Selecting the next book on the shelf, you feel ready to get started on the topic of recharging. Sekiri seems to be sleeping in the chair behind his desk.
An artifact is an item which has its own magical properties that can be used by anyone of sufficient skill. There are a number of such magical artifacts that can be found on Discworld, and each has a different function, some of which are essential, and others which have no practical purpose.
Each type of artifact is used in a different manner. Staves are invoked, rings are twisted, and wands zapped. To successfully use an artifact, you will require a certain amount of skill in the relevant magic.items branch, with that required amount varying according to the type of artifact being used.
Each artifact has only has a very limited amount of charges, that number varying with each individual item. The more an item costs from a trader specialising in such items, such as Hobliet, the more charges it will have. Once an item has no charges left, it cannot be used until it is recharged.
In order for a wizard to recharge a magical artifact they must have been taught how to do so. This will only take place once the wizard has 100 levels of the magic.items branch. The reason learning this skill is restricted until then is that it truly is one of the most dangerous things any wizard can attempt.
With that step completed, a wizard must know the artifact well indeed before they can recharge. This means that they must have cast the spell Fabrication Classification Identification
at least once on an artifact of that type. It is not necessary for it be the particular item in question, and nor is it required to do it more than once.
Once those two steps are out of the way, a wizard can now recharge a magical artifact, provided that they have a source of power to use. The amount of power required for a single charge varies considerably from artifact to artifact. In fact, the highest level artifact requires over 300 times the power that the lowest do. How much power you attempt to recharge with is critical in whether you will be successful, as you will see shortly.
The source of power for recharging can be one of three things.
The first, and most commonly used of these, is purple mineral powder. Purple mineral powder is the most efficient and powerful of the sources of power, and is the most often used source. It can be obtained by pulverising purple mineral nuggets, which can be purchased from the Guild of Alchemists in Ankh-Morpork, or the House of Magic in Creel Springs for approximately $68. Each nugget will yield approximately 25 pinches of purple mineral powder, though it varies from nugget to nugget. Alternatively, purple mineral powder can sometimes be found flowing through the streams of Blue Moon Park in Bes Pelargic by those willing to search for it. Some of those who are often on sell that powder at around $100 per handful.
The second source of power is dust obtained from Sandelfon's law altar, which can be obtained with only a little time. This source is however highly limited, and fairly weak, with it requiring 100 pinches to equal 1 pinch of purple mineral powder. This then, is only for very low level artifacts.
Finally, using the spell Rubayak's Power Storage
, a wizard can channel their own guild points into a black sea shell for use in recharging. In using it for recharging, the sea shell and all of the power stored within is used for recharging, which can have some dangers for the user. Needless to say, while inexpensive (the shells cost around $2), this method requires a lot of time and effort.
The amount of power required to charge an item is generally measured in pinches of purple mineral powder, as this is the most commonly used. Any power source that is on the caster's immediate person will be used in the attempt to recharge. So if you only want to use 5 pinches of powder, make sure the rest of it is safely put away!
As mentioned, recharging can be a dangerous process. In certain circumstances, an artifact can explode, causing significant damage to the wizard. The higher the level the artefact, the more damage caused, from as little as a few hundred, to over 5k hit points damage.
The first of these circumstances is if the wizard simply lacks sufficient skill to recharge the item in question. If they fail a skills check on the attempt, the artifact will explode into a million pieces. Considering the proximity of the wizard, this is not a good thing.
The second circumstance that causes an artifact to explode is that the artifact is not currently (or otherwise) capable of accepting another charge. Each artifact tends to have a maximum number of charges it can safely hold. If the wizard attempts to go past this limit, it is likely to explode. A particular factor in this is that the number of charges an item can accept falls with each use or recharge of the item; no artifact can be recharged indefinitely. The spell Crondor's Fabulous Detection
provides an indication as to whether the artifact itself can accept another charge safely, completely leaving aside the skill of the wizard at recharging. You are far more likely to hit this item limit if you put multiple charges into the artifact at once, so one at a time is suggested. Eventually, artifacts will reach the point at which not even a single charge can be safely placed in it, at which point another attempt would cause it to explode.
Recharging is not a safe process by any means of the imagination. If you know the artifacts in question well enough, and take caution in your approach, this risk can be minimised, but rarely eliminated. But, if you're set on recharging, you will need to know a bit more about the artifacts, including how much power you need per charge, and what the damage is likely to be.
Many of the artifacts that have been developed have very little use, whatever their original creators may have intended. Those will be dealt with only briefly. Please note that while every attempt has been made to ensure the information about these artifacts is accurate, it cannot be guaranteed.
Blue Crystal Ring
or Ring of Recall
This is an artifact which will take you instantly to a (mostly) random location when it is twisted, with that location seemingly more likely to be one where there is a high level of background magic. It is useful in any number of situations where a quick exit is required. To use it with any confidence requires around 200 bonus in magic.items.worn.ring.
This ring is very difficult to recharge with a reasonable number of charges, and you may well be better off buying a new ring. It requires 20 pinches of purple mineral powder per charge to recharge, and failures are highly likely to be fatal, with damages in excess of 3k hit points reported. As a rough guide, a blue crystal ring in store that costs around $350 should have around 11 charges.
