Ross

Magic & Mages: In-Game Texts

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Evening Epsilon,

A few years ago I put together a retail forum post that consisted of in-game texts. It was written with the purpose of exploring magic and mages in the Warcraft setting. As I have recently reprised my role of roleplaying a Mage in Easthold, I thought I would repost that thread right here on the Epsilon forums.

Enjoy!

(Thanks to Tiariana for the graphics!)

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"<Penned by the skilled hand of Archmage Ansirem Runeweaver>

Abjuration is the study of protective magic and one of the most important schools for a young mage to study. The most generalized abjuration spell is the mana shield, a spell that transmutes raw mana into a barrier that protects the caster from attacks. Properly executed, this spell can protect the mage against even the most formidable of attacks - but the mana shield is very difficult for a novice to master. It often takes a mage months of practice to even conjure a simple mana shield, and thus, more basic alternatives exist.

A series of elemental armor spells were invented to aid the traveling mage in the unfortunate case that he or she might be attacked. These spells require far less raw energy to cast then a mana shield and are more easily maintained over time, but lack the raw potency of the mana shield. Rather than stopping an attack completely, a frost armor spell might simply decrease the effectiveness of the assault. The more advanced armor spells grant other benefits - for example, the potent mage armor spell actually assists the caster in regaining magical power more easily.

Practitioners of the arcane arts are often ambitious, and we frequently find ourselves in situations where magic may slip just slightly beyond our control. It is for this reason that the ward spells exist. Ward spells are quick, potent incantations to protect the caster against a form of elemental damage - damage which is often caused by the caster attempting one of the other schools of magic. This is why studying abjuration early is so imperative.

One of the most renowned practitioners of Abjuration magic is Prince Kael'thas Sunstrider. While the prince is quite formidable in all schools of magic, Kael'thas has created a variation of Mana Shield that is practically unsurpassed in among the residents of Dalaran. Also notable is the Arcanist Doan, who has perfected a spell that combines Evocation and Abjuration to shield himself for a short time while preparing a powerfull area-of-effect spell. This Detonate spell provides Doan with a degree of near invulnerability for a precious few seconds, but few mages have the capacity to cast it safely."

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"<Penned by the skilled hand of Archmage Ansirem Runeweaver>

Conjuration is the study of summoning - both creatures and objects. Ever really, really wanted a fresh drink of spring water when you're in the middle of nowhere? Conjuration, my friend, is the answer. There is nothing more enjoyable for a mage than creating a fresh slice of bread or a glass of water. Just ask any of us!

More formidable specialists in conjuration can summon several glasses of water at once, or perhaps even a tankard. A few daring wizards have occasionally attempted to summon water without remembering the glass - and thus, the art of summoning water elementals was born. Water elementals are a wizard's best friend. (Felhounds are not, in fact, friendly at all.) A summoned elemental is a formidable ally in combat, a great listener, and they even taste great!

There are several wizards who have chosen to follow the refreshing path of conjuration. Captain Balinda Stonehearth is a fine example of a mage who has chosen to adapt conjuration magic for battle. Perhaps the most famous conjuror of our time, however, was the beloved Archmage Nielas Aran. Aran was not only noted for being able to summon several elementals at once, he also perfected a recipe for conjuring sparkling cider. It should be noted that Nileas Aran was no simple jester. That's what magic is all about."

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"<Penned by the skilled hand of Archmage Ansirem Runeweaver>

Divination is the school of magic dedicated to gathering information. Powerful divinations can allow the mage to see targets from a great distance, or even view what may normally be invisible. One of the most common uses of divination magic is scrying, which is the art of seeing something that may be far away - perhaps even on another plane of existance.

I'd like to take this time to remind my apprentices that scrying pools are not a toy. They are absolutely not to be used for displaying students of the opposite sex on a pay per view basis. Consider this your last warning.

