The Summer Heroes
The Origin and Practice of Magik: A Survey of the Mystical Arts of the Peoples and Cultures of the Known World
by Loremaster Yuthras the Learned of Clan Maelon, 423-572 BR
An except from the Introduction:
…From whence springs that mystical force of the universe colloquially known as ‘magik’? This question has vexed the scholars, priests, and mages of a thousand lands in the many thousands of years since our mortal plane sprung from the immaterium at the dawn of time. The reader might assume that with such scrutiny, this strange and mysterious force would surely have been rendered as mundane as smithing or dentistry. Yet despite the efforts of countless sages far more learned than your humble historian, it has continued to confound the efforts of all. But despair not, dear reader! For though it remains enigmatic, there is much that can be said about the practice and properties of magik.
Your humble historian will come to the myriad theories of the origins of magik in volume 12 (see also Appendix VII: Hecuba and Elemental Gods of Ryloroth), but the reader is encouraged to begin with a fundamental orientation on the practice of magik.
Throughout the ages, the peoples of our world have exercised magik in a host of ways. Most familiar to the contemporary reader would be the healing magiks found everywhere from the the the lowliest village priest to the Ecclesiarchy of Therune in Tintern. Nearly everyone in the Empire will at one time or other engage the services of these practitioners of magik. Perhaps slightly less multitudinous, yet still common, are the practitioners of the Guild of Senders, whose clairvoyant and clairaudient expertise enables the spread of news from one edge of the realm to the other in mere minutes. Less common still, yet far more inspiring, are the battle mages of the Sorian Army. In their serried ranks, they smite the enemies of the realm with colossal explosions and fearsome lightning.
Most readers, however, will be astounded and amazed by the breadth of magical practices contained in this treatise. Your humble historian will take you from the spell singers of Aelon, who weave their magiks with song to the blood rites of the Orcish hordes. You will even find, in volume 6, a discussion of that most arcane of arts, the gnomish alchemy.
Yet, all these arts have one thing in common. They are all a means by which we of the mortal plane might supercede the normal laws of the universe and affect a change in the very fabric of the universe. Often it is said that Magik can be subdivided into that which is dubbed ‘Arcane’ and that which is dubbed ‘Divine’ lore. Yet as you will see later, your humble historian believes the evidence is clear that all stems from a single source of power. The Arcane is merely the manipulation by mortals directly, whilst the Divine is the harnessing of the energies of the Gods themselves to bring forth similar effects. All are merely manifestations of the one universal Magik…