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 Wand Woods, Cores, and Flexability

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Myrddin Emrys

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PostSubject: Wand Woods, Cores, and Flexability   Sun May 18, 2014 12:27 am

Wand Woods and Meanings.

Alder – Alder is extremely rare, as many wandmakers will refuse to take wood from an alder. The ‘bleeding’, turning from white to red, is considered to be inauspicious. The few wands made of alder are often those with strongly opposing cores (such as doxy wings and phoenix feather), as the wood imposes balance.

Apple – Apple is a gentle, outdoorsy wood that would find favor with a student skilled in Herbology or Care of Magical Creatures. It tends to get overwhelmed easily, and is thus rarely used with powerful cores (multiple dragon heartstrings or phoenix feathers, for example).

Ash – Ash is slightly associated with the Dark Arts, as the ash tree is said to ‘strangle’ the plants around it. It does excel at Dark magic, but is also good for Transfiguration. They also tend to bond to good Diviners.

Aspen (cottonwood) – those with aspen wands tend to be defiant and talkative. This wand boosts power in Charms, but detracts from Healing magic.

Beech – beech is a strong, neutral wood that has no particular strengths or weaknesses, with the exception of one small quirk- it tends to function less effectively underwater.

Birch – although it has a reputation for weakness, in actuality birch is one of the finest Light wandwoods in existence. It is associated with both driving out evil spirits (and thus will produce a strong Patronus) and with healing magic.

Black ironwood - an African import, remarkable in that it will sink rather than float in water. Although its strength might imply a powerful wandwood, it is rarely used, even in African wandcraft- its weight, particularly in longer wands, impedes spellcasting, and it is next-to-useless underwater.

Black walnut – a beautiful dark wood, this wand is more decorative than Dark, and is actually a strong Light wood- black walnuts produce a chemical that kills poisonous plants of the Nightshade family.

Blue spruce – Like spruce, a strong wood that excels in everything except the Dark Arts. However, a witch or wizard with a strong personality can coax more out of a blue spruce wand than a spruce one.

Cedar – Cedar is a rather docile wandwood with particular skill in protective spells. Cedar wand wielders often become potent Occlumens.

Cherry – A “happy”, willing wandwood, which will give consistent results at all magic save the Dark Arts. Cherry with phoenix feather is a particularly agreeable combination for a Light wizard without particularly prodigious magical talents.

Chestnut – Chestnut is quite good at Transfiguration, although it tends to sputter at Charms and DADA.

Cypress – Cypresses have long been associated with the Greek god of the underworld, Hades. This wand has subtle power, and is good at Transfiguration and Dark Arts.

Dogwood - Dogwood is extremely hard and strong, and the wands made from it will have this resilience. It was once used for making daggers, and hence has a slight violent streak.

Ebony – Ebony is the most famous of the Dark woods, although not the most powerful. However, for visual impact and power, it is amongst the best.

Elder – although it is rumored that the most powerful wand in existence was made of elder, it is not a particularly common wandwood, if only because when elder wands backfire, they often kills the wandmaker or wielder.

Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus trees grow quickly, so these wands channel that liveliness to be both willing and powerful. However, they are rather rare, and are most commonly Australian imports.

Fir – Fir is not a common wandwood because of its undesirable physical properties, but is occasionally seen in outdoorsy wands.

Gingko - This is a highly unusual wandwood, and is rarely seen in the West. For over a millenium, it competed with plum as the most popular Chinese wandwood, however, as gingko trees ceased to be a wild species, the wood began losing favor. The commonly held perception that wild woods lead to stronger wands means that modern gingko wands are fairly rare. This is not to say that gingko is not a useful wandwood: it has great staying power, and is good for calming tempermental cores.

Hawthorn – There is a unique ritual associated with the harvesting of hawthorn for wandwood- they are only cut in symbolic prunings at Beltane. It is an excellent DADA wand, as it symbolizes protection.

Hazel – Hazel is quiet and versatile, giving subtle boosts to Charms and Transfiguration. It is another wand that denotes skill in Divination.

