Very cool - a little sparse for an entire world/land, but I also like its conciseness, so I'm a little torn. In either case, it's a great conceptual outline for a world built out of those floating islands you see in all sorts of fantasy art, and the "Pantarbe" sister article really rounds it off. Leaves a lot of room for interesting quests, too. One question that interests me is, what's on the ground? Or for that matter, is there a ground? Go to Comment
I wrote this in a flash while brainstorming some Deity mythology for my world, and kind of liked it a little bit. I know it's not a really useful submission for gaming, but I thought it'd be nice to throw a piece of short (fantasy) fiction into the Citadel for you guys to snack on. Hope you enjoy! Go to Comment
Thanks, haha - I was in Germany for a while (as for my absence, I mean) and got back a few weeks ago, and I've got a lot of half-finished pieces on my hard drive right now - they're (very) big, and they might take a while, but don't worry, I've got stuff (and a pantheon is one of them). And naturally I'll keep on posting all the little scraps in between, too! Go to Comment
Although I'm not sure how useful this might be in gaming context, I fell in love with this article enough to disregard that aspect. It was very well-written, and I'm a sucker for those sort of sleeper characters with vaguely epic backgrounds; it just oozes authenticity and rich depth. Go to Comment
And at this they began to bicker amongst themselves, until the king took anger at them and said,"Silence, ye workers of the world! Ye have come into my hearth, and have unsettled the peace of my keep. For ye are all right; magic is the wind of the world, flowing from castle to farmhouse without any paying it heed. Magic is the earth of the world, tilled by peasants who know not what they do. Magic is the fire of the world, into whom many have thrust in their hand, and burned another. Magic is the waters of the world, holding the souls of the countless who have delved too deep and drowned in its depths. What fools are ye, to think ye hold the truth, when only by seeing all sides of the gem can one hold it in one's hand." Go to Comment
Magic is! The essence of the divine, the eye of gods, the blood of the Giver. Magic is! The fount of creation, the breath of life, the spark of thought. Magic is! The pusher of time, the turner of the heavens, the caller of souls. Magic is! The skeleton of the world. The fire in its marrow.
Magic is a many-bladed sword, and yet it turns in our hands to cut the wielder as often as it strikes true. This is due mostly in part to the phenomenon of "Arctor's Divine Paradox", which states that "Magic is the only tool we weild with precise skill, and yet have never seen." It is a divine paradox, to be sure. Magi cast spells divided into schools of magic, spells that presumably draw upon different areas of magical power to reach their goals. These spells are created, written, learned, and cast by any with enough power to wield them, and each have their own specific feel, appearance, and effect. One may light a torch with a snap of the fingers, or burn a smoking rune into a cold stone, utilizing the same energy for both, yet to completely different ends. And yet, after over hex millenia of working the forces of the world, we have no understanding of how magic works, or even what it is. A farmer does not say to his lord, "I know not by what means my lands are dug, or how my seeds fall into the furrows, but I do know that by doing what I do, my crops rise each year, full and proud." A merchant does not say to his customer, "I know not by what means the goods fill my hull, nor how my ship finds this port, but I do know that by doing what I do, my pockets fill with your gold." And yet a mage says to any who ask, "I know not by what means I work the forces of the world, nor even what such forces appear as, but I do know that by doing what I do, I may summon a globe of light, or cast fire into a bale of hay." We know nothing about magic, yet we wield it like any tool we may forge. Arctor's Divine Paradox is no answer, yet in the following chapters, we will see that... Go to Comment
Excerpt from "The Magocrats vs. the Matocrats" - The Torwyn Register Archives
A recent theological dispute in the nature of magic in our world has come to a climax, with the leaders of two theological views, Magopremecy and Matopremecy, agreeing to hold a debate in the Plutemetus Ampitheater at Insailles, in which both sides shall present their arguments to the public eye, as well as attempt to influence the minds of attending scholars and magisters.
