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 The Nature of Magic and Ley Lines

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PostSubject: The Nature of Magic and Ley Lines   Tue Mar 06, 2012 3:08 am

The Nature of Magic

Mana is the name given to the energy that is naturally present in the world. Unlike other types of energy, which radiate and dissipate into lower concentrations, Mana exhibits the unique behaviors of flowing naturally and existing in radiant concentrations that do not spread until complete dissolution. Scholarly studies over the millennia have shown Mana to exist as a part of the world, permeating all matter and life, exhibiting a natural ebb and flow that has yet to be explained. Large concentrations of manna have been found naturally occurring in locations all over the world. These places of high concentration are called Ley Lines, along which mana seems to flow or be generated. Whether Manna is an inexhaustible or perpetually renewing energy source is unknown, but some Scholars believe that Manna exists as not only a part of this world, but extends beyond it to other worlds, and realms of existence.

Magic is the act of influencing Mana to perform a task or yield an effect. As Mana is a neutral energy existing in harmony with the world at large, it is necessary for external methods to harness it. Due to the variety of life forms and countless individuals that exist in a Mana filled world, the task of magic is an intimate one that is dependent upon the individual. Over the millennia many individuals have discovered methods of tapping into this vast energy through trial and error. They recorded their successes, built upon them, and shared their findings. Over time, others have added to their pool of knowledge, and gave rise to the Arcane Arts. As skills with Mana grew, and talented individuals came to prominence, various Methods of Magic (ways to manipulate Mana) evolved.

The foundation of all Magic are Will and Belief. One must believe in oneself as well as the energy in order to grasp it. A strong will is necessary to shape, manipulate, and set the Mana to task. Some people who are incapable of wielding magic are said to lack proper Belief, however some schools of thought that hold magic users as people who possess an inborn ability. Both Belief and inborn ability are both intangible factors. The tangible factor in casting magic is Will. While Will is powerful, it must be amplified and structured through action in order to affect Mana. The tools used to accomplish this are: Gesture, Incantation, Ritual, and Material Component. These four elements are used in various combinations and amounts to produce varying degrees of effect. Their efficacy is find in ones' Belief that they have the power to shape and amplify Will and thus Mana.

Gestures are the simplest of the Arcane tools. They are specific movements of the body that are bound to the purpose of yielding effect. Simple gestures will yield little some effect, but larger amounts of energy and more complicated effects require longer and more complex gestures. Incantation is the recitation of words and sounds that are believed to hold power. Most incantations are learned from recorded sources that date back hundreds of years, or have been passed down through oral tradition. While most Incantations are in languages long dead and their meanings are unknown, it is the painstaking attention to pronunciation, intonation, and rhythm that give them their power. It is the belief in what the specific words can do, that shapes the Mana to effect. It is this reason that causes spells to go awry when their incantations are improperly recited.

Ritual is the process of performing specific actions in an exacting manner. Rituals, while some make use of incantation and gesture, are stronger than the previously mentioned Arcane elements. Another example of Ritual is the drawing or inscribing of runes or symbols. These creation of these pictures and drawings is a process that attunes the will and shapes it over time. It also allows time for the caster to draw in larger amounts of Manna to be put to use, thus stronger spells require rituals that take more time. As with incantation, improperly performed Rituals, and mistakes present in runes and symbols can cause Spells to go horribly wrong. Because of the amount of effort and energy invested in them, Magic users are extremely careful as spell failure could be catastrophic.

Material components are the final and most powerful tool in the Arcane arts. These are objects believed to have value or specific attributes that make them vessels to aid in the drawing and shaping of Mana. Almost all powerful spells require material components in order to complete their casting. They act as focuses for both the caster and the Mana to generate the desired effect. Usually the material component is consumed by the spell when the casting is complete. This makes material components very rare and sought after commodities. All of the aforementioned elements are used in the casting of magic in various combinations and amounts. The stronger the spell and its affects, the more these tools will be required to make the magic manifest.

