Making the Bible Sexy – Top 10 Biblical Bad Girls: (6) Jezebel

TheBlackQueen

 

MAKING THE BIBLE SEXY: TOP 10 BIBLICAL BAD GIRLS: (6) JEZEBEL

And so we come to Jezebel, the archetypal evil queen of the Bible. After Solomon , the kingdom of Israel split into two, with the southern kingdom of Judah breaking away from the northern kingdom of Israel. Jezebel was a Phoenican princess, who married King Ahab of Israel. She brought her native religion with her, the worship of the god Baal and goddess Asherah, and as the Bible tells it, incited Ahab and the kingdom to join in the pagan fun (which again in that recurring Biblical theme, proved ridiculously easy). As usual this incurred the wrath of God’s squad, in this case the prophet Elijah and his disciple Elisha. However, their wrath was pretty useless, until Ahab died in battle and was succeeded by his sons, with Jezebel as queen mother (and probably high priestess of Astarte).

 

Jezebel

 

Elijah had been taken up to heaven in a chariot of fire (like that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark except less face-melting and more chariot), but his successor Elisha effectively led a military coup by anointing the general Jehu as king. Jezebel is one of the few Biblical bad girls that the Bible actually smacks down, but when the Bible does smack someone down, it does it hard. As Jehu entered the palace, Jezebel “painted her face” (a pointed detail the Bible sneeringly includes, to mark her as a harlot or W-H-O-R-E!) and confronted him. He had her servants (eunuchs!) defenestrate her (a word you don’t often get to use, as it means throwing someone out a window) – she fell to her death and her body was literally eaten by dogs. Thereafter, her name was associated with false prophets (although she was true to her own gods) and even more so with fallen or promiscuous women (in characteristic Biblical slut-shaming) – she “did evil in the sight of the Lord”. But then – who doesn’t? That guy’s on edge…

 

The Assorted Fruits of Wrath - from the webcomic Oglaf

The Assorted Fruits of Wrath – from the webcomic Oglaf

Except…some readers beg to differ from the traditional interpretation. The actual historical and archaeological record suggests that the legendary wealth of Solomon should be more correctly attributed to the northern kingdom of Israel under Ahab and his father Omri – and Ahab’s marriage to the daughter of the Phoenician empire (effectively an association of wealthy trading cities) shows the power and prestige of his kingdom (as well as brilliant international diplomacy). The Biblical books of Kings were written much later, by a writer or writers with an axe to grind against the northern kingdom of Israel – and anything other than a monopolistic cult of God. Jezebel was more a cosmopolitan and sophisticated woman of the ancient world, promoting her own religion (as everyone else did, including the Biblical authors) and coming up against the rednecks of Israel (and a rebel military commander). As for Elisha, he was not exactly balanced – this was a man who, when taunted by boys or youths about his baldness, cursed them in God’s name to be eaten by bears. Bears!

 

BEARS!

BEARS!

And as for Jezebel “painting her face”, one might compare it to putting on her ‘war paint’ – deploying the only weapon at her disposal against a military coup by invoking her full appearance as queen mother and head of the royal household. Jezebel went down swinging, with a deliberate symbolic act assuming her dignity and determination to die like a queen.

 

TOP 10 BIBLICAL BAD GIRLS

(10) POTIPHAR’S WIFE

(9) WITCH OF ENDOR

(8) BATHSHEBA

(7) QUEEN OF SHEBA

(6) JEZEBEL

(5) DELILAH

(4) SALOME

(3) MYSTERY BABYLON

(2) MARY MAGDALENE

(1) EVE

 

ALSO MAKING PAGANISM SEXY WITH MY TOP 10 CLASSICAL BAD GIRLS

Making the Bible Sexy – Top 10 Biblical Bad Girls: (7) Queen of Sheba

Queen_of_Sheba_Lions_w

 

MAKING THE BIBLE SEXY: TOP 10 BIBLICAL BAD GIRLS: (7) THE QUEEN OF SHEBA

The Biblical kingdom of Israel rose to its golden age under King Solomon, with his legendary wealth and wisdom, but leaving little, if anything, by way of actual historical record. As for his wisdom, Kurt Vonnegut observed that the most famous example of it in the Bible is somewhat unimpressive – cutting a baby in half. His most famous visitor is far more intriguing (and with more than a hint of pagan goddess about her) – the queen of Sheba, nameless but for her royal title, yet standing out from his Biblical 700 wives and 300 concubines, arriving with her cargo of spices, gold and precious stones from her fabulously wealthy homeland. The book of Kings portrays the queen of Sheba as something of a wisdom groupie, although it still somehow sounds salacious – “she came to test him with hard questions” while “he gave her all she desired and asked for”.

