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Magic exists. It is a primordial energy, a force of nature that stands above its laws. It affects and changes the world and all that live on it. How magic came to be is unknown. Most civilizations accredit it to their various deities, but divine entities do not exist in Threa. They are merely figments of imagination in the heads of their believers.

Zizik means magic in the tongue of the aezkul (Aezkian), the people most educated in its ways. There are eight aspects of magic (see following section). When all of them are combined, the result is called alizizik in Aezkian. It is the whole of magic. However, most of the world's magic is split into the eight aspects because they are naturally inclined to diverge unless bond not to.

Magic can be manipulated to cause spectacular effects, but it is not limitless in what it can achieve. The laws, effects, and possibilities of magic are outlined in the following chapters and sections. Most of the information is unknown to the peoples of Threa. Even the wise aezkul do not know most of it.

This is likely for the better. Magic is extremely dangerous. Controlling it is hard and it only becomes more difficult the more magic one tries to handle at once. A large quantity of it in one place is inherently unstable and likely to end in a cataclysm. Magic affects the world around it with its sheer presence, and too many changes applied too rapidly can only end in chaos. Many civilizations had to realize this the hard way. They simply discovered too much about the fantastical power, became too greedy for it. Naught but ruins and artifacts remain of them. The arcane energies can even corrupt and devastate the mind, as explained in the section "Magic-Induced Insanity and Death".

Alizizik and Its Aspects

In Aezkian, the eight aspects of magic are called aezizik (air magic), azizik (water magic), hozizik (rock magic), izizik (ice magic), nokzizik (darkness magic), lizizik (light magic), and trezizik (nature magic). These names should not be taken too literally, because the aspects can affect and do far more than what their names suggest.

Alizizik is all eight aspects united. It is the foundation of all animal life; it is creation itself and the essence of souls. A single creature could not possible control it, because they would have to master the eight aspects it is made of first – an unachievable feat. Not a single species on Threa is born with alizizik as its innate domain. Even the most powerful of storms cannot cause the creation of a being with an affinity for alizizik. The color of alizizik is pure white.

Alizizik can be used as a group effort. The involved mages' combined fields of expertise must cover all eight aspects in a masterful fashion and they must cooperate like the cogs in a clock for this to work out. The groups of casters who accomplish this amazing deed are rewarded with the ability to smith souls and shape flesh. Indeed, they are gifted with the very ability to create life using nothing more than the matter and energy at hand.

The arts of soul and flesh smithing are lost ones. None of Threa's peoples have a grasp on them. This is a boon, rather than a curse, for such power does not belong in anyone's hands. Having the power of creation can only lead to strife, chaos, and the spawn of horrors sooner or later.

Aezizik

Aezizik is the aspect of air and lightning. It is the very essence of the storm, always in motion, free and wild, and difficult to tame. It can carry its users to new heights of power as easily as it can blast their minds apart with its sheer vastness. The color of aezizik is aqua.

Aezizik users can sense and control all gases, not only the common gaseous mix called “air”. They can accelerate gases to incredible speeds and make them flow as they desire. Lightning can be felt by them, too, and it listens to their commands as well, lets itself be redirect according to their will. They can even summon it from nothing. This takes considerable effort but is always available.

Aezizik has become an innate part of a few species. Most of these are fliers or gliders. They use this element to make the wind carry them where they desire or locally calm storms so they can fly right through them. Aezkul are a prime example. The strong mages among them are capable of performing feats of flight deemed unnatural because they would be impossible without the ability to control the very air around one's wings.

Azizik

Azizik controls water and water-based liquids, such as wine, blood, and milk. Azizik is a versatile and bipolar aspect. Just like the sea it can be calm and comforting or wild and devastating. It can be so rough that it shakes those who try to tame it around until they shatter like driftwood smashed against a rocky shore. The color of azizik is blue.

Beings in tune with azizik can sense water and command it to do their bidding, even if it means breaking the laws of physics. They can make it assume various shapes, defy gravity, or even make it change its state. Indeed, powerful users of azizik can make water freeze, liquefy or vaporize, no matter the temperature. This is a draining task because the water desires to assume its natural state for the given conditions. Once the caster loses their magical grip on it, the water returns to said state. Azizik cannot be used to create water, only to shape it, move it, or alter its state.

Some aquatic creatures use azizik instinctively to form a bubble of water around them that flows with them or to just make the water part right before touching their body. Both acts aim to reduce the animal's resistance in the water to a minimum. Coastal and river azkul also use azizik to make waves crash onto land in the hopes of flushing food into the sea. Azizik mages can execute more precise strikes, too, for example by whipping foes with watery tendrils or cutting them with liquid blades. Less hostile uses for azizik exist as well, such as steering ships.

Blazizik

Blazizik is heat. It is the most ruthless and destructive element, driven by nothing but anger and greed. Like a wildfire, it desires to consume all in its path. Nothing but ash and soot is left in its wake. Those who use blazizik best be prepared to leash it because unleashed it will create a raging inferno that consumes even those who tried to control it. The color of blazizik is orange.

Almost all deeds that can be accomplished by exploiting blazizik are of a destructive nature. It permits its disciples to summon flames from nothing and control them and to heat objects with a mere thought, even from a distance. There is nothing defensive or creative about it. At most blazizik can transform matter by applying heat. Also, blazizik users can sense heat, but in an unusual way. They can feel the temperature in a place outside and away of their body, if they focus on it. While blazizik can be used to channel heat from one place to another, it cannot be used to cool anything beneath ambient temperature. Heat can only be channeled from matter of higher temperature to matter of lower temperature because a blazizik user cannot magically perceive something that has ambient temperature; it lacks contrast to its surroundings.

Given its harmful nature, creatures who are naturally connected to blazizik are somewhat rare. They tend to be capable of breathing fire, heat themselves as a means of defense, or they use it melt a path through ice. A great example of powerful blazizik users are the blazkul. They instinctively use it to regulate the heat of their natural, fuel-based fire breath and powerful members of this species can use it consciously to bring fiery death and ruin to their enemies, for example by sending forth walls of flame or by making fire rain from the skies.

Hozizik

Hozizik does not merely flow through Threa's crust; it affects it. It is the least volatile of all aspects, being stable, reliable, confident like the bedrock of the world. Yet it is not harmless, not even to its user. It can be a crushing burden on one's mind. The color of hozizik is brown.

Hozizik senses, alters, and manipulates all inorganic matter of the earth, like sand, gravel, dirt, rock, and even metal. The matter in question need not be solid; lava will heed the commands of a hozizik mage. Capable hozizik mages can shatter, meld, split, and shape matter. What hozizik cannot do is create or erase matter. It can only manipulate what is already there. If matter is to be moved, there either needs to be space where it can go to or the matter has to be compressed and thus made denser. Compressing matter is a formidable task and can change the properties of the matter in question completely. It is also possible to reduce the density of matter, but that is an equally formidable task.

Most species that include hozizik in their domain tend to live underground. They heavily benefit from the ability to shape and shatter rock. Hozkul are responsible for much of Threa's underground tunnel networks. They touch a mountain's flank and, with a mere thought, break the once solid stone into various chunks that they can dig out with their massive paws. Hozizik tends to make the creatures it affects resilient, strong, and heavily armored.

Izizik

Izizik is cold. Physically, cold is merely the absence of heat. Izizik, however, is its own entity. It erases heat. Izizik is a silent destroyer not only of warmth but also of magic. It is anti-magic. Once separated from the other aspects, it will fight them wherever it meets them, try to push them out of whatever they are affecting, and erase them without leaving a trace of their existence. Controlling it is difficult and very risky. If one's grasp on it slips, it might extinguish one's own soul from one moment to the next. Izizik has no color; no matter how massive the concentration of it, it does not generate light.

