I like this, I like this a lot. This sort of thing feels like it should happen more often in fantasy, where utility spells seem to be lacking and most issues are cut and dry rather then the messy affairs they tend to be in reality.
Because I am a nit-picker, I feel compelled to point out a few problems I see:
1) Terminology - while it certainly varies from person to person and game to game, 'summoning' is usually a trasportation of an already existing creature to your location to serve you (may or may not be willing, depending on spell and system), conjuring is usually creatures made wholesale.
As such, the spell sounds more like conjuring than summoning. (Summoning people is a different bag of worms altogether.)
2) Conjuring a human army is not likely to be a whole lot more economical than conjuring a army of anything else. This may be a flaw in the thinking of General Boskerys Targrail rather than a plothole, however.
3) Conjured (or summoned, usually) creatures tend to disappear once killed, so the "the corpse of a 'spell Catherine'" should not be possible. Again, the spell could have been modified to compensate, although that makes the attempt even more remarkable. Go to Comment
Good Stuff. Between the well laid out scenarios and the alternate endings, this has a lot of stuff to offer. If I use it I might modify the plotline to happen over a smaller timeframe (the fields are a new occurrence) but that's a personal preference, not a criticism. Go to Comment
Brilliant concept, though it raises some questions for me.
Are these schools - and this species - capable or inclined to do the type of worldbuilding that humans are? Making buildings, forming technology, teaching the next generation of what they have learned (though that may look a bit different)? How much 'culture' as a human would define it is there?
Are they capable of magic and/or spells? Psionics? (if they were psionic, I might wonder at telepathic communication, though that is slightly less flavorful.)
Is the intelligence of a Sspah proportional to the number of fish? If so, is there a practical limit to how many can form together (large groups are smarter but slower to decide and act, for example)? In times of need or when they face a more complicated question, do the schools ever temporarily form together to problemsolve?
I can see them rivaling the Aboleths if the answer is yes at all, having memories that span ages, foggy though it might be, and revealing long lost secrets and powerful knowledge to those who they think worthy. Go to Comment
I like the weapon, and the idea of using in a 'fallen Paladin' quest is a great idea. I will post this as a alternative to the weapon causing the fall: A fallen Paladin finds the Maul, unlocks the evil within, but turns away from its power? In doing so he could break the curse, and seal Vautu's power away for good, and restore his own nature. This 'fallen' guardian could have been chosen for exactly that reason.
Second note: its implied in the article that each guardian is chosen, but what if that's NOT the case? What if it requires some special property of the wielder to use, perhaps a sufficiently tormented soul with both good and evil in their soul, to match the weapon they wield? Choosing a guardian could be a much more difficult proposition if each and every choice to wield this immense power has, by definition, a tendency to 'Fall'. Go to Comment
Saved and bookmarked, and I want to mention that I am a novice DM, so this will indeed come in handy.
Also, internal consistency is a major pet peeve of mine, so its gratifying to see someone else start off by stressing its importance. Go to Comment
Not for every setting, but a interesting idea with its own magical ecology.
Works well in a group with a druid (i imagine druidic magic draws from nature and is safer as far as this is concerned.... its probably only arcane magic that causes problems) Go to Comment