Today I found a questionnaire on building a magic system:
And decided to take it using Quaraun's Universe to answer the questions.
Depends on the user.
Most anything is possible with magic, provided the user has the skill. Gaining said skill is difficult.
All of the above.
Main character Quaraun, for example is a DiJinn turned Necromancer. He also practices Elemental magic, Colour magic, Potion making, Demonology, Portal magic, and builds Magic Items.
Secondary character, Unicorn, is an Illusionist Necromancer and Candy Wizard.
Other secondary character, GhoulSpawn, is a Chaos wizard practicing Chaos magic, portal magic, dimensional shifts, demonology, time travel, and alchemy.
Elemental magic controls the elements, for example: wind, fire, water, earth/dirt, sand, rocks, weather, etc. If the wizard wanted to knock someone out, he would meditate to harness the energy of the wind, put a wind spell into his wand, then cast it on the victim. The force of the wind energy, now narrow focused on a single target, casts a large blast force that would knock the person off their feet, and were they standing close to say a brick wall, the force would be strong enough to knock then out on impact. It would be like a sudden blast of hurricane winds suddenly hitting them full force.
In Quaraun's world, magic CAN bring the dead back to life, however, the life is different. Worst case, they return as a shambling dead (mindless zombie with rotting flesh). Or they may come back as a soulless beast/monster (Vampire, Lich, Ghoul, etc). If they do come back with a soul, it may not be the same soul they had in life, meaning person A is alive again in person B's body, so while you resurrected your lover's body, you did so with someone else's mind/memories. Because the risks far outweigh the advantages resurrecting the dead is forbidden. But few Necromancers are able to do this.
Magic is learned, though there exist those who have in born abilities.
In Quaraun's world, magic can not be used extensively. Magic is similar to the flow of magnetic energy. Harnessing it, means you are forcibly directing the energy to flow into and through your own body. While the energy is in you, it energizes you, allowing you to do supernatural things (like shooting lightning bolts from your fingers). But you can only do it briefly, and may not be able to do it again for several days or even several weeks, as it physically drains/exhausts you. Wizards often collapse unconscious after casting a powerful spell because of this, and it may be days before they wake up.
Also in my world, magic is unstable and unpredictable, spells often backfire and wizards are often injured by their own spells. (A wizard may burn his hands to the bone in attempting a fire ball, for example.)
Anyone can learn magic, but Elves and Demons are better at learning advanced magic, due to their long life spans and the amount of time it takes to learn advanced skills.
It is believed there is.
The ocean and volcanoes, for example, are believed to be places of power.
Most wizards are insane, due to the amount of damage they take in using magic.
This is a big one. Thus why people call my Wizard "Quaraun the Insane". He's done what no other wizard before him has done, reached levels of power no one thought possible, and has done so at the expense of his mental stability.
In Quaraun's world one fact about magic remains consistently true regardless of any other variation: wizards are all insane.
The rigors of their studies, push them physically, mentally, and emotionally, beyond what the normal body can hold. Becoming a Wizard has the same general side effects of becoming a "test pilot" for experimental aircraft. The mind is not made to deal with the things Wizards must face, and so the deeper they delve into magic, the more desperately insane they become.
There is no known case of a Wizard not sinking into madness.
Often, yes. Small, simple spells tend to be harmless, but bigger more advanced spells often have serious side effects. If a Wizard wants to cast fire balls, he better have fire proof robes and something to protect his hands, because he WILL get burned. It is for this reason fire casting spells are rare and the wizard will use a wand, so that the fire comes from the wand and not his hands.
A group, know by wizards as "The Guild" governs magic use.
Magic users must be members of the Guild to practice magic.
Consequences vary from hefty fines, to imprisonment, to torture to execution, depending on the offence.
Yes, but not like Harry Potter.
Students are not willing participants. Young boys are kidnapped by priests and often tortured into submission. Quaraun had this sort of training.
Main character, Quaraun, is typical of most Wizards in the Quaraun series. He was taken from his family by a Thullid priest at the age of 9.
Born in Quebec, Quaraun was raised by the DiJinn in Persia, on the other side of the planet. As an adult he escaped his captors and made the long journey back home. Quaraun was not accepted back into Elf society and seen as a freak. The other Elves teased and bullied him.
Sometimes, but not often. Quaraun did with Unicorn for a short while.
Some do. GhoulSpawn and Unicorn both did.
Sorcerers, who a different from wizards, tend to be self-taught.
Faerie Iron can be used on Faeries and some minor skill wizards. It i made into shackles, cages, weapon blades, or jewelry.
Magic in my series can not be used for combat, because of the intense amount of meditation required to use the spell. It can take hours for a wizard to focus his mind, enough to them use the spell in his wand. He can't just point the wand and boom the spell happens. He has to meditate first on his intent, before he can cast the prepared spell. As a result, this makes wizards a liability in combat, because by the time they've focused the spell, the enemy has had time to slaughter the wizard. Also, the energy source, goes not just through the wand, but also through the wizard, thus is drains them physically, and they can not cast more than 1 or 2 spells a week without doing serious physical and mental damage to themselves.
