Small vs. Strong Spells

Small vs. Strong Spells

from Saunders’ The Basics of Magic

Over the millennia since Rhiannon discovered how to use magic, humans have learned to effectively direct spells requiring minimal energy. The power for these small spells can be gathered from environmental sources like sunlight, generated by relinquishing some ability or possession, or drawn directly from the user’s spiritual or physical energy.

Since small spells have minimal, one-time costs that can be controlled, they have become prevalent throughout society. Even the poor possess some charm or other to improve their lives. The affluent and those in society use numerous charms as a matter of course. Some witch shops even specialize in producing magical trinkets like picture charms, cosmetic amulets, magical lights, and more.

An excellent example of a small spell used by most are contraceptive charms. Since these charms reduce the number of unwanted, abandoned, and neglected children, healers create them for their patients at little cost. Typically powered by the wearer’s pumping blood, these charms are usually renewed by a healer each year. However, standard contraceptive charms are ineffective when the wearer uses or is under the influence of strong magic. Witches, priests, and healers all use special contraceptive charms meant to work around strong magic, but healers do not proscribe them to others because they make the wearer vilely ill unless around strong magic.

Unlike small spells, strong spells are only used by the affluent, desperate, or mad because their costs cannot be controlled. More powerful witches can control stronger spells, but only Rhiannon descendants or magical creatures like elves can create puissant spells. However, finding a Rhiannon descendant can be near impossible; they are incredibly wary and often mask their abilities except from other Rhiannon descendants. And locating an elf willing to provide a spell to a mere human can be just as challenging.

An example of a strong spell is the Walle, raised by the elves after the Stone Wars as protection from humans. Magic infused into an ordinary appearing rock wall, the Walle requires magical energy to pass and is powered by that energy as well as the fire at Damensea’s core. This extraordinary spell required twenty lives of the best lore masters from each of the five elvish races and has shown no sign of waning over the centuries. When tensions between humans and magical creatures eased, the elves provided amulets allowing select human traders and delegations to pass through the Walle. Although rumors claim Rhiannon descendants have duplicated this feat, no Walle amulet has ever been proven to have been created by a human.

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