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Magic works by utilizing the individual's mana to power a particular spell. These spells are designed to work through the use of either verbal enchanting or specific runes, which are used to activate them. Besides the one and done method, there is a way to extend the life of a spell. In this way, a spell doesn't have to end as long as the enchanting is continuous. The drawback is that these extended spells depend on the mana of the individual, which depletes over time. The more mana a person possesses, the longer the extension can last.

Years ago, a witch named Amelia Elizabeth Dyer ran a baby farm in which parents who couldn't provide for their children would pay her to take care of them in the hope that she could provide a better life for. Dryer took care of them in a different method, using this opportunity to kill the babies while making a profit, and killed over 400 children in her time. When she was executed, Dryer rose from her grave as a disembodied ghost. Now as a vengeful spirit, she continues to ply her trade, killing fetuses while they are developing. This has led to over 30% of pregnancies ending in miscarriages around the world.

Spells have been developed to combat this through the use of runes. Unfortunately, runes must be constantly active in order to be effective, using an individual's mana as a power source. Eventually, a person would have to deactivate a rune, or will have lost enough mana to reach dangerous levels.

How can mages extend these spells without causing the death of individual's using them?

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  • $\begingroup$ I now realise you meant "take care of them" in a sort of Al Pacino way. I was thinking more along the lines of Julie Andrews. . . youtube.com/watch?v=upwR7zual2E $\endgroup$ – Daron Jun 23 at 20:31
  • $\begingroup$ Gosh first there was the parasitic babies. Then the undead abomination spelleater babies. And now this. I'd hate to be those guys! $\endgroup$ – Daron Jun 23 at 20:34
  • $\begingroup$ when there is demand there is supply, in life she can be prosecuted and beyond death we need to call in the experts, ghostbusters! $\endgroup$ – user6760 Jun 24 at 0:34
  • $\begingroup$ The only counter to the ghost of a dead person traveling forwards in time is the pre-ghost of an unborn person traveling backwards through time. That person has unlimited mana because, due to the backwards time travel, using up mana only gives them more of it. Simple! $\endgroup$ – Daron Jun 25 at 0:21
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It takes an evil witchcraft to defeat an evil witch:

-Tallow Candles made from the fat of executed thieves were supposed to have magical abilities that aided thieves in their crimes. Since we're talking magic, and evil (witchcraft/mana theft) magic at that, why not use this sympathetic magic to reverse the effects of the witchcraft? mana can be harvested from condemned criminals as they are killed, embodied in their fat, and the candles made from it taking on the mana and pseudo-life of the criminal from which it is made. This candle, burned atop the rune, powers the rune and allows the rune-caster to get essential rest to continue powering it the next day. This is clearly fraught with potential problems, starting with ethical ones, and including practical ones (like, where do we get all these condemned prisoners?) The ghost of Amelia might even appreciate the irony of such an approach...

  • As a caveat, I would also suggest this could lead to a nine-month-long repeating cycle where casters arrange enough runes and casting to allow pregnancies to come to term. People could arrange conception around these planned events, and prisoners could be morbidly (literally plus figuratively) fattened in anticipation of their execution and harvesting. Very Grimm's fairy tales. Powerful and unethical people could use this method to assure their own children are born at the expense of others in an almost sacrificial way, kind-of placating the ghost.
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When an individual alone can fail, group protection can work.

While in a group of spell using individuals, one can afford deactivating the spell and thus recharging their mana. This allows for a rotation in the mana usage, giving rest intervals to the users.

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Detection Runes

You don't need to ward for evil spirits all the time. You only need to ward for them while they are actually there. It is much cheaper to use a detection rune (which uses less mana than the user generates) which is connected to a warding rune.

If the detection rune notices anything then it activates the warding rune, which then sends out ethereal shockwaves at regular intervals, much like an electric fence.

These shockwaves are expensive and can only be maintained for a few minutes. Fortunately evil spirits are fairly animalistic. They tend to just move off towards the second nearest pregnant woman they can smell. She probably has her wards down too, so the spirit just wanders back and forth, and everyone has enough time to regenerate mana.

Strangely this means the most dangerous place for the woman is in the hospital with all the other women. For safety they are best spread out from each other.

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Make the ward target the mana of the ghost.

This will not only sustain the ward but drain the ghost, making the ward more effective twice over.

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Can multiple different individuals power the same rune? How about creating a large protective rune in the centre of towns that creates a "field" around the whole town and is more cost effective than individual runes, both in terms of mana energy and their creation (supposing creating such runes is demanding)? Then you could think about the implications this would have upon the populations - people flocking into the cities in hopes of protection, causing overcrowding - leaving the countryside with fewer people to tend the farms and feed those cities. Fewer traders on the roads, more bandits in turn and so on.

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Get your own vengeful spirit.

Spirits are apparently not depleted in the way live mana is or this dead witch would get used up. Spirits go on and on. Your family goes way back; all families do. There are vengeful spirits among them, or certainly spirits that would be vengeful if they found out a dead witch was after their great-great-grandbaby to be. Callused badassed grandmas of yore these spirits are. Summon them for your spell and let them power it.

And these old country ghosts are vengeful spirits. Once they block the witch from going after the baby they do not kick back and play ghost canasta. Vengeance! They go after the ghost. And they will have a lot of other grumpy ghost great grandma company in the endeavor. Witch has got another thing coming.

Then after that, the ghost canasta and drinks.

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