Emanations of Magic
There are five known Emanations of Magic, each with a difference source that practitioners draw upon for their abilities, including spells. There is some debate over which Emanation is most powerful (each scholar tends to have his own bias) and some dispute whether all five Emanations are actually discrete or if some may be aspects of one another.
Limiting Skill: Mathematics (p. B207)
Hermetic magic derives its power from the concept that the world was created on a mathematical basis that can be affected by understanding those mathematical traits and manipulating them. Hermetic magic focuses on the interaction of the four basic elements (Air, Earth, Fire and Water), illusion and the rational processes of the mind. Hermetic magic relies on a connection with the impersonal Astral energies that flow through throughout all reality.
Places of Hermetic power are known as Nodes, immovable locations in the world where connections to Astral energies are most powerful. The vast majority of Nodes have been adopted by and are defended by a powerful wizard who usually constructs his home around it.
Practitioners of Hermetic magic are generally called Mages and Wizards. Mages tend to be a scholarly and highly ordered individuals, spending decades researching the minutia of Hermetic magic deep inside a guild library. Some few mages, however, prefer to live solitary lives well away from the distractions of society.
Limiting Skill: Theology (p. B226)
Divine magic derives from the power of the Gods themselves, who grant this Entitial energy directly to their devout worshipers capable of channeling such energies. The focus of Divine magic varies depending on the deity granting the power, but usually depends heavily on ritual and/or prayer… only the most devout receive the blessings of the gods, who will only grant their grace when properly called upon.
Places of Divine power are called Hallows and are sanctified either through the prayers of the faithful or by a particularly devout action or event associated with a deity or group of deities. Unlike Nodes, Hallows can be created and often must be maintained through periodic prayer or reaffirmation. A Hallow ignored will fade in power over time, eventually fading altogether (though particularly powerful Hallows may take decades or even centuries to fade entirely).
Priests and Clerics, those who can tap into Divine energies, tend to be somewhat scholarly in nature, though their intellectual pursuits are tempered by a deep faith.
Limiting Skill: Musical Composition (p. B210)
Songweaving derives its power from the spoken (or, more often, sung) word and the creation of music. It is based on the concept that reality came into existence when some entity first spoke, the first tone was created. Songweaving tends to focus on evoking emotions, either in others or using the emotions of the practitioner to affect reality. It is believed that all things, great and small, carry a Harmonic Resonance that can be affected by the practitioner.
Songweaving does not have places of power like other Emanations, though a group of Songweavers can work in conjunction to create a Tapestry from which an individual practitioner can call upon the power of the Emanation. Tapestries are ephemeral at best, usually dissipating as soon as the practitioners have ceased to sing.
Limiting Skill: Cosmology
Sorcery is the study of the architecture of reality and its power derives from the manipulation of its structure. Sorcerers believe that Creation was an act of Will and that a proper application of Will can change the architecture of Creation to the practitioner’s desire. Ritual, study and patterns are important to Sorcerers, but only inasmuch they serve to focus the Will appropriately in manipulating not only how the mundane world works, but creating bridges between the mundane world and other worlds beyond.
Sorcerers have the External Sources Only (External Energy Only) Special Limitation (Thau p.24). To be able to cast, they must be within the bounds of a Source of Power, borrow energy from others or from familiars. Needless to say, familiars are commonly associated with Sorcerers for this very reason.
Gates are the primary places of Sorcerous power, whether they are created by a Sorcerer’s actions or “naturally” occurring in the fabric of the cosmos (though most Sorcerers believe that even these ‘naturally’ occurring Gates were created by some unknown Will). Unlike other places of power, Gates aren't so much ‘regions’ of magical energy as they are defined openings through which a Sorcerer can more easily exert his will.
Unlike other practitioners, Sorcerers can also access the power places of other Emanations. The theory is that places of power are, by their very existence, ripples in the fabric of existence through which a Sorcerer can more easily manipulate the cosmos as it is aligned in that area. Depending on how the place of power is manipulated, a Sorcerer could potentially taint or even destroy that place of power if he exerts his Will there in such a way that is anathema to the Emanation.
For example, a Sorcerer who has gained access to a Hallow can more easily construct a Gate and summon an otherworldly servitor of the deity the place is Hallowed to, binding that servitor to his Will. This sort of sacrilege would likely taint the Hallow, decreasing its power, and, if the servitor is powerful enough, may destroy the Hallow altogether.
Practicing Sorcery is generally prohibited in most cultures. Sorcerers tend to practice their art in secret and, when discovered, are generally hunted and destroyed by other sorts of practitioners. In some areas, even the study of Sorcery is considered dangerous. While not all Sorcerers are necessarily “evil,” the practice of Sorcery tends to be viewed as “Dark Magic” and its practitioners are often executed for no other crime than studying their Art.
Limiting Skill: Naturalist (p. B211)
Nature magic relies on guiding the power of the natural world. Practitioners believe that magical power lies in all living things and that all of existence is subject to its power, whether a god, a man, a rock or even the tiniest of mites. Some practitioners of this Emanation refer to it as the concept of Chaos, referencing a mystical force that existed even before Creation and from which the cosmos was created.
Natural places of power take the form of Ley Lines, which are viewed as rivers, roads or ridges of Natural power through which a Natural practitioner can more easily encourage Nature to move to his desires. Places where Ley Lines actually cross are called Convergences. Practitioners of Natural magic believe that life and, thus, existence itself is stronger at these Convergences and that even unattuned beings can unconsciously ‘sense’ the power in these places, or else the power in these places leads unattuned beings to be greater. Druids will sometimes construct great moments of stone, called Henges, at these Convergences to mark and guard them.
|This article is part of the Feyworld Sourcebook|
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|Emanations of Magic|
|Paths of Magic|