The 6 Disciplines
Practitioners of magic, here referring to those formally trained as mages, break magic into six disciplines. Each discipline has perfected techniques for harnessing magic, although the boundaries between disciplines remain fluid. How fluid is entirely dependent on the abilities of any particular mage, with most mages possessing a dominant talent in one particular discipline.
Lightburst: a crossing of bloodage and entrancement, where concentrated magic ruptures the chest.
The standard symbol for each discipline, from left to right: enchantment, entrancement, archaeomagic, natura, void magic, and bloodage.
Bloodage (Blood Magic, Viscera)
Bloodage likely emerged alongside the ancient practice of blood sacrifice, back when magic and religion were often one in the same. Overlap with religion remains in that temples often have priests and priestesses with an affinity for bloodage due to their interest in the healing arts. That said, there is no longer a formal connection. As a discipline, bloodage deals with living bodies, whether animal or human.
Bottom Left: pinkmouth snail, a snail modified by bloodage to feed on pus and tumors.
Bottom Right: Sura Prem Sithar, a Kandoran mage skilled in bloodage, on site to treat burn victims during a fire on Sailseam Street in Tullas. As a high mage, Sura was dedicated to treating trauma victims and became famous after saving poisoned indigo workers in Madu, Kandor.
Void Magic (Bhel-Silvest, Dark Magic, Maglor)
Void magic is drawn directly from the Void, and its practitioners are rarely overt in either their studies or abilities. It is a secretive discipline due to its unacceptability in larger society. Thervade's leading institutes of magic do not sanction formal instruction.
"Caern A'jor might be willing to help you. He's a merchant heading down to the ochre fields this week or next. He's not a slaver. I'll promise you that, but he doesn't mind his business partner using whips and chains in the mines, so you be careful. He's got the eye fog too. You've seen that before? Eyes glass over with darkness. If your own mama don't disown you for trafficking with Maglor like that, you're one lucky pig."
-Wende O'Won in Redam-Bedam, Damnir, advising Adran Fenier about a man and affliction associated with void magic-
Left: Crestine Lorbuin, a Millian void mage, after her capture by the Many Sighted in Wolad, Nomsk. She was known for wearing a pleasant expression at all times, appropriate or not for any given situation.
Archaeomagic (Stellar, Time Flow)
Archaeomagic is a unique discipline in that it focuses on history as much as magic, and historians and mages often collaborate to untangle the results of archaeomages transcending time. It is the discipline of prophecy and, for the most powerful of mages, the transcendence of physical space. It is the rarest of disciplines.
Left: A stylized rendering of an archaeomage. In Damnir, such mages are unique in their practice of turning in circles while amplifying magic. Circular patterns in gold and silver are common to the discipline. Many mages report seeing such rings when transcending time and/or space.
Bottom: Kandori ruins in the forested region between Alt Rohan and Paramir. The painting is attributed to Horace Mephor, who often sketched or painted during his travels. According to his journals, he crossed between Thervade and another world at ruins near the entrance to Dvobro territory.
Entrancement (Illusion, Light Magic)
Entrancement harnesses magic to create illusions, often through the bending of light and human perception. The word itself refers to the ability to entrance—to transport a viewer with wonder. This does not mean that entrancement cannot have real, physical effects on the world, as this is quite possible when a person is ensnared by the magic. The discipline very much explores the mind-body link.
Left: Malus Fieldman, self-entranced to induce drowsiness. Displaced from Lericshad in Rolia, Malus made a living by using entrancement to enhance nocweed highs for the wealthy. He continued to service private parties after acceptance to the Atrium, although he was ordered to keep it quiet.
Brigitte Thurriyo was another famous user of entrancement.
Enchantment (Tinker Magic)
Enchantment is the magical modification of inanimate objects, which has led to its colloquial name, tinker magic. Relics from the Lost Era evidence fantastical tinker creations that surpass modern abilities, although present tinkers still collaborate with artisans for intricate craftwork. Sometimes confused with entrancement, enchantment can be differentiated as follows: an enchanted painting will physically change, whereas entrancement only changes how a person sees the painting.
Left: A tinker device made to resemble an emerald beetle common to Venora and Llannonport. The device predates the modern era and is one of several such beetles collected and archived by Sil Seri. The beetles' internal gears feed on magic, and hollow pins in the legs suggest they were used to administer or collect liquid. An embossed MB on the underside of one beetle points to a Lost Era mage, yet unnamed, who initialed multiple relics found on Venora.
Natura (Gingham, Elemental Magic)
Natura encompasses magic that draws from the natural world. It is the discipline that manipulates fire, water, earth, and wind. Like bloodage, it likely emerged from ancient practices and diverse, related traditions. In Ombesh, it is called Gingham, as connected to the checkered cloth historically worn by southern practitioners.
Bottom Left: Sihi Haliz, an Ombeshi boy, dressed in traditional gingham as a natura trainee. In Ombesh, blue gingham is for trainees, whereas full mages wear a color of their own choosing. Sihi's skill with water saved hundreds of lives during the drought migration from Itwo.
Bottom Right: Idane Victrell as an apprentice mage. Idane's magic was most pronounced with fire, which Morex Rufwile, then High Lord Judicator of Paramir, declared fitting since her father bore a burn from his ordeal with the Heartfire Orbs.