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Author Topic: What is Magic? An Essay.  (Read 2985 times)
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Artimidor Federkiel

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« on: 06 February 2002, 15:37:00 »

Responding to Talia's thread:

So I would plainly say, there can‘t exist a magic which is totally different to all given others. That‘s against the concept of a world. If you allow this, all will fall apart one day.

Right said Fred, err, Talia! No problem with that:)  You mix up Xeuá and Cár'áll anyway, Talia... I'll try again, explaining maybe a bit more profoundly, the general system of magic I personally have in mind:

1. Cár'áll

The basis for everything is the Cár'all (aura/energy), aura is something like the "soul" of things, even a stone, a branch or a table have Cár'áll. Everything is based on it. It's a natural thing, which exists everywhere. Magicians of any kind take advantage of it.

2. Elements within the Cár'áll

The Cár'áll (the aura) appears different on different objects. If you burn something, the flames you get will have a high "density" of Fire Cár'áll, the flames have a affinity to the Fire Element. Now a fire mage for example will be able to use this to his advantage. The Appearance of the Cár'áll will help him to make the fire brighter, more intense, cause he knows how to manipulate this aura. However, please note that the Cár'áll is not this element which represents the cár'áll. The Cár'áll is form, and this form has a content. It's like a box in a metaphorical sense and you can put various things in it - what's in there determines the form of the Cár'áll, well, it's more like a sack in fact: if you put things in it, it will change the appearance of the sack. Now there exist various affinities a Cár'áll can have, changing the quality of its form:

There are 4 basic affinities a cár'áll can have. You may also picture this as quantities of certain things you put into the sack, just to make thinking easier (but in fact it's all about quality):

- to fire (representing abstract things like desire, longing, power, will)
- to water (ambiguity, instability, change)
- to earth (stability, endurance, strength)
- to wind (spirit, idea, peace, healing, tranquility etc.)

You can influence the Cár'áll by modifiying one or more of these elements, e.g. enlarging the Fire part (give something more "power" or someone more determination to do something).

3. The Elemental Connections within the Cár'áll

Now all auras are embedded in a greater context. A stone for example in general has earth Cár'áll, but may have other affinities as well. Loam, clay for example consists of earth and water and therefore also quite obviously has earth/water Cár'áll. A table will have an earth/wind Cár'áll, because it is a constructed object, where the form of the table is determined by an idea (wind).

Now these different elements within the Cár'áll are connected, more or less loosly. The connection between these elements is called

- Xeuá (link)

Think about the X to remember the meaning of the Xeuá more easily. X stands for crossings/links between the elements. Of course these links don't only exist within a single Cár'áll, but also between other Cár'álls, forming a unity in time and space, e.g. a bush stands in relation to a tree, and all exist at the same time. So there exists a certain Xeuá/link between bush and tree.

For the elves the Xeuá is the center of life. At the beginning there was chaos, the elements reigned. Then the chaos was connected, forming life and order.

Of course these links are modified constantly in reality. If you dig out the bush and move it away from the tree, the Xeuá between these two becomes weaker. But even if you take this bush and move it to another continent, there still exists a Xeuá between bush and the tree near which it stood before. And if you could only shift the time factor a few years back, the bush will stand again near the tree. So in fact you've only changed one of the many factors of the Xeuá. Xeuá magic can intensify these links in various ways (within a Cár'áll and between different Cár'álls). But magic can also break these links:

- Anti Xeuá (link breaking), still need a better word then anti BTW

So to summarize: Magic on the one hand focuses on
- modifying elements within the Cár'áll
- modifying links between elements within or between Cárálls (connecting and breaking)

Note: In the Academy of Ximax scholars will learn that there are different ways of links. You may draw an arrow from X to Y, or from Y to X, or in both directions, or do a simple line without any arrows. This all represents the theory of Ahm and Soór, communicating and responding, and is more of theoretical nature, which isn't relavant now.

4. Pure Magic

So we have six kinds of magic so far, and we lack one more:

- Raw Magic

We've learned that the Appearance of the Cár'áll (the elemental parts, see 2.) are different from the Cár'áll itself. The Appearance is content (not really physical content, but quality). But the Cár'áll is form. It's the sack I spoke of where you can put in things.

Elemental Mages modify the quality of the Cár'áll: the Fire element, the Wind element etc. and can e.g. make something more stable, lighter, so that it flies.

Xeuá mages connect or seperate things, e.g. a typical Xeuá mage would be a healer who can make a wound heal faster. I choose this example, because this is something quite obvious, but of course there are several more ways to use Xeuá magic.

