"The beast devours magic and all things magical."The Magic Eater is Exactly What It Says on the Tin: a character that feeds on Magic and/or magic users. If the main character(s) use magic, then the Magic Eater will present a clear threat to them. Has shades of Anti-Magic and Power Copying. Related to, but distinct from, Mage Killer.
— Mozenrath on the Thirdac, Aladdin
Examples of this trope include:
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- In The Cosmere there are a number of types of being that eat Investiture, the term for generic magical power across the worlds. This is most notable with Elantrians, who eat it instead of food, and the spirits of objects in the Cognitive Realm who need it to sustain themselves when far from their physical bodies.
- In a Discworld book, there's a creature described as one of these. Or rather, Ponder Stibbons asks if it is "a thaumivore" and gets the reply, "Dunno about that, I just know it eats magic."
- The laraken in Counselors and Kings is demonic monster which consumes any magical energy in its vicinity, making it impossible to defeat through magical means - and as it lives in The Magocracy of Halruaa, whose people almost never consider doing something without magic, it's fed quite well on the countless foolhardy adventurers who've thrown themselves at it over the centuries. It's ultimately revealed to have been a creation of the legendary necromancer Akhlaur, who can drain stolen magic out of the laraken and use it to refuel his own powers at will - leaving the creature in a near perpetual state of starvation no matter how much it gorges itself. Akhlaur himself, of course, is immune to the laraken's powers.
- Discussed and averted in the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. In Searching For Dragons, someone has destroyed a large section of the Enchanted Forest, and left a few dragon scales at the scene to implicate the dragons. King Mendanbar notes that the ambient magic in the area is also gone, and wonders if dragons eat magic. Some research shows they don't, proving the dragons weren't responsible. It turns out the wizards, using magic-absorbing staves, are the cause.
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- Disenchanters are blue, camel-like creatures that disenchant magical items to feed on the magic energy. They are somewhat infamous for their tendency to disenchant items the Dungeon Master feels are unbalancing the game.
- In the Planescape setting, Incantifers are former members of the Incanterium faction who have become beings of pure magic and must feed on energy from spells and magic items in order to survive.
- A monster called a xaren eats enchanted metal.
- Warhammer: Age of Sigmar has the Vulchares that are gifted to some Kairic Acolytes of the Arcanite Cults. These twisted avian creatures have an insatiable hunger for magical energy, using their razor sharp claws and beaks to rip it from the bodies of enemy wizards if necessary.
- In Guild Wars 2, Elder Dragons are assumed to consume magic, and are as old as it, resulting in some thinking magic to be a limited resource. The fact that they do consume it is eventually confirmed, with Walking Spoiler Mordremoth being seen consuming magic from disrupted ley lines.
- The Undead Destroyer in Warcraft III does this with its signature abilities, Absorb Mana and Devour Magic. Since the Destroyer can't regenerate mana naturally, it eats it from other units, with the former spell taking a friendly unit's mana and the latter dispelling all buffs and debuffs in an area and giving the Destroyer mana and health for each.
- In order to exist in corporeal form, the Primals in Final Fantasy XIV continuously syphon aether from the world around them. Because everything is comprised of aether, this continuous drain on the land destabilizes it, making Primals into Walking Wastelands.
- Aladdin: The Animated Series: In his debut episode, Mozenrath summons a magic eater from Another Dimension, the Thirdac, to Earth with the intent of using it to conquer the world by weakening any and all magical defenses he encounters. To prevent the creature from attacking him, he kidnaps Genie and forces Aladdin and co. to help him place a control collar on the Thirdac to save Genie's life. Naturally, Aladdin turns the tables on Mozenrath and sets the Thirdac on him, forcing him to send it back to its world to avoid being eaten himself. It's also shown that the Thirdac is no threat to non-magical beings, as Aladdin beats it into the ground with his bare hands.