"This is how the world is supposed to work--you give and you take; cause and effect. But blokes like me? We cheat the system, trick the universe into handing us effects without causes. Things we didn't earn. We twist time and space, warp minds, create life. For people like us, there are no rules. That's magic. I'm a Magician, and that makes people like me very, very dangerous."
Magic, often referred as The Art, Witchcraft, Sorcery or The Black Arts, is a dangerous, invisible, all-powerful force that many humans and creatures come into contact with. Magic entails forces or phenomena that somehow transcend the natural laws that govern the world by directly manipulating unknown energies that bend the fabric of reality to create a desired effect. The ability to manipulate arcane magic can be inherent or it can be the product of years of dedicated study. Magic works without discernible physical cause and often without any rational explanation.
Unlike science who is dependant in the physical nature of the universe, magic is metaphysical, who is driven by other metaphysical objects such as vigor, courage, or evil. But like science it also has logic, as logic is the universal truth and answer, thus magic can be obtained through many sources such as energy and demonic powers.
The Nature of Magic Edit
A spell is defined as a defined magical effect brought forth through the will of a spell caster.
Most scholars agree that this arcane force is an energy field created by all living things that surrounds and penetrates everything, binding reality together. It is present in the universe in the same way ordinary matter is present. Many theorize magic to be a sort of energy that binds the rest of what mortals perceive as reality, which can be manipulated by those with the skill to do so. Magic exists everywhere in the universe, though most creatures are not aware and cannot feel its presence.
Unrefined magic (that is, magic that has not been channeled into a spell effect) cannot be seen, felt, tasted, smelled or heard. While many can detect it or sense it on a sort of unconscious or subliminal level, none of the five basic senses can detect unrefined magic. Those who claim to sense magic physically are widely regarded as being eccentrics. Instead, most practitioners open their minds to the possibility of magic. Once they have achieved the correct mental state, spellcasters become intuitively aware of their magical potential.
A variety of sensations might accompany this awareness. Practitioners report a surge of confidence, a tingle of raw power, or an impression of potent harmonics. Some perceive the harmonics as chords of unearthly music while others describe it as tremors rippling through their limbs. However this magical potential is perceived, the mere fact of that sensitivity indicates the individual's potential to shape it into a desired form.
Every sentient creature is born with some measure of magic in them. Despite this, magic is not easy or accessible to everyone. Even if one is innately born with spellcasting talent, they must still train and understand what it is their talent means if they hope to accomplish anything with it. Knowledge of magic and technical learning propagate in very different ways. In an average city in which a thousand people have sufficient ability to build a computer, there is probably only one or two people with the dedication and skill to learn a new spell. Even if magical knowledge were to be made public, the vast majority would never be able to make use of it, regardless of social standing, wealth or curiosity.
Some creatures have an innate talent for tapping into the raw arcane energy around them and turning it into a spell, such as nagas or dragons, but even they have to practice and train to perfect their talents; they need a little time every day to focus themselves and enable their connection to magic for the day. This requires sleep and some kind of meditation. Casting spells wears a creature down and without the proper rest or ability to concentrate, they cannot wield any magic significantly.
Whether prepared or merely readied, a spell remains with the caster as magical potential until the caster chooses to trigger, or cast, the spell. Such an act typically requires a variety of physical props, known as components. These can range from mystical phrases or gestures, to an expensive herb or other kind of substance that is required to unleash the magic. These components and incantations are often compared to keys--necessary to unlock the final effect of the spell. A different theory that has begun gaining popularity among magical scholars is that spell components aren't keys, but rather locks-suggesting that even the most learned of archaists don't fully control their own power and that the components are instruments that are used to prescribe boundaries to the spell, defining the spell's limits and keeping them in check. Whatever the truth, there are few who question their use.
These components involve the incantation of a mystical phrase. Multiple incantations may exist for different spells, but this is exceedingly rare. These incantations are almost never in English or Spanish or some other commonly-spoken tongue. Instead, they are usually found in ancient Greek or Latin, Arabic, Cryllic, Mayan, Inca, in forgotten Chinese, Egyptian or Hindi dialects and even some dead languages, such s Babylonian, Sumerian, Phoenecian, Aramathean and other, older--and sometimes fouler--tongues, such as Inferi or Enochian. These incantations are very exact and must be spoken precisely for the spell to function.
