Lores of Magic

Lores of Magic

The Lores of Magic in Games Workshop's Warhammer Fantasy setting are the 'styles' of magic. Each 'style' has a different theme of spells.

The Realm of Chaos is the root of all magic in the Warhammer world. All races use the winds of magic that blow from the chaos-infected Northern Wastes to power their spells.


When the Gate the Old Ones used to travel to the Warhammer world collapsed, raw chaos flooded the warhammer world. The mighty Slann fought (and still do) to contain the raw power of chaos. The High Elves, the second creation of the Old Ones after the Lizardmen, created a vortex on Ulthuan that together with magical stones present on both the island of Ulthuan and Albion contain the chaos and prevents it from completely overrunning the world.

The first magic users (besides the enigmatic Old Ones) were the Slann, and after them the High Elves. The High Elves taught the realm of men how to practice the eight lores of magic after the Great War of Chaos, when the High Elf mage Teclis helped Magnus the Pious of the Empire to found the colleges of Magic in Altdorf. The High Elves themselves were taught magic by the Old Ones [http://uk.games-workshop.com/warhammer/brief%2Dguide/6/] . The Dark Elves and Wood Elves, both descending from the High Elves, are also naturally adept at magic. The ancient kingdom of Khemri practiced their own form of magic, that was corrupted by the Necromancer Nagash who instructed the Vampire Counts in the way of his black arts. There are no Dwarf wizards as dwarfs have a natural disdain for "uncontrolled magic", but the Runesmiths of the dwarfs harness magic into magic items through the use of runes. The Chaos Dwarfs, dwarfs corrupted by Chaos, do employ sorcerers.

Humans are not suited for channeling magic as well as the Elves are, and due to this, no Human can use magic, even the relatively 'safe' magic of the Eight Lores, for any time and come out of it... unmarked. Long term use of magic causes Humans to change in certain physical and mental ways. In a sense, these are a very predictable form of the mutation that comes whenever you meddle with the stuff of Chaos.

The 8 Lores

These eight lores are considered the basic lores of magic in Warhammer. Depending on which faction a wizard comes from or college he studied at he might be able to use one or more of these lores.

Fire - The wind of Aqshy

The form of magic that draws its power from Aqshy is known as the Lore of Fire. The Lore of Fire is the most overtly offensive of the Eight Lores. Its spells range from concentrated fiery blasts, to swords conjured of pure flame, to massive, all-consuming infernos. More than any other Lore, Fire is truly a weapon in the hand of its practitioner. Because of this, the users of the Lore of Fire make up many of the foremost battle mages within the Empire's armies.

Pyromancers (also known as Bright Wizards) of Aqshy mutate through a series of changes. The one first noticed by most people would be the Bright Wizard's hair, which takes on a fiery color of blond or red, and sometimes when the Wizard channels magic his hair will move like a flickering flame. There are also the strange markings that appear on the Pyromancer's arms and face; many mistake these as tattoos, but they did not come from a needle. Other marks include glowing eyes, feverish skin, extreme discomfort in cold or rain, or a faint scent of brimstone constantly surrounding him.

Spells:1-Fireball,2-Flaming Sword of Rhuin,3-The Burning Head,4-Fiery Blast,5-Conflagration of Doom,6-Wall of Fire,NEW-Immolation of Cities

Metal - The wind of Chamon

Gold Wizards, or Alchemists, draw their power from the Lore of Metal. The magic of Chamon is the magic of transmutation, of changing an object from one thing to another. Legends abound of the Gold Wizards turning lead into gold, and these stories are both true and false. Alchemists are capable of changing the base elements of an item from one to another, but the matter resists these changes, and will eventually change back to its original element. On the other hand, a Gold Wizard would be able to permanently change, say, a human into a pig, because both humans and pigs are made of the same elements, simply arranged differently.

In battle, the Alchemist channels Chamon to changing things in his favor: flinging bolts of metal at his opponent, giving his ally's sword an unnaturally sharp edge, turning an enemy's armor to rust, or even petrifying an enemy as a stone statue.

