A historical look at the mechanics and use of the arcane arts before the end of the Age of Magic, as written by Batlin of Britain
Before anything further is written, it must be noted that the following section is included only as a matter of historical documentation. The use of magic has long been proven to be unreliable and the suspected cause of mental deterioration. The author takes no responsibility for anyone who may attempt to practice magic based upon the information contained herein.
The Mage's Spellbook
The first component necessary for the successful casting of spells by a mage is his spellbook. It is his principle tool and without it the mage cannot function. This book contains the formulae and incantations required to cast the specific spells that a mage knows. As mages become more experienced they can acquire new spells. A wise and long-practicing mage may have a great tome filled with strange drawings, diagrams and writings. These writings will be explained in greater detail in a forthcoming section. Every mage's spellbook contains several basic magical spells called linear spells. These too will be explained in their own section.
The Mage's Reagents
The second component required for spellcasting is the proper reagent. These chemical materials serve as a link between the physical world that the mage wishes to affect and the psychic energies of the ethereal waves that the mage is drawing upon to effect that change. Some reagents are relatively common herbs, others are rare and exotic items. The following is a list of reagents used by all mages.
Black Pearl: Black pearl is an exceedingly rare commodity; fewer than one in ten thousand pearls is black. They have been found at the base of tall cliffs on Buccaneer's Den. While a less than perfect pearl may be perfectly acceptable for decorative purposes, the black pearl of a mage must be perfectly formed or it is virtually worthless. Black pearl is ground up into a fine powder.
Blood Moss: In recent years the only places where this strange substance can be located are in the Bloody Marsh across the mountains from Cove (where many years ago thousands of soldiers lost their lives) or in the enchanted forest of Spiritwood, beneath the rotting bark of dead trees.
Garlic: Certainly this is the most commonly available of all magical reagents. There are few kitchens in all of Britannia that are not supplied with at least a few cloves of this spice. Garlic cloves are washed and ground into a paste, providing significant protection from harmful magic.
Ginseng: The healers of our fair land have known of the healthful and restorative powers of this bitter root for hundreds of years. But to the mage it requires special preparation. It must be boiled and reboiled in the freshest of water no less than forty times! This reduces it to a strong-smelling syrup that makes a very potent reagent.
Mandrake Root: This rare plant extract, found only in the darkest, dankest corners of the foulest of swamps, is a most sought after magical reagent. It is also one of the most difficult of all reagents to prepare, for in being dug up the tap root of the mandrake plant must not be broken. Also, that root itself must be properly prepared, boiled and dried. Mandrake root can be found on the Bloody Marsh and in a place known as the Fens of the Dead, south of Paws.
Night Shade: This plant, found only in swamps, only blooms at night. The fungal cap from this rare and unusual mushroom may be either crushed or boiled into a tea. The mage must always use great care when handling nightshade, for it is not only a very potent hallucinogenic, it is also extremely poisonous.
Spider's Silk: While this is a common reagent, it can be very difficult to gather any significant quantity of it from any single source. Mages have been known to frequent caves and crypts and even run their own personal spider farms in order to maintain an abundant supply of spider's silk. It usually takes at least an ounce of silk to cast a spell.
Sulfurous Ash: The great quantities of ash generated by a volcanic eruption makes this a common commodity as far as magical reagents go, but one does usually have to travel in order to acquire a large quantity of it. In recent years the most common source of sulfurous ash has been the Isle of the Avatar, location of violent volcanic activity many years ago.
The Mage's Words of Power
The final component necessary for the mage to cast a spell is the spoken mantra that constitutes the words of power. Far more than simple memorization of the words and their meanings is required. The mage must have a consciousness-altering com-prehension of each individual syllable of a word of power. The pronunciation of each syllable resonates through the ethereal waves as the spell is being cast. Incor-rect pronunciation invariably causes ethereal turbulence. Long periods of medita-tion upon each syllable and many hours of controlled breathing exercises are re-quired before the proper use of the mage's words of power can be learned. The following is a list of the known syllables that make up the words of power.
The mage is able to cast spells when the three elements-spellbook, reagents and words of power-are combined in one unique and fluid action. The mind of the mage must be properly focused, as some spells affect just one person, others affect a group of people and still others affect a specific area. As a mage's experience in casting spells increases, so too will the potency of many of his spells. Outside distractions and interference, as well as the intended target's natural resistance, might prevent the successful casting of any spell. One factor over which the mage has no control is the state of the ethereal waves when a spell is being cast. While the ethereal waves are often subject to turbulence, such turbulence is a temporary condition.
Once again, the author takes it upon himself to warn his readers that the following is included as nothing more than a matter of historical record. It is a statement of absolute fact that most of these spells do not work and many will turn back upon the user. The use of magic is strongly suspected to be the cause of a strange mental deterioration than can affect anyone who has practiced magic. The reader is strongly discouraged from experimenting with the spells listed here.
