Magic in Nihen

This page chronicles the functions and types of magic in Nihen.

Basics of Magic

Magic in Nihen was a blessing handed down to its peoples by the gods themselves. Before divulging the types of magic, it is important to understand a few basic rules about magic that apply regardless of elemental attunement:

  • Magic is influenced by the caster's emotional state. A strong emotional state may create a spell that is very potent, but difficult to control, while a calm emotional state may create a weaker but easier to control spell. Striking a balance often takes years of effort.
  • For those who don't want to bother with worrying about that, it's not uncommon for there to be magic inhibiting/enhancing accessories. These accessories can look like anything, though the most common ones look like jewelry.
  • Most people "spark", or cast their first spell, by the time they are ten years old. While later sparkings have been recorded, they're considered rare.
    • Since people tend to spark at very young ages, it has made the use of magic inhibiting devices downright essential--children are not the best at knowing how to manage their emotions, so explosive little accidents happen frequently otherwise.
    • For this reason, it's considered a rite of passage to finally remove one's "training bonds" upon reaching adulthood
  • It's commonly stated that "Creativity is a mage's greatest tool", and this is truth: a mage who truly knows their magic on the deepest level is able to come up with surprising new applications in order to solve their problems.
  • Approximately 1% of the human population (barring the Stranded, whose rate of magical potential is obscured by their complete and total eschewment of magic altogether) are born with no magical capabilities whatsoever. These magicless humans often have to rely on enchanted objects and magical friends & relatives in order to function in Nihenese societies.

Applications of Magic

Magic in Nihen comes in thirteen varieties--twelve attunements that connect to the gods, plus common household spells or "hedge magic". Below details the attunements of magic and their potential applications. Of course, these are not the only applications of magic--creativity, after all, is a mage's greatest tool.

This list will not cover all the potential applications of household magic, however, as their variety and utility is far too great to summarize quickly and effectively.


  • The ability to burn/melt things.
  • The ability to absorb and generate heat.
  • The ability to generate flames, as long as there is oxygen available.
  • The ability to create constructs out of flame.
  • Fire mages are not immune to burning themselves.


  • The ability to shape and manipulate water in all its states: liquid, steam, vapor, and ice.
  • The ability to walk on water (duration dependent upon the user’s discipline and focus).
  • The ability to freeze things both organic and inorganic.
  • Water mages are not immune to frostbite or drowning.


  • The ability to move within the earth.
  • The ability to create and manipulate crystals.
  • The ability to manipulate sand.
  • A limited but nonetheless greater-than-typical ability to sense vibrations in the ground.


  • The ability to manipulate air, down to the tiniest of molecules.
  • Atmospheric manipulation.
  • The ability to enhance their sense of hearing and smell by manipulating air molecules.
  • The ability to increase their speed by reducing the force of air resistance.
  • The ability to manipulate the force of pressure on an object via air pressure.
  • Sound manipulation via the manipulation of air molecules.
  • Limited amount of electricity manipulation–full electricity manipulation has been proven to be overwhelming on the body of wind mages.


  • The ability to create, shape, and manipulate visible light.
  • Holographic projections.
  • The ability to turn light into a solid form.
  • The ability to heal the body using soothing light.
  • The ability to induce blindness. Unfortunately, this includes the user. Light mages must take extra care not to overexert their ability, as it has been observed that prolonged use of light magic without adequate rest has a negative impact on the user’s vision.


  • The ability to create (at higher skill levels), shape, and manipulate darkness and shadows.
  • The ability to turn one’s body into shadows.
  • The ability to turn shadows into solid forms.
  • The ability to seemingly “teleport” via traversing in shadows.
  • The ability to cancel light magic. Unfortunately, this also prevents beneficial light magic from affecting them.


  • The power to create and manipulate illusions.
  • The ability to manipulate someone's senses, either removing senses or inducing sensations.
  • The ability to create illusionary decoys.
  • The ability to conceal something with magic, either via disguise or invisibility.
  • The ability to read and project a person’s thoughts and memories.
  • The ability to mimic a person, creature, or object.
  • The ability to physically alter someone’s form. This makes charm mages highly sought after by transgender individuals who wish to physically transition.


  • The power to create, manipulate, and shape metal.
  • Can instantly polish and repair metal constructs.
  • Can easily move objects made of metal with ease.
  • Can create instant armor and weaponry made of metals.
  • Can detect sources of ore within the earth.


  • The ability to command and control animals.
  • The ability to summon animals to their aid via magical pacts.
  • The ability to understand the speech of animals.
  • The ability to “channel” an animal’s power within their own body.


  • The ability to control plants.
  • The ability to accelerate the growth and yield of plants.
  • The ability to turn barren ground into fertile soil (High level technique).
  • The ability to “sense” others through plants.


  • The ability to manipulate the souls of others.
  • The ability to see and speak with spirits.
  • The ability to safely traverse and navigate the land of souls.
  • Due to the nature of magic in Nihen, soul mages can also manipulate a person’s magical ability and affinity.
  • The ability to banish or exorcize spirits.
  • The ability to heal wounds by mending the soul directly.


  • The ability to instantly create new items from a variety of components.
  • Think of it as like. Instant Crafting. This includes domestic craftsmanship as well as craftsmanship that is useful for combat.
  • The ability to imbue crafted items with additional enhancements (durable armor, sharper weapons, more filling cooked meals, etc).