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The Five Colors of Magic

•••White mana comes from sprawling plains, sunlit savannahs, and windswept meadows. In Magic, white is the color of law, order, and structure. White magic heals and protects and is often a force for justice and honor. When a white mage fights, legions of troops thunder across the battlefield with their banners held high. Enemy hordes are routed outside the gates of a castle. When white unleashes its wrath, the battlefield is cleansed of all life.

Order, protection, light, law: These are white magic’s values.

White mages achieve balance through strategy and organization. For white mages, society is more important than the individual. They build strong defenses, rally the troops, and protect their allies. White magic heals injured soldiers so they can answer the call of battle again and again. White mages amass enormous armies, but sometimes a single, awesome champion is necessary to teach the enemy a lesson. At their best, white mages are self-sacrificing and moral. At their worst, they are uncreative and even authoritarian.

Examples of white spells include cleansing and healing magic, blinding light, and devastating waves of purifying energy.

White-aligned creatures are orderly, defensive, and cooperative. They gather fast and strike first. White mages summon majestic angels to devastate the unworthy. Legions of soldiers and knights form effective armies under a white mage’s command. The soldiers might be small individually, but together they are overwhelming.

•••Islands provide blue mana—the magic of the deep sea and the endless sky. Blue magic is about deceit, logic, and illusion. To a blue mage, information and knowledge are paramount. Blue mages want to know everything, and they’ll go to any lengths to do so. When a blue mage fights, tidal waves crash against rocky cliffs, the wind whips out of stormy skies, and an enemy’s spells fail as their creatures vanish into thin air.

Knowledge, manipulation, wind, and wave: These are the blue mage’s tools.

Blue magic is reactive, calculated, and methodical. Its strength lies in patience and intelligence. Blue mages work behind the scenes, scheming and stealing secrets. They control their environments completely before making a move. Blue spells and abilities focus on prediction and illusion. Blue is also the color of technology and artifice. At their best, blue mages are inventive and progressive. At their worst, they are manipulative and treacherous.

Examples of blue spells include crashing waves, whirlpools of Æther, and even manipulations of time itself.

Blue-aligned creatures try to deceive their opponents or trick them into using magic in a way they didn’t intend. Blue-aligned creatures often confuse, disguise themselves, or steal things from their enemies. Blue mages call wizards and weird beasts of the air and oceans to serve them. They summon crafty sphinxes, ferocious drakes, and elusive sprites. Titanic leviathans surface from the depths of the ocean to do their bidding.

•••Black mana comes from dank swamps, where things fester and rot. Shadowy wastelands, haunted catacombs, and fetid bogs are all prime sources of black mana. Black is the color of death, fear, and amorality—these are the twisted values of the darkness. Black magic is powerful and easy to wield, but it comes with a high price. Black mages are self-centered and self-serving. They will do anything to get power—no matter what the cost.

Death, ambition, and darkness are the stock and trade of black mages.

Black mana offers a host of gruesome spells. Black magic can unearth the dead from their graves and make them walk again. It can spread a pestilence across the landscape and drain the life from all who live there. Black spells can curse victims in horrible and enduring ways. They can warp the mind, poison the land, and kill creatures instantly. But the price is high and the risks are many. At their best, black mages are ambitious and unashamed. At their worst, they are enslaving and devouring.

Examples of black spells are tendrils of corrupting shadow, command over the undead, and projection of crippling nightmares into the minds of enemies.

Undead skeletons and ghouls, unspeakable horrors, and diabolical demons are native to places of black mana, and they’re as self-serving and treacherous as the mages who control them. Black magic isn’t limited to these abominations, though—death-cultists and secret societies of assassins carry out black mages’ nefarious plans under cover of darkness. Black mages control the most horrifying of creatures, but always at a price.

•••Red mana flows from rugged mountain ranges, rocky crags, and the fiery heart of volcanoes. Red magic is about fury and passion. When a red mage fights, lightning arcs across the blood-red sky, lava erupts from the earth, and flash fires consume the land. Red mages can channel their wild emotions to raze a city or to harness flames into deadly weapons.

Freedom, fire, and impulse are the lifeblood of every red mage.

Red mages have no patience for talk or subtlety. They act quickly and recklessly. With red mana, a mage controls the power of fire and earth. Red mages scorch their enemies with fireballs or call down electricity from the sky. They can rattle the foundations of civilizations and destroy the land itself. At their best, red mages are dynamic, passionate, and unbound. At their worst, they are shortsighted, temperamental, and destructive.

Examples of red spells include rains of meteors, searing bolts of lightning, and huge gouts of flame.

Red-aligned creatures are warlike, frenzied, and dangerous. Red mages summon mighty dragons to dominate the skies. They send hordes of bloodthirsty barbarians or rampaging goblins to lay waste to their enemies. They also channel mystical energy and summon fire elementals of merciless power and destruction. Red creatures rage across the landscape cutting down anything that stands in their way.

•••The teeming forests overflow with green mana the pulse of nature. Green magic is about growth, life, and brute force. When a green mage fights, massive creatures crash through the undergrowth, animals enlarge to gargantuan size, and wounds close before blood spills onto the ground.

Strength, ferocity, and life: These are the values that sustain the green mage.

Green mages understand that the world obeys the law of the jungle—everything is either predator or prey. Green mages do what they can to accelerate and protect nature: jungles expand, artifacts crumble, and creatures regenerate themselves. For green mages, even the plants become lethal weapons. At their best, green mages are instinctual and adaptive. At their worst, they are savage, unthinking, and predatory.

Examples of green spells include wild, lush growth, sudden predatory hunger, and the might of an entire stampede.

Green mages summon a huge variety of creatures, from forest-dwelling animals to territorial elves and awe-inspiring behemoths. Some green creatures are living wellsprings of mana; others overrun their foes in a mighty rush of ferocious power. From towering nature elementals to carnivorous wurms, green creatures are the biggest and mightiest around.

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