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Tw2 art Triss casting spells

Magic plays a large and central role in the witcher universe. It is used not only by witchers, but by the many mages, priests, druids and myriad other magical creatures that inhabit the literature. Magic is used by harnessing the power of Chaos. While a few simple spells, like a witcher's sign can be used by anyone, only those born with the power, known as Sources, are capable of truly wielding its incredible power.

What is magic?[]

There are multiple scholarly definitions of the term magic. I could cite them all, pointing out their various inconsistencies and pondering which should be considered most correct, but I will not. Instead, I will borrow the words I heard from my own mistress, when I was a young and inexperienced sorceress and put forth a similar question.

Magic is oftentimes referred to as "the Art" This is no coincidence. Magic is perceived by many as an elite discipline requiring artistry and talent, and indeed very few possess the immense creative abilities needed to wield it. Those with magical talent can use it to create things of awe and beauty- wonders without which the world would certainly be a much more miserable place. Therefore, those who name magic a beautiful blessing, brought forth into this world by the Conjunction of the Spheres, are in a sense correct.
Magic has also been called chaos incarnate: a primal, dangerous force, merciless and destructive. In the hands of the unwary it becomes a key that can open the forbidden door, behind which lies ruin and destruction. Therefore, those who say that magic is a curse born of chaos during the Conjunction of the Spheres that will doom this world are also correct.
Finally, according to others, magic is science-that is, knowledge which can only be acquired through extensive study, discipline, and hard work. In this view, magic is progress. It is a process of constant advancement initiated during the Conjunction of the Spheres which brings development, eliminates the ailments of this world, provides answers to the questions that plague mankind, broadens minds, and introduces innovation. It is therefore also correct to say that magic is its own particular science.
In the end, magic is all three of the above. It is Art, Chaos, and Science: a blessing, a curse, and progress. It all depends on who calls upon it, and for what purpose.

Magic stems from nature. It is in the earth we walk upon, in the fire burning in its heart, in the air we breathe, and in the water which brings life and which flows within us. If you happen to be gifted with the particular talent, all you need do is reach out your hand and grasp the magic all around you.

Branches of magic[]

Throughout the series, there are many types branches of magic, with mages usually having more natural affinity for one area and thus study more extensively, though they can have skills in another. Some though are considered taboo and have been banned by certain mage organizations.

The suffix "-kinesis" involves physical manipulation of given element (like inflaming objects with pyrokinesis or moving them around with telekinesis), while "mancy" generally refers to communication with and interpretation of it (like learning people's fates by fire-gazing via pyromancy or forcing the dead to speak through necromancy).

Divided by element

Mind-based magic (psionics)

Air-based magic

Earth-based magic

  • Geokinesis
  • Geomancy

Water-based magic

Fire-based magic

Divination magic

Banned magic

Magic users[]

The Witcher[]

In The Witcher, the most prominent use of magic is the Signs used by Geralt and other witchers, but it is also used by mages, like Azar Javed and, notably, Triss Merigold, a sorceress. There are also items and places imbued with magical qualities.

Glossary entry[]

"Magic is the art of bending the power of Chaos to one's will. Practitioners of the art must master a vast and complicated corpus of knowledge and, it seems, women have a special predisposition for it. Sorcerers seek out talented children and teach them.
The Power bound in spell formulae may be used for healing, teleportation, destruction, creating illusions, and altering form. The most famous spells are named after their creators, e.g. Alzur's Thunder or Merigold's Hailstorm. Thanks to magic, it is also possible to create magical glyphs and amulets, such as the witchers' medallions.
The witchers' Signs are very simple spells, mostly kinetic or mind-influencing. To use them, one needs concentrated will and a hand gesture. Casting Signs is not time-consuming, so witchers use them when fighting monsters.
Magically gifted children are born all over the world. They are called Sources. The Brotherhood of Sorcerers was charged with finding and training such children. Descendants of Lara Dorren are a special case — their magical gifts are very strong. They can travel through time and space, and release the pure energy of Chaos. These powers are wild and difficult to control, though, and are activated in moments of stress, often surprising their possessor.
The power used to cast spells is drawn from the elements. Fire is the best but simultaneously most dangerous elemental source. Mages who specialize in the magic of fire often achieve great power, but they pay a price for it: as fire addicts, they often suffer burns or even die engulfed in flames. The essence of fire becomes their essence, which makes them vulnerable to water."


