I hinted at this setting idea over a year ago, but… what would a world where anger is a route to magic look like?
How closely tied are those things? Does someone who is angry automatically have access to magic, or is that something that takes more special effort? Is there something about “only some people” etc?
For my personal interest, I want any anger to potentially lead to magic. And I want the magic that comes from that to often be dangerous & uncontrolled.
But… why then would children not cause lots of deaths? Is there something about coming of age or being older? A sufficient concentration of some environmental toxin / mineral / chemical? If it’s that, why wouldn’t fetuses concentrate the already present material in the womb?
Perhaps it’s gradual tissue damage from exposure to an external source of radiation… like, the sun, or a weird alien moon. Probably thinking about WFRP here, and Morrslieb.
Let’s say that anger becomes a reliable route to magic around puberty. That means that most communities, knowing the danger posed by anger-driven magical effects, would work hard to make sure that anger was avoided like the plague. Children would be taught to not give themselves over to anger, to prevent terrible things from happening as they grew older.
This wouldn’t be healthy. Mostly because I’m not interested in it being a healthy way of mitigating anger, but also because I don’t think pathologically avoiding anger for fear of something awful happening is actually good for anyone. This could even create moments when people—consumed by terror—do terrible things to stop someone who looks like they’re getting angry, like murder in self-defense when you know someone else has a gun… grotesque, understandable, awful, socially accepted.
So if the general population avoids anger and wants nothing to do with anger-magic, where would magic users come from? Where would they come in? Who would bother to train any new generations of magic users?
Oh, oh my. What if a person was known as a great and powerful wizard because they had once been utterly furious and were known for flying into a powerful rage at the drop of a hat? And what if, these days, they had resolved the fury which had once driven them? Perhaps they would want to see the world be different, so that people didn’t kill or hurt each other out of fear of someone being angry?
I like the character, an older magician who is no longer able to tap at will into the magic which made them so well known, feared, and respected… but who still performs the role in hopes of changing the world. They might seek to teach and train younger magic users to be able to think through their anger and channel it (anger and magic both) into more productive ends.
I don’t know if this person would be the central character for anything longer than a short story or piece of flash fic, but they feel worth exploring.