A Gift is a supernatural or superhuman ability, ranging from the ability to wield magic to the ability to manipulate emotions through music.
Bardic Magic in Velgarth seems to be related to other Gifts, especially Empathy. The use of Bardic Gift is usually embedded in performing music. The bardic gift comes in three forms: the gift, the talent, and creativity. "Talented" Bards, those with the Gift as opposed to extremely talented musicians, can influence people's emotions or behavior through their music. These Bards let their audience experience the emotions behind the music through their performance.
A rare form of additional perception, Earthsense is the ability that allows one to "see" or "feel" the condition of the land around him. Examples of this are Herald-Prince Darenthallis (By the Sword), King Tremane (Storm Breaking), and Firesong k'Treva (Mage Winds and Mage Storms trilogies). Traditionally, the monarch of Hardorn is required to possess Earthsense in potential, which can then be awakened by ritual. Also, all Tayledras Healer-Mage Adepts have Earthsense, which allows them to sense hurts in the land and use their mage gifts to help heal them.
Psychic abilities, sometimes called Mind-magic or Gifts (always capitalized) are inherently mental. These abilities are encouraged in Valdemar but they were believed to be charlatan's tricks in the Empire and "witchcraft" in Karse.
As the name implies, Empathy is the Gift that allows its user the limited ability to detect, and sometimes influence, the emotions of others. It is normally seen combined with the Healing Gift. Powerful cases of Empathy can assist other powers: the ability to link with a FarSeer to find some location that had a strong emotion present, for instance, or the ability to boost a healer's stamina and aid in the healing process. Those with Empathy often become MindHealers, and help to restore mental stability to patients whereas normal Healers only Heal their body. Herald Talia (current Monarch's Own Herald) is the only Herald known to have Empathy as her only gift. Other cases of Empathy are present in other cultures, such as the Hawkbrothers and the Kale'a'din.
Farsight is, quite literally, the ability to see things that are far away as if they were close.
The Gift of Fetching comes in two (related) varieties. One allows people to teleport objects, either from their location to another or from another location to theirs. The amount of energy required is directly proportional to the size of the object and the distance. This kind of Fetching is only used on living creatures in extreme circumstances and by those with an exceptionally strong gift (e.g. Herald Dirk). The other kind of Fetching is more or less the traditional telekinesis - meaning alowing one to manipulate the movement of mass within their sight with their mind. This kind of Fetching appears more in the prequel novels (Last Herald-Mage; Collegium Chronicles; Brightly Burning)
Firestarting is the Valdemaran term for pyrokinesis: the ability to set fire to any object, including objects and materials that would not normally burn. This Gift usually manifests itself about once in a generation. It is a difficult Gift to control because the users have to have confidence in themselves and their ability to control the Gift. Because of this, its users are generally feared. The Gift can be extremely useful in war, as the Herald Lavan Firestorm single-handedly wiped out a Karsite army. Herald Griffon is a powerful firestarter of the current generation.
Foresight allows those who possess it access to visions of future events. The length and relevance of these visions vary from person to person, sometimes giving visions of things minutes ahead, and sometimes years. The accuracy of the visions also varies from Herald to Herald. For example, Herald-Mage Vanyel had a recurring, detailed vision throughout his life, although the details changed throughout the years. When the events of the vision finally came to pass, the details were proven inaccurate to a degree, although the main warning was still valid. Herald Alberich, on the other hand, has notably short-range Foresight that is often stated to be most useful in battlefield-style situations. His visions, though in the nearer future, were of the type he could prevent if he chose the correct course of action.
Herald Alberich has been noted as experiencing a "flash of blue" before his visions.
Mind-Healing focuses on the maladies of the mind and emotions, rather than the physical well-being of the patient. A variety of feats are possible with Mind Healing including extraction of and implantation of memories (as performed by Healer Crathach in Exile's Honor), though this presents potential moral dilemmas for some Healers. Healers with Mind Healing gifts often specialize in psychology as well.
Mindspeech allows those who possess it (and the companion Gift of Thought-sensing) to send words and images to each other silently and across long distances. Mindspeech and Thought-sensing are almost always partnered together and rarely does a person have one without the other. Companions, kyree and Firecats communicate in this fashion.
The ability to experience the previous holder or owner of an object's emotions or thoughts while holding said item. Used by Herald Trainee Mical (Exile's Valor) in an attempt to learn the identity of a potential traitor.
Healers use "healing energy" on a small scale to "encourage a person's body to do quickly what it would do anyway." For the recipient, this results in the near-instantaneous healing of minor injuries. Major injuries, such as those received by Queen's Own Herald Talia (Arrow's Fall), may take months of Healing sessions, depending on the power of the Healer.
Healing energy can repair damages due to injury or illness, but cannot replace a missing limb or reverse birth defects. Healing energy only speeds natural recovery. Scarring may be reduced by the use of magical Healing but not eliminated.
Mage-Gift utilizes a type of life-energy to produce various effects comparable to magic, such as teleportation, lightning manipulation, and the ability to create shields. Skilled mages can draw upon lines of power known as ley-lines. These mages are generally called Masters. Those that are even more skilled, called Adepts, can draw upon Nodes, or reservoirs of power.
A taboo form of magic that allows the practitioner to gain power by causing pain and death. Unlike the others in the list, this is a source of power, as opposed to a technique or school. The power can be channeled through the other forms of magic. Typically the users are evil, but there are exceptions. For example, Shin'a'in shamans have been known to commit self-sacrifice for the good of their clans (Mage Winds trilogy). Also the "last ditch" method of taking out an enemy by magic known as Final Strike is a form of Blood Magic. To use Final Strike, the caster suicides using all their power and the power of their own blood magic to attack their enemy; not even the highest Adepts can survive Final Strike and there is normally no trace of the caster left, apart from a pile of ash. Herald-Mage Vanyel in Magic's Price calls down Final Strike on Leareth.