The world of Narosia is steeped in a magical energy known as essence. For those who can sense essence, its presence is almost palpable. It permeates all things, animate and inanimate alike, and can alter the very fabric of physical reality. Its effects are wide ranging, from the logic-defying flight of dragons to the spells woven from the flows of essence. Those who learn to harness the power of essence are called shapers.
Essence flows through the world like water. Most cannot sense it directly or interact with it, although in times of extreme emotion they may be able to manipulate it either accidentally or purposefully. Those that learn its feel can begin to shape it into patterns that have controlled effects, and mastery of this skill requires a scientific focus and scholarly bent.
The complexities of how essence may be commanded are vast. Fundamentally, essence is the cosmic energy that enables supernatural effects to manifest. It is as present as air, and can be just as fair or foul, violent or calm. When seen (and many do possess such a talent) its flows appear as translucent currents, becoming more opaque with a white-golden hue when concentrated. All living objects radiate an aura of essence, while inanimate objects block or reflect that of the ambient essence around it. Understanding these auras and reflections is critical to true mastery of essence shaping and understanding the science of magic known as Thaumaturgy.
Channeling involves calling forth the divine power of the gods, the Enaros, to manifest supernatural power. Channelers are dependent on their patron Enaros to hear their call and respond with enough power. Requests for divine aid from a channeler are called orisons, or occasionally simply “prayers.” Specific orisons are strongly tied to the patron Enaros and encoded in their holy works. Individual channelers do not possess the capacity to improvise without direct divine intervention.
The Malanoor exists to limit the magical power available to mortals. The Enaros performed this ritual after Endroren's first betrayal, ensuring the only trusted conduit of power would be that of channeling. Channeling binds those who seek power to the will of the Enaros. Even when the Atlan Empire arrived with their self-sufficient and scientific mastery of essence the Malanoor continued to hold. Early texts from Atlan Wizards after their arrival made note of the inability to shape essence for teleportation, long distance communication, excavation, or even simple flight. However, sorcerous manipulation of Fel essence is still possible should one be willing to entreat Endroren and channel The Fel according to his will.