By - SepeSas
Local law enforcement handles it murders are easy as they just go get a necromancer who raises the dead who just tells them who did it. For example.
Sheriff: someone killed Ted.
Necromancer: I got this.
*Teds ghost appears*
Teds ghost: It was Dylan
Dylan: uncool dude!
Magics leave traces. Since everyone can use it, polices are trained to quickly notice these trails. Also, unless the criminal is professional, most won't even know how to mess up the scene, which gives the enforcers even more hints. For murders, it's even easier, as long as the culprit doesn't have soul-related spells: A necromancer is contacted and asked for support. Polices have their own, but not every units have them since necromancy isn't easy to learn to begin with. The necromancer will simply summon the victim's soul and ask directly. Because ghosts are recognised as real in this world, their words are extremely valuable proofs.
Not that easy everytime. If the criminal is someone who intentionally commit the crime and have prior knowledge about how to erase traces, investigations can go on for years, if not decades. There are many cases like that, especially mass murders where victims' souls are completely destroyed or taken away. With that, they have to go back to the traditional way of investigation.
"Someone used magic to do the crime"
"Cool, at least we know they arent from there"
Generally, people avoid using magic for crimes in area where they live, because they usually dont know anyone with the same kind of magic, and expect to be the first suspect.
The fun thing is, that there is a lot of mages with the same abilities; they just don't really discuss it outside of family / close friends cycle.
As for "how" to solve crimes- well, there are normal detectives here.
Jokes on you, magic *is* the crime
All the local mages are well known, and all the visiting mages are extremely observed. This doesn't necessarily have the crime be solved, but it will narrow down the suspects. Sleuthing performed is fairly regular, but mages are magically smarter. Furthermore, magic in my setting is very large and flashy. If it is used for a crime, likely everyone in the neighbourhood will know. If a mage is skilled enough not to cause a ruckus when they use their magic, they are likely too skilled to be caught anyway.
first of all, a small number of people can use magic as a weapon, common people can create some sparks, or throw something in someone's head, so it's not so hard to detect, there aren't many powerful arcanists, all of them must have documents proving they can perform magic and do arcane studies (otherwise, prison or death penalty depending on the nation), there's a test that shows if someone is a arcanist or not, magical flows easier throught them, catrium materials(powerful magic conductors) will start glowing after some minutes near them (and the arcanists will feel a lot of pain).
After using any magic, the user will suffer magical wounds, the scars glow for some days, and after that will be permanently on the skin(nothing can heal them) and if magic is used near, the scars will glow again, but weaker than before (the glowing can stop permanently after some years), the magical scars are one of the most important evidences to find a criminal.
"Is it better to commit crimes without magic?" yes, it's way easier, with time many strategies were created to deal with magic, but the best crime possible is to make people think it wasn't caused by magic, really powerful arcanists (with enough sacrifices) can create such a big magical effect that looks like a natural disaster, in some places "unpredicted storms" and "landslides" became a "common" way to die for "misbehaving" nobles, preachers and popular leaders.
Usually, crimes committed with magic end up in the hands of the Men in Black, a branch of the Veil Treaty entrusted with ensuring the divide between the magical and mundane worlds remain intact, and to keep the peace within the supernatural world itself.
However, often lost in the many duties of the Men in Black is the well-being of the Earth's mundane population--the billions of sleepers who remain unaware of the supernatural threats that lurk amongst them. That's where national Occult Intelligence agencies--like Majestic-12, MI18, the DGSX, the BOÜ, CSIS (no, not that CSIS, the other CSIS), and their kin come in. Most of the time, these organizations attempt to enforce their nation's laws on the supernatural populations that dwell within their borders.
And most of the time, they fail. But that doesn't stop them from trying to keep vampires, witches, ghouls, werewolves, dragons, fairies, bogeymen, and demons in line.
When a crime is committed using magic, it usually doesn't take long for a member of local law enforcement "in the know" to find out. Then, this individual either rings in their nation's Occult Intelligence organization or rings up a local Champion who the police keep on retainer.
Champions are the recognized private investigators-slash-attorneys of the supernatural world. The title is far more grandiose than their position, arising from the previous responsibility of champions to advocate--or "champion"--their client in the courts. And sometimes fight trials-by-combat in the client's stead. But Champions try to avoid that particular circumstance, as most of them are more "quick-witted nerds" and less "great warriors."
Anyhow, regardless of who is called to investigate, they will usually bring along some divination tools. Magic leaves a signature behind, unique to the person who cast the spell--this signature comes from the tradition(s) of magic one practices, one's own personal style and flairs, and even one's mental and emotional state when casting a spell.
Think of it like your written signature--you developed that signature over the years based on your personality, your education, your upbringing, and it does change based on how you're feeling when you sign it.
