Magic in the Darkness series cannot be manufactured but rather used by mages. The mages of Derlavai gather magical power from various power points scattered on the planet and the "ley lines" that link them. Magic can also be gathered by sacrificing human lives. It is also possible to call directly, at least, on the Powers Below and the effects produced are noticeably different to the other kinds of magic. The operation of magic is heavily reliant of location. As such, many cities and town are located near major power spots which provide the energy for the operation of the city's lighting, heating and other comforts. In addition, large power points tend to be linked to greater numbers of ley lines, which are utilized for transportation between cities and towns.


There are fundamental laws of magic, which require intense studying to master in order to become a mage. Though popular "how-to" books for the general public do exist, the spells published in them are not always reliable, and can backfire in dangerous or embarrassing ways. Professional mages are divided into "theoretical" and "practical." Theoretical mages research the relationships and underlying laws governing the behavior of matter and energy, formulate hypotheses expressed in complicated mathematical formulas, and devise careful experiments in order to prove or disprove these hypotheses empirically. Practical mages use the theories devised by theoretical mages to make devices that can be used by the general public.

Magic and Technology[]

Derlavai has gone through a "Thaumaturgical Revolution", using magic as the basis for much of its technology. Because of magic, there appears to be less of a need for mass industry. There are plants producing pottery, for example, in large amounts, but behemoths and dragons are bred on farms and clothing appears to be made by tailors instead of in factories.

On the civilian scene, magic is much less important, being limited to applications such as rest boxes (an analogue to the refrigerator which operates by slowing the effects of time on its contents), lighting (in places where such sorcerous power is available) and ley line ships, while in the military magic is involved in the production and use of almost all their weapons and supplies.

Most of the magical items in the world of Derlavai are analogues to everyday, or military, devices in our world. While the series is more concerned with military affairs than with economic ones, it seems that there are three competing ways of producing things:

  • By direct magic, using the law of similarity which can obviously be applied to mass production. This method is fast, but can produce inferior goods if not conducted with skill and effort.
  • By artisans, who work by hand and use a limited amount of magic. Each profession has some spells, and the knowledge and use of them is considered a normal part of that trade rather than a form of magecraft.
  • Mass production by machines, as in our world.

There is a mention of the Kuusamans rapidly building a new port in a newly-conquered island by magic, which is evident from all buildings being the same (indicating that the spells made extensive use of the law of similarity). It is noted that only a country with many skilled mages could have spared the resources for such construction. In another place it is noted that printing is usually done by mechanical means, but the Valmieran resistance utilizes magic for reproducing a propaganda sheet in order to avoid detection by the occupying authorities. The result of this magical duplication is readable, but the ink smudges easily as it was produced without the aid of a power point or an experienced mage.

Magical Weapons[]


Eggs: The name given to the Derlavaian equivalent of bombs and shells, eggs are thin metal shells filled with magical energy which burst, or explode, when they impact a target or are triggered by an appropriate spell. A variety of uses for eggs are seen in the series. Armies launch them like shells from magically-powered 'egg-tossers', which may be standalone devices or mounted on ley-line ships or behemoths. Dragons can carry eggs beneath their bellies for their fliers to drop on enemy forces or cities. Eggs can also be buried in the ground and made to explode when pressure is felt. Leviathans use eggs to sink enemy ships. Later in the series, the Algarvian army develops hand-held eggs that can be thrown.


Sticks: Sticks are the analog to guns in the world of Derlavai. A stick emits a beam of energy which leaves behind a sharp scent like that of a nearby lightning strike. A soldier's stick is a large device and is activated when bare flesh such as an uncovered finger is inserted into its 'blazing hole'. The beam from a soldier's stick can burn a hole through a person with little difficulty, although they are largely ineffective against dragons and behemoths, which are not only naturally tough but also armored or painted silver to reflect beams. Smaller sticks are seen owned by civilians for blazing vermin or hunting game, or used by constables. Larger sticks, known as heavy sticks, are carried by behemoths on the battlefield, and can blaze through several men, another behemoth's armor or even take down dragons. Even larger heavy sticks can be used as fixed installations on the ground, used for air and sea defense, and carried on ley-line warships for use against ships, dragons and leviathans. Portable sticks used away from a power point or ley line require periodic recharging, which can be achieved in some unspecified way through the delivery of what is only described as 'charges' in supply wagons, or by the interventions of a mage drawing energy from a power point. A more brutal way of recharging sticks is to sacrifice enemy prisoners of war and use their life-force to recharge the sticks. This seems to be a practice resorted to by soldiers in the field, not officially sanctioned but tacitly tolerated by the higher echelons.

The Naantali Project[]

A project organized by hundreds of mages working for the Kuusaman and Lagoan governments works in the wilderness of Naantali province to create a new magical weapon of mass destruction. Pekka, at one point, leads the project.

The weapon requires grandparent and grandchild rats, rabbits or any other living creatures. Given the appropriate spells and mages able to perform them, the grandparent is pushed forward in time and the grandchild backward, killing them in the process and deriving enormous magical energy. Moreover, the mages themselves can deliver the energy to any target, by simply pointing out the spot on the globe. The magic can also create a protective spell to defend a city and deflect the magical energy hurled against it. It is speculated that using humans may make a more powerful magical explosion.

This weapon, analogous to the atomic bomb, is not given a name in-universe. An analog of "Manhattan Project" is used here for convenience.

The same process might also be adapted to a non-military use which would have its own explosive social results - i.e., to extend the lifetime of a grandparent at the expanse of shortening a grandchild's life. Pekka and other mages working with her theorized about this possible application of the magic, but were not in a hurry to actually try it.