Liber Fanatica - Volume IV: The Academic
Sources of Magic
by Wim van Gruisen
he winds of magic roam freely over the OldWorld, unseen by the common man. Thisdoesn’t mean that their behaviour is random andunpredictable, though. Quite the contrary;learned wizards know the signs that tell whentheir wind blows. Wise wizards make use of thisknowledge.
Realms of Sorcery
gives us someinformation about the connections of the winds of magic to the material world, and this articleexpands on that information. These sources of magic can be used in two ways. Wizards can tapthe winds directly to fuel unlimited spells of aspecific colour, or they can draw upon theambient magic that resides in every material, tofuel any one spell. This article will examine eachkind of magic in turn.
We will examine each colour, as well as the timesand places that influence them. But first thisarticle mentions a few factors that influence (orare influenced by) the appearance of the winds of magic.
Elements of Colour Magic
Hours of the Day
Each colour of magic tends to be strongest at oneparticular time of day. Hysh, for example, isparticularly strong at noontime, when the sun isat its highest, whereas wizards using Chamon getmore energy when they perform their spells andrituals after midnight.
Days of the Week
There are eight colours of magic, and there areeight days in the week. Coincidence? We thinknot. In fact, wizards in days of yore discoveredthat certain magic effects were strong on onespecific day, and weak on another. When thissynchronicity persisted, one such cycleeventually became known as a week. Where a day measures the earth turning round its axis, and a year is the time span during which the fourseasons each appear, a week is the length of timein which all magical colours have been bothstrong and weak. This weekly cycle is interrupted at intervals thatastronomers dub “the six corners of the year”. Atthe holidays of Hexenstag, Mitterfrühl, Sonnstill,Geheimnistag, Mittherbst and Mondstille, thepositions of the Sun and the moons interrupt theflow of magic, postponing them for one day. Thisis why these holidays don’t have the names of normal weekdays.
Magicians have also observed a seasonalinfluence on magic. It seems that the Gates of Chaos don’t produce each wind of magic evenly,but that this varies with the time of the year.
There are seven planets orbiting the sun – orpossibly six planets, two moons and a suncircling the Warhammer earth. Heliocentrism isthe subject of heavy debate in the universitiesand temples of the Old World. Nobody denies,however, that these planets influence thebehaviour of magic.Each heavenly body is linked to a different colourof magic, and a planet’s place in the heavensreveals how the corresponding magic can be usedmost effectively at any given moment. As planetsmove through the zodiac, the star signs in whichthey appear influence how magic can be usedbest.For instance, the illusion aspect of Grey magicworks best when Obscuria is in The Piper. Inanother example, a mage from the College of Metal is using his art to brew a love potion. Thebest time for him to do this is when Charybresides in The Dancer. And any mage creating afamiliar would be advised to do so when hisplanet is in Gnuthus the Ox, star sign of dutifulservice. Further, magic is always more potent,but also more dangerous, if its associated planetis in The Witchling Star.A good knowledge of astronomy is very importantfor mages who want to boost their spells andrituals by observing the positions of the stars andplanets. The list of star signs can be found in the
rulebook, on page 25. The positions of theplanets in the zodiac can be determined using thearticle “The Mechanics of Planetary Motion”, onpp. 56 of this issue.A number of heavenly bodies form the solarsystem of the Warhammer world. Each of theseinfluences a particular wind of magic. They are:
Body Colour Lore
The Sun Hysh Lore of Light
Mannslieb Azyr Lore of the HeavensMorrslieb Dhar Chaos magic
Charyb Chamon Lore of MetalDeiamol Aqshy Lore of Fire Tigris Ghur Lore of BeastsVerda Ghyran Lore of LifeLokratia Shyish Lore of DeathObscuria Ulgu Lore of Shadow