(I’ve mentioned before that I’m a fan of Janelle Shane’s “AI weirdness” blog. Recently, I followed a link to this old post, in which the neural network created a list of spell names for D&D, and this has inspired me to challenge myself to write up appropriate-feeling spell descriptions for as many as possible.
Unlike the more serious Magic Monday spell posts, which present provisional stats for YAOSC one spell at a time, this will be a collection of descriptive outlines chosen as inspiration and whimsy dictate, then assembled and assigned a theme ex post facto.)
Week 1: Low-hanging fruit
Readers may notice that I’m starting in the middle of the list and picking names that could go completely unremarked-on in normal RPG material.
Song of the Door
You sing of two places that you know well, and of the connections between them (even if these connections only exist in your mind and emotions), and then step from one to the other regardless of the intervening distance. Others who are in physical contact with you, or who are nearby and are woven into the song by name, may also make the transit. A condensed variant allows you to slip through to the other side of a single obstacle, such as a wall or closed door, that you touch.
Icon of Thorns
You craft an elaborate calligraphic sigil, then cover it and pierce through the cover into the icon with a metal pin. When the pin is removed and the sigil uncovered, all who see it are held in place as if caught in the middle of a dense thorn-hedge: they may move, but only a little at a time, and with great pain and effort. Because the thorns only exist within the viewer’s mind, only those who can see and comprehend symbols are affected. Even the heaviest of armor is no defense, but a victim who loses consciousness may be carried away freely. The sigil slowly loses its potency over time after being uncovered.
You reach up toward the night sky and seem to pluck out a star. The result is a shining, iridescent marble that dissipates quickly if it leaves your hand, but is unaffected by forces such as wind and water or void magic. At a thought, the light may be dimmed to a mere glimmer (by which only its bearer can see clearly) or brightened to a beacon. The starlight is hateful to faeries and undead, who avoid it, but attracts creatures from Dream.
Stone of Death
You bind up all your negative emotions into a curse placed on a stone, which becomes poison to all who touch it. You may only curse one stone at a time, and as long as you maintain the curse, your body will not recover from any wound, disease, or poison, and you can not craft any other curse magic.
Summon Storm Bear
You summon a Storm Bear. Wise magicians will summon their first Storm Bear in a secure area, politely ply it with gifts, and negotiate the terms of future service. As long as you uphold your end of the agreement, so will the Storm Bears uphold theirs. 99 out of 100 sorcerers recommend well-insulated clothing.
If you spend a day and a night placating and honoring the spirits of any and all who have drowned in a given body of water, for the next month you may call upon those spirits to bear you across it. When the time comes you may step out and be carried away at a brisk pace as if standing on an unseen punt in a smooth but rapid current. You may bring others with you, but only if they participated in the original ceremony.
Death of the Sun
DO NOT CAST THIS SPELL.