Those who do manage to control it can accomplish two things. Firstly, they can draw the heat out of anything, usually freezing the target in question. As long as they are strong enough, they can use izizik to freeze the very air around them if they so desire. Secondly, they can dispel magic. Other mages will struggle to accomplish anything in the presence of a master of izizik. The strongest individuals can even diminish and erase souls, if the soul is not within its original, organic vessel or the bond between vessel and soul has somehow been weakened. It is important to note that users of izizik are not better at drawing energy out of anyone or anything than users of the other aspects are. Izizik does not consume, it merely erases.

Izizik is the aspect that is most rarely a natural part of a species's domain because it is anti-heat and anti-magic, basically anti-life. Despite that izizik has managed to influence a few species's evolution and to become a natural aspect of theirs. These beasts tend to be natural magic hunters. They use their affinity for izizik to instinctively erase magical dangers, such as elementals, magic storms, or magic wells, or simply use it to freeze water to aid them in hunting or getting around.

Lizizik

Lizizik is a deceptive and disguising aspect. It messes with light and thus with what one sees. Those that control lizizik have to learn to be sure of what they perceive, else they may grow paranoid or delusional. The natural color of lizizik is yellow.

This aspect can be used to sense, bend, alter, and create light. It cannot be used to lessen the amount of light present. Bending and altering light allows for various applications. One could become invisible by bending light around one's self or at least blur one's shape by altering the light reflected by one's own body. Combine the ability to bend and alter with the ability to create light and conjuring illusions becomes a possibility. It also allows the capable mage to deal damage. Focused light burns hot, even hotter than a common flame, and it is far more accurate, too. It consumes grand amounts of energy to channel it in such a focused way. Additionally, whenever a lizizik user creates a powerful beam of light, they also, involuntarily, send some light magic forth alongside this ray. This lizizik in turn creates unfocused light, which radiates from the original, focused beam. While this does not lessen the beam in any way, it still being just as focused, the light radiating from it does make it visible to spectators. Only the most expert sorcerers can prevent this effect to conceal their beams. Hitting surfaces or being scattered by aerosols still affects them naturally.

Rarely is lizizik a part of a species's innate domain. This is because it only very rarely appears in the world. Its natural users usually apply it to mask their presence, or to scare off or distract predators, or lure prey. Only a tiny amount of species can use it to shoot radiant beams.

Nokzizik

Nokzizik is the most alien of the aspects, being not merely the absence of light but its exact opposite – darkness incarnate. It appears in two states – radiated and materialized – and erases light in either, but allows shape-shifting, object-conjuring, and transmutation only with the latter. It is strange and adaptable, making it mysterious and sneaky. This fuels distrust toward it, and this is well earned because it gladly betrays its adepts. Uncontrolled nokzizik may rob the light before it reaches their eyes in a crucial moment, impale them from the inside with a million needles that vanish a blink later, or transform their limbs into “ink” and make them disappear. The color of nokzizik is purple when it shines from magical containers or the eyes of an elemental, but otherwise it is black.

The radiated state of nokzizik works basically like an anti-form of light. It “shines” from its source and dims the surroundings instead of illuminating them. The materialized form does not allow any light to pass through or reflect off of it. It is perfectly black and opaque. “Materialized” is to be taken literally; the magic takes a physical, solid form. It is either liquid or solid in this state. Materializing nokzizik and keeping it materialized requires a constant influx of energy. The energy requirement grows exponentially the more solid, denser, and harder the magic user makes it. This is why material nokzizik usually appears like a viscous fluid. The viscosity is misleading; it can flow extremely fast if willed to. Owing to its high energy requirement, solid nokzizik is usually just above the line of becoming liquid, so easy to push around and cut through by physical means. Weakened nokzizik elementals have been described as “dripping” like they are made out of thick ink. Either way, materialized nokzizik feels perfectly smooth, has a coefficient of friction similar to glass (unless its surface is purposefully made rougher), and produces no heat of its own and rapidly adapts the temperature of whatever it touches. Therefore its temperature usually equals the ambient one. Interestingly, being cold or hot has no effect on it. It cannot burn or otherwise chemically react, and liquid nokzizik will not harden merely because it is cold. The magical matter utterly defies nature's laws.

Since nokzizik erases light when it freely radiates across a space, its purple glow is only observed when large amounts of nokzizik are stored in a magic vessel or in the glowing eyes of nokzizik elementals.

Mages of nokzizik can sense nokzizik in all its forms, but they cannot sense materialized nokzizik that is under the firm control of another being. When using the aspect of darkness themselves, they are capable of extinguishing light, draining color out of matter, hiding the presence of magic, and of creating and controlling materialized nokzizik. Erasing light is the easiest task. The caster merely has to radiate nokzizik across a space and the present light will be dimmed. Draining color is a most curious feat. What the mage does in this case is alter the matter at hand so that it no longer reflects light or only certain wavelengths of it. The process cannot be reversed by applying nokzizik. It can only be used to make matter absorb more light; it cannot make it more transparent or more reflective. Its ability to hide the presence of magic makes nokzizik one of the sneakiest aspects. Skilled users can shroud their souls or their spells in a veil of nokzizik and thus hide their presence from those sensitive to magic. Nokzizik that is not being used to mask magic can be sensed by those sensitive to it. Last but not least is the ability to create and control materialized nokzizik. This makes nokzizik extremely versatile. All manner of things can be created this way, such as walls, claws, shields, spikes shooting from the ground, and so on and so forth. The range of possibilities is limited merely by the imagination of the mage and the fact that materialized nokzizik always requires a direct physical connection to a source of magic in order to exist. Once separated from its source, material nokzizik vanishes in moments.

The most powerful of casters can even turn their own body into materialized nokzizik. This is a daunting and dangerous task because, if one fails to properly revert the process, they might lose parts of their body and could die as a result. Various benefits are attached to this so called “nokzizik form”. It allows greater mobility as one can turn into a puddle of inky fluid that can dart around at rapid speeds. The movement is observable with normal eye sight; it is not fast enough to avoid that. The nokzizik fluid can also cling to any surface if the mage invests enough effort into it. The smoother and steeper the surface and the bigger the amount of inky fluid, the more difficult it is. As a consequence, clinging to ceilings is nearly impossible for large forms. Another benefit of the nokzizik state is that it is harder to damage. Thanks to its solid-to-fluid nature, it is easy to dodge attacks and even strikes that hit can only cause damage if they manage to separate a chunk of the material nokzizik from the core of the body. In general, it allows the caster to be formless and thus assume any shape they desire, but a form that differs a lot from one's natural body can be impossibly hard to manipulate. It is easier to control a shape that is close to one's actual body, a shape that one's soul is used to. For the duration of the nokzizik form, one's soul is stored within a magical force field located within the nokzizik body. It returns to its original container once the normal, fleshy figure is assumed again.

Nokzizik is an aspect that species only rarely have an innate affinity for because it overall is a rather rare aspect. Nokzizik species tend to use it to instinctively hide their presence from beings sensitive to magic or they use it to more easily hide by dimming or fully extinguishing any light nearby. Very few beings are capable of using it to materialize nokzizik and manipulate it.

Trezizik

Trezizik is nature. It tends to and controls the soulless side of life – the flora. However, one should not mistake it for a necessity, for it is merely a boon. The grand majority of plants live and even thrive just fine without a hint of trezizik having ever affected them. Drawing upon this aspect feels like directing a gentle touch that makes the world greener wherever it lands. Those aware of its capabilities rightfully fear it. It can cause madness to take root and quickly overgrow one's consciousness, flood it with invasive ambitions that drain one's soul and body. The color of trezizik is green.