But these magical signatures don't linger long--a few hours at most. Usually, by the time the occult investigators are on the scene, it's begun to fade, and so the investigators will get an incomplete picture. But it's enough to start the investigation--there's probably enough left to determine the caster's tradition (necromancer vs. shaman vs. Hermetic mage), their relative power, and if any forbidden magics were used (blood sacrifice, demonology, chronomancy, and so on).
Divination can also give some other clues about the caster, such as an rough image of them at the image they committed a crime, or a general direction leading towards the criminal. But divination is an imperfect art, and relying entirely on it is a great way to be led astray. Usually, most occult investigators rely on a combination of magical and mundane tools, knowledge, and skills to conduct their investigation.
Only a small amount of people can detect and read magic evidence, but it’s an unpleasant jobs for most and many people are coerced into the trade out of necessity.
Mages are rare enough, and watched closely enough by their governments, that the fact that magic was involved *at all* immediately narrows down the possible suspects by a lot. If further investigation is needed, many police departments employ their own mages to provide services like postcognition, spell analysis, and the odd bit of necromancy.
Violent crime are entertainingly easy to solve.
You, a member of the shared psionic pseudo-hivemind, cause stirs in the shared psionic energy to weaponize it to murder another member of the psionic shared conciousness.
That's bold. Considered something more inconspicious, like murdering someone on a livestream?
Crime in general have taken a downturn due to nobody being truly alone, and there always being the shared consciousness weighing on your conscience, not to mention potentially noticing your wrongdoings.
Police merely patrolling and maintaining a presence are more effective than ever preventing crime. Exciting new crime prevention options like making thoughtcrime illegal or a police department of powerful psionic professionals dedicated to smoothing out deviance in the shared mind are not used, as it have proven unneeded.
^(OR IS IT? wake up sheeple!)
Using sorcery draws mana from the environment, and sorcerers can innately sense the flow of mana within their reach (technical term - basically the maximum range of their magic). So if a spell has been cast recently somewhere, a sorcerer would be able to feel it by the disturbed currents of mana in the area, and by the vague traces of leftover mana from the casting they *might* be able to tell what kind of spell was cast. There's no magical way to trace it back to the caster though, you'll have to use regular forensic methods for that.
Sensing spells can also be used to detect things, like metal ore underground, people behind walls or traces of blood regular inspection failed to notice.
In murder cases, a shaman (or warlock) can summon the spirit of the victim, but:
1. Ghosts are not always lucid or helpful, and
2. In many regions there are massive taboos against summoning/binding them.
I actually had an idea for the plot of a short story or something, where a shaman who mainly works as a funeral officiator, summoning the ghost of the dead so their loved ones can say goodbye, is called in by the authorities to summon the ghost of a murder victim. I don't know if I'll ever write it, but the seed is there.
It's more complicated due to the relative rarity of any sort of high caster, but I'll try to answer the questions.
If certain spells were used to commit a crime, some trackers (who themselves aren't necessarily considered 'magical') may be able to track the latent mana or discern various things about the spell used.
The closest thing to forensic techniques would be the abilities of seers and oracles, who seldom have time for a trivial murder or theft.
There's pros and cons to each, more often then not it would be rare to see a known caster use magic for a crime. Magic users are rare enough that one could reasonably collect every caster in a large town in a single room.
Magic abilities are random, kind of like quirks in My Hero Academeia, tgere's no telling who in the area has certain abilities. An ideal situation would be a mage there can see into the past, or look into memories.
But, unless you're rich enough to get some guy with those abilities from half a continent away nost of them probably won't be much different from a normal medieval investigation.
Since magic is actually something somewhat tangible in Magis Terra, criminals have to be careful to not leave any traces of magic particles. Some of them use cancelling spells, but of course, spells can fail, and cancelling spells also leave traces of magic.
There are traces that can be detected by those trained in how to do so.
But they are complex so take some time to decipher. So are just another tool.
These traces are better at just screening suspects.
"Based on the trace there is no way it could have been you, your free to go."
The trace can more readily disprove suspects more than it can prove them. even a 90% match can be circumstantial. caused by other actions.
What kind of traces are these? Aura of the caster for example? If so it can be used to screen for suspects but what do they decipher?
This is still a work in progress.
But one aspect of the trace is which magical energies have been used recently. Like gunpowder residue being left at the scene and on the perp. Magic leaves an effect when used, especially the more powerful ones.
So, if there is no correlation between traces at the scene, and the suspect. It is a reasonable assumption they were not at the scene when the spell was used.
Though traces get hard to detect after a couple days. as well as get berried under new traces.
In Eldara, magic-related crimes are pushed up the hierarchy to a more specialised law enforcement agency. They can't directly trace the magic user, but if there is magic involved, regular law enforcement won't be able to do much of use and not get killed.