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This term is described by Belgarath as the act of using the Will and the Word. Sorcerers have a greater command of their Will. They draw upon it and use a word to complete their intention.

Also known as the Will and the Word, sorcery is a magic power held by some individuals that lets them manipulate the universe around them. A sorcerer only needs to focus their will and state what they want to achieve for it to happen. For example, "Burn" can be used to set an opponent in flames. The only limits to sorcery are the sorcerer's power, imagination, and belief in their own powers. If a sorcerer does not believe his powers will work 100%, their sorcery will fail. Some things like resurrecting people are basically above any sorcerer's reach due to the the immense amounts of power required. Additionally, while sorcery can be used to destroy things, it can never be used to unmake anything, even a regular pebble, due to it being forbidden by the universe. If a sorcerer tries to unmake something, they will be the ones unmade.

While a sorcerer can do anything they can think of (since it is the power of thought), there are some common abilities that sorcerers seem to exhibit:


The most basic use of the Will and the Word: manipulating one’s environment. A sorcerer can easily lift, move, or throw people or objects with their Will. It can be used to direct water and earth, twist the inner mechanisms of a lock to open it, gather heat to create fire, or even manipulate the weather. It’s not recommended for novice sorcerers to tamper with the weather, however, since weather patterns are global, and tampering in the wrong place at the wrong time could have disastrous results.

Using sorcery to manipulate one’s surroundings is very tiring for the sorcerer.


A sorcerer can also create anything they can imagine. Unlike manipulation, which takes energy from the sorcerer’s surroundings, the energy for creation comes entirely from within.


Sorcerers can also project their image and consciousness over vast distances to communicate with or spy on others. They do this by filling their shadow with their mind and Will. In daylight, it’s easy to spot a projection, as it has no shadow. A sorcerer’s ability to interact with the world around them (or use the Will and the Word) while projecting themselves is very limited.


A very common ability, often the first ability they manifest, sorcerers can instantly move an object from one location to another.


Sorcerers can change their shape into other animals, or even people. However, one’s shape is tied with their identity, so they rarely use it to disguise themselves, and often have a preferred animal form. Since it is an extension of the Will and the Word, it requires imagination. The sorcerer must clearly picture everything exactly right in order to take the proper shape, because if they forget to add a tail, or give feathers to an animal that doesn’t have them, that’s what they’ll turn into. Also, if they forget an internal organ, they could run into serious problems, which is why novice sorcerers are advised to go slowly while learning to change shapes.


Sorcerers have a heightened awareness. At its most basic, it allows them to detect the use of sorcery in their immediate vicinity. It often seems like a loud noise or sound. Some things, like translocation, are very loud, while others, like shape-changing, are very quiet. One can prolong the release of their Will in order to reduce the “volume” of their sorcery. Sorcerers can also communicate this way, however, by casting their thoughts at the person they wish to communicate with. Some sorcerers, especially Grolims, can also tamper with people’s minds. It takes a while, and requires a great deal of subtlety, but if they succeed, they can enthrall another person and gain total control over them. For example, when Asharak compelled Garion to be silent whenever Garion wanted to tell someone about him, or when Baron Derigen and Baron Oltorain had their minds twisted by a Grolim priest.[1] Other uses exist, such as implanting or erasing memories, putting people to sleep, or sensing the thoughts of others, even if they aren’t projecting them. If one is familiar with how a certain person or group of people think, they can even identify people they find with their minds. A sorcerer can shield themselves from other sorcerers searching for their thoughts by concentrating on an image of their surroundings, then encasing themselves (and others) inside that image. Thus, when another sorcerer’s mind finds them, all they’ll see is the image.


A technique discovered by the last disciple of Aldur, Beldurnik, sorcerers can also change what something is made out of into something else. It’s apparently easier if one already has some of what they want to change the material into.

See also[]


  1. Queen of Sorcery, Chapter Seven