Magic in Twiland is considerably different than in your typical fantasy setting or RPG. Twilandian magic is modeled after historical beliefs about magic. Magic is divided into traditions that are categorized into three domains. Theist powers brought on by prayer and worship is not considered magic per se but is nevertheless listed here as a fourth domain.
Daimonic Magic (Spirit Magic)
Pacts or relationships with spirits, demons, daimons, fay, or other entities (but not deities). Conjural relationships are reciprocal and transactional. Either caster or entity can end the relationship at any time.
- Methods: Ritual of evocation is the initial method to summon an entity to attempt to convince it to form a pact, thereafter the entity can be called on but may require recompense in kind (rare items, quests, sexual submission, etc).
- Effects: Magical effects are limited to the powers and nature of the entity who is conjured. The caster is not imbued with any powers (unless the entity has the ability to imbue it).
- Practitioners: Conjurors, Summoners, Shamans
Uses magical rituals that call on demons or other entities, compelling them to act on behalf of the caster. In goetic relationships, the caster has power over the entity and compels it to act at her will.
- Methods: Rituals that involve invocation or evocation
- Practitioners: Demonists (but are often construed as conjurors or misconstrued as sorcerers)
Covenants with evil gods or devils. The "caster" is submissive to the entity and must obey it. All powers are granted by the entity and can be taken away by the entity.
- Methods: Ritual worship, i.e., Black Sabbath or Witches Sabbath
- Practioners: Warlocks and "witches"
Raising dead spirits for information or to cause the spirit to act on behalf of the caster (in this world or in the land of the dead). More powerful spirits can be "created" by first torture-murdering someone, then raising their angry, vengeful spirit to cause harm to others (Late Roman Republic source). Note that necromancers can summon the corporeal dead as a revenant for the same reasons listed above, but this is only done within a year of the subject's death, after that, the corpse itself becomes unusable.
- Methods: Spells or rituals involving incantation and sympathetic magic (often involving clothing or a body-part of the deceased). Rituals may involve spectrophilia, or for corporeal dead/undead, necrophilia, to "awaken" the dead.
- Practioners: Necromancers (but are often construed as "witches"), mediums, spiritists
- Etymology: from Greek nekromanteia, from nekros "dead body" (see necro-) + manteia "divination, oracle," from manteuesthai "to prophesy," from mantis "prophet" (see mania)
Divine Magic (White Magic)
Practices that give mortals limited access to divine knowledge and power. Mystical powers are generally limited to affecting the caster only, but may have some limited effects on the caster's immediate surroundings. Powers defy normal laws of nature and are often tranformational, either physically or spiritually or both. The mystic starts with limited powers, but this grows over time. The ultimate goal being union with the divine, deification, and/or immortality.
- Methods - altered consciousness achieved through initiation, ritual, contemplation, aestheticism, mortification, and/or drugs
- Practitioners - Mystics
Use of magical rituals that call on the power of gods and higher beings (note: this is not priesthood or prayer, it is a type of magic)
- Methods: spells and rituals that involve invocation or evocation
- Practitioners: Mages, magi, theurgists, magicians, Hermetic magicians
Foretelling, pasttelling and presenttelling
- Methods: divination or augury
- Practioners: Seers, soothsayers, diviners, augurers, fortunetellers
A magical practice that grew out of divination but sorcerers learned they could not only but see a person's fate, they could change a person's fate through binding spells. Sorcery magic effects individuals, changing events and outcomes for better or ill, most commonly curses and love spells.
- Methods: divination and binding spells that combine inscription, incantation, invocation, and sympathetic magic
- Practitioners: Sorcerors/sorceresses
- Etymology: from Medieval Latin sortiarius "teller of fortunes by lot; sorcerer," literally "one who influences fate or fortune," from Latin sors (genitive sortis) "lot, fate, fortune" (see sort (n.)). (In the later middle ages the word shifted and became synonymous with conjurer as all magic was increasingly associated with demons)
Causing magical effects by some innate means without recourse to spells or entities. Each practitioner has a limited set of powers, maybe only one, or up to half-a-dozen. Types of thaumaturgy vary greatly and must be outlined individually as far as available power(s), under what circumstances it can be used, and whether it is voluntary or involunatry.
