Post by Kitten4u on Jul 1, 2017 10:26:17 GMT -7
"Magic" is the term used to refer to anything that breaks the laws of physics somehow. For example, it is not possible to freeze something by touching it at human body temperatures, but there are some people that can do that anyway. They are using "magic" by the definition. The impossibly tall trees in the jungle are considered "magic" because they should collapse under their own weight according to physics. The strange biology of the monsters in the jungle is considered "magic" because nothing should be able to live with a body of somehow-held-together liquid. Put simply, it's a term used to talk about phenomena that can't be explained by science.
There have been attempts to study magic, but the effects are so chaotic and random that it's been difficult to do so. About the only predictable thing about it is that it is completely unpredictable. The few things that have been figured out are as follows:
Humans are not typically born with magic. In fact, it's rare for a human to develop the ability to use magic in their lifetime. There is a direct correlation between someone going into the jungle and that person developing magic. That said, some people do get magic the second they're born. Some people develop the ability to use magic without ever setting foot into the jungle, and sometimes people who spend a lot of time in the jungle never develop powers. It seems like people are just far more likely to develop powers if they enter the jungle.
Humans that develop the ability to use magic also develop some kind of mutation, and that mutation relates to whatever power they get. Someone who develops the ability to see through walls might have something in their eyes change. Someone who develops the ability to fly might get wings, or even fins if their flight is more like swimming through the air. Sometimes they're small, like developing slightly longer fingernails, and sometimes they change a person's physiology completely. Sometimes they're even completely invisible, changing something internal like making their heart stronger or change color, or adding another lobe to their brain. Sometimes, people that can't use magic get mistaken for someone that can because of this. It's fairly common among people with heterochromia for example.
Using magic typically requires some kind of will to do something. A person with the ability to create small flames rarely accidentally burn someone, unless they really want to subconsciously. Maybe they're secretly mad at the person, really wished they'd just be quiet, or just wanted then to go away. Even subconscious will like that can activate powers. Because of that, sometimes it's possible to be able to use magic without realizing it. A person that has some kind of magical intelligence might think that they're only getting bursts of inspiration in desperate times.
Magic tends to be fairly weak in humans. A human isn't going to be able to summon meteors from the sky, or even run as fast as some of the high speed trams across the city. Instead, they might be able to summon a large candle-sized flame or manipulate an existing flame that's around the size of their body. Someone with speed powers might have short blinks, or be able to reach speeds of maybe 35-40mph at their top speed after a running start. All in all, a person without powers might be able to take a person with powers in a fight if they have better mundane fighting skills than the person with powers. This also seems to be true of most plants and animals, but is not true of most of the monsters in the jungle. Their magic is much stronger, and the reason why this is the case is unknown.
Magic and Society
Magic isn't used much in normal society. It's not very common for people to be able to wield magic in the first place, and for those that can, their magic isn't very powerful or reliable. So, society is still very much dependent on science and technology more than magic.
People that can use magic are generally thought of as kind of weird, but very important. Kind of weird because they tend to have strange mutations that make them look odd, and because the vast majority of them had to venture into a very dangerous, monster-infested, pitch black jungle in order to get them. In most peoples' view, sane people don't enter the jungle, so the people that do must have a screw or two loose. The stereotype is somewhat based in reality, as the only people that tend to go into the jungle in the first place are thrill-seekers, people that hate their job so much they're willing to put a lot at risk to get away from it, rebellious teenagers, and criminals looking for a place to hide. Of course, every person has their reasons for entering the jungle, and a small subset of people got the ability to use magic without ever setting foot in the jungle, so not everyone follows the stereotype.
People that can use magic are viewed as important because the jungle is filled with valuable resources that help sustain society. It's likely that society would collapse without some people venturing into the forest to gather what's in there due to lack of food and raw materials for construction and manufacturing. It's important enough that should someone young develop the ability to use magic, they will be encouraged to become a surveyor: someone who gathers materials in the jungle. Even if they should be assigned a job, the bureaucracy might conveniently 'forget' to send them their assignment for six or so months to encourage them in that direction. If someone in an existing job develops powers, no one will mind if they decide to quit it to pursue life as a surveyor because of how uncommon they are. It's the only job in the city that doesn't have set hours, and while surveyors don't get the wage floor that everyone else does, it's so lucrative that only 4 or so hours a week is enough to meet the minimum standard the government would give them anyway. Surveyors have far greater freedom than most people in the city, so many people opt to take the risk of exploring the jungle for that reason.
Because of their rarity and benefit to society, even though people might look at them a little funny sometimes people with powers aren't treated badly. For the most part, they aren't even treated differently from any other citizen. Though, if they choose to break the law (other than entering the jungle because everyone pretends like that law doesn't exist), they will be treated as any other criminal. Precautions have to be taken with them because of their powers, but they're usually weak enough that it's not much a problem for law enforcement.
Magic has been hard to study because the majority of surveyors aren't scientists. They might talk about their badass fight against a monster and how it totally exploded into fire and how cool it was, but such stories don't tend to be specific enough for study. The few scientists that do venture into the jungle either end up dead or are viewed as a little crazy, if not outright mad scientists, and have less credibility. The very nature of magic is very random, so that alone also makes it difficult to study for those that prove they aren't completely crazy. As a result, much of how magic works has remained a mystery.