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Magic

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While the distinction between Magic and Psi-phenomena is highly controversial there seems to be a large community that not only accepts that magic exists, but apparently also largely agrees on which kinds of phenomena are to be considered magical, even if they may not agree on what the exact definition of magic is.

While there are mutants with innate magical ability even baseline humans can learn magic.[1]

EssenceEdit

Main article: Essence

Normally essence (also called quintessence) is required for spells. Normal baseline humans start out with at best a negligible amount of essence, which must be either painstakingly gathered or supplied by a mentor. Essence can be stored in a reliquary.

Essence flows along ley lines, and a sufficiently powerful and talented mage, usually a mutant with a high level Wizard Trait, can directly draw ambient essence from the ley lines or even manipulate the ley lines themselves for certain effects.

Laws of MagicEdit

Main article: Laws of Magic

Magic is governed by laws quite unlike those of science in that many refer to information a purely mechanical universe ought not to have available at a fundamental level, like intent, subjective harm, or subjective similarity. These laws limit what mages are able to do, often by placing unwanted consequences on their actions, but also allow for staggeringly powerful effects by working with rather than against them.

Types of MagicEdit

Main article: Types of Magic

There are many different kinds and varieties of magic and it is not at all clear to what degree the magic users agree on how to call and differentiate them. One might reasonably speculate that the Law of Precedence plays a role in creating some of the differences since workings within a particular area could be expected to be more likely to work consistently than workings that try to mix areas.

Based on comparison of real world magical traditions (some of which clearly were major influences on the fictional Whateley magic systems) one might further speculate that there should be fundamental practices that work across all, or almost all, of the different areas. Plausible candidates include evocation, summoning, illusions, transmutations and elemental effects, all of which are known to be terms in use. Even if this is the case these practices would likely be integrated into the various areas and might not look like variations on a theme to the uninitiated, so a good grounding in magical theory before deciding on the particular area to specialize in may be helpful.

While there exist a number of human magical traditions, including traditional Western magic, Taoist magic and Shamanism, there are other kinds that are not necessarily suitable for ordinary humans or mutants. GOO Sorcery tends to drive the practitioner insane, Sidhe magic may only be available to Sidhe and demons and inherently magical beings might likewise have abilities not available to mortal humans.

Magic schoolsEdit

  • The Mystic Arts Program of the Whateley Academy itself constitutes one of the best magic schools in the world, but since Whateley is a school for mutants the focus is on teaching the use of magical abilities already present, and only in exceptional cases can a student without such abilities learn to use magic there.
  • Master Zheng in San Francisco is a master of Taoist sorcery and alchemy and famous for his ability to open the eyes of initiates.[2]
  • The Bonewitz Center for Magical Studies at the University of California, Berkeley[3] technically doesn't teach performing magic, but does have faculty members qualified for that task and presumably turns a blind eye towards extracurricular mentoring, and also offers access to rare works.
  • Beyond Berkeley similar is the case for Harvard, Yale, Tulane, Sarah Langley, Raft and Bromwell, the other 6 of the schools termed 'Seven Sisters of Sorcery', and also Trinity College in Dublin, Trinity at Oxford, Duns at Edinborough, St. Albins in Lincoln and Prado in Madrid.[4]

Known Spells and ToolsEdit

Sorcerer's ContractEdit

Think your basic 'Devil and Dan'l Webster' deal with a silver-tongued devil. Classically, it involves a written contract written in blood, but in practice all it really requires is a willing agreement and the mage in question touching the other party as she casts the spell. You can even do it without the other party being aware of it. But once it's sealed, the very Threads of Fate itself will work to enforce the wording of the pact, in the most effective way possible. Bad luck will dog the steps of the breakoath, making working even the simplest of charms possibly lethal.[5]

Sorcerer's CompassEdit

Sorcerers can evaluate, keep track of, or manipulate events by manipulating the mystic ‘cords’ between people, places and objects. The classic sorcerer’s problem is keeping track of all the ‘threads’ that are involved in their working. That’s where the compass comes in. Each of those pegs has a ‘fate cord’ associated with one of the things that Jadis has going down. The pegs influence the needles, which are drawn to the appropriate glyph on the ring on its level. Different combinations of glyphs mean different things, so the knobs adjust the positions of the rings.”[6]

She-Beast's Sorcerer's CompassEdit

A brass instrument that looks like "a squat drum, about 10 inches across by 3 inches high. It was constructed along the lines of ship’s compass, only with five needles floating one on top of each other, and five concentric rings of glyphs and symbols that the needles pointed to. Each of the five rings could be minutely adjusted by dials built into the compass."[6]

There are needles for Passion and Conflict.[6]

Other Spells and ToolsEdit

  • Enchantment Tiles[7]
  • Mahasuran Refutation[5]
  • Geotic Reversal Charm[5]
  • Circle of Concealment[5]
  • Spell slips (Which have some requirement for grammatical correctness?)[8]
  • protective amulets[8]
  • bozo-avoidance talismans[8]

ReferencesEdit

TriviaEdit

According to Bek at the forums[1]:

'Sarah Langley' is a very obscure reference to the classic movie 'The Philadelphia Story', with Katherine Helpurn, Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, and Ruth Hussy. In on scene, a quite tipsy Jimmy Stewart refers to the 'Sarah Langley Medal for World Peace', an award that doesn't exist.

Raft and Bromwell appear to be both references to the animated series Daria.

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