A Practical Guide To Beginner's Magic
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rating: +23+x

Introduction

Magic to modern humans is a bit like electricity to peasants. There's a set of formal rules that governs how it works, but it seems inexplicable to a layperson. This guide won't turn you into an electrician. This is precisely where the analogy ends, because magic can't be studied like electrical engineering. Its fundamental laws can only be learned by experience. There are people who have refused to accept this reality. They try forcing magic into their understanding of the natural sciences and call it "thaumaturgy". You've likely never heard of them, but we know most of them as Jailers. They tend to use ritual circles instead of conduits, and it's a wonder they can successfully cast spells at all. But I digress. What I intend to teach you is the mage's equivalent of changing a light bulb. And even if you don't know how a light bulb works, changing one is hardly a miracle.

Be sure to follow the instructions in this guide as closely as possible. Improper magic will often do nothing at all, but can also go horribly wrong. Many a romantic would argue that discovering magic is the greatest gift anyone can receive. To them, a failed spell leaving someone ignorant is worse than a spell backfiring. Anyone who says this has never accidentally turned themselves into a blue jay, and then had to figure out how to turn themselves back AS A BLUE JAY.I realize it's unprofessional, but I have a chip on my shoulder when it comes to this argument..

Part 1: Conduits

The first step to successfully executing a spell is having a strong conduit. All matter is capable of conducting magic, but certain materials are significantly better at conducting it than others. Silver is ideal. While many commercial wands/staffs.Conduits can be any long and thin object, not necessarily a wand or staff. While those two are the most common conduits, I've seen people use rapiers, candle holders, and even an unraveled coat hanger. may appear to be made of wood, their conductivity actually comes from the silver in their centers. If you aren't posh enough to have silver lying around (either out of poverty or good taste), a stick wrapped in tin foil should suffice. Sticks which fall naturally from the tree during autumn are ideal and should be stockpiled if possible. You must never shorten, whittle, or otherwise cut the stick under any circumstances.In case you were wondering: silver-core wands get away with this because they use conjured wood. Conjured materials are always unconductive.. It is regarded as incredibly disrespectful to the trees and will result in spellcasting complications.My good friend Jonah once tried to levitate with a whittled wand. The wand floated off without him and is presumably drifting through deep space as I write this.. The tin foil also will tear and fall off if not properly taken care of, which may also result in different complications.Migraines are bad. Psychic migraines are really bad.. I recommend tightly wrapping your conduit in a second material to keep the foil in place and prevent damage from the outside world. Once you've prepared your conduit, you're ready to cast Hum.

Part 2: Your First Spell

Hum isn't really a spell. It's a warm-up exercise that's more akin to tuning an instrument. In this case, you and your conduit are collectively the instrument. To perform Hum, sit on the floor and touch both ends of your conduit. Close your eyes and focus on what magic is. You wouldn't have found this guide if you hadn't seen some form of magic before (whether or not you realized it), so you know what it's like. Channel that. You should experience one (maybe two) of the following healthy effects:

  • The conduit vibrates, creating a humming or buzzing noise.
  • The conduit becomes warm/cold to the touch.
  • The appearance of light behind your closed eyelids.Don't worry, no light is actually being emitted..
  • Auditory hallucinations of music.
  • Formication, or the feeling of insects crawling under one's skin.Again, you're fine. There aren't any actual bugs under your skin..
  • A sudden sense of connection between persons, especially distant acquaintances.

If so, you may continue practicing spellcasting. However, you may instead experience one of the following unhealthy effects:

  • The conduit becomes unbearably hot/cold to the touch.
  • The caster/conduit suddenly feels lighter/heavier.
  • Auditory hallucinations of speech, incomprehensible or otherwise.
  • Itching, specifically in the arms, scalp, and/or face.
  • A sudden identification or affinity with/towards plants, bacteria, or other non-animal life.This section is respective towards humans. Non-animal lifeforms may feel a different variation of this effect..
  • Inability to speak for up to 30 minutes following the cessation of the spell.

Don't panic! More likely than not, your conduit has been damaged or you have a mild iron deficiency. Try to remedy both and cast Hum again. If you still can't Hum properly, find a member of the Serpent's Hand and explain your issue. Tell them Claire sent you. If you don't know about the Serpent's Hand, then chances are you don't know about The Wanderer's Library either. In that case, the most you can do is live with your eyes peeled and your ears open. Look for an entryway to something bizarre and inviting. Listen for the creaky floorboards of many worlds' crossroads. And try Humming on occasion— sometimes these issues resolve themselves with time.

Humming often is a great way to practice magic and is done by almost all mages. But you aren't reading this to learn how to Hum. No one does. You want to cast spells; shoot a proper lightning bolt, transport yourself across miles in an instant. I'm not going to show you any of those. Not yet, at least (don't want more blue jays flying around). But I will teach you a much simpler spell: Prod.

Part 3: Your Second Spell

Hold your conduit in one hand and look at it. Clench your other hand as tight as you can. If you can't clench your other hand for whatever reason, clenching your jaw is a less effective but viable alternative.If you can't clench your other hand or your jaw and need to cast Prod, you need to reconsider the choices that led to this situation.. Look at an object and release your hand/jaw. The object should receive a light push.

Next, try experimenting. Clench your fist and your jaw. Flex your forearm. Don't release all at once. Prod's a pretty stable spell— the worse thing you could give yourself is a muscle cramp.

Part 4: Additional Spellcasting

In the beginning of this guide, I said that I'd teach you how to change a lightbulb. Prod won't let you do that. Not in any practical way, at least. But if you practice and observe and try to understand magic on its own terms, you might wake up from a nap one day and realize you know how to cast Grasp. That's how you change the lightbulb. Until then, use Prod to flip light switches and have electricity do the rest.

Until Next Time,
Claire Fritwox

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