Fables: Magic

Close your eyes. Breathe in. Air inflates your lungs, moving in a soft wave down your body and then out again as you exhale through your nose in a soft rhythm. The buzzing of sound fills your ears; distant chatter, music. You can smell thick wood, maybe a little smoke, and the remnants of lunch: fruit and a jam you still can taste clinging to the back of your throat and when you lick your teeth. Your ankles feel warm from sitting on them and your knees creak slightly. A cool prickle keeps the hairs on your arm just slightly attentive, electric but not invasive: this is magic.


Magic is an element, much like air or water, naturally occurring in the world and stronger in some places than others. It can be used to affect objects or people in both whimsical and terrible ways. Magic can also flow within people, but only those truly special can sense and use it. Many heroes earned that right through their adventures, but others are simply born with it. Magic is also pliable: it will reshape based on how it's being used. Controlling magic while feeling negative emotions will cause both it and the user to warp; the more you use magic for evil, the eviler you feel, while your ability to use stronger dark magic grows — a sometimes never-ending spiral for those who don't realize the slippery slope.

Magic can also be infused within an item, causing it to be more powerful or attain other special properties. Some of these only work for certain people, and some work for anyone who is lucky enough to stumble on one.

Since magic is a natural element, everyone has access to the same 'pool'. Certain skills are because people have learned how to use it a particular way. No one has a special superpower just for them unless it's defined in their original fable: such as Peter Pan or Rumpelstiltskin.


Without magic, the unusual creatures of legend have faded away. However, if a fable has an affinity for a certain kind of animal and hangs around them long enough, one or two may start becoming 'smarter' — with enough magic, one might learn to speak. These animals are descendents of the ones who aided heroes in tales and only those rare ones have a chance of developing.

Characters in stories who were depicted as animals (such as The Big Bad Wolf) were either exaggerated as such over the years as the real story became fiction or else truly were animals. With the diminishing of magic, it's possible for such a person to be trapped in either form.

No characters should be a creature.

Reincarnation Memories

Every fable inherently knows its own past — every life its ever lived — but with the current strain on magic, these memories are not always accessible. They might appear as dreams or instances of very strong deja vu. However, with the proper motivation, company or influence (hypnosis), a fable may be able to relive a moment from a past life, bringing that era back into current knowledge.

Fables are aware that they have not been conscious for the last 300 years. All of those life-spans, they will not remember, questioning whether they lived them at all — because, as everyone knows, every life is inside the fable. Where are these? It should feel wrong and disturbing.

Special Items

If a fable has a special item associated with them from their quest (red riding cape, glass slippers, or a unique weapon), then that item may also accompany them into the reincarnation in some manner. Most of these treasures were locked away for safe-keeping, and some were kept on the fables' person, but with the loss of memory, some have been scattered.

Interaction with your specific item will help magic and memory to return.

The items do not reincarnate, so will look old or strange in the modern world, however an association with an item can also manifest as a kind of "fetish" for a character. Red Riding wearing the color red, or Cinderella buying heaps of shoes because she's always looking for ones that "feel right".

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