When choosing to use magic in a fantasy setting it helps to create a functioning system for you to base a spell or magic event off of. Without it, you tend to run into situations where a conflict could be solved by a simple snap of the fingers. Here I have an example of the magic system in the Corgi Knight Series. It’s written in a Magic Guide for Dummies format.
Silver’s beginner guide to magic.
Energy = Matter = Magic.
Magic is the bonding force between all realms. It sits in a space of its own partially on our reality and on the realities of all other realms of existence. Academics have come to call this The Source. Archmagi Spotty Hindzel described it as “A vast sea of energy. As if you were standing at the bottom of the ocean and could see the eddy’s and currents flowing around you that are expanding forever”. Magic is everywhere. It has different consistencies in certain areas but otherwise considered universal.
The first rule of magic: Magic will always return to the source.
Magic can be converted into energy or matter. All three are interchangeable with one exception, magic will eventually return to its source. If you craft a solid object out of magic, it’s magical components over time will attempt to deconstruct and return to the source. Even the oldest long-lasting spells will eventually end if not given a new enchantment. Energy has the quickest return rate to the source. If you craft a ball of fire in your paw with magic, the magic components of the ball will return to the source within seconds if it is left without craft or bond.
Not all life uses magic.
All life influences magic. Anything living will change, shift, consume or condense magic. From the smallest blade of grass to the mighty whales of the sea, all life has an impact on the source. Despite all living things influencing magic, not all living things utilize it. For example, dogs are separated into three different categories depending how their bodies react to magic: R+, PR and R-. R+ stand for positive reaction. Dogs whose body actively utilize the source are capable of crafting and casting magic. Less than one percent of the population has been recorded being R+. PR stands for partial reaction; most dogs fall into this category. While their bodies do utilize magic in some way, it’s usually not universal across all parts. This makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible to craft magic. R- stands for rejection. An extremely small percentage of dogs reject magic and shift it away from themselves. These people used to be incorrectly labeled “Magic Eaters” when scholars witnessed the voids of magic these people would create. Some creatures condense magic into their biology, Dragons and Unicorns are excellent examples of creatures that have evolved to condense magic and can craft magic naturally. For most living beings, the nature and flow of the source will never be noticed throughout their life.
Condensing and Conduction.
Magic rarely exists in a naturally condensed form, with two exceptions. Crystalline structures and bones. Crystalline structures of any material have a unique clustering effect on the source. Like a sponge in the ocean, crystals naturally collect magic and hold it. Bones possess a similar quality but seem to require a biological component to function. Bones, wood, and certain metals have a unique quality to facilitate the movement of magic across them. Some materials can also reduce or stop movement of magic, the most notable one being lead. When first learning magic a novice is taught the somatic movements of spells or crafting. This is because of the bones within the body. Often large amounts of magic must be moved across the body to cast or craft.
Casting, Crafting and Enchantment.
Using magic is classified into three actions. Any combination of the three can also be attributed to using magic. Crafting magic is creating or utilizing magic within one’s own biological body. This is the precursor to the second two forms of magic. Casting magic is projecting or manipulating a craft into the environment, your own body or another body around you. Most spells fall into this category. Enchanting is placing a crafted magic into an object or material that does not naturally contain magic. This is commonly done with weapons and armor.
Your body and magic.
While every part of your body can hold magic, there are certain pieces that are far more efficient at it. The dog brain is the powerhouse for magic in the body. The brain is estimated to hold 50% of the magic within a body. The muscles are next, housing close to 35%, the bones contain 10% and the remainder is held in the blood. The amount of magic a body can hold stays relatively constant throughout a dog’s adult life unless there is constant magic fluctuation. Therefore, it is always important to practice magic often and keep your body in top shape. Archmagi level of casting is achieved by years of diligence and exercises expanding body magic capacity.
Power, Backfire and Focus.
Wizarding communities classify how powerful a spell is by how much magic is used to perform the spell from start to finish. One level is equal to the same amount of magic a 200-milligram diamond can contain. The highest recorded level cast by an individual dog is 9. At some point all beginners experience backfire. It is most commonly witnessed at tiny pin pricks in one’s arms or paws after attempting to cast a spell. If a crafted spell is improperly done the resulting magic can cluster and detonate within the body. The more powerful a spell the more catastrophic the detonation. Practice and precaution is your friend when dealing with backfire! A focus is referred to as any tool crafted to assist with the casting of a spell. The materials used are often bone, wood and crystal. Holding the focus at the end of your paw helps facilitate the movement of magic out of your body. There are even some foci that can amplify certain spells if used properly.
The components of a spell.
When first learning magic a beginner is introduced to three separate types of spell components to assist in casting: Somatic, Verbal and Material. Do note that it is possible to train yourself to a point where you no longer need spell components. The Somatic component is precise moments and gestures with the paws and arms. These movements help facilitate the magic from a crafted state in the body to a spell. It’s possible to use your legs and hind paws to accomplish the same thing, but with the restricted movement range it becomes considerably harder. The Verbal component of a spell is a distinct word or phrase coupled with the casting. This is primarily used as a mental focus to keep one’s mind attuned to a certain feeling. Much like muscle memory when learning to use a weapon, the mind too can be trained to react quicker and more efficiently when casting. Material components help with connecting the kinesthetic crafting with physics. Shaping air directly into a flame is a difficult task on its own but with the help of pinch of sulfur and some potent guano an explosion can be crafted and controlled with ease. Understanding the feel and use of material components within an environment trains the brain into taking the necessary steps to properly cast a spell.
Your brain and magic.
The dog brain is the body’s main connector to the source. From it flows the power of magic and with it the capacity to create. In the infinite ocean of magic our thoughts cast an ever so subtle ripple. The capacity from which the brain holds magic differs in every individual but can be trained to expand. Emotion also has a large impact on spells. It’s been recorded that a person in state of great emotion can have exceptionally potent spells but tend to have looser control of them. While individuals who can suppress their emotions have a nearly fluid control of casting, their potency of the spell can fall short. Scholars will feud indefinitely as to which style is more efficient. I suggest developing your own style and sticking with it. When first learning magic it is common to experience headaches, this comes from your brain becoming accustomed to crafting. Every brain has its unique way of condensing magic, a differing pattern that it comes to recognize as its own. Because of this unique pattern the brain can identify foreign magic and create a defense.
Like what you read here and want to use it? Go ahead, steal it and edit any way you like. I’m not the police. I would appreciate some acknowledgement, but I’m not about to hunt you down for it.
-Silver the Bard. If you haven’t heard from me, assume I’m dead and avenge me.