Vis is the magical energy that originates from Abyss, and is spread throughout Exig. Vis is a powerful force, and in high enough concentrations can grant godlike abilities. The vast majority of living things cannot manipulate Vis, but can feel its effects; such as mutations. Those who can manipulate the force are known as Fragments, Shards, Nobles, or Nephilim, respectively.
The origins of magic in our realm are unclear, but legends say they were brought by Cleric himself nearly ten thousand years ago. This isn't entirely accurate, as magic in our world is the result of an incredible magic "leakage" from the Abyss when Cleric came to our world.
Magical energy has a physical effect on most things it comes in contact with; almost like supernatural radiation. Over long periods, it will physically alter anything that it passes through to reflect itself. Usually, this means a fragment's catalyst. However, because shards use their own bodies as catalysts, it will physically change them in varying ways over several decades of use. These changes are very slow and are certainly not overnight
Vis Manipulation Edit
Fragments are the weakest; humans with a faint affinity for Vis. They require the use of a catalyst in order to manipulate it, and are limited to impure forms of the force. Fragments practice many schools of magic, such as Alchemy, Pyromancy, Sanguimancy, or Enchantment. They will often form covens in order to pool together their strength.
Catalysts may either be organic or a pure stone. For the most part, the material is irrelevant, but certain catalysts have unique advantages. Abyssian bone catalysts are perhaps the most valued for their unique ability to harness pure vis. Organic material is the more powerful option, but is much less efficient at retaining vis for long periods. Stones can store vis for much longer without losing excess energy. Stones are primarily used for storage and enchanting.
Shards are much more powerful than Frags, however, they are incredibly rare. Shards can manipulate vis without the use of a catalyst, making them formidable foes that are difficult to disarm. They are much more solitary by their nature, however there have been a few documented cases of Shard covens. Shards also have the ability to 'Fadewalk', which allows them to partial cross into the Abyss; making them hard to track and allowing them to move much faster by taking advantage of the distorted space-time of Abyss.
Nobles are the abyssal equivalent of Shards, and are exceptionally powerful. They outclass most Shards because they have access to much more Vis, being native to Abyss, and are usually more experienced because of their immortality.
Nephilim are an excessively rare crossbreed of human and abyss, and nearly always are shard class. With a certain ritual, a Nephilim born of a Shard and a Noble will result in an Abyssal Prince. Abyssal Princes are the strongest magical entities, excluding Cleric and the gods.
Visial Ranking Edit
Visial ranking is non-canon. Ranking assumes entities have access to the same amount of vis and experience.
5 - Non-visal entities.
4 - Weak visial entities. EX: Fragments
3 - Strong visial entities. EX: Shards, Nobles, 'Common' Nephilim.
2 - Powerful visial entities. EX: Abyssal princes.
1 - Cleric
0 - The Twin Gods (hypothetical)