Magic in Laroma

Divine versus Arcane: The What and the How

To understand magic in Laroma, one needs to understand the creation of the world itself. It's generally accepted and told that the world was created by the influence of the Primordial Streams which comprise the Primordial Network.

Think of these streams as the rawest, purest form of energy within the world. In total, there are ten major streams or sources of energy that fuel the world: Death, Darkness, Knowledge, Life, Light, Nature, Tempest, Trickery, and War. These also serve as the Domains of power wielded by the gods and called upon by divine casters.  When these Streams cross, it creates specific constructs within the world. For example, fire was created through the crossing of the domains of Light and War for it emits light and destroys things that come into contact with it. How exactly the streams cross and what is created is not known by mortals, thus there is debate over the mapping of the Primordial Network throughout Laroma, some even argue such a map would be impossible to create. Thus, there are some scholars that contest that fire might have been created from a different combination of domains.

It is generally accepted that the Domains, and thus divine magic, describe the "what" of magic. When casting a spell, the Stream that is being invoked depends on what exactly you are manipulating. Meanwhile, the Arcane Traditions are accepted to be the "'how" of magic. When casting a spell, the manner in which the Primordial Network is being manipulated during the spell. The traditions are abjuration, conjuration, divination, enchantment, evocation, illusion, and necromancy. The Arcane Traditions are more known and comprehended by mortals as they prove to be more easily observed. While the Domains seem to experience some great overlap, wizards and sorcerers have managed to distil the manipulation of magic into the seven traditions, each relatively clearly defined and identified.

With this understanding, magic has been divided into two major halves that describe what is focused on when practicing that form of magic: divine and arcane. Focusing on the divine aspect of magic (i.e. clerics), you are focusing on connecting to what you want to manipulate through deepening your connection you aim to gain mastery and control of it by knowing what it is you are manipulating intimately. Meanwhile, a caster trained or focused on the arcane aspect (i.e. wizards) seeks to understand and master the manipulation aspect of casting spells. Rather than deepening the connection with what it being manipulated, they use their knowledge about how magic works to exert their will over it.

TDLR: Divine casters seek spiritual connection with what they are casting in hopes to use magic. Arcane casters seek to understand the laws of magic and its behavior to use magic. Akin to how religion versus science seek to understand and explain the world.


Common Cultural and Societal ideas about magic:

Everything in the world is thought to have some level of connection to the Primordial Network and thus magic. However, those with greater access (regardless of means) are often revered or feared within society, often gaining some means of socio-political power.

Divine magic is often the most accessible to the average person, particularly through churches and clergy. Most religions seek to gain followers and worshipers as that is how their gods are believed to gain and maintain power. Thus, it is not uncommon for clergy to be lenient in their acceptance of individuals into their teaching. However, most do not reach places of power within the churches.

Arcane magic is less accessible to the average person. Unless born or gifted magic, the only other means of obtaining knowledge of this ideology is through affording and acceptance into private and/or exclusive academies. Thus, this is a fairly common means of nobles to gain or maintain power for their name. However, academies have been known to take in individuals that show an exceptional penchant for learning and understanding the laws and mechanics of magic.


Tools to Understand Magic and Casters

Magical Spectrum:

This is used to quantify and describe the level to which a type of caster (class) relies on divine versus arcane traditions of magic. All magic requires some amount of both divine and arcane traditions/ideologies, each class relies on a particular combination of the two to cast their spells.

  • 1: Divine Dominant
  • 2: Divine Majority
  • 3: Divine Heavy
  • 4: Divine Reliant
  • 5: Divine Leaning
  • 6: Arcane Leaning
  • 7: Arcane Reliant
  • 8: Arcane Heavy
  • 9: Arcane Majority
  • 10: Arcane Dominant

Caster Frequency Level:

This is used to quantify and describe the level of appearance of each class in general within the world. These typically vary based on the nuances of cultures and societies. However, the use of the tool here is to describe the world in general.

  • 1: Common
  • 2: Frequent
  • 3: Occasional
  • 4: Uncommon
  • 5: Rare

Achievement Frequency Level:

This is used to quantify and describe the frequency of casters to reach levels of competency, mastery, and power with their chosen means of magic.

  • 0: The average caster is level 1 or more
  • 1: The average caster is level 3 or more
  • 2: The average caster is level 5 or more
  • 3: The average caster is level 10 or more
  • 4: The average caster level 15 or more
  • 5: Average caster is level 18 or more

Magic and the Classes:

Bards:

  • Location on Magical Spectrum: 6
  • Caster Frequency Level: 2
  • Achievement Frequency Level: 0

They specialize in the manipulation of magic through performance, most commonly through words or song. Through this means they connect to, then manipulate the Primordial Network. Normally, this is achieved through more informal means and most casters do not reach high levels of proficiency and use. Many cultures view this as a "poor man's" magic.

Clerics and Paladins:

  • Location on Magical Spectrum: 1
  • Caster Frequency Level: 2 (Clerics) and 3 (Paladins)
  • Achievement Frequency Level: 1 (Clerics) and 2 (Paladins)

Clerics and Paladins represent the ultimate divine casters, particularly clerics. They rely on mediation to access and use their spells and magics. Typically, clerics focus on a particular domain of magic that enhances their abilities, though they have access to all of the domains. This is guided by their relationship with their deity and worship of that deity. If their connection or faith waiver, they will lose access to their powers until it can be mended or repaired. Paladins require a connection to their deity through strict oaths taken in the name of their god to enhance their combat abilities. Like clerics, breaking their oaths or losing faith in their deity will sever their connection to their powers.

