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Magic Is a Monster Magnet

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The downside of living in a Place of Power.

"If there are any to see, then I at least am revealed to them. I have written Gandalf is here in signs that all can read from Rivendell to the mouths of Anduin."
Gandalf, The Lord of the Ringsnote 
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A Sub-Trope of Power at a Price and Weirdness Magnet where magic (or some other power or gift) attracts attention from things you would prefer to leave you alone, such as Eldritch Abominations, The Heartless or Demons. Or perhaps the local Super-Persistent Predator thinks wizards are especially tasty (and have a soft, chewy center.)

Usually this is due to magic making you Supernaturally Delicious and Nutritious, especially to a Mage-Hunting Monster, but not always — the monsters may want to enslave you because The Force Is Strong with This One, or simply be irritated that the Puny Earthling is meddling with Things Man Was Not Meant to Know.

Compare with Artifact of Attraction and Magnetic Medium. Contrast Supernatural Repellent for those things that, well, make the supernaturals and monsters go away. See also Encounter Bait, Magnetic Plot Device, and Supernatural Sensitivity (for the ability to sense magic). Invoked and exploited examples count as a type of Meta Power, as it works by attracting those with powers towards the user.

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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bleach: Anyone with even a hint of spirit energy is even tastier (and easily sensed) by hollows, since they'll absorb their power when they eat them. The protagonist starts off having a small amount, but no way of using it. Eventually leading to an accidental Emergency Transformation when he absorbs Rukia's powers after she's injured protecting him and his sisters.
  • Dragon Ball: This is Goku's justification for wanting to stay dead at the end of the Cell saga. By that point, he'd attracted the attention of an aspiring emperor, the most powerful army on the planet, a demon once thought defeated, super-strong space warriors, their boss, Androids made by a scientist of the aforementioned army, and his power-aspiring genetic side-project. It doesn't take for any future arcs however, as Goku has no problem returning from the dead in the next one and staying alive for many more adventures, one of which directly involves him.
  • Is This A Zombie?: Megalo are drawn to a Masou-Shoujo's magic.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure establishes this as a rule in the fourth arc. Stand Users will attract other Stand Users. It is simple fate.
  • KonoSuba: Aqua can almost effortlessly exorcise all but the most powerful undead thanks to being a goddess, but unfortunately her power also attracts even more undead (who presumably are drawn to her out of a subconscious desire to be put to rest). Even worse, it's implied that she can mask her power to keep this from happening, but refuses to do so out of pride.
  • Mushishi: The protagonist can sense mushi, weird magical life forms, but they're also able to sense him, and so he must always travel lest he attract too many mushi to one place.
  • Ushio and Tora has this lampshaded by another character, who notes sticking around in Japan with the Beast Spear is probably the best way for him to get his revenge. He's right.
  • YuYu Hakusho: After the Chapter Black arc, Genkai tells a group of humans who developed spirit powers to only use their powers if their life is in danger as doing so will attract demons to them. The advice is out of prudence; although by now their powers are strong enough to deal with lesser demons, they lack the experience of Yusuke and company, so it's still best to limit their exposure.

    Comic Books 
  • Doctor Strange: Stephan Strange's strongest spells invoke the aid of various cosmic beings. Some of them have taken issue with him over the years.
  • Lanfeust: The hero and the Big Bad share the same ultimate power and can feel when the other uses it. As such, Lanfeust must avoid using it at all during his journey (except one time as a lure in the frozen north, which ends up with the Big Bad teleporting there, and then teleporting right back butt-naked and demanding warm clothes).
  • Monster Allergy: Zick sees monsters other than tamers, and he attracts spirits.

    Fan Works 
  • The Bridge: Kaiju can sense high amounts of energy at a distance. In Equestria, the highest energy sources are alicorn and Element-bearer magic and artifacts like the Crystal Heart, Tree of Harmony, and Alicorn Amulet. This threat of those sources being hunted by the enemy kaiju is why Celestia proposes the plan to have the Equestria allied kaiju guard them.
  • Cornerverse: In many Miraculous Ladybug fanfics, it's mentioned that magic tends to group together. This is why every single student in Marinette's class has incredibly high magical potential, which makes them both powerful potential heroes if they are given a Miraculous, but also tempting targets to be akumatized. In Hero Chat Marinette blames this effect for the fact that they stumble on a lost Miraculous their first day in New York, and in Lady Luck (Miraculous Ladybug) this is why Chloe has a number of minor magical items that have nothing to do with her Miraculous.
  • Pokémon Master: After the Forbidden Pokémon are released from their prison, the characters cannot use their elemental powers freely because using elemental power draws the Forbidden's attention and lures them towards you. And you do not want that.
  • There Was Once an Avenger From Krypton: Whenever the Omnitrix is activated, it lets out a signal that can be detected halfway across the galaxy. Ben putting it on thus starts drawing bounty hunters and Vilgax to Earth.
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    Films — Live-Action 
  • Inception: If the dreamer changes the dream too much (which will appear to be like magical power to an unsuspecting person in the environment), "projections" (subconscious creations) of other people in the dream get more aggressive and attack if enough changes are made.