Non-verbal magic is possible, though rare. The practice of nonverbal magic is very difficult, requiring great skill and concentration to utilize. It has its advantages, however, as those who practice it are considered to be more unpredictable. There is a train of thought, however, that believes verbal components are more of a method of focusing, allowing the spellcaster to concentrate and turn the magical energy into whatever they need it to be. Thus, verbal components are not truly "necessary" to cast a spell in the strictest sense, but are useful for spellcasters as a focusing tool.
Somatic components involve very complex, complicated gestures and hand motions used in casting a spell. These gestures must be precise for the spell to work, thus the wearing of armor or other restricting clothing is not utilized by the vast majority of the spellcasting community.
As with nonverbal magic, non-somatic magic is possible but highly difficult. It is more difficult to master than nonverbal magic, requiring an immense level of concentration and the focus of a saint. Such spellcasters are truly feared for their ability to cast a spell without the simplest gesture or hand wave. As with verbal components, a school of thought has risen that somatic components are more of a concentration method than a true "requirement".
A material component is a physical item or symbol that exists separate of the spellcaster. All things either produce magic of some kind or act as arcane conductors or otherwise are effective at channeling magic. As all living things are attuned to certain fields of magic, all objects have the capacity to have certain kinds of magic flow through them, or they are more adept at channeling certain types of magic over others. Some have compared this effect to light flowing through a magnifying glass, though it is obviously far more complicated than that.
Many spells require the inherent magic or magic-channeling properties of certain items in order to function. These items can be biological or inorganic in nature. For example, dried fireflies are required for many fire spells. Material components are depleted after a single use.
Like the other two components, material components can be eschewed by spellcasters. Unlike the other two methods, only weaker spells can be used without materials. More powerful spells still require certain material components in order to function.
Spell Schools Edit
The uncertainties surrounding magic haven't stopped morals from promulgating various theories and systems for its use. Perhaps the most successful of these concepts is the system of categorization into separate magical "schools", which is heavily relied upon by wizards and other spellcasters who must dedicate long hours of study to master. After centuries of observation, mages have observed that all spells share certain traits: energy signatures that help bind the raw, unshaped magical potential into a spell. These traits are known as schools.
Wizards have identified eight individual schools of magic: abjuration, conjuration, divination, enchantment, evocation, illusion, necromancy and transmutation. Each school describes a group of magical effects that achieve similar results and that can be brought into being using spells that have been structured in similar ways. Those who grasp the concept of spell schools maintain a way of thinking about magic that helps them achieve the proper frame of mind for working arcane spells. The signatures that identify a spell as belonging to one of the eight schools can be easily read by someone casting the Detect Magic spell. A spell with two or more school signatures is referred to as belonging to the "Universal" school.
Wizards maintain a very scholarly understanding of magic. While sorcerers tend to view all magic as "just magic", and bards might see magic as art, wizards instinctively view spells almost scientifically and they almost always utilize the school system at all times. This allows them to categorize and utilize spells more efficiently. With practice and long hours of focus, they are able to increase their understanding and potency for casting spells with a unique signature, making them much more powerful at casting spells from a single school. To do this, however, they must eschew study from two other schools of magic. This practice is known as "Specializing" amongst arcanists.
A few scholars maintain that some schools naturally oppose others, but most do not recognize this as fact. Wizards can choose any two schools to be a prohibited school, which would not occur if schools of spells opposed each other. The one exception is divination or universal magic. For reasons scholars have yet to understand, the energy from these spells cannot be closed off to spellcasters.
Still, rivalries between schools of magic have arisen over the years and certain schools appeal more to some practitioners than others. This is a personal choice, however, and many wizards choose not to specialize at all, maintain a philosophy of versatility versus power.
- Specialists known as Abjurers
"Although it's hardly a simple matter to wield the magic that will produce a blast of fire or slay a dragon with a word, the highest form of the mage's art lies at the place where magic interacts with magic. To study the school of abjuration is to wield spells that manipulate the fabric of arcane power itself."
