What is a Thaumaturge?
After the launch of our website, we have officially begun the exciting venture of releasing updates about the game! Hopefully, these updates will excite all of you just as much as it does us, and generate some interest and curiosity about the game that we are going to be bringing to you. I have the misfortune of following a beautifully written post by Ari, as she has a wildly talented voice for storytelling, and my writing is going to be more in the informative vein. But I am excited to talk to all of you none the less! I do happen to have the wondrous pleasure of writing about this week’s Character Update: Thaumaturgic Magic.
If you know me, then you probably understand why I am so excited to write about magic. If you don’t know me, then allow me to illuminate you: I am a huge nerd, and I love fantasy. As the Dungeon Master for our group’s Dungeons and Dragons campaign (check out our What We Are Playing page!), I have a lot of experience writing magic into a world. Even more so, my degree in Ancient Cultures and Religions has allowed me an exclusive look into the magical systems of various beliefs of civilizations past. All of these experiences culminated into that moment when I sat down and decided to flesh out precisely how magic was going to work in the world of Trials of Omnus. First, I needed to expand on what magic was and how it interacted with the world around it. For example, in Harry Potter, magic is an innate power, something that lives within the wizard and is called forth with command words in the form of spells. In the television series The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, magic is an ability that is gifted upon people by certain…infernal…patrons. To the ancient Nords, magic was a mysterious, sometimes admonished, craft that used knowledge and wisdom as a basis for its casting. These examples go on forever, magic manifesting in almost infinite forms, no doubt attracting the power-hungry and knowledge-seeking alike.
In the world of Omnus (the fictional setting of our board game), magic is known to exist, and seen as commonplace, though it is not entirely understood. Magic is wild and chaotic, permeating the very reality of the world, and some times will manifest itself in the bestial forms of twisted, animated plants or six-legged prowling felines with barbed tails. A powerful force of ebb and flow, magic is at its origin, giving and taking. In fact, the deity of magic, Isla, is seen as a goddess of the two domains that encapsulate these ideas. She is the goddess of magic, the controlled flow of energies that one may draw in and mold into the desired outcome, and of Antimagic, the violent ebb of magic that rips itself from its user and causes uncontrollable surges of magical effect. Because of the volatile nature of magic, it is not something easily tamed nor controlled. It often takes a combination of years of rigorous study as well as a natural aptitude to master it. These precious few who can truly tap into the magical energies of the world and learn to control it can, in time, become powerful casters and aide the world toward greatness, or even turn it towards oblivion.
Now, where there are many magical users (*cough*other characters*cough*) in this world, how those individuals tap into the latent magical energies is entirely distinct and specific to them. In this post, we are focusing on one particular school of magical use: Thaumaturgy, the academic study of magic that requires years of training to master its intricate and delicate nature.
To the Thaumaturge, the omnipresent field of magic is known as the Current and viewed as a deeply interconnected web of volatile magical energy. Various tools, along with extensive training, can be used to tap into the Current and tame its wild nature into specially shaped outcomes. Thaumaturges mainly use their uniquely crafted staffs, magic circles, and sigils to channel the Current and safely tap into its power. Magic circles and sigils alike are magically generated symbols that a thaumaturge traces directly into the Current to help direct its power. The act of drawing these sigils and magic circles is a dangerous one and is largely the reason Thaumaturgy is such a lengthy and rigorous study. An incorrectly casted sigil or a circle drawn haphazardly could easily cause the over-channeling of the Current and result in a Thaumaturge’s physical body burning away in a flash of magical energy. A thaumaturge that over channels the Current during a spell is, well...not in quite the same state as when they began.
Many have sought out Thaumaturgy as a potential occupation, drawn in by the prospect of commanding great magics at their will. Of course, the only guaranteed way to learn Thaumaturgy with a (slightly) decreased risk of body-vaporization is by attending one of the many Thaumaturgic schools. These are typically large institutions dotting the land, each of which has demanding entry-level requirements that applicants must meet before admittance is allowed. Though many are rejected from these entry-level examinations, and the occasional student may drop out after, say, a simple casting of L’Donreyal’s Lesser Circle left them unconscious for a measly three weeks.
However, there is a handful of students in each school that have the qualifications required to last the seven years (minimum) of study and graduate with their full Thaumaturgic knowledge and body intact. These powerful and highly intelligent individuals usually find themselves working after leaving school in one of several possible occupations. One may become an advisor in a royal court or a loyal member of an Arcane Library dedicated to the study and enhancement of Thaumaturgy. Or one may choose to reside in a town that they become patrons of, using their abilities to uplift it, protect it from harm, and heal the sick.
In summary, Thaumaturgy is a challenging, often underestimated field of study that grants very rigid outcomes due to the implicit dangers of its craft. Where few can truly master Thaumaturgy, it is not impossible! Some notable Thaumaturgic masters are Gianna Holdamir, Addaya Ben’aben, and the revered Ykir of Apsamog (head of the Apotheum School of Thaumaturgy). Of course, some are more adept at channeling the Current than others, which lends itself to a better time learning Thaumaturgy and empowering themselves with it. Once our game launches, you will have your chance to meet one of these individuals yourself as one of the playable characters!
Creative Co-Director and Resident Historian