    Literature 
  • In The Armored Saint, a novel by Myke Cole, the local theocracy claims that this is the case, as according to them anyone who uses magic will develop a portal in their left eye that will quickly open and release a demon into the world. However, upon encountering her first wizard, who has practiced magic for years without such an occurrence, the main protagonist Heloise realizes that this is just a bunch of propaganda with no basis in reality. Or is it?
  • David Eddings:
    • In The Belgariad and The Malloreon, magic creates a noise that those with the skill can hear. For this reason, the party often had to avoid using much magic because other spell users would hear that noise, and although their enemy's individual casters were vastly inferior to any of them, there were a lot of them. Other times, they would have to use "quiet" spells like shapeshifting or intentionally use "loud" spells as distractions. Strong ambient magic also makes similar noises, and these can allow certain levels of magic to be "drowned out", allowing them to be used safely.
    • The Elenium and The Tamuli also touch on the idea that magic (being of divine origin here) has a signature that someone can sense if looking for it. Even the legendary Bhelliom emits this kind of "noise" when it's invoked. But there is one exception: Delphaeic magic, because the Delphae were cursed for their own protection; curses are naturally "silent".
  • Discworld: Magic draws the Things from the Dungeon Dimensions, although you have to go fairly overboard to make a path large enough for them to come through. This seems to be a bigger problem for wizards than witches, and hasn't been a serious threat since Moving Pictures.
  • Gentleman Bastard: Discussed. The Bondsmagi of Karthain believe that the Eldren Precursors vanished because their widespread use of magic — the continent is littered with invulnerable Elderglass buildings and artifacts — drew the attention of something incomprehensibly awful from beyond the stars. The Bondsmagi avoid large-scale works of magic and ration out their services specifically to avoid putting that theory to the test.
  • The Girl from the Well: The five magic seals which bind the woman in black to Tark have the side-effect of drawing the attention of many lesser evil spirits.
  • "I Hate Dragons": Skip, the protagonist, has the explicit supernatural power of smelling so delicious to dragons that they go crazy with the desire to eat him. He finds employment with a company of dragon-hunters.
  • Lone Wolf: Lone Wolf eventually becomes such a powerful beacon of goodly power that evil is naturally drawn to him, seeking to destroy him.
  • The Lord of the Rings
    • In The Fellowship of the Ring, Gandalf is reluctant to use his magic during the Fellowship's trip south because it could draw attention to them, not through any supernatural means, but simply because any mundane observer can connect the dots between "hey, look at that obviously magical fire which is visible from a long way off!" and "I bet that guy who is famous for doing magical things with fire is around."
    • Somewhere between mundane and magical are the palantír. Basically, one palantír can commune with any other palantír. That's the magical part. The mundane reason they're monster magnets is because Sauron has one. Using a palantír means he'll notice you and try to exert influence on you.
    • In the more typical supernatural sense, wearing the One Ring attracts the Ringwraiths. Gandalf also mentions that evil in general is drawn to the Ring, even creatures that have no idea what the Ring is.
  • Mother of Learning: The grey hunter is a Giant Spider that naturally preys on highly magical beasts, and has a highly refined ability to perceive magic as a result. Zorian's attempt to study one in its lair triggers it to instantly shred the magical floating eyeball he's using, then come dashing out to find him. When he starts casting a teleport spell to get away, it immediately zeroes in on him and comes straight at him.
  • Nightside: If John Taylor uses his ability to find (and take) literally anything, his future enemies will find him and send the Harrowing after him.
  • Pact: Most malevolent supernatural creatures have been bound by the Seal of Suleiman bin Daoud, which prevents them from going after innocents without cause. However, nobody who is aware of the existence of the supernatural or who practices magic qualifies as "innocent", meaning that most targets for malevolent Others are practitioners.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Monsters can smell demigods from far away, and they try to attack them. For some reason modern technology makes it worse; cell phones are banned at Camp Half-Blood because using them will attract monsters.
  • The Shining: The evil supernatural presence in the Overlook Hotel can't do much to people with little to no Psychic Powers (the titular "Shining"). When someone as gifted as Danny shows up, very bad things happen. The sequel Doctor Sleep reveals that some of the Overlook's spirits continued to haunt Danny well into adulthood although by then he has become strong enough to seal them in his own mind.
  • Smoke and Shadows: Tony Foster, who already seems to be a Weirdness Magnet, finds that he attracts even more supernatural phenomena once he becomes an actual wizard. His vampire ex-boyfriend (need more be said?) warns him that now that he is "a player" he stands out from the ranks of ordinary humanity and will inevitably attract attention. Not that Tony didn't have a history of stumbling into the supernatural anyway.
  • The Sword of Shannara Trilogy: Allanon gives Shea the Elfstones with which to protect himself, but only warns him much later that using the Elfstones will alert the Warlock Lord and his Skull Bearers of Shea's location. He does this precisely so that Shea will not be afraid to use the stones if he really needs them, and because the stones themselves are an effective defense against the Skull Bearers.
  • The Wheel of Time:
    • Myrddraal and gholam can sense channeling. In the case of gholam this is particularly dangerous, since they are immune to channeling and were created for the express purpose of killing enemy channelers.
    • Monsters in the Blight presumably have the same kind of fear reaction to a channeler that a normal person has to shadowspawn, although this always translates into violence, and they will come for miles to kill a channeler.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Charmed (1998):
    • Warlocks hunt and kill witches to steal their powers.
