In the Shadelings universe, we have several different types of magic and rules to magic that are not the norm for many other roleplay sites. The race your character is determines whether or not they can do magic, and their maternal ancestry determines their magical potential. In hybrids, both their mother and father's magic comes together to possibly give a hybrid reign over a different mix of magic types. There are several different types of magic around Alksheist, ranging from spoken to runes to nature and more.
History of Magic
The story of magic starts in Alluum with necromancers. They were the first humanoid race on Alksheist and the first to use magic. They were, and still are, very powerful mages, using three ancient types of magic to their advantage: Necromancy, spoken, and elemental. They were also aided by their talismans, which made their magic stronger. As the population grew, ancient necromancers set out to the then-shallow seas of Alksheist, finding new lands to prosper in. This diaspora of the necromancers led to them evolving into different species.
The first new species to set foot on Alksheist was the wizard. Wizards weren't so different from necromancers and were a common happening even before the species moved across Alksheist. Wizards were similar to necromancers in elemental and spoken magics, but they had lost connection with the dead. With this loss of connection with their ancestors, talismans they attempted to make or use were worthless to them. Only necromancers could use or make talismans. In an attempt to seek out power, wizards (and other magical species) searched for something to amplify their power like necromancers' talismans.
This wild search by wizards around Alksheist led to the discovery of musimite: A rare substance only found naturally on archangel dragons. The material was precious for thousands of years and many people were slain over ownership of the rare stone. Musimite is the only stone which is capable of holding an indefinite amount of energy. This energy can be drawn out (or put in) by mages to amplify their spells and perform feats that would normally be impossible for them to do.
While Alluumnian wizards were searching for their remedy for necromancers' talismans, a new race was forming in Egivelyn. This race became more in-tune with nature and became completely detached from spirits. This race became known as the elf. They're the most diverse of the races, being very flexible on how they adapt to certain climates due to their natural magic. Some elves have completely lost their ability to use spoken magic, most of them coming from one of Egivelyn's twenty-one tribes, but other elves (mainly ones born in Alluum) can still cling to spoken magic with some studying and a lot of effort. Some elves moved to the lands of the north, further evolving into a different species.
The elves who landed in the lands of Anbri and Tatu evolved into fairies and skygge. Fairies originated in Tatu, the elves having grown shorter as they decided to live in the caves of the more-mountainous region. The constant magical flow from the unicorn herds and dragon flocks of Tatu (along with the elves' bonding with these creatures) led to a new race forming: Fairies. They are the most diverse of all the species in their magic; some fairies are purely elemental while others dwaddle in other magics. This diversity is from the diversity of the land of Tatu; their wings an extension of the magic that freely flows there... and also an adaptation from the rough terrain.
The elves that moved to Anbri were subject to digging tunnels. There simply was no other way to live in the godforsaken terrain of the mountainous land. The elves grew accustomed to the dark, slowly losing any contact with natural magic when surrounded by darkness and stone. Out of necessity, these elves were able to begin to control shadows, which set them apart from all other species. Fire was also something they were very in-tune with and drawn to, as it is the element that most skygge -- as the new species was called -- could connect with. These creatures also began to break from the spoken magic of their ancestors, it being the weakest and least-controllable form that skygge can control. Some of the skygge left the tunnels of Anbri and travelled to Alluum or Oudnavi; those that stayed continued evolving.
The skygge that moved from Anbri to Alluum either stayed skygge or bred with elves to eventually produce drows. Drows were the weakest magical species and their magic was eradicated two thousand years ago by the elves. When drows had magic, it was only of one type: Natural or shadow. They were completely disconnected from elemental magic and spoken magic, but their lifespans became greater because of their connection with natural magic-- much like the elves did. Because of the elves' war on the drows, drows have lost their ability to wield magic except in very few children.
The skygge that moved to Oudnavi went through a radical change. Oudnavi is a desert-like land and the lack of shadows made the skygge that moved there disassociate with the shadows. Soon, their elemental magic and spoken magic completely slipped away and they became the non-magical human race. The skygge that stayed in Anbrian tunnels either underwent no change or grew stouter and more accustom to physical labor. These shorter, stouter beings began to rely on physical abilities instead of magical abilities and soon lost all connection to magic whatsoever, devoting all the energy from magic use to physical tasks or intelligence. This race is known as the dwarven race today; a few skygge still live in their ranks, but their magics and looks are radically different from those of the more "primitive" skygge.
