Magic on Alusia

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Colleges

Magic on Alusia is separated into various Colleges with each college containing a collection of spells that are related by a common theme. The standard Colleges encountered at the Guild are:

Thaumaturgies

Elementalists

Primitives

A few colleges, such as Celestial, are further divided into subsections, with some unique spells per subsection, but, for the purposes of Counterspells (see below), they are treated as one.

Why are there Colleges?

It is believed that when an Adept starts their magical career, as an apprentice, they become attuned to their College, which is reflected in their Aura. It is possible for an Adept to change Colleges but they must first undergo rituals to remove the knowledge of their existing College from their mind and aura before they can start again with a new College. Only in very rare cases, is it possible for an Adept to have spells from more than one College. The reason for this is hotly debated by philosophers but the predominent theory is that mana comes in different flavours, called colours, and that an Adept can only tap into mana of a certain colour. Places of Power for a college are rich in a particular colour of mana. This is known as the Colour Theory of Magic abbreviated as CMT. In this theory, a Counterspell introduces anti-mana which neutralises a specific colour.

Other Colleges

Other Colleges have been encountered by the Guild and they follow the same rules. These are:

  • Exsanguination - A form of Blood magic known to be used by a Lich on the Isles of Freedom. It is also known to be practiced by a small number of Calamar and a blood cult in Kirkul in the Five Sisters.
  • Dimensional Weaving - used for planer travel and usually practised by the Calamar. Most portals also use these spells.
  • Fae - used by the fairy folk
  • Lesser Summoner
  • Scriptomancy - practiced in Sanctuary. It may be a spinoff from the Rune College
  • Shaper - a long lost College that was involved in the crafting of powerful magical items
  • Spider - used by a rare breed of sentient spiders
  • Storm - an offshoot of the Air College.
  • Time (Chronomancy) - very rare ... and very dangerous
  • White - used by some priests of the Good Aligned Powers - usually used for healing and the destruction of the Unholy.

Types of College Magic

The Magic in each College is grouped into various sections:

  • Talents
  • General Knowledge Spells
  • General Knowledge Rituals
  • Special Knowledge Spells
  • Special Knowledge Rituals

With very few exceptions an Mage (or Adept) can only learn the magic of one College. After their apprenticeship, they know only the Talents and the General Knowledge Spells & Rituals at Rank 0. The Special Knowledge spells have to be obtained and learnt (costing time, and in most cases, coin) to Rank 0. Once obtained any spell, talent or ritual can be advanced in Rank (max 20) to achieve more powerful results from the same spell.

Each College has two Counterspells which are designed to negate either the Special or the General magic of each College. Any Adept can learn Counterspells but only Counterspells of your own College are treated as General Knowledge. All other Counterspells are Special Knowledge and cannot be Ranked beyond zero. The only exception is the Namer College which treats all Counterspells as General Knowledge. Note that Talents are not affected by Counterspells.

Results

A spell has a chance of working, a chance which can be increased by Ranking the spell and also by use of the General Knowledge Purification Ritual, which is common to all Colleges. The spell can work normally, work extremely well with effects being doubled or tripled, not work at all or produce an unexpected result, commonly known as a Backfire or a Mana Backlash.

Magic, when it works, works in quanta ... usually the amount of quanta in a spell or ritual is equal to the rank obtained in it. However, it is possible for an Adept to cast at a lower quantum level. In CMT, quantum is equated to the brightness of the colour.

Laws of Magic

Many philosophers believe that magic in Alusia operates according to a set of magical laws. While these laws have been extensively proved some philosophers and ancient mages have been openly dismissive of such "self imposed limitations on the true art".

The Principle of Symmetry

Like Produces Like. This means that a small effect here will produce a large effect over there. This explains why certain words and gestures are required for a spell to work.

The Principle of Contagion

Once Together, Always Together. If two objects were together, then moved to a distance, an effect on the first object will also affect the other. Examples of this are portal magics and the Binder spell of Life Linking.

The Doctrine of Signatures

The Attributes Without mirror the Abilities Within - Usually used for the Investment ritual and explains why only certain objects can hold particular type of investments, such as an object associated for weapons to hold weapon enhancements.

The Maxim of Persistence

Perfection is Eternal - This is why Adapts must practice their spells to get better at them, and also why higher ranked spells last longer. Of course, for most spells, only the rank of infinity would allow a permanent duration.

The Rule of Three

Thrice Spoken, Once Fulfilled - Most prevalent in Curse Removal, Banishment and Summoning. The name of the entity or effect must be uttered three times in order for the ritual to work. It also helps prevent accidental summoning. It is also the reason why some Powers will appear if their Name is spoken three times.

Unnaming

Just as the ancient names give an object substance and reality so are there unnames. Speaking the unname of an object or entity undoes it, removing it from reality. This is not a magic that is ever undertaken lightly or casually. Unmaking causes a 'tone' that any namer can hear often on the other side of the world. Just what is happening when an object is unmade is not known. Knowledge of unnames is very rare indeed.

Other pages on magic

There is probably a lot more that can be added - go for it - Keith