"Now, I think I briefly mentioned a couple of these. If I did, I'll probably be repeating myself, but I'm used to that."
"In addition to being able to cast spells from memory, membership in the Wizards' Guild will eventually allow you to access a number of other abilities, known as 'commands', once you've developed the required skills. I'll quickly run you through them, and maybe even demonstrate a few for you."
"As you will no doubt notice, I don't necessarily know exactly when you have enough skill for these commands. That may be due to my advancing years, but also at least partially to the fact that most of these commands will be taught to you by the Lecturer in Recent Runes. He more or less does things his own way, and he almost seems to tailor the requirements to individual students. When you think you're ready, go and wander down his way, and see if he is willing to teach them to you. He is usually, though not always, located in the vicinity of the Great Hall."
"Remembering things obviously isn't my strong suit. But as you already know, you can 'remember' spells from a spell book. Obviously, you've found one of these now, when you went to the Gym, but there are many others found in the Unseen University Library, and also in the libraries of the Illusionary Institute of Learning and the Bes Pelargic guild. We'll go through those once we get through the commands."
"What we haven't covered yet, is that you can also remember spells from a magical scroll. These may be available directly from other Wizards, in some personal or club Wizard libraries, or, as much as I dislike the practice of making magic widely available, from some shops around the Disc." Sekiri looks obviously annoyed by this, and pauses for a few moments before continuing.
"This convenience however, comes at a cost. You will need a certain amount of skill to be able to remember from scrolls instead of spellbooks, which gets more difficult the larger the spell. You will be given more details about this during your graduate studies."
"There is nothing more to the forget command than we have already covered, it simply removes the spell from your memory. These commands, if you didn't notice exactly when, were taught to you by Ragnel when you joined us."
"Cast we certainly covered. I'll just reiterate that the number of guild points cast uses is dependant on the spell you are attempting to cast. You will be pointed towards some resources about how many different spells use in your graduate studies. The only other thing to add is that there are a number of ways you can cast a spell, including using components in a particular location, and casting directly from a scroll, rather than memory."
"Spellcheck is almost certainly the first command that the Lecturer in Recent Runes, or Runesy as I like to call him, will teach you. He should do so by the time you have learnt your base 5 levels of magic or so."
"Spellcheck is an internal mental command that will probe a spell you currently have in your memory to, at its basic level, find out what skills and components a spell uses. Note that unlike 'components', spellcheck will not tell you whether the component is consumed. The spellcheck command can also be used at a deeper level, to 'fully' interrogate the spell in your memory. This spellcheck will aim to compare your skill levels in those methods used by the spell to those needed to cast it successfully. It will then report to you as to the likely outcome, such as you would almost certainly fail, or you might fail or succeed with equal likelihood, right up to you would most certainly succeed. There are five different results both above and below the equal likelihood stage."
"I can see you like that idea." You nod. "The limitation is that in order to get accurate results, you need a reasonable amount of skill in the special skill. That amount increases as the size of the spell does. If you don't have sufficient skill, you will still get results, but they may be misleading."
Sekiri chuckles and adds "In fact, even if you have sufficient special skill, and it is as perfectly accurate as far as that goes, you might say that the command itself lacks a little faith in you. That is, it somewhat underestimates your overall chances of successfully casting a spell, because it only considers each method in isolation. In practice, the interrelationships in the spell mean that if you succeed in one particular method, you get on a roll and receive a slight boost to your chances of succeeding at the next stage. Therefore, it is possible, though not necessarily likely, to succeed at a spell you have one of the later methods at most certainly fail, and a fairly good chance of success in a spell that all stages are at equal likelihood, whatever probability theory might say."
"If, of course, the spell is likely to kill you if you fail, and there are some that are, I would suggest that being even more modest
than spellcheck might be in order."
"The spellcheck command requires 25 guild points to check a spell, with an additional 25 guild points per method used in the spell if you spellcheck it fully."
"Contemplate is a command which allows you to enter into a trance where you contemplate intricacies of a particular spell, by feeding it all your magical energies, i.e. guild points. It's a deep trance, only seen elsewhere on a starving dog looking at food on the other side of a glass window, and you cannot do anything else while in said trance."
