Daera is infused with magical energy. This energy manifests in many ways, from animated trees and elementals to visitation from angelic and demonic beings, to magical environmental effects. More importantly, this magical energy is able to be manipulated by various intelligent that are able to sense and alter the energy field. No one has been able to definitively determine where this energy comes from, but there seem to be three overarching methods to consciously manipulate (cast) magic.
- Intelligence-based casting relies on structures, formulas, patterns, and postures. The logic-based caster approaches magic from a scientist’s perspective, seeking to understand principles and causalities to expand their repertoire of mastered forms.
- Wisdom-based casting relies on a spiritual understanding of magic. The caster meditates on the relationship between herself, the universe, and magical power, and then seeks to find the bridge between the current situation and the desired outcome. For many intuition-based casters, they know the magical bridge exists, and it just requires the perception to shepherd the effect into being.
- Charisma-based casting relies on strength of will and force of personality. The caster visualizes an outcome and draws magical power into that state of being through confidence, persuasion and focused direction. Charisma-based casters still may rely on many of the forms and litanies that intelligence-based casters use, but these tools are guides and aids to help them channel the strength of their persona into a magical effect.
Some beings, such as fey and dragons, tap into and subtly shift the magical flows simply through their own existence. This is common among spirits and other extraplanar beings. These beings don't have strict practices, and instead are able to tap into and alter ambient or internal magical energy the same as a mundane mortal might hum a tune.
Most mortal cultures have one or two schools or traditions of magic. Some have several.
Shamanism is one of the oldest mortal paths to magical power. Most shamen cast from intuition, and blend an animistic approach to the world with a transactional casting style that relies on offerings, exchanges and demands. Most shamen focus more on artificing and conjuring than on sorcery.
Bards trade is stories and lore, and their training in hamonics and emotional control allows them to pick up a wide range of arcade abilities. Few bards are predictable, but most will have a deep bench of spells that tap into emotions and confuse the senses.
Similar to Shamanism but with little focus on physical crafted objects and much more on elemental sorcery and rituals. Druids highly value physical and mental transformation and the sharing of senses and experiences.
What many think of as the priestly or clerical path, Theurgy involves invoking the intercession of divine or extraplanar immortal powers. Most theurges call upon gods, angels or demons for small favors or great miracles.
Hermetic mages are typically proud of their science-based approach to magic. They use carefully researched and tested symbols, patterns and reagents to achieve their goals.
Similar to hermeticism, witchcraft typically involves rituals, symbols and specific reagents, but considerably less structure and a lot more force of personality than hermetic magic. Witches are known to specialize in pact magic and blood magic.
Similar to a cross between Druidism and Hermeticism, the practice of geomancy relies almost entirely on ritual magic. Its effects are powerful, but slow to call upon. Geomancy rose with Shamanism as a primary magical tradition several thousand years ago, and has fallen into disuse. In the old days it's primary practitioners were elves. In modern times, the few who practice it are typically naga or giants.
Geomancy is unique among mortal magical tradition in its reliance on ley lines and large-scale alignments in the physical world to achieve its effects.