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If there were some organ, akin to the liver or a gland (I'm blanking on organ functions right now), that produces magical energy to project through the body, its various vessels, and directly out of the body, where would the most efficient location for it be? And where would it be if it were only to affect other organs (like forcibly activating melatonin, melanin, or adrenaline)?

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    $\begingroup$ Many people know about the vasculary (blood) system and vessels, but relatively few know about the lymphatic system that carries lymph in lymphatic vessels throughout the body. The organs associated with the lymphatic system are the tonsils, thymus, spleen and (throughout the body) lymphatic nodes. Someone else could develop that into a magic gland and magic-carrying system. $\endgroup$ – Iwillnotexist Idonotexist Nov 28 '15 at 2:10
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These answers depend greatly on the way the vessels are connected. If it needs to operate at chemical speeds, it might be able to simply hook into the bloodstream and have that do its thing (this is how our adrenals work). If it needs to operate faster, it might choose locations which are connected in more of a neural approach. Perhaps for fun, such an organ might be snaked along the spinal chord.

If Eastern style magic is useful in your world, consider having it very close to the center of gravity of the body. Many Eastern groups believe there is an "energy center" there, such as the Dantian of many Chinese martial arts. There are many such "energy center" concepts such as the Chakra used in many Indian religions and practices.

I'd also consider looking into what it connects to. In yoga, for instance, everything is associated with the breath, so a magic system with elements borrowed from yoga would wish to make the organ related to breath.

And finally, many consider the heart to be an organ with the behaviors you mention. It all goes to show just how much freedom you have to make such attachments, and make them work.

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  • $\begingroup$ Yep, a single one connected to the bloodstream or a system of them also connected to the blood stream, but either case activated my the nervous system rather than chemical signaling. To get out of the body just get it out through the lungs, same as carbon dioxide or alcohol byproducts. $\endgroup$ – Samuel Nov 27 '15 at 21:22
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I would consider making the skin the magic gland. (The skin is technically speaking, one large organ). Since the skin is the boundary between the outside world and the inside of your body, it make sense to make the skin the organ, as it would allow the easiest "exposure" to manipulating the environment.

And since the skin wraps around pretty much the entire human body, it would have quick access to any inner sections of the body where we needed to project magic. If we need to directly apply magic to certain organs, the skin area closest to that organ would be able to activate, giving the lowest average magic application time.

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  • $\begingroup$ Reminds me of the race of Patryn from the Death Gate cycle by Weis & Hickman. They had magical sigils or tattoos on their skin. Damage to the skin meant their magical integrity was compromised, at least temporarily. $\endgroup$ – Oliphaunt Nov 28 '15 at 10:17
  • $\begingroup$ Bonus points: better neural mapping for easier control $\endgroup$ – Joshua Mar 11 at 18:38
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You can consider the mitochondrial potential. They are the energy converters. It has its own genome. They co-exist vitally with each cell and concentrations can vary widely, with some organs containing more than others. I'd like to think that magical potential could reside within these mysterious motors.

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    $\begingroup$ Or each cell has a second mitochondria type organelle that powers magic rather than cell functions. But then you've just got midichlorians. $\endgroup$ – Mike Mar 13 at 22:42
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It's magic—why can't it go anywhere it wants?

The body has a variety of distribution networks already: the nervous system, the circulatory system, the lymphatic system. Depending on how you envision your magic to work, you can place the organ centrally in any of these systems (e.g. heart or lungs for circulatory system, maybe basal ganglia for nervous system, thymus for lymphatic system (it's where immune cells that might attack the body are selected out)). The pineal gland has interesting historical connotations.

But you can also postulate your own additional distribution system for magical power, arranged in whatever way makes sense for your idea of magic. Chinese medicine postulates a system of "meridians" of just this sort. You could pick somewhere where there seem an interesting convergence of meridian lines, for example.

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The pineal gland already has mystical connections and has been used for this purpose. You ought to play off that, along with the existing mythology of the "third/inner eye".

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The best energy transfer system in the body for Magic would be The peripheral nervous system (PNS), the part of the nervous system that consists of the nerves and ganglia on the outside of the brain and spinal cord. This electrically based system is bi-directional, allowing you to sense magic as well as transmit it, and can allow for Reflex reactions. PNS reflexes can happen without active though, as the impulses don't even have to travel all the way to the brain in order to react.

So the Magic Gland should simply be part of the Spinal Cord.

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  • $\begingroup$ While the transmission system could be through the PNS, you still have to address where the gland itself goes. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Nov 28 '15 at 23:36
  • $\begingroup$ @HDE226868 It should go in/attached to the spinal cord. Like be part of the lining in the spine or something. $\endgroup$ – cde Nov 28 '15 at 23:49
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The endocrine glands affect most parts of the body, and as you can see from this Wikipedia image, they're all at or near the body's center line.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endocrine_gland enter image description here

Endocrine glands are glands of the endocrine system that secrete their products, hormones, directly into the blood rather than through a duct.

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