Didn’t get in everything I had in my min about this. But, still. 500 words. That’s the practice!
Real magic isn’t what most people think. It happens on a real and microscopic scale. In ancient times, mages, wizards, and their kin around the world described magic as traveling to another a higher realm, a different dimension. The truth is much simpler.
As a caster, you are granted the ability to manipulate reality. But, you are still limited by it. The worlds the ancients though they saw were actually magnifications of this world. When it first happened to me, the sensation overwhelmed me. The air became a galaxy of planets and their moons, what turned out to be oxygen and hydrogen molecules. I could see the blood cells cascading through my body, highlighting my vascular structure.
I realized eventually what I saw and it made things much clearer. I don’t actually understand how I manipulate the world… the first cult of magi wrote a lengthy discourse on the subject but it has since been lost to time. However, I do know that I can will things into action. Once I realized this, I figured out that casting a fireball is as simple as condensing the air molecules around me and rubbing them together until they create lightning – a small static bolt that ignites the oxygen-rich bubble of air I form.
There are religions and ideologies among magi. Specifically, the religion of the First Cult dominates the hidden world. The First Cult were the earliest known magi to document their methods. Most of what has been uncovered exists as magically ciphered text written on enchanted paper. Whatever the First Cult did to seal their secrets, it was good enough to stump even modern mages.
For me though, simply studying physics has worked out great. The more you learn about the world you can manipulate, the more you can push the bounds of real. I’ve developed my powers at least in equation with the magic of the faithful. They do have different auras though. Faith magic and sectarian magic are distinct enough from each other that there is reason to study both.
Unfortunately, not all of the organizations out there are as pacifistic as the First Cult. The Consortium is a group whose focus on mind magic has ushered in their followers as political leaders since the early 1900s. The Consortium is run by the most powerful magi around and the unions that don’t pay them tend to pay another way. As an unaffiliated mage, I get the benefit of being left alone. But, it comes at the price of them leaving me alone. Magic attracts powerful, dangerous people and without the protection of The Consortium’s private tactical forces and far-reaching influence and resource, magi would be a mainstream subject, rather than a closely guarded secret society.
Of course, I’ve been known to let a secret slip every now and then… and with the immense struggle on the horizon, I think it’s time that magi are forced to stand up and use their powers to protect those who lack our gifts.