Contrary to popular belief, magic is not about exerting your will. If that's all it took, there would be lots more lottery winners around the world. It would be a daily occurrence. Instead, those in the know realize that magic is a consequence of Passion. Properly channeled, anything can be accomplished by Passion. A man may fall out of a plane at 20,000 feet and land with nothing more than a slightly sprained ankle. A grandmother may lift a 2-ton vehicle off of her grandchild. Passion is what makes things happen, not will.

Which is not to say that it's easy to make magic. Certain feits may require minimal Passion, so little that the emotions which call up the magic aren't even recognized. But there's still the trick of calling up that Passion to consider, and there are millions of different ways. By song, by stone, by dance, or by blood, these are the ways in which magic is made.

The Three Schools

Magic is traditionally described, among those who truly use it, in terms of 3 Schools: Sorcery, Magery, and Wizardry.

Sorcery uses components of some kind to invoke the Passions and provide the Quiddity required to power magical effects. Magery uses the Mage's own Quiddity, which powers the feits and invokes the Passions. Wizardry gets its power from the world at large. All magic-users, that is, individuals who use magic as their primary tools for getting along in the world, use an Art in one of these Schools. They may know feits from other Schools, like almost every other Noom in the Coil, but their Raptures come from an Art associated with a particular school. Rare is the Maestro who uses Arts from different Schools.

In game terms, every School specifies details about how magic is created: what the costs and difficulties of a spell are and the special mechanical features of an Art in the School. Further details explaining how these are used can be found where building Feits and Raptures are detailed. These details are described below.


Motes Beyond Threshold Passion Cost
1 1
2-3 3
4-6 6
7-10 10
11-15 15
16-21 21

Tom has a Clear TH of 3. When he attempts a Feit with a base difficulty of 5, which is 2 motes beyond the TH, he'll have to pay 3 motes of Passion to power the Feit.

Sorcery uses physical components of some kind to provide the Quiddity for its effects. Gestures, actions, and words are all components too, but the mandatory component is something physical. Arts within the Sorcerous School have Focuses that define the exact nature of the components involved.

Sorcery is the largest School of the three, because it is so simple, and doesn't require the extensive training that Magery or Wizardry require to focus their practitioners' energies. Simply throw some things together, say a word or two, and voilĂ  - magic. This is the least "Passionate" School: since Sorcery draws its energy from components, very simple Feits are activated by very small amounts of Passion, equivalent to miniscule portions of a mote. This is actually another of its draws, and why it's common in popular Feits. It's also popular because it's the fastest School, and a well-prepared Sorcerer can throw a feit in a second or less. This makes the school ideal for those who have excellent memories, who need only memorize the Art's formulae and make sure to have components handy. Most commonly known Feits come from Sorcery, for the same reason.

The greatest attraction to Sorcery, though, is the simple fact that it's near impossible to do too much. Since the Sorcerer doesn't provide the Quiddity, there's no danger of too much moving through a frail body. The most common danger associated with Sorcerers is simple a hoarding, pack-rat, OCD sort of behavior, where they obsess about collecting their components to the exclusion of all else. At that extreme, it's difficult to get a Sorcerer interested in or involved in anything.

It is not the best School, however, for complex Feits or any kind of Rapture. Those effects are simply too complex for the energies it controls. Very few Maestroes of the Sorcerous Arts have the skill and creativity needed to succeed in the complex. In addition, once the energy of the components is used up, the effect fades, which means that sustaining magical effects for any significant time is impossible. Once an effect has faded, the Feit must be thrown again.

Feits Raptures
Minimum Passion Cost 0 3
Base Words 3 1
There-level Cost 0 +1 Difficulty
Yonder-level Cost +1 Passion +1 Difficulty, +1 Passion
Common Traits Hoarding, Entertainer, Pharmacist, Memory, Thief, Obsessed
For Feits, difficulty is normal until the base difficulty reaches 4 (or a lower Clear TH), after which there are hefty Passion costs, as listed in the table at right. This makes sense; components can only hold so much Quiddity in themselves, and the rest must be channeled into the effect by Passion. Some Sorcerers are learning how to get around this problem by using certain kinds of Complications, most notably sacrifice.

