Monday, July 13, 2015

Mages of Monvesia

The arcane arts can be approached in three ways in Monvesia: through formal study, through otherworldy pacts, or through acceptance of your elemental connection.

Sorcerer

Sorcerers of Monvesia are possessed of an inborn elemental connection.  While all adherents of the elemental philosophies believe that every being has such a connection, it is the sorcerers who have accepted it and gained power from it.   A sorcerer's elemental connection may be tied to his or her race (or culture, if human), personal philosophy/temperament, season of birth, etc.--but it does not define every aspect of the character.

Among rakasta, elemental sorcerers are seen as spirit mediums who have allowed themselves to become the vessels of lesser spirits (as opposed to the favored souls of the Great Spirits, see below).
The abilities of this Elemental Connection are nearly identical to a Draconic Bloodline, modified as described below:

Elemental Nature [Dragon Ancestor]

Instead of selecting a draconic ancestor, choose an elemental nature through which you gain access to a damage type and a language (see "Languages of Monvesia").  In addition, whenever you make a Charisma check when interacting with celestials, elementals, or fiends your proficiency is doubled if it applies to the check.

  • Aether/Light (Hierurge) - radiant; Luman
  • Earth (Lithurge) - force; Terran
  • Air (Aerurge) - psychic; Auran
  • Fire (Pyrurge) - fire; Ignan
  • Water (Hydrurge) - cold; Aquan
  • Void (Necrurge) - necrotic; Vacuan

Elemental Resilience [Draconic Resilience]

Parts of your skin are covered by a thin sheen of elemental matter.

Elemental Affinity

This ability is unchanged, except that it applies to the damage types listed above.

Elemental Limbs [Dragon Wings]

You gain the ability to manifest elemental limbs which grant you an alternate movement speed equal to your current speed.  Limbs and movement type are determined by elemental nature:
  • Aether/Light - aetheric wings (flight)
  • Earth - earthen tentacles (burrow)
  • Air - wispy wings (flight)
  • Fire - fiery wings (flight)
  • Water - watery fins (swim)
  • Void/Shadow - shadowy legs (climb)

Elemental Presence [Draconic Presence]

This ability is unchanged.


Additional Sorcerous Origins

Additional sorcerous origins are highly uncommon, or even unheard of, in Monvesia.
  • Bloodline Sorcery (DMs Guild) - Among the shamanistic practices of rakasta is the mastery of life spark energies--the magic of the departing spirit. Bloodline Sorerers are counted among that race'sshamans (alongside druids), though members of other races who learn to manipulate life sparks do so independently of the rakasta spiritual tradition.
  • Favored Soul (Unearthed Arcana) - Favored souls first emerged as the chosen servants and champions of the rakastan Great Spirits, dwarven paragons, or human arch-saints. To be called on by the ascended inhabitants of the outer dominions is very rare indeed--but it may herald a new age of theology.  Favored souls of paragons or archsaints will typically have access to the same domains as clerics; favored sould of great spirits have acccess to the follwing domains:
    • Spirits of Light (sun, moon, stars, ancestors) - Light or Knowledge domain
    • Spirits of the Sky (wind, rain, tricksters) - Tempest or Trickery domain
    • Spirits of the Land (soil, trees, stone, psychopomps) - Nature or Death domain
  • Shadow Sorcery (Unearthed Arcana) - Unavailble in Monvesia.  In the world of Monvesia, planar sorcery is tied to the Elemental Nature revision of the Draconic Ancestor origin (above). 
  • Storm Sorcery (Sword Coast or Unearthed Arcana) - The first storm sorcerers were goliaths who guided the barges of their people from Desolation to Monvesia.  Sorerers with this origin can still be found among goliaths as well as any natives of Notopoli or Voztok.
  • Wild Magic (Player's Handbook) - Unavailble in Monvesia.  In the world of Monvesia, the magic of chaos is inseparable from the magic of fire; this type of wild mage is both redundant and inappropriate.

Warlock

The following otherworldly patrons are available to warlocks of Monvesia:

Great Old Ones:  HMDJVNW (ancient Human & Goliath)

The worship of HMDJVNW (commonly pronouned "am-DIV-new," though rarely spoken aloud [if fear of the word's power]) is an ancient human and goliath tradition that preceded the establishment of the Cult of Human Perseverance (and later the Temperamental Philosophies). Small pockets of the cult may still practice in secret. Worship of HMDJVNW, though traditionally human, is rare for all races.  There is rumor that the cult may have re-emerged in Veldistan or even Voztok.
  • DNXHINTN the Darkness 
  • ENSHZRYD the Profundity 
  • FVINQRX the Nothingness 
  • JXTHALOTH the Stillness 
  • NKNTHRAUL the Disquietude 
  • MYRQNL the Concealment 
  • ZDRANYCH the Endlessness

Archfey:  Seelie & Unseelie Courts (Elves)

