Hello everybody! It's your favorite dwarven head in a jar, Nikola Chapek, back with another edition of "Answers to questions you've never asked!" In today's episode, we'll be taking a look at the portal network that connects the Federated Nations.

 Most of you arrived at this Academy by way of a magical portal. You can't have missed it--it was a giant circle of black metal and stone that created a field of swirling colors into which you walked. Portal exits are scattered throughout the land This is the secret sauce, the source of the Adventurer's Guild's wealth and power. It also can be the weakness of the Federated Nations. Unless you're on Guild business, access to these portals is restricted and costs huge amounts.

So how do they work? Who built them? Is it true that if two people enter at the same time they may end up getting...mixed together?

The common folk are continually singing as they work. Why? What effect does this have? Why do they spend the energy? And why are they singing similar songs across the land? Because those songs are actually chants, special songs that induce magical effects. These chants gain strength from massed voices--the choir is greater than the sum of its voices. Each chant is simple, but blending voices requires effort and trust. Only the most disciplined groups can reach the full strength of a chant, even though most societies use chants on a smaller scale.

The Resonance Theory of Magic

In my opinion, this model and the resulting theory reconcile RAW and RAI (and answer a whole bunch more questions to boot). Whether or not it is a true model is irrelevant--it's a useful model that allows predictions.

Editor's note: The following is a slightly cleaned-up partial transcription of pre-publication notes found in Imperial Research Alpha before its destruction in 210 AC. Anything that would allow someone to reconstruct the work has been excised. 

As souls are made of anima, magic can manipulate those souls, consuming them as fuel or transplanting pieces of them into other things. The soul-manipulations described here fall into two broad categories--blood magic and nimbus transplants.

Magic levels--not one-dimensional 

A constant source of disagreement and dissonance is the level of magic in a setting or system. Settings are often described as "low magic" and then have magic items everywhere; systems like D&D 5e are billed as handling "low magic" settings but have spell casters everywhere. So what does it mean to be "low magic" or "high magic"? I suggest that low or high magic isn't a one-dimensional spectrum. Instead, there are many different axes on which to measure the presence of magic.