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Where do magic spells come from?

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If you have not notice on the welcome board me and a fellow rper are trying find where does magic spells come from. This has been a task all in its own and now im asking you as the community to help use with this. I know from playing and reading that each final fantasy game has its own way of obtaining magical spells but it does not say how it works. At least there is no connection of all final fantasy of how this works. 

Are they born with it? 



Is some thing they need to tap in to? 



Is some thing you need to go to school for? 



We do know magic comes from the planet or rather the life force but this only raises more questions how you are able to use it.

 So put your thinking caps on gang and try help use out on making a connection on how magic works. 

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In respect to FFXIV Magic comes from an energy source known as Aether, which is produced by the planet itself. I may be mistaken, but there are several methods that casters use to channel Aether. For Conjurers they draw it from nature and the elements, acting sort of like Druids in the setting; while Thaumaturges draw their Aether from an internal reserve which makes it destructive and chaotic (which explains the fluctuating auras they have). One can only assume that the source of the Arcanists power is something similar to this, or perhaps a combination of both, or perhaps they draw power from symbols and words which explains the use of a book as their weapon.


If you're familiar with the lore for Final Fantasy VII, think of Aether in the same way as Mako. It's a form of energy that permeates from the planet, in large quantities it can be poisonous and even mutagenic, and under certain circumstances it can crystallize into Aetheryte.

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The official FFXIV: ARR page has this to say about arcanists:


Adepts of the art of arcanum derive their might from symbols of power born of geometric techniques hailing from across the southern seas. Held within occult grimoires, these symbols lend shape to the arcanist's aether, thereby allowing him to produce myriad powerful spells.

Using the selfsame symbols to unlock the latent power contained within gemstones, arcanists are also able to summon forth the familiar known as Carbuncle to carry out their bidding.


So it would seem Arcanists are pretty much like thaumaturges, relying on their 'internal aether' to cast spells. Except that thaumaturges use 'deep instrospection' to tap the aether inside them and channel it outwards to a staff/wand housing a magical gem; while Arcanists channel it towards symbols in their books.


I guess we'll find out more about how they work once the next phase starts and we can play through their guild's storyline.

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To answer the other question regarding spells, spells do seem to be a known concept IC. In the Conjurer and Thaumaturge quest lines at level 15, the guild masters speak of granting you knowledge of a new spell, and in the Conjurer quest line, there's quite a brouhaha created by an untrained Conjurer using Raise.


It seems training is required to properly harness one's power -- certainly for Conjurers. Some people can perform some Conjury (usually healing) without proper training in how to hear and call upon the elements, but doing so uses one's own life force and has dire consequences. So, at least for Conjury, "wild talent" does exist, though it's uncommon.

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Being a nerd when it comes to magic I paid a lot of attention to the Thaumaturge and especially Conjurer dialogue, Freelance pretty much described it.


Black magic is manipulation of the aether, or life force, inside you while Conjurery is defined by drawing power from the aether around you (more or less described as asking Nature to give you the power to do X).


As Freelance mentioned, the case of the girl using Raise without formal training... Since she had no training or even attempted to practice asking the elements to grant her the power to heal, when she was healing people she unknowingly was sacrificing her own life-force and giving it to others. It really illiterates that the (conjurer) healing arts are asking nature to sacrifice a little bit of it's own collective life force to save an individual.

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So, here's the question that basically started the thread.  I've been brainstorming my character and i'd like an important part of his past to involve his inability to use healing magic (Or any form of conjuror magic to be less specific)  If he tries to force out a spell from that class, it would backfire violently.  Would this be believable or even possible?  Maybe due to some form of block to connecting with external Aether sources?

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While there's no direct example of that in lore, it seems entirely reasonable that a character could have an inability to use one or all forms of magic and have it manifest in such a manner. I can especially see it with Conjury, since you're using elementally aspected Aether from the world. If, for example, your character angered elementals, they may respond especially negatively to you and express that displeasure by interfering with your magic.

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Well, do remember that those threads are in many ways speculative. :) I think it's still entirely viable to have a person whose ineptitude with magic manifests as spells often having reverse effects, though again with the proviso that no such exemplars exist within the lore. That doesn't mean you can't do it, it just means that, well, it'd be a Thing about your character, and you don't really want too many Things, as that stretches credulity.


EDIT: Said ineptitude would have to be explained. Since Conjury is based on calling upon Aether outside yourself (specifically, that of the elements), it's possible for external forces to interfere. Thaumaturgy and Arcana are based on internal Aether and failures like this would have to be a personal fault -- anything from exceedingly poor handwriting or dyslexia for an Arcanist to failings of will for a Thaumaturge. Of course, these internal factors can apply to Conjury as well. That said, to cast a spell that is properly trained and have it have a reverse effect due to internal factors would mean your character would be an egregiously poor spellcaster from a technical standpoint. :)

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That is true.  To many unique 'Things' can make a character seem very fake.  Though for me i hadn't planned on using or really doing anything with the ineptitude over just using it as a character plot device.  


