Magicians and Their Classifications

There is no fool-proof classification system for magicians, and no matter how hard we try to clarify the issue, the magicians themselves will continue to use the names that they have always used, as unconcerned about what the neighboring worlds do as ever. I have managed to gather some loose categories that seem common across several worlds, however. I have listed them below.

Beings Who Are Born with Magic

The two most powerful natural magicians are the mages and the sorcerers.

Mages normally have a single talent (and have no more than three). These talents range from psychic abilities (such as telepathy) to mere enhancements of mundane abilities (for example, the traditional super-strength). Where exactly natural humans leave off and mages begin is a matter of much debate. Mages occasionally use gestures or chants to help them focus, but the powers that they use do not originate from these. Also, the effects of their ability normally ends when the casting is finished.

Sorcerers tend to have more flashy abilities. They also have a wider range of abilities. It is common for them to use a focus to help control their powers. Sorcerers typically live in the country, away from crowds, and they are picky about whom they help.

Unnatural Magic Users

The two biggest groups in this category are the wizards and the technomages.

Wizards extract magic from plants and magical beings. They store the power in objects such as amulets, wands, and staffs, and with these objects they can cast lasting spells or give power to others. Wizards can either store the magic as a general power which can be used to perform any spell, or they can store it in preparation for a specific spell. Because the majority of preparation for such a spell is done when the powers are stored, the effort to enact the spell is relatively low; however, this limits the usefulness of the object to that spell.

Technomages are not actually magical users, but this is not apparent to anyone watching them work. They are a clan of highly advanced individuals who have merged with their technology. I myself am considered a technomage by most of the worlds that I visit because of my computers, guns, and cyborg implants, but there are others who are far more advanced than I. I have only met them a handful of times, and they never stay to chat. They are sojourners. It is my belief that their home world was destroyed, but this is simply because they don’t seem to have one.

Witches and Warlocks

This is probably the most poorly defined category. It acts as a catch-all for the minor magic users. Most of the users in this category use potions, chants, and diagrams to create their spells or curses. Although they often have a small amount of natural powers, they tend to use power in objects or other beings to enhance their own.

Magicians

Although this is technically the correct name for anyone who uses magic, in practice it is more commonly used for prestidigitators who use illusions and slight of hand to imitate magic. Therefore, my suggestion is that you use the terms that your audience understands and forget about technical correctness.

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Magnisi: Parallel World, M Class

I came across Magnisi about a year ago during my tour of the parallels. It is a fascinating world. In some aspects, it seems almost identical to ours. For example, many of its monarchies have been replaced with some degree of democracy, monopolies are often called evil, and its children uniformly dislike leeks.

Magnisi is an M class parallel, but it was very nearly reduced to an N class between the 12th and 18th centuries. Nearly all its history before this time has been lost, but it is known that mages ruled or strongly influenced 9 out of 10 countries. In 1132, the Just Reaper plague appeared (so called by the Norm brotherhood, which appeared soon after). The Just Reaper had a 99% fatality rate. No mage that caught it survived. Even the healers, who had never before been affected by disease or illness, were wiped out. In fact, their power seemed to accelerate, not hinder, the plague. The non-magical people, however, were completely immune. The mage population was nearly eradicated over the next 20 years. Only isolated tribes and hermits survived.

The Norm brotherhood began hunting the remaining mages around 1150, claiming that the plague had been a judgment from god, and it was now their turn to finish the job. The Norm continued their hunt until the late 1700’s. By that time, most people believed magic to be merely a superstition—in part because the mages’ numbers had fallen so low and because of the great number of charlatans claiming to have magic, but also because the Norms had been destroying all historical references to the true mages. Witch hunts became a  means to get rid of rivals, and the brotherhood began to fall apart as its purpose was forgotten.

Now, in the early 21st century, the mage population is finally starting to recover. Many of its number are untrained. In fact, many mages are unaware of their own powers. The few mages who know what happened tend to be unwilling to reveal themselves for fear that history will repeat.

Parallel Worlds

Just as plants and animals have classifications, the worlds have also been classified. The categories are based primarily on their levels of technology and magic. Parallel worlds are those that have advanced in technology at a pace similar to our own. Some have societies and even geographies that are also similar, but there are others where only the increasing taxes seem the same.

Parallel worlds are further broken down into two classes: those which have developed magic along with their technology (M class), and those that have not (N class).

Hello world!

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been exploring other worlds. I have strolled through the Pixy Woods, chased a pickpocket on Chaldor’s second moon, and discussed the role of wizards in the modern world over at the Nightingale Club. It has been quite a journey: sometimes simple joy, other times I did not know if I would ever see home again.

As much adventure as I have had exploring, however, I’ve decided that it is high time for me to start on the paperwork. After all, what good is an explorer if she keeps no record of her travels? If she barely escapes from the South Seas, it is only polite for her to warn others of the serpents there.

Besides, after losing my second mechanical arm to a Drake Inferno, my doctor insists that I take some R-and-R in the relative peace of the American Countryside.

So prepare yourself as I unfold facts and folktales brought to you straight from these distant lands.