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A wizard studying the secrets of magic.

Magic is a powerful but unpredictable force or energy used by gifted individuals. The source of magic is the Realm of Chaos, from which the Winds of Magic flow into the Warhammer world. [4a]


After the Coming of Chaos, when it enters the material world Chaos energy refracts into eight "colours", collectively known as the Winds of Magic. A very small part of it concentrates and solidifies into warpstone, but most of it remains largely invisible. Wizards are individuals with the inborn ability to sense and to feel and, usually following special training, can learn to manipulate and use magic in the form of spells. [4a]

There are many kinds of magic but most wizards are able to use only a single form. Just as Chaos is represented as an eight pointed star, the winds of magic consist of eight colours or lores. Since magic is closely associated with Chaos, it carries with it an inherent risk to its users, and all wizards walk a narrow road between power and damnation. [4a]

Only the most magically-adept races, such as Elves and Slann, are capable of mastering all of the eight lores of Magic, and most races, including humans, dedicate themselves to learning only a single lore. Thus each of The Empire's Colleges of Magic are centred around the use of only one wind of magic. [4a]

The Winds of Magic

Each of the eight colours is represented by its own name and rune in the language of Chaos. The eight Winds (or Colours) of Magic, and their corresponding Colleges and Lores: [4a]

Name Colour College of Magic Lore
Hysh White The Light Order Light
Chamon Yellow The Gold Order Metal
Ghyran Green The Jade Order Life
Azyr Blue The Celestial Order Heavens
Ulgu Grey The Grey Order Shadow
Shyish Purple The Amethyst Order Death
Aqshy Red The Bright Order Fire
Ghur Brown The Amber Order Beasts

The lores of magic


Most of its greatest scholars search out the secrets of eternal life and transmutation but others also create explosives and potions. [4a]

Battle Magic

Lying somewhere between Petty Magic and the Colour magic it is made up of powerful spells that are based on the teachings of Teclis. [4a]


The Lore of Beasts, also known as Amber magic is associated with Ghur, the brown wind of magic, which is the coalescence of bestial spirit, the predator and the prey. It flows around the wild, untamed places, where the touch of civilisation has not yet been felt. It is a savage wind, as unreasoning as it is devoid of malice. Amber wizards are often called 'shamans' and are rarely found in cities or other outposts of civilisation. [4a]

The Amber Order is the only Order of wizards who do not have a building in Altdorf, but they are rumoured to occupy a series of caves in the Amber Hills to the west of the city. Only those foolhardy or most in need deliberately seek out the Amber Order. In battle,it augments troops to become stronger and tougher, turning mediocre troops into fearsome warriors. [4a]


The Lore of Death, also known as Amethyst magic is associated with Shyish, the purple wind of magic. The power of Shyish comes from the ending of things, the slow decline of the soul, and the certainty and terrible awe of death that all sentient creatures must face at some point. Shyish tells us that even though physical form must inevitably come to an end, creation is permanent, and there exist forces larger than our mortal selves that deserve respect and even reverence. Shyish is drawn to places where death must be faced, or where things are brought to an end. [4a]

It blows strongly around battlefields, lingers around gallows and courts of justice, and hangs in the mournful silence around fresh graves. [1f] It is said to be strongest around times of obvious transition, when one state ends and another begins. Dawn and dusk are the most obvious examples of this, but also spring and autumn, and the equinoxes that mark the beginning of the end for winter and summer. Death magic is used to attack solitary individuals, usually enemy leaders.

Divine Magic

This encompasses all the magic derived from a deity. The blessings of the gods means that there are rarely miscasts and the magic is learned easily, but the spells are not particularly that powerful, and most of them have few battle applications. Instead they are meant to make life easier, increasing crop yields, making chores easier, etc. Notable exceptions are Nehekharan magic, the magic wielded by the Tomb Kings, and the "holy fire" wielded by Sigmarite priests.


Created long before Teclis came to the Empire, it was later officially rejected by the Imperial Colleges. Some still contend that that Teclis's teachings were misguided or even an attempt to restrict the humans knowledge and practice of sorcery. [4a]


The Lore of Fire, also known as Bright Magic or Pyromancy is embodied by Aqshy, the red wind of magic. Aqshy blows down from the north as a hot and searing wind. Temporal heat acts as a conduit for Aqshy, and so spells involving Aqshy almost always involve fire. It collects around open flames, volcanoes and dry deserts scorched by the sun. It is also attracted to wherever there is excitement and argument, courage and vehemence, since Aqshy is the Aethyric coalescence of passion in its widest possible sense. Aqshy is wielded by the order of Bright Wizards who have their power-base in the Bright Wizard College in Altdorf. The Lore of Fire is extremely destructive, compromising nearly exclusively of "magical artillery". [1g][4a]


The Lore of the Heavens, also known as Astromancy or Celestial magic is associated with Azyr, the blue wind of magic. The wind of Azyr is light and insubstantial, and after passing into the world from the Realm of Chaos it quickly dissipates into the upper portions of the heavens. [1d][4a] Azyr is the Aethyr's metaphysical drive for inspiration and that which is out of reach. It is creativity and the desire to emote.

