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Codex entry: The Cardinal Rules of Magic

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Codex text

You must not be under the misimpression that magic is all-powerful. There are limits, and not even the greatest mages may overcome them.

No one, for instance, has found any means of traveling--either over great distances or small ones--beyond putting one foot in front of the other. The immutable nature of the physical world prevents this. So no, you may not simply pop over to Minrathous to borrow a cup of sugar, nor may you magic the essay you "forgot" in the apprentice dormitory to your desk. You will simply have to be prepared.

Similarly, even when you send your mind into the Fade, your body remains behind. Only once has this barrier been overcome, and reputedly the spell required two-thirds of the lyrium in the Tevinter Imperium as well as the lifeblood of several hundred slaves. The results were utterly disastrous.

Finally, life is finite. A truly great healer may bring someone back from the very precipice of death, when breath and heartbeat have ceased but the spirit still clings to life. But once the spirit has fled the body, it cannot be recalled. That is no failing of your skills or power, it is simple reality.

--From The Lectures of First Enchanter Wenselus.


  • What seems to be characters teleporting at will in Dragon Age II is actually not teleportation, but "can be explained by way of a burst of speed, traveling through the ground, invisibility".[1]
  • The Mad Hermit in Dragon Age: Origins appears to teleport out of The Warden's reach if The Warden attempts to kill him during dialogue. If Morrigan is in the party, however, she notes that he is actually using illusions to give this impression.


  1. Gaider, David (2009). "Have all the Cardinal rules of Magic been broken?". BioWare Social Network. Retrieved April, 28, 2012.

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