Monday, July 13, 2015

Mages of Monvesia

Mastery of the arcane arts can be achieved by strengthening one's connection to the Spheres of Power.  This can be apporached through formal study, through otherworldy pacts, or through acceptance of one's innate, temperamental connection.  Even some artisan s have learned to manipulate the arcane.

[Artificer]

[This space is reserved for the exploration of the Dwarven and Gnomish arcane tradition.  An early version of artifice was introduced as an option for wizards.  Until the full class is explored, this version may be used.]

Sorcerer

Sorcerers of Monvesia are possessed of an inborn connection to one of the Spheres.  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, sorcerers are seen as spirit mediums who have allowed themselves to become the vessels of lesser spirits.

  • Aether/Light (Hierurge) - Favored Soul (Unearthed Arcana)
  • Earth (Lithurge) - Stone (Unearthed Arcana)
  • Air (Aerurge) - Storm (Sword Coast)
  • Fire (Pyrurge) - Phoenix (Unearthed Arcana)
  • Water (Hydrurge) - Sea (Unearthed Arcana)
  • Void (Necrurge) - Shadow (Unearthed Arcana)
Additional sorcerous origins are highly uncommon, or even unheard of, in Monvesia.  The options in the Player's Handbook are actually unavailable.
  • Dragon Ancestor (Player's Handbook) - Unavailable to most Monvesian races.  Only the lizardfolk show a close enough affinity to dragons to demonstrate this sorcerous origin.  This connection is not one of direct ancestry, but is a vestige of that race's ancient religious tradition.
  • 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

While sorcerers have an innate command of one of the spheres in the world, warlocks seek out beings of the inner Spheres (or Far Realm) to bargain with for power:

  • Altruist / Morality - The Celestial (Unearthed Arcana) [formerly "Undying Light"]
  • Materialist / Matter - The Hexblade (Unearthed Arcana) [see below]
  • Idealist / Thought - The Seeker (Unearthed Arcana)
  • Vitalist / Energy - The Fiend (Player's Handbook)
  • Dynamist / Time - The Archfey (Player's Handbook)
  • Nihilist / Entropy - The Undying (Sword Coast)
Additional otherworldy patrons are highly uncommon, or even unheard of, in Monvesia.
  • Great Old One (Player's Handbook) - the first warlocks among humans and goliaths were those that followed the Great Old Ones that ruled Desolation.  Though these races fled the oppression of that world, some warlocks still seek out these ancient pacts.
  • Raven Queen (Unearthed Arcana) - Unavailable in Monvesia.  The Raven Queen is a not a being that is part of Monvesia lore.  Her equivalent would be a saint of the Sphere of Entropy.

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)

Hexblades: Mirrorblades

The Hexblade pact is thematically modified to match Monvesia's ethos:  You have made a pack with a powerful, sentient magic weapon forged from the stuff of the Mirror Plane.  These objects are forged by powerful, intelligent amalgams.

You are a Mirror Warrior who bestows Judgments.  It is your reflection that can split form you and transform into a hound of mirrors.
This pact option may only be a stand-in until a better one emerges--but it does give me the chance, for the moment, to explore the Mirror Plane and its materialist nature.

Wizard

Each race has its own way of approaching the study of the arcane arts.  While the human method is the most common, it is not the only available option.

Additional arcane traditions are highly uncommon, or even unheard of, in Monvesia.
  • Theurgy (Unearthed Arcana) - Though religion is a major aspect of the Monvesia setting, options for combining religion and magic that better fit the setting are already available for sorcers, warlocks, and clerics.

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)
Edited August 28, 2015; November 5, 2015; November 16, 2015; July 2, 2016; July 6, 2017; August 9, 2017.

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