Magick

A Quick Overview of Magick

Magick is the application of a dynamic reality on the static reality of the world. Static reality doesn't like magick, as it often causes paradox. Limited spell durations, casting costs, and the price of magick are the results of static reality's attempts to thwart magick. One major rule about static reality: it concedes the destruction of anything, the creation of nothing.

For magick to be possible three factors have to be present: there has to be a body of knowledge that professes an alternate view of reality (a magic system), the caster has to be "awakened" to the realization that reality is fluid (most mages are trained early or possess a "gift" allowing them to utilize magick), and the caster has to be trained in the body of knowledge and its practical applications (spells). This applies to divine as well as arcane magick.

Everything in existance is made of a Pattern that describes its interaction with other Patterns. These Patterns form matter, energy, and the spiritual. Quintessance is what fills a Pattern and makes it real. Living Patterns differ from unliving Patterns in that quintessance flows through living Patterns, while it is simply stored in non-living Patterns.

Mages are able to construct Patterns in astral space, fill them with quintessance, and thereby alter reality (cast spells). Astral space coexists and overlaps normal reality, as well as expanding to infinite worlds and other planes of existance. It is the tabula rosa on which all of reality is written. In close astral space, also known as the Etheric, material objects exist as auras and patterns. Living objects are solid, while many (though not all) non-living objects are intangible. The earth itself is a living object (or at least so old as to be fully imprinted on the etheric), therefore it is impossible to pass through "living stone", an important reason for the abandonment of the surface world during the Scourges.

People are not normally aware of what transpires in the etheric around them. This protects them from creatures and attacks directed at them from the etheric. Casting a spell requires the caster to become "astrally active", which makes them vulnerable to the etheric just as if they were present on that plane. Since many Horrors operate on the Etheric, this is a Bad Thing.

During the initial Scourge, many mages attempted to use their magicks to combat the Horrors. Many of these mages fell to the psychic assaults of the Horrors, since they were not prepared for them when they opened themselves up to the attacks by casting. The survivors sought ways to shield themselves from the psychic assaults spell casting made them vulnerable to. One trick that was learned was encoding magic into existing Patterns to shield the mage from the etheric. Thus, were many magic item designs discovered, but all at a cost in time and magick power (experience). Another trick discovered was that of casting magic from a grimoire (spell book) to shield the caster. This worked due to the spell's own Pattern being inscribed in the book, somewhat like a scroll, but re-usable. The only problem with book-casting is lugging the books around and the extra time involved. Ultimately, the idea of a pre-formed spell-pattern from a spell book paved the way whereby a "matrix" could be formed inside the Pattern of the mage himself. This matrix could contain the pattern of a spell indefinatly as well as be changed, and both shielded the caster from the etheric and dampened the "astral flare" casting a spell causes. Making these matrices required years of study and practice, and took away from time spent expanding a mage's power. This is why Wizards (matrix casters) cannot cast as many spells per day as a Sorcerer (raw magic caster).

Wizards receive a number of matrices of each spell level as they gain levels. Wizards attune a matrix using the standard memorization rules. Thereafter, that matrix holds the Pattern for that spell. The Wizard has but to channel his power into the stored pattern to activate the spell. Since the Pattern is woven already, there is no need to become astral active. Once attuned to a given spell Pattern, the matrix holds that Pattern until the Wizard changes it, allowing the Wizard to cast that same spell over and over until he runs out of power.

Book casting is still used, by Sorcerer and Wizard alike, to augment flexibility when time isn't of the essence. Only Wizards can cast using matrices, though certain magic items exist that allow storage of a spell Pattern, and sorcerers are able to use these items. Raw magic casting is available for both Wizards and Sorcerers, though most Wizard schools leave out this possiblity in formal training as being too dangerous.

A Brief Discourse on the History of Magick

Prior to the First Scourge, most arcane magic-users were Sorcerers, natural casters of magic who were in-tune with astral space. With the Scourge came the Horrors who feed on the psychic energies of their prey, humanity. When the Sorcerers tried to defend themselves and their nations, many fell prey to the Horrors attacks, since casters of raw magick like the Sorcerers are extremely vulnerable to astral attack. Those Sorcerers that survived the initial attacks, either through luck or raw power, quickly developed alternative methods to cast spells. They found that imbedding the spell pattern within the pattern of a specially prepared object shielded the spell-caster from direct astral attack and it shielded the emanations of the spell casting process. These Archmages, armed with their Spell Pattern Items, were instrumental in the survival of humanity.

After continued research, a way was found to create a spell matrix within the Pattern of the caster himself, obliviating the need for Spell Pattern Items. Thus were born Wizards.

The process and training needed to become a Wizard is long and ardous, consuming the majority of a Wizards training time and magick power. Compared to a Sorcerer, a Wizard has sacrificed much of his raw power and flexibility for safety. However, Wizardry is not the only manner of safely casting spells, other methods have been found in the millennia since the first Scourge. Most of these methods are not as powerful as Wizardry, but offer other advantages such as less training time or more flexibility.

Demographics of Magick- and Psionic-use

Perhaps one in every hundred people has the ability and opportunity to learn and study magick. Of those people only a small percentage have more than a limited ability and aptitude. Most practioners of magick don't receive formal training in Wizardry, but instead receive the teachings of local magic-users, such as from a Witch or Hedge-mage. That is, except in Thera, where magick-use is very common and actively encouraged.

