Mystra and the Weave
Open any three books describing the magic and mage lore of Faerûn, and you’re apt to find three conflicting accounts of the origins and true nature of magic. Some of this apparent contra- diction is deliberate falsehood designed to restrict the mastery of magic to those beings properly trained. Much of the rest of it arises from strange views or outright mistakes often unwittingly reproduced by later scholars.
Hear now the truth of things, as best it is understood. To speak simply, all known worlds and planes swarm with ever-present energies. Large and small, free-flowing or bound by physical barriers or magical effects (themselves merely energies shaped and designed to restrict or hold other energies), these surges and dissipations of energy give light and life and movement to everything. They are the stuff of life itself, and they would be present even if all living and once-living things on Toril were stripped away to bare rocks.
What some folk refer to as magic and wizards speak of as the Art is the means by which some beings can call on the ever-pres- ent energies and wield them to create effects. Sorcerers do this instinctively through an innate gift and the incredible force of their personalities. Bard songs waken echoes of the songs of begin- ning, the music of creation itself. Wizards construct processes— spells—enabling them to bend the Weave to their will in order to do what they desire. The divine power infusing any cleric holding the spells of her god or goddess can do the same, shaping the Weave through the holy (or unholy) power granted her.
Many types of magic have been spoken of down the years, but these are all merely different processes or paths to the same mastery of natural energies. This endless, ever-shifting web of forces is known as the Weave. Humans refer to the entity or awareness that is bound to the Weave of Toril as Mystra, and worship her as their goddess of magic.
Mystra wards the Weave against those powerful or reckless enough to damage it further. Until the world changes or the divine powers themselves lay down their guardianship over human affairs, the high and perilous magic of the past remains locked away under Mystra’s eye.