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In a medieval-fantasy world, the magic exists by imbuing mana into symbols. The symbols can be written, declaimed or even thought, to cast the spell. A formula can store any non-meta spell you can think of (no multiplying mana or counter spell, etc). Formulas are sequences of at least 3 symbols. The symbol meaning is linked to the magic effect, so if you don't read the symbols, you can't trigger it. Even your custom-made language can be magic if it holds meaning.

Some rogue sorcerers use their magic to control people. Their modus operandi is to make their target read a formula (out loud or not). The formula takes control of the reader, using the sorcerer's mana stored while writing, then drawing the target's mana. The wording can change, but the sentence could be "Abandon your mind to this spell's writer".

The mind-controlling spell doesn't cost much mana, you won't run out of it. But reality-altering spell costs way more, and because you are not a powerful wizard, you can't do much (light a candle twice a day)

If you don't want to be a pawn of a evil purpose, how will you protect yourself against the mind control? The best solution deal with these concerns:

  • It cost no mana (no magic response)
  • It cost few money
  • Protect you even when you are not ready
  • Allow you to read what you want, in every language you know
  • Doesn't take time

More about the magic system:

The effect comes from the meaning in your mind powered by the mana. For the mind control spell, it's first powered by the writer, but then it force the reader to continue reading and use his mana while reading the text. The text only holds the certain amount of mana the writer spent. If the mana production comes from the reader, the effect is sustained because the mana source is the source.

Like a description in a novel, if you don't detail things, it may go wild. Knowing your definitions is really import if you want to control what you do. The definition for a particular human is hard to get, but targeting the reader of the text is way easier. When you want to target someone, the more you know about him, the easier it is. Easiest is targeting yourself.

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    $\begingroup$ To paraphrase: "What is an easy and reliable way to escape my inescapable trap?" $\endgroup$
    – Jedediah
    Commented Apr 6, 2022 at 13:27
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    $\begingroup$ Why hide the control runes in a book? Paste them onto your forehead and gain control of everyone who looks at you! $\endgroup$
    – Jedediah
    Commented Apr 6, 2022 at 13:30
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    $\begingroup$ If you're asking about the actions of an individual your question isn't about about worldbuilding. There are probably many ways that someone could be protected from your book which also makes this question too broad. Questions with many valid answers are as a rule not a good fit for this site. \ $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Commented Apr 6, 2022 at 15:08
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    $\begingroup$ if you don't read the symbols, you can't trigger it. Even your custom-made language can be magic if it holds meaning meaning to who? a custom-made language has meaning only for that/those who made it unles they teach it to everyone else (which would instead make it not-custom-made IMHO) so does this mean a spell written in a custom language only works on people who knows such language? And what if I misread or misspell a word? $\endgroup$
    – Josh Part
    Commented Apr 6, 2022 at 20:33
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    $\begingroup$ Simplest solution for the rogue casters: Change the wording to "Anyone I think of abandons their minds to me". No need to have anybody read anything. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 7, 2022 at 7:38

16 Answers 16

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Library Wizard

a wizard is in a library

You got the book from the library. The library has thousands of books. In the medieval fantasy world books are expensive. So the library must have lots of money.

In particular they have enough money to hire an Acolyte to cast detect magic on every book as it is returned. They do this without opening the book so there is no risk of being controlled.

Some libraries have extra security where they cast the spell before the book is loaned too.

That's a lot of detect magic. Fortunately the spell is not expensive or difficult to cast. So you can leave it to junior wizards on work experience.

The spell tells you if a book has a mind control (or any other) spell inside it. Those books go in a pile in a special room in the basement.

Once per week they bring in a Wizard of Journeyman rank who casts Dispell Magic on the pile. Then they go back in the shelves.

Wizards like books. Even nonmagical books. So they are happy to do this job.