The Lore of Metal also is strongly focused on pure destruction, especially against heavily armoured targets, often increasing its heat considerably.

Spells:1-Rule of Burning Iron,2-Commandment of Brass,3-Transmutation of Lead,4-Distillationof Molten Silver5-Law of Gold,6-The Spirit of the Forge.

Shadow - The wind of Ulgu

Grey Wizards, or Shadowmancers, use the Wind Ulgu to power the Lore of Shadows. Ulgu is the Wind of deception, of the unseen and unknown, and the hidden. The Lore of Shadows gives the abilities of invisibility, illusion, and unseen death.

With these powers, the Shadowmancers make up the greatest spy network in the Empire. So secret that not even the Emperor himself knows the full scope of their actions, Grey Wizards infiltrate those shadowy organizations that conspire to bring the Empire down from the inside. With their abilities as arcane spies and assassins, the Shadowmancers bring down these traitor organizations without anyone suspecting their presence.

The Lore of Shadow places less emphasis on destruction and more on tactical aspects such as free movement and causing fear.

Spells:1-Steed of Shadows,2-Creeping Death,3-Crown of Taidron,4-Shades of Death,5-Unseen Lurker,6-Pit of Shades.

Beasts - The wind of Ghur

Amber Wizards, or Shamans, practice the Lore of Beasts. Ghur is the magic of wild places, of things that will not be contained by the walls of men. The Lore of Beasts gives Amber Wizards a bond with the creatures that make their home in these places. Their magic allows them to commune with the spirits of animals, summoning flocks of crows to attack their enemies, calling the beasts of the wild to their side, and even allows the wizard to take the form of these animals to fight or travel.

Shamans patrol the wild forests of the Empire, and keep the Beastmen and other dark things that dwell there at manageable levels, protecting their home from corruption.

The Lore of Beasts focuses on some aspects of both destructive magic and tactics. It has a spell to prevent enemy beasts (including cavalry) from moving.

Spells:1-The Bear's Anger,2-The Oxen Stands,3-The Crows Feast,4-The Beast Cowers,5-The Hunters Spear,6-The Wolf Hunts.

Heavens - The wind of Azyr

Celestial Wizards, or Astromancers, use Azyr with the Lore of Heavens. The powers given by Azyr are twofold; firstly, it gives the Wizard power over weather and the sky. In battle, the Astromancer calls down powerful bolts of lightning and gusts of wind to strike his enemies, and the most powerful Astromancers are capable of reaching beyond the atmosphere to bring down comets and meteors.

Their second, and more powerful, ability is to use Azyr to see into the future. Astromancers are seers and astrologists without peer, who can look at how Azyr obstructs their view of the night sky, and from the stars they can and cannot see, are able to understand what the future brings. This is both their most powerful gift and their greatest curse, for having seen the future, the Astromancer must learn to live with what he has seen.

The Lore of Heaven combines highly destructive magic with the protective spells and second sight.

Spells:1-Portent of Far,2-Second Sign of Amul,3-Celestial Shield,4-Forked Lightning,5-Uranon's Thunder bolt,6-The Comet of Casandora.

Light - The wind of Hysh

The White Wizards, or Hierophants, use the spells of the Lore of Light. This magic is the manipulation of light and all things that light represents: enlightenment, purity, and holiness. White Wizards are capable of concentrating light into a focused beam of destruction; they are also able to heal the sick or injured, and cast powerful protective spells.

But the most powerful of the Hierophant's abilities is his power to combat Chaos. White Wizards are powerful exorcists of Daemonic entities. By shining the light of Hysh upon them, Hierophants are able to save the daemonically possessed and send physically-manifested Daemons screaming back into the hell that spawned them. Those Daemons that are too powefull to banish, the White Order will still endeavor to capture and then seal in an ancient vault located underneath the White College.

The Grand Theogonist may also use spells from the lore of Light when atop the War Altar of Sigmar.

The Lore of Light contains a mix of protective and destructive spells. Its spells are especially dangerous to Undead and Daemons.

