7th level Conjuration
Casting time: 1 action
Of course! What spell could be more useful than teleportation? Access to instantaneous traversal across any distance has immense applications for societies; from military to commercial and everything in between. For this reason it has been independently developed many times throughout history, by many disparate peoples, in many different places. One would be very hard pressed indeed to pinpoint a place and time where it was first used. Most probably, teleportation-like effects of varying degrees (which we today generally think of as separate categories of teleportation, from Dimension Door to Teleportation Circle) were in use in even the earliest tribal proto-magicks.
Indeed, I cite Hvar Bladnr (legendary archmagus and progenitor of the ancient Hvarbladi school of magick) and his Codifex Magika, wherein he lays down his personal theory of magick and its natural division into five Wyrds. He writes of the final Wyrd, the Wyrd of Space-and-Time (Hvar’s Wyrds do not correspond exactly to any of our current-day schools of magick, but Space-and-Time overlaps in many ways with the schools of Conjuration and Divination):
“…and of that Wyrd most slimme and suttel, that finall Wyrd of Space-and-Time, I saye but this, and mark thee wel: yonge student keep thy training vygyl, for inne that Wyrd is kenning kept that naut but fathers ours of auld did keepe, and if thy canst but cleeve it to thee, then thou mustal profit much.
Of Wyrdes nonne are more worthy yet stil nonne are so y-light bekent, for breadth and width, or heighth and depth, are slow to yield their secret weft. Patience! To open, try thy skill at granting Passage to a Thing at hand; once freely can thee make it travel where thou wille, then turn thy eye to granting Passage to thy self.”
Even in this very early work, celebrated for its firebrand originality, Hvar pays homage to the skills of his predecessors in this magick, which by his time were already well-developed theoretically. He then gives extremely practical advice, exhorting his would-be student to practice Passage (Teleport) on an object before graduating to living beings. This of course is to mitigate the potential for disaster, as we shall see.
There are numerous other historical authors one could quote, all writing in a similar vein regarding the primal nature of teleportals. The fundamental feature of all such spells – of here to there – bespeaks an underlying common thread, of something much deeper than even our current understanding can penetrate. Anyone familiar with them will understand me when I remark on how different teleport effects feel (for the caster) when compared to other spells – even others within the school of conjuration itself. How frustrating that even now we do not have a full theory of the Teleport spell and its cousins!
Learning and Casting Teleport
By the time one is ready to attempt a full Teleport, one has already come close to the end of one’s path towards mastery of conjuration. There are few secrets that have not yielded to your will, and well that this should be the case, for it is Will that is the secret to tapping into Teleport. Your Will must be as a needle of iron, for it is your Will that shall pierce the veil between here and there.
By this stage one may already be familiar with such spells as Dimension Door. If so, the theoretical aspect of moving in such a manner will not be daunting. There is a crucial difference between the spells, though; for while Dimension Door can be externally operated from a technical, exact description of one’s target (“twelve feet vertically”, for instance), Teleport is amenable to no such instruction, relying entirely upon the innate intent of the caster. Thus your intent must be unshakeable.
“Dimension Door is to Teleport as a shopping list is to a poem. Both look similar on paper, but their physical realisations could not be more different.”
Jermana Olfar, Magistara Prima of Llewn, A Magistara’s Apology (p67)
Truly, if it is intent we are speaking of, then let us note its full importance. Intent can eliminate the effects of Teleport entirely – the most powerful mage in all the land could not Teleport even a singe grain of sand, if it were but touching a creature who did not will it so. It seems that reluctance can destroy the delicate extension of intent from the caster’s mind to the world around them.
Yes – this is how it must be done: take hold of the image of there in your mind. Overlay it carefully on the image of here before you, and pulse your magick very gently outwards, as if delicately floating there over here like a hyacinth petal on a quiet pond. Equally one must, with great intent and rapidity, puncture there, pinning it to here (recall your Will must be like an iron needle). With luck, there will stick, becoming the new here. If too slow or too heavy-handed, your Will will strike here like a rock, passing through the nascent there entirely – with potentially disastrous results.
The connection may be solidified near-perfectly if the caster is in possession of an item recently taken from the intended destination. Fascinatingly, this is apparently not simply due to better visualisation on the part of the caster, since this effect eventually ‘wears off’ the item, only lingering for a few months at best. We still do not fully understand the mechanism behind this association. I direct the interested reader to Farrath Olmhet’s excellent review on the matter, Remembering Where, and the references therein.
To mark the targets of your spell is actually another matter entirely. Some conjuration masters I have spoken to have claimed that, were the risks not so great, they would teach self-teleportation first, since it is easier to hold the will-focus central to one’s self than it is to hold it over other people or things. To demark your targets for Teleport, simply ensure that there is centred over them, extending but a little way from their edge. When piercing, simply do so from your target’s perspective. If you are skilled, you will even be able to hold multiple patches of there. Just remember to pierce each patch at the same time.
The verbal component is one of travelling, as one might goad a horse or coax lazy companions into action. The mages of the modern Hvarbladi school still use Hvar’s original suggestion of “Hup!”, though other schools I have encountered favour such things as “Get”, “Wey”, or “Oi”, to no less success. As one might imagine, this must be spoken in the same instant as piercing there.
