Lines or streams of mana flow through everything in and on Elanthia, even through the planet itself. Spells manipulate these lines of mana away from their natural state to form spell patterns. The body of every animate being naturally resists the manipulation of the mana lines passing through it, causing Magic Resistance.
Many magical actions require you to harness mana using your attunement. The mana currently available to you varies, and may be perceived using the PERCEIVE command. Your accuracy in doing so is dependent on your Attunement skill; below 75 ranks, you may have less precision in distinguishing mana levels. The mana scale is as follows:
|Weak ( <25 ranks )||Developing ( 25-50 ranks )||Improving ( 50-75 ranks )||Normal ( >75 ranks )|
For Holy, Life, Elemental and Arcane spellcasters, your available mana is mostly determined by your current room. Each room has a distinct mana level, bonused by your Attunement skill and by small cyclic factors unique to each mana type (see Theory, below). The bonus from Attunement represents mana from the adjacent area and is a skillset perk; Magic Primes see more mana faster than Magic Secondaries, who see it faster than Tertiaries. The mana scale grows faster at low levels of skill, but is weighted to take into account a character's full lifespan and mana boosters.
Lunar mana is consistent throughout every room in Elanthia, fluctuating greatly with the cycles of the moons. Each moon influences each spellbook to a greater or lesser degree; the visibility and current cycle of the moon determines how much mana it contributes to spells of the books it influences.
Mana is a spectrum of energies with different frequencies, which is "a metaphor to describe that higher mana resonates with increasingly ephemeral ('small and quick') forces while lower mana resonates with increasingly physical ('big and slow') forces". From highest to lowest:
- Holy (Clerics and Paladins)
- Life (Empaths and Rangers)
- Elemental (Warrior Mages and Bards)
- Lunar (Moon Mages)
Divinity and Gravity are considered the "basic building blocks of reality" and cannot be manipulated by mortals. Attempts to do so usually end with disastrous results.
Mana is invisible and cannot normally be detected; different kinds of magic users are trained to "see" it differently depending on their respective disciplines. Once trained in the perception of one type of mana, a mage is blind to all other frequencies (though manipulation, albeit blindly, is still possible; see Magical theory). Spell energy as a product of other types of mana can still be detected, however.
Arcane mana is actually a non existent type of mana perceived solely by Necromancers after going through some sort of imperfect physiological process while trying to alter themselves to see two types at once. For more, see below.
Holy mana results from the past, present and future presence of the Immortals. Because of its short wavelength, Holy mana requires something extra from the caster. The purity of a Cleric's devotion or a Paladin's soul state allows them to tap into the latent Holy mana.
Holy mana appears ephemeral and is described as golden in color. Clerics perceive it as becoming more substantial or "real" as their Devotion increases. Paladins perceive it as substantial all the time, but its appearance reflects their soul; the more corrupt and sinful the Paladin, the more they see diseased blotches appear within the streams of mana. Even those with a pristine soul continue to notice them.
The Holy mana bonus cycle involves holy days. It steadily increases as a holiday approaches, peaks, and then slowly drains away -- a gradual slope rather than a sudden spike. It cycles much more quickly than Life mana.
Life mana is the result of continuing struggle between order and chaos, the antithesis of entropy.
Life mana's appearance differs greatly between Empaths and Rangers. Empaths generally see it as something very light and airy, with bright colors that are pleasing to see. Rangers perceive it in dark, earthy tones. Both guilds perceive it as having a regular ebb and flow like a heartbeat when in its natural state.
The Life mana bonus cycle involves the seasons, solstices and equinoxes. Life mana rises and falls with the seasons, generally around the solstices, and has the longest cycle of any mana type.
Life mana is the only one that's ever slightly inaccurate on the external rooms, but in general not by very much. It's because the bonus for Life mana is calculated differently for the rest and it's hard to properly do it for each room, so we use the current room's bonus. ~ GM Zeyurn 
Elemental mana derives from the actions and reactions of the elements of Elanthia, as well as trickling in raw form from the Elemental Planes. Elemental mana best resonates with the physical reality rather than the abstract.
Unique to Bards, they perceive Elemental mana aurally rather than visually, with the tempo and complexity of the music increasing with mana levels. Warrior Mages perceive Elemental mana as an amalgam of elemental traits, at once fiery and slow to move away from its natural state as well as liable to jerk out of a magician's mental hold. In both cases it is described as a wild, mindless, and primal force that is difficult to manipulate.
The Elemental mana bonus cycle depends on weather. Elemental mana is empowered during inclement weather, such as rainstorms and hurricanes. Warrior Mages who enjoy Fire spells are encouraged to indulge in pyromania indoors.
Lunar mages perceive their mana as cold and white, like starlight. The opposite of Holy mana in many ways, Lunar mana always seems very "real" and has a sense of weight and gravity to it. It moves in great tides across the entire planet, causing individual streams to appear almost static. Occasionally, it is observed to form runes, symbols, and other expressions of meaning within the nominally random flux of its tide.
The Lunar mana bonus cycle depends on weather and time of day. Lunar mana is more easily perceived on clear days and at night, and as such has the shortest bonus cycle of any mana type.
Fuels certain necromantic and/or sorcerous magics. Used by Necromancers, and appears to them as a result of barbaric modifications to their nervous system done with the intent to allow them to "see" more than one type of mana. This process is imperfect, however; what they are perceiving is an illusion due to their brains being unable to process seeing more than one type of mana at once, resulting in them seeing something that doesn't really exist.
Arcane mana appears 'stained' and wholly unnatural, like veins of coagulated fat and grease that hang in the air like limp ropes. It is never observed moving naturally, but if left unattended the streams may be in a radically different configuration when later observed. The volume and intensity does not change with these shifts, only its appearance.
The primary factors to Arcane mana are the Life and Elemental mana in the room. Lunar mana serves as Arcane's oscillating bonus value (see above). Holy mana affects the Arcane mana value in a non-direct, confounding way which you're not meant to fully understand.
The mana spectrum can be drawn in different ways, based on what you consider important at the time. The classic way of doing so is to start in the middle ground between Life and Elemental and split it. Life and "above" are the realms of life in the broadest applicable sense, Elemental and "below" are the realms of the physical.
An equally valid way of looking at it is to think of it as a curve. Life and Elemental are grouped together as the realms tied concretely into the state of Elanthia, Holy and Lunar split off away as the realms of the abstract and other-wordly magic.
The worst compatibility (in terms of Sorcery) occurs in the clusters of the first chart, trying to juggle two conceptually similar but metaphysically conflicting realms. Both Elementalists and Moon Mages deal with "the physical," but a Warrior Mage wants to change something's material structure and a Moon Mage wants to underwrite the meaning of its three-dimensional space and everything goes to pot.
The best compatibility occurs in the cluster of the second chart, playing with an entirely new concept that is still grounded in the same cosmological "level" the caster is used to. A Moon Mage's background is better suited to dealing with the notions of ephemeral souls and extra-planar gods than he is furry critters and visceral magic.
- Mana cannot be carried with you.
- Cambrinth stores spell energy, not the mana itself.