With all these diverse magical species wandering about and their non-magical counterparts also living with them, evil was bound to happen. Magic used for no good whatsoever is known as black magic. Necromancers were and are the most prone to resort to black magic; they knowing better than the other species what death was like and becoming desperate for immortality. A necromancer is responsible for the creation of vampires. Humans were enslaved by the dwarves for many thousands of years and a necromancer visiting Oudnavian mines decided to cause mayhem. She cast a spell over the humans in the mines, making them turn into beasts that could only survive on blood and completely unable to enter the light of day. Most of these vampires were male and the necromancer did not take away their humanity. The men's wives would go into the mines and more vampires were born, but these could travel into the sun. Enough vampire hybridizing with humans has led to vampires becoming able to live more comfortably in the day.
Throughout the history of magic and the races, the angel and demon phenomenon became more and more common. Mainstream science has no logical explanation as to how these beings come into existence, but they are aware of the circumstances that will make one of these beings come into existence. In the past, angels and demons were regarded as holy figures and some were named rulers of small colonies around Alksheist. Today, that idea has left modern Alksheist, but angels and demons are still regarded as sacred in more primal places like Egivelyn and Lexelle.
Magic in Genetics
Children who are of magical descent will either have genetics for or against them. Their magical endurance is determined through genetics and the most dramatic displays of power (or lack of power) as related to genetics come from full-blooded mages or from a child hybridized between two exceptionally-powerful mages.
A child's raw power is mainly dependent on the mother's raw power. If the father is a very powerful mage, it is possible some of his magical power will be found in the child-- especially in hybrids. This "raw power" is simply the potential that the child has; reaching its full potential will require hard work and practice. Most of the children who have a lot of potential are not aware of their talent, especially hybridized children since they generally have to learn different ways to use magic. Genetics can work in as an antagonist as well.
Children who have mothers who are magically-inept generally end up with next to no control over magic. If their father is a powerful mage, however, the child may turn out to have average power. A magically-inept child generally has random bursts of uncontrollable magical things happen around them. This is because their mitochondria can only hold a limited amount of magic and when the magic overloads, it comes out in strange ways and is most prominent in small children. Weak mages can prevent this from happening by doing a spell every day and the random bursts will become less frequent once the child enters adolescence.
There are a few documented cases where none of the above rules seem to apply to children. Very rarely, when a child comes from two magically-inept parents, the child can be extremely powerful. It is unknown as to why, but scientists speculate that the mothers of these children had a female ancestor with amazing magical potential and throughout the years, the mitochondria would become less able to channel this energy. Mainstream science speculates that there is a "recharge" period between powerful mages in a family in where mages will become less and less powerful until the mitochondria are "recharged." It is only speculation, especially since documented cases are so rare. The opposite can also happen.
A child can come from two extremely powerful parents and end up having little to no magical power. This is a more common happening and the chance of it appearing in a child is approximately 250% more probable in hybrid children. Scientists know more about this phenomenon since it is more common and the condition is known as Wayweizer's Disease. This disease is where the mitochondria are maxed in power from the parents and when they are passed to the child, they are nearly unable to channel magic due to nearly-constant use by the parents. Wayweizer's Disease is treatable, but very few people can afford the treatment. The treatment is a daily intake of musimite, which helps to overwork mitochondria. After five years of musimite intake, the mitochondria will be more conductive and the disease will be cured. Wayweizer's Disease may also go away on its own, but this usually does not happen until after middle-age and those mages who do outgrow it generally are unaware of their awakened power unless another mage informs them of the power they have.
Hybridizing two races will always have the end result in their children. A child who is bred between a magical and non-magic races, like an elf and a human, will always have no magic whatsoever. A hybrid between two non-magic races, like a drow and a dwarf, will always result in a non-magical child. When two different magical races hybridize, the resulting child may receive both parents' magic type but will often favor one type of magic over the other in that scenario. The child may also only inherit one parent's magic and have no trace of the other parent's magic -- a happening common between a magically-inept couple. The magic inherited in that scenario is almost always from the mother, but in a few rare cases, the father's magic may be the one inherited (especially if the father has more magical potential than the mother). Each magical species and race has a certain type of magic they excel at and some species and races have their own unique kind of magic, but that will be described in the next section. In a magic x magic scenario, a child from an elf and a skygge will have both shadow magic and natural magic, but likely favor one over the other. The mother's race and that race's magic will often be the one favored by the child since magic wears on the mitochondria.
