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< Lore: Magic
A Khajiit casting Alteration Magic (Legends)

Alteration is one of the six schools of magic. Spells in this school change the world around the caster so normal physical truths no longer hold. It is sometimes confused with Illusion magic, as both schools seek to change normal truths. Illusion magic, however, is not bound by the laws of nature but Alteration magic is. The power of Alteration comes from the fact that the nature of its changes applies to all, whereas Illusion magic affects only the caster and the target.[1]


The spells of the school seem to have originated with the Ayleids of southern Cyrodiil no later than the second century of the First Era, when they used them to resist the armies of Alessia as they swept across the continent.[2] Their mastery of such spells extended the siege of the area around what would later be Bravil by some time. The usefulness of the school in the art of war was illustrated again at the end of the first era, when the Imperial forces used it to outwit Vivec by sending an entire army underneath Lake Coronati to take the city of Ald Marak.[3] These military applications were evidently in the mind of Berevar Bero, an illusionist who, between late 3E 399 and 3E 426, made a speech that argued the School of Destruction should be merged into the School of Alteration.[4]

In 3E 431, the Council of Mages decided that Alteration magic in Cyrodiil was to become the responsibility of the guildhall in the town of Cheydinhal.[5]

Types of AlterationEdit

Typically, the spells boil down into the following types: shielding, creating objects, changing weights, water effects, actions on locks and movement through the air.

  • There are two types of shield spell: one simply protects the caster from a proportion of physical damage, and the other does this but also adds extra protection against a particular elemental attack.
  • Armor spells can turn a caster's flesh into a different material, such as oak, iron, or ebony, to protect against damage.
  • Transmutation spells can turn iron into silver, and silver into gold.
  • It is possible to create light and inanimate objects made with magicka (like equipment and clothing). It is possible to make objects out of light, such as the Aedric Spear.[6]
  • Weight-changing magic can produce a "Feather" effect that reduces the weight of any items carried, or a "Burden" effect that increases their weight.
  • The effects of alteration magic are among the most useful, with spells that allow the caster to breathe underwater or to walk on its surface. Also in this class is a spell that enabled the caster to swim more quickly, but this spell has fallen into disfavor, as the Fortify Speed spell from the college of Restoration is useful on land as well as water.
  • Alteration magic can be used on locks, whether to open them or secure them.
  • There are three alteration effects that change the caster's motion through the air. One greatly increases the power and range of leaps, making genuinely superhuman jumps possible. The second effect reduces the speed at which the target falls, eliminating all falling damage. The third effect is genuine levitation, allowing the spell's target to move freely through the air. These effects have all fallen afoul of the Levitation Act of 3E 421, and are no longer practiced.
  • Glowlights can be summoned to provide a light source for the caster, or to illuminate a target.

See AlsoEdit