Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The City of Coil III: Magic

Magic in Coil

Magic is everywhere. Magic enhances the lives of everyone in the city. Magic is the key to your happiness. Without magic, the City of Coil would not exist.
Magic is everywhere. Magic monitors the lives of everyone in the city. Magic is the key to our destruction. Without magic, the City of Coil would NOT exist.
Arcane Mark
Every citizen of Coil has an arcane mark, indicating his or her age, race, status, district of residence, and profession. Any city guard mage (known as the Witch Watch) can read these arcane marks with a glance and knows whether or not a citizen has clearance to enter a specific portion of the city.

Fraudulent marks exist, but are expensive to acquire and are not entirely reliable.

It is possible to get temporary access to various portions of the city through both legal and illegal means, but we can't talk about that here.

Artificial Life
Rumors exist that powerful mages from the Conjuring Guild are working on a spell to actually create human life. While this may or may not be true, the Church has outlawed the use of any spell that reanimates a body (including reincarnation and resurrection) except by their hand. Such magic would certainly fall into this class and would be subject to the laws of the Church.

Mage Guilds
More on this later.

Perhaps the most oft used spell in Coil, message, sending, whispering wind, and all the other spells that allow the transfer of information without travel are beyond measure in their usefullness to the mage guilds. While not all communication is done in this manner, nearly every important mage and guild member has an amulet, brooch, medallion, ring, or talisman that allows for the quick and uninterrupted communication between two people.

Those who can afford the magical application of glyphs and wards, can hire a wizard from the abjuration guild to come to their home and/or business and cast spells around the premises. Alarm is perhaps the cheapest spell to protect one's property with, but other more powerful abjurations can be used to protect a building from intrusion. Of course, all of the guildhouses are adequately protected and the richest in the city have constant wards on their homes against intrusion.

The Silver Emote
Magic is drawn from a pool of pure magic known as the Silver Emote. Energy from this pool is the purest form of arcane magic. Anyone trained in the art of casting spells can draw from this pool, but must do some through a complicated measure of rituals, hand jestures, and memorization. Only through practice (and approval of one of the dozen or so mage guilds) can one become a conjurer of magic.

Those who can draw from it without training are heretics, marked by demonic powers. Anyone displaying such prowess should be destroyed.

The energy that is drawn from the silver emote produces a slightly euphoric feeling. Some mages have been known to become addicted to this energy transfer process, casting minor magic over and over again. It is rumored that a very high-level spell exists that is so tantalizing to cast, that it transcends all levels of physical satisfaction.

The mage guilds are continually updating their lists of banned spells. And of course, buying licensed and approved spells is an expensive prospect in the City of Coil.

Unseen Servants
Walking the streets of Coil are hundreds and hundreds of vapid, emotionless unseen servants. While they lack reasoning or emotion, they possess the ability to monitor others and perform the simpliest of tasks. Because they are invisible, most citizens of Coil live in fear that they are being watched, which might actually be true.

Other spells, such as arcane eye and scrying, are reserved for situations requiring their imploy. There are far too many people in Coil to monitor and not enough high-level mages to go around.

No comments: