The term “magic” is used broadly to describe any observable phenomena apparently devoid of sufficient scientific explanation. Despite the seemingly inexplicable nature of the majority of these phenomena, there are several and many popular theories about the nature of magic.
Despite lacking a clear causative chain like most scientific phenomena, magic is demonstrably and observably deterministic. This means that capable practitioners are able to achieved their desired result consistently.
The most prominent and popular “scientific” explanation relies on the proposed existence of a particle or force outside of standard scientific means of observation. Alternately known as aether, quintessence, or most commonly mana, this force becomes malleable to those capable of interacting with it. With continued practice, a type of sense is developed which then matures into a skill for manipulating this mana. The manipulation of this mysterious force is said to allow for the fantastic capabilities performed by practiced “magic users”.
These deliberate uses of manipulation can produce a seemingly infinite array of effects, including the transfiguration of one material instantly to another, the transportation of matter over great distances, and the rejuvenation of organisms who have suffered great physical injury.
Although this theory is perhaps most commonly believed and popular, others suggest the explanation to be not as simple. In some cases the ability to perform magic is considered a result of the interaction of one of many pagan gods with the physical world. Others contend it is an overlapping of the world of dreams and powerful dreamers who bring that space into the world with them.
Scholars of many races assert that every individual possesses some potential for manipulating this force. The historical and potential use of “magic” as a method of destabilizing societies has lead to a continued campaign of discouragement from its use and practice from the human and elven ruling class for centuries. Previous attempts to outright outlaw magic have repeatedly failed, though magic use now tends to result in corresponding brutality when used by any but the highest social classes.
In the 19th century many government organizations were formed to police the various aspects of magic use. Their function became more subtle over time, and many agencies were dissolved or integrated. The Albion Mysteries Defense Ministry in time became several smaller agencies with more focused occupations, including BCAIM.