Pink Crystal Ring
or Ring of Energy, Ring of Vigor, Ring of Power
These rings restore 50, 150 and 250 guild points to the user respectively. Unfortunately, these rings now consume 25, 50 and 75 guild points to use respectively, making the lower level rings of dubious use. The higher the level the ring, the more expensive it will be to buy and recharge, and the more damage possible on a failed recharge. A wizard can tell which type of pink crystal ring it is once they have cast Fabrication Classification Identification
A failure to recharge any of these rings is potentially fatal, with even the lowest level of these, the Ring of Energy, having the potential to do 3k hit points damage. The rings take 10, 20 and 30 pinches of purple mineral powder respectively to recharge.
or Frottjor's Staff
This staff instantaneously casts an equivalent of the spell Kamikaze Oryctolagus Flammula
(also popularly known as firebunnies) on all targets in the room when it is invoked. Each target will have an initial wave of 6 fire bunnies thrown at him regardless of the skill of the user, making the average damage around 400 hps.
This staff is not all that difficult to recharge, and the damage for failure is rarely fatal to all but the most unhealthy of wizards. Normal failure damage rarely rises above 500-800 hit points, and the staff requires 2 pinches of purple mineral powder per charge. While you can buy them with more, attempting to place more than 5 charges in a red staff is not recommended, even when new.
or Wand of Eternal Light
This wand is the highest level of all the artifacts and is used to confer light onto an object. This object will then become a permanent light source that does not drain the wearer or holder's energy at all. The more times the object is successfully zapped with the wand the brighter the object will be, with between 4 and 6 times providing enough light to see in complete darkness.
The wand is also quite difficult to use, with in-excess of guild maxed skill recommended for regular users.
If unsuccessful in using a wand, a rather expensive charge will be wasted with nothing to show. It is also possible to successfully use a balsa wand, but instead of light, have darkness added to the item. This darkness will immediately return the light level of the object to nil, regardless of how many light adding zaps had been added and the user will be possessed for a time. It is therefore possible for a lot of time, effort and money on behalf of the user to be wasted with one of these zaps.
Permanent light sources are of course, highly sought after, and some wizards have made a potentially lucrative business out of creating them, particularly with the difficulties involved. A wand with no charges will be sold by Hobliet for $226, with each charge that the wand holds costing an additional $75 on top of that. It requires 60 pinches of purple mineral powder to recharge a wand once. Any failure is almost certainly fatal, with greater than 5k damage reported.
or Wand of Healing
This wand is used to heal the target. One use of an oak wand will generally heal the recipient between 200 and 500 hit points. The oak wand is a very low level artifact, and the maximum cost in the shop is around $6, which should have approximately 15 charges.
It is very easy to recharge, taking only one pinch of powder for every 5 charges, however the maximum number of charges the wand can hold drops very quickly. For instance, the first recharge of an item may be able to restore the original 15 charges, but a second use of recharge will likely blow up the wand before it can even use 1 pinch of powder or 5 charges. The damage taken on an unsuccessful recharge is negligible.
or Wand of Pickling
This allows a user to pickle perishable items such as body parts and vegetables, in order to prevent them from decaying. Essential for most wizards, they can either be bought, or conjured up through the spell Collatrap's Instant Pickling Stick
. If you really wish to recharge one anyway, they will take one pinch of powder for every 5 charges and cause minimal damage on a failure.
or Wand of Infestation Removal
This can be used by a wizard to rid themselves or a target of fleas. It is far cheaper to take a bath or a flea tablet to rid oneself of fleas, however there are times when this wand is more convenient or stylish. Each charge on the wand requires about 3 pinches of powder to recharge, and the damage taken from failure is not excessive, around a thousand hit points.
or Wand of Artefact Probing
This wand returns the level and charges left on another magical artefact. Recent spell enhancements have rendered this artifact more or less obsolete, as the spell Fabrication Classification Identification
can now be used to report the number of charges on an artifact.
Long White Wand
or Skjodor's Wand
This wand is an offensive wand which can do one of four attacks depending on the type of Rhoksial Crystal attached to it. The crystals of colour blue, yellow, green and red create blasts of frost, noxious gas, acid or fire attacks respectively. The attacks can be defended against using the Buffer spell
. The damage which the attacks can do seems to be capped relatively low, and both wand and crystals have limited charges. If you do want to recharge one, it will set you back 4 pinches of purple powder per charge, and do up to 1.5k damage on failure.
or Wand of Magic Detection
This merely replicates (in blue) what wizards naturally see when they look at an enchanted item. This wand is of course no use to wizards, only to those unable to see octarine.
or Wand of Garlic Breath
The yellow wand gives the target garlic breath, same as wizards often get after failing some spells.
Black Fluted Wand
or Wand of Cancellation
This wand simply removes all charges from another magical artifact. You might want to do this to deprive an opponent of an artifact, or your own for recharge purposes.
or Wand of Anima Gauging
This wand tells you the highest attribute or stat of the target (eg strength, intelligence etc). It only gives general information.
or Wand of Striking
This is another offensive wand which directly causes damage when zapped at a target. The damage is very limited. It requires 1 pinch of purple mineral powder for every 2 charges to recharge and failures are unlikely to cost much more than a hundred or two hit points.