Hello again, and welcome back to NobodyAtAll Literary Universe 101.
Or NLU 101 for short.
To those of you who are just joining us: this is a series meant to explain certain aspects of the NobodyAtAll Literary Universe to new readers.
We’ve already covered Phenomenon X, and how certain well-known fluffy subspecies differ in the NLU. I suggest reading those installments first, if you haven’t already read them.
Don’t worry, it’s not too dry. We try to have fun around here.
Today, we’ll be discussing something that isn’t entirely fluffy-related, but is still a fundamental part of the NLU.
Today, we’ll be talking about magic.
Please refrain from making any Harry Potter references.
Most mages in the NLU can’t stand those books.
And I’ll be explaining why, as we cover…
The first thing you need to know about magic in the NLU is that it’s not something you have to be born with.
In truth, anyone can learn magic, if they put the time in. Sure, some people are just better at it than others, but it’s not really any different from some people just being naturally better at, say, playing music.
And yes, there are magical families. But, again, it’s not really any different from a family of carpenters, or cobblers, or musicians. Being the son of a wizard doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be a wizard too.
Well, almost anyone can learn magic. Fluffies can learn how to use magic items, they can benefit from the effects of potions, but they can’t cast spells.
This is because casting spells requires clear and accurate pronunciation of the magic words, and fluffies, of course, suffer from a trademark speech impediment.
Some spells also require hand gestures, and, well, fluffies don’t have hands.
And no, you don’t need a wand to do magic.
There was one fluffy who could cast spells.
But that’s a very long story, and one we definitely don’t have time for.
Most spells have a price tag. For many spells, this is a bit of the caster’s stamina. Extended casting can tire a mage out, and even kill them.
But some spells require payment in something more tangible, as we’ll be seeing later.
Another thing you must understand is that magic is not perfect. It has its weaknesses, and its limitations.
Gold is magic-proof, for starters. It’s an anti-magical metal. It can block spells, and be used to create anti-magical technology. You can’t create gold with magic, either, or turn something else into gold. It would be like… um… like trying to light water on fire.
Okay, that’s not accurate at all, but it’s a lie you can understand.
This is why wizards aren’t all filthy rich. That, and inflation.
Lots of wizards have day jobs.
Something else magic cannot do is bringing the dead back to life. Sure, you can reanimate the dead as undead, but true resurrection is beyond the reach of any magic.
There are other forces that can bring the dead back to life. But they’re not immediately accessible. It’s not something the ChaotiX can do every day. So they’ve still gotta be careful, and try to keep collateral damage to a minimum.
What do you think this is, Dragon Ball?
…Well, it’s not unlike Dragon Ball.
You see what it says in my profile, don’t you?
Er, moving on!
For those of you who got all your knowledge of magic from the writings of J.K. Rowling, there are a few other things that must be said.
While magic in the NLU was a secret to the non-magical people for a long time, there is a certain point in the stories where that goes flying out the window.
Technology works just fine around magic. And vice versa. Plenty of mages use electronics. There’s even a section of the internet for mages. The Worldwide Wizarding Web.
J.K. Rowling has gotten a lot of things wrong, and many wizards curse her name.
She’s done so much damage to the cultural zeitgeist.
Yet another thing you should know is that there are also different kinds of magic.
We’ll be starting with…
WIZARD MAGIC AND WITCH MAGIC
Functionally speaking, there’s no real difference between wizard magic and witch magic.
There are differences, mind you. The first one is how they go about using magic.
Wizards tend to live in cities, and prefer hierarchies. They have a Wizard’s Code, and a clear leader, the Archmage. When they use magic, they use it with style. They tend to learn magic in schools.
Witches tend to be solitary creatures, though not incapable of being friendly. They tend to live in small villages, and each witch has their own personal code. They don’t really have an official leader, but there is always a witch who is the leader witches don’t have. Witches won’t use magic if there’s a simpler solution to a problem. Witches usually learn magic from the older witches, and have little faith in schools.
Another difference is that, traditionally, wizards were men, and witches were women. Obviously, that’s changed in modern times.
Well, on this side of the universe.
That’s another long story.
One thing wizards and witches have in common is that, if innocents are in danger, if the world is in danger, wizards and witches will unite. They’ll put their differences aside when the chips are down.
And wizards and witches also get a warning when the end of their natural lifespan draws near. Not if they’re about to die unnaturally, though.
Witches usually use that time to get their affairs in order.
Wizards usually use that time to borrow large amounts of money from their friends and throw one last big party.
There are other kinds of magic, too.
Blood magic is one of the darkest and most evil schools of magic. Gold doesn’t do jack to blood magic.
