It is a general rule by most magicians that Niffins must be boxed on sight, as Niffins have been noted to be incredibly dangerous. Most Niffins can be trapped in specially made boxes, but certain Niffins have been able to escape them. They possess similar immortality to that of Deities, as there are no known-methods of destruction or killing them. Niffins become greatly angered when they are summoned. Upon transforming, a magician loses their shade, which is why most rituals to restore their humanity fail.
When a Magician is consumed by a spell, their body will begin to distort rapidly, their hands will burst into blue flames, and the body will be transformed into pure magical energy. Once a magician becomes a Niffin, they retain their previous overall physical appearance, but their skin partly burns with magical energy coursing through like blood in veins. During this transformation, the Magician loses their Shade.
Products of a failed casting, Niffins are largely an unknown and less studied entity due to their dangerous, impulsive nature. What is known about these creatures is limited to a few published works, each of which only retain generalized information gathered from secondary sources.
As they run off of impulse, Niffin are rather violent and deadly, described as a bloodlust. However, not all Niffins have been attributed with this type of behavior, (e.g Alice). On one account, a Niffin insisted that it doesn't feel the urge to kill anyone, but rather, wanted to be free to do whatever she wants and perform beautiful magic. Niffins can be contained, much like cacodemons, within a magical seal on the body, but over time the magician's body won't be able to hold a such a pure form of magic for a sustained amount of time, as it will eventually kill both the Niffin and the Magician. The power of a Niffin has been compared to one of a god: Alice specifically allowed herself to become a Niffin in order to kill the Beast and later express the possibility to kill Reynard the Fox. Reynard, however, denies this, stating that a Niffin would not be able to kill him. It's been said by a Niffin that they are able to perceive magic to a deeper and more profound degree than a Magician, and are able to perform more complex magic that does not require hand gestures. Those turned into a Niffin display a vastly increased capability and ability for magic and all that it entails. The degree of increase is vast enough that a complicated unlocking spell that would've required a genius magician hours, was solved in 15 seconds. They are able to travel and teleport in blue smoke and fire. Alice's knowledge in the days she was free allowed her to understand many rules of magic, which allowed her to accurately predict that Ember's murder would result in the Old Gods shutting off Earth and Fillory's magic. Alice once also sought out to reverse the Niffin transformation and restore her brother to human. Quentin would later attempt the same with Alice and bring her back, but set her free briefly, until he was able to bring Alice's Shade from the Underworld and restore her with it.
Niffins such as Friar Joseph who inhabit worlds devoid of magic are capable of dying.
Boxing a NiffinEdit
A special wooden box must be carved and be enchanted by a month long ritual. The box has no lid as the Niffin becomes part of the wooden structure in itself, and therefore cannot be released. While boxing a Niffin, a Turkish incantation must be said 3 times. This incantation is "Seni Bağlıyorum" or "Seni Bağlamak", both means "I bind you" in Turkish. (TV)
There have been incidences wherein a Niffin is able to work around a "boxing" and escape.
Restoring a NiffinEdit
It is possible to restore a Niffin back into a human, but it requires 3 essential things for the ritual to succeed:
- A power source, strong enough to fulfill the spell completely to its end.
- The Niffin's Shade, it's human soul. Many spells specifically failed due to a lack of a shade.
- A specially made warded metal cage to contain the Niffin.
The procedure starts with the Niffin's Shade being released inside the cage and subsequently locked inside. The Niffin is soon drawn into the cage, due to its connection with it's Shade. The power source is put into use and are located at the four corners of the cage in a drawn seal. Upon the invocation of the spell, both the Shade and Niffin are forcibly combined, leaving a fully whole human in its place.
The restored Magician are equivalent to that of a newborn in terms of magical ability and cannot cast spells for the first few weeks. Due to the different physiology and capabilities experienced as a Niffin, the restored Magician will slowly lose all magical knowledge and comprehension that they obtain, though does not affect their memory as a whole, as they retain the memories of their time as one.