Hemlock – Hemlock is a ‘quick’ wandwood and allows for fast reactions, and makes an excellent potion stirrer besides.

Holly - the archetypal Light wandwood, Holly is renowned for its ability to repel dark spirits and demons. It may reduce your power in hexes, but the boost you get to DADA may just balance it out.

Hornbeam – Hornbeam, or ironwood, is considered to be the most stubborn of wandwoods. Those who have the necessary will to master it will be rewarded with an extremely powerful wand.

Ivy – an uncommon wandwood due to the difficulty of harvesting thick enough pieces, it is often worth the trouble, as it is deceptively strong.

Kaya - A lovely yellow wandwood of Japanese origin, it is extremely rare in British wandmaking. However, those bonded to Kaya wands will find their abilities in logical arts, such as Potions, Astronomy, Ancient Runes, and Arithmancy, boosted.

Linden – Linden, or lime, has not been widely used in British wandmaking. However, German wizards have long favored it for its association with Freya, and most powerful German DADA wands are made of linden.

Madrona – A beautiful evergreen from the Pacific Northwest region of North America, it is rare in British wandmaking. However, its distinctive peeling bark denotes its magical powers of change- hence, a powerful wood for Transfiguration.

Mahogany – Mahogany is a good all-around wood, not particularly powerful in any one situation, but a good solid overall wood.

Maple – Maple is a good, sturdy wood, and a bit more magical than oak. It’s rather versatile.

Oak – Oak is a strong, reliable wandwood that helps with DADA and Transfiguration. However, its sturdiness means that it may take longer to learn new spells.

Pine – A quiet wood, not powerful, not weak. It is a softwood, and thus has a bit more yield, making it more inclined to a quick-learning but less powerful wand. It is, however, excellent for Divination.

Plum – Plum wood is not common in English wandmaking, however, it is a traditional Chinese wandwood that has gained favor in Central Europe. It seems to be much like applewood, if slightly more inclined to Charms.

Poplar – Although poplar is a light wood, it is sometimes found in the wands of Dark Wizards, who find its properties of being extremely similar to human bone desirable.

Redwood – This wood excels at all wand-based magic, but it rarely bonds to witches and wizards who do well in the non-wand-based arts. Don’t expect this one to make a good potion stirrer!

Reed – Reed is always delicate, and a difficult wand to work with. However, its wisdom and intelligence make it sought-after by some. It is almost solely a Ravenclaw wandwood.

Rosewood – Rosewood is graceful and will complement phoenix feathers, unicorn hair, veela hair, and fairy wings nicely. However, other cores end up at odds with the wood.

Rowan – Rowan gives a definite boost to Charms and Transfiguration, but is one of the most willing and reliable all-around wandwoods. It was commonly used for a bow-making wood, and carries this significance into being a good dueling wood.

Sequoia – Another American wood, this is not commonly used in British wandmaking. However, the great age of the trees gives them plenty of time to absorb ambient magic, and hence this wood is ideal for those both strong-willed and in touch with nature.

Spruce – Spruce is a good, reliable, standard wandwood. You can’t go wrong with it.

Sycamore – A relatively new wandwood, many of sycamore’s properties are as yet unknown. However, it excels at divining, and would help with Divination, Arithmancy, and Ancient Runes.

Vinewood – Vinewood is flexible, which one might think would denote a yielding wood. However, it tends to be extremely erratic, and it is a strong wizard or witch who overcomes the insecurities the wood holds to become successful with it.

Walnut – A beautiful, strong, and versatile wood. Unlike black walnut, it has no slant towards Light or Dark.

White pine - White pine is a unique wandwood, as it radiates serenity. It cannot be exhausted too much or it will strain and become quite fragile, but it is otherwise docile and easy to work with.

Willow – Willow is known as “the tree of enchantment”, and is hence quite favored for Charms. It also enhances healing magic, and is overall a willing, feminine wandwood.

