What IS Magic?Edit
Magic is the manipulation of the elements to create an effect; whether that effect is blowing up a house or summoning a Demonic slave, they are all classified as Magic because all magic revolves around one thing:
Mana. Mana is the prime fuel of magic, and is what classifies the entire art. If it doesn't include mana, then it isn't magic. Some spells (like in Carnemancy-aka Blood Magic) will require blood and flesh for them to work, but still uses mana.
What is Mana?Edit
Mana is a force and a source of magical energy as a whole. All spells require mana, so this means a mage will require a Mana source. The world leaks out mana like a sponge being slowly squeezed, so it should be easy to use, right? Wrong. Only 15% of the world's population can use magic, and it is a very complicated and precise practice. "Mages" in general are just people that can use the energy of the world-however, there is a limit on what a person could use.
Think, if you will, a sink. And that sink is connected by a long tunnel of pipes to a water source. The sink is the spell and the lake is the world's mana. The piping is the mage. For a mage to make a spell, he must use mana. For him to use mana, he must be tuned and crafted and trained so he can do it in JUST the right way. Then the mana flows through the person and is directed into a spell. Voila, magic.
Magic Abuse & Mana DependancyEdit
But if this was the case, then magic would be limitless and too destructive. So if a person uses mana too long, they get what is known as Mana Burn. Mana Burn is a sickness that only mages can contract from exhausting themselves by using magic. No mage can cast without a price, and sometimes the price is far too great. Therefore, even if you are in the 15% of mages in the world, you can only hope that your "Mana Pool" (how much magic you can use naturally) is large enough to hold the spell up.
Mana Burn is a warning. You can keep casting your spells, no problem. However, if you keep casting too long, you will inevitably die from Mana Exhaustion-The loss of all the mana in your body.
You see, mages always have mana in them, like a hose still holding water. Their body NEEDS mana, and to be without mana spells a mage's death. ALL MAGES MUST HAVE MANA TO LIVE! Their body depends on it, and because of the dependent attitudes, mana is tied with their life.
Schools of Magic and Magic in itselfEdit
Magic is a tool to be used by any practitioner. Practitioners of magic are sometimes frowned upon or feared. Only about 15% of the world's population can use magic, so this is understandable.
Mages, Magicians, Wizards, Warlocks, Archmages, and Sages are common names for these men and women who use magic. Witches are not to be confused with most magical masters. Witches have no magical skills on their own and must use artifacts and potions to further their own powers and curses. They can create potions and poisons, but Witches are NOT magically gifted.
There are as many different schools of magic as there are effects. Magic itself is to defy the laws of reality. Here's the schools so far:
Aeromancy-Manipulation of Air
Allomancy-Manipulation of Metal
Aquamancy-Manipulation of Water
Pyromancy-Manipulation of Fire
Astromancy-Manipulation of Light
Necromancy-Manipulation of Spirits and the Dead
Fulgurmancy-Manipulation of Electricity
Shadowmancy (Also known as Umbrakenesis)-Manipulation of Shadow
Geomancy-Manipulation of Earth
Carnemancy-Manipulation of Flesh and Blood
White Magicks-Supports magicks. Shields, Healing, Etc.
Grey Magicks-Any magic that isn't of those above. Magic that can be used for good or bad.
So far only one theory (Kyrin's Principle) have been succesful at explaining how magic works, though it has not been proved that this is exactly the way it works.
How Magic is learnedEdit
Magic is learned by two incredibly important tools.
All mages need experience to even cast a spell, let alone remember how. Many techniques are out there for how magic is used. You need to know how a spell works for you to do anything. You need to know what needs to be done, and sometimes what sacrifices must be done. Not all spells come from the pages of a book, but you must be a masterful wizard before you can craft your own spells.
All mages must know what they're doing. They must know what laws of physics they're telling to shut up and sit down. They have to know the techniques and the laws behind magic before they cast a spell. To learn how to cast magic is like unlocking a door. You need to know how to turn the key, and how to identify the door is unlocked, then you have to open the door. In magic, you need to know how to weave magic, then you have to know how to cast a spell.
Who can learn magicEdit
Magic can be learned by any person of any age at any certain point in time. 15% of the population is gifted with magic, however some people have found their gifts at times of great peril. Some people found their gifts when they needed it most. Anyone can learn a spell of any element, but they have to learn the fundamentals behind it. You have to know the difference between the element of Fire and the element of Water. You can't use the same techniques and lessons in every occasion, so in that same sense, not every spell will work the same generic way.