the arsenal of spells for the water mage is
this little nasty one. Typically it is used defensively, creating a patch of
quicksand to slow or trap something hostile pursuing the mage so an escape can
be made. But in more extreme cases it can be used aggressively to drown the
target completely, or capture it alive. This is one of the hardest Sphere I
spells for young mages to learn as by necessity it often requires a large focus
area, of at least several peds of ground, to be of any use, and requires
absolute concentration on a very specific property of
Spell Effect. The
spell creates a patch of quicksand that will cause anything that lands in it to
sink. The variations in effect for this spell are massive depending on many
factors. In an ideal situation, such as a beach or lakeshore where quicksand can
naturally form, the effect will be much quicker and more powerful as the
liquidity property of a chosen cár'áll in such an
area is comparatively easy to affect. It gets harder as the available
water becomes scarcer, but so long as the
ground is still a loose material like sand or soil, then the spell is still
reasonably effective. Even in desert conditions, the
water ounia of the sand can still have the
property of liquidity influenced, creating a quicksand like effect but the
results are not as reliable as when manipulating
water itself. This spell is least
effective when on solid surfaces like wooden or stone flooring, creating a
sticky, tacky like effect that might cause a surprised pursuer to stumble, but
The spell is in Sphere I, so will only last as long as the mage is casting, and
focused. As soon as the spell ends, the ground reverts to its normal state,
often sealing the trapped victim in place even more. In cases where there is a
lot of water present, and the conditions
are ripe for naturally forming quicksand, then cancelling the spell may not
cause the effect to vanish immediately, but dissipate more slowly.
The mage must concentrate on an area of ground nearby. The larger the area,
obviously the more difficult the task. Within this focus
cár'áll, the mage will concentrate on the
water ounía present, seeking to increase
their influence as much as possible, and specifically the property of liquidity.
Circling gestures of the arms, tracing the area they are seeking to effect,
often helps the mage map out the area in their mind and keep it in focus.
Not yet defined.
Focus/Target. The focus
is the ground, being very careful not to let concentration slip or nothing will
happen. Wayward concentration could even cause the ground directly beneath the
mage to be effected, with obvious bad consequences. However, in this worst case,
the suprise of suddenly sinking would most likely cause a break of concentration
and consequently a haulting of the spell, usually before the caster sinks too
Reagents. A vial
filled with water, and quite a lot of sand
is often a very useful aid when learning this spell. Shaking it whilst casting
gives a good image of what is happening to the ground as the water swirls
through the trapped sand making it liquid-like itself.
Sphere I, Transformation (Physical Representation of the
Range. Due to the size
of the area usually required to trap a hostile, the range can not be much more
than a half dozen peds in front of a mage. Even beginners have to start at over
a ped away so as to not
endanger themselves hence why it is so hard for young mages to learn, as they
can not get too close to their creation.
In a situation where they may be confronting a foe, perhaps engaging in talk
with both parties stationary, the focus could be much smaller perhaps just a
circle a ped across directly beneath the target. As such, the range could be a
little further. Perhaps as much as ten to fifteen
This will vary with the location, to the same degree as the effect. Where there
is plenty of sand/soil and water present,
the spell can cast nearly instantly as soon as the mage properly concentrates on
their focus area. As the location gets dryer and the ground more solid, so the
casting time will increase.
Duration. The spell
will last as long as the mage concentrates. Again, all the variations make a
precise answer difficult. In a wet, loose area it could likely be maintained
indefinitely by a powerful mage well as long as the mage could stay awake
anyway. Turning dry compacted earth into quicksand in hot dry weather would be
much harder and likely only possible to be held for half an hour or so.
Counter Measures/Enhancing Measures.
Countering this spell is very difficult, as merely distracting the mage so they
lose focus would only revert the ground to solid again and still leave the
victim stuck. However this may be preferable to sinking further, so this would
be your best bet. An earth or
water mage could work their will against the
water mage, either by enhancing the solidity of
the earth ounía, to push them up from
below, or reducing the liquidity of the water
ounía respectively to simply work in the same way as distracting the caster.
This would then boil down to a contest of wills, and the stronger mage would
win. However, unless the victim is especially well controlled, the panic of
finding themselves sinking would make focusing more difficult, so beating the
casting water mage would require a lot of skill.
Your best bet is to be careful if you feel the need to chase down a
water mage. Do not let them get far enough
ahead of you to have time to cast this spell, or allow yourself to be caught
monologuing whilst standing still.
Enhancing the spell: Enhancing the basic spell is mainly done by only attempting
it in a favourable location. Adding water
to dry ground before casting can help, as can breaking up hard ground.
Changing Winds 1669 a.S.
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