THE CLERICAL MAGIC

DESCRIPTION - BACKGROUND - CLERICAL FAITHS

Clerical Magic is one of two main ways to cast magic, at least if you follow the definitions of the scholars in the Ximaxian Academy. Generally stated you could say that "Clerical Magic is the kind of magic which deals with believing in other possibilities of the aura, depending on the caster's faith in certain deities and supernatural support. Clerical Magic is orginal as well as meta-magic, meaning that clerics may cast either own spells but also Raw or Elemental Magic in an indirect way. What spells clerics can cast depends on their religious membership and in case other persons are involved the effect of the spell is determined by these persons' beliefs as well." (cited from the Magical Almanach of the famous Xeuátan Khaelvan III.)

Clerical spells can be very different, depending on the God the cleric believes in, so various races and tribes can also have other forms of Clerical Magic. Unlike other mages beginning clerics also don't have to rely on the use of reagents, but have trust in their faith only. However, tomes of prayers are quite common among clerics. They contain mantras and short prayers. Each mage/cleric usually carries such a book with him/her and transcribes newly learned spells into these books. Consecrated amulets, rings, wands or simple symbols of faith are also said to strengthen the bond between the Gods and the clerics and can often be found as part of a cleric's equipment.

A Priest of the White Knights

View picture in full size Picture description. A priest of the Order of the White Knights. Picture drawn by Quellion.

Description. Clerical Magic revolves greatly around faith in a cleric's God/Goddess and the powers their God/Goddess bestows upon them. The strength of the clerics' power is directly related to their faith. Simply put: If one believes that their God/Goddess will give them the power to cast, then they can. On the other hand deflecting a cleric's magic is a difficult task - it requires a defense through physical, magical or clerical skill. One cannot "disbelieve" away a fireball, once it is generated.

Unlike Elemental Magic, unsuccessfully casting
of a spell can have a mental impact on the cleric. His/her faith in his God/Goddess may decrease, making the caster less apt to cast again successfully. Many Clerics have unsuccessfully casted spells so many times they can no longer cast; they only profess a mental faith rather than a faith of the cár'áll.

Least fortunate for the Clerics is the small breadth of their skills. The God/Goddess they invoke controls what exactly can be casted. The Cleric therefore has
only a limited range of spells which can make him painfully weak and an easy target for others. However, a gathering of clerics of a similar faith can produce devestating results that can far surpass that of mages; such as the Year of Darkness invoked by the Foirosian Clerics.
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Background.
If you ask a cleric (be it a Santharian, an orc or a Kasumarii) about how his magic works, he will of course answer you that his God endowed him with magical powers and that the spells he obtained from the godly presence prove not only His/Her existence, but also His/Her might. Scientific research in this field is often seen as contradictory to the principle of belief, on which Clerical Magic is based on. However, we'd like to give you a short glimpse on how Santharian scholars of the Ximaxian Academy try to explain this kind of magic from the scientific point of view as well:

As a matter of fact the magical
powers of clerics can't be denied, but the explanation of their sources has to remain questionable - or how would it be possible that two clerics of different cultures/races both can receive blessings of their Gods, who both claim to not tolerate any other Gods?

The key to casting Clerical Magic therefore lies in the faith, the belief of the spellcaster and not primarily in the existence of a deity (we apologize in advance to all priests and clerics about this scientific reduction of metaphysical issues and fully understand if such theses are rejected from their point of view): "Belief" affects the elements and the Xeuaía
(the connections between the elements). Not directly, by influencing an element in a focussed way, but in modifiying the pre-conditions for the existence/combinations of certain elements/Xeuaía so that the unreal becomes reality because the conditions changed. You don't concentrate on achieving something special with your mind, but affect your whole surroundings so that certain things become possible. As the elves would say: "As Avá [the High Elven Goddess] dreams the world, so does the one who believes in her glory dream as part of Her world. He dreams through the help of Her servants, the Gods, of a shift within the Great Dream [our reality] - and thus he dreams of dél [casts magic]." (Kára'kái, "Book of Dreams").

An easy example of belief: Sometimes people think so hard about something that they forget everything else and it becomes reality for them, simply because they have reached this state of conciousness by denying other things which influence their apperception. You might think that e.g. you visually see an apple if you meditate and deny other realities. The apple will then appear, not mainly because you focussed all your thoughts on the apple, but because you keep everything disturbing about the apple's viusal appearance away.

You see that belief not only affects yourself. Your belief can affect others as well, e.g. if you cast a healing spell - if the target believes in the success of a clerical healing spell, he/she will be healed
faster as the Xeuaía are strengthened by a joined faith. If you want to heal a pagan the spell will often have much lesser effect (depending also on the belief of the caster), while inanimate objects (natural or artificially produced) usually can't negatively influence the magical energy of belief.

Scientifically spoken Clerical Magic can be explained this way: You either (re-)order the
cár'állía through your belief or send vibrations through your surroundings which shake the elements and the Xeuaía (clerics of course would calim  that it's their Gods' work). If you're good at this you will be able to achieve certain results you desire as if you would focus. Spells of clerics therefore are much more difficult to cast and will take a much longer time than other spells, which are focussed.
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Clerical Faiths
. As long as a cleric believes in a God/Goddess and has trust in the potential of his faith, he can invoke the God/Goddess to bestow power upon them. The list below covers the 12 common Santharian Gods (worshipped by humans and elves alike, called the Avaría by the elves), as well as the prime God of the dwarven faith; Trum-Baroll (the equivalent to the Santharian Urtengor):

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