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My Elemental Magic System


So, I think I made a similar thread about this a year or two ago when I first joined this site, but this is something new I wanted to throw out there for people to see. This magic system is of the elemental flavor, and is something that I based off of the Witchery magic system from the Witchlands book series. Considering that magic system was inspired by the bending system from Avatar, I also fell in love with it. It inspired me to make an elemental magic of my own, with some inspiration from other series like Avatar and the manga series Magi. Feel free to throw your opinions out there about it and stuff.

Magic is the manipulation of the elements. The principles behind magic is to reproduce natural occurrences such as lightning, fires, and earthquakes through giving ceremonial commands to the elements that make up those natural phenomena. Magicians are trained to harness their energy, known as mana, to control the forces of nature. Anyone can learn magic through study and practice, but only certain people are capable of using magic on a practical level.

All magic in the world is connected to the six elements-four physical elements; fire, water, earth and air; and two spiritual elements-aether and void. The art of spellcasting is directing one's mana to give ceremonial commands to an element to perform a specific task. This is done through incantations and hand gestures. It is also possible to control an element without the use of spells through mental commands and hand and feet movements, but this is considered to be slightly more difficult for novices.

All creatures, whether magically gifted or not, are born with an affinity to one of the six elements. Most people have an affinity towards one of the four physical elements; fire, water, earth and air. Aether and void are more rare among humans. Affinity doesn't work according to physical genetics, but instead works according to spiritual genetics, which behaves differently. Mages are not limited to the element they have an affinity for, and it is in fact common for master magicians to have mastered two elements. Although it is technically possible to master all six elements, it is very rare because of how much training is involved.

Air is the physical element of the sky and storms. Baseline air magic is the art of manipulating air and wind at will. Subtypes of air magic include lightning magic, sound magic, and weather magic.

Water is the physical element associated with the fluids in nature and the fluids in the body. Standard water magic involves controlling and manipulating water in all its states (solid, liquid and gas). Subtypes of water magic include ice magic.

Earth is the physical element connected to the stones, metals, minerals, crystals and gemstones of the land and the flora and fauna of the natural world. Earth magic involves manipulating earth in all its various forms. Subtypes of earth magic include metal magic, plant magic and animal magic.

Fire is the physical element associated with heat and flames. Fire magic is the art of creating and manipulating fire and heat. There are no other subtypes of this magic, but that doesn't make this element any less powerful than the other elements.

Aether is the spiritual element associated with the mind and spirit. It is considered to be a holy element in many cultures, and aether magic is mostly psychic in nature, but is also shares a strong connection with spirits. Subtypes of aether magic include psychic magic, illusion magic, healing magic, light magic, and spirit magic.

Void is the spiritual element associated with death and the corporeal vessel (the body). It is seen as a dark element primarily associated with hell in many cultures. Void magic is the polar opposite of aether magic, meaning its abilities primarily involve manipulating parts of the body like blood, bone and flesh. Subtypes of void magic include dark (shadow) magic, blood magic, curse magic, bone magic, poison magic, and necromancy.

Note: I'm experimenting with how such magic can be used in my world, and how different cultures view and use magic.


What are the limitations?
The first is energy. All magic uses mana as a power source. It works just like stamina. Every act of magic uses mana, and using too much magic can exhaust the mage until they recharge their energy. This is why novice mages are trained in manipulating their mana first, both to increase their energy reserves and to better learn how to conserve their energy so they don't exhaust themselves too much.

The second is elemental limitations. A mage cannot create their element, only manipulate it. Fire and air are very versatile as air is all around us and fire can be created. Aether and void are two versatile elements that have a wide range of abilities that bypass this limitation...mostly.

The third is training. Magic requires a lot of training to properly harness, and a certain level of innate skill. This is no different from learning how to use an instrument or draw a painting. Study and practice, lots of it, is required for a person to use magic on a regular basis. And that includes knowing the inherent dangers of the element you're controlling. A novice mage who is born with a large mana reserve will still be defeated by a skilled mage with only average mana reserves.