Magic plays a large and central role in the witcher universe. It is used not only by witchers, but by the many mages, priests, druids and myriad other magical creatures that inhabit the literature. Magic is used by harnessing the power of Chaos. While a few simple spells, like a Witcher's sign can be used by anyone, only those born with the power, known as Sources are capable of truly wielding its incredible power.
What is Magic? Edit
Magic is oftentimes referred to as "the Art" This is no coincidence. Magic is perceived by many as an elite discipline requiring artistry and talent, and indeed very few possess the immense creative abilities needed to wield it. Those with magical talent can use it to create things of awe and beauty- wonders without which the world would certainly be a much more miserable place. Therefore, those who name magic a beautiful blessing, brought forth into this world by the Conjunction of the Spheres, are in a sense correct.
Magic has also been called chaos incarnate: a primal, dangerous force, merciless and destructive. In the hands of the unwary it becomes a key that can open the forbidden door, behind which lies ruin and destruction. Therefore, those who say that magic is a curse born of chaos during the Conjunction of the Spheres that will doom this world are also correct.
Finally, according to others, magic is science-that is, knowledge which can only be acquired through extensive study, discipline, and hard work. In this view, magic is progress. It is a process of constant advancement initiated during the Conjunction of the Spheres which brings development, eliminates the ailments of this world, provides answers to the questions that plague mankind, broadens minds, and introduces innovation. It is therefore also correct to say that magic is its own particular science.
In the end, magic is all three of the above. It is Art, Chaos, and Science: a blessing, a curse, and progress. It all depends on who calls upon it, and for what purpose.
Branches of Magic Edit
Throughout the series, there are many types branches of magic, with mages usually having more natural affinity for one area and thus study more extensively, though they can have skills in another. Some though are considered taboo and have been banned by certain mage organizations.
- Aeromancy: air-based magic
- Astromancy: stars-based magic (also called Astrology)
- Divination: foretelling of future events
- Ceraunoscopy: divination by interpreting lightning and thunder
- Cleromancy: also called sortilege, a form of divination
- Goetia: the summoning of creatures (usually called demons) from other planes
- Hydromancy: water-based magic
- Necromancy: magic involving the corpses, usually for reanimation
- Oneiromancy: dream reading
- Pyromancy: fire-based magic
In The Witcher (PC), the most prominent use of magic is the Signs used by Geralt and other witchers, but it is also used by mages, like Azar Javed and, notably, Triss Merigold, a sorceress. There are also items and places imbued with magical qualities.
- "Magic is the art of bending the power of Chaos to one's will. Practitioners of the art must master a vast and complicated corpus of knowledge and, it seems, women have a special predisposition for it. Sorcerers seek out talented children and teach them.
- The Power bound in spell formulae may be used for healing, teleportation, destruction, creating illusions, and altering form. The most famous spells are named after their creators, e.g. Alzur's Thunder or Merigold's Hailstorm. Thanks to magic, it is also possible to create magical glyphs and amulets, such as the witchers' medallions.
- The witchers' Signs are very simple spells, mostly kinetic or mind-influencing. To use them, one needs concentrated will and a hand gesture. Casting Signs is not time-consuming, so witchers use them when fighting monsters.
- Magically gifted children are born all over the world. They are called Sources. The Brotherhood of Sorcerers was charged with finding and training such children. Descendants of Lara Dorren are a special case — their magical gifts are very strong. They can travel through time and space, and release the pure energy of Chaos. These powers are wild and difficult to control, though, and are activated in moments of stress, often surprising their possessor.
- The power used to cast spells is drawn from the elements. Fire is the best but simultaneously most dangerous elemental source. Mages who specialize in the magic of fire often achieve great power, but they pay a price for it: as fire addicts, they often suffer burns or even die engulfed in flames. The essence of fire becomes their essence, which makes them vulnerable to water."
Magic users Edit
These items may or may not be truly magical:
- Bifunctional fiber and alloy recirculator
- Magic formula
- Saint Gregory's Litany
- Notes of an elven minstrel
The book "The Art of Magic" provides a journal entry about magic.
Journal entry Edit
- The Power the sorcerers can command is commonly called magic. In the opinion of a certain sorceress I'm acquainted with, magic is chaos, an art and a science, a curse, a blessing and progress. However poetic it may sound, it is hard to find a better simile. Everything depends on the person that uses that Power, of course. Still, it is a fact that it can be used to achieve things not possible to normal humans. The witchers' Signs are also a form of magic, but sorcerers look at them with disdain, since they cannot be compared to the forces the sorcerers themselves command. Without magic our world would certainly be less interesting, and many beautiful things would be forgotten.