THE MAGICAL FORMULAS
formulas are recited aloud during the casting of spells and represent the most
common tool used to focus magic. They play a central part especially in
Elemental Magic. Though Clerical Mages also recite short prayers which seem to
resemble magical formulas, these are called mantras and
work a little different, so it is not advised to treat them as the same.
In Santharia such formulas usually consist of ancient Styrásh words or word parts with a maximum of three or four letters. Only very few magicians do not use formulas, which is simply due to the fact that language is the means sentient beings use to express their intellect and will and thus also the main channel through which magic works. Formulas are often misjudged by non-mages and interpreted as the only or main source why something magical is happening, but such formulas only accompany a new-forming orientation of a caster's mind towards one or more auras (cár'állía). The intensity of the caster's voice by the way may also often serve as a direct indicator of the intensity of the spell.
Advantages/Disadvantages. Magical formulas are pretty easy to learn, which makes them very common. The main disadvantage of formulas of course is that opponents can hear through the spoken words which kind of spell is being cast already during the process of casting and therefore a counter-reaction can be taken immediately. If the casting of a spell takes longer than the preparation of the counter spell this could indeed turn out as a severe problem for a mage who is dependent on using formulas, especially in case he/she has to deal with opponents all alone.
The Structure of the Formula. An example for a magical formula would be the words "Kái Fér Dál" (Styrásh "Kái Fér Dál") meaning literally "high fire rising". This formula is used for the Level II Fire Spell called "Nourish Flame", which adds more power to an existing fire. A typical formula consists of three parts:
The Prefix (Intensity)
The first part of the formula marks the intensity of the spell - in this case "kái" stands for "high" or "improved", which indicates that the formula is an advanced version of another spell, in this case from "Rise Flame" ("Fér Dál"). As you can see the prefix is omitted at the standard version of the spell.
The Focus (Element or Relation)
The second part of the formula marks the focus of the spell: the part of the cár'áll which will mainly be affected or the part through which other elements will be influenced. In the example above the term "Fér" is used (short for "Efér"), denoting the Element of Fire. Other possible focus syllables are "Vásh" (short for "Avásh", Wind), "Mód" (Earth), "Már" (Water), Xé (Xeúa) and "Cuá" (Ecuá).
The Suffix (Modificators)
Finally attributes are added to the element, representing the modification(s) the mage tries to apply to the element he chose as the focus. In the example above only the word "Dál" is added, meaning "rising", but it is possible to add several more attributes/modificators (up to three usually, depending on the complexity of the spell).
The stressing of certain elements of the formula also is of major importance. Different stressings can produce different effects, though the same spell is cast.
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