buy Packs, only reading Dimensional Alignment and Morality of Magic is required. We put them at the top for your convenience.

Morality of Magic

Magic as a concept has been used throughout the ages to do great acts of charity and perform great feats of evil. By far and large, like a sword or an axe, Magic has been used as an extension of power by those who wielded it, which is why so many Religions and Cultures are so against Magic. Magic in itself is not evil, but it is mostly alien to the world of Aloria, which is why some organizations exist just to purge Magic (and their users) from the world, or just because they fear what they do not have themselves. Furthermore, Magic itself has a built-in enticement to be corrupt. The way Magic is cast is classified between Radiant (weaker, safe for the world) and Sinistral (stronger, damages the world). Each Mage must make an active choice with each spell, to protect the world and opt for the weaker outcome, or to damage and corrupt the world itself for a quick boost of power. Due to these built-in themes of the lure of power that corrupts, most societies on Aloria have turned against Magic. Regalia is classified as a repressive state, meaning they have restrictive laws to the usage of Magic, and treat Mages like second-class citizens in some situations. Some Mages campaign to help contain the "incorrect" usage of Magic, others hide their abilities, while others embrace the dark arts and try to establish Mage rule. Magic has no set moral definition and always depends on the intentions and actions of the user. Just keep in mind that some Characters just do not care and want to annihilate all Magic for undebatable reasons. Finally, regardless of all the moral underpinnings of Magic, Mages are always carry the risk of limit-breaking or becoming possessed by a Spirit that feeds off their Magic. Casting Magic, even Radiant, is not without risks, and a Mage who uses Magic too rapidly without conserving their focus and energy, can overload and lose control of their own Magic, causing them to randomly cast dangerous and harmful Magic in all directions. This has the added danger, of attracting Demons and entities from other realms, who wish to feed off the Mage's Magic, invading their mind and body if they are unable to resist, and becoming possessed. When choosing to play a Mage, you should consider all these concepts. Even if your Character cannot convince a purist that they have good intentions and properly protect themselves from the dangers of Magic, at least it allows you to understand your own Character's moral implications in the world.

Dimensional Alignment

All Magic requires some kind of fuel. In order to affect the laws of reality (which Magic essentially is), it must use some kind of disruptive force to rewrite them. Magic is powered by so-called Essence, which just means magical energy from some place. In the case of Void, Exist, and Ordial Alignments, this means Magical Essence from the Void, Exist and Bintaar respective dimensions. The only Magical Essence that is native to Aloria, is God Essence, which is given to mortals by the Gods themselves. Any Character can learn to use the Essences of any number of Alignments. That is to say, a Character can connect to the Void and Exist at the same time, and draw Essences from them to cast Magic. Only one Alignment can be used per spell, but each Mage must consciously choose which Alignment to use for each spell, and that choice may have implications based on Dimensional Morality. Furthermore, God Magic is a bit unique, in that it is a gift directly given from the Gods, which means it can also be taken away. When choosing to play a Mage, you should choose at least one Alignment, but can choose multiple. You can also learn new Alignments later in Roleplay, so we always recommend you choose only a single Alignment first.

Dimensional Morality

Dimensional Morality is a bit more nuanced yet than the Morality of Magic as a whole, because it is hyper-specific to each Character and their circumstances. To create an example, A priest of the Estelley Religion uses God Magic to heal and cure the sick and wounded in her Temple. The Estelley Religion is both positively inclined to Exist and God Magic, but in this case, she only uses God Magic. One day, her Temple is ransacked by mercenaries, and she is stricken with so much grief and vengeance, that she seeks out a necromancer to learn Ordial Alignment and cast Death-Magic to get her revenge. She now has two Alignments, but in doing so has spiritually betrayed her Gods and her fellow Estelley worshipers, who see Ordial Magic as a vile thing, yet she needed that extra power because God Magic alone wasn't capable of getting the revenge she wanted. Alignment morality here is very subjective to the eyes of the beholder, the priestess did not break some moral absolute truth, but there is a lot to hold her in contempt for. Yet, at the same time, Ordial necromancers might now consider her one of their own, and embrace her in their community. Some Dimensional Alignments carry more stigma than others, and reactions may vary strongly from society to society, and religion to religion. The safest option to choose, is to stick with only God Magic from the beginning, to gain a better understanding of the nuances of Dimension Morality while Roleplaying, and then change or add an Alignment later.

