The Basics of Magic

In the Dark Savior Series, magic is powered by the strength of the soul. There are many different and complicated things that form a soul, but the one part of it that Wizards and other magic folk understand is Anima.

Anima is the balance of good and bad that a living creature does throughout their lifespan. It’s best to think of it as a scale: The average human living a normal, everyday life while doing no harm to others would be right in the middle of that scale. By doing either nice or evil things throughout their life, one can scale more to the good or bad of Anima. Pushing more toward good Anima, it is possible to channel this new found strength of the soul into magic, if one studies it enough. The further one’s good deeds are taken, the more likely they’ll be able to become a mage with an infinite lifespan, so long as they maintain their Anima and avoid bodily harm. Should the Anima go down at any time, they will see a decline in their health, and once they reach the middling levels that most humans are at, they will wither away if they’re past their race’s normal lifespan.

There are unnatural ways to avoid being killed by a middling Anima, such as how the Mountain King used black gold to sustain himself as his Anima decreased, until it reached Dark Wizard levels and he was able to continue his long lifespan without aid.

Bad Anima is the result of evil or selfish actions that weigh on the soul. It is possible to achieve great power through dark magic, but it comes at the cost of self-pain and suffering. No matter what a Dark Wizard achieves, they will always feel an empty void inside. Similarly, if someone with bad Anima starts to commit good deeds and is beyond the normal lifespan of their birth race, they will wither away upon reaching the middle ground of Anima, just the same as a Wizard who commits bad deeds.

To be clear, it’s possible for those within their normal lifespan to switch between bad and good Anima without dying. It’s only when they are hundreds or even thousands of years old that they will wither away from middling Anima.

Many Wizards and mages use something called an artifact, which is an important object to the user in some way that allows them to channel magic with less of a drain. For many Wizards, this takes the form of a staff. Aldous jokes that this is because most humans have grown old by the time they’ve become in tune enough with magic to use it, but there’s a lot of truth to that statement. Other common artifacts include crystal balls, amulets, jewelry, or weapons.

A mage doesn’t need an artifact to use magic, but it will drain them more to perform spells without them. This happened when Aldous fought the Mountain King on Mt. Couture, but in that case the difference in their magic was vast enough that it made little difference in the battle.

Magic can do many things, but it’s entirely dependent on the user. They must learn every aspect of whatever it is they wish to use the magic for. Most who learn a particular type of magic are drawn to it naturally by their personality type, as it is a part of their character and soul. If one chose to forgo their natural magic type, they wouldn’t be nearly as proficient at it as what they were destined to learn.