As you walk into the study and stand before the set of shelves relating to Post-graduate studies for the first time, you offer a quick greeting to Sekiri, before asking if there was any material relating to enchanting.
Sekiri snorts and answers "Do I look like a monkey?" Suddenly he looks around quickly, and adds "I mean a librarian, of course. Now that you've graduated, you're going to have to do a few more things for yourself." Eventually, you find the appropriate slim volume and sit down to read.
Firstly, What is enchanting?
Enchanting is a process whereby some of the thaumic fluxes that abound on Discworld are placed inside a physical item in order to improve it in some way. The effects of enchanting on an item depend on what type of item it is.
If a piece of clothing, armour, or jewellery is enchanted, the enchantment increases the durability of the item, making it more resistant to damage. It can easily double the strength of that item, depending on what it is and what enchanting level is achieved.
With weapons however, enchanting takes on another role. In addition to increased durability, enchanting a weapon provides two other effects. The first of these is that any enchanted weapon will deal significantly more damage than its non-enchanted counterpart, with some estimating their combat effectiveness almost doubled. Whether or not that is the case, the results are certainly easy to see.
Secondly, almost in return for that additional damage, the weapon becomes more difficult to use. Whether or not it is beneficial overall most likely comes down to individual circumstances, but often, some users actually prefer more difficult to use weapons, to increase the chances of a skills improvement.
In the past, there have been a few misconceptions about enchanting. First, some have believed in error that artificially lowering the weigh of an item with Gryntard's Feathery Reliever
will make enchanting easier. This is not the case, nor does enchanting improve the effectiveness of armour or shields.
When a wizard or witch examines an item that has been enchanted, they will be able to see a certain level of octarine glow. The important thing to note is that these so called 'levels' merely approximate the actual amount of enchantment in an item, and represent markers of a sort on a continuous enchantment scale. That is to say two items that both glow an intense octarine likely have a different level of enchantment within that level range. One can often use a thaumometer to measure this difference on heavier items.
Nonetheless, these 'levels' on the scale of enchantment are as follows:
- It occasionally pulses with octarine light.
- It emits a slight octarine glow.
- It softly pulses in dull octarine shades.
- It gives off a steady, but dull, octarine glow.
- It gives off a steady octarine glow.
- It glows an intense octarine.
- It emits a bright octarine colour.
- It brightly pulses octarine.
- It glows brilliant octarine shades.
- It radiates pure octarine brilliance.
Any item with an enchantment over the indicator of steady octarine glow will continuously radiate thaums and degenerate over time back to a steady glow. Items which have been deluded into thinking they are something else can hold their enchantment to one additional level, or an intense octarine glow.
The degeneration takes place constantly, even when the item in question is not being used. Because the different levels are not discrete and can indicate a reasonable range of enchantment, exactly how long it takes will depend on how far into that stage you are in. As a rough guide, most items will lose a full stage of enchanting in around two weeks.
An item can be enchanted using the spells Brother Happalon's Elementary Enchanting
, and Master Glimer's Amazing Glowing Thing
. Witches can also enchant items using their own spell. The key difference between these three methods is stage of enchantment which can be reached.
With Brother Happalon's, a wizard will only be able to reach softly pulses on the majority of items. Only rarely will any item reach levels above that, and many items will not enchant beyond that of a slight glow. Of course, if a wizard does not have sufficient skill then they will not be able to reach this level. The advantage of this spell is that it is easy and requires only a thaumic funnel to cast.
Using their arts, some very highly skilled witches can enchant some items to the level of intense. Most witches with this spell are able to enchant items at least to the level of a steady octarine glow. In any case, their spell is relatively inexpensive to cast, and they can enchant to the level at which items begin to degrade, so this can be quite a useful option.
Finally, Master Glimer's can be used on any item that already has at least some enchantment. It is generally used where it is particularly advantageous to enchant an item to the highest possible level, that of radiating pure octarine brilliance. The most commonly enchanted items are certainly weapons, and the spell is in regular use to keep them topped up to that level as they degrade.
Obviously, as this spell takes a full handful of purple mineral powder to cast, it is usually only used where warranted. For a skilled wizard, it will typically take between three and five casts of the spell, depending on the weight, to enchant an item from a steady glow to what is usually known as 'radianced'. Many enchanters also prefer to do their enchanting in an area of high background magic, as this is known to increase the power of spells, and may reduce the casts required.
Purple mineral powder can be gained by pulverising purple mineral nuggets with a hammer. You can purchase the nuggets from the Guild of Alchemists in Ankh-Morpork, or the House of Magic in Creel Springs. Alternatively, purple mineral powder can sometimes be found flowing through the streams of Blue Moon Park in Bes Pelargic.
Closing the volume, you head back over to the bookshelves.