Spells:1-Burning Gaze,2-Pha's Illumination,3-Healing Energy,4-Dazzling Brightness,5-Guardian Light,6-Cleansing Flare.

Life - The wind of Ghyran

Jade Wizards, or Druids, channel the magic of the Lore of Life. Like the Hierophants of the White Order, Druids are also powerful healers, being able to heal not only people, but even the very land itself. Their greatest power, however, is their dominion over plant life and water.

When a Jade Wizard goes to battle, the land itself comes to his aid: Thorny vines burst from the ground to strike his enemies, geysers of boiling water gush forth at their feet, the very air around them will change, bringing forth the blistering heat of summer or the frigid temperatures of winter.

The Lore of Life incorporates several aspects of nature in its spells. Many of these also make use of the terrain features on the gaming surface. Its has both protective and destructive spells.

Spells:1-Mistress of the Marsh,2-Master of the Wood,3-Gift of Life,4-The Howler Wind,5-The Rain Lord,6-Master of Stone

Death - The wind of Shyish

Amethyst Wizards, or the Brethren of Shyish, study the Lore of Death. Contrary to what many people believe, Amethyst Wizards are not Necromancers and have no spells that raise the Undead, nor would they want them. The Order of Shyish embrace the certainty of death and all other endings, while Necromancers strive to prevent their own ends at all costs.

The magic of Shyish is the magic of time and the soul, of driving away or destroying the Undead, of causing a person or item to wither and age a decade in seconds, of draining a person of his vitality to empower the casting wizard, of communing with the recently dead, and of ripping a person's soul from his body to leave behind a decaying corpse.

Spells from the Lore of Death are, as one might expect, mostly destructive; the remaining spells deal with psychology. The spell Drain Life is very dangerous, as it hits every enemy unit within a certain range.

Spells:1-Dark Hand of Death,2-Steal Soul,3-Wind of Death,4-Walking Death,5-Doom and Darkness!6-Drain Life.

Other Lores

Psychic Destruction

Psychic Destruction is form of magic used by greenskins. Unlike other races of the Warhammer world, the greenskins draw their magic not from the Winds of Magic, but their own psyche. Orcs (and to a lesser extent Goblins) generate a level of psychic energy which increases as the greenskin gets more excited as well as in the presence of other greenskins. The shaman of their tribes act as a conduit for this energy, which they ascribe to their twin gods: Gork and Mork. As a result, although shamans do not suffer from the perils of the warp that afflict other magic users, they can suffer from massive overloads of Psychic Destruction energy, with not dissimilar results. Psychic Destruction is divided into two categories: 'Apprentice' which is used by goblin shamans, and 'Mastery' which is used by orc shamans.

Spells of the Apprentice Psychic Destruction1:Gaze of Gork2:Brain Buster3:Gork Cannon4:Foot of Gork5:Hand of Gork6:Mork Summoning

Spells of the Mastery Psychic Destruction1:Gaze of Mork2:Head explosion3:Blitz Wave4:Fist of Gork5:Gork's Warpath6:Psychic Destruction

Lores of Chaos

Chaos sorcerers study magic in its absolute rawest form, drawing it directly from the realm of chaos. As chaos corrupts, its magic also corrupts and chaos magic albeit powerful is also dangerous to use. The sorcerers of Nurgle use the magic to hit their enemies with terrible diseases that cannot be cured, while the sorcerers of Slaanesh use the magic to dominate the minds of their foes. The most powerful of the chaos sorcerers are the sorcerers of Tzeentch, who channel the raw colours of magic against their foes. Ingame chaos magic is represented by three lores, each with its own distinctive set of spells.

Spells of the lore of Tzeentch:1:Red fire,2:Orange fire,3:Yellow fire,4:Blue fire,5:Indigo fire,6:Green fire.

Spells of the lore of Slaanesh:1:Blissful Throes,2:Luxurious Torment,3:Titillating Delusions,4:Delectable Torture,5:Enrapting Spasms,6:Delicious Excruciation.

