Shielding Magic

Shielding Magic is the school of Countermagic devoted solely to protecting individuals, objects, and locations from physical or magical harm or manipulation. These skills are required for employment as a Battle Mage, but are also useful in an assortment of situations such as protection from accidents in magical fieldwork or defense against manipulation in politics. The basic spells are often used as Imperium endurance building exercises due to their channeled nature.

Utility

Countermagic Shields can be cast to cover a variety of use cases, and can even be layered for additional protections. They also compliment many other magical defenses, including Antimagic, Lithaelexy Shields, and even tyrellium shielding. Shielding spells are channeled spells, requiring the caster to either directly expend Imperium to maintain the shield or else augment their channel requirements with Rune Magic.  

Physical Shields

Magical defense against physical objects requires Physical Shields to create a magical barrier through which physical items cannot pass. These shields are also useful for defending against the physical effects of enchanted items, as well as preventing the passage of objects and elements animated through the use of magic. As an example, a fully functional physical shield will stop an enchanted Electromancy sword from passing through the barrier, but its lightning effects will pass through unimpeded.  

Magic Deflection and Reflection

Unlike physical shield spells, spellwork to shield against magic is built around the deflection or reflection of the spells cast against it. Magical energy is merely weakened by physical barriers, even magical ones, if those barriers pose any resistance at all. A proper shield must therefore harness the nature of magic and use it against itself to hold any significant effects.   Magical shieldwork cannot deflect or reflect enchanted items, although it may weaken or deflect the enchantments themselves depending upon their nature. A sword enchanted with Electromancy may find its lightning will arc along the shield rather than follow its programming, while a guided arrow may find itself sluggish to react to movement of its quarry once passing through a shield, but otherwise unimpacted. Spells cast directly at a functional shield will not be able to penetrate. Mages casting spells which merely direct a physical object in some manner, such as an Anemancy spell cast to cause a tornado, will find their direct control over the object or objects is removed once it passes through the barrier but the objects themselves will continue to follow the patterns dictated by their current traits, including momentum.   Magic Deflection Shields require more Imperium to power than their Lithaelexy counterparts, but they do not require the placement of equipment and are therefore portable, and more spontaneously available. They are more discrete and therefore more useful for covert shielding efforts, especially when intended as defense against Psychic or Illusion Magics. Magic Shielding also maintains lower Imperium requirements than an Antimagic Shield, which would dispel any spells and suppress all effects of enchanted objects entering the shield, but at a cost of Imperium equal to that required to cast the spells it dissipates and the channeled spells it suppresses.   Magical Shields are not effective in all situations, however. Due to the nature of certain magics such as Amphikinetics or Psychic Magic, magic shields will not stop the spellwork from penetrating. In these cases preventative Cleansing Magic is recommended to bolster the defenses of each individual to be protected.  

Phased Shielding

Phased Shielding protects against items and individuals from the higher dimensions through the use of harmonic spiritual resonance. The shield of choice is set to vibrate at the mortal spiritual frequency, plus an additional higher complimentary spiritual frequency, causing a resonance which in turn allows the shield to perform its function against not only the chosen spiritual planes but also all spiritual frequencies between them. This is a feature of spiritual frequency first discovered through the manufacture of Demonsbane, then later adapted for shieldwork.   The phased nature of the shield requires either a Physical or Magical Shield as its framework, with the higher spiritual frequency woven into the shield spell of choice. Physical shields are used more frequently in this manner, as they protect from items manufactured with materials from the higher planes, as well as ghosts and Necromantic Phasing. Occasionally Phased Magic Shields are desired, most often to defend against demon attacks, but this is usually in conjuction with Phased Physical Shields rather than in place of them. A caster must have at least a basic knowledge of the application of the Necromantic Phasing to cast this type of shield.  

Layered and Hybrid Shielding

While each type of shield only protects against one potential type of threat, they can be layered for additional protection. In most cases these would be cast as separate, unique shields, but with practice a caster can learn to weave several Shielding spells together to form a single cohesive shield which will protect against multiple damage sources. These shields are weaker, as each damage type used against them will also weaken the whole rather than damaging only its corresponding damage shield, but its lower Imperium cost ensures it remains a viable option.
Access & Availability
Battle Mages master Shielding Magic as part of their training. Most reputable schools also teach basic Shielding Magic, both as a defense when practicing other, more dangerous spells but also as an Imperium boosting exercise due to its channeled nature.
Complexity
Basic Physical or Magic Shielding spells are straightforward, requiring some level of concentration to maintain (when not Augmented by Rune Magic, which is highly recommended by veterans in the field), but otherwise readily responding to their caster to meet the degree of expertise and the Imperium channeled into them. Hybrid Shields (which mix the Physical and Magical components together into a single shield) and Phased Shields require a higher degree of knowledge to use effectively, as the mage must remain aware of the interactions between each component of the spell and weave their magical energies together accordingly.


Cover image: Nature Forest Trees by jplenio

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Comments

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7 Mar, 2021 18:20

I love the level of details you have put into your magic types and professions.

7 Mar, 2021 18:24

Thank you! I have a lot of fun figuring out how they work and interact with each other.

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities, and Vazdimet, its darker spacefaring future.
7 Mar, 2021 20:35

I absolutely love the depth of thought and planning that goes into your magic! The different utilities of shielding magic are really well thought out. Having the magical shieldwork work differently against enchanted items/magics is really cool too, I like visualizing how an Electro-sword would interact with it.

Cathedris, the world of God-Husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
7 Mar, 2021 21:38

Thanks so much! It's certainly a fun image to think about, and I can imagine some dry educational textbook with diagrams detailing how the different shield types work.   I have a lot of fun discovering how my magic types work, too. <3

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities, and Vazdimet, its darker spacefaring future.
12 Mar, 2021 21:43

I really love the idea of layered shielding to cover the most bases. That's a really interesting aspect of shielding magic. :D

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
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