Alteration

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Alteration is the primary school of magic employed for the purposes of physical transmutation, as the meaning of the words of its root arcane incant implies. A number of other schools can offer limited forms of transmutation, such as Elemental Earth's Stoneskin or Necromancy's Raise Zombie, but these are often more limiting and focused than those transmutations offered by Alteration. A mage or priest calling upon the power of this school can change an object or person's physical form in a variety of ways.

Battle Magic spells from the school offer specific types of transformation, perhaps the most useful of these being Dispel Magic, as this provides the key to countering the effects of other spellcasters. For this reason, Alteration is commonly developed by arcane casters, as well as those priests who are granted access to it by their deities, namely Gyellina, Mellina, Bacchus, Mishra, and Sirethe.

The Battle Magic Spells

Light

Light is useful both as a utility spell and a defense mechanism, especially against creatures of the dark. As a utility spell, it can create an easily-conjured, non-flammable source of illumination that will last a full day or night. It can even be turned on and off at the caster's will. It's effects are different when employed against living creatures. Its duration is far briefer, lasting a mere ten seconds, but it will, if the spell strikes true, immediately render the target unable to see as its vision is filled with searing light.

Many believe that the Light spell is pitifully weak compared with the might of the higher battle spells that make up the Alteration school. However, others see it as a useful teaching tool, since it acts as a relatively harmless introduction to the school for novices, and demonstrates how the Alteration school reacts differently for different forms of physical matter, in this case, the animate and the inanimate.

Invisibility

This is perhaps one of the most famous of magical spells, as many legends speak of wizards who turn themselves invisible to achieve one end or another, for good or for ill. As its name implies, the spell allows the caster or his target to go unseen for a few minutes at a time. This can prove useful for sneaking past foes who would otherwise prove too formidable for the caster and his comrades, though it can also be used to get into all kinds of mischief if the caster or target feels so inclined to do so.

The spell has definite limitations, however. While the target is rendered completely invisible even in brightest day, it does nothing to block sound, so others around an invisible being might be able to divine the location of such a creature by listening with keen ears. Indeed, if an invisible being speaks, attacks, or otherwise significantly interacts with his environment, the spell immediately ends. Thus, a target of this spell should proceed with caution while under its effects.

Dispel Magic

This highly useful, powerful spell completely nulls all battle spells of a specified school that currently affect the chosen target. This makes it highly prized by mages and priests who regularly do battle with foes who possess magic themselves.

The mage or priest utilizing this spell should become well-versed in magical lore, however, for she must first know which school of magic currently affects her target before she can hope to dispel it. Also, a Shield Magic or Phase spell will still defend against a Dispel Magic spell, unless the caster chose to Dispel Protection, which would immediately null all such protections the target possessed without having the opportunity to activate.

Gaseous Form

The pinnacle of the Alteration school before ritual magic, Gaseous Form allows the caster to become incorporeal as a ghost for a time, making him impervious to all forms of attack, whether magical or physical in nature. While the caster's movement is slowed to a walking pace, and his form can be blown by a sufficiently strong wind, he is otherwise impervious to most effects of the physical world. This allows a caster to jump off cliffs and land at the bottom completely unscathed, to move through keyholes and cracks in walls, and otherwise have near-complete freedom of movement. The caster may end the effect early if he chooses to.

This spell has a few limitations aside from the ones already mentioned. A Dispel Magic spell cast to Dispel Alteration magic will end the spell. Some forms of ritual magic will still affect a gaseous being. Also, the spell can only be cast on the caster himself; not on others.

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