As The Chips Fall
The First Law - Never Take a Life
Whenever magic is used to kill, some of the positive force of life that mankind is able to bring into the universe is truly destroyed, removed from the universal equation. Kill with magic, and the darker things inside and outside of creation grow just a bit stronger. Whether you’re using magic directly to rip the life out of someone, summoning up force or flame to kill, or even killing someone without magic and then using the energy created by their death to power a spell, you are breaking the First Law of Magic.
This is one of the Laws where even the grey areas are pretty bad. If you summon up a gust of wind to knock someone off a building, and even if it’s the fall that killed them, you definitely broke the First Law.
This is also one of the easiest laws to break by accident, and that’s why the White Council is vigilant about keeping an eye out for any dangerous magical talents in the making. They may be an elitist, stodgy, Old World artifact of an organization, but in the end, it’s often the intervention of the White Council that, say, prevents someone’s burgeoning pyrokinetic ability from burning down his house (and his family with it). Accidental or no, such an incident could plant the seeds that could grow into another supernatural threat pointed right at the heart of mankind.
Luckily for the Wardens, this is also one of the easiest Laws when it comes to rooting out its offenders. Bodies are hard to hide, and when magic is involved, murder can be even messier than usual. Even if the mortal authorities don’t know what to make of a mangled body, the Council does, and their ear is to the ground whenever an unusual case shows up down at the morgue.
All the same, it’s important to realize here that fighting is not the same as killing. Magic can be used carefully, indirectly, or subtly to affect a fight. So while accidents can happen and do count, intent does matter—at least in the case of carefully making sure you don’t kill with magic. It’s also important to remember the “with magic” part of the Law. This may seem like splitting hairs—and some people believe that it is—but the First Law doesn’t apply if you, say, pull out a gun and shoot someone in the back of the head. There’s a reason in the end why the Wardens carry swords. Killing is part of their job description—but as defenders of the Laws, the Wardens must never use magic as the means to that end.