Mana

What is Mana?

Simply put, mana is the energy required to create an effect or affect; it is one of the few ‘energies’ that can be utilized to manifest both as both mass and energy depending on the methodology of employment and desired result – though typically mass ‘created’ through the manipulation of mana is conjured from another location, be it from elsewhere on the Prime plane (Earth, sic. Mortal World), or from another plane entirely. It is far too costly, in terms of mana, to outright create a thing from nothing that cannot be summoned from elsewhere.

Mana energies are the stuff of life, quite literally. All things that live, or even un-live in the case of Vampires, create Mana. In the case of un-living beings much of their mana is consumed by the simple fact of existing, likewise with highly magical beings such as Fae or Dragons. Extra-planar beings such as Celestials, Incubi/Succubi, and the like, are living beings of other planes and produce mana accordingly, though their continued existence on any plane other than their origin may consume much if not all of what they naturally generate.

By the mere act of living all life produces mana, converted by their natural metabolism from the energies they take in to live. A good portion of what is generated is consumed by the generator and any surplus trickles away naturally. Liken it to the natural manner in which we imbibe and release water – through our breath in respiration and our skin through sweat. A healthy, balanced life form releases a considerable amount of unused mana in the form of raw spirit energy or primal Life Mana. Unhealthy or injured life forms consume a higher degree of their natural mana to sustain themselves and heal. In rare cases, such as Vampirism and for certain extra-planer beings, do not produce enough mana to sustain themselves indefinitely and so must either tap the mana floes of the Earth or take Life mana directly from willing or unwilling hosts in the manner of parasites.

Normally Life energies are far too raw to be useable, but in this state it is considerably more powerful in mana strength – call it caloric value. Due to containing more ‘calories’ magic which uses raw Life force – typically blood magic – spells utilizing direct Life mana are markedly more powerful than normal, but just as markedly more unstable. Notwithstanding that the method of accessing such energies is generally disastrous to the life form’s well-being. This defines the purposeful tapping of Life Mana directly from a host for the purposes of utilizing in magic. All higher life forms gain Life Mana through consumption of lower life forms - cows from grass, cats from mice, and humans from natural (unprocessed) foods - all of which also produce Life Mana of their own from which to draw upon for their magic or release naturally.

Once released naturally raw Life Mana matriculates into the earth, where it is refined in a manner no monologist has ever been able to determine, into the stable floes which modern sorcerers and wizards tap.

How is mana measured?

Mana is measured in the same way any energy is; by how much is required to perform a given task. Typically the caloric or energy required to move a one kilogram weight upward vertically a distance of one meter. Despite the methodology of the approach used, the amount of mana is always measurably similar. Sorcerous magic is the most direct – simply reaching down and lifting the object – but tends to be the most costly, whereas ritual spellcasting (such as practiced by wizards), uses less because the ritual is employed like a lever or pulleys. The end result, however, is the same. The Wizard, by utilizing their levers and pulleys, simply have less linear distance to travel than the brute force of the natural Sorcerer.

Mana joules are simply a way of explaining to non-mana users how much it takes to do something – or how costly it is in mana energies to do something profound. Mana requirements tend to be logarithmic in demand versus results which is why teleportation is so prohibitively costly.

Mana calories are a measurement of how much mana a life form produces – but this is immensely variable between samples of an identical species set. Lower life forms such as grass or bacteria produce very little, individually, but taken as an aggregate produce the bulk of the world’s mana energies. In general a certain degree of mass produces a similar amount of Life Mana – be it a blade of grass or a tree. Sentient beings, however, seem to produce more, often considerably so, than a commensurate mass of lower life forms.

It seems that the rarer a being is by nature the more they tend to produce. Tigers produce more by mass than their prey, cows more by mass than the grass they eat. Some hypothesize this is because they are releasing the potential mana of their foodstuff – but the counter argument is; why do humans produce more by mass than tigers, which eat far more, or shrews which consume their body weight and more per day yet do not produce commensurately more Life Mana. And dragons, the most rare of beings, produce prodigious amounts of released Life Mana yet consume less by mass than many ungulates.

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