The queen of Sheba earns her place as bad girl not so much from her actual Biblical references, but tradition which has identified her as the greatest Biblical porn star – the dark-skinned Shulamite or female protagonist of the Song of Songs (or Song of Solomon). This book is without any reference to the law or wisdom or even God and is just pure porn gold in the middle of the Old Testament – a male and female lover waxing lyrical to get it on in increasingly lurid imagery, as she invites him into her garden to taste her choice fruits…

 

TOP 10 BIBLICAL BAD GIRLS

(10) POTIPHAR’S WIFE

(9) WITCH OF ENDOR

(8) BATHSHEBA

(7) QUEEN OF SHEBA

(6) JEZEBEL

(5) DELILAH

(4) SALOME

(3) MYSTERY BABYLON

(2) MARY MAGDALENE

(1) EVE

 

ALSO MAKING PAGANISM SEXY WITH MY TOP 10 CLASSICAL BAD GIRLS

Making the Bible Sexy – Top 10 Biblical Bad Girls: (8) Bathsheba

sexy_shadow_silhouette_girl_shower_curtain

 

MAKING THE BIBLE SEXY – TOP 10 BIBLICAL BAD GIRLS: (8) BATHSHEBA

Like all classic works of art, what’s the Bible without a shower scene? That is how our next Biblical bad girl, Bathsheba, is introduced – as King David spied her bathing from the roof of his palace. (It’s good to be the king). It was also how I was introduced to her in my childhood collection of illustrated Bible stories – again, what were they thinking? (Whatever it was, I thank them). As we saw before, David was God’s golden boy who succeeded Saul as king of Israel and basically became the model of the Messiah, despite his flaws – women wanted him and men wanted to be him (or wanted him – it’s not quite clear with Saul’s son, Jonathan).

 

This guy

This guy

Since David was incredibly bad at keeping it in his pants, naturally he hooked up with her and since he was also incredibly manly, impregnated her. The problem was that she was the wife of one of his elite soldiers, Uriah the Hittite – which was of course a much bigger affair back then, given that it broke the Seventh of the Ten Commandments and had the penalty of stoning. So David settled on arranging divorce with extreme prejudice, ordering his general to send Uriah into the thick of battle and then – ahem – abandon Uriah there. David even had Uriah deliver his own death warrant order.

Dick move, David – and for once so dickish that even God called him on it, through the prophet Nathan. Typically, God didn’t punish David, at least not immediately or directly (because God can hold his grudges – eternity is a long time to burn), or even Bathsheba, but their innocent newborn child, who died from illness shortly after birth. Even so, David took Bathsheba as his wife (or more precisely one of his many wives and concubines). And once again, Bathsheba proved to be another Biblical bad girl (by Biblical definition of adultery) who prospered (apart from the death of her first child), proving remarkably adept as a social climber to maneuver David into nominating their son Solomon his heir as king…

 

TOP 10 BIBLICAL BAD GIRLS

(10) POTIPHAR’S WIFE

(9) WITCH OF ENDOR

(8) BATHSHEBA

(7) QUEEN OF SHEBA

(6) JEZEBEL

(5) DELILAH

(4) SALOME

(3) MYSTERY BABYLON

(2) MARY MAGDALENE

(1) EVE

 

ALSO MAKING PAGANISM SEXY WITH MY TOP 10 CLASSICAL BAD GIRLS

Making the Bible Sexy – Top 10 Biblical Bad Girls: (9) Witch of Endor

enchantress

 

MAKING THE BIBLE SEXY – TOP 10 BIBICAL BAD GIRLS: (9) THE WITCH OF ENDOR

Although she is as fleeting a figure as Potiphar’s wife, she is even more fascinating (and equally as nameless) – a deliciously pagan and apparently genuine sorceress in the kingdom of Israel. It is a recurring theme how stubbornly pagan the Old Testament Israelites could be, embracing or clinging to other gods (and being punished for it) – and amply demonstrating the characterization of the Old Testament God as omnipotent but very insecure. One can’t help but feel that despite all the miracles God put out, the other gods – or goddesses – were just more fun. (I’ve always imagined Exodus as a scene with God as a voice screaming for genocide from the Ark, while one Israelite turns to another in the crowd and mutters “I preferred the calf”).

