To define exactly what Magic means, is hard to explain due to the various different interpretations in the world. Ask an Ailor what Magic is, and they will say it is either the power of the gods, or of demons. Ask a Teledden what Magic is, and they might say a simply natural part of their body. Ask an Asha what Magic is, and they reply that it is the source of all moral corruption and evil doing in the world. Whatever the subjective view of Magic, those who practice using Magic to achieve great feats like levitation or creating light and fire out of nothing, see it as a means to an end, a skill to draw an infinite resource from other dimensions to create change in the material world, and upend the natural laws of the universe by manipulating reality itself. Needless to say, the act of using Magic causes great controversy across the world, and this Page will discuss all aspects of it.
The history of Magic is hard to define, because to many, it has always been part of the world for as long as they can remember. Magic is however by nature not part of the world of Aloria, no matter how much some might wish it was. Before there was Magic, there was Primal Power, though how this worked and where it came from is ill-understood, as the Seraph civilization that had the earliest use died out 70,000 years ago. The Seraph invited calamity by hungering for more Primal Power, thus drawing energies from other dimensions when Aloria itself no longer sufficed. This was how Void and Exist Magic were born, and they quickly infested other sources of Magic until they became indistinguishable from the Primal Powers they once were. Throughout the millennia, Magic has waned and risen to prominence, following the Void Invasions. Every Void Invasion occured when the world reached a pinnacle of Magic saturation, and suffered a sharp decline as the Void Invasion completed, having eradicated most magic-capable sentient life. Since the failure of the last Void Invasion which resulted in the Cataclysm, an event where large amounts of Magic were released into the world causing all manner of natural disasters, many now believe Magic no longer to be responsible for inevitable doom of civilization, and have started preaching for it to be more widely used, quickly coming into conflict with those who consider it evil still.
Magic itself draws power from so called Dimensions. Dimensional theory is still very much in its infancy because of the sheer impossibility of visiting other realms which defy the laws of material existence as it is known in Aloria. The realms that are known, are those who send things back into Aloria, which is where most of the conflict in the world is drawn from, however that topic will be discussed in the morality section. The three major alien dimensions are the Void, Exist, and Ordial, with everything native to Aloria being called Primal. However, Magic energies within Aloria itself are not monolithic, they can be subdivided into Life, Dragon, and God Magic respectively. This much is known of each category of Magic:
- Void Magic: Void Magic is not native to Aloria, and as such part of the so-called Dimensional Magics. The Void is a realm devoid of matter, shape, color, smell, senses, to be in the Void is to be complete nothingness, to lack everything, and to want everything. Things attached to the Void are more generally seen as doing good things with evil intentions, and being self sentered on satisfaction.
- Exist Magic: Exist Magic is not native to Aloria, and as such part of the so-called Dimensional Magics. The Exist is a realm of all shapes, colors, sounds, forms and senses all at once, to be everywhere, to be everything, to know everything. Things attached to the Exist are generally seen as doing evil things with good intentions, and being focused on re-creating ordained perfection by force.
- Ordial Magic: Ordial Magic is not native to Aloria, and as such part of the so-called Dimensional Magics. The Ordial realm is a realm of death, of shades of the afterlife and entities with eldritch mannerisms and intentions beyond the comprehension of mortals. The Ordial realm is often considered a realm of murder and the stealing of souls, but reality being more nuanced, serving some higher purpose of means to an end.
- Dragon Magic: Dragon Magic is native to Aloria and as such part of the so-called Primal Magics, and it is a fairly common one intrinsically linked with Dragon Worship. Dragon Magic was frequently used in the war of the Dragons against the other dimensions over the past 70,000 years, though is now mostly a leftover from that conflict. Dragon Magic is often thought to be diametrically opposed to Void Magic due to Dragons warring with Void Invasions.
- God Magic: God Magic is native to Aloria and as such part of the so-called Primal Magics, though it is rarer than Dragon Magic. God Magic is derived directly from the various Gods in Aloria, granted only to their strongest of faithful for divine missions and ambitions. Since many Gods have gone silent, few of this category remain. God Magic is often thought to be diametrically opposed to Exist Magic due to Gods struggling against Estellon.
- Life Magic: Life Magic is native to Aloria and as such part of the so-called Primal Magics, being the rarest and nearly extinct form of Magic. Life Magic is not derived from any one entity meaning it is extremely susceptible to corruption from the other Dimensional Magics. Life Magic is considered closest to what Primal Powers once were. Life Magic is often thought to be diametrically opposed to Ordial Magic due to Life being the polar opposite of Death.
