|Magic and its Fuel|
Magic and its Fuel
From earlier conversations on our journey, I knew that Gaven believed magic comes from nothing, that all a Guildsman needs is knowledge and skill to create miracles. I saw no reason to disillusion him then. But in truth, all magic requires fuel. Aelvan magic is fed by wind, rain, sun, and soil; dragon magic, by fire; the magic of the fey, if they ever existed, by light and sound.
Now Gaven would learn a bit of the truth of Guild magic: a magic that was made for the purpose of war. I had never drained a human before... It was a thing I hoped never to do, but I knew none of us would survive this place if I did not. With a whispered request for her forgiveness, I approached the old woman, pressed my hands against her temples, and cast a draining spell.
Cúan Becker, Watcher of the Pinnacle, Sixth Ring of the Guild Eldritch
In The Last God world of Cain Anuun, the humans are not godborn, there is no magic in them. The dragons were created as the apex predator to keep the number of beasts in check. The humans, one of those twelve types of beast, bested the dragons, but they learned no direct magic from those wyrms.
The humans had to study sounds, music, language, and light. They were able to learn the gift of magic through the manipulation and consumption of the flesh of the godborns, and through magical devices enshrining body parts of the godborns.
Guild Magic is fueled by the consumption of life
The Guild Magic is the most powerful of the magic in Cain Anuun, and finally it parallels the Dragon Magic in its need to consume life energies as fuel.
The dragons seem to have vanished from Cain Anuun, one hypothesis would be that they ran out of preys, starved and preyed on each other. Too much energy was required to sustain them.
From the Cúan quotation above, it seems Guild magicians can drain humans as well as godborns. The artificiality of Guild Magic is complete, draining is not a power, it is a spell. Maybe the draining is limited to non-magic target creatures like human. To feed on the energy of godborns, guildsmen probably simply eat those, and eating might be cheaper than casting a drain spell.
That world visibly swings from an imbalance to the next. Those guildsmen are coldly engineering magic. There is a god in the void that wants to enter and throw it all ad nihilo. What a show.
I discovered The Last God, a DC Black Label Comic, in the pages of Casus Belli #37 where The Last God Sourcebook — using the world of Cain Anuun in the 5th edition — is translated to French. Kudos to the Casus team for the french name they chose for creatures and concepts, they leveraged the romance in the language and succeded.
The Last God is a powerful story authored by Philipp Kennedy Johnson and drawn by the italian master Riccardo Federici. The comic weaves in prose and songs at the end of each chapter. The quote on top of this post is taken from such a piece of prose. These help understand the world of Cain Anuun and open it as a setting for roleplaying games. Philipp Johnson is an author but also a soldier and a musician. his characters hum melodies and folk songs, perpetuating wisdom or bringing forth magic.
Not all the questions asked are answered in the comics and its prose and songs. There is room for many pieces of story for Cain Anuun as comics or as role-played experiences. I want to know more about "Teymsong".