Magical power is rare in the world, only existing in a few, highly specific forms. A mortal cannot use magic without some external source, as the mortal mind is simply too weak to force its will on the world.
How it is AcquiredEdit
The origin and acquisition of thaumateurgy is a subject that is debated to this day, but there are many known instances in Steelhold of Thaumateurgy, and some speculation as to its source is possible. The Masked Dwarf was known to have acquired "his" power from a pact with foreign entities, though their exact identity is unknown. The FractalEntity channeled (his?) power through an ancient artifact that led to a world far removed from our own, as well as from the temporal rifts that the presence of the artifact caused. Emdief, though not a magic user himself, was stranger still: after his reanimation, he was able to see the magical energies generated by the two thaumateurges and destroy those same fields. The cause of this ability is still unknown, though many have surmised it had something to do with the method by which he was reincarnated.
Theories on its ExistanceEdit
There are many theories on the operation and existance of magical power. Few are complete, and many believe that to delve into magical theories is to flirt with insanity. It is known that magical actions (and Adamantine) do emit some form of radiation, which is detectable by certain devices or other magic users.
The Theory of the Masked DwarfEdit
The Masked Dwarf , a magic user herself, theorized that the laws of the universe are not as solid as they appear. She posited that if one has enough willpower, one can theoretically force the laws of reality to conform to your will. However, the sheer force of will required to do this is beyond the ken of mortals, and only through pacts with entities with greater power can one truly aquire powerful magic.
The Theory of the Fractal EntityEdit
Abilities of ThaumateurgyEdit
Thaumateurgy, for those capable of using it, is a potent tool of creation and destruction. With enough power, a Thaumateurge can accomplish almost anything; the real challenge is aquiring that much power.
Low Power AbilitiesEdit
According to the Masked Dwarf, even normal mortals with strong beliefs can use very low level magic: when they speak about something they are passionate about, the magic they exude makes one more likely to side with them in an argument. Of course, this type of mind magic can be resisted by all but the weak willed, but this would give a plausible, if unlikely, reason why some dwarves are able to work up entire crowds of common folk to their cause.
Moderate Power AbilitiesEdit
As the power of the Thaumateurge increases, so does the potency of his or her magics. Both the Masked Dwarf and the FractalEntity were capable of tremendous feats of magic, from instant trasportation to direct attack. It is unknown if the use of these powers requires the consent of the source of the magic.
High Power AbilitiesEdit
On rare occasions, a Thaumateurge has been known to generate magical effects so powerful that they break the laws of reality, bending it to their will. The masked dwarf and the fractalentity both proved capable of raising the dead, though the method of this reanimation differed considerably. These powers almost certainly required the consent of the source of their power, at least in the case of the Masked Dwarf. What exactly is the upper bound of thaumateurgy is unknown, and few dwarves would be willing to find out.
It is possible to counter Thaumateurgical abilities, though difficult. Devoted servants of the traditional Dwarven gods often have a measure of protection against supernatural attacks, and some mortal creatures have an unusual trait of being entirely immune to magic. Magic users of different kinds can usually nullify each others powers, as well. Though it is not a widely known fact, wood opals have a small magic-dampening ability, and as Emdief's thaumometer proved, amplifying this effect can have devistating results on magic users.
The standard unit of Thaumateurgical energy, called a Dwarum, is used to measure the power of the thaumateurgical aura of a creature. A creature with a more powerful aura is capable of channeling more power, though an exact ratio has yet to be established. From some studies performed by the Scribes of St. Zane, it appears that those who have been exposed to texts of magic slowly begin to have a stronger aura, though the increase is incredibly small and stops after a short time, even if the texts are read and magic practiced. The exact cause of this is unknown.
There are two known instances of bizarre magical anomalies, neither of which have been explained by the current, tenuous theories on Thaumateurgy. The first known anomaly occured during Steelhold, when Emdief came back to life. His mere presence seemed to drain all magic out of the area around him, for reasons that have never been understood. The other is Sir Brenzen, whose magical aura seems to spike rapidly up to high numbers before dropping back down to low levels at seemingly random intervals. It is suggested that this has been the case for his entire life, though what causes it is unclear.
Types of ThaumateurgyEdit
While unrecognized by most, thaumateurgy appears to be able to be drawn from multiple sources.
The primary magic used by Oku Constructcudgel, this is power drawn from the demonic god-beings. Many of the powers of demonic thaumateurges tend to be deceptive in nature, allowing them to go unnoticed by others.
Shamanistic thaumateurgy is drawing on the power of the natural world to accomplish simple tasks. In direct combat, a shaman will almost always lose to another form of thaumateurge, but their powers make them useful to communities that live closer to nature. Elves are particularly skilled in this form of thaumateurgy, although some dwarves have the talent as well.
Ritual thaumateurgy is not a class in and of itself, but rather an extension of other forms of thaumateurgy. They allow thaumateurges to channel more power into a single effect, allowing them to create more powerful effects. Demonic thaumateurges tend to use sacrifice in their rituals, while shamans are more likely to combine their efforts in a ritual towards a single spell.
Other Forms of ThaumateurgyEdit
Other forms of thaumateurgy do exist, although they tend to be rare or unique in their implementation. The FractalEntity, for example, draws power from the dimensional rifts caused by an artifact he possesses. There are also unexplained examples of thaumateurgy: both Corley and FallenAngel have unexplained magical powers.