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Wizard Lore - Spell Categories

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Wizard Lore
An Introduction | What's In A Wizard? | Spell Categories | Linguistics of Note | Natural Predators | Loose Ends | Concluding Q&A

As diverse and obscure as many wizard spells can be, they all invariably fall into a particular category. Pay no attention to any writer's efforts to divide magic spells into categories; they're just trying to be creative and original (instead of accurate, for example). Pay even less attention to the efforts of game designers to separate spells into categories, they are already as misguided as writers and they're most likely trying to jam it all into some kind of (clunky) combat system, too.


This is a wizard's ability to see beyond what their senses might ordinarily be able to detect. Like most of these categories, it can be both passive, as in having a vision, or active, like in a finding spell.


One of the most frequently-used types of wizard's spell is the enchantment. An enchantment is different from a regular spell because it will not dissipate immediately. An example of an enchantment could be a spell that causes it to always be winter, but never Christmas, like the one cast over Narnia by the White Witch in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Enchantments can bend reality around themselves to suit a wizard's fancy, or if that's too hard, they can bend perceived reality around themselves instead.


Another word for summoning is evoking; it should not be confused with invoking, which is described later in this Entry. It is the creation or transportation of something outside the wizard, like a fireball, or Balduvian bears.


This relates to mental processes and is the wizard's potential to use their mind to read another person's mind, enter another person's mind, or something cool like crack an egg with their mind. Telekinesis is a word commonly used to describe moving things with the mind. A good example would be in the Fellowship of the Ring movie when Gandalf and Saruman duel by slamming their mind into the other's body (since it's too hard to do it the other way around).


Some wizards believe they can heal people with their magic. Depending upon the world the wizard participates in, this healing can go from being only helpful enough to assist the process of natural healing to being powerful enough to bring a person back to life. The term for bringing a person back to life is resuscitation. Many times people will confuse this with resurrection, which is actually the instilling of immortality into a person who is dead, so that they will never die again. As usual, if a word is used consistently incorrectly by enough people, it will suddenly become correct. We are seeing this process in action with many other words as well. So it's important for people to remember that since there are fewer words than people, then it logically follows that killing a word is actually worse than killing a person.


Everyone has heard of necromancy at one time or another. Wizards can oftentimes mess with this other side of the spectrum of life more easily. Necromancy involves an unnatural focus on the dead, and is very entertaining to watch, unlike healing which is boring. Turning corpses into zombies that then rise out of their own graves is good visual imagery and mentally simulating too. The townsfolk are too busy fighting them off with fire and protecting their children to notice the subtle positives like this, and it's this same kind of closed-mindedness that cause villagers to react with intense fear to anyone they don't see at least once a year at the county fair.


This is a rarely-used ability wizards have to call forth power from elsewhere into themselves or others. This kind of spell can be observed in something as a frivolous as a wizard gathering magical power into their legs so that they can jump higher than usual. Because wizards are usually thinking men, they tend to stay away from physical self-empowering spells in favour of less personal enhancements, but there are also invocations that amplify other aspects of the wizard. These spells can be cast at such an advanced degree that the wizard can become the focal point for divine and godly powers. Use your imagination.


The changing of one thing into another. This could include a wizard's reputed gift for turning villagers into the animal that fits their personality, or shape shifting into a wolf in order to eat the villager's chickens. Why the wizard would ever want to do any of these things is never explained by the village gossip.

Elemental, Earth (Geomancy)

Many wizards don't go in for what they see as unnatural magic. They prefer to stay closer to Mother Earth. Spells that force (encourage, they call it) plants to grow at incredible speeds, animal empathy, and earthquakes would all be part of this kind of spell.

Elemental, Weather

Some people throw dishes or even rocks when they're angry. Wizards throw weather - specifically wind, water, and electricity. Sometimes they can generate the element from within themselves, but more easily it comes from nature. Wizards have been known to conjure thunderstorms just because they feel like it.


Perhaps the least used spells are those of chronomancy. Time is a dangerous field of wizardry and probably the hardest to utilise. Any spell that alters time in any way would obviously be part of this category. So some speed-inducing spells would be included, but never any soup-warming spells (transmutation).


These are the spells wizards use to directly transform the physical realm. This could involve a wizard tearing a hole into another dimension, translocating (teleporting) himself or others from one side of a continent to the opposite end, altering gravity and shape, and so forth. A spell is not spatial if the physical change is through an indirect cause. It is one thing to light a fire letting combustion do all the work, and entirely another to actually create fire by physically rearranging the atoms in the air.

Many spells end up being part of more than one category, but hopefully never less than one category. For instance, a spell that causes the nearby dirt to always melt more often than it likes to could easily be several types of spell at once. Please keep in mind that no categorisation is perfect1.

Further Reading

1Horses, for example, can successfully mate with donkeys and zebras. Now say your confidence in taxonomy doesn't waver.

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