Users of trezizik can sense plants, hasten their growth, nurture them using nothing but trezizik, and even make them obey their commands. Vines will entangle their opponents and roots will trip them when a trezizik mage wills them to. Trezizik can also be use to heal the wounds of animals. Normally, the passive protection a soul grants its vessel against magical influences of all kinds would even prevent healing. However, the patient can allow a healer to affect their body magically; they can drop their soul's guard willingly. This makes the patient extremely vulnerable towards the healer, so they must quite literally trust them with their life or else their soul will reject the healing touch. The art of feeding trezizik into a body to quicken its healing or even allow it to regenerate lost parts is rather difficult to learn and strains the healer immensely. That is why it is not a commonly practiced art. It is also important to remember that trezizik can only heal living tissue. Corpses are unaffected by it.

Unsurprisingly, trezizik is among the aspects that species most commonly have a natural affinity for. It is as life-affine as it gets and rather commonly appears. Many species have received its evolution-altering touch. They use it to rapidly heal while resting, to make the local flora snatch their prey for them, or to weave their nests out plants without having to kill or even touch them.

Veins, Surges, Storms, and Wells

Magic originates from the very core of the planet. From there, it rises to the surface as continuous streams of alizizik. These are commonly called magic veins simply because they are within the ground. These veins seek a way to the surface, seemingly without a pattern. Their paths are like that of a wild river, which had to wind its way through a hilly countryside.

On their way through the world's core layers and its crust, the alizizik veins are fractured into multiple veins that purely consist of one aspect each. This process begins deep within the surface, deeper than any have ever dug, and is comparable to a light beam being split into the various wavelengths and thus colors it is made of when it hits a prism.

Veins vary wildly in power and in lifespan. The grand majority are weak and short-lived. The more powerful and/or long-lived a vein is, the more rare it is. However, potent veins that are also long-lived are far from impossible. There are veins that have lasted dozens of generations of Threa's most long-lived peoples and will last many, many more, despite being extremely rich in magic.

A vein ends wherever it reaches an edge between solid and fluid matter, so for example on the surface, within underground cavities, or on the bottom of a body of water. A vein is diffused at its endpoint. Its energy is no longer a focused stream, but instead radiates across the local space, affecting it and whatever lives in it. How heavily affected a given space is depends on how powerful and numerous the veins ending in it are. Weak veins, even in large amounts, have little effect. They can be considered magical background noise, the basic level of magic that permeates most of Threa. There are regions with barely any to no magic, but they are rare just like areas with a lot of magic are.

Magic that radiated across a space or has otherwise been used does not just vanish or end up in outer space and thus out of reach of anyone. Used magic is naturally attracted back to the core of the planet. It seeps through the ground, bleeds back into the source and then rejoins the magic veins as usable energy. In other words, magic is part of a cycle similar to the water cycle.

Extremely powerful, short lived veins cause a magical surge at their endpoint. They suddenly and drastically affect the area. If surges of different aspects happen in close proximity to each other, they can cause a hybrid surge. Generally, surges are seldom events which have massive consequences, positive and/or negative.

If multiple strong surges happen in close proximity to each other, the amount of localized magical energy is so large that it cannot dissipate fast enough. A magical storm happens. Various aspects of magic mingle into one massive, world changing storm. This event is extremely rare. Storms can cause the eradication of a civilization as well as the creation of an entire island or even continent. It all depends on how powerful they are, which in turn depends on the surges or rather veins that caused their creation. A storm's appearance and properties are determined by the aspects it consists of.

Long-lived veins create magical wells at their endpoints. The more powerful a vein is, the more powerful is its well. The effects of a weak well are not noticeable, but those who are sensitive to magic can feel its presence. Weak wells do have long-term effects, such as influencing the evolution of a species, especially if multiple of them exist near each other. Powerful wells drastically affect their surroundings just like surges do, but their effects remain for as long as the well exists. This leads to the creation of locations that are heavily affected by magic and look accordingly. Even those who cannot sense magic will easily see that it must be present. The difference between weak and powerful wells is very large. Wells are either powerful enough to tremendously affect their surroundings or too weak to affect them noticeably at all. It is in the wild nature of magic that there is no in-between. When long-lived, strong veins of different aspects create wells in very close proximity to each other, they can end up creating a hybrid well.

Where which aspect is most likely to form a well varies, and is elaborated on below.

Wells of aezizik are almost always found on high altitudes, such as mountain ranges. Aezizik wells cause strong winds to blow nearby, sometimes circularly around the well. They also make lightning hit the area more commonly or summon their own and shoot it in random directions. Combined, this, over extended periods of time, alters the surroundings. The lightning burns away vegetation; the wind erodes and thus reshapes rock. Ancient aezizik wells are often barren but feature alien and smooth rock formations.

The grand majority of azizik wells are located deep in the ocean, far out of reach of any civilization. The few that exist on the surface are usually found at or close to sea level, especially in regions that are very wet. Common locations are lakes, swamps, oases, and so on. Azizik wells can form even in regions without any bodies of water, but those regions usually do not remain dry for long, because the wells naturally attract water. Short-term, the wells concentrate moisture in the nearby air, draw it from further away, until the air is supersaturated and water begins to condense on nearby surfaces. Puddles form, then pools, then ponds. If a well exists long enough, it can cause the creation of an oasis in the middle of a desert. Long-term, some wells have managed to alter the flow of nearby rivers even. The water, in an attempt to get ever closer to the well, erodes one river shore more than the other, until it breaches through and can naturally flow towards the well. This process naturally requires decades, even centuries.

Blazizik wells are equally common at all altitudes and usually exist in places that are already hot, like volcanoes or hot springs. Weak wells merely warm the area around them, which can lead to the creation of aforementioned hot springs, miniature tropical forests, or miniature deserts. Powerful wells cause fires to randomly pop up, melt rock into lava lakes and streams, and might even create a volcano of their own. Blazizik is certainly to blame for some of the world’s geological hotspots.

Wells of hozizik are most commonly found in underground caverns deep beneath the surface. Their surroundings can look strange and unnatural because the freely radiating hozizik alters the nearby rock, shapes it, melds it, splits it, and even changes its properties. Often crystals, even magical ones, and gems grow nearby hozizik wells.

A well of izizik is easy to spot, if it is located in a usually warm environment. It freezes everything around it. The wells are not powerful enough to lower the local ambient temperature enough to freeze the air. The temperatures near an izizik well usually vary from just beneath zero to near arctic ones. Izizik wells are rare but they can appear anywhere. The likelihood of finding one increases the closer one searches to the planet's poles.

Lizizik wells can appear anywhere, but they are very scarce. They cause mirages to appear nearby. To religious fanatics or those of bad mental health, these illusions can appear like an object or entity they are familiar with, such as a deity or an item they desire. Lizizik wells do not alter their surroundings in any other way.

By reason of their light erasing properties, nokzizik wells are easy to spot during the day. They often appear as odd spaces of dim light in the middle of an otherwise brightly lit area. Everything nearby seems to be various shades of gray, as if the space around was drained of color. The wells are extremely rare but can occur anywhere in the world.

Wells of trezizik, depending on the region, are either very easy or difficult to spot. They appear most commonly in areas where life already thrives. These wells are hard to spot. Finding a denser spot of forest within an already dense forest is like finding a specific bit of hay in a hay stack. The more rare wells, those that appear in barren, hostile regions, are the most easily noticed. They can be an oasis within the desert or an oddly thick patch of brush in a tundra. Trezizik is capable of nurturing plants even if water and nutrients are lacking, allowing their growth despite otherwise inhospitable circumstances.

