Companions and the Magic of Kalidore ~
There is much magic in the universe, known by different names to different cultures, an underlying life-force that binds us all; when harnessed, magic can grant the user exponential potential – and for that reason, is a thing both revered and feared.
Magic effects each race differently, and within each race the ability to use it varies greatly by individual.
Unicorns are unique in that they are magic – they are vessels for creating and holding magic, and bring magic into a place simply by virtue of their being there. However, unicorns are also virtually unable to use any that magical potential themselves, except in passive ways: healing, purification, shielding; that becomes the purpose behind Human Companions.
Humans, of all the races, hold immense magical potential, yet are essentially magically oblivious and unable to perceive and focus it on their own accord. Because of this, they do have an added bonus of not being magical susceptibility (unlike elves, who must maintain a long-term magical connection to stay health), but without the ability to harness that magic either, a lone human is pretty much magically useless!
It is the act of becoming the Companion of a Unicorn that enables a humans to tap into that innate magical source and unlock their potential; thus, bonded together, a trained Unicorn and Companion is one of the most formidable magical forces in the universe.
Unicorn Magic ~
Unicorns are celestial beings and innately magic. Yet unicorns are unique in that they cannot actively use that magic; it’s not to say they aren’t powerful, but their magic generally works in more subtle ways. The tale of the gentle stream that carves mountains is a good analogy of the way Unicorn magic works.
Unicorns are naturally potent healers, luring the sick away from the brink of death and mending great wounds with no more than a small scar left to show for it. They can also purify water and detoxify the environment, and some potent ones can even shield people and places immediately around them from magical harm. The most learnéd among them can also command the Gates, allowing them to travel to and from Kalidore at will.
As the original ‘universal translators’, unicorns transcend language and converse freely with everyone, regardless of origin or even species. This is also why humans who come to Kalidore can understand everyone too – it’s an osmosis effect. Bonded companions will carry this ability forward, so even when visiting off-isle they will flow seamlessly into every language as if it was their mother-tongue – even without their unicorn counterpart present.
Unicorns can even ignite the magical spark in those around them, from stirring a dormant Gate into being and restoring the balance of those sensitive to the magical flux. Unicorns, after all, are the source of magic incarnate.
The Companions of Unicorns ~
It was Kal’s blessing that allowed unicorns and humans to bond, and with that brought magic into our grasp. Thus the bonding of a unicorn and companion is a very important event, a thing both coveted and feared the universe across.
In general, bonding:
• allows a human to access & utilize magic
• is gender-similar; thus kore bond to women and koros to men
• does not happen to every unicorn or every human, and bonding in no way affects the status of either among unicorns
• happens to adult unicorns and humans. It is very VERY unlikely that a youth of either species will form a bond, as both are still developing self and their own personal direction
Having a Companion ~
There are a few things to remember about this special unicorn-human bond. For starters, the bond works primarily to strengthen both human and unicorn, physically, mentally, and emotionally; bonded pairs work to support one another, and they are certainly not co-dependent.
Secondly, coming to Kalidore should never be viewed as an escape of one’s earthly troubles – indeed, your unicorn would never allow you to do such a thing! (More likely then not, upon discovery of such an evasion the unicorn will march you right back to earth and have you deal with the matter right then and there) It’s also a good idea not to lie to your companion either, even if that telepathic shared bonded didn’t make it hard enough already.
It’s also important to note that not every human nor every unicorn are destined to bonded.
Neither unicorn nor human will receive such divine writ until they are ready and willing. After all, being a companion means answering a higher calling, and brings with it a weight of responsibility, so finding a companion happens when both partners are ready.
Those who do are said to have felt a calling which they were compelled to answer; this happens, they say, when the world is in a time of Great Need. Often – but not always – it manifest first as a constant and persistent pull that leads unicorn and human together. Gates are instrumental to this happening, and while neither partner might have control over them in more relevant ways, the gates will generally help them find one another regardless. Thus, if a human haphazardly finds themselves in Kalidore, it’s a pretty good indication that there’s a unicorn waiting for them – somewhere…
Because it’s part of their cultural fabric, and by virtue of the sheer nobility of their race, unicorns tend to work as the advising influence in a companion relationship, as both a mentor and a guide. Yet, it is genuinely a partnership of equality. While the human will certainly learn a lot from their [typically] older and wiser companion (not to mention be able to tap into the shared knowledge of the race through their telepathic connection), the unicorn can learn just as much from its human. Humans have a greater range of emotion and intensity of feeling; they bring with them new ideas, and have creative ways of thinking. And whereas some of the innate majesty of the unicorn tends to rub off on their people, the same is true going the other way: unicorns with companions are often slightly more, well – humanized – then their non-bonded brothers and sisters.
A Note on the Death of a Companion ~
Having a unicorn companion provides a human with certain boons, and a vastly extended lifespan is one of them – especially if much of their time is spent on Kalidore. And while Unicorns are incredibly vital, blessed, and lucky, and they live an unfathomably long time, death is a natural part of their cycle too. Thus, through age, war, and fate’s lot, companions can die, leaving behind a surviving partner.
• unicorns and humans can survive the death of their companion
• the death is regarded the same as the death of a child or soul-mate, and is accompanied by the same sense of loss and grief
• how the death occurs often affects how well the surviving member deals with it (ie, a tragic death is naturally harder to deal with then dying of old age).
• it is unheard of for unicorns and humans to re-bond after this loss
In general, Unicorns tend to have a more zen-like approach to life and death then many human cultures, seeing death as a natural rite of life’s passage, and do not loath of it as some humans do. However, the unnatural death of one’s companion is something felt significantly, regardless of species or cultural divides.