Yew – Yew is a powerful wandwood. Due to its poisonous sap, it has Dark leanings, and is particularly good at Transfiguration.
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PostSubject: Re: Wand Woods, Cores, and Flexability   Sun May 18, 2014 12:28 am

Flexibility:
     The flexibility of a wand is generally a measurement of its willingness to work for its chosen Witch or Wizard. A witch with a whippy wand might learn spells faster than a wizard with a rigid wand, but the wizard with a rigid wand will have more spell strength once he finally masters it. Rigid and inflexible wands are the hardest to master, but dependent on their core and wood, can be the most powerful. There is also an element of material inherent- it is rare to find a whippy mahogany wand or a stiff reed wand.

The scale, from speed to strength:
whippy < easiest to learn and cast, least powerful
swishy
flexible
springy
sturdy
inflexible
rigid < hardest to learn and cast, most powerful
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PostSubject: Re: Wand Woods, Cores, and Flexability   Sun May 18, 2014 12:29 am

Wand Cores and their Meanings

Common:
Dragon heartstring(s)
Dragon heartstring is a powerful wand with a lot of magical “heft”. It is not the core you want for subtlety, but for sheer power it is definitely the best. Although it is the most common core among Dark Wizards, Dark Wizards are most certainly not their most common users. Dragon heartstrings are by far the most common wand core amongst Slytherins, but their power often bonds to Gryffindors and Ravenclaws as well. However, they tend to overwhelm the archetypal Hufflepuff personality.

Phoenix tail feather(s)
Phoenix tail feather is a popular wand core due to its versatility and power. Its main strength lies in Defense Against the Dark Arts, although its adaptability can wrench it to hexes and jinxes if need be. As with the dragon heartstring core, the phoenix core is common amongst Light Wizards, but its users are not necessarily Light Wizards. This core may specifically impede Dark spells, so it is not common amongst Slytherins. However, it is by far the most common Gryffindor wand core, and is not unusual amongst Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs.

Unicorn hair(s)
Unicorn hair is a more subtle wand, but it is quite compatible with Charms and Transfiguration. It is also hands-down the best core for healing, as it picks up some of the healing capabilities of unicorn blood. Unicorn hair has a reputation of picking gentler or more cerebral users, so it is common amongst Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws. More laid-back Gryffindors and subtler Slytherins may find themselves with a Unicorn hair wand.

Exotics:
Acromantula web
If you're thinking about having a wand made with Acromantula web, you're probably a fan of having your wand confiscated by the authorities. Using a wand with this core has been illegal in Britain since 1782, after it was discovered that the wielder of an Acromantula web wand has particular ability with Dark magics, especially the Imperius curse. There are certain diplomatic exceptions, as it is a traditional core for Asian wands, but even those are temporary, and many wizard diplomats on long-term assignments find themselves compelled to procure replacement wands for their stay. 

Augurey tail feather
Augureys, or Irish phoenixes, were once associated with powerful Dark wands, as their cries were thought to signify an upcoming death. However, they were in reality never a strong Dark core, and were more accurately a powerful core for Divinations. Misunderstood students may find themselves bonded to an augurey wand, although these wands are altogether quite rare.

Basilisk skin
Basilisk wands are incredibly rare, as the beasts are rare to begin with and hard to kill. Due to the rarity, they often are passed down from generation to generation, so basilisk-core wands are either the heirloom of Slytherin-type Pureblood families or reforged wands from family cores. The occasional new basilisk wand will almost always bond to a Parselmouth or budding Dark Wizard. Very little good comes out of wielders of basilisk wands.

Billywig stinger(s)
Billywig stingers are not common in Britain, but are occasionally imported from Australia, the native habitat of the Billywig. Billywig wands bond almost exclusively to light-hearted pranksters, and are extremely capricious- at one moment it will produce the strongest Cheering Charm in the school, but another time it will object to being used as a potion stirrer and siphon up hours of work without so much as a by-your-leave. When they do bond to a witch or wizard, they tend to be of Hufflepuff or Gryffindor.

