Teachings of Magic
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The magic of Threa can be controlled purely with one's mind. It requires strong focus and grand willpower to bend the magical energies of the world, nothing more. Threa's peoples are unaware of this for the most part. Further, many accredit their own magical abilities to the doings and blessings of entities bigger than themselves, such as gods or spirits. Naturally, this is nonsense. Beings that possess the gift to control zizik are simply lucky. Yet, the experience of grasping the ethereal, of touching the untouchable, and wielding it to affect your surroundings is easy to mistake for divine work. It is too fantastical to explain it any other way, unless you are of too low intellect to question it in the first place.

Many schools of thought regarding magic have cropped up all over Threa, each with their own explanation for the works and wonders of zizik. Many base it on religion, some on arcane languages of power, and others still are at least somewhat close to the truth. All of them put their own spin on it – their own falsehood – and believe it so strongly that it actually helps them cast spells. Indeed, gestures, words, chants, and rituals, they all assist in sorcery and wizardry, despite being unnecessary technically. The more radical teachings consider it offensive to their holy entities to use magic without adherence to the dogmas, even if they are aware that a mage could manipulate magic without saying a single word while standing absolutely still.

This page lists the most important, most prevalent teachings of magic. They are sorted by their origin culture groups. It is by no means an exhaustive collection. However, listing the beliefs of every minor culture would be tiresome. If your character does not adhere to any of the here mentioned teachings, simply make up one of your own, using those presented here as inspiration.

Sozkian – The Flow

Adherents of the Flow think that magic is chaos and does not bend to the rules of any higher entity. This (correct) belief stems from the faith of the Yrun's Chosen, which has its roots in the Sozkian culture group. Only the use of hozizik and azizik are covered by the Teachings of the Flow because these are the natural aspects of sozlin, although it could be adapted to function with the other elements as well. It is an unorganized teaching, not a strict dogma; it is flexible. Even non-Yrunists may adopt the Teachings of the Flow. Yrunists stake no claim on it or on magic itself. A supposed truth without any possessive intentions or necessary religious foundations is comfortable to accept for anyone. According to the Yrun's Chosen, magic is simply there and anyone with the ability to wield it may do so. Gods do it, mortals do it, and nobody can do it perfectly. The only spiritual twist the Yrunists add is that the zizik storms and most of the magical streams originate from the love making of the two moons – the Yrun – during the creation of all life. Non-Yrunists find this aspect easy to ignore when they adopt this teaching. It has no bearing.

Since magic is arbitrary, so is whether one possesses the ability to use it. Mages were simply lucky to come into the world this way.

To control magic is to direct its natural flow. When a fish swims, it maneuvers by moving and angling its fins and frills to guide the flow of the water surrounding it. A mage trying to manifest a spell does the same thing, but with zizik. They must use their whole body to tap into the ambient magic flowing around them, gather it around their form in a whirl, and then let it glide away with wondrous effect. Followers of the Teachings of the Flow use their whole body when they cast, from snout to tail, as if they were dancing, and they accompany this with song, often mimicking the sounds of the element they are manipulating.

Hozizik and azizik have their own dance and song each. They can be drastically different, but they can also be quite similar. It depends on the desired outcome. When hozizik is used to move great masses of earth ~ perhaps to collapse a cliff, bring down an avalanche upon your enemies, or raise a wall – it requires quick and hard motions, like the dance called haka, and aggressive growls and shouts, akin to the noises of a forming avalanche or an impacting rockfall. However, used to perform more intricate tasks, such as pottery, hozizik requires calmer, more elegant dance and more serene song. It becomes more similar to azizik then, whose use is always coupled with smooth movements of the limbs and body, like a stream flowing. Even when azizik is used to cause great force and violence, its dance remains graceful, just faster and more involved. The song of water magic consists of holding high and low notes in an alternating fashion, going with the ebb and flow of the fluid and zizik controlled.

Here is an example of how hozizik may be used for arts and crafts while following the Teachings of the Flow:

Shapes-Our-Clay – a sozlin of the shore-dwelling tribes – knelt in front of a rush mat. Its surface was covered by a patch of smooth leather and a small heap of wet clay lay on top of it. The artisan closed his eyes and held his hands over the material. With steady breathes and thoughts of the night sky, he calmed his heart and mind before aiming the latter at the magic around him. Earthen zizik was all around him; he reached for it. Becoming oblivious to his other senses, he used his increasingly strong connection to the ethereal to attune his very soul to the clay. Every ounce of it became an extension of his own body. Shapes-Our-Clay began to sing without lyrics. Magic could not understand him anyway, but its flow reacted to his waving tune. He rose his hands, fingers splaying apart, and so did the clay rise, levitating above the leather. Amber light glimmered around the craftsman's fingers.

