Magic and the Elements
Magic in BTACD Realms and lore is a fantastic, ever-present thing; based upon the energy of the soul, it can be malleable or chaotic, depending on how it's utilized and the components found within said energy. Reiatsu is the common term for soul-energy that springs from both sentient and non sentient life. From this comes all abilities, including the eight elements described below.
Almost any ability conceivable is possible in our lore. From elemental manipulation to metal-wielding, such power is common. Also able to be utilized is that of more unique abilities, such as the reading/walking of dreams, manipulation of focused sound, and the weaving of thought and feeling. Anything is possible! If you have any questions on something that you want to do, feel free to PM a member of staff.
Abilities in our lore are primarily governed by one thing; balance. Though other facets can affect them, such as limitations and weaknesses based on the individual, abilities using energy is something that all characters are subject to. Energy consumption is the main limiting factor on all uses of magic, elemental and not, and is a blanket weakness across any and all species that we have.
The rule of consumption is that the more power is used, the more energy is consumed; if the amount of power eclipses or overtakes the energy available, the user will either be rendered unconscious or killed. Sometimes, a gifted few may tap into the core of their being and tap into the reiatsu that sustains life for extra energy, though this is incredibly rare and has an exceptionally high mortality rate. Should one overtax their reserves of normal energy, they will incur anything from simply passing out, to severe physical trauma or death. Running out of lifeforce (detailed farther down on the page) is always fatal, as simply using it is very dangerous.
Each individual may have a different amount of energy and differing levels of magic that they can utilize. With training and experience, usually one can harness more than a younger, untrained, inexperienced individual. Some may be born with incredible power - such as the royalbloods of dragon and demon, or those gifted with unusual abilities - but control is difficult to manage without the correct guidance.
Healers are most often those who are caught in the trap of using more energy than they have and overtaxing, as well as younger mages and any untrained in the abilities they have naturally. Overtaxing is possible for anyone to do, and is one of the most common deaths for any that use magical power of any sort.
Magic User Classes
There exists a structure of power to the way magic users are seen; while not all magic users join the Order of Mages, a user's power level can easily be equated to those used by the Order in much the same way. These classes are detailed on this page, but here is a summary for those interested in magical power level:
1. MAGICIAN:: The lowest level of power; capable of petty feats of magic, little more.
2. MAGIC USER:: Though a term used to define any user of magic, also considered officially to be individuals of low to moderate magical skill.
3. WIZARD/WITCH:: Very common, these are individuals with a moderate amount of magical ability - though not as strong as mages, they are often capable of surprising feats of fantastical ability.
4. MAGE:: The second most common both in and out of the Order, and gifted with moderate to high magical rank. These are the most prolific of the Order, and are the reason for its name.
5. SORCERER/SORCERESS:: The most powerful, and most rare, of all the magical classes. Usually, sorcerers and sorceresses are quite old, and have gathered a multitude of magical knowledge paired with exceptional magical ability.
Keep in mind that not all users of magic need to call themselves by these levels, and are not bound to nor born in any one for their entire lives. This just gives a basic understanding of where certain magic users fall within the spectrum.
There are a few types of magic-users that don't fall into the traditional classes. Most of these are specialized, unranked users with specific abilities, and will be explained below.
ALCHEMISTS:: A class of specific mages that can manipulate different substances to create other substances through a peculiar use of reiatsu. For instance, one can change lead into gold, or coal into diamonds. Most need the help of magical runes or glyphs in complex patterns, though a gifted few may manipulate these energies without any help at all.
AURAMANCER:: Unlike a common user of spiritual energy, an auramancer is a rare individual who may tap into a Realm's energy and use it as their own, using their own body and soul as a conduit for channeling the power. The reiatsu of a Realm is always colored specific to that Realm (these colors are reflected in the gems on this page), and will be different than one's own aura, excepting only the Spirit Kings' power detailed in Realmfire below. While this grants great power, it is often very dangerous to use, and may cause significant physical harm with prolonged channeling. It is also prone to extreme magical backlash, eating away at the wielder's true spirit, and severe degrading of control over one's natural reiatsu.