By its very nature, an abjuration spell interferes with something else. Whether it blocks, banishes, protects or rescues, an abjuration spell is dedicated to preventing or ending some other event or effect. Abjurers subscribe to the philosophy that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The school's detractors refer to abjuration derisively as the "School of Undoing" or even the "School of Denial". Abjurers contend that the power to unmake something, whether that be magic or material, represents the ultimate power over that thing. By extension, they hold abjuration as the most powerful school of magic.
The study of abjuration requires a meticulous and deliberate personality that generally favors a lawful alignment. Since abjuration often focuses on limiting the ability of others to do harm, many abjurers are inclined to walk the path of morality on the side of good. At the same time, the ruthless efficiency of abjuration used as a weapon against other spellcatsers means that many wizards are drawn to the school by dreams of personal power that quickly override the orderly and benevolent philosophies of their fellows.
The existence of abjuration spells reflects the universe's desire for equilibrium. For every action, object, force or effect there exists a source of opposition that negates it. Those who reject this theory claim simply that abjuration spells result from long magical research driven by the desire to resist or reverse change. Abjurations aren't about universal balance, detractors claim, it's about maintaining a status quo. Philosophically, abjurers are most likely to come into conflict with evokers. These specialists, with their love of loud, flashy, destructive magic are often the primary target of an abjurer. Illusionists, with their penchant over the noncoporeal and the unreal, rub abjurers the wrong way.
Abjurers are deliberate, prudent and thoughtful, possessing an unequaled determination and resolve that allows them to carefully consider all aspects of a problem before devising an efficient and effective response. They generally regard adherents of other schools as reckless and wasteful, and they continuously evolve strategies for defeating other mages in magic duels, whether those confrontations are necessary or not. Whether their lives are given over to adventuring or experimentation, abjurers are always well prepared.
Though abjurers are often reluctant adventurers, good abjurers sometimes take up the life to undo evil that magic too often spawns, even in lands where the practice of magic is outlawed. Good and neutral abjurers tend to position themselves where they can prevent others from victimizing folk who lack the ability to defend themselves. Evil abjurers are often found as lieutenants or elite advisors to sinister overlords, selling their valuable skills to the highest bidder.
Abjurers like to solve problems and they try to be ready for any situation that might arise. Some abjurers have to get in the last word in any discussion or argument; some get annoyed by outside forces beyond their control; they might focus on safety first and most abhor ostentatious displays. This applies to magic and anything else.
- Specialists known as Conjurers
"The Material Plane is nothing but a small and unimportant crossroads in the cosmos. All that exists in this physical world is a mere reflection of the iconic truths embodied in the unseen worlds that border it."
A conjuration spell creates or summons a real object or creature to you. The effect could appear in the spellcaster's hand, arrive nearby from another plane of existence or take shape in front of them. Conjurers prescribe to the philosophy that two birds in the hand are worth four in the bush. Critics of the conjuration school deride this discipline as outright theft or enslavement, but conjurers feel that the objects that materialize and the creatures they summon are composed of latent energy waiting to be formed by their will. They like to imagine that through spellcasting, they take control of the fundamental material of reality.
Conjurers believe that their spells are drawn from the leftover energy that created the universe. As such, their spells do not steal from the world around them (they claim) but instead draw from an ever-expanding force of creation that is still spawning life in its wake. Those who oppose this theory accuse conjurers of weakening the fabric of reality, slowly draining off imperceptible amounts of matter to fuel their spells.
Conjurers undergo adventurers when the prospect of finding easy power and wealth seem to outweigh the risks and effort involved. They can be difficult companions, speaking their minds freely with little patience for those they consider inferior. It takes a leader of proven worth and unyielding strength to earn a conjurer's respect.
Philosophically, conjurers stand in opposition to the school of illusion. They regard illusions as distasteful, preferring to work only with what is real. They also tend to have a distaste for evocations, which create something from nothing. They find that soulless and devoid of possibility.
Confident, headstrong and opinionated, conjurers can often seem indolent and unconcerned with the difficulties of others, rarely inclined to think their way around any obstacle or foe that can be more simply hammered down with the right application of summoned power. Because of the great control they wield over many dreadful extraplanar creatures, most conjurers view the other schools of magic with disdain--illusion and divination are trivial, transmutation and evocation are inconsequential, abjuration and enchantment are too weak and necromancy is disgusting. Conjurers must be strong-willed, decisive and just a little bit reckless to excel in their chosen field, favoring chaotic alignments and preferring quick and decisive solutions over slower and more deliberate methods. Like necromancers, conjurers stare unflinching into the face of dark and powerful force, and most rarely feel that they can afford the luxury of high moral standard. As such, conjurers often favor neural or evil alignments.
