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How would anyone find that he/she has any unusual ability?


Background

There are two nations (called Priests of metals and Desert people) that have men and women gifted with very unusual* abilities of handling of magic.

As those abilities are very powerful, only some people of both nations have that gift.

But how (in which way) should they find that they have that gift?


* for example they:

  • see magic as colourful air (not as air coloured by chemicals)
  • feel magic as living one awared of good and evil (life and death - but merciful death is accepted as good)
  • be anywhere where is any shadow
  • can go walk between two places with one step regardless of their distance

and some ones also:

  • can change themselves into pure magic (only in self-defence or in direct defence of anyone else)
  • can make magic to move them to any place (different from striding through shadows or walking between places with one step)

These abilities are really very unusual - because common abilities are about classical spells (that are very limited in my world - attack spells are not available).

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    $\begingroup$ I'm confused as to what you mean. "Feel magic as living one awared of good and evil," I don't even begin to understand this sentence. I can stride though shadows, I do it every time it is overcast, or I walk inside or under a tree. I can walk between two places with a single step. I am now in this room, now in that room. $\endgroup$ – Xandar The Zenon Apr 25 '16 at 2:11
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    $\begingroup$ @XandarTheZenon: to the first part of your comment: Yes, what is good for one, may be evil for else - magic understand life as good and death as evil, but it makes exception for killing in defense and merciful death $\endgroup$ – Václav Apr 25 '16 at 13:56
  • $\begingroup$ To the second and third part: I improved description of those abilities; I hope that now it is a bit clearer $\endgroup$ – Václav Apr 25 '16 at 14:00
  • $\begingroup$ So they can feel "good" magic, "bad" magic, life, and death? Also, do you mean hat they can travel from anyplace there is shadow to another shadowed place? Thanks for clarifying, $\endgroup$ – Xandar The Zenon Apr 26 '16 at 3:18
  • $\begingroup$ @XandarTheZenon: In the second part you are right, from one shadowed place to else shadowed place (without regard of their distance). $\endgroup$ – Václav Apr 26 '16 at 16:16
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The most common way such abilities are found is when an individual is put into a situation where even they do not know what the outcome will be, and fate (or probability, if you prefer) decides that they are going to invoke their abilities. Once it has been done, they will be left scratching their head, wondering how this occurred. This sets them up to go about a systematic learning process.

If there is a group of people know for such gifts, it would be reasonable for the culture to adapt to put its members into positions which are safe, but have unpredictable outcomes, giving one more opportunities to discover an innate gift.

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  • $\begingroup$ At this time I have described finding those abilities in case of one woman - that found her abilities while she was going to help queen of desert town to give birth and she was there sooner than she planned. Yes, put those people to safe situations would be good (if they would have time to do that). $\endgroup$ – Václav Apr 25 '16 at 14:13
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As you said, the ability to wield magic is both powerful and rare which also makes it equally valuable. You said something that stuck out to me about one particular ability being that one could see magic. While being more of a passive power, it might be the greatest of all. If, assuming that magic is innate within the individual, these individuals could be trained to spot the signs of magic; the slightest trace of untrained and untamed power in others. Through their experience, they might be the ones who design the tests with which to root out magic wielders when they are young.

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