Folk Magicians Technology / Science in Scarterra | World Anvil

Folk Magicians

Nicknames: good witches, medicine women/men (polite), hedge mages, rustic witches, swamp/mountain/desert mages (derogatory)   Folk magicians blur the line between body wizards, aesthetic hermetic wizards, classical hermetic wizards, and warlocks. They develop their magic through a combination of memorizing oral lore, reading written lore, self-discipline, meditation, and occasionally communing with otherworldly beings. This hodgepodge of magical lore is both envied and derided by mages of other traditions.   Stereotypically folk magicians are the weird hermit men and women that live on the periphery of a rural community or the eccentric spiritualist in a nomadic tribe. They run the gamut from respected community leaders to barely tolerate recluses.   All eight schools of magic are studied by folk wizards. Divination magic is frequently favored, no school of magic is especially derided but you guess a folk wizard’s social status by their magical specialty. Transmuters and Necromancers tend to recluses on their fringes of their society, feared and respected but never fully embraced. Enchanters and diviners tend to be very much a part of their mainstream and are often unofficial community leaders.   Folk wizards are frequently well versed in peasant wisdom including but not limited to herbal remedies, old stories and legends, and cold reading of emotions and personalities. Folk wizards are usually cerebral sort rather than action oriented people but there are always exceptions.   While it is rare for a mages in general to be also be spirit loas, it is noticeably less rare for folk magicians to be spirit loas.    

Apprentices and Training

    Like most magical traditions, one-on-one apprenticeships are the norm.   Most Folk Wizards are constantly appraising the young boys and girls of their tribe or village for a spark of potential, but they are also looking for compatible personalities.   Different mentors use different training regimens but most folk magicians prefer their apprentices to do a lot of on-the-job shadowing. Folk wizards believe in learning by doing and trial and error though they always warn their apprentices of potential pitfalls with safety.    

History and Spread

  Since wizardry was invented early in the Second Age, different wizarding traditions have carefully examined the practices of other traditions in order to figure out if their rivals had any lore worth adapting themselves.   Folk wizardry sort of naturally evolved out of this. Magical lineages of wisdom that favored flexibility in methods gradually had convergent evolution towards being lineages of folk wizards.   Compared to other mages, folk magicians are less miserly with their secrets. Folk magicians have an informal culture that ensures sharing their lore with other folk magicians, especially between the old and young. Mentors and apprentices tend to remain in close contact their whole lives but it is considered normal and positive for folk magicians to seek knowledge from as many other folk wizards as possible.     Folk magicians can be found almost anywhere but they are disproportionately represented in rustic areas that are not quite barbaric, not quite civilized. Both the informal nation of Marshlandia in East Colassia and the Borderlands regions of West Colassia have a lot of folk magicians. Penarchia in general has a fair few folk magicians as well.
Required: Arcane Spell caster Merit, Willpower 5+ and Intelligence 3+, OR Willpower 8+ and Intelligence 2+   Highly Recommended: at least a few dots in Enigmas, Hearth Wisdom, and Survival, Brew Potion Merit   Recommended: at least a few dots in Arcana, at least a few dots in Medicine, Cross Disciplinary Mage Merit   Forbidden: None

Cover image: Willow Movie Screen Shot by George Lucas and Ron Howard


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