CONJURERS:: A conjurer is much like a summoner; however, where a summoner brings forth true, living creatures from one space to another, a conjurer will actually create the creature or weapon they seek to summon. Most of these are pure-reiatsu constructs, though they may be formed of elements as well.
DREAMSAGES:: A dreamsage may be called different things based upon what they are able to do with their ability. Most often, these sages may peer into the dreams of others and see in great clarity what others are experiencing while they sleep. Dreamwalkers may enter these dreams and become a part of them, though they may not manipulate their course. Dreamthieves, however, are able to change a dream's path and even wake someone up after entering the dream, as well as pass on clear messages that are remembered after waking.
EMPATHS:: An empath is an individual who may sense and feel the emotions of those around them. Often, empaths strongly and acutely feel intense emotion of those nearest - to young empaths, and those who cannot raise barriers around their minds, this can seem overwhelming. Many empaths are able to also influence the feelings around them, with varying degrees of strength and success. It is thought that an empath is a sort of psion, but this has yet to be proven.
ENCHANTERS/DISENCHANTERS:: An enchanter is a magic user that imbues an item, creature, or person with an enchantment - these enchantments may range over a variety of purposes and uses, though it is known that casting an enchantment over a living being is much more difficult to accomplish than over an inanimate object. It is important to note that enchantments are different than curses and blessings, and rarely may achieve the same effects.
A disenchanter is a magic user that may break or otherwise remove, counter, or render ineffective a particular enchantment, spell, or curse upon an item or individual. As this is a very dangerous ability to have, many disenchanters have items on their person enchanted to keep the backlash to a minimum - though these are not always effective.
FARSEERS:: Farseers are not related to Seers, and do not have futuresight; instead, they are able to see over vast distances, sometimes between Realms, by focusing on a specific place and infusing their reiatsu into a reflective surface. A farseer is then able to scry an image upon that surface of the place in their thoughts in real time. The farther the distance, the more energy the scrying takes.
GLYPHWRITERS:: A glyphwriter, sometimes called a glyphmaster depending on their power, has the ability to forge glyphs to perform magic. These glyphs have no defined shape, size, color, or medium and differ from user to user. Glyphwriters craft symbols and attach meanings to them through their inherent magic - these symbols then may be written in the air or on physical surfaces with energy, and glow with the user's reiatsu once drawn. The larger and more complex the glyph, the more power it may hold. Glyphs have no relation to the magic runes of kv'naer or otherwise, and glyphwriters are not runeweavers (and visa versa).
NECROMANCERS:: Necromancers are magic users who may raise the dead. There are known to be eight total varieties of necromancer, spanning from the lowest reanimated skeletons to bringing someone back to true life; each level is more difficult than the last. The list below goes over each tier and will explain it in general. Specifics, however, are diverse and up to the individual.
Any necromancer may be born with the ability to reach anywhere from the first level to the fourth level through basic learning processes; however, anything further requires significant training and time, especially in the highest levels. All tiers may also utilize the abilities of the levels below them, with varying degrees of success. The highest levels also hold the greatest chance of failure, backlash, or overtax.
Aside from traditional necromancy, necromages also exist - a necromage will utilize their magic to raise the undead by killing them first and bringing them back after, often with the use of artificial means. A necromage still must follow the tiers of necromancy, however - though in this case, the first tier (and often the second tier) does not count.
first level: Necromancers of this level may be able to raise simple skeletons or assorted bones, but cannot harness a soul to attach to the skeleton. These raised skeletons are the weakest of undead, and can be very easily destroyed.
second level: Necromancers of this level may raise corpses in various stages of decay. They do not have the ability to preserve the flesh, and thus their undead will eventually rot to bones if fueled by the necromancer's power for long enough. These necromancers cannot harness a soul to attach to the corpse, and these corpses are very weak.
third level: Necromancers of this level may preserve the corpses that they raise; though these shambling zombies cannot rot, they are still soulless, and are quite weak. Necromancers on the third tier still cannot capture and attach a soul to whatever they raise.
