1. Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us.

Wizards Vs. Warlocks

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Barsook, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. Barsook

    Barsook Minstrel

    75
    6
    8
    Is there a difference between wizards and warlocks (not the WoW ones)? To me, wizards are the ones who can shoot fireballs or iceballs and some other spells and warlocks are warrior mages that can do what wizards can do and they can also do chants to help them in battles. Or this is completely up to the author to make the difference between the two?
     
    Dark Lord Thomas Pie likes this.
  2. I always assumed a warlock was a higher powered wizard. Once a wizard gained access to greater spells, he was considered a warlock.

    However, like you said, it should be up to the author to make the distinction.

    Happy writing :)
     
    Dark Lord Thomas Pie likes this.
  3. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

    3,064
    1,815
    163
  4. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

    4,044
    1,940
    163
    In my opinion it's toe-may-toe vs. toe-mah-toe. Your call as the author to define as you see fit.

    For my understanding, the term "Warlock" is a gender term. A female is a witch. A male is a warlock. A wizard is one who studies arcane magic.

    My advice... Do as you please.
     
    Sparkie likes this.
  5. Barsook

    Barsook Minstrel

    75
    6
    8
    Yeah. I was thinking the same after you guys said that those two are gender terms.

    And T.Allen.Smith, I thought both of them study acrane magic based on D&D or whatever the world was.
     
  6. wordwalker

    wordwalker Auror

    1,474
    410
    83
    Definitely means whatever you want.

    Although, the original meaning of "warlock" wasn't magic-related at all, it meant simply "oathbreaker." It got associated with witches over the years, but it's still got that sinister sound to it, that's worth playing up if you want to define it that way.

    (And yes, "wizard" is related to "wise." And "witch" is from the anglo-saxon term for, well, witch --spellcaster-- and it had versions for both genders.)
     
    Dark Lord Thomas Pie likes this.
  7. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

    4,044
    1,940
    163
    I would say that's exactly the case & that was my point... Same thing to me, different names. Of course, in your world they could mean very different things.

    I'm reading Terry Ervin's book right now (MS member). In his world, a sorcerer & wizard are 2 different things. You just have to decide if they're different in yours.
     
    Dark Lord Thomas Pie likes this.
  8. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

    2,888
    470
    83
    Wizards are usually good. Warlocks are usually evil.
     
    Dark Lord Thomas Pie likes this.
  9. Barsook

    Barsook Minstrel

    75
    6
    8
    Mindfire, can you give examples where warlocks are evil other than WoW?
     
    Dark Lord Thomas Pie likes this.
  10. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

    2,888
    470
    83
    Well, there's Richard from Looking for Group.

    And there's also witch doctors and "IRL" warlocks, though your mileage may vary on that one. lol
     
    Dark Lord Thomas Pie likes this.
  11. Plus, warlocks in D&D usually use a dark kind of magic, as most warlocks are tieflings, a sort of "evil" race.
     
    Dark Lord Thomas Pie likes this.
  12. Warlocks aren't automatically evil in WoW; you can play a warlock. They just tend to end up summoning demons they can't control. ;)

    Anyway, to answer the original question: Neither term has specific enough meaning that you can't use them however you like. Maybe in your world a wizard is a highly-trained professional magic user and a warlock is some dude who trained himself. Maybe a wizard is someone who uses arcane magic and a warlock is someone who uses death magic. Etc.

    You literally do not have to pay attention to any preexisting terminology here; you can do whatever you want.
     
    Dark Lord Thomas Pie likes this.
  13. psychotick

    psychotick Auror

    1,814
    687
    113
    Hi,

    Yeah, from my perspective you can decide how you want to write them. But in D n D, specifically Neverwinter, warlocks are dark wizards. And that would fit with oathbreaker I suppose.

    My thought though, is if you want them to vie with wizards, you do need to have some distinct point of contention between them. And calling a warlock evil would have consequences, as it would automatically make wizards good (more or less). So maybe you could go for different forms of magic - warlocks summon demons and raise the dead or some such thing, while wizards play with the elements. Alternatively maybe the difference could be in the goals of each group. Maybe warlocks want to rule, wizards want to play with their spells.