God Magic Exceptions

God Magic is a bit unique in terms of fuel for Magic, because it is the only Essence from Aloria itself, and the only Essence consciously granted by the Gods. God Magic while readily accessible to all faith believers in theory, is considered a much more "goody-two-shoes" and weaker form of Magic than other forms of Extraplanar Magic. While the Abilities are the same in Combat Roleplay (they have to be for fairness reasons), in-lore, God Magic is often looked down upon by those who seek power through Magic or invest their research time in Magic as a whole. Extraplanar Magic, in lore, is always stronger than God Magic, which is why so many Mages opt for the social stigma of being Extraplanar Dimension Aligned Mages.

  • God Magic is exclusive only to those who believe in a Religion. Atheists and Afflicted (who are unable to truly believe in Religion), are denied access to God Magic.
  • Nobody is born with God Magic, it is only ever taught. In order to play a Mage who was born with Magic, one would have to play an Extraplanar Dimension Aligned Mage.
  • Gods can take God Magic away from Mortals. A God Magic user who violates the divine laws of their religion, or uses God Magic callously in ways that offends their religion, may get cut off.
  • Heretics are unable to use God Magic. Religions have a strict set of rules that define their followers. Combining Religions or personal interpretations are not possible.
  • Gods do not look kindly on those who side-step into other Alignments. An occasional Void spell isn't bad, but repeatedly using Extraplanar Magic instead of God Magic, will invite divine punishment.
  • Gods do not look kindly on the use of Sinistral variants of their Magic (except for Evolism). While a few Sinistral uses won't draw attention, will invite divine punishment.
  • God Magic, while Alorian native, can be just as harmful and destructive as Void, Exist, or Ordial Magic, when used as Sinistral, or when used to commit to murder, torture, or other act of evil.
  • Estelley as a Religion, considers Exist Magic a form of God Magic (even if it is not). Fornoss considers Void Magic God Magic in a similar manner, while Evolism equates all forms of Magic to God Magic.
  • Draconism followers call their God Magic Dragon Magic, though it is identical. Additionally, Archon gain (Dragon) God Magic, even if they are not Draconism followers, due to how Archon work.

Dimensional Themes

Each Dimension has specific Themes assigned to them that tend to bleed into the styling choices of their users, or the aesthetics of their Spell casting. Each Dimension is outlined below.

  • God Magic manifests in holy aesthetics, usually seen as golden or white (with the exception being Dragon God Magic, being purple and gray). Themes and aesthetics are very dependent on the Religion which has granted God Magic so there is no real definitive set of traits that can be ascribed to it. God Magic is generally positively received by nearly all Religions and societies, except societies which are specifically against Magic usage, such as the Qadir and to a lesser degree the Eronidas, Urlan, and Allar.
  • Void Magic manifests as seductive and corrupting aesthetics, usually seen as red, black, and copper. The Void represents nothingness, an empty dark void without any physicality, without any sense, and without end. Frequent visual themes include chaos, seduction, shadows and blood, dark secrets, and hidden hedonistic desires. Void is considered the quintessential evil force of corruption in nearly all societies and religions, except Fornoss faithful who see it as their Gods power, and Kathar who grow up with Void Magic.
  • Exist Magic manifests as orderly and natural aesthetics, usually seen as white, blue, and silver. The Exist represents everything, a filled reality with every sense active at once, consciousness in all places all at once. Frequent visual themes include marble, plant-matter, statues, nature, the ordained and organized, symmetry, and perfection. Exist Magic is the most tolerated of all forms of Extraplanar Magic (Magic not from this world), though is still heavily mistrusted outside of Elven Religions and Societies.
  • Ordial Magic manifests as necrotic and vile aesthetics, usually seen as black, brass, and green. The Ordial represents a world of Death, where the living are not tolerated and the faithless dead live as shades. Frequent visual themes include bones, the undead, spirits, death and rot, and the deep dark unknown which hides horrors yet unseen. Ordial Magic is generally disliked in nearly every Religion and society, except those that worship the Evolist Gods, the Cultist Gods, and the Death Isldar and Eronidas.

Magic in Regalia

Magic in Regalia (the place where most Roleplay occurs) has always had a very dubious reputation, and many Mages have gotten used to what they call “The Magical Pendulum”. The idea is that Regalia never quite settles permanently on its stance on Magic, and frequently changes direction from a more progressive understanding to a more repressive one. This is largely due to the nature of the Empire, where the whims and needs of individual political actors influence how the Imperial Court reacts to the existence of Magic overall. To be Magical is not considered a crime, but to use Magic in public without the necessary legal documentation or approval is. Many things related to Magic are outlawed, like Death Magic or Necromancy (the act of meddling with corpses or causing death with Magic). Still, Magic has found its way into various sectors of authority, with Magic being commonly used in the State Metropolitan (the guard) and even in the Emperor’s circle. Whether a Magic user succeeds in Regalia is usually related to their connections and their social caste as well as how they use their Magic, as opposed to what type of Mage they are.

