off-winter ice

Magically manufactured ice, also called "off-winter ice" is just ordinary water subjected to low temperatures created by magic as opposed to natural ice which is ordinary water subjected to low temperatures via cold weather. Theoretically, natural ice can be transformed into "off-winter" ice if it is carefully stored and transported a warmer area.   Frozen water, whether created by magic or created by nature, is the exact same in terms of physics but magically created ice has cultural implications.   Natural ice is something most mortals who don't live in the equatorial region of Scarterra are fairly familar with, they see it every winter. Even warmer latitudes, one can find natural ice at high elevations in the mountains.   Off-winter ice is considered a luxury good and a status symbol in many parts of Scarterra.   Most invokers can attack opponents with fire or ice and it usually makes little difference if they command heat or cold but magical cold based invocations can freeze water and thus make ice.

History & Usage

History

During the Red Era, emperors and other very powerful (and self aggrandizing leaders) ordered the construction of buildings to store naturally occuring ice for longer periods, so they could enjoy cold food and drinks all year long.   This practice was and is outrageously expensive even for most Feudal Era kings and queens, but they did come up with a more economical alternative more or less by accident.   During the Red Era, mercenary wizards and sorcerers were very common, but they were typically hired to do one task and then dismissed. In the Feudal Era, many feudal lords and ladies seek to have mages on retainer.   Invokers are good at blasting enemies with magical energy at range, and many lords and ladies wanted to have an invoker in the castle for the same reason lords and ladies want to have a contigent of crack archers in their castle.   But over 99% of the time, castles are not being attacked. Archers commonly perform mundane labor and/or spend their down time crafting arrows. Most mages, invokers included, are too proud to do such lowly activities, but they have to do something to pass the time.   A lot of people liked the novelty of watching an invoker blow up random objects but that only stays entertaining for so long before both the invoker and the invoker's audience get bored watching things explode, so some invokers started showing off with ice, and lords and ladies got used to having their favorite drinks served chilled.   Lords and ladies with invokers on their payroll started regularly serving honored guests with chilled drinks. They also set up simple ice boxes to keep food cold in. The ice boxes Scarterrans create in the Feudal Era are not nearly as well insulated as the ice boxes of the 19th century real world Earth, but once the ice melts, it's not hard for the local invoker to make more.   While in the warm months, it doesn't last very long, many lords and ladies will have their invokers set up off-season ice skating ponds. Others will make blocks of ice to show off with ice sculptures year-round.   Originally, nobles keeping on ice on hand during the off-winter months mainly as a scheme to keep bored invokers busy during long periods of down time. As the practice became more common, displaying ice at banquets or in general decor became a way for some nobles to show off wealth and status since not everyone has the power and wealth necessary to attract and retain an invoker on their household staff.   In some places, magically manufactured ice is now expected at certain high society social gatherings and it is a minor faux passe for nobles of a certain stature to not have ice at banquets or other high end gatherings, especially in places like Swynfaredia and the Elven Empire where the upper classes have a lot of mages among them.

Everyday use

"Heavy is the head that wears the crown, so rulers need to enjoy the simple things when they can. Chilled drinks is one of the meager pleasures of civilized living."   -Gwendolyn ap Numaness, Queen of Swynfaredia
  Some but not many lords and ladies with a full-time invoker in their court. These courts tend to have ice chilled drinks even at everyday meals.   If the castle is on high alert, then the invoker will not create ice because she needs to save all her quintessence for contingent invoking, but during peace time these invokers are likely to make a lot of ice for recreation or to keep food and drinks cold.  
"An invoker can be a living weapon of war or he or she can make ice for fools to play with at parties. One should not try to do both. All too often, prestigious invokers find themselves facing assassins immediately after they just depleted their personal quinessence making a bunch of ice for no reason."   -Griffith, patriarch of House Gareth and Grand Marshal of Swynfaredia
  Most lords and ladies cannot manage to have an invoker on their staff full time, but nobles often hire an ice-making invoker temporarily if they are throwing a banquet, tournament, or festival.   Outside the ranks of nobility, some invokers sell or barter magically manufactured ice Most lowborn people cannot pay an invoker much for the novelty ice, but they can usually get something for ice. Many will barter with blocks of ice with wineries and ale houses and trade ice for free drinks. Some invokers give out ice for free to make themselves less scary to the common people or simply to show off.  
"Some rubes will pay twice as much for their drinks if there is small piece of ice in it. If a fool wants to be parted with him money, it might as well be me who gets his money.   "I don't like dealing with wizards if I can help it, but if I flirt with them and pretend to be impressed a lot them will give the bar ice for free. 'ooh you are soooo powerful, show me the ice ray again!' "   -Glimmermoon, bar wench
  In larger cities (which tend to have more idle mages in them), it's not hard to find ice chilled beverages at higher end inns and eateries.