So, while magic is very powerful and very effective, it's also very difficult to wield and is often deadly for the magic user. Many wizards are killed by their own spells. Trying to cast a fire ball, will burn them if they are not wearing specific gloves and robes made to repel fire for example. Also because wizards use their bodies as a conduit to power the energy of the spell, drawing energy out of other things... the spell is short rage, only around the wizard himself for a few feet. He can't cast a spell and have it manifest 100 feet away, for example.
Also pulling energy out of a living thing (plants, people, animals) weakens or even kills that thing, so peaceful wizards are limited to using fire, earth, rocks, and water for sourcing their energy. (Thus you have wizards who use Life Energy, generally seen as evil, vs wizards who use Elemental Energy, general seen as good.)
Magic is HEAVILY dependant on the personality of the wizard who controls it.
In The Lich Lord's Lover the government tested out wizards in their army - the Wizards turned out to be a liability - their magic was too unstable and unpredictable, and it was days before they could cast another spell.
In that novel, Quaraun is kidnapped by a rouge commander who is convinced the studies are wrong and that having the world's most powerful Wizard on his side, will help him win. He, however failed to consider what magic is, how magic is used, what magic can and can not do, and the fact that magic's ability to do anything at all is dependant upon the emotional stability of the Wizard casting it.
Quaraun is already a nervous wreck to begin with. His personality was high strung and anxiety prone before becoming a wizard. When he is relaxed, able to meditate and focus for several hours, he is then able to cast spells that other wizards only dream of.
Quaraun truly is the most powerful wizard of all time, but, his ability to tap into that power, requires him to go off by himself and meditate for days on end, to be able to fully use his powers. Denied this, and his ability to cast spells becomes laughable at best.
The more nervous he becomes, the greater chances his spells have of literally blowing up in his face and hurting both him and anyone around him.
In the Lich Lord's Lover situation, Quaraun is being held captive against his will, and his lover Unicorn is being used as a blackmail bargaining chip, with the soldier's beating his lover whenever Quaraun doesn't do what they ask. The end result is a very high stress situation that completely shuts down Quaraun's ability to cast magic at all. Yet the soldiers are forcing him to cast spells on command in a battlefront. Which results in many members of their own army being injured by Quaraun's inability to cast spells in this situation. This in turn causes them to beat him up claiming that he miss cast his spells on purpose with the intent to harm them.
The soldiers, know nothing of magic and think magic can do anything, so they refuse to believe Quaraun is telling the truth about the limits of his ability to cast magic in a battle front or while they are holding his lover hostage or while they are threatening him. They think of Wizards as being like a vending machine - pop in a coin and out pops a toy, only in this case, tell a wizard to to cast a spell and his does no questions asked. The soldiers next decide to punish him, by forcing him to watch while they beat his lover to death. This triggers the other side of Quaraun's magical ability, and the true reason people are scared of him.
In situations where his life is threatened, Quaraun will make random attempts to cast spells of protection. However, with his fear levels off the charts and his adrenaline going overtime, he inadvertently sucks the life force out of everything around him. Quaraun is physically unable to contain the amount of energy passing through his body and passes out. No one knows what happens, not even him. All he knows, is when he wakes up, everyone is dead. EVERY ONE. Everyone as in, everyone for miles around. Every person. Every animal. Every plant. Every bird. Every tree. This magical overload, happens in several novels, including BoomFuzzy, Swamp of Death, and Lich Lord's Lover and results in people calling Quaraun the Most Feared Wizard, because his powers when not under his full control are lethal.
A horrible nightmare.
Most people hate magic users.
Quaraun is often beaten, raped, and several times publicly humiliated by being striped naked and hung upside down from a tree in the village center, where the villagers would gather to beat him with sticks and throw rocks at him. It was during one of these events, that one Elf took a knife and attempted to castrate him, resulting in the horrific scars and permanent damage done to his penis, which in turn results in his near inability to have sexual intercourse, resulting in him eventually preferring to be a bottom to other men, resulting in his 3 way relationship with his two lovers Unicorn and GhoulSpawn.
For a wizard to be beaten, humiliated, and castrated is not uncommon. Many wizards are eunuchs because of this.
Societies ill treatment of wizards, is the cause of many wizards believing in celibacy, most refusing to have sex, falsely claiming to be eunuchs to prevent themselves being castrated by angry mobs.
Because Wizards are often hunted down and killed by the law, it became common practice for Wizards to live in isolated regions - on top difficult to reach mountains, in isolated deserts, or on tiny islands in the ocean. Wizards took to living in tall stone towers as a way to protect themselves. While the top floor of the towers have windows, there are no windows on the lower levels, and the door into the tower is invisible to the naked eye, hidden by powerful spells to prevent anyone from gaining access.
