I’ve been promising for a while now that I would shed some light on the magic system of my NaNoWriMo novel this year. I am going to fulfill that promise tonight.
The active use of magic in my world is called mistcraft, hence the title of the story. It’s a magic that I have developed rules for that function in this world based on a special gas in the air. It’s been fun to create and craft. It’s not perfect, but that’s what editing it for. I’ve tried to keep it simple because I’ve never created a magic system quite like this before. So, without further ado, here are the details:
Energetic Mist: On the planet of Fortelnia the air contains an invisible gas called energetic mist. Energetic mist, sometimes known as iridescent mist, or, simply, mist, is mixed in with the other gasses in the air but is unaffected by the wind. Mist drifts around the world until it is attracted by energy. Any source of energy will attract the mist in some capacity, and it will coalesce around the source of energy, this includes heat, work, electrical, and any other kind of energy. The greater the source of energy, the greater the volume of mist that will be attracted to it. The more mist that collects in one spot, the more visible it will become, ranging from a light, wispy haze to a thick cloud of fog. When the mist is visible, it has an iridescent mother-of-pearl (nacre) sheen to it, the colors shift and change. To most people, energetic mist is simply an oddity of the world and they tend to ignore it as it does not affect anything positively or negatively. Scientists who have studied mist have found it to be inert unless you’re a nacre.
Nacres: In a small number of human beings on Fortelnia, there are people born with an ability to feel and use energetic mist as a source of power. These people are called nacres. These abilities usually become noticeable in preteen-to early teenage years, depending on the person. Male children have been known to notice their connection to mist before female children with the same abilities. Scientists are still unsure why boys develop nacre properties before females do. Nacres can feel the mist in the air, regardless of the amount that is in the area. Most nacres describe this feeling as “waves of air lapping at their skin, like water on a beach”. Nacres have an ability to absorb mist into their bodies in a process called drawing. All nacres have a limit of how much mist they can draw into themselves, which varies from person to person. Other nacres in the area will feel another nacre drawing in mist by feeling the mist rush towards them as if caught in the current of a river. The only evidence that a nacre has drawn in mist is if they have enough to reach the upper limits of their personal capacity, their eyes will take on an iridescent sheen that matches the mist. Only humans can draw in mist, no celestial has ever had this ability. There has only ever been one recorded angel (half human and half celestial) nacre, Brayol, the Nacre who Broke the World. Once a nacre has drawn in mist they can use it to perform mistcraft.
Mistcraft: Mistcraft is a nacre’s use of energetic mist to control, affect, distort, or alter the world around them. There are two categories of nacres who use mistcraft: fillers and emptiers. Which kind of mistcraft a nacre can use is seemingly random, and absolute, a filler cannot empty, and an emptier cannot fill. Each nacre has a type, and it cannot be changed or unlearned.
Fillers: Fillers, sometimes called increasers, can use energetic mist to fill things. This is an abstract phrasing for an abstract ability. In other words, a filler can only increase the property of something.
E.g. A filler can increase their own weight, but cannot decrease it, they can, however, release the mist used to control their weight, returning it to their body as drawn mist, and restore their weight to what it was before mistcraft was used. A filler can add color to something. A skilled nacre can do so with such precision that the item becomes so full of color it hurts to look at. Etc.
Emptiers: Emptiers, sometimes called decreasers, can use energetic mist to empty things. Once again, this is as abstract as the power. An emptier can only decrease the property of something.
E.g. An emptier can decrease the volume of water in a glass, but cannot increase it. They can also release the mist to return to their body as drawn mist and the water level will be restored to what it was before mistcraft was used. An emptier can remove color from something. A skilled nacre can do so with such precision that the item becomes invisible. Etc.
When mist has been drawn in, it can be released at any time by the nacre. Releasing drawn mist has no effect other than expelling the mist from their body.
When mist is used for mistcraft, the effect caused by the expended mist will last for as long as the expended mist remains within the object, it is effectively used up, or “drained” by continual use. Once enough mist has been drained away, the effect will end, and the object of the effect will be restored to whatever state it was in before mistcraft was used on it. All use of mistcraft is on a clock determined by how much mist was used to create the effect.
A nacre can always recover undrained mist by drawing the remaining mist back into themselves, ending the effect, however, the drained mist is lost.
A creative nacre can use their ability to fill or empty to do amazing feats of power. However, since Brayol broke the world, the art of mistcraft has become illegal. Nacres either practice their abilities in secret or not at all. Nacres who refuse to stop using mistcraft are burned at the stake if captured.
There you have it, my readers — Mistcraft! There are a few other aspects of it, but it’s deeper mistcraft, and I will not bore you with the details. So that is the magic system of my novel this year, and it’s been a blast creating it.
Current word count for Mistcraft: 33,428/50,000!
Andrew Ronzino, Nacre (Filler)