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A Talea Magica is a Labyrinthian witch's staff. In order for a witch to cast spells, she must possess a Talea Magica and say aloud the incantation of the spell that she wishes to invoke. In the hands of a non-witch, a Talea Magica is completely useless. An exception to this rule is the Great Witch Bezella, who is able to cast any spell she wishes at any time, without a Talea Magica.
Each witch's staff has at its core a golden rod called a Spina Magica, on which is engraved a Witch's Mark that is impossible to forge. Wooden snakes are entwined around the Spina Magica, and in each one's mouth is a magic gem that allows a witch to cast a specific spell. Each witch's staff contains two magic gems that can each only cast one spell; a normal witch can thus only ever cast two spells. Although magic gems look like other minerals and thus can be faked, it is easy to test the legitimacy of a magic gem. Real gems have a lower density than water, allowing them to float on water. Since there are very few other minerals with this property, a fake gem will thus sink if placed in water.
The real reason for the above restrictions was to assist the Shades when they carry out the effects needed to simulate magic, allowing them to avoid resource shortages and fatiguing themselves.
For a list of known "spells" available to "witches" in Labyrinthia, see Grand Grimoire.
"Talea Magica" comes from the Latin words for "stick" (tālea) and "magical" (magica); the full name therefore literally means "magical stick".