1.2 Magical Energy: Its Usage and Effects

Image of a person dissolving into a sphere of energy.
Magical energy manifests in different ways in each universe. In some, it is barely present; in others, it is a potent force.

Magical energy suffuses the fabric of reality. When present in sufficient quantities, living beings are able to shape and use it to completely alter aspects of themselves and their physical reality.

Magic in Practice

For sentient beings In a low magic world, consuming DMT may be used to expand the mind, but In a high-magic world, it can open access to magic itself, allowing the person to wield it in novel ways.

Most plants and animals have some small bit of DMT within their physiology, and this is likely the cause of many monstrous creatures in high-magic worlds. Having a surplus of DMT production within the pineal gland is most likely what gives some humanoids a “talent” for tapping into magic, and why a near-death experience is often the event that makes them aware of their talent.

In the most advanced cultures within all the universal infinity, none have truly been able to create a reliable way to predict how magic will interact inside a physical universe. In general, however, its presence defies and warps the nature of physics and reality itself.

The magic user becomes a conduit between magic and reality and acts as a lens or filter, controlling the how reality is altered by the magic. Psychologists and Neuromancers alike agree on this point.

As mentioned, the thaumatadiastatic sympathy experienced by an individual will depend on the magical potential of their physical environment. The main benefit in low-magic environments is the ability to metaphysically transcend space-time.

In a high-magic environment these paranormal abilities are also present. However, it also becomes possible to shape and alter physical nature itself.

Because of this, magic wielded by intelligent creatures has no limitation on the changes it can wreak upon reality except for those posed by the will of the wielder. Therefore, discipline in the use of magical abilities is paramount.

Planets have been destroyed by an unready mind. But more often the unready wielder will die before a leveling more than a few hundred square kilometers.

To a trained mind, magical energy can be used as a precise tool. Conjuring a flaming sword, reading someone’s mind, flying and making a fancy table set with a 4-course meal appear out of thin air are all possible for the initiated.

Classification of Magic

Magic as a phenomenon is by its nature chaotic with regard to the nature and the physical universe. However, as those who study chaos understand, chaos is itself a form of order. Some argue that the only truly chaotic force in the universe is that of entropy, something which magic is regularly used to thwart.

Generally speaking, there are two main categories of Magic: Arcane Magic and Divine Magic.

In some worlds, the unique manifestation of each class of magic is stark. This is particularly true in high-magic Worlds. In others, there is little practical difference between the two.

Because of this, the numerous Magical disciplines are not mutually inclusive with each classification. For instance, it is possible for the spells within the discipline of Necromancy to be either Arcane, Divine, or even a combination of both.

Arcane Magic

There are a number of techniques for shaping magical outcomes. However, the most common method among the high magic worlds is through Arcane Magic.

Arcane magic is so-named due to this reliance on engineered magical outcomes in the form of spells. Gaining arcane magical power requires immense study, research, and memorization.

Most arcane magic spells used by wizards must be prepared beforehand and then can be cast using some form of shorthand such as a gesture, short incantation, or inscription. Aside from the immense research required, arcane magic users must also practice and hone their ability to store more powerful and numerous spells.

In truth, these spells could be said to be stored in microscopic quasi-universes within the thaumatadiastasis. A wizard creates both a temporary pocket dimension and a connection to it when they “memorize” their spells using a spell book. Due to the nature of the brain, a magic user can only maintain so many open connections at a time.

The various incantations used when casting a spell function as memetic shorthand. This in turn helps the wizard open the connection and unleash the spell. Expert mages tend not to need these crutches; the hallmarks of a true master arcanist are swiftness, silence, and longevity.

Divine Magic

Divine magic is typically the result of powerful spells created by very high-magic beings, typically “gods.” Like arcane spells, Divine Magic spells reside permanently within a magical quasi-dimension channeled through the Planar reality controlled by the diety.

Unlike spells cast by Wizards, these spells don’t disappear after being used and can be used by any to whom the deity grants access. They do not require memorization, but rather are typically accessed through intense prayer or meditation.

Like the wizard, a priest is limited to the number of connections they’re able to hold within their brain and can increase the number with training and natural talent.

Magical Disciplines

There are numerous magical disciplines that have been developed throughout the 108 Worlds connected by the Tower.

While the list of magical disciplines may never be truly complete due to time and entropy’s obfuscation, there are several which are highly common among most Worlds. A few of the more common magical discplines are listed below:

  • Thaumaturgy – considered the highest magical discpline; mastery of this discipline grants the user arbitrarily miraculous powers.
  • Bibliomancy – the use of written words to shape and cast spells.
  • Eugenomancy – concerned with restoring or supplementing the physical health of a living thing.
  • Necromancy – this discipline is concerned with use of dead life-forms, typically in their reanimation.
  • Technomancy – most often practiced to imbue items (very often tools and weapons) with magical properties.
  • Arithmancy – the use of numbers and equations to shape and cast spells.

Magical Items

Although all living things have at least some small connection to the thaumatadiastasis, few beings are able to exercise the subtle and discplined control needed to use it to shape reality.

As the application of magical energy has a high degree of utility for virtually all beings, the creation of Magical Items that can be used by those without magical talent is prevalent in virtually all high-magic societies.

Magic as a force within the physical world has the power to physical alter reality and as such is often used to imbue particular physical objects with a residue of its power.