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The Magister was a personal champion of Mystra, devoted to spreading the use of magic. It was a lonely office, whose holder was often besieged by challengers looking to take it for themselves.[1]

Duties[]

The central task of the Magister was to spread the use and teaching of magic, encouraging its use, and promoting its availability and utility. Specific Magisters sometimes received different tasks, but the common thread was always spreading magic.[1]

Though a number of magisters, from Shornthal Imynster[2] up to Maldiglas Turntower[3] devoted notable amounts of effort to influencing rulers, by 1370 DR, the Magister was strongly advised to steer clear of politics.[1]

Succession[]

The most common manner of acquiring the title of the Magister was by slaying the previous holder with magic. Duels by 1370 could be simple spell duels, or they could be nonfatal, when Azuth sought to shield the Magister or the challenger from death. In those cases, Azuth converted all their spells into a force that would force a green flame provided by the deity of wizardry closer or further to the challengers; a challenger touched by the flame would lose the office. Azuth would heal both mages, and then spirit away the loser, with their wits broken but otherwise protected from all things, to some remote location for about a month. At the end of this time, they would regain their wits.[4]

The Magister was not allowed to refuse a duel, but Azuth could judge that a duel could not be fair, to prevent a succession of challengers from wearing down the incumbent. In such cases, the god himself or some shadowstaves would cloak their location and perhaps teleport one or both parties to other locations.[4]

Question duels were also an option; challengers could instead ask each other obscure magical trivia, and by quizzing each other, demonstrate their superiority in arcane knowledge. Azuth was the sole judge of such duels; clergy of Azuth and Savras were granted knowledge of the duel's questions and answers when it happened, but they did not receive knowledge of the challengers' identities.[4]

Though by 1370 DR trial by combat was still a means of acquiring the office,[4] by 1372 DR, Mystra and Azuth had completely abandoned trial by combat as a method of succession.[5]

Whenever a Magister died to something other than another mage (or if the other mage slew that Magister and died in the process, or if their combat was far too one-sided for whatever reason), Azuth selected another mage whom he believed would work to spread magic, and offered them the office; it could be refused without disfavor.[6] Before the recorded Magisters, Mystra had made a number of offers herself.[6]

Other Magisters had voluntarily sought release from the office, judging they were not suited to it. When Mystra judged this to be honest, the Magisters could be made into Chosen of Mystra instead, or thrust directly into Mystra's Choice. This path had been selected by both Alvaerele Tasundrym and Azuth. They still went through Mystra's Choice upon death.[7]

Whenever a new Magister was named, every mage casting a spell at the moment felt a sudden, violent sensation; priesthood of Mystra, Azuth or Savras found a manifestation in their temples, where the symbol of the Magister appeared on all scrying surfaces, afterwards transforming into the mage sigil employed by the mage who had gained the office, for about ten minutes. Magisters who eschewed a sigil or whose sigil was too close to that of another mage instead got their name spelled out in Common.[8]

Relationships[]

Though the office made them targets for endless waves of ambitious mages, leading to the severing of many relationships, the Magister could count on a few groups to behave in specific ways. The clergy of Azuth and Mystra were generally allies of the Magister, while the clergy of Savras was unfriendly to them; nonetheless, even those of Savras took care not to antagonize the Magister, and might even be counted on to render a small amount of aid. The clergy of Velsharoon was a constant enemy, and they had attempted to trap, rather than kill, the Magister simply to prove the might of Velsharoon.[9]

Mystra ruled the Magister, though lightly, and seldom making pronouncements. Azuth, on the other hand, was known to advise the Magister, and appeared far more often than Mystra to them.[9]

Powers[]

Mystra conferred a plethora of powers upon the Magister, which she changed on occassion, in response to specific events.

Powers upon Succession[]

By 1370 DR, immediately upon becoming the Magister, a mage would have their brow encircled by silver fire; this granted their weapons the ability to strike and harm just about any creature, though it did not really improve their attacks. Furthermore, they gained a short-term immunity to all magic, and protection equivalent to an ironguard spell. The ironguard spell faded after nine days; the immunity to all magic stopped protecting against one school every four to seven months, though never against enchantment.[10] Mystra began granting strong immunities against magic starting in the Night of Fourteen Magisters, 4 Eleasias of the 709 DR.[11]

Constant Powers[]

By 1370 DR, Magisters were provided with magesight: a special insight into the Weave, allowing them to know when their own spellcasting was somehow impaired, when large magical discharges were nearby, or whenever anyone within 60 feet (18 meters) cast a spell. They could also sense wild magic and dead magic areas, the boundaries of sorcerous wards, magical traps, and untriggered spells within 90 feet (27 meters).[10]

