Primal Magic

Magic is the lifeblood of Golarion. Yet in its raw form, magic is not an ordered force—it is the all-encompassing chaos of possibility. The same energies that can be shaped to create explosive fireballs, raise the dead, divine the future, heal the sick, and summon demons can do that and more without the direction of skilled spellcasters. Normally, this unfocused magical potential does not exist in reality; it lies beyond reality, where it waits to be tapped. Where exactly magic comes from remains a lively debate today, but when magic is unleashed without any attempt to focus it—when it leaks into the world in its raw form—the result is known as primal magic.

In some realms, particularly in planes like the Maelstrom or the Abyss in the Great Beyond, magic is left to indulge in its raw chaos as it wishes—here, primal magic is often called “wild magic.” On the Material Plane, the world feels the touch of primal magic when the laws of reality themselves have been damaged, as in the case of the Mana Wastes, which lie between the nations of Nex and Geb. Here, magic flows in unpredictable tides and currents. At one moment, a region in the Mana Wastes might function normally while at another, magic won’t function at all. Usually, though, primal magic holds sway.

Manifestations of primal magic tend to build up potential before they explode into existence. Just as a thunderstorm doesn’t constantly lance the ground below with a constant beam of lightning, these bolts manifest periodically and almost randomly. And just as lightning can be called with lightning rods, primal magic can be purposefully or accidentally drawn out by utilizing magic in areas where such energies are building.