Winds is an advanced defensive Wind spell,
similar to but more powerful and versatile than the simpler
Insubstantial Shield spell. Its main
purpose is likewise to deflect ranged attacks, mundane or
magical. However, instead of defending against attacks from all directions
as Insubstantial Shield does, its
effects are typically focused in a small region, creating a much stronger
defense from attacks coming from that direction, capable of turning away any
projectiles that one might reasonably expect to be aimed at a mage in battle.
However, it does have the disadvantage of leaving the mage open to potential
attacks from elsewhere. Magi who are more powerful would be able to cover a
larger area with the spell without weakening its effect, literally erecting a
wall of Wind between themselves and their
attackers. With enough skill, it is even possible to extend the affected region
such that it completely surrounds oneself, negating the main disadvantage of
this spell compared to Insubstantial Shield.
Spell Effect. An
object's cár'áll is not separate from its
surroundings, and thus is influenced by the elements in its surroundings. A
projectile in flight is completely surrounded by
air, which consists mainly of
Wind ounía, thus allowing a
Wind mage some measure of control over it.
The spell draws Wind ounía into the target
region from the surrounding area, creating a region of
air where the influence of
Wind is much greater than usual. This is
further enhanced by the caster, who will also emphasize the influence of
Wind's property of movement, as well as
define a direction of movement. A projectile entering the target region will
come under unusually strong Wind influence,
especially with regard to its movement. This causes it to be deflected off its
original course and into one which, assuming the caster is relatively competent,
should miss the caster. - Simply put, the spell generates a region of strong
Wind that knocks aside projectiles entering
In an actual combat situation, one would most likely have very little time to
react to a ranged attack of the nature the spell is meant to defend against.
Thus, the usual procedure is to first set the
air in the target region into motion, by increasing the influence of
Wind and the property of movement in
particular. This is not very different from casting
Conjure Wind, though in this case most magi prefer to have the
Wind take a circular path, like with
Insubstantial Shield. The time required
to do so should be almost negligible, and while the
winds conjured at this stage is not as
strong as they will be when the casting is done, they do provide some defense.
Then, while sustaining the effect, the mage draws
Wind ounía from the surroundings into the
target region as quickly as possible, boosting its strength.
The more risky way, which some favour, is basically the reverse of what is
outlined above. Wind ounía is first drawn
into the target region, which, due to the increased
Wind influence, could also result in
Wind being generated. The mage then
strengthens the Wind, or conjures it in the
unlikely event of there being no Wind
present, and takes control of it.
One should also make sure the spell is ended properly. If the spell is simply
'released', it will result in an explosion of
Wind that might injure the caster. Fortunately, in most cases the mage is
merely stunned for a few moments, though in battle even this can be quite
dangerous. The correct way to end the spell is to disperse the excess ounía in
the target region, away from the caster.
Not yet defined.
target is a region of air between the mage
and the projectile or projectiles the mage is to be defended against. Initially,
a mage would normally learn to affect a more or less circular region about two
peds across. As one grows
stronger, one would be able to affect a larger region, and with enough skill,
regions of different shapes, which might be more useful in some situations.
Completely surrounding oneself with the spell effect, as previously mentioned,
is one such possibility.
are typically not used for this spell, except when one is still learning it, in
order to minimise casting time. When they are,
willow leaves are usually preferred.
Tareptail seeds are also used
sometimes, scattered into the air while
casting the spell.
Wind School, Physical Representation of Sphere
Range. It is not
inconceivable for a mage to be able to create the effect a great distance away,
assuming he or she is sufficiently powerful. Usually though, there is no reason
for it to be cast any more than an arm's length away from the mage.
Casting Time. The
effect should manifest almost instantly once the mage commences the casting of
the spell. It will take a few
blinks to reach full strength however. Ending the spell should take no more
than a blink.
being a Sphere III spell, Shielding Winds is largely based on Sphere I
principles, and has the similar limitation of having to be constantly sustained
by the caster. The duration is thus however as long as the caster can sustain
it, which for a mage at Level VII should be a minute or two, or much longer if
one does not mind complete exhaustion. It is however not necessary to sustain
the spell for more than a few
blinks in most cases.
Counter Measures/Enhancing Measures.
It is generally advisable to not be in a situation where one has to use this
spell in the first place. If one nonetheless ends up in such a situation, there
are a few things one can do to improve one's chances of survival.
First, if one expects to have to use this spell, one could have the reagent in
hand and ready for use whenever it might be needed. The use of a reagent of
course helps the mage to cast better. It can be quite troublesome to hold the
reagent for too long however. Learning to react very quickly is helpful too, and
not only for this spell. With regard to the use of this spell though, a quick
reaction means being a lot more likely to have the spell up before the
projectile reaches the target. The alternative would be to cast the spell first,
then wait for the attack, which requires rather more energy. And, of course, the
further away one is from the attacker, the more time there will be to react, so
one should endeavour to be as far away from the attacker as possible, if not, as
mentioned earlier, in an unassailable position.
To get around such a defense without the use of magic,
attacking from several directions simultaneously has a relatively good chance of
working. For magi who cast the spell in anticipation of an attack, withholding
the attack is a good tactic if one is in no hurry. Trying to catch the mage
off-guard could also work. In addition, if one could somehow cause the mage to
lose control of the spell, there might be a small window during which the mage
might be more vulnerable.
For magi, the above also applies, but there are many other possibilities as
well, depending on one's element. Spells could be used to distract the mage and
prevent him or her from getting the spell up in time, or to break the caster's
concentration and end the spell, hopefully at the right time to let an attack
through. There are also spells that can directly injure the target instead of
producing a projectile to do so.
31st Awakening Earth 1667 a.S.
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