 

Moo?

Moo?

The witch of Endor makes her mysterious appearance in the first book of Samuel, which is after the Israelites have bloodily conquered their promised land and have a kingdom under their first king Saul, anointed by the prophet Samuel. Sadly, Saul’s kingship had fallen on hard times. I’ve always felt some sympathy for Saul (indeed, most Biblical ‘bad guys’) – poor manic-depressive Saul, brave but not as bloodthirsty as Samuel (because he literally didn’t kill everything after battle) and so fell from favor for God’s golden boy, David (who had allied himself with Israel’s enemies, the Philistines). So Saul desperately seeks out one last resort before leading his army into battle against the Philistines – having driven all magicians and necromancers out of the kingdom (because they infringed on God’s monopoly laws), Saul now seeks out the remaining witch of Endor (the Canaanite town, not the moon with Ewoks).

 

Boo?

Boo?

He attends her in disguise to ask her to call up the ghost of the dead Samuel. The Bible seems to suggest that she was deceived by his disguise, although I prefer to read between the lines that she saw through it, pointedly stating that King Saul had made witchcraft a capital offence and seeking to avoid entrapment. Saul gives her immunity and her magic totally works! However, death hadn’t changed Samuel or his bloodthirsty ways, as after complaining about being disturbed, he direly predicts defeat and death for Saul. (“So, no change then?” Saul should have asked). The witch even showed more basic compassion than most (and excellent service), letting Saul rest on her bed and giving him a hearty meal. Saul headed off to bravely lead his army to their and his doom, while for all we know, the witch continued to ply her trade in Endor, yet another Biblical bad girl to get away with it.

 

Necromancy - it's in the Bible!

Necromancy – it’s in the Bible!

What I like best about the witch of Endor are the tricky questions she raises (heh) for the Bible. Above all, is she actually doing magic? Fully functional magic not licensed or powered by God? What is its source and how does it work? (I prefer to see her as serving some pagan goddess). Why is it powerful enough to pluck God’s own prophet back from beyond death? How does that work? Is it actually Samuel (and if not, what is it)? It certainly does a damn good impression of Samuel. Of course, there is more than a suggestion of smoke and mirrors or stage magic about it – and it surely wouldn’t be too hard to predict Saul’s impending defeat. Even so, it’s still pretty impressive that she can pull it off in Endor, ripping off the rubes. How has she endured in Endor, despite widespread word of mouth for her presence extending to Saul’s very servants? (Maybe she’s just that good). Whatever the case, she totally deserves her own Biblical spinoff…

 

TOP 10 BIBLICAL BAD GIRLS

(10) POTIPHAR’S WIFE

(9) WITCH OF ENDOR

(8) BATHSHEBA

(7) QUEEN OF SHEBA

(6) JEZEBEL

(5) DELILAH

(4) SALOME

(3) MYSTERY BABYLON

(2) MARY MAGDALENE

(1) EVE

 

ALSO MAKING PAGANISM SEXY WITH MY TOP 10 CLASSICAL BAD GIRLS

Making the Bible Sexy – Top 10 Biblical Bad Girls: (10) Potiphar’s Wife

angel-of-vice-winged

 

MAKING THE BIBLE SEXY – TOP 10 BIBLICAL BAD GIRLS

Making the Bible sexy? Don’t get me wrong – I like the Bible. I just don’t believe it (um, because I’ve read it). However, most people probably don’t think of the Bible as sexy, whereas I do. Firstly, part of that’s just me – I’ve always disbelieved the urban legend that the average male thinks of sex once every seven seconds because I’ve always wondered what those other guys are thinking about in the other six seconds. Secondly, Rule 34!

 

Yes - that Rule 34! Mmm, gummy bears...

