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A question about forbidden magic


kingtiger522
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So, this has been bugging me for a little while now: The 2 forbidden pillars of magic (that we know of) are Gates and Mastery.

Both are punishible with expulsion shortly followed by an execution (off-topic, can this happen to the PC?)

Both are regarded as capital E Evil, equally bad.

 

Why?

 

Now, I'm assuming that a pillar of magic will be forbidden due to a "damage potential;" how much of what a user of this kill does is harmful, and of the negative, what's the degree.

Thus, Mastery, which does nothing but harm humans, is a natural candidate for the banhammer (so to speak. I doubt there's a literal hammer involved :P) You cannot be a benevelent practitioner of Mastery.

 

Howerver, when you measure Gates against some of the non-forbidden pillars, it seems much less destructive, especially on the large scale (barring any sort of Eldricth Abomnination-type-thing). Consider how much damage a simple Incantation weather spell might cause as it chain-reacts across the Islands, resulting in sudden draughts or floods in any reason lacking a sufficiently skilled wizard. You could do more damage like that by accident than an entire summoned horde of goblins or whatnot.

 

So the core question is, why is Gates regarded on the same level as Mastery?

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KingsTiger;

 

The reason that Gates is proscribed is because Gates magic has been the ruin of cities through out-of-control summonings, plagues and accidents. Worse, the individual skill of the Gates practitioner is unrelated to the power or danger of the entity summoned, quite unlike Incantation. Gates usage additionally has a strong element of...randomness, at least as Elumian wizards understand it. ;)

 

Since Gates magic, to a significant degree, is permanent, its effects can also linger for ages in a way that Incantation cannot. There is also a deeper reason why Gates is proscribed, but you'd have to ask very senior mages about that...;)

 

About Mastery- although for the most part it is as you described, there are some benevolent uses of Mastery, in particular related to healing mental trauma and other kinds of psychological disorders. It's also the most effective way to compel someone to speak truths...assuming you can trust the Mastery practitioner. :)

 

In regards to execution for the usage of this magic, that cannot happen to the Player yet...but as the years go along, you will want your character to be much more circumspect about it...;)

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No, wait, scratch that, sorry. Still got one or two issues.

 

All of the problems with Gates magic seem to result from incorrect use, while the inverse is true with Mastery.

 

A gates wizard who uses a spell that summons things that are far beyondover his/her capability to control and that linger long after they were supposed to be gone is a failure on the part of the practioner. One of the adventures, for instance, featured a former Legate who resigned over accusations that those hordes of monsters he was defeating were only around because he was the one that summoned them. Granted, a megalomaniac sociopath probably isn't the most stable basis for an arguement, but it could be said that teaching Gates might be a practice limited to the very experienced, like a class with LOADS of prereqs. The more skilled you are in magic overall, the less lasting harm you're likely to do with Gates. (Barring that deeper reason mentioned. My money's on either thinning the fabric of reality or driving the user insane.)

 

Mastery, on the other hand (setting aside possible benefical applications) becomes more and more dangerous as the user's abilities increase. A more skilled user of mastery would be able to apply control with increasing levels of subtlety and scale. When you think about it, the sudden change in behavior that would probably (haven't actually toyed around with this in-game, so pure guesswork here) occur would be really noticable. More worrisome is a Mastery user who applies thin, nigh-on impercepitble levels of influence over time. Such a person could take control of entire nations with nobody noticing.

 

Thus, studying Gates leads to less (randomly) destructive Gates spells, while studying Mastery would lead to spells that are both more dangerous and harder to perceive.

 

Or so I randomly guess. Mind magic is a serious no-go in my fave fantasy series, so its possible I'm overestimating Mastery.

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I would agree with you KingsTiger. Gate spells could be useful to counter gate spells... but then, where do we end up really? Seeing things from a more political point of view, if you could put a strong limitation on the amount of gate practicioners then stability would be strengthened all around. Of cause you'd still need a few to know a bit about gates from time to time, but considering that humans have a tendency to bend the rules when in need I don't see that as a real problem.

