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What I have seen and held in spirit cannot be described with mere words, or even thoughts... everything we could ever know with our five senses could be condensed into single words in this new language. Reaching beyond the veil of reason has opened my mind in ways that no one, save my understudies and the gifted, will ever understand, and it is the greatest shame of my life that I cannot come to impart its glory upon more...
- Vaelo, chief Stremagio, formulator of Drakonian organized magic, and founder of the Strezici, 7181 BC
In layman's terms, magic is defined as supernatural power that seems to defy the typical rules of logic and goes beyond the ability to predict -- quite literally, in a sense, bending the rules of the universe against themselves. Among the more learned, it is acknowledged as a disregard for the laws of the material world and reality, and the ability to go against these parameters. Due to this, magic has no true form; it simply manifests as doing something that is not traditionally allowed according to the laws of reality, such as defying gravity, changing the fundamental properties of an object, seeing into the past or the future, and many more; the only difficulty after grasping this ability is finding new ways to utilize it, and this is what separates the experienced and the geniuses. Most mages could never hope to discover new 'fields' of magic, but the so-called Stremagi, known as "discoverers of magic" in the Drakonian language, were able to tap into this outlet and draw out new ways to use magical power. Magic being utilized has even lead to a universe-explaining philosophy/religion, called Magopurism, to be founded, by "thought-dreamers" who used clairvoyance magic to attempt to see everything for what it is.

Utilizing complex forms of intense critical thinking and formulation which vaguely resembled mathematics, a Stremagio would first have to thoroughly conduct research into discovering the universal laws, and then would have to figure out how to use their own life force to go against these boundaries. The first such Stremagio, Vaelo, called the discovery of such processes 'unboundaries', or the act of playing with the composition of creation like it was one's own, as if they were gods or tapping into godhood. This part of the discovery process would resemble meditation, and the ability to think so critically and thoroughly about such things is what made the Stremagi so revered and venerated, but also equally feared; how do you counter someone who can seemingly do anything through sheer willpower?

A notable example of tapping into magical forces, particularly using one's very lifeblood to cast spells and warp reality, is Draqipane Dragomyr's self-sacrifice, who, in his last act of life, managed to use transmutation magic on a universal level so profound that it was able to destroy the physical form of Faranohr on Drakonius. This has bought time for the denizens of the planet for nearly a millennia after the fact, but given that the Shadow is a primordial being of creation and thus cannot be truly destroyed entirely, his spirit still lingers and will reform physically when it is powerful enough. It is not known why one's life must be given in part for the magic, but it is believed to have some sort of connection to the nature of such supernatural forces. Some have speculated it is the gods' punishment for attempting to emulate their awesome nature, but the Drakonians are also the longest-lived people on the planet, the first known to have reached a state of advanced society, and the ones most proficient in magic when it was more common, so the truth is unknown.

To that end, magic's true definition as accepted by its practitioners is very convoluted, and to truly understand what magic is and how it is utilized requires years of study under the tutelage of a Drakonian stremagio, which is bad news for anyone who would wish to do so in the present day as the Drakonian Empire fell during the Dragon Wars, and with it, most traces of its civilization, including the use of magic and perhaps more importantly, the acceptance of its use, have faded with time. Such breaking of the status quo is taken as a threat due to what it accomplished for Drakonia, and no one -- least of all the few highborn Drakonians left -- want to see another's homeland turned into ash due to infighting and dabbling with powers beyond their reach.

Magic usage and innate ability

They say when a mortal begins to delve into the realms that science cannot define in apt parameters and religion cannot approve of without contradiction, he makes with The Dragonlord an unspoken pact which he fulfills every time he draws from these formulae -- "Your life for my power", he says. "As my subject, you accede to my rules, but only your people can use the power that goes beyond these rules; all but one. Mortality. You will die like all, perhaps sooner than most. Know that your power is infinite, but your life remains finite and your mind fragile; this is your liberty, as I decree."
- Surviving page of a Drakonian codex that introduced pupils to magic, believed to have been written c. 5780 BC

Prior to Vaelo, initiating the Magical Revolution by creating formulae that showed ways to utilize one's own life force to break the very laws of reality in c. 7,200 BC, magic was an innate thing that could only be found in certain races -- it is also notable that this innate magic was not life-draining as the stremagi magic was, and some of the Strezici argued that it was naturally given to those chosen by The Dragonlord. The Balbadians have always had a close link to magic, as those who could use it in their society were the preferred tribe chieftains, and would thus be allowed to take more wives. The more wives they had, naturally the greater chance of having more children and thus more people to pass on the magical ability. The Balbadians mostly dabble in magic drawn from the power of Faranohr, but this may just be conjecture or hearsay since neither Andorasi nor Edrossian has ever reliably learned of Balbadian culture, it only being spoken of in mythical tones.

The Drakonians were the other race of people who had the ability to go beyond and use magic intrinsically. As they were seen as the chosen people of Drakonius, they felt no shame in going against the rules that The Dragonlord had set for creation, as they understood it to mean that it only applied to those who could not use it in the first place. There was a paradigm shift of opinion once Vaelo crafted his magical formulae, however, and it was seen as destiny that the Drakonian people were the only ones who could learn how to utilize the lack of boundaries whereas all other, inferior races were incapable of it. The Drakonians also had the good fortune of being the only people who could be innately gifted in this manner, and also have the means to be educated by the stremagi, which meant that they could learn and discover such things exponentially faster than anyone else -- it is why all known stremagi have only been Drakonian.

