Mysticism: The Unfathomable Voyage
By Tetronius Lor
Mysticism is the school of magic least understood by the magical community, most difficult to explain to novices mages. The spells effects commonly ascribed to the School of Mysticism are as wildly disparate as Soul Trap -- the creation of a cell for a victim's spirit after death -- to Silence -- the extinction of sound. But these effects are simply that: effects. The sorcery behind them is veiled in a mystery that may go back to the oldest civilizations of Tamriel, and beyond.
The Psijics of the Order of Artaeum's term for Mysticism is the Old Way. The phrase becomes bogged in a semantic quagmire, because the Old Way also refers to the religion and customs of the Psijics which may, or may not, be part of the magic of Mysticism.
There are few mages who devote their lives to the study of Mysticism. The other schools are far more predictable and fathomable. Mysticism seems to derive its power from its conundrums and paradoxes; the act of experimentation, no matter how objectively implemented, can influence the magicka by its very existance. Thus, the Mystic mage must regulate himself to finding consistant patterns in an imbroglio of energy. In the time it takes him to find a source with a consistant trigger and result, his peers researching in other schools may have researched and documented dozens of new spells and effects. The Mystic mage is a patient and uncompetitive scholar.
For centuries, mostly during the Second Era, scholarly journals publishes theory after theory about the aspect or aspects of magicka that we call Mysticism. In the tradition of the Mages Guild to find answers to all things, respected researchers suggested the energy source as coming from Aetherius or the Daedra themselves to explain the seemingly random patterns of Mysticism; some ventured to guess that Mysticism comes from unused elements of successfully or unsuccessfully cast spells; discussion with the Order of Artaeum after its reappearance has led some scholars to postulate that Mysticism is more spiritual in nature, either the intellect or emotion of the believer influences the energy pattern and flow.
None of these explanations is truly satisfactory. For the beginning student of Mysticism, it is best to simple learn the patterns distinguished in the maelstrom in the centuries past. The more patterns are found, the clearer the remaining ones become. Until, of course, they change. And then the journey begins anew.