"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:
- Vulchares are twisted avian creatures gifted to some Kairic Acolytes of the Arcanite Cults. These arcane birds 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.
- Those daemons with the greatest hunger for magical energy often group together into Aether-eater Hosts. These Hosts seek out and set upon enemy spellcasters so that they can leach their magical energies to revitalize their own material bodies.
- 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.
- The felhounds of the Burning Legion were portrayed this way in the War of the Ancients trilogy of novels. They existed to seek out enemies with magical power and would drain them until their bodies were nothing more than dried husks. Although this threat almost immediately underwent a form of The Worf Effect, as part of Azshara's characterization was showing that, despite being one of the most powerful magic users in history and thus their ultimate food, she could have the felhounds behaving like puppies in her presence.
- The Elves in the Warcraft universe tend to be this generally, but Downplayed: The Highborne elves drank from the Well of Eternity, a massive source of magic in the world. When that source was destroyed and the elf cultures broke apart, each group found their own substitute because not consuming some form of magic would put them in withdrawal and turn them into mindless beasts. This fact is most obvious with the Blood Elves in Burning Crusade and the Highborne Elves in Legion.
- 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.
- The Corruptor demon from Nexus Clash has Magic Eater powers as their signature trait. So great is the Corruptor's magic-absorbing ability that aiming a magical gun at one and missing is sometimes enough to forfeit the gun's magical attributes to the demon.
- Belrot the Fiend is a demon summoned by the Grand Inquisitor in the Citadel questline from AdventureQuest Worlds for the purpose of draining and devouring the magic of the land, which he utterly hates.
- 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.