Ambient magic

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Ambient Magic is a form of magic known only in the Emelan Universe. It is not as well known as the traditional Academic Magic, and in fact is only one fourth times as common as Academic magic. Ambient Magic takes different forms depending on the mage and the craft he or she performs––common ones include stone, carpentry, healing, cooking, thread and needlework, pottery, fire, and weather.[1] Ambient glass magic is described as "middling rare." Ambient stone magic is common, as stones are said to make the containers for power. Ambient Magic doesn't draw on the mage's self-created power like Academic Magic, but from the surroundings and craft items of the mage (e.g. a thread mage will get power from clothing and other woven things).Because of this, Ambient mages have difficulty controlling a great deal of power constantly flowing into them, whereas Academic mages struggle with building up their power.

Because their power is naturally tied into a craft or aspect of nature, the physical aspects of their craft, such as thread, stones, or even lightning, feel as if they are "alive" to the Ambient mage. These physical components are attracted to the Ambient mage, and from the descriptions in the books, seem to "talk" to the mage.

Forms of magic

  • Thread
  • Green
    • Abilities - manipulation of plants and products made from them, some healer abilities (cures, bacterial prevention)
    • Users - Briar Moss, Dedicate Rosethorn, First Dedicate Crane
    • Dedication - Earth(although Crane is an Air Initiate)
  • Smith
    • Abilities - sensing and manipulation of metal, ores, etc, can withstand fire and burning metal, resistant to smoke damage to lungs
    • Users - Daja Kisubo, Dedicate Frostpine
    • Dedication - Fire
  • Weather
    • Abilities - stopping or forcing weather (rain, wind, lightning, etc), limited manipulation of greater natural forces (the tides, earthquakes, hurricane force, the heat of lava/magma)
    • Users - Trisana Chandler, Trader mimanders
      • Kethlun Warder has lightning magic, but beyond his immunity to it and ability to manipulate it in his glass-making work, his levels of skill in this magic are unknown.
  • Dance
    • Abilities - uses related dance steps to create a desired effect (luring fish or thieves, invisibility, lifting and holding enemies in midair)
    • Users - Pasco Acalon
  • Stone
    • Abilities - feeling stone, being able to communicate with it and move it (with the permission of the stone), communication with and temporary protection from volcano spirits
    • Users - Evumeimei Dingzai, Jebilu Stoneslicer
  • Glass
    • Abilities - create unique glass objects with magical abilities (eg. for scrying)
    • Users - Kethlun Warder
  • Carpentry
  • Cooking
  • Fire
    • Abilities - manipulation of fire, other unknown abilities
    • Users - Pawel Godsforge
  • Painting
  • Healing
    • Abilities - extending their magic into the bodies of others to fight infection or disease and repair injuries, immunity to disease as long as their power isn't completely expended on others
    • Users - Dedicate Henna, Dedicate Superior Moonstream, Dedicate Grapewell, Dedicate Sealwort, Dedicate Willowwater
    • Dedication - Water
  • Pottery
  • Horses
  • Birds
  • Air
  • Water
    • Abilities - aquakinesis, scrying and communication, relationship with aquatic creatures
    • Users - Dedicate Myrrhtide
  • Earth

Combination with Academic Magic

A ambient mage can also use Academic Magic. However it is possible that undiscovered and uncontrolled Ambient Magic blocks Academic Magic.[2] According to Niko and Tris, for every ambient mage, there are four academic mages.[1]However, some mages are able to combine the two to a certain extent, though they are more inclined to one over the other. Tris is one of these mages.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Shatterglass, Cp. 2 (p. 38; Scholastic paperback)
  2. Random Buzz; "Tris - *spoilers*"; April 19, 2009


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