The magocrats aim to enlighten others in the idea of a Magocosm, a world in which all things physical are but shadows of their magical forms. In such a model, the Magocor, e.g., the divine world, the pure world, the origin world, is a world comprised purely of magic - life, energy, thought, and time. Then, like light cast upon a scroll by a fire, we become the light on the scroll - light, yes, but not its origin. A material chair, for instance, is only a physical manifestation of its magical counterpart, which resides in the Magocor. While it would be impossible to imagine where the magocor resides, some have theorized that it sits directly in and around us, in the exact same area and size as our physical world, yet on another plane of reality, accessable only by those things comprised entirely of magic, e.g. the divine, and human souls*. A relatively recent theory, the Magocosm still has many undeveloped areas, yet the Magocrats seem fairly confident in the possibility that such a reality may be, in fact, our reality.
*(The idea that the Gods, and our souls, are made up of pure magic, is sadly only another theory, yet a widely accepted one.)
The matocrats, on the other hand, are more of a name that has only recently been given to an idea that has been around for millenia, than a newfound theory. The matocrats are believers in the Matocosm, the idea that the physical world is in fact very real, and that magic simply flows through and into it. In the Matocosm, magic, being dealt with as a still unquantifiable idea, imbues every object, and gives it life and existance. The matocrat's chair, for instance, would be an actual object within the world, through which magic runs (To refresh the minds of those who have forgotten, and enlighten the minds of those who have never known, within the Matocosm, magic is everywhere, and to cast spells, one must draw upon the magic in one's physical surroundings - items such as plants and gems will have high amounts of magic within them, while items such as chairs would have much less). This idea is backed up by the documented existence of mancopolic pulsations, as well as the ancient writings of the scribe and theologan Sevelius Tordarian. Also, in the Matocosm, the divine and the mundane live in the same planes of reality, only very far apart, with the divine residing in the far reaches of Celestia, the heavens and night world.
Given the magocrats' ideals on a seperate plane of existance for the divine, it should be interesting to see how such a theory will affect the religious orders of the land, and which theory will eventually attain the both literal and metaphorical blessing of the houses.
In other news, a recent development in Upper Plutor has... Go to Comment
"Essay 2 - Unexplained Occurances of the Magical Variety" - Velod & Theod Lilan
Several times in the history of the magical world, various odd and unexplainable occurances have been linked to magic, although many times simply because all other mundane explanations have failed. The following is a short list of two select abberations that have been documented extensively by both scholars and laymen alike.
1 - The Living Spell
During our travels, we have met several wizards who have claimed to have spells of theirs take on a life of their own after casting, often disobeying the rules of the spell, taking on altered forms, and moving at will. A prime example can be found in the account of Ember Martiel II, a young apprentice to the Wizard Hidelius Arctor. In our meeting with him, he described casting a weak practice fire spell, to cast a bolt of fire at a nearby target. However, almost instantly after the fire formed and left his palm, it "...took on a form much like a winged heron, and rather than traveling straight as bidden, it curved off to the left and flew wildly around the chamber, as a moth seeking light, until finally attempting to burrow into the cracks in the stone, at which point Magister Arctor doused it with water." Tales even exist of human-like spell abberations dwelling in remote areas, feeding on streams of magical power. While such wild reports are to doubtless be met with skepticism, the idea of living spells is highly plausible, as it would support the ideal that magic is the essence of creation. We can then assume that the magician casting said spell would have unknowingly (and seemingly impossibly) injected thought into the spell's energy, taking on, for a few seconds, the role of a God, and creating life, of a rare and unusual form. Such occurances are the making of legend, and bring to mind such stories as those of Opyrus, the Shadow-That-Kills, a beast of malice and magic created in the clash of gods, yet as of now, we truly have no reason to disbelieve them.
