Saturday, June 11, 2022

QHW, Day 4: Magical Laws

The "Laws of Magic" are an attempt by Magi to explain the inexplicable and incalculable forces that underpin our fragile universe.  The fact that they are few in number and often disputed proves to most onlookers the obvious truth- the Magi are not nearly as powerful or knowledgable as they think. 

Even the most skilled Archmagus can, upon occasion, have a spell explode in his face.  Meanwhile, lowly novices might produce harmless showers of sparks, or they could work miracles to shame and befuddle their intellectual and sorcerous superiors.  Magic, as a product of the spiritual realm, does not obey the normal physical laws of our reality.  This is an obvious truth, yet it bears repeating.  Attempts to quantify and understand it are pointless- for it defies such classifications. 

A common parable taught to Initiates into schools of Sorcery is "Dragons cannot fly".  This is truth.  Dragons are far too heavy and unwieldly to fly.  Yet if you've ever seen one, you know, in fact, that Dragons do fly.  There are various explanations for this.  Some say that Dragons use their innate control over fire to heat the air underneath them, producing lift.  Others say that they use their power to lessen the pull of Earth on their bodies- weakening the phenomena known as "Gravity".  Others say they use magic to make their bodies lighter. 

But again, this proves my point.  The Dragon flies.  How it does so is less important than the fact it does. 

Yet for all my dismissal of the term, there are certain laws of magic that are (nearly) universal and important to know. 

Firstly, what we call Magic is the natural energy of the universe transmitted through the minds of living creatures, converted into the substance that becomes souls, dreams and ideas.  This transmutation is the source of all Magical energy.  It is a mistake to believe Magi use their own energies to perform sorcery, as Magi are mere mortals like us.  Instead, a Magi's "Strength" comes from their ability to absorb this natural energy and transmute it into a spiritual form, then to manipulate it into doing what they wish. 

Some Magi are very good at the former, but are bad at the latter.  This is a hazardous combination, as having a lot of energy but not being able to safely handle it rarely ends well.  The opposite situation, having little ability to transmute energy but high skill at manipulating it.  This is a much more useful combination, as it is possible to increase one's Capacity through the use of pacts, artificial protheses and the assistance of other Magi.

Secondly, all of what we call 'Magic' requires energy.  Regardless of the source it is drawn from, whether it be from the blood and sorrow drawn from a murdered sacrifice, the raging natural energy coursing through the stones of the Earth in the form of earthquakes and geologic activity, or the blinding light and heat of the Sun, sorcery requires a source of power to be anything besides a bunch of nonsense words and gestures. 

Thirdly, all Magic requires the ability to focus the mind.  This is why incantations and those gestures are necessary.  When you have to remember five hand-signs and say certain phrases, it is harder to imagine what would happen if the fireball you're trying to conjure actually appeared inside your stomach.  Some Magi can use magic just by thinking, but this is hazardous as stray thoughts can easily turn a simple spell deadly. 

All laws beyond this are subject to wild hearsay and speculation on behalf of the Magi in question.     

1 comment:

  1. This could be a nice lore piece to give to players in any wizard school type game.