Witcher signs[]

Other magical items[]

These items may or may not be truly magical:

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings[]

The book "The Art of Magic" provides a journal entry about magic.

Journal entry[]

The Power the sorcerers can command is commonly called magic. In the opinion of a certain sorceress I'm acquainted with, magic is chaos, an art and a science, a curse, a blessing and progress. However poetic it may sound, it is hard to find a better simile. Everything depends on the person that uses that Power, of course. Still, it is a fact that it can be used to achieve things not possible to normal humans. The witchers' Signs are also a form of magic, but sorcerers look at them with disdain, since they cannot be compared to the forces the sorcerers themselves command. Without magic our world would certainly be less interesting, and many beautiful things would be forgotten.

Gwent: The Witcher Card Game[]

Price of Power reward tree entries[]

Scroll 1: When the many worlds of the multiverse aligned, it is said that potent magic, quite unlike anything yet known, gushed forth into existence from various magical Planes. Merging with the energy already present, it embedded itself deep within all matter, forever altering the shape of our reality and the future of the world.
Scroll 2: The Elemental Planes from which it came are said to contain strange beings formed from powerful magical energy. It is widely accepted that these domains⁠—and the beings within—are the source of all magic, with each of them possessing its own fundamental Element.
Scroll 3: These Prime Elements comprise Air, Earth, Fire, and Water, with each embodying unique properties and requiring varying levels of proficiency to control. In addition to these fundamentals, there is a fifth, more complex essence known as Ether, which derives from the mysterious Astral Plane and is used in such magics as teleportation and suppression.
Scroll 4: Those with an aptitude for magic can, with enough dedication, learn how to draw energy from each Plane, usually achieving efficiency in only one of the Elements. In the Continent's history, it is said only a single mage has ever been able to master all four Primary Elements, illustrating the determination and talent required for such a feat. No one, however, has yet mastered all five.
Chest 1: If absolute power corrupts absolutely, then reason can be found in the anxiety surrounding the subject of magic. For thousands of years, those craving power have used the mystical energy as a core component to their dastardly deeds. From Nilfgaard's abuse of outlawed necromancy and alchemical warfare to the twisted sacrificial rites of the Skellige Isles, Chaos has constantly been exploited without constraint. Indeed, one need only look briefly at the dark side of magic's history to understand the contempt held by many toward it.
Chest 2: It was long before Radovid V's reign when the prejudice toward mages first reared its ugly head. Wanting to paint the whole practice in a negative light, a clutch of iconoclasts started to refer to magic as witchcraft, drawing particular attention to the deeds of the corrupt few. Soon, stories of wicked witches and their sinister schemes spread far and wide, vilifying all those who used sorcery⁠—both good and bad⁠—and stoking the flames of widespread persecution. From commoners to aristocrats, folk started regarding magic as a defilement of the natural order, with all those wielding it seen as conceited wretches, deviant and depraved. Soon after, the general perception of magic shifted quite violently, witch hunts became commonplace, and pyres began to burn brightly across the Continent, consuming the guilty and innocent alike.
Chest 3: Over the years, the persecution of mages gave birth to many independent contractors specialized in rooting out and punishing all magic users. Radovid's army of Witch Hunters aside, none were known to have been more successful than Octavia Hale—the self-proclaimed "Witchfinder"⁠—and her steadfast sons, Fabian and Ignatius. The Hales were said to have an unparalleled knack for tracking the scent of witchcraft and tallied up an impressive number of profitable hunts during their active years. In fact, their methods became so dependable that, in taverns across the Northern Realms, it was often jested: if there's yet to be a witch burned in your town, 'tis only because the Hales have yet to visit.