What Is Magic?

There is Magic in its simplest form in a beautiful sunset, clouds, the wind, or rain. The Magic of a beautiful sunset can turn tears to joy or even looking at a picture can stir passionate emotion. Indeed, there is Magic in all things though without looking for it, it will rarely be seen.

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.

The Nature of Magic

There are complex forces binding together the Dark Fantasy universe. Within these forces, there are three main manifestations of energy and power known as the Physical, Mental and Spiritual Realms. The Physical Realm is defined as all the energies that bind matter together and hold it to a pattern. The Mental Realm is defined as all the Powers of the Mind, and the Spiritual Realm as the power of the soul and channelled power from a higher plane. These are broad classifications used by Mages in Dark Fantasy to help quantify Magic.

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 Powers

In Dark Fantasy there are two ways of manipulating Magical Energies: The Spell and the Power. The Spell is a formula, an understanding and a state of mind for creating an effect. Casting a Spell often requires gesturing, chanting or making certain sounds or moves in order to attain the state of mind required to cast the Spell. The Spell caster must learn the Spell in much the same way as they would learn a skill.

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.

The Triad of Power

Many of the aspects of Dark Fantasy Magic are represented on a diagram called the "The Triad of Power" which shows the Realms and Disciplines of Magic and their relationships. The Triad of Power is used as a tool by Dark Fantasy Mages for classifying the types of Magic found in Dark Fantasy and is illustrated below.

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.

Spells and Powers

Around 200 spells and powers are pre-defined in Dark Fantasy. These are grouped in terms of their position on the Triad of Power. The Realms, Disciplines and Concepts to which they belong are detailed, making the creation of new spells and powers to suit a particular character a simple process.

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.