Mages and Witches
Translated from the Magos e Bruxas article on Magias & Barbaridades Wiki!.

Mages and Witches (respectively Jamu and Xurbiu in the Magics & Barbarics world's generic language) are men and women capable of controlling and producing magic, usually after years of study and by the use of tools such as hats and wands.

Mages and witches tend to gather themselves in magical orders, of which the best (or only) known to the Magics & Barbarics world is the Order of the Moon.

The generic language words Jamus and Xurbius have their origin in the legend of the first human couple capable of making magic: Jamo, the first mage, and Xurba, the first witch. Therefore, in Magics & Barbarics world there is no such thing as "female mages" or "wizards" (meaning male witch): mages are all guys, witches are all girls. They are many times refered to as sorcerers, which is not exactly correct.

History

Jamo and Xurba

Says the legend: many thousands years ago, a couple of young philosophers were conjecturing under the moonlight about life, the universe and everything. Jamo was a philosopher from the practitionist branch (believing that everything should be logic, practical and objective), while Xurba followed the idealitionist branch (thinking everything should happen according to instincts, ideas and questioning). After a warm debate (which some say ended with a night of love), both shared an epiphany: they felt for the first time the moon rays, a mystical energy that, if properly decoded, would allow the control of certains aspects of the reality.

The couple then dedicated their careers to understand and control the energy they called Magic (the word comes from Jamo's name, since he was more practical and patented the idea first). They discovered the use of magical hats to absorve the moon rays, wood to channel them and of magic words to control them.

The couple died in an accident envolving a mutant rodent, aspargus leaves, a mix of chemicals and plutonium, leaving four children that followed their legacy.

The Magic Square

The couple's four children were Iehca the Powerful (first born daughter), Nimnau Get the Merciful (second son), Onav the Dark (third son) and Sercne Cet the Wise (youngest daughter). Right after their parents's death, the siblings started a philosophical debate on the nature of magic which lasted about 14 years. Iehca used to say magic, as a major mystical force, should always be used at its maximum extent and for extraordinary feats; Nimnau argued that magic should be used for philanthropic ends and society's greater good; Onav believed magic should be occult and secret, restricted for those who proved themselves worthy of it; and the young Sercne suggested magic should be studied to the fullest, strongly controlled and decoded so it could be used safely.

After this debate, of course, the four started to fight. The contend ended however before a winner could be defined, due to an unexpected attack of a hydrophonic bats horde, awakened by the sound of the fight.

Working as a team, the four were able to stop the chiroptera horde, and they realized they were much more powerful together than apart. They founded the Order of the Moon, entity dedicated to the study of magic and education of young mages and witches, and since then they ere known as The Magic Square, the base upon which the greatest magical order of the world grew.

Types

The four existing types of mages and witches are defined by the teachings of which of the members of The Magic Square the mage or witch favours. This sets specially the type of magic on which they are proficient, their style and their role in the community. Still, this definition is not restrict. Each one is each one.

In general the mage or witch chooses the Moon he or she intends to follow by affinity, but other motives might be of influence such as family tradition, future ambition or simply fashion.

Full Moon

Full Moon mages and witches are the glorious apprentices of Iehca the Powerful. Theirs is an exuberant magic capable of effects the likes of which have never been seen, strongly favouring greater magic*. There is a tendency of these mages becoming more famous than the others, due to their magic's characteristics. However, the number of mages and witches that become corrupted by their power among the Full Moon mages is alarming.


Motto

"Mok dnargis opredis vis dnargis sertsopibiladed"
("With great power comes great responsability")

Rumor has it that this motto was said for the first time by the mage Nuelc Neb, direct apprentice of Iehca the Powerful, while teaching his nephew Ipsyed about a mage's responsabilities.

Full Moon mages and witches at the comic

* Saru Pnit (Saru Pnit's Tale)
* Uastol (Life in the City)
* Old Asurnan (Life in the City)

Waning Moon

The compassionate apprentices of Nimnau Get the Merciful learn from the beginning that magic must be used for the wellness of everyone, as a gift. Thus, among the Waning Moon mages and witches are the greatest healers and those who apply their magic in the form of utensils and improvement for the community the most. By these means, one may find inside the Waning Moon the mages and witches dearest and most loved by the common people, often receiving titles such as "master" or "sir". The Waning Moon mages' peaceful and humanitarian tendencies make them usually more fragile in danger situations that might require more energic actions, though.


