You won't believe it, but I'll tell you anyway. I'm a Level 61 wizard. If you think about it, wands aren't all that hard to use. Point, invoke, joyfully watch your enemy burn in the fires of Reetath. I've watched wizards do it all my life.2
So, when I stumbled across a fairly new-looking wand,3 I picked it up. Wands are fairly generic, right? They all shoot little darts, lightning bolts, fireballs... We've all heard the stories.4 So I wanted to see what I could do! I visited the local library and asked the librarian5 what the word was for "fireball." Then skipped6 to an open field (I wasn't looking to roast a cow or anything), pointed my new wand at some unsuspecting tree, and said Lamboobalar!
The next thing I remember was waking up in my mom's house7 with my hand wrapped up to my elbow and wishing someone would hit me behind the ear with a hammer. It hurt! And what I want to know is, what'd I do wrong?
- Wands are a bit like magical rifles. Fire a bullet through a rifle and the barrel heats up. Fire enough bullets fast enough and the barrel becomes burning hot! No matter what you cast with your wand, the more powerful the spell or the faster you cast the hotter the little honker will get.
- Magic is the funniest thing. The wand must be held. Not touched by skin necessarily, but held. If you set a wand on a table and scream Wapatay! the wand will happily sit there and ignore you. If you pick up the table, it'll still ignore you. But! grasp it with some chopsticks or with a gauntlet and BOOM! pink mist!8
- As a bit of a reference point, casting the fireball spell generates enough heat to cause 3rd degree burns on the unprotected hand and wrist. Using the wand to magically rap someone's knuckles, causing them to drop their sword, would only cause noticeable heat if you were paying attention. Casting the dread Sheeeaaaaah-Moogatee-Hah! spell, which consumes your enemy's castle in a somewhat makeshift volcano, will cause an intensely bright light followed immediately by the unprotected wielder converting into a lovely cloud of carbon.9
- For the purpose of this question, the wand is indestructible. You can't drill through it or cut slots into it, either. The surface has friction similar to any smooth hardwood and does taper from the base to the tip. It's about 1.5cm (5/8") at the base and 0.6cm (1/4") at the tip.
You cannot use magic to solve the problem. Using magic to solve a problem that's a consequence of magic would be like trying to put out a fire with a bucket of gasoline.10 That's why the science-based tag has been applied. No magic!
If you're thinking, "this is just a heat-sink problem!" you're exactly right! Good luck!
The wand must be usable in a melee situation. In other words, you can't simply encase the wand in a 2-foot diameter column of iron sitting in a custom-designed cart wherein the wizard sits comfortably on a velvet stool while embracing the rod bar. (a) while that would probably work per my rules, it's not practical in a melee situation and (b) the wand would probably blow a hole in the front of the bar, spewing sub-vapor-point iron all over the place. It would look spectacular — and probably fry the wizard anyway. So, the wizard must carry the wand and can't be more encumbered than a suit of plate mail.
You may only use 13th century technology (my sincere apologies to TimBII for not stating this here, I can see where it was easy to overlook).
Question: Using 13th century technology, what can I do to protect my erstwhile wizard when he casts a fireball spell with this wand?
Bragging rights to answers that point out how to avoid the cloud of carbon problem — but that's optional.
1 Fine! I'm a level 1 wizard... OKAY! I'm some dumb schmuck who found the wand in a gutter! So sue me.
2 YES! There are wizards in Grubda! Well there only had to be one! It didn't LOOK that hard! If it means that much to you, ask your own @#*& question! Sheesh, everybody's a critic!
3 That body on the sidewalk had nothing to do with the wand. Yes... I'll swear on my mother's grave! Now let me finish!
4 Except you! Now shut up!
5 You know she's my sister... right?
6 Yes, I skipped! Like a 6-year-old girl! I was excited, alright? What would YOU do if you found a wand? Turn it in to the constabulary!? Are you nuts!?
7 Don't say it! You were thinking it! Yes you were! I'm saving up for my first horse, alright?
8 And molten metal thinly plating everything in a 3-meter radius. Wapatay! is not for the faint of heart.
9 Magic should always have a price, don't you think?
10 This is obvious, right? Just because it's liquid doesn't mean it'll act like water? Yeah.