Linear Spells There are certain spells that a mage will immediately be able to learn upon complet-ing his apprenticeship. They are called Linear spells because they do not directly correspond to any of the eight circles of magic that exist in the ethereal waves. Linear spells are the only types of magical spells that require no reagents to cast.
AN ZU (Awaken) This spell awakens one sleeping or unconscious creature.
AN FLAM (Douse) This spell extinguishes any small, non-magical fire.
BET ORT (Fireworks) This spell creates an impressive display of multi-colored moving lights. When the mage becomes more experienced, he can use these lights to frighten his enemies, sometimes causing them to flee.
BET LOR (Glimmer) This spell creates a small light source that lasts for a short period of time.
KAL LOR (Help) This spell resurrects the mage and his party and teleports them to Lord British's castle, where they will be fully healed. Remember that this spell is usable only once by any mage.
IN FLAM (Ignite) This spell generates a tiny missile of sparks that can ignite flammable material.
VAS KAL (Thunder) This spell causes a single thunderclap to be heard, as if a terrible storm is imminent.
REL HUR (Weather) This spell can create a storm or cause an existing storm to stop.
The Circles of Magic There are eight circles of magical spells, each successive circle representing a more powerful level of magical energy. The ethereal waves are made up of eight rings or circles which correspond to the levels of the spells. Each circle is one of eight swirling vortices, all spinning one within another and expanding out through the universe. The more powerful the spell a mage casts, the deeper into the inner circles of the ether must the concentrated psychic energy of the mage penetrate. Required for the mage are many, many hours of meditation, the strength of concentration, and the will to reach into one of the higher circles with his psychic energy. Every mage is fully aware that a backlash would upset our physical world, possibly harming the mage and those around him.
The First Circle of Magic
VAS AN ZU (Awaken All) Reagents: Ginseng, Garlic This spell awakens all unconscious members of the mage's party.
IN MANI YLEM (Create Food) Reagents: Garlic, Ginseng, Mandrake Root This spell creates enough food for the mage and each member in his party to have one meal.
AN NOX (Cure) Reagents: Ginseng, Garlic This spell cures poison and restores a person afflicted with paralysis. It has also been known to work against an assortment of other malicious maladies.
WIS JUX (Detect Trap) Reagents: Spider's Silk, Nightshade This spell reveals the location of all traps within sight of the mage and his party.
VAS AN FLAM (Great Douse) Reagents: Garlic, Spider's Silk This spell is a more potent version of the Linear spell Douse. It extinguishes all dousable items within a certain area.
VAS IN FLAM (Great Ignite) Reagents: Sulfurous Ash, Spider's Silk This spell is a more potent version of the Linear spell Ignite. It will cause all flammable items within a certain area to burst into flame.
IN LOR (Light) Reagent: Sulfurous Ash This spell is a more potent version of the Linear spell Glimmer. It creates a source of light that will illuminate a darkened area. This light source can travel with the party and lasts for a significant amount of time.
IN WIS (Locate) Reagent: Nightshade This spell reveals the sextant position of the mage, even when underground.
The Second Circle of Magic
AN JUX (Destroy Trap) Reagents: Sulfurous Ash, Blood Moss This spell destroys any one specific trap upon which it is cast.
ORT YLEM (Enchant) Reagents: Black Pearl, Mandrake Root This spell causes up to an entire bundle of arrows or bolts to become enchanted and glow blue. Enchanted missiles will always hit their target and do significantly more damage than normal.
VAS FLAM (Fire Blast) Reagents: Sulfurous Ash, Black Pearl This spell causes great jets of flame to burst forth from the mage and strike his target.
VAS LOR (Great Light) Reagents: Sulfurous Ash, Mandrake Root This spell is a more potent version of the First Circle spell Light, and has a substantially longer duration.
VAS AN NOX (Mass Cure) Reagents: Mandrake Root, Garlic, Ginseng This spel l cures the mage and all members of his party at once.
UUS SANCT (Protection) Reagents: Sulfurous Ash, Ginseng, Garlic This spell temporarily makes its subject more difficult to strike in combat, as well as rendering him invulnerable to traps and other hazards.
ORT POR YLEM (Telekinesis) Reagents: Blood Moss, Mandrake Root, Black Pearl This spell allows the mage to manipulate objects without touching them.
POR ORT WIS (Wizard Eye) Reagents: Blood Moss, Nightshade, Mandrake Root, Sulfurous Ash, Black Pearl, Spider's Silk This spell enables the mage to extend his sight out over great distances, passing through any barriers that exist between himself and anything he wishes to look at.
The Third Circle of Magic
DES SANCT (Curse) Reagents: Sulfurous Ash, Nightshade, Garlic This spell is a minor curse that temporarily makes an enemy easier to hit in combat, while making it harder for him to strike the mage or any member of his party.