Motto

"Tseus oksemuodn rop u onemus me i seepilis"
("I am starting with the man in the mirror")

The phrase comes from an ancient song written by master Imlaech Kcajnos that says, in general lines, that one should start with oneself if he wants to change the world. The song chorus goes like this: "I am starting with the man in the mirror / I am asking him to change his ways / And no message could have been any clearer / If you want to make the world a better place / Take a look at yourself and make that change". Unfortunately, Imlaech went mad and became a serial child killer. 

Waning Moon mages and witches in the comic

* Lowe IV (Life in the City)
* Master Limmer (The Order of the Moon)

New Moon

You know that old lady that has 284 cats and lives in that falling apart house and everyone calls a witch? She's probably a New Moon.

Onav the Dark's apprentices are certainly the scariest (although not necessarily the meanest) mages around. This is due to the nature of New Moon magic, always tending to more darkest and less orthodox studies, and to the mages and witches themselves, living towards isolation and excentricity. Among their common and dreadful practices are the use of disgusting animals body parts in their potions (which they are notorious for), invocation of extraplanar beings and experiments with living animals. The problem is when they decide to use people instead.

Motto

"Ue oan rkius me xurbiu, sam euk leiu etsiziu, etsiziu"
("I don't believe in witches, but they do exist")

The author of this phrase is unknown, it being attributed to many witches and even to popular use. It is said that it represents that the fear people have towards New Moon mages and witches are nothing but superstition, the old "fear what you don't know" story. Not that there is anyone doing something to change this point of view.

New Moon mages and witches in the comic

* Baj (Life in the City)
* Tana (Urba's Umbrella - currently unavailable)

Waxing Moon

The hard working apprentices of Sercne Cet the Wise are ackowledged as the greatest thorists among mages, outstanding in matters like magic theory, metaphysical law, mystic philosoply and all those really boring stuff. Since the ancient Sercne, who is said to have discovered how to channel the moon rays in the form of magic words, Waxing Moon mages and witches have been expanding magic's horizon by creating different spells and making discoveries about magic's nature.

This moon's mages and witches's greatest concern is arrogance, for according to them knowledge is power (of course Full Moons disagree), and the power corrupts. They tend to favour lesser magic*, once it is easier to control, what may become a barrier to the mage's or witch's potential.


Motto

"Os artabilis mes idsrevis zafis ed Kcaj mu bobuoail"
("All work and no play makes of Kcaj a dull boy")

It is said that this phrase reminds the Waxing Moon mage or witch that he or she must not dive into his or her studies in detriment of his life, a tendency easily found in this moon's mages and witches. Kcaj was one such mage who, at the verge of discovering a new spell, spent 3 months locked up in his library perfecting the formula, without eating or sleeping. He then died of hunger.

Waxing Moon mages and witches in the comic

* Remmil's Mom (The Order of the Moon)
* Oceohl (Life in the City)
* Remmil (duh!) 

Tools and Procedures

Magic comes from the moon rays, a raw mystical energy emitted by the moon every night. To convert them into magic the best possible way, the mage or witch must complete three fundamental steps: channeling (aklaniazoas) and translating (artsudiazoas) and realizing (erlaziazoas), each one with its proper tool.

Channeling

Channeling is the proccess by which the mage or witch absorbs the moon rays to within himself. For this, pointy hats specially charmed to perform this task are used. If the mage or witch spends too many time without his or her hat or without contact with the moonlight, the energy within him or herself will eventually run out and he or she will be incapable of casting spells. Actually, one may say a mage without his hat is nothing but a man in a night-dress, as seen in The Order of the Moon.

Translating

Once the raw mystical energy is stored within the mage or witch, he must convert it in magic so he or she will be able to produce speciffic effects with the proper intensity. This is done by the use of magic words, formulae spoken by the mage or witch that convert raw magic into the desired spell. The mage or witch must know the correct words to cast the spell he or she wants. Some powerful mage and witches are capable of translating without having to pronounce the word, just think of it.

Realizing

Basically, magic is a way to alter the reality. Therefore, at the same time the mage or witch translates, he must also realize, which means apply the energy upon reality. Even though this may be done by many ways such as speciffic gestures or potions, by far the best material fot realizing is wood, the reason why the magic wand was created. Wands are wood pieces specially prepared to improve the spell casting, allowing the greatest possible control.

Even though the wand is the most used instrument for realizing, staffs and canes and other wooden  tools may also be used. 

 

* Greater magic: spells with spectacular effects, using ancient magics words and very hard to control; lesser magic: easier to cast, but with minor or simpler effects. A magic energy beam, for instance, though great in its effect, is a very simple spell to cast, specially if you consider that you don't need that much precision to achieve the effect you want, as seen in Through Seas Never Before Sailed 



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