“The world of Aards’ magic is a complex and unpredictable resource. It’s energies have influenced people, cultures and civilizations since the beginning of time. Its’ effects are so various that the people capable of wielding its’ energies see different, very person, results of their study. As a broad description, these talented individuals make sacrifices in order to better understand the powers of Magic. All magical wielding mortals face an inevitable obstacle in their crafts. These barriers have a variety of challenges, research and sacrifice in order to overcome. The obstacles are typically categorized in 1 of 3 ways: Physical, Mental or Enlightenment. Particular styles of magic are more prone to a particular form of obstacle however any of the paths are available. These challenges are often dangerous and are not advised to be taken lightly.
Each technique, for overcoming the barriers, have their own pros and cons.
Physical sacrifice is the fastest however, is also the most identifiable. Such as runic tattoos, scarification, amputation etc…
Enlightenment is the most time consuming process but has little to no other negative implications. Examples have ranged from vows of silence, pilgrimages, to communing.
Mental takes time to show its’ effects however, it’s the least controllable and potentially volatile. Many of magic users have become mad, chasing their own dreams across time.
At each Tier of magical power a caster must choose a form of devotion to their abilities. Some of the results are formed specifically from the powers gained while others are the effects of the characters’ environments. As each tier is overcome the sacrifice to advance increases in stake as the magic user advances their powers. "
-Master Jhotum of the Bardic College