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  • $\begingroup$ Fantastic. Can already imagine some tales running solely on the business of one such magical library. Maybe a slice of life of sorts. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 7, 2022 at 11:03
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    $\begingroup$ @SavioKingdom Note to self: Check has Terry Pratchett already written such a book. $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Commented Apr 7, 2022 at 13:32
  • $\begingroup$ The librarian is an orang-utan, therefore unaffected by spells intended to affect humans. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 8, 2022 at 11:36
  • $\begingroup$ While I like the answer, I think this would render useless either OP's setup or the solution itself: if it's this easy to detect and discard dangerous, enchanted books, attackers would've already gave up on books and found another way to perform their mind-controlling schemes; OTOH, if attackers still use books to mind-control people because they found a way to make their spells "dispell-proof", this solution would be at best one step behind attackers, so it would still be unsafe. $\endgroup$
    – Josh Part
    Commented Apr 8, 2022 at 15:38
  • $\begingroup$ @JoshPart Any solution to the problem will indeed solve the problem. Though they didn't say so, it is reasonable to believe the Asker wants SOME mind control in their world (otherwise why put it in the world) but have it a rare occurrence. This can be done by modulating how competent the library wizard system is. Can they be bribed? Can you bribe or replace a librarian? Can you sneak books into the library and onto the shelves. Do something clever with the rules of magic? There is loads of room for shenanigans. $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Commented Apr 8, 2022 at 16:06
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enter image description here

You said medieval-esque fantasy, right? Literacy rates in most of medieval Europe were about 20%, and this varied heavily on the time period (late medieval period had higher literacy rates) and the social class of the person in question (nobles and clergy were more likely to be literate, commoners not so much).

Which means that assuming a spell must be read in order to affect a person, anyone who is illiterate will have a distinct advantage.

  • It costs no mana (no magic response)
  • It costs no money
  • It costs no time
  • It protects you even when you are not ready

Even if shown the mind-control spell, they wouldn't understand it, and if they read it aloud they'd just be repeating what someone else said, not truly "reading" the book.

The only thing it doesn't do it let you read what you want, but in a medieval setting literacy may not be the mandatory skill it is in the modern era. Indeed this setting actually has pressure for people to be illiterate to avoid being mind controlled.

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    $\begingroup$ Amazing solution and so simple and from a modern perspective utterly surprising :D $\endgroup$
    – Hakaishin
    Commented Apr 7, 2022 at 5:29
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    $\begingroup$ This ! Only the ones that are willing to learn despite the danger will be able to read / to create spells / to be victim of the mind control. $\endgroup$
    – Headax
    Commented Apr 7, 2022 at 7:50
  • $\begingroup$ @Headax isnt this self-defeating? It only protects those who arent likely to read them in the first place. $\endgroup$
    – Demigan
    Commented Apr 7, 2022 at 11:02
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    $\begingroup$ @Demigan You're right, I won't validate this answer because I was implicitly focusing on people that can read. However, this answer point the most likely way the medieval people would react to those mind-control spells. $\endgroup$
    – Headax
    Commented Apr 7, 2022 at 14:19
  • $\begingroup$ You don't have to have everyone be illiterate necessarily. Just not literate in the language the text is written in. All you have to do is write the dangerous text in an obscure language that very few people can read, and then only those people will be susceptible to it. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 7, 2022 at 14:39
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Mirror writing

mirror writing

The symbols are not the same symbols. They are no longer the magic symbols. But you can still read the meaning and the more you do it the faster you get. You will read books using a mirror, looking over your shoulder.

You might go around this way, using a mirror to look over your shoulder and walking backwards, in case someone leaves the symbols out and you read them by accident.

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    $\begingroup$ This doesnt work right? It specifically says that the meaning is what causes the spell, and that self-made magic languages still work as magic (probably to prevent simple answers like "just use another language"). Mirroring would be just another magic language $\endgroup$
    – Demigan
    Commented Apr 7, 2022 at 10:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Demigan At this point the wording of the spells become important. If the sentence targets the one watching the text, it's ok because you are watching a mirror. The spell has no valid target. If the sentence targets the reader, you are screwed because you read and understand it. $\endgroup$
    – Headax
    Commented Apr 7, 2022 at 12:28
  • $\begingroup$ With some creative caligraphy, you might trick a mirror user by creating an ambigram (stylized text which is still readable if rotated or mirrored, either as the same or as something different). $\endgroup$
    – Philipp
    Commented Apr 8, 2022 at 15:11
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Just pay attention to what you read

If you pay attention, you will stop reading when you spot the first or second symbol of the mind controlling formula. This works with other things too, such as the game.

Sorry about that :D back in focus, this level of attention and attentiveness is called awareness and it's a thing buddhists aim to do in every aspect of their lives. It helps you keep track of what you're doing and protects you from the traps of distraction. I am telling you how to use it against the mind controlling formula symbols because I am never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna run around and desert you.

