Magic is, put simply, the usurpation of nature’s laws by utilizing a spiritual, occult, or otherwise arcane force – it is in the unpacking of this term where things get difficult.
For humanity of most dimensions found across The Holy Verses, magic is a far-off or even fantastical concept, even though almost all societies do contain at least a cursory familiarization with the root magic language: Latin.
The creation and projection of Latin as a language and system for speaking to the universe is a topic for another time. Those interested would be recommended to search for reading covering The Upper Kingdom of Dreamlend, which oversees the endowment of second-hand knowledge upon all living entities capable of sentience.
That said, most civilizations move on from Latin as a way of communicating with fellow sentients, with a few lucky ones picking it up as the proper building blocks of language for using conventional magic. That said, Latin is in no way required to practice magic, but it is the easiest way for a developing civilization to discover it. Many less (or more, depending) fortunate societies never discover magic hidden in language, and as such go on to develop civilizations keyed fully around mundane power i.e. electricity.
The following is a helpful, reasonably-brief guide to the various knowledges of magic one might encounter in The Holy Verses:
Archmage: a mage that has mastered all formally-known levels of magic in a given school, seen as a pursuit of several lifetimes.
Caster/Mage: One performing the magic, be it using their own mana or the power of some outside source.
Cast Segment: A part of a spell that requires a specific frame and incantation, be it a verbal, mental, physical, or state incantation. Depending on the length and power of the spell, they can have anywhere ranging from zero to infinity segments, though most spells fall between one and eight segments. Within these segments are both preparing verses, which attempt to “guide” the caster to the correct frame for casting, and finishing verses, which actually bring about the completion of the spell. Novice mages tend to require the preparing verses for every spell they cast, though more experienced magicians can skip to the finishing verses using memory. It’s important to note here that as a general rule, the more of an incantation that’s skipped, the more mana that is drawn from the caster. This is due to mana costs varying for more conventional, traditional forms of magic, which require a large force of free mana within the body to use the spell correctly. That said, it is possible to cast spells quickly without a penalty of magic used, but the mage must be careful to maintain the correct Frame throughout, which often proves too difficult for most mages.
Draw: Slang used for using mana derivation to pull magic power from something or someone else. Can be fatal to mages with specific mana thresholds.
Font: Also referred to as a “fount” or “well”, fonts are unlimited resources of mana that tend to produce exceptionally greater amounts of mana than a typical soul. Largely purported as the stuff of fairy tales and mysticism, fonts are often seen as the mark of inter-dimensional rulers in mythic texts. Despite the skepticism, it’s widely believed among denizens of O.S.I. Dimension #13 that Rayda the Gold’s lost sword Caliburn was in fact a genuine mana font.
Frame: The mental, spiritual, or perceived state of being a caster or conduit is in during a cast segment. This could be anything from a feeling like anger or schadenfreude, to abstract ideas like mathematical equations or visualizations of certain images within the mage’s mind.
Magic signature: The overall network that comprises a spirit, unique in all life forms. Often seen as the “soul” in magic academia.
Mana: The raw expression of magic created by all things living, and also some inanimate (if one could even call them that) objects as well. Fauna and flora both have natural flows of mana, usually of the common blue variety. A common life form generates mana simply by living, thinking, and feeling their way through life, but some have found ways around these limitations to both increase the mana capacity and generation of their beings.
Mana Cap: Slang used among mages for the maximum upper threshold of mana a lifeform can contain from natural generation. Unless they draw mana from a source, they will not be able to gain any more until they have expended what they have.
Mana Gen: Slang used among mages for the natural process of creating mana from within oneself.
Manaweight: The overall sum of mana used for a spell. The higher the manaweight of a spell, the more difficult it is to defeat and the more potent its initial effects should be.
Medium: a catalyst used to either alter or enhance magical effects. Some examples include wands, staves, brooms, beads, chimes, spell books, spell blades, runes, managraphs, and various musical instruments. Mediums are commonly used among all magic societies, but have a particularly vital place among the large populations of magicians that are either magically destitute or uneducated in “free” or unmediated magic.
