When I last posted about this topic, one of my biggest concerns was how to reconcile magic use in Ivalice with how magic works in Thedas, and I still haven't really come to any firm decisions. As far as I can tell, anyone in Ivalice can learn any magic spell, provided they learn the precursor spell(s) and purchase a license (a game mechanic that I've never attempted to sensibly translate into real-world action). Some people have higher innate magical power than others (Fran/Penelo/Ashe/Vaan vs. Balthier and Basch, for example), but that just means that the spells will be more powerful when such people cast them. In contrast, people in Thedas are divided into mages and non-mages. You either have access to magical spells, or you don't. And I'm not quite sure how to reconcile that difference.
Outside the obvious -- spells require the caster to tap into a mana pool, which are restored by the passage of time or some sort of potion (lyrium or ether) -- the source of magical power also seems different. In Ivalice, magic is powered by the Mist, which comes from magicite. My headcanon for Thedas (and I've yet to see this contracted, though I would very much appreciate learning otherwise if I'm wrong) is that mages draw their power from the Fade. I've toyed with the possibility that the Veil (the connection between the waking world and the Fade) is much thinner in most parts of Ivalice than it is in Thedas, and so that means more people are able to tap into it. (Although I might have already contracted this theory in The Joining; see below.) This would require some sort of connection between Mist and the Fade. Drawing a connection between magicite and lyrium, a mineral used in Thedas to enhance magical power, would seem to be the next logical step. Could magicite and lyrium be the same thing? Or related to each other?
I've already created some connection between Mist and darkspawn corruption in The Joining. I got this idea because Nabudis is very like a Blighted land, as are other places where the Mist lies heavy such as the Feywood. Fran is sensitive to corruption, just as she is to Mist in some situations, and the darkspawn horde was unable to enter the Golmore Jungle. So any answer I come up with needs to take that into account, as well.
A few related questions:
Can Alistair (or anyone else with Templar skills) block magic use in Ivalice? Or are his abilities useless? Perhaps they work against darkspawn but not fiends that are local to Ivalice? (All the darkspawn in the story so far traveled from Thedas to Ivalice via the Deep Roads/Zertinian Caverns, although now I'm thinking about how new native variations might work…) In Part One, I had a scene where Alim Surana was unable to detect any connection with the Fade when an Ivalice Warden cast a spell. But maybe there's some other way for Templar skills to work.
Can the Wardens who've come to Ivalice to Thedas learn to cast magic? Will they still be able to do so if/when they go back to Thedas?
Any other questions that the story, or my natterings about it, have raised for any of you?
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