A long time ago magic was common in humans. Our ancestors used that power to hunt mammoths using the most humble magic, Super strength.

The key to magic was the True love between two sentient beings of the opposite sex. Through the ages magic was honed to build or destroy kingdoms and diversified its disciplines. Technology turned humans into selfish beings incapable of experience true love. Finally magic vanished together with the key of its power, True love.

Lets say a Nation (can be any) got the ancient scrolls showing the process and they want to train mages for science or war. Oh wait! This wont work without the key ingredient!

How can you train enough mages for an army?

The magic : This type of magic is something like reality bending energy. It can be used on everything but here are some basic examples:

  • Healing superficial wounds (as well as deep wounds if you are a surgeon).
  • Control 1 element. Depends on the personality of the user (Possible elements: fire, gravity, water, wind and lighting).
  • Limited psychic link. Basically like a walkie-talkie in a radious of 5 kilometers.
  • Necromancy. (That can be used to absorb souls and refill magical energy).
  • Limited teleportation. Only works if your partner ¨summons you¨

First note : All humans have magic but only awakens at its full potential once you meet that special soul. The training in magic depends on talents. For example if you are a bodybuilder the basic super strength is boosted by your body mass. If you are good at drawing using elements in any shape is an easy job. If you are doctor you can be a healer or necromancer etc. Meditation with your parthner at extreme weather is the first step in the training for the development of the psychic link.

Second note: Magic fatigue is equal to physical fatigue. If a mage uses a powerful spell, like casting a giant fireball, when at the limit of his powers the user may suffer serious brain damage and die. If your soul-mate dies you still have magic as long the emotional pain lasts. The limit of age difference is 5 years for soul-mating. I need an army of 500 mages.

By True love I mean real feelings between humans. Money or status are not involded. A.k.a Selfless love in monogamous relationships.

High IQ and creativity boost the power of spells.


closed as unclear what you're asking by Aify, James, Hohmannfan, Azuaron, ckersch Mar 17 '17 at 21:10

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    $\begingroup$ @AlexDarkshine define "soul mate". I think you will find these romantic notions are too insubstantial and unsupported by reality to form the basis of a rational system. So just like "magic" as a whole, it is entirely whatever you fantasize it to be. $\endgroup$ – pluckedkiwi Mar 17 '17 at 18:29
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    $\begingroup$ You get assigned a partner in bootcamp based on a battery of tests. Arranged marriages work out with two happy participants just as often as when the participants choose their partners. there is decent evidence it is more do to just spending extended periods of time with each other as anything else. $\endgroup$ – John Mar 17 '17 at 19:04
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    $\begingroup$ True love is really ridiculous in so many ways. I was truly in love at 16. Then I was truly in love at 20. Now I am in my 60s and have found the best and truest love of my life, but at each time I was completely convinced it was 'true love'. I think you'd do better to not worry about love and concentrate on true friendship -- a kindred spirit type of thing. Then you won't have the alternatives to worry about. You could have some sort of magical binding -- spirit mates 'forever'. $\endgroup$ – WRX Mar 17 '17 at 19:05
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    $\begingroup$ @AlexDarkshine You need a bit more detail on your core question. The setting content is good and necessary for us to understand your system and world but the question itself is really vague. How many do you need, how does training work, how long does it take? Are you looking for ways to formulate "true love". In short, what exactly do you want to know? $\endgroup$ – James Mar 17 '17 at 19:07
  • $\begingroup$ @Willow I dont think friendzone forever applies here... $\endgroup$ – W.Myrmidon Mar 17 '17 at 19:08

True Love is a rather vague concept. Also 'true love' seems plenty of real in our modern day society so I assume you mean in your world that's of a similar tech level? More like Japan where people below 30 simply refuse to date?

What is love? There is evidence love can grow in arranged marriages over the years. Other evidence shows a small part of the population never stops being in love with all the hormones that brings. Where most of us lose that after three or so years. So maybe it's that small percentage that is capable of magic as long as they're in love?

Now if you want to mass people that might work with genetic testing and finding the right markers. Or you go for the love through arranged marriages. If you do that you could make them test students. Pair them off with a likely match and then force them together throughout their training.

Break the students down, much like the military does and build them up as a couple. Unlike the military encourage a romantic relationship.

Third way would require more science fiction. Being in love is a chemical process one can measure based on hormones etc. You could synthesize this in theory. Look up the cold war project to make a 'gay bomb'. A similar approach could try and trigger a state of being in love. This is either Cupid's bow on steroids or it could trich the magic system in accepting the user. That woul you got a way to manifacture casters that are in love. More scifi then the arranged marriage approach.


I was going to be flippant and say: flood the market with romance novels.

However, that might be headed in the right direction if True Love is psychological rather than some mystical compatibility.

You can run compatibility tests, keep a database.

Build up true love in stories, TV, Movies, etc.

In the early years let the kids know that there are compatible matches for them but keep them apart (straight/gay, same methodology). However, leave holes in the separation that allow the clever and/or persistent to find their mates. The expectation raised plus the effort of overcoming the barriers to meet will make their meeting special.

For those who don't pass the first test, have a big ceremony where they are introduced to their best matches. You might not get as many hits here but it gives another chance at finding matches. Also, some people are conformists and would respond well to this.

Look for other methods of matching people up. After each method, you have a smaller and smaller pool of those who have not found true love yet.

