Post:Lunar Magic 101 - 05/31/2014 - 10:27

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Lunar Magic 101 · on 05/31/2014 10:27 AM CDT 304
History -

Lunar magic has a convoluted history, being simultaneously one of the oldest and newest forms of magic known to society.

Most commonly, it's referred to as the youngest form of magic. Lunar magic gained legitimacy approximately 1,000 years ago after a number of culturally diverse practitioners came under a unified identity at the Magical Congress. The result of the Magical Congress was the signing of the Lunar Accord and adoption of the identity 'Moon Mage' among the previously divisive lot. The Imperial Guild of Moon Mages quickly formed afterward, which survives to this day.

To understand why the Magical Congress happened requires an understanding of the atmosphere surrounding it. In short, Lunar magic was facing extinction. This came from two sources. First, the diverse cultures that practiced Lunar magic faced extinction under the hegemony of the Empire. Second, and more pressing, Lunar magic was at the time was not distinguished from sorcery. Lunar magicians within the Empire were often persecuted as Sorcerers, which led to the untimely burning of many.

The Magical Congress had two things going for it. On one hand, it represented certain enlightened principles that many within the Empire found palatable: cultural inclusiveness, tolerance, open mindedness. On the other hand, it was a body of magicians with scary, barely understood powers that had gathered in such strength that they could level half of Throne City if they had a mind to. Both qualities proved valuable in garnering official acceptance of the Lunar science.

That was the story of Lunar magic as the young Turk of magicians, and now it is time to discuss Lunar magic as the occult art.

Moon Mages are eminently aware that Lunar magic was practiced before the Lunar Accord -- their sects, after all, came from somewhere. The simplest answer is to where Lunar magic ultimately came from is multiple points of genesis. After all, most magic (all except Holy) was initially invented somewhere, Lunar magic may have been independently invented in multiple locations, late in history.

But there are signs that this is not the full story. Ancient relics have been discovered, most notably Taisgath (the obelisk for which the island is named), which are built out of Lunar magic. There is every indication that a pre-historic society existed that practiced Lunar magic at an incredibly advanced level.

And then it disappeared from history.

No one knows what happened to the "proto-Moon Mages," though given the prevailing mood of the Moon Mage Guild, it's not usually thought to have been pleasant.

Character of Lunar Magic -
At its base, Lunar magic is considered one of the "otherworldly" types of magic. It draws upon the forces of the heavens and extraplanar forces to produce effects that are alien to Elanthia. Psychic powers, telekinesis, manipulation of light, and manifestation of unnatural materials (most notably unreal crystals) are the hallmarks of Lunar magic naked of any other influence.

Moon Mages specifically delve into an alien realm called the Plane of Probability, and in doing so gain additional powers. The Plane of Probability grants them their prophetic insight, and an incredible unconscious capacity for math that allows for what they call Enlightened Geometry (teleportation effects). These are the abilities that are not purely innate to Lunar magic and would not be expected to exist outside the particular relationship with the universe that Moon Mages have.

Despite its potentially ancient history, the operative fact is that modern investigation of Lunar magic is a mere millennium old, far behind the refinement of Elemental and Holy magics. This impacts the character of Lunar magic. The Lunar magic that the Moon Mages practice is in some ways crude and dangerous, lacking in "safety mechanisms" and dealing with forces that are still untamed. Notably, before Erzebet Crowther's refinement of the spell, the simple Shadows spell used to produce a yearly death toll. This is not an inviolate feature of Lunar magic, merely one that currently exists in Lunar magic as practiced.

Moon Mages for the most part practice magic as, paradoxically, the science of mysticism. Spells are deeply mathematical, the Heavens are meticulously charted. Mysticism exists within the Moon Mage practice but it is often seen as a hostile, confounding force that logic contends against. This is not the only way to practice Lunar magic, though. Some of the sects come from traditions that are deeply intuitive and mystical in nature, it is only the historical dominance of the hyper-rational Celestial Compact that informs the Moon Mages' methods -- and, thus, Lunar magic as currently understood.

The Children of Grazhir -
And now for something a little odd.

Moon Mages, more so than any other magician known to society, fight a war across the planes. While they derive power and sublime knowledge from the Plane of Probability, the alien intelligences of that plane seek to kill them. The powers of the Plane of Probability call Moon Mages the Children of Grazhir, and under that name see all the justification they need to wipe Lunar magic off the face of the Plane of Abiding.

There hasn't been constructive talk across the planes since the era of Kir Dor'na'torna (an ancient shaman of the Arid Steppe). Thus, the actual nature of what a "Child of Grazhir" is remains ambiguious. Does it refer specifically to Moon Mages? To specific Moon Mages? Or is it possible that, once you open the door and attune to Lunar magic, you are indelibly marked? Caveat magus.

This message was originally posted in The Traders \ Game Master and Official Announcements, by DR-ARMIFER on the forums.