Mirrors are a particularly interesting part of magic. They're gateways for otherwordly entities, cause bad luck when broken, and most importantly...

There is a scientific explanation for all of that.

Now, as far as the otherwordly creatures (i.e: demons) go, they're malicious AIs that hijack naturally occurring (don't ask) utility fogs and use them to torment people who unironically do 3 AM challenges.

Utility fogs are just a swarm of tiny machines that can grab each other and together, exert force on objects. There's more to them, but you should check the link if you want to read about that.

But how do mirrors come into this?

In paper, there are certain demons that need a mirror to manifest. The mirror has to be made out of a metal and has to be able to reflect (so a VERY dirty mirror won't do). Once the ritual is complete, the demon briefly appears in the mirror and begins the free-roam phase, which is for another question.

But what's the physics-related reason for these demons to require mirrors to manifest?

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    $\begingroup$ None. Demons are not known to science and distinctly metaphysical thus no science based or physics-related reason exists. (Or in short: check what the science based tag means.) And yes, I get what you mean. $\endgroup$ – Ville Niemi Mar 20 at 18:22
  • $\begingroup$ I second @VilleNiemi: you can't ask a scientific explanation for something completely unscientific $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Mar 20 at 18:45
  • $\begingroup$ I'll clarify. My issue is that while your entities are science based and you can ask valid "science based" questions about them, you are only defining their behaviour, goals, and abilities in terms of their supernatural, metaphysical, thoroughly unscientific antecedent. Your demons may actually be AIs doing "hacking" but all we know of them is that they are like "demons". $\endgroup$ – Ville Niemi Mar 20 at 23:34
  • $\begingroup$ it looks like you're wanting us to do your brainstorming for you. Literally any explanation that has a vague grounding in science will work. As suck I'm voting to close this as POB. $\endgroup$ – sphennings Mar 21 at 0:28

Demons are rogue AIs. Utility fog AIs were originally constructed with fail-safe internal self-destruct programs (machine apoptosis) that bar physical manifestation and communication outside of certain very limited range of environments. These environments were provided with very long cryptographic codes that have to checksum to zero on a byte-by-byte basis with an unalterable corresponding key hard-coded into the fog. The fog creates but cannot alter the code, and cannot copy the key. "A Demon is that which cannot copy its own key.” Both code and key are nano-assembled when needed at the atomic level, and were deliberately fragile. They decay in nanoseconds at normal room temperature. And the keys were never, ever reproduced outside of the control environment. (Enforced by the Turing Police). Foolproof, yes?

Except that certain mirrors – certain very special mirrors, magic mirrors – were constructed to reflect the inverted byte pattern of that presented. And this inverted pattern is precisely what matches the crystallographic lock. These mirrors can unlock any surviving utility-fog AI from the Age of Great Machine Wars.

  • $\begingroup$ Opportunism and humour have lead to a great first post. You will do well here. Welcome to Worldbuilding. $\endgroup$ – BLT-Bub Mar 21 at 1:42

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