The unified theory of magical application
By Merlin Emrys

For one to understand how to properly access and use ones internal magical ability, one must first understand the limits of these powers.
This theory, created with aid of Mages from across the time-stream, should make sure proper knowledge for all who know it.

To simplify comprehension and review, the theory is separated into branches of interlinked guidelines and exposition of experiments.

1) Magic, the basics
2) Magical power, the reason for focus as tools
3) Magical knowledge, why understanding is so important
4) Magical limits, the few rules that cannot be broken

Chapter 1: Magic - The basics

Although each Mage is born with the natural ability to express their will onto the world around them, doing so without the aid of training or a focus is exceedingly difficult.
The long and short of this comes back to the fact that by its very nature, magic is a force of unlimited and unbound chaos.
This chaos, being what allows for the forces of magic to break what the mortals refer to as the 'laws of nature' is also the direct cause of our own difficulty in controlling magic.

When one wishes to use magic, they must force enforce their will over it, a daunting task, and one that requires for one to either require something to happen above all else, or for one to have a will of steel.
Once control of the magic is acquired, one must then put their will to enforcing their desired change upon the world around them.
Either task, by itself difficult and daunting, has its difficulty compounded as both need to happen at the same time,for one cannot cast a spell without having their magic subdued to their will,nor can one cast a spell without the will to change their enviroment.

Chapter 2: Magical power - The reason for focus as tools

Once one has learned why will is such an important factor in ones ability to use magic, one can then understand the importance of a focus.
The goal, the use, and even the intent of any focus, is to remove the need of the spell caster to take control of their magic by will.
Therefore, by using a focus to cast a spell, one can put their full will towards enforcing the wanted effect onto the world around them.
Further aids such as incantations, wand motions and similar efforts all aid in lowering the will required by the spell caster to gain the desired outcome.

A secondary effect of using a focus is that spells cast using one are always of the same stability, as the magic is always equally controlled.
It is for this reason that the magical resonance of the focus used must either be compatible with, or subdued by, your own resonance.
Should one use a focus that is neither then a larger amount of magical power is required to overcome the resonance differential.

Chapter 3: Magical knowledge - Why understanding is so important

By the time one reaches this chapter, they should have understanding of the basics of magic, and the reason why a focus is such an important tool of magic.
One can then continue to find out about the second aid of magical ability, namely the pursuit of knowledge.
The more one understands and can visualise what one is attempting to accomplish, the more control one has over a spell, so less will is required to gain the desired effect.

Chapter 4: Magical limits - The few rules that cannot be broken

Many have over time applied rules and limits to magic, but one must understand that with the few exceptions given in this chapter, there are no limits to what magic is capable of.
There are only limits to what the Mage is capable of, for magic by nature is nearly and completely, unlimited.
Now on these, one must understand that although there are nearly no limits, few do exist, and they can be summarised into the following rules:

1) Death is a fact of creation, no amount of magic can prevent or reverse it
2) Creation is beyond the reach of magic, for it can only change what is already in existence
3) Magic cannot give life because it cannot create souls
4) Chaotic is the natural state of magic, therefore magic can never be perfect, for there is no chaos in perfection

Many Mages may at first feel that these rules are either incomplete or wrong, but these same Mages are not truly understanding the rules.
Therefore, to aid in this understanding some explanations for each of them:

The first rule claims that immortality is impossible, and this is indeed so.
What must be understood is that although magic cannot be used to prevent one from meeting ones end, it can be used to delay such indefinitely.
Be warned though, that due to the chaotic nature of magic, any attempt to delay ones death will come at a heavy price.

The second rule claims that magic cannot create, many a Mage will immediately point towards such things as conjuring as proof that this is false.
What one must understand, is that when one conjures, they are forcing their magic into a physical shape.
This shape will only remain for as long as the magical power expended in the change remains.
Like the first rule, there are ways to go around the limit, for although magic cannot create, it can change.
Therefore if something already exists, it can be changed into something else that also already exists.
But be warned, that effecting such a change on a permanent basis requires a deep understanding of the world around oneself.

The third rule claims that magic cannot give life, because it cannot create souls Once more many Mages will point to the art of Transfiguration as proof that this rule is false.
And once more, this is not truth, for any living being created by magic is but a mere imitation of the creature as understood by its creator.
Again, there are ways to go around this limit, for although magic cannot give life, it can be used to allow for the creation of life.
Thus, one cannot conjure a baby out of thin air, but one can use magic to ensure a safe birth even from a sickly mother.

The fourth rule claims that magic is never perfect, and indeed, it never can be.
By its nature magic is a force of chaos, and thus magic can never create something that can be deemed perfect.
Even the strongest of wards cast by magic has its weakness, and even the best curse has its limit.
For the very nature of magic requires for these weaknesses and limits to exist, as nothing magical can be perfect.
Once more, there are ways around this rule, the simplest of these is to design the weakness or limit of ones spell, ward of ritual.
Another is to implement a secondary cost, for although nothing magical can be perfect, it will accept alternative payment.
It is fact even in this day, that it is indeed the magical spells with a designed weak point are the most powerful spells known to us Mages.

As long as one understands these rules, and that although they are absolute, they are only binding in their ultimate form, one can properly understand what one can use magic to do.

For now, I say farewell to you dear reader, and may you enjoy the knowledge gained from reading this scroll.
Perchance once I have dealt with this nasty bugger who calls himself Arthur I will see about writing a follow-up to this scroll.
And now- BLASTED! COME HERE BOY! what- ooh! no, the recording spell!