Yes – that Rule 34! Mmm, gummy bears…

Thirdly, there actually is a lot of sex in the Bible. After all, you don’t get all those begats without a bit of begetting, if you know what I mean. And we’re not just talking softcore New Testament, we’re talking hardcore Old Testament here – including at least one scene that would make the recent infamous scene in Game of Thrones look like a church picnic. Indeed, with a few quick fixes, the Bible (particularly the Old Testament) could readily outdo Game of Thrones for backstabbing intrigue, psychotic characters, gore-splattered violence and genital-flashing sex (but that’s the subject for another list).

Finally, there’s the Biblical ‘bad girls’. For a generally patriarchal and often outright misogynistic book, it is striking how many vivid female characters are in it. Of course, typically in keeping with the rest of the Bible, the more vivid female characters are portrayed as wanton or wicked temptresses – hence ‘bad girls’. However, I find them far more compelling or interesting (or deserving of their own Biblical spin-offs, yet again a potential subject for another list) than the general boring god-bothering patriarchs and prophets (except for Jesus of course – he was way cool), or for that matter, the more conventional Biblical ‘good girls’ – but then, I’ve always had a soft spot for so-called bad girls. So here’s my top ten Biblical ‘bad girls’ – or Biblical girls gone wild…

 

egypt

 

(10) POTIPHAR’S WIFE

In my top tens (yes – they’re something of a hobby by mine, if by hobby you mean fixation or obsessive compulsion), I like to keep my tenth place for my ‘wildcard’ entry, something a little different or out of left field. My tenth place entry here doesn’t even have her own name. Actually, that’s not unusual at all – there are many Biblical characters without names (the subject for yet another list), typically women, particularly in the Old Testament. (Indeed, there are two or technically three others of my top ten Biblical bad girls without proper names). However, Potiphar’s wife is perhaps more of a bit player than the others – but what a bit she plays! In Genesis (my second favorite book of the Bible), Potiphar was the captain of the palace guard in ancient Egypt, who bought Joseph as a household slave after Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery because of inflated sibling rivalry – that’s the first famous Joseph, the one with the technicolored dreamcoat, not the second famous Joseph, Jesus’ adoptive father.

Now you know things are going to get sexy, because quite frankly, Egypt was the sexiest ancient civilization – admittedly perhaps not for its population’s vast majority of peasants who farmed the Nile or worked on those useless tombstones known as pyramids, but certainly for its elite, who pretty much invented style. (You know it’s true – just compare the dowdy Venus de Milo, who admittedly is not helped by her missing arms, to the figures of Egyptian art, who would not look out of place on the modern catwalk).

 

Well, perhaps not all of them...

Well, perhaps not all of them…

Sure enough, Potiphar’s wife meant trouble – she eyed off Joseph and decided that she wouldn’t mind a piece of that. He virtuously (and probably wisely, given that she was obviously a hot slice of crazy) resisted her attempts at seduction – and without batting her undoubtedly long lush eyelids, she immediately switched it up to accuse him of attempting to rape her. Potiphar had Joseph thrown into prison (itself something of a refreshing change from the more usual attitudes to rape as well as capital punishment in the Bible).

Fortunately, Joseph of course had God on his side, and through his prophetic interpretation of dreams, rose to become the Pharoah’s vizier or overlord of Egypt. Interestingly, Potiphar and his wife are not mentioned again, which suggests that she got away scot free – which even more interestingly, is something of a recurring theme for our Biblical bad girls. Even if Joseph did look them up offstage from the Bible, the man forgave his own brothers, which bodes well for Potiphar and his wife. I particularly remember Potiphar’s wife because in the illustrated Bible stories of my childhood, she looked pretty damn hot – with her classic Egyptian style in her slinky tight dress. (And a muscular Joseph looked pretty buff in his loincloth as she lunged at him). I mean this was a collection of Bible stories – for children! What were they thinking? Anyway, Potiphar’s wife would not be out of place in her own Biblical spinoff, the Real Housewives of Ancient Egypt – I would totally watch that!

