Magic is an energy—a paranormal energy—that occurs side by side with our normal energy, very similar in every way except for a few key differences:
1) Magic is energy that can be manipulated through will.
2) Magic is solely created in the bodies of paranormals.
3) Magic, unlike energy, does not experience entropy.
4) Magic needs will and/or to be connected to a paranormal, otherwise it becomes inert.
5) Inert magic requires a lot of energy to activate, the only exception being activation through elemental magic users.
*Magic can interact with normal energy and matter, manipulating what’s around the user to change the world as willed. As long as a sorcerer has enough will, and enough magic, basically anything can be done with magic from changing the concrete world to creating illusions in the minds of people.
*Magic can transform like normal energy does but cannot be transformed into normal energy.
*Magic can be willed. It can be kinetic energy, willed by a sorcerer into spells/sorcery to alter the physical world. Because it doesn’t entropy once triggered, magic can be far more powerful than normal energy, a little going a long way.
*Magic can be stored. It can be potential energy, willed by a sorcerer to be stored in wards/charms without any energy loss, therefore usable once the spell is triggered.
*Magic has limits. Without a will to direct magic, it becomes inert, existing in a potential but nonreactive form, spreading out in the natural world and eventually infusing with whatever it’s around. This is how elemental magic comes to exist in the PATB world.
*All active magic is connected to a paranormal or a will, that will requiring some level of paranormal origin.
*Paranormals run on magic, produce magic, or sometimes both.
*Some magic users require magic to function as a biological being, while other magic users can manipulate magic but cannot produce it.
*All magic users have some level of magic in their life force, aka, if their magic is fully drained, they will come close to or completely die.
*For magic users drained of their magic who can’t naturally restore it, they will spend the rest of their days without magic unless an energy transfer is made, be it willing or stolen magic.
1) Shifters are unique, beings who can transform the normal energy they get from food into magic to fuel their inner beasts. This results in very large appetites, but also the ability to produce magic constantly and store large amounts.
2) All shifter flesh—alive or dead—will always have magic in active form.
These two key reasons are why shifters are sought after so relentlessly by the power hungry. Magical traits natural to the dead shifter can still be used, such as invisibility of a chameleon shifter or healing of a dragon’s saliva, etc, making capturing of rare shifters with special powers all the more valuable. Because the magic in a shifter’s body remains active instead of going inert like other paranormals, it also means that their remains can power spells that would otherwise be too energy extensive for most magic users to do.
Even though a shifter’s body may hold a lot of magic, that doesn’t necessarily mean they can direct that magic in spells. The magic it takes to maintain a shifter beast’s life force is usually where the bulk of most shifters’ energy is going toward, and to use it in sorcery would be to endanger their life. Sorcerers who don’t care about the well being of shifters, and have the time, are known to first harvest as much energy as they can from shifters before eventually killing them and using their flesh for spells long after.
Most magic users have a preset biological ability to create and control magic that can’t be surpassed, but there are plenty of power hungry people looking be more by any means necessary.
Magic can be stolen from anyone. Sorcerers are targeted for energy drains, but in less frequency as shifters, if only because a dead sorcerer is far more likely to lead to a search than a dead shifter. The magic is just as valuable no matter the source.
Holding large amounts of energy under one’s will, absorbed in the body, can lead to explosions of raw magic. Most sorcerers with extra magic will store the excess outside of themselves, useful for selling or having a backup store for later. When stored properly, the magic will remain active and there is no fear that control will be lost.
Skinners have been finding ways to be overcome nature since the moment they learned magic could be stolen and stored. Unlike hunters or the independent magic user who seeks a personal boost by utilizing stolen magic and shifter flesh, skinners have ensured their magical legacy is passed through the generations, spelling their stolen powers into the flesh of their children. It’s not just traits and flesh skinners steal, but spells, ones of ancient knowledge that allows magic to be drained from their prey and the traits imbued into the thief.
There is no way to change a person’s biological makeup to allow them to produce magic if they don’t, or control magic if they can’t, with the one exception being the howler plague. A human infected with the werewolf virus can gain paranormal powers, good and bad, that they otherwise never would have had. This has led to a lot of debate of if a virus could be manipulated to turn people into paranormals without the horrible side effects of the howlers.
What was first created for the sole purpose of hunting, stealing, and harvesting the energy and eventual bodies of shifters and rare paranormals has evolved since the years of the howler plagues. A new market has rose up, one interested in more long term placement for stolen shifters, seeking out those with powerful allure for the sex trade, or great strength and specialized skills for manual labor and protection.
It’s not uncommon for shifters who have been stolen from their lives to be manipulated by magical and psychological means until they are willing participants in their captivity. Some going so far as to help steal other shifters for slavery or butchery. Because of this, rare paranormals, including demons, with powers greater than the average shifter can be found doing the bidding of criminal sorcerers, and even protecting them.
Anti-paranormal tech is a combination of nullifying technology, heavy duty armor, wards and weapons designed specifically to take on a paranormal.
Some of this technology was created to stop the spread of the werewolf plague, while others were designed to assist skinners and hunters in tracking down and restraining and killing shifters. The most prevalent, legal use of anti paranormal tech is in the prison system and in the howler prevention fences.
This synthetic compound is the root to nullifying technology and the howler prevention fences. A thin coat is bonded to steel for it to be effective. Routinely paired with a layer of kevlar to prevent removal of the visdevor coating.
When visdevor makes contact with paranormal flesh it causes burns and damage to the living tissue as the paranormal energy in the cells are nullified/made inert. Long term exposure can lead to permanent damage and scarring.