It is inherently paradoxical. Azyr gives shape to abstract concepts, seeks to find meaning within the unknowable, and provides narrative for that which has none. The Lore of Heavens is commonly associated with dreams, theory and divination. In battle, it manipulates the sky to harness destructive weather or draw upon the predictive powers of astrology to alter probabilities. It is by far the most balanced of all the common lores.


The Lore of Life, also known as Jade magic is associated with Ghyran, the green wind of magic, which is closely tied to nature, water and the flow of the natural essence of life through the world. It is strongest near sources of water or in areas where life grows in abundance - around rivers and lakes, by springs, in forests and woods. Rainfall is known to unleash a torrent of Ghyran energy where it falls. The strength of Ghyran magic is generally affected by the seasons - it is most potent in spring and summer, and it declines during winter. Ghyran magic can be used in a wide range of spells - as well as giving vital energy and providing healing, it can be used to manipulate the natural environment and control water in all its forms. [4a]


The Lore of Light, derived from Hysh, the white wind of magic, represents the abstract of consciousness and illumination in the literal and metaphorical meaning of the word. It is a magic of philosophical truth and wisdom, rather than the more academic and fact-based wind of Chamon. The magisters of Hysh are called Hierophants, and are often seen in the role of philosophers and valued advisors. [1a]

On the battlefield, it uses many exorcism spells, so Hierophants are particularly effective against the forces of Chaos and the undead, their light even being able to banish daemons, and their illuminating magic able to cure Chaos-spawned insanity and fear of the hearts of the mighty champions of the Empire. It also protects troops from mortal harm. [1a]

Even for those with the sight, the White Wind is almost invisible, showing itself as a lightly glowing haze, but as it is often found in bright, sunlit places, it is difficult to spot. The wind’s fleeting nature also makes it difficult to manipulate. [1a]

It is said to have three domains: [1a]

  • Illumination: literal and metaphoric. [1a]
  • Healing, protection, and preservation of the mind. [1a]
  • Exorcism: The concentrated power of Hysh burns away Chaos and banishes Daemons. [1a]


The Lore of Metal, also known as Gold magic is derived from Chamon, the yellow wind of magic, the densest of the colours of magic, and is attracted to heavy metals such as gold and lead. [1b] Spells involving Chamon frequently make use of these two metals; gold as a magical conductor, lead as a magical insulator. Compared to other magics, Chamon is rooted in the physical world, and it is relatively easy to get to grips with its basic concepts, although it has deeper complexities which make it difficult to truly master. It can manipulate metal, especially armour, turning it against its wearer so plates, rivets and chain all go molten, burning the wearer. [4a]

Petty Magic

A collection of minor magics and spells, some used by Hedge Wizards, other by students of wizardry so that they can understand the fundementals of magic. Some however also draw on Dark Magic. [4a]


The Lore of Shadow or Grey magic, is associated with Ulgu, the grey wind of magic. Ulgu is a mysterious wind, which spreads disorientation and confusion amongst those it touches. It is spoken of as a thick grey fog, and it is drawn to still lowlands and waterways where natural mists gather at dawn. Ulgu invokes the sensation of being lost, or perplexed by something that you can't quite put your finger on. [1e] [4a]

The Shifting Isles off the coast of Ulthuan are shrouded with the power of Ulgu, and provide an impenetrable maze to protect the isle from invaders. The lore of Shadow tricks the foe into thinking they have been hit by a giant pendulum/ been attacked by ghosts/slain by a mysterious floating sword. So convincing are these illusions, that the foe usually keels over and dies anyway. Only the swift-minded can see past these tricks. It is generally used to confuse and befuddle the foe and sap their will to fight.

Rare Magics

These are lores of magic that are extremely rare or race specific.

