Today's blogpost will be discussing something I have briefly discussed in previous posts. The difference between mages and imagients in my universe. I briefly discussed this on my 'What is an Imagient' blog post, and I will go over the summaries there and then try to expand on the ideas I worked in that, to hopefully better separate between the two so that people understand that they are the same.
Imagients vs. Mages, the differences between the two can be seen by how they maintain and control their abilities, what powers their abilities, and the maximum potential between the two. I will also go into detail about Imagient Mages, and how yes, despite the fact that there is a difference, there is also a blend of both, because I need to make myself more confusing.
In the 'What is an Imagient' blog post I discussed how both Imagients and mages are limited by the laws of magic, but that an Imagient can somewhat bend these rules, but they must at least make rules for their own imagientechs. Pretty much Imagients manipulate reality and make it their own, that being said control for a mage is actually much more simpler and less metaphysical.
Control is one of the defining factors on what makes a mage capable of doing magic, and an Imagient from not destroying themselves or others when using their powers. A mage has either been training with his or her powers at some type of academic or home school setting. Be it some fancy mage's school, home schooled by their parents, or in the case of a cleric or a priest at a temple. There are also those sorcerers, witches, and druids who are either have innate abilities or train pretty much solitary like monks. All of these 'mages' have to learn to control their power, and generally can with years of practice, master their art.
For a mage control comes from practice and materialization of their powers. It occurs because of training of some sort, which rely on generally a type of magical theory to make all of their control of power necessarily. It may be an actual theory like an arcane school, or specialization such as a cleric's holy spells to ward off demons. A monk could train for years under a waterfall channeling their ki or spiritual energy (ki,chi, spiritual energy is all the same thing in my universe) into devastating weapons or defenses.
Mages are called such because they manipulate magic, and use it in ways that only they can do because of their training. A mage who has trained for years can control their powers and is much stronger than an Imagient who just trying to understand their abilities. They are generally unless they are super specialized have a variety of spells or abilities to interact in most situations. Control of their powers, and knowledge about their own abilities make mages their own category of magic users.
Imagients on the other hand don't necessarily have this type of control through training. Yes, Imagients gain power by using their powers and training, many can go to dojos, mages schools, and the like to increase their power. However, they are not tied down by those magical theories and arcane schools, they don't get their powers from divine sources, it is inherently theirs. But, Imagients still have to deal with control, in fact probably even more so.
An imagient has to deal with the fact that they must make rules for all their powers. If an imagient doesn't learn from their parents the rules of their abilities and/or manifest them later in life, they are called a 'wilder' which is an Imagient who has a very vague, and very limited control of their power. This can be a blessing and a curse for an Imagient.
A wilder technically has a very vague idea of their powers meaning they are pretty limitless, but that also needs a great deal of control. Sometimes that control and focus can be too much for an Imagient to handle and it overloads or they end up not controlling their power and it can in fact injure those around the imagient and even lead to the death of the Imagient. That is why wilders are generally seen as freaks in some circles, and in others bad omens. More so than not 'wilders' are seen as people who still need to master their powers.
The main way for Imagients to control their power, is to give it specific rules that only the Imagient knows. The more rules and imagientech has the more specific and specialized the ability is, but it allows for greater control. One could say 'less is more', but for an imagient more rules is more like 'more is more' which means more to work with and more imaginative ideas can come out of this. Playing with rules, and bending them at times, allows an imagient to pretty much control their abilities and know their own weaknesses and faults and then work around those areas to make sure that they know their boundaries.
Because Imagients can bend their own rules, and since they have a much greater imaginative process than a mage who is doing stuff via some type of school or limited ideas of power will generally lose. It doesn't help that Imagients don't necessarily power their abilities the same way that normal mages, monks or other magical people do. Imagients and mages all use spiritual energy or ki, or chi or whatever you want to call it. For a mage that spiritual energy is their battery fuel for their magic. An Imagient the fuel is just the canister, and their imagination is the fuel.
There are three types of spiritual energy flow which is how spiritual energy is regulated in a body. These are burst, focused, and cycle. All spiritual energy exists outside the body and inside the body and will enter and exit the body at various times. The three types of flow exhibit how mages and even imagients use spiritual energy.
Burst is a very powerful and forceful use of energy. It drains a lot of spiritual energy from the user, but is very strong. For instance someone could shoot spiritual bullets out of their and or a massive beam of energy, both would be considered burst type.
Focused is more so what mages aim to have in their spiritual control. It takes energy from outside the body and inside the body to create a more focused and concentrated use of both energy sources. For instance clerics take energy from divine sources outside the body and control that source with their own spiritual energy, while a druid does similar things with their spiritual energy except the source is natural.
The third type is called cycle, and generally is regulated by the spiritual points or chakra points of energy entering and exiting the body. It doesn't use that much spiritual energy, and allows more spiritual energy to enter the body. Abilities that use a cycle flow are generally not as powerful, but those who use cycled flow can use more energy.
For mages these flow types are important because they ensure that a mage has enough spiritual energy to cast a spell. But, as I previously eluded for an Imagient that is not the case. These flow type are just canisters to use their energy. For an Imagient as long as they have the imagination to fill that canister of energy flow their power regulation depends on other factors such as other imagientechs, and in some cases the environment where the ability is being used.
Making most of their imagination is what defines an Imagient, and the main difference between a mage and Imagient begin. A mage is limited by his potential for a variety of reasons. Not saying a mage can not become godly or very powerful. On the contrary mages especially master mages who have trained in their craft can make giant fireballs, cause storms, and defeat dragons. However, they are generally limited by the rules of magic. An Imagient is not limited by these things, and in fact their potential is only limited by their imagination. If an Imagient has the ability to control and power a world catastrophic dilemma, geuss what they can do it.
Imagients are scary to many non-Imagients because of this fact. It is why mianthi control and regulate Imagients in their country of Legosolith. It is why earlier humans kicked Taisha Taika and other Imagients out of Neona, because they feared Imagients. That being said mages and Imagients are not so different.
An Imagient can learn a lot form how a mage studies, and using the magical theories and understanding them can make an Imagient Mage, an individual who uses their imagitechs like a mage's magical abilities. This may seem as a weird fusion of ideas, but it can still happen and create some of the most powerful beings in the Imagience. The Mage's School that is located in the Sutonite Confederacy is just one place where this is not only common, it is the norm. Of course non-Imagient mages also exist there, but it is still a place where these two theories I talk about work together in harmony as much as I have stated that mages and Imagients are different.
Imagients and mages are indeed very different. Imagients and Mages both use spiritual energy, but while a mage is limited by their own spiritual flow and Imagient is limited by their Imagination. A Mage can control their abilities through training, although Imagients can do that, the easiest way for them to do so is to add rules to their imagientech. Imagients are not limited by their potential as mages are, but by their own imagination. Despite these differences Imagients and Mages are not that different, but there is a difference in a very metaphysical sense. Both will be encountered in The Imagient King.