A rare form of trezizik well are healing springs. They can occur when a trezizik well and a body of water, usually a small one, are in the same place. The trezizik radiating from the well can infuse the water with natural healing properties, if it is exposed to the magic long enough. Consuming the water or bathing in it will help cure wounds and ensure a healthy, strong growth for children. Healing spring water is therefore often used as a base for healing potions.

Sensing and Using Magic

It is possible to sense and use magic. A creature has to be born with this ability and not all species can be born with this ability. More information can be found in the section “Superior and Inferior Magical Creatures”.

Magic is primarily sensed passively, but a creature can actively focus on it to extend the range at which they can feel it. One’s passive magic sense does not require effort, but neither can one turn it off. The sensation is always there, always a light burden on the mind, which becomes stronger with each aspect one can feel. Actively searching does require effort. It puts a slight amount of mental and physical strain on the seeker; hence, it is commonly done while meditating to reduce the effort required and to increase one’s focus. To those who can sense it, magic does not appear like colorful lines, exotic sounds, or similar impressions that can be registered with the usual five senses. Magic is like an intrinsic feeling. A sixth sense. One feels, knows that there is magic nearby and can tell how much of it there is. Only if magic is concentrated somewhere in large enough amounts, for example within a magic crystal, does it cause a glow that can be seen with ordinary eyes. The color of the light depends on the aspect(s) stored in the magic vessel.

Apart from whether the searcher is actively or passively trying to sense magic, there are only two other factors that are significant: proximity and concentration. It does not matter if there is a thick wall between the seeker and the magic, as long as the magic is in close enough proximity, the seeker will feel its presence. The higher the concentration of the magic, the easier it is to sense and to single out from the ambient magic, and it can therefore be sensed from further away, too.

With the ability to sense and use a given aspect also comes the ability to sense the matter that obeys it. One can only sense matter that one can control. For example, one needs to be able to sense as well as use azizik in order to sense water. If the matter is protected in a way that prevents its manipulation by a magic user, most likely through some sort of protective spell or bond, or because it is already being controlled by another, much more powerful mage, then it cannot be sensed. In other words: A mage can only sense matter that in this very moment would obey their will. Additionally, compared to sensing magic, sensing matter is more difficult, takes more effort, the range tends to be shorter, and most can only sense matter when actively focusing on it. More on this topic can be found in the section “Alizizik and Its Aspects”.

Using magic is an active act. It requires willpower, focus, and of course magic to be present. Willpower can only be learned. The same goes for the ability to remain focused. How much magic is present depends on various factors. Using magic also puts mental and physical strain on the user. An exhausted sorcerer cannot cast a spell, no matter how much magic there is nearby. Generally, the act of using magic can be split into three phases: gathering, shaping, expelling. The length of these phases depends on how large the magic effect is to be and how good the magic user is. It can range from requiring mere seconds for all three to requiring multiple hours per phase.

During the gathering phase, the mage has to obtain and contain the magic required for their spell. It can be drawn from the environment, from magic vessels, from one's internal magic stores, or a combination thereof. The more magic the caster in question can handle at once, the more powerful effects they can cause. One better knows their limits because trying to bite off more than one can chew can lead to complications ranging from failed spells to death. Also, magic should not be held onto for long. It is taxing and can make one crazy and anxious. Temporary psychosis is a likely side effect of handling too much magic at once or for too long. As a result of those complications, the magic might just slip from the mage’s grasp at an unfortunate moment.

The following phase is all about shaping the gathered energy so it can be expelled as the desired effect. The more magic one manipulates at once, the more intense the focus and effort required is. Being disturbed during this phase can have unforeseen consequences. Half-finished spells are better gently released than suddenly unleashed.

Once the caster and spell are ready, the former has to expel the latter. This is not a relief but another effortful task. The mage has to keep a firm grip on the magic, let it flow forth as they desire and ensure it does not stray from the path laid out for it during the previous phase. If not properly controlled, it can happen that a spell abruptly ends, does something unforeseen, or even pushes the surrounding magic into causing effects itself. This chain reaction is more likely to happen the larger the amount of ambient magic is. Such a magic cascade is usually an accident. Imagine a caster that merely wants to send forth a stream of flame, but a powerful, fiery explosion takes place right in the caster's hands instead because they are standing in the center of a blazizik well and are unable to keep their own magic on its path. However, particularly skilled mages exploit the possibility of a chain reaction to cause tremendous effects with relatively small spells by purposefully letting them somewhat slip from their grasp, like throwing a match in a room full of combustible gas.

It is possible to manipulate two aspects of magic at the same time. This is hard because it is almost like trying to speak two languages in parallel and because the aspects naturally try to remain apart. Those who manage to combine them regardless, through sheer force of will and magical prowess, can cause a greater variety of effects and accomplish things that would otherwise be impossible.

Throughout history, ways have been invented to make it easier to concentrate – chants, phrases, rituals, ceremonies, and similar. The structure and routine these provide help; they guide the mage as they weave their spells. Religion also plays a big part. The fervor and willpower that can stem from zealous faith can make using magic easier. It is also possible for multiple mages to join forces and cast a spell together. This requires a lot of focus and the magic users must be attuned to each other. Again, this is where rituals and religion come into play. A shared belief offers a common ground, makes it easier to be in tune, and a ritual makes it easier for everyone involved to focus on the same part of the ongoing magic manipulation. Nowadays, the grand majority of magic users involve gestures, phrases, and rituals into their casting. They even believe it to be a mandatory part of spellcasting and would be handicapped when trying to do so without them. Only a gifted few can subtly, without a sound or motion, focus on the primordial powers enough to accomplish grand feats.

Creatures for that it is second nature to control magic can do so instinctively. This is what enables some beasts, despite being of low intellect, to use magic. Even sapient magical creatures can end up instinctively using magic. For instance, a powerful blazkul that is utterly consumed by wrath might burst into flames, or a terrified aezkul might summon a blast of wind to push the source of their fear away. This can be dangerous for the caster and/or their allies. The blazkul, if they lose control of their fire, might be consumed by it. The aezkul, too scared to think, might end up blowing their friends off a cliff or even blasting their own eardrums out.

The usage of magic has limited range. The further away from themself a mage tries to manipulate the world, the weaker their influence becomes and the more energy it takes. It also requires more focus. The magnitude of what they try to affect factors into this. Hozizik generally has a much shorter ranger than aezizik, for example. A hozkul might be able to magically pull a boulder, making it fly towards themself, from fifteen meters away or perhaps give a rock much farther away a magical nudge that makes it roll down a slope, but an aezkul is capable of manipulating the air multiple hundred meters away from themself, simply because the air is less dense than the rock. The benefit of rock and other solid matter is that it is a better conduit for magic than air. This means that the hozkul has an easier time nudging the aforementioned rock if they are in indirect contact with it through other solid substances of the earth, such as the ground. It is possible to improve one’s magic range by expending more energy or by involving other mages as assistance.

What can be achieved with each aspect of magic is explained in the chapter “Alizizik and Its Aspects”.

Superior and Inferior Magical Creatures

The grand majority of Threa’s species are naturally non-magical. Non-magical creatures are not able to use or even sense the magic around them. Among the creatures that are magical, the ability to sense and use magic varies in strength. This varies the most between species. Hence Threa’s magical species are split into superior magical species and inferior magical species. There is a single exception – the wolshaks (more details on their page). Each magical species has an innate affinity for one or multiple aspects, their domain so to speak. Most species’ domains consist of just one element.

Superior magical species are the result of an evolution which has been enormously affected by magic. The energy has seeped into their bloodlines and their very flesh. It has become an innate part of them. Almost all members of a superior magical species are capable of sensing their aspect(s). Only extremely few members are born so magically inept that they cannot even feel that. Most are able to sense and manipulate their own domain and sense all the other elements.