The legendary archmage known as Medivh is perhaps the greatest known master of divination. His potent spells allowed him to peer into the world of Draenor from our Home in Azeroth - and perhaps even beyond. We can only speculate at the true depths of the power that Medivh once held."

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"<Penned by the skilled hand of Archmage Ansirem Runeweaver>

Enchantment is the process of imbuing an object - or person - with magical power. Some enchantments are temporary, while others can offer permanent benefits. Enchanting can be difficult to learn, but it is one of the most potentially lucrative forms of magic to study. I highly encourage the study of enchanting, as it is one of the studies of magic that is least likely to culminate in my own destruction.

Disenchanting is the process of dispelling or removing magic. The dispel magic spell is among the most important in a mage's arsenal, as it can potentially reverse the catastrophic effects of a misfired spell. It is also possible to permanently disenchant a magical item. This produces a unique form of crystallized mana that can be used in the process of imbuing another item with magical abilities. While this can get expensive, it is often one of the best ways for a young mage to study the enchanting process.

While he has already previously been mentioned for his skill in abjuration, Prince Kael'thas Sunstrider is also considered one of the foremost masters of enchanting in our time. He has not only mastered the creation of potent magical weapons, but the prince has also learned to manipulate these objects remotely, allowing them to fight on their own. This can quickly allow the prince to fight as if he was defended by several skilled guardians even when he is completely by himself. A potent defense, indeed."

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Edited by Creic

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"<Penned by the skilled hand of Archmage Ansirem Runeweaver>

Illusion is the art of deceiving reality itself. The mists of illusion can make a mage invisible or inaudible to the world or twist the image of a location into something entirely different. Illusion can be used for disguise or manipulation, but beware, spells to counteract illusions exist in the divination school. It is not viable to base your entire career on illusionary magic.

Contrary to popular belief, illusions are far more than mere parlor tricks. The spell of invisibility is among the most integral in a battle mage's repertoire, as you will often find yourself in dangerous situations and in need of a quick method for a strategic retreat. Illusions can also be used to deceive your opponents into thinking that you are elsewhere, or even trick your enemies into fighting each other. This is no easy task, but the accomplished illusionist can turn allies into enemies - and his or her own enemies into allies.

The former archmage Jandice Barov - may her soul rest in peace - was an excellent example of a talented illusionist. In life, she developed a spell that displayed several images of her body that were nearly indistinguishable from her real form. These images duplicated her actions from different locations, making it nearly impossible for her enemies to find her. It was almost infallible. Which brings me to another lesson - almost is simply not good enough."

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"<Penned by the skilled hand of Archmage Ansirem Runeweaver>

Necromancy is the study of magic involving the dead. It is highly illegal and should be avoided at all costs. I discuss necromancy here only because it is our obligation to have a basic understanding of the magic employed by our enemies - and make no mistake, any practitioner of necromancy is your enemy. Necromancers and their followers are the enemies of all living things. Their influence must be avoided at all costs.

Necromantic magic has many functions beyond simply raising the dead. Masters of this tainted field of magic can conjure festering diseases, harness the shadows into bolts of incendiary energy, and chill the living with the power of death. Necromancy can also be used to reconstruct the flesh of undead creatures, allowing them to function again even after the foul monsters have been destroyed.

The former archmage Kel'Thuzad is perhaps the most notable example of a modern necromancer. He greatly contributed to the initial spread of the Scourge and the fall of Lordaeron. Now, Kel'Thuzad reigns as a lich from the floating citadel of Naxxramas. His ongoing existence poses an imminent threat to us all."

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"<Penned by the skilled hand of Archmage Ansirem Runeweaver>

The ninth and final school of magic is transmutation. It is among the most popular and useful of all of the schools, allowing a mage to manipulate time and space. Perhaps the most iconic Transmutation spell is Polymorph, which allows a mage to turn something - or someone - into something else. Fortunately for many of my students, the effects are not permanent. I've seen more than one unwary apprentice turned into a sheep, pig, or worse - don't even ask what "worse" means.