 

TOP 10 BIBLICAL BAD GIRLS

(10) POTIPHAR’S WIFE

(9) WITCH OF ENDOR

(8) BATHSHEBA

(7) QUEEN OF SHEBA

(6) JEZEBEL

(5) DELILAH

(4) SALOME

(3) MYSTERY BABYLON

(2) MARY MAGDALENE

(1) EVE

 

ALSO MAKING PAGANISM SEXY WITH MY TOP 10 CLASSICAL BAD GIRLS 

8 Schools of Magic for Bling & Booty: (8) Transmutation

frog1

 

8 SCHOOLS OF MAGIC FOR BLING & BOOTY: (8) TRANSMUTATION

Finally, there is transmutation – a ridiculously overpowered school of magic to rival or even exceed conjuration. Instead of conjuring material things or beings (potentially including yourself) through space, time or fantasy planes, this school of magic transforms (or transmogrifies – whoa!) material things or beings (potentially including yourself) into other material things and beings of your choice. Like conjuration, it is one of the archetypal schools of magic in literature. Zeus showcased it by turning himself into animals to pick up chicks. It totally worked too, although you have to admit it would be pretty impressive if you could pull it off. Zeus’ one night stands read like a menagerie of seduction (as well as the entire genealogy of Greece) – bull, eagle, goat, snake, swan and on one particularly kinky occasion a shower of gold. Speaking of which, transmutation has had a long-standing reputation in actual human history, as the humanity saw the best minds of many generations destroyed by the madness of alchemy, or trying to transmute lead into gold.

 

Because Leadfinger just doesn't have the same ring

Because Leadfinger just doesn’t have the same ring

So transmutation is almost limitlessly powerful and versatile – a supreme transmuter could sit sipping cocktails in Hell, because otherwise he or she will transform all the demons into frogs or little lambs or Playboy bunnies (or himself or herself into the biggest, baddest demon of all). Or just sit around anywhere – turning everyone else into demon cocktail waiters and waitresses.

 

I gave it the Midas touch but it's a bit to type on...

I gave it the Midas touch but it’s a bit to type on…

BOOTY POTENTIAL

By now, it should be obvious that transmutation is as much a jackpot as conjuration – or more so, as it’s without the cosmic borrowing (and loan-sharking). Like King Midas, you can turn whatever you touch (or look at) into gold – or whatever you choose. Or for that matter, it knocks illusion out of the ballpark, because you can change things in reality not just appearance. What more do I need to say? Again, naturally the rules of Dungeons and Dragons try to place limits on their school of transmutation for the sake of the game, but it is magic after all. As for your own Playboy Mansion, you could literally just transform any slum into your mansion – and anyone or anything into your Playmates. Indeed, people would probably line up to pay you for it and you could make your fortune from cosmetic transformation alone…

 

They were all actual bunnies just a moment ago...

They were all actual bunnies just a moment ago…

All this goes to show that the wizards we actually see in fantasy are lazy bums at best or complete fraudsters at worst, since they are so much more pathetic or useless than even just any one of these schools would suggest. Of course, any true wizard would wrap up your average fantasy story in the first chapter. If Gandalf was a typical Dungeons and Dragons wizard, he would have divined the one true ring and teleported to the Crack of Doom, before spending the rest of the trilogy smoking pipeweed and creepily hanging about the Shire. Also, real wizards would have pimped out pads, instead of wandering about like stoned vagabonds like they all seem to do in Middle-Earth – except for Sauron of course…he had some pimped-out evil style.

 

That's one blinged out eyeball Sauron - but you need more elven Playmates

That’s one blinged out eyeball Sauron – but you need more elven Playmates

As much as I love Gandalf, it is hard to resist the conclusion that he had little actual magic, except for a few cheap light tricks or smoke and mirrors. (I suppose he did defeat the Balrog by making it forget it had wings). His real ‘magic’ power seemed to be some sort of magical human resources management, riding or rushing off to find someone who was actually useful, usually some sort of eagle. Ah – eagles! Is there anything they can’t do? Except, you know, actually fly to Mount Doom before the ring was destroyed or the Lonely Mountain before the dragon was killed. Man, those lazy birds were almost as useless as wizards

 

I couldn't resist one last Oglaf strip - the real reason you don't use eagles...

