Basics of Magic
Magic in Nihen was a blessing handed down to its peoples by the gods themselves. Before divulging the types of magic, it is important to understand a few basic rules about magic that apply regardless of elemental attunement:
- Magic is influenced by the caster's emotional state. A strong emotional state may create a spell that is very potent, but difficult to control, while a calm emotional state may create a weaker but easier to control spell. Striking a balance often takes years of effort.
- For those who don't want to bother with worrying about that, it's not uncommon for there to be magic inhibiting/enhancing accessories. These accessories can look like anything, though the most common ones look like jewelry.
- Most people "spark", or cast their first spell, by the time they are seven years old. While later sparkings have been recorded, they're considered rare.
- Since people tend to spark at very young ages, it has made the use of magic inhibiting devices downright essential--children are not the best at knowing how to manage their emotions, so explosive little accidents happen frequently otherwise.
- For this reason, it's considered a rite of passage to finally remove one's "training bonds" upon reaching adulthood
- It's commonly stated that "Creativity is a mage's greatest tool", and this is truth: a mage who truly knows their magic on the deepest level is able to come up with surprising new applications in order to solve their problems.
- Approximately 1% of the human population (barring the Forgotten, whose rate of magical potential is obscured by their complete and total eschewment of magic altogether) are born with no magical capabilities whatsoever. These magicless humans often have to rely on enchanted objects and magical friends & relatives in order to function in Nihenese societies.
Fire magic is the domain of the god Salamand. Those who have been blessed by Salamand are capable of manipulating flames and heat. Fire mages are particularly valued in the colder regions of Nihen, where their magic is often used both to maintain comfortable temperatures for housing but also for the growth of crops. Of course, they are also highly valued as warriors due to fire's obvious destructive capabilities, as well...
Capabilities of fire mages include:
- The ability to burn/melt things.
- The ability to absorb and generate heat.
- The ability to generate flames, as long as there is oxygen available.
- The ability to create constructs out of flame.
- Fire mages are not immune to burning themselves.
Water magic is the domain of the goddess Ondine. Those who have been blessed by Ondine are capable of manipulating ice and water. Water mages are valued in many places, especially areas where access to water is limited, such as desert regions. However, the region with the highest population of water mages is the island theocracy of Theslia, a nation that was said to have been built by a pair of priestesses under the command of Ondine and her divine lover, Sinalune.
Capabilities of water mages include:
- The ability to shape and manipulate water in all its states: liquid, steam, vapor, and ice.
- The ability to walk on water (duration dependent upon the user’s discipline and focus).
- The ability to freeze things both organic and inorganic.
- Water mages are not immune to frostbite or drowning.
Earth magic is the domain of the god Nomish. Those who have been blessed by Nomish are capable of manipulating the earth and stone itself. As such, earth mages are often valued in a lot of professions that work with earth, ranging from mining and tunneling to masonry and gemcutting. Earth magic is a particularly respected among dwarves, whom rely on the ability to mine out and shape heartstones to keep their people alive.
Capabilities of earth mages include:
- The ability to move within the earth.
- The ability to create and manipulate crystals.
- The ability to manipulate sand.
- A limited but nonetheless greater-than-typical ability to sense vibrations in the ground.
Wind magic is the domain of the god Sylfaer, who also rules over song and speech. Those who have been blessed by Sylfaer are capable of manipulating air and wind. It's not uncommon for wind mages to also make a living as orators and diplomats, receiving blessings from their god that allow them to master speechcraft.
Capabilities of wind mages include:
- The ability to manipulate air, down to the tiniest of molecules.
- Atmospheric manipulation.
- The ability to enhance their sense of hearing and smell by manipulating air molecules.
- The ability to increase their speed by reducing the force of air resistance.
- The ability to manipulate the force of pressure on an object via air pressure.
- Sound manipulation via the manipulation of air molecules.
- Limited amount of electricity manipulation–full electricity manipulation has been proven to be overwhelming on the body of wind mages.
Light magic is the domain of the god Lumine, who also rules over truth and healing. Those who have been blessed by Lumine are capable of manipulating light waves and barriers. Light magic is valued for being the strongest type of magic when it comes to healing, which puts light mages in high demand in both times of peace and times of war.
Capabilities of light mages include:
- The ability to create, shape, and manipulate visible light.
- Holographic projections.
- The ability to turn light into a solid form.
- The ability to heal the body using soothing light.