fourth level: Necromancers of this level may indeed capture a soul, either freshly killed or wandering, attaching this soul to themselves for anything from study to servitude. Stronger necromancers of this tier are able to pull a spirit, directed or otherwise, from the Soulplane itself and back into the Living Realms, though this is much rarer.
fifth level: Necromancers of this level may bring back a soul and attach it to an object, something that has never lived. Often, these will be tied to things like pendants or trinkets, sometimes weapons (creating a spirit weapon if the necromancer is powerful enough), or suits of armor.
sixth level: Necromancers of this level may bring back a soul and raise a corpse; then, the soul is attached to the corpse, though they almost never match, and one cannot target a specific soul at all. The undead is considered liches, though they will still rot to nothing. If not sustained, either by the necromancer's magic or their own, the soul will leave the corpse or skeleton as soon as it can no longer contain its power.
seventh level: Necromancers of this level may not only bring a soul back to life and bind it to a body, but may also bring the body fully back to life as well. However, they cannot pinpoint the original soul that belonged to the body - instead, the soul they bring back to attach to the living body is randomly chosen. Once bonded, the living body and soul must accept one another, or the raising will deconstruct over a matter of months to years.
final level: Necromancers of this level may not only bring both body and soul back to life, but also pinpoint the soul to be attached to their original body. This is the highest tier and most powerful level of necromancy, but also the most dangerous - failing in bringing either back may result in severe backlash, and some spirits may not be able to be banished before turning on the one who sought to raise them.
PSIONS:: A psion is a rare individual who may wield the powers of the mind with incredible acuity; this involves telekinesis, telepathy, psychokinesis, mental control, hypnosis, and more. Some psions are able to access another's (or their own) mindscape easily, while the strongest ones may summon their mindbeasts into the physical plane at will, without the use of a fermyntia.
REALMFIRE USERS:: There exists a curious type of reiatsu revolving around the Realms of the dead; it manifests as unique fire, each tied to a single spiritual Realm with its own traits and abilities. It's known that Realmfire is consistently found to replace the native aura of a Spirit King permanently, and is strongest when wielded by one.
Realmfire used by others is either inherited by the descendants of a King, or gifted by a King, does not replace their natural reiatsu, and is not nearly as strong; these instances are exceptionally rare, and are not gained by any other means. The Realmfire given or inherited by those not Spirit Kings may be taken by Kings at will.
The different varieties of Realmfire are detailed below.
etherfire: Reiatsu that appears as white fire with sparks colored with the aura of multiple Realms. It is stronger than the similar white reiatsu, and has no natural heat; it does not burn. It allows the wielder several abilities as well: non-Kings may sense when an Ether is nearby, and the power to bypass portals and traverse through the Void. If wielded by a Spirit King, the etherfire grants all of these, plus allows the Ether Realm's King to know if an Ether is in danger or has died, and to speak to an Ether across long distances.
ghostfire: Reiatsu that appears as silver-white fire edged in blue. Ghostfire is a Realmfire that is icy cold to the touch, and does not burn or freeze what it touches. It temporarily causes anything it comes in contact with translucent and ethereal, with prolonged exposure granting brief periods of being incorporeal. Ghostfire also seems to make no contact with physical barriers, and pass through where traditional fire would burn. It grants the wielder the ability to phase through objects, become invisible, and sense/see all varieties of ghost for what they truly are.
godfire: Reiatsu that appears as white fire with hints of multicolored chaos hues. It is either intensely hot, or intensely cold; these flames may either burn or freeze, as well as cause spiritual damage, depending on the offensive intent behind their use. Godfire often inspires instinctual fear or awe, and there often exists a visual distortion around the edges of the flickering fire. However, it may also be used without the intent to do harm - when this happens, godfire rapidly withers or grows whatever it touches - as if accelerating time. The colors of this Realmfire's flames grow in saturation and luminescence with the intensity of the fire: the brighter the colors and light, the stronger the godfire.
