The Dragonlords of Dumnonia

Magic

(Revised 2/21/99)

This image is originally from Midnight's Attic, which no longer seems to be on the Net.

There are two types of magic use: priestly (including druidic) and wizardry. Priestly is fairly simple. The god or goddess who is worshiped by the cleric grants the spell in response to a prayer. In this instance, the cleric needs to know about the deity. The more the character knows about a specific god or goddess, the better a simple spell will work and the more likely it is that a major spell will work. For instance, an acolyte who prays for light, can expect to get enough power to light a candle. A deacon using the same prayer could light a lamp or torch. A priest could light a bonfire. (Each cleric could cause an inanimate object to glow with the relative amount of light as well.)

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Each deity has a specific type of magic that works really well for him/her. Clerics who try to use a spell that is in the specialty field for their deity often can work such a spell better than they can work other spells. The specialty fields are:

Deity Spell Types
Ailan Cold (including Weather), Shape-Changing (including Plant), Time (forbidden)
Criton Flight (including Levitation), Scrying (including Clairvoyance and Clairaudience)
Daenan Weapon Enhancements, Group Control
Farador Fertility, Animal
Kyla Armor Enhancements (including Clothing), Attack/Defense (including Shield)
Leot Light (including Fire and Lightning), Healing
Miranda Creative (inanimate), Dispel/Block
The Mother Creative (animate), Age
Serak Darkness, Individual Control
Tobar Travel (including Teleportation and Telekenesis), Summoning
Xeron Pain, Demonic
Zed Food, Drink

Clerics can use spells outside of their deity's specialty (Healing or the creation of food or drink are popular examples), but spells that a deity knows very well will work especially well for his/her clerics. For instance, a priest of Kyla might be able to conjure enough food and drink to feed a platoon, a priest of Zed could conjure enough to feed a company.

Druidic magic is a subclass of clerical magic. All druidic spells come from the White Wolf, Ailan. The spells are limited to anything, living or non-living, that occurs naturally.

Prophets are a completely special case. These are individuals who are vessels through which a deity can work magic. Some prophets know which deity is using them. For instance, Shashtah knows he is a prophet of the Lord of Light, Leot. Other prophets have no idea which deity is working magic through them. For instance, the Bronze Dragons have only been able to figure out that their prophetic powers are hereditary within the line of Tchang, possibly because of his semidivine nature. But the deity who is responsible for Tchang's divine blood is the Dark One, and the prophetic powers of the Bronzes do not seem to stem from their hated enemy. The Bronze Prophets suspect that the deity may be the Mother, but it could just as easily be the Lord of Light or the White Wolf or any of half a dozen other gods or goddesses. In addition to being able to work "Hail, Mary" spells (that is, a prophet can make a hand gesture and hope the deity sends something through in the way of a spell and that the spell might be useful), prophets can see the future. Prophecy is wildly erratic in young prophets; extremely ancient prophets are more accurate. Yet no prophet is guaranteed to be completely accurate. It is very difficult for a prophet to tell how far in the future he is reading, and the future is constantly changing. The prophet may be seeing only the most likely future or the one the deity most wishes to warn the prophet about or toward which the deity wants the prophet to work. Most prophets (and prophetesses) seriously wish that they had not been "blessed" with this type of magic.

Since the Mirari use wizardry to grant spells to their clerics (something that is known only to beings of Mirari blood), the only form of "true magic" is wizardry. This is the type of magic that is practiced by all wizards, mages and apprentices. All magic items use this type of magic since only wizards can create magic items. All magical creatures-those with innate magic-use this type of magic instinctively. Clerical and prophetic magic are only variations of wizardry (in other words, they are wizardry worked through a second party).

This image is originally from Midnight's Attic, which no longer seems to be on the Net.

