Teleportation and Translocation
Throughout creation there are locations which serve as nexuses of sorts; conduits between one place and another. Such are the rules of translocation that only areas that border each other can be traversed by physical or magical means.
Throughout creation there are locations which serve as nexuses of sorts; conduits between one place and another. Such are the rules of translocation that only areas that border each other can be traversed by physical or magical means. Finding such an area is no small feat and only the power sensitive witches and warlocks can truly sense the presence of a conduit. Apparently this also applies for ravens and crows and other animals, which are repulsed by them.
For common observers these areas would seem devoid of animal life. If an animal was brought into such an area, it would soon react with unease, which would get stronger as the animal got closer to the nexus. There are two kinds of nexuses: Those that have been harnessed and those who remain wild.
Maros pulled at the reins again, but Imaro, his faithful steed, would simply not budge. Exhausted the young warrior in his blood-smeared, dented breastplate removed vital items from the horse and into his backpack.
'Damn, that old fool never mentioned having to walk all the way up to the complex', he muttered under his breath.
The Ancient Gateways
A harnessed nexus requires a mosaic, usually a circle, star or a square, with a unique pattern. This mosaic serves as a mental focus for the magi as he teleports from one nexus point to another, merely by concentrating on the pattern on “the other side”. Theoretically this will allow time travel, but that requires powerful side components such as certain stellar constellations, human sacrifice or an eclipse.
There are few, if any, mages who have mastered the art of time travel though and the nexuses, or the Ancient Gateways as they are called in literature, are sometimes controlled by factions who zealously guard their portal. These factions often require something to allow the usage of their portal, among other things membership, fees and favours, and (if not controlled by the ruling authorities) they are wont to hide it's presence for fear of losing control.
The traveler needs to know the pattern of the destination he is going to travel to, or he won't get anywhere. This has led to booklets sometimes being sold (by those who control the gateway) in which artists have drawn the pattern of a handful of nexuses, thereby letting the user study the drawing while concentrating. Sometimes these drawings include a name and maybe even a description of the location, but at other times the drawing is without information or even false or flawed. Flawed and false patterns simply result in the nexus being unable to function, while the usage of an unknown pattern has led many a traveler into perilous circumstances.
Those with power sensitivity will notice currents of essence within the mosaic pattern, the mechanism which allow the patterns to be used in such a manner. Destroying parts of the pattern in any way might result in the nexus collapsing, which in turn might inflict major damage on the fabric of reality.
Some mages opt to use silver when using the Ancient Gateways. Silver, usually inlaid in runic grooves upon stones of power, is potent when shaped as runes and used in conjunction with the Ancient Gateways. Such stones can allow several men to travel even though only one concentrate on the pattern, provided everyone touch the stone. Other uses of such a stone is to translocate anyone upon the mosaic on the other side of the mosaic to the owner’s location. The power and ability of such a stone is determined by the quality of the runes, the amount and purity of silver used as well as the rune in question.
Though it had not been used in a very long time, and dust and cobwebs covered everything, it was easy to see that the hall had once been a grandiose sight. Arching windows let minute amounts of light in, the forest outside obstructing much of the sun's rays. On the floor an intricate mosaic could be vaguely seen behind the dirt, and as Maros crouched down he wiped a small area clean with his left hand. The sight was marvelous, the tiles keeping their vibrant colors and gloss in spite of the passing of the centuries.
This had been an important place once, the seat of a council of mages close to the king, but when the last of the Kings died and the kingdom rose in rebellion, Umbranth, the last High Mage of the council, uttered the council's words of sanctuary and a fey mist began to cover the land. When the bloody civil war ended a few months later, the mist gradually disappeared, and a dense, mysterious forest began to appear, growing at alarming speed. The seat of the council was lost, or so it seemed, for no one could find it anymore.
'But here it is!', Maros shouted in excitement, clapping his hands in enthusiasm as he did so. His client had paid him well for his services, and this was just what he requested.
The warrior was a skilled artist, and after an hour he had drawn the symbol on the floor on a high quality piece of parchment the client had provided him with.
