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Modern Magic

While humans first learned how to shape magic mentally, they lost this ability after the fall of Old Sartor, nearly destroying themselves and the magic potential of the world in the process. (Magic potential is like a pool of energy, and while it is replenished, there is only so much of it.) Later, when human populations recovered and people had regained knowledge of magic, magic was controlled by words in Ancient Sartoran and gestures, which were not inherently magical in themselves but used to contain magic. While mage students are taught that the spells are the only way to access magic in modern times, some have discovered how to access the old magic. However, this magic is very dangerous, and only a handful can handle it.[1] The old magic requires innate ability, a certain aptitude for accessing it. [2]

This modern version of magic occurs in two 'mirror-image' forms: dark magic, so called because it uses up magic potential, and light magic, which keeps the amount of magic potential in balance. With the development of dark magic, and the gradual drawing of mages into conflicts, defensive spells were developed, including wards and tracers.

How Modern Magic Works

In order to perform magic, a mage memorizes what are called basic spells. These spells are really syllables and words in Ancient Sartoran, so old the intonations and pronunciations are almost unintelligible unless you study the language. These words help your mind gather and put together different amounts of magic for your purpose. The spells help humans to contain the magical power, which is very difficult and dangerous to hold on its own. Memorizing basics and learning simple spells takes up a long time for most mages.

After they have mastered the basics, they learn to combine spells into enchantments, which always have a key-spell.[3] A key-spell binds together a cluster of spells that form an enchantment. 'Enchantments' are very complicated magic, and can be anything from the magic necessary to keep a bridge from falling to a defensive ward. People will use the terms indiscriminately ("They spelled our cleaning frames again" or "Then enchanted our baths to heat again"), but mages are more precise: a cleaning frame is enchanted (it requires a string of spells to function) whereas a stone might be warmed with a heat spell.

Light Magic

Light magic uses up the proper proportion of magic potential so that the world can replace it. Light is a metaphor for illumination. Light magic spells, if the mage can't contain them, simply fall apart, and release the magic back into the world. All light magic spells are designed to wear away after a time, so that the magic returns to the "pool" of available magic potential.

Dark Magic

Dark magic burns up so much magic potential that it cannot be quickly replenished. (Dark is a metaphor for night, non-seeing, emptiness, destruction as in a light being extinguished.[4]) Because it uses up so much potential, dark magic is extremely powerful, and thus hard to contain. Mages not powerful enough to contain the force get consumed, and if the spell goes wrong at all, the results can be very dangerous to both the mage and his or her environment. Because dark magic spends so much potential, the spells are stronger, last longer, and are harder to break. Therefore, dark magic is often used for more destructive purposes, such as warfare.

Vagabond Magic

On Sartorias-deles, as magic slowly seeps back into the world, certain limited forms become possible, the limitations both because magic is not at its full strength and because of the limits of the human mind. At first, vagabond magic is mostly illusion, but as magic gains intensity, ebbing and flowing (generally strongest at sunset, sunrise, full moon, and in places where magic pools) it can transfer. The 'vagabond' part is a misnomer, stemming partly from who has been using a related form of magic, and partly from travelers being able to see what can be transferred: if it is a living thing, it must be able to thrive in the new location.

The (rare) beings the four queens of Bermund come from go around shifting crowded flora to places it would flourish, for example. When vagabond magic is taught to Sartorias-deles people, they learn to gather in groups pooling what magic they can reach so that the leader of the group can transfer living things. There is no wrench or jolt in this for of transfer, gently moving the object from one space to another, as in the old magic.


  1. D. 689
  2. LJ. 132850
  3. D. 3967 (Much other information throughout page comes from here as well.)
  4. D. 5350

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Page last modified on May 26, 2016, at 08:35 AM