The World of Valden
Magic is rarely inherent in a humanoid creature. Even those with spell like abilities rarely use these with any deliberate action, they are simply something that most members of their races can do, just as some Elves can better decode magic or some Dwarves better resist poison effects. A true spellcaster, even a spontaneous one, is making an active decision to cast a magical spell, as distinguished by the usage of certain words, gestures, components or power sources. In all of these cases, the body is being used as a conduit in some way. A wizards intelligence, a clerics willpower, a sorcerers blood – magic is channeled through focus, component, body and soul. What nobody brings up is the fact that allowing your body to flood with magic is just as foreign as allowing it to flood with arsenic – a substance the body reacts to and must compensate for. Just as a creature sweats to balance heat, magical essence must itself be vented. This is the cause of the Emanating Magical Persona, or EMP. In non-academic discussion, however, it is more often referred to as ones Magical Aura.
A magical aura is normally a harmless illusory effect that manifests during spellcasting. It is an extension of the caster themselves, and it grows with them. Low level casters rarely produce little more than a glowing colored light, but as one grows in expertise and specialization, their aura distinguishes itself and can even be somewhat dictated by the creature producing it. These effects can be very simple to incredibly complex. One wizard might manifest their aura as rotating rings of chain, while another may cause the image of a wide swath of phantom meteors raining upon the battlefield. A bard may have simple songbirds hover around him while he chants, while another may conjure an entire phantom orchestra. Faith can also influence ones aura – A casting cleric may shield their form with a legion of angels, while a Druid may cause a phantom forest to rise around himself while casting. Wizards in particular may find or try to add elements of their school, evokers being more flashy and destructive while diviners may create imagery of mirrors, or eyes.
At it’s basic state, the EMP is a harmless and simply visual effect. A caster may even attempt to suppress their EMP while casting by making a concentration check. (DC 12+Spell level, no penalty for failure) EMP does not trigger from spell completion items such as scrolls and wands without special training. (See the Auramancer wizard archetype) However, many choose to embrace this feature and, through study, use it as an expression of their arcane power. This tends to be the height of specialization, accepting an even more narrow focus for greater power.