The Magician’s Diaries: Familiars

Hello, my children,

Today we must speak on the immense ocean that is familiar ownership. I must assume that some of you are quite familiar with the concept, yet to others it remains my obligation to educate. Familiars, admittedly, are a trendsetter’s magic– some traditionalists even perceive it to be on the level of lowly minstrels in terms of the flamboyant, magical whimsy required to conjure and subsequently tame such fey spirits. I, on the other hand, see it no different as the realm’s court magician walking the streets with their guard composed of flesh and bones. Whatever you surround yourself with, however you hope to express your practice, it matters little when the result is the same: a pickpocket will find it harder to approach when you have an owl on your shoulder turning its head back and forth in constant vigil.

Common familiars as possible by the first domain of spellcasting are conjured fey spirits, yet they take the form of any mundane animal one can think of: dog, cat, owl, rat, hawk, whatever your natural reference deems useful. Familiars, more often than not, are another set of eyes in which a mage may see-through. One can evoke this power by letting them roam free as you sit in your bed, supposedly drifting to sleep. At the very same time, your cat may slip into a courtesan’s mansion where your colleague asks of their escorts just the most outrageous, diabolical, salacious favors one would never hope to be revealed to the public.

Familiars too, once one finds their way to an elevated magical understanding, can be used as focusses for one’s magical energy. The stronger one becomes the more capable they are of summoning creatures that may heal you, may enchant others, or may even have the capacity to kill. Other, rarer such things include spectral spiders, fairy dragons, and imps of the underworld.

Students will ask me whether or not their pre-trained, mundane pets may still convert into a familiar. This is a question predicated on one’s already strong bond with an animal, and I understand that it may be important for one to be working in the field with a creature they can trust. I suppose that many animals possess the same function as familiars, but riddle me this: is it preferable to leave the rat you told stories to under the floorboards in their cage, or would you rather see it squashed under the boot of a random passerby. 

Animals cannot be reconstituted in the same way as familiars. If you are so inclined you may spend the resources to recover the lost soul of your pet to its former mortal vessel, yet I believe the matter may be so petty that The Mother would cast a curse upon you and your lineage for disturbing her eternal slumber. Familiars, since they are fey spirits, are tied to a different coil of existence. If they die, then one must simply summon them back to our plane (yet this does not excuse the frustration and anger from having gotten them into that position of death in the first place). 

Well, this has been a brief introduction to familiars and the wonders of fey ownership. Who knows what next week may bring, and I encourage you all to remain curious and studious as always.


Until next time,

-The Magician


Hello! My name is Samuel Turner and I am a Junior here at the Stamps School of Art & Design. I work at Arts Ink as an illustrator, and I wish to share my art to inspire and to reflect on the beauty of the world around us!

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