Magic use in the MagicU universe is governed by two things: Access and style. Once you have access to a type of magic, you can use it in any style you choose, with results depending on the level of access you have, and your skill in that style of magic. (Or at least that spell.) Access is (generally…) controlled by accident of birth: You are born with access to certain types, in certain amounts, and that is all you will ever have. (You might stretch it some, or whatever, but basically that’s it.) Style is mostly a matter of learning, and what ‘feels’ natural: There is no requirement to only use one style. Some styles are better at doing certain things than others, or at being combined with other mundane activities.
In the end, the below are useful categories, no more. Thinking of a particular person as a ‘Warlock’ is useful, right up until they cast a ‘Mage’ spell…
There is one ‘standard’ class combination: Arcane Sorcerers, for the very simple reason that it is the most versatile combination. A sorcerer can use their knowledge to achieve eﬀects they could not get from power alone, and arcane magic allows manipulation of any part of reality. Therefore with enough research and skill even someone with minor levels of power can do just about anything. (Though it may take time.) This standard is common enough that even moderately experienced magic users will assume anyone using magic is an Arcane Sorcerer by default. (And will usually forget to check if they are using anything else.)
Types of Magic Users:
These terms are equivalent, but ‘Witch’ is female, while ‘Warlock’ is male. Skilled in nature magic, the creation of potions, and in communication with animals. They typically have a familiar, an animal (cats are common, but not required) who is bonded to the magic user, and serves them. Often these familiars have been magically enhanced by the witch, but again it is just a matter of what is useful and helpful to the magic user, not what is actually required of the magic skill set.
These terms are used interchangeably, with no gender bias. They depend on the aid of nature spirits, and upon powers or prophecy and divinations. (Druids are usually considered a type of shaman, but don’t say so around a Druid.)
Masters of the arcane. A sorcerer is the one with ‘their ﬁnger on the universe’s scales’. They use knowledge, words of power, diagrams and devices to cast spells of either direct (reality-changing) or illusory eﬀects. Notably their spells either tend to have a self-amplifying eﬀect (where they push magic into a new path, and other magic follows) or work on a ‘collect, store, and release’ system where results are delayed from the moment of casting. (Or, more accurately, are cast in parts, where the ﬁrst part starts collecting the power, and later parts release it as needed.)
They also are able to create magical artifacts, such as talismans and wands, which can be used to store power or a spell for later use.
A mage casts spells directly with their intention and will, without words, devices or forms of any kind.
Commonly Mages are looked down upon as weak, but within their power level they are the fastest and most capable magic users: A mage can do anything at any time. As long as they don’t drive themselves insane doing so.
Many call themselves wizards, but few actually are. A wizard is a master of at least two styles of magic-use, and who can access multiple types of magic. A true wizard cannot be predicted, as they are just as likely to use one type of magic as another.
In common usage, the term has been watered down greatly. A sorcerer who can use a few spells in another discipline is likely to call themselves a wizard, and not get any dispute. A true wizard is more than just a user of diﬀerent ﬁelds: they can actually combine them interchangeably.
Types of Magic:
‘True’ or Arcane
Direct access to reality, and what is. Given enough arcane magic objects can be created or destroyed, or changed entirely in nature.
Users of arcane magic often look down on other magic users as using ‘lessor’ magic. It is also by far the most common magic in use.
Arcane magic can usually be coaxed into doing the job of any of the other types, if you have the power and skill. However, it would not do it the same way or as easily. (A quick example would be both Earth magic and Arcane magic could be used to lift a boulder. Arcane would use magic to force the boulder up, lifting it from the outside, while Earth would have each piece of dirt in the boulder rise, lifting it as a whole piece from the inside.)
Control over the growth, shape, and death of plants (especially) and animals. A skilled user is often also able to communicate with animals, and sometimes even plants.
Control over the four elements: water, earth, air, and ﬁre. Typically a magic user will be able to access one element well, and have no access at all to it’s compliment.
The following are not often considered true types of magic, for one reason or another. However a magic user can use them independently of their ability with the three recognized types of magic.
MagicU teaches all of these, but mostly considers them sub-skills of arcane magic, which can duplicate (or, in the case of Demonic, strengthen and make safer) all of these.
Control over the minds of others and themselves. All mages have enough access to at least shield somewhat from other users.
Most think this is just a form of arcane magic, (which can duplicate most of it’s eﬀects, especially the simpler ones), at least until they meet someone who actually can use it…
The ability to summon visions of other places and times, most famously the future, but also the past and the present.
Again, arcane can simulate this somewhat, but a true user of it can do much that others cannot, and far easier as well.
Not actually a type of magic in and of itself, really. It simply refers to any attempt to summon or control beings from other planes of existence. (As opposed to otherworldly beings, who are from this plane, just not the ‘normal’ section. Elves and such are examples of otherworldly beings.)
The main diﬀerence from the above is that all true types of magic are (at least partially) inborn talents, which cannot be learned if you have no link to it of your own. In contrast, demonic magic can be performed by anyone, whether they have magic talent or not. In fact, summoning a demon and trading for magical power is a respected (if somewhat dangerous) practice, especially among untalented children of magical families. (Where it is often used to get access to one of the other types of magic.)
It is possible — though not exactly legal — to gain magical power through the death/torture of others. (Generally, death gives more power in total, but torture will allow ﬁner access to the power and for longer periods.) For most deaths, you get an amount of power dictated by the health of the individual, minus any that could not be captured during their deaths. This will be generic ‘arcane’ magic, that can be used like (and, once used, is indistinguishable from) any other arcane magic.
However, if the being that is sacriﬁced/tortured is high in a speciﬁc form of magic, that store of magic will also be available to the bloodpath magic user. A natural creature will generally just have the normal life-force available. An elemental or nature spirit will have the element or nature magic they are bound to available. If they are a pure nature or elemental spirit, they may not have any life-force.
A magician’s death, of course, oﬀers their whole store of power up for the taking.
Under most circumstances, this power is short-lived, and will dissipate on it’s own despite the collectors best attempts. (See Vampires, below, for the exception. Demons in general also can store power collected this way indeﬁnitely.)
As noted above, in general practitioners of this are treated as the worst of murderers. Exceptions can be made however, is speciﬁc cases. (Generally if the sacriﬁce was willing, and the ends were in service of the state or others, and in dire need that could not have been attempted any other way.)