Magic in The Realm of the Elderlings is primarily focused around telepathy and emotions. Most heavily linked to dragons, humans have been known to wield powers of their own. The Elderlings seemed to have a great deal of magical talent of their own, associated with the construction of magical artifacts. Elderling Malta Vestrit has demonstrated magic in the modern era, controlling globes of light.

Skill is the use of telepathy to hold conversations at great distance and to influence the emotions of others, present in the ruling family of The Six Duchies. Distinguished from the telepathy used by dragons, distance is unimportant but one must be Skilled just to hear the message. Examples of influencing emotions include Chivalry Farseer burning eternal loyalty into Galen or Verity Farseer convincing raider captains that a fight now is ill omened. Unlike telepathic messaging, influencing emotions can be done to those without Skill. 

Particularly powerful users of Skill are capable of illusions and misinformation. Few Skilled have demonstrated themselves capable of such feats, notably the Skillmaster Will. More moderate Skill users, such as Verity Farseer, are wholly able to thrust orders through Skill messages that are difficult, perhaps impossible, to ignore. Furthermore the skill can be used to influence the physical body with such skills as healing possible to those of great power and finesse.

Wit is the use of telepathy to hold conversations with animals. Most practitioners bond themselves to a single animal, mentally communicating and forming deep relationships. Viewed negatively in The Six Duchies, those who hold the skill hide it and do not practice it. Legend holds that those with the Wit who use it greatly slowly become little better than beasts themselves. 

Educated practitioners of Wit refer to themselves as Old Blood and the more talented are capable of unusual feats. Notable practitionary FitzChivalry Farseer wills himself out of his own body, inserting himself into the body of his bonded wolf, Nighteyes. An old folk tale describes the very real danger of such an activity, those who so join their beasts struggle to ever regain their humanity when restored to their bodies.

Scrying, charm-making and others are also a part of the magic of this universe.