Boomslang venom
Boomslang venom, whether crystallized or in a rarer liquid core, provides a small boost to jinxes and hexes thanks to its venomous qualities. However, when a wandmaker undertakes the dangerous task of working with the raw venom, it is generally with the aim of creating a powerful Transfiguration wand. Whether or not the advantages outweigh the risks is not generally agreed upon in wandmaking circles. 

Chimera scale fragment
Although chimera scales are magically powerful, they are extremely rare in modern wandcraft. This is not out of any concern for safety, as they are generally considered no more stubborn than hippogriff feathers, and are more stable than Erumpent hide. The fact of the matter is that there are more recorded basilisk slayings in the past fifty years than there are chimera slayings in all of recorded history. This one slaying occurred in Greece over two millenia ago, so what scales were harvested at that time have been degraded, broken, and dispersed. 

Today, they are only found as parts of heirloom cores, and even then, all such cores are a more common core (often dragon heartstring) with a tiny fragment of scale embedded. Chimera wands are most common in Greece and the Balkans, although as they were circulated through the Mediterranean and former Roman Empire they are found throughout Europe. These wands are prized for their raw power, although they are difficult to control.

Demiguise hair(s)
Demiguise hairs were long considered to not have enough oomph to make a proper wand, but with the advent of multiple cores they have gained favor for their strength in Transfiguration and the subtle arts. When combined with a stronger wand core they make potent wands, however, on their own they can be rather one-dimensional and difficult to use for anything but Transfiguration. They have found favor in students of all Houses, although they may be slightly rarer among the open Hufflepuffs.

Doxy wing(s)
Doxy wings, like the creatures they come from, can be unmanageable and mean-spirited. They are second only to basilisk wands in their abilities with the Dark Arts, and as such these rare wands are most often found in the hands of stubborn Slytherins without the familial connection to obtain a basilisk core.

Erumpent hide
There is a very good reason this is an exotic- Erumpent hide wands are extremely dangerous, and don't take well to high levels of magic or sharp impacts. They may add a 'punch' to spells when combined with a gentler core, but most wandmakers refuse to work with it completely due to the danger it poses to maker and wielder.

Fairy wing(s)
This core makes for a light, airy wand, and is the absolute best for Charms. They also signify a connection to the mystic, so these wands, despite their relative rarity, are used by nearly half of known witches and wizards with the Sight. Despite their astounding strength in Charms, they are merely average in Defense Against the Dark Arts and Transfiguration, and will often fail at hexes altogether. As such, they’re not commonly found in Slytherin House, but are common in Hufflepuff. Ravenclaws and Gryffindors may be drawn to this core, although they tend to react better to blends of fairy wings and unicorn hair.

Fwooper feather(s)
Fwooper feather wands are said to be a mark of ill omen for the wizards they bond to, as, like the birds they come from, they are rumored to slowly drive their wielder mad. Despite their poor reputation, they do well with Charms and Care of Magical Creatures. However, they have a near-inability to castQuietus. They are commonly combined with another feather core, such as the phoenix for health or the hippogriff for stability. 

Hippogriff feather(s)
Hippogriffs are noble animals with a reputation for not taking a slight. These wands require constant respect, and if the wielder does not give it, they can watch its formerly stable and versatile magic backfire on it. It is not the strongest core, but it is one of the most adaptable. These wands are most common amongst Gryffindors, but they are rare overall.

Kelpie hair(s)
Kelpie hairs are incredibly tempermental cores, explaining their rarity. They were once common in Celtic wandmaking, however, the import of demiguise hairs has resulted in them falling out of favor. They have similar qualities to demiguise hair, and are powerful Transfiguration cores when they don't backfire spectacularly.

Veela hair(s)
Veela wands are temperamental like the creatures they come from, and are considered too volatile for a decent wand core in many circles. However, some wizards, particularly those with Veela blood, enjoy the boost it gives to outdoorsy magics, divinations, and Charms. The veela’s inherent intelligence makes finding these wands among the non-Veela blooded most common in Ravenclaw.

information was borrowed from here

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