    But completely up to you. I don't think there's enough literature out there to jar with anything you decide.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
    Dark Lord Thomas Pie likes this.
  14. Graylorne

    Graylorne Archmage

    904
    159
    43
    warlock
    O.E. wærloga "traitor, liar, enemy," from wær "faith, a compact" (cf. O.H.G. wara "truth," O.N. varar "solemn promise, vow;" seevery; cf. also Varangian) + agent noun related to leogan "to lie" (see lie (v.1)). Original primary sense seems to have been "oath-breaker;" given special application to the devil (c.1000), but also used of giants and cannibals. Meaning "one in league with the devil" is recorded from c.1300. Ending in -ck and meaning "male equivalent of witch" (1560s) are from Scottish.

    wizard
    mid-15c., "philosopher, sage," from M.E. wys "wise" (see wise (adj.)) + -ard. Cf. Lith. zynyste "magic," zynys "sorcerer," zyne"witch," all from zinoti "to know." The ground sense is perhaps "to know the future." The meaning "one with magical power" did not emerge distinctly until c.1550, the distinction between philosophy and magic being blurred in the Middle Ages. As a slang word meaning "excellent" it is recorded from 1922.

    Above are the descriptions the Online Etymological Dictionary give.


    You see in the description of the Warlock that he had connections with the devil, i.e. black arts etc. A Witch had originally more or less the same meaning, only female. In general a warlock was therefore supposed to be connected with Black Magic, an egotistic type who worked only for his own profit.

    A Wizard was more of a scientist (science and philosophy was the same thing in medieval times). He was a wise councilor, studying ancient manuscripts, perhaps an alchemist, but in any case someone working for good.


    And of course, as others already said, you can use these descriptions as you see fit, these are only the historical details.
     
    topazfire, Wanara009 and Barsook like this.
  15. Queshire

    Queshire Auror

    1,116
    319
    83
    I like the connection Warlocks have with being "Oathbreakers" so I plan on having that be a thing in my setting, though I'm currently debating on how exactly to do that. Either they gained powers through making a contract with some powerful entity, demons, spirits, gods, etc, but they betray that contract but somehow manage to keep ahold of their powers, or they use the power that comes from the metaphysical act of destruction and what not, and the strongest warlocks could muck around with atomic bonds to create a nuclear blast. (though naturally they tend not to survive doing that.)

    Wizards on the other hand, I have a good idea of what I want to do with them for my setting. In my setting babies with high magical potential are taken to these highly secretive towers run by orders of wizards. There they undergo a combination of harsh training, medical procedures, and magical rituals all designed to strengthen their magical potential. Nobody knows how many wizard-candidates die in the process, but those that succeed are forever changed. They stop aging and every Wizard looks to be somewhere between ten to sixteen years old, though they would still have a human lifespan if they didn't each use magical rituals to extend their lives. They have a photographic memory and can perform the rituals and what not of logic magic better than anyone else, however their way of living and the stuff done to them make them extremely odd and off putting. Most people are pants-wettingly scared of Wizards and rightly so.
     
    Dark Lord Thomas Pie likes this.
  16. Cosmolien

    Cosmolien Dreamer

    21
    1
    1
    Warlocks i think tend to be more evil than wizards in any circumstance really
     
    Dark Lord Thomas Pie likes this.
  17. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Auror

    1,042
    255
    83
    In regards to warlock I am entirely sure that the meaning is a man who practices magic to harm others, as a witch is a woman who does the same thing. I think that wizard may (note: may) be a person who generally practice magic without necessary using it to harm others.
     
  18. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

    2,888
    470
    83
    As I understood it, a wizard is generally supposed to possess great knowledge or wisdom in addition to their abilities, whereas a witch or warlock is marked by malicious intent and driven not by a a love for anything all that honorable, but rather by a purely selfish desire for-









    ...Well, yeah. That's a pretty good example actually. Jedi = wizards, Sith = warlocks.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2017
  19. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    7,817
    3,425
    313
    Modern real world witches, at least, do not use the term warlock. A male witch is just a witch.

    I think the going "norm" for fantasy is that warlocks draw their power from demons or evil spirits. Though, I would've thought more people would say that, so maybe it's less a norm than I thought.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
    Dark Lord Thomas Pie likes this.
  20. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

    2,888
    470
    83
    I also do this. My characters colloquially refer to evil magic-users as witches regardless of gender, because I revel in political incorrectness.
     
    Dark Lord Thomas Pie likes this.
Loading...

Share This Page