Seriously, are you still reading?

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  • $\begingroup$ Doesnt your answer basically nullify itself? Even if you only read the first few sentences of The Roll your mind already knows the rest... and while it didnt happen the first time, the second time I read your answer my mind still completed the rest of the sentence even though I stopped reading, which in this case would be enough to be controlled. Symbols can also be short, and like wrosd taht anr't in the rghit ltteer odrer you can sitll udetsrnsnd tehm. $\endgroup$
    – Demigan
    Commented Apr 7, 2022 at 10:54
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    $\begingroup$ @Demigan that's a matter of training. These days on Facebook I autoskip posts as soon as I see "AITA" or the telltale signs of a listicle. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 7, 2022 at 12:53
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    $\begingroup$ This is very similar to how the lore in some versions of D&D describe casting. The magic-user readies a spell ahead of time by casting most of it, then can later cast it on demand by finishing the last few words. If casters train themselves to read and use magic like that, they'll reflexively give themselves an opening to think about what they're reading before it's fully cast. $\endgroup$
    – bta
    Commented Apr 8, 2022 at 2:39
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Fighting Fire With Fire

What happens if you already have a spell on effect which disagrees with the mind control spell? Something which makes a logical paradox- you can't give away what's already lost.

Assuming the a first spell overrides incoming spells which would cause a paradox, you can either mind controll yourself or issue a "think for myself" spell to yourself. Problem solved.

Assuming paradox spells annihilate each other, you simply need to read the "think for myself" spell before reading any other spell. Problem solved.

Assuming the most recent spell wins, you need to guarantee that the "think for yourself" spell remains on top. Reading this after every spell made by another person ensures you have total control of yourself. Problem not entirely solved, but it is better than nothing. This control restoring spell would simply need to be placed in many places where a sorcerer would read it, reinforced by habit.

Depending on the interaction of paradoxical spells, you can try things like submitting will to dead people (who cannot issue commands) or supremely good gods (who will either give it back or lead you to a righteous life).

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  • $\begingroup$ How about an axiom that a person can only be controlled by one spell at a time? Then people would have to write or find books that are benign - or at least less bad, in order to negate the really bad ones. It would avoid the worst, but it'd still be mind control, which would impart similar behavior to anyone who read the same book. Like, say, a religious order? $\endgroup$
    – thkala
    Commented Apr 7, 2022 at 16:13
  • $\begingroup$ @thkala You got the idea! $\endgroup$
    – PipperChip
    Commented Apr 7, 2022 at 21:07
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Dyslexia

...or a similar reading disorder slightly hand-waved to your world (let's call it "myslexia").

People with myslexia know to read, but can't read, only interpret i.e. when they read something, the words/letters are registered in their minds out of order from how they're written, and their brains have to make and extra effort to put them in the right order so they can ultimately understand what they read.

While it's still a disadvantage, some people with myslexia have trained and worked hard enough to get used to this, and not let it cause them major issues in their day-to-day life.

All in all, this disability:

  • costs no mana (it's a natural condition)
  • costs no money (you're born with it)
  • protects you even when you are not ready (everything you read is in disorder)
  • allows you to read what you want, in every language you know (again, everything you read is in disorder)
  • doesn't take time (other than the few extra seconds required by your mind to correctly arrange what you just read)
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  • $\begingroup$ This was my first thought. It would make such trickery too dangerous. Accidentally try it on a dyslexic person and instead of controlling their mind, they read the symbols out of order and now it's the spell writer's mind that has been abandoned. Or the letters get completely mixed up and something bizarre happens. There's no telling how they might misread it so if the dyslexia rate is too high (or if there are a few severe, high-profile incidents), such tricksters would be very reluctant to try such techniques. $\endgroup$
    – bta
    Commented Apr 8, 2022 at 2:31
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Magical problems require magical solutions.

You (yes you!) live in a world where millions of hostile agents want to take control of your mind and make use of your resources, steal what you have and don't care a wit for your well-being.
So you get equally clever and capable people to make something that will screen out those attacks and protect you.
Adblockers, Anti-virus software, Spyware cleaners.. All of these tools exist to protect you and those you love from people who would take advantage of you.

It works in the real world, it'll work just as well in your magical world too.

