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Insights to Athron: The Magic System: Spellcrafts (part II)

Today I’m going to cover part of my spell system in my world of Athron. I’ll begin with the elemental spellcrafts as those are the most common and probably the easiest to come to grips with. First, a word about spellcrafts in general. All magic is fueled by spell energy. Every spell caster has access to spell energy (in the gaming system the amount was determined by the level of skill the caster had in the appropriate spell energy). This energy can be used for three different types of tasks: 1) casting a spell, 2) inscribing a rune, or 3) making a potion. Each spellcraft has its own assets in each of these tasks. The elemental spellcrafts are flamecraft, seacraft, earthcraft, and windcraft. A character with skill in flamecraft, therefore, may be able to cast a fire-based spell, inscribe a fire-based rune, or make a fire-based potion. In the gaming system, all of these were separate skills, as was the general skill of flamecraft. At one point, I even had separate skills for every type of spell energy. For example, you had orange energy for flamecraft, blue energy for seacraft, etc … but I shortly found that that system was a bit too cumbersome for actual gaming, although I still kind of dig it.

 

Anyway, flamecraft (whether manifested as a spell or rune or potion) involves the manipulation of fire. Although it does not require a pre-existing flame source, it is stronger when one is nearby. A flame wizard with a torch or near a bonfire can be very dangerous. Seacraft is somewhat different. It, too, is more effective when there is a source of water nearby (although it is capable of pulling water right out of the air), but it is not completely inert without it. Seacraft involves the manipulation of water—it need not be salt water or any special kind of water, just water will do. Compared to the other elements, earthcraft and windcraft are almost always guaranteed to have an abundant source of their respective elements nearby. As such, the spells in the retinues of their respective wizards always assume the element to be present. Obviously, earthcraft manipulates earth in all its forms: mud, rock, mineral, and what-have-you. And windcraft permits the manipulation of air, nut just powerful gusts of wind. I have a fair-sized list of spells (I may or may not share these at a later date) for each of these spellcrafts. Likewise runes. And likewise potions. For example, I have spells like Fire Bolt, Continuous Inferno, etc … Readers of my novels may also recognize a few spells that recur with regularity: Earthen Hands, Fire Guardian, Earth Warrior, etc …  All told, the lists give me pretty good variety for the four basic elements.

Insights to Athron: The Magic System (part I)

For those of you who have read my novel, Drasmyr, or my other work set in Athron, to a certain extent, you are already familiar with the magic system I use. Those of you who have not, may still find this information handy and useful. In my world of Athron, I do not set down a precise system of rules with the rigor of, say, mathematics; although I respect other authors who do, like, say, Brandon Sanderson, who is renowned for his magic systems; I don’t provide the same level of detail on its rules. The system is detailed, to a certain extent, over the course of my writing and kind of explained as I go along. One reason for not going into a lengthy discourse on the subject is that it is supposed to be a kind of “parallel science.” As such, the intricacies and complexities are too vast for a handful of pages to delineate. Indeed, it would be too complex for any one individual to handle. I can only realistically discuss the highlights. So, with that in mind, I will discuss a few points about my system here.

 

I use an augmented elemental system. Basically, I start with the four elements of antiquity: earth, air, fire, and water. Then, I added a few crafts which didn’t fit with those. Each one is a spellcraft. At the time of this writing I have: flamecraft, earthcraft, windcraft, seacraft, seercraft (divination), soulcraft (conjuring spirits), hellcraft (demonology), and deathcraft (necromancy). Those are the main ones, all of which (except soulcraft) appear in Drasmyr. I also have floating on the back burner the following: bloodcraft, fleshcraft, bonecraft, and woodcraft. There is also a field called Derivative Magic, which is basically starting with any two spellcrafts and “mixing” them: for example, wind and earth magic make “dustcraft.” That, of course, would be a very lengthy list. That, I think, covers it; I might have a few more in my notes, but if I do, I don’t remember them as I write this. Anyway, each craft allows the spell-caster to cast spells with very specific effects. It is worth pointing out that the spell system, and in fact the entire world of Athron, were partially developed for use in a pen and paper role-playing game. The game is “in development” and as I am the only person working on it, it will likely remain “in development” for many years to come. I’m really too busy writing to work on it much.

 

I will discuss specific spellcrafts in more detail in later posts.