The Magic Quintet

The arcane art of magic, according to most historians, has long been in existence in the land of Terra.  Practiced most during the period known as the Mage Wars, magic was lost for centuries until the recent return of the mage emperors calling themselves Archmages, heralding the beginning of a Renaissance of sorcery.  Over the centuries, the styles of sorcery have settled into five major types that Archmages dedicate themselves to.  The type of magic that a mage uses will determine the spells he uses, the policies of his kingdom, and even his own personality.  The five established orders of magic are as follows.

Light The Ascendant Order

"The Order of Ascendancy is the only chance for us to achieve redemption, allowing us to rise above this mortal coil.  We've all been to Hell.  Do you have any wish to return there?"
- Ivory, an Ascendant cardinal

The guiding principle of Ascendant magic is one based on piety.   Focussing on magic that heals rather than harms, Ascendant mages are fearsome opponents nonetheless as they summon hosts of divine beings to fight on their behalf.   They detest the destructiveness of Eradication and Nether mages.

Fire The Eradication League

"I have no need for your piety, Ivory.   I am thankful for my time in Hell; it has granted me a fiery rage to storm the gates of heaven.  While you cowardly kneel in prayer, I make my stand against all of Terra."
- Sanguine, an Eradication commissar

Eradication magic is the most chaotic of the five types of magic, using devastating spells to beat enemies within an inch of their lives...then burning them the rest of the way.  Eradication mages are generally the most militaristic, warring against their enemies of Ascendant and Phantasm mages.

Woods The Verdancy Tribe

"While you try to prove yourselves as superior to the other races through warfare, you have succumbed to barbaric practices that even the most primitive beasts shun.  I'd call your situation ironic, but I'm afraid you may mistake that as meaning 'like metal.'"
- Oliver Green, a Verdant chieftain

Verdant magic uses the call of the wild to summon the wrath of Terra against the other forms of sorcery.   Using the instinctive rage of every living creature, Verdant mages prove that the survival of the fittest is the only universal law.   Their style of magic is opposed by Phantasm and Nether.

Water The Phantasm School

"Know this, my students.  The only secrets you know are the secrets I deliberately let you know."
- Cerulean, the Phantasm spellmaster

Teaching that strength lies in transience, Phantasm mages do not rely on anything as crass as physical assault, putting brain before brawn by using psychic attacks to bend their enemies to their will.  They abhor the primitive nature of Eradication and Verdant mages.

Death The Nether Convent

"Talk all the bravado you want.  After you kill each other, I'm just going to raise you all from the dead to serve me."
- Cypher, a Nether necromancer

Nether mages are often the most despised as they depend on the weakness of their enemies rather than their own strength to win.  Preferring corruption over creation, Nether magic focuses on crippling opponents gradually.  Through arcane practices, they are willing to sell their souls to Devil Princes for power, spilling the foulness of Hell onto the mortal realm.  Their practices disgust Ascendant and Verdant mages.

Armageddon
The Connections between the Five Magic Types

Antiquarians have debated on the true origins of magic.  Some say that Lucifer, one of the gods of Terra, had brought magic to mankind, knowing full well that humanity would destroy itself with his gift.  Others accuse Mr. Satan, the great deceiver himself, who supposedly persuaded Lucifer to carry out such a foolish deed.  Meanwhile, the Ascendant order declares that it is the source of all magic and all other forms of sorcery are merely a pale version of itself.  Still, those who have studied the ancient records of Terra say that magic had always existed, but a mighty being distilled its raw form to create the five types, then was slain by mankind with the very craft that it granted.

What is known is that the individuals known as Archmages, the mage emperors of present day Terra, are masters of the craft, rediscovering spells considered long lost.  Feuding with one another in their bids for power, the once noble art form has been perverted into a craft for war.  The conflict is eternal, for it is written that no Archmage truly dies; he only retreats back to Hell to plan his retaliation.