It is not uncommon for a Wizard to disguise his tower as something else, such as a Lighthouse.
Many Wizards, especially those whom have been heavily abused by society, are fearful of having contact with other people, often to the point of agoraphobicly locking themselves in their towers and never setting foot outside again.
Both Wizards and their towers are a rare thing to see. Only a handful of Wizards exist in the world. Probably fewer then 100 Wizards are alive at any given time period.
Quaraun in fact, when he is at home, lives in a lighthouse known as The Black Tower.
It is not uncommon for a small group of wizards to band together, as other wizards are often the only friends a wizard has. Thus if one does see a wizard, it is likely you'll see more then one.
Quaraun himself, lives with two other wizards: The Illusionist Wizard King Gwallmaiic/BoomFuzzy the Unicorn, and The Chaos Wizard GhoulSpawn. All three of them have been victims of violent race crimes against wizards. Each of the three of them is scared to live alone.
Quaraun, Unicorn, and GhoulSpawn each rely on the other two for everything. You will almost never see any one of these three wizards without the other two close by. If one is separated from the other two, all three become highly agitated and nervous, with the two who are still together, going on a terror driven panicked search for the one that has gone missing.
None of these three Wizards feels safe on his own and is deeply emotionally dependent on having the other two by his side. All three of them suffer from serious anxiety when separated from the other two. Each of them is fiercely protective of the other two.
While small villages on the outskirts of society tend to be welcoming of wizards, most large cities and upscale regions see wizards as little more then the scum of the Earth. As a result of this Wizards are rarely seen in areas with big populations. Wizards tend to sculk around in lower class, shady places - slums, ports, docks, seedy taverns, and places that are highly infested with pirates, criminals, thieves, whores, bootleggers, moonshiners, and other individuals out cast from upper class society.
Because of this most of the Quaraun series takes place in taverns and inns of ill repute, along the coast, usually in bars on sea ports. Pirates, drunks, drug dealers, prostitutes, and sailors are thus a daily part of Quaraun's life as this is the society he lives with and is a part of. Quaraun is himself often drunk, high, or in bed with prostitutes.
Interestingly, Quaraun is of the habit of paying prostitutes to sleep with him, but not have sex with him. When asked about this, he simply explains he dislikes to sleep alone and it's easy to find prostitutes willing to not have sex with a man as most of the women simply want the money to support their families.
GhoulSpawn on the other hand is frequently seen with many prostitutes, whom he is a frequent customer of. GhoulSpawn just likes sex a lot.
It is not uncommon for the 3 of them (Quaraun, Unicorn, and GhoulSpawn) to spend the night at whore houses, with only GhoulSpawn ever having sex with the women, and them all of them, the 3 wizards and the women, sleeping together. This is due to Quaraun being a pure blooded High Elf, and his species, normally have communal sleeping habits with a dozen or more people all in bed together. Elves are often noted for stating: "No one really notices who is cuddled up with who, just as long as every one is together, it's all good."
Families who have magical abilities are generally classified as witches.
Most magic users are solitary. Usually hermits living in isolated areas.
Generally Witches are seen as very low level or low skill. Sorcerers are generally seen as quite powerful. Wizards are seen as being formidably powerful.
Witches being self taught within families, taught by an elder (usually a grandmother), generally have no formal ranking. It's possibly for small groups (covens) to be created, and each may have it's own rankings within their house. In this case, most follow after the standard Wiccan practice of a Lord and Lady, with a High Priestess, then lesser priestess, then members.
Witches have a tendency to do things in 3s, so it is not uncommon to see groups of 3 witches working together.
The Voodoo religion and magic practice, exists in Quaraun's world exactly the same as it does in our real world, with the same ranks: High Houngan, Gro Mambo, Houngan, Mambo, Borka, Medsen Fey, Priests, Priestess, Devotees.
Hoodoo Rootwork magic practice, exists in Quaraun's world exactly the same as it does in our real world as well.
If you pay attention to the spells Quaraun casts, the potions he mixes, the chants and prayers he says, the rituals he does, and the religious lingo he speaks, you will notice that he uses a lot of real world Hoodoo Rootwork and New Orleans Voodoo. This is because I am a Voodoo Priestess myself, rank of Medsen Fey Marija Loa to Damballa, and am a Hoodoo Rootworker.
Sorcerers tend to be outcast loners, rarely forming groups.
Some wizards band together, such as did Quaraun, Unicorn, and GhoulSpawn, creating small family groups. If it not uncommon for a few wizards to pair off together and become lovers.
Once in awhile larger groups of wizards band together and form guilds. Each guild has it's own rules and regulations depending on what it's leaders decided upon. These are generally nothing more than clubs or gangs.
Not unless the magic user himself had an ego and demanded some title he made up for himself, which often happens in the case of wizards, as wizards tend to be insane.