Encyclopaedia Arcana #33: Space Magic

Space magic gives control over location and distance, and space mages can bend, pierce, and manipulate space, allowing them to direct the movement of other people or objects and travel vast distances in the blink of an eye.  Although one of the less combat-focused types of magic, it has enormous utility.

The Shortest Distance Between Two Points . . .

The signature ability of space mages is teleportation.  While all elemental mages can gate, gating has significant limitations:  it requires the mage to know both his departure and destination points very well, it takes time, and it carries a small but significant risk of a nasty accident.  Teleportation bypasses these problems.  Although space mages can gate (better than elemental mages, in fact) teleportation has several advantages over gating:  it doesn’t require knowledge of the destination, it doesn’t carry the risk of cutting the mage in half, and it can be done in the blink of an eye.  Of course, it does come with its own trade-offs – teleportation doesn’t have the unlimited range of a gate, and while teleportation always works, it can still end up taking you somewhere you really don’t want to go – but it gives space mages an advantage that no-one else can match.

Not only can space mages travel, they can also prevent it.  Space mages can ‘harden’ the spatial fabric of a location, preventing it from being pierced or manipulated.  This is the origin of gate wards, which work against gate magic and teleportation alike.  While various rituals for the generation of gate wards have been developed over the centuries, it was space mages who first discovered them, and they’re still the best at it.  With a little time and motivation a space mage can make an area almost impenetrable to magical travel – though not to someone just walking in.

Eye Spy

Space mages with more finesse learn to create smaller and more precisely controlled gates that are only permeable to light.  This is generally referred to as scrying – although ‘spying’ might be more accurate.  A scrying portal allows a space mage to remotely view an area at a distance, and with practice sound can be transmitted as well, allowing for long-range communication (as well as eavesdropping).

Scrying does come with one major limitation – the mage still has to follow the principles of optics.  If he wants to see through the portal, then light rays have to actually pass through, which means that anyone he’s spying on can see him in return.  How the person in question will react to the sight of a pair of disembodied floating eyes is left as an exercise for the reader.

Bend, Fold, and Mutilate (Okay, Maybe Not The Last One)

The previous two sections only cover a tiny fraction of what space mages can do.  Space magic is a vast field, and the abilities of space mages include but are not limited to:  shrouding an area of space to make it unviewable, warping a section of space to create a ‘corridor’ within which the distance between two points is longer or shorter than it should be, bending space to cause a moving object or person to curve away from their destination while from their perspective they travel in a straight line, and even placing objects outside space entirely in a kind of miniature pocket dimension.

One thing space mages usually don’t do, however, is fight.  While space magic can be adapted to be used as a weapon, it’s not really what it’s designed for, and most space mages never learn any attack spells.  As a result, despite their power, space mages tend to be considered relatively harmless by other magic-users.  Of course, their lack of offensive power doesn’t make them defenceless by any means – it’s pretty hard to threaten someone who can blink himself to the other side of a wall.  Since they’re both very good at travelling and very hard to threaten, space mages often find a niche as ambassadors and couriers, ferrying messages, packages, and information between those who need the service and who can afford their (usually high) fees.

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One Response to Encyclopaedia Arcana #33: Space Magic

  1. Chelsi says:

    So excited I found this article as it made things much qukcrei!