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October 13, 2010, 11:49 pm

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Rage Mages


'If you see a Rage Mage and he's swearing like an army of pirates, then he is a novice and you might be safe. If you see a Rage Mage and he is not only civil towards you, but even pleasant, then run for your life and pray to whatever gods you hold dear, for he is a master of hatred who has conquered his emotions and can turn all of his negative energies directly at you."

- Unnamed mercenary working with a Rage Mage.

Note: not a PG entry.

Basic Idea

A Rage Mage is an individual who has dedicated their life to harnessing the power of negative emotions to power their magic abilities. In a way, the Mages are almost like Buddhist monks in their never-ending quest to retain complete control over their undying anger, but with more of an emphasis on posterior-whupping. The manner in which negative emotion is turned into arcane energy is hard to understand and can only be practiced by a blessed/cursed few, but it allows for a belligerent enough individual to access an almost indefinite amount of raw arcane power- provided, of course, that he or she doesn't flip out and try to strangle the enemy to death with their bare hands.

There are two sides to any Rage Mage, which the more philosophical Mages call 'The Master' and 'The Beast' (most call the two sides 'The Boss' and 'The Jackass,' albeit with far cruder language). The 'Master' side of the brain represents their self-discipline. This is the force that chains 'the Beast' and allows them to utilize their powers and store up even more anger so they can use more powerful magic. The 'Beast' is their well of negative emotions, which is held in check by the Master (hopefully) and provides the actual raw power for the magic. A careful balance must be upheld between Master and Beast- if the Master is too strong and the Beast too weak, then the Mage just plain isn't angry enough and can't access their most powerful spells. However, if the Beast is too strong for the Master, then the Rage Mage becomes unhinged and attacks with his bare hands, losing any ability to use magic whatsoever. Thus, many Rage Mages will meditate constantly and learn as much as they can about anger management to strengthen the Master; meanwhile, they will also do things that they know will anger them (like sign up for an obviously stupid anger management course) to simultaneously strengthen the Beast.

All Rage Mages aspire to one day be completely in control of their emotions, yet filled to the brim with unyielding fury. Towards this goal, they will travel the world, getting pissed off at something every chance they get in hopes of honing their skills to a razor-sharp edge of power.


The first Rage Mage in recorded history came from the Corbanian Imperium, a corrupt and decadent nation wherein slaves fought each other to death in great colosseums for the amusement of the upper class. One such gladiator was the great warrior Belligerus, a man of pure spite and viciousness known for inflicting horrible wounds upon his foes when at the heights of his battle rages. He was a star, and was doted upon by his master, who treated him fairly well for a gladiator. Yet, despite his success, Belligerus never truly enjoyed his life, and longed for a way to harness his anger and control himself. He one day hoped to buy his freedom and woo the daughter of his current owner (not a completely unknown accomplishment). One more attribute added to Belligerus' frustration- a mage had examined him and declared him to be capable of magecraft, a valuable skill which could earn him his freedom. However, the mages of the Imperium relied on a lack of emotion to access their mana, which left the coarse, emotional Belligerus at a disadvantage. Left only with the stadium as his road to freedom, Belligerus fought hard for a better tomorrow.

That dreamed ended the day he fought the Emperor's chosen gladiator one-on-one in the stadium. Overcome by fury, he ripped the opposing warrior apart limb from limb in a truly gruesome and humiliating death. The Emperor, beside himself with anger, ordered the deaths of Belligerus and the entire family of nobles who sponsored him. Only Belligerus escaped, nearly driven mad with grief and hatred. He retreated into the mountains, where he lived alone for months, raiding Imperial training camps for food and weapons. Eventually, he found his way to a hermit, living alone in the woods, who had spent his life training himself to master anger and use negative emotions as a tool to unleash ki. Belligerus studied with the monk for years, slowly learning the manner in which he could  not only control his rage, but even turn it into a weapon to use against his enemies. When he left the mountains, Belligerus was a truly changed man. He no longer carried weapons into combat, preferring his fists as instruments to unleash his hellish anger. He no longer cursed and spat at every living thing he saw, as he had found the inner strength he needed to take his inner emotions of sorrow and rage and turn them into a finely-honed weapon aimed directly at his foe- the Emperor of Corbania.

In a series of guerilla attacks, Belligerus attacked slave camps all across the Imperium, training the slaves into an army of incomparable strength and discipline. Whenever he found a slave capable of following his path, Belligerus inducted the warrior into his inner circle, helping his new disciples find their own ways to harness negative emotions and turn them against the foe. These followers originally numbered only twelve, giving them the moniker 'The Dirty Dozen.' Soon, though, their numbers grew, until over one thousand Rage Mages led the slave armies into battle, their insane babbling of obscenities and powerful magic attacks driving back all those who stood before them. Eventually, thanks to the undying anger of the Rage Mages (now called the Devil's Brigade), the Imperium was shattered, creating dozens of small kingdoms in its wake.