The Magic of Kalidore
The Source of Magic ~
Bonding with a unicorn means the ability to tap into the source of magic. What type of magic develops is determined by the human; unicorns are merely a conduit, they themselves don’t participate in magic except in innate ways.
Magical ability develops slowly. In the early stages the physical closeness of one’s companion is often needed for the companion to perform; as their skills grow, this is not a requirement, though proximity always seems to help with the intensity of magic produced.
Because magic is never given to one who can’t handle it, this is probably another important reason why bonding does not happen to the very young!
Types of Magic
Magic usage categorized into five elemental types – Air, Water, Earth, Fire, and Celestial. It is possible that a human might be able to tap into more then one kind, but if he or she wants to achieve any proficiency, it’s best to focus on one. Each has its own vulnerabilities and boons. While not every human is equal when it comes to magic-wielding, the very best are limited only by their skill and imagination!
Air – Element of the Mind
Psoinic/ awareness – active
Air Magic can be quite impressive in the hands of a skilled user, but it can also be invasive, and must be used with diligence and care. A wielder of this kind of magic must first be strong in mind and body and competent in their own defences, as some forms of practice can leave the mind vulnerable to others.. A mind, after all, is such a terrible thing to loose…
Common traits include:
– thought suggestion & mind control
– astral projection
Water – Element of the Heart
Sensory/ awareness – receptive
Water Magic is subtle power, but with big results. It is similar to Air Magic, but deals with things on a more innate level. This powerful magic requires a calm soul and the ability to keep oneself grounded, for it can at times be overwhelming and draining. It is also important to maintain control, because it’s easy to get swept away…
Common traits include:
– empathy & heightened sensory sensitivities
– very receptive to visions/messages
– awareness of subtle energies/magic/auras
– lucid dreaming
– healing/restoring balance
Earth – Element of the Body
Physical/ Creative – stable
Earth Magic is an old magic. It’s a creative magic too, and a skilled user can have profound results – earth-shattering, even! At the same time it works with divine subtly, as softly as whispering to the flowers into bloom. Earth magic is the most stable of the elemental forms, but one should still remain proactive and keep healthy and balanced while in its practice.
Common traits include:
– coaxing/enhance of plant life
– shaping of natural elements (rock, metals)
– weather systems & atmosphere
– manipulate earth forces – gravity, magnetism etc
– plate tectonics
Fire – Element of the Soul
Catalyst/ Creative – unstable
Fire Magic is potent and fierce, but amazingly versatile and nimble. It is the creative force personified, using the things around you to their full potential, and indeed – a skilled user seems to know no bounds! However, something so fluid and enveloping can be very seductive, and users of this magic type must work to stay focused and retain control.
Common traits include:
– produces fire/heat/light
– compounds & chemical alterations
– near alchemy
– illusions & wizardry
Celestial – Elemental Magic
Divine Creativity, unbound
Celestial Magic is the breath of the gods; it is endless, creative, and unbound. It is the sum of all the earthly elements combined, drawing and swelling them to godly proportions. It is also the only magic able to create something from nothing, life from dust; it is a hugely expansive kind of power, and as the course of history has shown, is probably best left to the gods.
Note: Some users of each magic type can achieve talent of Celestial scale, but this is extremely rare in most races, with the exception of a few. That said, even races who boast users of this magical caliber, it is similarly uncommon that they would have the full range of celestial powers.
Common traits include:
– creation/control of gates / teleportation
– true alchemy
– shape shifting
Other Magical Notes:
Known by many names to many cultures, the Gates – also called portals, stargates, the eye of heaven and thrown of the gods – are mystical, mysterious entities that are as old as the universe itself. Some say they were born when our universe was made, others say they were the work of the first gods. Some even believe the Gates to be entities unto themselves – living, breathing, and sentient – who turn gave birth to the universe.
Despite all the stories surrounding them, a Gate itself is a simple enough thing: it is a fixed spot in the universe that transcends space and time. Creatures and objects can pass through these gate-portals and travel from one place to another or even to another time. Gates are grounded in old magic, which is why on earth they tend to manifest around the base of old of trees, taping the magic through their roots.
Gates are fickle creatures; now you see them, now you don’t. Some are always present – called Fixed Gates, often used by many races in times past as a means of transport; most tend to wander, fading in and out as they scuttle and shift across the plains. Some might last only a breath, others choose linger; invoking a gate gives it stability, and it thus possible to return to the same gate point over the years (or even centuries) before it decides to completely shimmer away.
Gates are both naturally occurring and can be created/summoned; it is considered one of the most sacred of magics to summon a wandering gate, and a mark of divine right if the gate actually listens to you!
Gates like magic, and tend to occur more around places magically inclined. In is prime, Kalidore hosted many gates; currently, they are beginning to emerge again. And, with the blanketing spell now lifted, it’s a good bet that things will not remained so isolated on the misty isle…
Spells & Scrolls
While most magic used by an individual is classified by type, there are certain ways to get around magical limitations. One way is through the use of Spells.
A spell is word or phrase that evokes the core element of that word or object, and gives the user power over it. They are generally wrote in the First Language, but each race will have variations.
The Elves claim to be the first to hone the art and perfect it, and while elves are certainly very clever with their wealth of spells, there’s no real proof to substantiate their claim (they still like to boast, however). Regardless, Elvin spell-magic still remains one of the most widely known and stable magics today.
Spell Binders (and their apprentices) are a old order of Unicorn who utilize spell-scrolls to invoke a wide range of magical talents; they were last active before they great war, but as the hint of war stirs Kalidore again, it might be time for that old order to unite…
Do note that spells & scrolls are not without their limitations, however; spells DO take time to master and perfect (and the results of such apprentices can be… unpredictable at best), and a user must already be intune with magic to initiate them. Thus it is unlikely that an unbonded human would be able to activate a spell scroll on their own.