Introduction to the Arcane Arts For Academics and Scholars
Introduction to the Arcane Arts For Academics and Scholars
An Instructional Text by Professors Ovodelus Tansallar and Veriz Yanlaro
For use by the Auberver Academy of Arcane Arts
Lesson 1: The Most Important One
Magic is this wonderful thing we can use to enrich our lives. Here at the Academy, we have learned how to harness magic and control it, and we teach all of our students how to do the same.
These are things you may have heard before enrolling as a student, we regret to inform you that these statements are blatantly false. The first lesson you must learn is that magic is inherently dangerous. This is also the most important lesson you will learn about magic and it is something to always keep in mind regardless of whether it is your first or thousandth time casting a spell.
Currently, the way we understand magic is that it is some sort of omnipresent energy that can be channeled by specific people we call mages. This energy can be channeled in what seems like an endless number of ways, but channeling this energy can and will damage the mind, body, and spirit of the mage. This damage is typically referred to as the "toll" or "cost" of the spell; spells that use more magical energy have a higher cost (i.e. conjuring a cow is much more difficult than conjuring an ant, as it is a much larger and far more complex creature, therefore the toll experienced by the mage is far greater. [We do not recommend any novice mages attempt to conjure a cow]). Many mages, even very experienced ones, are killed or seriously injured by the toll of casting too many spells in quick succession or by attempting to cast spells with a higher cost than they can handle. Even if you survive the toll of the spell, there is still a good chance that a spell you cast could harm you (so be mindful about casting fireballs or conjuring beasts).
Many of you students will die before the end of your first year at the Academy (about 15-22% historically), we do everything we can to prevent this but unfortunately due to the nature of magic it can't be avoided. Before going any further you must understand the risk involved. Magic is this wonderful thing we can use to enrich our lives, but it takes almost as much as it gives. Once you have fully accepted the risk associated with studying magic, your next lesson will be to learn your first spells: a few of the most simple spells possible from each of the six schools of magic.
The Academy currently recognizes six schools of magic: Artifice, Conjuration, Enchantment, Object Manipulation, Energy Manipulation, and Metamagic. All known spells fall under one or more of these schools of magic. It is not typical for a mage to be adept in all the schools of magic, most typically focus on one or two of the schools, but a well-studied mage should be able to cast at least a few spells from each school.
Lesson 2: Casting a spell
The question "how does one cast a spell?" is one the Academy constantly studies day and night but there still isn't a definitive answer to, but here is what we do know about casting spells:
- Casting spells requires some sort of innate ability. Everyone here should be here because they have shown some amount of magical potential.
- With rare exception, mages casting spells in the Kingdom of Kymer and surrounding lands require a partner to cast spells with. Those able to cast spells without a partner are extremely rare, and are typically powerful mages from far-away realms. If you are able to cast spells without a partner, please report to the archmage of the Academy for further research. Everyone else should find a partner, choose wisely as this person will be your partner for every class going forward. We recommend picking someone you can get along with as a stronger bond between spellcasting partners makes spells stronger and easier to cast. If you pick a partner and later come to learn that you don't get along, once again, keep in mind that 15-22% of students die within their first year at the Academy.
- To actually cast a spell you must simply manifest you and your partner's collective will. Think of it like flexing a muscle, a muscle you've never used before and one that you share with another person. It might sound difficult to grasp but think about moving your arm: you simply will your arm to move and it moves, you don't even need to think about it. Casting spells works in much the same way, except instead of willing part of your body to move, you can will lightning from the sky or a creature into existence.
Lesson 3: Artifice Spells
Artifice is the school of magic associated with summoning non-living objects (typically referred to as "artifacts"). The first spell you will learn is called "Bead" and it summons a tiny metal sphere. Once you and your partner have successfully cast the spell you may examine the bead, if you do, you will find that the bead is very real. Even though it appeared out of thin air, and we believe it is made completely out of magical energy, you would not be able to tell the difference between this bead and a sphere made from metal dug from the earth.
