Magic refers to any technology that is not understood by its users, particularly those highly advanced technologies whose origins are forgotten. Those who fully understand the technology but wish to keep its secrets, or to emphasize its power, may also use the word magic.
Since magic is generally not understood by its users, it is common for individuals or civilizations to have some forms of magic yet to be relatively primitive in other areas.
Magic is the final stage of any technology. As any technology progresses, it becomes easier to use, more powerful, and requiring fewer obvious tools. As the rate of progress accelerates, so-called singularity is reached where a technology has unlimited power, has no obvious cause, and can be handled by any untrained user by simply expressing the desire. Clearly such a technology would be highly dangerous, so two methods are employed to keep it safe. These are encryption and authorization.
Encrypted magic is magic that only works if certain unusual words or actions are used in precisely the right way, as with a key or password. Authorization refers to magic that only certain authorized beings can use. This results in a hierarchy of authority, where a novice must implore a higher power for help, and if necessary the higher power must implore an even higher power, and so on. An example of encrypted magic is the curse on Monster Girl. The curse was performed with little more than a sample of the original DNA (from a strand of hair) and some incantations.
An example of authorized magic is the curse on Dupli Kate's ancestor. It appears that the emperor was unable to save his own life and did not even know how the curse would be manifest, yet simply saying the curse was enough to make it happen. This strongly suggests an appeal to a higher magical authority.
- The Official Handbook of the Invincible Universe #1
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