Casting magic requires a person to use their mind and soul and manipulate the spirits around them. Though mortals are born disconnected from the spiritual world, it is easy to teach most people to acquire this supernatural sense. Not all humans have an affinity to the spiritual, however. Some are naturally sensitive and keen to the spiritual, and usually make talented sorcerers. Most require extensive training and practice to become fluent. Still there are those who find the presence of spirits repulsive and magic a difficult concept. There has long been a saying that the more vibrant a person's eye-colour is, the more connected they are to the spiritual world.
Spells have been developed by magic users over time for amateurs to use. A spell is a contract formed by the creator and the spirits he calls upon in exchange of a sacrifice from the creator to the spirits. Spells allow less skilled magic users to perform an action they would not have been able to complete with their own mental abilities alone, popularizingn magic among even unskilled commoners. Spells usually require a chant or a ritual, which makes the caster's moves easily predictable during battles. Most advanced magic users do not use existing spells and rely on their own creativity.
The practice of magic is similar across all of its types. The fundamental difference lies in the power they summon upon. Human sorcery summons its power from immortal spirits upon the otherplanes, while Beast-Human elemental magic draws power from immortal spirits found in the Mortal Realms. A more obsolete source of power lies within one's own soul or the souls of others. Since souls are mortal, this form of magic is limited and puts the caster's own life, as well as the lives of others, in jeopardy.
Demon magic is one of two branches of human sorcery. It is usually referred to as Common Magic - or simply magic - because it is used in the everyday life of most Maelstrom inhabitants. A Demon magic user is called a sorcerer. Demon magic has no restrictions or qualification; any human who wishes to learn it and is capable of doing so can use it. Up until the Prohibition, Demon magic allowed the Mortal Realms, to prosper as it does today by making possible things that are otherwise a pain to accomplish such as long distance transportation, communication, heavy construction work, and tedious chores. There has been several isolated cases of side effects from using Demon magic due to the fact that these spirits clash with the human soul.
Elemental magic is known to be used exclusively by Beast-Humans . An elemental magic user is called an elementalist. Beast-Humans all have the innate ability to communicate with nature's spirits around them. Beast-Humans ancestry has deep roots in Mortal Realms and believe that they were once one with the Mortal Realms. Therefore, most tribes teach their young the arts of elemental magic as an important part of their up-bringing, and almost all Beast-Humans are fluent elementalists. The lower order form of elemental magic draws substance from nearby the caster, such as water, trees, a spark, etc. Higher order elemental magic can be cast even if there is no source nearby (ie., a spark for fire); the caster calls upon nature's sentient to bestow upon him the elements.
Because most uses of elemental magic are in physical - non spiritual - forms, it usually has no effect against the other three spiritual types and vice versa. Crossing these attacks will lead to them missing each other.
Sacred magic is one of two branches of human sorcery. Although Sacred magic should be as easily accessible as Demon magic, worship and respect that stemmed from the Catharsis eventually created a belief that these spirits are sacred and holy (hence the name). Today, only devout cleric members have the honour to learn this kind of magic. It is similar to Demon magic in its capabilities, with the additional ability of healing the wounded, due to the fact that these spirits do not clash with the human soul.
Soul magic is a rarely practiced form of magic. It draws power from a mortal's soul spirit, be it the caster's own or someone else's. Unlike immortal spirits, a soul is limited, and since all living creatures depends on a soul to continue living, depleting a soul's energy will cause harm or even death to the host. However, soul magic can be extremely powerful. Lawful uses of this type of magic are usually out of self-defense in a temporary situation where a spiritual barrier prevents other kinds of magic to be used.
It is forbidden for one to deliberately and forcibly compromise another person's soul; every soul is guarded by an entity formed from that soul called a Doppelganger. It is the product of the subconscious and a barrier that almost completely blocks off the soul spiritually from foreign spirits to prevent one's soul being harmed or manipulated by an outside force. Its strength varies from person to person; those with a weak doppelganger have keener senses for spirits, but are easier targets for attacks. Only a Doppelganger can isolate another Doppelganger and attack it without causing harm to the soul. A necromancer forfeits his soul to an unknown god in exchange for the power to manipulate Doppelgangers into killing each other, creating unprotected souls which can be used for soul magic or as puppets. Necromancy has been illegal since its first appearance in the world, but some are still drawn by the amount of power it promises. The necromancer must first be acknowledged by that god as competent or possesses a soul attractive to the god. He will then make a contract with the god, and live on the brink of life and death for the rest of his life, since all services he asks for from that god must be paid in a large sum of souls. If he is unsuccessful in killing a great number of people at once, his own soul will be consumed.