This is related to my last question here.

The library here is not necessarily the magical sentient library mentioned in the previous question, but can be any wizard library. This library can be in any form e.g. a secluded tower in a wood, or a huge library where many wizards live together, or in an academy.

This parasite is an obligate parasite: it cannot live outside a wizard library, or it will die in 2-3 days. The parasite can be found in virtually any wizard library, and even an apprentice mage can detect its presence.

Considering it is a parasite, and it often tampers with a wizard's experiment or spell casting:

Why do wizards not attempt to exterminate these parasites?

Additional background:

  1. The parasite feeds on remnants of magic power used from experiments or spell casting. Often, it intentionally distracts the caster so that the spell fails, to get more magic remnants.
  2. There is no mana required to cast a spell. The residue of magic power is only produced after spell casting.
  3. There is no benefit for a wizard or mage to keep this creature around.
  4. This creature can accidentally activate scrolls. However, it is not believed that it does so on purpose. It might be on purpose, but it has never been proven. Scrolls can be activated without knowing the inner workings​ of the spell.

The physical or magical features of this creature are up to you to decide, but I'm imagining a ghost-like semi-corporeal creature flying around the library. You can make up a fully incorporeal ghost, or something like that.

  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$ – James May 23 '18 at 16:48

32 Answers 32


I am thinking that these pests are sentient/concentrated "waste" magic. Any place where many magic spells are cast and leave sufficient magic residue one of these creatures will eventually appear. Though as these pests devour the residue that would make more of them they don't reproduce and much of their characteristics are decided by the magic residue that it originated from

This gets around why they can appear in any mages library even though they die after a few days outside of one. This also helps explain why wizards don't kill them as having them around makes it so more don't spawn. Wizards may kill a few of these parasites if they appear to be particularly annoying or malicious, but will stop after they get one that is bearably annoying. (eg. if the parasite presents with fire traits you kill it since fire has no place in a library. If a new parasite presents with a ghostly glowing that only interacts with the material world by sending chills down your spine and making mysterious noise you keep it since it is an annoying you can deal with)


Why do runners train at altitude?

By always having a training aid around which forces one to work harder, the magician will not be as startled and distracted when casting a fireball and the Ice Giant tosses an iceberg his way. It's simple conditioning.

It stands to reason that some libraries have more parasites than others. These also are the libraries containing more magical works which attract the more experienced magicians. As magicians advance, so does the difficultly levels. Some wizards likely even cultivate parasites in their private libraries to give themselves even more of an edge.

Bleed in training so you don't bleed in battle.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.