Magic is referred to as “Magery” by many in Aithar, and those who practice magic are often called “Mages”, regardless of specialty, status, guild, or race.
Magic drains power from the Mage. Starting to perform a spell comes with the requirement of completing it. If more is drained than the mage has in reserve, the mage can be killed.
A circle of six mages together can perform a type of magic known as Legacy Magic
The ultimate ritual of Legacy Magic is the opening of the Dire Portal, which is done with six circles, one at each of Aithar's Lodestones, linked by a seventh circle at the Focal Point. That seventh circle channels the energy of all the rest, and through them, the Lodestones, in order to open the Dire Portal.
Mages were at one point the major Healers in Aithar, across most of its nations. However, when the Great Purge occurred, some rulers in the nations who participated in the Purge decreed that Healers would be exempt from death as long as they never practiced magery again - instant death upon being caught - so that they could be responsible for teaching the new generation of Healers how to heal the sick, using whatever nonmagical techniques they were familiar with.
Magery is used through the Gift. As far as anyone is aware, humans, at least, cannot use magery of any kind without The Gift. This simple name may stem from ancestral beliefs that the magery was a gift from a divine being to humanity. One can be born with the Gift, or can be Given it. If the Gift is Given to another, the first mage no longer has any magery at all, while the second receives it.
The Gifted are born with the Gift and need not receive it. They need only to be taught how to cast spells, or to improve their Gift. Many Gifted cause accidental magical occurrences during childhood or untrained adulthood, emotional outbursts, and etc.
The Marked are those who have the capacity to be given the Gift, but are not born with it. They are empty vessels, with the ability, but without any magery of their own until it is Given.