Jalan: Mysteries of the Haunted World
Because magic is derived from life and only needs to be channeled into the proper pattern to become a spell, even the most basic creatures are capable of creating useful or devastating magical effects, though few are capable of understanding or utilizing this fact; most animals and plants that actively use magic do so because of an accident of evolution that granted them the required patterns. Based partly on observations of spirits using the magic of natural life to craft their own spells, wizards, fleshweavers, and other magic-users have since learned to use other creatures as self-powered magical objects, known generally as rune beasts. Named for the common but not universal method of magically carving runes into an animal to direct the flow of their energy into the desired effect, rune beasts are used for a wide variety of tasks. A rune toad might function as a bright lamp or a source of heat, while a rune ox might funnel energy into its hooves to help it pull the plow more easily. A swarm of rune spiders might be given the ability to weaken and weigh down structures, making them useful for demolitions. Rune beasts are sometimes used for warfare, generally as living traps or explosives. To most, rune beasts are a luxury, and while they have practical uses, their expense, care, and mortality keep them from being very common.
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