Natural magics, as the name suggests, are concerned with affecting the natural world around you: understanding the natural laws, and knowing how to manipulate them as necessary – more to cause effects than to prevent them. Manipulations have to be done very carefully, however, so as not to upset the natural balance. As a safeguard, base-line weather patterns are set up across the globe, both for good and bad, and therefore given time all manipulations will eventually decay and the patterns will drift back to their natural state and seasons.This overall category covers a number of specific fields, and needs some degree of specialisation, both in a field and in the depth to which that field is studied, before anything of great import can be achieved. Example Natural Magic progressions are detailed below, but the list is far from exhaustive.
- Basic Level
- Weather and Environmental
- Botanical Magics
- Animal-Related Magics
At basic levels, the possible manipulations are fairly limited, for example controlling and directing breezes, seeding clouds to make rain more probable, playing with mists and fogs, and having a feel for lightning and where it is likely to strike.
With plants and animals, basic work is covered, such as helping with germination of seeds, or making the breeding of animals more possible.
Also, the mage begins to develop a feel for the geology and geography of a given area – detecting, for example, areas likely to be swamp land, or the differing types of stone.
Beyond this level, potential natural magicians have the choice of either specialising into one or two fields at this point, the four major areas being environmental, animal-related and plant-related study, and geology; or becoming a generalist, in which case the rest of their masters/doctorate will bring them to the equivalent of partial specialisation in each of the standard three fields, and give them a reasonable understanding of geology. They can, of course, then study further to improve their specialisations.
Weather and Environmental
Here conditions can be more accurately affected over a large area. The overall humidity can be slightly raised/dropped, or clouds can begin to be spawned, although they will develop at a natural rate once initiated. Winds can be directed. Temperatures can be changed by a few degrees – thus turning rain to snow – but only within a limited area – or causing mist to form. Currents in rivers can be temporarily adjusted, although they go back to their natural route within a couple of hours.
If the area where the mage is working is enclosed, for example in a greenhouse, then factors such as temperature and humidity can be controlled with considerable accuracy.
Basic weather forecasting also becomes available at this level – feeling for changes in pressure, noting cloud formations, fronts and air currents. At this level, however, the range over which conditions and changes in conditions can be noted is restricted – say between 50-75 miles for minor changes, or 150-200 miles for major effects.
Ranges of temperature variation or distance are increased. Also, the ability to dry up rain becomes possible to some degree.
Magical shields can be set up over a larger area than just a greenhouse – say fields or even whole farms – and the conditions within those shields can be affected with some precision. The shield would normally have methods of entry and egress built into it.
Weather forecasting becomes more accurate and reliable, as the mage can feel for minor changes in conditions over a far wider range, say 150-250 miles, depending on the strength of the mage. Major effects, such as tornadoes or hurricanes can be detected at anything up to 500 miles range.
A limited ability to affect unfavourable physical conditions can be developed, for example drying up flooded land, decreasing the area of a swamp or more permanently changing river currents, etc. This must be done very carefully, however, so as not to disturb the overall ecological balance.
Specific Specialisation: Setting Up Global Weather Patterns
This specialisation is very, very powerful, and taught to remarkably few people. It involves setting up countrywide and global weather systems that become the base-lines to which all modifications will eventually drift back.
A lot of this specialisation is involved with the modification of existing strains of plants, to make them more resistant to pests or diseases, or more fertile, or more easy to plant and expect a crop, etc. However, it is quite a trick to produce a strain that will not eventually revert back to its root species, and it can take a lot of time and effort to develop this kind of stability.
Outside of the modification abilities, plant magics can be used in areas such as affecting the growth of plants – speeding it up or slowing it down – or altering their nature to cause, for example, entanglement of people or general blocking of pursuit, etc.
Mages gain the ability to develop completely new strains of plants, and sometimes even new species, and are more able to modify existing strains successfully, and with a lower rate of rejection or regression. Also, mages in this specialism can work to make harmful plants safe, and in some cases the opposite (for example to pests which would be best eradicated).
Extensive knowledge of biology is required, tied with specific studies in botany. A rough knowledge of zoology is also useful.
Mages will often find themselves moving towards study of certain aspect of the animal kingdom – for example mammals, or marine life, or nsects, etc. Within their chosen fields, however, the following are possible.
Skills related to the refinement of existing breeds are available at similar levels to the botanical equivalents detailed in plant magics.
In addition, animal-related magics allow for some limited communication with animals, including an ability to put them at their ease, and an ability to affect their behaviour to a certain degree: for example to cause birds to flock, or herds of animals to stampede.
As with plant magics, the ability to develop completely new breeds, or even sometimes new species becomes possible. In addition, the mage’s ability to refine existing breeds is enhanced.
In addition, better communication with animals is possible, up to and including reaching for images, although these are often confused as animals usually do not have the mental ability to comprehend what they see. It also allows the more dangerous ability of getting into the mindset of animals, although spells in this class always have a limited duration, to ensure that the mage will return to himself.
An extensive knowledge of biology is required, tied with specific studies in zoology. A rough knowledge of botany is also useful. Mages taking this specialisation often also study Veterinary Magic.
Specific Specialisation: By Types of Animal
This is specifically magic to do with studying, classifying and controlling individual kinds of animals.
Examples might include: large mammals (land-based), small mammals (land-based), aquatic mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, cephalopods, etc. For greater knowledge and control, these can be broken down further: for example with mammals to just canines, or vulpines, or felines; or individual phylae of insects.
Specific Specialisation: Animal and Plant Genetics
Botanical and animal genetics mages are often researchers in healing hereditary ailments and conditions. They can define bloodlines for breeding, know animal genomes, and can correct genetic flaws.
This is a field which the mage needs to begin specialising in from early on. There are no “partial” or “full” geological specialisations per se. For a mage to be able to conduct accurate, comprehensive geological surveys and investigations – to check that an area chosen for, for example, building is stable; or to survey an area for its mineral properties; or to check for geological problems such as fault lines, dry river beds, water culverts, etc – requires a lot of specific study.
Geology also allows the mage to directly affect the land around them, for example making the ground inconveniently soft, or conversely more stable.
A highly specialised knowledge of mundane geography and geology is needed.