MANI (Heal) Reagents: Ginseng, Garlic, Spider's Silk This spell heals half the injuries that its subject has sustained.
AN POR (Paralyze) Reagents: Spider's Silk, Nightshade This spell paralyzes an enemy in his tracks for a short period of time.
VAS WIS (Peer) Reagents: Nightshade, Mandrake Root This spell gives the Mage a look at the entire world as well as showing his location in it.
IN NOX (Poison) Reagents: Nightshade, Blood Moss, Black Pearl This spell enables a mage to poison one enemy.
VAS UUS SANCT (Protect All) Reagents: Sulfurous Ash, Ginseng, Garlic, Mandrake Root This spell is the equivalent of casting the Third Circle spell Protection on everyone in the mage's party simultaneously.
IN ZU (Sleep) Reagents: Nightshade, Spider's Silk, Black Pearl This spell causes the enchanted person to fall asleep.
KAL BET XEN (Swarm) Reagents: Nightshade, Mandrake Root, Blood Moss This spell summons swarms of insects to attack the enemies of the mage from all directions.
The Fourth Circle of Magic
KAL XEN (Conjure) Reagents: Spider's Silk, Mandrake Root This spell summons a wild beast that will fight for the mage against any enemy.
ORT GRAV (Lightning) Reagents: Black Pearl, Sulfurous Ash, Mandrake Root This spell enables the mage to cast a bolt of lightning that will strike his target. This lightning is so destructive that no armor can protect its wearer from it.
KAL POR YLEM (Mark) Reagents: Mandrake Root, Black Pearl, Blood Moss This spell creates a magical (but invisible) "mark" on any of eight specific colored stones. The Fourth Circle spell Recall can then be cast on that stone.
VAS DES SANCT (Mass Curse) Reagents: Sulfurous Ash, Nightshade, Garlic, Mandrake Root This spell is similar to the Third Circle spell Curse, but it affects an entire group of the mage's enemies.
KAL ORT POR (Recall) Reagents: Mandrake Root, Black Pearl, Blood Moss This spell is a minor spell of teleportation. Casting it on a Marked stone takes the mage and his party back to where the Mark spell was cast on that stone.
WIS QUAS (Reveal) Reagents: Sulfurous Ash, Blood Moss This spell makes visible all things that were invisible within a specific area.
KAL WIS CORP (Seance) Reagents: Blood Moss, Mandrake Root, Nightshade, Spider's Silk, Sulfurous Ash This spell allows the mage to speak to all recently dead ghosts, until sunrise. If one were travelling to Skara Brae, the wise mage would have a healthy supply of appropriate reagents to cast this spell many times.
EX POR (Unlock Magic) Reagents: Sulfurous Ash, Blood Moss This spell unlocks magically locked items, including doors and chests.
The Fifth Circle of Magic
AN XEN EX (Charm) Reagents: Black Pearl, Nightshade, Spider's Silk This spell can be used either to ensorcell an enemy or creature into doing the mage's bidding, or to free one who is under the effects of a charm.
POR XEN (Dance) Reagents: Mandrake Root, Garlic, Blood Moss This spell makes everyone in sight (except the mage and his party) start to dance.
AN GRAV (Dispel Field) Reagents: Garlic, Black Pearl, Sulfurous Ash, Spider's Silk This spell can dispel any type of magical field, such as a Fire Field.
VAS FLAM HUR (Explosion) Reagents: Mandrake Root, Sulfurous Ash, Black Pearl, Blood Moss This spell creates a ball of flame that rushes toward the mage's intended target and explodes.
IN FLAM GRAV (Fire Field) Reagents: Black Pearl, Sulfurous Ash, Spider's Silk This spell creates a wall of fire between the mage and his enemies.
VAS MANI (Great Heal) Reagents: Ginseng, Spider's Silk, Mandrake Root, Garlic This spell completely heals an injured person.
SANCT LOR (Invisibility) Reagents: Nightshade, Blood Moss This spell renders the mage undetectable, not only from sight but to all means of normal detection. There are certain creatures that, for various reasons, are capable of seeing invisible objects or people.
VAS ZU (Mass Sleep) Reagents: Ginseng, Nightshade, Spider's Silk This spell is a more potent version of the Second Circle spell Sleep. It puts to sleep a group of targets that are not in the mage's party.
The Sixth Circle of Magic
QUAS WIS (Cause Fear) Reagents: Nightshade, Mandrake Root, Garlic This spell causes such a wave of fear that each man and creature who is not in the mage's party might flee as if in danger of death.
IN QUAS XEN (Clone) Reagents: Sulfurous Ash, Spider's Silk, Blood Moss, Ginseng, Nightshade, Mandrake Root This spell creates an exact duplicate of any mortal creature, who will then fight on the same side as the original.