I couldn’t resist one last Oglaf strip – the real reason you don’t use eagles…

 

8 SCHOOLS OF MAGIC FOR BLING & BOOTY

(1) ABJURATION

(2) CONJURATION

(3) DIVINATION

(4) ENCHANTMENT

(5) EVOCATION

(6) ILLUSION

(7) NECROMANCY

(8) TRANSMUTATION

8 Schools of Magic for Bling & Booty: (7) Necromancy

Ghost-002

 

8 SCHOOLS OF MAGIC FOR BLING & BOOTY: (7) NECROMANCY

Come to the dark side of the Force or the Slytherin school of magic. Technically, necromancy is divination by talking to the dead or their spirits (hence the name). However, necromancy has accrued wider meanings of dealing with the dead or death – typically animating the dead and creating or controlling undead. Funnily enough, in the game of Dungeons & Dragons, it is generally observed that because of the mechanics of play, clerics or priests make better necromancers than wizards, which would certainly make for far more interesting church services. Necromancy also tends to involve magic to do with souls or spirits (as in taking or trapping them) and ‘negative’ energy – blight, curse, fear, hex, paralysis, poison and just outright draining life energy like siphoning gas. So it may not be particularly versatile but it does tend to be powerful, and of course, evil – as in EEEVIL (although arguably it could be neutral, like death itself, or even a weird form of good – but where’s the fun in that?). Sauron wasn’t just the Necromancer in The Hobbit for kicks. A supreme necromancer is a walking ground zero of zombie apocalypse or god of death – and could sit sipping cocktails in hell because the demons think he or she is cool. And old necromancers don’t retire, they become undead themselves – vampires are the popular choice, although the true necromancy geek goes lich.

 

 

 

Once thou goeth lich, one never goeth...back?

Once thou goeth lich, one never goeth…back?

BOOTY POTENTIAL

Let’s face it – if you go with necromancy, you’re looking at a career in supervillainy or at least doctorate of evil, and chances are you’re in it for love of evil lulz rather than money. So while there may be other more imaginative ways of making money from necromancy, the most easy or obvious is as the fantasy equivalent of Blofeld in SPECTRE (bonus points if that involves actual spectres), stroking your mummified cat. And again, there may be more subtle nuances of necromantic villainy, you just can’t beat the fantasy classic of threatening to unleash your zombie apocalypse unless the kingdom pays you one M-I-I-I-LLION gold pieces – or you know, actually unleashing your zombie apocalypse as you carve out your unholy roaming empire. Sadly however, necromancy is not the school for building your own Playboy Mansion, with the exception of the sexier ghosts or vampires – although at least your undead minions will always be, ah… thin?

 

More Oglaf - check it out through the link in the text or the sidebar

More Oglaf – check it out through the link in the text or the sidebar

 

8 SCHOOLS OF MAGIC FOR BLING & BOOTY

(1) ABJURATION

(2) CONJURATION

(3) DIVINATION

(4) ENCHANTMENT

(5) EVOCATION

(6) ILLUSION

(7) NECROMANCY

(8) TRANSMUTATION

8 Schools of Magic for Bling & Booty: (6) Illusion

illusion

 

8 SCHOOLS OF MAGIC FOR BLING & BOOTY: (6) ILLUSION

Use your illusion – the school of magic for special effects or fantasy generated imagery. Quite simply, illusion is all about the magical control or manipulation of perception or sensation, so as to hopelessly blur the line between image and reality. Between the image and the reality falls the shadow of illusion… (O yes – that’s paraphrasing some T.S. Eliot, bitches!). And invisibility or images are only for starters – with illusion, you can effectively trap your subjects in their own head, like a drug trip or the Matrix or scientists juicing up rats through the pleasure centers of their brains. (Unfortunately my dungeon-master banned my spell for casting mass orgasm…). In other words, illusion can be virtually as effective for mind control as enchantment, given the fine line between our perceptions or sensations and our emotions, thoughts or memories. You can use it to assume the appearance of a close friend, family member or lover. The supreme illusionist could sit sipping cocktails in Hell, served up by deluded demons thinking they’re serving their infernal master – or just look like they’re doing it. I don’t know – my head hurts and I can’t tell what’s real anymore…

 

Although I'm pretty sure my life is real because no one would make an illusion this pointless and boring

Although I’m pretty sure my life is real because no one would make an illusion this pointless and boring

