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Author Topic: Official Mage Wars Lore: The Laws of Magic  (Read 3465 times)

Sabrath_Kell

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Official Mage Wars Lore: The Laws of Magic
« on: September 21, 2015, 11:44:47 PM »
This time around, let’s take a look at how spells and spellcraft work within the Mage Wars Universe. Some parts of this have been covered in other posts, but I wanted to post a thread that encapsulated the full scope of magic to be more comprehensive and searchable.

In the Mage Wars universe, magic power derives from the Realm of Voltari.

The Realm of Voltari exists around all other realms (planes of existence). To visualize, imagine all the universe as a kind of magic sponge — that’s the Realm of Voltari. The holes in the sponge are places where physical realms exist. (Etheria is one such place, as is Infernia).

Spell Power: Mana and V’Tar
Magic in Etheria taps into the sponge of Voltari -- the essence of magic is drawn in and distilled it into what the Schools of Magic call mana. In layman's terms, mana is "diluted Voltari”, meaning its safe enough to be channeled, stored, and reshaped into spells or items.

Although it is rarely done now in the Modern Age, it is possible to draw pure Voltari essence, called V’Tar, which is far more powerful and not distilled. Ancient artifacts, like the V'Tar Orbs or the V'Torrak were created using this kind of power to form and fasten their magical workings.

The Law of Magic
The Laws of Magic refer to understanding the workings of Voltari essence. Much like the physical laws that govern the physical world, the Laws of Magic govern the nature and manipulation of Voltari.

These laws were discovered (or at least passed down) to the mortals of Etheria, first by the Elemental Lords to their chosen, and then by the New Gods to their adherents, worshippers and followers. It should be noted that the Elemental Lords worked primarily with V’Tar, and passed that knowledge along to their creations (such as the dragons). The New Gods established a system of distilled magic, using spells that were fueled by mana. This system, and its more stable, organized hierarchy, is still widely used across all the nations (ie. the Six Major Schools of Magic).

The Magical Matrix of Voltari
All spells start with a magical matrix, a framework around which the Voltari essence builds. This Matrix can be disrupted, and if it is, the spell itself is negated. Once the Matrix is fully formed, depending on what type of spell the Mage is casting, it will swell with an influx of mana (or V’Tar), and fashion itself into a spell type — a creature, a conjuration, an incantation, etc.

This is especially true of Enchantments, since the matrix forms around the object it is targeting. Unlike the matrixes of Summoning or Conjuration spells, the Enchantment matrix can remain hidden and dormant, until the Mage who casts it determines it should have its effect.

Summoning
One of the most pronounced differences between the Laws of Magic and the laws that govern physical reality is the ability to Summon a creature.

When a Summoning spell is cast, the Voltari essence involved creates a magical construct of a creature that exists. It is entirely a real creature, with its own mind, life essence, knowledge, etc.

For example, if a Mage summoned a Timber Wolf, that Mage is creating a magical copy of a Timber Wolf. This construct is every bit as powerful and vulnerable as a real wolf, and it behaves and acts like a real wolf. (The wolf is not “picked up and teleported out of some nearby wilderness.”)

These constructs are not clones of some “perfect” specimen of Timber Wolf. Rather, each summoned Timber Wolf exhibits slight variations from summoning Mage to summoning Mage: they may have distinctively colored hair, eyes, fur patterns, etc. The basic species is being replicated, but not in specific detail.

However, there are some real and significant differences.

First, the magical construct’s mind is attuned to obey the commands of whomever summons it.

Second, it has a temporary existence, and will dissipate back into magical energy after a given time, particularly when the Mage mentally “lets go” of the link on the construct’s minds. (This usually happens at the end of an arena combat for example).

Third, if it dies during combat or while still attuned to the summoning Mage, its corpse will remain for awhile before dissipating later. (Allowing necromancers to make use of these clone corpses during the course of a battle.)

A Mage can easily learn creature spells from another Mage, during their time at an Academy or Spell School, and without having ever seen that particular creature before.

Summoning Legendary Creatures
Summoning creatures (whether they are common or rare) is a replication process. Summoning legendary creatures (meaning a specific creature) is something a little different, and draws upon other Laws of Magic.

When a Mage summons a legendary creature, he is creating an actual clone construct of a particular, singular creature. For example, he is not creating a generic Timber Wolf, he is creating an exact duplicate of Redclaw, Alpha Male.

To do this, a Mage uses the power of Voltari to borrow from the essence of a real creature, a process which de facto creates an attuned connection between the Mage and the summoned Legendary creature.

Because of this, two Mages in proximity to each other cannot cast the same specific creature spell at exactly the same time. Their mental attunements interfere with each other, disrupting the magical balance that summoning and controlling a creature requires. (This is why only one copy of a Legendary creature can be summoned at a time.)

