Mages live in an advanced society, separate from the Unlit, full of wondrous creations and inventions. All mages may live their lives freely in full autonomy towards their ambitions and life's directions, yet all mages are also expected to contribute towards society. This requirement to contribute is not questioned, as it is understood that by collectively doing so, all are lifted. All mages are equal in society, and all magical creatures are protected within their existence. There is no hunger, homelessness, or derogation of classes of citizens.
This is not to say, however, that there is no conflict. Lit society is complex and there are many competing forces. The Lit understand that these competing forces drive change, and it is an accepted principle of the Lit that the society shall evolve over time towards strength. Disagreements in direction or cause are common, and are presided over by the society's complex government. Disagreements can even rise to a level that leads to Mage Battles, but it is understood that battles are fought with honor towards a higher purpose. Mage society is peaceful for the most part, but many mages are trained as warriors for times that battle is necessary. Mage battles are defined by honor, and mages abide by the understood Lit rules of conflict. Power in channeling is part of what defines heirarchy in Lit society.
Learning is an integral part of the entirety of a mage's life. Learning is centered around the Doceox Federation of Magic, which provides a number of learning opportunities, called attainments, taught by Preceptors. Attainments can last days or years. Many attainments can be thought of as seminars, as they are short and led by an expert in a specialized area, while others represent years of growth in a complex subject. Some attainments take place in a classroom setting, while many involve field work. Attainment settings can be exciting, dangerous, or adventurous. Much of mage learning takes place through apprenticeship, where a Flame, or master teacher, Lights a Neolyte's abilities and a different Flame then guides the Neolyte over time. Flames often have lifelong relationships with their apprentices.
Neolytes generally have a great deal of choice in what they want to learn. As mages either mature or are discovered, the Doceox Directors work with the Flame who found the student to help place them with the best society and mentor. In the first year of a mage’s studies, students are guided towards becoming self-sufficient towards their ongoing schooling. Given the fact that many Doceox students were Unlit who were discovered to have strong magical potential, many Neophytes have never known the Lit world before. The first year of learning has much more variance in abilities, general knowledge, and age than ongoing years. There is a dormitory that Neolytes can utilize. For students who have not had any experience with the Lit world, it is recommended that they live in the dormitory in order to become more accustomed to Lit culture more quickly. However, all students have the choice of remaining in the dormitory or not.
After Neolytes begin their studies at Doceox, they soon join one of the 7 magical societies which guide their ongoing classes, classmates, and Preceptors. Formal study at Doceox lasts until a student is sufficiently trained given their ambitions and trade, rather than a set number of years. This amount of time varies depending on specialties a student takes, the student's own learning goals, and the assessment of the Flame mentoring the student. Mages learn throughout their entire life, though, and continue to take attainments over time. In Lit society anyone can continue to learn through Doceox attainments at any time, and there are mages that spend their entire life studying and learning.
Mages have long lives and can live hundreds of years. Mages have incorporated Unlit technology into their lives, so Lit society is both magically and technologically advanced. Mages have trades that define much of their daily activity, but there is also a great deal of freedom for entrepreneurship, hobbies, and entertainment.
Most mages have houses with unique properties and accommodations, both magical and technological, that they have become well accustomed to. Houses are heated and cooled, for example, though a combination of magical and technological means (keeping in mind that magical methods simply refer to the advanced science of channeling and binding various combinations of magical energy). A heater or cooler, in the modern Lit world, is often a simple technological heating and cooling unit that ties into a magically derived power source. Lit energy is accomplished through energy portals, called hollows, that are directly bound to an energy source. There are many energy sources near Cent that harness the extreme heat and pressure, for example, and port the energy through the magical hollows, thus transferring energy into a usable form. Hollows are also used for traveling.
Mage beds, called elebeds, are magical in nature. Using telekinetic energy, they float and always remain under you - as you turn, they adjust to match your desired orientation and keep your body perfectly aligned. There are no pillows - the entire surface feels extremely soft. The air around them is kept at a constant comfortable temperature just cool enough to be comfortable with a thin blanket if desired. Similarly, elechairs are used for sitting. Tables are historically physical, but some mages prefer eletables as well.
Much of the storage in a house is complemented with mirror portals, similar to traveling portals, so mage houses tend to be small. Many mage houses have adjusting rooms so that the same physical space can be utilized in different ways at different times. For example, when cooking, a room might be a kitchen, then a wall can shift and the room becomes a living area after dinner. Modern Unlit technology is often integrated into the living areas, such as televisions and computers etc. There are energy converters optimized for Unlit plugs that provide voltage. There are also Lit equivalents of batteries, that are bound to a power source and for all intents and purposes, last forever.
Mage cuisine is some of the most diverse and accomplished cuisine in the world. Foods are available from any of the diverse Lit magical races, as well as any of the Unlit races and geographies. Given the ease of travel that the Lit enjoy, the variety of culinary influences is astounding. One of the most robust areas for restaurants is Cent, a world-renowned melting pot of cultures. Food can also have an illusory nature, leaving one feeling full without ingesting all of the calories. There is no obesity among the Lit. For mages that are not interested in culinary delights, food can simply be sustenance providing. There are common white, tasteless blocks that keep for decades and provide satisfying sustenance.
There are a variety of forms of travel that mages use. Mages can travel using their own innate abilities like flying, or the rare ability of teleportation. There are magical artifacts that aid in traveling such as elediscs, small magical discs that one stands on, which can fly a user across a long distance in a short time. Elediscs are the preferred mode of travel in Cent, for example. The Lit have also created flying vessels that can be used to travel underwater or even through space to colonies on other planets in our solar system.
