Scrolls (Borost)

From Bestiary of the Hypogriph

Scrolls are a tool and occasionally artifact used in magic.

The compilation of certain incantations into scrolls offers a far safer alternative to prospective spellcasters. Scrolls must generally be written by the individual who intends to cast the enclosed spell, as learning the secrets of the scroll of another is almost impossible.

File:Dwaerkar mage composing a scroll.jpg
A Dwaerkar scholar, depicted amidst the composition of a scroll.

Scroll-writing is considered one of the key arts of Magic. A scroll offers an incantation, generally written in the Holy Language of the scroll-writer, which the spellcaster may utilize as an aid in spellcasting. The use of scrolls and their incantations allows mages to consistently cast oddly specific spells.

Expert spellcasters largely possess a better understanding of the mechanics of scroll-writing, and of their own scrolls. For this reason, their scrolls are generally more potent than those of a novice or an apprentice.

The words on a scroll generally appear as a simple poem to one who does not understand it. In truth, these words hold deep personal meaning to the original scroll-writer. Speaking the words themselves without the original understanding results in nothing -- it is necessary to understand the writing on the scroll in the mindset of the original author, a task that is generally impossible.

The use of scrolls in spellcasting remains beholden to a spellcaster's focus and concentration. However, the failure of a scroll-casted spell is far safer than the failure of a mind-casted spell, as scrolls are generally written with a number of fail-safes in order to mitigate the harmful impacts of that all-too-frequent scenario.

Below is a sample scroll, translated into the reader's language:

Bring to me the One
Who claims to be Temporal --
Temporal is but a Word,
And a Word is but Air --

โ€” High Priest Zalft Druleithien, in Aeternum, from Sayings of the Mountain Priests, used to assume Ethereal properties.

A List of scrolls is available in the General Collection.

Mind-casting[edit | edit source]

Mind-casting, also known as free-handing, refers to the practice of spellcasting without the use of scrolls. Because of the intense concentration required to execute a spell, mind-casting is an extremely dangerous activity, prone to many dangerous side-effects and unintended consequences. It is generally agreed that mind-casting is the leading source of death in prospective mages and spellcasters.

Unfortunately, the idea of mind-casting has become intertwined with legend, and is thus highly romanticized. This is the result of mind-casting being associated with more powerful spells and sorceries, as mages must become masters at their craft before successfully engaging in the practice. For this reason, mind-casting has been outlawed in most of Borost.