Magic (Orizon Supplement)
From D&D Wiki
The flow and the weave of magic is the foundation of the entirety of the arcane power of Orizon. The flow was the structure that Incancatus, Soltis and Celeste developed, that the world and its cosmology was then built on top of. Since its foundation magic has been an integral part of Orizon’s life and culture. Magical energy was the core resource of the old world and its integration with technology was the driving factor behind those precursor’s successes. The eruption of wild magic at the breaking was the single greatest calamity in Orizon’s history, nearly shattering the structure of the flow before it was rebuilt by the surviving ancient gods. Since the breaking, the use of magic was reclaimed and its risk was gradually mitigated, but there’s still the dangers of wild magic that stalk its use.
In addition to the flowing weaves of magic that mages employ as a tool, magic also infuses the land and its inhabitants. The flow of magic enchants places and objects, granting them their own innate power, and the magic suffuses some creatures, granting them innate magical power. The most notable and obvious effect of this magic flowing through the world are the skylands, with powerful enchantments woven into the very soil and stone that suspends them in the air.
Magic is common enough on Orizon that just about everybody has encountered magic and the magical at least once in their life, usually multiple times.
This section looks over the magic of Orizon, its use, its effects, and the tools that employ it.
The Flow and Weaves of Magic
The magic of Orizon, like magic in all worlds, is mysterious by its very nature. However, there is some basic understanding of magic’s nature among the people of Orizon. The most common ways people use to describe the magic they employ and they live with are “the flow” and “weaves.” Both as the source of magic and its structure and use.
The flow is a core aspect of the greater plane of Orizon, if the world’s magic is an ocean, the flow is a tremendous mass of currents that run through it. There are perhaps hundreds of thousands of flows throughout Orizon, or perhaps a single great flow with numerous branches parting from it. No one can perceive the flow as more than a simple sensation built up by training and meditation and certainly not the flow in enough detail to be studied.
The flow also serves to transport and refresh the magic of the world, employing the inner planes as a part of its current. The energy is refreshed within Faerie and decays in the Umbral and is infused with the elemental power of the elemental planes as it travels. More energy flows into the people, fueling their souls, which then travels out into the afterlife and the gods.
Some creatures, objects, and locations have deep, intrinsic ties to the flow and can perform extraordinary feats that come naturally to them (a vampire’s charming gaze, a dragon’s breath weapon, and so forth). Creatures with the necessary talent and skill can also manipulate the flow to perform magic by casting spells. Some people, with talent, training and awareness can take the flow within themselves, fueling their talents. This is what empowers the abilities of some like monks or sorcerers.
No one can truly perceive the flow in its entirety, it cannot be accurately detected by spells such as detect magic, but mages can perceive it through vague sensations as they manipulate it to form “weaves.” Weaves take strands of the flow and forms them together, shaping them into spells and enchantments. Different spells require different structures, teasing different energies together to form the lattice of the spell.
Studying these weaves, their components and structures, is how spellcasters are able to understand the nature of enchantments and spells and is a core part of spells like detect magic and identify. It is through studying the component parts of these weaves that mages have become to come to an understanding of the nature of the flow.
Magic in the World
Magic is prevalent in Orizon, it has spread out and leached into the various corners of the world. People with magical talents, items with magical natures, places of magical power and creatures with magical abilities are not exactly uncommon.
There are many people on Orizon that are capable of performing at least minor feats of magic, although the untutored are likely to inadvertently tap into wild magic and send their spell haywire. As a consequence of these untrained fumblings and the dangers of the wild magic storms, spellcasters are mistrusted and many people who can perform magic intentionally hide their abilities.
By contrast, those who are skilled with their magical ability, and those who have learned to cast their spells without risk of tapping into wild magic are proud of their abilities and valued for what they can do. Many serve in trusted or highly capable positions.
Though many are able to cast spells, truly powerful mages are rare. There are many risks to spellcasters that prevent them from becoming truly exceptional. Some are consumed by a faulty summon, others find their end while adventuring, some others are caught in wild magic, still others are simply attacked and killed for their ability by an angry mob.
With all these risks, and the intellectual nature behind most spellcasting, most powerful spellcasters have taken up positions in more sedentary roles, such as research, teaching, or advising. But this sedentary nature makes it difficult for these mages to advance further in raw power.
Magical places and creatures are comparatively commonplace on the plane of Orizon, especially as one travels further into the wilds away from civilization. Some of these magical locales are empowered by nearby portals, others are infused with magic from residues of long gone spellcasting. The ruins of the old world are even more magically potent, their very bricks are literally suffused with magic.
