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Wizard Lore - Loose Ends

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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

With Wizards featuring so prominently in the realms of fantasy, there many be a temptation to ask the question 'How does one kill a wizard?' It's important to remember that wizards are completely human, just like everyone else. If some of them happen to be immortal demon spirits at the same time that they are also being completely human then take some advice from Mother Mary and let it be.

With that said, it is regularly the case that someone is trying to kill a wizard somewhere. Apparently it's very difficult for a wizard to go around wrapped in protective spells, but not impossible. This is probably akin to how it is very difficult for a person to never leave their house, but not impossible. Aside from defensive spells, there is nothing about a wizard physically that would protect them against a practiced stab from a sharp pointy device or a good thwack with a large solid object.

The trick would simply be arriving at the opportunity. Wizards tend to see important things before they have any right to, and bodily assault likely falls into that category. Statistically, the most successful way to kill a wizard is poison. You may have guessed by now that despite how much they are hated, most wizards die of old age. Don't get your hopes up though, trying to outlive a wizard is like trying to wrestle with a tree, not because trees are difficult to defeat in a wrestling match (although they are), but because if you're trying it then you're most likely a lunatic.

Life Expectancy

This depends entirely on their universe of origin. The longest natural life spans of a wizard can often reach well into a second millennium. This is almost always for wizards that are the least human. Wizards born on Earthsea, like Ged, live no longer for all their wizardry than any other man. On the average though, being a wizard is usually good for an extra fifty or sixty years of life1.

Sex Life

As a general rule, they don't have any. They claim that 'being' with a woman (wink, wink) will somehow drain their magical potency. Hopefully that isn't some kind of double entendre. Anyway, no-one really knows for sure whether this is truly the case, but it is disturbing to see that the wizards who do sustain healthy sex lives don't suffer any documented side-effects to their 'mystical' power.


Fully-fledged wizards are not very good at travelling incognito. If you were - and this happens - magically transported into a storybook by some cosmic force with nothing better to do, in order to learn a lesson about life just because you were feeling a little frustrated or depressed, you'd spot the wizard long before the extra moon, or even the dinosaurs.

The Floppy Hat - Some wizards don't even know they're supposed to be wearing tall pointy hats, but the ones that do develop a slight psychological attachment (fetish) for them. They are good for pulling stuff out of, and occasionally they will pick up some of the traits of their wizard along with a new personality all their own. It's inadvisable to put a used one on your head unless it was purchased from a reputable dealer.

The Robe - Wizards stay away from the donning of armour. They aren't commonly very strong and armour is heavy - it inhibits arm movements for casting, and the metal kind conducts electricity, which isn't very good for lightning spells. Robes may not protect against swords and arrows, but those aren't the kind of things a wizard has to be worried about anyway.

The Beard - Wizards get better with age, so do beards. Go figure.

The Familiar - Some wizards often have an attendant of sorts to help them out around the house, often in the form of an animal. Usually suspiciously bright, they are sometimes spirits in physical form, but not always. They are always, however, annoying.

The Staff - Staves (staffs) can be used to amplify or at least focus the power of a wizard's magic. Certain types of staff will contain charges of a particular spell that can be used by the wizard with hardly any effort. Many wizards need a staff just to walk.

The Wand - They're not as cool as staves and they're not much good for doubling as a walking stick either, unless you're really short. What wands are good for is pointing and conducting. These are important for wizards that give presentations more often than quick death, or to make sure all the teacups hit the right note as they march and sing in unison all the way into your bottomless suitcase during the musical packing sequence.

The Apprentice - No respectable wizard is without his trusty apprentice, following his master around trying to figure out how it's possible for someone to throw an egg so that it will come back to them without rolling or breaking2, on the off-chance that after answering this riddle the old coot will finally teach him how to do magic.

Literary Works of Wizardry

  • The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind
  • The Earthsea Cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • The Once and Future King by TH White
  • The first five books of the Discworld series (after that, wizards are pot luck, but still funny) by Terry Pratchett
  • The Lost Years of Merlin series by TA Barron
  • The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling

Further Reading

1So it's almost as good for longevity as being female.2Throw it into the air you fool.

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