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This is where I ramble about how magic works in the roleplay I am currently engaged in, or at least how I think of magic as working. It focuses on air magic particularly, since my character is an air elemental.

--> Braving the Elements

Magic is obviously divided into earth, water, fire, and air, but wielders can do more abstract things related to the 'theme' of their element as well. Fire, for instance, could theoretically be used for illusions, since it encompasses light, and healing, in its purifying aspect. Water is also a purifying/healing element. I associate it with emotional manipulation as well, but someone playing a water elemental would probably have to run that by the people who are actually in charge of this thing (MurderTheMasses, LOBOTOMYartist). In fact, nothing I say here can be taken for fact. This is just my thoughts on the matter. Continuing with elemental associations, earth can be loosely classed into living and dead earth... most of the earth bending we have seen so far focuses on rocks and soil (Tabor) and metal (Lana), but I could also imagine earth having control over, say, plants. Unless that fell under water, or a mix of the two.

We haven't really seen anything generated from a blending of elements. I have some thoughts on that, but I'll probably implement them during the roleplay itself.

Now, magic is distinct from its effect. Consider someone lobbing a fireball. The creation of the fireball is magical, but the flame itself is not. Once you've thrown it, there's probably only a spark of magic inside keeping it in shape. Or better yet, a wave of water. Once you've used magic to shape it, the wave is completely mundane.

Imagine a lightbulb. Well, the filament inside the lightbulb. This has one purpose - generating light. The light can be thought of as the magical effect, the filament as magic itself.

Why is it important to distinguish magic from its effect? Mostly because air wielders deal in telepathy and metamagic. That is, they can sense auras and perceive spells others have cast. Air wielders (and possibly some other kinds of elementals, with the proper disposition and training? Or maybe magical devices? I consider just the raw shaping of elements to be very basic magic, with more refined spellcasting available with sufficient training. For instance, the existence of blood magic, something potentially more primal than elemental magic, has been alluded to) can either passively hear what amounts to 'psychic noise,' (if the magic is the filament inside the lightbulb and the light is the desired effect, this is the heat, which is generated unintentionally) or actively use their magic to try and discover more about someone else's magic. They can also, with practice, passively 'hear' emotions people are not trying to hide and thoughts directed specifically at them, or actively use their magic to try and read deeper thoughts and emotions, and even plant suggestions, coerce, and generally deeply mess with people's minds.

I sort of have it in my head that there are air elementals who specialize in / are naturally good at telepathy and metamagic, at the expense of 'normal' air magic, and they're considered practically a different element. Same thing with illusionist fire wielders, or water healers.

So, anyway, most air elementals you meet can't scramble your brains. Those are specialists.

Another specialization is creating magical items / permanent enchantments. Being good with the raw stuff (pitching rocks around, starting huge fires) doesn't mean you can put magic into something and make it stay - this is more or less an entirely different skill set. Even very weak elementals can be trained to craft quite exquisite items or enchantments tied to a rune or area of element or whatever. In fact, one of the ways weak users look after themselves is often by just layering up permanent defenses and making lots of little gimmicks to defend themselves if some absurdly strong prodigy decides to mess with them.

Obviously the different elements have different sorts of items they can make. Mixing elements in items is also a convenient thing.

Um... what else... air users can passively hear things like auras or active magic better when they are shielding their own magic. I say hear, but there are various ways to interpret auras. Jeremy 'hears' them. A lot of air users 'see' them or abstractly 'feel' them instead, but hearing is a convenient metaphor. Anyway, air users cannot hear their own magic, but if they are using it or preparing to use it it still generates noise, so it muffles other people's magic to their senses.

On the other hand, magic used actively to try to get a deeper read on an aura or spell, or detect an aura or spell someone is shielding, is more like touching the object in question. Instead of passively taking advantage of the psychic noise the magic is throwing off anyway, the person investigating makes contact with it. At this point, the air wielder is vulnerable - if the magic has some way of fighting back, or noticing tampering, it can react if active measures are taken.

Most air users find magic very beautiful, especially more powerful or elegantly controlled magic. Certain circumstances can exacerbate this tendency so the air user is entranced or heavily distracted any time they either 'hear' magic clearly or 'touch' it with their own magic. This can be extremely dangerous.

I'll probably remember more stuff I want to add to this later.

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