    • As the series progresses, a huge number of demons attack the main characters, but their high level of monstrous magnetism is attributed to their status as the Charmed Ones, rather than just as witches. 'Ordinary' witches don't seem to draw quite so much demonic attention, but their powers and resulting awareness of the supernatural bring them into contact with magical evil sooner or later anyway. However, since the witches of the Charmed universe are often portrayed as Magic Knights, they can usually handle it.
    • "Witch Wars" features a demonic reality TV series in which contestants hunt down and murder witches on live (underworld) TV, but, given the alarm with which the forces of good react, it seems that such a deliberate, concerted targeting of witches by demons is unusual.
  • Doctor Who: A sci-fi version in "Doctor Who: Children in Need", the Tenth Doctor's first episode. Aliens can somehow sense and are drawn to the extra energy he's exuding after he regenerated via absorbing power off the time vortex. The Doctor notes that they could essentially use him as a Living Battery for a while.
  • Power Rangers: Beast Morphers: Mayor Daniels uses this as a justification as to why the Grid Battleforce is a bad idea as many villains have sought to use the Morphin Grid in their quest to take over the universe. He name drops Rita Repulsa, Sledge and Galvanax as prime examples.
  • The Secret Circle: The danger from demons seeking to possess a witch is apparently one of the major hazards for witches.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Some Christians and others believe that involving yourself in occult activities (such as playing with an Ouija board, or wearing Satanic symbols) works, hence being magic, but gives demons free access to your soul.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Call of Cthulhu: In the Cthulhu Companion supplement, adventure "The Mystery of Loch Feinn", while in the underground area of Castle MacLaireag, any spell casting doubles the chance of a lloigor detecting and attacking the investigators.
  • Demon: The Descent: Using Exploits (more outrageous, obvious powers than the subtler Embeds) and making Gadgets can cause Compromises, alerting the God-Machine to your presence.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • Using (or in some cases even possessing) psionic powers can draw psionic monsters to attack you, such as cerebral parasites, intellect devourers or thought eaters.
    • Forgotten Realms: Phaerimm need ambient magic and are very magic-sensitive. Consequently, casting spells on infested territories is a good way to get the nearest spell-grub to either kill the caster or capture and turn into an incubator. The same goes for enchanted items, though at shorter range. Exclusions are elemental magic (it mostly blends into fluctuations of natural forces) and Shadow Weave magic (it doesn't use the same power source).
    • Ravenloft: In the Nightmare Lands, casting a spell can draw the attention of powerful dream monsters such as members of the Nightmare Court.
  • Earthdawn: Casting spells using raw magic can draw the attention of a Horror and cause it to Horror Mark the caster.
  • Games Workshop games:
    • Dark Heresy: This is a common way to Total Party Kill; as in the rest of Warhammer 40000, Daemons are especially drawn to Psykers, so playing one is basically inviting both critical failures and the DM to throw them at you.
    • Warhammer 40,000: Psykers risk summoning a giant monster from the Warp every time they use a psychic ability. As a matter of fact, this is why being a Psyker is Blessed with Suck; because getting eaten by said giant monster from the Warp is the least of everyone's problem, as eventually that will cause the Psyker to become a portal to what passes for Hell in the setting, summoning The Legions of Hell, and ending up having the entire Planet becoming an Eldritch Location. In short, Magic Is a Monster Magnet Up to Eleven. Small wonder there is an entire organization granted unlimited power just to find Psykers.
    • Warhammer Fantasy magic (especially in regards to Chaos corruption) functions the same as in Warhammer 40000, though to a lesser degree. These examples suck even worse because psykers/mages are also vital to ensuring the survival of humanity, so they can't just be rounded up and exterminated.
    • Warhammer: Age of Sigmar: The mystical substance known as aether-gold, that is essential for powering the technology of the Kharadron Overlords, the unfortunate side-effect of irresistibly attracting monsters and other dangerous aerial fauna. As a result, every Kharadron duardin of the sky-fleets has to be heavily armed and a skilled warrior despite not being professional soldiers.
  • Ghostbusters: The roleplaying game has Class 5 Entities that are non-humanoid ghosts that can be brought to Earth as a by product of magic rituals. It specifies that Slimer from the original movie was brought by accident while Gozer was being summoned.
  • GURPS Bestiary: The Octofly can detect and is attracted by psionic activity.
  • New World of Darkness:
    • Mage: The Awakening has Abyssal intruders, things from the anti-reality outside of our dimension. It's something of a multi-step process — vulgar (or blatantly obvious magic) risks Paradox, and really, really bad Paradox risks Abyssal intruders.
    • Promethean: The Created has Pandorans, the botched miscarriages that happen when the Promethean creation process goes horribly wrong. They're attracted to the Azoth that powers Prometheans, which means using powers when there's a slumbering Pandoran nearby is risking throwing up an "All You Can Eat" sign.
  • The One Ring: Under the Eye Awareness rules, using magical abilities and traveling with powerfully supernatural beings like High Elves draws the attention of evil forces, which can cause creatures of Shadow to seek out the adventurers or the land itself to turn against them somehow.
  • Rifts makes magic a magnet for genetically engineered psychic police dogs.
  • Shadowrun:
    • All magic creates a signature in astral space when you cast it, and the signature doesn't fade for hours afterwards unless you take time and effort to remove it. Signatures can attract the attention of nearby spirits (which, depending on the type of spirit, can be a Very Bad Thing), as well as being the equivalent of magical fingerprints for Sixth World police and military.
    • In the supplement Bug City. After Chicago is overrun by insect spirits, a nuclear weapon detonation puts the spirits into hibernation. Using any form of magic near them can cause them to wake up and attack you.