Spells of the lore of Nurgle1:Buboes,2:Poxes,3:Boils,4:Scabs,5:Afflictions,6:Pestilence.

Khorne has no magic-users, because he sees the use of magic as a sign of weakness and as such many of his followers are blessed with magic resistance.

High Magic

High Magic, also known as True Magic or the Mystic Arts of Saphery, is the lore of the High Elves. High Elves study magic as pure mystical energy, unlike the wizards of the Empire. The runic name for High Magic is Qhaysh and it represents the eight winds acting as a gestalt whole, intertwined and working together without losing their unique properties, the obvious metaphor being that of a rainbow. Because of this it has great diversity at a cost of being far too complicated and intricate for the human mind to grasp. In game, the lore has many spells to be used against enemy wizards. High Elf mages together with the Slann of the Lizardmen know the Drain Magic spell which can be used to limit the effectiviness of enemy spellcasters.

Spells:Drain Magic (free)1-Shield of Saphery2-Curse of Arrow Attraction3-Courage of Aenarion4-Fury of Khaine5-Flames of the Phoenix6-Vaul's Unmaking

Dark Magic

Dark Magic, also known as the Dark Arts, is the lore of the Dark Elves. Dhar (the runic name for Dark Magic) is a form of magic that consists of all the eight winds mashed together, unlike High Magic that gently weaves them together. When this magic energy seeps into the world and lies undisturbed, it can gain physical attributes and becomes warpstone. The Witch King Malekith decides which dark elves are allowed to study Dark Magic and which are not, and as the use of magic is restricted to the convent of the sorceresses there are only female dark elf magic users (besides the Witch King himself). In game it is primarily an offensive lore with many of the spells coming in the form of "magic missiles" and a majority of the spells directly causing wounds on enemy units/models [http://uk.games-workshop.com/darkelves/spells/assets/darkmagiccards.pdf] .

Spells:Power of Darkness (free)1:Chillwind,2:Doombolt,3:Word of Pain,4:Bladewind5:Soul Stealer,6:Black horror

Lore of Athel Loren

The Lore of Athel Loren is the lore of the Wood Elves. The lore draws upon the magic of the forest of Athel Loren and can only be used by wood elf mages. In game the lore can be used in many ways, even to move the terrain of the battlefield.

Lore of the Truthsayers

While the High Elves battled Chaos in the aftermath of the polar gates collapse, Albion was overlooked by the demons. The Truthsayers or Druids as the tribesmen called them, were taught by the Old Ones themselves and used this chance to erect many powerful stone circles and efidices to aid in binding Chaos back to the poles. Though Chaos was thwarted, Albion was shrouded in mist and rain and was reduced to bogs and cold, rain blasted marshes. The Truthsayers were forced to stay in isolation while the world around them grew and progressed. When Be'lakor attempted to seize the Ogham stones of Albion, the Truthsayers went into the Warhammer World to find allies to support them against those brought by Be'lakor's agents, the Dark Emissaries. Though not as magically proficent as the Dark Emissaries, the Truthsayers were better at looking after themselves in combat. Their symbol is that of a spiral triskele. Their lore is mostly about supporting and boosting their allies.

Spells:1-Wings of Fate2-Light of Battle3-Gift of Life4-Blessing of Valor5-Boon of Courage6-Voice of Command

Lore of the Dark Emissaries

The Dark Emissaries were agents of Be'lakor, who as the 'Dark Master' used them to entice armies to Albion and help in the desecration of the Ogham stones. Their symbol is that of a spiral. More magically powerful than the Truthsayers, the Lore of the Dark Emissaries is entirely cast at enemy models with a variety of damage/psychological effects

Spells:1-Bolt of Dark Light2-Betrayal in Death3-Nightmare4-Curse of the Dark Master5-Fog of Death6-Coils of the Serpent


Necromancy, also known as the Black Art or the Lore of the Vampires, is a lore created by the Necromancer Nagash and used to destroy the ancient kingdom of Khemri and create the Undead. The Liber Necris tells that he learned the basis of his art from captured Dark Elves and as such Necromancy is based on manipulation of Dhar, or Dark Magic. As such warpstone, which is Dhar solidified, often plays a major role in necromancy and Nagash consumed prodigious amounts of it when working on his art in his fortress of Nagashizzar. Ingame Necromancy is used by the Vampire Counts with the primary spell being the Invocation of Nehek (automatically known by vampire characters) that can be used both to restore wounds and models in an existing unit and to create new units of Zombies and Skeletons. Necromancers may select from the three Necromancy spells, whereas the more adept and powerful Vampires generate other spells by rolling as per usual.