 

Still students really should learn a banish sort of spell if they knew what was good for them... Of cause, accedently banishing a teacher wouldn't be so grand either... so... yeah... still, it would be neat.

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I would agree with you KingsTiger. Gate spells could be useful to counter gate spells... but then, where do we end up really? Seeing things from a more political point of view, if you could put a strong limitation on the amount of gate practicioners then stability would be strengthened all around. Of cause you'd still need a few to know a bit about gates from time to time, but considering that humans have a tendency to bend the rules when in need I don't see that as a real problem.

 

Still students really should learn a banish sort of spell if they knew what was good for them... Of cause, accedently banishing a teacher wouldn't be so grand either... so... yeah... still, it would be neat.

 

Hmmm.... wouldn't a banish spell basically be a gate spell, but in reverse? In Gates, you open a door to let some(things) in, so you might be able to open a door and push things out...

 

Dude. Instant 1 hit KO.

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Indeed, that was why I thought Gates had a use ;)

 

The political side remains unaltered though :)

 

Come to think of it, is there a political situation? Just checked the wiki, no mention of nations or states existing opposite eachother; it might be that in the period of setting, there only is one nation, and the introduction of well-trained Gate wizards might have a similar effect to an uneven distribution of nukes--anyone who gets their hands on some might see it as an opportunity to settle old grudges, or break off from what they percieve to be unfair rule.

 

Which could be awesome to watch.

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Among the many reasons why Gates and Mastery are proscribed. :)

 

Regarding banishment, although you can do it, not everything you can banish returns precisely to where it came from. It's complex, and causes almost as many problems as does the original summoning. ;)

 

The political situation is very complex, although it doesn't really impact you in Year 1 (apart from where you might have come from.) Here is the regional map, for interest:

 

http://sapiento.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=24#/d344adv

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As I understand it the political setting is somewhat fractured. Elumia consists of many smaller realms each ruled by their own leader.

 

Slightly unsure if the idea of a "High King" survives to this day from the time of King Durand, but I am guessing it is not so important. Oursouk to the south and Elumia (as I understand it, the part of the world we live in) have some bad blood between them, but not to the degree of war.

 

 

To clarify what I meant though:

 

As a student I'd like to learn some gates, at least enough to banish.

 

However, if I see it as a ruler (in the abstract sense) I'd want stability before anything. Gates, as I see it, is a somewhat chaotic force, more so than the other schools of magic. To ban the school would serve to decrease it's practice and thus add stability. (Even if it meant that a few wizards got their pants in a knot about it)

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Adrian;

 

There is a kind of a high King in the form of the Emperor, but there isn't one right now (and hasn't been one for around four hundred years.) The Imperial Temple is the largest and most influential supra-national organization. There are several international bodies which regulate, by agreement, magical conduct. You may see how this regulation occurs in a future year...;)

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As I understand it the political setting is somewhat fractured. Elumia consists of many smaller realms each ruled by their own leader.

 

Slightly unsure if the idea of a "High King" survives to this day from the time of King Durand, but I am guessing it is not so important. Oursouk to the south and Elumia (as I understand it, the part of the world we live in) have some bad blood between them, but not to the degree of war.

 

 

To clarify what I meant though:

 

As a student I'd like to learn some gates, at least enough to banish.

 

However, if I see it as a ruler (in the abstract sense) I'd want stability before anything. Gates, as I see it, is a somewhat chaotic force, more so than the other schools of magic. To ban the school would serve to decrease it's practice and thus add stability. (Even if it meant that a few wizards got their pants in a knot about it)

 

The way I see it, restricting (not banning) gates would add stability; it would ensure that only well-trained, proven wizards would have easy access to the materials and research, and it would mean that said wizards would have a full understanding of the spells they cast, removing some of that inherent chaos factor.

