Arcane magic refers to the type of magic learned in the academies under the tutelage of great wizards and dusty tomes. This form of magic is compelling to many with the aptitude for it because it teaches one how to directly affect the world he or she lives in without the need for exact materials to be present (as is the case in druidism or calling) nor does it require the intervention of the gods (in the case of the divine). Arcane magic is pure willpower and it appeals to many independently-minded individuals. Most mages agree that arcane magic is the hardest to master because it requires endless dedication and great will to learn and use.
On casting a spell
When a mage wishes to cast a spell, the very first step is to gather the appropriate amount of manna. Different spells require different amounts of manna based on the potency of their effects. Causing an ethereal glow to surround a baseball-sized object is significantly less demanding than willing into existence a dangerous ball of fire to hurl at your enemies. Gathering the manna necessary for the spell is a force of will, knowing one’s own body and having command over it. However, certain devices such as incantations or special movements can help gather the manna more quickly and more efficiently. The next part of casting a spell is forming the manna into the shape necessary for the spell you wish to cast. Again, this is another force of will that can be aided with the addition of invocations or movements specific to the spell. Learning the shape of a spell is easily the hardest part of learning a new spell. It requires practice and either a teacher or, at the least, a book informing the learner of the exact shape necessary. Once the manna has been gathered and formed the last step to casting the spell is releasing the manna as the spell. This can be a painful process, especially for beginners, as your body’s manna does not wish to leave the body, and such a quick and forceful expenditure of it can easily cause fatigue if used too often or too much. There are horror stories from within the walls of the great academies of the injuries students suffer at their own hands through mishaps and over-exertion.