By 1370 DR, the Magister could employ dimension door and water walk six times a day, they were always protected by feather fall and could levitate at will, without the need for spells, for instance, preventing them from falling into a chasm suddenly opening under their feet,[10] as was the cause of death of the Magister Horgyl Tusselvarr in the Year of the Private Tears, 1204 DR.[12] By concentrating, Magisters could activate true seeing at will. These abilities were not spells, and could be used at the same time as a spell.[10]

The Magister Onsilur Maerdrathom was imprisoned inside a kiira at some point prior to the 326 DR.[13] By 1370 DR, the Magister was immune to the spells imprisonment and sink; the Magister was also undetectable by any divination spells,[10] an ability that made some aspects of Athelzedar's rest redundant, developed by the Magister Imrul Athelzedar shortly before the 1354 DR.[14]

By 1370 DR, the Magister was immune to all glyphs, runes, symbols, and other such wards based on enchanted inscriptions. They could also cross through any barriers generated by spells less powerful than a limited wish, without the need to break them. They were also immune, much like the Chosen, to nine spells of their choice, which had to be of different power.[10]

Magisters Shornthal Imynster[2] and [[]] were recorded to have battled constructs during their time in office; by 1370 DR, the Magister was always intangible to all magical constructs and automatons.[10]

The Magister Tyvbolt Arsurath was struck insane by studying a magical mirror at some point before the Year of the Killing Rose, 544 DR.[15] After his fate, and that of a later Magister,[16] Mystra had granted the Magister absolute immunity to all mind-affecting magic, all enchantment spells, and all psionics, by 1370 DR. This ability exceeded the defense which Mystra granted her chosen, extending even to artifacts and to the powers of other divinities.[10] It could only be bypassed by the Magister's own doing;[17] Magister Veldrin Daerivyn had been known to accidentally drive himself near-catatonic shortly before his death.[18]

By 1370 DR, the Magister had a resistance to all magic that could nullify any spell just under half the time. At the Magister's option, the nullified spell could also be redirected back at the source or at a third party, or even turned into a surge of wild magic prior to redirection. No teleport spells or similar of theirs were subject to any chance of failure.[10]

Finally, a Magister could hear their own name whenever it was spoken anywhere in Faerûn, as well as the title of the Magister, much like the Chosen of Mystra. They could turn this ability off, but it turned back on whenever they awoke, which allowed them to sleep from time to time.[10]

Spellcasting[]

The spells of the Magister were also boosted in a number of ways. Those who would otherwise save themselves from the worst of the Magister's magic too narrowly were struck in full, due to the perfection granted to their magic. They also needed no material components to cast spells, only through development. They were able to cast any spell that took less than a full wizard's title to cast without moving a muscle.[19]

They were also granted up to nine spells of varying power, that once per day, they could cast without having prepared before. The selection could be changed only yearly.[19]

Magisters who specialized in a school of magic were able to change specialization with but three months of work. Most were not specialized in the first place, however.[19] They also regained their spells within minutes of study,[19] and were granted visions of any magic created by previous Magisters that resembled spells they were interested in developing. One specific spell, the mantle, which used to cause permanent degradation of the user's ability to protect themselves, had this requirement waived for the Magister.[19]

Greater Powers[]

A Magister could grant a target they touched the ability to cast a given spell. At their option, it could be cast thrice an hour for a tenday (a total of roughly 720 uses) or instead once for each year of their lives per year, with one less every year until fully fading. A third option was to allow it to be used twice a night, so long as the Moon was full. The Magister was forbidden, however, from informing the frequency bestowed, and the ability cost them a permanent impairment in their vitality.[19] Magister Immué Dathril was known to have imbued fly spells upon an entire Calishite dancing establishment during her tenure, at some point between the 1066 DR and the 1104 DR.[20]

The apex of a Magister's powers, however, was the Magister's Ban, the ability to substitute, Toril-wide, the effects of one spell for those of another. This ability, however, could only be used to further magic: Mystra immediately ended a ban used lightly or for the Magister's own gain. Such prohibitions had lasted for a tenday, or perhaps a month, though some had been recorded to last for a year. Mages usually found out the hard way that a spell's effect had been substituted.[19]

The Magister had other powers, but only those two were revealed immediately to a new Magister.[19] For instance, they could be granted the metamagic powers of a Weavespinner, were they to inquire about them.[21]

Magisters also had the ability to use the spells banned by Mystra after Karsus' Folly, but this thrust them into Mystra's Choice immediately and attracted the attention of both her and Azuth.[22]

History[]

The office of the Magister was first occupied by Azuth during his mortal days; after his ascension to divinity, the office was given to a different mage, and held by a number of them over the years.[23]

There was no record of the Magisters prior to Shornthal Imynster;[2] however, at least one such Magister employed a spell forbidden by Mystra to slay a city's inhabitants in Halruaa after they decided not to heed his warnings as to the use of magic, which Mystra immediately reverted, creating a zone of wild magic. One later Magister took to the long task of restoring magic in the city to normal.[24] By 1370 DR, the Magister's duties specifically excluded maintenance of the Weave, save when specifically instructed.[1]

