THE MAGIC OF THE BROWNIES

PREVALENCE
- CONCEPT/WORLDVIEW - BASIC PRINCIPLES
ABILITIES, LIMITATIONS,  RESTRICTIONS AND PRACTICE - ORIGINS

"Brownie Magic" is the term commonly used to refer to the magic system of the Brownies of the Memnoor settlement in Aeruillin. It is obviously not a very accurate term, for Brownies of other tribes have their own magic systems, and do not use this one. Still, it is the only name we have to refer to this system by, short of coining our own.

Brownie Magic is one of the better known foreign magic systems aside from the Ximaxian ways, and the Seven Schools of Magic, the school where it is taught, has the reputation of being one of the best, second only to the Magical Academy of Ximax.


Prevalence. There are relatively few practioners of Brownie Magic, nearly all of them inhabitants of the Memnoor settlement, which is located far in the south of Aeruillin, on the edge of the Ethereal Void. It is there that the Seven Schools of Magic resides, and it is considered an essential part of the settlement, for without the magi it produces, there is a very real danger of the settlement being swallowed by the Void.

At the edge of the Void, where the
Memnoor Brownies live, reality is quite malleable. The Brownie magi take advantage of this to create far stronger effects than they would otherwise be able to, allowing them to create a rather decent living environment in the harsh Aeruillian desert, as well as to extend it into the Void itself. However, the malleability of reality in and around the Void means that a careless thought, or even random Void phenomenon, could easily result in the entire settlement being wiped out, making it necessary for them to retain a relatively large number of magi, using their disciplined minds and knowledge of how to create magical effects to counter these threats.

Practioners of Brownie Magic are seldom found outside the
Memnoor settlement. However, the other Brownie tribes do practice magics that greatly resemble the Wood Magic of the Memnoor Brownies. It is generally believed that these are independently developed systems, though they might have had a common origin. Return to the top

Concept/Worldview. Brownie Magic is based on something the Brownies call 'Lifeforce'. It is apparently an energy of sorts that is possessed by living things, such as plants and animals. Non-living things do not possess Lifeforce, and neither do things that were once alive, but no longer are. Activities use up Lifeforce, and thus cause one to tire, while rest allows Lifeforce to be regained. Should a living being be comepletely drained of its Lifeforce, it dies. Extrapolating from this, infusing a non-living object with lifeforce will presumably grant it life. Indeed, the Brownies claim that this was commonly done in the ancient Empire of Birn. However, the knowledge of how to do so has supposedly been lost over the ages, and no modern Brownie is known to possess such an ability. Spells are believed to be powered by Lifeforce; essentially, the Lifeforce is thought to be converted into other types of energies or forces, which allow for the effects of the spell to occur. Spellcasting can thus be potentially more exhausting than what one might expect from performing a mental task, and could even be fatal, though it is far more likely for a mage to pass out from exhaustion before they use up all their Lifeforce.
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Basic Principles. The Memnoor Brownies divide their spells into 7 elements: Air, Earth, Fire, Lightning, Metal, Water, and Wood. Unlike Ximax, which assigns spells to an element based on theories concerning the elements and the properties they encompass, the Memnoor Brownies do it somewhat arbitrarily. With many spells, it is quite obvious what element they belong in (a spell that generates a fireball, for example, is 'obviously' a fire spell), but others generally end up where they are because the Memnoor Brownies feel that that is where they fit best. The Memnoor Brownies also seem to regard such a categorisation as mostly a matter of convenience, and are not too concerned about whether it is correct. Some do wonder about it sometimes, but for most, it is helpful, and that is good enough. It should be noted that we use the term 'spell' somewhat differently when talking about Brownie Magic. Where Ximax defines a spell as a specific application of a magical technique, the Memnoor Brownies consider only the effects. To use the fireball example again, Ximax will consider different methods of producing a fireball to be different spells, but to the Brownies, they are the same spell, except cast differently.

Wood Magic, commonly called Life Magic in Santharia after the Life Magic of the Vale Brownies, which it is very similar to, differs somewhat from the other elements, in that it not only uses Lifeforce to power its spells, but also grants the ability to manipulate Lifeforce. Practioners of Life Magic are able to, and indeed often do draw on the Lifeforces of other living beings for their spells, allowing them to cast without tiring. While some Lifeforce is needed to draw on the Lifeforce of others in the first place, a Brownie Life mage usually takes more than she uses, ensuring that her own Lifeforce is replenished.

Beyond this, there seems to be little way of beliefs and principles. The
Memnoor Brownies are a practical people, more interested in doing things than figuring out how things work. That is to say, they prefer trying to figure out how to create an effect than in trying to explain how magic works. Possibly, this is due to the nature of the environment they live in. Magi are constantly needed to keep their settlement anchored in reality, to keep it from being swallowed up by the Void, as well as to keep it inhabitable. Thus, knowing how to get magic to work is a lot more important than knowing how it really works, and it seems little thought has been put into developing any theories.

That said, according to Ximax, their magic system does not appear to be incompatible with the Ximaxian system. Ximaxian theories are able to explain everything they can do with their magic, or at least those they have been able to demonstrate. However, even Ximax admits that their own magi seem to have far greater difficulty in reproducing Life Magic effects than the Redbark Brownie magi do. It seems possible that there may be some truth in the belief that Redbark Brownies are inherently gifted in Life Magic.
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Abilities, Limitations, Restrictions and Practice. As mentioned previously, the
Memnoor Brownies have classified their spells into seven elements, in a semi-arbitrary manner. These are the sort of effects associated with each element:

Origins. The ultimate origin of Brownie Magic is shrouded by the mists of time. What is known is that by the time of the Empire of Birn, some form of Life Magic was already being practiced. Most sources claim that the Life Magic practiced then was far more powerful than anything that can be seen today, though many have expressed doubts as to the accuracy of these sources. Little is known for certain about the ancient civilization, and the magic its people might have practiced is no exception.

It is not known what became of the Brownie's magical knowledge after the fall of Birn, though it would probably be safe to assume that much of it was lost. Few records from those times mention Brownies, and it is not until after Keekoo had gathered the Brownies that we once again hear of their magic. Still, little is known about what it was like then, though most likely it was this gathering of the scattered race that allowed what knowledge they retained of their ancient magic to be pooled, forming the basis of the modern Life Magics practiced by the Brownie tribes today.

It is also during that time that we first see something that may be the seven-element system of the Memnoor Brownie's magic, in the form of a five-element philosophy of life taught by Keekoo. The addition of the other two elements (Air and Lightning) and its evolution into a magic system most likely occurred after the tribe had begun its southward journey, possibly under the influence of the other races they encounted on the way.

From the Memnoor Brownie's records, it is known that after crossing the vast Aeruillian desert and arriving at the edge of the Ethereal Void, they were plagued by nightmarish occurrences produced by the interactions between their unprepared minds and the Void, a scenario that should not be too surprising to anyone familiar with the nature of the Void. However, despite their initial weariness, they had, in the span of a few years, achieved the incredible feat of taming the Void and turning the malleability of reality in and around it to their advantage. The ordeal greatly invigorated their magical research as they sought to find a means to survive, being too weak to cross the desert again, and even today, the ever-present threat of something like this happening again is a great impetus towards magical research.
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 Date of last edit 22nd Passing Clouds 1666 a.S.

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