Types of Magic
There are six different types of magic in Alksheist that come from genetics. Each one is different and a few are restricted to only certain species. Magic has evolved in different ways over time, becoming less and less powerful as it dwindled away from its original roots. They are listed here from most common to least common magic types.
Spoken magic is the magic of words. Every magical species has the ability to access spoken magic with varying degrees of success. Spoken magic is the most diverse type of magic and one of the most dependent upon the magical potential of its user. It is also one of the most deadly types of magic, almost always killing the user if they use a spell that is too powerful for them to wield.
Spoken magic is one of the three most ancient types of magic. It was the third discovered by the ancient necromancers and still relies heavily upon the language spoken in that time era. Most spells are in the ancient language known as Polturranen or in the language of the first dragons: Mivphves. It is possible to cast spells in the modern languages of Alksheist, but since words have more synonyms today, it's possible the magic will completely misunderstand what the spell means and do something different. It can also benefit the user; it all depends on the spell and what the intended effect is.
Necromancers and wizards have the strongest connection with this type of magic and are the best at using modern language to cast spells. Other species have to work harder at getting the magic to do their will and usually require some education of Polturranen or Mivphves to be able to control spoken magic properly.
Spoken magic can do anything except: Grant the user control over shadows, manipulate an element (fire, air, water, earth), or travel into the spirit realm. There are different ways of overcoming these boundaries, mainly through other types of magic or creative wording of spells. Spoken magic cannot be used without spoken word. Thinking a spell will not make it happen, but focusing on the end effect when speaking a spell, especially in a modern language, the magic is more likely to do as the user wishes. Spoken magic is one of the most draining magics a mage can use, and doing a spell that would drain the user of all their energy will almost always result in the mage dying if they don't use the proper words that would allow them to terminate the spell.
NOTE: In roleplay, Mivphves is represented by Armenian, and Polturranen is represented by Igbo. Google translate has them, you’re good to go.
Elemental magic is the second most common magic. Every magic species besides demons and inter-dimensional fairies can use this magic. Elemental magic connects a mage to the four elements: Air, water, fire and earth. Every mage is born with the ability to manipulate one element (and one element only) without working at it. This element is known as a mage's affinity element. It is possible for a mage to learn past their affinity element if they have high magical potential and the willpower and persistence to work toward another element. Elements that a mage has to learn how to use are known as affixed elements.
A mage's affinity element, magical potential and their willpower determine how easy or difficult it will be to learn certain affixed elements. For example, a mage with an affinity for fire would easily learn how to use air. Air is fire's natural affixed element (and vise versa). Assume the same mage was attempting to learn how to use water magic. Fire and water are polar opposites and they are each others' unnatural affixed elements. This means that it will be the most difficult element to master, often taking many years to even gain control of the element. Very few mages actually have power over all four elements and fewer still have mastered this power; those who have mastered each are almost certainly an elf or a very powerful mage.
Necromancers are often regarded as the most powerful mages due to their strong ties to many different types of magics, but they are one of the weakest races when it comes to the elements. Elves, fairies and wizards have the strongest connection with elemental magic, and they are the races whom? are most able to learn affixed elements. Skygge have very strong ties to a single element, almost always fire, and are usually the most adept mages of their affinity element. Necromancers are not as connected to the earth as the other races, and, while they have elemental magic, it is very difficult for them to be able to learn and connect with the magic as they do with spoken and necromantic magics.
Elemental magic is renowned as one of the safest magics to the user, and, thus, many mage children are first taught in the ways of their element. Unlike spoken magic, which is directly draining to the mage, elemental magic only takes a toll on the mind, much like learning how to work a complicated math problem. The only serious danger to the mage (besides a migraine from overworking themselves) is losing control of the element and being harmed by it. Many fire mages know this, as their element is notoriously the most fickle to learn, even for those who have an affinity for it. Air mages have swept away entire villages, water mages have caused floods, and earth mages have caused earthquakes when their gets out of hand (though, do keep in mind that only individuals with a lot of magical potential could ever perform any of these feats).