Rising, Maros entered the center of the circle, and withdrew another parchment, this one depicting the strange mosaic he had been shown in the client's basement.
How was this supposed to work again?
The Wild Conduits
In some locations wild conduits can be found; untamed links to other places that have yet to be claimed. The manipulation of these conduits is far more difficult and requires hours and hours of ritualistic magic. If the other end is another wild conduit, a scrying device is required, for it is vital to physically see the other end. For a lonesome mage it is very difficult to open such a conduit all by himself / herself, but often entire cabals of sorcerers participate, in which case the exercise is routine though exhausting. If the other end is an Ancient Gateway, the operation is much easier as the presence of a focal pattern removes the need for scrying on the location.
The presence of a wild conduit is extremely rare and the Ancient Gateways are few and far between. Not nearly all major cities have a gateway and often long periods of travel is required to reach the desolate place in which some witches’ coven has claimed an Ancient Gateway. These conduits are so vital that spellcasters often wage small wars to attain control of the location, as the ritual for converting a wild conduit to an Ancient Gateway is an expensive, gruelling and time consuming task. Additionally it has to be mentioned that wild conduits and Ancient Gateways are the only locations in which a portal or gate to heaven or hell can be opened. It is also the only means through which entry to the Other Places, outside Creation, can be attained.
Seneschal let his white, cracked tongue glide along the edge of his short, sharp blade. The blood of his hireling tasted of iron, and within minutes his apprentice necromancers had removed the body; another specimen for the apprentices to play with.
It was vital that no one knew about his discovery; the gate of the Iberlander High Mage Council. Seneschal had been but an apprentice when his master first told him of the legendary council, and how its final steward, the mage known as Umbranth, had hidden the gateway from the enemies of the king.
Carefully, with the studied delicacy a collector shows the price specimens of his collection, Seneschal placed the scroll with the others.
I have five now, though two of the gateways are controlled by someone else. If only the messenger I sent to the forest would return with news of the unharnessed nexus...
Seneschal entered the mosaic, and while furrowing his brows he concentrated on his new symbol.
Short Distance Teleportation
Some creatures defy the rules of translocation and are able to teleport short distances up to thirty meters and within line of sight. These creatures are often highly magical in nature and sometimes even circumvent the laws of gravity and time. There has been no reported case of translocation beyond thirty meters without the use of a conduit.
He was so pleased! Smiling broadly, his white gums revealing missing teeth and his cracked parchment lips tearing slightly, Seneschal looked up into the domed ceiling of the hall.
There, in the center... It must be... Yeees, this is it! That is High King Ulsard Iberlander surrounded by his concubines, his generals and his councilor mages. I finally discovered the location of the Iberlander Council Gateway!
Seneschal looked around, and soon his eyes fell on a balcony above. Smiling triumphantly, the disciple of Necrotae pressed the tips of his fingers against each other and touched his forehead. There was a sucking sound of a vacuum as he ceased to exist in one place and the gush of wind as he appeared in another.
The elder mage stood upon the balcony as he began working new magic. The dust, dirt and the cobwebs simply would not do!
Summoning is quite different from other means of translocation. When something is summoned, the name of the summoned entity as well as a piece of hair or a fingernail needs to be in the summoner’s possession. Summoning always requires a long ceremony and does not always succeed, for the summoned entity must usually agree to its coming. Simple animals often wish food and shelter, while more insidious creatures require greater sacrifice to answer the summons. Additionally the presence of a wild conduit or an Ancient Gateway makes the summoning quicker. It is difficult to banish a creature once summoned and if the creature is unbound and not agreeing with the spellcaster’s demands, it will do as it pleases and might pose a threat to the summoner. Banishment requires a ritual of magic. The duration and difficulty of the ritual is dependent on the might of the summoned being.
The Gate of Time.
Discovered by a few powerful, drunken wizards one late evening.
They would later call it a journey of the mind, but myself? No, sorry folks.. what I saw was ramblin', only.. Lucky thing for them is I've got a powerful mind myself, I used to call it the power of the word. Hell, even spoken word carries a conscious weave of subtle flow with it, that's why I live folks who ramble.
