Southern Magic

Southern magic is found outside the Mountains, on the rest of the Continent and the southern islands.

Southern magic needs to be channelled by mages and/or spirits, and is classified into domains. Spelltech gems can also function, but unlike with Northern magic, they need to be recharged periodically (usually every few years).


A mix of water, fire, and nature spirits Appearances: nature spirit, water spirit, fire spirit, star spirit

Can come in a variety of sizes. The three major types are Fire, Water, and Nature, which are each weak against one of the others in a rock-paper-scissors fashion. Less common domains include Stars, Holly Cerise's domain.

Spirits come in a range of benevolent to malicious. For example, malicious spirits can cause The Whispers, while benevolent Fire spirits are useful for Prophecy.

Fire and water spirits appear to grow right out of their respective elements, for example a fire lizard or a water fish, while nature spirits tend to have stuff growing on them, like a bear covered in moss.

Star spirits are only found in the upper atmosphere, and look like tardigrades patterned like the night sky. Scientific names include “thermospherical spirits,” “cislunar spirits,” “void spirits,” and the admirably simple “dark spirits.”


Characters: Mages

Holly casting Nature, Water and Fire domain spells

Mages (magical girls, boys, etc) are people who can channel southern magic, using a transformation item to switch into their powered-up form. Anyone born south of the mountains and The Desert has a chance of becoming a magical girl.

Magic isn't genetic, there's no DNA test for it, and anyone can awaken magic even if no one in their family tree has magic. But if magic does run in the family, children will have the same magic type as one side of the family. For example, Ivy Muscade could have inherited nature magic from her father Ebony Muscade, or water magic from her other parent from Magnus Cornouiller, but not fire magic. This familial influence can also be inherited from surrogates.

In Ceannis, children are screened for magical aptitude, and if they meet the minimum they can opt into a different schooling system. They start off being taught in small groups by domain (Water, Nature, or Fire). Eventually, when they've managed to transform and are at least 13, they can graduate to an independent work-study program.

Some people, like Thorn, have an aptitude but choose not to develop it. Others, like Laceleaf's stalker, pursue their magic alone outside of the system. Sometimes people with no training can instinctively transform as a response to serious danger. Spontaneous first transformations can also happen from a very strong desire to help.


The details of a magical-girl outfit vary based on the wearer’s style. Some are pretty reserved. Others are flashy, even gaudy. Some tropes they have in common:

Holly in her magical girl costume

  • They’re always visually impractical, and yet as durable/functional as mundane combat gear. Warm in the winter, cool in the summer, the jeweled parts are never too heavy, the trailing decorations never get snagged on things.
  • They offer a full range of motion (no tight knee-length skirts, for example).
  • Changes in hair color are common. Sometimes they appear with your first costume. Other times they get added as part of a power-up.
  • However, deliberate body mods (color contacts, hair dye, etc) usually don’t get overwritten by the transformation.
  • If the mage needs any adaptive devices — glasses, hearing aids, prosthetics, and so on — a version of that device will be part of the costume. Color-coordinated, of course.
  • As mages advance, their outfits get more fancy - more frills, jewels, etc - with a staff being seen only with very advanced mages.
  • A cape – or any separate item of clothing with a long free-flowing piece of fabric that hangs down the back (such as Kudzu's shoulder-ribbon) – indicates a high-level mage.

Holly Cerise and Ivy Muscade are both unusually high-level; very few mages their age have capes.

The transformation takes stamina to maintain, so it's not practical to go around powered-up all the time. Also, the sight of a magical costume is intimidating (like seeing a regular person walking around with a loaded weapon), so it's socially frowned-upon to be transformed without a specific reason.


Three mages of differing base natural affinities, and Acai There's no theoretical limit to what a mage can learn, but it takes dedication to get good at it. It takes a while just to reach the point where you're doing things your basic household spelltech can't handle already.

You can't get better in a domain you don't have the natural affinity for, but you can get basically as good. Magical girls who focus on developing powers in all three basic affinities, such as Holly Cerise, can get recategorized as Star mages.

For a magical girl who develops a unique or category-defying power set, new terms will be coined on a case-by-case basis, as needed.

A long-runner mage doesn't start off with the same power level they reached in their past life; they have to reawaken their powers from the start, like a long-runner athlete rebuilding muscle.

When Magicals Go Bad

AU!Thorn wearing power-restraining bracelets A mage who abuses their power can be fitted with power-restraining bracelets to block them from using it, typically for the length of any prison sentence/probationary period they're assigned.

They will also have their transformation item confiscated, and the bracelets block their ability to manifest a new one.


Thorn and Tiernan Characters: Thorn and Tiernan (cat), Kale and Niamh (dog)

In the south, people can undergo a ritual to be soulbonded to an animal. Afterwards, the animal is almost literally the soulmate of the person, strengthening and enhancing the intelligence of the soulbonded animal.

It can work with any species that's domesticatable and smart. (Not unicorns, since they're too close to sapient.) In practice it's usually done with small animals, so you can take them places. Cats and dogs are most popular, followed by some types of birds.

The human and animal share emotions, both gain satisfaction from one's physical sensations, such as eating or brushing. The soulbond can also affect the human's tastes (Thorn likes fish more now, same with Kale and liver). A soulbonded therapy animal can be used to get an accurate read on the person's emotions, or it can act in ways to calm down the human partner. Niamh helps Kale identify visual hallucinations.

If the animal dies, it will reincarnate into a newly-born animal of the same species, and the bond remains intact. Soulbonded people can follow their heart to find the next incarnation. The new animal's owner will usually gift the animal when they see how happy they are to be reunited with the soulbonded person (but if not, health insurance will cover the cost).

When an animal is soulbonded to a mage, they're termed a “Familiar” instead, and have access to some of the mage's magical power. Magnus Cornouiller has a cat familiar named Brea, bigger and darker than Tiernan. Laurel Cerise has a bird named Fallon.


southern_magic.txt · Last modified: 2023/10/12 01:40 by giacomohawkins · [Old revisions]
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