A wizard (also referred to as a sorcerer) is a person empowered to employ supernatural spells. The worlds connected by the Plain of Glittering Stone give rise to a minority of individuals who are born with an innate talent for magic and sorcery. In context, the vast majority of people have no such talents; most of those who do have inherited the ability from their parents or ancestors. Many wizards were known to have blood relatives with similar powers.
Abilities and limitations Edit
The full range of magic capabilities is never detailed in the Annals, even during the Book of Lady, although a very wide variety of spells and powers are observed. Powerful sorcery includes: "sendings" that kill outright; summonings that bring terrible creatures from other worlds; spells that can prolong lifespans and heal terrible wounds; and glamours that make someone appear to be a different person or altogether invisible.
The maximum extent of talent is inherent in the individual, for example: minor wizards like Goblin and One-Eye could never immediately summon the level of power at the disposal of a mighty sorceress like The Lady. Wizardry is limited primarily by the innate power of the caster, their inventiveness and training, and how long they have to prepare the spell. Even a relatively minor wizard like One-Eye was able to, given enough time, forge a weapon that was capable of wounding the demigoddess, Kina. However, a sorceress like the Dominator might have been able to forge such a weapon in weeks or perhaps even days, instead of it becoming the obsession of many years.
Either word or gesture are required for the casting of most or perhaps all spells. Lady reflects that strangulation is one of the most effective ways to kill a wizard since it precludes the possibility of them vocalizing a spell. And, even the Limper and Whisper are neutralized when they are gagged and their hands are bound to prevent gestures, when they are captured by Croaker and Raven.
True name Edit
The most significant limitation faced by all wizards is their own true name. Anyone who knows the true name of a wizard can render their spells powerless. An arrow inscribed with a wizard's name can pierce through complex protective spells to deliver genuinely dangerous wounds, whereas a normal weapon would be ineffective. And, most importantly of all, there is even a simple ritual that an enemy can perform which utterly strips away a wizard's innate magical talent forever. This ritual can be performed by a insignificant wizard against a sorcerer of god-like power. The final portion of the ritual simply involves invoking the target's full name within earshot of the target.
Life extension, immortality, and durability Edit
Perhaps the most remarkable power attributed to magic in the Black Company series is the extended lifespan of even some minor of wizards. One-Eye is almost certainly passed the two-hundred-year mark by the end of the chronicle, and The Lady seemed to think that living forever was a realistic goal for her when she was in the fullness of her power. For powerful sorcerers, this extends far beyond simply an extended life-span: the Hanged Man survived the bite of the noose (albeit with gruesome wounds); Soulcatcher survived decapitation, was able to control her body below the neck, and later reconnected her head to it; and, the Limper survived numerous different kinds of horrendous attacks that would have killed a normal person countless times over, including decapitation.