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Elven high magic

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Elven High Magic (Arselu'Tel'Quess in elven or the Great Art of the People) is the term used to describe one of the most powerful forms of magic practiced in Faerûn. Casters of this magic are called Selu'taar, also known as the "Art's Disciples" or simply as "High Mages". High Magic spells are powerful enough to affect deities or to create world-changing spell effects. Non-elves cannot cast High Magic as they are simply unable to wield such power without being consumed by it, and in truth even most elves are found lacking in the necessary finesse and skill.[1]

All High Magic spells are rituals, and they frequently require collaboration of more than one High Mage.[1] In addition, the necessary material components and timing of High Magic can be very specific. For example, in 1375 DR a priest of Vhaeraun used a High Magic spell to open the realm of Eilistraee to Vhaeraun, in order that he might slay her. The components for this mighty ritual was a cavern filled with magical darkstones. The spell could also only be cast when a certain specific configuration of heavenly bodies existing in the skies of Faerûn.[2]

Another example of High Magic was used by Q'arlynd Melarn to wipe the name of Kiaransalee from the minds of her worshipers, thus eliminating her mortal followers. Due to the edict of Ao, any deity without mortal worship can no longer exist. Kiaransalee ceased to exist in the realm of Toril.[3]

With the help of High Magic the elves and their gods created the island of Evermeet during the Sundering. The effects of the unleashed magic in this ritual were cast by the most powerful elven High Mages and even most of them could not survive the casting.[4] It was also High Magic which destroyed the ancient elven realm Tintageer and also what was used to open the gate between Faerie and Abeir-Toril to help the survivors escape. The caster of the spell to open the gate was also consumed by the power of her spell.[5]

During the Crown Wars High Mages of Aryvandaar caused the so called Dark Disaster and destroyed the realm Miyeritar. Another example of elven High Magic of this period was cast by the elves with the help of the Seldarine to punish the dark elves. They were turned into the drow and after that their descent began.[6]


Elven High Magic is written in the Seldruin language, which uses the Hamarfae alphabet.[7]

Types of ritualEdit

High Magic rituals are roughly divided into three different types.[8]

Rituals of SolitudeEdit

Rituals of Solitude are the lowest-level, touching the direct source of magic the least, and they can be cast by a solitary high mage. Despite their name, many of these ritual spell effects can involve bolstering the morale of entire armies of elves or of demoralizing their foe's forces. [8]

Rituals of ComplementEdit

Rituals of Complement require three high mages working in tandem, and they require more time and are more complex. Effects include creating permanent gates, the creation of many magic items at once, or of creating a phantasmal illusion capable of hiding an entire elven homeland. [8]

Rituals of MyriadEdit

Rituals of Myriad are the most powerful form of High Magic and require at least five high mages, though some of these rituals require many more participants. Examples of Rituals of Myriad include the creation of the Mythals of elven cities.[8]

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves. (TSR, Inc), p. 125. ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.
  2. Lisa Smedman (January 2007). Sacrifice of the Widow. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-4250-9.
  3. Lisa Smedman (September 2007). Storm of the Dead. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 978-0-7869-4701-0.
  4. Elaine Cunningham (1999). Evermeet: Island of Elves. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 157f.. ISBN 0-7869-1354-1.
  5. Elaine Cunningham (1999). Evermeet: Island of Elves. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 93–96. ISBN 0-7869-1354-1.
  6. Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.
  7. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 85. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves. (TSR, Inc), p. 126. ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.


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