The second most famous use for transmutation magic is teleportation. The most basic teleportation spell is blink, and it remains among the most useful. Blink can be used to quickly escape a foe - or save a mage who has accidentally fallen off a cliff. Do not attempt to use blink to escape falling to your death unless absolutely necessary. This is the kind of trick you can only fail once.

Make absolutely certain you know your destination before attempting to teleport. There's a reason we have very specific spells to teleport to certain locations - attempts to cast a teleportation "on the fly" often result in one very dead mage inside a wall, chair, or another mage. And I don't mean in a fun way.

Spells that manipulate time also fall into this category. The ever-popular slow fall spell is an excellent alternative to falling to your death (and much more reliable than Blink at this function). More advanced practitioners of the arcane arts can also learn a spell that slows the movements of their enemies. I've heard rumors of a spell that increases movement speed as well, but I've never seen it in practice.

Lady Jaina Proudmoore is a skilled practitioner of transmutation magic. She has developed a powerful variation of the popular mass-teleport spell that is capable of moving a significant percentage of her army with minimal effort. This spell helps make her extremely unpredictable on the battlefield."

 

Edited by Creic

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Below, I have added some additional texts related to magic and mages in general.

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"Short range full-body instant cast teleportations have specific rules and boundaries which must be adhered to at all times. This book is a guideline for proper usage of this travel option, to ensure a safe and expedient teleportation.

Rule #1: Never blink into space occupied by anyone else. Blink, as it has been taught, replaces the air and water from the casters target position, to the casters starting position. The spells success and widespread use is based on its simple elegance: The real objective of the spell is to replace the casters body with whatever is in front of them - the fact that the caster is moved to that area is the side-effect.

The spell is elegant enough to recognize and avoid people most of the time. Immense Kirin Tor resources are being spent to perfect an already nearly flawless spell, but be warned that deliberate blinking into others may result in one of three outcomes: The caster replaces the target, the target replaces the caster, or both occupy the same space, creating a sickly abomination the likes of which even The Scourge would exile from their ranks. If you would like to prevent one of these three tragedies, please be mindful of your blink target areas. Which brings us to...

Rule #2: Look where you're going! After a staggering number of incidences that were the product of people violating Rule #1, the Kirin Tor has moved this rule up from its previous position at #8 to here. We understand that accidents happen, but some accidents are not so easily remedied. Remember mages, look both ways before crossing the Astral Plane!

Rule #3: Don't blink to anywhere you can't see. This is a variation of Rule #2 that deserves special mention, due to the fact that this rule is the one most commonly broken on purpose. Like Rule #2, we have gotten increasing reports of mages meeting tragic ends with their blink. Some mages admitted to consciously trying to blink through walls, into dark areas, and even inside crates in a desperate attempt to hide from pursuers. We cannot stress enough how foolish this is.

Solid matter is connected to itself rigidly enough to, well, make it solid. Unlike air and water, which can be easily separated and swapped, the bonds of solids WILL translate onto the caster. The Kirin Tor feels obligated to list all documented Small Claims Disaster Cases pertaining to blinking inside solid objects. Memorize these claims, and avoid making the same mistakes yourselves:

10012-c: "Removal of bar stool from hip of Squibly Ratchetdibble via fire. Collateral burns minimal."

19798-g: "Removal of (3) mithril support rods from head of Jenus Killian via corrosive brew. Thanks to RAS for donation of mentioned brew. Side-effect: Permanent hair loss of affected area."

14761-aa: "Removal of Cynthia Wallerby from side of barn via Goblin Shredder. Collateral damage is, unfortunately, severe. However, Mrs. Wallerby can still enjoy a full life with one hand and foot."

16616-x: "Removal of Harland Wilson from statue of General Turalyon via magma, shipped from Ironforge. Collateral damage moderate. Mr. Wilson was unharmed, but nearby school children witnessed the General being melted to retrieve him, and were consequently scarred for life."

