June 25, 2012
Page 125 Book 5: The War Diaries
Where is your god now?
The precise origin of paladin magic is actually a bit fuzzy. They can indeed get their relatively small divine arsenal from different gods (Cuthbert is a popular choice, along with Kragh’s god, Pelor), but just like Clerics they can draw divine magic from abstract concepts like Law and Good (one or two in Avbaroy even draw them from mathematical concepts, like addition and subtraction). Given that versatility, it might be questionable if such magic can even be tightly defined as “divine” in the first place.
To really understand it, we need to determine what, if anything, is the separation between arcane and divine magic. In a nutshell, arcane magic is drawn from knowledge, sort of applied physics, whereas divine magic is drawn from belief, a kind of “mind over matter”. Divine magic drawn from deities is drawn from the same source, albeit in a roundabout manner akin to harnessing processor power from a large computer network.
Consequently, if you draw strength and magical ability from your belief in something, whatever it is, it’s classified as a kind of divine magic. You can even gain divine magic from a belief in knowledge, as followers of Boccob do, even though such a thing would often be defined as arcane magic.
The brunt of the matter is that arcane spellcasters produce and use magic because they know how it works, whereas divine spellcasters gain their magic from a deep and profound belief in something which lets them, in some cases literally, move mountains. I guess that puts religion versus secularism on some strange ground in the Avbaroy universe, but that’s a topic for another day I think.
However, in the case of paladins, as demonstrated here there is something of a vulnerability to their divine magic. Divine magic, being based on belief, can be disrupted by spells that affect the portion of the brain responsible for that religious fervour sensation ( which actually exists, believe it or not ), and with paladins that part is responsible for many things but their magic is actually one of the smaller ones (next to swinging a big sword and acting righteous). Consequently, it’s a lot easier to tamper with a paladin’s magic than a Cleric’s, as seen here, which is why a dedicated divine caster was included in the Order over just having Gwen.
Let’s see if Gwen can overcome her vulnerabilities, apologies for the lack of a Webcomic Feature last week, it legitimately completely slipped my mind and in fact I’ve been losing track of days this past week a fair bit (which delayed the release of Nether Expedition #11…whoops), it will return Wednesday as normal.