As the name implies, you need blood to do blood magic. And any blood will do, as long as it’s fresh enough, but there’s a long-standing and completely unfounded belief that human blood is the best kind to use in blood magic.
And that’s why blood magic has such an unsavoury reputation. It’s getting the blood that’s the problem. That’s usually a crime, after all. Most blood mages are evil to the core and won’t think twice about gutting some poor bastard, but the few blood mages on the side of good source their blood from slaughterhouses and butchers.
You could use fluffy blood, but getting that is becoming illegal in more and more places too.
As Dr. Sander Gwenn, one of those few good blood mages, says in “Out for Blood”, using beef blood to summon a demon doesn’t get you a demon cow.
Demons do like blood magic.
They didn’t invent blood magic, though. They didn’t invent any magic, despite what some unfortunately prejudiced and sanctimonious people would have you believe.
So don’t worry about that.
Yes, druids are a thing too. If you read the previous installment, you know about Floris Hazelweiss, and his role in the rise of the garden fluffy subspecies.
For druids, it’s all about getting in touch with Nature. Most druids are men, like wizards, and they shy away from cities, like witches.
Most of them shy away from houses.
Their magic is used to protect Nature, to nurture living things.
Yes, that includes fluffies. Their design may be artificial, but they were created with the DNA of many naturally occurring species, and their bodies are wholly organic.
So no, fluffies in the NLU don’t have chips in their brains that can be reset with a taser.
Not that it stops internet trolls from trolling gullible hugboxers by tricking them into derping their fluffies.
On that note, druids, like witches, often shy away from modern technology, too.
They can be persuaded to use it.
Even if it takes them a long time to come around.
Sorry. Couldn’t resist.
Fairies are a thing in the NLU, too. Boy, my headcanon is awful crowded, isn’t it?
While fairies were introduced in the story “Fairy Hollow”, allow me to give you a quick recap.
Basically, there’s fairies who are nice, and fairies who aren’t.
The former are known as the New Folk. The classic tiny winged humanoids you’re probably thinking of. They live in secluded communities on Earth, usually in forests. They like the world, and don’t want to see it destroyed.
But then there’s the Old Folk. They’re a bunch of warped bastards with an equally warped sense of humor and no empathy whatsoever. They’d probably destroy the world because they think it’ll make a funny sound. Fortunately, they stay away from Earth, since they have a crippling weakness to iron and the damn stuff is all over the planet these days.
They’re waiting for the fad to pass.
Then there’s the pictsies, technically a third kind of fairy, but seriously, don’t call them that.
For fairies, magic is an innate part of their being. It’s a magic that plays by its own rules. And fairies, much like human mages, can combine their powers to achieve greater magical feats. Such as creating portals.
So no, it’s not just humans who get to have all the magically delicious fun.
Yes, that’s a thing too. Space wizards! Woo!
There are a number of alien races who have their own unique brands of magic.
Such as the Iyataggians, a race of green-skinned humanoids of which there is currently only one member.
Another long story, I’m sorry to say. But you can find out when you reach the Intergalactic Tournament Saga.
And the Tennebites, hailing from a planet called Tenneb, in the darkest part of the universe, possess their own dark and twisted magic.
Don’t expect them to share their magical knowledge. The Tennebites are highly xenophobic to a man, with a burning hatred of everything and everyone not of Tenneb, and most Tennebites would die before sharing the secrets of their people with outsiders.
To be frank, most Tennebites would kill outsiders before sharing their secrets with them.
They’d kill outsiders just for being there.
If they had their way, they’d have the universe all to themselves.
And they’ve tried to accomplish that more than once.
After the last attempt, it’s doubtful that they’ll try again.
Or maybe it isn’t.
If Tennebites could let go of their rampant bigotry, they wouldn’t be Tennebites anymore.
They make Earth’s bigots look downright tolerant.
And yes, fluffies have spread to other planets too. They’ve become big on Lumix, one of the most advanced planets in the universe.
They aren’t popular on Tenneb.
Do I really have to explain why?
By now, you’re probably wondering…
Where did all this magic come from in the first place?
…I hate to say this again, but it’s another long story. I’m trying to avoid spoilers, people.
But the question has already been answered in the stories.
And if you’ve been paying attention, it’s been answered here.
Perhaps you’d like to learn more about magic in the NLU. Well, there’s a section of magical tales in the catalog, and a list of all the spells that have been seen so far up in the Supplementary Material section. You know what? Here’s a link.
Dare you enter my magical realm?
I hope this piece has been informative, as always. I’ll try to make the next piece more fluffy-related. Again, if there’s a topic you want covered, let me know.
This concludes the third installment of NobodyAtAll Literary 101.
Until next time, readers, and remember…
Yeah, I’m keeping that.
Whaddya gonna do about it?