The Functions of Magic

A brief rundown of the way magic functions within the Rozen Rot Multiverse...

Magic is one of the fundamental building blocks of the universe -- Magic runs through literally everything that makes up the World That Is . Every "force" that exists within the universe is a form of magic -- gravity, thermodynamics, entropy, all of it is magic.

Which isn't to say that these things are magic because they are "inexplicable", it is simply that the Ordered Cosmos is fundamentally magical in nature.

All forces function as expected by the laws of "physics", almost entirely because it is expected that they will behave that way.

One of the major forces within the World is belief -- what the sapient beings that dwell within the Ordered Cosmos believe, waht they expect, has an effect on the way the universe functions in much the same way that a particle, when observed, behaves as expected but when unobserved, may behave differently.

The Sources of Magical Energy...

The Sources of Magical energy, aka the Sources of Power are the things that all creatures which use magic need to channel in order to be able to effect the functions of the universe -- or, in more simple terms, to do magic.

  • The Internal Flame
    Everyone possesses this -- it is the thing which animates the body, an inherent property of the Spirit. Animals and plants also have an internal flame. The Internal Flame is the starting point for all magic, but a very poor primary source for magical energy, as it is finite.

    There is only so much energy within yourself to draw upon and while it gradually recovers between uses, it can be drawn upon too much and the person using it to fuel their magic will eventually burn out, which frequently results in death.

  • The Threads of Power
    The magic of the universe itself -- the threads which bind matter together, which power gravity and thermodynamics and every natural process or force within the universe.

    The Threads of Power are, technically, an infinite source of energy -- once a spell finishes or fizzles out, the energy used to power it is released and returns to the cycle.

    The downside of the Threads of Power is, in fact, that it is infinite. A magic user may burn out their ability to channel energy entirely if the use too much in a short period of time, which, essentially, overlaods their magical circuits. This is usually temporary and the magician can eventually recover -- though it may take weeks, months or even years to regain the abilities they've lost.

  • Spirits of the Restless Dead
    The souls of those who died and were not able to properly return to the cycle of reincarnation, thus trapping their soul on the mortal plane.

    This source is also infinite, though using this particular source of power is, generally, considered "evil". This is because channeling the Spirits of the Restless Dead strips the spirit of everything that made it who it was, reducing int to pure energy.

    While the spirit still returns to the cycle of reincarnation, the spirit has had every memory, every lesson and every bond it ever had destroyed in the process.

  • Psychic/Emotional Energy
    The field of energy that surrounds every living being -- though it is strongest in sapient beings. It's considered the "heat" that the internal flame gives off and what is seen by those who can see auras.

    This source is infinite, as long as the magic user has enough living beings around to power it.

    However, this is also dangerous as if the magician doesn't have enough sources, drawing too much from one individual can cause physical side effects -- and may even cause the source to "Burn Out" (die).

  • Belief/Faith
    This is the energy created by centuries of accumulated human belief. The power of a Crucifix has nothing to do with the wood from which it was made, or even (necessarily) the God which it depicts -- but rather, its power comes from two millennia of humans assigning meaning, assigning holiness, to it. Any kind of magic performed using crystals, candles, herbs, rituals or prayers is magic that is powered by Belief/Faith.

    An infinite source of power but fickle as all hell -- a human who doesn't believe in Christianity trying to use a crucifix against an atheist vampire won't be able to harm the vampire whatsoever as they have no faith in the symbol itself.

    This is why a housewife lighting a green candle isn't (inherently) using it as part of a spell to attract money -- because they don't Believe that it will do so.

  • Blood, Bone and Viscera
    Things which once held the energy of life have a magic of their own and even moreso if those things belonged to a creature with magic of its own. Vampires do not subsist on the nutrients that blood provides but rather, they subsist on the magic within that blood.

    Magic performed using blood, bone or viscera can be etiher morally reprehensible (you murdered a random homeless man to use his blood and bone to perform a ritual) or completely morally neutral (you used your own blood to power a quick spell) -- it's all up to the way that the materials (and therefore, energy) was gathered.

    This is, obviously, a finite source of energy. You can only use a bone so many times before the energy stored within it is used up and it becomes magically inert.

  • The Divine Font
    This is magical energy directly from the Divine. If the magician's power is granted to them via a God or some other Magical Patron (a Fae, a Demon, etc.,) then that's the Divine Font. This can be an incredibly dangerous form of magical energy, depending on the deity called upon to provide the power.

    Someone who relies on The Myriad Eyes for their magical power, for example, will gradually become corrupted by its influence and eventually, lose their free will. It's strength is partially determined by the belief of the wielder but also by the power of the being itself. If, say, using energy from the Primordial God of the Hunt, that's essentially infinite. If using energy from a minor demon? That's pretty finite and will need to be supplemented by an External source.

  • Fate
    I have not totally figured out how this source functions. It relies on manipulating the tapestry of fate to create/destroy potential futures and using the energy released by that disruption to create the magical effect. Not exactly evil but it's not considered morally good to destroy a future without creating another in its place. This is really common for really high ranking Fae to use for certain forms of magic.

  • Natural Spirits
    This is kind of like the Divine Font but calling upon the various spirits of the world to enact the magic for you. The magician isn't really the one creating the magic but they are directing it. They're more of a conductor than anything.

Types of Magician

  • The Ritualist
    The ritualist relies entirely on Blood, Bone & Viscera along with Faith/Belief -- and sometimes, a little bit of The Divine Font. There are no real entry requirements for ritual magic, literally anyone can practice it and it's the most common form of magic in the NCverse.

    A Hermetic Mage or Medieval Alchemist would have been a Ritualist. A modern-day Wiccan who relies on her candles and calling on her gods/goddesses would be a Ritualist.

    The notable thing about Ritualists is that they can't really access the Internal Flame -- which is the kindling for every other kind of magic -- and they can't channel any of the other Sources of Power...
  • The Natural
    Any human magic user who can kindle their Internal Flame and channel magical energy is a Natural. They're frequently called Witches, too. A Natural can create a magical effect by simply reaching inwards and pulling forth their internal energy to, for example, create a gout of flame or make the ground in front of them turn to slick ice. Generally, the Internal Flame is only used to "spark" the magic and the Natural will Channel something else to give the magic most of its power.
  • The Spiritualist
    The spiritualist usually relies on Natural Spirits for their magic but may also rely on the spirits of the restless dead to perform their magic. They are capable of lighting their internal flame but not of fully channeling the less...sapient sources of energy. They may also channel from the Divine Font.
  • The Supernatural
    A being whose very existence is magical. Faeries, demons, angels, and etc., are all Supernatural creatures who have access to their own forms of unique, inherent magic. They're innately tied to the Threads and are capable of manipulating them naturally...

    Most supernatural creatures belong to this category...except for ones who belong to the following category.
  • The Dead
    Vampires, liches and other forms of undead are all cut off from the cycle of reincarnation and as such, are cut off from accessing the Threads of Power. Vampiric magic is powered almost solely through a combination of the Internal Flame and Blood, Bone & Viscera -- though there are vampires who were Naturals in life that learn to channel other sources (psychic energy, spirits of the restless dead, the divine font). Liches are almost always powered by some form of Divine Font.