At its most basic level, a the term "Mage" refers to a profession. Given that magic is fundamentally available to almost any human that pursues it to at least some degree with the advent of autocasters, the term mage has defaulted to those whose job it is to magic. The exact details of their job may very, but fundamentally when someone is called a mage, it is because they need competency in magic to do their job.
The nature of a mage breaks down into three distinct categories. Innate mages, natural mages, and autocaster users.
Innate mages are people that can use magic, usually one specific magic, without having to use any conscious calculation; they can move directly from an actionable thought to realizing the magical change. This can seen as roughly akin seeming to having a super power. Most innate mages are also natural mages, but they are frequently more limited in the scope of their other abilities than someone who is ‘just’ a natural mage in using magic outside their innate talent.
Innate mages were fairly uncommon in Central, but are quite relatively quite common in Palindra. The advantages of being an innate mage are quite numerous, as using an innate ability is far more instinctual. This is particularly apparent in combat applications of magic, where the almost reflexive use of powers can grant large advantage in magic activation speed.
The most common type of innate mage is those that can alter their own properties, like strength, speed, and durability, but the innate ability can be far more unique.
Notable Innate Mages
Natural Mages are those that can conceptualize calculations, leveraging their Eidos Key to realize magical changes onto the world.
Unlike a innate mage, this typically requires extensive study to be able calculate the necessary stable change that actually works; many people are natural mages without training to ever realize their power. While large percentage of the population can be trained to be natural mages, it is by no means easy, and the number who could realistically make it through that training decreases the later the training starts, with many who can be trained never reaching the ability level that would be useful in combat situations.
The benefit of being a natural mage is that they tend to not have dedicated portion of the conconciousness of magic taken up by the focused systems of an innate mage, meaning they tend to find their ability to calculate and conceptualize magic to be somewhat greater, though they will likely never master any one magic as well as an innate magic.
While they are separate categories, there is a great deal of overlap between innate and natural mages, particularly with more powerful mages like Tyler Weber.
Notable Natural Mages
People that are not capable of fully calculating stable changes in the conscious mind were historically unable to use magic. This has changed with Autocasters which are able to provide assistance in calculating the conceived change. Since all humans have an Eidos Key, by being able to bypass having to do the magic calculation from the ‘Idea’ to ‘Formatted Idea’ required to make the stable change allows any human to use magic within the boundaries of their autocaster.
While specific autocasters can be used by almost anyone, general autocasters blur the line between natural mage and autocaster user, as the more you can or the initial input a mage can provide, the greater speed and flexibility the mage can leverage with them.
Notable Autocaster Mages