Superior magical creatures naturally can handle large quantities of magic when casting and even have the ability to store magic within their cells and thus their bodies, even within their very blood. These internal magic stores make it easier to cast under normal conditions and even allows them to cast in areas without ambient magic. Once the magic stores have been emptied, they need to be refilled. A creature's magic stores can only be refilled using aspects that are part of their domain. They refill them passively by resting in an area that is permeated by magic. The more magic there is, the quicker their reservoirs are filled. Magic wells of the right aspect are thus the easiest and quickest means to recharge. This is why magical beasts are instinctively drawn to them and have a tendency to create their dens and lairs right on top of them.

Inferior magical species, too, are the result of an evolution which has been affected by magic, but simply not nearly as drastically. Hence, their affinity for their domain is a lot weaker, they can naturally handle smaller amounts of magic, and they have no inner magic stores. Additionally, inferior magical creatures are only sometimes born with the ability to sense and manipulate magic. The chance of being born with this ability is increased if one's parents possess it and/or one was affected by a lot of magic while within the womb, egg, or whatever their species equivalent is. However, even those that are born with the magical gift are often weak magic users. The birth of a mighty mage among inferior magical species is a rare event.

Both superior and inferior magical creatures can only sense and manipulate aspects they are sensitive to. A creature can be able to sense an aspect even if it cannot manipulate it, but it can only manipulate aspects that it can sense. It is possible to learn to sense aspects outside of one's innate domain. Both types of magical creatures can accomplish this. Only inferior magical creatures can also learn to manipulate aspects outside of their domain. Their weak affinity for their basic aspects makes this possible. Superior magical creatures cannot learn this, because their bond with their natural elements is simply too strong. They are so focused on their domain that reaching beyond it and grasping other aspects is simply inconceivable for them. Magically handicapped superior magical creatures, those born with an unusually weak connection to their domain, are an exception to this. Those who learn to sense elements not natural to their species must be cautious. Doing so can cause sensory overload, if one is not cut out and prepared for it. This doubly applies when trying to learn to manipulate magic that is not of one's domain. Using magic is simply a much more intense feeling than merely sensing it, so the potential for sensory overload and subsequent psychosis is larger.

Learning to sense a new aspect requires training and intensive meditation. Yet, actually experiencing it for the first tome comes suddenly. It is like having an incredible, unbelievable epiphany. It feels as if one has finally realized a universal, powerful, life changing truth that has always been there and is ridiculously obvious to boot, and yet one had remained ignorant to it until that very moment like some bumbling fool. The experience is breathtaking, makes the body quake, and can create immense self-doubt and ecstasy in equal measure. Even people of sturdy spirit have fainted from it.

Universally speaking, mastering one aspect is easier than learning multiple. It is nearly impossible for a user of multiple aspects to become as good at using one of them as someone who focuses on just that singular aspect. There is also a soft limit to how many aspects a creature can learn to sense and use because the more aspects one learns the higher the chance of insanity becomes. Learning all elements is thus impossible for it would cause suicidal madness. Learning just half of them is already a formidable task that is beyond all but a blessed few.

All magical creatures can train to increase their power. However, their potential is determined at birth. Some are simply not meant to be as amazing magic users as others. Of course the innate ability of superior magical creatures is far greater than that of inferior ones. They merely need to grow up and can naturally manipulate their basic aspects. It universally requires more effort of inferior magical creatures to even be able to accomplish anything. It can require years of training, sometimes a lifetime.

Dragons, called kul in the tongue of the aezkul, are a good example for superior magical creatures. Almost all kul are capable of sensing and manipulating magic. However, they are not all equally capable of doing so. Some kul are weak mages, while others are incredibly powerful ones. Most species of kul have an affinity for merely one aspect, but magical hybrids exist. A good example are the rizkul, who can manipulate both trezizik and nokzizik. However, they are not able to manipulate either aspect as well as an equally powerful pure representative of either.

Humanoids, like lin, are a good example of inferior magical creatures. Lin can be hatched with the ability to sense and even manipulate magic, but most lin are not. Magically weak lin might spend their entire life without realizing they have been magical to begin with. Magically mediocre lin may sense their own domain and manipulate it a little. Magically strong lin can cause basic effects within their own domain, sense the other aspects, and potentially even do little things with them. The magically strongest of lin can learn to heavily manipulate aspects of magic within and outside their domain.

All humanoids, no matter their potential, have to put a lot of effort into improving their special ability if they intend to achieve anything with it. Even after years of training a single humanoid will not be nearly as powerful as a single kul, even one that is a magically weak. The fact that kul live far longer and thus simply have more time to hone their magical gift makes matters tougher on the humanoids. Only in extremely rare cases a humanoid with the ability to perform grand feats of magic is put into this world. Usually a surge or storm of magic is to blame for this.

What the various dragons, humanoids, and other creatures are capable of in regards to magic is detailed on their respective pages.

Magic-Induced Insanity and Death

It is stated many times over the course of this page that using magic can make the user crazy, even insane to the point of taking their own life. This section clarifies and emphasis just how hard the primal energies can weigh on the mind.

Magic is primarily sensed passively, and those sensitive to it can never not sense it. It is a permanent sensation the mind and soul has to deal with. If it is just one aspect that one can feel, the impression is light and easy to stomach. One simply gets used to it, just how one becomes accustomed to the constant feeling of clothing on the skin. Those of strong will can even take the permanent sensory pressure of two aspects without trouble. However, even the strong willed will realize that going beyond that is unhealthy for body and soul.

Sensory overload is the keyword. The magic sense, encumbered by having to deal with the permanent assault of various aspects, each whispering in a different language (figuratively), will seek to relief its burden by shifting it onto the other, ordinary senses. The result is seeing ghostly apparitions, smelling cake in a desert, hearing birds underwater, feeling sand under one's feet while lying in bed, and much more; in short, it leads to psychosis – imagining things that are not there. This issue starts of very faint and only becomes worse if one continues to learn more aspects.

A mage does not have to know multiple aspects to suffer from sensory overload and the resulting mental issues. Handling tremendous amounts of magic can cause the same. The chance is increased when the spell being cast includes multiple aspects. The aforementioned whispers turn into screams. At best, being overwhelmed by the gathered power leads to a temporary increase in hallucinations. At worst, it causes full fledged mental trauma that only becomes worse as one continues to abuse the primordial energies.

The possible trauma ranges from having a constant case of the “creepy-crawlies” all the way to seeing everyone around you as demons that you can only banish by slitting your wrists and offering them your very own blood, or perhaps by offering them the lives of nearby friends? The mind comes to strange conclusions when seeking refuge from the sensory torment it brought upon itself.

A common form of trauma or hallucination is imagining actual voices, which is why some casters wonder if the madness is caused by fragments of fallen souls trying to enter one’s mind. Many cultures refer to someone who is afflicted by magic-induced insanity as having “the Whispers”.

Magic Vessels

Superior magical creatures are not the only suitable storage for magic. Non-animal vessels for magic exist. These are magic crystals, magic bulbs, magical force fields and other, lesser known ones. Magic vessels can be naturally charged by surges, nearby wells, or similar. It is also possible for a magic user to purposefully charge a magic vessel by actively directing a flow of magic into it. This allows one to purely fill a crystal with blazizik, for example.

Magic vessels cannot affect the world around them on their own, because they do not randomly release the magic contained within. They release it when made to or when they are damaged, for example by force or by overloading them. Being overloaded with magic makes them unstable and consequentially burst, violently releasing what energy was stored within. Depending on the amount of stored magic, this can cause a minor effect or a powerful magical surge.

