Most have nothing but a small talent. These are minimal abilities and cover a wide spectrum of possibilities. It can help and cook know just how much spice to add to a dish, a seamstress to keep her seams straight, these sorts of things.
Approximately one out of ten people, so about a third of those who have some magic, have significant power. These can cast spells, however, they're limited to some sort of specific set of magic.
Some types of mages include:
- Bard: Uses songs and poetry to influence people
- Deathlord: Works with dead plants and animals or causes harm to living creatures
- Elementalist: Controls the four elements (air, earth, fire, and water)
- Enchanter: Manipulates emotions
- Healer: Heals people
- Lifelord: Works with plants or animals, usually not both
- Lightkeeper: Manipulates light and dark
- Loremaster: Uses lore as the basis of their divinations
- Moiramancer: Seers and prophets, they see, dimly, fate
- Stonelord: Works with stone and metals
- Windlord: Works with wind and weather
These are just a few examples, as every mage is different. Even within these broad categories, there are things that come more naturally to a given mage than to another.
A very tiny percentage of true mages can do more than one broad category. These are rare, and are always extremely powerful.
Mages are limited by several factors, including raw talent, distance, type of magic, and the difficulty of the magic. As noted, magical talent varies in the person. Some seem tireless, and can cast spells seemingly without rest, while others fade quicker, but are especially powerful in what they can do. In general, the greater the spell the greater the resulting fatigue.
The only known ways to regain magical power are food and rest. Magic power can restore physical energy, but cannot restore magical power. Certain foods, like liver, are more effective restoring power, but all food helps.
Generally, mages can only affect things near them. They do not have to see their targets, but seeing the item or creature makes the magic more efficient. Some can reach longer distances, and the most powerful of these can reach far indeed. However, their power attenuates the farther they reach.
Talent manifests during puberty, as they have some connection to body chemistry. Those with lesser talents are able to use them with little training, as they develop instinctively.
However, true mages need to train to turn their greater talent into a skill. They may be able to cast small things without training, and thus might simply appear to have a lesser talent. However, if they want to truly tap into their power, they must train.
This means that more mages are found in heavily populated areas, such as the Empire of Makhaira. Rarely can they be found in places such as the wildlands of Transtochalia, unless they were trained elsewhere and sought solitude.