Weave of Magic

All existence is suffused with magical power, and potential energy lies untapped in every rock, stream, and living creature, and even in the air itself. Raw magic is the stuff of creation, the mute and mindless will of existence, permeating every bit of matter and present in every manifestation of energy throughout the multiverse.

Mortals can’t directly shape this raw magic. Instead, they make use of a fabric of magic, a kind of interface between the will of a spellcaster and the stuff of raw magic. The spellcasters of Toril call it the Weave and recognize its essence as the goddess Mystra, but casters have varied ways of naming and visualizing this interface.

By any name, without the Weave, raw magic is locked away and inaccessible; the most powerful archmage can’t light a candle with magic in an area where the Weave has been torn. But surrounded by the Weave, a spellcaster can shape lightning to blast foes, transport hundreds of miles in the blink of an eye, or even reverse death itself.

All magic depends on the Weave, though different kinds of magic access it in a variety of ways. The spells of wizards, warlocks, sorcerers, and bards are commonly called arcane magic. These spells rely on an understanding—learned or intuitive—of the workings of the Weave. The caster plucks directly at the strands of the Weave to create the desired effect. Eldritch knights and arcane tricksters also use arcane magic.

The spells of clerics, druids, paladins, and rangers are called divine magic. These spellcasters’ access to the Weave is mediated by divine power—gods, the divine forces of nature, or the sacred weight of a paladin’s oath. Whenever a magic effect is created, the threads of the Weave intertwine, twist, and fold to make the effect possible.

When characters use divination spells such as detect magic or identify, they glimpse the Weave. A spell such as dispel magic smooths the Weave. Spells such as antimagic field rearrange the Weave so that magic flows around, rather than through, the area affected by the spell. And in places where the Weave is damaged or torn, magic works in unpredictable ways— or not at all.

The Weave in Toril was nearly destroyed after Mystra’s death at the hands of Cyric and Shar in 1385 DR, resulting in ten years of magical chaos that became known as the Spellplague. The breakdown of the Weave could be felt all over Toril at that time. Though the Weave partly recovered, it was not the same until Mystra’s rebirth in 1485 DR.

Weave of Magic

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