How a Mage is Made

Magic can be acquired in three ways. The first manner is to be born with it, those who are born with Magic are called Mageborn. The second manner is to learn it from another Mage, those who learn are called Magewise. The last manner is to have Magic given by a higher entity, those who have Magic given to them are called Magegiven. There is no inherent superiority in any of these categories, there are Mages who were born that were known to be less skillful than Mages who were taught, or those who were given Magic by a higher entity. Learning, or being able to use Magic, often comes down to the individual imagination or mental compatibility of the Mage, and so some Mages eventually reach a glass ceiling that they are unable to reach beyond due to a lack of imagination, while others soar much further. In history, some Mages have been known to be exceptionally skilled beyond all mortal comprehension, such as the Allorn Empress Vinnalea, who could destroy whole mountains with a faint gesture. These Mages are called Archmages, and how they manifest is not well understood. Finally, it is important that for Mageborn, Magic can be inherited. While being born a child of a Mage is not a guarantee, it does increase chances. This particularly led to mage breeding programs in the Allorn Empire before its collapse, with prestigious families planning magical pairings ahead of time to ensure Mageborn status in their children. It is supposed that for every 5,000 born individuals, one is Mageborn, though the actual number is probably higher since this estimation is based on an extrapolation of the reported Mageborn in the Regalian Empire, and many parents hide the magical status of their child due to the repressive laws.

Allorn Magic Theories

Much of the known theories in lore are inherited from the Allorn Empire. Regardless of the individual opinions of the victims or survivors of the Allorn Empire, it progressed Magical research to such a degree that most modern theories and understanding of Magic is based on their work. Allorn Magical Theory can usually be split up into various subcategories, each covering a specific aspect of Magic that can be used in Roleplay for conversations between Mages, or how Mages should consider each other in relation to Magic.

Limit Breaking and Spirit Invasion

One of the biggest dangers to Mages (outside of the unrelated matter of Purists who hate Magic), is the concept of Limit-Breaking and related or unrelated Spirit Invasion. Limit Breaking occurs when a Mage has lost focus or energy while trying to cast Magic, causing them to lose control over their own Magic and their body to start casting Magic unpredictably on its own. This can include random spells being cast, or just really harmful Magic leaking out of them that acts like radiation to other people giving them Magic Sickness. A Mage that is Limit-breaking cannot stop unless an outside force either knocks them out, shoots them with Puretek, or uses Aelrrigan techniques to temporarily sever their connection allowing them to calm down, though these solutions are not always available, and so most Limit-breaking Mages eventually explode, or worse, become possessed. Entities from other Dimensions known as Spirits, always look for hosts in Aloria, but while in the other Dimension, they cannot "see" things in Aloria, except for Magic. When a Mage is Limit-Breaking, they become like a bright bonfire lit against the night sky, and Spirits from all over rush to try and break into the Mage's mind. Chances are while Limit-Breaking that the Mage is already unable to protect their mind while panicking or harming themselves with their own Magic, and becomes instantly possessed by a Spirit that breaks in from another Dimension, which is generally very bad. It does stop the Limit-Breaking (As the Spirit can control the flow of Magic) but essentially kills the Mage in the process as their personality is replaced by that of the Spirit (or in some cases, enslaved). A possession of this kind can be reversed, but the damage can rarely ever be undone, meaning most Mages who have become Spirit Invaded, are put out of their misery. Spirits and Demons, due to their direction connection to the Planes, and usual lack of a body, cannot Limit Break. There is a general misconception that Arkenborn are immune to Limit-Breaking. This is born from the idea that they are able to cast Magic freely of their own parent's Alignment, but it does not grant them protection against other forms of Magic at all. Mages promote the use of hand gestures, spoken spells, casting conduits (like staves, wands, and tomes) to improve focus. This is why it is very rare to see Mages who do not gesture their Magic at all, which is considered extremely dangerous and playing with fire within the Mage-Community.

Magical Tiers

Allorn Mages were obsessed with the classification of Mages, so they could categorize some Mages as superior to others and identify which Mages were suitable as rulers and which were suitable as workers. This Magical Tier system is anything but absolute, it has flaws, but it is still used in the common era to gain a rough understanding of how strong a Mage is in comparison to others on a somewhat flexible scale. The scale goes as follows, note that Tier Eight to Ten are considered "God-Tiers", as this is the level at which a Mage becomes indistinguishable from a God. Magic derived from the Proficiency System or Abilities usually caps off at Tier Five, because no Ability or Heritage Mechanic allows for the creation of permanent matter (like Artifacts). Some Custom Kits may form exceptions to this.