It is theorized that Mages separated by great distances can summon the same legendary creature at the same time, possibly because the mental attunement at such lengths does not interfere.

In any event, the summoned clone has no connection to the actual creature, in that if it is harmed, or dies, or gains some powers in the arena, its real-life counterpart is unaffected. Conversely, if the actual unique creature that the spell is based upon dies, the copy is not affected, and even more bizarrely, the spell can continue to be cast.

These strange improbabilities and paradoxes have made “The Ethics of Legendary Summoning” a hotly debated topic among Wizards of Sortilege, as well as many followers of the Holy Gods, particularly Bim-Shalla.

Conventional Magecraft teaches that in order to learn Legendary creature spells, a Mage needs to have actually met and bonded with that creature at some point. Sistarran Professors point out that a Priestess might do this with volunteer subjects, whereas a Warlock might capture a victim to create his spell.

This is an over-simplification; the truth is that some Mage at some point had to have met the subject of the spell, and to have found a way to bind his/her/its essence to a summoning matrix. However, once crafted, the spell can be passed down, with the newcomer Mage ever having met the original subject of the Summoning. Because of this, it is theorized that Legendary creatures and heroes from earlier ages are possible to summon, although they are long since dead.

It should also be noted that very powerful beings from outside the Etherian Realm (like Adremelech, Lord of Fire) are not summoned in the fullness of their power, but are summoned as a “shadow” or “aspect” of their true self. Summoning beings of this magnitude requires very high levels of spellcraft, and often, a combination of mana/V’Tar.
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Moonglow

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Re: Official Mage Wars Lore: The Laws of Magic
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2015, 01:38:55 AM »
Love it...  I'd be interested in the next step to summoning which is the reannimation.  By this logic its recreating a corrupted or distorted replication of the previous summoning.  This would mean that undead is more a descriptor than it being a literal summoning of a dead creature.  However, summoning undead is just that in line with the usual summoning explanation.

Techinically in game terms this means that as voltari is all around, the summoning matrix for destroyed creatures, or your spell book and hand is 0-0 zones from the caster ;)


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Re: Official Mage Wars Lore: The Laws of Magic
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2015, 09:22:50 AM »
Very very very interesting, especially on the Legendary. Can this be extended to Unique and Epic creatures?
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Sailor Vulcan

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Re: Official Mage Wars Lore: The Laws of Magic
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2015, 04:52:58 PM »
Love it...  I'd be interested in the next step to summoning which is the reannimation.  By this logic its recreating a corrupted or distorted replication of the previous summoning.  This would mean that undead is more a descriptor than it being a literal summoning of a dead creature.  However, summoning undead is just that in line with the usual summoning explanation.

Techinically in game terms this means that as voltari is all around, the summoning matrix for destroyed creatures, or your spell book and hand is 0-0 zones from the caster ;)

Well yes, because you're actually holding your prepared spells in your mind, and as far as I know, your spellbook isn't necessarily in the arena with you unless you're playing Academy. (See the box art for regular arena sets vs academy box art and you'll see what I mean.) Not sure I buy that about the discard pile though. I'm guessing it means that the summoning matrix for a creature is left behind for a little bit after the creature dissipates?

Btw, what about the limit to the number of copies of each spell you can cast per duel? Do you have to prepare the spell matrixes ahead of time before invoking them during the duel, and you only have limited time and/or resources to do that, or something like that?
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Re: Official Mage Wars Lore: The Laws of Magic
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2015, 04:35:30 AM »
It could also be rules of Arena itself (i mean number of spells).

Very nice article. It would be cool, to get onto them right from the main page of Mage wars, not just from forums.

like here: http://www.arcanewonders.com/the-mages-of-etheria (this really need an update :) )
or here  : http://www.arcanewonders.com/story-and-lore
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exid

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Re: Official Mage Wars Lore: The Laws of Magic
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2015, 09:26:32 AM »
Very nice article. It would be cool, to get onto them right from the main page of Mage wars, not just from forums.

+1

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Re: Official Mage Wars Lore: The Laws of Magic
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2015, 08:59:03 AM »
Thematically speaking, why can equipment only be cast on mages and not on other creatures?
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Re: Official Mage Wars Lore: The Laws of Magic
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2015, 02:03:50 AM »
To be quite honest, I feel like the lore is being written with too much intent to make the game play rules make sense. When I read lore, I want a rich and flavorful explanation of the world were fighting in. You don't have to make every rule in the game make sense. I.E: "if a creature dies during combat or while still attuned to the summoning Mage, its corpse will remain for awhile before dissipating later. (Allowing necromancers to make use of these clone corpses during the course of a battle.)" This statement is so forced and trite that it kinda ruined the whole article for me. It could just have easily said that the necromancers or Etheria call upon used construct energy to craft again his creatures of darkness after the have dissipated from the arena. In fact, I would rather the idea of summoning actually be summoning the creature it's self because I don't want to be the guy who play fights shadows of something cool, I want to be the guy who tames the power of Adramelech himself and calls him to do my bidding.

