So, you came to hear of magic? Yes, of course. It is the single most defining characteristic of FéLorën that separates it from all other worlds. So, what is it and how does it work? Where did it all begin and what impact did it have on the land of FéLorën? Well, I hope you have found a cozy spot for yourself for this shall be an extensive and, at times, controversial discussion.
It must start with a definition, and it is here that the controversy expediently begins. Erramond the Wise claimed that magic was completely separate from spells and not exclusive to wizards. Magic was the force of the universe, the underlying script behind our reality, which made the world possible. As such, all life forms were capable of experiencing and beholding magic. The proof of this was said to be found in the students of magic who were not, as we say, wizard-born. Those who, through disciplined meditation could pierce through the illusion of the physical world, connect to the magic of being, and recognizing it as the source of life. Those who could experience magic in stillness, conquer fear and rise above the constraints of their seemingly genetic limitations.
The proof of this was found in the philosophers, prophets, mind readers, monks, and even the artists, poets, and musicians of the age. Erramond was quoted as saying, “Show me the one who knows nothing, empty of mind and content in stillness and I will show you magic more powerful, more world-shattering than any spell ever conceived could produce.”
He claimed a spell was no more magical than an ax. Both forged from the land, and of the land, and as such, they are not separate from one another. The ax was a tool for building marvelous structures as much as it was a tool for striking them down. To Erramond, a spell was no different. And while spells were tools only able to be wielded and created by wizard born, he was certain that it was equally as restrictive for a wizard to ever wield an ax or craft an ax (at least with any real significant and meaningful skill). The artist, the carpenter, the blacksmith, are each capable of harnessing the magic of their trade. Take the bear, with claws unique to its genetic design. Does it make their claws more magical than the human hand? More magical than the Elves pointed ears? It is with this logic that
Erramond argued that since spells were exclusive to wizardborn it did not inherently make them magical. In fact, it was to a detriment to a wizard’s training that he or she deemed themselves more special or superior to others. What Erramond believed was all form was magical. No attribute excluded, no element of Nature, be it light or dark, good or bad was excluded from being magic. The proof was easy to see in society’s greatest thinkers and achievers. But, to the trained eye, one may look no further than to a common rock to behold the magic of existence on display or to realize true magic within their grasp.
Let’s table this notion of magic being all inclusive to every living and non-living form that exists and speak to the scholarly definition of magic, the magic as it is taught in an empire’s academy. Magic, in this sense, is the creation of “something” from seemingly “nothing,” at least as far as it is concerned for, what Erramond referred to as, “the untrained eye.” Magic is spell power, the unique tool at the disposal of wizardborn. Spell power has many attributes and can have many unique characteristics. Take, for example, the effect of spell power on the wizard who wields it. It has a devastating impact on a wizard’s constitution. The spell force coursing through the veins is said to overwhelm, even when not in use. This has caused common side effects such as loss of appetite, nausea, depression, joint pain and headaches.
When spell power is enacted, the effects can be downright devastating to a wizard. These effects commonly include nausea, nose bleeds, vomiting, fatigue, depression, chest pain, loss of consciousness, and in some cases – death. The physical ramification of these traits makes wizardborn share the following characteristics: a slender physique, sunken features, pale/yellow or a sickly complexion, and a dull, faded color to the iris, which becomes more pronounced based on the usage of their spell power. A wizard with close to no color left to the iris is a wizard who is both physically teetering on death, and also one of the most powerful beings on the planet. Yet, this array of negative side effects is not without reward, albeit brief. The casting of a spell is said to be euphoric, not unlike a drug. There is a physical rush of endorphins and there is said to be a spiritual effect of connectedness to the world. This unity is in stark contrast to the aftermath – a feeling of emptiness, a shared experience of wizardborn often referred to as “The Void.”
All these experiences get to the heart of the matter for wizardborn: The very thing that makes them what they are is the very thing that kills them. Another way to perceive this predicament is to say they are cursed. Or rather, punished, simply for being born. This fact will play an important role in the history of wizards, as you will see. The suffering and the plight of their experience may have singlehandedly been responsible for what drove their enslavement and was their biggest disadvantage when they were persecuted, hunted, and slaughtered in the darker years of history.
HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF THE WIZARDBORN
Magic has existed since the beginning of time. With the first humanoid creature, magic was present. Even then, the gift was rare, and only capable among the very few. With the first tribes, those that were wizardborn were the shamans and the healers. If a tribe was lucky, they had one. They were revered and respected, wise elders and mysterious mystics. For those tribes who lacked a wizardborn, they would travel far to grace the presence of one. These distant magical beings were referred to as oracles.
