The magic in Elescia is strongly tied to the existence of Guardian Deities; the energy originating from the Guardians - sola and aros - is a basic requirement for the inhabitants of this world to be able to use magic, while the natural elemental affinity a living being possesses affects the effectiveness of their magic usage. In addition, it's highly possible for a certain type of magic to disappear from the world shall the Guardian associated with it disappear from history, such as the time manipulation magic told in ancient stories.
In Elescia, magic is essentially inseparable from the daily lives of its inhabitants; for example, first-aid actions tend to use water-based magic or condensed aros imbued with healing properties, and most of the existing machines are powered with aros and operate by using magic. However, not everything in life can be done through magic - at least, modern, well-known magic; for example, magic cannot be used to fix machines in an instant, or to bring a comatose person back to consciousness. Even if it was possible, the usage of magic for such actions are generally regarded as taboo, especially if it toys with the natural cycle of life.
Learning and Using Magic
In order for someone to be able to use magic effectively, one must understand their elemental affinity; in other words, knowing which elements work best with them and which ones don't suit them. A rough estimation on one's elemental affinity can be done by using low-level spells and assess their effectiveness; however, a proper assessment can be done in Elemental Research Center located in many settlements of the kingdom. The assessment is done by using a limiter magecraft that allows the user to use magic at "standard" level, and the rest goes in the same way as self-assessment method.
Learning magic can be done through either self-study or proper courses available at the Elemental Research Centers or schools. These courses are not limited to learning how to use certain type of magic, but also include other aspects such as concentration improvement or magecraft usage. While this is generally enough to master the usage of common magic, those who wish to become high-level magicians need to maximize their abilities in their own way, such as by experimenting to create their own unique spells.
Elemental affinity refers to the compatibility rate of an individual towards each element based on the Guardian Deities. When the individual possesses high compatibility to an element, the magic associated with the element will become more effective when used by or to support them as well as becoming less harmful when the magic is used against them. On the other hand, the opposite holds true when the person possesses low compatibility with the element.
While it's rather common, an individual's elemental affinity is not necessarily shaped by their surroundings; for example, people who live in lakeside and coastal areas generally have strong affinity towards water elemental, but there are also plenty of cases when they actually have neutral, if not weak affinity altogether. A person's elemental affinity may gradually change as time passes; however, it is possible for one's affinity to change drastically under certain situations. An example of this drastic change is William Ramtieger, whose affinity towards darkness elemental became severely weakened after he developed nyctophobia following his near-death experience during Lascaluna Disaster.
There are several methods to utilize magic in the world of Elescia, with the methods elaborated below being the most common ones:
- Vocalization / Incantation
The standard, "classic" way to utilize magic in the world of Elescia is by offering prayer for the Guardians in order to draw their strength. In the present day, the incantation is done using a primitive version of one of the languages used in Ancient Inseria - the Ixa-Fieln language. See the entry regarding Ixa-Fieln language for more details.
Normally, the time needed and length of the incantation depends on the type of the spell; naturally, higher-level spells require more time to complete. A key factor to this type of magic usage is the user's concentration; as long as the caster doesn't lose their focus, they can freely delay, hold, or separate the incantation however they wish. On the other hand, the vocalization has to be restarted from the beginning when the caster loses their concentration, thus making them rather vulnerable in combat. Integrating the incantation with other methods generally alleviates the problem, although this is fairly difficult to do.
The most common method to utilize magic in present-day Elescia is through the usage of magecraft - a special type of machinery that serves to generate magic. Magecrafts come in various forms, ranging from simple pocket watch to heavy-caliber weapons. Magecrafts can either use an individual's sola reserve or powered by condensed aros, thus making them accessible for everyone even those with weak elemental affinity.
Since magecraft generates magic using machinery, this type of magic usage possesses far greater advantage than traditional incantation due to its casting speed and difficulty to interfere unless the internal system is disturbed. On the other hand, magecraft's specific design may end up limiting the extent of the user's ability in magic, as well as being completely useless against anti-magecraft perimeter - an area where magecraft activity is jammed.
For further information, please see the magecraft entry.
- Condensed Aros Crystal
The third possible way to utilize magic is by using aros crystals, which can be created by alchemists. These crystals may contain pure, unconverted aros or specific ready-for-use spells. An aros crystal's durability depends on its usage and the amount of energy stored within, as well as whether it is rechargable or disposable.
- Engraved Runes
A rune is a certain set of patterns containing visualized commands that functions to convert sola reserve or aros into spells. Depending on the commands, a rune may simply function to process the energy to be used for a spell, or to release specific spells altogether. Runes generally take greater energy consumption; in addition to the energy required to cast a certain spell, some energy is also required to do the conversion process itself.
Compared to other methods, rune usage is much less common nowadays and has been mostly rendered obsolete due to how energy-costly it is, often preventing the rune's bearer from using high-level spells without passing out. Nonetheless, this method has its own advantages, most notably its nigh-instant casting time, thus becoming handy when time and chance are crucial.