Magical forces run the Planar System. From being the most important strategic element to any battle, to supporting the existence of entire planes, without magic the planar system would not just be boring, it would die.
So where does magic come from? What exactly is magic? What does it do, and how does a person use it? The answers to these questions are long and involved.
- 1 Where does magic come from exactly?
- 2 So what exactly is magic?
- 3 What does magic do?
- 4 How does a person use magic?
- 5 If magic is in another dimension, how does it affect us?
- 6 Magical Mechanics and Measurements
- 7 Wizards
- 8 Spell Techniques
- 9 Areas of Magic in Progression of Complexity
Where does magic come from exactly?
Not even the Crystals could tell you where it comes from. Magic is just there. It's always been there, and it always will be. What is known is where magic is now, and where it's going. Magic is in another plane (the Magic Realm) from the place where everybody lives, the Physical Plane. It very closely borders the physical plane, so it is possible to sense, manipulate, and observe magic. All magic slowly moves towards the Crystals, and in some cases quite quickly.
The Crystals themselves are magic, so they control magic as if it all was an extension of their body (which, in a way, it is.) To keep the rules intact, the Crystals intercept all magic before it enters the planar system. They then alter it, or "taint" it, to suit their needs, and distribute it as desired within the planar system. Therefore, all magic in the planar system comes not from its original location, but from the Crystals themselves.
While moving through the magical realm, magic tends to clump together. Magic will move along in what is known as strands. These strands can be collected, stored, separated, and manipulated as desired. Ley lines are huge concentrations of magic strands so thick and heavy they actually emit light energy into the physical realm. Many ley lines exist outside the planar system, but none exist within it. The Crystals ensure all magic is evenly distributed. That is, except, for light and dark magic.
Light and dark magic are kept within the Crystals themselves. It is not allowed to float freely in the planar system. When a follower of a Crystal wishes to use its respective element, the Crystal will then hand the magic to the follower through that person's soul. This process will be explained later.
So what exactly is magic?
Magic is magic. If it was completely explainable, it would be science. Magic is capable of seemingly impossible things, including having come from nowhere. Magical energies actually have a kind of innate personality, and any adept wizard could easily describe the different types of magic. Magic is composed of the six different elements: earth, wind, water, fire, light, and dark. Each element has a different personality to it.
Earth magic is cool and laid back. It's very patient, but somewhat slow moving. Wind magic is anxious and excited all the time, it's the most energetic. Fire magic is passionate and has a temper. Water magic is persistent and flexible. Light magic loves to comfort and protect others, whereas dark seeks to hurt and dominate. Each element is related to spells that involve its element, as well as more complex spells. For example, fireball uses all fire magic, whereas meteor uses earth and fire magic together.
Do not be mistaken. Magic strands are not intelligent in any way. They cannot think, they cannot make decisions, and they cannot reproduce. Magic is not alive… at least in its original form. The personalities do affect things however, such as Affinities and Mystics.
Aether is not a strand of magic. It does not flow in the magical realm, and it has no personality. The aether is the fabric composing the magical realm. Skilled wizards, with great effort, can actually tear out a piece of the magical realm and force it into the physical one. This piece of another dimension is extremely unstable and must be carefully and precisely controlled with magic. Even the most powerful wizards cannot contain an aether spark for long. Once released, the spark will do its very best to return to the place from which it came: the magical realm. During its journey it will take any and all magic in the physical realm with it. Since everything in the planar system is constructed from magic, this has disastrous effects. Ultima silently and swiftly converts all matter in a given area into magical strands. The only sign Ultima went off is a green-blue sphere of energy that lasts for about ten seconds before dissipating. No spells besides containment spells can affect aether sparks. It is impossible to defend against. Ultima does not harm demons or beings that simultaneously exist within the magical realm (such as crystals). Angels and Shadow-con are reduced to their crystal forms. Everything else it touches is completely obliterated. Aether spells will be elaborated on in the school section.
What does magic do?