Cultural Significance and Usage

"Heavy is the head that wears the crown, so rulers need to enjoy the simple things when they can. Chilled drinks is one of the meager pleasures of civilized living."   -Gwendolyn ap Numaness, Queen of Swynfaredia
  Some but not many lords and ladies with a full-time invoker in their court. These courts tend to have ice chilled drinks even at everyday meals.   If the castle is on high alert, then the invoker will not create ice because she needs to save all her quintessence for contingent fighting, but during peace time these invokers are likely to make a lot of ice for recreation or to keep food and drinks cold.  
"An ivoker can be a living weapon of war or he or she can make ice for fools to play with at parties. One should not try to do both. All too often, prestigious invokers find themselves facing assassins immediately after they just depleted their personal quintessence making a bunch of ice for no reason."   -Griffith, patriarch of House Gareth and Grand Marshal of Swynfaredia
  Most lords and ladies cannot manage to have an invoker on their staff full time, but nobles often hire an ice-making invoker temporarily if they are throwing a banquet, tournament, or festival.   Outside the ranks of nobility, some invokers sell or barter magically manufactured ice. Most lowborn people cannot pay an invoker much coin for the novelty ice, but invokers can usually get something for ice. Many will barter with blocks of ice with wineries and ale houses and trade ice for free drinks. Some invokers give out ice for free to make themselves less scary to the common people or simply to show off.  
"Some rubes will pay twice as much for their drinks if there is small piece of ice in it. If a fool wants to be parted with him money, it might as well be me who gets his money.   "I don't like dealing with wizards if I can help it, but if I flirt with them and pretend to be impressed, a lot them will give the bar ice for free. 'ooh you are soooo powerful, show me the ice ray again!' "   -Glimmermoon, bar wench
  In larger cities (which tend to have more idle mages in them), it's not hard to find ice chilled beverages at higher end inns and eateries.

Byproducts & Sideproducts

"Most mages make off-winter ice for recreation or to chill drinks, but there are some practical uses.   Certain alchemical processes work better if the materials are kept cold, so once in a while, I and others in my field will find the need to purchase a block of ice or two. Given that most wizards and sorcerers eventually will need an alchemist’s services for something, it is not especially difficult for us to find an invoker willing to provide us some ice, unless we are in are wartime and the invokers have more important invoking to do."   Bevan, Swynfaredian alchemist
Boiling / Condensation Point
212 F, 100 C
Melting / Freezing Point
32 F, 0 C
Related Technologies
Related Professions

Articles under off-winter ice



Comments

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20 Jan, 2023 03:28

Well done and well written -- I enjoyed this article very much =)   I find it fascinating that ice -- something most of us take for granted -- was so much fun to read about, and how it applied to invokers. Well done!

JAIME BUCKLEY
Your New Author Friend =)
Come see Wanted:Hero
20 Jan, 2023 20:55

Thanks, whenever I add a piece of magic I try to think of applications beyond an adventurer in a dungeon. Will it change the nature of warfare? What can be done with this spell in peace time? I originally was going to have a spell that shows the last few minutes of a corpses life because I thought it was cool, but I took it out because then it would be really hard to write a Whodunnit Murder Mystery.   Right now I'm pondering how magic would impact the theater.   https://www.worldanvil.com/w/scarterra-scalenex/a/scarterran-theatre-ritual   So rich people can watch a play with movie quality special effects created by magical illusions while they sip their drinks chilled by off-winter ice.

20 Jan, 2023 22:40

HAH! Now THAT s a clever idea --- mixing magic with the theater...

JAIME BUCKLEY
Your New Author Friend =)
Come see Wanted:Hero