- The ability to induce blindness. Unfortunately, this includes the user. Light mages must take extra care not to overexert their ability, as it has been observed that prolonged use of light magic without adequate rest has a negative impact on the user’s vision.
Shadow magic is the domain of the goddess Umbra, who also is known as the goddess of shelter and secrets. Those blessed by Umbra are capable of manipulating the shadows and darkness around them. Her blessed often find themselves hired on to protect traveling parties with their magic, or trained as spies.
Capabilities of shadow mages include:
- The ability to create (at higher skill levels), shape, and manipulate darkness and shadows.
- The ability to turn one’s body into shadows.
- The ability to turn shadows into solid forms.
- The ability to seemingly “teleport” via traversing in shadows.
- The ability to cancel light magic. Unfortunately, this also prevents beneficial light magic from affecting them.
Charm magic is the domain of the goddess Nemura, who is also the goddess of love and beauty. Those blessed by Nemura are capable of creating illusions and altering the body to their whims, all in the name of pleasure and beauty. Charm mages often find themselves employed as entertainers and aestheticians, to great success.
Capabilities of charm mages include:
- The power to create and manipulate illusions.
- The ability to manipulate someone's senses, either removing senses or inducing sensations.
- The ability to create illusionary decoys.
- The ability to conceal something with magic, either via disguise or invisibility.
- The ability to read and project a person’s thoughts and memories.
- The ability to mimic a person, creature, or object.
- The ability to physically alter someone’s form. This makes charm mages highly sought after by transgender individuals who wish to physically transition.
Metal magic is the domain of the god Aurum, who is also a god of war. Those blessed by Aurum are capable of manipulating ores and metals. Metal mages were once incredibly rare, but with the inventive progress of the folk of Nihen over the centuries, there has been a noticeable increase of metal mages to match the growing demand. Although Aurum is one of the younger gods of the Twelve, their influence has ever been felt in the world.
Capabilities of metal mages include:
- The power to create, manipulate, and shape metal.
- Can instantly polish and repair metal constructs.
- Can easily move objects made of metal with ease.
- Can create instant armor and weaponry made of metals.
- Can detect sources of ore within the earth.
Beast magic is the domain of the god Silvaber, who reigns over both hunting and raising animals for domestication. Beast mages are often highly in tune with the animal side of nature, and commonly are called upon to assist in maintaining order while allowing for man and beast to survive. Of course, it's not uncommon for a beast mage to find themselves far more comfortable among the creatures of the wilderness, eschewing the societies they were born into.
Capabilities of beast mages include:
- The ability to command and control animals.
- The ability to summon animals to their aid via magical pacts.
- The ability to understand the speech of animals.
- The ability to “channel” an animal’s power within their own body.
Plant magic is the domain of the god Quercus, who also reigns over the harvest and medicine. As such, many who are blessed by Quercus serve as farmers, gardeners, or herbalists. Plant mages are seen as particularly important in Nihenese societies that have settled into places where fertile soil is hard to come by, as they are able to bring out the most from such limitations.
Capabilities of plant mages include:
- The ability to control plants.
- The ability to accelerate the growth and yield of plants.
- The ability to turn barren ground into fertile soil (High level technique).
- The ability to “sense” others through plants.
Soul magic is the domain of the goddess Saphiris, who determines both the gift of new life and the gift of a final rest. Those blessed by Saphiris bear a deep burden, gaining the ability to see and speak with the souls of both the living and the dead. Saphiris does not bless many people, for she understands how heavy a burden it is to place such a power onto living people, and how easily it could be twisted to selfish ends.
Capabilities of soul mages include:
- The ability to manipulate the souls of others.
- The ability to see and speak with spirits.
- The ability to safely traverse and navigate the land of souls.
- Due to the nature of magic in Nihen, soul mages can also manipulate a person’s magical ability and affinity.
- The ability to banish or exorcise spirits.
- The ability to heal wounds by mending the soul directly.
Forge magic is the domain of the goddess Diore, who is considered the "Mother" of all crafters and artisans. It is the power to take objects and turn them into something more, but is limited to nonliving objects (to alter a living being would fall more under the domain of Charm magic). Those blessed by Diore are valued in any Nihenese society due to their ability to push the limits of their chosen craft.
Capabilities of Forge mages include:
- The ability to instantly create new items from a variety of components.
- Think of it as like. Instant Crafting. This includes domestic craftsmanship as well as craftsmanship that is useful for combat.
- The ability to imbue crafted items with additional enhancements (durable armor, sharper weapons, more filling cooked meals, etc).