The Unknown Past
Views on Magic in the Kingdom of Shakala
Magic in the world of Galvor is divided into two categories: Arcane and Divine. There are debates between scholars as to whether there is any real difference or just the ritual that is involved to gain access, but that is for another time perhaps.
Arcane magic is used by wizards and their ilk (A.K.A. mages) to manipulate the physical world around them. They use their magical spells to do things as simple as making noises come from unexpected places to things as devastating as creating a fiery swarm of meteors that rain screaming death on their foes. To do this they use patterns, ritual, training, and obscure items from all types of beings and places. Most of the spells are the result of mages’ dangerous and secretive experimentation with odd relics, rare minerals, or anatomical remnants of magical monsters. These experiments end in failure more often than not and have been known to cause massive devastation to things and people nearby.
Thanks to the solitary nature of required to be a successful magical researcher, the seemingly endless desire for all things dead, and the resulting miraculous ability to make the world around them do what they want, mages have been a source of fear for many. Like all things that are not understood, through the majority of history, magic has been the object of ridicule and distrust. That finally began to change when King Justintine added mages to the University of Shakala. Displaying his personal trust of them and acknowledging the value of their magic, has gone along way to removing the stigma that had long hung over the mages’ heads.Still, old habits and old stories die hard. The reality for mages these days can be summed up thusly:
- They are, at a minimum, distantly accepted in almost all of civilized corners of the realm.
- They are generally given the opportunity to create a home and become a member of the communities they choose to visit.
- They are often respected by their fellow citizens, but this is generally for personal reasons and not related to their use of magic.
- They tend to be honored in the largest metropolitan areas of the kingdom; invited to parties as special guests and dining with the wealthy and the noble.
- There are a few places that they are still distrusted will receive the cold shoulder and politely pointed to the doors.
- Fewer still are the rare places that they are violently feared; surprise and covert attacks are even used to remove the target of the fear.
- There are always those who search them out to exploit their abilities, but they usually either extremely wealthy or powerful in their own right.
- Those that do major research still tend to be feared and distrusted, but this tends to be related to the mages lack of interest in interacting others and the occasional accidental damage more than any fear of the magics that the mages control.
Players of arcane casters can expect to see intermediate levels of resistance to them and their chosen profession from people that do not know them, at least in the more rural areas. In the large cities, if they are willing to play the games of politics and social climbing, they can become a master or mistress of the ball; especially if they leverage any personal quirks they may have to become more interesting.
The powers manifested by priests and priestesses of the various gods and goddesses are known as divine magic. The priests hold that their power is an extension of the strength of their god and is guided into the form needed by the faithful through the power of prayer. Interestingly the priests also have much ritual, training, standardized prayers, and religious artifacts that assist in their spell casting.
The stigma that was assigned to the mages of the world was never assigned to the priests in the same way. That is most likely due to the fact that the priests always stated that they do what they did on behalf of or at the request of the gods. They also claim that if the god did not approve of the use of his powers, then the magic would not work. The common man and woman tended to believe them and argued, “Who are we to dispute the will of the gods”. This acceptance led to a certain level of comfort with the divine magic in the realm.
It Is All Just Magic
Since the formation of university a small group of researchers have put forth the hotly disparaged theory that all magic is the same and is truly controlled through force of will. They argue the trappings and ritual only assist the caster’s mind in gathering the magical energies and focusing it into the form that is desired.
This group makes some good arguments using the similar effects of divine and arcane magic as proof, yet none of them have been able to create the effects without the using the more standard methods.