What do people in your world call magic users?

Defining Types of Magic Users In The Quaraun Series

| EelKat On Writing Fantasy Novels |
Worldbuilding and Character Creation

What do people in your world call magic users? 

Defining Types of Magic Users In The Quaraun Series

| EelKat On Writing Fantasy Novels | 
Worldbuilding and Character Creation

So, I was over on Reddit, you like I often am, and found this question. And answered it, like I do. However, the answer I initially gave was a simple generic answer. If you want to read my original answer unaltered, simply click on Reddit's embed feature links which Reddit provides for webmasters to be able to post their answers on their websites, while linking back to the original thread on Reddit (if you didn't know Reddit offered and encouraged the use of this feature, look for it in the "share" features underneath every post, comment, and reply on Reddit).

I am answering random questions today about world building, over on Reddit and decided to take my answers from there and expand upon them even further over here. So that's what this page is. Me rambling on about various aspects of world building techniques I use when writing the Quaraun series. The questions I am answering are embedded here. Clicking the link in the embedded question will take you to the original Reddit page where you can see the original answer along with other people's answers. If you wish to comment, you can do so on the Reddit page where a place to do so is provided.

In any case, as with all of my Reddit answers found on my site here, my original post on Reddit is much shorter then the article here.

What do people in your world call magic users? 

Defining Types of Magic Users In The Quaraun Series

| EelKat On Writing Fantasy Novels | 
Worldbuilding and Character Creation

It depends on the character you ask. The region they are from. The religion they belong to. The culture they were raised in. And similar factors.

For the most part the series goes with the terms used by the 3 main characters.

The terms used most frequently include: Wizard, Sorcerer, Witch, Mage, Necromancer, Illusionist, Demonologist, Lich, (all capitalized) and magic user (not capitalized).

Each term has a very different and specific meaning as well:

Wizard: An elitist group of fanatical priests, all male, whom have spend centuries studying magic arts. Due to their advanced level of studies, they are the most powerful of any type of magic user, and are formidable. Usually Elves, Faeries, or Demons due to their long life spans (Elves live about 500 to 700 years, Demons live about 1,000 years, Faeries live about 3,000 years), but any race can become a Wizard.

Main character, Quaraun, is a Moon Elf Wizard.

Generally it takes 300 years or more to become skilled enough to be classified as a Wizard, thus one rarely sees shorter lived races, such as Humans and Dwarves, become Wizards. Wizards are viewed by the general population as insane, eccentric, religion crazed cultists.

Wizards are noted for their extreme arrogance, zealous devotion to their gods, and questionable use of magic in the name of servitude to gods that are often figmints of the Wizard's drug induced imaginations.

Many Wizards used drugs to enhance their abilities. Prone to becoming drug addicts, Wizards are generally seen as Criminals, Gangsters, or Cultists.

Most people live in mortal fear of Wizards, especially the ones whom have achieved god-like powers over nature/elements/weather. Anti-Wizard laws are in place, and a militia-like group of Wizard Hunters known as "The Guild", has resulted in Wizards being very rare by the time period of the series, with fewer than 100 Wizards world-wide.

Wizards are often killed on sight, by The Guild. The Guild members themselves, often being "reformed" Wizards, who now use their powers to bring down other Wizards.

A Wizard is one who became "A Wiz" at magic, via schooling. They are highly skilled, well trained, very disciplined, and very proficient.

Outcasts from mainstream society, most of the world's surviving Wizards have become hermits living in seclusion, or have banded together with other Wizards into small "family groups". The Wizards who band together in this manner, often develop gay relationships with the Wizards they live with. This is the case of the three main characters: 3 Wizards on the run from the law, who have banded together and are now lovers.

You can Find out more about the three main characters here:

More details on Wizards in the Quaraun series, can be found here.

Sorcerer: Similar to a Wizard, often rivalling Wizards in powers, a Sorcerer is someone who either has Demon blood (is a Demon, half-Demon, had a Demon great grandma, etc), is Demon Possessed, or has made a pact with a Demon.

