Hedge Magic

And I saw the most fantastic of displays unravel before my eyes, the mythic beasts alive within the courtyard for all to see, before truly the illusion unravelled itself as some slave walked idly. The slave was punished and I never saw Marcus choose such an inattentive magus again.

Gnaeus Patriscus Clito, writing of a dinner party in Rome

Slipping into the barbarian's camp was easy enough with everyone getting drunk and the guards too merry to care. Getting into the treasure-tent was a less forgiving task. I could distract perhaps two of the alert guards with more mundane skills, but all of them could be driven away for a precious few seconds by making the air smell foul of rot and death…

Alexandros the Spy recounting his stealing back of the tribute given to Attila the Hun

The Tricksters

Hedge Magic has some diverse applications, but is considered widely to be the purview of tricksters and charlatans. Travelling magicians are not the most common sight, but they do have their share of the entertainment market both in the Far and Middle East.

Of course, there are a large number of practitioners who find other uses and applications of Hedge Magic, from discerning thieves, to courtiers, who find it aids in their manipulations and games.

A Momentary Glance

Hedge Magic is quite unstable, and even at the higher levels of its power, effects are prone to disperse at the slightest hint of imbalance. On the other hand, they are capable of staying around and remaining believable for a while if others do not think too hard about what is going on.

The most practised and skilled Hedge wizards, use their tricks very carefully to aid in their great weaving of a story, lie or entertainment, enhancing their skills of show.

Variation and Application

Hedge magic is relatively versatile and a wizard can usually modify the spell as appropriate. Furthermore with adequate additional preparation, lower-tier spells can be cast with greater effect, duration or affect a greater audience.

The Cost

It costs 1AP to cast a first tier hedge magic spell, 2AP to cast a second tier spell and 3AP to cast a third tier spell.

At each new tier, the spells of lower tiers can be case for more AP for these benefits. Thus, on reaching a tier two spell, the tier one spells can be cast at 2AP with a lot more freedom of variation.

The Limitations

Although Hedge Magic spells can usually be cast at a moment's notice, their preparation is time-consuming and requires adequate preparation. If a spell is prepared however (in game terms, the AP has been spent on 'casting' it), it can be cast at any time and used in many imaginative ways.

The length of the spells tends to vary and rarely exceeds, undisturbed, an hour or so. If, however, a close inspection of the properties of the spell are made, there is a high chance that it will vanish quickly.


Tier the First

The Smoke

Taking the hoarse powder of the desert sands, I have burned it with the incantations taught me by my father. The charred and black grain I have rubbed into leaves of palm and inhaled them three times at each of three sundowns. Now I shall cleanse myself in the waters of my brother's house and tomorrow will be ready to shroud the whole town square with smoke.

Salim al-Ramijan, notable hedge mage of Baghdad

A great disappearing act needs a smokescreen. This spell is it - the wizard creates a billowing cloud of smoke which, though dispersing quickly, is sudden enough to allow one to slip away behind it. Unless you're in the middle of the desert.

The Butterfly

A simple illusion which creates a fast-moving and colourful object which can't quite be caught by the eye, flitting at the periphery of the vision and oh-so-very distracting.

The Siren

“These are not the scouts you are looking for”

Chrysostomos Kalafatis, Spymaster to Princess Tamar

The wizard may subtly alter the perception of their voice imbuing it with a powerful imperative tone, filling it with the promise of unearthly delights or performing a near perfect impersonation of another's voice. The effect is not a strong one and a listener cannot be compelled to do something against their will but the spell can be used to manipulate, seduce or distract.

Tier the Second

The Chalice, The Crystal and The Spectre

They rode at Dawn to the Gypsy camp with the intention of evicting those foul folk from Lady Winivers lands. We did not see them again for a full day and night. When at last they returned they came on foot, their horses gone and their armour missing. They were dazed, bleary eyed and covered in every sort of filth. They ranted about orgiastic dances where women of unsurpassed beauty cavorted in the flames and wine as sweet as honey that flowed like water. We sent them away in disgrace and went ourselves to the camp but it was gone and every trace of its existence erased…

Hugh Bardolf, Master of the Horse to the Winivers

The skilled hedge wizard may manipulate the senses, conjure more complex illusions, or even attempt to read the fortune of another person.

Tier the Third

Damn these hedge wizards and their tricks! Just wait till I find my way out of here and I’ll burn her cursed hovel to the ground!

Theodore Balsamon, Hermetic Mage

hedge.txt · Last modified: 2009/03/26 11:54 by ivan
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