Sadly, this is why illusion tends to be nerfed like enchantment in fantasy games or stories, although it is somewhat less game or story-breaking and has more potential for plot devices (as well as clichéd it-was-all-a-dream sequences). So once again, there is an abundance of protective abjuration against it (screw you, true seeing!) and anything powerful tends to be immune or resistant to it. And given that illusion is all style over substance, you’re more screwed than the Wizard of Oz if they start looking behind the curtain

 

From the webcomic Oglaf - check it out through the link in the text or the sidebar - it's hilarious but mostly NSFW

From the webcomic Oglaf – check it out through the link in the text or the sidebar – it’s hilarious but mostly NSFW

 

BOOTY POTENTIAL

However, if illusion is opened up to its full potential or let loose in our world with nothing to resist it, then you could effectively use it to enchant your way to fame and fortune – especially in a world where life is essentially a beauty contest anyway. At very least, you could have a wild ride as a con artist – using ticket stubs or toilet paper as money or winning lottery tickets. Alternatively, you could use your illusion as a solid high-earning fantasy profession or business, particularly if you could mass-produce it – the fantasy equivalent of advertising (“Your ad on every dragon’s ass”), cosmetics and cosmetic surgery, entertainment or anything involving appearance or imagery. Personally, I’d use my illusion for the fantasy equivalent of internet porn. (“She was an innocent young paladin, pursuing her quest in the Hot Tub of Doom…”). As for your Playboy Mansion, you are the ultimate photoshopper, so you can give you or your housemates any appearance you or they choose…

Of course, all magic in our world is ultimately only illusion – sleight of hand or smoke and mirrors. Or if we’re going to get philosophical, all our perception of reality is illusion, as in the Hindu concept of maya. (Sometimes, I believe my whole life has all been fantasy and lies). On the other hand, the fantasy school of illusion is really just enchantment – or vice versa. Is there any real distinction between controlling perceptions or sensations and controlling emotions or thoughts, given how they each influence the other? For example, is there any real difference between turning invisible by illusion – or enchanting people that they don’t see you?

 

8 SCHOOLS OF MAGIC FOR BLING & BOOTY

(1) ABJURATION

(2) CONJURATION

(3) DIVINATION

(4) ENCHANTMENT

(5) EVOCATION

(6) ILLUSION

(7) NECROMANCY

(8) TRANSMUTATION

8 Schools of Magic for Bling & Booty: (5) Evocation

fireworks

 

8 SCHOOLS OF MAGIC FOR BLING & BOOTY: (5) EVOCATION

And so we come to the Michael Bay school of magic – all explosive action, but lacking in depth or versatility. Evocation is the conjuration of energy – fireballs, lightning bolts, cold blasts and various other manifestations of energy or force – so something like the misnamed enchanter Tim in Monty Python’s Holy Grail

 

 

While it would be tempting in a fantasy world of hostile monsters and magic to be able to blast fireballs from your fingertips like six-shooters, evocation is actually one of the weaker schools of magic and the first one to skip in the game of Dungeons and Dragons. Even at its full strength, it obviously lacks versatility for anything else that doesn’t involve blasting or blowing things up (although in fairness that would seem to solve most plot problems in The Lord of the Rings) – and in the game of Dungeons and Dragons, it’s severely nerfed by all types of magic resistance so that your most hardcore spells fizzle into a tickle or most a moderate spanking. In theory, however, a supreme evoker should be a walking ground zero of mass destruction and could sit sipping cocktails in Hell served up by shell-shocked demons after nuking or freezing it

 

"I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds" - a tenth level spell

“I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds” – a tenth level spell

BOOTY POTENTIAL

Like abjuration (and unlike conjuration, divination or enchantment), you can’t simply evoke money and are sadly reduced to working with your magic, which kind of defeats the point of magic as wishful thinking or getting something from nothing. Fortunately, again like abjuration, evocation is the solid high-earning fantasy professional option, like the fantasy equivalent of engineers. Although that may be because I only have the vaguest idea of what engineers actually do…

 

Um, they do science to stuff?

Um, they do science to stuff?

