Tag: Magic

On the Nature of Magic

Many things have been called magic over the aeons, some of them even were. Many things that were magic were mislabeled as ‘acts of god’, ‘acts of nature’, or explained away as hallucinations, ignorance or gullibility. It is, therefore, very difficult to judge the truth of magic by looking at what has and has not been labeled as magic in the past. It has been said that, to the ignorant, any sufficiently advanced technology will be indistinguishable from magic and this is probably true but really does little to explain the great number of varying acts, rituals and objects that have been labeled as magic through the ages. Science keeps trying to find explanations for the miraculous, putting forward theories on every topic that either makes magic out to be something commonplace or a fantasy, but unable really to explain anything satisfactorily and even knowing how it was done doesn’t make it any less miraculous. Neither advanced technology nor scientific theory are capable of explaining away magic. Countless definitions, expositions and depositions have been given in regards to magic, take your pick, but none of them do the subject justice. magic is an amorphous shadow, given definition only by the belief and the Will of the practitioner. Still, one more definition of magic that takes its amorphous nature into account cannot hurt and will afford the reader some idea of what I base my ideas upon. Magic is the changing of what is into what one wills to be. The…

Dorthund’s ‘On Magical Artefacts’

ON MAGICAL ARTEFACTS1 Translator’s Note: This text, though incomplete and containing many lacunae, is still of immense interest. From what remains, and the hints we can garner from what was vandalised, we are able to determine a great deal about the state of, and attitude towards, magical objects in Dorthund’s world, and thus a great deal about what should be possible in our own. There are several distinct types of magical artefact, those common objects bespelled to perform specific functions, objects of power, and possessed objects. Many of you will already have assumptions about the nature, use, and construction of magical artefacts, but few, if any, of those assumptions will be accurate, and those that are, are of only limited validity. [Unknown number of paragraphs, or even pages, missing.]2 A magical artefact is any object that has been bespelled or enchanted to perform a particular task, whatever the task, whatever the form. From this, we see that all Objects of Power, and all Possessed Objects, along with every form of common tool carrying a ‘never dull’ or ‘fly true’ enchantment, falls within the category of magical artefact. The extreme inclusiveness of this definition has caused many scholars to attempt the creation of subdivisions within it, the most common of which use the distinction between possessed artefacts and magical artefacts, that is, between those objects that contain a governing awareness and those that do not. This is disingenuous. There are objects that have awareness that are not possessed and possessed objects…

Why would anyone want to be a mage?

Why would anyone want to be a mage? It’s a dangerous profession, barely one in twenty survive the apprenticeship, and fewer still survive to a ripe old age. The competitiveness of mages is well known and the attrition rate of their competitions is higher than that of birds at a duck-shoot. Is it any wonder, then, that mages are cantankerous bastards, suspicious to the point of paranoia, who have higher body-counts than most great heroes? Why, I ask you, would anyone want to subject themselves to such danger, loneliness, and fear? And what do you answer? Nothing. You answer nothing because you’re not a prat. Only prats answer rhetorical questions posed by authors. But if you were here, and if we were face to face, and if you didn’t feel that you’d be forced into pratdom by answering the question, you’d still have trouble with it. After all, you’re not a mage, and therefore you are, supposedly, and of reasonable expectation, at least moderately sane; so how could you know the answer? That’s right, you prat, you couldn’t. That is, after all, why you are reading this, if you still are. So, why would anyone want to be a mage? It’s an obvious question that hasn’t been looked at with any degree of seriousness for at least seven millennia. [Don’t get me started about the ancient records. They’re there if you know where to look, and know how to read them.] This monograph is an attempt to redress this egregious…