To all of your examples. Magic and spell casting side effects in Quaraun's world can and often do cause physical injury.
A "powerful" wizard is one who can harness the forces of nature and manipulate it to his will. This does not mean he will not be burned when casting fire magic, or escape the damages of frost bite when casting ice spells. In fact the opposite is true. Spell casting side effects can be deadly to the caster.
Amature wizards, those new to the craft, are often killed early on in their training, killed by their own magic. A wizard who makes it to old age, is one that has withstood a lot of pain, suffering, injury, and both physical and mental damage as a result of using his physical body as a conduit for powerful energy forces in nature, that were not meant to be driven into a flesh body.
Elves are more likely to become wizards then other races, because they are hardier, heal faster, live longer, and are less susceptible to emotional or mental breakdowns. And even then, wizards still go mad or die a horrible death from one of their own spells.
It is no wonder, few dare take up the art of wizardry. Few are brave enough to risk their lives in a career that has so little reward. Those who do take the risk are often seen as raving lunatics and become outcast by society.
Quaraun lives branded "The Insane", a label that he abhors. A label that distresses him terribly. And yet a label he can not run from. Every town he enters, he's greeted with the words: "Look, it's Quaraun The Insane, The Pink Necromancer."
Quaraun is on one hand, considered by pretty much everyone on the planet to be the most powerful wizard to ever live. (Except for his close friends and his family, who point and laugh whenever anyone suggests he's close to very powerful at all. They just think is a crazy, adel brained bumbling idiot, which he kind of actually is.) People (bad guys especially) come up against him with way more powerful spells then they really need to.
People meet him and at first they are terrified, but then they see him "do his thing" and they start asking "THIS is HIM, really? How is THIS the world's most powerful wizard?"
Quaraun's problem is, yes he is VERY powerful magic-wise, but he's also a drug addict and it can be hard for him to tell the very real fire breathing dragon about to kill him, from the hallucinated purple spotted pink dragon chewing bubble gum and pooping rainbows.
Young Quaraun had no head for magic and no desire for drugs. Older Quaraun took drugs to alleviate his suffering and fast grew addicted, with his addiction going out of control and becoming an obsession.
Drug addiction being a common problem for wizards, especially older wizards who've had time to completely destroy their bodies with prolonged detrimental sell casting side effects.
In his world magic is something anyone can be taught to do, but it's seen as evil, by the general public, so practitioners are few and generally seen as criminals (even if they use their magic for good). Over all this resulted in no one taking up magic studies any more and over time old magic users, afraid of their craft dying out, took to kidnapping small children and raising them as "priests". The priesthood was a false front for what was actually a "wizard school". This resulted in Wizard-Priests like Quaraun.
The problem with magic is it takes decades to master and learn, it being a mixture of mental self control, psionics, and energy manipulation, combined with very elaborate rituals involving herbs, crystals, runes, etc, along with magic words and phrases. The whole thing is very convoluted and even the "best" have a hard time remembering all the details, steps, etc and so, mistakes happen - often - all the time.
The entire process requires decades of deeply devoted learning, and Quaraun... he spent most of his decades skipping classes, sneaking out to feed the wild horses, planting roses, and embroidering the elaborate fancy beadwork on other wizards' robes. He went on to become a tailor specializing in cloth magic items (robes, capes, etc) for other wizards.
But then the Guild and it's Wizard Hunters rose up and killed most every wizard on the planet leaving Quaraun to "be the hero". A wizard with LOTS of missed classes under his belt, WAY too much opium clouding his head, and no desire to be a wizard in the first place.... resulting in, even when he does know what he's doing he's going to get SOMETHING wrong...
Spell casting side effects in Quaraun's life are worse then those seen in other wizards, partly because he is so powerful and partly because he is also so reckless.
Quaraun cares nothing for fortune, power, or fame, He has all and wants none of them. An aristocrat whom has cast everything aside to roam aimlessly across the planet like a homeless vagabond, he seeks only one thing: to love and be loved in return.
He has watched the horrific side effects of his spells cause the deaths of every one he loves. Throughout the series, he watches, 4 wives, 2 male partners, and 8 children all suffer and ultimate reach horrible ends: all of their deaths being direct side effects of his spell casting. He goes on to live tormented by the agonizing guilt that rips forever at his mind, knowing that the ones he loved most in life, died by his own hand.
While others run to magic, thinking of it as a cure all for everything, Quaraun runs from it, horrified by the power he possesses and does not want.
"Doing his thing" includes, him burning his hands, setting his cloths on fire, and running around screaming like a flaming idiot setting everything around him on fire, when trying to cast a fire spell. Thus he avoids casting fire spells. It's not that he can't do the spell right, it's that he's forgetful and he forgets to wear his flame proof robes and gloves; tends to cast spells spur of the moment instead of carefully planned ahead, so isn't very well prepared when casting spells. First step to casting fire spells: wear protective clothes (this is true of all wizards in this world. Fire burns - even magic fire.)
Quaraun, however is a Necromancer and if he's casting fire spells, he's likely sending flaming zombies at someone. But he's likely to create them indoors and set fire to his own house in the process.
If GhoulSpawn was casting it, the spell would likely backfire. He's a Half Elf Half Chaos Demon. Passes for an Elf, but has all the bad luck of a Chaos Demon. Casting a fire spell is most likely going to result in the spell blowing up in his face and him needing to be rescued. Likely resulting in Quaraun grabbing his wand and attempting to zap water at the flaming Demon Elf and flooding the house or teleporting both of them into the middle of the ocean.
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