During the early 1370s DR, the clergy of Velsharoon had managed to trap at least one Magister and attempted to convert them into undead. Mystra personally broke the Magister out of confinement.[9][note 1]

Talatha Vaerovree was the last Magister recorded before the Spellplague of 1385 DR, when she was slain by Orbakh of Westgate.[25] Sages have claimed that the Magister's head exploded at the time of the Spellplague: there may have been another Magister after her, whose career may have been too short for a proper record.[26]

There was no Magister after the Spellplague, until the Second Sundering.[26] The Magister's identity was not revealed as of the late 15th century DR.[16]

Rumors & Legends[]

Though Mystra and Azuth were loath to give out any information on previous Magisters, it had been possible by 1370 to refute, amongst other things, that the Magister could command all dragons in Faerûn, that they could teleport at will, that their spells were boosted by a permanent connection to the Weave, and that they could eavesdrop into the minds of all mages at will.[10]

List of Known Magisters[]

Appendix[]

Notes[]

  1. Velsharoon ascended in 1369 DR; as the events referred to in Secrets of the Magister do not extend into 1372, this narrows down the time in which such an event could have happened.

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Ed Greenwood (January 2000). Secrets of the Magister. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 5. ISBN 978-0786914302.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Ed Greenwood (January 2000). Secrets of the Magister. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 30. ISBN 978-0786914302.
  3. Ed Greenwood (January 2000). Secrets of the Magister. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 72. ISBN 978-0786914302.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Ed Greenwood (January 2000). Secrets of the Magister. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 7–10. ISBN 978-0786914302.
  5. Sean K. Reynolds, Duane Maxwell, Angel McCoy (August 2001). Magic of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-1964-7.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Ed Greenwood (January 2000). Secrets of the Magister. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 7. ISBN 978-0786914302.
  7. Ed Greenwood (January 2000). Secrets of the Magister. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 14. ISBN 978-0786914302.
  8. Ed Greenwood (January 2000). Secrets of the Magister. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 9–10. ISBN 978-0786914302.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Ed Greenwood (January 2000). Secrets of the Magister. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 5–6. ISBN 978-0786914302.
  10. 10.00 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05 10.06 10.07 10.08 10.09 10.10 Ed Greenwood (January 2000). Secrets of the Magister. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 11–12. ISBN 978-0786914302.
  11. Ed Greenwood (January 2000). Secrets of the Magister. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 50. ISBN 978-0786914302.
  12. Ed Greenwood (January 2000). Secrets of the Magister. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 65. ISBN 978-0786914302.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Ed Greenwood (January 2000). Secrets of the Magister. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 39. ISBN 978-0786914302.
  14. Ed Greenwood (January 2000). Secrets of the Magister. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 82. ISBN 978-0786914302.
  15. Ed Greenwood (January 2000). Secrets of the Magister. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 43. ISBN 978-0786914302.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Ed Greenwood (13-06-2022). Urboltar and Mind Shielding (Tweet). theedverse. Twitter. Archived from the original on 13-06-2022. Retrieved on 13-06-2022.
  17. Ed Greenwood (14-06-2022). Magister Self-Enchantment (Tweet). theedverse. Twitter. Archived from the original on 14-06-2022. Retrieved on 14-06-2022.
  18. Ed Greenwood (January 2000). Secrets of the Magister. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 51–52. ISBN 978-0786914302.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 19.6 19.7 Ed Greenwood (January 2000). Secrets of the Magister. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 12–13. ISBN 978-0786914302.
  20. Ed Greenwood (January 2000). Secrets of the Magister. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 62–63. ISBN 978-0786914302.
  21. Ed Greenwood (January 2000). Secrets of the Magister. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 126. ISBN 978-0786914302.
  22. Ed Greenwood (January 2000). Secrets of the Magister. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 91. ISBN 978-0786914302.
  23. Ed Greenwood (January 2000). Secrets of the Magister. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 4. ISBN 978-0786914302.
  24. Ed Greenwood (January 2000). Secrets of the Magister. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 91. ISBN 978-0786914302.
  25. Ed Greenwood (January, 2010). Realms of the Dead ("The Many Murders of Manshoon"). (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0786953632.
  26. 26.0 26.1 Ed Greenwood (05-25-2020). Magister and the Spellplague (Tweet). theedverse. Twitter. Archived from the original on 05-25-2020. Retrieved on 13-07-2022.
  27. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 102. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
  28. Ed Greenwood (January 2000). Secrets of the Magister. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 47. ISBN 978-0786914302.
  29. Ed Greenwood (January 2000). Secrets of the Magister. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 82. ISBN 978-0786914302.
  30. Ed Greenwood (January, 2010). Realms of the Dead ("The Many Murders of Manshoon"). (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0786953632.
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