Every part of this world is infused with some kind of mystic energy.
Forests and rivers have spirits which protect and personify them, and every current of wind or flicker of flame carries a hint of magical power. Most people simply accept all these things as mysterious parts of daily life, something to be marveled at, respected, or even ignored -- others, of course, have dedicated themselves to the study of these powers, and learned to master them.
Have you ever heard of the "food pyramid"? You know, the 1-page document put out by the FDA that's always changing... how many servings of "meats, grains, fruit, etc..." Well, the simple fact is there are three kinds of food -- fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Everything else is a complication. I think the same is true with magic... I believe it all boils down to this;
The Path of Aggression teaches the offensive side of conflict, covering the Ways of Appropriation, draining energy or power from other entities; Destruction, dealing direct damage to other entities, and Repulsion, forcibly repelling other entities from a certain creature, location, or object.
The Way of Appropriation allows the magician to drain energy or power from others, objects, or locations and then use that energy to benefit him/herself. In practical terms, this usually means draining Health or Willpower away from a target and transplanting them elsewhere, though it may also be used to gain other benefits from time to time by absorbing energy.
The Way of Destruction is very simple, allowing the magician to deal direct damage to given people, locations, or objects. In practical terms, this damage can take any form -- fire spells, ice spells, etc. Rather than try to focus on *kinds* of damage that can be dealt, we should (until we really know what we're doing) instead focus simply on the damage itself. As such, each magician can determine *how* their damage is done, but the Universe will determine *how much* damage is done.
The Way of Repulsion is a mystic means of misdirecting or forcing others away. This might be a subtle effect, such as one designed to make someone subtly avoid a certain area without realizing it, or a very overt one, such as driving the target away with a thunderous display of power. In magical terms, it equates to any attempt to compel another to leave something/someone alone, whether making them absently-mindedly avoid it or by instilling primal fear.Apparition
The Path of Apparition is the art of creation, focusing energies into being in various forms, via the Ways of Conjuration, or creating matter or energy from the Aether (or Void); Illusion, fooling the senses, whether to deceive or entertain; and Summoning, or bringing forth creatures from the Aether (or Void).
The Way of Conjuration allows one to create objects from out of the Aether (or Void). An Easy task with this skill would be to conjure a small, simple item, such as a small amount of one common substance. A Moderate task would be a small object composed of multiple parts and/or substances, such as a glass of wine or a dagger, or a larger but simple object. A Difficult task would be to conjure larger objects with multiple parts, such as a pavilion or a whole feast upon a table. The more one conjures, the more complex and draining the effect will be on the caster's Willpower. Energy or elements may be conjured as well, such as whipping up a wind or bringing forth fire.
The Way of Illusion allows one to deceive the senses of another. These illusions may affect any sense, though for each sense affected the difficulty of the task will increase. The more large or intricate the illusion, the greater the difficulty of the task would be, as well. In practical magic, this generally means that the higher the will to create an illusion must exceed the will to see through it on the part of others, the more effective the deception.
The Way of Summoning allows one to bring forth spirits from the Aether (or Void). The more powerful the spirit, the more difficult the task. In magic, various spirits of particular power would have a certain task attached to them, and the more skilled the summoner the longer they would linger at her/his side until banishment. The summoner's willpower must be up to the task, however, if s/he intends to control the summoned spirit.Enchantment
The Path of Enchantment imposes mystic forces upon the world in one of two Ways. First, the paths of Imbuing and Dispelling may be used to place or remove, respectively, lasting magical effects on spirits, locations, or objects or beings. (These effects are often referred to, simply, as "enchantments.") The second use of this path is more immediate and temporary, though: The Way of Locomotion, or causing spirits or objects to move about.
The Way of Dispelling allows one to counteract existing magical effects, from lifting enchantments from objects to removing a curse from someone. The more potent the effect upon the target, the more difficult the task to remove it will be. Some effects may be permanent, in which case the effect cannot be removed at all. This way also potentially allows for the banishing of summoner beings and spirits.