While Demons are not themselves evil in this world, people with evil intent often use Demons for their nature born powers.

Demons often become victims of evil magic users.

Sorcerers are either born with their powers (by having Demon blood) or gain their powers by tapping into a Demon (possession, familiars, or pacts.) whereas a Wizard spent years studying to gain their powers. Thus Wizards are often very old, while Sorcerers are often very young.

Humans, Gnomes, and Dwarves (each lives about 100 years) often become Sorcerers due to not having a long enough life span to become Wizards.

Females often become Sorcerers, due to Wizarding schools excluding female students. Sorcerers are hunted same as Wizards, and thus very rare. A Sorcerer is one who "taps into a Source" to gain their magic. They are sometimes referred to as "Chaos Wizards" due to the fact that they have the same formidable powers as Wizards, but rarely know how to properly control those powers, are unskilled, untrained, not very proficient, and have a high rate of spells backfiring.

Primary character GhoulSpawn, is a Sorcerer, though he calls himself a Chaos Wizard.

Witch: Self-taught magic users. Often females, due to the prejudice against females, by most schools of magic, but Witches can be male or female.

A Witch is to a Wizard what a Homeschooled grade schooler is to a PH.D Harvard University student.

Witches are people who for whatever reason, lacked the opportunity to be "professional trained" in magic arts, so set out to teach themselves.

They are often thought of as being far less powerful, due to being self-taught, but some of the most powerful magic users in the series are in fact Witches.

Witches have a tendency to "run in families" because an older Witch will often teach his/her children/grandchildren everything they have learned so that their knowledge is not lost. This results in many Witches keeping Family Grimoires (spell books) that they pass down for generations.

Mage: A young Wizard, a student, who does not yet have the skill or training required to call himself a Wizard.

NOTE: Mage is also used as a derogatory slur.

Main character Quaraun, often calls other Wizards a "mage". This is the equivalent of calling them "gutter scum" or "uneducated." Wizards are very arrogant and highly value their title of Wizard, so for one Wizard to call another Wizard a "mage" is seen as a horrible insult, on level with the n-word.

This is frequently seen when Quaraun and GhoulSpawn are arguing. Quaraun is the most powerful Wizard of all time, during his time period. During his life time no Wizard ever matches him or is able to beat his level of skill. However, after his death, GhoulSpawn eventually goes on to become far above and beyond Quaraun's ability, by combining magic with science. While Quaraun is alive, there are many instances when GhoulSpawn is seen as nearly as powerful as Quaraun, with skills rivaling Quaraun's.

Quaraun, doesn't have much else in his life, but his title of the World's Most Powerful Wizard, and while he loves GhoulSpawn, he also feels threatened by him, and often is openly jealous of and hostile towards GhoulSpawn, whenever GhoulSpawn does something with advanced magic.

Quaraun is quick to say mean and hurtful things, when he feels threatened or jealous, and thus, throughout much of the series you see him angrily snapping at GhoulSpawn saying things like: "What do you know, you're just a mage." Which to the untrained reader, seems like nothing, but to the reader familiar with the series, they know this is a very mean and hurtful thing to say, especially to a Wizard like GhoulSpawn who rivals the World's Most Powerful Wizard in skill.

Necromancer: A type of Wizard. Specifically a Wizard who is "Faerie Sighted" meaning a Wizard who can see Spirits, Ghosts, etc and is able to communicate with them. An advanced type of Wizardry, rarely seen, due to the extreme amount of time needed to learn this skill.

Urban myth states that Necromancers are Wizards who can resurrect the dead. This is not true.

Elves, Fae, and Demons all have the natural ability to "give life" to the dead, via removing some of their own life force energy, which shortens their own life. Because nearly all Necromancers are either Elves, Fae, or Demons, this has lead to the misconception that Necromancer = Raising the Dead. However, Necromancer is Divination to Speak With the Dead, and ANY Elf, Fae, or Demon, even non-wizards, can raise the dead. 