Banning, on the other hand, means that any gates spells being cast are being cast by those actively rebelling against the ban, for reaons of ambition or simple rebeliousness; their priority is not going to control, it's going to be output. Any gates spells they do put together are either going to be unconcerned with collateral damage or actively seeking it.

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KingsTiger;

 

This is a great conversation. :)

 

Restricting definitely has not (in the past) added stability; quite the reverse. Gates magic is inherently stable (in Elumian practice and understanding, that is: the wizards of Oursouk seem to be able to control it reliably. On the other hand, they are insane. :) ) In order to get better at Gates, a wizard must practice. And when they practice, there is always the significant possibility of a botch. Now, when you lose control over a spell in the other pillars, it can have some bad effects...but when you lose control over a Gates spell, no one knows what exactly will be invited in. :)

 

Of course, the chances of even that are rare- usually it's something minor, or similar to what you were trying to summon. However, the more apprentices practicing ever increases the chance that something truly bad will happen.

 

Rebellion against the proscription always happens, whether Mastery or Gates, and both carry the same severe penalty to try to limit those that do it...but as we have seen, that doesn't stop some curious Students, does it? :)

 

Edit: I should add, Banishment is not typically done with Gates, but rather Negation. It's a chore in any event. :)

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Hm. Pity about that, it'd be quite funny to cut the legs out from under a seemingly-invincible foe by just dropping him into another dimension.

 

And I'm sure I have NO idea what you're talking about. :)

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You cannot be a benevelent practitioner of Mastery.

 

Hey! I Mastered Joana and replaced her schedule with Pray, Befriend and Charity! And I got Ethics 10! And.....Nevermind.

 

*Master KingsTiger*

 

The way I see it, restricting (not banning) gates would add stability; it would ensure that only well-trained, proven wizards would have easy access to the materials and research, and it would mean that said wizards would have a full understanding of the spells they cast, removing some of that inherent chaos factor.

Banning, on the other hand, means that any gates spells being cast are being cast by those actively rebelling against the ban, for reaons of ambition or simple rebeliousness; their priority is not going to control, it's going to be output. Any gates spells they do put together are either going to be unconcerned with collateral damage or actively seeking it.

 

I guess the opinion of the civilians would probably be counted in, too - Gates and Mastery would also need a bad reputation to be banned. While Mastery is kinda obvious and deserving of its infamy, Gates, in the eye of most civilians (assuming wizards aren't a majority in Elumia's population, that is) would receive at least tenfold the infamy.

 

Mind-control is scary enough - but Gates would be threatening to most people.

Let's say there is a lovely farm.

Some hypnotist hypnotizing the farmer into being a slave would probably make their neighbors shake in fear.

Some Gates user setting a gazillion radioactive muffin men into eating the whole farm would probably make their neighbors start running.

(And that's not counting if our Gates wizard didn't lost control of the muffin men and get eaten himself)

 

*shrug* I found myself sounding incredible shallow :wacko:

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You shouldn't feel shallow CremePudding, if someone accidently summoned you I am sure you wouldn't eat them! you might dominate them, but that is another story entirely

 

That said, gates is also the art of building your own creatures... (not that it makes the Gates any less horrific, but something to consider)

 

A pudding golem, terrible and delicious

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Right. As everyone says, Incantation 10 can probably cause almost just as much damage as you could with Gates 10: maybe more! Incantation Master says "FIRE EVERYWHERE", and there will be FIRE EVERYWHERE, and he can probably cause a horrible swath of destruction that would make the world cringe in fear. There are likely people out there who are going "BAN INCANTATION FOREVERRRRRR" due to Evil Wizard of Doom coming through and totally ruining their farmlands and sentencing thousands to an ugly and wretched death of starvation.

 

Depressing!