The sorcerer-artisan started to dance his fingers and hands around his material, and it began to flow, following its master's directions. First it took the simple shape of an orb. As Shapes-Our-Clay immersed himself in his craft, his dance became more involved. His entire arms joined the dance, then his upper body swayed and bobbed along as well. Pebbles rose off the ground around him and took part, too, animated by the hozizik that leaked from his spell. They were attracted to his arms, laid themselves over his scales like a coarser second skin. None of them dared to join the shifting, pulsing clay; Shapes-Our-Clay was a master of his art. The song and dance turned calmer once more, and it ended with the artisan gently setting down a spherical, flat-bottomed pot the size of his own head onto the work mat. It even had a fitting lid. Not once had his fingers touched the clay.

After firing the pot, Shapes-Our-Clay desired to add decorations. Normally, this had to be done prior to baking the clay, but hozizik offered more options. The artisan looked upon his perfectly shaped creation after setting it down upon a potter wheel. He had no need for the implement when making the body, but it did make the engraving process easier. After sharpening his mind and getting in tune with the surrounding magic again, he lifted his right hand and began to draw onto the pot with an amber glowing claw, turning the wheel as required with his left. While hardened clay magically made way for his claw, turning to dust wherever it touched, he hummed a melody and his tail tip swayed. Before long, the two moons had been engraved upon the earthen surface in all of their states, going around the entire pot like a horizontal band. Swirls and wavy lines, resembling water, decorated the remainder of the item.

Shapes-Our-Clay smiled as he inspected his work from all sides, deeming it a fine sacrifice to the Yrun for the next Weeks of Plenty.

Magic implements are one of the weak points of these teachings. Followers of the Flow do not believe in magical scriptures of a language of power, so tomes or tablets imbued with zizik hold little value to them. Spiritual items are also of little value to them, unless they do believe deities or spirits to influence their own spellcasting. Knowledge on how to properly enchant items to make them beneficial when using magic is rare among the followers of these teachings, too. As a result, the most common implements employed by Flow adherents are simple magical foci. Anyone can steady their mind using a heirloom, lucky charm, or other emotionally important item that mental stability can be drawn from. Shapes-Our-Clay, the artisan from the example above, sometimes uses a shard of the best sacrificial container he ever produced to center himself, for example. It inspires him to attempt excelling past works. Also, he was lucky to find that shard while walking the beach, because Yrunists throw their offering pots off coastal cliffs. This has made it even more dear to him.

Instruments are established magic foci as well. They can be incorporated into the dance and song of spellcasting, and doing so appeared natural to the members of the Yrunist faith and Sozkian culture, who both love instrumental as well as vocal music. Not only oars can coordinated by the sound of a drum; the water itself can be made to push your boat along to it as well. Entire sozlin huts have been risen from the earth to the sound of rhythm bones, and fish swarms have been forced into nets with tambourines. The magical musicians just have to be careful not to cause magical chaos when they perform a mundane performance!

Wild Draconic – Natural, Innate Control

Ironically, the wildest of kul – the lowest intellects of their kind – possess the most accurate idea of the origin of their magical might. For a trezkul, to will the plants to do their bidding and to make grievous wounds close in a matter of seconds comes as natural as controlling their own muscles. Dragons are superior magical creatures, all of them (rare exceptions aside). They know what magic feels like, how to sense it, how to touch the untouchable and wield it as weapon or tool. With an intelligence too low to grapple with concepts such as spirituality, they would never get the idea to attribute their powers to a higher entity. Questioning the source of their spellcasting ability in the first place is beyond the grand majority of them.

Wild kul (normally) do not think gestures or words to be necessary to enact their will magically upon the world, although they do realize that zizik flows easier when accompanied by them. To let forth an angry roar puts a sozkul in the appropriate mindset to make a cliff collapse with hozizik, and snatching the air with its claws makes it easier for a trezkul to magically force roots to do the same to their foe. After all, the body is an extension of the soul and emotions are nothing more than expressions of the very same, and the soul commands the magic.

Social kul, like the sozkul or the rizkul (especially their matriarchs), do sometimes philosophize about the nature of magic. Falsehoods sprout from these discussions; they put these kul on the same wrong paths as the other faiths and traditions mentioned on this page put their own followers, thus removing them further from the simple, natural truth that they once had.