Enchanter’s Primer

Enchanting was raised to a fine art by the wizards of the Arcane University. Sadly, some of the nuances of this skill were lost when the Imperial City was sacked. Yet we are not without capability. This text will cover only the basics of Enchanting. It is but a primer for students of the College of Winterhold.

Before a weapon or a bit of armor can be enchanted, the wizard must first learn the enchantment. This is a personal task. Enchantments cannot easily be passed from one mage to another. They must be understood at a primal level that can only be achieved by destroying an enchanted item and absorbing its nature.

The Arcane Enchanter is specifically designed for this task. Merely place an enchanted item in the device and will it to relent. The magic will flow into the mage, imbuing him with the knowledge of how the enchantment is formed. The utter destruction of the enchanted item is the unavoidable consequence of this process.

Items that already have enchantments cannot be enchanted further, so choose carefully when you enchant a blade or helmet. Before beginning an enchantment, make sure you have a filled soul gem. The enchantment will use this soul as a source of power. Place the item and the soul gem on the Arcane Enchanter. Concentrate on the enchantment. The device will meld the two together, enchanting your weapon or armor.

Armor enchantments are permanent and do not need to be charged or powered. The reasons for this are not known. Some in the College have postulated that wearer contributes small amounts of his own energy to keep the armor enchanted. Others say it is just the will of Magnus that it works that way. Regardless of the reason, enchanted armor and clothing never wear out.

Weapon enchantments are a different story. They slowly use the soul energy in them until they are depleted. The enchantment remains, but a filled soul gem must be used to recharge the weapon. Perhaps it is the destructive nature of the weapon enchantments that makes it deplete. One intriguing theory is that the soul leaks out a little at a time into the victim that the weapon harms. As a novice enchanter, the reason is immaterial.

At first you will find that your enchantments require a lot of soul energy. As you become more skilled, you can achieve the same effect with less and less soul energy. So practice your lessons and pay heed to your masters in this magical arts.

Catalogue of Weapon Enchantments

Within this catalogue are all the known varieties of weapon enchantments the modern mages can cast. No pretense is made that this list is complete. New discoveries are made and new enchantments are revealed often enough that this work will eventually become outdated. Those who follow may choose to revise this work as needed.

Weapons such as axes and bows can hold a wide variety of enchantments. The most common are fire, frost and lightning. The simple, yet effective enchantments burn, freeze or shock when they draw blood.

Only slightly less common are weapon enchantments that drain magicka or stamina. These drain off a wizards reserve of power, tiring him magically just as the weapons that strain stamina tire their victims physically. Unlike the elemental enchantments, the enchantment [alone] cannot kill, although the weapon itself can still take a life.

Equally least common are the enchantments of fear. There are two varieties, one for the living, and one for the undead. The former will only affect living creatures, not undead, or magical constructs such as atronachs and dwarven automatons. The latter cause draugr, skeletons, vampires and the like to flee. There is no known fear enchantment that will affect dwarven machines.

A particularly insidious, but somewhat common enchantment, is soul trap. Upon entering the blood, the victim’s soul is bound. Should he die shortly thereafter, his soul is siphoned off to a nearby soul gem. This form of magic should only be used against beasts and monsters. To use it against men or elves is abhorrent.

Noticeably more rare are the absorb enchantments. There are three known types that drain the victims health, magicka, or stamina. The weapon becomes a conduit, transferring the stolen energy from the victim to the wielder. These are sometimes referred to as vampiric enchantments. As discussed above, absorbing magicka and stamina is not in itself deadly. Absorbing health can actually steal the life from a creature.

The rarest of enchantments are those of banishment and paralyzation. Banishment only affects summoned atronachs or undead raised by wizards. The banishment breaks the link between the caster and the creature. Summoned atronach return to the Oblivion plane from whence they came. Raised undead are released. It is important to note that self-willed undead are not affected by banishment.

Paralyzation is simple, yet deadly. The affected creature becomes rigid and unable to move for a short time. This is one of the most prized enchantments among warriors. A paralyzed opponent can be dispatched with ease. It is important to note that many creatures are immune to paralysis, such as Atronachs, skeletons, ice wraiths, and dwarven automatons.

