Magic is defined as the manipulation of Ether for the purpose of manifesting a specific effect in the world. While other uses of Ether do exist, the designation of magic hinges on a controlled cause and effect reaction,. This process from beginning to completion is referred to with terms such as spell, prayer, or ritual, and is reproducible should all the necessary prerequisites be met. These prerequisites can range from general magical skill to secondary materials and environmental effects, and are unique to each spell. Many forms of magic utilize verbal incantations as an activation method, but it is far from a ironclad requirement. Practitioners of magic are sorted under a variety of titles and names, but the most commonly used terms are mage and cleric.
Arcane Magic: Currently the most widespread form of magic in the world, having spread almost completely across racial and political borders. Users of this type of magic are grouped under the broad classification of mage. Arcane magic operates through drawing Ether in from the surrounding environment into the user's body and blending it with the mage's own Ether. This composite of energy can then be manipulated towards generating an effect dependent on the user's will. As such, Arcane Magic offers the most versatility of any category of magic and has lead to the development of countless spells since its development and is divided into ever-expanding specialized fields. Arcane magic has earned significant scorn over the years due to the sheer magnitude of its potential, which some people consider abnormal of infringing on the authority of the gods.
Faith Based Magic: Thought to be the earliest form of widespread magic usage, Faith Based magic was developed as an extension of religious practices centered around worship. Practitioners of this type of magic are grouped under categorization of cleric, though it is not uncommon for the users to have more culturally significant titles. Faith Based magic requires the user to offer their deity Ether and loyalty in return for the generation of a desired effect. While in practice the effects can be indistinguishable from Arcane Magic, it is not uncommon for deities to restrict the targets and effects of spells used by their followers. Furthermore, it is possible for a practitioner to fall out of favor of their deity and effectively lose their abilities. While seemingly inferior to Arcane Magic due to the potential restrictions, there have been claims of some practitioners of Faith Based Magic invoking spells with reduced, or even absent, expenditures of ether due to the favor bestowed upon the user. Combined with the deep cultural traditions often associated with Faith Based Magic, it continues to play a major role in the world despite expanding influence of Arcane studies.
Phantasmal Magic: A legendary, and presumably extinct, form of magic thought by many scholars to be nothing but a myth. Little if anything is known about the mechanics and history of the craft.
Pseudomagic: While not true magic, some controlled forms of Ether can induce relatively reproducible effects. The most common form of pseudo-magic is Alchemy, a practice where various substances and potions are created by combining naturally occurring ingredients with various degrees of Ether.
Amateur: The lowest tier of spells, which provide some of the simplest applications of ether. Magic of this level can be learned by any sentient being with enough time, with few notable exceptions.
Apprentice: Spells of this tier requires the practitioner to have some degree of innate talent or a racial predisposition in the manipulation of ether. Apprentice level casters make up a majority of all magic users in the world.
Savant: Spell mastery of this level is often the mark of an accomplished magic user possessing both talent and learned skill. Achieving this level of magical ability is often considered a basic requirement to sustain oneself purely through their magical skill.
Expert: Approaching the realm of heroes, possessors of Expert class magic stand well above the rank and file magic users of the world. While lower class magic often emulates aspects of nature and supplies power that can be achieved through other means, spells of this level possess the capacity to surpass natural phenomenon. As such, those who ascend to this degree of skill nearly always held in high regard or considered especially infamous.
Magister: Considered a boundary which halts mortals from crossing into forbidden realms, the title of Magister is a rare occurrence that means one has approached the limitations of mortality itself. It is a achieved when one takes the combination of knowledge, dedication, and application to it's utmost limits, and then comes to possess an understanding of ether that is only surpassed by the gods. Spells cast by such individuals hold the ability to be utterly catastrophic, capable of bringing devastation with even lower tier magic. Skills of previous tiers are cast with enhanced power and less ethereal drain. Foolishly attempting to utilize spells of the Magister level without reaching the skill level often results in a fate worse than death. The leaders of the two most decorated colleges are said to be Magister class mages.
Legendary or Divine: Legendary or Divine tier magic defines a level of skill that is beyond the reach of mortal beings. Furthermore, the existence of spells of this caliber are a point of inquiry in many schools of magical study. Often only mentioned in what some consider myths, this tier of spellcraft can threaten vast amounts of territory and produce ramifications that span for generations. The magical calamity that resulted in the advent of the Land of Spring and Autumn's resident Beastkin is thought to be the product of Legendary tier magic.