Traveler's Guide to Ispentine
Views on Magic and Magic Users
In general, magic is regarded as a great tool, but the specifics vary with the cultures and sub-cultures involved.
In the countryside of agriculture and small settlements, magic is regarded as something dangerous that is used only to control and trick peasants. It is unwelcome at best and feared at worst. When a child wants to be a wizard, it is discouraged and the education is certainly not paid for. If it is, then it is hushed up by the family, or the child must run away.
When a sorcerer is born, it is something to hide or send away. They may hide from both their neighbors out of shame, and/or from organizations that look for magical talent in order to spirit them away. The organizations may wish to help the children come to terms with their powers, or use them for their nefarious purposes. The peasants usually think of the latter, as their children are getting taken away by an outsider to their community.
Clerics are an exception to this fear, much like how a personal, country doctor is a friend, while the cold march of medicinal science in the city might be seen as foreign and aiming to take advantage of the common, honest folk. (This can be seen in the reluctance for developing countries to accept golden rice due to the fear that developed countries are experimenting on them.)
In the cities, magic users are much more common. Richer families often send their children to the Maridan Magic University to study the fundamental theories of magic, in addition to literacy, mathematics and history. Mages are much more common, particularly as they flock to the cities to study or ply their trades. However, not all mages are created equal.
Clerics are, of course, viewed according to their respective goddes. They are generally respected and valued in the community, particularly for their healing. Citizens often flock to their local temples to be taught the lessons of the particular godde.
Wizards are regarded as scholars, professors, learned experts in their fields. They are well-respected and often provide magical items, potions, scrolls, and other services. Many nobles are expected to take basic training in wizardry. Wizards are also recruited into the military, and often used in the guard within the city.
Sorcerers are regarded as wild-cards, not to be trusted by most people. Their skills are valued if they can prove themselves. Because of this, they often cluster together within towns, going to the same taverns, alchemy stores, and so on.
Magic User Views
Wizards regard sorcerers as filthy, primitive peasants1. The general logic follows that, because anyone can be born a sorcerer, and their powers come through old bloodlines, they must be primitive. This view is not helped by the fact that the countrysides do not tend to have the desire or ability to train their magic-capable children properly, they tend to cause problems in polite society with their (at the least) barbaric manners2 and tendency to cause trouble with their lack of restraint and foresight3.
Sorcerers think wizards are pompous, arrogant4, book-smart5 brown-nosers who wouldn’t know how to use their powers correctly, even if they managed to learn any useful ones6! This is reinforced by the elitist air that wizards develop around sorcerers7. Sorcerers generally feel that their magic comes more from the core of their being and is more special and personal than a wizard who can learn their spells by rote from any random scroll8 or mentor9.
1 It should be noted that, just because some people aren’t born with too much gold for their own good, that they are of any lesser worth.
2 Sorcerers generally learn polite manners very quickly, but do not deign to use them when in inferior company.
3 Many sorcerers are quite accomplished in divination magic.
4 Pompous and arrogant mean the same thing, and if sorcerers were very educated, they would know that.
5 Wizards take great pride in their ability to learn a wide array of knowledge from books, which are the accumulated wisdom of many people throughout history.
6 Wizards are able to use a great variety of spells, rather than being restricted to the handful that a sorcerer might happen to pick up.
7 …and anyone else unfortunate enough to run into them.
8 Scrolls are, again, an excellent way to store knowledge and provide it to many people.
9 Wizards often develop a greatly personal and touching relationship with their teacher.