Belligerus himself delivered the killing blow to the Emperor, even as the royal palace fell all around them. The Emperor is reported as saying, "Do you think you have won this day? All you have done is created chaos and anarchy! Millions will die in the battles to come, as my former subjects scratch and claw at one another to devour what remains of my empire's corpse! And what will you do, hm? Do you think you can save those men by becoming a tyrant- by becoming what you hate? What say you!?"

Belligerus simply smiled and punched the Emperor in the face so hard his skull exploded then simply said, "Do I look like I give two *#@#s, you stupid bastard? I don't care WHAT these dumbasses do, so long as they don't get in my damn way!"

With that, he strode through the city, smiling almost beatifically as his men cheered him on lustily, and marched into the wilderness without a word, never to be seen again. The only response heard from the men as he disappeared forever was from one Rage Mage, who apparently shouted, "Wait- where the hell is that stupid asshole going!?"


Since then, the Rage Mages have existed in varying numbers, wandering the world in search of chances to hone their self-discipline and righteous pissed-offitude, as well as keeping a never-ending vigil for their departed leader, whom they refer to as 'the Sultan of Spite' and the 'Earl of Ass-Kicking.' They have never had a truly centralized ruling body, as having that many violently angry mages in one room would probably end up destroying half of whatever kingdom they built the tower in. Their only real form of self-control are the so-called 'Masters of Disaster-' Rage Mages who have reached a level of enlightenment nearly on par with that of their holy founder, Belligerus. These individuals are avatars of pure rage, a contained typhoon of negative feelings that could easily destroy entire cities with the fully-unleashed powers, but who instead keep their abilities hidden so as to travel indiscreetly and easily spy on apostate Rage Mages (ones who either practice their skill in a morally unacceptable manner or who use their powers for evil). There are only a dozen of the Masters at any given time, which has led to some of the Mages theorizing that these are actually Belligerus's first disciples in disguise. However, if asked (or if shouted at from across the room, which is more likely if you're a Rage Mage yourself), they simply smile and walk off.

NEVER take their silence as weakness or as a lack of rage, though. If you need proof of their power, simply look into their eyes. If you look hard enough at their eyes, you will actually be able to see the bottomless pits of fury and hatred that they've managed to conquer through sheer self-discipline. Since Rage Mages are capable of turning their negative emotions into arcane energy, this means in essence that so long as the Mage in question is pissed off and is keeping that anger under control, he can use ever more powerful spells almost indefinitely. Because of this, the Masters of the art of Rage Magery are capable of destroying entire fortresses and of scattering armies with the power of their hatred; in fact, one of the non-moral reasons as to why they haven't done as such and don't plan to is that if they unleashed all of that power at once, they would most likely have a heart attack from the stress. Therefore, they avoid overstepping their known boundaries, and are content with their already formidable spite-based powers.

Levels of Rage Mage and How to Identify Them: a Field Guide

Level One- Neophyte: a newly-chosen Rage Mage isn't hard to recognize. The average neophyte is an individual who has only recently decided to follow the path of anger, and who is still somewhat reluctant to dwell upon their hatred. Their use of magic is often jerky and uncoordinated, since they are still unsure of their own abilities and don't truly understand how to let their rage flow without losing all control. Furthermore, they can only use their powers shortly after being sufficiently angered, since they haven't figured out how to consistently renew that level of rage. These young ones usually follow around older, more experienced Rage Mages, trying to learn what they can from them until the older Rage Mage gets pissed and sends them packing. Expect a lot of cursing, but not much real power to back it up.

Level Two- Arcane Berserker: This level of Rage Mage is a step above a Neophyte, in that they have learned, to one degree or another, how they can let their rage flow and produce a steady stream of magic energy. Therefore, they're able to keep up a constant barrage of anger-fueled magic so long as they retain a shred of self-control- which is where the problem starts. At this stage of their training, most of the Rage Mages still lack the true capability to control their anger and instead let their negative emotions consume them and use them as an outlet. These individuals can be identified by their frantic, unstable nature- look for constantly shifting eyes, muttering phrases under one's breath, small or dilated pupils, frothing at the mouth, and a constant look of agony mixed with rage and disgust. Many berserkers will form war bands with one another, adventuring from one battlefield to another in an attempt to reach some sort of peaceful state through constant warfare. If you're stuck in a fight against a Berserker, you should go against all conventional wisdom and make them even angrier. This should cause them to lose all self-control and fling themselves at you like an animal. When like this, they are surprisingly easy to defeat, even if actually killing them is still almost impossible (the very rage that makes them lose their minds with hatred also means that they will keep fighting, even if they are injured beyond any point of survival. Heck, most of them will keep fighting even if you tore off all of their limbs).

