More thought on the Radiance and the Nature of Magic
from the Mystara Mailing List posted 23 March 2004.
How can the Radiance be the Source of All Magic on Mystara? And what exactly does that mean? Here is one theory: The Source of Magic in Mystaras Prime Universe is The Stars. Each star projects magical energy along with other forms of energy fuelling the worlds surrounding it with magic. The Radiance is able to harness the energy from Mystara's Sun and channel it through itself. Thus anyone using magic on Mystara must tap it from the Nucleus. This also enables some Radiance Mages to sever the tie between individual mages and magic itself, thus preventing them from casting spells while on Mystara. This effect only applies to mages inside Mystaras Skyshield. Magic outside the Skyshield can be tapped directly from the sun or from the worlds or moons in question. This may mean that the Skyshield is somehow linked with the Radiance.
Before the creation of the Radiance, magic on Mystara must have been different. Not necessary in appearance, but its very nature was different. Perhaps the Destruction of Blackmoor lead the Old Ones to make this alteration. If the reason for the GRoF was to was in fact the Blackmoorians failure to combine magic and technology, perhaps magic channelled through the Nucleus has removed that problem. This means either that magic can now function perfectly with technology, or perhaps magic can no longer function as combined with technology at all. Though Gnomes and Dwarves seem to have found some way around this problem. If the Nucleus now creates a separation between magic and technology, it may mean that magic cannot effect devises of higher tech level than the current one.
Even already existing devises of the latest technology may suffer from this limitation such as canons, firearms etc. These items are still so rare that the reason why magic won't work on them hasn't been figured out yet.
The FSS Beagle crashed on Mystara because its technology no longer worked properly. Perhaps this was due to an Outer World version of the Spell of Preservation (Called the Spell of Alteration SoA) that had already been cast on the Outer World to limit technology being developed on Mystara? Was it in fact Blackmoorian Technomacy's interaction with the SoA that lead to the instability of Blackmoorian technology? Perhaps this is also what caused the FSS Beagle to Crash on Mystara, which again was the driving power behind Blackmoorian Technomancy. The Old Ones sought to fix this problem by creating the Nucleus of the Spheres. Whether it worked, or whether Gnomish Technomancy in the current age of Mystara will once again produce a new GRoF is unknown. Only Time will tell, as it were.
The Tampering with the Nucleus by Noumena the Immortal of Time was what caused the depletion of magic on Mystara. The Riddle-loving Time Immortal had figured out enough from the NoS so that he could damage it a little, causing it to gradually destroy Mystara's own ability to harness magic from the sun.
This he felt would limit the power of mortals and perhaps teach them that magic should be used responsibly. Also, this would limit the number of newly created immortals without sponsors. Whether Noumena was acting on his own in this, or whether he was at the time an instrument of the Old One's is unknown. However, the latest alteration to the NoS removed this depletion. Whether this was just to undo what Noumena had done, or whether to punish the Immortals by giving mortals more power, well, that is also left up to speculation. Still, one can only suspect that if the current taint of the NoS is removed so that the NoS can produce non-Entropic Immortals again, the Immortals will monitor new candidates closely, making a sponsor necessary for that path as well.
The Tainted Radiance
The Current Radiance is tainted by Entropy. One side effect of this is that it can only produce Entropic Immortals. However, there may also be other more subtle corrupting effects. What if the taint is slowly turning Mystaran Magic itself into a dark force? For normal wizards this currently has little effect. However, for Radiance Users, they will find that they are slowly becoming corrupted in mind as well as body.
The Madness Rules from Wheel of Time may be used to detail the Dark Taint that affects the minds of wizards using the Radiance too often... If Brannard McGregor uses the Radiance to become an Entropic Immortal he may want to intensify this effect. I see Brannard becoming the Patron of Dark Magic on Mystara.
Etienne (now mortal) working with Rafiel and Benekander will seek a way to purify the Radiance again so that he may regain his immortality. Perhaps these immortals must ally themselves with Ixion to manage this. That would mean a reconciliation between Rad and Ixion, something the stubborn Hierarch may realise to be necessary once he sees what is happening to his precious magic. This makes for quite a poetic story. But will they make it before it is too late?