Monday, April 10, 2023

Magic in the World of Nightwick

I realize with the writing of this post that I am putting myself, and perhaps the world, at great personal risk, but wedding my desire for Vancian magic and my desire for magicians to be manipulating the threads of reality against the will of God. Hopefully this schema will quiet the Voices.


In time out of time before there was time, there was Nothing, and in Nothing there could have been anything. There could have been, but there never was. Endless potential but with nothing having to face the shame of having to be. Then the God of Law sounded like a great bell, and the tone spread throughout Nothing and made it a myriad of Somethings: land and see and rivers and trees and stars and demons and fires and angels. All these somethings were, it is said, from the mind of God, but since the God of Law had only the Nothing to make them out of they are imperfect.  The rest of this story is told elsewhere.

For us it suffices to know that everything that is something is two things: that which exists in the World and that which exists in the Law. Magic, then, is the manipulating of one of these two things. The Church of Law and its clerics wield magic by asking for the God of Law, one of His saints, or His angels, to intercede on their behalf. Typically this involves changing the thing in the World by realigning it with the Law. A man is healed by remembering who they are in the Law. A stick is made a snake by changing whether it references the Law for sticks to the Law for snakes. And so through piety are miracles worked.

The magic of the magician is different. Magicians learn as much about the forms which exist in the Law as they can, absorbing arcane formulae which bring parts of their brain in line with the strange thoughts of a thrumming sphere at the top of space. The human mind is fragile and can only contain a small number of these forms and as soon as they are utilized they are expelled until study again realigns their synapses to the thrum. However, they do not align the thing in the World with the Law. Instead, they change the thing in the World to the idea within their own head, changing its accident in the World to mirror their thought in an arrogant act of self-creation. In this way it is a reverse of the eucharist of Earth's Catholicism. A magician could not make the bread into the body of Christ, but they could make it smell and taste and feel like human flesh.

Demons are of particular use to the magician, for they remember the Nothing and the pang of the Law and how all things were rendered into existence. They have a unique perspective on the Law for they alone remember the world without it. As such demons commonly know a wide variety of spells and may teach them to mortals who agree to join them in their attempts to dethrone the God of Law and pitch him into the pit in a final act of suicide.

Some magicians crave this final act of self-destruction, for they too burn against the World and against the God of Law for making it, but most merely see this path as a way to enjoy riches and knowledge in life. And why wouldn't they? Even the most minor of familiars can instruct a magician in a variety of spells that normally only the most advanced scholars may learn. And besides, is not being really that different from returning to the mind of the Sphere?

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