To explain the ways of magic to any non-wielder is, at best, a challenging proposition. How can one explain – even if through metaphors and comparisons -, how the minds of those sensitive to the ethereal threads are unfolded into more dimensions than one can comprehend? However, understanding this is vital to understand the danger that is Thaumaturgic Madness. When casting, a conjurer channels through their consciousness the godly emanations of old. Their eyes gaze into infinite mirrors of endless potential, of fantastic wonder, and enticing power. Alluring as it is, their eyes do glare into an abyss the perceptions of mortals cannot fathom. The stronger the power the caster calls for, the longer and deeper they face the blackness, and what lies restless below it. There is a reason why, on the archway leading into the Academy of Osmer, the words “To Peer into Worlds Unfit for Ephemeral Beings” are carved. Because the dangers of magic are very palpable, and very fatal.
Infinite mirror by Andrzej Musiał
In the dark void where time stretches into stillness, the mystical connection of those blessed with the ability allows them to see the miracles they wish to cast. Although each evoker sees the vacuum differently, they all do call onto these ethereal images, before they return their conscious back to their world and time. Academy scholars postulate that any magic user can call upon any spells and enchantments, as the nullness is boundless. Most just focus on what their training, experience, and raw talent allows them to find what easily. These dives are often aided by reality-anchors like magical items, words, incantations, and more, that keep the magician closer to their world. Yet, consciousnesses soar high, and even the more experienced can fall doing the simplest of spells if they lose control. Slipping into the abyss is swift, quiet, effortless. In a blink, they are gone. Most never notice how deep they have plunged. An once they have, there is no turning back. They are entrapped between wrapped, twisted, and moving apart realities.
With their minds fragmented, parts of them lost in the emptiness, others returning to their body, they no longer function normally. In brief lucid moments they see their fall, and how their erratic behavior has made outcasts of them, and targets for termination with the Academy’s justiciars. As their splintered psyche shatter under the constant weight of insanity, their lust for violence and destruction grows rampant. Perhaps it is their need to return to the pitch black waters, a forlorn attempt to retrieve their broken cognizance. Perhaps it is the bidding of newfound masters in the Nihility. The result is grievous. Blood flows freely. The land burns. Their fetishist escapism of death is fed. Mirrored in their eyes, the flames dance manically. It only ends either by the hand of another conjurer, or when their dementia stretches brain and body beyond its limits. Thaumaturgic Madness has been identified as the biggest risk to all magic users and the by far largest contributor to all the pain and suffering of the Age of Fire. The Academy is adamant in preventing any derailments. As they say, the mistakes of old force the hand to prevent the mistakes of new.
Cover picture: https://sk.pinterest.com/pin/740068151237709886/
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