Those sensitive to magic can feel the sheer presence of magic vessels, despite them not releasing any energy. Magic generally can be sensed without being directly “touched”. Those who are not sensitive to magic can at least see the natural glow that charged magic vessels give off.

How much magic a single vessel can contain depends on its size and on its condition. The less damage it has and the more cohesive, spherical volume it has, the more magic it can store. Crafty people use the stored energy to power magical devices or simply draw upon the magic when they need to, for instance to fuel a ritual or an alchemical process.

Magic crystals look like ordinary, white, clear crystals, except that they glow when a lot of magic is concentrated within them. The magic a crystal of high quality and the size of a honeydew melon can store is similar to that of a strong superior magical creature.

The crystals are located within Threa's crust. The likelihood of finding one depends on how strongly magic has been affecting a given chunk of crust over the course of its existence. A region that has seen many surges, storms, or where many wells are located is more likely to contain magical minerals.

Magic bulbs, sometimes called magic fruits or similar, are organic vessels for magic that are not the brain of an animal. They are grown by a few species of plants. Magic bulbs are not as good at storing magic as crystals are, but their advantage is that they can technically be farmed if one manages to cultivate one of the plant species that grows them. However, plants capable of storing magic tend to be dangerous and have a bit of a mind of their own. Another downside of magic bulbs is that they are organic. A bulb will begin rotting some time after having been cut off the plant that nurtured it. They are also not as damage-resistant as crystals. Once a bulb is cut or goes bad, the magic within just leaks out and disperses.

Magical force fields differ greatly from bulbs and crystals. They are not solid, as the name implies, and they do not naturally occur. They have to be created by a magic user, either purposefully or instinctively. It is not terribly difficult to create a force field either, however, maintaining one requires focus, willpower, and large amounts of energy. The bigger the force field is, the more magic it can contain and the higher its magic upkeep becomes, too. Magic force fields usually draw upon the magic stored within them, but they can be set up so that they take from an external supply instead.

Either way, once the force field runs out of magic to fuel itself with, it collapses and any magic still stored within is released and subsequently dispersed. The same happens if the caster focusing on keeping the force field up loses their concentration. Thankfully, it is possible to enchant magical devices in a way that they “concentrate” on this task instead. Of course this does not remove the energy upkeep of the force field.

Another downside of magical containment fields is that the density of the energy stored within is much lower than that of a crystal or even a bulb. Yet, since they can be created anywhere and even by beginner mages, they are still often used as central magic containers of rituals involving multiple casters, if no crystals or bulbs are at hand. Also, because of the lower density of magic, the glow of a magical force field is very, very weak. It is practically not noticeable in well lit conditions.

Magical force fields do not have a weight. They are moved around by unseen and weak magical forces that every aspect and thus every magic user is capable of generating and applying. Force fields can be made to hover close to the ground or even to fly. However, they do slowly drift back towards the ground. This is because all magic is naturally, if weakly, attracted to the source of magic, so the core of the planet, as explained at the start of this page.

Enchantments

Objects can be given magical effects. This process is called enchanting and works by weaving magic into an item. Only items that can store magic may be enchanted. The obvious solution are magical crystals on account of their storage capabilities and robustness. Lay a blazizik-charged crystal into a sword hilt and manipulate the magic within so that it will leak forth in a specific way at the utterance of a certain sound. That is how one may create a sword whose blade bursts into flames when a command word is spoken.

It is important to note that the enchantment is attached to the magic vessel and not the item. However, one cannot simply lay the aforementioned crystal into the hilt of a different sword. The enchantment has to be remade in this case. This may also apply when the original item has been heavily modified. That is why a broken magical blade will lose its effects, unless both the blade and its enchantment are repaired.

Only the laws of magic and the skills of the enchanter limit the possibilities of what can be created. What such a magical artisan is capable of depends on which aspects of magic they can control, how well they control them, and how good the vessels they use as “magic batteries” are.

The more massive the item or the more powerful the enchantment is, the larger is the amount of magic required. This makes it difficult to enchant huge objects. The energy necessary to keep them magical is so tremendous that whatever vessels are used will likely run out rather quickly, unless they are extraordinarily large and pristine.

Some of the fallen civilizations of old were grand artificers of magic. Working artifacts can still be found. Some no longer function, but many of these simply need to be recharged or require the skilled touch of an experienced enchanter and crafter. Enchanted items are highly sought after by many cultures and are often considered to bear religious importance.

Mutation

Magic affects spaces it radiates across and whatever lives in them. It has short-term and long-term effects. The aspects of magic can mutate a creature from one moment to the next or over a grand amount of time.

Sudden, drastic alterations to a creature's body are usually caused by a surge or storm. Most of the time this causes the death of the creature in question. In rare cases it can grand the creature new abilities. Imagine a scorpion is hit with a massive amount of blazizik. Its stinger might turn from a weapon capable of applying venom to one that instead shoots balls of flame by instinctively using blazizik. This is a rather extreme example, but it showcases well that mutations that can be survived tend to be based on already existing anatomy and abilities rather than be a completely new development.

Slow, continuous exposure of a species to magic alters it over a long period of time. The mutations are applied to each new generation, to the children as they grow in the womb or egg. As this is a gradual change, the mutation is easier to survive or at least does not kill the creature directly and certainly not as suddenly. If enough mutated specimen manage to reproduce and hand their mutation to their offspring, the mutation will become the norm for their species, or rather for the new species that has been created thus. Simply put, magic affects evolution.

Kul are a great example of creatures that have been heavily affected by magic over the course of their evolution. The exposure has over time given them the ability to sense and manipulate magic to a high degree and has given them various other traits that would not be possible without magic. Examples are the immense fire resistance of blazkul and the rock-hard armor and incredible strength of hozkul.

Souls

Every soul is made out of undivided magic, so out of alizizik. This is true for non-magical, inferior magical, and superior magical creatures. Every creature has a soul, but this alone does not grand it the ability to sense and manipulate magic.

Souls are inherently unstable. The alizizik they consist of desires to fracture into the aspects and radiate across the local space. Hence souls require a magic vessel to remain in one piece. A living body is such a vessel. As long as the brain is alive it can contain the soul.

When the vessel is no longer able to contain the soul then the soul disperses. Its energy scatters, joins the ether so to speak. This happens, for example, when someone's brain dies. There is no afterlife, even if many faiths believe in it.

However, a life after one's brain died is possible. A soul can be transferred to another vessel. One can transfer the souls of others or even one's own soul. The latter is orders of magnitude more difficult because the person attempting this feat has to prevent their own soul from scattering while also transferring it. Also, the vessel must be empty. Each vessel can only contain one soul. If two souls are forced into the same vessel, one will end up being extinguished and its energy will be added to the other, making it more powerful. Naturally, the weaker soul is usually the destroyed one, unless external forces intervene.

Magic crystals are the preferred non-brain vessels for souls because they do not have any form of upkeep and they cannot rot and are rather robust. Magic bulbs are more difficult to use; they rot after some time unless they are nurtured by a plant or forced to remain alive with trezizik. Keeping the bulb attached to the plant is not an option either, because these plants use the magic stored within their bulbs to feed themselves, so they would simply devour any souls stored within them over time. Magical force fields are thus preferred over bulbs when it comes to containing souls. Their downside is that they require a continuous stream of magic to remain intact. Usually, the other magic stored within the force field is used to maintain it. The issue with this is that, once the magic ran out, the force field collapses and the soul disperses. It is critical that a soul in a force field seeks out magical wells or other sources of magic to recharge its energy stores regularly.

