Magic and Technology
Over-all the technology of the North is early renaissance, with a few Anachronisms.
Prominent later technology includes; Some small measure of Clockwork(The Pendulum clock is a very recent invention), The Printing Press(In existence for a little under a century), Cast Iron&Blast Furnaces(A Dwarven development), Advanced Astronomy&Celestial Navigation, Rigged Ships, etc.
There are many kinds of magic extant within the world, but the most common are as follows;
Divine Magic: The magic of the gods is perhaps the most common magic any person will see. The magic of Clerics of the Church, or of some holy warriors of the Holy Orders and the like is well known, if only at the lower levels of power. All fully ordained priests/priestesses, Monks and Nuns possess limited divine power, though most seldom use most of it. The Church teaches to honour the gods gifts and that self-sufficiency is an important trait. Thus while a priest may use ‘Cure Light Wounds’ to stave off the death of a grievously injured man, the magic most prepare is to deal with either unforeseen events, or help the day to day lives of their parishioners. More powerful magic, like Cure Disease, or Cure Poison, are much more rare, and usually the purview of either high rank members of the Clergy, or some rare itinerants. Even more powerful magic, such as the ability to bring back the recent deceased or truly raise the dead, are both legendary, and used with great hesitancy, only on those whom have done the gods or the church a great favour, or who have died an ‘unnatural’ death be it by Magic or unholy, unnatural creatures.
It should be noted that ‘Divine Magic’ also includes the powers of some foreign priests, Heretics, and demon worshippers.
Bardic Magic: The Magic of the Bard occurs through Song, through Dance, and harkens to strange things felt deep in the souls of men. It is the ancient magic of the elves, and the most extant example of that old magic, and so considered somewhat connected to the fey as well. Some Bards incorporate their magic into their performances. Those more mercenary or less scrupulous may use it to deceive people, or improve their own lot in life. Some use it to help people in a general sense. Bardic magic comes with a sense of wonder to most people, such that every travelling minstrel is often give more respect than his due, and yet some people don’t believe in it at all, despite what they may see with their own eyes.
Druidic Magic: The Magic of the Druids and the Rangers resembles, in many ways, that of the Cleric, and yet it is distinct, both in peoples minds and in the way it is expressed in the world. It is the magic of nature, the power of the storm, the fear of tooth and claw, and yet the gentleness of rain, and the meat from the kill. The common man fears such power, but respects it. It is a bit of a truism that such magic gets most respect from rural farmers and sailors, whose very lives depend on their interaction with the elements, while city-dwellers sometimes scoff as silly superstitions. Druids circles are present throughout the north, and yet since it is always in remote locations, their magic is far less ‘present’ in day to day lives than others are.
Alchemy: Most Alchemists would scoff at calling what they do ‘magic’, as the comparison to Witches or ‘Wizards’ would grate. Still, there is little denighing that Alchemy is a form of talent very similar. Alchemy has become more common and powerful in the past several generations; spreading outwards from the Great Universities, informed at first by those who studies in the South and elsewhere, and now carried throughout the land. The wealthy excpect small miracles form the Alchemist, and even the poor know to spend a few coins on certain special unguents and potions. Alchemy, next to Divine Magic, is probably the magic most people are familiar with, and the most common in the realms.
Witchcraft: Witchcraft has long been viewed in a very negative light, for it requires appeals to outside powers, powers who are not the gods and often inimical to the gods. While the ages of burning witches is in the not so distant past, and witches have more freedom now than they once did, most people still fear them. Still there is a certain hypocrisy in this; as most who can afford it will gratefully use a witches powers to make their own lives easier. The source of Witches power is always much in dispute. Even the witches cannot always claim their powers do not come from dark or malevolent forces, though just as often they might come from forces that seem benevolent and helpful.
Wizardry: Both the most potent, and the rarest of the principal sources of Magic in the world. It’s ultimately source is the same as is said to be wielded by the gods. The power of creation itself, torn from the very fabric of the Universe. Most church’s claim this is Heresy, and many hold ‘Wizards’ to be only another, more dangerous kind of Witch. No Witch would claim to be a Wizard however, they find the very concept distasteful. Wizards claim that their power comes from knowledge. Knowledge of the Universe and knowledge of self. That once a person becomes a wizard, something in them is innately different.
Alchemical Mutations-Consider ways for Alchemists(and wizards) to permanently alter living beings. Like magic items? How do effects stack? How are they ‘payed for’. Some sort of random draw-backs?
Alchemical Mutation Affects
Increase Physical Attributes-Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, by +2 or +4?
Grant Low-Light Vision
Grant Amphibious Sub-type
Grant Other Abilities?
Random Side Effects? Chances for Sterility.