Conjurers take charge of the world around them, trusting only in tools they can touch, taste or smell. Many are naturally bossy, parentally minded, and are impatient towards ignorance. Some prefer the company of summoned creatures to that of others.
- Specialists known as Diviners
"History is full of missed opportunities, personal tragedies and kingdom-shattering defeats that might easily have been averted but for single piece of information that could have changed the course of lives and worlds. Knowledge is power, and those who know all hold ultimate power in their hands. "
A divination spell detects and reveals veiled information. The effect could disclose hidden traps, expose well-told lies or foil enemy plans. Diviners subscribe to the philosophy that you must know all the players at the table in order to win the game. Those who oppose the divination school argue that its teachings are voyeuristic and complain about a loss of privacy, but diviners contend that people who protest the loudest usually have something to hide. Diviners see themselves as seekers of truth, even while they keep the most powerful secrets to themselves.
Diviners feel that their very existence epitomizes the never-ending search for knowledge. Diviners justify their chosen path of magic by claiming that if all things in the universe were known, divination magic would cease to exist. Detractors of this theory claim that diviners are destructive to the underlying nature of magic, because the more mysteries that diviners unravel, the less magic can grow in the world.
Diviners are perhaps the wisest of all wizards. Like abjurers, they are often cautious and deliberate spellcasters, happy to avail themselves of every possible preparation and precaution before embarking on any hazardous course. For the diviner, though, the best of all possible preparations is the course of action that avoids all conflict and peril altogether. While diviners aren't cowards, few are likely to rush in a battle before every other option has been exhausted. Diviners are students not only of the arcane workings of spells and magical lore but also of the mechanisms of nature, the arts and sciences, and even human behavior. Few are better judges of character than diviners.
In addition to being thoughtful and orderly in their affairs, diviners prize the quality of objectivity. A mind closed to any possibility (however remote or distasteful it may be) is a mind that might be closed to the truth, for the truth is not always simple or pleasant. Diviners are therefore strongly inclined toward neutral alignments and usually favor law over chaos. Good diviners use their powers to anticipate and prevent harm to others; evil diviners use their knowledge to accumulate for personal gain.
Philosophically, diviners oppose the school of Abjuration, because abjurers are the most successful at blocking their spells. The school of illusion is similarly irksome to diviners in search of truth, often misleading their efforts. Transmutation can be troublesome to diviners as well, since magical disguises have been known to fool even the most skilled scryers.
Diviners are creatures of intense curiosity who are driven to learn everything about their surroundings. Diviners are usually good listens with a highly analytical mind. Many are quietly judgmental about those around them, taking note of their flaws or vulnerabilities. Others still dislike charging into situations without the proper preparation beforehand. Having had their eyes opened to the secrets and lies most sentient beings carry around every day, many diviners are paranoid and see conspiracies everywhere, often where none exist.
- Specialists known as Enchanters
"The mind is the ultimate power. Any fool can oppose an enemy by physical means, but to halt a foe through the sheer force of one's will--or to turn a most hateful enemy into a loyal ally--is the purest and most subtly effective manifestation of arcane might.
Enchantment spells focus on tricking the mind into believing something you want it to believe. They effectively manipulate emotions, perceptions (to a point) and even thoughts, penetrating the most vulnerable parts of a creatures being, convincing it to do or believe something it normally would not. Enchanters subscribe to the philosophy that your most valued friends are those you make. Those who disparage the enchantment school reject its ways as a perversion of free will, but enchanters usually win them over, much to the surprise of anybody who knew the skeptical party before their change of mind. For an enchanter, controlling the actions of another creature, particularly an influential one, is akin to guiding fate.
Enchanters regard domination of the mind as the ultimate form of magical power. They realize that their field of magic won't change day into night, but it can alter the course of history, which is far more enduring. Those strong enough to resist such mental coercion might speak against social corruption an enchanter can seed into a community. The enchanter blithely agrees, all the while manipulating politics to secure their position of influence.