Natural magic evolved when elves did, and thus the fair folk are its natural users. Natural magic, also known as nature magic, is unique to elves and some fairies only. It is exactly what it sounds like: magic that controls nature. It is much like spoken magic, only it does not require the use of words; however, words can help the mage channel their magic. Most nature mages do use words, and they generally sing to help them channel their magic -- thus why elves stereotypically sing to weave their magics.
It is sometimes difficult to know where nature magic starts and elemental magic begins. Since elemental magic is part of nature, many elves excel in both magics. Nature magic controls most anything in the natural world, and it is mostly used in agriculture to help plants grow and to communicate with animals. Mages who have at least a basic ability in each element and who have natural magic are able to do many more things than the typical nature mage -- dry off something wet, control plants, and other stuff.
Like other magics, the potential of the user does come into account when it comes to how effective they will be at using natural magic, though not as much as many other magics. Nature magic requires focus above anything; the more patient the mage, the more the magic will listen and do the user’s bidding. Weaker mages may not be able to do the same range of spells as more talented ones, but they can be deadly with their natural magic abilities if they are focused. Mages who have learned beyond their affinity element will also have an easier time with using their natural magic, especially if their learned or affinity element(s) are water or earth.
Natural magic is like elemental magic in its dangers to the user, although the danger is a little more apparent with nature magic since many mages use spoken word to channel their spells. Without realizing it, the caster can incorporate a spoken magic spell into their nature magic, which can end up being quite deadly. Children are often taught paradoxical nursery rhymes to channel their nature magic for this reason -- spoken magic will not obey a paradox.
Inter-dimensional magic is not a type of magic that is easily understood by those who do not wield its power. Only demons and inter-dimensional fairies have the ability to use this magic, along with a few species of dragon. Since inter-dimensional magic disconnects its user from the living world, its mages lack elemental magic. Inter-dimensional magic allows its mages to literally transcend reality and move into the spirit realm, use the realm in reality and/or harness its energy to do spoken magic. Very powerful mages are able to manipulate the line between realms, but mages with this power are very rare to come by.
Unlike necromancy, inter-dimensional mages are unable to call spirits forth, but they are able to speak with them should a spirit approach them in the spirit realm, or in reality if the mage is strong enough. Inter-dimensional mages who are divines are very useful in spirit summonings; while they lack the necromantic powers that allows necromancers to summon and speak with spirits, they often act as a conduit between reality and the spirit realm to enhance summonings by narrowing the line between reality and spirit realm for the necromancer, or even taking them into the spirit realm to allow them to cast their spells.
Inter-dimensional magic is often used to enhance spoken magic. To inter-dimensional mages, the spirit realm is an infinite store of energy for them to use to channel into their spells. Unfortunately, this connection is not without a cost -- inter-dimensional mages do not have an infinite amount of energy they can use without repercussions. In order to tap into and channel the energy, it costs energy, but this connection still allows inter-dimensional mages to cast more powerful spoken magic than mages without the connection.
These mages are also able to physically enter the spirit realm. Here, they are nothing but black, comet-like shadows. The spirit realm itself is a place beyond physics: to those who come from reality, the entire place is like a blurry dream -- the air itself is breathing and visible. Many inter-dimensional mages report the spirit realm as a place that is entirely red with “breathing” tendrils of blue and white among veins of shadow. While there is no physical sign of the sun in the realm, those who are in it are able to see fine during any time of day. Spirits appear as black shadows floating aimlessly in the breathing sea, and inter-dimensional mages are able to attempt to speak with these wraiths, but there is no guarantee that they will speak back, as many spirits are lost to the times and have gone insane. Also within the spirit realm are spirit cities, which look like black spires and towers encased in a shadowy fog. Not many inter-dimensional mages dare to enter these places, as they are known to be very dangerous and can literally rip the soul from the mage’s body from becoming too disconnected from reality.