hellfire: Reiatsu that appears as silver fire edged in scarlet. Hellfire is hotter than any true fire, and is capable of melting things that cannot normally be melted. When used against a living, physical being, should the victim survive, hellfire leaves scars that permanently feel as if they're still burning long after the wound has been healed. When used against creatures of reiatsu, energy, or against the soul directly, hellfire burns away corruption and disease. It cannot spiritually harm anything of the light element, or those that are completely pure of soul; the wielder may also choose to bypass physical mass and touch the soul itself, utilizing hellfire's purifying effect without physical damage.
soulfire: Reiatsu that appears as bleached white fire with silver sparks. When felt, soulfire gives off the heat of a normal flame; however, it does not physically burn, and cannot harm things that are not spirits or otherwise made of reiatsu. At a basic level, this Realmfire may siphon the spiritual energy it touches, though more intense and focused attacks may damage the soul as energy is torn away. At its most powerful offensively, it has the ability to shred the spirit of whatever it touches, though may result in backlash to the wielder. When used with good intent, soulfire may heal a damaged spirit, and may calm Faded Souls who have become agitated and dangerous.
RUNEWEAVERS:: Runeweavers are a class of magic-user that has mastered the use of magic runes, such as Draconic, to use in spellwork and magecraft. These runes may be carved into various objects, written, or drawn, and are imbued with magic and intent. Kv'naer runes are by far the most powerful, but the rarest and most difficult to learn, of all rune languages - runeweavers who specialize in kv'naer are exceptionally difficult to find outside of the Order of Mages.
SEERS:: The most common class; those who may see visions of the future. An individual gifted with the Sight can experience these visions in a variety of ways, with older, more experienced Seers able to call upon them at will. Many have often-painful visions that come without trigger or warning, and are prone to overwhelming the user's senses and control until the vision is over.
SPIRIT-WALKERS:: Like the dreamsage, a spirit-walker may pass ordinary barriers and enter into worlds usually banned from the living's interference; though in a spirit-walker's case, they are able to break through the Veil and enter into any of the Spiritual Realms at will. Most can leave at will, as well, though it's often more difficult to break through the Veil the opposite way. Some may be unable to leave at all, should their energy be spent; thus, weaker spiritwalkers may wander the Soulplane and its brothers until they, too, die and fade.
SUMMONERS:: Summoners are rare magic-users that may call upon their power to bring an entity across the Realms and into their plane of existence. A summoner may summon anything from an animal, spirit, or creature from any world, so long as either they have control of that summoned being, or the one being summoned has allowed the summoner to call upon them. The strongest summoners are able to break their summons' minds and bring them to serve regardless of whether they want to or not; however, it's also very dangerous, as sometimes the summoned creatures may break their control and maul or kill their summoner.
WILDWHISPERERS:: This class has the ability to speak with the nonsapient animals of the Realms. Where an individual hears simple noises, a wildwhisperer will hear words, automatically translated through their latent magical energy. A wildwhisperer's presence is often calming to a Realm's fauna, leading an animal to willingly converse before overly rash decisions are made.
A wildwhisperer knows more than anyone how unique an animal can be in personality and quirks, or how rewarding it is to see a beast as a friend. This leads many whisperers to specialize in particular breeds of fauna. An example might be that one may have a much easier time conversing with equine fauna, but struggle with connecting to birds. Some wildwhisperers can connect with the flora of a Realm with greater ease than they can with fauna, and generally tend to have gardens for their new earthbound friends.
Among the magic of the Realms, the elements are most common. Multiple elements may border on one another and cross over in fields of control - various individuals may be gifted with a single element, or more than one, though dabbling in all is quite rare. Elemental magic is subjected to the same energy consumption rules as other magic, and often has weaknesses to a single or multiple opposing elements.
Fire is a element of both destruction and creation. Comprised as a usually-orange, red and yellow flame, it can be summoned in a variety of ways. It's a very common breath weapon for many dragons. Weaknesses may include water, ice and earth; sub-manipulations may include heat, magma and smoke.
Water is an element of both creation and destruction. Also called the 'element of life'. Comprised of mostly liquid water, it is generally pulled from existing sources. It can be summoned from bodies of water, melting ice, moisture in the air, and - rarely - conjured from nothing but energy itself. Weaknesses may include lightning and earth; sub-manipulations may include cold, blood-magic, mist/fog, rain/weather and ice.
