View Full Version : A Sword and Sorcery brand of magic?

Empath of the White
04-14-2013, 01:25 PM
I would like you opinions on this magic system; I'm plotting a sword and sorcery tale and want to try a different approach to magic. I intend to keep this as a guide as I'm writing; that way the system is revealed through the course of the story rather than being dumped by a Wise Old Man character.

A world whose inhabitants have trace amounts of elemental essence (vigalis?) that are converted into a form of elemental magic within their immune system; specifically in the lymph nodes. The antigen presenting cells such as the dendritic cells keep the trace elemental essence around a homeostatic set point within the human body. The major histocompatibility complex on the APC's each have an affinity for a particular trace elemental essence. Upon picking up their specific elemental essence, the APC's travel to the lymph nodes and present their complex of MHC and elemental essence to the naive B and T cells. The T cells that recognize the MHC/elemental essence complex will mature into cytotoxic T cells or helper T cells.

The magic yielded by the cytotoxic T cells will be based on causing damage; think fire, decomposition, gale-wind, and water blasts laced with toxins produced by the phytoplankton that once dwelled in the world's oceans.

The magic yielded by the helper T cells will be based on conjurations: fire, earth/rot, wind, and water elementals.

The shaping of one's magic is determined by the strength of one's limbic system, r-Complex, and neocortex: strength in the limbic system disposes one to summon mammalian-based beings of fire, earth/rot, wind and water. Strength in the R-Complex disposes one to summon reptillian-based beings of fire, earth/rot, wind and water. Strength in the neocortex disposes one to summon primate-based beings of fire, earth/rot, wind and water.

The strength of the triune brain is depended on the source of essential fatty acids and proteins. For example, one who regularly dines on reptile meat wil have an especially strong r-complex. Cannibalism would allow an individual to open their mind to the influence of past politicians, generals, scientists etc. by strengthening the neocortex; thus the cannibal would be able to conjur elemental beings that are echoes, or ghosts, of these past politicians, generals, scientists etc. If the conjurer has taken their essential fatty acids/proteins etc. from a living relative of the politician, general, or scientist that the conjurerer wishes to summon, they can summon an elemental being that is a ghost of that politician, general, or scientist.

To keep this magic in check, perhaps the booster immunizations one gets as a child can be designed to suppress the body's production of the elemental essence and the gene expression of the T cells and APC's. That way everyone isn't a magical dynamo/deus ex.

Raw elemental essence is mined from the world similar to fossil fuels; this elemental essence can't be used in spellcasting, however. Rather, the mined essence is refined and used to power cars, utilities etc.

04-14-2013, 03:45 PM
Honest feedback, of course. To me, the scientific side of things (real or created for the story) makes me skip over most of what you wrote. My eyes see "dendritic cells" and "histocompatibility complex" and gloss right over them. To others, it may be incredibly interesting, but to me, it does not.

Empath of the White
04-14-2013, 04:17 PM
:thumbsup: Thanks, Shannon. I wouldn't be happy with anything but an honest critique.

What sort of magic interests you? A condensed summary of my original post is that my magic is elemental and based on the immune system cells. This means if my physiological system has trace amounts of elemental fire, I can use my blood to shoot a stream of fire. If I want to conjur a familiar, I'd need to kill the animal, then harvest and preserve its lymph nodes according to a certain ritual. Then I could conjur the animal for whatever reason.

04-14-2013, 04:42 PM
See, much better. :)

I like it. It reminds me of a (Marvel, DC?) storyline in which all the humans turn into mutants based on their personalty traits and/or experiences. Temper problems = fire, zen personality = flight, so on and so on.

04-15-2013, 08:48 AM
It sort of reminds me of the magic system in Sanderson's Mistborn books, except in those books they ingest trace amounts of metals to fuel their magic. He never goes that deep into how it works, though.

I like your system, though. There's so much magic in the fantasy world that I always enjoy when people develop new systems. I think it is a bit science heavy, but if it is introduced gradually as you stated, that shouldn't really be a problem.
Will you fantasy world be scientifically developed enough that learned folk will know what T cells and R-Complexes are? If not, it may sort of be superfluous information best saved for some sort of how things work type book.