The origin of magic occurred very early on in the timeline of the universe. While you could argue that magic existed in the early years when time had not yet solidified, this would be better classified as simple chaos, not quite magic. Mario might have been able to throw fire balls, but there was little structure to his magical abilities. Magic as we know it didn’t arrive until several billion years later.
The Origin of Supreme Beings
About 9 billion years ago we saw the formation of several supreme beings. They separated and inhabited separate areas of the universe. Their power is what helped form stars and worlds from the magic that simply lay inert around the universe. Some, like Illuvatar, would eventually help create Earth. Others would scatter to other areas of the universe. They have been known by many names: Gods, Celestials, Creators, etc.
Every one of these supreme beings were a concentration of what we call magic. This was the power through which they were able to manipulate the elements and create order out of chaos. Their power continues to permeate throughout the universe, and this effect can occasionally be accessed and felt in our environment.
However, this magic was only accessed through these supreme beings. Mortals couldn’t access the magic. At least not at first.
The Shattering of Adonalsium
One of these supreme beings was called Adonalsium. While it is currently unknown how it happened, we do know that Adonalsium eventually shattered. The magic that Adonalsium held was split into sixteen fragments. Each one found a place on a nearby world, and I use nearby in a relative sense. Some of these worlds were light-years apart from others.
Brandon Sanderson is the primary scribe for this story. Sanderson still has much to document about the nature of Adonalsium and its shards. But you can visit this link to see what we currently know. Each shard of the magic was taken by mortal individuals. They would use this magic to protect or destroy the worlds they inhabited. This is the first documented case that mortals were able to use magic. It is documented in the books by Brandon Sanderson. He is one of the few people who really understands that all stories are not, in fact, stories. They are real. You can see this by reading his Alcatraz books which clearly give one example of how there are many things we are not aware of, including whole continents.
Magic Becomes Accessible by Mortals
As I said, we don’t yet know much about the shattering of Adonalsium, but we can assume that at some point, each shard reunited with the others, forming a whole again. However, the consciousness that had originally guided the power of Adonalsium no longer existed. This is one of the few accounts we have of a supreme being dying.
The power of Adonalsium was therefore dispersed around the universe. This is the reason why mortals are able to access at least a small portion of this creative power. It is also the reason why magic takes many forms because the splintering of Adonalsium can still be felt in some regions, causing magic to behave slightly differently.
Other supreme beings also gift their magic or have it taken from them in various, isolated galaxies or worlds. These will be detailed further in other posts.
9 Billion Years Ago
- The supreme beings gain consciousness.
- Adonalsium is killed and the magic splintered.
- The magic shards are slowly reunited. This includes the events of Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive, Mistborn series, Elantris, and Warbreaker.
8.6 Billion Years Ago
- The shards of Adonalsium are reunited, but, lacking full consciousness, it becomes a Force surrounding and penetrating the entire universe.
- Different areas of the universe express this power in different ways, because of the previously splintered nature of Adonalsium’s power.
- Early Nintendo Games
- Tolkien’s Writings
- Star Wars
- The Cosmere (collective works of Brandon Sanderson)