Elf, Fae, or Demon (even non-magic users) with their ability to restore life, often use this either for their own advantage or for the advantage of others.

For example:

  • Elves, who are more or less the vegan,, animal rights activist, tree hugging hippies of the series, often use this skill to restore live to barren areas, for example, after a forest fire, Elves might restore life to the dead trees, bushes, flowers, grasses, birds, animals, and insects.
  • Fae, for are Trickster out looking for a laugh, and have sick demented sense of humour, are likely to briefly restore life to a dead person during the funeral, to watch the reactions of the mourners.
  • Demons, knowing that Humans put little value on souls, often use this skill as a way to trade souls, buy souls, sell souls, etc. Thus a man can go to a Demon to get life restored to his dead wife, in exchange for his own soul.

People often incorrectly assume that these are the skills of Necromancers, but Humans, Gnomes and Dwarves who become Necromancers, can NEVER restore life to the dead, or deal in soul exchanges, because those are skills of Elves, Fae, and Demons.

The series' main character is a Necromancer.

Illusionist: A type of Wizard. Specifically a Wizard who specializing in using Glimmer Spells. They are often mistaken for shapeshifters, but they do not truly change form, rather they cast illusions that cause those around them to see things not as they are.

They use a combination of drugs, spells, and hypnotism to alter the minds of others.

While any race can become an Illusionist, Faeries are born with varying levels of this ability, so most Wizards who become Illusionists are also Fae.

Elves and Demons, being distantly related races of Fae, have some Glimmer casting ability, but it's much more limited.

Demonologist: A type of Wizard. Specifically a Wizard who works with Demons.

Lich: A type of UNDEAD Wizard. Similar to a Wraith, but completely immortal and not able to be killed or destroyed, a Lich is a Wizard who commit suicide by a very specific ritual, in an attempt to gain immortality.

While alive, the Wizard mistakenly believes that by becoming a Lich he can study magic forever to become the ultimate power. The truth of the matter is that once he becomes a Lich, he forgets who he was, becomes a ghostly, skeleton made out of icy, and remains always hungry, but never able to eat solid foods. Liches go mad, forgetting their previous existence and live out eternity trying to become mortal again.

While hundreds of Liches roam the earth, only 13 Liches have ever regained their physical forms, but were unable to regain life, so they became horrific monsters killing all life out of vengeance.

The 13 Lich Lords are the primary villains of the series, with their Leader, King Gwallmaiic, The Elf Eater of Pepper Valley, Leader of the Lich Lords, aka BoomFuzzy the Unicorn, being the series protagonist.

magic user: A general, non-specific umbrella term that encompases all magic users regardless of their type, thus why it is not capitalized

There are many other terms used in the series, like:

  • Pyromancer
  • Alchemist
  • RootWorker
  • Witch Doctor
  • Ice Wizard
  • Frost Lich
  • Blood Mage
  • Psion
  • Death Mage
  • etc.

But the ones listed above are the predominantly used terms, while most of the other (several dozen) terms are used only once or twice each in conversations and never really have any of the details spelled out.

>>In one of my worlds, the magic users are shunned, deemed crazy because of their heavy consumption of hallucinogens and other drugs (and they are frankly pretty crazy).

I like it!

I do a similar thing with my Wizards, where some of them, to enhance their skills in magic, use drugs. But this is generally frowned on because it's too easy to get addicted and start abusing both drugs and magic just to get a high, often resulting in bad trips and overdoses that cause brain damage, resulting in some wizards being deemed "insane" because of the long term drug use damaging their ability to think rationally any more. This is the case with my main character.

In my series, the people tend to give Wizards nicknames, that are based on how the general public sees the Wizard. So you have for example the brothers Olof and Oolong, who are now known as Olof the Stupid and Oolong the Wise. But then in the case of the Wizards who've used drugs for too long, like Quaraun and GhoulSpawn (who are both LSD addicts), they were given the nicknames Quaraun the Insane and GhoulSpawn the Crazed.

Ads by Amazon