- Methods: innate magic that can occur intentionally or unintentionally depending on the type of thaumaturgy
- Practitioners: Thaumaturgists, hedge witches (or hags), the touched, possessors of the second sight, possessors of the evil eye
- Effects: Examples include teleportation; healing self/others; spirit walking / astral projection (hedge witch); can see ethereal beings (second sight); can cause illness with a look (evil eye); etc.
- Etymology (Hedge witch or hag): Old High German hagzusa. The first element probably is cognate with Old English haga "enclosure, portion of woodland marked off for cutting" (see hedge (n.)). Old Norse had tunriða and Old High German zunritha, both literally "hedge-rider," used of witches and ghosts. The second element in the prehistoric compound may be connected with Norwegian tysja "fairy; crippled woman," Gaulish dusius "demon," Lithuanian dvasia "spirit," from PIE *dhewes- "to fly about, smoke, be scattered, vanish."
Otherwise known as folk magic uses learned magical spells to cause magical effects. Magic derives from caster and from nature. Magical effects can be wide ranging but potency is somewhat limited, excepting very accomplished practioners.
- Methods: Spells and charms using any combination of incantation, inscription (usually runic), potions, gestures, and sympathetic magic
- Practitioners: Witches/wizards, enchanters/enchantresses
- Etymology (Enchant): from Latin incantare "enchant, cast a (magic) spell upon," from in- "upon, into" (see in- (2)) + cantare "to sing" (see chant (v.)). Figurative sense of "allurement" is from 1670s.
- Etymology (Witch): OED says of uncertain origin; Liberman says "None of the proposed etymologies of witch is free from phonetic or semantic difficulties." Klein suggests connection with Old English wigle"divination," and wig, wih "idol." Watkins says the nouns represent a Proto-Germanic *wikkjaz "necromancer" (one who wakes the dead), from PIE *weg-yo-, from *weg- (2) "to be strong, be lively" (see wake (v.)).
Notes on Methods of Magic
- Binding Spell - this is a specific type of spell or cast magic that combines an inscription on a lead plate with a wax figurine of the target bound with twine or nails. The new fate, determined by the caster, is now bound to the target individual.
- Black Sabbath or Witches Sabbath - The book Compendium Maleficarum (1608) by Francesco Maria Guazzo illustrates a typical gathering of witches as "the attendants riding flying goats, trampling the cross, and being re-baptised in the name of the Devil while giving their clothes to him, kissing his behind, and dancing back to back forming a round." It revolves around worship of the devil (or similar powerful "evil" entity/deity) and typically involves joyful blasphemy (against "good" deities), nudity, and depraved sexual acts.
- Cast Magic - Cast magic involves "recipies" of items and behaviors of varying complexity, cantrips and charms being the simplest, spells being of medium complexity and rituals being the most complex, sometimes taking place over many days. Cast magic will include one or more the following:
- Incantation - prescribed chants or spoken words.
- Inscription - e.g., runes (northern traditions), magical symbols, magical formulae, ciphers, and voces mysticae.
- Magical Gestures - also, mudras.
- Material Components - e.g., eye of newt, figurine, black taper, salt, sulfur, specified gem, sanctified dagger, fairy dust, etc.
- Potions - either imbibed by the caster or reserved for the target.
- Ritualized Behaviors - prescribed stereotypy, e.g., stand on the grave of a disgraced priest and turn widdershins, three times around.
- Evocation - Summoning a spirit, demon, god, or other entity to appear before the caster. If successful, the entity makes itself present or manifest before the caster in some form, whether spiritual or material, and interacts with or responds to the caster.
- Invocation - Calling on a spirit, demon, god, or other entity to produce magical effects on the caster's behalf. The entity does not appear or become manifest in the case of invocation. The caster calls on the power of the entity remotely, without the immediate presence of said entity.
- Spectrophilia - Getting it on with a ghost. Basically.
- Summon - see evocation.