Essence Magic - the Magic of Mages
Mages use soulfire, their inner essence, to draw upon the essence that makes up the world around them; they use this essence to power their spells but the power is not expended simply moved around using the soulfire within the mage. The more powerful the mage, the more soulfire that they can command and the more spells that they can cast.
Essence is found almost everywhere as all matter and energy are comprised of it; only truly empty places where there is neither matter nor energy of any type do not have essence and thus mages can cast their spells almost anywhere including the world and the Void (and it is assumed the Dreaming).
Mages are able to renew their soulfire by resting and it naturally recovers over time and fully overnight. In places where the essence is particularly present in a suitable form (so called "places of power") this recovery is significantly faster.
Mages find it difficult to cast spells when encumbered due to the subtle gestures required; a mage may not cast spells if wearing armour and must have their primary hand free and empty. Metals have a significant affect on essence and carrying metals can cause the essence to flashback onto the caster. As a result, mages never cast while carrying or holding weapons made from metal for fear that they will be “burnt” by this effect. Characters who cast while in contact with metals may suffer no effect or may be seriously injured, they can also loose the ability to wield soulfire either temporarily or perminantly. The referees will determine what happens but we advise against experimenting!
Player character mages are all trained by the Guild of Mages but there are other ways in which soulfire can be awoken in a person. The Guild Council do not want unregulated mages causing trouble for them or infiltrating their lands so anyone who casts magic is de facto a witch (criminal spell caster). The Guild of Mages is charged with dealing with witches and bringing them to justice or executing them; the person in charge of this is the Guild Witch-finder.
When a mage reaches the rank of Guild Mage, they choose whether to specialise becoming Battle Mages, Necromancers or Demonologists. While being a necromancer or a demonologist is not against the law they are carefully watched and generally feared due to what they can do. They also have marks upon their souls.
A mage writes and maintains their own spell book. It must contain all their spells on separate pages. A mage may only have one spell book. They can make a new spell book between events. Making wands, rods, staves, scrolls and spell books all require the assistance and equipment of the Mages' Guild or other assistance from NPCs.
A mage can cast any spell that they know as a rite, this takes 30s and costs double the usual amount of Soulfire (note that the cost does not double if you cast from your spell book, or a scroll; either requires light).
Fees: Full guild members pay guild fees of five shillings per season and may need to pay for training to improve their skills.