"An uneducated mortal is tragic, an uneducated population is a natural disaster."
Casting can be a confusing mess. You never know when you'll discover a new Element and fall through a hole that used to be the local bakery. As per the decree of the Council of Nine, To prevent such embarrassing moments in society, There are numerous groups that strive to keep everything stable. At least just enough to keep the world spinning, without it becoming too boring.
Raw, unmitigated power. Sorcerers use Magic through sheer willpower. Most everyone with magical potential starts their first spell with sorcery, often by accident. Sorcerers are the most powerful, and the most dangerous. simply because the magic they cast isn’t always a conscious or intentional effort. Accepting the sudden surge of ether is usually so potent that they barely even need the right words to insult the elements, their mere existence is already an affront. Over time, frequent use of magic causes sorcerers to become stronger, crazier, and therefore, more dangerous.
The Magic they cast has a price. The more magic they cast in this manner, the crazier they get. This can range from mild eccentricities to full blown psychosis. If you run into a rogue caster, it's more than likely going to be a Sorcerer.
Spellscars: Sorcerers use their own ether and life force to use Magic with no substitutes. Foreign Ether is not a good thing to have in your system, as conflicting energies have a myriad of side effect. The most visible of these are Spellscars. Arcane, twisted markings emblazoned upon the body like tattoos. Depending on the potency and duration of the spell, these scars can twist and bend all over in disturbing patterns. You'll know you're dealing with a serious Sorcerer if they're covered in these unsettling markings.
Wizards are anti-social, recluse, and are usually as pleasant to interact with as a coquettish pumice stone. This is due to the fact that, contrary to their counterparts, Wizards have no way of tapping into their limited ether. Whether they lack confidence, willpower, or potent enough ether, They cannot insult the elements enough for them to be taken seriously. Hence why a raspberry or fart sound is usually replied for a failed casting attempt. So to supplement this, Wizards use ingredients from other sources of ether. Plants, animals, animal parts, even refined emotional concepts made physical are fair game. With enough know-how, Wizards could potentially contest their abilities with sorcerers if they have the proper ingredients and the right incantations. The components both create the insult to the Element and channel the energy to mimic a more powerful Caster. Projected into an object small enough to serve as a temporary totem, or if ritual casting, put in a cauldron or big pot.
Despite their casting issues,Wizards are incredibly well versed in research and study. You will typically find a wizard buried in a library of their own making. Be warned, A Wizard's library is akin to that of a Dragon's Hoard; expansive, gluttonous, and guarded with a lethal zeal.
Magi are talented Casters whom understand the relevance of practice and research, but also have the prowess to cast Magic on their own. Magi commit to learning more about their gifts and the mysteries around them, leading to rigorous experimentation. While a Wizard may hoard knowledge and a Sorcerer may set it on fire, a Magi will typically be the trailblazer and discover new ways to cast. Though, it doesn't stop a Magus from being a showy Caster. For many, Theatrics are everything, And with enough flaunting and peacocking, A Magus might be able to compare its spells to that of the raw potency of a Sorcerer.
Magi have enough spiritual energy to channel and use magic. When the retaliation comes, the magi channels the energy into a totem they are properly attuned to (through hours or days of rigorous attuning and testing of its capacity) and uses the totem to cast the magic. Very much like a lightning rod absorbing the energy. If the totem is not tuned properly or goes over capacity, the energy may destroy the totem.
Totems: inanimate objects also have a form of ether in them. Though objects are charged with magical energy leeched from the people that use them. Even a person without enough Ether to qualify as a Caster gives a little energy to these objects over long periods of time. It's ability to channel Magic is dependent on how much a person projects their own ether into the object. Magi do this purposely to create casting conduits. Totems can be almost anything. Rings, swords, shoes, gloves, amulets; all of these can qualify as totems if prepared correctly. There has even been a report of a Caster using an ornate spoon as his totem. This hasn't been confirmed as we don't talk to him much.