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Imagine a wizard à la Frozen. He has a good control of Cryokinetic powers.

He decides to slow his aging. He considers trying to slow down his cells movements (yes, he knows about cells), but he is afraid that that would only result in maybe living longer, but at the cost of being a frozen statue.

He doesn't want to live eternally, but a few hundred years would allow him to actually do something reasonable.

Do you think that his magic allow him to increase his life expectancy without completely rendering him a frozen statue?

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  • $\begingroup$ If he slows cell functions, he also won't heal at the same rate, digest food the same, or walk as fast and will probably sleep longer. Since we're talking magic, can we agree the answer is "Yes, he can" and handwave the specifics? That's probably the best way to handle this, unless you would like to identify how your magic functions. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Jun 11 '15 at 12:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Frostfyre: Eating and walking are essentially fine. Sleeping, mostly. And healing, he could reverse the magic when in big necessity. Yes, my first tought was "yes he can... 'cause Magic". But I thought I'd try to see if people had better ideas than mine. Furthermore that might help me put some rules on Magic. $\endgroup$ – clem steredenn Jun 11 '15 at 13:48
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Absolutely, using Sandersons' First Law of Magic:

An author's ability to resolve conflict with magic is directly proportional to the reader's understanding of it.

If you are using magic, it can do absolutely anything you want it to. Anything at all. Anything. The trick is that if you need to resolve a conflict found in the story (such as why a wizard has lived for 200 years), the reader needs to understand it.

Don't worry about the mechanics. The mechanics are "magic," and that is all that truly matters. A "scientific explaination" ties you to actually knowing the physics of his cryokinetic abilities, and actually gets in the way.

Instead, focus on the reader understanding the effects of this magic:

  • He should feel cold on the outside, reflecting his lowered metabolism
  • He should talk in long drawn out words, reflecting that his mind is moving slower under the slower metabolism.
    • If he needs to think quickly, this is now a "challenge" for you as an author. Why does his brain move fast if his body is moving slow? This is hard enough to solve with magic, but even harder with physics!
  • His interactions with others should develop like ice crystals, forming perfect seed crystals which then grow into icy lances to pierce the arguments of others.
  • When the love interest is introduced to him (there's always a love interest), the feeling of melting should be palpable. We should feel him trying to win love with his sharp edged icy approach, feel his frustration as it doesn't work, and feel him push himself to new high [temperatures] he's never been at before.
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  • $\begingroup$ Nope, no love interest here. Not for him anyway. But nice to learn about Sandersons' law. For the thinking, I'd expect that he would change between the cold preservation and a faster rythm when there is a need: like a fight. I appreciate a lot the external symptoms. If I am not scientifically correct, at least I could get some consistency in. $\endgroup$ – clem steredenn Jun 12 '15 at 7:13
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Maybe he could use Cyrogenics?

This doesn't do exactly what you want. But it does let him stretch out his lifespan over a longer objective period, and skip the boring parts.

For example, let's say there's a large, long project he wants done that he needs to oversee at a high level. Instead of showing up every single day for 6 months, he could freeze himself for 6 days out of 7 and only show up on Mondays to check things out and make sure it's on track. So during that 6 month period he would only age ~1 month.

If he's doing research/experiments, he could set something up that will take a while and leave it to his assistants, then freeze himself and wake up only when it's actually finished.

One obvious downside of this technique is that it requires him to be good at delegation and have competent assistants who can manage things while he's frozen, but that doesn't seem insurmountable.

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  • $\begingroup$ Yes, problem is that he isn't very social. He tends to be living alone in the middle of nowhere. But that is indeed interesting for long breaks. $\endgroup$ – clem steredenn Jun 11 '15 at 13:45
  • $\begingroup$ He could have pre-recorded avitars to take care of routine business. They are limited and only know what he was concentrating on when he made them, so might seem odd or mentally challenged on close inspection or if forced out of their niche. That could be kept hidden and add to the plot. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Jun 11 '15 at 22:58
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What if he used Cryogenics to slow his aging only while he slept?

He could freeze (or cool) himself before sleeping to slow down his aging, and then just heat himself back up in the morning. I'm not sure how well rested he would after sleeping in a cryogenically frozen state, but he could potentially extend his lifespan by about a third this way. (8 less hours of aging per day)

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  • $\begingroup$ yes but none of the processes that happen in sleep are believed to happen in cryo, so this idea might not technically be applicable. $\endgroup$ – Necessity Jun 11 '15 at 18:06
  • $\begingroup$ Do you have a source for that? $\endgroup$ – Martin_xs6 Jun 11 '15 at 18:11
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    $\begingroup$ Nope, though as all chemical processes in the body are extremely slowed down in cryo, it may be better to say that the processes happen just extremely slowly, so though it may be 8 hours of cryo, it would only be equivalent to ten minutes of sleep (totally made up numbers). So it would be safe to assume that it also applies to the brain. $\endgroup$ – Necessity Jun 11 '15 at 18:24
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Nope, I don't think that it is possible to stop the movement of cells and carry on moving because then there is no energy being produced by the cell to move.

The only way I can thinkup other than cryogenics with such a limited type of magic, is possibly to prevent the damaged caused to the body by free radical energy. Damage to our cells from free radicals are thought to be one of the main reasons that we age because that damage accumulates over time, so prevent it should dramaticly increase the life span.

Ofcourse its inpossible to know how long that would extend a persons life but it is a plausible explanation for a longer than regular life span.

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