Knowledge of magic today

As the Drakonian Empire has fallen and most manuscripts dedicated to magic have been burnt or lost, magic only lives on once more through the chosen few who are innately gifted, such as Morsen Holdfast, a former Gardorian ranger who found his talent of clairvoyance prior to the Civil War, where he was able to see a vague depiction of the war through animal caricatures -- he later realized it was representing the Great Houses at war, acting through their house sigils. Some have argued that this is in fact prophesying power granted to him by the gods to warn the populace of the dangers ahead, but it would still fall under the same boundaries had it been achieved by magical means. There are no doubt other such gifted out there, but they may be exiled for their differences or unaware of their abilities. This makes magic extremely rare, and when it is encountered, extremely dangerous, as the methods for defending against it have also been lost to time. What is still known is that such formulae for getting around the binds of reality existed at one point, but have been destroyed or forgotten, and that such innate ability is practiced freely only in Balbadia and the Wetlands -- the Wetlander sorcerers, however, known as bogdwellers due to their traditionally-exiled position, independently discovered the use of mediums in order to better use the magic at their disposal, such as transmutation or scrying.

Discovered types of magic

Major areas

These areas, even if one is innately gifted in them, require much thought and discipline to utilize effectively, if at all. They are known as the "major areas" due to the degree of effect they can have on others and the world, such as Draqipane banishing Faranohr with fatal transmutative power.

Transmutation - the changing of a substance's very nature, or changing aspects of it that render it something different entirely. One of the four original realms of 'unboundaries' discovered by Vaelo in c. 7200 BC.

Scrying - The ability to see events as they were in the past. Honing this ability requires the use of mediums, such as crystals, to better refine the image received in the mind. The second 'unboundary' discovered by Vaelo, c. 7200 BC.

Clairvoyance - The opposite of scrying -- the ability to see the future. Clairvoyance is much more difficult than scrying, as it involves looking into the tapestry of creation itself to view individual fates and eventually come to a conclusion that defines things with a much more broader scope; something that is at first utterly incomprehensible, and was known to have driven many mad in attempt to do so. Prophecy magic is often confused for clairvoyance, but clairvoyance involves seeing everything as it is, knowing everyone associated with an event, their point of view, end goal, etc. Adherents of the magic have been carefully trained to hone in on the event they seek, rather than trying to view all of reality for what it is -- those who have tried have all gone mad, but their rambling has contributed to the faith of Magopurism. The third 'unboundary' discovered by Vaelo, c. 7200 BC.

Conjuration - The ability to create something seemingly out of nothing, or without any prior construction. This differs from transmutation in the fact that it does not change what already exists -- it combines the smallest units of matter from anywhere in the universe where it is available to fashion something according to what the conjurer pictures in their mind. How this was accomplished was unknown for thousands of years as Vaelo claimed to have a solution, but died before he could formulate it. Technically counted as the fourth 'unboundary' discovered by Vaelo, but was finally solved by Arethi in 5291 BC.

Manipulation - Sometimes lengthened to psychic manipulation, it is the ability to affect one's psyche, perception, thought process and opinion through mere thoughts of one's own. In the days when the Strezici were the high councilors of the Drakonian Empire, it was thought that they often utilized manipulation to influence others, making arguments unusually one-sided and successful. Discovered by Talys c. 4910 BC. Victor Damius is thought to have been innately gifted in the art of manipulation, given his widespread success and almost unanimous praise.

Minor areas

These areas have often been attributed to natural gifts, but some also argue that these "minor areas" are simply temporary moments of enlightenment by the gods, either to help or hinder. One example (debatable) is Morsen Holdfast's ability to see vague, metaphorical images of the future -- this is attributed to prophecy magic. Ability to tap into these areas via the stremagio method was known to have been even more difficult than the major areas, due to the inability to 'hone in' on what exactly was being done; however, any of the following could likely be done via self-inflicting transmutation or manipulation magic.

Prophecy -- Ability to predict the future. Differs from clairvoyance in the fact that it is often wildly different in one's mind due to biases, or misinterpreted, due to the lack of magical rigor and discipline associated with the majority of natural prophets. Also makes no use of mediums to channel the magic, which is considered a necessity to receive a clearer picture of events.

Augmentation -- Being unnaturally gifted in one of the five natural senses, such as having the eyesight of a hawk, or the ability to be guided by auditory sensations well beyond human capacity in the same fashion as a bat. Actual study of such augmented senses is unfounded, as only those who are gifted with the ability themselves are able to describe their heightened perception.

Husbandry -- An unusual gift in which someone is seemingly able to communicate with animals, and perhaps all of nature itself. When magic study was widespread in Drakonia, it was considered a rarity even then. However, Vaelo himself proclaimed himself to be gifted in husbandry, as he grew up on a ranch and apparently had an uncanny understanding of his cattle herd.

Alchemy -- There is some speculation on whether or not alchemy is a magical field of study at all. Though the components in any alchemical reaction can be produced or procured by magical means, the actual combination of the ingredients is dictated by the laws of reality; to simply change anything's nature from thereon that goes against what would actually occur is merely considered transmutation, though as alchemy is often a very necessary means to an end -- and an easier way to produce things when knowledge of transmutation is not immediately apparent or too time-consuming, or even dangerous if one's lifeblood is weak -- it is considered 'magic' in the sense that those who can utilize alchemical precipitants are likely magi, or at least someone with a tangible grasp on magical concepts.

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