At its core, Magic is altering the properties of something in Eidos without using its material form as the medium for change. Take a tennis ball. You could accelerate it by hitting it with a tennis racket. You could also accelerate it by adding velocity to its Form in Eidos; since Eidos directly impacts how the material world works, the ball would sudden accelerate to the modified velocity.
There are three main guidelines:
- First, changes that do not make sense by material physics cease when the interference of magic ceases. The ball will not continue to defy friction and gravity, nor will it defy conservation of motion; if the ball is in the atmosphere, it will slow down and eventually stop, just as if you’d hit the ball with a racket. However, if you can make a ‘stable’ change, there will be nothing to revert – for example if you destroy a rock to pebbles, the pebbles will not reform into the rock, as pebbles are consistent within the system of reality.
- Second, while altering Eidos ignores conservation of mass and energy (just as cheating in a video game would bypass the physics engine); it is not an unlimited power. The more the change violates the rules of the world, the harder it is to make.
- Third, changing Eidos requires Mana (the IDS refers to Mana as ‘psionic particles’). The nature of this energy is poorly understood, and directly interacting with it is challenging. The greatest problem with Eidos – and for that matter mana – is they, by definition, are not part of the material world; there is no direct way to interact with them, and thus the actual mechanics of how a mage works magic is unknown – the conceptual leap from understanding that Eidos exists to understanding how to change it is what makes someone a ‘Mage’.
Types of Magic
One of the ways that mages interact with Eidos leverage magic is to create entirely fake data structures. By just inserting something with a set of basic properties into the data, you can create an Eidos construct. The most common and simplist application of this is creating force-fields or barriers, which is just inserting a the form of something that blocks things from passing through it.
The benefit to these is that they rely on physics for the vast majority of their applications, meaning the mage does not have to react to new information as long the Eidos construct is already prepared for it (such as blocking bullets, something too fast for most mages to react to).
The downside to these is the inverse of that - they rely on physics, yet they are not actually there; while writing an Eidos construct requires very little in the way of reading Eidos data, it requires a very strong ability to write, as well as the capacity to write a large amount of data quickly. Eidos constructs are hard to accomplish with autocasters as they require too much data (though it can be done in a limited capacity) and they tend to not be effectively unless the mage can write them with enough force to make a blue or green one.
An Eidos construct can be violet, blue, green, yellow or red; this order is the depth of how strongly they are written into Eidos, the further along the progression the more directly they interact with physics. A violet construct typically does not interact enough to effect matter, and will not stop a projectile. A blue ignores most of physics, typically only interacting with a specific element it was created for. Green, yellow and red tend to be stable enough to leverage most of the rules like a real object, and only red can chain Eidos effects beyond the mage the invoked the effect.
On of the most classic uses of magic is to leverage the existing environment and rules of physics. It takes comparatively little effort to accelerate a rock with magic, but a rock moving the speed of a bullet can still inflict substantial harm. This tends to be most adaptable use, as well as the use that requires the least power, though not inherently - used with substantial power this can be used to topple buildings, launch high velocity weapons, and even tear planes from the sky.
The main principle of this method tends to be interacting with the softer conditional variables of an object; while the essential properties of an object are quite hard to modify, the conditional ones such as speed and weight can manipulated with relative ease (though such a change has to be maintained by the mage actualizing it).