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Arcana is like energy but follows different rules.

-Arcana can be transformed into energy

-Arcana can be transformed into matter

-Arcana is passive and doesn't influence with the environment by itself

-The environment can influence arcana

While energy can only be used to separate or harvest other energy forms or sometimes separate or fuse matter. Like spending energy to turn food into energy to then turn that energy into thermal energy or when burning wood which separates all the molecules into ashes, coal and smoke. In a sense arcana makes alchemy possible, or at least viable as a concept, maybe it is already possible to turn feces into gold but it might require some really futuristic nuclear technology. However, arcana is not actually alchemy, but something way simpler.

specific quantity of arcana = specific quantity of energy

Some elements affect arcana in various ways, such as duplicating it and increasing the density of arcana in the vicinity of that element, pushing it away, pulling it in, some other elements eliminate the arcana, completely cancelling it out of the universe and this time forever and some elements can make the arcana flow faster or slower or change its the direction. Some compounds of various elements can absorb arcana and fuse with it creating some peculiar situations. Like how some rare varieties of not pure diamonds infused with arcana can transform the non diamond in the vicinity into pure solid hydrogen until the arcana within the diamond is either extracted or consumed then the solid hydrogen starts boiling into vapor. The examples of weird stuff are too many to list.

In this world some organisms produce free arcana as a side effect of their energy system, similar to houw algae produce oxygen.

Other organisms evolved to use the free arcana floating around the world and transform it into usable energy.

Free arcana is like a cloud which can't be seen, can't be smalled and which passes through matter without affecting (most of the time) and I'd imagine the only way to perceive the location of arcana clouds and follow them would be to have some organic device made from specific elements and ''feel'' if there is arcana around on how this element reacts.

So my question would be, can arcana producing and arcana using organisms live on the same planet with plants/algae and animals or would they compete for territory and one eventually drive the other to extinction? maybe not instantly but maybe in a few millenia?

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  • $\begingroup$ my only problem with what you have posted is "elements affect arcana in various ways, such as duplicating it" learning to harness that property is the difference between "closed loop system as an alternative to natural processing" and "Infinite power". $\endgroup$
    – IT Alex
    May 27, 2021 at 17:25
  • $\begingroup$ @ITAlex yes the point is that eventually more complex creatures will arise with the ability to control arcana, thus having nearly infinite power... but would they even have a chance to evolve? $\endgroup$
    – user85895
    May 27, 2021 at 17:29
  • $\begingroup$ When you're making up a new energy system it can have any restrictions or limitations you want it to. You get to choose whether it's compatible with "normal life" or not. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    May 27, 2021 at 18:16

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Not much difference from our world

Currently there is competition between species everywhere on Earth. From the tiniest organism to the largest one. The resources are different for many. Your proposal is simply adding some more resources.

Many species compete till extinction. It is not impossible that the biological or arcana organisms win out. More likely is that they coexist, competing for space and resources like any other organism. That the resources are different won't matter.

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  • $\begingroup$ to clarify life on earth already uses sunlight, heat, chemical potential energy, ionizing radiation, and electrical charge as energy sources. if energy is available in sufficient density life tends to find a way to use it. $\endgroup$
    – John
    May 27, 2021 at 19:50
  • $\begingroup$ I agree with this answer in general, but the answer is either coexist or be one and the same. There exists something called rust eating bacteria and instead of light energy as in plants it gets it's energy from the oxidation of iron. magicondria is the powerhouse of the cell, or magiphyll converting magic into chemical energy. basically neither would end the other unless it outcompeted it for he same niche or it's niche went away. $\endgroup$
    – zoboso
    May 27, 2021 at 19:52

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