World-Building: Maja.

A little while ago, I came across a post from a fellow RoWer (I can’t remember for the life of me right now who it was, arrrg!) who posted a few thoughts about the currency system in her novel, which got me thinking about doing some worldbuilding posts of my own, especially since Aryneth has been something I’ve been developing since I was practically ten years old and I haven’t really been doing much on the upkeep of the technical aspects. I’ve put it off, worried that such babblings might be boring, but I don’ treally have much else to write about today, and, really, maybe some people would even find them interesting.

So today’s topic in discovering the finer details of the world of Aryneth is Maja. Maja is a noun that basically mean magic; it is the magical force that exists on the whole of Aryneth and can be accessed by certain people with the ability to see it and manipulate it to their use. These people are called Majani; this is a majanical ability. People without majanical abilities go through their life never seeing the streaks of Maja around them; those who do see only certain colors that match up with where their abilities lie. There are nine common types of Maja:

Red: The Spirit Maja. Manipulation of red Maja gives the Majani the ability to influence the mind and the emotion of the people around them. Considered to be some of the most powerful Majani, there are usually very strict guidelines to what a red Maja is allowed to do to another person. This is also the Maja of illusion and influence. There is no specific god that pairs up with the red Maja; it is a Maja shared by the entire pantheon, and a red Majani needs to make no particular alliance.
Orange: One of the two water Maja. An orange Majani has the ability to manipulate water and moisture, usually to a defensive degree. This includes being able to purify water to make it potable or pulling moisture out from places where there may be very little. They can create rain, pull up pools from beneath the ground, and influence the movement of streams and rivers.
Yellow: The Life Maja. A Majani with the ability to manipulate threads of yellow have the ability to heal and treat wounds, to slow or stop disease, and to detect illnesses that may be inflicting a living creature. They have the ability to mend broken bones, stop bleeding, and other healing tasks.
Green: The second of the water Maja. A green Majani will discover the ability to use water and moisture in a defensive capacity, such as creating waves or whirlpools, making storms or floods. Some say a particularly astute green Majani might even be able to infuse or withdraw moisture from a person’s own body in an effort to bloat or dehydrate them.
Blue: One of the two fire Maja. Blue is the offensive half of the element, using fire as a weapon, be it wielding the power itself and using it to burn one’s enemies, or infusing weapons with the power. Walls of fire, flaming missels, and fiery swords are common weapons of those who have this power.
Violet: The Death Maja. The counter to yellow Maja, a violet Maja controls things that are already dead. Sometimes, this can be manipulated to a sort of healing capacity, but the art is more directly in line with necromancy. Violet Maja can raise dead corpses and skeletons, they can extract special properties from dead plants, and some are said to be able to communicate with the dead spirits of the world. Their use of the violet Maja allow them a special connection with the lands of the dead and the Ana’aryneth, or the Tree of Fate, giving them divination and prediction abilities as well.
Brown: The Aryneth Maja. Brown Maja is connected with the life of plants and the soil itself, giving brown Maja a preternaturally good green thumb. They have the ability to have plants not only grow better, but also grow out of no where. They can control vines and flowers, fruits and vegetables, as well as have the ability to create or diminish earthquakes, landslides, and other similarly ground-based phenomena. They sometimes have the ability to control rocks, as well.
Grey: The Air Maja. As some Majani may control water, fire, and the soil with their use of Maja, the grey Majani controls the air around them. They control the wind or settle it; they can play with the formation of clouds or the beating down of mountains, depending on the strength of the Maja they are using. They can make their bodies as light as air itself, giving them the ability to levitate, float, or some may say even fly. They can use the wind to carry messages and sometimes listen for messages brought by the wind itself.
White: The second of the two fire Maja. White is the defensive side, where fire is used mostly in a capacity to help rather than harm. A white Maja is astute in creating fire for warmth and shelter; they can cook without needing a physical flame, and they can cauterize wounds and burn off infections. They can give comforting warmth where it is needed, and also control a natural fire to lessen its damage.

You’ll notice a little bit of overlap on some of these abilities. Obviously, it’s easy for the fire and water Maja to be used for both colors designated to it; a Majani with an ability in Grey might also find Orange useful. A Majani with a strong talent in Brown could also transfer her abilities with plants over into a Yellow capacity. Usually, a Majani will have one color that they majorly identify with, followed by two other colors where their talents are not as strong, but they have some ability in this. The only exception comes from a last color not mentioned above, since it is an exception to so much else.

Black: There are no black threads of Maja, but a black Majani is a Majani who has dedicated him or herself to serving the goddess DiraSkyria. DiraSkyria is constantly trying to destroy the other gods, and, as a preventative measure, the other gods had created the world so that anyone who serves DiraSkyria will have to take on this “Black Mark” that restricts them from accessing a third Maja. They will still have a major majanical ability and a minor one, but no second minor. Some believe this is a great injustice and makes them even more devoted to serving DiraSkyria to avenge this disability, while others find so much faith in the True Queen, as they call her, that they believe the Black Mark is a symbol of strength, evidence of the goddess’ protection, and therefor they do not need the crutch of a third power.

The ability to see and use Maja is most common in males, though it is said that when a female has the ability, they are exceptionally more powerful. Majanical power is not passed on genetically; scientists are never quite sure (yet!) what might cause someone to be born with the ability or not. Whole generations could pass without a single Majani in it and then, out of no where, one appears, and a non-Majani individual can pop up amidst a series of many. Still, despite this lack of connection, there have been many siblings who have show power, leading some to think it’s a generational thing.

There are two groups of people who will not be able to use Maja at all, though. One is a birthright. The legend of the Asyentai tells of six individuals who will rule Aryneth at one time, and they, considered closer to the gods than others, will not be able to use Maja as a punishment for when a group of them went and banished the gods from the world. The second group are the Ana’aek, a large sect of monks who train themselves to be able to transcend the realm of Aryneth and enter the realm of the Ana’aea’anexus, where the gods now reside. By accepting this ability, they have also accepted the deal with the gods that they cannot be allowed to use Maja, or else they could conceivably come into the Ana’aea’anexus and kill the gods.

In most ages of Aryneth, there is a great Hall of the Maja, located in the plains of Laurasia, where people with the ability to use Maja gather to learn how to use their art effectively. Many people go through life not even realizing they have the ability, and, in later ages, as technology starts to grow and the races of Aryneth diminish, the ability to use Maja and the connection with these threads that make the world go round begin to diminish as well, leaving only few who still have that connection with these powerful forces around them every day.

….That should be long winded enough for now! There is the brief overview on magic, or Maja, as it exists right now in the Arynethian world. It’s constantly going through tweaks; I know I used to spend a lot of time trying to work out the kinks, and I hope to still refine the process even more, especially as I start writing the books that have to deal with Gilferen’s discovery of his own majanical abilities and the introduction of that whole world into the books. So, do you have any thoughts? What do you think about fantasy writers who try to take the concept of magic and work it into something of their own like this? What are your own rules to magic in your worlds? And, of course, my favorite question when talking about Maja: if you could be a Majani, which Maja would you choose? I think I’d like to be Yellow, with a touch of Red and Orange. Oh, healers….

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