Alright, time to cover one of the fundamental aspects of my setting: Magic
Magic, that strange ineffable force which seems to take science, bend it over, and spank it like a naughty Catholic Schoolgirl (Wow, that was a LOT less dirty in my brain).
Magic is pretty hard to define actually, especially in a world where super science, mutant powers, and aliens regularly challenge peoples definition of what is and isn't "Possible". Most scientists, most notably those who operate in the John Smith Society, simply label magic as "a primitive form of ethereal science", more mundane scientists outright claim magic to be a fraud, stating that so call wizards and mystical creatures are merely metamen or mutated animals or beings from the imageria (Yes, the existence of the Imageria is common knowledge, but most scientists think its merely a psychic realm created by human myth, not the actual home of actual afterlives. That's why Atheism still exists in the crinoverse despite the fact they have angels and demons running all over). As for mystics themselves, they define themselves as the commanders of the forces beyond mortal understanding. Or, as Sebastian Arcane
once put it, "We're the guys with all the cheat codes to life."
The magical community is very insular and clannish; while you do see the occasional supernatural super hero like Seven
or Adrian Eldrich
(Who, as Master Mage, is sort of required to deal with the outside world and protect it from the supernatural). Communities of wizards can be found in remote villages or hidden among ethnic communities in major cities. Sometimes, like in the case of London's Diagon Alley, the magical district of a city is only accessible by those with mystic abilities. There also exist mystical communities in the near imageria and the Astral plane, the later being massive cities built in the shapes of massive rings, spherical city planets, or even colonizing on the remnants of dead Gods from forgotten theologies. These mystic communities are very secretive and often mistrustful or even contemptuous of non magic users, and penalties for revealing ones magical nature to normal folk is severe.
This is not without just cause however; there are numerous factions, many of which have been around for thousand of years, who would love to see magic users wiped off the map. One of these groups is the Society of Leopold
, a secret society formerly sponsored by the Vatican Church and dedicated to hunting down magic users and supernatural creatures the world over, The Society uses cutting edge technology, super powered operatives, and deadly weaponry to make life a living hell for magic users.
Another group out for magic user blood is The Labyrinth; for Taurus
, its simply a matter of power; Taurus wants to have the monopoly on super powered beings, and that includes magic users; while he uses Project Icarus
to deal with metamen and similar superhumans, to deal with magic users, Taurus has The Technocracy
, a think tank of scientists dedicated to eradicating "reality deviants" through any means necessary. The Technocracy employs high tech weaponry, genetic engineering, mind control, and Imageria exploration among their tools to route out magic users and supernatural beings.
Of course, there are places where mystics can live without fear of persecution; Naturally, Los Dios, with its high population of mythical beings from Faerie, is home to a very impressive population of mystics, as is Vibora bay, which is a city steeped in deep mystical traditions and lore. Magic communities can also be found in Freedom City (mostly around Lantern Hill, where they stay under the watchful protection of Eldrich and Lantern Jack
), and Freehold.
Learning magic can be a bit tricky; not everyone has the capacity to have spells, people need to be born with it, much like the metaman gene, mystics have a Magery gene
. Many latent wizards never activate; due to a drug placed in food and water by the Technocracy known as Deadwave which suppress magic and psychic powers, but if the magery gene does activate, it will allow the mage to be to learn magic spells normally.
The Magery gene is hereditary, which is another reason why magical communities are so closely knit, to keep the magery gene alive in future generations, but there are instances where people are born with the magery gene who have no mystical background. This is more likely to happen in places with naturally high levels of magic.
The Magery gene is often very unpredictable and highly mutable; in some cases it allows a wizard to be aptitude only in a particular school of magic. In addition, its is very rare to have both a metaman gene and a magery gene active in the same person; if a person has a metaman and a wizard parent, there's an equal chance they'll be one or the other, but almost never both. Some mystics can forcibly activate their metaman gene through mysticism, but this almost always has the side effect of causing them to lose their magic powers.
Those with the magery gene have no innate spells; they must still learn magic in order to be able to cast spells. Luckily many mystical organizations such as The Covenant
and The Pact
have mystical schools, usually located in remote locations or in the Imageria, where wizards to be can learn magic in safety. Magic classes are also offered at Claremont Academy and at Mass Castle.
In addition to traditional wizards, there are several other schools of magic:
*Sorcerers are the metamen of the wizarding world; people born with natural magical powers rather than just the metagene. This commonly comes about from having some manner of non human ancestry; a Cosmic Eternal, Entropic Master, Fae, Dragon, or even undead in the family can cause someone to naturally become a sorcerer. Sorcerers are typically looked down upon by the wizarding community as being undisciplined and unpredictable since they lack the training or pedigree that come from "legitimate" wizards, but they don't receive the same level of scorn metamen get from humans. Furthermore, the more a sorcerer uses their mystical powers and develops them, the more they take after their inhuman ancestry, until they eventually become mystic creatures themselves. Probably the most visible Sorcerer in the modern world is Madame Tomorrow
, who constantly has to fight against her inner nature.
