Magic is considered to be an unholy ability, regardless of the way it's used by those who possess the skill. It requires life force from third party to work properly, whether that party is willing or unwilling to give his life energy to the Mage.
Because of this, the church and many others believe Magic to be evil, as it consumes that very essence of the soul that keeps all people alive and healthy. The resulting discrimination and hatred aimed at them has caused the majority of magic-users to practice in secret, though there are pockets of supporters around the world. Plenty of villages are willing to overlook the use of magic if it means the spring rains will arrive on time, or a severe illness warded off.
Unlike Psionics, Mages do not need to be born with a particular skill or trait in order to become Mages. They are simply taught how to collect, channel and release the life energy around them, using their body like a vessel to accomplish their spells. And like any physical vessel, there is a limit to what can be stored within it. A vase filled to the brim with water can hold no more and will overflow; a Mage filled to the limit with life energy will waste whatever else he collects, as he too will 'overflow' and lose that which he had tried to collect.
Life forms don't need to be human to collect energy from them, merely alive. Plants, animals, and people are all living, though the smaller a life form is, the less energy it has to give. A Mage who drains too much energy from his 'donor' can kill the subject. Any Mage who kills his donors is considered forever tainted, evil, and unclean.
Some people even believe in sharing their life force with one another. Covens of White Witches have formed, and they believe in sharing their 'light' with one another, to use their magic to heal the planet and other people. Even though those Witches are living peacefully and using their abilities for the good of man, they are still condemned by the church simply for being magic-users in the first place.
Can a person be both Mage and Psionic? Yes. In fact, many Psionics have turned to Magecraft in the past because they were unhappy with a weak Gift and sought more power than they'd been born with.
Magecraft is a complicated practice, and it must be taught to an apprentice by a mentor. How long the mentoring process takes is dependent upon the intelligence and capabilities of the pupil, but range anywhere from one to five years.
Spells can be used offensively, defensively, and for healing purposes. There are also illusionary spells, summoning spells, and binding spells. Mages are regularly coming up with new ways to use their magic, so additional spells and charms are being invented all the time!
- A Learned Skill
- Requires an Outside Life Force
- Can be Offensive, Defensive, Healing, Binding, Summoning, etc.
- Power Can be Shared
- Psionics Can be Mages Too