If the soul within a vessel was a capable magic user before the transfer, it will remain one after. It can even still learn how to become a magic user, if it has been born with the gift. For example, a mage of hozizik, if powerful, could use nearby rocks to forge themself a new body. Naturally this expends the magic stored in the soul's vessel. The souls of non-magic users and even non-magical creatures can control a new body out of rock or another material with their soul as well, if said body has been appropriately enchanted. This allows the creation of golems.

Souls are usually created through reproduction. The act of fertilization, magically-speaking, is the act of combining two souls to create another. Each soul involved in the act removes a part of itself and those parts are then united to forge a new soul. Artificial creation of a soul is possible, but the art of soul crafting is an extremely difficult one. It requires a mage or circle of mages that is not only capable of manipulating all eight aspects of magic but also capable of uniting them into alizizik. The art of soul creation was lost with the fall of ancient civilizations.

Magic users have two uses for the souls of other creatures. Firstly, souls are great sources of magic. Even the souls of non-magical creatures contain a lot of it, so sacrificing them during a magical ritual is a very efficient way of providing the necessary energy to power it. Secondly, a soul is required if one wants to create magical servants that do not need to be directed like a marionette. It acts as the servant's mind.

As it is nearly impossible to create souls, most magic users have to settle for taking the souls of already living beings to create magical servants, such as loyal golems or elementals. The stronger and more complex the soul of the living being in question is, the easier it is to accomplish something with it because it comes with more potential right out of the body. However, it is more difficult to control since its own will is more powerful as well and not easily subdued. If one were to make a servant out of a lin's soul, they might actually just end up transferring their soul from their organic body into another vessel. This would not result in a servant but in a very angry lin with a free will stuck in a vessel and body it likely never wanted.

It is possible to alter souls, but taking the free will out of a complex soul to replace it with undying loyalty to a given entity is a formidable task. Few are capable of it. Manipulating weak souls  (e.g., that of a rat or similar) is much easier. The downside is that a weak soul is not capable of a whole lot. It likely would not even know how to move the new body it is given, so it would not make for a good servant either. Thankfully, it is possible to enhance weak souls to make them stronger. This too is a difficult and energy consuming task, but it is not nearly as hard as subduing a complex soul. It allows the creator to use the soul of a Threan dog equivalent as the mind for a lin-shaped golem made out of steel, for example.

Each vessel passively protects its soul. It is impossible to alter, transfer, or extinguish a soul while it is safely stored within a vessel, unless the vessel is a crystal, bulb, or force field that is not attached to a body of sorts or the vessel has been magically enchanted to make drawing a soul from it possible. Once the vessel has been destroyed, the soul is vulnerable.

Each soul passively protects its vessel and body. It is extremely difficult to directly magically alter parts of a body controlled by a soul. The stronger the connection between soul and vessel, the more difficult these tasks become. The strongest connection exists between a naturally born organic body and the soul it has been born with. It is so powerful that no mage could hope to overcome the protection it grants. The body has to die first, and thus the soul forced to lose its grip on it, before the body can be magically altered. A weak connection allows the direct manipulation of the soul's vessel and body. Bonds between souls and vessels which they do not naturally belong into tend to be comparably weak. This is why the bodies of elementals can be directly altered, if the magic user is sufficiently strong and skilled. It is a possible albeit difficult task.

By protecting the body from being magically messed with, the soul also prevents that it or things within it can be magically sensed. An azizik user cannot sense the blood flowing in an animal's veins, and an aezizik user cannot sense the air within its lungs, for example. However, the soul itself can be sensed by any magic user, unless it is somehow concealed from magic senses.

Elementals

Fundamentally, an elemental is a soul contained within a vessel without a natural body that has the ability to sense and use magic. It does not necessarily need to have any form of body at all, it just needs to have the power to magically form one and control it to be a proper elemental. The type of soul vessel does not matter, neither does the type of body. It can be air, water, ice, material nokzizik, rock, plant matter, fire, and so on and so forth. Overall, elementals are scarce. Especially the randomly created kind is rare.

A soul installed into a prepared, enchanted body that is incapable of using magic but capable of using said body is called a golem, even if the soul can trigger special magical abilities that are included in the body’s enchantments. True elementals can sense and use magic voluntarily and without needing enchantments to do so.

The status of the soul and the intelligence of the mind linked to it determines whether the elemental is sentient or feral. Sentient elementals are capable of reasoning and making conscious choices. They are basically people in elemental bodies and extremely rare, as the process of becoming an elemental often damages one's soul and turns one feral. Feral elementals are nothing more than beasts given magical powers. They still often carry some of the instinct and natural intuition that guided them before they became an elemental. More on the process of becoming or creating an elemental can be found in the section “Ways of Creation”.

Magical crystals and bulbs are better at containing souls than magical force fields are. Because, elementals made of rock, ice, materialized nokzizik, or plant matter have the easiest time transporting these magical vessels, they are the most common types of elemental. Any non-solid elemental usually has a magical force field as its core, owing to the fact that it is difficult for pure aezizik or liquid azizik elementals to move crystals and bulbs would just rot. Trezizik elementals usually have a magical bulb as their core because they, unlike the others, can keep the plant alive that is needed to nurture the bulbs.

An elemental can only be exterminated by destroying its core or erasing its soul. The latter is only possible if the elemental is already weakened and that is usually achieved by damaging its body or its core. Damaging either component weakens the elemental because it requires magic in order to manipulate the matter it is made of. If an elemental runs out of zizik energy, it can no longer control its body. Elementals who use a force field as their core have it even worse. Once they run out of magic, their core falls apart and thus their soul is consequentially dispelled.   

Elementals can draw energy from their surroundings, if there is any to be had. This is very inefficient. The most efficient way for an elemental to acquire magic is to consume the magic stored in magic vessels or souls. Especially the latter are very nutritious sustenance for elementals. This is why they are often hostile; their hunger for souls drives them to hunt living creatures. The closer the magic energy of a soul or magic vessel is dispersed to the elemental's core, the more energy it can absorb from it. Hence, some elementals grow an orifice comparable to a mouth so that they may bring prey as close to their core as possible, if they have a solid body anyway.

Elementals grow stronger the more energy they consume. They grow weaker if they have not "eaten" in a while. Strong elementals can control a large amount of their element, weaker ones can control less. Strong elementals are larger as a result, so that they can hunt larger creatures with richer souls. However, elementals cannot contain unlimited amounts of energy. If an elemental acquires too much of it, it will become unstable and split into two souls. This allows elementals to asexually reproduce. Usually, this is an unplanned act. Elementals are never truly sated and gladly attempt to snatch up more energy if the opportunity arises, so it is not uncommon that they gorge themselves until they split. The more potential the soul of the elemental has, the stronger it can grow. The potential is determined at the souls creation, but can be artificially increased by skilled mages (including the elemental itself). An increase to a soul's potential can occur as the result of a magic shock, too, but this happens seldomly.

Despite their hunger and having rich souls, feral elementals do not attack each other usually, if the creatures they once were would not normally do that. It appears that they see something familiar in each other's souls, that the weak social aspect that remains with them keeps them from turning to cannibalism.

What is rather curious is that elementals can see and hear. The former requires them to grow magical, glowing eyes. In addition to those two senses, elementals can also sense magic. They are very sensitive to it, which allows them to spot souls and other sources of magic to feed on, such as wells, from a distance. It also appears that elementals can sense the world around them as it is, as if they can sense matter itself. Some refer to this amazing feat as “blindsight” because it works even for elementals that do not have any eyes at all. A downside of this blindsight is its very limited range, reaching perhaps a hundred meter for the most powerful of elementals and mere tens for the weakest ones. Elementals that were capable of speech before having transitioned might remain capable of talking afterwards if their soul has not been damaged too badly during the transition. Their voice appears to emit from their very core.