*Shamans, witches, and warlocks are magic users who gain their powers through bartering with beings of the imageria, be they cosmic eternals, Entropic Masters, demons, Fae, angels or the spirits of the dead. This can take a variety of forms; either they are like conventional wizards, being taught magic spells by these beings, they can be mystics imbued their powers by their patrons, or they can even call upon the spirits to help them fight, inviting them into their own bodies to gain a portion of their power. Both Siren
and Baron Samedi
are examples of this kind of magic, with mortal hosts allowing mystical beings to comandeer their bodies to help (or in Samedi's case control) them. This school of magic is very popular among werewolf mystics, and many werewolf shamans travel to the Imageria to gain mystical powers from the beasts that live there.
*Technomagic is a mixing of science and magic. As noted above, more... open minded scientists like those of the John Smith society see magic as another form of science, and they aren't too far off; magic relies on complex formulas, sigils and diagrams and mixing of compounds to achieve results, which is awfully close to science. As the man once said, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic". So many new age mystics have taken to combining magic with sorcery; creating laser guns which run on elemental energy crystals, reactors which draw from ley lines to create power, Demonically enhanced computer viruses, and mechanically drawn high summoning circles to name a few. In addition, many technomancers (no relation to the hero of the same name), have taken to enchanting modern items with magic, creating such marvels as microwaves which can transmute food, flying cars, and jellybeans with every flavor you can imagine (and some you don't, like the one that tastes like toilet). Some prominent Technomancers include Sebastian Arcane
and Professor Purgatory
, in addition, many members of the John Smith Society and MERLIN
are technomancers, and both Omnitech Steel and Raven Enterprises have been experimenting with making technomagic products available to the public. (Dawn Wing
even suggested they make a collectable card game with actual magic powers, earning him hard glares from everyone around.)
*Planeswalkers. Ooh, let me tell you about Planeswalkers. Planeswalkers are dimension hopping super mages who draw their power from the very land of the realms they visit. Planeswalkers are all extremely powerful (PL X), capable of summoning out massive armies of creatures from throughout time and space, creating super powerful artifacts on the spot, and laying waste to entire continents. The last Planeswalker who visited The Crinoverse, King Jeremy The Wicked
, caused no end of trouble for AEGIS and The Patriots
, and he was only a child Planeswalker, the offspring of a pair of planeswalkers who were actually parallel reality versions of Alision Worthington
and Keith Feddyg
(Don't ask). So far, no Planeswalkers have emerged on Crinoverse Earth, but members of the Covenant and the Pact are always on the lookout for them.
And to close out our discussion of magic, Let us talk about the mortal fear of every spellcaster; Paradox.
Magic users are in the business of basically giving consensual reality a big middle finger, and sometimes their mystical shenanigans can fray the wall of reality a little too much; when a mystic gets too big for their britches, when they unleash a little too much mystical mojo in one place, they run the risk of evoking Paradox.
Now, this is far less common in the crinoverse than it is in some other universes I could name; a mage has to seriously mess up in order to evoke paradox, but when it does hit, it can hit hard. Common problems brought on by Paradox include painful mutations, unusual phenomenon following the offending mage, summoning of dangerous imageria entities known as "paradox spirits", or being drawn into the Imageria, being imprisoned in what are known as "Paradox realms". One of the worst problems brought about by Paradox is the quiet, a form of insanity that renders a suffering mystic unable to tell reality from his own delusions (and in some extreme cases, the delusions even take a life of their own and run amok). Luckily, most experienced mages such as Eldrich and Madame Tomorrow know how to avoid paradox, but every year dozens of inexperienced or foolhardy mystics bring paradox upon themselves, often with tragic results. The most spectacular instance of paradox in recent history was an instance where the teen witch Seven
attempted a ritual to contact her dead parents, botched it, and was sucked into a paradox realm where she was reverted to a small child living under horribly abusive parodies of her real parents, prompting the rest of Next Gen
to come to her aide.
Okay, that's it for magic in the crinoverse. It feels good to be back to writing the old stuff again. Webcomic week was not one of my better ideas sorry to say. In any case, tomorrow we'll be covering AEGIS, and one of its newest hardass agents, a guy who will do anything to get a bust.
This guy.... well, You tell em yourself Agent Magnotta (Warning, NSFW for language)