Coming Through the Mirror
You may already know this, but worldbuilding is my thing, and few worldbuilding questions titillate me in the way "Where does magic come from?" makes me feel all tingly in my brain and wobbly in my knees.
I intended to talk about magical mechanisms in Rakshasa Rising, but Helen and Sephala have me tightly in their grip and I find myself asking this question about their world. I find myself asking a lot of questions about their world, actually, but this one came first, and all the rest came after because I needed to know other things before I could answer this one epic question.
First of all, I felt like I needed to know more about Sephala. A magic-user is a pretty good place to start when you're trying to figure out the rules of magic and from what the prompts revealed to me, she was both an elf and a very powerful magic-user. I also knew that Sephala was not of Earth. How did I know that? Writer magic, I guess. It felt right.
So, I decided that she had to be from another plane of existence, but then: How did she end up here? Well, the answer is simple enough. Clearly, she stepped through the Divide from her own plane, into ours. Okay. Check. Now, what the heck is the Divide? Other writers know that sometimes you just make this stuff up without any rhyme and only vague reason. To make it work, you have to rewind the thought and try to figure out a concrete reason for why the thing your brain said was the right thing. I don't know about you, but it's almost always the right thing for me, so I don't try to change it. I only try to understand it.
After a couple replays of the thought, I understood that "the Divide" was Sephala's word for the intangible thing that separated her plane from ours. Lovely! But... that means, if it's Sephala's word for it, it's not Helen's word for it. Ah, clearly that's because Helen and the other humans on this plane call it the Mirror. Sometimes, they get really on the nose and call it the Magic Mirror.
Keir, why do they call it the Magic Mirror? (That was me asking myself, though you probably want to know, too).
Obviously, that's because it manifests as a reflective surface, and magic passes through the Divide into our world.
Ah. That's it. That's where magic comes from. It comes through the Mirror.
Now what? More questions! But... I promised to keep my blog posts short, so I'll save the History of the Divide for another time =)