- This is the story-based description of Magical power. For the official rules on mages, go here.
Often associated with the unknown, or things that cannot be scientifically explained, magic focuses on powers beyond the sole ability of the person who makes use of it. To describe magic power beyond this simple premise would be defying part or all of what magic really is.
There are actually two kinds of magic power: Passive Magic and Active Magic. Passive magic describes magic that comes naturally to a person, usually through a god-related parentage (such as is the case with demons and angels, for instance). Powers received as passive magic usually suddenly comes to the person as he/she gains strength and experience, rather than through intuitive creation and research. Passive magic often takes a more physical form than its active brethren, and follow closer to the general concept of the person. (Passive Magic has not yet had rules established for it, however, and therefore cannot be explicitly used in a character. We recommend that players wishing to use passive magic use Ki or Physical power instead.)
Active magic, on the other hand, belongs to those who study ancient books and worship gods and the universe, or call upon nature to aid them, as opposed to embodying their gifts. Those who practice active magic, in most situations, are called mages. Their powers are drawn from the mystical energies of the world around them, or sometimes from godly beings to whom their studies and fealty are devoted. Mages, by themselves, are very little more than mortal men with no particularly notable abilities (unless they also have powers from other power types). Thus, the entirety of their powers are focused on spells they cast, which can produce an astonishingly huge array of effects.
Cardinal has one school for those wishing to learn more about magic -- the Symposium. Based on a flying island, it welcomes only those who wield arcane energies, and those they vouch for. It is also much more than a school, being a core around which an entire society of mages could potentially take form. Unfortunately, after the Second Null, the island of the Symposium has disappeared, and is no where to be found. It is suspected that it has been written out of history, by those who remember it. Those who do not remember it, of course, do not suspect anything at all.
There are also known to be private individuals who can initiate and instruct students in the mystic arts, if they are sought out and persuaded. Currently the only active Magic Official Teacher is Gideon van Riebeek, played by Rick
Magic is largely unique in that it is most often the power type regarded as anathemical. Neither ki wielders nor psions are attacked for the variety of power they wield with nearly the frequency as mages. There exist entire organizations dedicated to the disruption and destruction of all magical practice. Examples include the lineage of Kaider witch-hunters, and the Shen'ihr Inquisition.
Reasons given for abhoring magic vary, but typically center on the idea that its practice is corrupting both to the practitioner and to those around them, by its very nature.