Destruction

'You see them put their hands together, you run away.' - Soldier on Destructors (Accurate Assessment)

As seen in
Destruction is considered the easiest to learn and execute among conjuration disciplines. However, it is easy only because a poorly cast spell still achieves effective, partial results. As the name implies, destruction is the reduction or elimination of physical substance through magic. (It is not technically destroyed, merely turned into various energies and mana.) Its antipode is creation. Destructors are most often interpreted as combat wizards, but can be found across a wide variety of crafts and pursuits ranging from manufacturing and construction to assistant healers to artists.  

Destruction Mana Structure

In general, conjuration mana structures are associated with geometry and repetition. The geometry varies by substance, but the manner of repetition is similar across materials. For destruction, the repetitive process is multiplication. The destructor creates a primary geometry and dissipates it on the target or into an area by splitting the parent structure into hundreds or thousands of miniature versions. With exceptional skill and high mana density, the 'child count' can be increased tenfold or more.   Compared to its antipode, creation, destruction does not require exceedingly fine control due to its generous margin of error. Additionally, the shapes for organic and inorganic substances are less complex than creation. Instead, casters use the mana vectors of the palms rather than the fingertips. This injects mana at a far faster rate and swiftly accomplishes the destructive task.  

Organic Mana Structure

Destructors typically conjure one of two types of mana structure for organic matter, though other experimental geometries have been discovered. The first is called a 'sunburst' because of the spherical center and pronged points protruding from it. The 'stalks' are theorized to attach themselves to organic substances and 'pull them apart' by rolling along the surface and ripping the target into pieces. While the warfare applications are obvious (and painful), organic destruction is common in funerary rites to reduce the dead to ash and in food processing to eliminate pests and other contaminants. Separately, artistic destructors may choose vegetation, such as hedges and the leaves of trees, to portray their designs.   The structure is conjured by imbuing a ball of mana between the wizard's hands and compressing their hands, leaving the fingers spread. The protrusions are created through the open gaps between fingers and the maneuver is repeated several times to coat the whole surface in prongs. (This is sometimes referred to as the 'destructive clap.')   The second structure is a 'spider-spike,' or a capped shaft. Resembling a bolt with small insect-like appendages at the narrow end, magical theorists believe the spike embeds itself in the substance and suffuses mana into it. The effect is destabilizing and the matter dissolves into energy. Arguably, the configuration is 'more destructive' than a sunburst because there are no remains, but is also difficult to command. Even so, because the effects are immediate, it is preferred for combat. However, the verbal component has limited guidance and area than comparable evocation spells and is preferably cast when the destructor is given a berth by friendly units to avoid unintended casualties.   The spider-spike is created by summoning mana under a hand and stretching mana from the palm using the other hand (in a fist). When extruded to proper length, the fist is opened and the mana pulled by the fingertips to create the 'legs' (a 'destructive draw').  

Inorganic Mana Structure

The basic inorganic mana structure is the 'open caltrop,' referencing the classic trap (consisting of two welded V-shaped pieces of iron). This geometry is formed by cupping the wizard's hands against each other and using the manner vectors in the palms, fingertips, and heel of the hand to create the base form. Additional modifications can be made to the tips of the caltrop, which are 'open' for further configuration (hence the term 'open caltrop'). Those changes may be balls of mana, variations in shape, or, for skilled casters, an organic sunburst or spider-spike. In the latter case, if two of the four points are modified with organic geometries, the spell functions against both inorganic and organic material (a 'mixed caltrop'), which is useful when they exist in the same area or in sequence on top of one another.   For example, military destructors that are proficient enough to consistently make mixed caltrops can cast a cone towards oncoming enemy soldiers, destroying their armor and subsequently eating away flesh, tissue, and bone. Though a grisly sight, it is highly effective and feared in military engagements, making destructors targets for assassination tactics.  

Destruction Verbal Component

Conjuration spells, destruction included, require repetition in the verbal component, just like the multiplication of the mana structure. The verbal component is focused on adjusting the shape and direction of the multiplication and establishing duration. Most specialists exhibit complete mastery over the geometry and do not need verbal components devoted to it.  

Duration

The 'duration' component of a destruction spell relates to how long the independent mana structure persists after the initial cast. Longer durations are desirable for several reasons. First, it enables the spell to cover a larger area by traveling further. Second, it allows each 'child' to consume more matter. Third, in combat, the effect can hamper enemies for an extended period and disrupt infantry formations. Overall, due to these benefits, duration is given outsized focus.  

Shape / Design

The design of the mana structure is rarely modified heavily with a verbal component. in some cases, it is either reinforced or slightly altered if a situation changes during the spellcast itself. Nonetheless, the progression, or shape, of the spell is always a part of the chant. Without a verbal component, the spell multiplies in all directions, including towards the caster. Obviously, this is not good. As such, the typical destruction spell is either a line (of a specific radius) or a cone (of a certain angle or breadth). Other patterns can be used to avoid material that must remain or friendly combatants or altered extensively as in destructive artistry.  

Triggers

Destruction spells use triggers sparingly, but can have delayed effects. For example, casting a spell over an area that the enemy is expected to arrive in may result in more casualties than an immediate effect. Even so, any delay risks the spell slowly expanding beyond the initial boundary because the duration must be extended considerably. For the average destructor, the prospect of losing control is a risk they are not willing to take. Wizards who perform these spells anyway are maligned by both sides of a conflict as reckless. Trigger conditions are scarcely found outside of battle.

Wizard Dest. 40

The experts at WD-40 are there for any of your destruction needs! Working through your rubbish since 870 PoA.   Often hired for clearing land, though there have been some 'incidents' with animals...    


Cover image: by Mia Stendal (Shutterstock)

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!