The Three Energies
The physical universe is made up of matter and energy. Matter is made up of the four elements. There are three forms of energy:
- Positive: The generative and organizing energy of the universe.
- Negative: The entropic and degenerative energy of the universe.
- Chi: The life energy.
Positive energy has a generative ability and forms the basis of healing and restorative magic. Like the other two energies, it is pervades all matter. There are very rare instances when positive energy exists in close to a pure state. In those instances, it be destructive to organic matter, much in a same way flesh can be seared by an otherwise warming and life-giving flame. It is thought to cause madness and even mutations.
Scholars have speculated about the existence of beings who are a combination of organic matter and positive energy, with the positive energy replacing chi as the vital force, but there are no known examples of such creatures.
Negative energy balances positive energy, by bringing dissolution, degeneration and entropy. Like positive energy, negative energy pervades all matter. It is a source of power for destructive magic, particularly necromancy. It has been speculated that demons from the plane of Syvyys feed on the negative energy released by the tortured souls of mortals, but few have ever dared to research this hypothesis.
Undead are a combination of formerly living organic matter and a concentration of negative energy, where the negative energy serves as chi. Positive energy, accessed through divine favor and will, empowers clerical types to turn and even destroy undead.
Chi is the least understood of the three energies and its relationship with the other two energies is shrouded mystery. It exists most strongly within living organisms, but it also pervades all matter, albeit in very small amounts. This ambient form of chi is thought by some to be a residual from living creatures when they die. Others believe it to be evidence that the entire universe is a form of life.
Monks manipulate chi found in their own bodies through practiced mental and physical discipline. Druids access chi found in nature and other living things through the sympathetic tuning of their spirits to the spirits found in nature.
From time to time, mages and scholars have postulated the existence of a fourth fundamental energy, mana. Mana, they explain, is the underlying power of all magic. Octavius DeMoped, through a series of cleverly designed experiments, has conclusively shown that mana is an energy, but it a compound energy, not a fundamental energy. At the same time, DeMoped's research results clearly support the idea that mana is the underlying power of magic.
While mages have developed the ability to create and use mana through spells, rituals, potions and objects of power, they do not understand the actual process or mechanisms of how magic and mana work together to accomplish magic.