History of Arcana - Magic

Magic in the World of Arcana

Though most common people of Arcana see magic as merely the fuel for the parlour tricks of the wizards, it is so much more. It is the essence of creation, change and chaos. Its influence created the earliest life forms in the primordial soup of Arcana’s distant past. It is the substance that forms the gods, gives them life and grants them power. On Arcana, unlike almost any other world in existence, it permeates the wind, land and oceans. All of Arcana’s creatures feel its influence, though only a handful of beings in the entire world understand its potential.

Magic exists everywhere in the world, but rarely stays in a constant form. The magic in the earth and mountains is as hard as the stone it permeates, proving to be among the most difficult forms of magic to harness. The magic in the forests is harnessed easily by those with the gift and regenerates and grows with abandon. The magic of the oceans is rhythmic, ebbing and flowing in intensity just like the tides. The magic trapped in the upper atmosphere of Arcana is wild, turbulent and free. It gives the great dragons the gift of flight and the sky Titans their lightning-fuelled rage.

During the Elven civil war, the Elven mages drew vast amounts of magic from the world. As the war grew in intensity, so did the desperation and ambition of the wizards from both factions. They looked to magic as a way of ending the war decisively. The Elven wizards bled the magical reserves in the sky, forests, mountains and oceans dry to power their apocalyptic spells. Coastal cities were dragged into the sea, entire armies were enveloped in eldritch flames and whole war fleets were dashed against the coastlines by unnatural storms. In time, the madness of a handful of Elven wizards brought the entire world of Arcana to the edge of destruction. In the event known as the cataclysm, an uncontrollable storm of magic mutated hundreds of thousands of humans and orcs into abominations. The storm triggered a wave of eldritch energy that spread outwards across the face of Arcana. Most Elven mages from both sides died; their minds torn asunder by this wave of magical fury. Even the mages from kingdoms as distant as Daria felt the effects of the cataclysm.

Since the cataclysm, the magic of Arcana has become far more difficult to harness and shape into spells. Some wizards claim that the levels of magic in the world were so utterly depleted by the Elven civil war that it will be tens of thousands of years before the levels are restored. Others claim that magic is not a resource that can be depleted, but a living entity with a soul and consciousness of its own. They conclude that the magic of Arcana still remembers the atrocities and excesses of the Elven war and now resists any further manipulation by spell casters. Whatever the reason, the end result is the same. Wizards today are incapable of casting the earth-shattering spells of the past. The fate of the kingdoms of Arcana will no longer be decided just by the spells of their sorcerers, but also by the swords, hearts and minds of their warriors.