Abridged History of the 10th Age
Philosophies of Magic
What magic is
“The essence of magic is a field of crisscrossing lines of energy emitted by the earth. Mages call these ley lines the dragon’s breath. Ancient draconic texts speak of the world as the shell of an immeasurably vast Wyrm that never hatched. The ebb and flow of the tides, the changing of the seasons, the ancient draconic kingdoms ascribed to the rhythms of the sleeping dragon that lies within the heart of the earth. So too is the web of energy that lies latent across the world, waiting to be tapped by mages. It is a natural phenomenon, part of the natural law, that alters the way other laws interact with the world itself.”
Lectures on Magical Theory, Vol. I, Solon Everwind, Aellon, X230
“Magic is the word. The Aelloneans call it pneuma. The Zeshimites call it mero. It is the breath which gives magic power. The hands facilitate the release of energies, but all motive force must come from the breath. This is why even the liches who practice magic must still be able to speak. Those creatures who cannot speak and have no breath have an inner breath which substitutes for the proper motive force. In addition, all magic users must have mind, which is where the breath gathers and forms before being released. Magic, then, is a creative effort not unlike that which the gods themselves undertook in ordering the world out of chaos. There is no creature more godlike than he who comprehends the intimate secrets of the arcane art.”
Lectures on Magical Theory, Vol. III, Solon Everwind, Aellon, X233
“There is always danger inherent in using magic. It is the essence of the dragon, the breath of all things; it is, itself, alive. It is a force sinuous as a serpent and dangerous as a wyrm, channeled and coerced through the song arcane. To be a wizard is simply not the same as being a mason. Studying the dragon’s breath is not the same as laying down bricks one by one. It is wrestling with the very metaphysics of the world. It is the triumph of the intellect over the base dross of matter; it is the ultimate extension of knowledge. What is magic if not the re-writing of relationships between the nodes of reality?”
Lectures at the Pillar, Crisby the Magnificent, 9th Age
The mortal soul
“The mortal soul is corruptible, just as any material is. It is made of spirit-essence which the Varans named quinessere. Quinessere cannot exist for long outside of a fully materialized body, being made of reified and purified matter. Without an outside form containing and bounding it, quinessere quickly evaporates into its surroundings–absorbed by the earth, by plants, and by creatures. Amongst wizards quinessere is commonly called positive energy material. It is twinned by negative energy material and both are linked to their respective energy planes.
“Positive energy cannot maintain the form of a deceased will (in essence, a person’s spirit) without an exceptionally strong organizing principle. Of course, this law only applies to the Middle World. If a spirit passes with due haste through the Gates of Death and enters the Lower World, different laws affect it and the corruption occurs over a much longer period of time or is halted all together. In some cases, extremely violent organizing wills may force a positive essence to continue to exist in the Middle World for long periods of time.
“It is generally believed that this perversion of natural law causes a negative energy link within the spirit, allowing it to remain in tact. This is the same principle by which certain spiritual beings and free-willed unliving may consume or drain the positive energy of a living being, thus depleting the very essence of living soul.
“Magic may also force specters and spirits to retain form in the Middle World; this is one of the ways in which Necromancy may summon up shades that do not disintegrate within moments. Additionally, this is why Necromancy fails after sufficient damage is dealt to the host body of a re-animated corpse — the ordering principle that grants a false-spirit to the body collapses and thus the creature ‘dies.’”
Mortality, Solon Everwind, Aellon, X216