T is for Talismans

On Magical Objects

Talismans, amulets, charms… there’s so many different uses for magical objects within a story! Really, anything that has been imbued with magic (a piece of clothing, a fork, a rock) is a magical object. Those can vary so wildly that it’s really up to you, as the author of your story, to use what is most appropriate for your story and world. That said, there are a few basic definitions that we can go over.

Talismans are objects believed to possess magical powers to bring good luck.

Amulets are objects used to ward off evil, danger, or disease.

Charms are small objects, usually enchanted, worn by a person to do either of those: bring good luck, or ward off evil.

Talismans and amulets do not have to be worn, whereas charms usually are. Any of these objects will be abundant in a world where there is obvious magic at work, and where there is superstition running rampant among your peoples.

Worldbuilding Exercises:

  • Is it possible for a magic user to imbue an object with magic for the purpose of creating a talisman, amulet, or charm?
  • Is it possible for a talisman, amulet, or charm to be created without a magic user, perhaps by a ‘natural’ magic phenomenon?
  • What are some types of talismans, amulets, or charms which might be found in your fictional world? What purposes do they serve? How did that type of object become popular?

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