Plot summary[ edit ] The book focuses on the adventures of its main character and hero Alodar in the fictional land of Procolon. The book is divided into six parts, the first five of which correspond to the five disciplines of magic learned by Alodar in that portion of the narrative. Alodar is then left with an artifact of some type that allows him to begin learning a new discipline of magic. The first part also introduces Aeriel, a female character important in the second half of the book. The fourth part does not feature an artifact; instead, Alodar discovers an ancient wizard placed in suspended animation , who reveals the basics of his craft to Alodar at the start of the fifth part.
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References 6 Plot summary The book focuses on the adventures of its main character and hero Alodar in the fictional land of Procolon. The book is divided into six parts, the first five of which correspond to the five disciplines of magic learned by Alodar in that portion of the narrative. Alodar is then left with an artifact of some type that allows him to begin learning a new discipline of magic. The first part also introduces Aeriel, a female character important in the second half of the book.
The fourth part does not feature an artifact; instead, Alodar discovers an ancient wizard placed in suspended animation , who reveals the basics of his craft to Alodar at the start of the fifth part. In the sixth and final part, Alodar uses his knowledge of all five magical disciplines in combination to defeat the leader of the demon army.
However, Alodar spurns both marriage to the queen and an offer by his previous antagonists to support a coup placing Alodar on the throne; instead, he chooses to marry Aeriel and continue his apprenticeship. Characters Alodar, protagonist of the book. His family is stated to have once been noble; however, they have fallen into disrepute by the start of the narrative.
Therefore, Alodar is merely an apprentice to a thaumaturge, the least prestigious type of magic-user. Vendora, the queen of Procolon. Aeriel, advisor to Vendora. She confesses her love to Alodar in the first part of the book, but Alodar does not clearly reciprocate until the final chapter. Feston, antagonist in the first part of the book. Basil, antagonist in the second part of the book. One of his henchmen steals an alchemical potion from Alodar and uses it to gather a vast wealth of gems for Basil.
This gives Basil sufficient leverage to court the queen. Duncan, a magician appearing in the third part of the book. He completes a ritual on an artifact discovered by Alodar, making it into a powerful talisman. This causes the queen to name him yet another official marriage candidate.
Kelric, an elderly sorcerer who instructs Alodar in the fourth part of the book. Handar, a wizard placed in suspended animation. In the fifth part of the book, he instructs Alodar in the basics of wizardry. Disciplines of Magic A primary focus of the plot is upon the five magics of the title. In the system devised for the trilogy, each of Thaumaturgy, Alchemy, Magic, Sorcery, and Wizardry allow the user to perform magical actions within a particular set of rules.
These rules are specified after the table of contents, and are also stated within the narrative. In Secret of the Sixth Magic, the concept of Metamagic is introduced, rules for manipulating the seven basic rules.
Thaumaturgy The Principle of Sympathy: Like produces like. The Principle of Contagion: Once together, always together. The Art of Thaumaturgy consisted of applying the Principles to create a transitory effect. Thaumaturgy produces no lasting magical effects, but can be quite powerful, nonetheless. The Principle of Sympathy means that to create an effect, we must look for things in nature that resemble or produce that effect and use them.
A feather can lessen weight, a bit of honey can sweeten, a splinter of iron can give strength, a bit of lodestone can produce guidance, etc. Most normal materials possess one or more characteristics that can be useful, and the more strongly they possess the characteristic, the more useful the material is in Thaumaturgy.
The Principle of Contagion states that if something is once part of or associated with another thing, it remains indelibly connected to it and can be used to influence that other. Naturally, an actual piece of the target is the best, but there are various degrees of sympathy, ranging from a part of the same item, to a part of the same construct, to a long-associated item, down to something that has been in the presence of the target once. Each will work, which is one of the things that make Thaumaturgy the most general of the Arts.
However, the energy required to link the target with the spell is greatly modified by the sympathetic connection available. If you wish to kill a man, for example, you will need much less energy if you have a piece of his hair.
If you have only a picture of him, you may need several orders of magnitude more energy to kill him, and if you know only his name, several more. The very simplest thaumaturgical effect, involving the Principle of Sympathy alone, is to move a larger object by moving a small piece of it.
This can be a parlor trick, if done with floating balls or scarves, or it can be an act of violent war, if done with a multi-tonne boulder. The difference between the two spells lies only in the energy invested. The energy for Thaumaturgy comes from the natural world. Most practitioners use fire, as it is commonly available and easy to obtain, but other forms of heat, lightning, lava, etc. This need for energy makes Thaumaturgy simultaneously the most powerful and the least powerful Art, and both the most and least complicated to use.
A Sorcerer, for example, is limited in his power by how much of his own life force he wishes to expend in a spell, but a Thaumaturge may simply build a bigger fire—quite an advantage! But without a prepared source of energy, the Thaumaturge is limited to what he can do with his body heat, and dare try only the very simplest of cantrips. Similarly, an Alchemist can simply drink a potion to gain an effect, but a Thaumaturge may need to take an hour to prepare a roaring fire to gain enough energy—or may take no time at all, if he has an existing forest fire to work with!
