Spiritual magic is the sphere of magic which harnesses the power of the deities of Elanthia. Spiritual magic wielders shape the inherent power of various deities to perform their magic, typically without direct influence from the higher force.
The following spell circles are purely spiritual magic:
Laws of Spiritual Magic
- Very little official documentation has ever been released on how spiritual magic functions, so this section is highly speculative.
Spiritual magic draws from the power that exists in the Spirit Realm, which can be understood as overlapping auras emanated by powerful beings who manipulate the flows of essence. Mortals often perceive these auras as different types of light. When a spiritual caster calls upon a deity, the deity's aura becomes visible briefly as a flash of vividly colored light. Spells such as Searing Light create the most palpable physical manifestations, capable of blinding anyone who witnesses the auras directly.
The most widely known deities of Elanthia are the Arkati, but there are also many local deities such as Aeia. Deities have innate power on their own, but also gain additional power from one of several ways.
The most commonly understood source of divine power is direct worship, and it is how most minor deities first become divine. As a being gathers worshippers, it is able to project more power through the spirit realm.
Deities also derive power from actions that affect their specific domain. For example, Imaera's domain is that of life, growth, and harvest, and she becomes more powerful as living things spread through Elanthia. Conversely, her power is diminished whenever there is destruction of life and habitat on a grand scale beyond life's normal cycles. Likewise, Sheru's domain is that of terror and nightmares, and he becomes stronger whenever lesser beings are overcome with fear. Some deities are so deeply projected onto their domain that they never require anything of their worshippers: Gosaena, for example, derives power from death itself, which happens inevitably regardless of mortal actions.
Finally, a deity can take direct action in the pursuit of power. Luukos often prowls battlefields, devouring souls of the dead for himself. He is opposed by Lorminstra, who derives power from souls passing through the Ebon Gate. In this, Luukos and Lorminstra can be understood in a sense as competing soul engines, each powered by a stream of souls denied to the other. Direct actions are seldom the sole source of a deity's power: Luukos has as well the domain of Deceit, and Lorminstra of Winter and Deliverance, from which they can draw power separately.
Apart from the deities, demonic power is also a source of spiritual magic, since demons have a distinct presence in the spirit realm when they are drawn into Elanthia. It is possible to make a pact with a demon to gain its power, often in return for a sacrifice of some kind.
Behind the scenes
Spiritual magic was known as Channeling in the ICE age. Channeling users did not cast spells directly, but instead "channelled" the power of their deity within a sphere of emanation. Greater deities could project their power across the entire world, but local deities could only affect a limited region, outside of which their channellers would be powerless.
In Gemstone IV, it is not explicitly stated whether the restrictions of choosing a deity and remaining within their sphere of emanation are still in effect.