Thank you for joining me today, on our maiden episode of…
The Nature of Stuff
… with your host, Euripedes.
Mage is to shaman as warlock is to hunter.
Allow me to explain.
A hunter goes out into the world, finds a beast of some sort, and allies with it. The hunter and his “pet” become steadfast friends, allies, and eventually, are inseparable from each other. The two have literally become one entity, united on a fundamental level.
A warlock, too, has a “pet”. However, their relationship is anything but friendly. They are inseparable simply because the “pet” is enslaved to his master. Allies they are not, but a slave and his/her master. The demon is nothing more than a tool used by the warlock to achieve whatever goals he/she is out to attain. If the demon is no longer needed, it is discarded in favour of something else.
This is precisely the relation between a shaman and a mage.
A shaman is an arbiter of the elements, an archon of the natural powers, the avatar of the elemental forces. Able to wield the powers of earth, fire, storm and water by merit that the shaman has become one with those forces. A shaman is at one with the spiritual world, sensing disturbances, and keeping the whole system in balance. Kinda like a jedi.
A mage… isn’t. A mage doesn’t work with the elements, he enslaves them. Rather than work with fire, a mage subjugates it and uses it for whatever purposes the mage desires. Mostly his/her desires run along the lines of “I wonder what happens if I do this…”
The original mages were purveyors of the arcane, talented in using magic to manipulate pretty much everything. The very nature of a mage is to push their abilities, and take what knowledge they have and apply it to something else.
Mages pursue magic not for money, or fame, or power; they pursue it because they can. When asked a question like “Why would you combine frost energy and fire energy into the same spell?” they respond “To see if it would work.”
However, this does mean that a mages solution to something is usually ludicrously complicated and difficult to do.
Currently, mages work with raw arcane magics, fire and frost. Fire was a natural choice for mages to deal with, the destructive nature of some mages combined with fire’s natural tendency towards destruction… a perfect match.
“What’s the difference between a mage’s fire and a warlock’s fire?” you may ask. It’s simple, really. When a mage uses fire, it is natural fire.
When a warlock uses fire, it’s fel power fueling an unnatural flame. It is, in other words, demonic. Call them the fires of hell, whatever you wish, the infernos a warlock creates are not part of the natural world by any means.
Frost, as a magic school, was founded the hard way.
Water as itself is typically a restorative power, but is capable of mass amounts of destruction if used in mass quantities. The original “water mages” were little more than exotic bar tenders, due to the fact that it took far too much power and energy to wield water destructively.
And then somebody came up with the idea to freeze the water, thus transforming previously harmless chunks of water into terrifying weapons. Leave it to a mage to transform something as harmless as a puddle into a weapon that can kill hundreds, for no other reason to see if it could be done.
But it wasn’t as simple as freezing the water. Oh no. That would be too easy.
Instead, this mage (whose name, sadly, was lost in the second war) figured out a way to reduce the temperature of the water by removing heat from it. It’s not as simple as it sounds.
If you put something warm outside in the snow, it gets colder because all the heat is dispersing in what we call Medivh’s Second Law of Otherwise Unexplained Things.
If you put something warm into a refrigerator, it gets colder because all the heat is actively being removed and disposed of elsewhere. This is how a frost spell functions.
As to where this heat is being moved to, see Medivh’s Fourth Law of Otherwise Unexplained Things.
Thankfully, as of yet, mages have rejected using the other two fundamental elements, earth and air.
While we’re discussing elements, you may ask why mages do not use holy or shadow energies.
It is because these two energies have a moral aspect to them. To put it stereotypically, somebody who uses Holy energy is generally considered “Good”, and those who use Shadow energy is generally considered “Evil”.
Mages do not mesh well with moral questions, or things like “responsibility”.
This is also why mages don’t enjoy successful marriages. They only end in sadness and orc invasions of unsuccessful planets.
Oh, didn’t you know? Medivh was dating this chick in Stormwind, but she dumped him in favour of a cheese vendor. So, Medivh, being a mage, came up with a plan for revenge which involving an army of orcs and the destruction of several civilizations.
Most men would have written an angry note, or gone drinking with their friends, but not a mage, oh no.
Mages don’t have friends.
As it turns out, hs former girlfriend was probably right in dumping him. Her new boyfriend went on to become the Master of Cheese. Medivh, meanwhile, went a little sideways and let crazy people take over his home and do strange things like host dinner parties with dead people.
Join me next week, as we delve further into the arcane mysteries on…