Week 5: Power Play
Magic is a tool, and people tend to find ways to use tools for amusements or relatively trivial tasks; it’s not all killing curses and raising new islands out of the depths of the sea. This week’s selection is spells more or less suitable for children – with perhaps some potential for more serious effects, if conditions are right.
By casting a handful of colored pebbles on the ground and examining the results, you learn where loud noises are going to occur. Generally, louder noises can be foreseen further in advance, up to about a week’s time. This hedge-magic divination is most often used to discover where lightning is going to strike as a storm approaches, but other sources of noise, such as avalanches and volcanic eruptions, may also be detected. Note that this divination only tells you when, where, and how loud a sound will occur, not what will cause it.
Soul of the Bill
By scratching an appropriate representation in the middle of a magical bigram, you imbue a tool with the essence of a bird’s beak. A hawk’s hook, a pelican’s pouch, a heron’s spear, a woodpecker’s hammer, or a duck’s… anyway, any kind of bird bill that you can imagine can lend its vital aspect to a tool as simple as a random twig, or as complex as part of an intricate clockwork. The only real limit is the limit of your ornithological knowledge.
By shutting your eyes, walking toward a doorway of some kind in a specific arcane pattern of steps, and then opening your eyes just as your hands touch the frame, you send your point of view rushing forward as if propelled by a gale-force breeze. With a word, you can stop its motion, and with another word, you can bring your vision back to your actual body, but other than that the potential distance you can see is limitless. The line of sight cannot be stopped by physical obstacles such as mountains, but it can only travel in a straight line (actually a great circle around the circumference of the world), and certain magical forces could theoretically bend or capture it to their own ends. The fabled Tower of Eyes is said to have been designed around maximizing the utility of this spell.
By yelling out the right combination of syllables, you call a donkey to perform basic tasks, about as well as any other donkey, until the next sunrise or sunset. It can be ridden, or given things to carry, but remember to treat it well, lest your next summoning begin with a vengeful kick.
By ingesting the right infusion of herbs and inhaling the scent of the right minerals, you supercharge your flatulence for a period of about half a day, starting about half a day after the ritual. Skilled practitioners can modulate the force, the volume of sound, and other features as well. Woe betide the magician whose teenaged apprentices get their hands on this one.
Mister of Light
By weaving your hands in an intricate cat’s-cradle gesture, you transform radiance into a spray of fine water droplets. The resulting moisture and moment of shade are a perfect bit of relief on a bright summer day. Note that a light mist of liquid water is what you get from normal incoherent light spanning the entire visible spectrum: narrower bands of wavelengths (i.e. colored light) or light that has been manipulated in some way may yield unexpected results.
Fire Shop / Ice Shop
By spending a season (summer or winter, as appropriate) crafting and enchanting a little home or shrine for elemental spirits, you create a site where offerings can be made in return for flashes of elemental heat or cold, often used for household tasks such as sparking fires or freezing a bit of water to help preserve food in hot, humid weather.