Magic had been performed for a long time by the humans arrive don’t he scene. The XX and XX used it, although their was a natural inborn ability driven more by instinct and nature then consusious thought and intelligence. It appears that the first deliberate and practical use of magic was by the Skavralla. They had mastered certain spells and powers for centuries before humans arrived. These skills, primarily focused on the elements humans would become obsessed with, were primarily focused on day-to-day living.
The skills were usually passed from master to novice in informal apprenticeships, which relied on cultural traditions. The formal schools and studies came much later, in a desperate attempt to match human prowess. Despite this, they had many great magicians and performed impressive acts of magic. For example, the now dry XX plains were green and fruitful in past years due to Skavralla magic, and the massive desert kingdoms of myth and song were due in large part to magical terraforming. This is not to say it was only put to peaceful use. Burning enemies alive was a common and earth magic made tools for the hunt.
When humans arrived, they had no concept of magic. However, interaction with the Sakvaralla quickly introduced them to the concept. The upcoming centuries of conflict gave them extensive contact with magic, mostly on the receiving end. Over time, humans created their own magicians who studied magic far more diligently and systematic fashion. They discovered the five elements (probably learned from the Skavralla). In Lumineix they based a religion around it, but even elsewhere the Five Elements were seen as the pinnacle of magic development. These Five were Fire, Air, Earth , Water and Mind.
The concept behind it, was simple enough. There existed a magical field, on a somewhat separate dimension. Despite this, it could be manipulated by those in this dimension and could be used to cause changes here. In effect, manipulation of ‘fire magic’ strands would manifest as fire in this dimension. The uses were immense and varied, and humans quickly began putting it to work in wars and peace.
Fire: The most spectacular of the Five, Fire has long been a popular magic. Despite ti’s reputation or violence, it has been used for many peaceful and productive purposes such as forges, light and warmth. But generally, Fire has been used for war. The ability to immolate your enemies, burn their castles or ignite their fields have enticed many to follow this brutal path. It was very popular in the Skavaralla wars and has been not only a potent weapon but a symbol of struggle and conflict.
The cost of course, has long been known. Physical pain is the tithe of Fire, bodily harm. While no one has yet found the mechanical mechanism that it uses, it has been shown to cripple a man in his prime or make old age unbearable.
Water: Perhaps the most popular, Water can grant a wide range of abilities and powers making it wonderfully versatile. Well-suited to teaching and instruction it is regarded as the easiest to master, at least by outsiders. With the possible exception of Air, Water has the advantage of manipulating a very common substance making it much easier. Also, oceans, lakes and rivers act as natural lodestones for Water making it easy to find dense webs of power.
Some of the skills mastered have been straight-forward such as the manipulation of waves and the surf, able to turn back the storm or tidal wave. Others have taken to the land, where they can find water deep underground and bring it forth in springs and pools. Sailing and shipping have always been a favoried area as well, protecting ships and cargo alike. This not to say Water hasn’t been used for war. At the very
Mind: The most mystical of the Five, Mind is often considered to be a shadowy step towards the black magic that hill-men or the strange cults of the South practice. This is not entirely untrue. The various properties and abilities Mind grants can pararrell very closely to those forgotten and primal magics, which generally work by altering the body of the caster (or his subject). The XX are a perfect example, as their entire life cycle is a changing flux of form and shape.
The enhancement of attention, concentration, intelligence, memory and other cerebral aspects has attracted some, though true mastery is rare. The dedication required and the aura surrounding it’s studies have left few societies where it is a frequent option. The Faith may recognize Mind, and assign ti a God, but it is very rarely seriously studied. Only the XX have truly built a society around it’s possibilities and few men visit there.
Mind’s tithe is a simple, yet devastating one. Insanity is the price one must pay for accessing these awesome powers. How it manifests is legendarily unpredictable. Paranoia, megalomania , amnesia and more have all be recorded as tithes. Petoria the Sage famously researched over 200 types of insanity regarded as caused by use of Mind.