Great Separation Physical / Metaphysical Law in Vazdimet | World Anvil

Great Separation

After the War for Enlightenment, the rules of Magic itself seemed to shift. Spells which had worked the same way for millennia no longer responded the same as before, often with unpredictable and even volatile results.   No discipline was as impacted as the humble yet critical Portal Magic.  

Early Changes

Magic permanently changes the creatures repeatedly exposed to it.
— Fillimet's Third Law of Magic
  In the beginning, Portal Magic appeared to be the least effective. While other disciplines found themselves cautioning fellow practitioners to cast smaller spells first to more reliably achieve their desired strength, with some even swearing off magic entirely due to the elevated risk of Malady, Portal mages remained free to cast at will with little fear of repercussions.   In fact, the only notable change to Portal Magic appeared to be the rescission of the Third Law of Magic. The previously unavoidable portal swirls, once a colorful indicator of those accustomed to frequent Portal Travel, no longer appeared or grew regardless of the quantity of travel. Creatures with the markings still retained them, but further travel failed to add its own patterns.   Originally seen as verification that Portal Travel remained safe despite the instability elsewhere, historians and scientists alike now claim this was merely a sign of the catastrophic dangers building beneath the surface.  

The Separation

In 5 EVT, those pressures burst, sending ripples across all of Fillimet and its planes. Permanent Portals crashed closed, with little care toward anyone currently traveling through them. New Portals failed to emerge at their intended destination. Worse still, the formerly extensive range of Portal Travel now appeared severely limited, a mere fraction of its former glory.   Travel between planes had become impossible, disrupting trade agreements and dividing families. Those traveling the planes were now stranded, with no way to even communicate with their loved ones. But with that single, terrible moment, Magic regained its stability.  

Hypothesized Causes

As with most disasters, attempts to identify the true cause of the Great Separation involved more political maneuvering than scientific research. The Human Defense League became a popular scapegoat, particularly because of their shift to guerrilla tactics and even outright terrorism after their lost in the War for Enlightenment. The HDL protested their innocence, instead pointing fingers at their opponents during the War, and the subsequent influx of frequent, new, and experimental spells and Technoarcana.   Today, experts tend to side with the HDL's explanation, although most papers credit the hypothesis to their new name, the Space Defense Legion. Evidence points to the Separation as merely the final pressure relief of a major stresses placed on the very foundation of Magic as a result of the War, much as an earthquake or volcano relieves the stresses building up within a planet. These researchers believe Portal Magic bore the brunt of the final collapse of Magic's former laws simply because it was the last to buckle to its effects, although arcanologists have still not identified what made Portal Magic so resistant to the shift in the first place.   Regardless, Magic's newfound stability has remained unchanged since the Separation, regardless of the additional strains placed upon it as civilization continues its never ending quest for new technology and magic in its expansion across The Void.
Liminal (Portal) Squirrels by Sai
Metaphysical, Arcane
Affected Magic
Portal Magic

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Cover image: Planet Moon Solar by LoganArt


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Jul 7, 2023 17:44 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Actually horrifying. :O

Jul 7, 2023 18:05 by Morgan Biscup

Summer Camp wanted a destructive event. Anyone can destroy a country, or the environment. Vazdimet apparently had to be bigger than that. (Also I had the stub already and it fit perfectly. Thank you for accidentally reminding me about it).

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
Jul 22, 2023 13:18 by E. Christopher Clark

As someone who was away from fantasy for so long, it's super-interesting to hear about things like unstable magic. I'm sure that it's a concept that existed before now, but you render it beautifully here and I really got a sense for how that period of instability and the new period of stability changed your world.

Track my progress on Summer Camp 2024!
Jul 22, 2023 22:18 by Morgan Biscup

Thank you so much! It's been fun to dig more into history and its impacts on the present day. And the changes to magic are so much fun to write about.

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
Aug 14, 2023 17:20 by George Sanders

Did they find ways to reconnect with distant worlds as they expanded across the void?

Write for the Summer Camp Prompt I sponsored "A personal item that keeps you safe".
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Aug 14, 2023 17:37 by Morgan Biscup

Portal Magic is much shorter range now but with good engines and a small ship you can get where you are going.   If you have the means to travel in luxury, on the other hand, you'd travel by Hyperjump. You need a very powerful necromancer for that, though.

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
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