When a Magi casts, provided they have enough of the stone in their system, they usually incant some words and or make a few gestures. These are focusing tools. The spells themselves require no such elements, per se . They do require complete focus of the psyche on the objective spell. This is a more difficult task than it sounds like and eons old traditions of spellcasting have rendered hand movements and word combinations that help fix the mind on a particular spell.
The customs differ from place to place and depend on the particular custom of the caster. Magi always speak in Actaeum, an tongue believed to be older than any known civilization. It’s written version is a phonetic alphabet rendered in Runes. The runes themselves seem to have power and are never invoked in writing other than on these Runestones and in practice (always done in sand or dust and quickly obscured). Once inscribed, a Runestone is referred to as a Vessel (alternatively vessel stones, spell stones). Rune scribes are only somewhat more common that Magi. The study of Actae Runes is a lifelong pursuit, passed from parent to child with most scribes knowing one or two runes of minor power. Even these take years to perfect since they must be written in a certain way, with certain materials and incantations to focus the mind (not to mention the preciousness of the canvas used). Thus, while Rune scribes are more common, they are much less powerful than Magi.
Non Magi can cast using Vessels, which are activated by shattering the stone and breaking the rune inscribed on them. This is done by smashing the stone against something, crushing it in one’s hand or firing the stone from a weapon.
Powers of the Stone
If the old legends (and the Greenhoods) are to be believed, the Stone is the physical remains of the goddess Tsre. The origins of this belief should be obvious, for some are killed by the stone while others are given the powers of a god.
Magic ebbs and flows throughout reality and all Magi can sense the power. If the world is an ocean, Magic is the waves. Bigger spells are bigger waves, more powerful casters are the wind and rocks that cause the rising and falling. Through careful practice, these waves can be ridden, sailed, or swum in. They can also drag a swimmer under.
If the power can be controlled through the complete focus of the caster, the possibilities are nearly limitless. Mundanes like to think of magic as tricks – carefully rehearsed events that produce clear results like bright lights, snowstorms, and rocks changing into birds. In truth, the study is much more esoteric and the results much more varied. This is the very force of creation, and it’s emanations under the control of a Magi are equally as multitudinous. Simple spontaneous casting is not the only way to use the stone.
Enchantment, that is the imbuing of mundane artifacts with magical qualities is one such variation on “basic” casting (other include Alchemy (using the Stone in materials and chemicals) and Storing (building artifacts that “store” magic like rods and staffs)). These are ancient magics that pre-date the Order’s creation and represent dangerous and volatile experiments in the eyes of the Magi, sense they give magical powers to the mundane. The most famous enchanted artifacts are so-called Spellswords.
Although it may seem contrary to their basic belief of Magi rule, the Greenhoods were interested in all manner of Magical esoterica and invested effort in time into reviving these old traditions.