 

The thing is though, that Incantation Master sort of has to stand there and go "FIRE EVERYWHERE". If he stands there and goes "Water, end the drought!", or "Huh, I really would like a cool earthen platform to stand on here," or even, "Fire, kill this dolt," that's... what's going to happen, or his spell is going to fizzle.

 

(Unless he's poor dear Ana. But we'll ignore her for the moment.)

 

There won't randomly be "FIRE EVERYWHERE" when he's trying to do something else.

 

For Gates Master, when he says "I SUMMON MY ARMY OF ZOMBIE WEREWOLF-VAMPIRES TO DESTROY THIS ISLAND", that's, uh, scary. And he may summon that! But in truth, it's not too much worse then "FIRE EVERYWHERE", save for the fact that now there are zombie werewolf-vampires hanging around while the fire will likely burn out. Still, destruction is destruction. The problem is that when Gates Master says "I need a pixie to check through this hole" or "Hm, a golem would be great to move this wheat", or "I need to question three mystical entries on the truth of this very old and mysterious tome", there's a chance that instead of getting that or a fizzle, there's ARMY OF ZOMBIE WEREWOLF-VAMPIRES. There's an element of random there that only Astrology approaches, and even Astrology's 'random' is predictable to a fashion. That's the point.

 

And there's that when Incantation Apprentice says "FIRE EVERYWHERE", he's going to get, well, a tiny little field of fire everywhere that burns down one crop field- or nothing. And when Gates Apprentice says "ARMY OF ZOMBIE-WEREWOLF-VAMPIRES", he's probably going to get one zombie-werewolf-vampire, or nothing. But for Gates Apprentice, there's always the chance he gets that ARMY. That's not true for any other field.

 

When even the greatest masters of the craft (and the Negation wizards) have to say "Well, yeah, I totally know how this works- but uh, randomly, it may go wrong", it's sort of suspicious.

 

There's also, from what I understand, the fact that things linger. When you kill "FIRE EVERYWHERE" wizard, his fire will burn out, and it'll eventually burn out on its own unless he's going to stand there repeatedly casting it forever and a day. Permanent magic effects from other disciplines are very rare- I mean, they can happen, but it's unlikely you'll have fire burning forever. But when you kill "ARMY ZOMBIE WEREWOLF VAMPIRE WOOO" wizard, his army is still there, hanging out. They've been brought to this plane. They can't leave.

 

I can definitely see why it was banned, for that. And, the brutal fact: Gates could summon a Dragon. The human population seems very, very, very much like they would like to avoid ever facing dragons again.

 

Personally, I'm more interested in the Mastery side. The altering someone's perceptions via Glamour versus altering someone's mind via Mastery likely has some very thin lines, and I'd be interested to see how the arguments went on where they crossed.

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The altering someone's perceptions via Glamour versus altering someone's mind via Mastery likely has some very thin lines, and I'd be interested to see how the arguments went on where they crossed.

 

Glamour: That muffin look delicious, and totally not talking. And boy, you sure feel hungry....

Mastery: Eating talking muffin is good for your health and humanity. And "not full" is hungry.

 

It is still a heck kinda blurry though to me.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Some questions:

 

1. I haven't read anything regarding this, so...I'm curious... Exactly when were these magics banned? 10 years ago? 100? 1000? Since the campus buildings remain I can't think it was THAT long ago.

 

2. If it hasn't been too long.. Are there people yet alive who had knowledge in these fields when the bans went into effect? What happened to these people? (I'd hate to think they were all killed because they simply knew things that just overnight became illegal by decree...)

 

3. I see that people have had a bit of a hate/love relationship with these fields, as they've been banned multiple times in the past... Is that an indication that the bans were repealed due to emergencies? (oh, we're desperate to kill those dragons, so let's summon something bigger!) or was it more of a "We're way smarter that we were last time"?

 

4. Regarding the lesser proscribed magics, do they carry the same level of penalty as gates and mastery, or is it more of a "Thou shall not peep in the girl's dorm" type thing? Or do they vary?

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