The explanations about the spell matrices are kinda interesting because it actually flows with game play mechanics of the enchantments, it doesn't feel as derived as to why legendary creatures are legendary. These are the kinds of things that don't need explanation. A creature is legendary because you can't have two of them, and the reason you can't have two is because they are legendary! That may seem over simplified but not every game play rule need a story based reason. Just let lore be lore and game play be game play.

I could say more but I think I've over-made my point. I'm not saying it's necessarily bad but I feel like it's a missed opportunity to just let the imagination take over and really write about the magic of Etheria instead of justifying the rulebook.
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Sailor Vulcan

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Official Mage Wars Lore: The Laws of Magic
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2015, 12:59:38 PM »

In fact, I would rather the idea of summoning actually be summoning the creature it's self because I don't want to be the guy who play fights shadows of something cool, I want to be the guy who tames the power of Adramelech himself and calls him to do my bidding.

A rift opened in the arena, allowing an incursion into our realm by the great and powerful king of demons and lord of fire himself. The spectators screamed in terror and fled, trampling over each other in their desperation to escape. Adramelech pointed his cruel finger at them, and they caught fire one by one. He turned to the warlock who had summoned him.

"Human."

"Yes, my lord?"

"Why am I here?"

The warlock gulped. He couldn't say it.

"Answer me!" the lord of fire boomed. "WHY AM I HERE?"

"To help me destroy that pathetic priestess over there?"

Across the arena, a Priestess of Asyra was shaking in rage and fear, glaring defiantly at the Lord of Fire and the heathen who had summoned him.

Adramelech pointed his cruel finger at the priestess. She screamed as she burst into flames, and all present knew that no water could stop her from burning.

The Lord of Fire turned back to the warlock.

"You thought you could control me? ME!? I am Adramelech! Lord of Fire, and prince of the Arraxian Crown! I will never serve a mere mortal. I am your master! Obey me! The warlock only nodded and said, "Your wish is my command, my lord."

"Good. Very good. In that case, hold still..."

He pointed his cruel finger at the foolish Mage who had summoned him.

"I no longer have any use for you now..."

In his last moments, the warlock desperately wished that things could have been different. If only he could have summoned a mere shadow of his master,  he could have used that to kill his enemies. A shadow would have been just as lethal to those he fought as the real thing but without all the liability of collateral damage and spectators fleeing the stadium before they could see him triumph.

The warlock burned. The Lord of Fire laughed.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2015, 01:06:01 PM by Sailor Vulcan »
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Re: Official Mage Wars Lore: The Laws of Magic
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2015, 06:48:58 PM »
Hey, your writing has really improved in the time you've been here!  :D Nice work.
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Sailor Vulcan

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Re: Official Mage Wars Lore: The Laws of Magic
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2015, 07:17:30 PM »
Hey, your writing has really improved in the time you've been here!  :D Nice work.

Thanks! If you were talking to me, that is. Not sure if you were talking to me, or Sabrath. Maybe both?
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Re: Official Mage Wars Lore: The Laws of Magic
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2015, 08:47:48 PM »
You! Your confidence could still use some work, though  :P
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Re: Official Mage Wars Lore: The Laws of Magic
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2015, 10:28:03 PM »

You! Your confidence could still use some work, though  :P

Yeah. I suspected you were probably talking to me but I wasn't sure.

My confidence levels aren't really that well calibrated are they? I find that overconfidence tends to be more dangerous than underconfidence, though, although the difference might seem bigger to me because I'm better at being less confident than more confident. I don't really know precisely how confident I should be in myself in general.

To be honest I've spent SO much time trying to write long stories that I could never finish, since you can't really be published as an author on short stories alone. As far as I can tell, people are much less likely to read what you write if you just write short stories, essays and poems but no novels, films or plays. Or at least that's what it seems like to me based on what I remember having read on the Internet, what I remember people telling me, and that I never hear people talk about their favorite short stories but I still often hear about novels...
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Re: Official Mage Wars Lore: The Laws of Magic
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2015, 01:31:47 AM »
If i remember right, some books are just collection of short stories :)
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Re: Official Mage Wars Lore: The Laws of Magic
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2015, 08:03:11 PM »
The warlock burned. The Lord of Fire laughed.
The Lord of Fire then said to itself,
"How am I supposed to go back?!"  :o