For many of you, this will be the first spell you attempt to cast intentionally, so it's not uncommon that some will miscast the spell. If the bead doesn't appear when you cast the spell, or if it appears and it's not completely spherical, then the spell was miscast. Don't get discouraged if this happens, just wait a minute or two and try again. Perhaps you could use this time to chat with your partner, and get to know them a little better. This could help make the spell easier to cast next time.
After casting this spell one or two times you may begin to experience a magical toll for the first time. Since this spell is incredibly simple, the toll should be rather mild, but if you start to feel a headache, stomach ache, or if you fell light-headed or otherwise unwell after casting the spell a few times wait until you feel better before attempting to cast more spells (the feeling should only last a few minutes).
Before you move on to the next spell, you must master the bead spell. The Academy's standard for mastery of a spell is to cast it 100 times without a miscast, if you and your partner can do that you're ready for the next spell from the next school of magic.
Lesson 4: Object Manipulation
Object Manipulation is the school of magic associated with changing the physical state of an object without endowing it with any magical energy itself. Some examples of popular Object Manipulation spells are telekinesis and various transmutation spells. The spell you will be learning as an introduction to this school of magic is called "Piddling Magnetokinesis" (The weakest Magnetokinesis spell). This spell will allow you to magically move very small metal objects. You should have a bunch of metal beads from learning your first spell, so we recommend using those to practice this spell on. Cast the spell on one of the beads, and if cast correctly you should be able to move the bead through the air without touching it. Use this spell to move a bead from one end of your desk to the other. If you can do this 100 times without losing control of any of the beads, you and your partner have mastered the spell.
Lesson 5: Energy Manipulation
Energy Manipulation is the school of magic associated with converting magical energy into other types of energy or using magical energy to control other types of energy. Popular Energy manipulation spells include "Lightning Bolt" and "Fireball." Energy Manipulation spells are generally some of the most dangerous spells even when cast correctly, so we recommend extra caution when learning new Energy Manipulation spells. The first energy manipulation spell you will learn is "Ember," an extremely simple fire spell. The spell creates a small spark wherever it is cast, just enough to light a candle. Prove you have mastered this spell by lighting a candle (provided by your professor) 100 times without miscasting the spell. Remember to stop casting spells if you start to feel unwell, as the toll of this spell is generally higher than the previous two.
Lesson 6: Enchantment
Enchantment is the school of magic associated with endowing something or someone with magic. Enchantments take many forms and can be used for a variety of purposes. The simple enchantment you will be learning is called "Minor Nonburning" and it is a spell that protects whatever it enchants from being burned. This spell is actually extremely useful, and can even be used to protect yourself and other people. However, the toll of the spell largely depends on what is being enchanted so trying to cast this spell on a person would definitely be too much of a toll for a novice mage to handle, so we recommend cutting a piece of paper into small pieces and using those individual scraps to practice this spell. If cast correctly you should be able to hold the shred of paper right above a candle without it burning. As always, prove you have mastered this spell by casting it 100 times without miscasting it.
Lesson 7: Conjuration
Conjuration is the school of magic associated with summoning living creatures. As we mentioned previously, the size and complexity of the creature being summoned determines how much of a toll the spell will have on its user, so the first conjuration spell you will learn is "Summon Ant." Take your time learning this spell as conjuration spells typically have a greater toll than you would expect (your professor will also designate an area for you to cast this spell so the Academy doesn't become overrun by ants. YOU ARE NOT to cast this spell anywhere but the designated area under any circumstances, not anymore). As always, cast this spell 100 times without miscasting it to prove that you have mastered it.
Lesson 8: Metamagic
Metamagic is the school of magic associated with manipulating other spells. The first metamagic spell you will learn is "Dispel." This spell will prove very useful for a number of reasons, first of all you can use it to undo all the weak little spells you now know. For example you can cast the spell on the Ants and the Beads you summoned while learning about conjuration and artifice spells respectively. Casting dispel on your own spells will cause little to no toll. The spell can also be used on spells cast by other mages, however dispelling someone else's spell can cause a huge toll depending on the skill of the mage who cast the original spell, so we strongly recommend you only dispel your own spells for the time being. Once you and your partner have mastered dispelling your own spells you are well on your way to becoming Academy-trained mages, congratulations.