Catalogue of Armor Enchantments

Within this catalogue are all the known varieties of armor enchantments the modern mages can cast. No pretense is made that this list is complete. New discoveries are made and new enchantments are revealed often enough that this work will eventually become outdated. Those who follow may choose to revise this work as needed.

The most common enchantments for armor and other garb are those that improve health, magick or stamina. Fortifying the wearers health is popular with warriors. It actually makes the wearer harder to kill, binding his life force a bit tighter to his body. Fortifying magicka is more commonly seen in clothing because wizards tend to avoid bulky, restrictive armor. It allows the wizard to cast more spells before becoming magically exhausted. Fortifying stamina is a secondary choice for fighters. They tire less quickly, but do not survive their wounds any better.

There is a wide range of physical and mental attributes or skills that can be fortified by enchantments. There are as many of these as there are wizards with imagination. A few choice examples are archery, sneaking, conjuration, and carrying strength. The focus is always quite narrow. There are even examples of gauntlets that are enchanted to improve the wearers ability to enchant things.

Another common form of armor enchantment are the resistances. The elemental resistances are marginally easier to find and make. The [sic] make the wearer less susceptible to burning, freezing and shocks. There are also poison resistances and enchantments that will resist all forms of magic.

An uncommon pair of enchantments are waterbreathing and muffle. The former allows the wearing to swim underwater indefinitely. The later totally silences the clinking and clanking of the armor so the wearer moves more quietly. It’s been speculated that muffle is a wizard’s lazy solution to a problem that could be solved with cloth and wrappings.

The rarest of enchantments increase the recovery rate of health, magicka or stamina. The wearer actually heals from his wounds while you watch, even if he is in the midst of a battle. Wizards normally recover their magical energy at a moderate pace. Wearing this armor makes that recovery much faster. The same is true for stamina recovery enchantments. The wearer tires just as quickly as always, but seems to get his wind back much faster.

A Tragedy in Black

The dremora looked on the young boy with disdain. He looked to be no more than seventeen or eighteen, on the cusp of manhood.

“You? You have summoned me?”

“Mother says I’m good with spells. Someday I’m gonna be a wizard. Maybe even archmage!”

“And what would your mother know of magic, boy?”

“She’s a wizard! She’s an Enchanter at the Arcane University.”

“Ah. Another dabbler in the mystic arts. I’m certain she is barely mediocre.”

“You shut up! I read the scroll. I get to tell you what to do.”

The dremora was silent. Compulsion bound his voice.

“I want to know how to make a magic dress. I need it for her birthday.”

The dremora’s answer was more silence.

“You have to tell me. It’s in the rules.”

Freed from the previous compulsion, the dremora answered, “First, you need a soul gem. I happen to have one, and would gladly give it you for so noble a cause.”

“Really? Why do I need it?”

With a hidden smile, the dremora handed over the dull black gem.

“It is not enough to cast a spell upon an inert object. Magic requires thought, intent, will and emotion. The soul powers the enchantment. The bigger the soul, the more powerful the enchantment.”

“So how big is the one in this soul gem?”

“Oh, that one is empty. You’ll have to fill it. But it can hold the largest of souls easily. Do you know how to do that?”

“No,” the young man said sullenly.

“Let me show you. You cast a spell like this.”

The tendrils of the soul trap spell spilled from his fingers and surrounded the boy. The young man’s eyes went wide.

“I didn’t feel anything,” he complained.

“How about now?” the dremora asked, plunging his talons into the youth’s rib cage. His heart beat only once before it was pulled from his chest.

Quickly the dremora snatched back the black soul gem, just as the youth died. His soul tried to flee, but was trapped by the spell and drawn into the gem. Only black soul gems can hold the souls of men and elves.

“Your mother obviously never told you never to accept a freely given gift from a summoned dremora,” he said to the corpse. “You see, it breaks the conjuration, freeing the summoned from the summoner. Now, let’s go find your mother. After all, I have another black soul gem.”