School: The root or “source form” a caster draws from to perform magic. Read “Schools of Magic” for an adjudicated list.
“-mancy”: commonly attracted as a suffix to various schools and expressions of magic, “mancy” is simply “a manner of divination” but has since evolved as a term to include all forms of magic that includes a single caster drawing from his own mana to cast.
Expressions of Magic:
Extermancy – Magic that causes a physical expression or result from outside of the caster. Some examples include using pyromancy to cast flame, necromancy to raise the dead, or sensumancy to create the feeling of a chill across someone’s neck.
Intermancy – Often referred to as enchantments, intermancy is magic that causes a physical expression or result from within the caster. Some examples include using mutamancy to change the physical strength of the caster, augurmancy to gain divination or enlightenment, or scutumancy to form a counterspell barrier over one’s magic signature.
Casting Form – The manner in which the caster completes the spell. Magic is a highly-fluid concept, and while traditionally conducted using spoken incantation, many magics can be completed using more abstract forms of expression, such as song, dance, the playing of music, the drawing of pictures, or the simple formation of spell-specific thought patterns.
Schools of Magic:
Augurmancy (Projection of Knowledge) – Often referred to as divination, Augurmancy is the school presiding over the gaining and giving of information. Example of an archmage would be Goddess Rondi, who was said to be able to speak with souls from all realms simultaneously in her sleep.
Ceremancy (Projection of One’s Thoughts into Another Mind) – Arguably the most feared form of magic among the magical community, ceremancy presides over all spells that effect the thoughts and workings of the mind, be they practical knowledge or emotional traits.
Ceremancy is often touted in papers as a boogeyman school among the common populace with horror stories about people married to mages whose minds are changed about certain subjects without their knowing. One especially spurious account from Kanvane’s mud-sling “The Mystic Enquirer” ran a slam article about a well-liked Keruz professor instilling certain-unspeakable ideas about himself into the minds of various attractive female students among his classes -scandalous!
Due to stories like these as well as its relatively-difficult subject matter, ceremancy is seen as a backslidden magic used by cowards and manipulative types. The reality, as always, is more complicated than a simple black-white structure, for a skilled ceremancer is considered among elite circles to be among the greatest therapists money can buy.
Many use ceremancy simply to suppress emotions, thus giving them less-natural and more constructive reactions to certain stimuli, but this practice is considered highly dangerous, especially when used in self-practice. After all, if you’re altering your own mind, how can you be sure you’ve gotten what you wanted?
There’s no arch mages known for this school of magic, at least none that I know of.
Creomancy (Projection of Matter) – The school that presides over the making of physical matter, Creomancy is seen as a highly utilitarian magic with many uses, though paired with a relatively high cost for mana. Masterful creomancers can create most elements as well as fine crafts and mixed substances. Example of an archmage would be Overlord Greed.
Spatimancy (Projection of the Fourth Dimension) – A brutally-difficult form of magic to learn, spatimancy is the school that presides over the movement of available dimensional time and space in order to shift the values of distances. A sufficiently-skilled spatimancer can create dimensional spaces out of internal spaces between dimensions, and a certain infamous someone can even cut rifts that equate the distance of two points to zero meters, much in the way a Rondian space gate operates. Example of an archmage would be High Overlord Chaos.
Fragomancy (Projection of Instant Outward Force) – The school presiding over immediate state-changes to combustible forms. Considered taboo in most magic societies, but not banned due to its relatively high manaweight. An average mage would collapse from a single spell. Example of an archmage would be Cad The Swamp, who is considered capable of blowing up anything anywhere at any time, despite several skeptics voicing doubts to the claim.
Fulgumancy (Projection of Electric Current) – The school presiding over the immediate (and often fatal) conduction of electric power, Fulgumancy is widely seen as a highly practical magic as The Verses steadily approach use of electric powered machinery. Fulgumancers can make fanciful livings providing the correct sigilage or managraphs for various machines, some attending magic academies across the verse simply to vie for a trade in this particular craft.
