Resolve taps into the mind of the victim, dampening the influence of
Earth and thus reducing the firmness of
his resolve. The practical applications include making someone tell you
something they don't want to tell you (reducing their resolve to stay silent);
making a stubborn guard let you pass; preventing a rash act; and in general,
making someone hesitate and maybe not act on a notion at all.
There are some misconceptions about this spell, which shall be addressed in full
below. Mainly, this spell does not in general make someone easier to persuade,
nor less likely to attack you if tensions run high.
Spell Effect. The
purpose of this spell is to weaken the resolve of a sentient target. But what is
resolve, and how do we, in accordance with the above, alter resolve alone? And
first of all, why would we want to only alter resolve, without affecting
persuasibility, or obstinacy, or other properties associated with
Starting on the bottom, there is a use for specifically reducing resolve,
without altering other properties. (And if one does want to alter other
properties as a heap, it is all the easier - no specific focus needed, one can
simply reduce the power of Earth in
general.) Consider, for instance, that you desire information, from one who has
no desire to give it to you. Lowering his resolve to stay silent will help, but
if you accidentally make him easier to persuade, you may well achieve that he
tells you what you want to hear, and not the truth! This should suffice to
answer one of the questions. Altering resolve alone, on the other hand, will
probably make him speak.
For the second question, I shall start with noting that resolve is a state of
mind, not an innate characteristic of the sentient - as resolve can change,
while characteristics endure. Furthermore, it is associated with an action, not
with the individual. One can be resolved to go to war, yet ambivalent as to by
what means. Furthermore, it does not make sense to say that one has resolve if
one does not have an intention to act at all.
From this, we can theorize that resolve is a state where the mind of the target,
having already the belief (Wind) of
something, and the intention to act (Fire),
is influenced by Earth to facilitate
the resolve, strengthening and hardening that state, thus making the sentient
committed to act. Water, being a
chaotic and unstable element, is still, due to the influence of
Earth, and does not express its
property of instability. Thus, we can achieve our goal of weakening resolve by
lowering the influence of Earth, more
specifically, lowering the spiritual representation of Solidity - causing
Water to express instability, thus
making the target doubtful, uncertain, uncommitted, not acting on his intentions
and generally always reconsidering.
Persuasibility is not specifically affected because the belief of the target is
not the focus of his mind – the desire and commitment to act is. Therefore,
resolve is weakened in this specific case. Should the mind of the target shift,
towards thinking about his belief, perhaps as a consequence of this spell, then
persuasibility may well be affected. The logic in the above is rather simple:
Solidity of what? Of that which is on the mind of the target - in this case,
commitment to act, i.e. resolve.
The Fire of the mind does not change
significantly in terms of what it expresses, but its dominance is naturally
increased as much as the other two elements due to
Earth being lowered. This brings us to
the reference in the Overview, dealing with anger and aggression. The desire to
act when "ignited" does not possess resolve, as passion is a fickle thing, prone
to change and even vanish as quickly as it came. This goes starkly against the
idea of resolve, which is a stable state. Passion makes you want to act, but not
want to do something specific - essentially, the difference between the stable
Earth and unstable
Fire. Thus this spell does not alleviate
desire to act when angry and dominated by
Fire, and is of little help if you wish to avoid your own funeral.
Fire magic should be consulted for that line of
The mage focuses on the target, usually while holding a small lump of clay. Clay
is hard when dry, but as you add some water
and mold it, it becomes pliable, losing its firmness. This represents the
recession of Earth and ascension of
Water, and that is what this spell
desires to do to the target. The mage typically also mentally imagines the mind
of the target losing its firmness. (As a metaphor only – we do not desire any...
Not yet defined.
target of Weaken Resolve is a single sentient being, in a state of resolve. The
stronger his resolve, the more draining it is for the mage to weaken it. Also,
targets of a different race may be less similar to the mage in the way they
think, thus making it somewhat harder to change their mind precisely.
Reagents. A lump of
clay and some form of Water that is
added to it at casting time, to represent the receding stability of
Earth and ascension of
Elemental School of Earth, spiritual representation of Sphere I.
Range. At the beginning,
touch is required. From level three, distance can be added. See this chart:
About a hundred
Here, sight becomes the determining factor,
Usually from one to three minutes on the lower levels to achieve the effect –
from there the mage has to maintain the spell to keep the effect. Note, however,
that the mindset of the target can change, messing with the intentions of this
This poses an intersting conjecture by Coren Asaen, who suggested that the spell
would be difficult to use at the lower levels as the mind of the target might
well change before the effect is achieved, thus getting the mage unintended
effects only. This is correct, but depends on the situation - one can often walk
and build resolve and courage to do something, and this state of mind can
persist well long enough for the spell to be cast, even at the lower levels. The
point to emphasize is that after the effect is achieved, the target's mind may
very well change, and if the spell is not released, it may have different
effects. Therefore, one usually casts this spell, does what needs be done, and
Of course, casting and "doing" something at the same time is difficult on the
lower levels, so it could be useful to have others for diverting the target's
attention from the action we wish to avert.
Duration. This spell,
being Sphere I, lasts as long as the caster maintains it. The mind, however, is
fickle – resolve can vanish if dampened, as the mind moves on to other things.
The mage will notice it, as the "pressure" of
Earth on his will decreases, and will
usually break the spell. At other times, resolve can be enduring, and in that
case, will return if the spell is lifted. Prolonged casting of this spell can
make the target appear very much ambivalent, never acting upon his intentions.
(In theory, as it is difficult in practice for the caster to always be around
How long the caster can keep this spell active without breaking it due to
fatique varies, but rough estimates are as follows:
About five minutes
About ten minutes
About half an hour
Here and onwards it is a question of normal
fatigue, and not fatigue caused by prolonged casting
Counter Measures/Enhancing Measures.
This spell can be countered by breaking the concentration of the caster, as it
will break the spell itself. One can also reinforce the resolve of the target
verbally – this would drain the mage more, as
Earth rises and the caster fights to
keep it down.
As for enhancing measures: This spell is well coupled with verbal reinforcement
of doubt – and no doubt some mage "behind the throne" does exactly that, if need
be. Also, an interesting case would be if one casts that spell, becomes
interrupted but keeps on speaking to persuade the target not to act, gaining
time to recast this spell.