Magic of Anderelle
Although some believe otherwise, there is very little distinction needed to understand the users of magic, often called magicians or mages. Magic is a force that surrounds all things and a spell is simply the ability to draw from that force and make it manifest by expending mana. Mana can best be thought of as the threshold of magically energy a mage can have at their disposal at a given time. As magic is manipulated, mana is expended, all though it can be regained. Therefore, there are those who have the ability to manipulate this force, and have mana, and those that cannot. There are mages and their are non mages.
If you use mana, you are a mage. Some traditions of magic use notions like “schools of magic” to define themselves, identifying as Abjurers or Evokers. Yet they use these classifications to define spells as well, which in and of themselves are just the manifestation of magic through the use of mana. The spell is the effect, not the cause, and therefore identification of one’s self as a user of magic is misplaced if tethered to this rigid way of thinking.
Nonetheless, the term “mancer” is about as apt a descriptor as one can apply for at least grouping the various users of magic into loose and quantifiable groups. The first group is often called “wizards” and they consist identifiers based on of aforementioned classifications of the spells they favor. Sorcerers are closest to the wizards, however still vastly different. They believe that their magic comes naturally to them, a rather silly assertion, as magic comes naturally to all those who can use it, it is just a matter of how you are willing to access it. There are of course the warlocks, often given a nefarious connotation because of their belief that their powers come from pacts made with beings not easily understood by most. In addition, there is theomancy, practiced by priests or seers, and geomancy, used druids or shamans.
The fact is they are, to over simplify it, all magicians. The power of a mage various like the skill of a cobbler or swordsmen, but in the end, no matter the proficiency, they are still cobblers or swordsmen.
But what matters is not how mages classify themselves, or even how we classify them, for that classification is the key to how these respective mages access mana. For the accessing of mana is where the key differences in all mages lie.
The accessing of mana is terrifying to the cognitive mind. Magic is the power of chaos, of creation, of entropy, of life and death. And we, as finite beings must be preternaturally disposed to blocking most of those grandiose conceptual energies out of cognitive existence. It doesn’t make the energies any less real, but we must not be fully open to raw magic, as it would destroy our sanity and the reality around us.
Those that are willing to open themselves up, no matter the degree, only do so because they hold some belief that allows them to pull mana from the swirling conceptual chaos that is magic’s raw state. The wizard may believe through research and formula they have the ability to control magic therefore extracting mana to power their spell, the theomancer may believe they can access mana because they can work minor miracles as an agent of their deity. Even the sorcerer has attributed some aspect of their heritage as the reason they can access mana. Granted, the sorcerer’s versatility with mana is different than other mages, and many believe it is because by their grasp of mana and magic is one less rigidly based, and therefore less inhibited. But no matter what is allowing the mage to break through those ingrained inhibitors, they do, and in using mana, they call forth marvels of magic ranging from the miniscule to reality shattering.
In closing, we are, all of us, mages. We all pull from the same force, we all use mana to manifest things great and terrible. And it is for that reason, that we should all stand together, share our collective knowledge of magic and mana, and assume our rightful place as masters of this realm. For we can bring forth the impossible if we but can understand how to allow ourselves to do it. And what army can stand in the face of the impossible?
-From what is now known as “The Black Lectures” a collection of treatises given to young people who manifested magic ability by the wandering Magister Veklin, before the Magister’s apprehension and execution by King Setric Vance the Third.