Magic is a power an individual animal can use, though so far only the Lyons have been shown making use of it. It is possible that some Tigrisian populations may have had their own magic, but the Black Emperor did away with them.
Magic is passed from parent to child, though later generations can exhibit it even if their parents do not as Uhuru could do magic while Hotio and Asta were not known to have powers. Magic does not appear to lose potency throughout the generations at any noticeable speed, though individuals closer in bloodline to a certain source of power command more control over it than those farther away, as shown when Mōbōr usurps the ColdFyre from Vireka, stating the white lyon was merely "borrowing" it. It can also change it's nature with generation, as the Endian Empire royals all have unique powers despite all coming from the same source: Mōbōr.
Magic can grow stronger from one generation to the next, as Lang'at was said to have been dwarfed in power by both her sons, who's magic was so much more potent and powerful that it blocked hers out. Non-magical individuals can use magical objects, for instance, the Fyre stones.
The vast majority of magic users in the Iron Lyons universe find their talents geared towards one major talent or specific area where their power is greatest. When their magic is first 'awakened', they have a wider range of powers, none of them very strong; as time passes, one talent begins to emerge as the dominant one, and in that regard they will have fairly powerful magic. This talent usually manifests itself early on, but can be lost in the sea of other powers the user is playing around with in the early days. Major talents usually settle into dominance within a few years, and the other powers fade down -- magic users will still be able to command other magical elements, but these will require more concentration and focus to use, and will never come so easily nor so strongly as the major talent.
Control is an entirely separate issue. Some magic users never find the finesse needed to truly make use of their talent, and some in fact end up accidentally killing themselves by not mastering that level of control needed to 'tame' their powers. Others try to force their talents to take a different path, and this either puts so much stress on their own body they can end up experiencing heart attacks or strokes, or the neglect of their actual talent makes their magic extremely unpredictable and wild. Magic users that wish to survive very long tend to need someone to guide them on their way, to teach them how to find control and understand the mechanics of it all. Every user has to find their limits of what they can and cannot do, and learn to work within them and accept them. A large portion of such never do, and so don't last long enough to breed.
Magic can alter the genetics of an affected individual as well as their fertility. For example, lyons would be rendered infertile when they were turned into Hounds, but regain this fertility if turned back into a lyon. Araawa was subject to her father's experimentation on her with his own magic, and members of her line -- Uru for example -- have the tendency of growing very large.
Magic can be mixed, as seen with The Tempest and possibly The Waste, the result of the Great War between the first White Lord and the Black Emperor. Both constructs protect Afriik, as Tšatši wanted, but attempts to kill any that tried to best them as Mōbōr wanted. Through mixing, a dead mage's abilities can linger on in a creature, so long as the other mage is alive since by now it is not completely their magic therefore cannot die with them.
The Royals of Endia are all descended from the powerful sorcerer Mōbōr, who in turn came from the powerful witch Lang'at. Theirs is Blood Magic which takes a variety of forms, and though Mōbōr is a universally known and hated lyon, they consider their ability to preform magic because of him a gift, if a dark gift. Magic varies from individual to individual.
The Red Queens all descend from Araawa, the first Red Queen and daughter of Mōbōr. They can control the ColdFyre and possess Fyre Stones given to Araawa by Mōbōr himself. They are charged with keeping the stones safe and Afriik by extension, passing them and the knowledge of how to use them from parent to eldest child.
The Pale ones descend from the exalted and holy white lyon Tšatši, who also came from Lang'at; her second son. Like the Endian Royals, their magic lies in their blood, and upon Mjane's captured and Keita's birth, they could also control the Coldfyre and create fyre stones. Once virtuous and holy, power corrupts them and twists them into violent, bigoted lyons who see no place in the world for their dark-pelted brethren. Feeling entitled to it, they make a bid to take Afriik in it's entirety.
The Barbari LyonsEdit
The Barbari lyons beyond the Waste have a few lyons among their number who can preform magic. Aloka is one such lion, gifted with the ability to predict the future of an individual as prosperous or disastrous, successful or doomed to fail.
Before Lions became Lyons, there were magical individuals among them, mostly witches and many of them were fake. Lang'at was the most powerful and well known witch at the time, the origin of her powers unknown, and her two sons Tšatši and Mōbōr would go on to be the source of most of the magics afterwards.