The Obsidian Spire
Mordenkainen's Theory of Everything
As an archmage, studying the laws of magic has been my lifelong obsession. But at some point I began to wonder about the relationship of the arcane with the rest of the multiverse. I marvel at how a man such as Robilar, a warrior without equal, may transcend the ability of a normal man and perform feats of almost supernatural ability. I have watched the warrior and have looked for signs of arcane influence in his combat prowess, and yet I find none. Robilar distains the gods, and so I know they off him no boon. So without the power of the arcane or the divine, how does he accomplish his amazing feats of physical prowess?
In my travels I have encountered many people and creatures possessing abilties that are seemingly untouched by the arcane or the divine, and yet every bit as amazing and powerful. I have devoted no small amount of time studying these phenomenon and have devised a theory that attempts to explain the sources of these powers and how they relate to the two sources that I am very familiar with; the arcane and the divine. I call this my Unified Field Theory.
The multiverse has an infinite amount of energy, but to interact with that energy, one must attune themselves to the various aspects of the multitude of realities that make up these planes of existence. There is but one source of power, which I will refer to as The Core, but there are many power sources depending on how one chooses to tap into them. Here are the ones I have catalogued thus far:
Arcane: This is the source of power with which I am intimately familiar. It is my belief that this is closest aspect of The Core, as arcane power molds and shapes reality itself. One may tap into this source of power through rigorous study, as Wizards and Mages do, or one may be granted access to this power by making pacts with beings that are more closely attuned to The Core.
Divine: The power of the Gods is to create and destroy, but it is not to keep things working once they are created or to recycle them once they are destroyed – that is the perview of the arcane power source. As a force for creation and/or destruction, this naturally allows those who tap into this power source to create, heal, bolster, weaken, harm and destroy. The most common way of tapping this source is to pray to the gods, but I have encountered those who display divine power without belief in the divine entities, but rather believe in a cause or an ideal.
Primal: Some are able to mold the forces of the natural world, form affinities with nature and her creatures and even to change their forms to various aspects of nature. This primal force does not come from a god nor a being of arcane power, but from the energies that come from life itself. Some believe the world is an entity much like the gods, but composed of the sum of all consciousness. Some refer to this shared consciousness as Mother Earth, Gaia and other names, but regarless of the label placed upon it, this power source emanates from the very world itself.
Shadow: As life is a self-sustaining source of power (see Primal), so is death. To facilitate the eventual end of life, the energies of death take the form of darkness, decay and shadow. The cycle of life requires that all things come to an end so that they may begin again, and such is the nature of the shadow power source.
Elemental: As I stated before, the multiverse has an infinite amount of energy, but it is not in one single form, but many. The worlds themselves are made up of matter and this matter is composed of these basic elements; fire, earth, air, water, and all of the various combinations of these four. There are those who have learned to manipulate the elements and they control the very forces that shape worlds.
Martial: This is the most difficult power source to define and to quantify, as it has no obvious set of rules as the other power sources seem to have. The best that I have been able to discern is that there is power that comes from the determination and consciousness of sentient beings. The will of sentient beings is what I believe to be the engine that allows the various power sources to be tapped, but those who seek nothing more than to perfect themselves and their skills actually fuel their abilities through the sheer force of will.
Despite the fact that these power sources seem to be distinct, and tapping into them requires very different disciplines, I am convinced that they do overlap as they all originate from the Core Source. This is evidenced by the fact that some are able to tap into multiple power sources. I also believe that there may be other power sources discovered, as the infinite energies of The Core may be subdivided an infinite number of times.
As for me, I’ll stick with the power source I believe to be the purest reflection of The Core…and the most powerful.