The author has stated that "In the Archipelago universe there is magical fluctuation over long periods of time, but it’s more of an ebb and flow. In our current time where we live (the Archipelago’s past) we’re in a relatively dry spell, but by the time the comic starts the ‘tide’ has come in and there’s so much magic that in hot spots like the Archipelago it’s pretty much flowing like a faucet out of every tree, rock, and human. It’s as if the Earth breathes magic, and the fluctuation in magic availability is the difference between the inhale and the exhale."
Kinds of MagicEdit
There are are three kinds of magic: Ecco (the instrument), Clair (the sound), and Wal (the musician).
- Ecco is the most common and basic kind of magic, and is as useful and necessary as air. This invisible force is present everywhere and is most likely responsible for sustaining life and keeping everything in the universe functioning properly. H. L. DeVera compares it to water:
- "Everything gives off and absorbs Ecco: trees, animals, rocks, water, stars, everything. . . . It moves and flows around the world in rivers, pools in lakes and ponds which show up as especially magical places (the Archipelago is practically an ocean of Ecco) and flows in and out of living things in varying amounts."
- Clair, the second kind of magic, is the active form of Ecco. According to DeVera, when individuals use magic, "they are manipulating the Ecco in and around them and turning it into its active form, which can reflect light and thus shows up as bright colors." Whereas Ecco is simply a force, Clair is pure energy. In its rawest form, it can be used to "burn, push, cut, or heal (just to name a few)." Trained magic users are more able to refine what the Clair does. (E.g. Vaniji performs hypnotisms and Mikel shapes stone).
- Wal, also known as the soul, is the third kind of magic. It exists in every living thing (and a few non-living things) as a "core of pure magic that does not sift in and out of the body as Ecco does. . . . It is the Wal that absorbs and gives off Ecco and manipulates the Ecco to make it into Clair."
- Although Wal cannot be manipulated like the other two kinds of magic, it can be seen by the "spiritually inclined" or someone using a special device (presumably) designed for that purpose. According to DeVera, Snow's cyborg arm is "highly unusual in that it can not only rip a Wal from its body but can absorb it and keep it imprisoned." It gained this ability from one of the original heirs: Chalchiu, an ancestor of Kor's who had the ability to channel souls.
- The reason that souls (or Wals) have shapes is largely due to the fact that they cannot survive when entirely exposed outside the body. According to DeVera, "If a Wal is separated from its fleshy form, it wraps a thin but strong wall of Clair around itself, which takes on a shape vaguely resembling its physical form." This form is warm to touch (though it gives off no heat), can shrink or grow (though the latter requires a lot of energy), and is weightless and capable of floating (although it often obeys gravity out of habit). All souls glow to some extent, although the younger souls and the especially pure of heart shine most brightly. This glow is actually the Wal shining through the layer of Clair, and can be dimmed or brightened as the soul chooses.
- If anyone wants to know, I found this here
Levels of MagicEdit
Magic levels are determined by a letter-number score. The letter denotes a person's power, while the number determines their ability to use it. The letter scoring goes from S (most powerful), A, B, C, D, E, to F (least powerful). Numbers go from 1 to 10, with 1 being no skill at all, and 10 being just below a god's power.
- Kor: D-3 (initial score) - Average level of magic, little skill; C-6 (current) - mid-level, complex skills)
- Credenza: S-4 - massive power, little control
- Adrian Snow: E-2 - barely any power, and almost no skill.
- Dragonfly: S-10 - has a great deal of magic and can control it with ease.
Needs to be filled in--info found here
While most spells have a tendancy to be unique to the caster (notable examples include the six Heir Powers), there are a few spells that appear to be fairly common.
- "Yearning heart and a glass of wine": a ritual used to summon a raven. This ritual is apparently very old, and typically ends with the summoned raven possessing the preformer.
- Earth Animation: Used by several members of the Quillotian court to repair the castle after Snow's Assault, the caster makes a gesture to animate or otherwise manipulate earth and stone. This can be used to repair damaged buildings, as well as to create Darkeyes and golems (which is a more advanced variant)
- Dragon Conjuration: A spell that allows the caster to conjure and control a dragon formed of Clair. Chesska and Blitz have both used this spell, implying that it works best, or works only, for those with Dragon ancestry.
- Flash: Used primarily by Adrian Snow, this spell creates a brief and small flash of light from the palm. Snow has apparently created a Pavlovian response in Uru Tan with it.
- Weapon Conjuration: This spell creates various weapons, typically a blade, that the user can then weild in combat. This spell is also bound into special spots on the gauntlets of Paollo's guard's armor, allowing them to form magenta claws.
- Nullification: By chanting a specific phrase or being in physical contact, Knull Snow can steal or completely negate any and all magical powers and effects of the desired target. Using the phrase causes these powers to be constantly active. (for example, if he steals the ability to breate fire from a dragon, he will begin to breathe fire himself).
- Teleportation: The user, and anyone in contact with them, vanishes from their cuyrrent location and reappears in the desired target location. However, if the user is unfamiliar with the desired location, it can result in loss of limbs or other mishaps. It along with Earth Animation is the Heir Power of Claire Soliare.
- Size-shifting: Alice Pintur used this power to alter her size and density.
- Dragon Form: A power unique only to full-blooded dragons, it allows the user to transform themselves from their human form to their dragon shape, usually via a special trinket worn around the neck. Generally, this spell is best done outside, as some dragons (notably Kroft) can grow to the size of large buildings in their draconic shapes as they age.
- Were-Form: The various Were-Creatures of the Archipelago have this power. It allows them to transform into a more animalistic shape and back at will. Constantly staying in their animal form will eventually result in the loss of the ability to change back, followed by a degrading of their human minds. Half-weres generally cannot transform into their animal forms without causing severe damage to their bodies that will kill them without almost immediate access to strong healing magic.