WATER SPELLS: CALM (LEVEL I)

SPELL EFFECT - CASTING PROCEDURE - FORMULA - FOCUS/TARGET - REAGENTS
SPELL CLASS - RANGE - CASTING TIME - DURATION - COUNTER MEASURES

The Calm spell, as the name implies, causes the mind to become serene and calm, and thus temporarily frees the target from whatever anxiety or emotional turbulence they might be going through. At the higher levels a skillful application of the spell can also induce a state of deep relaxation, making the target feel safe and at ease. Those affected by the spell often present a very composed appearance, seemingly unperturbed by the chaos and confusion whirling around them. Great care must be taken not to disturb the natural balance of the targeted spirit too deeply; overexerting the magical influence of the spell might numb the mind or (if performed by a very powerful magus) even put the target in a coma.

Spell Effect. The basic objective of this spell is to calm a fretful mind. By reducing the ascendancy of the water of the cár'áll, a mage is able to indirectly tone down qualities like unpredictability or restlessness attributed to this undecided element. Less erratic means changes are not very quick or irregular anymore, thus perceived from the outside as an air of serenity and calm.

Changes in mood can be abrupt if the spell is rashly applied. The dominance of the water in the target must be reduced slowly to minimize the trauma.

The Calm Spell is often used to quieten one’s inner struggles or put a restless baby to sleep, but of course possibilities are endless. Anything that requires the calming of a mind, from preparing oneself for a quiet morning of meditation to allaying the agitated pacing of a bureaucrat can be achieved – all it takes is a little innovation and proficiency in the Water School. Although the spell is sometimes also used on people in the middle of a rage, this is not a recommended use of the spell and should not be attempted until a mastery over the forces of this element is achieved. Rage and zeal are attributes ascribed to the element of fire. Reducing the dominance of water in a cár'áll will cause the other elemental ratios to be increased proportionally. In normal cases this should reduce the overall amount of chaos in the mind, calming the person. On the other hand, even a slight increase in the already fire-dominated cár'áll of a person beside himself with rage might lead to terrible consequences – achieving quite the opposite of what the spell intended.

A very undecided or fretting mind has an unbalanced cár'áll. This spells attempts to put a stop to the water “tyranny” in the cár'áll by decreasing the water proportion of the aura to its normal value – or slightly below if a further calming effect is sought. Therefore, mages should also be cautious in applying the spell on a balanced cár'áll or an already calm mind as doing so might tip the scale too much in the opposite direction this time, overdoing the spell effect and stunning/‘freezing up’ the target’s mind.

At any case, great care must be taken not to upset the natural balance/state of the cár'áll significantly; making too great a difference in the water cár'áll too abruptly might numb the mind or (if performed by a very powerful magus) even put the target in a coma. Note however that “natural state/balance” does not necessarily imply that the cár'áll is “balanced” (even-handedly distributed). A cár'áll could be heavily dominated by one element (i.e. 'unbalanced'), but it could be naturally so. For example, the existential orientation of a fish is very much towards water, giving the animal similar characteristics (like rapid, abrupt movements and unexpected turns) to the river it swims in. Return to the top

Casting Procedure. All the Calm spell really requires other than that the target to be in a place where their cár'áll can be easily reached and altered is expertise on the mage’s part. It helps if the caster’s own mind is in a state of calm before he attempts the spell on others, as an unruffled mind will better resist the chaotic tendencies of this element.

If a novice spellcaster finds it hard to focus on the abstract qualities of the target’s mind, he may also direct his attention on the reagents at hand, symbolizing either the current mindset of the target or the state of calm looked-for. Although paralleling the target mind in a material resemblance might smooth the casting of the spell, it also subtracts from its power as the energies of the mage’s mind is now diverted.

