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My Magic System

All of this stuff about my magic system is actually necessary, because I know no-one reads links provided to them and because there is magic in my world.

Brief Overview of Magic

Magical powers fall under seven broad categories. Air, water, earth, plasma (fire/lightning), plants, light, and animals. Animal magic is tricky, because living things resist magic. But, many animal mages can influence animals, and some can control dead animals (this is called necromancy and is a big societal no-no.) The strength and scope of magic varies from individual to individual. But, these are the most common in order. Earth, water, air, plants, animals, plasma, and light.

These magical capabilities are like the show Avatar, the Last Airbender, in how controlling magic works. However, in my book magic is much less powerful. For instance, an earth Mage may only be able to influence as much dirt as they could lift, and lifting this dirt would take about as much energy as doing it by hand, except you don't have to touch it, and it could be a perfect brick shape. No force is exerted in separating the dirt or material from other similar material attached to it. So if you were to pull this rock in two, that would take little effort, other than the force of pushing the pieces apart.

Magic is like a muscle that is really hard to develop.

Magic on a larger scale

The level of magic described above is only about 75% of magic users. Everyone else is more powerful.The strongest people can do things like shoot lasers, uproot trees, be human flame throwers, make zombie hordes, create small tornadoes, cause rovers to overflow or to break dams, or cause small earthquakes. This is about 7% of the population. Everyone else is in between.

Magic on a smaller scale

I'll just make a list of some possible fighting applications of magic. Ice daggers, water whips, wind influenced arrows, starting fires, shooting small fireballs, throwing stones, moving stones, strangling people with vines, tripping up enemies with plants, scaring/exciting horses, and flashing people. (With lights!) These are of course by no means the only applications of magic.

Magic Resistance

Living things are resistant to magic, proportional to their intelligence/self awareness. So it would be easiest to make a swarm of spiders, then harder to make boars attack (your enemies, and not yourself), and nearly impossible to make someone slap themself. There is a type of stone resistant to magical tampering, which is found deep underground, near bedrock. Also, bones are immune to magic.

Note - These things are resistant to magic being influenced directly upon it, not magically influenced material. A rock thrown by magic at someone is just as effective as a rock thrown without magic at the same speed.

Some background

Thunderbirds fly ahead of approaching storms, preying on pretty much any animal larger than a goat. However, they don't generally attack anything the size of or larger than a buffalo. So your buffalo herds are generally safe, with an occasional calf stolen. People often own pigs, goats, sheep, cattle, horses, and a tamed livestock version of terror birds. These birds are used as pack animals.

These birds are just that, large birds of prey. They have no magic. As for their size, they can carry up to 1200 pounds, so plan for their size accordingly. Comparatively, a bald eagle can carry 5-6 pounds. (I'm not really sure how much they'd have to eat, so that can be an optional part of the question.)


The Question

This is all taking place in medieval times. Assuming it rains about once every week, how would this affect ranchers and the like? Would they have special shelters for their livestock when it rains? After all, you don't want your entire flock of sheep munched by a giant bird. Would squads of magical people shoot fire at giant birds?

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    $\begingroup$ Who knew we had a livestock tag? $\endgroup$ – Xandar The Zenon Feb 2 '16 at 4:18
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    $\begingroup$ If the shepherds get into trouble, someone would rescue them? $\endgroup$ – Aron Feb 2 '16 at 9:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Aron Shepherds are peasants, as long as they royal animals are safe the shepherds can die for all the rich care. $\endgroup$ – Bellerophon Feb 21 '16 at 21:22
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    $\begingroup$ @Sam I take it you never learnt to build Tracy Island as a child en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunderbirds_Are_Go_(TV_series) #explainingTheJoke $\endgroup$ – Aron Feb 21 '16 at 23:18
  • $\begingroup$ IIRC, it was the mythological — or historical, if they were actually extant Pterosaurs — thunderbirds which were accused of causing the storms. Not sure if you care for that at this late stage; but something to consider anyways. $\endgroup$ – can-ned_food Aug 31 '17 at 4:52
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No magic required. Have a large group of men on horse back with bows and Spears accompany the livestock. That should be enough to deter Thunderbirds. Predators usually go for easy prey. Not the prey that fights back. Of course that might be different if the Thunderbirds travel in packs.

Because of the expense of hiring people to guard your flock only the rich would own herds.

Alternatively if you could predict when a storm was coming (if it's true that the Thunderbirds always follow before storms.) You could put your cattle into caves and wait for the Thunderbirds and the storm to pass.

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If giant birds are regularly visiting your herd and they show upfront that they are coming, why not use a few of your sheep as prey and try to hunt the big birds? Seems like that could be a good way to get a lot of extra meat!

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Farming system in medieval times would be either let your flock roam across the hills or leave them fenced up in a forest. In a forest they should be safe ffrom thunderbirds. On a moor your average sheperd would probably lose a similair number of sheep to wolf attacks or the sheep falling of cliffs as from thunderbirds, they coped with these so they would probably cope with thunderbirds.

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