    Video Games 
  • Caves of Qud: When a Psion grows too powerful (and they can grow very powerful, as all Mental Mutations scale off the same stat to the point of leveling up by themselves unlike Physical ones), they start emitting Psychic Glimmer, a measure of how visible they are to other psions. And you don't want to be seen, as some extradimensional creatures enjoy pouncing on unsuspecting Psions, and Servants of Ptoh will stop at nothing to try and steal your mental powers for themselves. As a result, the higher your Psychic Glimmer, the greater the chance you'll be randomly ambushed by Psychic Assassins of either sort, always a close match to you. Sometimes you get to steal their powers instead, but not often enough to offset the sheer danger.
    You sense the animus of a vast mind. Someone is near.
  • Clive Barker's Undying: It's mentioned in the backstory that excessive usage of the Gel'ziabar stone will cause the user to be hunted by the Hound of Gel'ziabar. This doesn't actually happen in gameplay, although the Hound does pop up during a couple pre-scripted events. According to Word of God, creatures like Skarrows, Flickering Stalkers and Monto Shonoi are interdimensional squatters, magic scavengers, that were attracted to Oneiros and the manor, and later enslaved.
  • Diablo: Using magic is said to attract demons, but then so does going for a walk or having a quiet dinner at home; Hell is actively invading the world as-is, so it's still worth it to learn a few things just to stand a chance.
  • Divinity: Original Sin 2: Sourcerers draw the attention of the monstrous Voidwoken when casting their most powerful spells. The Magisters take the opportunity to round up Source users and imprison them in Fort Joy, ostensibly to prevent further Voidwoken attacks.
  • Dragon Age
    • Mages are constantly at risk of being possessed by the demons of the Fade, turning them into abominations. This is the main justification for the Templars to take them from their families as soon as their talents manifest and send them to the Circle of Magi, who train them TO hone their abilities and resist succumbing to possession. The final test for Apprentices is to undergo The Harrowing, where they are sent into the Fade and pitted against a Demon. If they succeed, they have proven themselves capable of withstanding demonic influence, but if they fail, they are immediately slain by the Templars.
    • The Tranquil are Mages who have undergone the Rite of Tranquility, essentially a magical lobotomy, severing their connection to the Fade which removes their powers, along with their emotions. Mages who are considered too weak-willed or dangerous are forced to become Tranquil, although it's not unheard for those who fear their abilities and do not wish to undergo the Harrowing to choose to willingly submit to the Rite.
    • Dragon Age II: This is a particular problem for Feynriel, who has a rare Dream Weaver power that hasn't been seen in centuries.
  • EXTRAPOWER: Attack of Darkforce: The Dark Force invasion hunts down sources of magic, so powerful items and people are both targeted by Dark Force's commanders. The heroes quickly realize that if they themselves hunt down sources of magic, they can intercept the alien invaders. More directly, V is in possession of an ore heart that gives him the ability to transform into a beast god. Unfortunately the demons led by Malice consider his heart to be an Amplifier Artifact, so he has lived his life constantly fighting off demons who come to slay him and claim it. He has already lost his sister Victoria to one such attack.
  • Final Fantasy
    • Final Fantasy XI: The arcana family of monsters (which are implied to be magical constructs) are aggressive to magic casting.