With magic, it is possible to do anything. From changing the time line, to changing physics, magic makes all things doable. The problem is figuring out how to do it all, and getting around the obstacles that prevent magic use. The simplest types of magic are the base elemental types, and those are learned first. From there, elemental strands are strung together to make ever more complex spells. Eventually, so many elements are used that it becomes almost impossible to tell how much of each element was used.
The largest obstacle to learning new forms of magic is simply time. New spells must be researched through trial and error. Much like cooking, the perfect taste (the spell) can only be created with exact measurements. Add a little too much, and it's all ruined. Magic chefs, wizards, must constantly start a spell over from scratch to achieve new levels of aptitude. So, while everything is possible, spells take forever to develop and usually aren't widely shared, so progress is slow.
The other barriers are supernatural forces out of the control of planar wizards. The god of time (Chronus) disallows all magic that would affect the time line. The Crystals themselves place limits on magic when they taint it. All magic within the planar system is tainted unless specified otherwise. Tainted magic has a few special properties:
- It cannot create new souls.
- It also can't alter dimensional fabrics or the protective barrier around the planar system that keeps demons out.
- Wizards using tainted magic cannot teleport to a destination outside the planar system (dimensional rifts are impossible).
- Tainted dark magic cancels out tainted light magic and vice versa. Dark and light magic do extra damage to the users of the opposite element (who are distinguished by their soul) because it is tainted. Pure light and dark do not cancel out, nor do they burn the other.
- Tainted magic cannot damage or otherwise alter Mount Theruathsel.
- Directly convert matter back into magic without the destructive use of Ultima or similar spells.
- Tainted magic does not stick together very well. It is considerably slicker than pure magic and is repelled from itself, so it will not naturally form into ley lines. Crystals constructed from tainted magic will also slowly decay. This property helps keep an even distribution of magic.
- Tainted magic, obviously, cannot purify other tainted magic. Pure magic can return tainted magic to normal.
How does a person use magic?
All races live exclusively in the physical realm. Their bodies cannot interact with magic strands. However, every being (besides monsters) has a soul. Souls are completely separate from the body. It is a sort of separate creature. Souls have very simple instructions from the Crystals. They copy what their "body" does and records what the body thinks. They copy everything. Then, when they and/or their body sustain too much damage (because the soul also copies damage done to the body) the soul leaves and heads to the nearest Crystal. The Crystal then absorbs the soul and reads the memories. Those memories are then used to allocate score to Solaris and the Abyss. It is also important to note that the copying is not one way, that the body also copies what the soul does, just not what the soul thinks (as it is mindless).
Unlike bodies, souls can interact with magic. They live in the magical realm, and never leave unless torn out. So, the trick to magic use is to use your soul to manipulate magic for you. The problem is, souls are incredibly weak. They cannot move much magic before getting very tired (which makes the body very tired as well.) Also, most people of most races cannot see through their soul's eyes. So they'd be casting blind, which is impossible as each spell is different. Being able to link with the soul enough to see through its eyes is something a person is born with, and cannot be trained. This greatly limits the numbers of wizards in a population. Souls can also see other wizards' auras (which is essentially a concentration of magic), which comes in handy when gauging opponents.
Details on souls can be found in the Soul Magic section.
If magic is in another dimension, how does it affect us?
Magic causes reactions in the physical realm when compressed. When magic strands rub together or are pressed together, some sort of effect will occur in the physical dimension. When untainted magic compresses naturally it forms a solid crystal. Magical items and objects can easily be identified by wizards as magical because of the reflection in the magical realm. For example, if wizard A casts fireball, wizard B would see a clump of compressed fire magic heading towards him, as well as a flaming ball of fire hurling at him. If wizard B is particularly adept, he could cast a dispel, which would separate the fire magic strands before it struck him, thereby removing any effect the compressed magic would have had.
Magical Mechanics and Measurements
Magic is constantly being researched, and new things are discovered all the time. However, certain patterns have emerged and are universally agreed upon.
