How wizardry works

by YWCom Admin
A wizard's manual

The Manual says it best:

Wizards love words. Most of them read a good deal, and indeed one strong sign of a potential wizard is the inability to get to sleep without reading something first. But their love for and fluency with words is what makes wizards a force to be reckoned with. Their ability to convince a piece of the world – a tree, say, or a stone – that it’s not what it thinks it is, that it’s something else, is the very heart of wizardry.


…Because wizardly people tend to be good with language, they can also become skillful with the Speech, the magical tongue in which objects and living creatures can be described with more accuracy than in any human language. And what you can describe, you can change. With the Speech, a wizard can freeze fire, burn rain, stop time – even (locally) slow down the death of the universe.


That being why there are wizards…

Of course wizardry’s not all just reciting spells in the Speech. You can exercise your Art with the help of whatever accessories appeal to you. Some wizards use wands. Some use tools a lot stranger, or much newer: laptops are as adaptable to wizardry as parchment. But some wizards are more powerful with just a good memory for the Speech than colleagues with whole closetsful of magical gadgets.

And you don’t have to be descended from wizards to become one yourself. (It does sometimes run in families, but it’s just as likely to come out of nowhere when the right person gets to the right place at the right time.) What you provide is the factor that really makes the wizardry work: your brains, your guts, your talent. Add those to the Speech…and, without fail, the magic happens.

It usually starts so innocently. One day, when you least expect it, you find a book that contains the Wizard’s Oath – and you know it’s not just an ordinary book, because the pages change as you read them. If you’ve got what it takes to be a wizard, you’ll be offered a chance to take the Oath. That’s when things start to happen…

…because the Powers that Be don’t hand out the power that runs the Universe to just anybody. You have to prove you’re worth it. Immediately after the Wizard’s Oath comes the wizard’s Ordeal. The youngest wizards are the most powerful: at least you’ll have that much going for you. But whether or not you pass your Ordeal will be up to how smart you are, how tough you are, how much you want to keep the power you’ve been given – and how you use it in the crunch.

Pass your Ordeal – survive your Ordeal (for, unfortunately, some don’t…) — and you’re a wizard. A beginner, sure, but learning the “how” of wizardry when you’ve already got the power is half the fun. The Manual gives you whatever spell you have the brains to work out that you need, and the strength to handle. There aren’t any classes (possibly the Powers that Be think there’s already enough school as it is). Yes, there’s a wizardly bureaucracy of sorts, but it’s mostly about helping you do things, not stopping you: the Advisory and Senior wizards are mentors and coaches, not police. Once you pass your Ordeal, you quickly discover that you’re part of a worlds-wide conspiracy of friends who haven’t met yet – people on Earth, and of thousands of species elsewhere, who’ll greet you as “cousin” and trust you like family.

You may find a buddy to work with, or a group. You may prefer to go solo. You can share the secret with a nonwizard you trust…or keep it to yourself, if you must. (Most non-wizards never notice wizardry. Who in the “real world” wastes time believing in the unbelievable?) But while you’re a practitioner of the Art, before you lies a lifetime of challenge, excitement, and wonder, in this world and outside of it. As one wizard’s sister succinctly summed it up:

“You should hear him. ‘Ooh, I have to go to the Moon, what a chore! Ooh, I have to go halfway across the Galaxy to talk to somebody about something, what a terrible pain in my butt! Oh, wow, I have to hang out with aliens and save the world, how I suffer!’ It’s not like he’s not having insane and crazy fun, secretly, every minute of the day!”

More about the Young Wizards universe

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