The Lore You Know: An Updated Look at the Schools of Magic

So, you saw the patch notes. You thought all the bases were covered, right? WRONG! As it turns out, the writers behind Wizard101 have snuck in a MASSIVE lore dump right under all our noses. How, you might ask? A quest as old as the game itself, reimagined for the modern age… The Lore You Know.

Now, we don’t know when this update happened. But at some point in time, the Wizard101 team decided to revamp the quest “Library Dues,” rebranding it as “The Lore You Know.” It’s still given by Boris Tallstaff in the Wizard City Library, and it gives the same rewards. Heck, most of the books are in the exact same places. But their contents have changed… and what lies within their pages might change our understanding of magic in the Spiral as we know it.

(Something to keep in mind: these books are narrated by Bartleby himself. And since he has the Eye of History, we know everything he says is likely accurate.)

We’ve compiled all the bits of lore from this quest below:

Life Magic

Myth Magic

Death Magic

Balance Magic

Fire Magic

Ice Magic

 Storm Magic

Where’s Eric?

My fellow author here on Final Bastion and good friend, Eric Stormbringer, was the first to discover these textual changes. Normally, as he is our resident Spiral lore aficionado, he would be the one covering these books. In fact, many of the screenshots above are his. But ever since these revelations, Eric has been a little, well, excitable.

That being said, I have my own thoughts I’d like to share. 100% more calmly. Yes. This is serious time.

“Serious” Thoughts


…Ahem. It would seem that Eric is back, and he has informed me that I am, and I quote, “exhibiting a clear bias towards the Life School.” So, that being said, let’s… start over, shall we?

Actually Serious Thoughts: Spirit Schools (and Balance)

  • …So. Without Theurgy, the School Trees would have never come into existence. So technically, Life is the first OFFICIAL School of Magic that was ever taught. According to its lore, Life bought order to the magics, establishing, testing, and codifying magical law. To think, Life is more about maintaining order than even Balance… oh, the delicious irony.
  • As someone who has been indulging in Dungeons & Dragons as of late, I find the story of Myth’s creation HILARIOUS. Bard’s gotta do what a Bard’s gotta do.
  • But on that note, who the heck is Jack Stanlee Kane?! And how is this the first time we’re hearing of him?!
  • Also, we now have confirmation that Myth is the “mind” of the Spirit Trio. So between Life and Death, who is the Body, and who is the Spirit?
  • Finally, we get an explanation as to why Balance doesn’t lean more into the Spirit Schools: schools just aren’t up-to date on their material. Figures… *Insert topical joke about education system here*

Actually Serious Thoughts: Elemental Schools

  • After 11 years, we finally know why Malistaire went after the Dragon Titan! Sure, we knew he wanted to resurrect his late wife Sylvia, but we never knew exactly how or why that would work. Until now, that is!
  • Kind of interesting to see that throughout the narrative, the Ice School’s history is a matter of continuing legacy. First Grandmother Raven, then the Three Titans, then the Giants. Very fitting for a school that prides itself on endurance.
  • Also, I don’t think Grandmother Raven has been referred to as “Lady Nightstar” in AGES. The only other time I can find her being called that is in an old Wizard City side quest. That being said, we know Grandfather Spider also has an alternate name: “Old Cob.” Does this mean Bartleby has another name as well? Veeeery interesting…
  • Dragons and Giants: Virtually wipe each other out. Tritons: “Aight, Imma head out.”
  • A whole world full of Tritons?! That sounds like either the coolest (or the scariest) place EVER. Potential Arc IV world confirmed?

Eric’s Addendum

…Huh? Wait, what? No. NO WAY.

…Okay, FINE. I’ll let Eric share his thoughts. But this is still my article!

MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Through the power of editing, I come to you from beyond the Spiral to deliver my own takes on the lore! TREMBLE BEFORE MY MIGHT, EARTHWALKER!