  • The First Tier belongs to Mages who are only able to affect themselves (think enchanting their own body or soul).
  • The Second Tier belongs to Mages who can affect external things by touch (think changing the shape of metal with touch).
  • The Third Tier belongs to Mages who can project things away from them (think shooting a fireball).
  • The Fourth Tier belongs to Mages who can affect external things remotely (think blinding someone from a distance).
  • The Fifth Tier belongs to Mages who can create immaterial entities (think casting illusions that are almost real).
  • The Sixth Tier belongs to Mages who can create permanent matter (think creating lasting furniture and walls from nothing).
  • The Seventh Tier belongs to Mages who can bend reality itself (think removing gravity, changing light to dark).
  • The Eight Tier belongs to Mages who can control Life (think non-necromantic resurrection, becoming truly immortal).
  • The Ninth Tier belongs to Mages who can bend the world (think creating/crushing mountains on a whim, sinking whole cities).
  • The Tenth Tier belongs to Mages who can end reality itself (a theorized, but seemingly unattainable rank even for Gods).

Magical Mechanics

This section includes mostly OOC explanations of how Magic in Massivecraft's world functions, so that players can roleplay it out with an understanding of how it is supposed to work. Experienced Mages, Scholars, and those who hunt Mages/Demons may understand some of the following IC, but we advise that players never give their characters full knowledge of what is listed below. Please note that the explanations below may not always be something your Character can do, because of fairness or System Rules.

Cursing

Cursing requires the usage of Advanced Roleplay Mechanics. Curses, Hexes, and Charms are a form of "delayed magic," meaning when a Mage casts a fireball spell, it is considered "instant" magic, where as soon as they cast the spell there is an explosion of fire. Delayed Magic delays the activation of a spell until a certain condition or time is met, and then activates. A curse, then, is a delayed spell with a long term effect on a person depending on what they do. For example, cursing someone so that the next time they try to drink a glass of water, they spontaneously combust. There are two kinds of Curses:

  • Limited Curses: The Curse only effects one singular person, until it times out, or until they die, wherein the curse ends.
  • Unlimited Curses: The Curse effects one person, but can be passed on to any number of people, via touch, or another mechanic, and can even pass on to the cursed person's children.

Only Gods, Spirit Sovereigns, Dragons, Arken, and beings of those levels can apply Unlimited Curses, most Mages (including Player Characters) can only ever apply Limited Curses onto people. There is a loophole to this, when it applies to lesser Spirits, wherein if a Spirit possesses someone they can act as an Unlimited Curse, meaning for as long as they're possessing them, it applies, and they can pass this "curse" on via their possession. For both kinds of Curses, a Curse will remain for as long as it was meant to, or until the cursed person dies. The Mage who does the Cursing does not have to be alive for their Curse to persist, even killing someone immediately after they curse you will not remove the curse. However, only skilled mages can create long-lasting curses. The vast majority of Mages can only cast Curses that last for a few months, but even this is plenty enough time to ruin's someone's life or kill them. The limit of Curse application is based on Magic Investment, but only for Planar Magic (Void/Exist/Ordial), God Magic is not potent enough to Curse others:

  • 2 Points in Magic: Maximum 1 Hour Curses.
  • 3 Points in Magic: Maximum 1 Day Curses.
  • 4 Points in Magic: Maximum 1 Week Curses.
  • 5 Points in Magic: Maximum 1 Year Curses.
  • 6 Points in Magic: Maximum 5 Years Curses.
  • 7 Points in Magic: Maximum 10 Years Curses.
  • 8 Points in Magic: Maximum target's whole Lifespan Curses.