While the elves practice an ancient, druidic tradition, they also worship five, living "gods"--the most ancient and noble fey who comprise the seelie and unseelie courts.
  • Äiti the All-Mother (seelie queen)
  • Neito the Forest Maiden (seelie princess)
  • Noitia the Witch Queen (unseelie queen)
  • Sarvipäinen the Horned King (unseelie king)
  • Vihreät the Green Man. (seelie king)

Additional Otherworldly Patrons

Additional otherworldy patrons are highly uncommon, or even unheard of, in Monvesia.
  • Fiend (Player's Handbook) - Unavailable in Monvesia.  Monvesian warlocks do not make pacts with the denizens of the outer domains of the Spheres.  Those which seek out these being typically awaken a sorcerous talent long before a pact can be solidified.
  • Undying (Sword Coast)  - There is but one known (or at least suspected) undying being in Monvesia--the Tsar of the East.  While the independence of Volka has shed some suspicion of the continued survival of the Tsar, the rise of warlocks in the East with power over death causes those rumors to be questioned by some.  Perhaps the Tsar himself was but a servant of a greater, undying force which now seeks new thralls.
  • Undying Light (Unearthed Arcana) - Unavailable in Monvesia.  Monvesian warlocks do not make pacts with the Spheres themselves.  Those which seek out these powers awaken  sorcerous talent instead.

Wizard

Wizards from the majority of Monvesia follow the traditional schools of magic, while those with a close connection to dwarven culture may instead study the way of the Artificer.

Schools of Magic / Specialist Wizards

While the use of magic is not expressly forbidden in the majority of the Senarian Empire, it is not exactly encouraged either. Most wizards in that part of the world study under private masters, supplementing the study of magic with a more socially accepted vocation—alchemy, herbalism, astrology, etc.

In the Kingdom of Montaigne and areas influenced by Montaignese culture (including the Imperial regions of Waschbar and Zyrndy), magic users are encouraged to study at academies during their apprenticeship. Certain academies have even risen to prominence, with aspirants fighting for acceptance; the most prestigious academy is at Lorrace in Montaigne.

In Waschbar and Zyrndy, where the sensibilities of the Empire need catering, academies are built in tandem with monasteries. Commonly, these monasteries are of dynamist or idealist orders—with the wizards under the watchful eye of the Avengers or Sentinels who defend the monastery.

At least one incident is widely spoken of—though rarely with correct reference as to location—when the Sentinels (or was it Avengers?) of the monastery took it upon themselves to “cleanse” the academy by slaughtering all of the wizards therein. This is an uncommon occurrence, and the motivations for doing so are likely extreme and without firm precedent.

In the Hindland, the practice of magic had been forbidden by the Divine Order of the Rose and Shield (a strictly materialist order).  This order did not disband with the destruction of the Hindland, but instead became the new state religion of Gierland after that nation severed its ties with the Empire.  Today, wizards in Gierland are not expressly outlawed, but are subject to severe prejudice and harassment.

Elsewhere in Monvesia, wizards can learn their craft using either or both of mentorship and academy models. Academies and private tutors are scattered throughout the world. A prestigious academy in the Honderreich is the Tower at Vastfurt, which is under the protection of an order of avengers.
(see Crusaders, above).

Wizards are commonly associated (by humans) with the philosophical temperaments according to their school of study. This associations does not require wizards to follow any particular alignment, however. 
  • Abjuration: Heiromancer (White Wizard) 
  • Conjuration: Lithomancer (Golden Wizard) 
  • Divination: Hydromancer (Green Wizard) 
  • Enchantment: Aeromancer (Blue Wizard) 
  • Evocation: Pyromancer (Red Wizard) 
  • Illusion: Aeromancer (Blue Wizard) 
  • Necromancy: Necromancer [duh] (Black Wizard) 
  • Transmutation: Lithomancer (Golden Wizard)

Artificer

Full details for the Artificer arcane tradition can be found in the Eberron installment of Unearthed Arcana
Next to the Bard, the Artificer is the only other arcane profession recognized by the dwarves.  To this day, it continues to be most common among dwarves and gnomes--though the ways of the Artificer can be learned by any race at Wizard academies in the Honderreich and Voztok.

Blood Magic

The most feared form of magic is that which is fueled by the arcanist's own body--for a wizard who draws on his own life force for power will stop at nothing to accomplish their goals. It is the Blood Magic arcane tradition which is a "sin" in the majority of the known world--shunned by the Universalist and Metropolitan orders. The origins of this arcane tradition are unknown, and its practice is rare.
There are two forms of this arcane tradition presented by Joshu Raynack at the DMs Guild--the original, which was the one spotlighted in Unearthed Arcana ("Version 1"); as well as the author's revision ("Version 2"). Conceptually, I prefer "Version 1," which requires a wizard to spend hit dice in order to activate blood magic abilities; and this is the version I will allow in Monvesia. I, of course, reserve the right to switch to "Version 2" if, as the author suggests, "Version 1" proves to be overpowered in too many situations.

Edited August 28th, 2015; November 5th, 2015; November 16th, 2015; July 2nd, 2016.

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