Practical use aside, Fulgumancy is considered exceptionally unwieldy for the purposes of combat. As the magic is in fact projecting a current of raw electricity, stupendous care needs to be put forth by the caster so as not to kill themselves in the process of the cast, as improperly-currented electricity can easily arc back onto the caster. Example of an archmage would be Tako’li of Ultraland who is said to have killed an entire Viladian fleet by electrifying the ocean holding their ships.
Geomancy (Projection of Earth) – The school presiding any natural or inert matter. Highly versatile but difficult to manipulate Geomancy is considered a high-cost magic with wonderful applications for construction and agriculture. Due to its high costs it is considered impractical for combat. Example of an archmage would be Grendan The Genius of Kanvane, rumored to be able to construct whole buildings in a matter of seconds with only his mastery of the school.
Glacimancy (Projection of Ice) – The school presiding over any frozen matter. A well-loved school by duelist societies. Example of an archmage would be High Overlord Chaos, said to be able to “force freeze” a room in under a second under the right circumstances.
Manamancy (Projection of The Universe) – The legendary school presiding over the actual manipulation of mana itself without an elemental or magic-thematic mode, it is largely considered among the magical community to be impossible.
It is theorized among the darkest mystic circles that mana can in fact be manipulated in its raw form, compressed from its low-density, thermal-energy-like state to an actual, physical construct. The umbrella term commonly used for these mysterious substances is called ether, and it’s expected by these groups that the society that masters this form of magic first will readily become the rulers of The Holy Verses as a whole.
Example of an archmage would be Oidhche, who is also known to have been the first life form able to strike with raw magic.
Mutamancy (Projection of Form) – Commonly referred to as alteration magic or even shape shifting, Mutamancy is an exceptionally wide-ranging school of magic, mutamancy presides over all direct changes to a material form. Varying uses include altering one’s superficial traits (i.e. appearance, race, gender, physical proportions or measurements) to more directly-practical applications such as changing one’s weight, one’s requirement for breathable air, the constitution of one’s bones, etc. Example of an archmage would be Allna Wise-Eye, who could take most any form she pleased, no matter how complex or detailed.
Necromancy (Projection of Souls into The Inanimate) – Perhaps the most widely-banned magic to exist, necromancy is the instilling of a spiritual presence into a person, place, or thing in order to give it some form of life. Despite being illegal nearly everywhere some cults have popped up across The Verses wildly dedicated to the craft. It’s primary lure to most of its scholars is the possibility of eternal life, easily gained like Vampirism, but obviously not requiring a vampire willing to bestow such a curse.
Unlike vitamancy, the initial spells of necromancy are quite simple to learn for most, and that which starts a dabbling interest in one’s earlier life eventually becomes a manic pursuit to beat the clock of mortality, harvesting organs from the young to continue their own spurious existence. Before long these types more-often-than-not find themselves pursuing dark markets and exclusive events leaning towards the more diabolical roots of human construction; then it’s only a matter of time before contact with a necromancer connected to any of the cults is encountered, and recruitment begins.
Deeper levels of necromancy find its practitioners using more than simple human parts to construct themselves, but animal, floral and even mineral compositions to create new forms. At the highest echelons they are even capable of restructuring their brains with either additions or replacements, ever flavoring the manner in which they solve problems, process events, and perceive the world around them.
It’s all fun and games until a giant centipede made out of deer parts claims to be more human than you are.
Example of an archmage would be Oa, who is also purported to be the original practitioner of the magic.
Phyllamancy (Projection of Flora) – The school presiding over leaved and vined things, as well as a wide berth of other floral life, Phyllamancy gives the practitioner control over the growth and nature of plants.
Skilled practitioners of this school have been known to improve the flavor of fruits and vegetables in minutes, create shelters out of flora in only hours and, with enough effort, force a field of crop from germination to harvest-ready in only days.
This is a popular magic due to it’s wide array of uses, however is often set back by a high mana cost in its more complex spells.
Example of an archmage would be Overlord Power, who tends to enjoy feeding the masses on his home world far more than fighting for titles and relics.
Pyromancy (Projection of Fire) – The school presiding over steady and self-contained flame, often and incorrectly coupled with Fragomancy. Example of an archmage would be Ruka, though to simply refer to him as “archmage” would be considered an exceptional understatement.