Dark Magic

(Dhar), represents the primal Chaotic source of magic. Spells cast using dark magic use multiple strands of magic in its raw, unrefined form. Dark Elves are the most renowned users of dark magic, but specialised forms of Dhar are used in the Necromancy of Necromancers and Vampires, first harnessed and honed by Nagash to raise the dead on a vast scale. It is known that by sacrificing "volunteers" it can increase the power behind the spells of Dark Magic.


Hedge Wizards

Unstructed magic often found in remote, rural and human domninated areas and often passed down through generations of healers of seers. Forced to design their own spells, they can call down disaster on themselves and their communities. [4a]

High Magic

(Qhaysh) Consists of the entire spectrum of magic, and when used is further refined into a more advanced form. High Magic, when "refracted" into the separate colours, are essentially specialised forms and seem to influence somewhat the magician in question. High Elf mages quickly grasp the main eight lores, but it takes decades, or even centuries, to master magic in its purest form in High Magic.

Ice Magic

Ice Magic is a mysterious form of magic seemingly practised only by women in Kislev especially the Tzarinas whose Khan-Queen ancestors first developed it. It has rarely been used outside of Kislev. [4a]


Lore of the Great Maw

The Lore of the Great Maw is wielded by Ogre butchers. It is fairly easy to cast and quite powerful, but there is a large chance of magical backlash. It was a gift to the Ogres by The Great Maw.1


A corrupted form of Amethyst magic and provides a way for the Necromance to cheat death and obtain eternal life. It is used by Vampires as well as Necromancers. [2a] There are few places that it is used openly including Sylvania, the Border Princes and lawless parts of Bretonnia. [4a]

Rune Magic

Used extensively by the Dwarfs, mainly because of their paranoid nature. It carries less risks than common magic, but is not as potent. It is usually used in the form of Bound Spells and is wielded by Runesmiths and Runelords. [4a] It is also to a lesser degree used by High Elves, Dark Elves, Chaos and the Warrior Priests of the Empire.

Skaven Magic

Skaven magic, or the Lore of the Warp constitutes of two lores, both of which consist of six spells each; The Spells of Plague, which can be used by Plague Priests; and the Spells of Ruin, which can be used by Warlock Engineers. However, both these lores can be wielded by the Grey Seers, along with the Dreaded Thirteenth Spell.

Waaagh! Magic

This magic is extremely unique in the fact it is harnessed by Orc and Goblin Shamans not from the winds of Magic, but from the power of a Waaagh! itself and the individuals within it. Each greenskin generates a weak magical field, perhaps related to the surroundig magical field of the world and a battle intensifies it as well as all nearby orcs and goblins. It gives them a feeling of strength and invulnerability as the power of the Waaagh! builds until it reaches a point that it discharges through a receptive mind - usually a shaman. [5a]

The magic channelled by Goblin Shamans and Orc Shamans, is very different however (Little Waaagh! and Big Waaagh! respectively). Orc magic mainly stomps on, punches, shoots at, and generally is rather violent towards the enemy. Goblin magic, however, is far sneakier, tricking and enfeebling the foe and making Orc and Goblin soldiers better, occasionally resorting to a few offensive damage spells.

Wild Magic

The Bray-Shamans of the Beastmen can harness the Lore of the Wild. This seems similar in nature to the lore of Beasts, but Wild magic represents the cruel and sinister side of nature. It is used to turn mounts against their masters, summon mighty forest creatures and devolve the minds of men into simple beasts.


Individuals who can harness the winds of magic to cast spells are commonly called "wizards" or "casters", but can go by many other names:



Dark Elves

Daemons of Chaos


High Elves


Ogre Kingdoms

Orcs and Goblins


The Empire

Tomb Kings

Vampire Counts

Warriors of Chaos

Wood Elves


See Also


Look child, at the many colours of magic; see its patina, witness the haze of power. Elves and Lizardmen think themselves higher beings. But the truth is no matter what colour they use, it is all power that comes from my master

~ Sarthorael the Ever-watcher. [3]


Lores of Magic Alchemy - Battle Magic - Dark Magic - Daemonology - Elementalism - High Magic - Ice Magic - Illusion - Lore of Beasts - Lore of Death - Lore of Fire - Lore of Hashut - Lore of the Heavens - Lore of Hedgecraft - Lore of Life - Lore of Metal - Lore of Nehekhara - Lore of Nurgle - Lore of Shadow - Lore of Slaanesh - Lore of the Great Maw - Lore of the Serpent - Lore of the Warp - Lore of Tzeentch - Lore of Undeath - Lore of Yang - Lore of Yin - Necromancy - Petty Magic - Waaagh! Magic
Other Magic Dwarf Runes - Magic items - Warpstone