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TL:DR:

"Why is "magic" possible in the Elidrian side of reality but on our terrestrial side of the universe? "

I'm creating a game and attempting to breathe life into a story that has been forming in my mind for the past 9 years. I've accumulated enough material for what could be considered a movie's worth of scenes. Some of these scenes have already been transcribed, some have been animated and given voiceovers, while others remain in the form of rudimentary sketches or exist solely as brief mental trailers.

Within this game, players can fashion a playable character, complete with a 3D avatar of their choosing. This avatar has the potential to represent a human hailing from our Earth and universe, or a human from the distant planet Elidra of an alternate universe. While other species are also conceivable, they aren't pertinent to this inquiry.

We differentiate between these two kinds of humans as Terrestrials and Elidrians.

Elidrian players commence the game by delving into diverse, semi-developed storylines of their choosing. This allows them to initiate their journey on a fishing boat, tending to farmland, or engaged in other daily tasks. Conversely, those who opt for more intense storylines find themselves thrust directly into the midst of a brutal battle.

On the other hand, Terrestrial human characters initiate the game in a considerably different manner: unclothed and unexpectedly transported to the universe of Elidra.

According to the game's lore, Terrestrials from our universe have been unintentionally channeled through some kind of mystical mishap into the unfamiliar realm of Elidra.

Additional details:

"Magic" in this context refers to phenomena that defy conventional notions of logic, science, and reality.

As for the destination of these transported individuals, they emerge at random points on the solid surface of the planet Elidra.

Question

Whether the existence of two universes is possible or whether it makes sense, either in verbal or literal terms, is inconsequential.

My intention is to comprehend how to elucidate the concept that whatever constitutes the comprehensive fabric of existence can be bifurcated into two distinct realities, each governed by its own set of rules.

This differentiation permits the plausibility of "magic" within the realm of Elidra while excluding it from Earth.

The explanation I'm looking for is based on our scientific knowledge of modern times, a source specifically supporting your idea or thesis is not necessary but given my mind lacking in nimbleness, I'd quite apreciate links to explanations of what you are extrapolating from or talking about.

More straight forward

Why is "magic" possible in the Elidrian side of reality but on our terrestrial side of the universe?

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  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I did look unto other questions related to a "multiverse" or "alternate reality" but most of them are either closed or not related to what exactly I'm asking for... even thou it should a very basic question and I expected at least 5 dozen people to have already asked this. $\endgroup$
    – user104995
    Aug 20, 2023 at 22:06
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    $\begingroup$ "My intention is to comprehend how to elucidate the concept..." sounds like a writing problem (especially with that sentence). However, the next bit sounds like you want a "sciencey" explanation for how a multiverse including magic world/s and non-magic world/s exist - there's a reason those questions get closed, because the best that can be hoped for is handwavium language since, you know, there is no magic, making all answers opinion-based. $\endgroup$ Aug 20, 2023 at 22:15
  • $\begingroup$ @KerrAvon2055 That's what I'm exactly asking for, Handwavium based on science... opinions backed up by logic... which is in fact not only allowed in this website but it is the entire point of why this website exists in the first place. Every possible answer ever given in this website is either opinion + logic or opinion + counter logic or opinion + scientific source... the very nature of this website dictates that other types of answers are downvoted or deleted. $\endgroup$
    – user104995
    Aug 20, 2023 at 22:16
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    $\begingroup$ You can say that there's magic in Elidra due to a higher concentration of mana, or gneeches, or midichlorians, but there is no "science-based" answer because magic does not exist. Ditto for whether the mechanism for Earth-humans to be transported to Elidra is a "portal" or "weakness in the fabric of the worlds" or a "quantum locus" (the word "quantum" is popular to sound sciencey) - it is just a label, and picking which label you like is the definition of opinion-based. I'm still not seeing an objectively answerable question. $\endgroup$ Aug 20, 2023 at 22:31
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    $\begingroup$ this is a pure opinion question, you need to think of a set of criteria, either how your magic works or why it exists then we could help you with specific aspects, but this is pure brainstorming there is no way to decide what is the best answer. A question this vague is even worse when you add "science-based" because science based and magic only work together with a very clearly defined goal and rules. We are here to help not do the leg work for you. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Aug 20, 2023 at 23:27

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You want a scientific answer as to why magic is possible in Elidra and not in our universe. That, of course, is a fundamentally flawed premise, seeing as our current understanding of science doesn't support the existence of magical phenomena, so any answer that explains the existence of magic would out of necessity need to not be rooted in modern science.

