Wands are a catch-all term for self-activating magical items that, similar to runestone, carry a spell which, with the wand's help, can be used by any guild. Wands generally have a fixed number of charges, and each charge is good for casting the wand's stored spell one time. In addition to the fixed number of charges, a variable flow of energy exists within the wand, defined by the "lines of power" seen when the wand is focused upon.
Though broadly defined as wands, this category can actually include rods, wands, rattles, scepters, and other assorted items which are more powerful than runestone, but less powerful than staves. They also hold the distinction of casting the spell automatically, rather than simply causing you to prepare them.
The wand should not be confused with the quarterstaff, and furthermore, not all such items are magical.
By typing FOCUS WAND, a magic-using character may determine the charges, power flow, and spell held by a given wand. Charges are finite, but power flow is mutable, given enough skill.
Power lines are the stored form of the spell lurking within the item. The intensity with which they glow defines the amount of mana the spell is "prepared" at.
To modify the power lines, type FOCUS WAND followed by any number from 1-100. For example, FOCUS WAND 100 will cause your character to attempt to turn the flow of the power lines to their maximum level, and FOCUS WAND 50% will attempt to set them to half power. The power lines fluctuate as the charges are used, and must be carefully readjusted after each cast. Generally, more powerful spells need a higher percentage of the flow intact. Adjusting the power lines in smaller increments is less likely to fail, and success in any case is based off of the magical devices skill.
Most wands work by waving or shaking them at the target, though other activation methods may exist. If the power flow is high enough, and the magical devices skill of the user is sufficient for the item, the spell is automatically resolved and cast upon the target without any further effort from the user.
Once a wand is drained of its charges, it is rendered useless, though it does not crumble.
Spells Commonly Held by Wands
Wands see little use outside of three fairly popular devices. The ilmenite-tipped wand contains the Lightning Bolt spell and is devastatingly powerful. The narrow scheelite rod holds the Fire Ball spell.
A common tactic is to strike with the ilmenite-tipped wand, then switch to the rod and follow up with a fireball. The usefulness of this tactic comes from the fact that one could easily confuse a pair of ilmenite-tipped wands, and Fire Ball's main failing is its low accuracy--generally not a problem if the lightning bolt has incapacitated the target.
All three of these wands may be purchased in Shard, and are occasionally found as treasure carried by monsters.
Unlimited Use Wands
These wands were introduced by the Microtrans system. Buff wands have a duration equal to half the cooldown, and come in variants that cast the buff at 55% power or at minimum prep. Battle spell wands vary in cooldown, but are tuned similarly to buff wands in power.