The modern view of Magic tends to be associated with clever tricks of some kind. In effect, there is little difference between a trickster making a ball disappear from a cup by slight of hand, and a magician doing the same thing in a more literal sense. They both may be considered Magic though in Dark Fantasy, it is far less likely to be a trick than it would in our world. In Dark Fantasy, Magic has a demonstratable truth and solidity.
In Dark Fantasy, Magic is everywhere and in everything. Although it is more overt than in our world, it is still something subtle and mystical that, for an ordinary person, is difficult to put a finger on. Much in the same way that modern scientists quantify the physical properties of the universe, Dark Fantasy Mages quantify Magic. It is divided into discrete categories shown on a diagram called the Triad of Power. Although these categories are convenient and represent many facets of Magic, in reality there are no boundaries between the different forces.
All physical forms in the world of Dark Fantasy are made up of the four basic Elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. These are combined in a mystical way such that things appear the same as in our reality. Instead of being carbon-based, life in Dark Fantasy is Element-based. Life results from the interaction of the Elements and the soul, and they are bonded together within every living thing. In this alternate reality, the soul exists and this may be proven by the thinkers and Mages. The soul is a real and definable aspect of a person and through the soul, it is possible to see the future, read minds, project thought, feelings and so on.
There are many paths of learning Magic in Dark Fantasy. It is possible for a Character to simply develop a Power or two, be completely absorbed by a particular type of Magic, or have a broad knowledge of all kinds of Magic.
Magic also takes another form known as a Power. Power's are a more subtle form of Magic than the Spell. Although their effects are indeed magical, they are attained not from the use of a formula, but gained from and understanding developed by the Character. A Mage may develop many Powers along with Spells though it is also possible for Character's who are not devoted to magic to learn some Powers. A Character imprisoned in a dark dungeon cell, for example, may develop an ability to see heat or the Kirlean aura around living things.
It should be noted that in reality, Magic cannot be classified so easily. Many Spells and Powers derive their power from more than one Discipline or Realm of Magic though they are classified in the most appropriate Discipline.
Each Spell has a number of attributes that are modified by the experience of the Character. As a Mage becomes more experienced, Spells become quicker and easier to cast.