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Slayers Magic: Part 1

Magic lesson translated by Yuu-chan from the Encyclopedia Slayers; edited by Xelloss

(ed: Disclaimer: The following is an account of magic as it is represented in the works of Hajime Kanzaka, chronicled in Slayers, a work of fiction. Please don't try this at home; any relationship between the magical properties depicted here and reality is purely a coincidence. E-mail about the subject will be posted online for the world to see. With that said, let us proceed... )

The Three Magical Disciplines

White Magic ([an error occurred while processing this directive]白魔術(しろまじゅつ))

Spells drawing their power from the power of holiness are called white magic. In white magic there are spells such as Recovery which are used for healing, and defensive spells such as Flow Break and Mos Varim. In addition offensive spells such as Holy Bless -- which can dispel low-level undead like animated skeletons -- exist. However, the more powerful white magic can be cast only by priests and priestesses who serve the gods. Also, humans are not the only ones who can cast white magic. The chief of the Golden Dragons, Milgasia, used Resurection to save Amelia's life. When injured in battle, a party member skilled in white magic comes in handy.

Black Magic ([an error occurred while processing this directive]黒魔術(くろまじゅつ))

Black magic calls on the power of powerful Mazoku said to have strength rivaling that of the Gods. Since these spells draw their power from Mazoku -- beings of chaos and destruction -- most of these spells are highly destructive offensive spells. The effect of the spell reflects the characteristics of the Mazoku being called upon. To use black magic it is necessary to understand the use of Chaos Words -- special words of power -- and to perform certain gestures, depending on the spell. The more powerful the Mazoku called upon, the more powerful -- and difficult to control. Also, a spell becomes uncastable when the Mazoku upon whom the spell relies is destroyed.

Shamanism / Spirit Magic ([an error occurred while processing this directive]精霊魔術(せいれいまじゅつ))

Shamanism, or spirit magic, is the general category given to spells which summon forth the power of the spirits. Included in this group are spells which affect spirits directly, and spells which call on the four primary elements of earth, water, fire, and air.

(ed: I've chosen to use the term "Shamanism" in keeping with Software Sculptors' precedent, in order to clarify the distinction between the spirit discipline and the subset of the discipline relating to the Astral Plane.)
Fire Shamanism ([an error occurred while processing this directive]火系(ひけい))
Spells which use the spirit power of fire have fire's destructive nature. There are a variety of spells from Flare Arrow which is used against individuals to Blast Bomb which can turn a wide area into a plain of fire. Fire spells also have the added effect of making things catch on fire.
Water Shamanism ([an error occurred while processing this directive]水系(みずけい))
Spells using the spirit power of water are the counterpart to spells which use the spirit power of fire. While fire spells use heat as a weapon, water spells use extremely low teperatures as a weapon. Water spells can be used to temporarily hold opponents by freezing them.
Earth Shamanism ([an error occurred while processing this directive]地系(ちけい))
Earth spells call on the power of the spirits of the earth. Since the caster is usually in continual contact with the ground, he/she has more control over the effects of the spell. The one problem with earth spells is that they have no effect on airborne creatures.
Air / Wind Shamanism ([an error occurred while processing this directive]風系(かぜけい))
These are spells which use wind spirit power and manipulate the atmosphere to blow away targets or create a barrier of air. There are useful spells such as Levitation. Rei Wing, which surrounds the caster with a bubble of air makes it possible to dive underneath water.

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