- This article is about Magic and its uses in the Diablo Universe. For the Diablo I attribute, see Magic (Attribute). For other uses, see Magic (disambiguation).
"Might and magic are two spokes on the same wheel. In lacking one you lack both."
- 1 Lore
- 2 Schools of Magic
- 2.1 Arcane Magic
- 2.2 Black Magic
- 2.3 Blood Magic
- 2.4 Dark Magic
- 2.5 Demonic Magic
- 2.6 Elemental Magic
- 2.7 Holy Magic
- 2.8 Natural Magic
- 2.9 Necromancy
- 2.10 Prime Magic
- 2.11 Shadow Magic
- 3 References
Lore[edit | edit source]
"Keep your spells close, lest your enemies get closer."
Magic is an ambient and extremely powerful but fickle and unpredictable force. It can exist in a form of raw energy. The manipulation of magic can be studied and learned, but never fully mastered. Enchantments exude an aura that can be sensed by many, but years of training are required to properly exploit the mana that pervades Sanctuary. Some magical items' auras are more noticeable than others. Magic carries a scent upon the air and can 'crackle' in it, akin to ambient energy.
Some scholars use natural manifestations to explain the workings of the universe. In a common archetype, the physical world is likened to the sky while the ethereal realm of magic is set as the ocean. Following this line of thought, spells are much like the turbulence that occurs where the two interact with each other. The level of connection varies by month and can have different effects.
Because of the cycles of time, each phase of the year has a unique effect on magic, including the creatures of Sanctuary and the Burning Hells. For instance, destructive spells are more potent but harder to control during the month of Kathon. Healing spells and elixrs are are the most potent during Ostara, while Esunar is the best time to create amulets or perform enchantments on objects. Latent magic, if left untamed, can have mutagenic effects on flora and fauna.
Practitioners[edit | edit source]
Only the strongest of humans can harness anything more than the most basic of magical effects, and even then, much energy is lost in the transition between the physical and ethereal realms. The more flawed one's mastery of magic, the more effort must be made into utilizing it. Excess energy from one spell can be absorbed by another. Some undead are capable of wielding magic, as well as some demons (e.g. imps). Angels can also wield powerful magic.
Most followers of magic hail from the East, and has a diminished presence in the West. Of note, Kehjistan is rife with nodes of magical energy. However, artifacts discovered in Xiansai suggest that magic has been used by the Xian for millennia. Because magic is so difficult to master, it is traditionally taught under strict conditions in a collection of magical academies. However, some individuals forsake such restrictions, believing that as long as the reward of such power is worth it, the risk is irrelevant.
History[edit | edit source]
The use of magic on Sanctuary appears to stem as far back as the nephalem. Inarius attempted to preserve the mortal realm by limiting the immense powers of the nephalem through the Worldstone. The stymied effects of this remained true on humanity.
A time existed before magic was formalized into strict disciplines, but this time came to an end not long before the emergence of human civilization. 100 years after the establishment of Kehjan, the cultures of the land formalized the study of magic, leading to the birth of the Mage Clans. The three clans of most prominent note were the Vizjerei, the Ammuit, and the Ennead, the Ammuit focussing on transmutation of matter and enchantments, the Ennead on illusion and manipulation, and the Vizjerei on summoning and conjuring. It was the Vizjerei's actions that would alerting the Burning Hells of the existence of Sanctuary by summoning demons into the mortal world.
During the Sin War, the magical energies wielded by angels and demons threatened to tear the world apart. After the conflict, which was rationalized as a clash of faiths, the Age of Magic began as people turned to the Mage Clans for guidance. However, with the Mage Clan Wars, this age came to an end, and people turned to faith as the basis for their lives. Numerous tomes were destroyed, laws were passed against the use of magic, and while some mage clans survived, they did so in diminished form.
The time of the Horadrim is considered to be the greatest age of magic, when untold discoveries in the arcane arts were made. These powerful mystics used every ounce of power at their command to preserve humanity. Although the Eastern mage-clans keep watch over vast libraries of magical tomes, it is suspected that a great part of this knowledge was lost when the last of the Horadrim died.
In recent years, the Mage Clans have regained some of their influence thanks to the Trade Consortium of Caldeum. In order to make their city a beacon of learning, the Yshari Sanctum was constructed, to be stored with arcana and act as a place of learning and growth for the various clans. Deckard Cain was of the opinion that the sanctum now stands as the greatest symbol of mage power and unity since the Age of Magic.
Items[edit | edit source]
"Magic is not as...powerful as many think. Sometimes a good sword arm can be as valuable as a hundred spells."
Any object imbued with magic exhibits an aura that is easily noticed. To determine the exact nature of this enchantment, however, requires intense study and an extensive knowledge of arcane materials and symbols. While none have mastered the ability to memorize a spell of this magnitude, the Vizjerei developed a means for the untrained to discover the secrets of an ensorcelled object by using a rare crystal that is extremely sensitive to magical auras. This sensitivity makes it very fragile, however and the crystal will shatter if it is brought too close to an enchanted item. The very act of identifying such an object also destroys the crystal. Scrolls and staves have been crafted that can be used to identify magical auras. By using special inks and dyes that contain tiny grains of these crystals, the stability of the crystal is maintained until it is used to examine the enchanted object.
