Yes this game has 'magic'. Not because I like the idea of magic, but because I think it adds a lot of flavor and complexity to combat and strategy. In this game, the concept behind 'magic' is complex and mildly scientific to allow for an appreciation of it not just as a combat tool but as an entity within the game.
This game takes place shortly after the discovery of Aethyr. Aethyr is not energy or mass, but a substance that exists outside of 3D space. Its nature is largely misunderstood, but experts believe that it exists as a dimension of its own within the dimensions of space.
Aethyr is thought to interact with 3D space and give it its properties. These interactions congregate and create small centers named Nodes. The Nodes then interact between each other in 3D space causing transferring and amplifying and changing of the Nodes between them. These connections are represented in models by lines named Clades. In natural systems, these Nodes and Clades form complex networks and it is from these networks that the natural 3D world forms.
Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Edit
When Aethyr systems and networks were first being defined, experts who studied it originally divided Aethyr into two categories: Intrinsic and Extrinsic. It was originally believed that all Aethyr was connected in some way or another forming one large network, however studies on animals revealed that Aethyr forms separate networks that sometimes interact with each other, but are not always connected. They noticed that the networks of Aethyr associated with animals (and Humans) are closed to the Aethyr networks of their environment. Thus they named the two separate networks Intrinsic (representing the network of the organism) and Extrinsic (representing the network of the environment) systems.
Systems of Aethyr Edit
After the discovery of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Aethyr systems, scholars began to see if there were further divisions within the two systems. After extensive study, it seemed that organic organisms, there were no further divisions of the Intrinsic systems, but in the Extrinsic system however, they found many divisions. After many years of study, experts isolated three main classes of Aethyr networks that interact with each other, but are largely separate: Mundane systems, Astral systems, and Organic systems. These systems are still being divided into subsystems, but the currently accepted subsystems are as follows: for the Mundane systems, the subsystems are Thermos (heat), Hydros (water), Aeros (gasses), Geos (minerals), and Ambros (electricity); the Astral systems' networks are so complex that patterns and subsystems have yet to be defined. The Astral systems are of and related to the networks of space, time, light, sound, and simple energies. It is its own separate network, but brings about changes in other networks in a way that is not understood; and lastly there is the Organic systems (Intrinsic systems), which can only be divided into two subsystems: Flora (plants) and Fauna (animals).
Affecting the Aethyr Systems Edit
Though the terminology Intrinsic and Extrinsic systems are obsolete compared to the more descriptive terms outlined above, they are still commonly used when Humans aim to affect Aethyr systems.
Five years prior to the start point of the game, a scientist was conducting an experiment, attempting to construct technology that would allow humans to manipulate Extrinsic Aethyr systems. Accidentally, she discovered that Intrinsic Aethyr can affect Extrinsic Aethyr. Through proper training and study, a Clade can be drawn between the Intrinsic and Extrinsic systems which will allow effectual change in both systems to occur. This of course requires time, energy, focus, and an awareness of Aethyr Systems and the connections required to make desired changes/effects.
Since this discovery, intense study has been done on Aethyr, and daily life has changed significantly.
It was a few years after the discovery of Aethyr that Aethyrite was discovered and classified. Aethyrite are complex crystalline structures that are made of pure Aethyr. They are clusters of Aethyr interactions that have condensed and caused such a powerful and dense network, that random mass forms around them. Its composition is largely unknown.
The first Aethyrite crystals were discovered in nature, but after experimentation, scientists were able to artificially generate Nodes and Clades that they could eventually form into an Aethyrite. Though the process is very unstable and the crystals not nearly as powerful, Aethyrite soon began to be produced commercially. Though it is very very expensive, it has amazing capabilities, thus normal medications and products of daily life slowly began to disappear. This has effected many social changes and affected the way humans have been able to explore (see story page).
Using Aethyrite Edit
The network of a piece of Aethyrite is what allows it to interact with Extrinsic systems. In this way, Aethyrite can be used as a vector for Intrinsic Aethyr when wanting to affect a change on an Extrinsic system. Though you do not need Aethyrite to connect with and affect change upon Extrinsic Aethyr, Aethyrite facilitates this reaction like a catalyst, thus reducing the AP costs, casting times, and enhancing spell effects.
In the game, Aethyrite can be equipped like any other piece of equipment. Aethyrite takes up no equipment slots, but because to use it you must constantly be connected to it, only in certain cases can more than one Aethyrite be equipped. Once equipped, a Clade is formed between the Aethyrite and the user, merging the two systems and creating one large network. Equipping Aethyrite thus generally imparts a side-effect (usually not a positive one; for example only allowing certain types of spells to be cast, or slowly degenerating HP) to the user. The Aethyrite will generally float close to the body and can be targeted by physical attacks. Fracturing an Aethyrite will cause a massive disruption and destroy the Aethyrite and severly injure the user. Casting spells on the Aethyrite (like in an attempt to damage it) is impossible however, as the strength of the Aethyrite's network will usually disrupt and break up any spells/Aethyr targeted at it.
Normal weapons can be infused or even made with Aethyrite, but these also impart certain sideeffects on the user and the weapon and the Aethyrite must be of certain types otherwise the Aethyrite will destroy the weapon when the Aethyrite in it is used. The same holds true to armor.