"Theoretically, and historically, it is possible to gain a TM of one of the methods used in the spell while contemplating it. In the here and now, however, which I suppose you might be more interested in than those of us living in the past, your chances of gaining a TM are far higher when you simply cast the spell itself."
"If you do want to try it, even just to zone out for a while, you should note that if you attempt to contemplate a second spell before the last one you contemplated is fully sated, you will feel like you've been mentally knocked around for a period, with a corresponding decrease in intelligence."
"Runes seems reasonably inconsistent with this one, but he probably should teach it to you at around 30 levels of special, or one or two levels above. If he doesn't, he may just not like you."
"Ah, octograve. This one is quite simple. Using your staff like so.." Sekiri marks out the vertices of an octogram, then traces the octogram. As he concentrates, an octogram begins to glow on the floor. "That's pretty much all there is to it. An octogram is required as a focus in a number of different spells."
"The usual practice is for the knowledge of how to make a proper magical octogram to become apparent to you reportedly once you reach anywhere from 40 to 50 levels of special, or perhaps even one or two levels above."
"It will cost you 50 of your guild points to create a magical octogram."
"Scribing allows you to make a magic scroll of a spell that you have in your memory, by imprinting it onto a piece of paper. You will need a piece of paper and some form of writing implement to create a scroll. Some of the practical details of scribing require a bit more knowledge than we have gone through so far, so we will discuss magic scrolls in more detail in your graduate studies
"To scribe a spell will take an equivalent amount of your guild points as casting said spell. Runes should be willing to teach you the command when you reach around 50 levels of scroll, though as always, he may be picky and require an additional level or two."
"Scrolls can be dangerous if mishandled, so please make sure you do not carry around too many until your graduate studies are completed."
"As yes, recharge, let us have a demonstration, shall we?" Sekiri stands and walks over to his desk, where he gets a pink crystal ring and a handful of purple mineral powder
from a drawer. Sekiri seems to focus on the pink crystal ring and the handful of purple mineral powder
, which crumples into nothingness. Suddenly the pink crystal ring explodes in Sekiri's face. There is a sudden white flash around Sekiri. A large copper wall shield clatters to the ground. You see a dark shape appear behind Sekiri Thanatos and Someone says: MY, WE'VE BEEN A BIT CARELESS, HAVEN'T WE? SHALL WE POPPADOM TO THE NEXT DIMENSION?
After you stand there in shock for a moment, the 'corpse' of Sekiri Thanatos suddenly stands and grins at you. "Just a mite of illusion there, but, the important lesson is that the illusion was in fact a recreation of an actual death. Recharge is undoubtedly the most deadly command known, and using it has directly caused hundreds of deaths."
"We will cover artifacts and recharging in your post-graduate studies, when you will have both the command and at least a chance of survival. In the meantime, you won't be taught the command until you have around 100 levels of general magic.items skill."
Finally, as your heart stops racing from the illusion that Sekiri no doubt enjoyed immensely, he returns to the armchair and continues. "We have now covered all of the commands that will be yours as a member of the Wizards' Guild. You should be aware however, that there are other commands that can be taught to you outside the guild that you will find quite useful. While the guild itself does not teach them, you should be able to learn them from other Wizards once you are ready to learn them, or even if you must, from others such as Thieves or Warriors."
Sekiri hands you a slim book. "This is a handy list of some, but not necessarily all, of some of the other non-magic commands a Wizard might find useful. It has a few details of each command in the 'help' section of the volume." You read the contents page of the book and see:
: Bash, chop, hack, kick, pierce, punch, shove, slash, slice, smash, stab, and trip;
: Bandage, fix, leatherwork, repair;
: Ambush, conceal, hide, palm, peek, plant, shoplift, slip, snatch, sneak, steal and unhide;
: Judge, value, vurdere.
Sekiri smiles and rises to his feet. "I think that's about it for now, you're probably ready to head out and get started on the road to becoming a fully fledged Wizard. If you come back a bit later I'll take you through a few maps of our more important campuses you might like to visit, and their libraries."
Sekiri stands there blankly, swaying from side to side as if he were a palm tree in a strong breeze. You momentarily begin to move towards the pills again, but he seems to refocus on you on his own and continues.