  • The Death Magic lore offers a potential connection to Pirate101. Throughout Pirate 101’s Skull Island, we come across various Aztecan tombs and monuments. Now with the History of Death Magic confirming a cult of Aztecans that roamed the skyways in ancient times, we may finally have an explanation for where these ruins came from. This also fits well with the fact that many of these tombs are occupied by Undead Aztecasaurs – perhaps a nod to the fact that they were cursed with eternal life!
  • The History of Life Magic is a great nod to the Treeminders discovered in the Catacombs and really helps to tie up some loose ends in Wizard City’s lore.
  • Storm’s lore explains why we have only met two Tritons in the entirety of Wizard101 – The Storm Titan himself and Tempus Stormfist in Celestia. I’m salivating at the possibility of meeting more of this race in another underwater-themed world!
  • Myth magic has a huge amount of potential. The fact that it’s a younger school, despite being tied to older traditions, may offer a meta justification on why it sometimes struggles to find a role in PvE while simultaneously interacting so well with newer systems (Myth can summon more monstrology minions, and it gets the most Pip Conversion per rating of any school).
  • As schools update their curriculum, will we start to see Balance branch out more into the Spirit schools (where it’s currently lacking)? This certainly opens the door for more interesting development for the school moving forward.

What are your thoughts on these lore updates? What theories do you have of your own surrounding them? Let us know in the comments!

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James Earthwalker

A longtime denizen of the Spiral, James Earthwalker has plenty of stories to tell of his adventures and experiences. If he's not busy ranting over Critical Block being ruined post-Polaris, you can find James either hunting down Badges or writing more opinion-based pieces for his series The Spiral Notebook.


  • Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Bob Kane. Comic books.

    • Thanks for figuring that out! 😀

  • I’ve always assumed Life was Body (as it heals… the body), Myth was Mind (because it was mentioned prior in the School test that Conjurers are knowledgeable and visionary, meaning imaginative; also, Cyrus before becoming a conjurer, was an artist, imaginative), and Death was Spirit (since it focuses on the afterlife and ghosts, AKA spirits; Malistaire was revived because Morganthe manipulated his spirit).

    This update has confirmed that since it labels Myth as Mind, and it mentions Necromancers were once labeled as “Spirit Thieves,” and the Cult of the Corrosive Chorus (the CCC???) summoned “spectral skulls” (spectral = ghostly, ghost = spirit”

    • I also like to assume Death is not the art of harming the body, but of protecting/manipulating the spirit, rather.

      • Oh! and Pigswick academy refers to Death as Spirit, as well. Sorry for the multiple replies…

  • Personally I see Life as spirit and Death as body. My hot take: Our spirit is what drives us to lead the lives we live, whereas our bodies are just decaying vessels, transporting us to and from each experience. Technically speaking, everyone’s body begins dying the moment we’re born (albeit very slowly lol). But I could see it going either way. Great article and a pleasant surprise from KI.

  • Kingsisle literally just confirmed Atlantis with Tritons

  • Life is spirit, death is body. I know that seems counter-intuitive, but death is consumed by a refusal to let the spirit pass on. While necromancy deals with spirits, it’s not about human spirit or strength, if that makes sense.

  • Jack Stanlee Kane definitely sounds like a Marleybone name and in the spirit schools, life is body and death is spirit.

  • This article gave me insight and giggles. Loved it! Coincidently was starting a new balance player and came across the myth book. I also wondered who Jack Stanlee Kane happens to be; my guess: either one of their art designers or a developer.

  • Loved this post! I noticed the change too, read all the books, and wondered where it could go. You guys make some very nice conclusions that i didn’t think about.
    Thank you so much, for the in-depth look!

  • Great article! Great Read!

    • I just randomly googled “Jack Stanlee Kane” and it looks like that name is a reference to 3 writers for Marvel Comics! I’m a DC fan so I can’t really give much more info than that :p

      • Never would’ve guessed that on my own. Awesome find! 😀

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