Philosophically, enchanters oppose the evocation school. The blunt nature of evocation spells in counterproductive to the finesse required by their clandestine spells. Since enchanters are concerned with blending in without being noticed, necromancy is summarily rejected by enchanters because of the stigma it attracts. Additionally, conjuration serves little purpose to the enchanter, who prefers to command people of influence rather than mindless, soldierlike creatures.
Enchanters have few predilections in alignment, though their belief in individual will is the strongest force in the multiverse slants them slightly toward chaos, as opposed to law. Evil enchanter believe that those who lack the ability to overcome or resist the power of enchantment deserve to be servants, existing only to be commanded by those powerful enough to do so. Good enchanters adopt the viewpoint that bending another being to one's will is rarely right, but is preferable by far to killing. A good enchanter deprives an enemy of his volition only as long as he needs to, and, when such is warranted, often takes pains to return the subject to his normal state in such a way as to avoid a traitor's punishment at the hands of their comrades or superiors.
Charismatic, sensitive and passionate, enchanters tend to be personable and attractive, enjoying the fine arts and good conversation. Even the most blackhearted enchanter can be a mesmerizing individual--confident, self-assured and holding others in his thrall with manners and word even before the first syllables of their charm spell are uttered. Other enchanters are distant and clinical, viewing themselves as coldly rational students of the only subject worth studying--the mind.
Enchanters are people of subtlety who have an air of superiority about them. Enchanters are often pacifistic, avoiding violence unless absolutely necessary. Many are happiest working in the background where nobody notices their handiwork, and while many avoid flaunting power, they are still confident people. They love social conflict, especially conflict they generate themselves, and they sow the seeds of chaos wherever they go.
- Specialists known as Evokers.
"The universe is the interplay of impersonal forces--some spiritual, some political, some moral, some elemental and some whose natures have yet to be revealed. Beneath the surface of the merely physical, fundamental energies form the true nature of all things."
An evocation spell creates an effect out of thin air. The effect could blind its target with searing light, immolate them with explosive fire or shock them with an electrical current. Evokers subscribe to the philosophy that the best defense is a strong offense. Those who oppose the school cite the collateral damage of these spells, but evokers are quick to assure any concerned party that their spells are either carefully-timed or highly precise. In truth, evokers are almost fatalistically drawn to the limitless raw magical power of their spells, oblivious to the inherent danger.
Evokers see their school as a highly necessary one that focuses magic from its most turbulent and volatile state. Pure magical energy would, if left unchecked, deal far more damage to the world if evokers didn't regularly harness and release it in controlled amounts. Opponents of the school, who believe that evokers contribute to (rather than diminish) the chaotic state of raw magic and therefore destabilize magic for all spellcasters, dismiss this theory.
Philosophically, evokers are opposed to the school of conjuration, since that school focuses on creating lasting or tangible effects. Evokers regard this reality-based focus of conjurers as limited in its outlook, missing the wealth of opportunities that evocation creates. By extension, the school of enchantment warrants a delicate touch that is frequently lost on evokers. Abjuration magic tries to protect against an evoker's spells, but is usually considered just another hurdle for evokers to overcome.
Evocation tends to attract the most serious-minded, intense and determined wizards, devoted to the mastery of their craft to the exclusion of almost all else. Notable ascetics in their personal habits, evokers favor spartan surroundings, simple garb and plain fair, eschewing clutter and luxury as distractions that deaden one's perceptions of the real world. In personality, evokers are decisive, forthright, and often stubborn. Good evokers perceive evil as an unbalancing force that must be opposed, while evil evokers are not content to settle for reaction to the universal forces around them. Instead, they seek to manipulate those forces, altering the ebb and flow through their own actions. Regardless of alignment, evokers are natural leaders--fearless, inspiring and authoritative. Among wizards, their courage on the battlefield has no equal.
Evokers tend to be obstruction-removers who take a decidedly blunt approach. Evokers tend to be energetic with short attention spans. Most are honest and up-front, holding nothing back when expressing themselves. Many prefer charging into unknown situations, and many see conflict where none exist, constantly looking for fights.
- Specialists known as Illusionists
"The universe is all in the mind that perceives it and sensation is the first and only reality. If a tree falls in the forest with no creature to hear it, then there is no tree."
