Many scholars throughout the years have attempted to discern exactly what magic is and where it came from. Its effects have been studied by the School of Magical Arts, the Conclave in the Sevenlands, and even the Minsdurim Academy, upon occasion. There are multiple books on the subject, the foremost among them being Garland’s Song of the Fabric of Creation. Still, at the time that this report is being written, this scholar has found no invention, scientific method, or even a magical device that can test the essence of magic and tell us what it really is and where it came from.
The accepted view by most laymen is that magic is the “fabric of creation” or the “material of creation” left over from when the Gods forged the world. Such a simplistic explanation can be credited to the Epics of the Gods and the mythology that most religious texts perpetuate. The general idea, explained by a Devlan Devotee, is that Evmir shaped the world and everything we see from a magical base material. The phrase so often repeated is that he “commanded the world come forth from the ether”. When asked exactly what magic is, or what the “ether” is, most religious explanations fail to satisfy, as they so often do. If one wants to learn of magic, one must go to a wizard.
According to representatives of the Conclave of Wizards, children who are born with an inherent connection to magic, referred to as “Blessed”, begin to show signs of the power between the ages of seven and fourteen years. This range is not as accurate as it could be; the Conclave admits that some children may go for years using magic undiscovered by their scouts or their parents. The manifestation seems to correlate directly with the children aging into sexual maturity, though there have been cases which seem to show no correlation. Sometimes trauma has been shown to be a direct factor as well, though those cases are rare. Findings from the School of Magical Arts directly support the information from the Conclave.
Magic is described by wizards as having an empathetic nature. It apparently responds to emotions felt by magic users, and those emotions can either intensify, confuse, or entirely null the effects of their intended spells and evocative castings. By their own admission, the use of magic can be a very dangerous undertaking. Wizards have been known to lose control of their powers and kill themselves–or others–because of the emotional factors at play, though the Conclave assures me that such things are rare and easily controlled and prevented through proper training. Strenuous mental discipline is the best deterrent, according to those who traffic in the use of magic.
Magic apparently responds to outside stimuli as well. It has been shown to resonate differently with different materials, such as brass, stone, various gems, and even water. Mathematical and geometrical formulas seem to evoke a response from magic, as do certain shapes in nature, the most common of which is the circle. This scholar had heard rumors of a great circle constructed in the bowels of the Conclave called the Crux, but any reference to it, or request to see it, was met with denial.
The most interesting magical reaction seems to be with music. Apparently musical tones have an intense effect on magic, and the Conclave has studied the phenomenon for a long period of time. They have found that the most interesting reactions seem to come from entire compositions of music rather than individual tones, as if the music produces an emotional response from magic, as ridiculous as that sounds. The theory seems to hold water when compared with the earlier knowledge that magic responds to emotions from those who use it. The two phenomenon seem to be intertwined somehow, though sufficient time and effort would be needed to study it further.
Magic seems to be able to perform almost any action the wizard can imagine, though the boundaries of such power are blurry and undefined at best. Most wizards seem to operate on their own preconceived notions about nature, and such a thing can be a serious deterrent to studying magic’s full potential. Some of the more mundane uses for magic, such as moving large objects or producing a small light from nothing, can be as simple or as complicated as the mind of the wizard wielding the power.
This scholar personally listened to two different explanations on how one would move a rock with magic. One wizard preferred to simply seize the rock with his “Kai”, as he put it, and move the thing a small distance. He explained that in his mind, he pictured carrying the stone in a large, invisible hand. The second spoke of an invisible force holding the rock to the ground already, and he simply pictured himself coaxing the force to let go for a small amount of time while he moved the rock. The results were the same, though the methods were clearly different.
Wizards do seem to have a limited amount of endurance for using magic. Each person would appear to have a different threshold for holding a certain amount of power, and it has been determined by the Conclave that every wizard grows slowly stronger over time. Exposure to the power also seems to lengthen the lifespans of all wizards, though it is said that most older magic users retreat from society in order to better commune with the strange energy. It is also said that wizards heal faster than normal people, and are more resistant to disease, though the factor by which this happens is minimal. It has been demonstrated to this scholar that magic also cannot heal any ailment with reliable results. The two things may be connected, and that subject may warrant further study in the future.
It is possible for those born without the ability to touch magic to gain it through careful study and training. In the Sevenlands they call those wizards the “Learned”. The differences between Learned and Blessed magic users stop at the method by which they gained use of the power. There appears to be no correlation between the method of training and the final ability and strength of any wizard in question. This would suggest that physical properties and breeding do have some effect on these phenomenon, though those effects have yet to be studied.
From A Treatise on Magic and its Effects, by the Magister Sir Umril Genhardt, of the Tauravon Archive. Written in the year 1066, archived in 1067.
Hope you guys enjoyed that little tidbit about the setting. I’ll be uploading little blogs like this to help flesh out the story for you guys, as the World of Eldath will be an ongoing setting for stories long after the Seven Signs is finished. More news on this to follow, and I’ll talk to you guys soon.