NaNo World Building: Notes on Magic

So, the Biology Exam From Hell is already graded. I made a 106. Pretty sure my jaw is still on the floor somewhere. I didn’t even know there were extra points on the test. I never even passed a Bio test the first time I tried to take the class.

Anyway, on to NaNo. Still not sure if switching my NaNo project at the last minute was a good idea, but I think I’ll get a little bit farther with this plot than I would the first one. Still working on some of the characters, but I’ve got most of the major ones down.

This is what I’ve spent the past hour or so working on: Magic in the World of the Witch Queen’s War. This isn’t everything, but I feel like it’s a pretty good start. I’ll be doing a few more things like this in the next few days. Things like theology/religion, military/politics and the like. This is my first real experience with world building, so it’s by no means perfect.

Magic in The Witch Queen’s War

Types of Magic

Magic is split into two “types”.

        White magic: Most common type of magic. Fairly common throughout the setting. Involves potion making, some mastery over elements, and healing. Training in defensive abilities such as barriers is also common. Rarer abilities include shape shifting. All 10 Court Mages are white mages. 

        Black magic: rarer type of magic. It is believed that for every 500 white mages born, only 5 black mages are born. In addition to the abilities of white magic, black magic includes psychic abilities such as telepathy and limited mind-control. Even most white mages are weary of black mages.


        Mages are trained in the capital at Anse Keep, a large castle close to the shores of Lake Anse on the outskirts of the city. They are mentored largely by a single senior Mage, though occasionally train in groups. Family is allowed, and encouraged, to visit on the weekends.
Mages remain an apprentice for an average of two years before testing. After apprenticeship  mages spend a minimum of two years studying advanced applications of magic. Many specialize in either a single element type or healing.

        Anse Keep trains in only “white magic” arts. Black mages are trained, but never in their mental/psychic abilities. Many black mages are viewed with suspicion by their peers, and often their seniors, as well.

        Anse Keep is over seen by a Headmaster/ Headmistress chosen from among the ranks of the Court Mages.

Use in the World

        After they complete a minimum of four years of training under a mentor, a mage is free to pursue their own interests. Many mages continue their training and take on apprentices outside of the keep. Some run apothecary’s, specializing in the creation of various potions and herbs.

        At any given time, the Royal Army employs numerous mages, both as offensive warriors and healers. Defensively trained mages are also employed to help fortify defensive and positions. The Navy has also been known to employ elemental mages in order to bring down enemy ships. The Royal Mounted Cavalry also utilizes mages, though mainly as healers.

        The Palace Guard includes mages in their ranks. A gifted team of healers is always on hand within the palace and the monarch’s entourage always includes at least one, usually two, healers. The Guard has also been known to use shapeshifters to aid in espionage activities.

The Court Mages

The Court Mages are an elite group of 10 mages tasked with various positions, delegated by the Monarch. Positions include: Oversight of Royal Healers, Adviser to Her Majesty, Adviser to the Palace Guard, Adviser to the Royal Navy, Adviser to the Royal Army, Headmaster/Headmistress of Anse Keep. Three other mages are appointed to the 10, serving as general advisers  All Court Mages are white mages.

        Court Mages are appointed by the monarch, usually on the recommendations of other Mages. Age has no bearing on position: Skill level, past deeds, and political savvy are major factors.

Black Magic and Demons

       One reason that black mages are regarded with weariness, beyond fears of mind-control, is their apparent ability to attract demons. Demons, with their own psychic abilities, are drawn to the idea of humans with similar abilities.

        Demons must be invited into the physical world, so many appear to targets in their dreams, when the line between the physical world and the Abyss is blurred. Demons lure their targets with promises of power (stronger telepathy, clairvoyance, even the ability to control another person’s physical form) in return for a foothold into the physical world. Agreeing allows the demon into the mage’s mind. As the mage relies more and more on the power of the demon, more of the mages mind is given up to the demon, until the mage has given up all sanity to the demon. If left unchallenged, the demon can fully take control of the mages physical form.


        If a mage is found to have entered a deal with a demon, an exorcism becomes the last line of defense. Many humans are uncertain as to the true nature of an exorcism, having never seen on, usually basing everything they know no rumors and hear-say. Priestesses of The Holy Mother perform the exorcism through prayer.

        While the demon is often driven from its host, no exorcism is ever completely successful. The strain of having a demon invade their thoughts often leaves the mages minds shattered. Exorcism also has a high chance of rendering a mages powers unusable, though whether this is caused by the demon’s magic, or the ritual itself is unknown.

        Many mages who survive exorcisms have taken their own lives. Legends say that it is these broken souls who become new demons in the Abyss.