Spells:Free-Invocation of Nehek (Necromancy Spell)1-Raise Dead (Necromancy Spell)2-Vanhel's Danse Macabre (Necromancy Spell) 3-Gaze of Nagash4-Curse of Years5-Wind of Undeath6-Summon Undead Horde

Ice magic

Ice Magic draws upon the power of Kislev itself and its icy climate. Ice Magic is practiced by Ice Mages and the Khan-Queens of Kislev, who can transmute the winds of magic into ice storms. Ingame Ice Magic is a balanced lore with both offensive and defensive spells.

Spells:1-Shardstorm2-Freezing Blast3-Form of the Frostfiend4-Invocation of the Ice Storm5-Midwinter's Kiss6-Glacial Barrier

Skaven Magic

The horned skaven known as Grey Seers are the masters of Skaven magic. Priests of the Horned Rat and often emissaries of the Council of Thirteen (rulers of the Skaven), they hold a lot of power over their fellow ratmen. Warpstone is often consumed as a way of bolstering their powers, meaning their magic is based on Dhar, or Dark Magic. Warlock Engineers of Clan Skyre, although not natural wizards, can control and release magical warp-lightning through their arcane science. They use several devices, such as Supercharged Warp-Power Accumulators and Upgraded Warp-Energy Condensers to increase their mastery over this magic.

Spells:1-Skitterleap2-Warp Lightning3-Vermintide4-Pestilent Breath5-Death Frenzy6-Plague

Gut magic

The shamanic rituals of Ogre butchers. These "spells" are known by all Ogre Butchers, and are used to either bolster the abilities of the Ogres or demoralise enemy troops.

Gut magic is also known as Gastromancy, Thaumaphagy or Corpomancy.

Gut magic works not by manipulating the winds of magic, but rather by calling on the power of the Ogre god (the Great Maw), thus it is more of a religious miracle than an arcane science



Runelore is used only by Dwarfs. It is the crafting of runes on weapons to give them extra strength or power. A Dwarf may spend centuries as an apprentice under a Runelord. An Anvil of doom is used by the strongest Runelords wreaking havok over the field.


*cite book|title=Warhammer Armies: Hordes of Chaos|first=Gav|last=Thorpe|coauthors=Priestley, Rick; Reynolds, Anthony and Cavatore, Alessio|year=2002|edition=1st Edition|publisher=Games Workshop|location=Nottingham|id=ISBN 1-84154-222-9
* [http://uk.games-workshop.com/darkelves/spells/1/ Dark Elf spells]
* [http://uk.games-workshop.com/empire/kislev/1/ Kislev Armybook]
*Johnson, J., & Blanche, J., 1998. "Warhammer Armies: Dark Elves". Nottingham: Games Workshop Ltd. ISBN 1-869893-16-6
*Warhammer Armies: High Elves; Andy chambers, Bill King, Jes Goodwin; Games Workshop; 1993; ISBN - 872372 63 5
* [http://uk.games-workshop.com/warhammer/chaos-dwarfs/1/ Chaos Dwarfs armylist]
*"Warhammer Army Book: Dwarfs"; Rick Priestley Nigel Stillman; Games Workshop; 1993; ISBN 1 872372 66 X
*Warhammer Armies: the Empire (1993), Games Workshop and Bryan Ansell, no ISBN
*Warhammer Armies: High Elves; Andy chambers, Bill King, Jes Goodwin; Games Workshop; 1993; ISBN - 872372 63 5
*Warhammer Armies: High Elves; 2007

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