An illusion spell creates a false impression that targets the senses. The effect could hide one's presence, summon a target's greatest fear or manifest a visage limited only by their creativity. Illusionists subscribe to the philosophy that reality is only what you make it. Critics of the illusion school claim that its spells erode an earthly sense of stability sing smoke and mirrors to incite chaos and misdirection. However, illusionists maintain that earthly stability has never really existed, and that reality is the biggest illusion of all. They believe reality is defined by observation, so possessing control of that observation is the ultimate form of power.
Illusionists see reality as being in a state of imperceptible fluctuation, constantly changing based on how the unconscious minds of all sentient beings perceive the world. Illusionists claim that they can modify this fluctuating reality and so are in fact altering the world on a deeply subconscious level. Debunkers of this theory retort that illusionists are either more than a little insane or merely tricking people with light, since illusions you can't see are usually harmless.
Philosophically, illusionists come into conflict with abjurers, since abjuration negates illusion's ability to confound the mind. Conjuration, as well, represents the diametric opposite of illusion, manifesting what is real and solid in the world, as opposed to what the illusionist call into being.
Illusionists tend to be flamboyant, outgoing and self-assured, with many exhibiting a hedonistic streak that can lead to dark and cruel practices in the pursuit of rare and unusual perceptions. Remarkably creative, illusionists enjoy art, literature, poetry and music, and many are accomplished artists in their own right. Although their aptitude for scholarly pursuits is as great as that of any other specialist, illusionists spend less time in research than most, forgoing the isolation of the library or laboratory in favor of the only laboratory that matters: the streets. They spend time in the company of people and revel the constant thrill of manipulating the powers of sensation.
Illusionists have sharp minds but are not exceptionally deep thinkers. Pragmatic by nature, they accept the impermanence of all things and see only futility in the acts of those who dedicate their lives to the development of all-encompassing philosophies of existence and meaning. Illusionists have no strong alignment tendencies. While good illusionists share their creative impulses for the benefit of others, evil illusionists sometimes take their worldview to dark extremes--the beings around them seem like less-than-real toys and tools to be manipulated or destroyed like any other figment or shadow. After all, if nothing is real than there is really no such thing as evil. Only fun.
Illusionists are highly imaginative people who thrill in the magical deceptions they create. Illusionists are often exceedingly curious about others' fears and dreams, with some constantly asking inappropriate questions about what scares them. Many consider themselves superior to anybody their illusions deceive and others regard their illusions as being more real than the "veiled world" around them. Some are intensely private, never talking about themselves or their own opinions so others cannot use it against them.
- Specialists known as Necromancers.
"Life and death are one, for all living things die in time. Death is not an ending but a beginning. Since one's living days are but a fraction of the eternal existence of death, life is but a useless distraction to the study and understanding of the long darkness to come, when even the universe will die."
Necromancy spells hold dominion over life and death. Their effects directly influence and manipulate the life-force of others, draining the stamina out of their bodies, instilling paralyzing fear in a creature's mind or infusing a dead body with a twisted life force, granting the semblance of life to the dead. Necromancers subscribe to the philosophy of waste not, want not. Detractors of this school condemn the necromancers' practices as abhorrent, unclean and disrespectful to the dead, but necromancers defend their art on the premise that the dead care very little for their bodies, especially if they are put to good use. Controlling such bodies, however, is secondary to controlling life itself.
To a necromancer, magic is based on the idea that life is an essential element in the universe--one that can be controlled and manipulated like any other element, such as fire, electricity or water. Necromancers believe that they hold the reins of life by surrounding themselves with undead creatures. People who challenge the necessity of this school claim that necromancy weakens the barrier between the dead and the living realms, causing the two to encroach upon one another more each day.
Philosophically, necromancy is opposed to the school of enchantment, which claims supremacy over the mind. Necromancy trumps the mind by claiming dominion over life. Necromancy also finds little in common with conjuration; while conjurers must create their own power by summoning and the like, necromancers work with whatever is on hand at the time.