Souls like magic. Nobody knows why, but a magic user's soul will force certain amounts of magic to stick to it. This magic is usually only of a single type, and is the type is referred to as the soul's affinity.
Through careful experimentation, wizards discovered the depth of an aura (measured in Aura Levels) is related to the distance a soul can move magic before getting tired (mana) by the simple relation: 1 AL = 4 mana. This relation is invariant across all races with the exception of mages, where 1AL allows the mage to move 5 mana.
Mana is the perfect measurement of how quickly a soul gets tired. When a wizard has moved their maximum mana (Aura Level times 4) casting spells becomes impossible. In other words, if a soul's aura has a depth of 10 ALs, then after the soul moves magic strands a combined distance of 40 mana the soul can no longer cast spells.
Mana is regenerated as the soul rests. Souls only rest while the body is asleep or meditating. In order for full mana to be restored, a wizard must meditate for 30 minutes or sleep for 8 hours. For some reason yet to be discovered, wizards can only meditate and regain mana once every day (after they sleep until they sleep again.) All further attempts at meditating result in no mana regeneration.
Note to game masters: I've found that allowing a wizard to channel ½ their aura level in mana every round is a good guideline for maximum spell strength.
Wizards are the core group of magic users. Wizards use the ability to see through their soul's eyes to grasp and manipulate magic strands. They do not rely on armor or conventional weapons, and they spend the majority of their time in magical studies.
Wizards learn magic in schools. If a wizard does not learn magic in a school or from a teacher, only the very most basic spells are possible (and they are called a sorcerer). The major schools of the planar system are the Dark and Light Magic schools, located in the Abyss and Solaris respectively. Neutral planes also have magic schools but, save Indigo, none of these schools even come close to the quality and mastery that the Dark and Light Schools offer. The following is a general outline of how magic is taught. For specifics of how each empire handles it, the articles on their respective school should be read.
Magic training starts in high school and can continue as long as graduate school. The first year of schooling is to teach the student the basics of magic and is tedious and very boring for the students. Students spend hours upon hours practicing how to meditate, trying to grasp simple magic strands, and learning math and history while they're at it. After the bare basics are learned, they are taught their first spells near the end of the freshman year. Freshman graduates have an average aura level of 5-8.
The second year the teachers focus their students on learning the basics of the elements and invocation. Simple elemental spells are learned such as Fire Bolt and Thunder Clap. At this stage, all students must learn all elements, despite desires to do otherwise. Sophomore graduates usually have an average aura level of 13-15.
The third year the students learn various methods of casting spells, as well as a few spells that demonstrate the casting methods well. This is the time when wizards learn how to cast direct-to-target spells, runes, and rituals. Still, nothing but the very elemental basics are covered. Junior classmen typically graduate with an aura level of 15-20.
The senior year of high school is finally where the Schools of Magic are introduced. The first semester introduces classes that give all students a rundown of the various magic schools, so all wizards have a basic knowledge of what each school is like. A few basic spells from each school are taught. The second semester gives the student a bit more freedom and allows them to focus on one school or skill they particularly enjoy. Fourth year students are supposed to graduate with an AL of 30, though the actual average is slightly less than that (25-27.)
After high school, students are evaluated on their magical talent and one of two things occurs. If the student has a robust aura and good grades, then the wizard is sent to the University of Magic (housed in the same building). There the wizard chooses a school of magic as his or her specialty, or one as a major and another as a minor. If the graduating senior does not have sufficient magical talent or poor grades, he or she is then immediately drafted into the armed forces and usually becomes a battalion level wizard. Most wizards are unable to get into university.
During the four years of university, wizards learn spell after spell after spell, and are taught advanced tactics and casting methods. Here group spells and skill specialties are taught. Quick Casters, Rune Wizards, Archangel and Hellforge Knights, and any wizard with expert knowledge of a school of magic all must have attended college. Graduates from college, much like their high school brethren, have two possible directions. If their aura is strong enough and has enough potential, and their grades are good, then the student can continue into graduate school. If not, the graduates from university usually are placed in Special Forces or wizard-oriented military units. University students graduate with an average of around 40 AL. Very few wizards proceed to graduate school, due either to lack of skill or wish to use their new found power. Note: very few human wizards can achieve an aura level of 40. Fewer than 1 in a million humans can achieve this level of power.
