Beyond the basic abilities and "common" spells are the greatest dweomers of The Art. The Seven Great Magics are priceless sources of Power recorded in ancient tomes, scrolls and inscriptions. Their spells are hoarded and jealously sought after by ambitious mages across Mythandar. Much of it is forbidden lore, dark magic that is known to twist and corrupt those who dare attempt to use it. All of it is dangerous.
The spells of Great Magic cannot simply be cast "on the fly" like common spells, even with the appropriate tomes and scrolls in hand. They must be read and prescribed actions must be taken during their casting, taking far more time than common spells. In most cases, the casting area must be prepared and special material components procured for use during the casting process. These items include potions, artifacts, symbols and other specially prepared materials.
As with the casting of any written spell, the mage may cast Great Magic of a Power Level greater than his or her own. However, a Power Roll (the mage's Power/Wisdom vs. the spell's Power) is required for the spell to be successful. Failure indicates that the spell simply did not cast or has resulted in some unintended consequence.
The specific result of a failed casting depends on the Power Roll result score:
0 or less Spell is successful.
1-10 Spell takes effect. But, only at Power Level 1.
11-20 Spell fails.
21-30 Spell backfires, Power Level dice are applied as damage to the caster, as per the COMBAT RESULTS table.
31+ Spell results in a catastrophic blast of magical energy effecting everything within area of effect. Power Level dice are applied as damage, as per the
COMBAT RESULTS table.
Spells of Animation are used to endue inanimate objects with a semblance of life, creating so-called "living statues," golems and gargoyles. Such creatures are not truly alive (and thus have no intelligence or free will), but are merely automatons acting according to their creator's will. The size of the object animated is limited by Power Level, as per the following table:
Power Level Size
1 Small animal (bird, rabbit) or object.
3 Human size (up to the mage's own natural size).
5 Large creature (horse, ox, ogre).
7 Giant, dragon, elephant, house.
9 Colossus, behemoth, castle.
An object can be animated indefinitely with the caster's constant concentration. A statue can be directed to fight, for example, or move along with the mage, becoming immoble when the mage ceases to concentrate on it. In order to "permanently" animate an object, it must be prepared with runes (requiring a number of days equal to Power level). In which case, when activated, the object will move as instructed for Power Level duration. Activation may occur with a word of command or by a predetermined set of circumstances, such as when someone enters the statue's Power Level area of effect. In either case, the statue operates according to it's instructions, for spell duration before "shutting down". It then must be animated again.
Animating the Dead. Corpses may be animated, like any other inanimate objects. However, they are not undead. They simply move according to the mage's commands. Having no intelligence or will, they are neither evil nor good.
Gates are magical rifts in the fabric of Creation, portals that allow instantaneous travel for those with the knowledge and power to locate and open them. Gates are very rare in the World of Mythandar©, and not all of them are known. All stable Gates are linked together in a complicated web that extends throughout Creation. With a Gate Spell a mage is able to access a known Gate and map his or her way to another.
The typical minor Gate in Mythandar radiates magic at Power Level 1 (thus the difficulty in locating them). However, once opened, a Gate may radiate a detectable Power Level as high as 10 (an area of effect of 2500 km radius), depending on the distance it reaches. Once a Gate is located, it may be opened with the appropriate spell (which will be of an equal Power Level as the gate when opened). Once opened, the mage may be able to map the Gate - again, with the appropriate spell.
The very act of opening a Gate is a manipulation of the forces of creation and something that attracts the notice of certain powerful beings - including the gods, demons and other extra-planar creatures. A mage must take care to protect himself from the forces that might be unleashed by an open Gate.
More on the cosmology of Mythandar and the theory of Gates.
The "Dark Art" of necromancy is that body of magic lore concerned with death, darkness, unlife and the negative forces of magic. It is a dangerous and, in most circles, forbidden field of study, as perilous to those who delve into it as those it is used against.
Among the Great Magics, a Spell of Summoning may be the most dangerous. With it, a mage can summon forth a magical creature (specified by name in the spell) and command it to his will for Power Level duration. Such beings are creatures of great power who do not look kindly on such intrusion - angels, demons, elemental creatures and others.
A Spell of Summoning requires the use of the written spell in a place that has been prepared with a circle of warding (a circular drawing at least 10 feet in diameter, drawn or inscribed with runes). The true name of the creature being summoned must be known to the mage and uttered during casting, thus locating the subject and binding it to the caster's will. Once the summoning is complete and the creature appears, the mage is able to bargain with it, setting conditions for the performance of whatever the mage wishes the creature to do. Be very, very careful. Any violation of the conditions negates the bargain and frees the creature from the mage's control.
Note that any summoned creature may attempt to resist control with a successful Power Roll against the mage him/herself. Once control is lost, either by successfully resisting control or breaking the bargain, the creature is free to act on its own.