Sorcery. Magic. Fluxomancy. The science that allowed countless empires to rise; the power to manipulate the fundamental building blocks of reality; the Seven Colors that are one.
So what is sorcery? Sorcery, in its most basic form, is the ability to manipulate the primal power known as Flux to create a variety of effects, called Spells. Technology harnessing Flux to mimic spell-like effects is called Magitech, while living beings with the ability to use sorcery are called Sorcerers.
The primal energy called Flux is a source of much questions, even if it has now become the main energy source across the stars. Flux is everywhere, and intertwined with reality itself; it is a fundamental part of the universe, as much as gravity, magnetism, or matter. It is, however, held in greater concentration within living beings.
While the origin or purpose of Flux remains mysterious, experience has shown that Flux is linked to the existence of life; most particularly, sentient life. Flux quantities increase on planets with strong populations, and only sapient creatures can become Sorcerers. The current consensus among Concordian scientists is that Flux is the key component of the individual “soul,” and thus passively generated by individuals as they accumulate experience, memories, or age.
Since Concordia discovered how to harness ambient Flux through Magitech, it now powers almost all of infrastructure in the known universe. Cleaner than nuclear power and infinitely more potent than the stars themselves, Flux is the cornerstone of interstellar civilization — and its single greatest cause for warfare.
Flux is invisible, unless gathered in great concentrations (such as around Neurotowers) or harnessed into a Spell. Flux comes in seven colors, which govern various elements making up reality.
- Violet, which governs space-time.
- Blue, which governs the mind and information.
- Green, which governs life.
- Yellow, which governs the soul and the abstract.
- Orange, which governs matter.
- Red, which governs energy.
- White, which governs Flux and sorcery itself.
Neurotowers are mysterious constructs found on Flux-rich worlds, which harnesses Flux of a specific color and gather it in strong concentrations. These gigantic devices were often mistaken as space elevators by early scientists, before their purpose became clearer: to gather Flux inside a universal network and power key infrastructures, such as Gates or Artificial Stars. Neurotowers come in various colors, each for the Flux color they harness.
Nobody knows who built those devices, and so far no one has managed to reverse-engineer them. Any attempts at piercing or toppling Neurotowers have never successful, invariably resulted in catastrophic, extinction-level consequences for local civilizations.
Since Neurotowers gather more Flux than they redistribute and gather it around themselves, most civilizations use them as generators, extracting the ambient energy around them. This makes them a strategic resource, with costly wars having been fought over planets holding more than one.
Only found among sentient species, Sorcerers are individuals with the ability to harness Flux (both ambient and within themselves) through their will alone, generating various effects called Spells.
Sorcerers manifest their powers for the first time through the Lock, a unique Spell which they develop intuitively — a process called the Unlocking. Locks are unique and grow in potency with the Sorcerer, although they inspired Spells mimicking their effects. Afterward, a Sorcerer learns how to channel Flux into Spells, usually through verbal or thought commands. Magic users are strongly aligned with one of the colors of Flux, which manifests as them having an easier time learning Spells from their colors or compatible ones compared to others.
Sorcerers are extremely rare, with roughly one in twenty thousand for a given population. They are statistically more common in areas with strong Flux concentration, such as areas around Neurotowers. It is believed strong exposure to Flux is necessary for Sorcerers to emerge, although attempts at engineering their emergence under artificial conditions have failed. The current consensus is that Flux may have a will of its own, and grants access to Locks according to a mysterious set of algorithmic principles.
Sorcerers show no biological difference compared to other members of their species, although scanners notice a strong Flux aura around them; their abilities’ source seems metaphysical rather than a tangible organ or gene. However, some species have a higher rate of sorcerers in their population than others, such as dragons (where sorcerers are the norm rather than the exception); it is believed that longer-lived species, due to benefiting from long-term Flux exposure, have thus better odds to develop a Lock.
Sorcerers are by nature dynamic beings. The more they practice their magic, the stronger they become. Their Spells gain in potency, and they find new ways to apply them. If left to themselves, Sorcerers grow in Dot level (see below), usually only slowed down by lack of education or training. As such, independent Sorcerers are never tolerated by Concordian authorities. They are simply too dangerous.
Society and Behavior
All Sorcerers in Concordian territories must register and be incorporated into the armed forces; while their freedom is limited, they also enjoy great benefits and societal status. In fact, every member of the Concordian High Command is a Sorcerer. Other states treat Sorcerers differently: for example, Sorcerers at the Midnight Market enjoy great freedom and openly trade their services to the highest bidder, while Arcadian Reavers look down on sorcery as a cowardly tool.
By nature, Sorcerers tend to congregate, if only to exchange knowledge — a behavior only encouraged by the synergy the colors can achieve when used together. The usual combinations are a mentor-student pair, covens of three, and the rare but fearsome seven colors squad (a “Rainbow”). Larger congregations are almost unheard of outside of states; or rather, larger congregations tend to become governments, usually through violence.
While sorcery does not affect the behavior of its users, it has been found that Sorcerers of a specific color tend to “escalate” in a specific way, growing increasingly dangerous. While this phenomenon is an exception rather than the norm, Concordian forces are trained to spot signs of such behavior and deal with compromised Sorcerers accordingly.
Spells, the effects which Sorcerers generate by harnessing Flux, have been classified into five levels depending on their potency; with Dot One being the lowest level of spellcasting, while Dot Five being the highest. Sorcerers are divided into five categories, depending on the spell level they can access:
Dot One, Novice
The first level of Sorcerers, whose Spells achieve effects within the bounds of normality; Dot One spells are rarely spectacular, and can usually be mimicked by technology. Many ignorant Sorcerers do not grow past the First Dot, simply because they mistake their Spells as natural abilities and do not push their limits.
Appropriate response: police force.
Dot Two, Adept
At this level, spells become plainly supernatural, and a Sorcerer’s true nature become clear to themselves and others. This is where a Sorcerer’s power starts to grow exponentially. While a Novice can be managed by standard civil protection, Adepts are more than a match for seasoned armed forces. Most Sorcerers reaching this level are quickly apprehended before they can become Magisters.
Appropriate response: Gearsmen deployment, death squads.
Dot Three, Magister
Dot three Spells usually allow their users to subvert infrastructures, resist most conventional weaponry, or even cause city-block levels of devastation if properly applied. It is at this level that lethal force becomes the first answer from authorities, rather than a last recourse; and where most Sorcerers languish. Magisters usually turn to teaching at this stage, taking a Novice or Adept under their wing.
Appropriate response: bio-armored soldiers platoons, spaceships.
Dot Four, Magus
Very rare, Magi become living weapons of mass destruction, with an ego to match. Most develop hubristic complexes, thinking themselves above other lifeforms. As such, they live short, brutal existences, rampaging before being taken down by armies, planned assassination, or luck. The wiser ones carve petty kingdoms, often conquering an entire Sphere as their personal domain, or bargain into government positions.
Appropriate response: army mobilization, tactical WMD, Colossi.
Dot Five, Archmagus.
Archmagi are the apex of sorcery, and the most powerful beings in the known universe. At this point, Sorcerers have achieved unquantifiable power, casting Spells with worldwide consequences, subjugating entire civilizations, or restructuring reality. Thankfully extremely rare, with less than ten in recorded history, Archmagi are considered the equal of gods, whose duels shattered worlds and extinguished stars.
Known active archmages include Grandmaster Wyrde, Minister Loctis, the Seeker of Life, and Lord Revel. Suspected Archmage include the Maleking and the Horseman of Death.
Appropriate response: flee-on-sight, orbital weaponry.