Subject: [CAP] Herold-Magic Report
Newsgroups: alt.dragons-inn
From: cobalt@inferno.com

Btw, [CAP] will stand for Capitol of the nation.

               The Structure of Magic on Ifreann
             As compiled by Master Scribe Herold
          In the service of his Majesty, King Duart
        For the King's Eyes Only, Upon Pain of Death

   Your Majesty, this manuscript is the first installment of my report
on the strange new happenings in our world.  You requested a detailed
report on the structure of magic, psionics, deities, and other
metaphysical subjects as they relate to our world of Ifreann.  This
report deals with the structure and working of magic.  It has been
recently reported that new mages have arrived on our world wielding
strange new magical abilities.  Abilities that none of our people or the
guilds understand.  Through intense research I was able to discover the
   Magic on Ifreann is based on the use of various sources of power to
perform feats of unreality.  These feats of unreality can take many
guises.  They can take the guise of a man flying, a woman becoming
invisible, a child becoming a mouse, or any number of other feats that
for all intents and purposes, should be impossible, but are not.  These
feats of unreality are brought into being by the manipulation of these
power sources.
   Lifeforce is the foundation for all other power sources (in some
cases it is the only power source used).  The ability to manipulate any
external power source requires the use of one's own personal power
source.  In some cases this personal expenditure may be crippling, in
others it might even be so insignificant as to be beneath one's notice.
Lifeforce can be used for healing and creation, or the lifeforce of
others can be used for death and destruction.  One can use their
personal lifeforce for death and destruction, but it is extremely taxing
(even for those that seldom feel its effects).  It is more common for a
mage not wanting to steal the lifeforce of others to create items of
enchantment able to store lifeforce.  These items can then be used at a
later time when lifeforce is needed.  Those spells that are used for
healing and creation are sometimes commonly known as priest spells.
Spells that are used for death and destruction are known as mage spells.
 Regardless of what a spell is called, it demands the manipulation of a
power source.
   Manipulation of a power source requires skill for the most part.  On
occasion this skill is substituted by instinct.  Instinct is a result of
breeding, and certain bloodlines can be found to have a rudimentary
ability to manipulate these power sources without ever having had any
formal training.
   Innate ability allows one to somewhat use raw power.  This raw power
is focused by words of power.  Their effect is both quick and
overwhelming.  Examples include a word of death or stunning.  Their
major drawback is their taxing nature.  Once cast, these power words
drain their castor of life energies that can lead to extreme fatigue.
For the most part though, skill is required for the manipulation of a
power source.
   Skill allows one to weave spells.  Spells usually involve the powers
of death and destruction or healing and creation.  Spells of death and
destruction are relatively fast to cast.  Their effects are short lived
(usually a burst of some type of energy), but the after effects are
devastating.  These spells involve such things as destructive force,
natural and unnatural disasters, and necromancy.  Spells of healing and
creation take a relatively long time to cast.  These include such spells
as those of scrying, healing, communication, travel, illusion, plant and
animal spells, and enchantments.  The most time consuming items to
create are those that are enchanted (capable of holding a spell or the
effects of a spell indefinitely).
   Enchanted items are made over a long period of time.  They are used
as a catalyst in the spell casting process.  They are also used as
batteries for casting their own spells.  Thus in many cases one need not
have any skill in manipulating a power source.  They simply aim and
shoot.  Enchanted items that heal and create are coveted above all
others as they require the longest time expenditures in their creation.
Before an enchanted item can be created one needs to be taught the
proper skills of power manipulation.
   Magic is taught by various guilds as well as on an individual basis.
Each college (school of thought) of magic teaches the manipulation of a
specific possible power source (s).  Each college requires different
skills that may have no relation whatsoever to another college of magic.
 This is true even if both colleges of magic are capable of producing
the exact same effects.
   As a footnote, there is also the absence of magic, better known as
anti-magic.  This usually involves blocking either one's innate ability
to use magic and the abilities of one that is skilled in power
manipulation.  Blocking someone with an innate ability a very simple
procedure for someone of any skill.  Someone blocking another of true
skill is near impossible.  Only those of the greatest skills can block
those of little skill.  This is only true if the other mage is aware of
such an attempt.  If caught unawares, a mage can find him/herself at a
major disadvantage as they attempt to re-establish their contact with
their power source.
   As far as the mage guilds of Ifreann are concerned, there are but a
few known power source and few ways of manipulating them.  It is
apparently obvious that this is not the case.  I am unsure if there were
just these original types of power sources in our world before others
arrived, or if the strangers have brought these new power sources with
them.  Whatever the case may be, these new power sources do exist and
can be manipulated given the proper skills.  Below is a quick
description of two of the better known sources as I understand them.
   Two of the colleges of magic are Circle Magic and Blood Magic.
Circle magic relies on ley lines of power.  Ley lines are currents of
power found throughout the known world.  Where lines intersect, a nexus,
there is a greater concentration of this power.  A nexus gives a mage
tremendous powers.  Usage of a nexus leads to depletion of these lines
of power, and thus others can detect such large outputs of power.  With
enough skill, the output of power can even be located.  For the most
part this college requires little personal lifeforce to manipulate its
power source.  Of course this is not the case when there are no ley
lines to draw from.  The Fhae royal bloodline is known for its innate
ability to manipulate these ley lines.   As with any innate ability
though, they find this very taxing to perform.
   Blood Magic uses the lifeforce as a power source in combination with
innate ability.  One must first have an innate ability to perform Blood
Magic.  At first all castings involve power words (sometimes a burst of
desire satisfies this requirement).  With increased knowledge comes the
skills needed to better economize the use of their lifeforce and the
ability to weave spells.

            Penned by,
            Master Scribe Herold
            Under the service of his Majesty, King Duart