Hedge magic (a derogatory term created by the Chantry), also known as "arcanist derangement" among scholars, is a form of magical expression different than that of typical mages. Hedge mages are untrained magic-users who wield powers developed outside of conventional teaching. Some of these hedge mages are not even aware of their nature. Undeveloped, their abilities can express themselves in a variety of ways, which the hedge mage might attribute to faith, or will, or to another being entirely (depending on the mage's nature).
Hedge magic was studied extensively by Magister Allineas at the height of the Towers Age. He coined the term "arcanist derangement" and posited that magical talent is like a flowing river. When expressed through a mage, it finds a proper outlet through spellcraft. Left to its own devices it flows unexpectedly, and thus hedge mages are created. Once becoming a hedge mage, there is no turning back – they cannot learn and cast spells as normal mages know them.
“Hedge mages” and “witches” do not always employ forbidden magic, quite often their talents lie in the creation of charms, the use of curses and the ability to change their own forms. Their abilities may include being able to commune with spirits, as well. Still, those mages possess power no Circle spell could replicate and their unpredictable ability is deemed a threat by the Chantry.
Prior to the Circle's formation, hedge magic was commonly practiced in the form of ancient traditions and rituals, with knowledge handed down from one generation of practitioners to the next. Examples of hedge mages include the so-called "witches" of the Chasind wilders and the "shamans" of the Avvar barbarians. Qunari Saarebas are also essentially hedge mages with the focus on destruction.
Hedge mages live chaotic lives, and are frequently lured into darkness, temptation and sometimes even insanity. Their lives are often short as a result of this wild talent. The term "arcanist derangement" reflects this propensity toward madness in such mages.
Notable hedge mages Edit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Dragon Age: Asunder, p. 285
- ↑ Dragon Age: Asunder, p. 331
- ↑ Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 105
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Codex entry: Apostates
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Interview with David Gaider. YouTube. (Transcript)
- ↑ Codex entry: Amrita Vein
- ↑ Patrick Weekes Twitter.