Any Sufficiently Advanced Magic

Any Sufficiently Advanced Magic


Magic, Technology, and the Borderlands

The first thing to understand is that there is really only one Natural Law; Mind Shapes Reality.

If a mind can envision a process, hold an internally consistent image of exactly how that process comes about, and believe it with complete conviction, in the absence of a countervailing and stronger mental construct, that process will work.

In ancient times those with the correct mental makeup were able to so control the chaotic natural forces which surrounded humanity as to be recognized as wielders of magic. The awe in which they were held by their neighbors only served to increase their power and many of them became tyrants.

The oppressed majority, unable to resist those who could command even nature, called out for help to whatever gods there might be. More and more prayed and believed their prayers would surely be answered, for how could the gods care less for justice than mere mortals.

As it was believed, so it became. The power mad wielders of magic could no longer work their will on the believers or manifest much of anything near those places consecrated by the force of that belief.

The powerful wizard and sorceress and their magic were forced to the edges of civilization, hard against the borders beyond which the elder chaos held sway. Those that survived became the wise-women and cunning-men of more recent tales, while their places at the center of society were usurped by the priestess and the holy man with their miracles.

Yet slowly a new idea was born in the minds of humanity. An idea brought about by the very success of the one it would displace; Surely if rational powers were responsible for creating the world, rational creatures should be able to understand it.

As it was believed, so it became. As lone individuals made observations and reasoned from those to ideas that improved the lives of their neighbors, more and more people began to accept the premise that everything could be measured, quantified, and predicted. That by understanding the world, we could control it. Direct miracles still happened, but not in the town square. They were mostly relegated to the mountain top and the monastery, places where there was sufficient force of mind to actualize such things.

Slowly advances in communications and the shear staggering growth of the human population allowed groups of people to share the burden of envisioning, understanding, and believing in insanely complex processes. This has allowed this latest form of wizardry to not only reach levels of power heretofore seldom dreamt of by humanity, but to be utilized by even our dimmest and weakest willed… as long as they do not stumble into the Borderlands with it.

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