Warning: spoilers… lots and lots of spoilers.
Magic isn’t a finite resource: it’s an infinite resource, with different phases, but when the fae use any magic it often takes much longer for it to return to a usable form than it does for any other race, because they never really thought about what they were doing or spent time working out how magic really worked. They also, occasionally, poison it, always by accident, but this also has an effect on the different phases of magic.
The first phase of magic is when the magic is within the planet. With a world such as Athare it makes up the core of the planet and how much is in the core at any time depends on several things. Unsurprisingly, if someone uses their magical ability, whatever it may be, it will deplete the amount of magic within the core. Some of the abilities the fae have, such as the Blue and Yellow family’s abilities to create items from magic, uses up much more magic than paper or writing magic, but all the abilities the fae have use more magic than the abilities a race such as humans would. This is part of the reason they ended up having to flee their previous home. However magical planets do have their own ways of gathering more magic to their core, in order to kept it at a safe level. Some magical planets are more sentient than others: with the more non-sentient planets it more subconcious and with the more sentient planet they conciously search out ways to increase their magic. The fae’s old world was less sentient, so could do less to effect what was happening to it, and the fae were too busy burying their heads in the sand to work out how to fix the damage they had caused. Athare is much more sentient and allows the fae to work with its magic to create the new worlds, because if it hadn’t then they would never have happened. This also means that the worlds created from its magic are more sentient. Part of the way Athare creates its own magic is the life clay. Almost all magic usage has waste, but the fae have never worked out a way to return the waste magic they don’t use back to the world. Athare did. The life clay gathers any waste magic and makes it easier for Athare to consume, in order to keep the magic within its core at what it feels is a safe level considering the habitation of the fae. It also affected the clay, so anything made from it comes to life.
Athare permitted the use of its magic to create new worlds for one reason: it quickly came to understand the fae. For several millenia the magic within its core was barely used. Often it was used as a place to settle for a few nights before whoever it was moved on. Then the fae arrived and before the first night Athare had lost almost a fifth of the magic within its core. It is entirely possible that if the fae hadn’t of made the choices they had that the magic within Athare’s core wouldn’t have lasted much longer than a decade. However Athare would have done everything it could to make sure that didn’t happen.
The second phase of magic is when it is within the atmosphere of the world. During this phase it can’t be used in any way by the fae, as they can only draw magic from the world itself, but other races can. While the Yellow family were creating races for Athare they focused on those who could use ambient magic, in part so they didn’t affect the planet the same way the fae did and in part as an experiment. They believed that using ambient magic would return it to the core faster than it would if left alone. The Silver family believed there was another way to use the ambient magic and experimented with the weather to see if there was anything they could do to increase the amount of magic returning to the core. Both were, in part, right. Rain could affect the ambient magic, but this didn’t always help it return to the core. Occasionally it would turn into magic rivers instead. Snow was another way of affecting it and often worked better than rain, because it allowed the magic to settle. Using ambient magic, depending on how it was used, could also help to return the magic to the core, but often ambient magic simply remained ambient magic.
Mirrored from K. A. Jones Writing.