I'm going to play around with the idea, see how it feels once i flesh out the story around it.  If it comes off as something to unnatural, I'll scrap it in favor of something else.

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While there's no direct example of that in lore, it seems entirely reasonable that a character could have an inability to use one or all forms of magic and have it manifest in such a manner. I can especially see it with Conjury, since you're using elementally aspected Aether from the world. If, for example, your character angered elementals, they may respond especially negatively to you and express that displeasure by interfering with your magic.


Actually, it has been confirmed canonically that a majority of full-blooded Garleans have an extreme ineptitude for the use of magic, to a point where most can't even cast the most basic of spells. It's one of the reasons they rely so heavily on Magitek. The Imperial NPCs you do see using magic are conscripts from conquered territories.


So it's definitely within the realm of possibility.

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Yeah, i've known about the Garleans which is partially where the idea came from. It isn't really getting the opposite effect of a spell, but more along the lines of Failing so hard at that specific school of magic that who knows what will happen if a spell is forced.


I was hoping that there would be a difference between internal and external Aether, which would at least give a hand hold to the idea. Although the character is actually really good at Arcanist and Thaumaturge magic(Internal Aether), when he tries to use Conjurer magic(External Aether) it just doesn't work the way he hoped.

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Well with the elementals of Twelveswood it seems to be a sort of give-and-take arrangement. The conjurers of Gridania are allowed to use the aether of the forest to protect it.


So if your character wanted use conjury for selfish reasons, or just keeps on using it without benefit of any kind for the elementals, one could assume that they at some point would lash out against him.

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Wanted to add to some of the info about Magic use already in this thread.



The Fifth Astral Era is said to have begun approximately three millennia ago. The ice age that ushered in the Fifth Umbral Era made the land a barren and merciless place, and man was pushed to the limits of his resourcefulness in the struggle to survive. Yet survive he did, through the discovery of magic as we know it - an event which marked the dawning of the Fifth Astral Era.



At first, man was well pleased just to keep the cold at bay and compete with the other races. But man is nothing if not an ambitious beast. It was not long before he sought mightier magicks, hoping to win greater glory. It was this desire that brought forth Black Magic, the arcane art of destruction, into the world. In order that this force of chaos be kept in check and balance preserved, at roughly the same point in history, white magic, the arcane art of succor, came into existence.



Emboldened by magic, man went on to reach the zenith of glory. But his hunger knew no bounds. Over time, even they who donned the white began perverting their powers for the sake of self-gain, and in this single minded pursuit scrupled not to sully the sanctity of the Twelveswood. In his pride and avarice, man brought down the wrath of the Elementals upon himself. A great deluge was sent to cleanse the land of his wicked presence, in the wake of which the forest rose to swallow up all that was not washed away. Thus did the Sixth Umbral Era begin.


-Raya-O-Senna, The Wheel of Disaster



So as a result of the Sixth Umbral Era both initial incarnations of magic were labeled as forbidden and subsequently lost for several millennia. I'm not sure of an exact date of the (re-)emergence of Thaumaturgy but it's safe to assume that it was the first to arise in Eorzea (again).


Thaumaturgy drains the Aetherial stores of the caster's own body. To then mold that Aether into a spell, the Thaumaturge makes use of a sceptor or staff, within which is housed a medium or natural gemstone imbued with magical properties. If the caster's Aetherial stores are insufficient (not everyone can be a mage, just ask the Garleans) it is possible the spell will drain the entirety of the caster's Aether, killing or maiming the caster. There is evidence of this in the new ARR Thaumaturgy class quests. 


Conjury came about roughly 500 years ago during the time of Gelmorra. The Padjal of Gelmorra sought tirelessly for a way to communicate with the Elementals of the Twelveswood so that they may make peace. (The Elementals didn't want anyone living in the Twelveswood after the last Umbral Era.) Over time, the power and will to harness and commune with the forces of nature was learned. This is what we know as Conjury. Through this magical connection with the land, the Conjurers were able to hear the voices of the Elementals. History lesson done. So Conjury is the manipulation of the external Aetherial forces found in nature. Earth, Wind, and Water. So how is this different from Thaumaturgy? The Aether doesn't actually enter the body in this form of magic. Aether is absorbed from the caster's surroundings and is stored within a wand or cane made of unworked wood. The caster then must meditate until the Aether manifests itself into the desired spell.


Conjury and White Magic are actually quite different entities from each other as far as lore goes. The only connection between the two is that select Padjal were entrusted by the Elementals with the secrets of arcane White Magic so that they might bring healing to the Wood and Her people. So Padjal became the wielders of both White Magic and Conjury and over the course of 500 years, new Padjal and conjurers were trained to some extent both forms.