Potential does have a large effect on what is possible for inter-dimensional mages. The more powerful the mage, the less likely it is that they will become disoriented in the spirit realm and destroy their soul. Also, moderately-powerful mages are able to use the spirit realm to teleport by entering and exiting it to be in different places in reality -- to lesser and unpracticed mages, this can be catastrophic, but with practice it is as easy as breathing. Very powerful mages are able to literally manipulate the line between the spirit realm and reality, which allows for using the realm as a physical force in reality or creating illusions just from the spirit realm. Some are even able to use the realm as an energy source and channel their very thoughts into magic, but this happening is so incredibly rare that there have only been five documented cases of it since the Dragon Era began.
There are many dangers associated with inter-dimensional magic, from losing track of time in reality to literally destroying souls. Most of these dangers are directly related to magical potential, though they can harm any mage of any power level if they are careless. While the mage is in the spirit realm, it is their soul that is there; their physical body still remains in reality unless they have a higher-than-average potential. (This can lead to some bizarre happenings, like a demon suddenly coming to halt in a crowd as they enter into the realm and fizzling out of existence when they exit.) Time is not the same in the realm as it is in reality, so inter-dimensional mages need to stay in tune with the realm to understand the flow; otherwise, hundreds of years (and their death!) can pass if they are in the realm for only minutes. Also, since the vulnerable raw soul is generally the only thing that enters, mages need to take care while in the realm. Venturing too far from their physical body can cause their soul to disconnect and become lost in the realm while their body goes into a coma in reality. It is almost impossible for a soul to return to its body after this happens. Also, entering shadow-heavy areas, like spirit cities, can literally destroy a living soul. Why this is is uncertain, but every inter-dimensional mage is told to quell their curiosity so they can live to see another day. It is possible for powerful mages to make it out of a spirit city alive, but even for them, it is very risky.
Perhaps even as serious as total annihilation of the soul, entering the spirit realm too often is known to take a toll on mages’ sanity. Potential does matter in this magically-induced madness; mages who can’t even cast a simple light spell have no business in the spirit realm -- not only could they die, but after entering once or twice, they could effectively go insane. Over time, heavy users of the realm will go insane, mostly from paranoia or schizophrenia. Most hallucinate that they are in the realm when they are not, seeing the other realm with their physical eyes and moving through it while they are in reality. There is a scientific theory that theorizes that this is similar to the magical bursts of Wayweizer’s Syndrome, and that the soul is jumping into the realm at random times, but since no ill effects have been seen on the souls of those who experience this, it still remains just a theory.
A very common side-effect of heavy, or even moderate, use of this type of magic is troubling dreams. Powerful mages who enter the realm everyday report unsettling nightmares and prophetic visions, while weaker mages who simply harness the realm’s energy report the same thing. Often, these dreams depict the mage in the spirit realm, looking through “windows” to happenings in reality. There is a medicine to counteract this, but it rids the mage from dreaming entirely, so many (especially powerful) inter-dimensional mages put up with the nightmares.
Shadow magic is a magic type unique to skygge and some fairies, and is widely known as the weakest type of magic. This magic can make shadows solid and shape them according to the will of the user; powerful mages are even able to turn their bodies into shadow. While it is generally regarded as a "weak" form of magic, it becomes more powerful at night and in dark places. The users of shadow magic often use hand gestures to help to focus their spells, although hand gestures and words aren't necessary to make the magic work.
Shadow magic evolved when the skygge did, and it is far removed from the other magics. While it can be used with spoken magic or elemental magic, it is difficult for the mage fuse shadow magic with other magics. Mages with high magical potential are able to fuse shadow magic with elemental and spoken magic to create new types of spells. Since many shadow mages have fire as their affinity element, fusing the two magics can create a black, shadowy fire. Spoken illusion spells can be woven with shadow magic to create different levels of illusions, and even craft dreams with their magic. Most weaker mages are just left to solidify shadow, and they are left with a very narrow array of possibilities to use their magic.
Unlike other magics, shadow magic does not require very much energy. Even the weakest mage can use shadow magic without becoming fatigued. When it comes to shadow magic, there aren't many dangers associated with it for those with poor magic potential. The only dangers lie in spells that physically turn the user into shadow. These cost a lot of energy, and if the spell is not cast correctly, it's possible for the mage to not be able to escape back into their normal physical state and they will eventually die of exhaustion. In that case, there's not even a body left; the shadow will just disperse back from whence it came.
