The Science of Magery
by Sage Hawking
When someone mentions the word "magic" it usually conjures images of a powerful mage hurling lightning from his fingertips, or perhaps a man in a tuxedo and top-hat. The magic of today's Britannia is far more complicated. There are mages today who study magic their entire lives, and still barely scratch the surface of the knowledge to be had.
Let us start with the most basic fundamental of magic: Ether. Ether is a noncoporeal substance which permeates everything in our world. It exists in everything, be it rock, flora, fauna, or sky. It allows living beings to manipulate reality in a paranormal manner. Take for instance an apprentice mage casting the fireball spell. On the outside, it appears that the mage is causing the fireball to fly to its target, but this is not the case. The mage is merely manipulating the ether in such a way that the air itself bursts into flame.
Magic only allows the mage to affect the ether to cause change in the world around him. These changes always take place within the laws of physics, which define our universe. Magic does not allow the supernatural to happen. Any magic spell can be explained in terms of physics. Since any living being can affect ether to some degree, magic has become commonplace here in Britannia. There are places in the universe which have no magic, such as Lord Britishes homeworld called Earth.
I have spoken with Lord British, and have read some books on the subject of Earth. Apparently, there is little to no magic on Earth whatsoever. This can only be caused by one thing: Earth is not permeated by the Ether. Instead of following the ways of magic as we Britannians have, the Earthers were left with only their own wits. Over time they constructed a great many machines. I even heard tell of a machine that allows one to fly without any sort of balloon. Surely, the Earthers have a greater knowledge of physics than we. Though Earthers have no knowledge of the Ether.
In her book "My Story" Sherry the Mouse tells us of Lord Britishes encounter with the Time Lord. Most scholars have read this work, as it is a finely written discourse, however the author claims to be a mouse! In this story, a benevolent entity known as the Time Lord comes to Lord British, and esplains that our entire world is just a duplicate of another world. Strong words.. but that does not make them any less true. For many years Scholars and mages alike doubted the veracity of the tale.
Today it is widely accepted, though unfortunate, that our world is but a reflection of another world. Firstly, the lack of Shards from the Gem of Immortality on our worlds has remaind a mystery since the destruction of the same. It is our understanding that the Gem could not duplicate itself. Secondly, there is a strange shortage of Blackrock in our world. Though it be a special substance, it is formed by geology and our foremost scholars in the field cannot explain its abscence in natural places, such as mountains. We assume that the Gem was not able to duplicate the blackrock buried deep within our world. Lastly, The ether itself flows geometrically. The Council of Mages spent much time trying to determine why the ether behaves in this manner. According to our present understanding of ether, it should flow evenly throughout the universe. The Geometric pattern of the ether seems to indicate that the universe is crystalline in nature.
It appears that our entire existance was duplicated within the Gem, not just our lone planet. Our two moons, Felucca and Trammel, both behave properly, as do the 8 other major heavenly bodies in our vicinity. Studies have shown that our daylight cycle and our seasonal cycle remain unchanged throughout recorded history. Certainly, the Gem duplicated a large portion of space around Sosaria, but we have no way to tell how far that duplication extends, though we do not believe that Earth was affected by the gem.
With the invasion of Britannia by Minax forces, a whole new field of magical study was opened: facets. Recent developments have lead us to believe that within our shard of the Gem, there are countless other Britannias reflected within the gem. This means there could be countless parallel realities contained within our own reality. Truly, our universe is a gemstone, for all of space-time is contained within this gem. To date, we have only been able to discover 4 facets of our gem. The first is Felucca. Felucca is the birthplace of our existance, tumultuous as it may be. The second was a facet with no name, it is the birthplace of Minax. Today, facet gates to this realm will not achieve coherance enough for a person to travel through. We can only speculate that the facet that was once Minax' home is now devoid of all substance. The third Facet is Trammel. By studying Minax' magie, Royal mage Nystul and Lord British were able to duplicate our facet and impose it onto another facet. Trammel and Felucca are nearly identical, save that because of its artificial nature, ill-will is severely curbed in Trammel. Nystul and His Majesty used the virtues in their incantation, as it was thought to be a barrier that Minax could not cross. The fouth and final facet is that of Ilshenar. The destruction of the Gem had tome catastrophic effects on the land of Ilshenar, though their people seem to have benefitted from it. Their understanding of facet travel far exceeds our own.
The Etherial Void is another topic of importance to the mage. Was it duplicated as well? Why do some souls stay on the mortal plane and other souls travel to the void? In our recorded history, only 5 people have travelled to the void and returned as flesh and blood. I once interviewed a Mr. Alec DeLeon about the Etherial Void, as he was one of those 5:
Earlier I mentioned Blackrock, and the lack of it on our world. Blackrock is another thing which the informed mage must be aware of. Blackrock is physically similar to obsidian or onyx, but it has a magical property. You see, Blackrock is the only substance that we know of that the ether cannot permeate. The uses of Blackrock could be numerous. A shield made of blackrock would be impervious to almost all magic. Building a room from blackrock would prevent the casting of magic within that room. In addition to its resistance of magic, Blackrock is also a strong substance physically. A stonecutter would only be able to work with blackrock my using magic alongside his normal tools. Unfortunately, there is scarce enough blackrock to make anything. Only a few stone sized portions of it have ever been found.
By way of conclusion, let me put this to your intellect: In the early days, Magic was called magic because it was widely misunderstood. Ancient Sosarians shunned magic, for they believed its use corrupted the souls of the unwary. As time progressed and we studied magic, we came to know how it works, why it works, and how to use it. How then can we say that Magic is still magic? I submit to you that Present-day magic has become a science. The science of Magery.