Aether is a supernatural energy source. It is known as the resource necessary for magic casting and ability. Some creatures and races naturally produce aether, as well as some plants, although some are more naturally suited for aether than others.
Origin of Aether
The origin of aether is not factually proven, however there are many speculations throughout the known world. Non-magical beings tend to believe that aether comes from a religious deity of some sort. Those who worship The Goddess believe that aether was Her power, given as a gift to mankind. However, non-believers consider faeries to be the original source of aether, as they are natural beings who contain the most aether.
Each person has a natural amount of aether they may store within their bodies. This is referred to by most as a person's "spirit". Not much can be done to improve one's "spirit", meaning those that are born with the gift of storing aether are likely the only ones capable of naturally casting magic. Someone who has a potent spirit may easily detect magical objects or spells near them, even if they are not versed in casting magic. It is said that if a person casts a spell which is too strong for their spirit, it can destroy their spirit, preventing them from ever producing aether again.
It is possible to imbue an object with aether to give it magical properties. This can be done by a mage giving up some of their aether into the object, or by killing a creature or person with aether and transferring it into the object using magic. Because of this, imbued objects are extremely expensive and are owned only by the most wealthy or of the royal class.
The most common example is with magic staves. The use of a staff imbued with aether prevents a mage from consuming their own spirit when casting spells, or it allows a mage to amplify a spell they know, or even cast a spell they could not naturally cast.
Crystals are extremely easy to imbue with magic. Because of this, they are used very commonly and have a variety of uses. These magic crystals are often placed on armor, weapons, or jewelry to give them supernatural properties. Crystals can also be used to transport recorded messages, important as they cannot be forged. These messages are known as "Magessages". Using Watching Crystals planted on targets and locations, mages known as "Watchers" can see visions of the area around the crystals at will. Using this power, they watch over suspicious people's actions or to monitor areas needing extra security.
Locations with Aether
The Aetherwood is one of the only places in the known world known to naturally exude aether. The trees in this forest are known to glow and glitter with roots full of pink aether, the default color of aether. Limbs from aethertrees make for legendary magical staves, and as such, the forest has been meticulously protected by the Forest Tribe of elves for all of recorded history so that The Aetherwood's power may not be used carelessly.
Races with Aether
Faeries are known as having more pure aether than any other type of creature or race in the known world. Their beings are made up almost entirely of magic; so much so that their corpses have been used to imbue objects with their aether. This makes them the most potent of magical spellcasters. They naturally can cast complex magical spells from even infancy. Faeries believe that they are the original source of aether. They do not believe in The Goddess, as they typically believe any proclaimed miracle by The Goddess could be done with magic. Despite this, faeries are considered by some as distant relatives of The Goddess, and are even worshiped by some elves and humans.
Elves have much less spirit than faeries, though they have more spirit than other races of their size such as Humans or Orcs. Elves make for potent natural spellcasters, as almost all elves are born with some amount of aether. Elves of the Forest Tribe, especially those who live most of their lives in The Aetherwood, are known for having the most potent spirit of all elves.
Humans are known for commonly having very weak spirits. Most humans have no magical ability at all. It is considered very lucky to be born with any amount of spirit as a human. The Skyre family is known for having genetically potent spirits. Those humans that are found to have strong spirits are paid greatly as mages for their kingdoms and become extremely wealthy individuals, living like royalty themselves. Upper-class humans who lack spirit often wish to dabble in magic casting, and are some of the few who may afford magically-imbued staves or objects, allowing them to cast magic without having natural aether.
Orcs are not known to have spirits, though it is likely that orcs simply have not dedicated enough research into magic casting or simply take no interest in it.