Ultimately Magic is a form of work, and as with all work, fatigue is the result of expended effort. Even though the foundation of Magic is Belief and Will, two non physical elements, using magic is physically draining on the body. A Caster's own natural life energies are consumed by the act of tapping and commanding Mana. While lesser spells will not have that great an impact on ones stamina, multiple casting of lesser spells will have a compounded effect. In the case of any spell being cast, the stronger the spell being cast, the greater the toll it will take on the caster's body. While this drain can be counteracted by rest and time spent recovering, a Magic users life is always in danger. If not careful a Magic user can drain themselves to death by pushing themselves too hard with excessive casting, or casting a spell that is beyond their capacity.

Ley lines are known to have an effect on the casting of Magic. The high concentrations of Mana that are found in and around Ley lines can amplify the potential yield of any spell cast. The benefit of tapping into a Ley line to cast ones magic is balanced by the danger. While the end result of the spell is magnified with the excess of mana pouring in to it, the toll on the casters body is also amplified. On the most experienced Magic users would risk tapping directly into a ley line. They usually insulate themselves from the harmful effects by employing the Arcane Tools of casting. While adding buffers to reduce the harmful effects, the act of Ley line casting still takes a tremendous toll.

Types of Magic Casting

Evocation: The Evocation school of magic uses arcane tools that have been passed down through the ages by either school, coven, or apprenticeship. Using these carefully guarded secrets, in conjunction with the Arcane tools of casting, practitioners bring about miraculous effects. The manifestations, while limited only by the strength and imagination of the caster, tend to fall into one of seven categories: Element manipulation, discharge of energy, barrier, modification of physical matter, binding, amplification of physical matter, or temporary creation of physical matter.

Summoning: The summoning school of magic is a rare art that lends credibility to the theories that Mana flows through this world and extends out into other realms of existence. A practitioner, called a Summoner, will use the Arcane tools to shape mana into a Rift Vessel. This Rift Vessel temporarily pulls the essence of a creature from another realm into the world of the caster. The Vessel takes the shape of that creature, binding it to the will of the Summoner, and provides the physical substance and energy necessary for the creature to affect our world. For example, Summoner may summon a giant bird to fly from one place to another, or fire breathing creature to burn away a threat or obstacle. In any instance, the more powerful a creature being summoned is, or the longer a creature is kept determines how draining the experience is on the Summoner. When the duration of a summons ends, the Rift Vessel dissipates and the essence returns from whence it came. While it is possible to use Summoning magic to open a rift and bring a creature from one realm to another in true physical form, such practices are highly dangerous, almost fatally taxing, and Forbidden.

Faith Casting: This School of magic is the sole creation of The Church and known only to its membership. It is the mirror of the Evocation School of casting. Faith casting is proof that Belief is just as strong as will in the Foundation of Magic. While younger than Evocation, Faith casting has quickly gained power and effectiveness based on the conviction of its practitioners. Members of the Church believe themselves empowered by The Divine, and prayer has become a form of Incantation. They have devised their own system of Gestures, Rituals, and Material Components to shape Mana and yield affect. The manifestations, while limited only by the strength and imagination of the caster, tend to fall into one of eight categories: Cleansing, dispelling, discharge of energy, barrier, modification of physical matter, binding, amplification of physical matter, or temporary creation of physical matter.

Shamanic and Druidic Casting: Unlike the other methods of manipulating Manna, Shamanic and Druidic castings follow a slightly altered set of rules. Because Shamanic and Druidic castings use Mana to evoke changes in Terra herself, instead of external manifestations, the requirements are different. Belief and Will are still the key components, but the caster must have a connection to Terra herself. It is through this connection that a caster draws Mana into himself, and channels it through to the planet to yield effect. Examples of such effects are but not limited to direct manipulation of the four fundamental elements (earth, fire, air, and water), and the augmentation and manipulation of plants. This type of casting while not requiring incantation or material component, can be augmented by gesture and ritual. The act itself is taxing upon the individual because the caster is directly channeling the Mana through himself. A casters strength and stamina are akin to the banks of a river, and the Mana flowing through him are the river waters eroding those banks. The stronger the flow or more he channels, the faster he weakens.
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