Necromantic magic is also known as necromancy. It is unique to necromancers; not even fairies have access to necromantic magic. Necromancy is known as the most powerful branch of magic, but it is also one of the hardest to control. Magical potential is incredibly important when it comes to this magic, since weak mages have no domain when it comes to necromancy. It is used to call spirits into the physical realm, commune with spirits, raise the dead and it was used thousands of years ago to create talismans and other necromancer artifacts. The spells that were used to create necromantically-enchanted items are lost to time, but there are still a few relics that exist to this day.
Necromancy is the first magic found by the ancient necromancers, possibly because it is impossible for necromancers to keep from. Whereas spoken and elemental magics actually need to be activated in some way, necromancy is an integral part of who necromancers are. It cannot be "turned off", so to speak. Necromancers are continuously using up energy as lost souls are drawn to their presence, as they speak to these spirits and help them move on -- their magic is like an electromagnet to spirits without an off switch. Some necromancers are haunted in their dreams by ghosts, while others have spirits who are like leeches that attach to them to feed off of their magical energy. These energy vampires, as they are known, are some of the few spirits that are able to physically manifest themselves in this world, and are notoriously difficult to get rid of. Usually, the help of a divine is necessary.
Magical potential plays into necromancy unlike any other magic. While weak mages with spoken magic are able to at least cast one spell or another, weak mages with necromantic magic are unable to do anything. Spirits are still drawn to them, and more often than not they are still able to speak with them, but actually casting spells is not something that weak necromancers can do. Since the magic is inaccessible to weak mages, weak necromancers are practically unheard of. Necromancers are notorious for only wedding to other powerful mages, which makes their children also powerful mages. Almost all necromancers have moderately-high or high magical potential, so they can tap into the magic that gave their race its name.
Necromancers with high magical potential are able to tap into their necromancy, but it is a difficult magic to master. Most children are extensively schooled in how to use their magic, and there are special academies around the world dedicated to just necromancer students in order to help them understand how to use their magic. Spells are often cast with a blend of necromancy and spoken magic; raw necromantic magic spells are very hard to control. The spoken magic helps to reel in the necromancy before it kills the mage, and to act as a failsafe in case the mage would lose control on the necromancy. Raw necromancy spells are often cast in a ritualistic manner, with circles, candles, incense -- the whole spiel -- although none of the pomp and circumstance is necessary. What is necessary for some necromatic spells are hand gestures. It's the only magic to require hand gestures (even in only a few spells), although the gestures are very primitive and not specific. Most spells just require concentration; those that do require hand gestures are very powerful spells.
Necromancy is most often used to commune with the dead. Since a necromancer is a walking spirit magnet, they have little choice in the matter when it comes to speaking with spirits. Necromancers also have the unique ability to bring a spirit into the physical realm. This is one of the "simpler" spells in the book, and most necromancer children with high potential are able to master it rather quickly. Bringing the spirit into reality is very taxing, and if the spell is not cut off at a certain point, the necromancer can very easily die from overexerting themself. Also in the necromancy arsenal is the ability to raise corpses. These spells were once used to make slaves for necromancers, but the practice has since died down considerably -- there are still some mansions with zombie butlers, though. Raising corpses is a very delicate procedure that requires special body preparation and binding a soul (or, more rarely, a conglomeration of souls) to the body. It is one of the spells that requires hand gestures, and it can very easily kill the necromancer if their potential is not high enough or they do not have enough energy available.
There are no shortage of terrible things necromancers can do with souls and spirits. One of the most dangerous (and evil) is the ability to take souls and rip them apart for energy to use for other magics. To this date, necromancers who have attempted it have died from an overload to their system. Destroying souls literally destroys them -- they no longer exist in the spirit realm. That person is gone, truly and surely, forever. Any soul fragments that were attached to the destroyed soul also die -- like, say, a living dragon. If their dead rider's soul were destroyed, the dragon would drop dead; their soul would be gone.