Becoming a cleric is a popular way for someone to achieve access to magical power while gaining or maintaining social status within most cultures. Thus, many people seek to enter clergies. Few are truly turned away, but few reach true levels of measurable power.

Meanwhile, the process of becoming a paladin is much more rigorous and demanding. It is typically sought out by those who know or believe themselves to have the skill and fortitude to go through both combat and religious training. While fewer in number, they have a higher success rate of reaching

Druids, Rangers, and Primal Path Barbarians:

  • Location on Magical Spectrum: 2
  • Caster Frequency Level: 4 (Druid); 3 (Ranger); 5 (Primal Barbarian)
  • Achievement Frequency Level: 3 (Druid); 2 (Ranger); 3 (Primal Barbarian)

These classes focus on connecting and engaging with the energies and forces that the Primordial Network creates through intersecting and crossing each other. Compared to Clerics who chose to focus on a particular domain, these casters take a more holistic approach by connecting more to the energy of the products made by the Primordial Network which are aspects of nature. Through meditation and intense conditioning, these casters garner power through their connection to other things on the planet, both living and non-living.

Druids typically eschew the ideas of civilization. They prefer to live among or with nature in smaller enclaves that allow them to minimize the impact they make upon the course of nature. Most druids dedicate their lives to honing their abilities and often become competent in their magic.

Most commonly, a ranger is a warrior or a hunter that learns from druids about connecting with the Primordial Network and enhancing their innate connections to magic through strengthening their bonds with nature. They augment these powers with their fighting to combine the two while still holding to the ideologies learned from druids.

Similar to rangers, the practices of the primal barbarian come from the teachings of druids. However, these focus one forging connections with specific animals through which the barbarian can embody the abilities and skills of specific animals. This art form is rare in the present time as many of its teachings have been lost due to the tradition of almost purely oral and physical teaching of the art that stems from the social aversion to technology and non-natural means of existing.

Monks:

  • Location on Magical Spectrum: 1
  • Caster Frequency Level: 4
  • Achievement Frequency Level: 3

While not typically considered casters of magic, monks connect and hone their bodies through the means of strengthening their connection to the Primordial Network. Similar to the druidic method of gaining and maintaining magic, the output of their practice is far more connected to their physical bodies and abilities. Through spiritual means, monks typically seek to master their bodies, themselves, and their inner magical potential. This expresses itself through techniques that focus on the person's physical ability, through spiritual connection, to manipulate or alter either themselves or the world around them. For example, they can hone their powers to manipulate the elements around them through their physical movement, or pull on their spiritual connection to perform superhuman feats of physicality (i.e. run on water).

Sorcerers:

  • Location on Magical Spectrum: 7
  • Caster Frequency Level: 4
  • Achievement Frequency Level: 4

Unlike most other classes of casters, sorcerers receive their powers through more mysterious means. Most commonly, they are born with their powers, which are fairly evident from early in their life. While training is beneficial, sorcerers truly gain power through their own ego and self-confidence. They must draw on their own abilities and potential to gain mastery of the fountain of magical power they possess. Thus, the key to their success lies within their own understanding of themselves rather than learning and education about magic. Sorcerers are seen as touched by magic or the gods themselves. Though that is not always exactly true, they are revered or feared for their enhanced expression of their innate connection to the Primordial Network. This often leads them to positions of power or importance within society or their powers make them impossible to ignore, thus a sorcerer is often seen as an individual with the potential to cause great change, for better or for worse. Because their abilities are tied to them and their understanding of themselves, sorcerers often reach higher levels of mastery as one natural grows and develops as a person in their understanding of themselves.

Wizards:

  • Location on Magical Spectrum: 10
  • Caster Frequency Level: 3
  • Achievement Frequency Level: 3

Wizards represent the pinnacle of arcane traditions and ideologies. Through rigorous study and learning, they understand the laws of magic to forge connections to the Primordial Network to grow the innate connection to the Network that they already have. Similar to clerics, they choose to specialize in one arcane tradition to gain deeper access to power. However, they maintain the ability to use all arcane traditions if they need them. Access to this knowledge and learning is often controlled by academies or organizations that keep a record of past knowledge. Thus, many within seats of power seek to perpetuate their influence by having their children educated at such establishments. Thus it is a fair statement to say that most wizards come from some means that afforded them their education. However, there are always prodigies. While not sorcerers, they are individuals that possess a knack for picking up and understanding the laws of magic. In addition to academies, there are some wizards that remain or become separate from formal organizations. Instead, they take on apprentices to pass on their knowledge. However, these wizards are not usually of the same caliber, social standing, or mastery as those that affiliate directly with academies. Despite some people's ability to pay their way to this power, this practice requires a nearly life-long dedication to truly master. Granted, most individuals within this practice have some motivation for seeking continued growth of power, be it knowledge seeking or power maintaining.

Warlocks:

  • Location on Magical Spectrum: 8
  • Caster Frequency Level: 5
  • Achievement Frequency Level: 4

The most elusive of all forms of casting. Many cultures hold warlocks to great scrutiny as their powers are gained through deals and influences of questionable or mysterious nature. Because of this, warlocks commonly attempt to conceal the origins and nature of their powers. Most people lack the in-depth understanding the laws of magic to decipher a warlock from a wizard, thus a favorite guise of warlocks is to be a dropout of a wizard academy. Their power grows through the continued service to their patron. Many who take on this mantle have deep drives and desires that drove them to enter pacts with such beings. This fuels their growth immensely, leading to many warlocks achieving higher levels of accomplishment, so long they continue to appease their patrons.

Magic in Laroma

Laroma Wold Notes JRich001