Disclaimer: This magic system is not named after Avatar’s Eywa, nor is it patterned after the Force of Star Wars or Brandon Sanderson’s books Warbreaker and The Way of Kings. Way of Kings is the most similar system to this, but I came up with this system before that book came out. The name comes from the Hawaiian word ea, meaning Life, air, or breath, like a breeze or spirit.
“Ea is life. Ea is all around us. By embracing Ea we live and by It’s leaving us do we die.”
~ The Miracle of Ea, Chapter 1, Verse 1
For most people, breathing merely means they’ll stay alive a few more seconds, but for those who understand that with each breath they also breathe in Ea, things get much more interesting.
Whether or not you think of Ea as divine or natural, these particles are extant everywhere there is normal, breathable air. They normally stay away from each other, but when someone breathes, the particles are forced together. This compression releases energy into the breather, providing them with the energy to live. There may also be room for Ea-powered technology that works by compressing the air. Energy is conserved because the air absorbs energy from its surroundings. There’s math and such to support that idea.
Normal breaths don’t provide much energy, but if someone can manage to breathe in a higher density of Ea, they can start doing things with it. Since the energy comes from these particles, breathing out releases the energy and magic is only possible while the breath is held. This breath can be held as long as there is energy left unused, however, since Ea is the reason we breathe at all.
The art of magic, then, encompasses the knowledge of both how to use this energy and how to attain it. I haven’t decided how Ea is coaxed into someone, but the art is teachable to anyone.
When someone breathes in Ea, their hair becomes temporarily more saturated. Highlights appear in places, often red (as in ginger), or a silvery-white. The more Ea, the more hair changes. This has interesting consequences for old people and red-heads. In the case of red-heads, I’ll make the executive decision that this has something to do with the circumstances of their birth. As for older people, they are just more skilled at breathing 🙂