Put simply, wizardry is the practice of using magical powers to effect something else. A wizard's power comes from knowledge. The level of detail a wizard commands about a target and about all aspects of the desired spell determines the effectiveness of the spell. Anyone can be a wizard. How powerful a wizard a character is depends on how intelligent the character is, on how much knowledge the character has access to, and on how much time the character is willing to (or able to) spend studying. The Mirari are born with innate knowledge in certain fields (see the above chart). Some creatures are born with innate knowledge of certain magical spells (For instance, Dragons can instinctively fly and use their breathweapons.). But an average character has to acquire the necessary knowledge from scratch.

Spell components, hand gestures, and magical words are all simply tools that help a wizard bring his mind into sync with the target. Higher level wizards, such as the Mirari or, in some cases, the Wizards of Corin, can dispense with such things. A wizard who specializes in a particular type of magic can sometimes dispense with such things as well. For instance, Geron Firelord does not have to do anything special to access any form of fire-magic because he is so in tune with all aspects of fire in the world around him.

Magic itself is the force that is psychically manipulated by wizards while casting spells. This force exists on a plane that is parallel to the physical plane where most characters live their lives. When casting a spell, a wizard mentally opens a channel between that plane and the plane where the spell is intended to take effect. The mental effort this requires tires the mage, and, in the case of extremely powerful spells, can render the wizard unconscious for several days or even weeks. It is possible for high-level mages, such as Great Wizards, to drain the magic force from magical items and use that power to work spells. This enables the wizards to avoid the effects of opening the channel to the Plane of Magic. Ailan, the White Wolf, is under a curse, which was placed on him by Shane of Corin, that he always drains the most powerful magic items around him whenever he works a spell. To use magic normally, Ailan has to be in the middle of nowhere with absolutely nothing around him, which is why he spends so much time in the Northern Wastes. Most Great Wizards, however, can choose the object that they will drain. Farador, the Elven King, stockpiles items precisely for this purpose, storing them in the magical lake in the Elven Kingdom.

The force centers on Centuria and grows weaker the further someone gets from the planet. On the planet itself, magic is abundant. Many of the creatures have innate magic, and most individuals of even moderate intelligence can learn magic use-if they have the drive to do so. All Dragonriders, for instance, learn to conjure enough food and water for themselves and their draconic mounts. Before the school of Corin was destroyed, professional training in magic was rather easy to come by, provided that the character had enough wealth to get to the school and could be spared from whatever family business he/she had been born into. Ailan hopes to restore the school at Tor in Daethia, but there are currently not enough fully trained Great Wizards to serve as teachers. Most magic training is accomplished through an apprenticeship-system, where a more advanced wizard teaches a less advanced mage in exchange for goods or services. There is an excellent library on magic use in the Elven Kingdom, but only elves or races with elven blood (such as the Dumnonians) can enter the Elven Kingdom without special permission from the Elven King.

This image is originally from Midnight's Attic, which no longer seems to be on the Net.

One of the bizarre effects of the curse Shane cast on Ailan is that this force no longer centers on the core of the planet but rather on him (a fact that very few people actually know and that he desires to keep secret). So when someone is unwise enough to "kill" Ailan, all the magic in the universe rushes into him, fully healing him and bringing him back to life. The magic then slowly seeps outward from him again. When this happens, all magic outside of Ailan stops working temporarily, which can cause some very serious problems. When magic comes back, sometimes "permanent" spells are restored; sometimes they are not. In general, Ailan is one of the best-protected individuals in the universe, as a result, since even the Dark One has decided that fluctuations in magic are extremely bad things.

The excessive use of magic on the border between Dumnonia and Cinnamar has resulted in huge non-magic zones, where magic simply will not work. Spells cannot be cast, and magic items will not function. To use spells or to return magic items to their functional state, characters must leave these zones. The zones have never been mapped, and many Dragonriders believe that the zones move-though most caravaneers suspect that the zones are more stable than the Dragonriders believe. It is possible that the zones only exist for a certain period of time after certain combinations of spells are cast, but no one has ever figured out the correlation between the zones and the events that precede their appearance.

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