2 - Mancopolic Pulsations
Several strange events in history, both ancient and recent, have led to the theory that, as magic flows through the world, it sometimes intersects with the physical and the mundane, and, as a stream that runs against a dam, builds in pressure until it breaks through. This "breaking through" manifests itself as a wide pulse of magical energy, whose effects are determined by the type of energy contained within the flow of magic. Many times the pulse goes by unnoticed, save for a few spells going widely awry, or coming out amplified and intensified. However, there have been documents detailing exact circles of wasteland exploding into life after a pulse of growth energy, or, strangely more prolific, the denizens of entire graveyards or catacombs becoming infused with unlife by waves of necrotic energy. Sometimes the results are much more subtle as well, such as dry wells refilling by sparks of water energy, or a strain of allergy cropping up after small pockets of corruption energy burst. While such occurances are certainly more difficult to pin on this theory, this widespread evidence has made it a widely accepted hypothesis, one that backs up the theory that magic infuses much of our physical world. Go to Comment
Excerpt from "The Philosophy of Divisitocracy in Magovirpotent Reality" - Kahle Kalem Harambaad (second edtion translated from high Kieran into the commmon tongues)
In modern mancy, magi are taught of the existence of the three major schools of magic, the Elemental Magics, the Augmentational and Transmutational Magics, and the Kinetic Magics, as well as the ephemeral fourth school, the Transcendental Magics. Each school is also divided in two, having negative and positive aspects. Within the school of Elemental Magics are spells dealing with the natural elemental energies of Heat and Fire, Cold, Water, Wind, and Earth, as well as combinations of those such as Ice, Acid, Weather, and Electricity, as well Light and Shadow. The elemental school's spells are not affected whether one is working with negative or positive magics, although a mancer working with negative energy cannot summon light, the following of which is oppositely true for a mancer of positivity. The Augmentational Magics, on the other hand, have spells that vary much more widely when made positive or negative. The Augmentational and Transmutational Magics contain spells (listed with their counterparts near each other) involving Healing and Necromancy, Growth and Corruption, Transformation and Mutation, Illusion and Mindbending, and the ninth field, the mysterious school of Animation, the art of imbibing inanimate objects with magical life and conscience. The Kinetic Magics are, like the Elemental, unaffected by positivity or negativity, and deal with the manipulation of invisible kinetic forces to move or harm objects. Lastly, the field of Transcendental Magics involves all magics that involve the working of unclassified and mysterious otherwise ungrouped forces, and include the arts of Enchanting, Scrying, Soul-Calling, and Teleportation. Magi learn to focus on one school, be it elemental, augmentational, or kinetic, and become proficient in specific arts, as too broad a range of magical casting can weaken and overextend one's ability.
While the theory that magic has both negative and positive forms, otherwise known as Dualistic Weave theory, is largely undisputed, the idea that magic itself is divided into distinct energies has been argued for ages. While Divisitocracy, or Seperatism, the tradition of dividing magic (and thus conquering it) has been around for over a millenia such, there have always have been those who have shunned it. Such people, followers of the Omniperian movement, argue that magic is a whole, a single entity, a field of wheat in which we are simply picking out grains closest to our hand. Tales do tell of the days of old, before the tempest, when magi wielded power that rivaled the Gods', and cast spells of fire and healing from the same hand. And yet magic has been draining from this world for eons, just as the bloodlines of magi have waned. Some say that today's workers of the weave are naught but shadows of their father's fathers. So, in truth, this theory has much relevancy, for one can see that as the power of magi wanes, they begin to lose grasp on magic, having to focus on small areas in order to succeed. And there is also the existence of Fey magics, a strange side of this entity that men have yet never grasped. Fey magic, Fire magic; after study, I have become an Omniperian. Yet, is there any hope in this modern age for anything but malism for the future? Go to Comment
Excerpt from "Men and Gods - and Magi" - Ember Martiel II
It is commonly accepted that all men have magic within them, magi have gods within them, and gods are made of magic. So where within is found the difference?
I shall begin with the Divine, as they stand first, before men and mundosi. The divine are the children of the Giver, the creator of this world. The Giver is magic - this fact is undisputed. Thus from him are his children born, and they are made in his image, thus they are made of magic, for his children, the Divine, shaped this world, and set upon this world its life. Thus, the Divine are magical energy given thought and consciousness, and the ability to create.
