The ability to use magic was given to the merpeople by Neria, to protect themselves in dangerous waters "death swims on a fast fin". Neria gave her people two types of magic: canta prax and canta mirus. But Morsa, her enemy the scavenger goddess of death, gave them cantamMalus and canta sangua- dark and blood magic.
Types of MagicEdit
Canta Prax, or Plainsong spells, are the first kind taught to mer-children. Camouflage spells for fooling predators, spells for navigating dark waters, darkening an ink cloud or improving speed. They are easy and even those with little magic capability can perform them. Ondalinian camouflage spells are taught to their children while still in the cradle. Ondalinians are said to provide the best camouflage spells.
Canta Mirus, or Special Song, is much harder and demanding. It called for a powerful voice and a great ability to master. Mirus casters could bid light, wind, water and sound. The best can embellish old songspells or create new ones. The songspell in the second part of the Dokimí is Canta Mirus
Canta Malus or Darksong is a heinous type of magic. It is illegal dark magic, given by Morsa in mockery of Neria's gifts. Clepio is used for stealing, while habeo possesses a person's mind and body. Nocérus spells are used for harming others, while nex is for killing. Rotters- animated human corpses with no soul left inside them- are animated through Malus.
Malus is illegal but it is permitted to use them in wartime. The Bloodbind that Serafina, Neela, Ling, Ava, Becca and Astrid perform is used so they would be able to share each others' abilities, giving them all- to a degree- Ling's ability as an Omnivoxa, Neela's ability for light magic (though they do not become bioluminescents) and Becca's ability to master Waterfire. Possibly Ava's sight as well. In Rogue Wave, Serafina casts lava at approaching death riders.
Canta Sangua is even more hateful than Malus. It is blood magic. Lucia, however, performed it on more than one occasion- once when she wanted to find out who Mahdi truly loved by pulling his bloodsongs, and again when she created malignos of Mahdi to lure Serafina into a trap during Dark Tide, and again for herself at Sea Spell. A maligno is a duplicate of a merman or mermaid made of clay, animated by use of blood magic and the command of the caster. It first requires a living sacrifice. Lucia sacrificed her friend Bianca di Remore to create a maligno of Mahdi. She required the help of Kharis, a priestess of Morsa, to do such things.
Songspells can also be carried around and contained in pearls or pebbles, though preferably pearls, which can be cast at any moment. Becca used to work at Baudel's, a famous shop in Atlantica that produced songpearls. They make decorating spells, party spells, hairstyling spells and makeup spells. She gave out the idea for cosmetic songspell pearls that when cast, hair, eyelids lips and fins will be tinted whatever colour the caster wanted, guaranteed with no dulling or fading.