All magic comes from the Other Side, falling upon the land as the light falls from the sun.

–Bayaz, Joe Abercrombie, Before They Are Hanged

Magic, also known as Art, is regarded with scepticism in The Union, but it remains a power in the Circle of the World. There are three pure disciplines of magic: The High Art, The Art of Making, and The Art of Spirit Talking. Nevertheless, the power of magic is diminishing in the world.


Long ago in the Old Time, the Other Side and our world were one and the same. Demons roamed the land and left chaos beyond imagining in their wake. They interbred with humans, and some bore half-demon half-human offspring. Euz was one such ‘Devil-Blood’. He rose up against the Demons and banished them to the Other Side, sealing the gates behind them, thus allowing humans to flourish.

Afterwards, Euz granted the gifts of the three pure disciplines of magic to his three eldest sons. Then he left the world, telling his sons to bring order to the world. The only stricture he put on his sons was to obey his two laws.

Laws of Euz Edit

  • The First Law: It is forbidden to touch the Other Side direct. Forbidden to communicate with the world below, forbidden to summon demons, and forbidden to open gates to hell.
  • The Second Law: It is forbidden to eat the flesh of men.

Pure DisciplinesEdit

The High ArtEdit


To Juvens, his first son, Euz taught High Art, the ability to change the world by drawing power from The Other Side. Base magic is wild and dangerous, for it comes from the Other Side, and to draw from the world below is fraught with peril. Thus magic must be tempered by knowledge and understanding the world. Using ones Art leaves the Magi exhausted, and in extreme cases can lead to black-outs.

Juvens set down his magic in his one hundred volume Principles of Art. He later took twelve apprentices and established the Order of the Magi, instructing them in the High Art. Some of Juvens’ apprentices in turn took apprentices themselves.

Each apprentice specialises so the powers of each Magi is different. Examples of powers include: vastly extended lifespan, creating fireballs, telekinesis, alter reality to appear invisible, shapeshifting, and affinity with animals.

The Art of MakingEdit

To Kanedias, his second son, Euz taught the Art of Making, the ability to shape worldly materials into otherworldly artefacts. It is somewhat reminiscent of incredibly advanced technology. Examples of artefacts include: the Divider, the House of the Maker which can bend space and time, the bridge in Aulcus, many swords such as the one Logen Ninefingers carries, and the mechanical Dragon of the Dragon People.

Kanedias also took apprentices including Bayaz and the Dragon People. However, unlike Juvens, he was very jealous of his magic, and taught them a paltry amount of his skills. After the death of the Master Maker, the Art of Making was largely lost. Although, the power of magic is diminishing in of the world, the artefacts created by Making remain potent.

The Art of Spirit TalkingEdit

To Bedesh, his third son, Euz taught the Art of Spirit Talking, the ability to talk to Spirits and making them do ones bidding. Spirits seem to be reminiscent of nature spirits. Little is known about the Art of Spirit Talking; Logen Ninefingers may now be the only person in the world with the ability.

Other Edit

There are other practitioners of the magic in the world that are not strictly associated with the three pure disciplines.

Warlocks and Sorceresses Edit

The superstitious North seems to have a plethora of sorceresses. Many seem to be fraudsters, such as Shoglig who told Whirrun of Bligh the day and manner of his death but was wrong, and Vanian who was easily killed by Stranger-Come-Knocking. However, Caurib certainly had genuine skills in magic, including the golden voice, the long eye, and ability to create mist at will. How she gained these magical abilities is unclear.

Eaters Edit

Eaters break Euz' Second Law, consuming the flesh of men, and in return gain an assortment of magical powers, including superhuman strength, immunity to pain and potent healing, shapeshifting, eternal youth, or any of a myriad other powers.

Devil-Bloods Edit

Although long centuries from their Demon forefathers, there remain descendants of the original half-demon half-human children from the Old Time. The magical gifts skipped one generation, then another, now came but rarely. Ferro Maljinn is one of the rare Devil-Bloods with some limited magical abilities, including feeling no pain, healing quickly, great stamina, and uncanny eyesight.

Glustrod Edit

Glustrod was the youngest son of Euz but was granted no magical gift from his father. Nevertheless, Glustrod studied forbidden science and eventually heard voices of Demons from the Other Side. They seemingly taught him some magical ability since he created Fenris the Feared, the immortal and nearly invulnerable giant. The voices from the Other Side also guided Glustrod to The Seed, which grants enhanced supernatural abilities to Devil-Bloods, including Tolomei and Ferro.