11773-c: "Removal of (6) Snapvine Watermelons from torso of Sinella Redblade. Collateral damage minimal. (4) melons salvaged and donated to local orphanage."

<This goes on for hundreds of pages>"

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"Species altercation has the highest potential for abuse and disaster, and is the source of the most number of complaints to the Kirin Tor. Polymorphic study has been under constant scrutiny and threat of removal for years, but only recently have these tribulations increased exponentially. In order for this spell to continue to be sanctioned certain guidelines must be put in place to throttle the increasing number of tragedies reckless polymorphs have caused.

Rule# 1: Do not turn a creature of lesser intelligence into a creature of higher intelligence - Cerebral brain function rarely translates in a polymorph... But sometimes it does. Voracious creatures such as serpents and wolves need not have their predatory instincts honed with a human mind. We feel obligated to quote Small Claims Disaster Case 12651-B, Labeled, "Bartholomew: The Bear who Bears Arms."

Rule# 2: Use simplified creatures for polymorphs - Many rogue mage disciples sanction exotic creature polymorphic studies. But in a desperate effort to lower Kirin Tor insurance claims we are ceasing to support these types of creatures. Sheep are acceptable creatures for any situation. But there are several other common creature types that are supported (Read the latest edition of the Kirin Tor Monthly for an up-to-date list). Polymorphing into creatures like oozes, ethereals, silithid, and worst of all dragonkin is severely punishable which brings us to...

Rule# 3: Polymorphic debaucheries are to be disposed of in a timely and DISCREET manner - The Public need not bear witness to the horrendous abominations wrought from a botched polymorph. Accidents happen, and the Kirin'Tor understands this. However public viewing of creatures like the Were-Whale, Mur-Elf, Amphibious Worgen, Flying Ooze, Grypho-Hippo-Wyvern, Qiraji Bunny, and the infamous "Blue-Checkered Cube" give us all a bad reputation.

Rule #4: Do not polymorph a creature into another more powerful creature - While this looks like plain common sense, we feel obligated to quote Mildly Severe Claims Disaster Case 8791-E, Labeled, "Magus John Quint: Liquefied by Sickly Deer turned Violently Confused Molten Giant."

Rule #5: Do not polymorph anything that is halfway through a portal - This has yet to not cause an explosion. This is also covered in "Thinking with Portals: A Memorandum on Proper Portal Usage."

Rule #6: Do not polymorph inanimate objects! - We can't believe the Kirin'Tor is receiving reports of this, but such a heinous act caused the development of the brand new Highly Severe Claims Disaster Case 1-A, "My Kingdom For A Horse: The One Hundred and Fifty Reasons Why A Kingdom Should Not Be Turned Into A Horse."

<This goes on for hundreds of pages>"

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Edited by Creic

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"It is not our intention to replace popular transportation methods such as ship, zeppelins, and flightmasters. These are cheap, practical, and safe methods of transportation. Portals, when used properly, are just as safe and certainly faster. HOWEVER, in practice portals have a history of being a burden on any society in which it is offered to the general public. Of all the major spells developed and maintained by the Kirin Tor (including polymorph), portal technology is the closest to becoming banished from anything but emergency usage.

Why all the trouble? First, Ley Lines don't grow on trees. Massive traffic through a Line from all over Azeroth wears down the infrastructure and must be periodically replaced. We charge the mage for every portal via reagent taxes, and encourage mages to pass off these charges to those using the portal. But these taxes don't even begin to cover the time cost of replacing a Line, only the materials.

Remember that a portal most used is a portal most efficient: More persons using a single portal causes no further stress to the Ley Lines, and is encouraged. A "Portalpooling" program is in the works that will give tax breaks to mages who create portals for no less than (5) persons. Read your latest issue of "Kirin Tor Monthly" to see the progress of the Portalpooling program.

