Updated: Nov 20
In Ayrul magic is like sunlight. It gives life and ecosystems grow around it. Like the sun, it can be used to power things. But unlike the sun, the magic of the weave can accept intention and blend with other energy to take on new properties. Let's look at the different aspects of using magic and explore the terms used in describing it.
(Image created by Midjourney AI)
What is the Weave?
The arcane web is a vibrant ecosystem pulsating with the harmonious flow of magic. Magical cords, known as the material, stretch in all directions with streams of energy running through them. In the section that connects to Azrea, goddess Mag nestles at the heart of this sprawling network. Untamed, neutral magic runs along the cords of the weave that function like veins of raw, potent energy. Celestial entities like Mag continually craft and regenerate the complex web, fortifying the network. Connected to the Weave, this magical power is at its peak. But, once a part of the web is taken to a different realm, it starts diminishing. Keeping a crafting connected to the Weave is hard. Only the most skilled people who understand magic can make objects that keep their magic. This involves making a persistent rift to the Weave within the item. These items are very dangerous to make and when they’re destroyed cause weavestorms. Lesser creations lose their power quickly, and rarely can spells last more than a day without a connection to the Weave; most lose power in a few minutes. The web material is malleable and can be shaped easily, especially by someone with the right tools and skills.
What is a Rift?
Magic users spend their life force to rip a tear from their realm to the Weave and must continue to spend more in order to keep the rift open. Rifts have to be carefully controlled or they can escalate into a weavestorm. Rifts are the primary way to retrieve neural material for crafting spells.
How does Spell Crafting Work?
Materials from the Weave are filled with energy, but they are blank slates. Spell crafting is the art of taking this material, encoding it with a behaviour, and then powering it with life essence. The more complex the encoding, the more time and effort it takes to create the spell. Spell crafters can template spells for later use, which allows them to cast complex spells more quickly.
What is a Natural Magic User?
Creatures that have essence with an innate tendency towards a particular behaviour. An example would be a Jormunger which has a natural tendency towards life and growth. Their essence permits spell crafting to grow, regress, heat, cool, brighten, darken, dull or enhance the natural properties of an object or person. Every entity has different properties, and some are more powerful, while others may be more diverse.
(A Jing Mindweaver by DALL-E 3)
What is a Divine Magic User?
Deities are Natural Magic Users with extensive domains. They have the ability to grant their Life Essence to their agents and empower spells through conduits like holy symbols. Since the connection between follower and deity is managed by a much more powerful being, their rifts are more stable and their spells more predictable. Holy symbols must be crafted from the Weave conduits located at holy sites like Kindra.
What is an Arcane Magic User?
Wizards study the properties of other life forms to understand their interactions with magic. They harvest the Life Essence of those beings, carrying them in spell pouches to use in crafting. This means that Wizards are able to cast a much more diverse set of spells as long as they have access to their components.
What is Encoding?
A verb that describes giving a spell crafting a particular behaviour or set of behaviours. It requires physical contact between the crafter and the material drawn from the Weave. The material must still contain enough neutral magic to encode, and the user needs a clear mental image of their intent to project into the material. Finally, the crafter spends their own Life Force to fuse the behaviour into the material. To dispel the encoding also requires physical contact. While it’s easier to dispel than encode, some spells are inherently difficult to dispel. For instance, touching a fire spell can be deadly. A spell crafter could also have encoded a countermeasure, like an explosion triggered by a dispel. The crafter can set trigger conditions, provide instructions in terms of how energy should be spent, and use logic to dictate other conditional behaviours. Each behaviour the crafter adds to the spell must be powered with Life Essence that can create that kind of effect. For instance, a fireball would require a spell crafter to use Living Essence with a heating component and a kinetic energy component to mix into the weave. The spell crafter would then set a trigger such as “on contact with a surface other than my own hand, ignite and explode”. The more complicated the instructions, the more time it takes to craft the spell and the more likely it is to go wrong.
What is Life Force?
Simply put, it’s a soul. Energy that allows an object to resist entropy. Any living thing in the realms has it. Draining too much of something’s Life Force allows entropy to overwhelm it and leads to death.
What is Life Essence?
The way that something’s physical existence interacts with its Life Force, leading to its particular nature, pattern of life, and nature of its death. Fire turns fuel into light and heat. A fire elemental’s life essence can be used to change the temperature of something, the amount of light it emits, diminish or grow something.
(Snow the Weavespider by DALL-E 3)
(Snow hiding in Birger's satchel by DALL-E 3)