Supermancy (Projection of a Projection) – Not a true magic per se, but the practiced technique of defeating another caster’s magic using the same school. Practiced supermancers have been touted to be able to reroute fire shot at them to altering someone else’s mutamancy spells. After all, magic is a fluid construct that can be immediately manipulated so long as there is mana present to manipulate it through. Despite it’s potential benefits, this is largely seen as a, to put it like a subspacer, “dick move” among the magic community, and is considered instant grounds for removal from most magic tournaments across The Verses. Even so, it is expected by most magical theorists that supermancy would not be used in high-level magic combat except during rare occasions, as one would need additional reflex time to respond to an opponent’s magic, and then counter it by manipulating it.
There’s no archmages in this school as, again, it’s not formally considered a school with its own spells. That said, if you’re looking for someone who’s very, very good at it and could be considered an arch mage, look no further than Boh’Reese the Indomitable, said to be able to foil any magic attack made against him, redirecting it back at the caster with a laugh.
Realmancy (Projection of That which does not Exist) – a widely banned magic and the subject of much speculation, Realmancy is the school presiding over the collection or manifesting of objects that do not exist presently in one’s dimension. It can also be used in the reverse, to suspend the laws of the cosmos in order to instill a form of matter or spirit into “causality”. It is not “summoning” per se, but closer to the actual creation of new matter, based on “causal probability”.
It is an exceptionally spurned magic, said to be the craft of the insane and then only by those who have a death-wish.
Some say it can be used to take items or concepts from higher planes of existence, though this is purportedly false.
No one is known to have survived after using this magic at its even its intermediate levels, if such theorized levels even exist.
Sanamancy- (Projection of What Was) – The school presiding over the use of mana to quickly regenerate separated tissue, sanamancy is often seen as a form of “immediate time travel” that reverts a body back to a previous physical state, while maintaining their mental and spiritual states. As a high-impact and high-difficulty school, sanamancers are often dedicated healers that wish for nothing more than to save lives.
Most sanamancers are only capable of reverting a body back a few minutes before injury, and even then only before the magic signature departs from the body of the injured. True resurrection after the departure of the soul is a false concept. Example of an archmage would be Wuta of Lonai, who is said to have been able to be decapitated and immediately resuture her head back in place.
Sanguimancy – (Projection of Self) – The school presiding over the use of one’s bodily self as a casting target in order to manipulate one’s body. Sanguimancy is considered generally taboo among magic societies due to the immense magical, mental, and physical tax placed upon the mage from use. Experienced sanguimancers can utilize their flesh, blood, bones and internal organs as physical projections of their will, capable of weaponizing them to fatal effect, as well as restructuring their bodies in a manner not much unlike mutamancy. Example of an archmage would be Ree the Bloodless, who is purported to be able to use her blood as fatal projectiles.
Scutumancy (Projection of Safety) – The school presiding over magic that attaches inert manaweight to a mana signature or piece of physical matter, scutumancy is used by all high-level casters to defend against spells of any time. Rune choice, magic polarity, and other defensive considerations may also come into play depending on what form of magic one is attempting to defeat. Example of an archmage would be Knight Justice of the R.K.O.K.R..
Sensumancy (Projection of Feeling) – The school presiding over magic that causes a target to feel a certain projected sensation. This is a wide school that covers any kind of sensation cast over another, and can range from physical states (being touched, struck, or cut) to emotional or mental states (nervousness, confused, angry). Sensumancy has an incredibly low manaweight profile, meaning it is easily defended against using even entry-level scutumancies. Even so, sensumancy is considered a cowardly magic among most magic societies, and is considered on par with physical assault within most of them. Example of an archmage would be Knight Order of the R.K.O.K.R..
Vitamancy (Projection of Longevity) – The school presiding over magic that slows or reverses natural entropy, Vitamancy, often referred to as longevity magic, is lauded as the high crown of all forms of magic. A sufficiently skilled vitamancer can prolong his life indefinitely, even to the point where they can ultimately “select” their physical age. Example of an archmage would be the appropriately-titled Knight Longevity of the R.K.O.K.R.