Given the simplicity of the basic principles of Thaumaturgy, why is it not used by everyone? The answer is twofold. First, there is a basic magical talent necessary. Few possess it, and fewer are trained to use it or channel the forces involved.
The second qualification is knowledge of the chants and gestures needed to forge the spell link. Some say these are only a crutch to help the Thaumaturge concentrate while others claim they have intrinsic value, but they are necessary nonetheless. Naturally they along with the practical knowledge of which materials work best for which properties are passed from mentors to students and guarded jealously. The Art of Alchemy consists of combining the signatures of available materials to produce a finished product that creates the desired effects.
Products of Alchemy tend to be potions, powders, or other transient items. They retain their potency for a relatively short time typically weeks or months , and cannot produce lasting magical effects, but within those restrictions they can be powerful indeed.
Potions to produce invisibility or change the shape and abilities of the drinker can be created, along with others to alter their mind or hearts. Acids can be created to destroy all matter, or to aid in hardening of metals. Powders can transport the user vast distances or blast with fire or lighting. Ointments can protect the user from any danger, at least for a while.
The basic alchemical operation is the creation of a potion. This requires a recipe, unless the user is of sufficient skill to create a recipe on his own—few Alchemists have the requisite skill. Each recipe consists of a series of steps, with each step consisting of an ingredient to be added to the mixture and an incantation to be performed. The ingredients range from simple coal dust, ground glass to the sublime powder diamond, organs from exotic beasts. The incantations are taken from a secret magical language, and can be used only by those with magical talent.
The more powerful the result of the recipe, the more steps and ingredients needed to produce it. Each step has a chance of failure based on the power of the effect or signature added, the materials used, and the other materials in the recipe. If a given step fails, the entire recipe fails and must be restarted. Thus, if a recipe has more than a few steps, even a low failure chance for each individual step will result in a fairly high overall failure rate.
In addition, there are often many alternative sources of a given effect, so making a high-yield recipe is a very complicated matter, especially as the number of steps rises. Lastly, the results of Alchemy are often needed as ingredients for still-more powerful alchemical formulae, so you can see that successful Alchemy is a large-scale process, with production lines producing recipes involving dozens of steps with many workers and alchemists.
Most of the preparatory work is done by labor often slave labor , with the magic done by alchemists sometimes slaves as well , and an alchemical formula that produces the desired result six times out of ten is considered very good.
This makes Alchemy a very capital-intensive craft, with a large investment needed to ensure results. In Secret of the Sixth Magic, the Doctrine of Signatures is shown to be replaceable via Metamagic by another unnamed Doctrine, with the associated aphorism, "The base drives away the good. The Art of Magic is the art of perfect ritual. Through the flawless performance of often insanely complicated rituals, magical artifacts can be created that will, if not otherwise destroyed, last literally forever.
Each magical ritual consists of a number of steps, each of which must be performed correctly, with a very small margin of error, for the ritual to succeed. Many steps involve more than one person, and might require precious metals, troupes of dancers, the position of the stars, and any number of esoteric conditions. Each part of the ritual also requires an incantation by one or more trained magicians, perfectly pronounced or sung, in perfect timing and pitch. Needless to say, Magic is a performing art at its base, and few have both the magical talent and the ability to master the precision and art necessary to advance in the craft.
Due to the strictures of the craft, Magicians tend to cluster into Orders, with large colonies of non-magical craftsmen devoted to supporting their endeavors.
With the huge outlay in time, money, and effort that can go into the creation of a single magical item, such Mage Orders support their expensive activities by selling their created items, reserving only a portion of them for their own use. The items sold are incredibly expensive by normal standards, but since they last forever they are purchased nonetheless. Magicians also tend to be good customers of the Alchemists, as alchemical potions are common ingredients in magical rituals.
In turn, Alchemists tend to purchase magical items that will reduce the arduous nature of the tasks required by their profession. Sorcery The Rule of Three: Thrice spoken, once fulfilled. Sorcery is the control of one mind by another. It ranges from glamours and illusions to control and destruction, and is capable of producing effects that last as long as the mind of the victim exists.
In order to cast a sorcerous spell, the Sorcerer must make eye contact with his victim and speak the necessary enchantment. Eye contact is absolutely necessary, making the gaze of the sorcerer shunned by all sane individuals. The sorcerer then focuses his talent and pronounces the spell three times, and the magic is made. The length of the spell involved depends on the power of the desired effect, and can range from a few words to a lengthy speech.
The Sorcerer must speak it correctly three times, and then spend a portion of his own life force to power the spell. This means that any given Sorcerer can perform only a very limited number of spells in his lifetime, and that Sorcerers are very reluctant to use their craft. Indeed, older Sorcerers tend to look at their profession as a curse of sorts. Wizardry Law of Ubiquity: Flame permeates all.
Five Magics mod for Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Shelves: fantasy I read this back in the early 80s and almost loved it Follow Aldor as he on his "quest" which could be said to change as he gathers knowledge of the 5 schools of magic, mastering each as he progresses. Aldor, spurred on by his "love" for the queen, seeking to become, Archimage I found it right after the Magician Apprentice etc series.
Magic by the Numbers Series