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In a world with magic that regenerates over time, such that taking a short break ½-2 hours long is enough for high magic individuals to restore a portion of power (and cast more if they were originally out of magic) and taking a much longer break 8+ hours is generally enough to restore all of your magic. The Mages of this world are able to create magic items to hold the power of a spell such as scrolls, wands, staves, and all manner of non-spellcasting items (swords with fire enchantments etc.).

However, when they use magic to create these items using the requisite quality of materials for holding it, the power they used to create them is not regenerated over time despite being expended. What would prevent them from regaining power?

Edit: This effect remains even for items such as single use scrolls until the scroll is used.

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  • $\begingroup$ Maybe use something like gems in eragon; they can hold power for later use and enchant your object, but if you need it to cast a fireball, you can unenchant your item and then blow up the trebuchet if you want to risk losing your firesword. $\endgroup$ – Ceramicmrno0b Aug 21 '20 at 15:06
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    $\begingroup$ The cool thing about magic is that you can have it do whatever you want in the worlds you create. It could be something ordained by eldritch beings, it could be an unknown fundamental property that the great sages are still working on, it could be that creating objects messes with something fundamental to regenerating manna. Because Literally any answer is an acceptable answer I'm voting this question closed as primarily opinion based. $\endgroup$ – sphennings Aug 21 '20 at 16:53
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    $\begingroup$ @sphennings if that was simply the case then the magic tag is basically an opinion-based tag. yet it hasn't been burninated. Additionally, it has clear limits defined in the question that prevents all possible opinions. $\endgroup$ – IT Alex Aug 21 '20 at 17:23
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It is regenerated... in the item.

Creating a magic artifact permanently (or at least, until the artifact is destroyed or disenchanted) "displaces" part of the mage's "magic capacity", binding it to the artifact instead of the mage. When the artifact is used, it needs to regenerate just like when a mage uses magic. It can do this despite being inanimate because it is powered by a sliver of the mage's abilities that the mage carved out of himself/herself when making the artifact.

If this is permanent, I'd imagine very few magic artifacts exist, because the cost is very high for the benefit. OTOH, if destruction of the artifact causes that "sliver" to return to the mage, then artifacts may be a convenient way to maintain ready-to-cast spells, and they can always be destroyed or disenchanted if the mage wants/needs that capacity back.

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    $\begingroup$ I disagree, lots would be created, though the majority would not be particularly good. Apprentices and criminals would spend their time creating such artifacts for the front line battle mages to become more effective. If a criminal runs out of mana doing this then they will be transferred to other duties. Apprenticies return to more theoretical studies until such time as one of their artifacts is destroyed in battle or they gain more mana by some other means. It keeps both groups out of magical mischief until such time as they can be useful. $\endgroup$ – Separatrix Aug 21 '20 at 14:52
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    $\begingroup$ I like this answer. It allows magic to be shared with non-magic-users at a price and limits the potential to make a large number of people magic-users no matter how temporarily. This kind of limitation is what makes stories and games good. $\endgroup$ – JBH Aug 21 '20 at 15:49
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    $\begingroup$ Now what happens with the artefact upon death of the mage? Could there be powerful artefacts around created by those deceased a long time ago? $\endgroup$ – Bergi Aug 22 '20 at 16:21
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    $\begingroup$ This is also a potentially neat driver of conflict for stories: super powerful mage creates super powerful magic item but then loses it. Now she desperately wants the item to be either destroyed or returned to her, since without it she's considerably less powerful $\endgroup$ – Nathaniel Aug 24 '20 at 0:49
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    $\begingroup$ There's another way such items would be created--mages near death would invest their power in items to be sold to benefit their heirs. $\endgroup$ – Loren Pechtel Aug 24 '20 at 2:44
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When you enchant an item, you place a piece of you in the item. Might be an abstract piece of you, but regardless, you only regenerate that mana back when the item is destroyed or disenchanted.

This allows you to throw necromancy into the mix. Wanna enchant something, but don't want to spend your own soul into it? Use someone else's (or some animal's), as seen in The Elder Scrolls.

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    $\begingroup$ Ack, we obviously typed the same answer at the same time 🙂. Nice wrinkle about using someone else's soul, though. $\endgroup$ – Matthew Aug 21 '20 at 13:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Matthew great minds thing alike🙂 $\endgroup$ – The Square-Cube Law Aug 21 '20 at 14:04
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knowledge is lost

There's already good answers above, so I decided to give it a little spin as the question might be answered differently.

When creating items, the knowledge of this spell is removed from the user and put on the item for use. This does not make the enchanter less powerful. He/she just has less options available. They might learn it again, or maybe the spell still occupies the mind but can't be accessed anymore.

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  • $\begingroup$ This resonates with both of Dungeons & Dragons (1st and 2nd editions) and Discworld, +1. $\endgroup$ – The Square-Cube Law Aug 21 '20 at 17:39

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