This article concerns the impact magic has on the daily lives of the inhabitants of Adylheim, explaining the various definitions of magic and also explaining some of the major ways in which Adylheim separates itself from the real world.
The major problem with explaining the kind of impact magic has on the every day life of the inhabitants of Adylheim, we have to understand the meaning of the word magic. Generally when speaking of magic in Adylheim, we're talking about Low Magic and High Magic, however when compared to our normal world, there are several phenomena which we would also term magic. We have specific instances such as the miracles produced by priests, the mischief of spirits and fairies and other instances of strangeness. And also what might, to some extent, be called Folk Magic.
Low Magic and High MagicEdit
Low Magic plays a limited role in the lives of most inhabitants of Adylheim. Some can go their entire lifetime without seeing a wizard or sorceress or their ilk. More rural practitioners are sometimes called Shamans and might be seen in smaller communities. The rarity of such users of magic means that the undead and necromancers is hardly something for the average village to worry about, strange magical phenomena caused by wizards is also a rarity. That said, villages and even towns which have been entirely taken over by wizards do exist, though these are the exception rather than the rule as wizards rarely apply themselves to political paths and ruling over others. Users of High Magic are somewhat more common, being relatively randomly scattered genepool. However, while High Magic talents can be very flashy and impressive, most never even notice their talent.
If seeing a wizard is rare, magical artefacts are almost even more so. Though rich nobles may occasionally afford to purchase artefacts from wizards, outside of the wizard's towers there are few artefacts to be found. Certainly they may appear in temples and long lost crypts of dead wizards or legendary warriors and similar, but for most a magical artefact is never going to be able to lay their hands on. That said, there are some artefacts that have a distinct effect on the world around them. One such is the Master Book of Elron, an artefact of immense power, without which the priesthood of Elron would not be able to support their banks throughout the fiefdoms. Few others have such a direct impact on the life of Adylheim, and primarily serve as inspirations for legends and songs.
It is a well known fact among the inhabitants of Adylheim that the Gods are a good way to get the edge over others with. The practise of praying or sacrificing things to the gods is present in just about every inhabitant of Adylheim. As a result of this, you will find small shrines to Gaern in most farmsteads and to Elron in most merchant houses. However, few turn their attention to just one god, finding their life somewhere between the myriad of powers of the Gods. Though it should be noted that some races, such as the Dae'vol and the Dragonkin, do not participate these kinds of things and remain attached to the worship of the Sleeping God and the dragons respectively, neither of which answer prayers. While normally prayer and sacrifice will just tip the scales of chance in their favour, priests who have dedicated their lives entirely to one god or another is capable of performing miracles through the power of their belief. Priests are much more widespread than wizards and the religious miracles they are capable of performing are often seen by the commoners of Adylheim. It would be a mistake to think miraculous cures to diseases and such are the majority of their enterprise though, the powers of the priests are as diverse as the gods they pray to. Priests of Gaern would be well equipped to bless a farmer's crops, but no good at healing the diseased, priests of Thissies may call the rain or cause drought but are equally bad at healing the sick and so on. Divine magic such as this is usually relatively subtle and its influence on the lives of those who see it is equally subtle.
Another cause of what may be considered magical intervention in the lives of the inhabitants of Adylheim are magical creatures. This can be a host of creatures, from ghosts, to fairies and genius loci and more besides. You could probably include elves in this category thanks to the strange glamours elves are capable of casting, these illusions are commonplace wherever you find elves and cause many of those who deal with them to have a piece of iron on them to make sure they're not being cheated. Fairies are seen less often in urban environments, though they are a terror in the countryside. Though they are by no means a common occurrence, a single fairy can terrorise an entire village, easily. Stealing their babies, terrorising the men and women of a village in a myriad of interesting ways is all easily within the grasp of a fairy. Though, when they are appeased, they may even prove useful by helping with the work around the farm and similar. Even the most ignorant farmer knows not to trust the fairies though, for even if they may occasionally do them a favour, their morality and reasoning is wholly alien. In the cities and towns of Adylheim, especially those with some age to them, one of the more frequent problems is ghosts. Ghosts can be found in all manner of places though and are hardly restricted to cities. These ethereal presences can be a plague in all manner of ways, from rendering buildings uninhabitable, to possessing the still living and many more besides. Ghosts are a relatively common presence, especially in cities, though they may be either impossible to tell from the locals or so ethereal as to be outside the sensory range of all but sensitives and wizards. While sensitives are hardly a magical creature in their own right, they are a somewhat common occurrence among the populace. Sensitives are people who in some way or another are more susceptible to magical forces than others, they may never even notice that they are sensitives, but those that do are often more aware of ghosts and other creatures and all manner of magical effects.
Magical Diseases and EffectsEdit
Another malady which may affect the common man of Adylheim are diseases and effects which are magical in nature and differ highly from similar things in the real world. A prime example of which is the illness of lycanthropy, which causes a person to slowly become wolf-like and feral as a wolf grows within them, till the wolf bursts out of the man's skin, leaving him for dead. Such diseases that might seem strange to us are, if not commonplace, then at least not considered to be strange among the inhabitants of Adylheim. The presence of ley lines under a village or town may affect the entire town, causing it to slowly degrade no matter what, or remain a bastion of sameness or even grow and change wildly depending on what manner of ley line passes beneath it. It should be noted that sensitives can be found in most villages and they are, to varying degrees, more susceptible to various magical effects and will be the first to feel any such effects, even if others are unaware of them.
Folk Magic comprises small tricks and things which are considered so commonplace in Adylheim that they're no longer considered to be magic. There are hundreds of these tricks in a myriad of forms and while they draw on the exact same forces as Low Magic they're rarely considered a part of it. Usually such tricks are simple things which grants one a modicum of safety from fairies, ghosts or other magical creatures, or they're intended to dabble in the affairs of love, ways of improving the harvest or foreseeing the weather or other things to come. Farmers may place a bit of iron (often horseshoes) over a door to keep any fairies from entering it. This keeps fairies of both the hostile and the non-hostile fairies from entering though so it may not always be advantageous. Placing a marigold under your pillow on the night of the full moon means you will dream of the person you will marry. If a sheaf of wheat or barley whispers the name of the person you love then you know that they love you back.