Investigative magic covers a variety of areas, from telling if someone is lying, to psychometry, to scanning, to forensics. It can be a very useful ability, and is quite flexible.
The main related areas are the development of an ability to analyse data and make logical deductions from it.
- Basic Level
- Partial Expert
- Full Specialist
All mages will leave Mage College with some basics in investigative magic. These include an ability to truth read, the accuracy of which depends in part on the strength of the mind of the mage doing the reading (and, indeed, the subject), limited psychometry (the ability to read vague psychic impressions from an item), identifying and recognising the specific “style” each mage he encounters uses, and identifying whether the Signet a mage is wearing is actually the one keyed to him or her.
Mages can also use this ability to seal items for privacy, and tell if those seals have been broken by anyone they shouldn’t have been.
In addition, if a mage is expecting to travel extra-planar, for example beyond the Commonwealth, they can be taught the “checkspell”, which tells them how to interface their internal magic with the Shadow they are currently on. This only needs to be cast once on any given Shadow or region of similar Shadows (for example, the Commonwealth around Sable will all have a similar form of magic to Sable itself, and therefore the checkspell would not be needed).
A lot of what comes with partial specialisation is the refinement of the basic abilities. For example, with the basic psychometer ability a mage could get psychic impressions which would probably be limited to sex and very approximate description (about this high, maybe this sort of colouring) of someone who had handled an item, and then only the person most strongly connected with it, with a partial specialisation this information becomes a bit more specific. It also allows a mage to feel for other impressions behind the primary one. It will also allow the investigative mage to identify the workmanship of another mage he has encountered before and perhaps identify the maker.
New abilities which come with partial specialisation include limited scanning (the ability to look out from your current position to see what is happening in the immediate vicinity); and beginning to be able to look back to see what has happened in a place in the recent past. However, the latter is still quite vague, for example you can see people talking but can’t necessarily hear what they are saying, or you can see an approximate figure murdering another approximate figure.
Another modification is that investigative mages at this level are beginning to be able to see within items to some degree, for example does a packet contain a gift or could there be a bomb inside? However, it can be a bit hit and miss, and is not guaranteeably reliable – in the same way that you need a degree of training and experience to identify items using X-ray machines at airports.
Partially specifialised investigative mages are also able to record and identify the magical signature of another practitioner, and are able to compare it against a signature on record.
Scanning is increased so that a mage can actually scan for a far greater distance and both see details and feel for magic being used up to 100-150 miles away. Very, very good mages can see much further than that – for example from London to Berlin.
The ability to “look back” is increased such that a mage can get quite a clear picture of something that happened recently in a place, by picking up on the remaining psychic impressions. In addition, he can look past the most recent images and see vague resonances of things that have happened further in the past.
The reliability of looking “inside” things improves.
Specific Specialisation: Forensics
This is a sub-specialisation, as the applications of investigative magic used here are a lot more specific. Anything that can be done on earth using a forensic laboratory, can be done by a specialist forensic mage: for example, determining cause of death (if not blatantly obvious), time of death, blood type, etc. Also, tying fabric samples to clothes, taking and analysing fingerprints, tying a bullet to a gun, or a sheet of paper to a typewriter, or a dagger to its scabbard, etc.
Related Studies: A basis in the sciences, and also a degree of medical knowledge to help understand things such as cause of death.
Specific Specialisation: Identity Magic and Biometrics
Identity magic is actually a discipline more found within the Reich, than Sable itself – although there are one or two people within Sable who know the theory. Identity magic has been imported from the Empire of Eboracum, and is a way of establishing the identity of anyone within the given national database. Where identity magic is used, every individual who needs to be recorded is examined by an identity mage, and a physical form of identification given to that person (eg a bracelet, ring or neck chain). This form of identification should never be removed. Thereafter, when entering a secure area they will be scanned to make sure that the piece of physical identification matches the person wearing it, thus establishing that they are who they say they are.
Related Studies: An understanding of the human genome, and a knowledge of magical security systems.