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    Omnipotent View: Dissertation of Magic Items
    Posted on Mon, March 04, 2002 by taladmin
    Longetalos writes "A series of lectures given by Wizard Ceinedus, a teacher of Thaumaturgy at the College of Wizardry in Greyhawk City...

    Author:Richard Di Ioia

    Used with permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission.

    The elderly wizard prepared himself to give another rousing class on the Thaumaturgical Applications of Magic and it's correlation to Mineral and Metallurgical Properties. Looking over the names of the apprentice mages he was to instruct he started to get nervous. Six apprentices! What was the council thinking, the historical maximum apprentice to master ratio had always stayed around 3. The wizard harrumphed to himself "One little war and the whole of Oerth turns on its head. There were wanna-be apprentice mages coming out of the wood-works and flooding the Greyhawk School of Magic. It seems every noble with a few coins to rub together sent off one of his relatives to learn magic. Bah, most of the snot-nosed brats would never make it past a few cantrips and leave the school in disgust after half a dozen years. Good riddance to them, a real mage has the fire in his gut and the natural instinct for magic!"

    Grabbing his staff in disgust the wizard stormed towards the meditation room where his apprentices were waiting. Without looking up, the wizard dropped his book on the podium and started speaking.

    "Today's lecture will give you a basic understanding of what Thaumaturgy is and what wielders of magic can do with it. First of all…"

    The wizard was cut-off in mid-sentence by a stern voice coming from the back of the class. "Esteemed teacher, perhaps it would be more polite and friendlier if you were to address us by name and us the same with you."

    "Hehe" thought the wizard. "There is always one noble who thinks his title actually holds weight here." Raising his voice to a thunderous pitch the wizard began his rehearsed speech. "Who dares to interrupt me! Which of you meaningless apprentices thinks to question the acts of a true mage?" With those words hanging in the air, the wizard looked up and stared hard at one apprentice after another. Piercing them with his practiced gaze of condescension and arrogance. Slowly scanning the apprentices as he made the gem on the tip of his staff glow and magic play over his fingertips. Seeing one pale and scared face after another plastered on the teenage boys the wizard smiled inwardly.

    That is until he reached a pair of mocking eyes staring right back at him. The eyes belonged to a young man in his early twenties dressed in fine clothing and in good health. "Do you seek to intimidate me?" asked the young man with a friendly grin on his face. The wizard called upon his talent to view the aura of the apprentice. What he saw shocked him to the core. This was no apprentice, this was a mage of quite some power. More powerful than most of the mages living within Greyhawk.

    The wizard stuttered out an apology "Forgive me Master Mage, I did not know anyone but apprentices were in the classroom".

    "No apologies necessary, as I am an apprentice. To the art of thaumaturgy at least. Although I am no wizard and not blessed with your ability to read magical auras, I am certain that in the use of magic I am much more powerful than you. Please keep that in mind as you teach me the ways of Thaumaturgy. I would hate to have to turn you into a newt." This last was said with no vestige of malice and in a spirit of joviality.

    After a few weeks of theoretical teaching Wizard Ceinedus broached the subject of how a magical item was created.

    "Creating magical items is no simple task as you have probably learned by this time. They are classified into three categories of power - invested items, charged items, and permanent items. As one increases the power level the difficulty of the creating the item also increases. Let us commence with the simplest of the three, the invested item. The invested item usually takes the shape of a gem that has one charge of a spell. Preparing the gem to receive the spell may take the Thaumaturge up to several days - depending on the power of the spell and the power of the Thaumaturge. The Thaumaturge must pour his own personal magical energies into the gem for a few hours each day and supplement the exchange by the use of Thaumaturgical tools and ingredients. Some mages can channel more power at a time then others and hence can power the gem faster. Once the …"

    "I have a question Ceinedus." Interrupted Izzygule.

    "Hmm, you still haven't learned not to interrupt, have you Master Mage Izzygule?" the wizard said with a sigh.

    "Nope, sorry. Must be the Magic of the element of Air flowing through my veins." Izzygule said with a smile. "Can I ask my question now?"

    "Of course, since I lost where I was anyway."

    "Well, you said that it took time and lots of magical energy to make an invested vessel. I would assume more would be needed for a permanent item. Yet, in my travels I have killed plenty of evil mages and priests that had magical items. Many more than the priests of Heironeous or Beory I've met ever had. Where did they get them all? I heard that they made deals with demons and other fiends to help them out. If they can do that, why can't we do the same with the Saints of good deities?"

    "Interesting question Izzygule. Although I wouldn't be so quick to brag about killing evil mages and priests out loud. The reason is quite complex, but I will try to simplify it. All Saints and Demons can create magical items given enough time. Unfortunately doing so will drain the creator of the item of a large part of their energies. Unlike mages here on Oerth, these godly avatars do not regain their energies by rest and studying. They slowly regain the lost energy by absorbing the energy ambient in the planes they live in - the energy given off by the god they represent. Therefore, creating powerful items weakens the Saints considerably for quite a long time. Now, the mortal that asks for the item can grant the Saint a portion of his life-force to compensate for the loss and re-energize the Saint. Unfortunately, once a mortal does so he loses that portion of life-force forever."

    "But what about those deals you hear in tales about people trading demons their souls for power?"

    "That is a false tale Apprentice Pindalin. Why would a demon ask for payment a soul that may come to it quite a few years in the future? For all the demon knows, at that time its place in the Hierarchy of evil will be taken over by someone else. And the promised soul would go to the new Leader. Or even if the soul went to the original demon, what use would a demon have for a minor weakling slave? And if the soul is evil and powerful to begin with, it would be going to the Abyss anyway. No, demons do not make deals for souls - they have no patience to wait that long. What they ask for their help is the immediate gratification. They take the energy needed to create the item and then some more. As the mortal keeps practicing his arts he finds that some spells are out of his reach - he can never reach the required energy to cast those spells. So he summons the same demon to make him another item that can cast those spells. This of course drains him more, so he loses some abilities he had previously. This vicious circle continues until the mortal is a broken, magic-less husk of a man. And upon his death, he is sent to the Abyss as a slave."

    "But if this is a known fact, why do so many people make deals like that?" Quizzed Taulen.

    "These facts are not always known or accepted by the public. Many churches, such as St-Cuthbert, Rao and Pelor, try to teach the people of these truths, but few listen. In addition, many peasants are under the impression that since they cannot cast spells they have very little use for any magical ability they have. This leads them to give it up with no thought to a demon for baubles. Little do they realize that all of us have magic within us that is needed to keep us healthy. But, you will learn all that in good Brother Ismon's class next year and I would not like to steal his fire."

    Note: Greyhawk City,Wizardry"
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    Re: Omnipotent View: Dissertation of Magic Items (Score: 1)
    by Mystic-Scholar on Mon, October 05, 2009
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    How does the magic of the element of Air flow through Izzygule's veins? A little more detail needed to be supplied in several areas.

    An interesting take on the "trading of souls" bit.

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