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Magic as Infrastructure
The discovery of the first plasma well on Marthong II changed everything. Plasma, the liquid drilled from these wells, powers all magic and its creations. It is harvested for buildings, spaceships, communication, weapons, translation technology, medical equipment, and more. The far more efficient and powerful plasma has replaced or supplemented most technology that was powered by electricity. In addition to fueling and advancing older technologies, magic makes creations previously believed impossible a reality, like wearable badges that immediately translate speech.
Plasma is the remains of Omniscients who died during their millennia-long slumber, so predicting where the wells can be found is difficult. Plasma has been discovered in almost every environment imaginable.
Magic technology is everywhere. Even in the most rural of communities one can find plasma-powered farming equipment and communication devices. This prevalence of and dependence on magic never seemed a problem, as plasma wells ran deep. However, many wells were on planets and moons consumed by the Burn. The Heartworlds, home to the headquarters of the overguilds and the wealthy, hold much of Olaxis' mined plasma reserves. The peoples of the Midbelt usually have just enough plasma to get by, and there’s almost no regulated plasma on the Ghost Belt, except in the abandoned space stations and cities sitting next to the brilliant flames of the Burn.
Adventurers are often asked by the rich and poor alike to delve into dangerous places in search of abandoned plasma reserves or to search for new wells.
Most of the spells cast in Olaxis require complex, time-consuming rituals. While some beings can hurl fire, teleport, and do more with instantaneous spellcasting, those individuals are powerful and rare. The majority of mages need to spend minutes to hours casting a spell, using plasma as a component as they perform complicated chants and hand motions. The most powerful of these ritual spells require several casters perform the spell at once.
Thousands of languages are spoken and written across Olaxis. The Bahiri, Kosma, and Wessh overguilds worked together to create badges, spaceships, streets, and buildings that translate all languages while people are touching the objects. The Allspeak spell is seamless and works in real time, so you can speak to someone and, as long as you are both in contact with translating objects, they hear your words in a language they understand and vice versa. This is also true of all text read by a creature in contact with these spaces.
There is one exception to this translation magic: Omni, the secret language of the mages. It is purposefully not translated by the streets and other structures, so mages still have a way to communicate with each other and facilitate structural change without layfolk interrupting and undermining their work.
In Olaxis the term “system” refers to a planet and the moons that orbit the planet. A system is named for its planet and then the moons are numbered in size order. For example, the Valdi System is named thusly because the planet is called Valdi. The moons that orbit Valdi are named Valdi I, Valdi II, Valdi III, and so on.