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Author: Subject: [Fantasy] Magic
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[*] posted on 7-2-2013 at 12:36 AM

So I have a question for all you "high" Fantasy WriMo'ers out there!

What do you do with magic? How does magic work in your Novel? Does it?

How does it mesh with technology?

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[*] posted on 7-2-2013 at 10:43 AM

Well, my character began in a world much like this one where the Supreme Court just threw out DOMA - too late for him, a widower twice from men who would have been his husbands.

I'm taking the easy road with my magic and connecting it with my Crosstimers series. The little man has some inherent magic, there are going to be other magical creatures with their own abilities and the human protagonist might or might not learn some magic. I try to vary it per world, how strong the magical forces are.

There's different kinds of magic. Local magic gets worked out per book and could be anything. I'm sure there will be some in this book and if the characters travel, more than one type. Gods' magic is fairly sorted out and consistent, though it's affected by local conditions. Local conditions including magic levels vary.

Elven magic is in some ways consistent across all worlds. So is a certain type of deep magic and the magic of the Swordfolk. There are different ways of traveling between worlds. The least impact on the worlds traveled through is on the old elf paths from world to world in their Great Migration. You can go unseen and slip through and get where you're going without changing what you pass through. Often you'll adapt temporarily to what you're passing through to at least some extent by the magic of those roads.

More impact comes from the gates created by two different vast Empires. One creates gates spontaneously anywhere they want, the gate mechanism is portable and carried by the user. The other one's stable and the gate mechanism gets set for what corresponding gate you go into. Open a portable gate in the same place and time as a static gate and BOOM you just lost at least the city, maybe a good chunk of the planet. Depending on what else happens you might wind up causing a planetary extinction event.

So gating is dangerous, but wandering on elf roads isn't. That's pretty much what my protagonist is going to wind up doing. He'll journey on the elf roads to find a place where he can get his disabilities treated better than where he came from, he might meet some lovers, he might seek a place to settle down or (and this is very much what his small friend hopes for) become like the elves themselves, a perpetual wanderer taking up the Great Migration instead of just moving somewhere else and staying there.

I have the culture of the sea elves worked out well in a lot of other books and not so much the Foresters except that they're equivalent. I expect to discover more about them as this book goes on. It may or may not be publishable. If it's not, then I had fun writing it and can get back to editing Chazho during the weeks I'm doing this -- got my serious for publishing project going too.

But this is based on word count and it's fun. So it's either a real book or busman's holiday depending on what I think of it when it's done. Its magic is consistent with the rest of my fantasy novels which gives me a real leg up on backstory and depth.
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[*] posted on 7-2-2013 at 02:50 PM

Not sure my novel qualifies as high fantasy (all my characters are human), but the evolution of magic is very important in its setting.

I my world, magic comes from nature, and only some people are capable of learning how to use it. Those who are known as the Enchanters are able to work with the elements, usually specializing in just one. There are no Fire Enchanters, because of some trouble with the Mages (the magic school that used to rule before the Encanters fixed the mess the Mages did). You can find Air and Earth Enchanters here and there, but they are pretty scattered and have grown weak as the years passed. Now Water Enchanters became very important as the land grew drier, but my villain hunts them, so they had to go into hiding. Rumous say that there's only one truly powerful Water Enchanter left, and he's in hiding.

But the villain is not the only thing that's killing magic in the world - technology is also doing it. That's not a bad thing, though, it's natures way to keep the balance. When humans knew nothing of the world, magic was needed to protect them and make their lives easier. But with the development of math and construction, of new agriculture techniques, organized politics, economy and culture, it's no longer needed. Well, not always, at least.
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[*] posted on 7-3-2013 at 02:33 AM

High fantasy (also referred to as epic fantasy) is a sub-genre of fantasy fiction, defined either by its taking place in an imaginary world distinct from our own or by the epic stature of its characters, themes and plot._
I keep forgetting what the definition is, honestly.

My setting is a splice of fantasy and futuristic/many worlds other than earth have been explored and settled for a long time. The basic idea is that Earth stabilized the human genome to 'normal', but humanity discovered that other planets weren't so insistent on 'normal' and that a lot of legends and fantasy from human myth had some basis in reality. In fact, some planets encourage certain types of genetic drift. Magic works. Magic is a genetic gift. Different worlds have different things.