 

Actually, evokers are even better placed than abjurers to strike it rich as the entrepreneurs of energy in the fantasy world, particularly if they can replicate their magic in mass produced devices or items – it would be evokers who kick-start the fantasy equivalent of the Industrial Revolution, like magitek or dungeon punk. You know, like mass producing rings of power in The Lord of the Rings (“Precious?! Get over it, Gollum – they’re $39.99 a set at the Shire 7-11…”), instead of the elves hoarding all the magic.

 

One ring to rule the mall!

One ring to rule the mall!

 

(Don’t get me started on the elves – they showed Sauron how to make the ring in the first place, then spend their time prancing about in forests or pissing off ‘west’ leaving men to clean up the mess. “I have no faith in men.” Shut up, Elrond – who’s manning your frontline for you, you smug elven prick?). As for booty, you will just have to rely on your skyrockets in flight for your afternoon delights…

Of course, evocation is just the poor man’s conjuration anyway – it’s just conjuration of energy, people! Ignoring that matter is energy (E = mc2? I conjure thee from the elemental plane of uranium…), is there any real distinction between evoking fire for example and conjuring lava or molten metal or plasma or hellfire or elemental fire or so on from the myriad planes of fantasy? The only real distinction is that the game of Dungeons and Dragons split off the conjuration of energy as evocation so that the school of conjuration didn’t become even more ridiculously overpowered…

 

8 SCHOOLS OF MAGIC FOR BLING & BOOTY

(1) ABJURATION

(2) CONJURATION

(3) DIVINATION

(4) ENCHANTMENT

(5) EVOCATION

(6) ILLUSION

(7) NECROMANCY

(8) TRANSMUTATION

8 Schools of Magic for Bling & Booty: (4) Enchantment

hypnosis

 

8 SCHOOLS OF MAGIC FOR BLING & BOOTY: (4) ENCHANTMENT

There’s no nice way of saying this – enchantment is the school of magic for mindscrewing. It ranges from more benign charms for friendship or infatuation, through various forms of mind control or domination, to metaphorically riding your subjects like rodeo bulls or attaching the furry dice of their testicles to the dashboard of your mind…

 

Like so

Like so

 

If your school of enchantment extends to memory, then you can up the ante from brainwashing to complete mindwiping, as you replace the previous inconvenient persona or psyche of your subject wholesale with one entirely of your own choosing – family, friend or lover who’ll do anything for you. In theory, this makes enchantment potentially the most powerful school of magic in all, as you could tell the very gods they should let you run the show.  A supreme enchanter could sit sipping cocktails in Hell served up by all the brainwashed demons. In practice, apart from all the protective abjurations against it (screw you, mind blank!), there is the narrative need for enchantment to be severely nerfed for the sake of game or story, otherwise you’d simply mindscrew your way from one end of fantasy to the other or pilot your dragon like a drone through any dungeon. So this tends to be one of the weaker schools of magic to skip in Dungeons and Dragons or any other fantasy, because anything powerful enough to be game or story breaking is immune or resistant to it. (Otherwise, Gandalf would have just told Sauron to go jump like Gollum).

 

Dance my mind-puppets, dance!

Dance my mind-puppets, dance!

 

BOOTY POTENTIAL

Obviously, if enchantment is opened up to its full potential in fantasy – or let loose in our world with no resistance against it – then this would be the ultimate jackpot. Even if others conjured more money and divined more profit or power, you’d simply enchant them into giving it to you – just like you’d simply enchant Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Mark Zuckerberg into doing the same in this world. H. L. Mencken quipped that no one went broke or lost an election by underestimating the taste or intelligence of the average person – with enchantment, you’d just go that step further of making their taste and intelligence for them. And once you have enough of it, fame and fortune have powers of enchantment all of their own. In a sense, the only real ‘magic’ is enchantment, as humanity finds a bewildering number of ways to enchant itself through religion, politics, money, fame, celebrity, love, sex…just take any cult. As for your own Playboy Mansion, you would equally be able to enchant it full of the babes or hunks of your choice. Of course, while you’re doing all this, you may want to enchant away your own conscience…

 

8 SCHOOLS OF MAGIC FOR BLING & BOOTY

(1) ABJURATION

(2) CONJURATION

(3) DIVINATION

(4) ENCHANTMENT

(5) EVOCATION

(6) ILLUSION

(7) NECROMANCY

(8) TRANSMUTATION