Anti paranormal tech commonly used by the police and prison system. When electricity is conducted through steel coated in visdevor, a nullifying field is created that can suck the very magic out of a paranormal and the air, turning the magic inert.
It takes a huge amount of energy for a nullifier to raise enough power to be able to turn magic inert, and as a result, multiple nullifying generators can be required for just one cage/armored vehicle. Although extremely effective against paranormals, this cost plus the weight of the generators limits the use of nullifiers to that of the wealthy and the government.
Depending on a paranormal’s need for magic, contact with a nullifier is potentially lethal, and always dangerous when electricity is involved. Headaches, exhaustion, and feeling unwell are very common among paranormals who are in the proximity of nullfiers for any amount of time. Shifter beasts are quickly knocked unconscious from nullfiers, and halflings and werewolves suffer danger to health and life just by being close to a nullifying field.
Electrified visdevor fences over 30 feet tall and topped with barbed wire surrounding a large, usually public area, these fences were first designed by a coven of sorcerers as a means to protect themselves from the howler plague. The technology was shared with humans to prevent the plague from spreading when sorcerers revealed to be real.
A common sight found in the PATB world, these fences are a staple in urban areas. In small towns and rural areas, fences are either erected in a shared area close to everyone and paid for by those involved, or rich sorcerers with their own fences will open their homes for the night of the full moon to the surrounding residents.
Given the para-biological makeup of a howler, aka, a fully infected werewolf, these fences can kill a howler on contact, and weaken any in the vicinity of the fence. Because of the huge amounts of power required to run electricity through the fences, community fences are only turned on during the full moon, although wealthy private residents have been known to use similar fences as deterrents against all paranormals.
Collar restraint used on patients at the Academy when their magic or shifter beast is out of control.
Disgusted with the barbaric use of nullifier technology in the prison system, Collin McPherson has been pushing research into the development of paranormal safe restraints. The null-collar is still in its developmental phases, but can currently subdue paranormal ability without harming the paranormal or turning their magic inert.
McPherson’s goal is to one day create a nonlethal solution for the remaining victims of the werewolf curse to subdue howlers without killing the host. Currently a null-collar used on werewolves where the virus has progressed leads to the host going in a coma.
Grave digging of shifters, although far more common in the past, is still a troublesome occurrence in modern times. Ancient burial sites are the most likely to be desecrated as magic users seek out rare, valuable remains of shifters for spells.
There are a lot of different theories in the PATB world as to just why magic is the way it is and where it came from. There are some interesting aspects of magic that raise the question of if magic might have it own consciousness. This is one of those questions that no one really knows the answer to but paranormals think on a lot as they find themselves so different from everyone else.
*Shifter beasts have a completely different personality than their human counterparts. The inner beast can like different foods, can want different things—it can even fall in love—all autonomous to the human side’s interests. That inner beast can take on its own form through shifting into a body of paranormal biology. It can even force a shift, taking over the human will to do as it pleases.
*Because of the duality of a shifter, there is no way to know if they are humans who manifested a magic based consciousness, or if a magic based consciousness chose a host to grow inside. Some shifter animals claim to have existed before their current manifestation, but there’s no way to know if that’s not the human psyche trying to rationalize the ability to shift into another form by creating a separate personality.
*The cursed infected with the magic based virus each take on distinct personality and physical traits similar to each other as they are taken over. During the full moon when the moon empowers the wolf to take over the human host, the infected howler’s one goal is to spread the virus and therefore help the virus reproduce. This magic based virus doesn’t just seek to survive but manifests it’s personality into its human host as it battles for dominance.
*There are signs to suggest that the cursed virus—being all the same strand—is manifesting the same consciousness into every howler out there like a hive mind or pando colony.
*People with magic are usually more beautiful, more charismatic and full of allure. Magic allows for any gender to reproduce together. It’s almost as if it’s doing everything to mate the most viable of magic users to create a perfect host body for magic.
*Magic when around elements long enough will infuse and become elemental magic. Consider how magic is manipulated by will alone, in some ways an extension of will. Could magic become will power the same way it becomes an element?
*Magic could originate outside of the known universe. If it did and was imitating life, perhaps it also ended up imitating consciousness as a result, instead of starting out with one. Is it imitating life by imitating consciousness?
Although the werewolf plague of the past has been subdued, there remains a common bias in modern times against any of the cursed. Howlers, fully infected werewolves, are still killed on sight, but there are still plenty of people who believe humans in the earlier stages of the virus should also be killed as a preventative measure. No one cursed has never not eventually turned into a howler and lost to the mad wolf. Some see killing the infected as a mercy killing, or a requirement to keep the community safe.
These beliefs are just as strong, if not more, in the paranormal community. Shifters, who have a keen sense of smell, can usually scent an infected before any signs are noticed. Their inner beasts will usually have a reaction to scenting the distinct magic of the mad wolf and either fear or seek to kill.
Sorcerers, who have a history of battling the howlers and helping to contain them for the good of humanity, are very single-minded when they identify an infected. They believe it is their duty to kill all werewolves and rid the world of the cursed completely.
It’s only been in recent years with the plague long contained and information getting out of the atrocities committed by sorcerers during the howler hunts that biases have shifted. Werewolf rights activists have started changing public opinion to allow the cursed to live the best lives they can, and only judge them for their actions and not their potential actions. Modern shifter packs are learning to empathize with the plight of the infected.
Sorcerers though, are still hold outs, a side effect of their past experiences of taking howlers as trophies and being at war with the wolves for so long.