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The Three Realms: Rules of Magic

Previously, in my worldbuilding series, I talked to you about the importance of building rules and structure for your magic system. I thought it might be a great addition if I was to show off how magic works in my own world. I absolutely love the way this system works, and I hope you do too.


Magic power in the Three Realms comes from the energy in a Fae or demon’s soul. A magic user feeds the spells with his or her willpower. While the magic that is present in the general world is inexhaustible, the magic present in an individual person is exhaustible. It can usually be recharged with rest, sleep, or certain potions if exhausted. If used up too quickly or too strongly, the magic user will fall into an unconscious state, whether temporary or in extreme cases, permanent. If magic continues to be used to the limit consistently, death is inevitable.

Limits of Magic

Fae are born with a certain small number of inherent magical gifts, or specific types of magic that they have a greater affinity for. This type is called inherent magic. However, noble Fae are born with a greater number of inherent gifts because of their bloodline.

Fae can also learn other types of magic that they do not have a natural affinity for. However, it takes years and years of study to perfect their talents, and even then, some people cannot achieve other types of magic effectively. There are a handful of mages who have power nearly equal to that of a noble Fae because of their propensity to learn. They spend their whole lives studying and usually teaching magic.

Some spells are limited by the time they can be cast. An example of this is a spell that depends on the position of the sun or moon.

Casting A Spell

Casting a spell requires up to three distinct pieces. The first and most general one is intent. The intention of the spell must be focused on intently in order for it to work. In the beginning, Fae must focus for an extended period of time to get a spell to work. More advanced magic users only need a few seconds. The second one is the correct wording. Some spells require a recitation of words coupled with the intent to complete it. This usually starts out as a verbal command and then eventually, with time and practice, can become a non-verbal command. The third one is the correct materials. Certain protection spells or soul-seeking magic must occur at specific times with specific items handy. This can consist of anything from ordinary plants to magical artifacts. These items can usually be obtained from magical craftsmen or magical merchants. However, occasionally, it takes a far rarer type of item that can only be found in certain geographic locations or in certain centers.

Some spells can be stored in charms or amulets for later use.

Some spells require long drawn out rituals, usually ones involving elements of nature (sun, moon, ocean, etc.).

Two or more magic users can combine their power to amplify a spell. However, it is extremely taxing on the both of them and usually not worth the energy loss. It is only used in dire situations.

A mage’s powers often grows stronger over time with age. The level of power in a Fae is measured by:

  1. Presence of noble blood.

  2. Number of inherent gifts.

  3. Education.

  4. Execution of non-inherent magic.

Types of Magic: Levels and Tiers

My magic system is broken up into three levels, each with five tiers. At each tier, you step up the strength of each type of magic. At each level, you also increase the strength. Using this method offered me a clear path of seeing how strong an individual character was, how others measured up against one another. It’s been incredibly useful. I have tables and everything. I started typing those, but they would make this article about twenty pages long. Let me know if you’d like to see that in a PDF in the comments below!

Here are the types of magic that exist in the Three Realms:

  1. Animation Magic: The ability to bring in animate objects to life

  2. Disintegration Magic: The ability to disintegrate matter

  3. Elemental Magic: The ability to control or manipulate the elements of nature (water, fire, wind, earth).

  4. Absorption Magic: The ability to absorb energy and convert it into something else like physical strength.

  5. Augmentation Magic: The ability to enhance or weaken someone else’s powers.

  6. Conversion Magic: The ability to absorb one form of energy and convert it into another form of energy.

  7. Energy Manipulation Magic: The ability to manipulate another person’s powers into something else.

  8. Force Field Generation Magic: The ability to project powerful fields of manipulated energy that often act as shields.

  9. Negation Magic: The ability to mute the powers of another person.

  10. Sacrificial Magic: The ability to draw power from the death of another.

  11. Sensing Magic: The ability to sense or recognize magical power.

  12. Sourcing Magic: The ability to draw magical power from energy sources.

  13. Flight Magic: The ability to levitate oneself or to fly.

  14. Forensic Magic: The ability to backtrace a spell for the purpose of tracking down people who commit crimes.

  15. Glamour Magic: The ability to disguise oneself.

  16. Healing Magic: The ability to heal or heal from any injury.

  17. Illusion Magic: The ability to disguise something as something else.

  18. Divination: The ability to foresee or foretell future events.

  19. Invisibility: The ability to be invisible.

  20. Shapeshifting Magic: The ability to turn one’s form into that of an animal.

  21. Gravity Magic: The ability to manipulate gravity and its effects.

  22. Light Magic: The ability to generate or extinguish light.

  23. Quantum Tunneling Magic: The ability to move through walls.

  24. Medium Magic: The ability to see and communicate with the dead.

  25. Necromancy: the ability to reanimate and/or control the dead.

  26. Poison Magic: The ability to work with poisons more adeptly and/or possess poisonous abilities.

  27. Possession Magic: The ability to occupy, dominate, and/or control another person from within.

  28. Psionic Magic: The ability to communicate or perceive beyond the five physical senses, including empathetic magic, memory manipulation, mind control, telekinesis, and telepathy.

  29. Sound Manipulation Magic: The ability to alter sound.

  30. Durability Magic: The ability to have a higher resistance to injury than an average person.

  31. Reflex Amplification Magic: The ability react faster than an average person.

  32. Senses Magic: The magnified ability to see, hear, feel, smell, and/or taste.

  33. Speed Magic: The ability to move faster than an average person.

  34. Strength Magic: The ability to have more strength than an average person.

  35. Water Breathing Magic: The ability to breathe underwater.

  36. Herb Magic: The propensity for discovering/working with various herbs.

  37. Plant Magic: The propensity for discovering/working with various plants.

  38. Weapons Amplification Magic: The ability to strengthen the impact, defense abilities, and durability or weapons.

Wow, that’s a mouthful, huh? It’s fairly complex, but I really enjoy the way it all fits together. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Happy writing!

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