It is functionally "easy" for a Mage to curse someone, usually only requiring them to be in close proximity to cast the spell, which is almost always Hidden. Curses are, however, very potent forms of Magic, so a Mage who over-uses them is often much more liable to Limit Break. A Mage can also cast a curse into an object, which will pass it onto the next person who picks it up, even long after the Mage dies. What a Curse can actually do is also nearly unlimited, as magic is mostly unlimited, but it is always limited to using the cursed person as a conduit. For example, you cannot curse someone to instantly kill anyone within 5 ft of them, but you could curse someone to severely burn the skin of any person they touch. Curses like these can only work once, or be perpetual. While it would be too cumbersome to write out a fully exhaustive list of what a Curse could be, below is a set of guidelines and rules on what Curses cannot do, or cannot be. These limitations are a mixture of IC (not possible with magic) or OOC (an unfair/unfun mechanic), and can generally be rationalized In-Character as Mages not being strong enough or experienced enough to apply these kinds of curses, the general limitations of cursing magic, or being a severe societal taboo that the character will not break:

  • Curses cannot fully Shapeshift, Disguise, or radically transform someone to the point of being unrecognizable.
  • Curses cannot do what the Spirit Duke Curses can do, listed on the Spirit page. Treat that section like a "ceiling."
  • Curses cannot influence or alter the Soul, as this is generally reserved for higher powers or Soul Magic, which has its own limits.
  • Curses cannot convey information to the person applying the curse, like where the cursed person is, or if they've said/done something, but they can activate on these triggers. The person applying the curse just won't know about it instantly.
  • Curses cannot be overly specific, for example you can curse someone to always tell the truth when they speak, but you cannot curse them to only tell the truth when asked a question by a specific person.
  • Curses cannot have too many complicated conditions or pre-requisites, they should generally only have one general trigger, and either be active in perpetuity or only activate when that trigger is met.
  • Curses can alter the cursed person's perception, but not alter other people's perception of the cursed person. A good rule of thumb is a Curse should only effect or apply to the Cursed person, or something they directly touch.
  • Curses cannot work as "boons," and cannot be applied in reverse. For example, you can curse someone to be weaker, but you can never "curse" them to be stronger. A good rule of thumb is a Curse should always be a bad thing for whoever it is applied to.
  • Curses cannot permanently alter someone, and should always be reverted when removed. Any secondary negative side effects are not removed, for example cursing someone to stab a friend, the stab wound would not be reverted.

It is difficult to defend oneself from the application of Curses, because they are so secretive, and because they are usually applied with potent magic. There is an exception to this, however, which is the presence of Gods and Religion. Very pious, faithful worshippers will often have their souls protected against weaker Curses, or Curses that are cast without any "agreement" or pre-requisite. For example, a good Unionist might have resistance against a weak Demon or Mage casting a Curse on them just by looking at them, but would not be protected if they accepted a gift from them or invited them into their home. This resistance takes the form of delaying the Curse, meaning the Unionist would still be cursed, but instead of the curse activating and doing what it meant to, it may take the form of some kind of scar or marking, giving the Unionist some time to try and stop it or have it removed before it takes effect. There are other kinds of Resistances to Curses that exist, such as for things like Archon, but there are rarely, if ever, outright immunities to curses. Even if someone themselves is resistant to a Curse, the people around them likely aren't, and the same goes for their possible children. An example list of types of peoples who may have resistances (of varying levels) to curses: Archon, Sihndar, Narim, Bralona, Urlan, Sihai, Songaskian, Godborn, Arkenborn, Afflictions. Removing Curses is a more complicated matter, as many Curses cannot be removed prematurely at all, at least by means accessible to Mortals. The list of ways to "remove" a Curse are, as follows (depending on the kind of curse it is):

  • Waiting it Out: Some Curses cannot be removed early, except by God-tier beings, and in order to get rid of it, especially if it is a shorter Curse, the person suffering it just has to wait for the Curse to end. This is especially common for "one time" Curses, where the victim just has to mitigate the harm of whatever the Curse does, and then they're free of it.
  • Priestly Absorption: Any Priest of a Religion can, if someone of the same Religion is cursed, self-sacrifice by absorbing a Curse from that worshipper. The worshipper is spared, but the Priest suffers the full Curse in their stead. If a Priest has absorbed 3 Curses, and keeps all 3 Curses at the same time (of consequence, not low-impact or short timer Curses) the priest automatically generates 1 Divinium (which is usually used to then ask to have the Curses removed).
  • Dispelling the Curse: Dispelling a Curse is only available to Mages who are more experienced than the Mage that cast the Curse in the first Place (greater or equal Magic Investment), which undoes the magic of the Curse and instantly ends it. However, if the Player of the Cursed Character wants to remain Cursed for longer, they can decline this working.
  • Divine Intervention: Beings like Gods, Arken, Dragons, etc are all generally capable of removing any kind of Curse. If a character spends Divinium to summon a God, they are guaranteed to remove a Curse, if asked. If a God is asked without spending Divinium, they may not always agree. Other Event Entities (Arken, Powerful Demons, etc) may also be capable of removing Curses on request, but will almost always ask for something in return.