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    $\begingroup$ I'd argue against romance novels, romantic comedies. Anything that creates this perfect match. It only increases expectations and disappointment. Create a public image that love sucks, it's about suffering together. That way when they find someone remotely decent they feel like they won the jackpot and love them all the more. Slightly more scientific. Research shows that suffering increases affection. Without pain there is nothing to compare the love to. $\endgroup$ – Mormacil Mar 17 '17 at 18:58
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    $\begingroup$ Mostly I wanted True Love to be a concept that they want and look for but that has roadblocks to overcome. Also, I don't know if TL is just needed to awaken magical ability or if it is needed to fuel it on an ongoing basis. $\endgroup$ – ShadoCat Mar 17 '17 at 19:03

I love the idea you're going for here; an army of magical warriors driven by their love for each other is rife with drama. I think it's a skosh homophobic to say that only heterosexuals can have true love, but no more than Harry Potter was. There are a few things you may want to consider melding together to get your answer. First:

Look at ancient Sparta for a bit. Few armies in history have relied on romantic love for your fellow soldier as a tactic. It was an intrinsic part of their culture that men would train young soldiers and naturally develop a romantic relationship with them. You might find some inspiration for cultural elements that would shape this society in there. Blend that with maybe a bit of chivalric love, only a version where both are fighters and you might have some cultural elements to play with.

Next you're going to want to think about the concept of true love as an instrument of the state. This is pretty contrary to its use in most fairy tales and other literature. Most often, true love is used in contrast to order and obligation, i.e. Breaking the curse of the evil queen, or a reason not to marry your betrothed. If you're a military high council, or whomever rules this country, how are you going to try and turn that instrument toward your ends? How do you get lovers to fight in an army in the first place? Military service is going to have to be heavily glorified and rewarded, and the glory of the state made a high aim. (You may want to watch a few of the heavy Cardassian episodes from Star Trek Deep Space Nine. Their focus is on the interplay of familial love vs. patriotism, but you'll still find a goldmine.)

Finally, if you want to build an army, you're going to need a plot device. In most things featuring "true love," consensus seems to be that it's fairly rare, that finding your soul mate doesn't happen to everybody. So maybe, somewhere among these ancient scrolls, is a way to find a person's soulmate; some kind of ceremony or artifact. Otherwise, as others have mentioned, you're going to have to find a way to fake it until you make it, introducing the necessary hormones into the drinking water.

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Worldbuiding. Do take the tour and check out the help center at your leisure. A thought on your answer: I think it's a great idea that there might a ritual or such among the ancient scrolls to aid finding ones true love, that would go well with the premise that only true love could waken magical potential. Although I guess it should fail often or otherwise be hard to perform in order to balance the power it yields. $\endgroup$ – Mrkvička Mar 17 '17 at 21:43

Take away from them any option to get any love.

It is well-known fact that celibacy, and any abandonment of all the material pleasures significantly enhances the spiritual power.

Do it with a lot of people, and use a multi-step filtering on them.

An example:

Everybody in your world should take some quick test in his/her young age, for example at around 6. Who passes it, is recruited into some "wizard kid school". His family gets a lot of payment.

If they are enough intelligent to learn, they can get further - around at 12 yrs old - to the next step, passing another step (and analysing their result in the "wizard elementary").

And so on. In every step, the candidates will get more concentrated efforts into their education, they get better and better education.

Note, "true love" and "true faith" have common roots, so probably it would look better if the whole society wouldn't be so materialistic as ours, today.

So, you shouldn't test only their IQ, but also their wisdom and spiritualistic mentality.

You should also provide test scenarios for them. No enjoyment, no contact with the other sex, except rare cases in test scenarios. Watch for the signatures, how do they in these test scenarios behave (for example, are they ready to sacrifice the most important goals of their life, only to meet again this wonderful girl who they've seen only once on the "after elementary christmas party" or similar).

Between these people, the real mages will have a much higher chance.

Watch them during their (rare) inter-sex meetings, and log, how do they behave. If you find later a real wizard, check his logs, and use them to tune the filters of the next generations.

  • $\begingroup$ Agreed,True faith in something,if not a god then a lover. $\endgroup$ – Seraph Myrmidon Mar 17 '17 at 18:23

Since most magic is based on personalities it would be likely that the "mages to be" undergo a psychological screening. This way the students could be divided in different groups. Like Hogwarts, but for the army. These personalities could, for example, be based on "The Big Five personality traits" (see: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Five_personality_traits).

I'd imagine that someone that is training to be a fire elemantalist would also have to undergo years of training in extreme heat. Just so his/her body can adapt to the extreme heat. Like in real life where people living around the equator have a better resistance against heat. So when the person unlocks their power they would have an amplified resistance. Thus when they cast a fireball they wouldn't get hot that fast. In extreme cases they could maybe even get a huge resistance against burning wounds, like this real life guy: https://youtu.be/pipTmT8XeAo

As for the true love part, easy. Have these type of camps for both sexes. Since both of them are screened psychologically, it could be like an analog dating site. Where you have "cupids" selecting people who would fit together. Both should be taught about compassion and empathy towards the other sex. And get relationship advice from experienced couples. Let them regularly interact with the other sex to learn, then make them go into the last phase of training. This is like an exam period taking months. After a while they should both be celebate. And then, a period of pairing happens. The people are brought together, the nation could hold a warm and romantic festival, setting up the perfect conditions.

Most will probably fall in love, but not all would develop "true love". So they are given a time wherein they are being monitored as pairs, awaiting their "awakening".

You need a large sample size because of a safety net for all the possible failing pairs. But also a lot of time, because it often takes multiple relationships before someone finds "true love".

Furthermore: I advice to pair them up. Not only during the fights, but also housing etc. Grieving widows and widowers also still make good mages if their grief is being fed.


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