There are four realms layered on top of each other, from atmosphere to the centre of the earth. From top to bottom: Celestial, Terrestrial, Infernal/Demonic, and Cyclic (placeholder name). Each realm apart from Cyclic have unique magic systems, but in all of them, living beings are infused with magic and passively emit it. Using magic is known as weaving.
The uppermost realm, inhabited by celestial beings. Magic affects the universe as a whole. There are 3 elements:
Time - control of the flow of time e.g. going to the past or future.
Space - control of space, allowing for things like teleportation, implosion, etc.
Life - control over life and death.
The upper middle realm, inhabited by humans, animals, plants, and other familiar things. Magic affects immediate surroundings. There are 9 elements:
Elements are grouped into 3 triads. If specialising in one element, other elements in the triad will be easier to learn, and compliment each other.
Fortifying Triad: Metal, Earth, Wood
Ethereal Triad: Air, Fire, Light
Lifegiving Triad: Water, Flesh, Lightning
The lower middle realm, inhabited by demons. Magic affects individuals - can be either the self or another. There are 4 elements:
Mind - ability to enter and alter minds, telepathy, etc.
Body - ability to change shape.
Energy - ability to give or take energy (magic).
Shadow - ability to dissolve into and move through shadows.
The realm at the centre of the Earth, where Carapace hails from and where the story starts. It is a realm of constants, where there is a set number of any given creature, which continually die and are reborn. If one is eliminated for good, a new one is created or spawns elsewhere in the realm (depending on the type of being). Similarly, if there is a new arrival, another will spontaneously be destroyed.
The cyclic realm has scraps of magic from each of the other realms, as other beings often fall into it, carrying their magic with them. This is broken down as they are consumed and reconstituted. Any abilities are weaker or more crude than their original forms. For example, demons have seamless, perfect transformations. Cyclic beings may have giveaways or feel pain, and often need to strip or slough their skin off in order to transform.