Lore: Magic

Mysticism is one of the six colleges of magic, and the one least understood by the magical community.[1] The art has been described as allowing a mage "to alter the nature of magic itself"[2] and as involving "the manipulation of magical forces and boundaries to bypass the structures and limitations of the physical world."[3] The spells in the school have their origins with the Psijic Order of Artaeum, who call their study the "Old Way",[1] and the school has occasionally been referred to as the Way of the Psijic.[4] The practice of Mysticism seems to require dealing with "conundrums and paradoxes"[1] and abandoning logic to "embrace a temporary sort of insanity" which may lead the student to long-term harm if practiced without proper instruction.[5] Its usage was common among the mystic Reachman shamans during the Second Era.[6]

Later, when Hannibal Traven, Archmage of the Mages Guild in the closing years of the Third Era, launched his investigation that led to Necromancy being banned in the Guild, an attempt was made by necromancers to involve Mysticism in the debate to protect their favored school.[5]

The spells in the school can be divided into five main sections: transport spells, detection spells, absorption spells, reflection spells and "other". The Other spells work directly upon magical forces of the unseen world, with effects such as dispel, soul trap, and telekinesis. Absorption magic is often considered part of the college of Restoration rather than Mysticism.

  • Transportation spells are used mainly in locations where a poorly-developed road network makes fast travel by horse impossible. They allow the caster to return to a previously-marked location, or to appear instantly at a location associated with power, such as a shrine.
  • A wide variety of detection spells are also available. These may allow the caster to divine the locations of lifeforms, objects or any other item for which a specific spell has been developed.
  • Absorption spells enable the caster to transfer energy directly from the target to him or herself. The spell may target attributes, skills, health, magicka, or any other aspect of the target's form.
  • Reflection spells enable the caster to turn a certain proportion of incoming magical or physical attacks back onto the target.
  • Dispel simply allows the caster to remove a previously-existing magical effect from the target.
  • Telekinesis confers the ability to move items without physically touching them.
  • The last effect, Soul Trap, is the most controversial. It enables the caster to store the soul of a creature in a gem, and to use it to create or recharge a magical artifact. Souls are divided into "white" - the souls of most creatures, and "black" - souls from humans, mer and other advanced beings.[7]

In 3E 431, the Council of Mages decided that Mysticism magic in Cyrodiil was to become the responsibility of the guildhall in the town of Leyawiin.[8] By 4E 201, Mysticism was no longer regarded as a separate school of magic by the College of Winterhold. There is no mysticism specialist there, and the traditional spells have all been moved to other schools.


Absorb Attribute
Absorb Attribute1
Energy Leech2
Absorb Fatigue
Absorb Health
Absorb Magicka
Absorb Fatigue4
Absorb Health
Absorb Magicka
Absorb Health4
Absorb Magicka
Absorb Stamina
Vampiric Touch3
Absorb Skill
Absorb Skill1
Almsivi Intervention
Divine Intervention
Dispel Daedra
Dispel Undead
Turn Undead6
Detect Animal
Detect Life
Detect Life7
Detect Enchantment
Detect Undead7
Detect Key
Dispel Magic
Reflect Damage
Spell Reflection8
Reflect Spell
Soul Trap
Soul Trap
Soul Trap9
Spell Absorption3
Spell Absorption
Spell Absorption

1Moved into Restoration school
2Inherited from Restoration school
3Inherited from Destruction school
4Moved into Restoration, and then later into Destruction
5The Dispel Daedra effect returned in Skyrim as the Banish effect
6Changed into related Turn Undead effect in Morrowind.
7Moved into Alteration school
8Shared with Thaumaturgy school
9Moved into Conjuration school
10Moved into Illusion school

In addition to the flagship titles, other games have had effects in the Mysticism school:

Detect Enemy
Detect Invisibility
Detect Spell
Spell Absorption

See AlsoEdit