The Nature and Origins of Magic
Forward to the tome The Nature and Origins of Magic by the Archmage of the Olympic Tower, Galthareon, ca. Ruby Age 173
Magic: Just to say the word invokes superstitions of an unknowable and infinitely powerful art. But, if magic is truly unknowable and infinitely powerful, why then do I write this text? In fact why study magic at all? Is it not just there? Is it not just going to happen regardless?
The answers to these questions and many more lie in the fact that magic, specifically arcane magic, is a quantifiable, knowable, discernible, and, in many forms, limited science. As with any known phenomenon, the initial uses of arcane magic trace back to times when little was understood about it. It was many ages before the inner workings of the weave were first glimpsed and many more before the arcane and scientific establishments came to accept the weave as a real phenomenon, worthy of study. Even as I write this, I endeavor to unite the two bodies under a grand unified set of rules, and I seek to further study the weave in order to provide empirical evidence for the truth of my hypotheses and calculations.
So why study arcane magic? Simply put, there are three main reasons. First, the understanding of the science will lead to a greater appreciation among those who enjoy its use on a day to day basis. Secondly, magic is a major determining factor in one status and place in the world. With a greater understanding of magic is hoped to evolve a more widespread usage of arcana and thereby a narrowing of the arcane-prosperity-gap, as modern economists would call it. Thirdly, and this is my favorite point, a better understanding of magic can lead to new breakthroughs in not only its limitations but its uses.
Divine magic is mentioned briefly at points in this text, but is largely outside its scope. While the world of the divines seems to parallel the arcane in many ways, the Gods seem to not be bound by the same limitations as arcane spellcasters. Many have noted the Miracle of Sepulchra as evidence that vessels and servants of the Gods can break such barriers as well. However, eyewitness details of this occurrence are hard to come by, and stories tend to grow larger with the telling. Suffice to say that there is no proof that the Gods’ servitors are bound or unbound by the limitations of the weave, and yet they appear to be so bound, for normal intents and purposes. This originates, according to those who have spoken to a deity directly, from the fact that they are bounded by even stricter rules. Whether the deities themselves impose these rules or their origin is natural is beyond the scope of this discussion.
As I write this forward, I am preparing and planning, appropriately, to send my dear and capable, yet inexperienced, apprentice to a land far west of here. He will spend many months aboard ships at sea, sailing around the rim of the continent to reach this strange and far-off land. Once there he will need to procure the services of one skilled enough in the arcane to be able to arrange for my safe and immediate transport to the area. Although I believe that some of the locals are so capable, it will be his prerogative whom to approach, how to convince them to help, and what kind of payment is necessary and how to arrange it. He may require others of varying talents to help him with this endeavor. However, I am only able to send him with a modicum of gold, which should be roughly just enough to get him to the shores of the city known as Moravia.