The Frontier of the Southern Crown
Arcana is the study of the techniques and methods for bending or manipulating the universe through the exertion of the will.
The very essence and core of all things in the Universe are an idea, an impression or feeling. From this essence all else flows from the etherial to the corporal. Words were how the universe was created and words (or for that matter sound) is how it can be bent or shifted to your desire. If one can learn the formulas for how something comes into being one can then simply extrapolate the means for recreation and synthesis. I.e., if one learns how to create fire and propulsion one can create a fireball.
Though Arcane energy moves around and through all things the vast majority rarely see it or know how it works. For many centuries mages and sages have studied the universe and found many formulas and protocols on the shifting and bending of the universe. Eons ago the Dragons were the first to teach men the ways of Magic. In turn many wise men created schools were these arts were taught. But, many lacking skill or wisdom grew mad and were a great affliction to their schools and cities. In fear, many of these schools were closed and very few studied the lost arts. Until cities began to regulate the arcane schools and many opened training far fewer students but having greater results. To help keep these forms and techniques hidden for the wrong hands they were ciphered with codes and written in enchanted ink.
Even if Arcana was readily available the time spent learning correct formulas and forms has kept it distant from the masses. Also, exertion of the will can be tiring and as well as maddening if not kept in check through mental and physical rest. Those of higher levels most often go mad. Just as a weight lifter must first learn proper form and technique and them build up stamina and endurance before lifting heavier weights so an arcanist most learn proper form and technique and gradually build up the will’s stamina.
Reality was never intended to be shaped through beings of the mundane world. Just as the human body can conduct electricity at a very low current with no permanent damage. So, mundane beings can manipulate low levels of arcane energy with “proper training”. But, turn up the voltage to the human conductor and physical and mental damage is inevitable. Likewise with arcane energy. Arcane energy is best harnessed and contained in in-adamant objects such as staffs, wands and rods.