Sphere I is considered to be the simplest of the three types of elemental cár’áll manipulation. This spell reduces the dominance of water in general, not a specific property of it. As such Calm is additionally straightforward; mages at Ximax can generally be taught the spell from Level 1 onwards. However, a greater degree of water mastery is necessary to reap the full benefits. Due to all the dangers and nuances mentioned, some teachers at the Academy do not include the spell in their curriculum until level four or onwards. This latter group usually uses the Calm spell as an comparative example to help their students better appreciate the subtle differences in cár’áll manipulation before moving on to the more complicated Sphere II Serenity Spell. At the higher levels (Level 5 onwards), mages learn concentrating only on the chaos property of water, effectively honing their precision and enhancing the spell effect as their energy no longer needs to be apportioned to the other aspects of the element. Sarvonian humans being very fond of labelling every concept and categorizing knowledge into separate compartments, this advanced version frequently takes on the name “Chaos Reduction” in Academy classes. Return to the top

Magical Formula. Not defined yet. Return to the top

Focus/Target. The spell can be used on any sentient being, although affecting a strong will purposefully seeking a state of agitation or a fire/water mage already oriented towards their chaotic elements is a considerably harder task. Some wizards also claim to be able to influence the minds of other living beings (for instance animals). Return to the top

Reagents. The basic purpose of a reagent is representing the desired outcome, the spell procedure or the energies involved in the casting act. Thus anything which resembles in some way either the restless mind of the subject (for instance: swirling, unsettled sand in a cup of water), the composure aimed at (a basin of cool, unruffled water) or the course of reducing the dominance of water (e.g. sucking the water out of a glass with a small reed pipe) serves as a possible reagent for this rather straightforward spell.

It is advised however that novice mages endeavour to cast the spell without any outside assistance as much as possible. Wizards should not forget the true purpose of reagents (symbols to assist them in focusing their will) and should not grow dependent on material objects for completing what is really an act of the mind. Return to the top

Spell Class. Sphere I, Enchantment (Spiritual Representation of the Water School). Return to the top

Range. At the first levels (level 1 and 2), students often think touching the target is required to aid the focussing. Once the mageling is able to see beyond this illusion (usually around level 3), physical contact no longer becomes a requisite for the casting. As the wizard gets better the range increases exponentially starting with 3 peds at level 3 until around 100 peds at level 12. Return to the top

Casting Time. Reduction of the cár’áll’s water dominance begins affecting the mind right away and the average wizardling generally needs no longer than a quarter of a minute to bring about the full effects of the Calm spell. Of course casting time is a mere reflection of the complexity of the spell and the caster’s mastery of will, so the time might vary. Return to the top

Duration. Sphere I spells typically last as long as the caster continues focusing. Once the concentration is broken, willingly or otherwise, the cár'áll quickly returns to its natural state, causing the spell effect to end. Hence, the only limit to the duration is how long the caster can sustain the manipulation. Here, like other relaxing activities, the effects can often linger a bit longer.

Nonetheless, the spell effect is still temporary, since both the mind’s own attempt to rearrange itself and external stimuli (if the events that gave rise to the nervousness in the first place are still present) continue to influence the target.

It might be best to either move the target away from the source of its anxiety while the spell effect lasts or alternatively continue repressing the water to prevent it from regaining dominance in the cár'áll until the target has had a chance to order his thoughts. Return to the top

Counter Measures/Enhancing Measures. The spell can be countered by anything that re-instigates the dominance of water in the overall cár'áll or alternatively by spells/actions prompting further confusion or worry in the subject. For example, constantly asking confusing or ridiculous questions in an utterly serious manner to throw the target off balance or demanding answers one knows the subject in her current state would not be able to bring together might cause his/her mind to revert back to the undecided characteristics of the water element. Singing absurd and off-tone melodies or making any sort of incessant, disturbing noise works to a similar effect. Use your imagination.

A soothing environment (low, peaceful music, meditative hymning, a relaxing fragrance in the air etc.) of course adds to the spell effect. Focusing only on the chaos characteristic of water at the higher levels also gives more power and precision to the spell (see Spell Level for further details). Return to the top

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