In graduate school, even more advanced spells are taught, and often spells kept secret from all other wizards are bestowed upon the lucky student. The largest part of graduate school, however, is learning how to research magic. Students assist their professors in constructing new spell weaves, testing various casting methods, and even researching spells of their own. In order to graduate, a wizard must produce a new or improved spell and have it approved by committee. After graduate school, most wizards continue to research magic or become professors. Some, however, join elite military units. Students that pass graduate school usually have ALs of 50 or more. The small increase in AL from their university counterparts is because of racial and personal aura level limits. After awhile, it just becomes too difficult to improve and most students do not have the time nor the willpower to reach their personal maximum.
This education system is by no means concrete. Exceptions are made all the time for many members. Even though an AL of mid twenties or higher is expected for university, if a student wishes to be a hellforge or archangel knight, a quick caster, or a technowizard, allowances can and frequently will be made. These sort of exceptions run rampant through all levels of the magic school. For example, if a student has graduated from a normal high school, they may even take college level normal classes while taking high school level magic courses.
Special course plans are made for hybrids and monks. Hybrids (magic users who also specialize in combat skills, such as hellforge or archangel knights) are given less magical classes in exchange for several courses in fighting and combat. Many hybrids need additional years of schooling and will take two years of specialty school after graduating from high school. Hellforge and Archangel courses are also offered at a college and graduate level. Monks receive no magical courses whatsoever, and also get no academic electives. All their time not spent learning standard topics such as history is spent practicing their monk skills. Monks must spend years upon years meditating, growing at peace with themselves, and learning to distrust reality. For this, monk student living quarters are completely separate from the typical dorms. Monk students do not even begin to learn martial arts until their second year of high school. To become a monk of even moderate skill going through college is required, and many monks continue to take classes for almost their entire life. Light and Dark mystics are also taught at their respective schools, but dark mystics receive far crueler and harsher training than their light counterparts, who are more or less taught like monks (for details, consult the ninja and light mystic articles).
In order for most spells to have any use, they must be transported into the physical realm. While a ball of fire magic in the magical realm does nothing at all, a ball of fire in the physical realm can char your enemies. How does one force magic to move from the magical realm to the physical one? To put it simply, magic must be tied into knots. The wizard must grab the appropriate types and amounts of magic strands, tie them into a knot, and then tighten the knot. Once compressed to a certain degree, the magic will then convert into its physical form. What spell a wizard gets depends on the type of knot, which magical strands are used, and how many knots are involved. Learning advanced spells is very difficult because the wizard must memorize which knot to use, where to use it, and proportions of elements. For all spell casting techniques, careful concentration must be maintained. For spells the wizard considers difficult, the wizard may say a chant to help him or her concentrate better. The chant has nothing to do with the spell, and merely helps the wizard stay focused.
There are many different methods of casting spells. Casting methods all have their advantages and drawbacks, and must be carefully decided upon by the wizard. The three main methods are: invocations, Ritual Magicrituals, and rune craft.
Within each spell casting technique, there are two ways of choosing a target for the spell (or rune's spell): Emanate from Self (EFS), and Direct to Target (DTT). Both DTT and EFS spells require line of sight to work, and DTT spells will take slightly longer to cast.
Areas of Magic in Progression of Complexity
Earth, wind, fire, water, light, and dark magic are all considered elemental magics. They are taught first and are taught separately. These magics can be used to control and manipulate their respective element, as well as things like the element (water magic can make acid, for example.) Without knowledge of the elemental magics all other schools of magic are impossible. Light magic can only be used by servants of the Golden Sun, good dragons, and solars. Dark magic can only be used by servants of the Iron Fist, evil dragons, and Mythos. Some wizards choose to specialize in one element. Such wizards are called elementalists (or combat wizards), and are feared for their fierce combat abilities. The elements are all technically categorized as evocation or conjuration spells.
