View Full Version : Magic Mirrors

2013-02-21, 06:16 PM
Magic mirrors show up all over the place throughout histor, and I guess in a world where the only reflective thing is the surface of still ponds, they probably are actually highly fascinating. And for the nature heavy campaign I am working on, this is something to be exploited, especially as most fantasy settings don't seem to make a very big deal about them.

For the purpose of this thread, mirrors also include magic ponds and bowls of water. Crystals balls are not really that reflecting, but their role seem to be similiar, so if you want to you can include them as well.

What used to you know for magic mirrors and their kind from fiction and mythology? All ideas are welcome, no matter how obscure.

2013-02-21, 06:47 PM
Wikipedia says mirrors have been around since 6000 bc. Obsidian, volcanic glass, polished stone, and little containers of water seem to have been used as mirrors.

2013-02-21, 08:44 PM
Divination, for one. The Evil Queen (of Disney fame) used a magic mirror to spy on Snow White, and could even get more esoteric information from it (fairest of them all springs to mind).

Discworld made use of magic mirrors in one of the Granny Weatherwax books, where there was a mirror being used not only for divination, but also for planar transportation and magnifying one's power by absorbing their reflections in an infinite reflection loop by having two mirrors face each other.

2013-02-21, 09:15 PM
Well, D&D has the Plane of Mirrors, of course. And in Mesoamerican culture (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirrors_in_Mesoamerican_culture), mirrors were believed to be portals to a realm that could be seen but not reached, and the reflective surface of bowls of water was used for divination.

2013-02-21, 11:12 PM
Mirror of Erised (Harry Potter) - Shows a persons inner desire. Usually just shows thing like a person having a family if they lack one or standing out if they are ignored often. However, can have specific enchantments like placing a Philosophers Stone inside for safekeeping. If a person desires the stone itself, the mirror displays it so it can be retrieved, but if they only want the immortality or gold it could bring, it just shows a vision of them being immortal or rich.

Mirror Pool (MLP:FiM) - A pool that can create imperfect copies of a person if they enter it while chanting a certain rhyme. The copies are rather shallow imitations of the origional and can in turn copy themselves (with later copies becoming increasingly one-dimensional). A spell exists that can banish the clones back into the pool, but can imprison the origional as well.

Crystal Guardian (Adventure Time) - A bizzare crystal creature tasked to guard a specific object. It imitates anyone nearby and will perfectly reflect any attacks made against it. It can be easily thwarted by just acting politely or tricking it into giving you permission to take the item.

Mirror of Disguise - A full length make-up mirror that can alter the users appearance. Alternately, it can "steal" the appearance of another person to disguise the user with (possibly requiring the victim to use another mirror or to look into the origional mirror beforehand).

Mirror Imp - A spirit that lives inside mirrors. It may choose one specific mirror as it's "home" but can easily travel into others though magical means. They are often tasked with spying on people. If you see a mysterious figure in a mirror who isn't being reflected, it's likely the spirit spying on you.

Oberons Mirror (Gargoyles) - An artifact of great power, can be used by spellcasters to amplify their magic or alternatly form a portal to transport (or summon) people across distances.

Snow Queens Mirror (folk tale) - A mirror that shows only evil things while not reflecting on the good. Was said to have origionally been made by The Devil to sow discord, but the mirror shattered. If the shard is stuck in a persons eye or heart, it alters them. If the shard is in their eye, they can see all the sins a person has commited by looking at them. If it is in their heart, they can no longer know joy.

Mirror of Unasked Opinions - Looking into this mirror causes your reflection to become unusually vocal, often giving you advice, criticisms, and opinions that you didn't ask for. Alternatly, your reflection will just shake its head and leave your field of view... presumably to read a good book, exercise, rethink it's outfit, or otherwise make better use of it's time.

Reflections of Doom - Looking into this mirror forces you to face your deepest fears. If you don't make a decent wisdom/reflex safe upon viewing it, you will be trapped in the vision until someone snaps you out of it. Attempting to free yourself results in the DC getting progressivly harder with each failure.

Anchoring Mirror - A magical trap. When activated, the persons reflection will smirk and anchor their feet to the ground, forcing the victim to repeat the action. The victim finds themself unable to perform any action that will let them escape their current position (not paralyzed, they are just mentally dominated into staying in that one spot so long as the mirror has line-of-sight to them). The effect ends if the mirror is broken, covered, or if the victim is physicaly dragged away by an ally.

2013-02-22, 12:26 AM
You also have Legend of Zelda, in which some mirrors (different ones in each game) can be used to transport people into an alternate world coexistent with ours, allowing them to overcome real-world obstacles. Some of them send people into a shadow-world, I think.

One of these mirrors sends the user into an alternate world, in which you see representations of people's souls instead of their bodies. A greedy and hateful person might appear as a pig or demon, an innocent and frightful person as a deer or rabbit, and so on.

A mirror may also curse a user by exchanging his mirror image with himself. This doppelganger may cause all kinds of mischief by masquerading as the user and ruining his life and reputation. The user may be either trapped in the mirror itself as a reflection, or in the "mirror-universe" where the doppelganger presumably lived, and which contains reflections of everything in the real world.

The Matrix used a mirror which Neo/Anderson first needed to touch to be "reborn" into the real world. When he touched it, it covered him up and absorbed him, transferring his consciousness from the machine to his body.