Necromancy is like inter-dimensional magic in that it takes a very serious toll on the user's mind. Most necromancers suffer from some form of depression or anxiety, and many have chronic insomnia from the spirits that constantly are asking for their help. While communing with spirits or summoning them into the physical realm are often very good outlets for their mental health, any other uses of necromantic magic can take a larger toll on the mage's health. Raising corpses causes a bond between the necromancer and the soul(s) that went into the corpse, which allows that soul to effectively haunt its necromancer master. Many necromancers also have an inherent fear of dying, which is understandable, and they turn to black magic to keep themselves from becoming another necromancer's plaything.
Necromancers have a negative stereotype attached to them that they all practice black magic. That isn't true, but many necromancers do happen to practice the dark arts. Those that do lose their element and they also get a tattoo on the back of their neck to show that their last connections to the physical realm are gone. Without the elemental anchor, necromancers are able to cast spells of immortality. They are the only magic race or species able to completely become disconnected to the physical realm without dying (like a demon) and become immortal through magic spells. Since ancient necromancers would often enslave the spirits of their enemy families into corpses, the practice of black magic was widespread. Recently, such drastic measures are no longer quite as widespread, but some very, very old necromancers still exist in their paranoia. More often than not, the transition into immortality is very taxing on the mind, and many of those who cast spells to live forever end up committing suicide.
Necromancy is also one of the most energy-draining magics. Like spoken magic, it does come directly out of the mage's lifeforce. Many spells are very draining to strong mages, and weaker mages would probably die from just attempting them. Some of the more powerful spells require the assistance of talismans or musimite to complete. Without the help of spoken magic, most necromantic spells would be deadly to the user, and some still are even with the spoken "failsafe".
In addition to the six magic types that are genetic, there are other magics that exist in the universe. Any mage is able to connect with these magics and use them. Even non-mages can use them if they have the correct resources.
Runic magic is what many people consider a lost art. Runes are an integral part of Alksheist and they are utilized all across the world for a variety of reasons, but many of the original runes were lost to time. The small collection of runes that is known to modern day people is only a small fraction of the runes that used to exist. Runes can be found carved into mountains and metals, still glowing to this day from the power that they hold. Some runes are documented, but without knowing their purpose, they're left to gather dust. Currently, anthropologists know of over seven thousand runes, but only around two hundred are able to be utilized.
The runes that are known to today's people fall into three categories: living, material and binding. "Living" runes are able to be placed onto a living being, by means of carving, burning or tattoos. Material runes can be placed onto fabric, whether by being woven into the fabric itself or simply burned into it. Lastly are binding runes, which can be placed on living beings or material, but most are used for legally-binding documents, like treaties. The people who witness specific runes bound to paper are bound to what the contract says, and if they break it, there are often very bad consequences.
Runes seem to be able to do anything, and how they are able to is baffling to scientists. Where other magics can do some things that runes do, they cannot continue for the duration of a rune. Runes can last for as long as the material they are on endures, and they take magical energy from the air around them to continue keeping up their enchantment. Living runes take energy from the air and also the being they are carved into to make their magic work. Binding runes placed on living beings get the entirety of their energy from the being that it is placed on, so dragons who go against their binding runes are sapping themselves of energy as they do it.
Runic magic can be used by mages and non-mages alike. Anyone can carve runes, and there are special enchanted items for non-magics to use to give their runes power. Mages can carve the runes and then use a spoken spell to activate them. Once activated, runes will glow until the day they are deactivated or the material they are printed on erodes.
Materials and living beings seem to have a "maximum" amount of runes that can be used on them. Why this is so is another scientific mystery. Too many runes on anything will make it crumble into dust. Living beings are much more resilient than materials, but there are stories of people crumbling into ash after having one too many runes tattooed into their skin and activated. Each person and object is completely different; some people can only handle having two runes, while others can handle twenty or more. Objects have a smaller number, with the maximum runes being around five or so.
The couriers are modern day rune masters. While they don't have the ancient knowledge at their fingertips, they are able to ensure that every document is magically binding through the use of runes. The paper they use has enchantments to keep it from eroding after a single rune is placed -- how they're able to ensure that their paper doesn't turn to dust is a mystery to anyone who isn't a courier.
