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“Once upon a time I was new to the City, as you are now, with nothing but the wizard's robes I stood up in and a broken wand, but now look around me, at the Great Hall we stand in, and the numberless books on its walls, at the staff I wield and the crisp point of my hat. Look at my amulets and talismans and tell me I am not a Great Magician now. Tell me I am not powerful and near invincible.”

Argelius Mourstan, noted scholar and mage.

What is a Mage?

A mage is connected to the world around them far more than everyone else. There is something about them that allows them to feel the physical world in a way that doesn't make sense to others. It allows them to reach out, know what surrounds them, and twist it. Mages speak of the great tapestry of existence, and describe themselves pulling on threads, twisting the weave and forcing it into new forms. A mage must work with what exists, but that is a small limitation compared to their power.

How Does It Work?

Mages, Wizards, Magicians, Sorcerors; whatever they call themselves all of them have learnt to harness the power of magic to alter the world around them. Mages will often claim they are constrained only by their own imagination, and while this is a truth, it is not the whole truth; while a mage can cause any change they can imagine the mage must first have prepared artifacts and grimores. Specific magical effects arise from combining the incantations and artefacts obtained in new and near infinitely varied ways. As more books and artefacts are added to the collection of a mage, more powerful combinations can be made. An ascendant level mage is channelling their power through all of their collection in an act of great power, and although this is incredibly potent it usually damages some of the items in the collection, burning them out so they cannot be used further and must be replaced.

Magic can alter and reshape what already exists, blow things up, and heal wounds. Magic cannot create something out of nothing or put complex devices together. Due to the nature of magic its effects cannot be hidden; no mage can wave a hand and silently, subtly, watch an enemy on the other side of the room dissolve without an emanation of magic from the mage's hands.

There is one other thing that mages and no others are capable of: a powerful enough mage can summon forth beings from other worlds into the City. Such beings are independent denizens and more than a little resistant to being pulled into a world they cannot escape from, and so only the most powerful of mages have the ability to achieve such a thing.

Mages are also capable of large scale acts of reshaping on a level above and beyond what the other power sources can achieve. While actual transmutation of materials is impossible, a mage brimming with power could, for example, render a tall tower down to its components and rebuild them into a massive statue of himself. The odd marbling of plaster, wood and granite would only serve to increase its artistic value.

With one action… Critical Weakened Normal Empowered Ascendant
The power of Magic You can manipulate something the size of a person You can manipulate items the size of a horse and cart with fine control You can take a building apart brick by brick and put it back together again across the street good as new… or not as you wish. You could rip up all the roads in an area or smooth out every flaw. Or instead, you could reshape every building in the block with a wave of your hand leaving exquisite carving on every surface. You can reshape an entire city district, every road, every building, however you want it to be… only limited by the materials that were there to begin with.