Magic in Aatos

Aatos is a land of magic. Without it, humans would have been completely at the mercy of pokemon, with only the physically strongest and fastest able to survive. With it, they have been able to harness pokemon's power for their own goals and fend off attacks from the wild menaces. Magic has made humans the dominant race on the planet, and its power should not be underestimated. There are 4 types of magic in Aatos, each working in a different way, drawing on different sources, and producing different results. The four types are Symbol Magic, Image Magic, Seele Magic, and Old (Wild) Magic. Some types are more widely used than others, and each has its own applications.

Symbol Magic:
Eleven and a half centuries ago was the first recorded instance of Symbol Magic. This was the single most influential event in the history of Aatos. Pokemon could now be constrained and tamed to be used in battle. People could create weapons capable of effectively fighting with the monsters known as pokemon. It revolutionized military, commerce, politics, travel, farming, and every other aspect of life in Aatos. For one of the first times, humans could band together into large nations that were capable of achieving stability. Symbol Magic became the equivalent of pure power, and practitioners were viewed as the saviors of humanity. This led to the rise of the Vardamir Empire (see History for more information, as well as details on the rise of Rune Magic, the original, more powerful, form of Symbol Magic that lead to the creation of relics), which spanned across Iussus and developed symbol magic to a degree of power so potent that it threatened the very gods. When Vardamir fell, so did the apex of symbol magic. All knowledge of the most advanced techniques were lost in the destruction, though some remnants may be hidden in ruins from the empire around the world. Although symbol magic in its current state is much weaker than its ancient incarnation, it still retains the ability to capture pokemon, create weapons, and a host of other innately useful actions.

Symbol magic involves drawing power out of symbols and runes drawn on an object, the ground, or even tattooed on flesh. Pokeballs are apricorns imbued with symbol magic, healing supplies use symbol magic to create their effects, weapons use symbol magic to reinforce the structure of the weapon and make it stronger. Medics and Researchers are common users of symbol magic, though there are others who use it to their advantage. All trainers rely on symbol magic to some degree, as it makes their pokeballs function. Though it has been significantly weakened, symbol magic continues to be the driving force of the lives of Aatos's humans, and gives them a firm advantage over pokemon.

Image Magic:

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While the evolution of Symbol Magic is fairly well documented (the dates survive, if not the method), Image magic's development is much less well tracked. Scholars believed that it began to emerge as early as the year 300 as manifestations of power in individuals. While Symbol Magic is fairly universal, the people who have the power to wield Image Magic seem to be decided at birth, decided through some random quirk of fate. Most Image Magic revolves around the harnessing of psychic powers, leading to Image Magicians being referred to as psychics as a large group. However, not all Image Magicians develop psychic powers. Some are able to harness the pure magical energy, others can walk on air, still more can channel electricity through their bodies, and still others can control the ground. Image Magic represented a new, offensive style of magic that couldn't be replicated by either Seele or Symbol Magic. Their powers are versatile and powerful, and since its emergence it has begun to reshape Aatos with its great power and versatility. Powerful psychics can look around the world, fly, teleport, manipulate gravity, and a host of other beneficial effects. They are powerful enough in combat that governments actively train budding young psychics for military service, and good enough at espionage that entire espionage teams are formed out of powerful psychic manipulators. Image magic is incredibly influential in Aatos, and only a fool would ignore it.

There's a bit more to Image Magic than meets the eye. Truth be told, there really is no such thing as Image Magic or, rather, Image Magic is merely Wild Magic known under a different name. For reasons unknown, Wild Magic disappeared from the world with the rise of Symbol Magic (see Wild Magic below for more information). Now, Wild Magic has begun to very gradually resurface in the world on a relatively widespread level. While the non-psychic strains are rarer than the others, Image Magic is on the rise, though its generally more feared than Seele or Symbol Magic.