The most common form of travel for mages, however, is through magically bound reflective surfaces. Mages have discovered that reflective surfaces can be used to enhance teleportation channeling, and further, reflective surfaces can be bound to traveling hollows (unseen magical conduits). Mirrors, of course, are often used as traveling portals. When a mirror is bound to another mirror, with a hollow connecting them, the mirrors can be moved to any location, and any mage, even those with no teleportation abilities to speak of, can easily pass through one mirror to the other. This discovery has led to incredible abilities to instantly travel to any location on Earth, and even to other planets in our solar system.
The largest mirror portal system in the world is Cent Portal Junction (commonly referred to as CPJ). It is an enormous tower located in Cent, with thousands of mirror portals connecting to matched mirror portals across the globe. Mirror portals exist in the Unlit world, easily seen, but hidden nonetheless. An innocent looking mirror in a hotel, bathroom, dressing room, or office can easily be linked to a mirror in Cent Portal Junction, allowing a traveler to pass through Cent to anywhere else in the world in a matter of minutes. CPJ is a constant buzzing hive of activity, with thousands of Lit passing through each day.
Beyond mirrors, any reflective surface can enhance teleportation. Even the reflective surface on water, for example, can be a portal for mages who have some level of talent for teleportation. The smoother and clearer a reflective surface, the easier it can be utilized for teleportation. Some mages, however, have extreme ability with teleportation, and do not need a reflective surface. This is an extremely rare ability.
Mirror portals are also used for remote storage containers. Mages often have a number of mirror portals in their house, linking to storage facilities, such as Bayowik’s out of Cent. A mage simply reaches into the mirror with their hand grabbing an item from somewhere else in the world, and bringing it instantly to them. Bayowik's was the first to come up with the clever idea of nesting mirrors within locations. These compact, but expandable mirror storage systems are often linked to Quintopes, and most mages now have them. A mage can reach into their Quintope's reflective surface and pull out a long, thin mirror attached to a sliding rail. They can then reach into that mirror, and pull out a larger, full sized mirror, also on a rail. A mage can then reach into that full size mirror to get access to a large storage area. Some mages even link an expandable mirror system to a closet in their home, to be able to return home quickly.
Quint and Quintopes
Quintopes, commonly referred to simply as 'Topes' are small, flat handheld magical devices that most mages carry around with them. They are used for a variety of purposes such as communication, navigation, and financial transactions. Their original purpose, and the origin of their name, was to implement financial transactions with mage money, called Quint. Quint is used for any type of Lit financial transaction, and anyone can easily send Quint from their Quintope to another's Quintope. The Lit primarily earn Quint in their trades or other services, and there are robust lending mechanisms in place for Lit citizens as well. The Federated Council oversees financial policy. Every fraction of Quint is represented by a single grain of dust, called Quint Dust, stored in a vault in Goodwyn Hall in Cent. The vault is highly secure, but each particle of Quint dust is linked through a permanent miniature hollow, and no one knows of a way to break or manipulate those links, so stealing the Quint dust itself would provide little value. The Federated Council increases Quint supply by a small percentage once a year for a small, steady inflationary rate.
Quintopes are used with voice commands, telepathic commands, or direct magical channeling. Over time, Quintopes expanded into much richer functionalities. Quintopes have become the most common means of communication among mages, similar to the mobile phones of the Unlit, for which there are many parallels. Decades before mobile phones were invented, however, the Lit used their quintopes for communications and the Lit generally have an air of superiority over Unlit mobile technology, given their early implementations. However, the Unlit have developed robust features that never existed on quintopes, such as social media and streaming, so many mages carry Unlit mobile phones with a quintope attached to its back. The original commands associated with quintopes, such as "teletalk" or "teletype" have converged to Unlit semantics like "call" or "text". There is also robust WiFi Internet access available in all of the mage cities, including Cent, except for the cities located on other planets.
Quintopes can project images around them, similar to Unlit holograms. They also can capture the environment around a mage, called flashes, which are similar to pictures taken with a camera, but they capture all of the full detail of the environment in three dimensions. A mage can look at the scene where a flash was taken, like looking at a photo, but with a flash, a mage can also change the view to be from any point at any direction near where the flash was captured. Quintopes can also be used to navigate, and work far better than Unlit mobile maps and directions. A simple command like "Show me the nearest portal to CPJ" will prompt the quintope to lead its owner to as needed, including physical guidance (a quintope can pull you in the direction you need to go). Quintopes can be used to read newspapers or books, send text (like texts or emails), and tell the time.
Quintopes are also a mage's connection to society. Quintopes often ask users to perform a task for others, and a complex system running the Quintope communications can route tasks to the most appropriate mage, and make sure tasks are evenly distributed across society.
At times, mages take part in mage battles, fearsome contests that implement awe-inspiring uses of magic. Mages train for battles in friendly Heptone battles, but real mage battles can be brutal. In both Heptones and real life battles, mages find synergies between members who specialize in different branches of magic. Heptones require 7 participants per team, with one participant from each branch of magic.
Battles are always done with honor, and the fighting is understood to be a part of a greater cause. Death is uncommon in mage battles despite the brutality of some attacks, as protective measures are generally implemented. When a mage is wounded mortally, their quintope will encase them in stasis until the battle is over at which point skilled mage healers can heal them. Mages on the losing end of a battle might find that their goals are lost, where the winning mages decide direction for whatever contention created the battle, but the losing mages will be welcomed back into society except when laws have been broken. Mage battles are not common, but they are not rare either.
An important aspect of mage culture is maintaining utter secrecy of the Lit world. Historically, the forebearers of the Lit were often forced into hiding. Over time, the creation of communities that were hidden from the Unlit created a pervasive mentality that still drives the Lit today. They greatly value their secrecy and although they are taught to be protective over all of earth's citizens and life, they see themselves as distinctly separate from the Unlit world at a core level.