Spiritual magic

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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:

The Empath Base circle is a hybrid form of magic between spiritual and mental spheres. However, for nearly all current mechanical purposes, it is considered purely spiritual.

The Sorcerer Base circle is a hybrid between spiritual and elemental spheres.

Theories of Spiritual Magic

Very little official documentation has ever been released on how spiritual magic functions, so this section is highly speculative.

The Spirit Realm

Spiritual magic draws from the power that exists in the Spirit Realm, which coexists with the material world but is invisible to mortal eyes. The spirit realm is the domain of spirits and deities, most notably the Arkati, who can manipulate the flows of essence on a far deeper level than what can be accomplished through elemental magic. Spiritualists forge bonds with these spirits and deities through worship, then call upon them when working magic, using their own bodies as conduits of divine power.

Certain feats of magic like resurrection are only possible through spiritualism. While elementalism and sorcery can animate a corpse and even make it subservient to its original will, such a construct would only be a golem within its own body without the spark of essence that deities can give.

At the same time, spiritual magic is limited by what the deity is willing to do, so a spiritualist cannot perform magic that is against their deity's nature.

Deities

The most commonly understood source of divine power is direct worship. As a deity gathers more worshippers, it is able to project more power.

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.

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.

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.