Celestia 5e SRD
Magic in Celestia
Magic in Celestia is a primal part of existence. In early times the very words spoken by Celestial beings, Dragons, and Fey could shape the world to their will. While that level of power no longer exists, magic is still very powerful.
For most people they can work magic through considerable amounts of training in how to focus their minds, use the right material components, wave their hands about as they make the correct gestures, and speak the correct words in Celestial, Draconic, or Sylvan to create a spell effects. This is described as ‘Low Magic’ and the caster has little to no ability to directly control the process. In fact the energy they can draw on is very limited as it’s the ambient energy in the air or ground itself.
However, some people are born with the ability to sense ambient magical energy. Even fewer are born who can see these flows and interact with them. These people don’t needs material components, special mnemonic phrases, or gestures to create magic. They can directly draw out spells in their minds eye as they draw on their own internal energies to work magic. These people usually develop their skills around puberty for their race.
Low Magic was born as a pale imitation of High Magic. Mostly by Humans and other ‘new’ races to Celestia who wanted to imitate the powers of the Elves who had kept some of the secrets of their Masters including the lower parts of High Magic. A lot of attempts were used to find ways to use similar powers to them. Eventually Glamhedral Elves, trying to match their Elhedral kin, would be the ones to find a means of performing Low Magic and it quickly spread.
Low Magic is performed by having specific ingredients and performing a set pattern of gestures and words to have a predictable effect as long as their is sufficient ambient mana to draw on. The most impressive efforts of Low Magic could mirror effects like balls of fire, which was impressive but no where near the heights of power of High Magic. However, most people given enough agility and training could use Low Magic.
The most limiting aspect of Low Magic is that creating magic items was effectively impossible. Even detecting magic required a spell in itself, makin it very hard to work with subtle magics. Also their were very hard limits to how much power one can make use of with Low Magic.
((This is mostly how magic in D&D works, except for the magic item creation. In Celestia this is usually the barrier between 4th or 5th level spells and those of higher level as well. So ‘hybrid’ classes work Low Magic.))
High Magic requires the ability to sense or see magic and mana flows without needing a spell to do so. If you can sense, and more importantly, manipulate the flows of mana a much finer and broader form of magic is possible. High Magic could bind magic into a suitable vessel allowing the creation of magical items and artifacts. It could also match Low Magic without requiring material components, gestures, or verbal phrases as long as one had a focused will and the natural ability. The Ashuri had hand selected certain of their slaves to teach some of the ways of High Magic to and so their was a well established tradition from the earliest days.
High Magic also opens up the sources of power one can draw from. While every Apprentice starts by learning to draw on their own excess energy, as one progresses other sources become an option. These provide ways of enhancing your raw power to use magic and so cast spells.
Mana is basically a processed version of raw life energy. it is made & processed in all living creatures by simply being alive. Some of this leaks from us as cells die and we shed dead skin or lose drops of blood. This fills the ambient mana level and slowly drains toward the Ley Lines.
Ley Lines are concentrated flows of Mana. Ambient mana coalesces into these Ley Lines by a similar property of ‘like calling to like’ or ‘magnetism’ depending on how one looks at it. These Ley Lines in turn flow toward each other. This movement creates a flow and makes them very hard to ‘touch’. These flows eventually meet in Nodes.
Nodes are where Ley Lines connect. This is a huge amount of power and it’s actually safer to tap into the power of the lines than a single node. The entanglement of this energy is where portals naturally open between the ‘energy plane’ and ours opens. This energy in turn eventually flows back into our world as a biproduct of life.
This is the cycle of life and death that the ‘Wheel’ deities seek to uphold. The ‘Corrupted’ deities on the other hand see life as power and want to be the ones holding all the power. This is the core to the difference between the two sides in the most practical terms.