Odylicism

I originally wrote this for a wiki I maintained on another domain. Some of the references and information contained here may not gel with where I want to take my Fels stories. The term odylicism comes from the concept of “od”, defined here. (English definition #2)


Odylicism

In the Felsian parlance, odylicism is synonymous with magic and the two terms are interchangeable. Cultures throughout the world have their own terms for such practitioners, not all of them respectful. Gramarist, sorcerer, wizard, magician, shaman, odylicist, occultist, arcanist, thaumaturge, theurgist, take your pick. Wizard is used, especially in the lower Three Rivers region, disparagingly for folk seen as quacks and charlatans, whereas sorcerer is reserved for practitioners of ability. The opposite is true elsewhere.

The Collision was the birth of all magic as Fels knows it. In the beginning, magic was pure chaos, not able to be controlled or directed. In the years after the Collision until things settled, magic was a thing to be feared, much like a farmer fears a tornado; a fickle and random thing of great destructive power. A few will argue that nothing has changed.

As the new universe righted itself, people of discernment began to realise they could control odylicism to a degree. That, through dint of effort, they could draw upon the scytae to work their will. Later, others discovered that the fluid of the scytae itself could be condensed and crystallised, to be imbued into mundane objects or to be kept and used as a source of raw odylic power.

A magic dust storm

A magical dust storm approaches a lone rider.

True practitioners scorn those who use implements and crystals, giving them names such as “rod-bogglers” and “crystalfilths”. To be sure, any person can use an odylically-imbued object, as Alais Gera did with the staff Onom. If items are created in this manner, they are usually attuned to the individual that will use them, to avoid disaster. This is readily circumvented, however, by those crafters with high skill, who can undo the work of others.

Where magic comes from is a matter of debate. Some claim it derives from the Fabled Third World, other scholars postulate it is innate in the universe itself after the Collision. It is drawn from what practitioners have described as a network of "pipes" that reach into all places and can be accessed by those who have the ability. Others say it comes from the very fabric of reality itself.

Before Alais Gera sealed away the Fabled Third World, magic flowed freely and without consequence to those who used it. Consequently, sorcerers became powerful, often approaching the might of the gods and other supernals. With the sealing, the casting of sorcery is an unpredictable affair that may well annihilate the user. This has spelled the end of the primacy of the sorcerer on Fels - to an extent.

For thousands of years, odylicism has been divided into “fields” of speciality. These are artificial divisions as the scytae itself has a unitary nature. In theory, a powerful practitioner could master all aspects of magic, but this has never occurred. The vast majority of people who are odylically inclined can only master one field and maybe become partially adept in one or two others. This is a born trait, and to date, no-one can understand why this is the case.

The fields are different not only in scope, but in power as well. A practitioner in the Field of Creation will be a far more cogent sorcerer than one adept in the Field of Peace, simply as creation itself is a much more drastic action than the relatively reactive peace.

The fields discussed.

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