Continual exposure to the forces of death and undeath can have a corrupting effect on wizards who have even the slightest inclination toward evil. Consequently, evil necromancers far outnumber good-aligned ones. Neutral necromancers are rare, since most necromancers either have a will strong enough to resist the lure of darkness or they submit eventually to its corruption. Necromancers have little tendency toward either law or chaos; although a sense of order appeals to their clinical and meticulous nature, most necromancers are all too willing to turn their backs on the accepted norms of society in the pursuit of knowledge and power.
Brooding, withdrawn and humorless, necromancers exhibit a fascination with life and death that borders on obsession. Though casual acquaintances will often view them as cold and hostile, those who befriend necromancers might come to know them as thoughtful, stoic and loyal comrades. Most necromancers prefer solitude to companionship, though and even the most trustworthy and valued among them can be prone to black spells of despondency during which they question the value of life and all living things.
Necromancers are introspective people with a pragmatic approach to death. As a necromancer, they often exhibit heedless insensitivity toward others' emotions about death. Some are hopeful and impatient while people die, seeing their bodies as useful material for their spells, and many are obsessed with their own mortality, craving immunity from death. Many brood instead of discussing or sharing their thoughts or feelings.
- Specialists known as Transmuters.
"Like a reflection of the larger process by which worlds are built and torn down once more, all life is change. Anything that has ceased to change, to grow, to evolve from what it was ceases to be a part of the world and the ultimate power is that which manipulates these forces of transmutation."
A transmutation spell modifies energy and matter. The effect could alter a creature's shape, boost mental or physical qualities or change the way something interacts with the world. Transmuters subscribe to the philosophy that if life gives you an orange, make lemonade. Adversaries to transmutation feel that only gods should have the right to change creation, but transmuters feel that if something can be retasked to serve a more meaningful purpose, the amount of change is irrelevant. They claim that any hurdle, no matter how daunting, can be solved by changing it into something harmless.
Transmuters attribute the strength and variety of their spells to a belief that all things in the universe must inevitably change into something else. They merely accelerate that ongoing evolutionary momentum to suit their needs. Those who deride this theory as romantic nonsense claim instead that transmutation places an unnecessary strain on the universe, because as objects are continually modified, new and unpredictable aberrations begin to take form of their own accord.
As a result of their focus on change and the forces that drive it, transmuters tend to see moral matters in terms of that change. Neutral and evil transmuters believe that good and evil are relative concepts, dependent on existing conditions that are subjective and seldom permanent, thus little distinction is really made. Good transmuters look past this universal constant of change to its effect on life, aspiring to ensure that change happens for the better. regardless of their moral standing, transmuters favor chaotic alignments, for chaos is the essence of change.
Philosophically, transmuters are opposed to the school of conjuration. Rather than working with existing materials, conjuration just creates or summons new materials. Evocation is similar in this regard, in that both schools create effects instead of modifying what is on hand. Necromancy and transmutation are complementary schools, since both share the same view of using whatever is available. Whether alive, dead or inanimate, the raw materials can be altered to become something more.
Wizards drawn to the specialty of transmutation are typically curious, sharp-minded and deeply analytical. Fascinated by the exercise of putting things together and taking them apart again, transmuters are natal tinkerers, often more interested in objects than in the creatures who created them. With minds attuned more to finding out how things work than to reasoning out why things are as they are, transmuters can be obsessive collectors, excellent scholars and clear thinkers, but they aren't especially prone to profound philosophical insights.
Transmuters are tinkerers at heart, never content to leave things as they are. Transmuters are often trouble-shooters that enjoy overcoming challenging obstacles. Many are natural actors who assume the role of any creature whose form they take. Most have a frenetic curiosity about creatures they encounter, eager to broaden their knowledge of new forms and abilities.
All living things have a small amount of magic in them, but very few are able to harness that spark into a flame. Even fewer are able to direct that flame, channeling the flow of arcane power into a spell. Those beings are referred to as "Spellcasters", though this term is admittedly broad and can be applied to a number of supernatural entities.
Regular old humans usually cannot cast spells or use magic. However, with careful study, focus, attention and a little bit of luck, some humans with the right training and potential can master the Art as a mage. They tend to have difficulty maintaining spells without a lot of focus and concentration, and the cost of using magic is quite intense and long-lasting. Mages manipulate magic through various arcane "schools": Abjuration, Conjuration, Divination, Enchantment, Evocation, Illusion, Necromancy and Transmutation.