KAL FLAM GRAV (Fire Ring) Reagents: Sulfurous Ash, Black Pearl, Mandrake Root, Spider's Silk This spell create a ring of fire that will encircle the mage's target.
VAS IN FLAM GRAV (Flame Strike) Reagents: Sulfurous Ash, Black Pearl, Blood Moss This spell creates a field of fire at the feet of all the mage's enemies that are within sight.
VAS ORT HUR (Magic Storm) Reagents: Mandrake Root, Nightshade, Sulfurous Ash, Blood Moss This spell summons a swirling storm that will randomly attack the enemies of the mage with powerful bolts of lightning.
IN NOX GRAV (Poison Field) Reagents: Nightshade, Spider's Silk, Black Pearl This spell creates a field of energy that will poison all who come into contact with it.
IN ZU GRAV (Sleep Field) Reagents: Ginseng, Spider's Silk, Black Pearl This spell creates a thick wall of energy field where the mage desires. All who enter this energy field will fall asleep.
VAS POR YLEM (Tremor) Reagents: Blood Moss, Sulfurous Ash, Mandrake Root This spell creates violent tremors in the earth that will cause the mage's enemies to tremble frantically. The effects of this spell will not inhibit the mage or his party.
The Seventh Circle of Magic
REL YLEM (Create Gold) Reagents: Mandrake Root, Spider's Silk This spell changes a chunk of lead into ten gold nuggets.
CORP POR (Death Bolt) Reagents: Black Pearl, Nightshade, Sulfurous Ash This spell enables the mage to project a bolt of lethal energy at a specified target.
TYM VAS FLAM (Delayed Blast) Reagents: Mandrake Root, Sulfurous Ash, Black Pearl, Blood Moss, Spider's Silk This spell causes whatever it is cast upon to violently explode, destroying much of the surrounding area. The explosion is delayed long enough to give the mage and his party time to get out of range of the blast.
IN SANCT GRAV (Energy Field) Reagents: Mandrake Root, Spider's Silk, Black Pearl, Sulfurous Ash This spell creates an electrical field that protects the mage by harming all who attempt to pass through it.
IN HUR GRAV YLEM (Energy Mist) Reagents: Mandrake Root, Nightshade, Sulfurous Ash, Blood Moss This spell causes an electrified mist that flows from the caster, enveloping his enemies and harming them as long as they remain within it.
VAS AN XEN EX (Mass Charm) Reagents: Black Pearl, Nightshade, Spider's Silk, Mandrake Root This spell is similar to the Fifth Circle spell Charm, but it affects an entire group of the mage's enemies.
IN VAS POR (Mass Might) Reagents: Black Pearl, Mandrake Root, Ginseng This spell doubles the strength and combat abilities of everyone in the mage's party.
VAS MANI (Restoration) Reagents: Ginseng, Garlic, Sulfurous Ash, Mandrake Root This spell instantly heals all injury, dispels all harmful magic and cures all poison or paralysis inflicting the mage and his party.
The Eighth Circle of Magic
VAS KAL AN MANI IN CORP HUR TYM (Armageddon) Reagents: Black Pearl, Blood Moss, Garlic, Ginseng, Mandrake Root, Nightshade, Spider's Silk, Sulfurous Ash This spell is believed to be so powerful that it may be capable of destroying all known living things in the entire world. Fortunately, this spell has never been cast!
VAS CORP HUR (Death Vortex) Reagents: Mandrake Root, Nightshade, Sulfurous Ash, Blood Moss This spell creates a swirling black vortex at the point the mage designates, which will thereafter move at random. Everyone within this vortex will be continuously struck by lightning.
VAS SANCT LOR (Invisibility All) Reagents: Mandrake Root, Nightshade, Blood Moss, Black Pearl This spell is the equivalent of casting the Fifth Circle spell Invisibility upon the mage and everyone in his party.
VAS CORP (Mass Death) Reagents: Garlic, Ginseng, Mandrake Root, Nightshade, Blood Moss This spell causes everyone in sight (except of the mage and his party) to instantly drop dead.
IN MANI CORP (Resurrect) Reagents: Garlic, Ginseng, Spider's Silk, Sulfurous Ash This spell, when successful, empowers the mage to restore life in one who has died.
KAL VAS XEN (Summon) Reagents: Mandrake Root, Garlic, Blood Moss This spell summons a powerful creature that will fight for the mage and his party.
IN JUX POR YLEM (Swordstrike) Reagents: Black Pearl, Nightshade, Mandrake Root This spell creates a deadly pinwheel of eight spinning swords that sails toward the designated target.
AN TYM (Time Stop) Reagents: Mandrake Root, Garlic, Blood Moss
This spell stops the passage of time for the entire world, with
the exception of the mage and his party.
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