Sorcerers and Mages:

Sorcerers and Wizards:


When a Mage creates a magical effect, she uses the Quiddity within her own body, activated by her Passion. As a result, the Focus of a Magery Art specifies what kinds of effects she can create, as if the Focus was the Numen of her Art. A Sun-Focused Art would create light and solar effects, such as creating light or fire, spurring plant growth to greater levels, or perhaps even inspiring happiness, an emotion associated with light and the Sun. A Technology Focus could affect technology and manipulate data contained on technology, or possibly even turn the Mage into a datastream for travel along data lines.

Magery is the middle child of the Three Schools, as it's lack of dependence on outside forces makes it very attractive. The Mage always has what he needs to work his magic. It's convenient that way, but also fairly flexible within the limits of its Focus. The Mage is capable of sustaining his spells, though not for as long as Wizards can. And they're highly sought after in upper-crust homes, bringing in sizable salaries. Because of the way in which their magic works, they're fairly cheap sources of magic (no expensive components or dangerous life draining to worry about) and security, and they almost always have excellent first aid skills.

The biggest down side to Magery, and the main reason that it's not a popular as Sorcery, is that it's draining. A few significant Feits in a row, or a good-sized Rapture, and the Mage could be down for a week recuperating. If she pushes herself too far, she could even cause herself actual damage. Magery is also a bit slower than Sorcery, though still fast enough to be useful in a firefight. Unless the Mage is very skilled, accessing the deep parts of oneself to manipulate the flows of Quiddity takes a little time and effort, and most of the training for Magery involves meditative and other techniques for accessing that state quickly.

That said, there is a greater danger. The greatest danger facing a Mage who does too much is that they'll lose all Passion, perhaps even the Passion for Life itself. At lower levels of burn-out, Mages become depressed. In the larger cities of the Plasm, you can often find starving former Mages sitting next to food left for them by kind motherly types, oblivious and uncaring of its existence. Returning a Mage back from the brink of death by burn-out is difficult and time-consuming, and though they've trained to recognize the signs and know when to stop, sometimes it happens anyway. Organizations have been established by the [[daedalus|Daedalus Foundation]] to return these poor individuals to health and find them a new vocation.

Feits Raptures
Minimum Passion Cost 1 1
Base Words 3 3
There-level Cost 0 +1 Passion
Yonder-level Cost +2 Passion +1 Difficulty, +2 Passion
Common Traits First Aid, Security, Martial Arts, Nanny, Tutor, Beautician
Because Magery is so heavily dependent on Passion, Mages have discovered additional methods for focusing their energies. Complications are common with Magery Arts to help lessen the steep Passion costs.

Mages and Sorcerers:

Mages and Wizards:


Wizards are well known as the elite of the magic-users. All other things being equal, the Wizard can do more, simply because the power behind their spells comes from the world around them. Similar to the Sorcerer because the energy does not come from himself, and similar to the Mage because their source is always with them, they are, almost without exception, very well respected, if not liked. They're the smallest School, though you might expect their prestige to operate in their favor. The problem is that it's a very exacting school, as the potential to damage the world at large is very great. The institutions which teach Wizardry set very high expectations for skill and ethics, which means that most students end up leaving because of the workload, or because of simple failure.

A Wizarding Art channels motes from the world around them, using the Wizard's body as a kind of resonating board to create vibrations which result in a Feit or Rapture. Their Focuses tend to be seen in meditative techniques which allow them to open up and become the channel for magic: an Herb Wizard might have to smoke the herbs or inhale certain incenses to channel, while a technowizard reaches his trance state through programming his spells. Wizards can sustain their spells for the longest time of the three Schools, since they have a whole world to help power them. And because of that support, they're also capable of producing the most powerful effects, given time. Given time, they can also usually figure out how to do anything. Seeing the world as a possiblility tangle, they are the most adept at turning those possibles into reality through Raptures.

But that is not necessarily all it's cracked up to be. As a Wizard prepares his spell, he's drawing in Quiddity fromt he world around him. As more and more Wizarding Feits or Raptures are created, the energy level of the area continues to drop. In extreme cases, he may even accidentally draw from the people around him. They're not very good for more than one or two strong spells, so their value to organizations and individuals tend to be in their very precise sensitivity to the world around them. Without much difficulty, Wizards can tell you how many people are in the area, what they're doing, what the local [[glossary#ley|leys]] are doing, and what kind of weather and animal activity to expect in the next day or so. On a purely science level, they're excellent statisticians and prognosticators, in the mundy sense of the word.