You are going to need to come up with an explanation that sounds scientifically sound without actually running afoul of scientific understanding, and that will require you to operate in areas where science has little to no understanding. Such possibilities include:

  • (Sub) Quantum Theory

We are only really sort of scratching the surface of what goes on at the sub-atomic level. Maybe Elidra has a different or extra quantum particle (or something even more fundamental) that empowers magical phenomena?

  • Dark Energy

We have no idea what dark energy is or what properties it has, or even conclusive proof that it exists. If you were to say that Elidra's ability to tap into dark energy was the impetus for their ability to fuel their magic, you wouldn't be the first to ascribe supernatural properties to dark energy.

  • Antimatter

We live in a universe that is predominantly matter, and as such, much of our knowledge of antimatter at the macro scale is theoretical. If the Elidrian realm is predominantly antimatter, who's to say that that's not the crucial difference which enables magic to exist?

  • Impossible Physical Realms

Our understanding of physics breaks down at the extremes of the scales, such as what happens at the center of a black hole or when you go faster than the speed of light. If Elidra existed beyond the threshold of one of those extremes, that would offer an explanation as to why our understanding of physics doesn't really work there.

  • The Soul/The Id

While we have a decent grasp of how the brain works on a chemical and mechanical level, the whole concept of the self is something that has only ever existed in the realm of philosophy. Many fictional/mythological magic systems derive their power from something resembling the soul, and while our scientific understanding is satisfied with the conclusion that such powers don't exist, there isn't really anything stating that they couldn't exist. (Non-falsifiable claims and all that.)

  • Alternate Biology

A common Star Trek trope: Elidrians are aliens that only happen to look human/humanoid. We currently have no idea what life evolved on another planet might look like, and our understanding of what's physically possible is heavily biased toward what life on Earth has evolved to be able to notice. It's entirely possible that magic has existed all along, and for whatever reason, life on Earth never evolved to be able to tap into it, whereas life on Elidra have evolved specialized organs that allow them to tap into that natural energy, similarly to how migratory birds on Earth can naturally perceive the magnetic field of the planet.

  • Right/Wrong Place, Right/Wrong Time

Another possibility is that magic has been out there all along, but its strength is not universally uniform. Perhaps there are "magic currents" that flow throughout the universe, and where Earth exists in a total dead spot, Elidra is sitting squarely in the center of the universal magical equivalent of the Gulf Stream.

  • Multi/Parallel Dimensional Theory

A tried-and-true crutch across science fiction. Elidra is an alternate dimension, and physics just plain works differently there, so any visitors from our dimension would be best suited to leave their preconceived notions at the door upon entry.

  • Divine Influence

A list of topics that science has little foothold in wouldn't be complete without mentioning theology. Our universe either doesn't have gods or its gods are elusive and greatly restrict their effects to subtle actions largely indistinguishable from normal natural phenomena. Perhaps in Elidra things are different, where their gods are more overt in their existence and influence, and magic is an ability benevolently bestowed by them upon the inhabitants of that universe?


All this being said, I'd be careful trying to give a "scientifically sound" explanation for magic in your fictional world. Magic is so common of a concept in storytelling that as long as it's not too much of a golden bullet in solving all potential problems, it's not that hard to get readers to just accept it. When you start trying to explain your magic in real-world terms, though, that's when you risk pulling your reader out of it. If you have a coherent explanation of the rules that the magic system in your world is supposed to adhere to (and maybe one or two levels of understanding beyond what is common knowledge in that world that you can reveal later in a stunning plot development), that is generally plenty sufficient.

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Water Is Magic

In the void between stars, countless balls of rock drift. On them, H2O is a crystalline solid, inert and relatively nonreactive.

Meanwhile, around stars, H20 can be a solid, but it can also be a liquid that acts as a solvent to a wide variety of chemicals, enabling the entropy-defying miracle known as life.

The actual point

What I'm trying to get at is that while the bottom-level physics is still the same everywhere, the view that can be seen from a person's perspective will be different depending on local conditions. Drop an iron ball onto H2O on a rogue planet, and it makes a thump or crunch noise. Do that on Earth, and odds are you get a "splash."