The focus planet of the story is Tore, the people are called Toreo [Tor-ay-o] or Toreos. It has four different types of shifters: wolf, owl, crowman, and cat [of mixed sorts]. It has fire users, earth sensers [most of them don't actually talk to it, but they listen], dream walkers, and magic users. Wolf shifters, magic users, and earth sensers are the largest three groups on the planet and make up 93% of the population. Wolf shifters and magic users have no trouble with technology, and it doesn't affect their gifts a great deal, though of course the planet has chosen technology that is more comfortable for them and ignored some that they dislike.

Earth sensers tend to have lower tech societies by choice, because of their connection to the earth. They tend to walk around barefoot whenever possible, and are known as fantastic farmers. They don't actually have problems with technology as a concept, they just prefer good dirt under their toes. The minority groups tend to share this attitude. But more because they are justifiably people-shy than anything.

For shifters, shifting IS their magic. For fire users, they can control and make fire, but they have no magic that isn't fire related. Dreamwalkers can walk through the dreams of others [good spies] but most of them have no way to influence any of the dreams they touch. Earth sensers can listen to 'whispers' of the earth via touch, some of them can hear pretty clearly, but a rare few, Erden [basically shamans, except it's genetic not earned], can actually 'talk' to the earth and get responses.

Magic users don't share these gifts, they have more generalized magic, mostly in the 'strong enough to be moderately to extremely useful but not epically so' range. Eventually, I'll get more 'governing rules' into place on the magic users, but so far I've been focusing on wolf and cat shifters, dreamwalkers, earth sensers, and fire users. Since all characters are currently in the 'two years of being unable to use magic' stage of their maturity, I still have a bit of time to fiddle out the details. ;)

Low fantasy is a sub-genre of fantasy fiction involving "nonrational happenings that are without causality or rationality because they occur in the rational world where such things are not supposed to occur."[1] Low fantasy stories are set either in the real world or a fictional but rational world, and are contrasted with high fantasy stories which take place in a completely fictional fantasy world setting with its own set of rules and physical laws.
Low fantasy places relatively less emphasis on typical elements associated with fantasy, setting a narrative in real-world environments with elements of the fantastical. Sometimes there are just enough fantastical elements to make ambiguous the boundary between what is real and what is purely psychological or supernatural. The word "low" refers to the level of prominence of traditional fantasy elements within the work, and is not any sort of remark on the work's quality._


[Edited on 7-3-2013 by Foodmoon]
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[*] posted on 7-4-2013 at 05:01 PM

I have magic in the traditional sense. Wizards / sorcerers are the only ones that can really use it. It's full of rituals and traditions, which I like because it's how I view magic. Unlike other novels where I'm attempting high / low fantasy, my magic user is not the main character. It's a side character, so I'm not sure if magic is really going to be in the reader's face like it would be in another novel.

Foodmoon - thank you for the definitions! I forget the true meaning of the genres as well, so it was nice to see them.

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[*] posted on 7-6-2013 at 12:53 PM
re: Magic

As is a common theme with magic for me, I've created a system where the magic is spiritually-connected or somehow otherwise tied to deity. In this story it's much more directly god-given then in some of my other stuff.

I've set up a pantheon of nine Gods, and they Bestow Gifts of magic and spells upon the Mages who choose to learn these Gifts. The Mages are part-and-parcel of the religious system, but available for secular use and by the army, where they're under the leadership of a Chaplain who may or may not be a Mage and who also tends to any spiritual needs of the force, along with a contingent of mundane priests. Non-Military Mages are overseen by a network of mundane Priests and Gifted (Mages), though only the Reverend Mage (their ultimate leader) has any right to determine whether someone is suitable or unsuitable for training, or retaining their Gifts.

All Mages are given initial training at the Temple at the Capitol, then they're sent off to gain experience with their Gifts. Some positions in the world are military-oriented, others are not, and a Mage ultimately chooses where they'll most Serve. There are some "auxiliary" positions to the military, where there is no actual army presence, but which may become combat-oriented if given the right cirumstances; my MCs are in one such area, which is heating up for all-out war. There is no military presence where they are yet, so it's only the Mages, the mundane Priests who Serve the Temple Post, and their Custodians (bodyguards/holy warriors).
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