Elementals have limited range when it comes to manipulating matter. The further away from their core something is, the weaker their influence on it becomes. What makes matters worse for elementals is that interacting with things that are far away also takes more energy and that spreading out the material they are made out of makes them very weak. This is why a hozizik elemental cannot just control an entire rock desert, or rather, be an entire rock desert. It would extinguish itself in the blink of an eye attempting to manipulate such a massive space and mass of rock.

Hybrid elementals exist. A hozizik elemental may be an animated pile of rocks. A blazizik elemental usually looks like a firestorm that is moved around a whirling core by invisible forces. Mix blazizik and hozizik and receive a lava elemental, or one that is partially rock, partially flames. This is merely one example of many. What aspects an elemental consists of is determined at its creation and cannot be changed, unless its soul is directly altered again. Alizizik “elementals”, so those formed out of flesh, blood, and bone, exist as well. The terrifying, murderous abominations that still wander Threa, if in small number, are evidence of this.

Ways of Creation

Elementals are either created randomly, purposefully, or through elemental reproduction. Either way, the creation of an elemental requires a lot of magic, a soul, and a suitable magic vessel. Although an elemental that is simply a soul in a container would be rather dull, matter to form a body out of or a prepared body are optional.

The random creation of an elemental occurs when a soul's vessel is destroyed in an area with tremendous amounts of zizik or by an intense strike of it. The latter can happen during magical storms, magic surges, or similar events. Usually, souls disperse and thus die when their vessel is broken, but, if there is enough magic around, then the soul might be infused with said magic before it (completely) disperses and may thus find a new vessel, such as a magical crystal, or simply creates its own, such as a magical force field. Magic is a wild and chaotic thing when it appears in vast amounts within a small space.

This transition to an elemental saves the soul from death but it also alters it heavily most of the time. The soul's personality is partially erased or utterly changed and its memories scrambled or lost. Usually, nothing but instinct remains, which is why the grand majority of randomly created elementals are feral like beasts. The soul's domain changes as well. It is granted access to the magical aspects that were present when its former vessel was destroyed. They are either added to or replace its former domain. Once trapped in its new vessel, the elemental will instinctively seek to forge itself a new body out of whatever matter is available that it can manipulate.

Purposefully creating an elemental or golem is a controlled process. A soul is taken out of its original vessel and transferred into another. During the transfer, the performing mage(s) can alter the soul. They can edit its personality, change its memories or simply delete them, and so on and so forth. This is important because usually elementals and golems are created to act as servants. The creator has to be very careful during this stage. If they break the soul too much, the creation will be worthless and incapable. If they alter it too little, the being might keep its free will instead of becoming deeply loyal to its master. To create a true elemental, the soul must also be given the ability to sense and manipulate magic during the transfer. Otherwise, it will not be able to form its own body out of whatever matter it can control. It can still be installed into an enchanted body and use that instead, but then the created servant is called a golem and not an elemental. Gifting another creature the ability to sense and manipulate magic or the blindsight innate to true elementals is another lost art. Only grand masters of zizik and souls were capable of doing this. They understood the processes behind the natural creation of elementals.

It is possible to create souls, but this is an enormously difficult task. For this reason, most creators always take an already existing soul. More information about creating, using, and altering souls can be found in the section “Souls”.

Elemental reproduction is the aforementioned process of an elemental splitting in two because it became unstable as a consequence of consuming more magical energy than its soul could handle.

Shaped and Shapeless

Beyond their state of mind (feral or sentient) or the aspects they are made of, there is a third pair of categories that elementals can be sorted into: shaped and shapeless. These terms are not to be taken literally.

Shaped elementals are simply those that have a body that resembles a known shape. They are very similar to some type of creature or a mix of two creatures and their body moves just like one would expect it to. Most purposefully created elementals are shaped elementals. Most creators prefer to form and enchant the body of their to-be servant before giving it a soul. The soul, as its vessel is installed into the body, takes over the body. It assumes its shape as its natural form; thus, it does not attempt to stray from it. It will also instinctively act within its limitations, such as the range of joints, even though it might not even have actual joints and could thus move its limbs in any direction it desires. Randomly created elementals can also end up being shaped. This occurs when the soul remembers its original, natural form after the transition to an elemental. The body it creates will as closely as possible resemble and work as the natural, organic body it once had. Such randomly created shaped elementals will often even behave as they did before their transition because they act according to their instinct. Beware of packs of wolves that have been made elementals by a hozizik surge. They still look and act like wolves but are made out of rock instead of flesh. They are much more dangerous thus and they now hunger for magic, so souls, instead of meat.

Some shaped elementals, if they are given enough time and they are smart enough or altered (purposefully or randomly) to be smart enough, will figure out that they are no longer restrained by the constraints of joints or the other limitations of an organic body. They will evolve and learn to use their newfound elemental powers to accomplish things their organic kin is incapable of. They might even change their shaped body, mutate it magically to gain abilities. Often these abilities are similar to those they possessed before they transitioned into an elemental. A scorpion turned into an elemental by a surge of hozizik may end up being made much larger and out of crystal. If it consumes enough magic and its mind happens to grow complex enough, it may learn to change its stinger, which lost its venom when the scorpion became an elemental, into a crystal spikes shooting limb instead.

Shapeless elementals are much different. They happen when a soul is heavily damaged during the transition. The soul forgets its original shape, and thus does not know what the body it desires to form should look like or what limitations it should have. Most of the time, such shapeless elementals turn to blobs of matter. If they are unlucky, they are far from a source of magic and will therefore wither and die over time. The luckier ones that transitioned nearby a powerful well, or the quick learners, have a chance at their new life because a shapeless elemental can evolve if given enough time. It can learn to adapt its body to suit its needs and to propel itself forward. This grants shapeless elementals amazing potential. Over time, they will learn to use their elemental power to alter their shape and control their body freely, make it move in any way and direction. If allowed to ripen and evolve, they can become the most dangerous elementals because they are not limited like the souls of shaped elementals are. The laws of evolution very much apply. The more successful the custom body of a shapeless elemental is, the better a hunter it will be and the more energy it will acquire. If it acquires enough to become unstable, it will split into two elementals, and thus successfully asexually reproduce. The terrible custom shapes simply die.

Alchemy

Various kinds of fantastical, magical concoctions can be created by those learned in the ways of alchemy. They take the form of potions, salves, poultices, powders, and the like, and have unnatural effects, which are unachievable by mixtures made from ordinary herbs. Among these effects are the rapid healing of injuries, the doubling of the consumer's strength, agility, or other physical attributes, and much more. Master alchemists can even produce a salve that makes whatever creature they are applied to invisible or an intravenously applied infusion that allows one to naturally assume a nokzizik form.

Alchemy is not limitless in what it can achieve and is in fact more limited than using magic. For example, an alchemist could not produce a potion that enables one to throw an explosive fireball, whereas capable mages of blazizik most certainly can throw such devastating spells. Also, most alchemical effects are temporary. Healing is among the very few effects that are permanent. The advantage of alchemy is that anyone can do it, no matter if they possess the arcane gift or not. Its use is thus more common than spellcasting and, by some, considered the magic of the non-magical.

The ingredients used in alchemy are magical in nature. Only with magical ingredients can extraordinary effects be achieved. Ordinary herbs are still often a part of many concoctions because they can have a variety of pleasant effects such as improving the taste of the mixture or making it easier on the stomach. Magical ingredients can only be obtained from superior magical creatures and magical plants. The body parts of kul, for example, are a prized ingredient for a variety of strong recipes. A generally applicable rule of alchemy is: The stronger a product is, the more rare and difficult to acquire are its components because the more dangerous are the animals and/or plants they can be harvested from.