Other downsides to Wizardry include the fact that if their concentration is disrupted, very bad things can happen, and that concentration can often take a long time to develop. They're not moving deeper inside themselves like Mages, but deeper out. Their abilities, while usually always available, can be negated by energy-poor areas, storms, and other environmental effects. There are very few Wizarding Maestroes capable of channeling during a tornado.

The greatest danger to the Wizard himself is, like the Mage, trying to do too much. However, unlike the Mage, the Wizard is pulling Quiddity through his body. Though certain colors of Quiddity in very high concentrations might create fire or lightning, ghostly sounds and effects, or weird gravity effects, pure Quiddity is the stuff of life, and too much of it does one thing: activates a person's Z-Chromosome. In a fairly flashy manner, the Wizard's Numen manifests, and strongly. This is the source of the old tale of Wizards turning people into frogs - in all likelihood, it worked the other way around, and a Frog Numen Wizard pulled in too much, and turned himself into a frog.

Feits Raptures
Minimum Passion Cost 0 1
Base Words 3 6
There-level Cost +1 Difficulty +2 Difficulty
Yonder-level Cost +3 Difficulty +4 Difficulty, +1 Passion
Common Traits Sensitive, Environmentalist, Snobbish, Prognosticate, Investogator
Wizards master the difficulty of their magic by entering ever deeper trance states. What this means is that they process the Quiddity they're channeling slower, and thus take more time. While a Sorcerer can throw a Feit in seconds, even a simple Wizarding Feit may take minutes or hours.

Wizards and Sorcerers:

Wizards and Mages:

Feits, Raptures, and Chants

A feit, pronounced like fit, is a spell, and as funny as it may sound, people describe casting these sorts of spells as "throwing a feit". These are spells that have been discovered and perfected, and that anyone can do. Don't mistake their common presence as a lack of power, though. There are some fairly common feits with great power, and rarer ones that have weak and very specific effects. Think of them like software; powerful programs exist that anyone can use, as well as difficult-to-find applications with a very small niche of users. The defining factor is that they've been taught and used over and over again with constant results.

Raptures are spells too, but spontaeous, off-the-cuff casting which have not been formalized into feits. When a Maestro needs to cross a raging river but doesn't know a feit that will help, she can weave a Rapture instead. With practice and research, a Rapture can become a feit, but that often takes months for even the simplest Rapture. Due to the nature of the Plasm, a Rapture may be woven even though there are countless versions of a feit to accomplish the effects the Maestro needs. The problem is that the Maestro may not know it: just because feits are standardized does not mean that everyone knows all of them. There really are only a few that nearly everyone knows - Glowspit, which creates a glowing spiral for light, Firefinger, which creates a painless flame at the end of the thumb, Seeming, an illusion to make someone appear more or less human, and other such common uses.

Arts and Schools

Feits and Raptures are wrought through Arts, which are particular ways in which magic is created. Sorcery, for example, includes innumerable different Arts. There are Sorcerous Arts, for example, which use herbs, potions, gems, animal parts, songs, poems, dances, or even places. Every Art belongs to one of the three Schools, and is defined by a number of traits.

Every Art has a Focus, which determines the nature of the Art. The Focus of:

defines the nature of the components required.
defines the kinds of effects it can create.
defines the way in which Quiddity and Passion are channeled.

Any defined Focus can be used within any School. A Focus of Herbs, within Sorcery, indicates that herbs are used to create the feits and raptures. In Magery, the effects are all related to plants, perhaps limited to only those things that plants can do or that affect them, and in Wizardry, the herbs provide the means for trance states and channeling energy, perhaps by eating or smoking them.

An Art also has a Tenet. The Tenet is the idea or philosophy on which every other aspect of the Art depends. It explains why and how its particular style of magic works, and guides the ways in which in it used. Tenets may be simple or complex, a mere phrase or paragraphs of complex reasoning and ideology, but even the most complex are commonly described in a phrase that summarizes the thinking of the Art's Maestroes. Often, Tenets are explained in terms of equality: this is the same as that, and one of those terms is often magic itself. Other Tenets describe actions or relationships which make the world what it is, and they're phrased as The world exists because of this. A third common metaphor defines the Tenet in terms of identity with the Maestro himself, with I as one of its terms, and this mystic approach is particularly common among Wizarding Arts.

Next: Deeper into Magic

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