kayqy: Oyasumi~ (oyasumi)
[personal profile] kayqy
Today's challenge here.

I wasn't sure how to go about this at first: the first thing I thought of upon reading the phrase "cost of magic" was Anne McCaffrey's psychics, who measured their psy-usage by caloric expenditure; Lackey's Valdemar, with its ley-lines of magical power accessible by only a few; and the good ol' traditional "this spell will cost a year of your life" sort of magic. And none of these really fit for my world. (Also, I'm really tired of magic being treated like a car: just fill up your magical gas tank and go!)

So I whined a bit and grumped a bit, and then I sat down and worked out what my costs/trade-offs are:

Light:
~requires a source of light (usually the sun, but sometimes fire will work), and a... vessel of some sort. Glass, crystal, something to refract and possibly reflect the light a certain way.

Sound:
~requires very pure, precise tones.

I'm not sure if they also require a spiritual purity or specific intention (as opposed to the pattern of light shining through leaves accidentally turning lead into gold or something). I'm leaning towards no, but it'll depend partly on how much of this 'magic' is really an act of nature, or an act of God. Because it's really a combination of the two.

As such, the "energy cost" of this magic is roughly equivalent to that of painting a picture, or composing and singing a song. It's the cost of creation, and only intent and skill can tell whether that cost buys the desired result.

However, there are a couple of ....indirect? costs that prevent this magic from being utterly ubiquitous (whee, big words and alliteration. >.> ) One is that it's really hard to get either type of magic right. Not only is precision in either one key, but they jostle each other out of sync all the time— which is why the crystals are so important, they act like shock absorbers! (GUYS YOU HAVE JUST WITNESSED THE BIRTH OF AN EPIPHANY. XD )

Another trade-off, or turn-off, is that there is a stigma attached to one or more of them, depending where you are (westerners are suspicious of Northern whistling, and consider lightworks to be the province of the church, and so on. So that seriously cuts down on the number of casual dabblers.

*is out of brain and energy and time, but doesn't care* EPIPHANY, I SAY.
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kayqy: The plot jackalope! (Default)
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