State of Magic
Magic exists in a state of severe imbalance in the world. The vast majority of Magic users are Void or Exist Magic users due to a concept called dimensional corruption. By the nature of especially Void and Exist Magic, they have a habit of attaching their energies to things that can use or create Magic in Aloria when summoned into this world either by ignorance, or nefarious intentions. It is theorized that because Primal Powers offered a way for the Void and Exist to change the world of Aloria to become more like their own Dimensions, that they felt drawn to it, and when they came into contact with it, changed it. The theory goes that if it were not for the Void and Exist, that all Mages who are born with Magic in Aloria would be born as Life Mages (as Dragon and God Magic are only given at later stages in life). But because the first Void Invasion happened so long ago, and because Void and Exist have had free-reign in the world for nearly 70,000 years, it is theorized that there are barely any pure Life Mages left, and even if they were, they would constantly be assaulted by Dimensional energies around them from the amount of Magic usage. Any Mage currently alive cannot bear the guilt of this essence corruption that has taken place long before any of them were born, and in fact they are part victim to this circumstance also because most Mages do not choose what dimension their powers come from, part of their Magical heritage was corrupted many thousands of years before their birth, though purists still believe they should be held responsible and bear guilt of perpetuating this endless cycle of Life Magic corruption.
Ethics of Magic
Inherently, there is nothing ethically wrong with using Magic (disregarding the point of cyclical corruption brought up above). Magic is no different from a sword or a Puretek pistol, however the fact that it is often used as a crutch to overpower others, has led to a serious degradation of its reputation, especially in relatively low-Magic societies like Regalia. Nearly every historical conflict can be routed back to Magic somehow, to cite just a few examples: The Allar fled Sendrass due to magical infestation and oppression, the Teledden waged magical war on the Asha forefathers and enslaved them, Ailor hatred for slave-owning Elves comes from their use of Magic to subjugate them, and Sihndar in Drowda fight every day to hold back chaotic Magics from breaching into the wider world and corrupting that too. Magic is never responsible, but always related to, the various miseries and traumas that many societies and people have had to endure, and as such, opinions about it are extremely polarized, but no-one is being hurt by the passive usage of Magic to for example water the plants or grow crops faster, yet many would reject these crops as tainted.
Magic in Regalia
Magic in Regalia 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 influences 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 also, with Magic being commonly used in the State Metropolitan (the guard) and even in the Emperor’s personal circle. Whether a Magic user succeeds in Regalia is usually related to their connections and their social caste.
How Magic Works
Every Mage is unique, to explain how Magic works, let us examine the case of the Apple. In Aloria, an Apple is red, it is round(ish), and it falls down from the tree. This establishes three laws of reality of the Alorian world: color, shape, and gravity. When a Mage is born (or learns to use Magic), their Magic never strictly does a specific thing, but seeks to use the Mage’s imagination to bring about change in the laws of reality of Aloria. As such, if the Mage wishes to have the apple, instead of it falling from the tree it floats towards them, thus interfering with the gravity law of reality. If the Mage wishes the apple to be black, they might summon a flame around it to burn it to a crisp and blacken it, thus interfering with the law of temperature. If the Mage wishes the apple to be dried, they might evaporate all water in an instant, thus interfering with the law of liquids and gasification. Magic is a means to an end, to use Magical energies to change the laws of reality, of physics, of time, and of perception, and how that is done is entirely up to the imagination of the Mage themselves. Technically in lore, all Mages are thus unique, however due to the gamified needs of D&D style combat, our Proficiency System only has categorical Abilities, with free aesthetics around them. This is part of the suspense of disbelief, when reviewing Magic as a whole.
How a Mage is made
Magic can be acquired 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, 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 slightly increase chances. This particularly led to mage breeding programmes 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.
- Mages even have slurs among them, though some are defined from outsiders. Magician is a term often used to demean Mages, while Mages themselves refer to novice Mages as Sorcerers.
- Magic casting can sometimes be harmful to the person. A person who has no control over their own Magic can let loose too much essence, which in turn may cause mutations in them or others around them.
- Magic always attracts Spirits from all Dimensions. A powerful Void Mage whenever casting Magic is always a tasty target for Exist Spirits and Void Spirits alike, this is why many careless Mages end up infested by a Spirit or Demon.
- There is a misguided notion that suggests Mages are subconsciously influenced by the dimension they pull from, compelling them to dress in colors that match the aesthetics of their chosen essence. This baseless concept is typically referred to as Color Theory.