Mana and Mages Many of those who lack an understanding of Magecraft wrongly assume that Mana is an energy or source of power (either stemming from the life force of an organism, or from some other source). Because of this, there exists a mistaken impression that Magecraft is similar in nature to both the Paladric Arts and Arts of Knighthood, despite claims to the contrary by the Eturian Mages Association, Holy Paladric Order, and the High Order of Knights. Unlike both the Paladric Arts and the Arts of Knighthood, Magecraft uses Mana, which is not a form of energy at all. Mana exists as a constant, ever changing affirmation of existence and all its phenomena, and as such, would be most accurately described as “Absolute Existential Affirmation”. In more understandable terms, Mana is an intangible, readily accessible, complete, and final store of information about the physical world – albeit one which cannot be understood, detected, or manipulated by non-Mages. If an object could be perceived using either touch, sight, sound, smell or taste, then Mana would be the sixth sense. While touch, sight, sound, smell and taste could be mistaken or disguised, Mana would be the absolute truth at all times, disregarding the natural laws of the physical and only concerning itself with what is at that given moment. In its most basic interpretation, Mana is physical reality itself. The Effect-Result-Cause Interaction of Mana Because Mana is only concerned with what is, as opposed to how or why, Mana manipulation is both extremely difficult and incredibly dangerous. Put simply, Mana is able to completely disregard the natural laws of cause and effect. First, the “Absolute Truth” is imposed upon the world, and then the previously non-existent cause is reconciled with the now (already existent) effect. This reversal of the natural laws was first officially recorded and studied by Archmage Eliarna, who coined it the “Effect-Result-Cause Interaction”, a slightly shorter and inaccurate wording for “the creation of the Effect Results in a Cause”. Of course, a basic understanding of the Interaction has existed since the first days of Magecraft. Without such an understanding, Magecraft would not be possible at all. A simple example of the Effect-Result-Cause Interaction would be the spell “Meteor”, from the Magister school of Magecraft. The Effect is “a meteor falls”. Since no such meteor exist before the spell is cast, the only way for “a meteor falls” to be the Truth would be if “the meteor exists” was Truth. Thus, prior to the spell being cast, no Meteor existed at the targeted area. Following the spell taking effect, the Meteor exists at the target location. There is no “state” in-between the two scenarios. This is also the reason why it is impossible to “interrupt” a spell being cast, as spells inherently do not have a “cast time”. Mages and Spells: the Living Font A mage is a person who is able to detect and manipulate Mana. mages have existed in Eturia almost since the dawn of Eturian Civilization, and have traditionally been both highly regarded and treated with suspicion. Such a view arises from the misconception that mages are able to accomplish anything they wish using the intangible, incomprehensible power known as Magic, powered by Mana. Naturally, this is quite far from the truth. Mages are able to manipulate Mana through a birth trait known as the “Living Font”. The Living Font is what provides mages with their abilities. While Mana flows through all living creatures, only those who have the Living Font are able to interact with it. What a mage actually achieves remains a matter of some debate. Although the effects of a mage’s spells – and by extension, the relative causes – are obvious, there is great disagreement regarding just how these effects came to be. Some believe that mages “overwrite” the relevant Mana, and thereby change the Truth - a view that holds prominence in Aedarnia. However, a rather noticeable flaw with this theory is its contradiction with the most important property of Mana – that Mana is absolute. Other Magecraft Theorists propose that rather than a form of rewrite, mages instead “re-reference” Mana to alter the Truth. For example, changing “this object is hot” to instead point to “that object is hot”, and take from elsewhere “that object is cold” so that it may be reapplied as “this object is cold”, which would be the two-stepped re-reference process behind cooling an object using Mana. Though this is not violating the empirical nature of Mana, this theory does pose the yet unanswered question: where then, does the altered phenomena go? If a different object is to be heated so that the targeted object is cooled, then precisely which object is selected, and where can this process be observed?