Various magical items exist. These include amulets, rings and gems. Precious gems and metals make excellent foci for magical enchantments. Although most of the knowledge of creating such talismans has been either been long lost or is jealously guarded by the Mage Clans, rings and amulets of power may still be discovered. The primary drawback of enchanted jewelry is that multiple pieces seem to interfere with each other. For this reason, only one ring may be worn on each hand, and but one amulet may be worn about the neck.
The Vizjerei discovered that magic could be channeled through a staff. The process of creating such a staff is time consuming, but even a Vizjerei apprenctice can recharge a staff by channeling magic into it. Only those skilled in magic use can use more powerful spell staves.
Scrolls prepared with magical inks can create a focus for spells. Such magical scrolls provide the reader with the ability to cast a spell that they normally may not know, without expending any mana. Very powerful spells cannot be used by the untrained, however, for the cryptic symbols upon them are difficult to comprehend. The act of casting the spell drains the scroll of all magical power and causes the parchment to crumble to dust instantly.
Schools of Magic[edit | edit source]
The devotees of magic are a segregated lot. They are as leery of students of rival disciplines as a layperson is of all arcane practitioners. Schools of magic include:
Arcane Magic[edit | edit source]
Main article: Arcane Power
"When you gaze long into the arcane realm, the arcane realm also gazes into you."
Arcane Magic is used by Wizards. They use their own bodies as a conduit for this magic, allowing them to control light and time, teleport, create powerful illusions, deflect oncoming attacks, and cast this energy in projectile form. Truly powerful wizards are able to turn this energy inwards, using it to augment their abilities. A relationship exists between arcane magic and time. An "arcane realm" is said to exist.
Black Magic[edit | edit source]
"Black magic bars our way...but the will of the Templar is stronger."
Black Magic can be imbuned in seeds. It is not discriminating about which it entraps.
Blood Magic[edit | edit source]
"Blood magic is needed to bind the parts together. It is best to start with a heart or a head. Use stitches made from lacuni hair and wait one day between fusing each of the other body parts together."
Blood Magic is a type of magic that involves the use of blood. The use of this magic can result in constructs. The Blood Marsh is a nexus for this magic. The Priests of Rathma can use this magic by using their own blood to power their spells. This usage of blood is required to power their most potent spells.
Dark Magic[edit | edit source]
Dark Magic is used by the peoples of the south of Sanctuary and the Witch Doctors of the Umbaru. These destructive magics can damage groups of enemies with clouds of acid, gouts of flame and swarms of locusts. Curses and hexes may be cast also, including debilitating poisons and bolts of spirit energy that steal life and vitality. Witch Doctors draw their magic from the Unformed Land.
Dark magic 'taints' those who use it, and leaves them vulnerable to demonic possession.
Demonic Magic[edit | edit source]
"For now I find this power gained is more unto a curse. My spirit burns with every spell and each irreverent verse. Despite this strength and knowledge earned, I have paid a heavy toll. Never should’ve traded power for my own immortal soul."
Demonic Magic is a type of magic. Demons can be summoned to the physical plane through this method. Blood and human flesh can be used to bolster this magic. Use of demonic magic taints the blood of humans using it. Through the process of summoning, a demon can possess the shell of a human.
Centuries ago, when using demonic magic, it was common to invoke lesser demons and subdue them in order to gain their power. Fooled by these creatures' small stature, sorcerers underestimated their powers and often summoned them to serve as familiars. Once lulled into trusting these demons, the master would find their will subjugated by that of their "servant," who would then vivisect him and create numerous homunculi from the pieces. Adria detailed the preferred method of summoning demons. One should never attempt to summon a demon alone. Instead, the summoning should be conducted in a group consisting of three, four, or seven individuals (representing the Prime Evils, Lesser Evils, and combination of the two respectively).
Elemental Magic[edit | edit source]
"Skin burns like paper, chills cut to the bone, and lightning is drawn to the victim as if the were a bar of iron in a rainstorm."
— A comment on the effects of elemental magic.(src)
In Elemental Magic, base elements are molded into whatever forms are needed. Weather manipulation is the most impressive form of this branch of magic. The Zann Esu Clan pursue the use of elemental magic as per their quest for "perfect" magic. Likewise, the Vizjerei Clan have practiced elemental magic since the end of the Mage Clan Wars. Lightning Demons have also demonstrated the power of weather manipulation.
Branches of elemental magic include:
Electric Magic[edit | edit source]
Main article: Lightning Spells
Electromagnetism exists on the threshold of the ethereal and physical realms. While it is very efficient to transform mana into electrical energy, it is extremely difficult to control. The caster is able to shield themself from the effects of these spells, but any creature - friend or foe - may be struck. Additionally, the use of this branch of magic includes skills such as telekinesis, shields, and teleportation. At the peak of its use is weather manipulation.