When performed correctly, the caster and as many as eight willing companions may be Teleported, appearing instantly at the target location together with all their worn or carried possessions. Alternatively, any single object may be targeted, provided it is no larger than ten feet on a side, and not held by an unwilling creature. Of course, the destination must be known to the caster, and on the same plane. Incidentally, the planar restriction of the Teleport spell lends credence to the theory that teleportals are a kind of ‘folding’ of the underlying plane on which they are cast, as one might fold a sheet of parchment and puncture it with a quill. At the very least, the interval of travel is so brief that it does not appear to occur at all. No known accounts exist of anyone who has experienced any sensation at all upon being Teleported. Similarly, an onlooker will see the targets of the spell simply vanish, any peripheral effects too brief to perceive, if they indeed exist.
If one views a patch of ground quickly enough through lenses sensitive to arcane residue after a Teleport spell has been cast there, they will however see the shadows of the transported creatures or objects burned into the surroundings as if illuminated by an extremely bright point of light (though no arcane flash is seen at the time of casting). These afterimages quickly fade, over a matter of seconds rather than minutes.
In practice, not every casting of Teleport is ideal. One’s success is more or less proportional to one’s personal familiarity with the destination, though successful Teleportations from a second-hand or written account are not unheard of.
Failure and Success
A successful casting of a Teleport spell is usually met with sights of great relief (unless one was casting to the permanently-fixed sigil sequence of a Teleportation Circle) as even the most experienced casters hold their breath in fearful anticipation of failure. Then the caster should be congratulated, for they have done their part well. The possibilities for failure are ever-present.
If not familiar enough with the destination, then the slight misalignment of the imagined there is enough to send the caster off course, sometimes by as far again as they had intended to travel. Sometimes the imposition of intent upon there is done without sufficient concentration, and the caster and company end up in a location which merely resembles the desired location (a sometimes humourous, though frustrating effect)! Most dangerously of all, if the imagined there is simply not strong enough to support the caster’s will – if, for instance, they do not know the place well enough, or if they are misinformed and the place does not even exist – then the spell strikes the very real and solid here in a very real and solid way, and the arcane energies which would have gone into transportation (sometimes enormous quantities!) instead ricochet back to the caster. The arcane explosion usually tears away here anyway, and the unfortunate victims find themselves flung onto a random there. Worse still, if the echoes of the explosion are not dampened sufficiently, then this will likely happen a second time – and even a third, a fourth, et cetera.
Teleportals remain an active area of arcane research, and the author’s part as an arcano-historian is ever relevant in guiding colleagues’ studies. I present for the reader’s benefit four interesting anecdotes from history.
- Felicia of Ward. This powerful conjurer was also an experienced diviner. She conjectured that by augmenting the spell with a specially prepared arcane focus – a needle, of several years’ careful construction – she could teleport not merely to any physical location, but to an entirely imagined one. We know of her work only through recovered correspondences with her peers and fellows, since Felicia, her extensive and well-organised notes, her entire retinue of assistants, her tower, and even most of the hill on which it was built – all vanished without trace. Status: (probable) failure.
- Giles & Leichhardt. These (in)famous and self-styled ‘Planar Explorers’ were convinced that the ‘parchment-folding’ hypothesis was true, and that all planes have some thickness in an as-yet-unknown direction. They attempted to access this direction (imagine, instead of passing though the puncture, turning to burrow through its wall into the body of the parchment itself), calling it ‘Halfspace’. Their inspiration came from the god-hero myths of the Ghengalin people who told stories of the enigmatic ‘Walker-Who-Tore-Himself-Open’, a trickster who ascended to demi-godhood when he tried to escape a hungry displacer beast by hiding in its shadow. Onlookers to their highly-publicised first attempt reported hearing an unnatural, keening wail, followed by a burst of purple light, then nothing. The two had vanished without a trace. For some weeks afterwards townsfolk from the nearby areas reported strange dreams, but it is unclear if this is connected. Status: (probable) failure.
- Harandellion Order. These unfortunates were pressed into military service by the warlord Brecca the Bold in his campaign against the Kholesians. Harandel and his followers had retreated to their mountaintop monastery to live as hermits and study the intricacies of teleportals in peace. Brecca got wind of a rumour that they had figured out a way to weaponise teleportals against unwilling targets (they hadn’t) and made haste to ’employ’ them before his enemies did. Many escaped easily (as one might imagine), but some were coerced or convinced into conscription. Every reported instance of these weaponised teleportals is one of disaster, more often than not accompanied by significant losses on Brecca’s own side. Status: failure.
- Archmage Wouter Terrens et al. The textbook example of Teleport research gone wrong. The Archmage was convinced that with appropriate modification the Teleport spell could be used for travel through time as well as space, and committed to this line of study with his entire research team. Their laboratory building still stands intact and abandoned today, but is treacherous to venture into, as it is now no longer clear exactly how big it is. From time to time the foolhardy or the greedy enter, hoping to acquire potent magical items, and from time to much-less-frequent time, lost and bewildered would-be plunderers wander out (though rarely the same ones). Those who manage to escape tell of warped distances, strange geometries, and maddening echoes in time – if they do not speak in some long-dead or as-yet-unknown language, that is. Status: failure.
– from The Writings of Marcus Tydewhial, Arcano-Historian, Scholar at Oldhaven.