Countermagic focuses on the mitigation, cancelation, and removal of magic or physical threats. Antimagic, Cleansing Magic, and Shielding Magic fall under this category. To study Countermagic is to learn magical options for protection and self-defense. To become a Battle Mage a magic practicioner must first master one of the Countermagic disciplines.
Countermagic is divided into three sub-classes, each with its own strengths and requirements. It is customary for most professionals to learn a handful of Countermagic spells of the class most suited to their career as part of their job training, although some professions require full proficiency.
AntimagicAntimagic focuses on the cancelation of magical spells. It is a brute force method of magical protection, as the Imperium requirements for the spellwork are approximately equal to the Imperium used to create the spells to be canceled. (There is slight variation dependent upon the attunement and skill level of mages casting the spells). Despite the magical costs Antimagic remains a popular choice among Bodyguards and other professionals where magic must be prevented at all costs.
Cleansing MagicCleansing Magic protects the user from curses, Psychic Magic, and other forms of negative energy through the use of complex and exacting Alchemical rituals. In its most common form Cleansing Magic serves as a preventative measure, although it is named after the spellwork developed to purge harms from an individual or object. Cleansing can also remove curses through complicated and delicate processes which sever the curse's anchor to its target before cleansing and protecting anyone and anything involved. Alchemists in particular gravitate towards this class of Countermagic.
Shielding MagicShielding Magic protects its target through the deflection of magical spells and the barring of physical ones. This is the specialization selected by most Battle Mages do to its versatility and ease of use. The ease in casting Shielding Magics allows the spells to be used in proactive and reactive situations with minimal immediate concerns regarding Imperium requirements, alchemical components, or casting times. Well-practices mages can enact an effective hybrid shield at the snap of a finger, allowing their focus to shift to next steps.
Access & Availability
While some of the more intensive specializations are rare or expensive, most Countermagics are fairly common. Most Alchemists sell readily prepared Preventative Cleansing herbs, teas, and hygiene products, and cleanse gardens remain popular is rural areas, making Cleansing Magic the most common of the Countermagics. Antimagic remains the rarest due to its high Imperium requirements compared to the protection provided.