Worldbuilding Blogfest – Religion & Magic: Part 1

Because religion will take some time, and requires a separate post, I’m going to speak about magic first. Because of the wide variety of deities, the magic can be quite varied … that being said, just about every Thardrandian species has some form of what is considered as natural magic. The two main exceptions of this are the trexens who possess no magical gifts whatsoever, and hybrids who cannot access the deep magic but occasionally are gifted with a different sort.
For the most part, this latent power is a very crude form of shifter magic, enabling a being to shift from animal to humanoid and back again (think of it as were-magic without the fully human part). Because of the commonality, it is rarely considered as anything special, though some species use the enhanced senses of their animalistic sides.
The other magic in the world includes, but is not limited to, healing abilities, the complex illusion tricks of the contanihians, the elemental control of the equineans, and the more elaborate shifter magic of the prewania-tofuas. Much of this magic is attributed to a certain god.

Equineans are the only species able to fully control a particular element. This power comes directly from their chosen god and an equinean can usually fully harness it by the time they have reached maturity.
One can tell an equineans elemental power in three ways: Shifter form, Coat/eye colour, or simply watching the equinea use its power. Like this:

Herd Name (Power)
Coat/Eye Colour
Eaquin (Earth)
Green or brown
Foquin (Fire)
Red or orange
Weaquin (Water)
Shiquin (Air)
White or yellow

Herd Hybrids – equineans with parents from two different herds – will have control over both the elements of their parents. This ability is rare for equinean law states a person must refrain from breeding outside their elemental herd. Four-Herd Hybrids, all but legendary beings with parentage from all four herds, have control over every element and treated like demigods from the moment they are born. Which is rather at odds with the pure mindset of these people.
Daily meditation is used in order to control the power lest it flare up in response to emotional stimulus. Every equinean teenager must go through the ‘coming of age’ ritual. This involves being able to reliably control their herd’s element: Holding fire; Raising water; Speed growing a plant; Creating a cloud. The inability to do this is death. For it is considered far too dangerous to let one who commands the elements, but not control, be allowed to live.
Healer magic comes to many different species, and is generally attributed to the Star, Luvka. The power varies from person to person, with some healers only able to mend scrapes, while others can heal potentially fatal wounds, the latter being very rare and highly sought after. Most healers are in the middle range and are able to heal most if not all wounds. A scant few are able to sense a Shadow Speaker while the person is in Joha Dia.
Because the power allows a healer to delve into a person’s body, healers are capable of killing with a touch, though this act is deemed as tainting their gift.
Beyond the magical power, they are also taught the more mundane type of healing that a non-magical healer (a herbalist) would be required to use. While some healers shun this usage in favour of their magic, others will prefer to rely heavily on their skill with potions, bandages and other crude methods. Plainly put, anyone can become a herbalist, only those with the magic are healers.
Illusion magic does not come easily to some; in others it may be all but impossible. The masters of this magic are the contanihians. Other species include wolenas, raptereons and sssstamne.
This power does not vary as much as some, hiding oneself or others, forming simple or complex images, and making light are about the limit of many that can master this magic. If there are more types of this magic, the skill lies with the contanihians and therefore might as well not exist for other species. There talent has its drawbacks, for the contanihians are, like the trexens, unable to shift.
Mezans are amphibians and generally disliking leaving the water, but they possess a remarkable ability to meld metals into the required shape. These metals are unnaturally strong and their usage is common in dungeons as bars or chains. However, there is a very well known weakness in their earlier designs, the complex plan of locks stumped most mezans, thus the locks were easy to pick. Once discovered, the weakness was corrected at the quickest possible rate.
Shadow Speakers, Joha Malan in the native language, are born with the ability to enter a sub-realm known as Joha Dia, the shadow world. These gifts start to manifest a few years after birth and are mature by the time puberty kicks in. Shadow Speakers are notorious for being able to blend into the background when in the normal world and were well-known for their ability to sneak past defences from Joha Dia and attack.
Shadow Speakers are named so because they were said to ‘speak with the shadows’ which are collectively known as dark borns – creatures that inhabit the Joh Moon, Kamorn Aniaand Defora. The most common of these beasts being the feared vampire horse. Regardless of the type, Shadow Speakers share a mental link with their bond mates, adding intellectual cunning to an already dangerous animal. In turn, the dark born makes it their life to protect the Shadow Speaker.
This is a rare magic thanks to the specific nature of their creation. Birthing one was said to be dangerous, with most women dying in the process. They are usually depicted as evil and serving either the Night Star, Evalka, or the Devil, Latesha, in commanding armies of dark borns which would then prey on unsuspecting villages. As such, the Shadow Speakers of old generally ended up facing the chopping block.
Nowadays, with the last known Shadow Speakers dying out centuries ago, they are considered as relics of a savage age, reduced to being the cliché villain in stories.
Linked by the shadow magic are the Speaker Breeders, their name stemming from the obvious fact that they sire Shadow Speakers. For this to actually happen, a man must give his soul to either Evalka or Latesha. After the first-born he will always sire Shadow Speakers, regardless if he reclaims his soul or not. The magic that makes their children also halts a man from harming them. It is assumed that such a man would be one seeking redemption. This also means that, should danger encroach on the Shadow Speaker, the father will be gifted with a single burst of strength to save their child.
A lesser-known shadow magic actually involves a person’s shadow. Gifting their shadow to Latesha allows one to possess wings and, thus, the ability of flight. These wings are solid and react as ordinary flesh does except reform instantaneously. They can also vanish and disappear at will. Despite the advantages, this is not common practice for Latesha crafts dark doppelgangers known as Shades from the person’s shadow. These creatures are fiercely loyal to the devil and quite deadly.
Blinking is a power that belongs purely devil-spawn and high-level demons. Somewhat akin to the Dark Born method of transporting to Joha Dia, except that those that ‘blink’ do not end up in a parallel plain of existence. It is in fact a means of teleporting to any destination the teleportee wants.

4 thoughts on “Worldbuilding Blogfest – Religion & Magic: Part 1

  1. I think we all have. ^_^

    Thankfully, all the MCs of The Rogue King are hybrids and only one has magic (he's a Shadow Speaker). And in the plotted sequel, the magic disappears along with the gods.


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