Fire Magic[edit | edit source]
Main article: Fire Spells
Fire lies at the edge of both energy and matter, so it is a simple matter to shape mana into magical flame. Magical fire requires no earthly source. These flames will burn as long as mana feeds them. The Horadrim were skilled enough to create torches that burn with an eternal flame, but those abilities have been long lost. However, a possibly similar device exists in the form of the Light of Grace, which through magic, is able to draw warmth from its surroundings to increase its luminescence.
Fire can be used as a projectile, and weapons may be enchanted with its power. However, fire is an unpredictable, destructive force, and even for an experienced spellcaster, its use can be uncooperative. Under this branch of magic is the Hydra, which is summoned from the core of the mortal world.
Ice Magic[edit | edit source]
Main article: Cold Spells
Wind Magic[edit | edit source]
"The wind carries life for those enveloped in its flow, and death for those arrayed against it."
Holy Magic[edit | edit source]
Main article: Light
Holy Magic (a.k.a. Divine Magic) is gifted to mortals by the High Heavens. Paladins can call upon this magic. This includes the use of auras, of both defensive and offensive natures, as well as various combat skills. Wrath, as used by Crusaders, is a form of divine magic, and is fueled by their devotion to the Zakarum faith.
Natural Magic[edit | edit source]
Natural Magic is an ancient type of magic. It is used by Druids, and was called upon by Horazon and his Vizjerei followers during the Mage Clan Wars to defeat Bartuc. It can call on the elements of fire and wind.
Elemental Magic[edit | edit source]
Main article: Elemental Skills
Years of study and a life lived in harmony with nature have provided the Druids a unique empathy with the world around them. These skills represent the Druids' ability to influence the forces of nature. Expertise in these skills allows them to strike at enemies from a distance, assault whole groups of enemies at once, and even protect themselves from the elemental attacks of others.
These elemental abilities include fire, ice, and wind, yet sources differ from elemental magic. E.g., fire is called upon from the earth itself (whereas elemental magic involves shaping mana into fire), and the wind is called on directly for aid.
Shapeshifting[edit | edit source]
Main article: Shape Shifting Skills
This is perhaps the most astonishing of all the talents granted to the Druids. Shapeshifting allows the Druids to manipulate their own flesh and form, taking on characteristics and capabilities of the beasts they have sworn to protect. Druidic warriors follow two paths: the path of the bear, and the path of the wolf. Some shapeshifting skills are available only to a single animal form, while others are common to both wolf and bear forms.
Summoning[edit | edit source]
Main article: Summoning Skills
Long ago, the Druids confided in prayer their sacred charge to the supreme spirits of Nature. The spirits were moved by their plight and answered the Druids' call for help. Over the many years since then, the spirits have contributed in many ways to the Druids' cause, even offering up soldiers to serve in their campaign. A Druid educated in the language of the Natural spirits can appeal to them, and they will provide him with valuable companions. These companions fall into three groups: spirit animals, sentient vines, and minor spirits of Nature.
Necromancy[edit | edit source]
Necromancy, otherwise known as the Art of Rathma, Death Magic, or the Dark Arts, is a school of magic. Demons possess necromatic abilities. Among mortals, necromancy has long been abused, and is a reviled practice. It is considered a "dark" art, and people believe that the use of necromancy attracts the attention of demons (or outright summoning them) and puts Sanctuary at risk. Currently, among mortals, only the Priests of Rathma have access to necromancy, which they gain by drawing on the power of Trag'Oul, Because of their use of necromancy, many people shun the priests. In contrast to the erroneous belief that necromancy attracts demons, necromancy involves the use of Summoning Spells, which can summon skeletons and golems, and even revival. Other necromatic abilties are based on the use of poison and bone and curses.
Necromancy gains its power from that of death itself. Magical expenditure when it comes to raising the dead is not set. For instance, one could spend the same amount of energy summoning 100 mindless skeletons as a single astute one.
Prime Magic[edit | edit source]
Prime Magic is wielded by the Askari and Priests of Rathma. Prime energies flow through all living things, and practitioners of necromancy can curse the fate of a victim by manipulating these energies. In the case of the Askari, their use of this magic appears to consist of calling on their deities to empower them with supernatural abilities and to harness their natural spiritual energies.
Shadow Magic[edit | edit source]
"I walk amongst the shadows and call them my own. With every silent stride, I claim my domain."
Shadow Magic, a.k.a. Shadow Energy is used by Demon Hunters. This consists of apocryphal magics, allowing Demon Hunters to cloak themselves in darkness, confound others attacks, and slip between shadows to sneak up on their prey. Similarly, Assassins train in the use of the Shadow Disciplines, which involve obfuscation and the honing of psychic abilities. These disciplines do not involve the casting of actual spells.
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