Air is a largely neutral element. Comprised of the manipulation of air currents and wind, it can be utilized wherever air is present. It can be used to summon tornadoes, change wind currents, deflect blows, and a variety of other things. Weaknesses may include earth, fire and darkness; sub-manipulations may involve weather magic, sound, and various forms of wavelengths.
Earth is a largely creative element. Comprised mostly of the manipulation of rocks and land, though also may include plants and much of flora. Usually conjured from existing sources and - very rarely - from existing energy. Weaknesses may include magma, lightning and water; sub-manipulations may involve flora, little fauna and metal.
Lightning is an element of destruction and, very rarely, creation. Comprised mostly of the plasmic energy found in sudden, powerful electric discharges, most often seen in thunderstorms. Usually conjured from one's energy, or summoned from existing stormclouds; most often accompanied by a loud thunderclap. Weaknesses may include darkness and earth; sub-manipulations may include weather magic, pure energy, and light.
Ice is a largely destructive element. Comprised mostly of frozen water and extreme cold. Usually is utilized through both existing sources and energy itself. Weaknesses may include fire, lightning and light; sub-manipulations may involve cold, water and snow.
An element largely comprised of pure energy. Usually utilized as shadow, black fire, or suffocating black. Weaknesses may include light, fire and lightning; sub-manipulations may involve corruption, poison and energy.
An element largely comprised of pure energy. Usually utilized as bright light, white fire, or purifying aura. Weaknesses may include darkness and earth; sub-manipulations may involve healing, purification and energy.
Reiatsu, its name drawn from the phrase 'rei natsa'uu' - its meaning since lost - is the energy of one's soul, the fundamental power upon which life is built. It's split into two essential levels - that of surface energy, often referred to as one's aura, a power that can be used freely without fear of spirit damage; and that of one's lifeforce, the basic energy of existence that, if used, can shorten one's life or kill the user if too much is consumed. In the case of the latter, it's usually used as a last resort, because of the danger involved (though it takes some skill to learn how to wield reiatsu to that extent; usually the body tries to resist using lifeforce because of the danger, so it's very hard to use.)
Most magic - both elemental and not - is spawned from energy. The basic elements spawn from a Realm's immense reiatsu itself, channeled from the Void hydra on which it lay. The ability to create and/or wield these elements is harnessed by reiatsu's ability (or lack thereof) to tap into the Realm's energy and utilize those powers at will. Other powers are similar, but can be generated by a user's energy by itself; as is the case with things like acidic reiatsu, pure-energy wielding, various mental capabilities, etc.
Reiatsu is also called aura, spirit-energy, chakra and chi. The latter two are used almost specifically in Kurai, and occasionally in Ristell. Only scholars refer to it by rei natsa'uu, and none have been able to find what language such a term comes from, nor its original meaning.
In addition to the usage of its pure-energy form, and the basic elements that spring from reiatsu, it can be solidified into weapons or items to be used and maintained by the holder. While this draws on the well of energy all creatures have, certain individuals will be more able to maintain the creations longer than others. Some spiritual energy is corrosive if the particular being is particularly strong; in some cases, their reiatsu is acidic, and will eat away at anything it touches (sometimes even the one who chooses to use it actively). Such beings tend to seal away some or most of their reiatsu to avoid damaging themselves or those around them; these seals are usually crafted by mages from the Order using kv'naer runes.
Common reiatsu manifestations include colored aura-fire; thick, flowing, liquid-like swathes; almost invisible air; smoke; lightning; or ghostly apparitions such as a cat, dog, dragon or otherwise. All of these will be colored attuned to the individual's aura, and aura colors may change over a lifetime. Pure white and pure black are exceptionally uncommon and have special abilities not found in any other color. However, other shades of white and black, along with white and black mixed with other colors, are as common as any. Lastly, reiatsu color may change over the course of one's life - it tends to reflect the soul, and may darken or lighten, even change color completely, depending on one's life experiences. However, such changes do not happen instantaneously, and may happen slowly over the course of many years.