From the Divine sprang the magical races, races of both magic and flesh, the Dragon Lords (the Daragim), the Leviathans (the Merlian), and the Seir, beings who appeared as men yet had within them magic. The magical races could work the forces of the world, shooting fire, raising storms, and growing trees and plants. Yet their power was their folley, and their time was short, and soon after their decline, the Divine set upon the world a final race, a race made in the image of the Seir, yet unable to work the forces of the world - and wreak its destruction. This race was the race of men, the heirs of the mundane world. Yet although they could not work the weave of the world, men were still born of magic, and thus within each man is a consciousness, a soul - a part of him that holds his beings and identity. When men's mortal bodies fade, the soul flees, and man becomes magic, and leaves the mundane world, coming to rest with his Gods in their hells and paradisiums.
In between the two, between Men and Gods, stand Magi. Magi are men, men who, in the dawn of their race, bred with the Seir, bearing offspring that were neither magical nor mundane. They held the hearts and souls of men, yet had the ability to work the energies of the world. Magi are all that are left of the race of Seir, and their power has long since waned, as over the ages and generations, the mageblood soon spreads thin. Yet they still walk upon the earth, touching forces men cannot feel, and working energies men cannot see. Arrogant, they are, but would you not be as well, if you claimed a God in your lineage? Go to Comment
Excerpt from "A Philosophy of Magus (2nd Ed.)" - Sevelius Tordarian
In precoming years, magus has been worked, weaved, yet never understanden. Magim oft wield a forke whose tines they cannot see; thus are men sunder'd. It is hereby set upon all those who reade this, that forthcoming texts attempt to make senses from, and classificate magus, in that we as men and magim may better understande and work its forces.
Some as welle as I, believe Gods are of magus. Many also, as welle as I, believe that magus runs through mundi, mundus, Aryth, our world. Thus, the theorem is devised, one, being that Gods are of magus, and two, that magus is an engergie that flows throughin mundus, yet is not mundus. Secondly, some as welle as I believe that magim wield the poweres of the gods, the poweres of creation, and the poweres to work the energies and forces of magus. Thus, the second theorem is devised, one, being that magus is the essences of creation, and two, that magim worke the energies of magus by channelling the magus that runs through mundus.
So thus is magus appeared as as the heart of mundi, the known world, being in which mundus is the flesh and muscle, and being in which magus is the blood coursing throughin the veins. Thus do magim channel its blood, as they are able to work the energies as Gods. Magus is the givere of life and lifes, and it is magus that turnes the cogs of time and light. Our worlde is infused with the magus, and with it coexists the mundane, the mundus, as a balance to a counterbalance, and a shelle to holde our mundinite forms. Thus the final unificated theorem states that Magus is an energie of the world, it flows throughin mundus, and it is a thing of the Gods, and the half-gods, the magim. Go to Comment
Dreamer dust is a soft, light purple powder ground from Purple Dreamer mushrooms and blended with various alchemical agents that streak the substance with grainy white lines. It has an effect much like the mushrooms themselves have when eaten, although much more refined and powerful. It is always snorted through the nose, and, unlike flash, the alchemical reagents within it make it irritating and damaging to the nose. When inhaled, the user will begin sweating and salivating profusely, accompanied by a lowering in blood pressure. After about a minute of this, an extreme feeling of drowsiness and satisfied relaxation sets in. Have you ever been right on the edge of falling asleep, barely conscious, unable to move, and comfortable as heck? That's the basic effect, only taken many times over. It is a very addictive sensation, and many people find themselves reaching for a second packet only minutes after their first go. In later stages, the user may also begin to see whorls of color around swiftly moving objects. Addicts often take multiple drafts of dust to speed this process, and are often seen moving their hands erratically in front of their faces to see the sunbursts of color that ensue. Nosebleeds are not uncommon among second and third-time users, and addicts can be spotted by the deep, dark rings under their glassy eyes, as well as the stupor-like state they often seem to live in. One must also be careful not to overdose, as too much dust can lower one’s blood pressure to the point that the heart simply stops beating. Go to Comment
