The basics of life and death
All living things are connected to the universe by two threads. One is a delicate, thin thread that allows the entity to live. It is easy to damage and difficult to repair. The other is a heavy, powerful thread that allows the entity to die. It is difficult to damage and nearly impossible to sever.
Damage to the Life thread causes damage to the entity, and damage to the entity causes damage to the thread. Thus, the entity can heal through repairing the thread, and the thread can repair if the entity recovers.
The Death thread is impossible to damage without magic. It is unknown what would happen if a Death thread were to be severed. Some theories suggest that severing it would grant the entity immortality. Others propose that the universe would compensate for it by erasing the entity from existence. As of yet, no known mages have proven capable of severing a thread, and such a test would violate the Guild's laws.
The mage types
The mage types
Some humans are born with threads beyond Life and Death, known as "mage threads". Mage threads grant the mage control over certain types of energy. A mage may reveal their ability at a young age, but their magic does not fully mature until the ages of ten to thirteen. If a mage is particularly powerful, they may develop certain features as they mature.
While all threads are invisible, some mages have the ability to see them. These mages can instinctively identify the types of threads a person has.
The known mage thread types are as follows:
Air: Also known as "wind" or "breath." This thread grants the mage the ability to conjure strong winds. Some mages are able to use their power to fly short distances. A powerful mage may develop white spiral patterns on their skin, especially around the shoulders and back.
Fire: Also known as "flame" or "heat." This thread grants the mage the ability to conjure and dispel fire. They are unusually resistant to extreme heat. Some mages are able to control large, intense fires. A powerful mage may develop dark burst patterns on their skin, especially around the hands and eyes.
Energy: Also known as "electric" or "lightning." This thread grants the mage the ability to conjure electricity. Some mages are able to cause electric storms or power surges. A powerful mage may develop black lightning patterns on their skin, especially around the arms and hands.
Water: Also known as "wave." This thread grants the mage the ability to control water. Some mages are able to control the temperature of the water to form steam or ice, and may be more resistant to extreme temperatures. A powerful mage may develop scale patterns, especially around the neck and legs.
Nature: Also known as "plant" or "leaf." This thread grants the mage the ability to spontaneously grow plant life. Some mages are able to manipulate plants like living puppets. A powerful mage may develop white web-like patterns, especially around the eyes and shoulders.
Earth: Also known as "stone." This thread grants the mage the ability to control solid earth and rocks. Some mages are able to shift and reshape landscapes. A powerful mage may develop dark streaks or crack patterns on their skin, especially around the wrists and feet.
Outlier mage types
While the "elemental" mage types are identified by a unique thread, Life and Death mage threads have a different shape. These mage threads are split from and twisted around the "primary" Life or Death thread.
Their abilities are as follows:
Life: This thread grants the mage the ability to repair a primary Life thread. Some mages are able to create "false" threads to heal those with grave injuries. A powerful mage may develop white hair. An extremely powerful mage may develop red eyes.
Death: This thread grants the mage the ability to create "false" threads to manipulate corpses of the deceased. "False" threads can also summon entities, which are commonly referred to as "summons" or "familiars". It is unknown where the entities originate from. Some powerful mages are able to influence primary Death threads, though the full extent of their influence is unknown. A powerful mage may develop deep red hair. An extremely powerful mage may develop white eyes.
Very rarely, a person may be born with multiple mage threads. These people are known as "wild mages". They are overloaded with energy from their threads and often live in isolation. When the wild mage matures, they have something taken from them, most often a part of their body. This is referred to as the "compensation" for the universe, as having so much power could disrupt the balance of the world.
Wild mages rarely live long into adulthood. It is speculated that the compensation the universe takes is responsible for this. Other theories suggest that such a great amount of energy from the universe is too much for a human to handle. Since so few wild mages exist in the world, it is difficult to properly study the phenomenon.