Magic is an undeniable force in the lives of the people of the Iron Kingdoms. Priests invoke blessings and perform small miracles as proof of the power of the divine. Sorcerers intuitively brandish raw elemental energies, while arcanists learn to use powers capable of defying the ordinary laws of nature by way of formulae. Rightly shunned by society and working from the shadows, necromancers and infernalists make truck with dark and corruptive forces. The mysteries of the occult are still held in awe by the common people even as the work of arcanists shapes industry and occasionally spills over to affect daily life.

There are myriad methods by which magic is invoked. The practice of controlling that power is not fully understood, however, even by those who spend their lives in its study. Every race and culture has its own relationship with the arcane and shuns some aspects while incorporating others into religion, warfare, and industry. A number of races, such as the Nyss, Iosans, Rhulfolk, and trollkin, are perfectly comfortable with their people practicing magic in both its divine and arcane forms. These cultures believe that priests and arcanists alike are practicing gifts passed down by the gods but approaching that power by different means. This perspective is quite distinct from that of the humans, whose relationship with magic has remained complicated over time.


The first sorcerers gained glimpses of glowing runes of power as they began to manifest their powers, and soon learned these arcane glyphs played a role in shaping reality. As the barely controlled arcane energies poured through them, they manifested ephemeral circles of runes in the air about their hands and bodies.

Over the centuries arcanists have taken a more systematic and scientific approach to the study of runes and formulae. initially arcanists accepted these glyphs as fundamental to magic but knew little of their origins nor how to innovate new combinations, relying only on the genius of early arcane innovators like Sebastien Kerwin recorded in early tomes. In time occult scholars began to scrutinize those old documents and other, once spurned, occult texts. They began to confront the unsettling but unmistakable fact that the arcane runes they wield bear some relationship with Telgesh, the ancient occult glyphs first penned by Thamar in the years just before her ascension. Whatever their origins, by studying these runes, properly gifted individuals learn to master the arcane arts, able to craft complex formulae which have in turn revealed new runic combinations, some of tremendous power.


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