HowTo:Become a wizard
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Ever wanted to join the ranks of those elite magicians, those Æther adepts, leaders of adventure and wearers of pointed hats? Ever wanted to snap your fingers and start fires that can burn cities to the ground and, more importantly, roast marshmallows? Ever wanted to perform the Rite of AshkEnte and so summon Death? Or perhaps you just wanted to speak complicated words no one else understands to put mysterious forces into motion? Well, whatever the case, you’re in the right place. The most important step is choosing the kind of wizzarde you want to be, as each type has a series of unique steps to be followed. here are instructions for 5 different kinds of Wizard.
edit Choosing a name
Whatever type of wizard you aspire to be, a good name is essential, and it must be chosen with great care; nobody will look twice at a wizard called Mario. So wizard names have to sound and look the part; what kind of names are we looking at? Almost any name, with a different spelling, or a humorous intention can cut the bill, as long as it matches the wearer. Just remember that you have to live up to the name you pick, so ‘bob the greatest wizard ever’ isn’t going to work for anyone.
edit The Tolkien wizard
A staff wielding, hat and robe wearing, Gandalf-like figure. Typically a person of vast wisdom and knowledge, not to mention age, with a great beard and a very vague set of powers, ranging from Balrog blocking to inexplicably resurrecting in a manner very convenient to the plot…
Typically a staff through which to channel power is required, though a sword or some other melee weapon will certainly come in handy as it seems that (when we take Gandalf as the standard) magic can be exhausted as an option; at that point it's good to have a backup plan. As a setter of quests and suchlike, you will often find yourself flitting between parties, imparting wisdom and guidance to those whose quests you have set; as such you must be up to date with the current affairs and happenings of the world, so better to inform and guide your questers. One can also benefit from possessing allies on all sides, as this can smooth the passage for the various quests you have set in motion. In addition to this any wizard must, of course, have such knowledge of the arcane as is necessary for them.
edit The Rowling wizard
A wand wielding, robe wearing, Dumbledore style person. Wisdom and knowledge are entirely optional, with an everyday approach to life, rarely entering quests or adventures, unless searching for horcruxes to destroy, and so, ultimately, save the world, though this is not advisable unless dealing with a very serious situation, as Cornelious Fudge so clearly demonstrates with his sheer refusal to accept that he-who-must-not-be-named has returned until directly confronted with him. Given, therefore, that the Rowling wizard will spend the majority of his (or her, if one counts witches) time doing everyday tasks, companions will simply be good friends, though this may not be the case if the wizarding world is at war, as in 'The Deathly Hallows'. Rowling wizards must spend a significant amount of time memorizing spells and their motions, a task not all are entirely competent at.
“It's levi-O-sa, not Levio-sar.”
edit The Paolini wizard
A person capable of converting the energy in living things into forms of energy. Easily exhausted, but not requiring an instrument to direct power or any specific dress style. This type of wizard can be of any high fantasy race (with the possible exception of Orcs, though Urgals might count for that) , but needs to be aware that it’s usually better to obtain goals via non magical means.
That magic is easily exhausted means that for a Paolini wizard, choosing companions is a vital step, one which cannot be delayed or bypassed. Unless you happen to be an elvish dragon rider with a large store of Eldunarí, in which case it's "screw the rules, I have magic!" Even then, however, it could be said that one has strong companions, as both the dragon and the eldunarí are sentient beings. If you don't have access to such power, however, it's definitely worth making friends both with other Wizards and warriors.
Any Paolini wizard must also remember to train themselves physically AND extend their knowledge of the ancient language at every available opportunity.
edit The Pratchett wizard
A sequin-clad, pointed hat-wearing man, with variable spellings of wizzard, and an absurd like of not only food but also archaic equipment and correctly dribbled candles. Though it is possible for a woman to be a wizard and join the unseen university, it is incredibly rare and complicated. See ‘Equal Rites’ for a more in depth look at this possibility.
Pratchett wizards have several weaknesses, most notably other wizzards. As in 'sourcery' where, when faced with a sourcerer, wizzards of the unseen university don't so much band together as friends as agree not to kill each other... yet. Wizzards also typically have overeating issues, as well as smoking problems, and even a ban on any activity resulting in reproduction, as this tends to result in eighth sons of eighth sons or, in other words, sourcerers. it's also quite difficult to actually use magic, as the effort spent learning a spell must equal the magical value of the spell.