Transmutation allows for the transformation of materials, items, or creatures into different materials, items, or creatures. It is an exact science, requiring concentration on the spellwork and an advanced knowledge of the initial subject and its intended new form. It is most well known for its use in various shape changing consumer products, but has also saved many lives for its applications in medical surgeries.
Transmutation allows for the alteration of the shape and even the nature and physical makeup of an item or creature, with some notable limitations. Living creatures cannot be transformed into inanimate objects, or vice versa. Conservation of matter must also be maintained, requiring each transformation to result in a new form of a similar size to the original. The level of success also depends upon the caster's knowledge of both their initial and final product, as the more accurate their knowledge the more precise the transformation.
MaterialsTransformation of one material into another requires a deep knowledge of both the starting and final materials, down to the molecular level, to ensure the accuracy of the final results. The effort is time consuming but the results are also permanent. The Imperium expenditure required relies upon the degree of similarity or difference between the materials.
ObjectsTransmutation of one object into another requires a higher level of precision regarding the exact shape of the object, but is more forgiving about the material properties. Any material errors from the transformation can also be corrected after the initial transformation without ill effects to the object itself, meaning the Transmutation of objects is often the first focus of students new to the craft. As with material transmutation the results are permanent rather than channeled. The final product must possess a similar size to the beginning item or lump of material. In highly advanced cases Rune Magic can also be applied to allow an object to transform into multiple pre-set configurations.
CreaturesCreature transformations in some ways are the easiest transmutation spells as they only require the caster to focus on the intended results, and possession of detailed knowledge of their subject's inner working is not necessary. It has been found that the first time a caster transforms one creature into another their success is greatly improved if they have access to a living specimen of their intended target. This assists with accuracy in the transformation, as casting from memory tends to exaggerate some features and overlook others. The more often a mage practices a particular creature transformation the greater their accuracy. Due to the living nature of the subject creature transmutation is a channeled spell rather than a permanent effect. For this reason charms etched with Rune Magic are often used to help maintain a transformation, or even to initiate one. Transformations can also be made permanent by applying materials transmutation at a molecular level, although this is a time consuming and painful process and considered highly advanced surgery by most Healers. Zokinesis and Curative Magic are preferred as a simpler and safer method in these instances, although Transmutation remains the preferred method when targeting specific internal materials such as viruses or poisons.
Partial TransformationsOf worthy note, transformations do not require the caster to change the entirety of their subject. Any method of transmutation may be applied to alter only a portion of their target's form or properties. While partial transformations are considered too advanced for beginners, by the time a caster obtains mastery over their chosen fields of transmutation they can easily focus their spellwork on smaller portions of their target, saving time and Imperium by retaining what they can of their subject's original form.
Access & Availability
Due to the exacting nature of the magic transmutation remains less common than most classifications. The hard work required for mastery, coupled with the lack of glamor compared to other magic classes, has resulted in a lower popularity compared to other fields of study. Training is still readily available to those who can prove their willingness, dedication, and attention to detail.
Transmutation remains an exacting and focus-driven process, relying upon the caster's expertise with their materials. Inattention or a lack of knowledge will result in a decreased quality of the end result. For this reason most experts in transmutation specialize in a particular field, and often possess training in other related skills such as Metallurgy, Artisanal Magic, or Curative Magic.