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Mana is an inert energy that comes from the stars and magic the process of converting this energy to other forms of energy (thermal kinetic etc..) or to convert it to matter

Since mana is produced by stars I need a plausible state or form for it to exist on a planet rather than just floating around in the air.

Or do I just settle with this explanation (mana is produced by stars) ?

Also I am saying that mana is inert because IMO there is the risk of a chain reaction starting from a spell and effecting all nearby mana ending up with affecting the whole planet.

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  • $\begingroup$ Energy is a number which characterizes the capacity of a physical system to do work. Energy does not "exist" independent of a physical system; and the energy of a physical system depends on the point of view of who is interested. A big rock can have zero energy from the point of view of an ant walking on it, and the same rock can have tremendous energy from the point of view of a person towards whom that rock is falling at great speed. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Dec 7 '20 at 4:45
  • $\begingroup$ Don't forget that the sun is a star and should produce most of the mana on Earth. Either you have to figure out why this isn't so, or you have to explain it. $\endgroup$ – NomadMaker Dec 7 '20 at 11:06
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The closest form of energy that comes to my mind reading your description is some sort of potential energy.

Let's say that Alice takes a brick on top of a 30 meters high wall and leave it there. By doing so she has converted her work into gravitational potential energy. After 200 years, long after Alice is dead, the brick falls and hits Bob, killing him. It's Alice's work, now returned to kinetic energy from being stored as potential energy, which killed Bob.

If the brick would have also caused the rest of the wall to collapse, it would have been sort of the chain reaction you are mentioning. What prevents it from happening is that the energy involved is lower than some threshold (the binding energy of cement and bricks, in the case of Alice).

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  • $\begingroup$ This is a good answer - it's like a battery. It's potential energy until you hook it up to a circuit and turn on the switch. Casting magic becomes the process of "hooking up the circuit" or opening the spillway gate at a dam. It's a nice analogy because it takes something to do either of those things: education to build a circuit and strength to open the gate. $\endgroup$ – JBH Dec 7 '20 at 5:08
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Mana - free energy - is radiated from the stars according to the question.

Let us suppose that magic users may absorb mana in order to cast spells. However, there is a limit as to how much mana will impinge upon the magic user, and a limit as to how much mana the magic user can temporarily store in their body, dependent upon their skills. However, the spell may require more mana than the magic user can muster in the timeframe of casting the spell.

However, since mana comes from the stars, it arrives at a constant rate. In order to concentrate mana, it can be changed into another form, a solid or liquid form that is - or contains - potential mana.

This might be accomplished by a magic user, who casts a spell (that manipulates mana) but the spell does nothing but convert the bulk of the spell's mana into potential mana, by placing it into an object or substance.

This might also be accomplished by natural processes, and magic users might be able to find reservoirs of potential mana in the environment.

Potential mana could then be used by the spell caster to boost the amount of mana that they can muster for a spell, and because the mana is coming from the physical object or substance, need not be passed through the spell caster's body, thus increasing both the available mana and the rate at which mana can be delivered to the spell, possibly making the difference between its success and its failure.

As an object or substance containing potential mana is used, it may disintegrate, evaporate/sublime, or change in some obvious way.

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I have a question of my own: could mana be another form of radiation? For example, Earth absorbs 71% of the radiation coming at it from the Sun. If mana was another form of radiation, then everything on the planet Earth could contain mana: earth, water, air, even fire! Once absorbed, though, that energy would be dormant-like a battery, once it's charged, it holds that charge until linked to a circuit. Magic-users could then be those who can manipulate mana, and therefore any object infused with mana. The only limit to what they can do would be their surroundings and their willpower; obviously, a normal person can't do whatever they like with an entire continent. Hope this helps!

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