A Raw Mage on the other hand goes directly for the form of the Cár'áll and therefore can do the most powerful magic. If you are capable of modifying the form itself, you could for example make the sack I spoke of much smaller, allowing only a certain limit of elemental affinities within an object. You can make something/someone more or less powerless without altering his elemental parts or the connections between them directly. You can use this kind of magic mainly for creating purposes, but can do practically everything with it. I don't need to say that it's extremly rare.

5. Color schemes

The color "beige" seems not to fit in the Raw Magic context, because beige is a color which is put together from others. It would be much more logical to have "transparent" as the "color" of Raw Magic. It is of completely different nature than all the elemental magics.

Also personally don't see Yellow as the Color of wind. Perhaps grey? Let me know if you have proposals here.

6. Integration of further Concepts

We have to decide where to put the Brownie Life Magic in this general scheme. I personally tend to interpret Life Magic as a form of Xeuá Magic dealing especially with Life connections. There would have to be various rewrites here at the life magic entry, but we have to make it fit to one scheme. Brownies could of course interpret their own use of magic from a different point of view, but that's not the point. The point is that we'll have to explain all existing kinds of magics also from this general point of view and that's what I'm trying  to do here. Ideas on Brownie magic in relation to this scheme explained here in more dertail are always welcome.

Weaving/Raw Magic: I only used the word Raw Magic above to express with what we're dealing here. With the form, or the essence as Tarquet puts it. Well, I still can't see the exact difference between Weaving and Resonance Magic. Maybe you can try to explain this in more detail, Tarquet, also according to this general scheme I just try to set up here.


I hope these general outlines help a bit to clear general confusion, at least I tried to tie together several loose ends. It's only a first part of a general magic concept, but before I try to make the Spell Classes fit to this scheme etc. I'd like to hear comments if you agree with all those things mentioned in this post or if you are even more confused now.

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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #1 on: 06 February 2002, 17:04:00 »

Thanks, Art, sounds good to me as far as I have understood it  
The system is fairly simple  and no magic which is totally different  from the others, a concept as I wanted it.
But I think I need two other days to get this soul/aura/sack/content=quality concept. As soon as I accept it ( not knowing exactly what you mean though) I can follow the rest easily and it is fine.

(To all others who have difficulties with the first part - Art has studied such things for several years and in this time his brain got some extra twists, so don't worry)

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« Reply #2 on: 06 February 2002, 19:40:00 »

Dear Sage:

anti-Xeua =     Auex   or    Exau

Silly and simple, but easy to remember ... especially since in English the prefix ex- means 'out of'...

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« Reply #3 on: 07 February 2002, 09:02:00 »

There isn't a difference between Weaver magic and Resonance magic. Resonance magic -is- Weaver magic. That's what non-Weavers called it way back when there was a breach in security. Now, though, there are only a few books with references to Resonance magic. Two being obscure references in ancient tomes in the Library of Ximax. Another is the book Tarq has with him. Still, it's mainly forgotten, but the name that non-Weavers gave it is still an ongoing joke among the Weavers.

Basically, it was viewed by ancient magi as dangerous and unstable, and is only remembered by some scholars devoted to ancient magical lore. Of course the Secret Holders all know the name Resonance Magic and use it to discuss Weaver matters in public, without alertying anyone. It would simply seem like their discussing nonsense.

Hope that helps.

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« Reply #4 on: 09 February 2002, 11:27:00 »

General opinion: I'm pretty sure that it would be good to have Art take a fully active part in the general overview of the Nature and Divisions of Magic. Every other article can then be based on that, including everything that the magic people would like, but based solidly in the Canon that would be thus formed by the Whatchamacalit and its four divisions, and the connectings of Xeua between them. This system is well organized the way Art puts it, and makes good sense. It is still adaptable enough to fit all of our needs. Let's use it!

Lifemagic comments:
1"a form of Xeu?Magic dealing especially with Life connections." . Arts view of Lifemagic sounds fine with me :)
2. "There would have to be various rewrites here at the life magic entry, but we have to make it fit to one scheme." Definitely agree. Waiting for us to come up with a true, elegant, finished product describing the nature of magic before I do.
3. "Brownies could of course interpret their own use of magic from a different point of view, but that's not the point." Agree completely
4. "The point is that we'll have to explain all existing kinds of magics also from this general point of view and that's what I'm trying to do here." Agree completely.
5. "Ideas on Brownie magic in relation to this scheme explained here in more dertail are always welcome." Unless aspects of your essay get changed drasticly, I thing you've already done a great description. If the point in 1 is expressed in a single sentence in the coming entry, I will be completely satisfied.

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