They always tend to show ke good favor, on account of my mind and memory. I guess running this ol' bar here really ought to be what I owe my riches to, maybe even my mind. All these folks stroll in here and I never ask of them their business, but a whole lot sure do tell it to me themselves.
They'll say, 'Ay Jeb, you remember that time we.. well there I go ramblin' again, catches on to me like the wind sometimes. Anyway they called me a muse around their parts, and I got out a lil'.. just hard sometimes for folks like us, hell.. I was born out in the wild west we used to call it, these folks round these parts? They don't pay much mind to us patriots crossin' the stream, on account of they seen so many humans from this struggle and that one, it don't carry the weight it did when all we had was the gravity on our backs to remind us of livin.. Life was hard, and it sure as hell never get's any easier, but I guess the weight is what keeps us goin', and we take with us it's memories. Time, passing along, Space full of Matter.
Driftin' through the wind.. ahhh, gotcha there on that one, see I can catch myself.. I may be old but I don't let the power of the mind just slip out of me, might cause damage to myself or my business. You see us humans always seem to show up in this pocket here or that ditch over there, but we just folks who like to keep on livin. These other ones, the ones born way out in space or in another dimension.. they don't know the struggle of the gravity we went against, and we're born with it we live with it. No matter how far we spread our seed.
That's why I smartened up quick and and got my Tavern lookin real nice first time I saw a Wizard walkin' in.. funny how it always tends to be the masters, you know. Like they taught me Kung Fu and all that, but the mage, the apprentice.. He don't hold nothing to the master, they are a treasure chest of time and knowledge, and only those who unlock it achieve the wisdom of a Master. I call the funny looking ones the Wizards, 9 times out of 10 he got a great long beard. She done lookin' herself all done up, 24 looks like a good number to me.
Yeah that should do best as an Introduction I suppose. My name is Jeb Dudeington, born in America. Bard, they call me a muse. Master of the spoken word and the gift of introspection, owner of the best damn bar on the multiverse, but you gotta find us on your own. That's the beauty of the magic I saw in these wizards, I said to 'em..
Hey, you suppose we could hook ourselves up one of them Portals to the back door and make it so, when you folks leavin'.. you got a 2 to 1 chance of just walkin into one of my other bars?
And that's how they created psychological condition for individuals who experience paranoia or flashbacks when opening doors.
Guy created a network of portals to all his taverns across the multiverse, freakin legend.
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? Responses (18)-19
While this is something I probably would never use it is very detailed and informative. I like it. It's nice to have a reasonable explaination behind said events instead of, 'It's magical, thats why it works.'
What a fine way to add teleportation to a game world, without the trouble of people teleporting on their own here and there. Imagine an ancient civilisation knew this secret, and it was rediscovered... suddenly all hell breaks loose as everyone wants to have it and use it, and prevent others from the same! (Note: there surely will be magics to prevent a teleport, or even destroy someone while in teleport, etc.)
Nice, and making me want to use it.
Interesting ideas manfred. I must surely implement them in a future scenario. This is the season of storywriting. My players have their winter break (we only play in spring and autumn/fall) and now ideas like these are worth their weight in gold.
Hmm... seeing as ideas do not have exactly a 'weight', I guess the gold won't come anytime soon. :)
Since I don't HAVE any gold, that is most fortunate indeed! ;)
Interesting sub, and did you ever help Maestro with his translocation? I'm very curious!
I am afraid Maestro approached me at an inopportune time and as a result I was unable to offer any help. :)
I like this.
Thank you Cheka!
Somehow I missed this one.
It has some interesting ideas, but they are not comprised to much of a conclusion. While I found the ideas intriguing, the application was flat.
I believe you might be right. It helps to distance oneself from the sub (lots of time helps). Thank you for the feedback, I will keep it churning in the back of my mind.
