This class deals with the offensive side of magic, from personal combat, to battlefield magic, and siege and artillery magic. Students interested in the field usually complement this with at least a partial specialisation in defensive magics.
A general knowledge of military history, strategy, tactics and procedures is necessary to understand best how to use combat abilities in a battle situation. Therefore mages specialising in combat are also likely to undertake a mundane “War Studies” course.
- Basic Level
- Partial Expert
- Full Specialist
Mages will leave college with a range of basic offensive spells, such as lightning bolts, fireballs, sheets of fire, etc. The range and intensity with which these can be cast varies on the ability of mage, and his strength of will. At basic level, mages are restricted to line of sight, and the circumference of explosions, etc. won’t exceed more than 25-30ft.
Invisibility, to the extent of being able to bend light to make someone disappear, is another facet of basic battle magic, although the range would be personal and the duration would be limited, and related to how long the mage wishes to concentrate – the effect would decay over 10-15 minutes, if not being actively maintained.
This improves the range somewhat, and also the strength of a blast, etc, becomes more potent. Also, it allows for the beginnings of magical bombings, etc – setting off a spell that will explode three miles in that direction, for example… Accuracy of placement can be improved with application of scanning spells (see Investigative Magic). Military applications of spells such as sleep spells can be considered, as can military applications of the statis spell (aka the “coatrack”), although both of these can be opposed by another mage.
Slightly more unusual spells can be developed, for example a storm of sharp blades, which could slice both people and vegetation, or spells making the environment where the combat is taking place more or less hostile to the participants, for example making the ground under your enemy’s feet slick with oil so they cannot stand, or the plants turn into barbed wire to make things difficult. Range on new spells such as these would again be limited to line of sight at this specialisation.
In addition, the more a mage studies battle and combat magic, the better they are at casting “live” in a combat situation where they are not specifically threatened: for example, they can react to events happening on other parts of the battlefield from the command tent. However, if they are being physically attacked, casting spells from cold becomes impossible.
The time a mage can maintain invisibility without actively concentrating is extended to between 30-45 minutes, as long as the range remains personal, or within a few feet of the caster. In addition, it becomes possible to make groups or areas within a range of 20-30ft invisible, although here again if the mage ceases to actively concentrate, the invisibility begins to decay at the same kind of rate as personal invisibility at basic level.
Long distance offensive magic becomes still more possible. Mages in Paris, for example, can launch magical “bombs” against buildings in London, especially if they have access to long-range scanning as well.
Further unusual attacks can be developed, and the range of spells first built at a partial degree of specialisation can be improved.
Fully specialised battle mages can further react to conditions on the battlefield, and can cast close to instantly to react to situations, even if normally they would take a few minutes to cast a spell. In addition, if physically attacked they have at least a slim chance of getting a spell off (depending on strength of will and military ability).
Specific Specialisation: Artillery
This is a recent varient of Siege Magic, and deals with destruction over distance, whereas Siege Magic is more line of sight. While full offensive mages can perform long-distance attacks, Artillery magic increases the power of those attacks dramatically.
Specific Specialisation: Explosives and Bomb Disposal
This is a sub-category that includes defensive magics as well as battle magics. It gives the mage the ability to both set and safely deal with both mundane and arcane explosives. For example, a mage can set a magical device with magical triggers, which would equally need a specialist to unravel safely. Likewise, a specialisation here would allow a mage to learn the specific spells needed to safely deflect the energies created by a controlled explosion.
The Sable Royal Engineers are trained to this specialisation level in both siege magics and explosives.
Specific Specialisation: Siege Magic
Siege magic deals with battlefield engineering: constructing siege towers, working out the best way to break into a stronghold – finding weak spots, undermining foundations, and the magical equivalents of launching Greek fire and rocks at the battlements.
Related Studies: Some amountof structural magics, and a working knowledge of mundane civil and siege engineering.