    • Final Fantasy XII: Wild Elementals (which run the whole gamut from Fire Elemental to Holy Elemental to Leamonde Elemental) are usually placid spheres of coalesced Mist, and will leave you alone if you do the same. However, they will make a beeline for the party if anyone in the area casts a spell, whether it was you or the enemy. They're extremely vicious, will not let up until they or their targets are dead, and typically cast high-level magic. Unless the party is very, very strong, it's generally a good idea not to cast any magic whatsoever while these bright bursting balloons shimmer in the vicinity.
    • In multiple Final Fantasy games, but especially the Ivalice-set ones, Mist is both a conduit and a byproduct of magic, and it can summon, mutate or just plain drive wild nearby monsters.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Leon mentions that The Heartless are so afraid of the Keyblade that they'll attack Sora as long as he continues to wield it. (Not that he has much of a choice.) It raises the question: why would they want to go anywhere near something they're so afraid of? The fact that keybearers have extraordinarily delicious hearts is a plot point. Also, keybearers have the power to make a World's Heart inaccessible to them.
  • Persona 4: Shadows only attack Persona-users in the TV World, except for the rare days where the fog of the TV World lifts (creating natural deadlines to rescue anyone trapped there). The Shadows are normally too blinded by the fog to find and prey on normal people, but Persona-users stand out like beacons no matter how dense the fog is. Note that the Shadows would happily hunt any sentient being they could find if not for the fog dulling their senses too much to find anyone. Note that this trope most definitely does not hold true in any other Shin Megami Tensei game. Demons, Shadows, and other monsters will gladly hunt down and consume Muggles any opportunity they get.
  • StarCraft: In the first terran campaign, psionic powers act this way towards the zerg. It turns out that the zerg were really looking for a psionically powerful human, rather than simply being attracted to the power itself. Once such a person is captured, the zerg stop chasing psionics.
  • Warcraft: Magic originally worked this way, attracting demons, among other things. It was later retconned to be more coincidental.
    • Sargeras was already looking for Azeroth for his own reasons, the highborne using the Well of Eternity to cast powerful magic only helped him find it.
    • Dalaran's backstory involves the unregulated overuse of arcane magic (now established to be the force that makes up the physical realm) in one particular location thinning out reality there, making it easier for demons and other creatures to sneak in from other planes.

    Visual Novels 

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 
  • Monster Girl Encyclopedia: "Mana" is the fundamental source of magic. It's also the basic energy that all of the setting's Cute Monster Girls absorb and so are able to track. Which means spellcasters are prime targets for any monster girl that detects their presence. Though, fortunately, monster girls in this setting no longer eat humans, preferring instead to love and rape them.
  • RWBY: The Relics Team RWBY and JNPR are trying to protect are this as their power is so strong that it attracts Grimm to it like crazy. Sadly, they don't realize this until they start attacking a train and Ozpin tells them this after a Grimm murders another Hunter.

     Western Animation  
  • Star Trek: The Animated Series: In "The Magicks of Megas-Tu", the alien Megans use Reality Warper level magic. The Enterprise crew starts studying how to use magic, which eventually draws the Megans' attention and gets the crew in trouble.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: The main protagonist, a princess, has a magic wand, a weapon that would result in disastrous consequences when used by the forces of evil, meaning that monsters constantly attack her (without much success) to get their hands on the wand.

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