The kv'naer language and runes are exceptionally difficult to learn, and knowledge of its spellcraft is held close by the Order of Mages. It may take several years to learn a single rune or word and understand all of its various effects and uses, as the magic is based more on intent and understanding than actual spoken or written combinations. If you create a character that uses kv'naer, keep this in mind!
Characters that are made to use kv'naer will need to have their age listed, what runes/words and uses for those runes/words they know/can utilize, and how they learned these runes/words if they are not a part of the Order.
Other magical languages that are far easier to use, both spoken and runic, can be found here.
Kv'naer has many names; the Language of Deep Magic, the Gods' Gifted Language, the Divine Tongue, and more. It is known to be the most powerful magic that non-divine mortals and immortals may use, and knowledge of such is closely guarded by the Realms' Order of Mages. None living know the language in its entirety, nor have a full understanding of all the runeletters and runewords - however, sorcerers who have lived for many centuries may know the most.
The runes and spoken words of kv'naer have the ability to alter reality as we know it. Kv'naer draws not only upon one's own energy reserves, but also the power of the Realms themselves, channeling a Realm's aura through the speaker or runemaster using it. The spoken language will be detailed here; the runeletters and runewords will be detailed in the section below.
Each kv'naer letter has a full name; for example, the letter R is called rinova. Words are created by combining a portion of the first letter and the last letter of a Common word: to illustrate, the word 'dragon' would be made of D and N, and may be spoken as 'dheroz', 'dhoz', or perhaps 'dhesaroz'. The method of combining the first and last portions of kv'naer do not matter so long as the first and last portions of the letter names are recognized (IE, dhe is an example of the first part of D, and 'roz' is an example of the latter part of N), as the intent behind the meaning will be read in the speaker's mind. Understanding the various inferences of a word - in our example, 'dragon' - is also pivotal to using kv'naer as fluently as possible: the word 'dragon' could mean the entire species, an individual, a family, a subspecies, etc.
Combining this understanding with the intent can create a variety of different spells. The word 'dragon' could be used to mean an individual; paired with another word, such as 'bind' (perhaps spelled as 'baelhest') could render a variety of things done to said individual. This can range from acute paralysis of a limb or the body to the sealing of a power or ability, or even the restriction of an emotion or bodily reaction. The intent behind the spell will guide such understanding of the word and its uses into the magic itself.
As words may be spelled in a variety of ways that are similar to or the same as one another, it is possible to have a sentence contain a few words that sound virtually the same. For example:
Dhoz temel dhecur, dheoz oenn dhez!
Down to darkness, dragon of dawn!
Therefore, it is up to the intent and understanding of the speaker/caster on how the spell is woven and what the kv'naer words mean.
Countering a kv'naer spell takes a spell of equal, or more, power and knowledge, as well as the correct intent behind the words to make them work; countering or escaping a spell without the help of kv'naer is exceptionally difficult. The speed of speaking in kv'naer is also a factor in duels between mages; hesitation when struggling to recall a word may prove fatal. Kv'naer spells are nearly absolute, and cannot be fought by those with lower energy reserves or mental strength than the caster.
These are the full names of each letter of the kv'naer language; these are utilized in all spoken kv'naer by combining the first and last letters to form a spellword. Written kv'naer is done with runes, explained after this section.
The runes of kv'naer are more powerful and ancient than any other; they are bound to the roots of magic, the knowledge of such given to the non-divine in the earliest of days. Though Draconic is the closest runic language to the original, it only holds a fraction of power compared to true kv'naer. The first users of the kv'naer runes carved them into stone and crafted spells through their usage. Over time, the knowledge and use of such were refined, taken by the mages and painted or inked onto paper, sometimes woven into the fabric of space and time itself.
Written words, names and sentences are various combinations of two or three different letter runes, similar to how spoken kv'naer is crafted. One such example is the word 'order', crafted with the runeletters O and R:
While kv'naer runes are somewhat easier to learn than the kv'naer spoken tongue, they are still exceptionally difficult to learn for many of the same reasons. The warning at the top of this information still applies; make sure you understand this when crafting your mages!