Here's a few options you might acquire from a local wizard:

  • Magic reading-glasses - Prevent you from reading the words if they contain magic.
  • Dispel Headband - Cancels out the mind-virus as it attempts to run.
  • Dispel Tattoo - Not only cancels the mind-virus out, but conveniently doesn't need to be worn, and can operate with other headgear.
  • Nullifier Rod - Wave it over your mail to dispel the magic before you ever read it.
  • Detector Rod - Wave it over your mail to discover whether it contains magic spells. (It may become warm or light up if it detects magic)

Regardless of the specifics, the solution is the same.
If you can't do it yourself, pay a wizard to fix the wizardly problem for you.

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    $\begingroup$ Use-cases: Your friend has been mind-virused! He's got a hostile spell controlling his every move, making him dangerously violent or perhaps just telling all his friends about "Magus Mephistopheles's Magical Elixir and its amazing restorative properties" on loop. Slap a Dispel Headband over his head and with any luck, that'll be the last you'll hear of it. Make sure you wear the magic reading glasses while you check through his mail to find the source of the mind-virus and burn it before it can infect anyone else. $\endgroup$
    – Ruadhan
    Commented Apr 7, 2022 at 11:49
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Alter your mind.

The magic only works if you can read and understand all symbols in a sequence. So you alter your mind in a way that your brain cannot comprehend all symbols in a sequence. This would be in a way similar to Aphasia or a mental disorder where specific things trigger a specific response from the person. One of the potential responses could even be to instantly deplete all your mana, should the mind control somehow still take effect it immediately loses its mana source.

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  • $\begingroup$ There is a limit of this. When you are used to remove words, the sentence start to exist without the missing word. If I tell you "Make a long story short" several times removing the word "short", the sentence "Make a long story" will suffice to hold the magic meaning. $\endgroup$
    – Headax
    Commented Apr 6, 2022 at 12:21
  • $\begingroup$ @Headax important to know, but easily avoided: the meaning of symbolic mind control is what you ward against, rather than the specific sequence of symbols (besides unless its specifically written it would not cause this association). It would also mean that if you cast for example "light" and no other spell beginning with that spell's first symbols, you would be able to cast just by thinking the first symbol as you essentially rewrite the symbol meaning. Which opens the option to make ANY symbol mean a specific spell. Why learn a difficult spell if you can give simple symbols the same meaning? $\endgroup$
    – Demigan
    Commented Apr 6, 2022 at 13:06
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From a certain point view, this is similar to something we already have in our real life: there are books which are given to be read to people, and those books control the mind and the behavior of (most of) those readers. Think of Mein Kampf or Das Kapital, just to focus on some laical examples.

Usually different groups disagree on which book it has to be read, and usually within a group people are immune to the effects of the other books. This is due to mental conditioning applied to the reader in not letting the read material seep deep and be believed.

You can apply something similar: mental conditioning of the reader in not letting the read material be believed.

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  • $\begingroup$ The spells take you free will away, you cannot decide how you react to a formula you read and understood. $\endgroup$
    – Headax
    Commented Apr 6, 2022 at 12:12
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    $\begingroup$ It's a good thing you chose those particular titles. They only have two words so there is no risk of being mind controlled just by reading the name. Now had you said The Communist Manifesto we'd be in trouble. Oh no. $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Commented Apr 6, 2022 at 12:48
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Have an apprentice read it.

There's all sorts of tricks that could be done to bypass any protection method used. As such, the easy solution is to just get some random peasant boy to read it.

You first give them a cursed book of your own, set to make them scream if they read anything that looks like mind magic. Then you have them read it. If they read a sentence like "Your mind belongs to me" Then the first cursed book can make them scream, and then you know.

You can then dispose of the apprentice. You need a small set up cost for a magical book, but once that happens, finding a cursed book is free, and in fact grants you a free corpse.

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Read it out of order

Somewhere in the library there might be a book that says "abandon your mind to this spell's writer". Well FINE then. Standing in the middle of the library, you raise your voice and declare, "this spell's writer abandon mind to you." Then you either take a chance and read the books with at least that magic incantation cleared out, or you take a break from reading and go wandering around the city looking for any victims of your Ukrainian reversal.