Delirium is a dark, thick grainy liquid created by Balk-Head mushrooms brewed in with sugar and weak herbal antidotes, included to dull the dangerous after-effects of the drug. It is usually mixed into hot teas and downed in a single gulp, as its sickly-sweet flavor and coarse texture is nothing appetizing. It takes over ten minutes for anything to occur, but after that time the user may seem to notice odd things happening around him. At this time, it is usually best to shut him away from the outside world. Delirium is a powerful hallucinogenic substance that gradually affects the user’s consciousness, so slowly that he might not even realize it has affected him until it has completely taken over. These hallucinations last for several hours, causing users to see all manner of thoughts, ideas, memories and fears manifest themselves before them. It is best to imbibe this drug when one is in a good state of mind, for fears are a terrifying thing to manifest. During this stage, the user will most likely spasm and convulse, and sometimes even become paralyzed for hours. There have been some accounts of users convulsing hard enough to tear tendons and break bones, but those are rare cases. At the end, most users simply black out, waking up hours later with only a vague recollection of the events. Splitting headaches and tear-filled, blurry vision are guaranteed after-effects, which only become worse with repeated use. After continuous use over long period, users begin to lose their sight and hearing completely, becoming both blind and deaf in the last stages. Luckily, it is not very addictive, although many users, having just returned from seeing their greatest fantasy manifest before them, find themselves going back and back to replace their continually worsening reality with the one offered by the drug. Go to Comment
Trapcap is simply a street name for the dried cap of the Glowcap mushroom, openly sold in bags as “alchemical supplies” by southern street vendors. When eaten, Trapcaps produce a relaxing feeling much like their sister mushrooms, Purple Dreamers, although instead of sweating and salivating, the user will find it hard to move, and will experience a severe lack of coordination, as if one was trapped in invisible molasses. The user’s vision takes on a sort of blurred bluish tint, which sometimes allows one to see at night. However, unlike Purple Dreamers and Dreamer Dust, Trapcaps are not addictive, and have a rather unpleasant taste. Go to Comment
Crush is a soft, fine golden-yellow powder made from the Golden Hallucinole mushrooms of the Mura Katur, snorted through the nose or mixed into drinks. It carries with it the faint sweet odor of the mushroom, and when consumed, in short time the user’s vision will begin to take on a bluish tint. In the later stages, everything the user sees will be bright blue, and surrounded by swirls of color in the corners of the user’s vision. During this time, the user will be unable to speak, and find it very hard to move. It is quite easy to overdose on this drug, at which point the blue whorls will simply fade to black, and the user will enter a coma. However, the relative lucidity one retains when using the drug is often enough to identify this sign, so actual deaths are uncommon. Addicts can easily be spotted by their blue-tinted eyes, which are often encrusted with tears. Go to Comment
Sweeper comes in the form of dark red-brown pieces of candy-like substance - think peanut brittle, but red (and no peanuts). Slightly chewy and mostly tasteless, it is held in the mouth until it dissolves, at which point it causes one to lose most sensation of touch and sight, so much that one might feel as if one is simply floating in an abyss. It is not very addictive, however, and relatively uncommon as well, and is more often used by spies anticipating capture and torture, or doctors operating on patients, than as a narcotic, as it is highly effective at muting pain. Go to Comment
Blush is a bright red powder made from the Maidensglove funghi, and enhanced alchemically. Stirred into drinks, the bitter powder brings a blush to the cheeks, a fullness to the lips, and a slight red tinge to the eyes. It is also a powerful aphrodisiac, causing imbibers to become intensely confident and lustful. It is often found in use at orgiastic parties run by corrupt nobility, and often used by rogues, seductresses, and more villainous characters to embarrass a figure, or take them to bed. However, its price, combined with its relative rarity, has kept it within the hands of nobility, merchants, and connoisseurs of exotic narcotics. Go to Comment