The first magic wielders were different than what we find with the more modern age of magic. There is no record of spells used for warfare. The aim was simpler, the nature of these tribes was more harmonious. Spells of this age were sparks to ignite a fire, the manipulation of water, and conjurations expressing the inner desires of their hearts. Through song and dance and entertaining spectacles they entertained and taught early man the way to be in harmony with Nature. These facts were confirmed when the Book of FéLorën was discovered by Erramond the Wise in the year 11 B.F.
However, this discovery of the Book of FéLorën did not replace the myths that already existed, for the Book of FéLorën did not include an origin story. So, the myths of gods, the first wizards, remained. These gods conjured the elements of the world – the land, the sea, the air. They sewed the fabric of Nature, itself, and all that was contained within it. The trees, the animals, and the stars. All these tales differed to various degrees but were at heart the same, from region to region, and with time, from empire to empire.
Before the first empires, there was the settling of tribes with the discovery of agriculture, and the end of the hunter gatherer age. This was also accredited to the wizards. However, with the forming of these societies, the first historical record of wizard troubles began. As dependency on crops and the formation of economy, bad fortune was soon accredited to the wizards, those who were expected to be as gods. A season without rain was the fault of the wizard, as the wizard was the one believed to have the power to make the tribes dreams and wishes a reality. And if these wishes were not realized, then it was believed to be a wizard’s intention to bring suffering to those who depended on their good grace. Of course, wizards were not capable of enacting the will of the tribe, as they were not gods. When tribes turned against the wizards, the wizards took to the fringes of the world. Few in number, it meant most were exiled in solitude, left to the harsh land to fend to themselves. Many did not survive the harsh wild lands. Those that did, grew strong.
As the tribes grew in size and in strength and empires emerged, the fate of wizards grew more perilous. Known as witches and warlocks, they were the villain of every fairy tale – the monster, the boogeyman, the evil hag that plagued the mind of common folk. Yet there was a hypocrisy in this. For if a wizard was born to a family of class, they were afforded protection from exile. They were kept away from the masses, and their wisdom and spells were used to assist in kingdom affairs, whether through prophecy or helpful spells of conjuration. These wizards were the new oracles of the land, the secret government agency that drove decisions as they pertained to war and peace.
Over time, the secret of these oracles’ existence could no longer be hidden, and with the realization of them living amongst civilized society, and being credited for a kingdom’s advancement, an age of acceptance began. However, it took many generations before acceptance of wizards was anything more than slavery. Religion was used to subdue the wild tendency of these otherwise (perceived) villainous wizards. Taught to be ashamed of their power, the path to salvation was only possible through service. Service to the king and service to a higher power ordained by the church. Institutions were created to instill the proper conditioning. These became the Academies, which soon represented a beacon of progress and was the focal point of every kingdom’s might. The Academy trained the wizard, produced the spells, and filled a kingdoms library with many devastating spells for war. A wizard’s life was harsh; subject to severe punishment for disobeying the law, self-inflicted pain through religious practice (to expunge their “evil nature”), imprisonment between classes, and being allowed to leave the kingdom only when called to act in times of war.
With time, servitude allowed the opportunity for societies to see the true power of a wizard’s capability. When a battle or a war was seen to be decided by the power of a single wizard, it was clear that they could be seen as something more than a lowly slave, but as a hero. As generations past and kings came and went, laws were soon introduced to provide more freedom for wizards, until they gained freedom from imprisonment, the right to property and subsequently, the right to government position.
SCHOOLS OF MAGIC
The schools of magic have been debated for centuries. Kingdoms classified and refined the forms of magic for centuries, attempting to summarize the wizard by the types of spells they could create and interpret. However, the schools are not so much a way to classify spells as it is a way to classify language. For example, the school of Holy Magic is best known for spells of regeneration and healing. While there does appear to be, for the most part, a common theme of light and protection with Holy Magic, in the same way that a Necromancer was known for spells of darkness and decay, there is the occasional crossover that cannot be explained. When a Holy wizard created a spell that stole the life from whoever the spell was directed toward it defied all expectation and called to question the understanding of what was possible. Since the spell was crafted in the language of the Holy wizard, the spell, along with the wizard who created it, were still considered Holy. The consistent commonality was the language of the spell. Other anomalies were the Necromancer who created a spell to conjure acid rain, which one would have imagined crafted in the School of Nature, where spells that manipulated weather were commonly derived. Or the time a Chaos wizard, known for spells of devastation, created a spell that instantaneously put one to sleep. It was the anomalies such as these that convinced many that the classifications and schools were simply incorrect at best, and at worst, limited a wizards mind as to what they were potentially capable of. The ultimate lesson, in as far as we should be concerned, is that with all things, there are exceptions to the rule.
