in the Cruxworld
is, first of all, not magic
. Scarlet mages theorize and claim that both stem from the same basic force, but take entirely different forms. Empathy is also different from and - again, scarlet mages claim - is closer to magic than telepathy
The most important points that prove empathy != magic are as follows.
- Magic-sensing spells, devices and people are not able to detect the use of empathy or an empath in general.
- Unlike magic, empathy is largely uncontrollable. It's "on" by default, and controlling what comes in and what does not requires much effort - and even then, things like death in front of the empath's eyes are virtually impossible to be simply blocked.
- Empathy is a very limited talent. It has to do with feelings and emotions, period. The general consensus in the Courts is that something as narrow in scope and possibilities can not be defined as "magic." A Court scholar once compared the difference between empathy and magic to the difference between a brother and a sister.
The absolute worst thing for an empath is to experience to death of someone close to her - physically close, mostly. Witnessing a death, practically no empath can block out the feelings and lives through the experience with the victim. The result of experiencing death and staying alive is, more often than not, a comatose or catatonic empath. In some cases, it "only" causes severe mental trauma, leaving the empath more or less able to keep living his life. On occasion, the other extreme has been met - the empath may potentially die as well.
(This entry is very incomplete and Candy has a headache. Mruh.)