Magical items are both common and rare. Modern artificers have retained the skills to produce some few magical items (rated common and uncommon), a few secrets for the production of rare magical items have survived the breaking as well, but most have been lost. Consequently magical items that are classified “rare” or “greater” are almost exclusively found within the ruins of the old world or based of items recovered from there.
The military and other similar organizations prize spellcasters, and after they matriculate through their guilds or universities mages may find employment outside of their organization, although they often report back at intervals, sharing knowledge and research.
Manipulating the energies of the flow of magic and forming it into a concrete effect is the foundation of all spellcasting. Mages take those energies and, through force of will and their own energy, manipulate those energies into weaves. Wizards take these thrumming strings of energy and twist them between their fingers, shaping the stings into a solid weave. They give the spell further purpose and intent with words of power and material components or a focus for their spellcasting. These help solidify a spell and enable that spell to influence the world around it. Then, once properly shaped, they are sent out into the world to effect change, introducing energy to cast a magic in defiance of the normal rules that govern reality.
Some mages use tools to manipulate the flows of magic or to add to their weaves. Wands and other magic items can lend a weave strength or definition. Some magic items can create preprogrammed spellcasting weaves through their own internal power. Other mages use intermediaries to cast spells that would otherwise be impossible, divine spellcasters like clerics use assistance from the gods to give their spells further definition and strength. Spellcasters like warlocks use other learned entities as a shortcut for their own learning, letting their patrons infuse them with an understanding of the spells they cast. Sorcerers exploit their own internal well of energy to give their magic further strength, and rely on a combination of instinct and practice to learn weaves. Bards exploit the use of will in drawing in energy and words in giving spells purpose to use their voice and instruments to give a spell form.
There is another distinction for divine magic as it stands against arcane magic, the addition of divine energy. This acts like a font of strength for a sorcerer and not only empowers spells, but also refines them. Magic cast with the addition of divine energy into its weaves is “cleaner” and it much less likely to act as the trigger for a wild magic storm.
Spellcasters have an easier time manipulating magic with the use of tools, magic focuses like crystals and staffs, the more personal the object and the more steeped in arcane purpose, the more effective these objects serve as a refinement for arcane power. The point of using a focus like these is to refine a weave, focusing one’s will around the spell, similar to the purpose of using certain material components in spellcasting. This is effective enough that the use of a focus can replace some spells, though certain spells require extremely specific materials to work, generally this applies to gems, which interact in interesting ways with magic but other materials can also have interesting interactions with magic and can also help to refine intent for the spellcaster.
Wild magic has been an inescapable part of the plane of Orizon since the breaking that unleashed it and warped the plane. These energies are feared for spreading blessings and curses at random and leaving destruction in their wake.
The discharges of wild magic have become less frequent and less powerful on average as time has passed since the breaking. Agents, both mortals and divine, have worked to calm the flow of magic, but the storms of wild magic remains a pressing concern to the people of Orizon, especially for anyone traveling away from civilization. Many people have a personal connection to the effects of an eruption.
The frequency of a wild magic storm can depend on the location, wild magic storms are more common on the ground, happening perhaps once or twice a month, in the sky and the underdark and the oceans, wild magic eruptions occur a few times a season. In the ruins of the old world, wild magic eruptions occur distressingly often, perhaps a few times a week.
“Eruptions” or “storms” of wild magic appear around the world, building up over time and then exploding. Some magic items exist that can detect these build-ups and others exist that can act as moderate protection against them, but there are few absolute proofs against their influence.
Various temples and spellcasting organizations spend a great deal of their time working to remove or undo the influences of wild magic storms, dispelling curses or easing other magical burdens. These orders also act as hosts and patrons to accomplished healers.
The risk of and association with wild magic has fostered a fearful respect of spellcasters among the common people, and it is the most frequent reason given for restrictions against magic and mages.
Supernatural Power and Psionics
The inborn magical abilities of certain creatures, the acquired supernatural powers of people such as monks, and psionic abilities are similar in that their users don’t manipulate the flow in the customary way that spellcasters do and understand.
The mental state of the user is vitally important: monks and some psionics users train long and hard to attain the right frame of mind, while creatures with supernatural powers have that mindset in their nature.
There are people who have developed skills in spell-like abilities, like monks, don’t use energy to construct weaves of magic, they simply manipulate raw energy within themselves to create effects.
How these abilities are related to the flow remains a matter of debate. Some students of the arcane believe that it is some form of innate magical talent, others believe that it is like an enchantment built up within the individual’s mind, some others think that it is akin to taking the flow of magic into the person and pouring the energies directly within themselves. Unfortunately for academics, there is still no understanding of how these innate magics work and still no means of observing how these magics might work.