School of Sanctity:
Creator of the Holy Wizard. The sacred, defensive art of restoration. Essential magicians in a kingdom’s desperate hour of need. Medics on the battlefield and sworn protectors of life and all that is sacred. With intention to preserve life where possible and fight the tides of darkness with the light of divine power.
School of Chaos
Creator of the Chaos Wizard. The pinnacle of a kingdom’s strength, these wizards are known for catastrophic spells of destruction. Forces to be reckoned with on the fields of battle makes them revered by kings and feared by opposing soldiers. Commonly plagued with mental illness, due to the wild personality fluctuations they experience, they thrive on the ever changing nature of the surface world and tend to reject repetitive, calm, environments. Drawn to fire as if it were a kindred spirit of their soul. It is the Chaos wizard whose spells are most difficult to classify, as the very nature of chaos would suggest, they seem to break the rules, by pulling power from all the other schools. The only commonality being the spells promote a severely volatile experience. A chaos spell can easily rely on elements of Nature spells – creating sporadic, hostile weather events, as it can rely on the elements of Illusion – with dizzying alterations of one’s perception, or even the darkness of Necromancy – creating rifts to supernatural realms beyond.
School of Illusion
Creator of Mystics, those wizards with the spells to alter reality and distort the world around them. Commonly associated with air elementals and the mysterious ethereal power of wind. Mystics have often been referred to as the least trustworthy of magicians, sly and deceitful, by nature of their spell power. However, the greatest wizard known to the world, Erramond the Wise, was said to be a Mystic, although he never served in any Academy and therefore, was never brought up by any traditional school. As such, he refused to accept any label, but by all accounts of his magical ability, he was, by academic definition, a Mystic.
School of Necromancy
Creator of Necromancers. Subjected to genocide on practically every continent of FéLorën, these masters of the dark arts are condemned due to the mysterious and frightening nature of their craft. Considered unholy in nature due to their ability to manipulate the supernatural forces of the realms of the dead. These wizards are the last remaining magicians who are still unaccepted and persecuted. It is common for Necromancers to battle severe bouts of depression, believed to be triggered by a calling, or more forceful pull toward the land of the dead, seemingly not at home in this world. These tendencies were exasperated by the lack of acceptance they received from practically every known civilization of the world. Oryahn was the only continent accepting of their kind.
School of Nature
Creator of Nature Wizards. Attuned to the laws of the natural world, these wizards harness the power of the land and the sea, and the creatures and terrain that inhabit these regions. Most common amongst wizards of Elven blood, they harness their power from the planet, bonded to its motherly embrace. Nature wizards are often mistaken for Holy Wizards, as the laws of Nature and the laws of the Divine are deeply connected.
LAWS OF MAGIC
The laws are straight forward and are as such:
A wizard of one school cannot learn the spells of another school. This is because the language of a spell cannot be interpreted by another school. A Chaos Wizard would sooner understand the language of a raccoon before understanding the language of a Nature Wizard.
Spells come from within. When a spell is created it is more accurately “discovered.” No two discovered spells are the same, but two different spells can be so alike in their outcome that they may appear to be the same. For example, there are thousands of spells created that generate the ability to create fire, but each discovered spell for fire achieves this end in its own unique way.
Once a spell is discovered it can be shared with other wizards of the same school (or language). This is the catalyst for the creation of the Academy Library – housing all the created spells for each school of magic. In essence, these libraries are a kingdoms arsenal, hospital, laboratory, and historical record all in one.
Magic may be bestowed upon inanimate objects. Common magical items include staffs, wands, rings, parchment (scrolls), weapons and armor. The act of creating a magical item is referred to as infusion. The material that is infused determines the longevity of the magical ability bestowed upon it. Stones, rubies, diamonds and similar jewels are the finest material for infusion, because the magical quality can remain within these objects for countless lifetimes. This explains why wands and staffs are the most treasured and powerful of magical items. The act of infusion, especially with jewels, is incredibly dangerous and at times lethal. In fact, it is an incredible sacrifice of a wizard’s health to partake in the infusion of any item, but none more deadly than the infusion of jewels, and some jewels more than others.
Metals are another strong material for infusion, but unlike jewels, metal can only hold magical qualities for several generations. Sometimes, depending on the skill of the wizard infusion, a piece of magical armor is said to have lasted two lifetimes. It was not unheard of for a magical sword to be passed down from father to son without losing its magical enchantment, but there is little evidence to support a weapon, or piece of armor, could maintain its magical quality for longer than that.
Parchment is the least stable infusion item. Infusion on parchment can generate only a couple uses before the magic force is exhausted. However, since parchment is the least adhesive object for infusion, it takes a much smaller toll on the wizard to infuse it. Therefore, it is less of a sacrifice to create. This is why the scroll is the most common magical item in the world of FéLorën.