The world of Empire is suffused with magic. Powerful magicians who can harness the powers of magic directly are not common, but every citizen of the Empire is familiar with at least a few pieces of hearth magic lore that they can use to make their life easier. Physicks and apothecaries use herbs infused with power to heal wounds, cure ills, and make an array of useful potions, while artisans use rare magical materials to produce items of power.


Any character who has purchased the magician skill is able to cast some basic spells and dedicated spellcasters are able to learn many more. If you are playing a magician then you will need to read the rules for spellcasting.

Some magicians also learn how to perform rituals. Rituals are much more powerful than spells, but they are far slower to cast and much more expensive. Anyone who has purchased any ritual skills will need to read the rules for performing rituals.

Herbs and Potions

There are five magical herbs in Empire, which a physick can apply to heal wounds and remove a variety of ailments. Apothecaries take a different approach, mixing herbs together to create magical potions that anyone can drink. Anyone who has purchased either skill should read the rules for herbs and potions.


Artisans fashion powerful magical items using rare magical materials found in the Empire and beyond. Every artisan knows how to make at least four different magical items; dedicated crafters can learn many more. A character must be bonded to a magic item to use it, a mystical act which can be performed at events by a magician or by an artisan who can make the item in question. Anyone who has purchased the artisan skill will need to read the rules for making magic items to pick which items they want to make.


Priests use liao to perform ceremonies which influence and affect the fate of their fellow citizens' souls. Few citizens consider these ceremonies to be magical - and most priests would bristle at the suggestion - but the fact remains that like the artisan and the apothecary, they are using powers unavailable to common folk.

Imperial priests follow the Way, a religion which promotes seven great virtues. Individual priests choose to dedicate themselves to one of these virtues or else extol the benefits of them all. Anyone who has purchased the dedication skill will need to read the rules for priests so that they know how to use their abilities wisely.

Hearth Magic

Hearth magic is the "common" magic of the world: the use of masks to hide identity, a sheaf of corn by a Marcher hearth. An outsider might consider such things nothing but superstition, but in the Empire this body of lore is true for the most part. Some of the most powerful magical effects are reliant on hearth magic at their heart.

Most nations have their own hearth magics, representing the lore that is most useful and most well known in those lands.