(Setting: Modern-postmodern urban fantasy dystopic surveillance state. I wrote this on the bus, so totally up for logic holes being pointed out)
Magic in Jen’s ‘Verse works by encouraging or discouraging what’s already happening in the world. The more you go with the flow of the world, the less magic it takes.
So you can encourage water to flow a little more heavily over a spot, or to move to another spot. If it’s another low-lying spot, it’s not so much magic, but if it’s a high place, then that takes more magic.
Magic makes little pulls in the fabric of the world. Small pulls, only someone who is actively looking for them AND sensitive to the magic and to the pulls will find. The larger the pull, the more likely a magic-user will find. And really big pulls leave runs in the fabric of the universe that even laypeople will — and do — see.
Magic accretes where it is used. If you use a sigil to make yourself look younger, over and over again, eventually the pull is going to be visible in ways that a normal person will notice — you seem creepy, the wind goes the wrong way around you, grass dies or grows under your feet, you have witch-marks or the mark of the moon…
To move magic off of yourself, it’s generally clever to use more magic to benefit others than to benefit yourself.
The Agencies deal with this problem by delegating the magic use to Agents, Workers, and Faces.
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