Soul bonds are a special type of magic that everyone can experience. Myth says that everyone is birthed out of a sort of primordial ooze, and from this ooze comes souls. Souls are fragile, they break, they shatter, and they reform through reincarnation. A broken soul will reincarnate into several beings -- one per soul piece -- but what time and place they are born is left to Annika. If two pieces of the same soul are born into the same timeframe, it is said that one will be a humanoid and another will be of a sentient creature. Sentient creatures are: dragons, gryphons, hippogriffs, the giant felines of Lexelle, dire wolves and many other creatures across Alksheist that have access to magic and can learn and communicate in humanoid languages.
Bonding spells are very special and unique spells, in that they do not require energy from the user. Spells cast on eggs of those sentient creatures who lay eggs will halt the creature inside the egg from hatching, and stunt its growth until the day a humanoid with its soul comes along. That day, it can hatch and continue on with its life with its humanoid. There are calling spells which allows a mage to cast a spell across the entirety of Alksheist for its andzkin, or soul partner. If a creature with the mage's soul exists on Alksheist at that time, it will travel across oceans to meet its mage. Sometimes, it takes years; sometimes, it takes minutes. It depends on the creature.
Even angels and demons are able to use bonding spells despite their soul no longer being part of their body. Since their soul is still there, just not actually in them, they are still able to bond to a creature with the same soul. They often don't experience as intimate of a bond as other humanoids do, but the bond is still a very close one nevertheless.
Physical contact binds the two parts of the soul together. When this happens, a rune will appear on the sentient animal, and sometimes it will also appear on the humanoid. Myth says that this is the soul showing its joy for being reunited; science has no idea why it happens. Any binding runes placed onto a part of a bound pair will apply to both parts of the pair, and some living runes will also affect both parts of a soul.
When one part of a bonded pair dies, generally the other part will die with it. This is because the soul was reunited, and it does not break when the other half goes into the spirit realm. Instead, the soul is half in reality and half in the spirit realm, which is incredibly taxing on its flesh vessel. The surviving part of the pair will dwindle into depression and anxiety and finally end up in a state of psychosis. Most also suffer with malnutrition, and are known to die even after mental counselling due to their inability to eat or drink.
Humanoids can have more than one creature that bonds to them, depending on how shattered their soul is. Some humanoids have upwards of five sentient creatures alive at the same time as them. In a system, as multiple bonds are called, if one member dies, generally the other members will commit mass suicide to keep the soul whole.
Black magic is just simply magic used with a malicious intent or to disrupt the natural harmony of things. It can fall into any of the magic categories and can be done through any type of magic. Hexes and curses are two of the few spells that are considered to be black magic. Spells that cause immediate death, nightmares, misfortune or illness are also considered to be black magic.
Black magic is illegal all around the world, but since it's pretty much impossible to charge anyone with it, it still is a widespread problem. Only necromancers bear any physical signs of actually delving into the dark arts; other races can go about it with very few issues. Elves and other nature magic humanoids are next to unable to do black magic due to their strong ties to the earth, but it is still possible. Even some non-magic people are able to preform black magic with the help of a mage and invoking some very seriously bad things onto their bodies. They would not be able to do any other types of magic, though.
When a humanoid experiences certain circumstances, they can turn into an angel or a demon. While angels and demons aren't necessarily a completely magical experience, the current scientific theory calls the transformation caused by transformation magic. Some scientists are uncertain on whether or not to really call it magic, but it is the term currently being used.
Angels are created by near-death experiences, coma and sometimes even dying in a quick, traumatic manner. When this happens, their soul leaves their body, but some other force draws their soul back and they wake up as an angel. As to why they gain wings and the absence of pulse: that is believed to be the magic part of it. The wings are grown, and the body systems slowly recede into a death-like state in a process that takes months. The halo is there upon waking, however, and it is the physical manifestation of the soul that has left the body, but is still left hovering above it by whatever magic holds it there.
Demons are a slightly different story, since they come from pure trauma. A person who leads a traumatic life will almost always become a demon. Since dying is not a requirement (but still, one can die to become a demon), it is believed that in the process of becoming a demon, the soul is actually shattered into many different pieces and dispersed into the spirit realm around the demon. After the demon is fully a demon, they are able to enter the spirit realm to be close to their soul, or so researchers believe. Also, it is a substitute for all their worldly magics. Like with angels, the wings and change in eyes are considered to be the magic part of a demon. Unlike in angels, demons' wings grow out almost immediately, and their eyes undergo a very painful, almost-immediate change into the demon eyes.