The Way of Imbuing places magical effects on creatures, locations, or objects. In magical, this allows the magician to use any of his/her magic powers to create an effect, then place that effect on a person, thing, or place. The more complex or powerful the effect, the harder the task will be to enchant that effect upon the target.
The Way of Locomotion is quite simply the ability to make something move. This most often takes the form of levitation, though any kind of telekinetic-style movement is possible. Note that this Way does not cover the use of magic to create offensive projectiles for combat purposes, though it might be used to do such a thing in a pinch. The larger the object or faster or more complex the movement desired, the more difficult the task will be.Protection
The Path of Protection encompasses the non-aggressive side of conflict via the Way of Defense, using energy to create shields, barriers, or other contrivances to counteract attacks. Protection also deals with the Ways of Healing and Restoration, which have to do, respectively, with repairing damage and recovering from ailments, afflictions, or toxins.
The Way of Defense uses energy to create shields, barriers, or other contrivances to counteract attacks. In magical, this means either making the target harder to hit or harder to damage. The greater the effect, the more diffiult the task -- generally, directly in comparison with the effectiveness or intensity of the attack that is being used. Using the Imbuing Way of Enchantment, a barrier may be created and left in place outside of combat, as well.
The Way of Healing allows one to soothe pain and repair injuries or damage. In magical terms, this generally equates to recovering Health or Willpower when one has been damage/harmed somehow. There are many possible methods to healing. This Way is more concerned with the nuts and bolts, via the kitchen-witch or ceremony.
The Way of Restoration allows recovery from ailments, afflictions, toxins, and so on. If one has had one's abilities lowered somehow, this can restore them. In magic, it is used to recover from drains on one's attributes that might come from poisons, spells, disease, and so on.Transformation
The Path of Transformation allows the magician to directly alter the physical world, whether her/himself or another creature, an object, or even a location. This is accomplished via the Ways of Augmentation; enhancing the strength, ability, or potency of a target; Degradation; decreasing the strength, ability, or potency of a target; and Shapechanging; or reconfiguring the physical form and appearance of a target.
The Way of Augmentation allows one to enhance the ability or potency of something or someone else. In magic, it will usually provide abilities or attributes to oneself or others, though it could be used for many other things. Using the Imbuing Way of Enchantment, it could potentially be used to increase the effectiveness of weapons, or to make materials stronger.
The Way of Degradation allows one to decrease the ability or potency of something or someone else. In magic, it will usually lower the attributes of targeted characters, though it has many other possibilities. Using the Imbuing Way of Enchantment, it might be used to place curses on others, lowering their abilities or causing them trouble until they are cured.
The Way of Shapechanging allows one to, simply enough, change one's shape. This might mean just changing one's appearance, growing wings, or a number of other possibilities. This power is very open-ended, allowing one to potentially alter one's physical form very extensively. The more extensive the change, of course, the more difficult the task would be.Transmission
The Path of Transmission involves moving matter and energy across a distance. In terms of energy, this is accomplished via the Ways of Projection, sending energy or signals outward, and Perception, gathering energy or signals inward. In terms of matter, the Way of Translocation allows physical creatures or objects to be transported via portals, teleportation, or other such means.
The Way of Projection allows one to send energy or signals outward, taking various forms from telepathy to influencing the decisions of another to simply projecting one's image over a distance. The greater the distance or the greater the Willpower of the target (in the case of attempting to circumvent the will of another), the more difficult the task will be.
The Way of Perception teaches the subtle art of sensing that which most cannot see. It might involve sensing ambient magical effects, sensing the emotions of a target, or even reading a target's thoughts. In terms of sensing ambient effects or energies, the more subtle the "target's" presence the greater the task will be to detect it. In the case of trying to "read" someone, the greater the Willpower of the target, the more difficult the task.
The Way of Translocation is the ability to move matter or energy from one location to another via instantaneous transmission, portal, or other contrivance. In magic, the larger the mass (or quantity of energy) being moved and the greater the distance, the more difficult the task will be. The specifics of what method one uses to move between points, of course, is more a question for the magician than for the Universe.