Seele Magic:
Seele Magic is one of the two types of ancient magic, though it is newer than its counterpart Wild Magic. Both types of ancient magic focus on connection with something else. In the case of Seele magic, its connecting your soul with another living thing (most often Pokemon). You create a link between the two souls that bridges the gap between pokemon and humans. Practitioners of Seele magic, also known as mystics or channelers, are able to make pokemon amiable to them and create allies with them. This power was essential before symbol magic was discovered and pokeballs were invented, as it was one of the only ways to keep a pokemon from slaughtering them.

Unlike Wild Magic, which is quite rare in today's Aatos, Seele Magic is still quite common in the world. Most people know what it is and the basics of how it operates, though not everybody likes the thought of communing with pokemon. Ohtar, a country in Eastern Iussus views Seele Magic as the supreme magic of Aatos, and mystics hold power as the heads of society. Seele magic can be wild and unpredictable, especially when a budding mystic begins do discover where his true talents lie.

Wild Magic:
In the days before Symbol Magic was discovered, the rules were different. Pokemon could not be captured, though they could be tamed through Seele magic. Instead, the people of Aatos used what is now known as Wild Magic to combat the threat. Wild magic draws on external forces, notably the powers of nature, and bends these forces to do their bidding. Wild magic involves becoming part of a larger force, recognizing that you are merely one aspect of a larger truth, and orienting that external forces into a position that complements you. When a practitioner of Wild Magic uses their powers, they feel connected to material they manipulate. When they control water, they feel like a wave rushing into shore: they can feel the magic of the sea seeping into their veins, permeating their very essence. This is the essence of the Wild Magic. Using ones inherent connection with nature to become one with an element and control it.

However, Wild Magic is not limited to only humans. In fact, it is the force that pokemon draw on to fuel their powers, evolutions, abilities, and attacks. They forge a connection between themselves and the earth, the sky, and the oceans. Without it, pokemon would be powerless when compared with mundane human weapons. With it, they are a force to be reckoned with. This secret has been lost throughout the generations. In a way, Wild Magic is the force that holds the cosmos together. Every living being, no matter how large or small, possesses the ability to create the bond and wield the power of nature.

Wild Magic disappeared with the dawn of Symbol Magic, although nobody knows why. However, hundreds of years later, small portions of Wild Magic have begun to come to the surface, becoming recognized as Image Magic. While at the start these mages were viewed as freaks of nature, but now they are common enough to be widely accepted as Image Magic. With the rise of Image Magic however, Wild Magic has fallen even further into obscurity. Few people recognize that it even exists. Others have heard of it, yet claim that it's simply a tale, and that nothing of that nature could be possible. Image Magic is the only thing that can control nature, but they don't realize that the two are actually the same thing. Even masters of Wild Magic feel that there is something more that they are missing. Some ancient secret that has been lost for generations could be out there, waiting to be found. However, these secrets are guarded by the Legendary Birds, the keepers of Wild Magic; they guard the secrets well however, and were the ones responsible for slowly reintroducing it to humanity.

Of course, Image Magic is nothing more than a diluted form of what humanity once held. Few are able to truly unlock the potential, but those who do transcend wield power far beyond what a mere Image Magician could accomplish. The journey of Wild Magic is long and never ending, and those who use it are following in the footsteps of eons of humanity, a longer, more mysterious, and more illustrious path than any of the others.

Magic in Your Campaign
Magic is an inescapable part of Aatos, even for characters who want nothing to do with it. Even things as simple as pokeballs and healing items derive their power from magic, and practitioners of Symbol, Seelee, and Image magic are downright common, although most are relatively weak. Its likely that at least one member of a four person party will be using magic of some kind, if not more. In a high magic setting like Aatos, Magic is both rich with opportunity and flavor.

I'll note that Wild Magic and Image Magic have changed dramatically changed from Aatos's previous iterations. Elementalists are now rare, but widely recognized as Image Magic. In past versions of Aatos, these classes were relatively off limits, reserved for only special characters. Due to the widespread popularity of the Elementalist classes however, I decided to not put DMs in the odd spot of player desires vs setting. Thus, those characters who obtain 'Wild Magic' in this sense are characters who have received upgrades over their normal capabilities or who have the homebrew Wild Magic classes.

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