I've decided to blog a few times about the background of Merlin's Heir series, in part to firm up my own thoughts about a few things. Today, a running stream of thought regarding Magic in the world of Merlin's Heir,(Part one of the stream in any case....),
Since Merlin's Heir series are set in the modern world, I don't have to worry about creating the background from scratch. But the magical system for this world has to be created from scratch (so, to speak). So, this is what I have in mind so far:
Magic is defined in the world of Merlin's Heir as the manipulation of energy by an individual to effect the surrounding environment in some significant way.
Magic is divided into two forms: Order Magic and Chaos Magic. Order Magic is using the energy in the surrounding environment to cast spells. This covers the magic used by human wizards, witches, and the magical races that exist in the world. Now, Order Magic is called that not because it's used by good people --- evil wizards/witches use Order Magic just like good wizards/witches. It's because those wielding it use the type of environmental energy required for the spell, based on the results the wizard is seeking. If the wizard uses a fireball spell, they must use fire energy. a water-based spell needs water energy, and so on. By manipulating the amount of each energy stream used, the wizard/witch can adjust the spell's effects.
On the other hand, Chaos Magic is unnatural and 100% evil. It is the energy demons use, and if they find a human eager or desperate enough to worship them, the demons grant the worshipers access to their energy. Those who use the Chaos energy for spell-casting are known as Sorcerers. The demonic energy is subject to the sorcerer's will, and the strongest users are very dangerous. But Chaos energy is dangerous to use and subject to the demon's whim.
The difference is who can use each type of magic. Wizards/Witches are born with the ability to sense and use the energy around them. They have to learn how to use their gifts and vary in strength from weak to very strong. The main difference between wizards and witches is their approach: Wizards are more scientific in their approach to teaching and researching, while witches are more spiritual in their magic use. Relations between the two branches are still strained after the witch-hunting of the middle ages.
Sorcerers don't need any special ability, just a willingness to deal with one of the many demon lords. The Chaos energy is like an addictive drug, and sorcerers becomes addicted to the feeling of power. Sorcerers generally establishing themselves as head of a cult serving the demon lord who granted them the power.
I think that's all for now....need to do some more thinking....