Update: Updated the sub, reformatted passages and added the story of Maros and Seneschal
Nice update! Some points:
- Now it was mentioned, that only wizards can teleport through a gateway; then, the warrior character stepped through. While one could also consider him a magi, the paper can be simply a scroll, that would do the trick for non-spellcasters. It's probably already in your game, just wasn't mentioned here. :)
- An example of one of those teleporting creatures could be nice. Besides dangerous predators, there should be some odd creature, that freely teleports through gateways and conduits.
- All animals are repulsed, and then are ravens and crows specifically mentioned. Why is that? Can they feel the nexus locations from a greater distance? Or do they attack those, that have teleported a short while ago? There's gotta be something interesting to them.
- There's gotta be a ton of fake 'mozaic' pictures out there. Let the PCs find one and celebrate the treasure they found. ;)
1. Anyone can pass through an Ancient Gateway, but only wizards can warp their magics to perform time travel and dimension travel. To pass through a gateway the traveler needs to focus intensely on a symbol, which the scroll helps them do. If they have thoroughly memorized the symbol, they do not need a scroll. Notice that common travelers are limited to Ancient Gateways when traveling. To manipulate wild conduits, or to weave and manipulate the magic of an Ancient Gateway, you need to have received magical training.
2. Yes, I can write up one of my teleporting beasts! There is also the realm of Muir, which is in fact an entire dimension that can be traversed between several wild conduits. The Realm of Muir is a mist covered landscape of grain fields on top of rolling hills, with forests at irregular intervals. It is a place of horror that my players fear traveling through. (It was a realm born of your Mountain Pass idea by the way)
3. Crows and ravens are among the most power sensitive of all animals and thus they are mentioned first of all. Their ties to magic are legendary, which is why crows and ravens make excellent familiars (in Coldforged). A nexus is a rift, or rather a knot, in the fabric of reality, and to power sensitive beings it 'bleeds' power of such magnitude that it is nauseating to even approach it.
Anyone having traveled through such rifts, and having left the area, will reek of magical essence, and in smaller doses such essence is seductive to the very same creatures that flee from larger doses. Much like dose and overdose, see?
4. Great idea! I actually spice up the gateways for my players, and they find set items that can be used in conjunction with the gateways. There are, for instance, controller rods and power staves that can be inserted into slots, or be touched against certain parts of the mosaic, that unlocks hidden destinations, allows the portals to be used for scrying, allows the portals to spy on the future and on the past. The portals can have dozens of functions like that. Once my players had two Archmage Portal Staves and the Singing Sword of Bluethon. The Staves unlocked each their Arcane Tower of Magic, while the Singing Sword sang what happened on the other side of the portals, as well as enabled the portal scrying functions.
A great piece of flavour for the working of magic/teleportation.
Well, I saw your call to comment on the forums, and I've got to say that I like this. I can already see twists and turns of an adventure forming and plot hooks bubbling. Certainly, I really like the idea of the pattern which allows you to find the destination. The sell and traffic of pattern books would be very convenient, and could lead to a host of adventures.
It also gives an extra motivation to explore the wilderness and find those lost gateways and take a copy of the pattern.
I can also see some really useful applications, since you need to know the pattern, key defensive positions could be accessible only to a class of trained and trusted cleric, who leads men to them using silver and his memory without any artefact, with the pattern obscured at the end, and passed by word of mouth alone through generations of monks.
I don't know what it was like before, but its a 4.5 for me now.
Wow, your comment sent my mind racing and my imagination spinning! I WILL use that monk idea, for sure! Thanks.
I don't recall reading this before. Strange that, since I tried to read just about everything related to Coldforged way back when.
Continuing the wonderful throwing out of ideas, hunting for both harnessed and unharnessed nexi is a good plot hook for pulling players into any number of dungeons, be they ancient ruins or gaping chasms into the belly of the earth. With their rarity, the rewards would certainly be worthwhile.
Also, since nexi are in fact twisted knots of reality, perhaps that means teleportation magic and creatures actually create a knot in reality of their own, however temporary it might be. Not sure how far that idea of binding reality can be taken, but it seems intriguing.