Second, while a properly used portal is just as safe as your average zeppelin trip (maybe more so considering the engineering practices of goblins), an improperly used portal can potentially yield dire results. Here is a list of immutable regulations for appropriate portal usage:

Rule #1: Do not create a portal to anywhere but the designated Kirin Tor drop-off zones. The most dangerous aspect of the portal spell is its vast potential. We realize it's easy for a mage to create a door to anywhere, so our only way to combat such potentially deadly acts is to make it punishable by death. Special Issue License D-6 permits open portal usage, but is rarely issued. Speak with your local Portal Trainer about qualifying for this license.

Rule #2: Create a portal in the proper place, and use it in the proper way. Do not create a portal beneath the feet of someone. Do not linger halfway in and out of a portal. The portal is not a garbage disposal. The portal is not a shield. Do not use a portal like an umbrella, or any kind of shelter from the elements.

Do not back out of a portal after partially entering it. Do not try and "grab" the edges of the portal, either from the inside or the outside. A portal does not create "handlebars" to assist usage, and disruption of its boundaries is dangerous.

Rule #3: Never force or trick anyone to go through a portal. Not only is this a great way to lose repeat customers, it's also incredibly dangerous (See Rule #2).

Rule #4: Do not have someone who is polymorphed enter a portal. This has yet to not cause an explosion. This is also covered in "Polymorphic Rules & Regulations."

Rule #5: Do not remove the liquid filter from a portal spell. Portals innately prevent large amounts of flowing water through them so that they can be cast underwater. To allow for water elementals to use a portal, this filter can be omitted when casting. Do not omit this when underwater! We feel obligated to mention Moderately Severe Claims Disaster Case 34-zz: "The Great Lakeshire Drought & The Great Ironforge Flood of 24 A.D."

Rule #6: Standard Portal dimensions are 3 yards, 1 foot, and 3/4 inches tall, 2 yards, 8 feet, 9 and 15/16 inches wide. Double-wide portal creation requires Special Issue License G-16, and is commonly issued to mages with a clean portal record of 8 years or more. Speak with your local Portal Trainer about qualifying for this license.

<This goes on for hundreds of pages>"

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<From Magic & Mayhem. Warcraft RPG Sourcebook.>

  • Magic is Powerful
    Magic in Azeroth is the difference between a slave and a master, a foot soldier and king. Few races and nations can operate without powerful mages and warlocks. The use of arcane magic is growing; historically, each time this has happened before, a great disaster shortly follows. However, even though the history of the arcane is well known, mages and their patrons invariably come to the same self-serving conclusion: It won't happen to them.
     
  • Magic is Corrupting
    Magic corrupts the soul; if the humblest person in Azeroth became a practitioner of the arcane, by the time the practitioner reached the higher levels in their art, all traces of her humble roots would be lost. Magic breeds pride and arrogance. Magic corrupts the body; it ages the caster before their time and hastens the blight that the world inflicts on things fair and beautiful. Those who claim that only Necromancy and Fel Magic have a corrupting influence are fooling themselves.

     
  • Magic is an Addiction
    When one feels the power of an arcane spell coursing through one's body as it's being cast, resisting the urge to cast it again is difficult. Frequent use leads to a desire for more and, eventually, to a desire for the evil fel energy.

     
  • Magic attracts the Twisting Nether Like Flies to Honey.
    The Burning Legion has invaded Azeroth three times, drawn by the power of the Well of Eternity and those who employ it. Magic is a literal gateway drug that allows dark titans such as Sargeras to bring evil influences to the world. Those who employ arcane magic must deal with demons and other servants of the Twisting Nether.

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Edited by Creic

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Although some stuff was retconned over the years, this is still a very nice collection. 

Ross likes this

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On 2018-06-13 at 11:53 PM, Insomnia said:

wHaT aBoUt ChAoS mAgIc

 

I was under the belief you were against RPG extensions? Chaos magic is RPG.

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10 hours ago, Romeo said:

I was under the belief you were against RPG extensions? Chaos magic is RPG.

It's a meme, friendo.

 

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