Evocation is calling forth the power of magic to completely destroy something. Evocation contains any spells that seek to directly kill or injure a person, or destroy a target object. Most evocation spells are elemental in nature, as more complex spells would not be mana efficient. Wizards that specialize in evocation are either referred to as combat wizards or evocationists.
Conjuration is making something from nothing. All spells that generate matter with magic are included in conjuration. Conjuration is one of the simplest schools because of the base use of elements. If a wizard presses earth magic together he will get some form of earth, be it pebbles or dirt. The complexity of conjuration comes in controlling the shape and exact composition of the thing that is summoned. Wizards who specialize in conjuration are known as summoners.
Although technically part of conjuration, elemental summoning deserves special note. Through complicated and unique conjuration spells, wizards can reach through the cosmos and call forth the power of an elemental. The targeted elemental is pulled from their home plane (which is different for each type of elemental) and forced to where the wizard is located. The elemental must then be controlled by a type of enchantment spell known as binding. Binding the elemental forces it to obey the wizard's every word and will. Enchanting elementals is considerably easier than enchanting races (such as humans) so bindings are remarkably low-cost mana wise. Once the binding spell dissipates, the elemental will usually return to its home plane. The elemental can also, of course, choose to remain where it ended up because of the summoning. Many wizards have learned the hard way to treat elementals with at least some degree of respect less the elemental decide to stay and get revenge for its mistreatment.
Gravity magic is an intensely complex use of wind and earth magic. Gravity magic creates or manipulates gravitic fields, and is very hard to control properly. Most wizards do not learn gravity spells and gravity is not required for any other school. Gravity is not considered a school on its own, and its spells can be grouped into the other schools accordingly. It is primarily researched on Indigo, due to its importance to maintaining the plane's structure, and to a lesser degree, the defense of the plane.
Abjuration is the art of changing the properties of something to make it better. Abjuration also includes spells that temporarily change physics and planar constants for specific objects or areas. Many abjuration spells are commonly referred to as "buffs." An abjuration spell could make a sword sharper, lighter, on fire, or all three. Abjuration can also change people by making them stronger, smarter, or better in any way. Abjuration spells vary in duration and can be from two seconds to permanent. Abjuration spells do not change the fundamental properties of the object it affects. Even though the sword is super sharp, light, and on fire, it is still a sword and is made out of metal. The sharpness comes not from the sword itself, but from the spells affecting the sword. Abjuration is commonly referred to as "enchanting" and "enchantments" by commoners. Wizards know better and some are annoyed by the ignorance of the masses. Teleportation spells modify the "location" property of an object, and therefore fall under abjuration.
Transmutation is making something into something else. It is the magic that fundamentally changes the properties of something. Transmutation can make wood into metal, man into beast, and iron into gold. The most advanced forms of transmutation can actually allow a person to mimic magical abilities of races and (sometimes) monsters. The school is distinct from abjuration as a transmutation spell is often permanent, lasting long after the magic used has dissipated.
Illusionary spells are designed to realistically reproduce various effects using magic. Generally, the point of illusions is to deceive the target into believing something that isn't actually true. Therefore, illusions merely have to duplicate the sensory inputs of what it is trying to mimic, instead of actually producing the full effect. For example, if a wizard wished to duplicate a fireball with illusion, the target would see bright light, feel heat, and smell smoke. Should the fireball strike the target, the target will actually die as if struck by a fireball. The major downside of illusions is that the target effectively has two dodge/resist rolls. The reason illusions cause effects is because the mind of the target truly believes in the illusion, and therefore (much like a monk ability) fools the soul into believing a reality that doesn't exist. The flaw is, if the target disbelieves the illusion then the illusion fails to work. So, not only does the target get a typical resist, but he or she also has the chance to disbelieve. For example, although it is possible to make a person able to fly using illusions, suddenly being able to fly would make most people doubtful. As soon as the person began disbelieving, they would no longer be able to fly. Illusions can become extremely complicated, and are very arduous to learn and use. Also, illusions never work on the caster unless mind magic is also employed (to make the caster forget.) Should an illusion be fired as a bolt, there is no effect at all until the bolt strikes the target. The bolt appears visually as a multicolored haze, depending on the illusion. Bolts tend to be disbelieved more often. Illusion is still very useful, as it is generally easier to create the illusion of a huge monster than to actually create said monster. Communicators and many other technowizardry based devices used on Pallis and Indigo often employ illusion, since the majority of people on those planes simply accept that magic devices work.