Level Three- Ascetic: This is the equivalent of another Mage school's journeyman-level mage. An Ascetic-level Rage Mage is a former Berserker who has found a modicum of peace with himself or herself on the fields of battle, often through a near-death experience or simply through the calm, professional outlook that experience in conflict can bring. As one soldier once said, "The only feeling a true warrior needs is hatred," and the Ascetic has managed to find that hatred and focus it against his or her foes. No longer does the Ascetic remain constantly enraged, but instead will remain relatively composed out of combat. This is due to a newly-found self-discipline brought about by that moment on the field of battle, whatever it might be. However, this obsession with control can be their undoing. Since the Ascetic will attempt to quash any and all emotion until it is needed, he or she will often build up huge amounts of stress, which can lead to some health problems. Furthermore, in battle, the Ascetic can still be goaded into a rage relatively simply. Although not as easy to enrage as the Berserker, the Ascetics still have a definite breaking point, which, like a dam with cracks, will eventually shatter in one disastrous event, leading to the loss of all control they had on their powers. If they were casting a spell when they lost control, this can lead to the magic running wild and harming both friend and foe alike. An Ascetic can be identified by a relatively humorless personality, along with a tendency to show both disdain and envy for emotional people, as well as a multitude of different gestures that all serve to show irritation or anger. In battle, mock them as they fight, and use the most vicious language you can think of- they won't really use the emotions for anything except magic unless you push them too far (remember, it's the pent-up anger that fuels their spells- the anger they show is wasted arcane power).

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Comments ( 22 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

October 5, 2010, 1:35
Update: Adding in more about the Rage Mages in general.
October 5, 2010, 23:33
Update: Started posting descriptions of the general classes of Rage Mages, starting with Neophyte and ending with Ascetic (for now).
Voted slartibartfast
October 14, 2010, 7:22

Very nice!  Well written and thought out.  Sorta like what the sith might have been in a fantasy setting? 5/5

Voted axlerowes
October 14, 2010, 8:49

A funny and irreverent look at the upside of anger.....I must expand on it. 

Voted valadaar
October 14, 2010, 10:48

I like this a lot - a good source for magical potential.

Voted Murometz
October 14, 2010, 11:27

Amazing premise, scotsman! The upside of anger, as axlerowes says. Very good. Really fires up the imagination on using these guys, and I *will* find a way to use these raging crusaders soon, I assure you.

Voted Strolen
October 14, 2010, 11:58

Love the idea! Enjoyed the style and background of the group. Explained well and was a lot of fun to read and I had no issues accepting it as is. Usually I have unanswered questions as I go through but I think it is delightfully complete. Having a heart attack while destroying a city is comedic and enough for me. I see the Mage swearing inwardly, "That the city is so damn stupid that it wouldn't be worth destroying and giving myself a frick'n heart attack." Then he controls his rage and storms off.

Voted Cheka Man
October 14, 2010, 12:13

Very good, a submission about anger that pleased me. I look forward to the other levels.

October 14, 2010, 12:20

I just wrote piece of fan fiction based on the Rage Mages, hope you don't mind, really excellent stuff

October 14, 2010, 22:47
You kidding? That's awesome, dude! I was planning to write a story, but I'm concerned that I'll run out of inventive obscenities.
Voted Michael Jotne Slayer
October 14, 2010, 23:56

Wow, did not know what I was in for when I hit this one. Excellent piece!

"Strolens is like a box of chocolates..."

Voted Mourngrymn
October 16, 2010, 15:40

October 26, 2010, 21:06

Bump, and my first HoH in a while. Love them!

Cheka Man
October 26, 2010, 23:07

And another HOH from me.Something that will not make you angry. *grins*

Voted Dossta
October 27, 2010, 11:42

Adding this one to my favorites -- like Murometz, I *will* find a way to use these one day.  I wish that you would add a few more levels beyond Ascetic to this, at least a detailed look at the "Master" level.  One of my absolute favorite pieces on this site.  5/5

October 27, 2010, 11:50

And of course 'rage mages' is written by an "angryscotsman" lol. How apropos!

Voted Pariah
October 27, 2010, 12:31

Cheka Man
April 12, 2011, 21:39

We need more levels.

September 18, 2011, 23:18

I especially liked the grabber - this is an interesting concept, for some reason reminding me of bright wizards from warhammer, though they have little in common. Using anger as a power source is a very cool, but wouldn't it be a pity if one day a Rage Mage woke up, and found that he simply wasn't angry anymore... hmmm... I smell a quest called "The Mage's Lost Rage."

Michael Jotne Slayer
September 20, 2011, 23:00

This feels a bit randomized. Sorry, I vote no. 

February 16, 2012, 22:07

Wizard Berserkers! I love it. More levels!! Now!! Don't make me angry :)

Voted Kassy
May 18, 2013, 8:26

Good sub. Shame that I don't have a second HoH to give this one too.

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