Spellcasting aides were items used to help a spellcaster focus and cast spells, they often took the form of staves and wands though rings, gems and bracers exist.
Using a spellcasting aide allows the user to easily manipulate and aim their spells with minimal harm to the user, in some cases, an aide may even improve a spell's quality, such as its accuracy and precision.
Casting spells without aides is possible and regarded as highly advanced and dangerous, allowing the caster to fine-tune and cast more advanced spells with their fingers. Without an aide to act as a magical rod and barrier between magic and the user, evocative spells such as fireballs may harm the user if proper wards are not in place, a slight finger in the wrong place may end up with a loss of a hand or more.
A staff is the most common spellcasting aide. The staff allows the user to make broader strokes for more powerful and area effect spells along with acting as a walking stick for more elderly mages. Staves are often made of wood and adorned with crystals which can boost magical prowess.
Wands are generally seen as a smaller version of the staff, it allows for quicker, precise and more delicate spellcasting at the expense of power. Like staves, wands are often made of wood and can have decorative yet useful ornaments. Wands are often used by the young, beginner and journeyman mages or those who prefer casting with the wrist.
A more discrete spellcasting aide, rings allow the user to emulate calibrative spellcasting and acts as a safety procedure, absorbingexcess magical power if need be. Most rings are made of metal and often come with protective enchantments like any other magical ring, the most common enchantment for spellcasting rings are protective wards to avoid harm to the user's hands.
Bracers acts similarly to the ring, allowing the user to emulate calibrative spellcasting. If they say a ring is like a wand then a bracer is like a staff, allowing for slower but more powerful spells. A bracer can absorb more excess magical power than a ring but its position on the wrists means the user cannot use their fingers as much to fine-tune their spells, spellcasting with a bracer often requires broad and strong gestures using the whole hand rather than fingers.
An uncommon yet powerful spellcasting aide, orbs saw heavy usage from the Bulwari Empire and saw continued use until the end of the Phoenix Empire. The orbs ability to levitate allows the user to have different positions of firing, from hovering beside the user or being wielded much akin to throwing a ball.
Spellcasting with an orb, again, allows the user to emulate calibrative spellcasting much like rings, though magical energy is centered and drawn from the orb itself into the users fingertips rather than being conjured there.
Orbs are often made of damestear which allows it to store magical energy for later spells, bulwari wizards were often recorded in wielding as much as six orbs allowing them to draw magical power and cast devastating spells from atop their battle platforms.
Martial Weapons Edit
In some cases weapons have been used for spellcasting though it has generally be found as clumsy and difficult to harness, aim and wield spells using this method due to their length, impracticality, the chance to harm the user itself, and the fact that the user may have to split time between casting and fighting with the weapon. The user could just wear a ring or bracer which offers a much more stable spellcasting platform anyhow.
Instruments such as lutes and flutes are the main aides for bardic magic, exchanging hand gestures or musical notes instead. It's rigidity in concrete notes allows for spells to be cast easier though more difficult to be fine-tuned and its noise-making ability makes it suited (or only compatible) for area-of-effect spells.
Mion Silmuna (164). Spellcasting Primer. Silmuna University Press.
Elgar Silmeron (1133). Codex Aldresia. The Magisterium.