Leaving incantations like that in books might not be a bright idea in the first place. :)

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Spells are Casted by Intentions not Words

The actual spell is the intention that the reader has to cast a spell, not the words themselves. To put this in perspective, you can think about punching someone all you want, but until you actual will it to happen, you keep your hands to yourself. Spells are the same way, you can read a spell over an over, but until you read a spell with the intention to cast it, it's just ink on a piece of paper.

The reason spells work in every language is because the words are not the spell. Yes, a scroll can be imbued with mana to power a spell, but the text is just the carefully thought out words to make sure the spell is cast to the exact effect you mean it to be cast with. You don't want to cast a spell to make someone fall in love with you only for them to turn into an obsessive stalker because you did not choose your intentions wisely; so, that is why wizards write down their intentions in the form of spell before trying to will their intentions into existence. They write it down, they read it over and over again, they think about all the possible consequences of the spell, edit it and edit it again until it is a perfect representation of what they want to happen, THEN they read it with the intention to cast it.

So, there is not anything special you need to do to protect yourself from a spell someone left for you to read, because reading the words "Abandon your mind to this spell's writer" is no more an effective trap than leaving someone a note telling them to punch themselves in the face. You simply can't make someone cast a spell unless they want to cast it.

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Similar to illiteracy, but in a way that doesn't hinder magic for peasants. At least one of the symbols used in the spell could be not commonly used, so that any who don't know what the specific symbol is are not affected by mind control. This way, they still have an ability to use magic. For more powerful magic users, the same symbol could be in other high-level spells, so learning it can have benefits and the added drawback of now being susceptible to mind control.

For those who know the symbol, there could be a spell that drains mana very quickly, but can be cast to prevent the specific spell from working, one that can keep enemies from reaching their mind, or the spell could detect a specific symbol in the area, a detect symbol of sorts, but either costs way to much mana to use consistently, or can only be used for one kind symbol at a time (meaning other symbols that you want to avoid can only be detected if they are the specific symbol being searched for).

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All forms of reading becomes inherently dangerous.

TL;DR - Readers develop a short form of pre-reading to "hash" the text and compare the hash to known enthralling patterns to detect traps. "Abandon your mind to the..." becomes "Abyo Mito Ta.." (nonsense words) which don't mean anything to the reader other than, "this is a trap"

  • It cost no mana (no magic response)
  • It cost few money
  • Protect you even when you are not ready
  • Allow you to read what you want, in every language you know
  • Doesn't take time

Only costs a second or two when reading something to check the hash, and the education to learn and enforce the habit among the average reader.

Though this isn't the only way the world would react to this possibility.

This threat would be akin to mass mailing anthrax IRL

This would be a global security concern if stealing someone's mind and making a thrall out of them was really this simple, amassing slave armies every time you put up a new billboard, entire wars could be won by painting your words in the clouds above or using illusion magic to "pepper spray" an attacker with hovering symbols that a fast reader simply glancing at would fall prey to. To then have the concentration and effect sustained by the target itself thereafter, that's no simple task.

This must be either, much more difficult to perform than explained, or newly discovered and never used against the world yet.

A less severe version may be a book that contains a glyph which houses "Command" or "Suggestion" like effects to "READ" or to continue reading the control spell until finished, so that the hook has a definitive sink that can either be resisted or fallen for. From there, the duration of time to read the enthralling symbols is all that waits for the effect to stick long term, though the compulsion to read doesn't mean the target isn't aware of what's being read.

A commoner likely would just read and absorb the information but a wizard would likely be able to identify the intent of the trap setter by understanding the template of words being read. As in general safety training, specific dangers as these sorts of traps would be wise to teach in schools to prevent strong magic users falling prey to these simple traps.

I believe the response to such an attack would be immediate, urgent, and far spread when detected. Once discovered every magical defense program would be working to put an end to it and devise ways to find who set the trap.

This gives us 4 points of resistance

-Before you see the hook but are within threat range.

-The compulsion to continue reading once the hook is activated.

-The formation of the lasting enthrall effect while hooked.

-Post attack response.

Before you see the hook but are within threat range.

Important places such as government buildings etc will be outfitted with Magic Dispelling gateways. When walking through, all magical items much be handed to a guard/wizard to be checked via detect magic to determine any enchantment or illusion school magics (if detected further probing occurs), while everything else and the person passes through a dispel magic portal. This removes any magical effects present in items or creatures passing through (no disguise self allowed) and the magic within the text that creates the link between the trap setter and the target is removed, disabling the trap.