The effects of a spell are brought to life through force of will, study, and delicate manipulation of energies. But these are impermanent, lasting only as long as the energy put into them is sustained, some only lasting a fleeting instant. Creating magic items is a way to make the magic last far beyond the instant of its creation. Allowing a spell to last for as long as the item does, or as long as the energy within can sustain the weaves.
In some cases, the magic of an item is incomplete, it must be tied to its wielder to complete the weaves within it. This entwines threads together, a mixture of energies, both empowering the other. This connection between the wielder and the object they wield is often called attunement. There are limitations to this ability, an individual is only able to handle so many of these connections before the burden they place on the wielder becomes dangerous.
Crafting Magic Items
It is impossible to construct magic items on anything like an assembly line. Magic is too delicate a tool to simply be automated, it depends too much on the will of the one doing the casting, too much on intent. The magic must be woven into an object as that object is being constructed, infusing its nature with the magic. This is a technique known as weave enchanting, or simply “weaving.” The other major technique consists of carving inscriptions into an object to give it its purpose, creating magical texts to impose arcane strength. This latter technique is commonly called rune enchanting or “carving,” though it does not always use runes and does not necessarily need to be carved. Carving allows for more precision in the enchantment, but does not sustain itself beyond a few uses.
Weaving enchantment into an object is considered the best method of creating a magic item, it lasts the longest and can infuse much stronger magics. Rune enchanting lasts a significantly shorter time, but can allow for finer control, using language and the nature of the object to give the enchantment definition. The most successful enchanters incorporate both techniques into the construction of a magic item. Infusing the object with strength and delicate weaves, then further refining that strength by inscribing words of power onto the object. Because both of these techniques require an influx of magic during the object’s construction, they require a person to do it. Not even the ancients were able to work around this limitation.
There are teleportation circles that form a loose network of travel for anyone that happens to have the runic codes to navigate it. These circles are usually located on smaller islands, set up specifically for this purpose with military garrisons, walls, signal towers and docks. Some teleportation circles are established nearby major cities on the ground, or cities of the underdark and underwater settlements.
Many governments and organizations hire wizards to disrupt and dismantle unsanctioned teleportation circles or to provide arcane protection against unwarranted use of these resources.
There are many inconveniences and expenses to traveling through teleportation circles. The arcane power is an expensive necessity, and maintaining their security is another cost. Teleportation circles also don’t allow for the transit of large amounts of cargo. There is also a slight risk that the runes may be wrong, sending the traveler somewhere unexpected. These risks mean that travel through teleportation circles is mostly employed by the wealthy and powerful, most others simply use more mundane means for their transit.
The most feared danger of the teleportation circle network is the possibility of a misfire, a tangle of wild magic interfering with a trip, or a flawed runic code. These incidents are rare, but they do happen. Stories of people finding themselves in the middle of a ruin of the old world, or in a pit of elemental flame, abound, some are exaggerated, but enough people are worried to be respectful and careful of portal travel.
Restrictions on Magic
Magic is a frightening power, it enables its practitioners to perform things beyond the hopes of other mortals, some abuse this power, and with its immensity, misuse can give all spellcasters a reputation that they are not to be trusted.
Some cultures try to moderate or control the use of magic, imposing restrictions on its use and those who use it. Though the use of magic is rarely considered a crime in and of itself, it may require certification from a nationally recognized magical guild or organization. These guilds may create their own set of rules and regulations for the usage of magic and forbid the use of magic to those not officially sanctioned by themselves or the governments they operate under.
Most common people mistrust magic and spellcasters, and share some fear of them for their association to wild magic and the breaking. There is often pressure for people who are capable of performing spells to hide their abilities, especially if they are untrained.
Resurrecting the Dead
There are several nearly insurmountable restrictions on resurrecting the souls of the dead and restoring them to life. The first restriction is that the task requires the assistance of a powerful entity that can intercede with the soul and restore it. The god Bern opposes the resurrection of the dead, so in addition to assistance of a god, Bern usually must be appeased to allow the resurrection, or they may send angels, curses or other agents to hound the raised soul and return it to death. In addition to hounding the ones who raised that soul.
In addition to the intersection of a god, the soul must have a body to return to, and that body must be in good enough condition that life can be returned to it. Finally, the soul must be willing to be resurrected, a soul in the process of resurrection is aware of who is attempting to revive them, as well as the identity of the deity that is acting towards that end, some souls simply refuse to be resurrected.