Subtle Magic is a school of magic which utilizes spells otherwise hard to detect. It often affects how a person thinks or acts, and in such a way that the person will find justification for their actions, without realizing that they are under the control of another person.[1] Subtle magic most often involves the use of runes, which require only a low level of ambient magic in the vicinity.[2]

Use Edit

Subtle magic is considered especially dangerous because even a low-level magician can utilize it to great advantage.[3] Experienced magicians understand that, when dealing with subtle magic, it is ill advised to let one's guard down, even for a moment.[4] It is illegal in the Allied Lands for non-magicians to experiment with subtle magic, either with runes or without.[5]

Unlike other forms of magic (such as transfiguration), subtle magic is intentionally used in an imprecise way, rather than involving some great concentration or exact incantation. This has led some to quip that there's a difference between subtle magic and subtle magic.[6] In fact, more experienced magicians find it difficult to use subtle magic, as their strong skills make the spell easier to notice.[7]

Subtle magic can be countered by finding the spell's parent rune, hence countering its affects,[8] or by asking questions of oneself to break through the spell's hold.[9] One can protect themselves from subtle magic by wearing charmed items, such as a bracelet, to ward off the rune's power.[10] The most permanent way to protect against subtle magic is by carving a rune into one's bare flesh.[11]

There have been recorded instances of subtle magic being used by people against their neighbors, or by secret admirers against their objects of affection.[12] Some use subtle magic runes at specific locations as a way of defense or crowd control.[13]

References Edit

  1. A Study in Slaughter, Chapter 7
  2. A Study in Slaughter, Chapter 7
  3. Lessons in Etiquette, Chapter 26
  4. A Study in Slaughter, Chapter 24
  5. A Study in Slaughter, Chapter 10
  6. A Study in Slaughter, Chapter 7
  7. Work Experience, Chapter 22
  8. Work Experience, Chapter 23
  9. Work Experience, Chapter 22
  10. The School of Hard Knocks, Chapter 2
  11. The School of Hard Knocks, Chapter 3
  12. A Study in Slaughter, Chapter 7
  13. Love's Labors Won, Chapter 16

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