Beyond The Boundary: The Hollow Temple
Magic Beyond the Boundary
Magic, as a function of mortal casters, is dependant on something called the Serie Magicam, or magical circuit. Serie Magicam allow creatures to access the latent pars magicam, or magical element, in the environment, as well as to generate their own magical energy. This harnessed power can be used in a variety of ways, the most obvious being spellcasting.
A creature is limited in its ability to cast by the number and quality of their Serie Magicam. While it is possible for the quality of Serie Magicam to naturally improve with practice and ritual, the number will never naturally change in most creatures. Transplants are possible, but tend to be difficult and dangerous. Serie Magicam are, after all, physical organs. Unless they are a match, one risks complications via transplant rejection.
In the World Beyond the Boundary, Serie Magicam are ultimately the source of all mystical abilities. This includes ki, totem powers, and magic of all varieties. They are simply the result of very different uses of ones' Serie Magicam.
What This Means For Characters
This actually doesn't mean much at all mechanically. Your number or quality of Serie Magicam has no effect on your character outside of possible Trait choices. The only mechanical impact it has is that all class and racial features that are supernatural in nature are considered magical for the purposes of breaking through resistance to nonmagical damage, magic resistance, and antimagic. While this might seem potentially unbalancing, given the nature of the setting, antimagic is incredibly rare as is true magic resistance.
The Nature of Magic and the World
The World itself is alive, and this is an important truth to magi. While some uses of the Serie Magicam are entirely internal and require no input from the outside world, spellcasting relies on the rules of the World. Every spell relies on a ritual that has been written into the memory of the World. Tell a lie enough and it starts to sound true; this is the law that has governed the growth of magic. If enough people believe something it becomes true; if enough people assert the idea that a certain incantation combined with bat guano and sulfur creates an explosive blast, the World will recognize that as truth. However, the World will eventually catch itself in its mistake. Very few magics can be made permanent, as the World eventually realizes that magic breaks the Logic of the World and rejects the magic.
The rule that governs spell creation applies to much of the magical world however; enough belief in a spirit and the spirit becomes real. Enough belief in a rumor, and the rumor will become reality. Something created in this way requires constant belief to remain in the world however. This is why many mythical beings and gods have disappeared; with no worship or belief, they have faded out back into the Boundary.
Serie Magicam do not often appear in families without magical lineage, and are a recessive, but heritable trait. Because of this, mages tend to marry other mages, so that they might give birth to yet more mages. While this might seem to suggest Sorcerers make up the majority of casters, this isn't entirely true. While Sorcerers are relatively common in the magical world, they represent familial lines with a particular mutation in their Serie Magicam.
Ultimately, the heritable nature of magical power has created a social hierarchy in the magical world. Mages from established families tend to wield more social and political power, very often because they literally wield more magical power than their less established peers. Mages without any notable familial ties, like first generation mages or from weak, recently established families, tend to be looked down upon or at best treated as second class citizens in magical society.
The magical world revolves around the Consociatio Magos, or so most mages would have you believe. This association is the primary magus society in the world; most mages take part in it if only because it is so hard to avoid when one is active in the magical world. It controls the trade of many commonly required magical reagents, as well as sets the rules for magi society. Those rules are as follows:
- Do not reveal magic to the world at large.
- Do not perform any actions that may gain the Consociatio Magos the ire of the Church.
- Discovery or creation of any magical artifacts of very rare or higher classification must be reported to the Consociatio Magos as soon as possible.
- Discovery or creation of any Phantasmal or Divine Beasts of Tier 4 must be reported to the Consociatio Magos as soon as possible.
- The commands of the Ten Sages are absolute.
It has three primary branches; one in New York City, one in London, England, and one in Hong Kong, China. Other significant branches are located in Alexandria, Rome, and Kyoto. Ultimately, however, the real seat of power in the Consociatio Magos is the Magister's City of Ishana. Located off the coast of Spain, it was allegedly built on the ruins of Atlantis. It is here that the most powerful families of the Consociatio Magos make their homes.
The Holy Church
While in the World Beyond the Boundary, there is no true difference between what is traditionally known as arcane and divine magic, the Holy Church will never admit that fact. Also based in Rome, the Holy Church is not exactly the Roman Catholic Church, though there is a significant overlap between the two. Most members of the Holy Church identify as Roman Catholic, but the majority of the Catholic Church is unaware of the existence of the Holy Church, sometimes including the Pope himself.
Through their dedication to their faith, members of the Holy Church access magic much the same as a wizard might through arcane ritual or a bard would through song. However, the Holy Church decries the use of 'arcane' magic as evil and dangerous. Only half-wrong, the Church maintains itself as a countering force to the Consociatio Magos.
Certain types of magic are impossible in the World Beyond the Boundary, or at least so obscure and difficult that they might as well be impossible. The following spells do not exist in this campaign setting:
- Misty Step
- Dimension Door
- Raise Dead
- Teleportation Circle
- True Ressurection
Additionally, any spells that can be made permanent require yearly maintenance if made permanent. The caster must recast the spell in the same spot for one week and expend at least $10000 worth of magical reagents by the end of the week. If the spell's own consumed component cost over the week equals or exceed $10000, no additional costs will be required.