In general, an enchantment effect found using detect magic on either an object or person would become much more suspicious and actionable, towns likely setting up guard patrols specifically containing magic detectors to scan areas regularly as a result.

The compulsion to continue reading once the hook is detected.

Readers would be trained to read in a way that disrupts direct thought injection attacks. Rather than reading entire words, a learned habit to replace words, shorten words, or rearrange the words read can be used as a passive defense. Rather than reading "Abandon your mind to the..." would instead be read as "Aba-yo mi-tota..." which will become a barrier allowing the reader to understand abstractions and concepts indirectly (imagine a code hash) and compare that abstract with commonly used "enthralling" patterns to determine that an attack was attempted before reading any further. Correspondence to high importance folk would filter through a scholar that could screen for traps.

Additionally, divination sensors can be set to Alarm whenever "I am magically compelled to do something" to emit concentration breaking sounds or to alert others nearby that they have been enchanted on repeat (imagine magic mouth necklaces in DnD5e).

The formation of the lasting enthrall effect while hooked.

Contingencies and emergency response could be pre-planned, "If I am ever magically compelled to do something, cast dispel magic/banishment/etc on myself and send a message to X for help."

Passive defenses must be developed to have better control over your own mana. From a suit, to a ring, or even a magical tattoo, this will prevent any unwanted mana escaping from the user. To cast spells, all mana is funneled through this "mana gate" as a part of the effort in casting the spell. Once the spell is complete, the gate closes. Specific spells that require an open gate can be configured to allow a constant stream separate from the casting of the spell required. Once compelled to link the thralls mana to the trap setter, the mana gate disallows this stray user mana being applied to the constant effect of the mind control, preventing it from being established or sustained.

Post attack response

Uncertain if thralls are aware they are being controlled and can be commanded at will, or if they become mindless drones to the controller (how to manage that many thralls at once without them appearing to act oddly) but we're going to assume a thrall cannot seek to break themselves free on their own. As a response Warding Glyphs could be placed in high traffic areas, "If a someone being mind-controlled is detected, cast dispel magic on them" to create barriers of entry for any thralls sent to these location, or to prevent thralls from leaving if they fall prey to a trap brought inside.

Catching one of these thralls or traps would be the swift end to the trap setter though. The connection forming magic within the trap itself is the mana of the caster. The object can now be used to trace divination back to the trap setter. If a thrall is found, the mind control connection is maintained by the mana of the thrall, but the commands must be linked to the trap setter. Divination magic would likely be able to follow this trail as well, unless the magic was specific enough to release the captured thrall if such an attempt to trace was made.

Additional considerations

If all it takes to get the spell setup is to inject a thought into someone's mind, you could use similar magics to sending/message/telepathy to simply inject these words directly into the target? If that wouldn't work, then similarly, I don't see how reading the text would be any more effective (other than in the methods described in Symbol or glyph ward that are triggered by being seen.

The problem I see is that after the impulse to read has been delivered, the trap setter stops being the caster. The caster becomes the thrall, who then self-casts a "Give my mental control to another target" spell on themselves, with the target they hand control over to being unknown to them.

In most examples I have, you can speak the verbal components of a spell without it's effects occurring if explaining them in conversation etc. You have to put more into the spell than simply saying words. I don't know how you'd force a reader to put that extra effort in to cast such a spell if they

  • A) Understand that it's enslaving them (they would not put their own mana into the spell, but instead just read the words as compelled)
  • B) Read the words and have no idea it's a spell (which again, no effort to exert their own mana while reading something they assume isn't a spell)
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The spell is written in the native vernacular phonetically and only an initiate would have the knowledge to connect that letter sequence to the symbol. The symbols are visualized within their mind and create the spell trigger. Omega Eta Nu means very little to an English speaker. But a speaker of Greek puts those together with their alphabet and symbology into words with a deeper meaning (well maybe not those three-who knows, its all Greek to me).

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  • $\begingroup$ But letters are symbols. Every language can be used to create spells. That said, some languages may be more efficient than others. $\endgroup$
    – Headax
    Commented Apr 7, 2022 at 14:10
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Magic firewall or antivirus

This reminds me a lot of computer malware: instructions that hijack the reader. So maybe you need a "firewall", or some kind of pre-scanning device that can detect malicious symbols or patterns.

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