The school of Destruction is one of the six schools of magic. It is concerned with dealing damage to all forms of matter, both living and non-living, and with making matter more vulnerable to such damage. Mastery of Destruction magic may bring a certain amount of danger.
Destruction magic boils down to five basic types: elemental damage, value-draining, value-damaging, vulnerability, and disintegration.
- Elemental damage uses fire, frost, lightning or (rarely) poison to inflict damage directly. These may be fired directly at targets, but some applications have utilized these forces to be set off by proximity runes, or used a form of protective cloak, or even a damaging wall of magickal energy to deter opponents.
- Value-draining magic attacks a creature's body by temporarily reducing one of its fundamental statistics. This may be used to attack a skill, such as ability with a sword or proficiency in acrobatics, or an attribute, such as a creature's luck or agility. It may be used to make a creature tired by attacking its fatigue or it can be used to drain a creature's health or magicka reserves. Whatever value is attacked, it returns to its previous value once the magical effect wears off.
- Value-damaging magic works similarly to value-draining magic. It targets the same values, but the effect remains after the spell's duration is over. The resulting damage must be cured using Restoration magic.
- Vulnerability spells make the target more susceptible to other forms of damage. This includes not only elemental damage, but also damage from weapons, poison and even magic itself. It can even be used to make the target more vulnerable to disease.
- Disintegration spells only attack equipment: armor or weapons. However, some skilled wizards have learned to disintegrate the entire bodies of foes through mastery of shock magic.
Although these are the basic types of effect, other effects such as the damage inflicted by the sun upon vampires are often studied by mages skilled in Destruction magic. Many diseases can be viewed as a form of Destruction magic.
An Illusionist named Berevar Bero once gave a speech in the Imperial City in which he suggested that the School of Destruction is not a true school and should be merged into the School of Alteration. Unsurprisingly, this belief did not find much favor with his fellows, and a battlemage named Malviser delivered a particularly stinging rebuke. In 3E 431, the Council of Mages decided that Destruction magic in Cyrodiil was to become the responsibility of the guildhall in the town of Skingrad.
1Shared with Restoration school
2Moved into Mysticism, then into Restoration, and then back into Destruction
3Shared with Alteration school
4The Disintegrate effect in Daggerfall is not related to the similarly named effects in Morrowind or Oblivion
5In Oblivion, poison was changed from a magic effect into an alchemical process.
6Slow exists in Skyrim primarily as a side-effect of Frost Damage, but is also available via Alchemy.
In addition to the flagship titles, other games have had effects in the Destruction school:
- Destruction or Distraction by Humius Acidinus — A criticism against the trend of excessive intellectualism in magical study
- The Liturgy of Affliction by Anias Gae (transcribed) — A Collection Of The Writings Of Vexis Velruan
- Mora'at's Theory of Lightning by Mora'at the Lesser, Wizard of Corinthe — A Mages Guild theory on the inner workings of shock spells
- On the Utility of Shock Magic by Vanus Galerion — Archmage Galerion's notes on the flexibility of shock magic
- Oshgura's Destruction Journal by Oshgura — An Orcish sorcerer's journal recounting his difficulty learning spells
- Response to Bero's Speech by Malviser, Battlemage — Commentaries of "Bero's Speech to the Battlemages" book