In my current WIP, magic is probably the most undeveloped part. I thought maybe if I explained it here, you good
scribes could comment/pick it apart so I can get it right.
Alright, so Sulrun (the world) is just one branch of a great tree holding many worlds on its arms, all created by an order or deities known as the Five. The Five, and their minor deities, control the world through the use of spectral beings known as Spirits. The spirits are numerous, but elusive, and very, very powerful. However, they are also extremely neutral, and take no part in the conflicts of Sulrun. They are purely responsible for ensuring the continuity of the world.
It is these Spirits that bring magic into the world. Their very work is magical, their very presence is magical. The way that lesser beings obtain magic is through manipulation and manifestation of the Spirits. Those who take the magic from Spirits are known as Consorts, whilst their art is known as Entelechy.
The Sileo, the race of knowledge, learnt how to consort with Spirits early in their history. However, Man discovered the secrets from the ruins of an ancient desert tribe, from which it spread across Sulrun like wildfire.
That's a brief (but I think needed) history of how magic came to be. Where I'm struggling is, how it actually works.
So, there are elemental spirits. Consorting with such allows powers that we're all familiar with; fire, ice, lightning, earth... Entelechy is, more than anything, a destructive force to Man. There are also healing spirits, and more macabre spirits, but they are all powerful. As I said, it is through consorting with the spirits that they take on a slice of their power, so to say.
But what I can't seem to work out is how the sentients actually consort with them. And what are the penalties for it? What are the penalties for the physical act of magic? I know that magic can't bring about an apocalypse, but where, and how, do I draw the line between what can and can't do?
The above issues, and others that are still to come, are causing my major headaches! Any help of any kind you can give me would be massively appreciated.