Arcanists actually seem to use a mixture of both internal and external aetherial reserves. Like Thaumaturgy and Black Magic, the Arcanist must have their own internal Aetherial stores or else the casting of magic could have deadly consequences. But Arcanists can not actually focus their Aether into a spell by themselves. They rely on glyphs found within grimoires. The glyphs act as a blueprint for the spell and the Arcanist releases their Aether through the Grimoire. Also Arcanists have the power to unlock the Aether of Gemstones, manifesting the Aether into a primal form. The gems are another external source of Aether.

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We actually don't have a lot of info on White Magic outside of that quote from Raya above. All we know that it was created as the counterbalance to Black Magic nearly three thousand years ago. 


We can theorize a little though.


Let's take a look at the ARR Conjurer storyline. The main character is a young girl who shows an extraordinary aptitude for healing, but an extreme ineptitude for controlling the forces of nature (earth, wind, water). We know the girl's mother was the same way, and that she died experimenting with this magic. From just this info we can take two branches. This magic is either 1.0 Thaumaturgy (wherein Thaumaturges used their own life forces and aether to restore that of another) or this is White Magic in it's most primal form. As the lore behind Thaumaturgy has almost completely changed since 1.0, I'm gonna take a shot in the dark and say the girl isn't a Thaumaturge. So let's go down the WHM route.


If this girl was born with the power to use White Magic we could understand why Brother E-Sumi is so hesitant about her using these powers. White Magic remains to this day forbidden to all but a select few (mostly Padjal) for fear that it's rampant use will break the Pact of Gelmorra and plunge the Twelveswood into chaos once more. 


So going down this path, let's examine the properties of White Magic in a girl who has no idea how to control it and has no basis in Conjury. The form of White Magic we see is powerful, difficult to control, and seemingly requires the caster's own Aetherial stores to cast. As the girl does not seem to have an ability to communicate with the elementals (until the very end of the quest series - spoiler alert) we can assume that she did not draw her powers from the Aetherial environment around her. 


Again this is only theory. Hopefully we'll find out a lot more lore about the arcane magicks in the new class and job quests.

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Not to be nitpicky, but by the quest text, it's not that she's inherently inept, it's that she doesn't see why she should have to learn to listen to and understand the elements, since she can already heal people so effectively and all she wants to do is heal people. The guildmaster is concerned that she, like her mother, will end up killing herself because she's expending her own life force when she heals people. He's not concerned about her being corrupted or accessing forbidden powers, but that she'll die.

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Yes, but there's the rub, Conjury doesn't or shouldn't draw from ones own Aetherial energies. That's thaumaturgy. Conjury draws from the Aether in the elements and through meditation is molded into a spell. 


So at the end of the CNJ storyline the girl finds a journal left by her mom which encourages her to learn the elements and at the end we see her attempting to do so. Which takes me back to the point of White Magic and Conjury being separate entities. We have a girl that is strongly oriented towards White Magic starting to learn Conjury, the art of manipulating and communicating with the elements. 


Just for fun I wanna go back to Brother E-Sumi's "concern." Is he the most trustworthy character? Conjurers seem to keep a lot of collective secrets from Gridanians. Brother Morys being a Wildling. Khrimm's parents not being Wildlings. The very existence of White Magic. Dunstan's presence being kept secret from Fye. Not mentioning the secrets he keeps from Papalymo and Yda. Do you think he would tell us that the reason he yells "You must stop this!" at the girl is because she is using a forbidden arcane magic that only select Padjal are supposed to know how to use? Especially during a Lv10/15 quest lol? There's your conspiracy theory for the day. ;P

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Yes, but there's the rub, Conjury doesn't or shouldn't draw from ones own Aetherial energies. That's thaumaturgy. Conjury draws from the Aether in the elements and through meditation is molded into a spell.


This is true, but I feel the quest makes it pretty clear that Selphie and her mother are a rare sort; one typically doesn't see people with the gift to, instead of drawing upon nature, to draw upon themselves. Is this a prelude to the White Magic quest and lore in ARR, or but one of many examples of conflicting sources of lore? I guess we'll see. :)


Personally, I'm more willing to believe that E-Sumi-Yan is actually concerned for her safety and proper training than keeping White Magic stifled, but then, the game's thrown some curveballs at us before (*peers at the Scions*).

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You're right, it could always be a lore inaccuracy. But I'm more inclined to not trust E-Sumi. Especially when you look at just how dark the nature of this game is. Khrimm's parents knowingly abandoned him. The Resistance of Ala Mhigans you interact with over several quests get brutally slaughtered by Gaius. Louisoix... Ul'dah military wiping out their own sister nation just for gold. Garleans brainwashing children and forcing them to take a life every day. Thaumaturges grave-robbing as an acceptable practice. The list goes on. There are very few forces of pure good. The most notable being the three Grand Company Leaders. Given the Conjurer's track record, I'm inclined not to trust Brother E-Sumi to put the life of a child before what Padjal see as the survival of the Twelveswood. 


Like I said a few posts ago though, this is only a theory and my support for it. Like you said, we'll have to see what ARR has in store for us! =] Think we've gone a little off topic though, so sorry about that Vashies lol. Hope yours and others questions about Magic got answered!

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