Enchantment manipulates the mind. For this reason, enchantment is often referred to as "Mind Magic." Enchantment can change memories, cause hypnosis, force people to bend to the wizard's will, and all sorts of other mental effects. Powerful enough mind magic can actually override basic instincts such as need for food and water, or fear and pain. For obvious reasons, wizards who practice enchantment (enchanters) are one of the most feared types of wizards. They can force someone to tell their darkest secret, to betray or even kill their loved ones, or force amnesia. Because the mind is an incredibly complex thing, enchantment is extremely difficult and often takes extra years of schooling to come to any type of proficiency. Also, spells must be custom tailored for each individual species. Although enchantment could force a human to lie quite easily, it would be difficult to force a minotaur to lie and impossible to force a solar to lie merely because of how their brains are composed. Therefore, variants on all enchantment spells have to be produced to account for race. Research into enchantment is slow and tedious because of this.
Necromancy includes any spell that exclusively deals with the soul or the magical realm. Necromancy is the only school whose spells never enter the physical realm at all. Because all necromantic spells take place in the magical realm, targets of the spells always have a chance to resist. Necromancy is famous for its ability to raise undead. However, this is only a small aspect of the school. Dark magic users often use necromancy as a supplement to their spells, allowing them to bind shades to corpses and generate undead. Although these spells are typically included under this spell school and are often referred to as necromancy, they are actually primarily conjuration. Some necromancy spells include: altering a soul's memory, freezing somebody in place (by binding their soul), rendering a wizard incapable of casting spells, temporarily reduce a target's mana or aura level, bind an unwilling soul to a corpse, remove all of one type of magic from an area, etc. Because of its associations with undead and its overall difficulty, necromancy is the least researched spell-school in the planar system.
Divination is using magic to extend, modify, or add to a person's senses. Weaker divination spells could be confused with abjuration and have effects such as enhancing hearing, X-ray vision, etc. Still, the major portion of divination is in its ability to tell the past, present, and future, regardless of the location of the caster. Divination is the most complex spell school, and is the most difficult to master. Many wizards debate whether divination is even worth pursuing because of its difficulty and lack of rewards. The future can be divined, but is often inaccurate and hazy. Only the best divination wizards can make clear, accurate predictions. Present time is the easiest time to observe through spells such as Scry or Astral Projection. The past is somewhat clouded, and can be misinterpreted depending on the emotions or viewpoint of the person/object being read. Oftentimes divination wizards must give creepy, abstract, and vague descriptions of what they see. Most divination spells can only be performed as rituals, since the complexity of the spell knots makes it very difficult to cast otherwise.
Aether magic is the most deadly and uncontrollable of all magic types. The school of aether is the practice of using and controlling the substance of the aether. Aether is the fabric of the magical realm, the essence of magic itself. It is devoid of element, and has only a single function: to destroy. An aether spark, when torn from its proper place, must be contained by powerful magic. Once released, the spark returns to the magical realm, taking everything magical with it. Because the entire physical realm is compromised of magic strands, all things are vulnerable to Ultima and similar spells. Thankfully, the spark eventually stops pulling the surrounding area back into the magical realm. A spark of aether the size of the nail on a pinky finger can evaporate an area equivalent to a high-explosive grenade on Earth. No spells or physical barriers can protect someone from the effects of an aether spark. The only defense would be to "catch" the spark, contain it again, and toss it back all before the spark went off; a nearly impossible feat. Because of the Earth Wars, where entire armies were wiped out by a single wizard skilled in the school, Ultima, the school of aether, and any research into aether have all been banned. Solaris and the Abyss will both hunt down and kill anybody attempting to practice this forbidden school. Because of its illegality, this school is the most difficult to practice. If it was legal, it would still be on par with divination in difficulty. Demons are completely unaffected by aether spells, as their matter is not composed of magic.
