Certain Magics

INCOMPLETE

Potential

Three capacities add up to someone being a mage and it is generally the case that someone either possesses all three of them or none. These basic capacities are Affinity, Assensing, and Conversion.

Affinity

The individual has an affinity towards, and associated resistance to, one type of magic and mana.

Assensing

The individual can perceive "open" uses of mana which aren't deliberately concealed. Typically a mage can feel an existing effect within five to ten yards and read a spell being cast within the same distance. Within roughly arms reach the effects or purposes of spell within their affinity can be perceived, but the mechanics and casting method of the spell are typically hard or nigh impossible to read.

Mana matching ones own affinity stands out with greatest clarity while other types of mana are more blurred, albeit no less visible.

Conversion

The individual can convert the vitality of their body and life into mana.

Incomplete Mages

On rare occasionally there are individuals who lack one of these capacities, but who possess the other two.

Cultist

A "Cultist" lacks the ability to convert their own vitality into mana and thus is entirely reliant on some person, being, or item to provide the mana they need to cast anything. Even then the cultist still requires the form of mana matching their affinity or they can not properly form it into spells. Any mage with a knowledge about Cultists will be very cautious about one who can cast unless the mage is certain as to where the Cultist is getting their mana from.

Another common nickname for Cultists in "Wannabe".

Joat

A "Joat" lacks an affinity and thus has neither a baseline to differentiate different types of magic when assensing nor an ability to consistently produce mana of a single type. This makes it night impossible for them to use spells which are not utterly insensitive to the type of magic used in them. Ambitious or experimentally minded Joats have come up with a number of 'general' spells, but also have caused a worrying number of backlash incidents.

Of the three types of incomplete mage, Joat's are the ones most commonly encountered by mages as they can both sense magic (which ensures they can find mages) and can actually cast spells of a sort.

Source

A "Source" can't perceive mana and so generally go through life without realising what they are missing. Without the ability to sense mana any attempt to use it is done blindly with no feedback on how the spell is forming until it either works, quirks, or simply fails. Those spells which they do learn generally have to be taught by rote with the assistance of a very patient mage.

Occasionally a Cultist and a Source with a shared affinity can end up working together, with the Source providing mana for the Cultist to cast, or a mage manages to retain the services of a Source as 'backup mana battery' after teaching them a variant of Lend by rote.


?Spellcasting

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?Vitality & Mana

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Every mage can convert vitality into mana, the capacity to do so being what defines a mage, but the reverse is not true. It is hard to simply hold onto unshaped mana, taking a bit of concentration to prevent it simply dispersing, and it is generally not possible to convert mana back into vitality. Thus most mages simply change vitality into mana on demand while casting spells and may not even realise that there is an intervening step of actual vitality to mana conversion.

?Experimentation

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So you can get a sense of how to 'jimmy' things into new configurations.

Yes. The very basic bit there is how to make a spell 'stick' rather than just get thrown at an object. Without that nothing tried would last beyond the mage holding it in place if it even managed that without falling apart.

Casting & Forming

The process of using a spell has two basic stages: casting and forming. Often these are accompanied by at least minor gestures or words which are mnemonics for shaping the spell, but with sufficient practice such can be reduced or eliminated for often repeated spells.

Casting is the basic step and the one which is most focused on by amateur mages. It involves forming a series of runes and symbols of mana in a sequence. Other mages can assense a spell being cast and, unless specific steps are taken to prevent it, they would easily follow how to reproduce the casting sequence for themselves assuming a suitable affinity. They might not be currently able to do it, lacking either skill or mana at that moment, but the how has been obvious to them and they know the trick of it. An analogy in computing terms might be that this is writing the source code.

Forming is when the sequences produced by casting is fastened at least at one point to itself or something else. To use an analogy if the sequence produced normally takes the shape of a line or ribbon or symbols, forming is doing anything from sealing the ends together into a loop to tying it in a complex knot around several other objects. Forming causes the spell to begin to take effect and grants it stability even as the original casting sequence becomes far harder to determine. To refer back to computing, this is taking the raw source code which was written and compiling then running it.

Releasing & Maintaining

When casting a mage normally keeps the spell from taking effect until they have finished creating its structure, with a few unfortunate occurrences quickly teaching even a novice how to hold off the effect temporarily, but once cast the mage has two basic options: releasing the spell or maintaining it.

If they choose to release the spell then the magic simply runs 'by itself'. The mage no longer has an attachment to the spell, no control over what it does, and it is powered solely by however much mana they had pumped into the magic. Conversely they no longer have to dedicate any concentration to keeping the spell 'in hand', it is no longer drawing off of them for power, and there is no need to remain in proximity to the spell (or it to them). Some spells, or variants, collapse or become useless if released as they rely on a connection to the mage to function.

If they choose to maintain the spell then they are effectively keeping 'hold' of it. Most spells don't require any particular concentration unless being actively directed, thus a wired might use maintain a light producing spell while reading but direct attention to it only when they wanted to dim or brighten the spell, but even the simplest spell requires a vague amount of attention to keep the connection in place. This can vary from the same amount required not to let go of the string of a balloon to enough that the slightest distraction will cause the connection to be lost. A few spells inherently can't be maintained, typically due to the fact that they produce an instant result then end themselves.

?Failure & Quirks.

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?Specific Magics

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Affinities

See the Affinities subpage.

Spells & Techniques

See the Spells & Techniques subpage.


?Culture & Lifestyle

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?Formal Mage Society

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?Ranking & Etiquette

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?Achievements

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?Day-to-Day Life

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?Hedge Mages

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