The Vortex didn’t only place Spark in the core of humans, but also spread it across the world. Think of the Vortex like a waterfall of magical energy. Now imagine that waterfall snaking out, like rivers or tendrils
throughout the world. These rivers of magical energy are called weylines.
“When the big rift
opened – the Vortex in Siberia – it released tendrils, like roots from a tree. These spread throughout the world. Where they passed, the new magic-users of the world felt immense power. These were dubbed weylines, inspired by the elves who subsequently colonised northern New Zealand and parts of Ireland. People flocked to weylines. Enchantments were stronger there. Magic-users flourished. And people in their vicinity just felt good. Weylines exuded a sense of purity. But not all weylines were good, and not all good weylines necessarily remained
While sorcerers tap into their own magical reserves to use
magic, wizardry is the complex art of tapping into weylines to use magic. This is a complicated process, requiring years of study, experimentation and knowledge. If sorcery is raw power, then wizardry is refined knowledge.
Wizardry, due to its refined nature, is a lot more focused and versatile than sorcery. While sorcerers are typically powerful, if blunt instruments, wizards can fine-tune their incantations and enchantments to suit very specific purposes. But they are limited. Wizards cannot use their magic everywhere. They require weylines of the appropriate type of energy and the knowledge to tap into the weyline and transfer that energy to a suitable incantation, rune or enchantment.
Most wizardry is done in the form of enchantment and runemancy. Objects are imbued with magical energy through the use of magical symbols, runes and circles of power. These can take the form of enchanting clothing to always stay dry, or vellum to carry a purifying aura to ward off evil spirits. Once created in a weyline, enchanted items can carry their magic anywhere – but this magic cannot be recycled, only destroyed.
Spells and Words of Power
“Words held power before the Vortex opened. Long before. We stare at words on a page, and we hallucinate vividly. They infuse our minds with something much more powerful than cheap tricks. Words are power, and wizardry is the art of harnessing these words.” - Archmeister William Canmore, the first Archmeister of the International College of Wizardry.
The most basic form of wizardry is incantation. Wizards can figure out how to voice their will into vocal totems or runes. These are called spells. If a wizard knows the words of a spell, they can channel a weyline into the spoken spell to cast it.
Spell memorisation is not so simple. The words of a spell are its power. When a wizard memorises the spell to create fire, it is as if they are storing the fire itself within their minds. For weaker wizards, spell memorisation can cause excruciating pain and madness.
To get around this, wizards carry scrolls and spell books. The problem is that most spells have a habit of disintegrating whatever it is transcribed on upon use. Scrolls will almost always go up in a flash of magical fire whenever their spells are cast, making scroll manufacture an arduous but necessary industry for supplying the wizarding masses.
Spell words themselves are not so much invented by wizards than found. Spells come from the primordial tongues – many of which humans actually spoke without realising it. Latin, if adjusted, contains many spell words. So do Egyptian hieroglyphs and Norse runes (for the purpose of enchanting rune-making). The elvish forms of magic, especially from Sintar, have also proven popular.
Developing and discovering new spells is often a process of archival research and just trial and error, with the added risk of one incorrect syllable burning a wizard’s head off.
Dark Magic and Weylines
Weylines have characteristics. Simply: they can be good or bad. The nature of a weyline determines a number of things, but in relation to the topic of this section, weyline characteristics aid in what spells can be cast in it. In addition: the types of spells cast in a weyline determine its characteristics.
Spells of a good nature, like purification and healing magic, clean up a weyline and make it good. Creatures like pixies are also known to clean up weylines.
Spells of neutral characteristics, like elementalism, have no effect, positive or negative.
Dark magic, such as necromancy or demonology, corrupt weylines.
Weylines have profound effects on their denizens. People residing in corrupted weylines are more prone to depression, anger and random acts of violence and crime. Denizens of pure weylines are more likely to feel good and act good.