Magitech and technowizardry are not schools of magic, but a specialized application of the schools. Magitech are complex machines that rely on magic to work. Technowizardry is the art of creating and maintaining magitech. The idea behind technowizardry is to create objects that can have magical effects, but are amplified and simplified by the application of technology. "Magitech is magic for the masses" as one company motto goes.
The difference between items enhanced by abjuration (commonly referred to as "enchanted") and magitech is slight, but notable. The major difference is that magitech uses technological achievements to do parts of the work. For example, a rod could be enchanted to shoot fire, but only wizards would be able to activate it as the rod would require a magical trigger. Should a magitech gun of the same use be created, pulling the trigger with your finger would set off a magical battery which would then shoot the fire. Although considerably more complicated, magitech does allow for the every-day person to enjoy the benefits of magic.
There are two major styles of magitech: Indigan and Pallin. Indigan style focuses strongly on the technological aspect of technowizardry. Indigan technowizards employ abjuration magic to force changes in physics in small areas to allow for more efficiency. The overall goal of Indigan style is to use magic as little as possible, and where it is used, as consistently as possible. Every single Indigan piece of magitech has a detachable battery that can be recharged with wind (lightning) magic. This battery powers the entire device, which is usually mostly technological in nature. Because of its high reliance on technology, poorly made Indigan magitech will sometimes fail to function when moved to another plane. Quality Indigan magitech has runes on it that, should physics change, will return the item to a functioning state. However, this puts extra strain on the battery. Inside an Indigan magitech item there are often a multitude of runes that regulate various aspects of the machine. Should an item breakdown from overuse, simply waiting thirty minutes will often fix the problem.
Pallin style technowizardry is influenced heavily by their unregulated economy and culture. Pallin magitech relies more heavily on magic and less heavily on technology. Generally these items are more typical enchanted objects with an added automated trigger. For example, an Indigan fire rifle would use its air battery to keep a high pressure tank of a flammable fluid, and would have a small fire at the front so when the fluid was ejected (also by air magic) it would create a flamethrower. On the other hand, a Pallin fire rifle would have a fire magic battery that would merely discharge its load when you pulled the trigger. Pallin equipment is easier to construct, and simpler to use and maintain, but has none of the benefits of standardization or quality control that Indigan equipment has. It is possible to buy a Pallin lightning pistol of high quality, walk across the street to a different vendor, and buy the same product of much lower quality. Non-wizards have a very difficult time telling the difference between the two, especially when they are often priced similarly.
Monks and Soul Magic
Monks are mental masters of their souls. Souls copy everything their bodies do, but the body also copies everything the soul does. Monks use this loophole to add unique skills and abilities to their repertoire. The basic concept is that a soul reads the memories and nerve input that the body receives, and records them objectively onto itself. From these records, the soul then mimics the body. So, if a monk trains himself to falsify these records, he can exceed his typical physical limitations.
Falsifying the records is easier said than done. Monks must have perfect mental clarity to achieve their skills. An example of how far a monk must go to trick its soul is this scenario: A monk wishes to crush a rock into powder by clenching it in his fist. The monk must ignore the presence of the rock in his hand, ignore the resistance of the rock to his fingers, and not just believe but know that the rock isn't really there, and his hand is closing on empty air. If the monk truly achieves all these feats, he will crush the rock into a powder effortlessly. The soul would never have registered the existence of the rock as fact, and would have acted as if it wasn't there. The body would have copied the soul.
In order to achieve this amount of mental conditioning, monks must practice meditation and train for huge spans of time. A typical monk can train for many years and receive no special abilities whatsoever.