Magic in Mechanika
What is magic at its most basic? It is the ability to harness flux, a strange energy that seems to emanate through creatures, objects, and places in the universe. This energy is found in different strengths in different areas, and some areas seem nearly vacant of its presence while others seem to pulse with it. Some items or creatures generate larger than normal amounts of flux. Some creatures, like the Old Ones or the true Fae, produce so much flux, it can cause a grown man to collapse to his knees from its pressure, or simply go mad from its presence. This is the power behind the magic, and since the true Fae and the Old Ones have been on our world it has become a staple of our life.
The Magister, or Magi as they are collectively known, is by far the most common type of magic user among the mortal races inhabiting Mechanika. The Magi study magic and flux obsessively, and dedicate themselves to unlocking its secrets. There is no such thing as truly stable magic; however there are twelve great schools that are considered to be the staples of the magi practice. These schools form the foundation of magic, and are as complex and intricate as they are frightening. To a fledgling magister however, the countless hours of study are nothing compared to the promise of power that magic provides. Those who would seek to become Magi spend years, if not decades, learning to manipulate the flux of their chosen school. What happens more often is those who show promise are recruited by the state, or sent away by their parents to study at a university. Oftentimes this is more out of fear of the child in question, than out of a genuine desire for their child to learn the arcane arts.
Warlocks are those who are born with massive amounts of flux rippling within their own blood. This is due to an ancestor of the warlock being an immensely powerful creature who possessed a large amount of magic. This doesn’t happen to every offspring from every magical creature of the Mechanika world; it’s a rare and strange occurrence. Sometimes, the warlock may have this flux lying dormant in his family line for generations with no idea where his powers emanate from. Warlock’s powers are an extension of his ancestor’s powers and they are referred to as a bloodline. What this means is a warlock whose ancestor was a fire elemental will have powers related to fire. For a fledgling warlock, this can be a terrifying and unexpected occurrence. A warlock always learns of his powers during some kind of stressful situation or physical exertion. This power can choose to manifest itself in horrible and unsettling ways, causing onlookers to flee, or entire towns to regard the warlock as a daemon or worse. Provided a warlock isn’t lynched, he or she can then began to unlock the secrets hidden within, and unlike a magister, a warlock’s powers are finite and more akin to muscle memory then study and knowledge.
Wyrds access strange flux energies from “somewhere else.” The source of their powers is just as much a mystery as the unsettling items they craft, or the bizarre all-knowing creatures that seem to shadow them. The effects they perform are aberrant and frightening, summoning creatures straight from their target’s nightmares, or causing the young and healthy to become decrepit toothless shadows of their former selves. Wyrds utilize complex incantations same as a magi, but without the formal training. Wyrds feel the pull of magic from within, like a warlock, but cannot simply bend that power to their will. Many Wyrds end up insane or dead just from trying to unravel the intricate mysteries of their gift, and many more are hunted down and murdered by secret orders for trying to access forbidden magic.