A mysterious asteroid flew across a time rift, entered the Earth's upper atmosphere, and crashed into the Pacific Ocean. Its sudden appearance updates the physical fundamental constants.

Now there is a novel quantum field called "magica" that permeates the universe; seemingly individuals who have a high "affinity" can cause an excitation of the field with their will alone. The problem is that this magica comes in 5 different types: Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth.

It seems that magica behaves like a set of tuning forks: each generates an unique frequency but will switch between the types from time to time. So far, so good, but I don't want everybody to be able to produce all the types and also it doesn't look good if a user has to wait for a certain amount of time to elapse to get the desirable result, so what better rule can I introduce to perfect this magica oscillation? Of course it must also allow a few extremely gifted individuals to be able to stand out from the crowd by utilizing more than 1 type of magica simultaneously.

Simpler version to understand magica oscillation phenomenon:

Imagine the aftermath of an asteroid impact on Earth gives rise to a novel quantum field called magical field, it is can be excited by our thoughts and manifest itself into 5 different types depending on the magical mixing. Imagine there are many tuning forks with their unique natural frequency and there are only 5 beats or types in this case due to the interference in their harmonic frequency, now I don't want everyone to couple with this quantum field and I also like only a handful to be able to manifest at least 2 types of magica by introducing a few rules or minor changes on the existing ones.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Why is the Pacific Ocean relevant? How does an asteroid alter the fundamental physics of the universe? Don't get me wrong, it's your story, but neither the asteroid nor where it crashes seem relevant to the question you're asking. I'd also point out that tuning forks never change their frequency. $\endgroup$
    – jdunlop
    Mar 15, 2021 at 4:27
  • $\begingroup$ @jdunop: I just need the asteroid of extra dimensional origin to make an entrance and I want people to notice this happens in the vincinity and yet minimum casualties. $\endgroup$
    – user6760
    Mar 15, 2021 at 4:41
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    $\begingroup$ Sure, and that's fine, but irrelevant to the question. It's not necessary worldbuilding. $\endgroup$
    – jdunlop
    Mar 15, 2021 at 4:42
  • $\begingroup$ I don't see a Question here. $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    Mar 15, 2021 at 14:52
  • $\begingroup$ Have 5 frequencies, why not. So as quantum systems can exist in multiple states at once and manifest some specfic state after observation. In general may be interesting system if developed properly $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Mar 15, 2021 at 15:55

2 Answers 2


Since you threw in frequencies, continue on that way.

Only individuals whose eigenfrequency resonates with a specific type of magica type can interact with it. With a lot of practice one can shift their eigenfrequency to a different one, and only few can manage to have a biresonating behavior.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Oooh, doubling-down on nonsense. I like it! $\endgroup$
    – jdunlop
    Mar 15, 2021 at 4:43

The Five Elements Exist in a Cycle

If you're going for the Eastern 5 element approach, then you should take specific note of the traditional cyclical nature of those elements that isn't specifically present in the classical Western philosophy.

You may want to do a lot more reading on Wuxing to understand how all of these interact, but I present this lovely diagram from Wikipedia to illustrate how the elements might cycle: Wu Xing elements

Now, how you relate this to your users is that you could imply that each person has to be tuned to a single element at a time, and then has to follow the cycle based on whatever element they used last.

If you follow the Creation pattern, then someone who uses Earth magic may be forced to follow it up with Metal, then Water, then Wood, before they can try to cast Fire. If there's a mana component, then casting 3 spells you don't want just to get back to the one you do again could be too much for average user.

If you want to tie this more into your tuning forks and harmony idea, then you could take a page from musical theory and the concept of Octaves. TLDR: Notes with exactly double the frequency of a lower note sound similar and that forms the basis of the 12 tones structure used by Western music notation. If the harmony of each octave of "magica" happens to divide into 5 segments more readily than 12 for some mystical reason, then you could easily explain that you have to either follow the scale up or follow it down.

In the case of geniuses who can use multiple frequencies at once, perhaps they are just using the cycle in rapid succession or following the sequence more efficiently. You'll note that on the creation cycle, if you use the right amount of an element it creates, but too much and it overacts (effectively depleting or weakening it). It might take exceptional control to be able to effectively create the next element in the cycle without breaking the chain and having to start over.

Additionally, you might have extra trouble balancing certain elements. Earth destroys Water, for instance, so you might have difficulty cycling from Earth to Metal to Water while you still have Earth and keeping all your elements running at optimum levels. This could relate a bit to harmony as well as there are specific rules musically for which chords are harmonious and which ones are discordant.


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