In other words, "the set of phenomena known as 'magic' is possible in some places in the universes, not possible elsewhere, and even the people very deep into magic theory can't figure out the 'wheres' or explain the 'whys.'"

The reason for magic being possible on Elridia doesn't have to be their sun, specifically. It could be any celestial body in the system, or the source could be something unknown to the Elridians. Or maybe they think they know, but that just turns out to be incorrect.

I'm not the first person to take this approach. GURPS (Generic Universal RolePlaying System) is a tabletop roleplaying system intended to act as a base for a wide variety of adventures. One of the rules for using magic in the system is the "Mana Level." Different levels of Mana result in different effects for rolls, failures, and who can use magic. At the lowest level, "No Mana," no spells can be cast by anyone, and all magical effects are either suspended or stopped. You try to do magic and nothing happens.

This shows up in science fiction as well. In the Ringworld universe, hyperspace is not detectable too deep within the gravity well of stars, so in order to discover hyperspace phenomena a species has to perform experiments far from the star that provides them energy.

So everyone is using the same rulebook, but the rulebook specifically has a section where the laws of physics ask you about your location, and then they can say "Nope. Nothing happens. Also that was your action for the turn. Next player's turn."

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There is no magic on either side

As the title states Elidrian have no magic, though it looks that way. One thing that fantasy genre have developed/matured is the idea that the sequence of settings that works take place in: Modern Day -> Science Fiction -> Apocalypse -> Post Apocalypse -> Fantasy

The 'magic' in Fantasy is actually lost technology from the era of Science Fiction. Spells are actually verbal command line prompts in a long lost language that are asking Siri to do something. This also explains things like why there are elves and dwarves only in the fantasy setting. Elves are a result of human genetic engineering to live longer, while dwarves were humans genetically engineered to survive the apocalypse underground.

As such you do not have to worry about why one side has magic and the other does not if both are strictly science based just one's side of technology is so super advanced that it appears to be magic.

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Based on what we currently know about our universe, our laws of physics cannot generate magic.

Ergo, if we co-exist in the same universe with some region where magic exists, the laws of the magical region must be the true laws of nature, generating our non-magical portion of reality as a special case.

That gives us two possibilities:

  1. Elidra has access to all of the real physical possibilities, which seem to us to be magic, and our mundane reality has been built on top of that substrate, somehow removing all evidence of magical effects.
  2. Neither Elidra nor our mundane reality are basic--they are both expressions of different subsets or restrictions of some even more fundamental reality.

Either way, you get backstory options--who created the restrictions that removed magic from the mundane world, how did they do so, and why?

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Elidra is in a different universe. Just because that universe allows the existence of humans doesn't mean that the laws of physics are exactly the same.

The laws of physics concerning chemistry would have to be the same for the most part, but there may be familiar laws of physics that allow exceptions under certain circumstances. Those exceptions would be 'magic', and creating the circumstances for those exceptions would be 'casting'.

The term 'Magic' implies the unknowable. It is a term used when the observer doesn't understand how something is happening. However, one person's magic may be another person's science, and the people in Elidra who understand the science involved would be seen as magicians by those who don't understand it. However, that has always been the case. A great many things in our universe/world appear to be magical, especially when we're kids, because we don't understand them. As we understand more, the 'magic' goes away, though the things we once considered magical do not.

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Humans have had this forever. It's done by God, gods, demons, witches, warlocks & a myriad of other ways.

Why is "magic" possible in the Elidrian side of reality

Because they understand the rules governing it.

They're just adhering to another set of rules that most of our humans apparently don't know, although a few have a revelation or are directly contacted, or go to bed and wake up pregnant after a swan gives them a golden shower (unsure how that works).

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Midiclorians Yes, I went there I mean if it was good enough for the Jedi...

There's some element in the air on the magic using world, possibly micro-organisms that make magic possible, and build up in some people (making them more adapt at magic), but something in the 'non magical' world kills them. Radiation sounds like a possibility, or go the superman route, and link it to different coloured suns.

"Modern" Humans are resistant to these due to background radiation building up in their bodies, though with time they 'lose' the resistance, and can pick up magic aptitude. An Elidrian on earth is going to find they're unable to do 'bigger' magic that needs their world's background midiclorian count, and slowly lose their ability to do minor things.

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