Anyone showing an aptitude for magic is almost always shown how to direct those talents at an early age. Individuals who fall through the cracks may end up Sorcerers, a very dangerous proposition for the Sorcerer and everyone around him. Few Sorcerers live past level 3, unless lucky or protected, and when possible, they are instructed in Wizardry for everyone's safety.

Very few openly known and organized centers of learning Psionics exist in the Seven Kingdoms or any of its neighboring countries. Thera is one of the few countries to encourage and promote psionic usage. Thera's psionic use approaches that of most countries magick using population, 1 in 100. Most other places see perhaps 1 in 500 actually receive the training their ability allows. The untapped potential of the untrained psion is often re-directed into psychic abilities like mediumship, fortune-telling, ESP, or the like. What little formal training that is available is done in an isolated monastary or by a secret society.

The following Charts shows general demographics, though the specifics can vary dramatically for every culture, depending on the importance placed on early training and discovery of young Talents.

% of Magick-using Population by Culture Magick-user Class # per 10,000 people
Seven Kingdoms 50% Witch, Hedge-mage, or other NPC Class 73
Thera 76 50 26% 49% Wizard 26 49 1% 1% Sorcerer 1 1
% of Psionic-using Population by Culture Psionic Class # per 50,000 people
Seven Kingdoms 85 70 Psionist 85 350 15 25 Psionic Warrior 15 125 less than 1% 5 Psionic Disciple 1 25
Thera

Training and Education of Wizards

Wizards tend to be formally trained by either a Master or in a school setting. There are several well known and very respected schools of magic known in the Seven Kingsoms and surrounding areas. Students are trained as apprentices till they reach level 1. Most apprenticeships begin at age 12, and certainly before 15, and last several years. The mental training and teaching of magic is not a light undertaking. From level 1 to levels 3 or 4 they are Journeymen. From level 4 or 5 to 8 they are considered Master Journeymen (or just Wizards). From level 9+ they are considered Master Wizards, while those able to cast level 9 spells receive the appelation of Arch-wizards.

Journeyman wizards are able to make a living making scrolls and casting spells, however, such activities generally fall under the common tradesman earnings. They can continue their training under their current master, hire themselves out, go into business for themselves, seek a new master, or take on a teacher's assistant role.

A Wizard can expect to earn considerably more money spell casting and creating magic items, generally a well-off living or better depending on Feats, skills, and spells. A Wizard is expected to leave his old master, be it a school or individual, and seek out a new master to train under. This promotes the exchange of knowledge and ideas, as well as spells. They may find a new master/school, where they often teach while they continue their own training; hire themselves out in whatever capacity they can find be it Court Wizard of a lesser noble or the town wizard of a small town or village; go into business for themselves; or take on apprentices/journeymen to train themselves.

A Master Wizard who isn't wealthy isn't trying. Master Wizards are hired as Court Mages, Town Wizards of cities, or to create a variety of powerful and eccelectic magic items. Master Wizards are often much sought after by established schools of magic and by apprentices if they are independent. Some have even founded their own schools.

Archmages are those rare individuals who have the ability to cast 9th level spells. It is a mark of prestige and such an individual is often at the center of power for nation. Archmages willing to give up their precious research time are often in charge of established schools of magic, if they don't found their own. Students flock to the individual for the chance to learn.

The Colleges of Magick in the Seven Kingdoms by Ranking

The Arcane Convocation

Location: “The Wizard Isle” in the kingdom of Melderyn

Headmaster: Archmage

This is the only real university of magick in the Seven Kingdoms, and only one of three in the western hemisphere of Arcallis. It is located in Melderyn and offers a full spectrum education in all the areas of magick.

Paths:

  • All

Students of this college receive one of, if not the, finest magical education in the known world. It includes many broad subjects, such as history and geography, and the theoretical aspects of magic.

The College of Fundemental Forces

Location: Kingdom of Aquitaine (Capital city of Aqualon)

Headmaster: Archmage

It is located in Aquataine and offers training in Air (Lightning, Mist, Sound), Earth (Lava Ooze), Fire (Lava, Lightning), Water (Acid, Mist, Ooze), and Psychic Powers. (Abjure, Hex, Charm,

Paths:

  • Illusion & Creation
  • Light & Darkness
  • Movement
  • Protection & Warding
  • Sound

This school considers itself the main competition to Melderyn. It is actually pretty decent, but lacks the breadth and depth available at the older school, and suffers from a certain secularism. Aquitaine youths receive priority in instruction and scholarships in an attempt to produce mages loyal to the nation.

The College of the Arcane Essence of Flame

Location: Kingdom of Aquitaine (City of Waterdeep)

Headmaster: Archmage

This school was founded as another attempt to break the hold of Melderyn. Unlike the College of Fundamental Forces, most of this school’s reputation is undeserved; its success in attracting students is based on the massive funding and advertising it receives and its strategic location in the city of Waterdeep. Many scholarships are available, primarily for Aquatainians. Wealthy students from across Anuire and even as far as the Sea of Tears study here as well.

It offers a curriculum in only Fire (Lava, Lightning).

Paths:

  • Fire
  • Light & Darkness
  • Movement

The College of the Four Winds

Location: Kingdom of Caldor (Carrick)

Headmaster: Archmage

This is a well run, no nonsense school of magick founded and run for the Kingdom of Caldor. Few foreigners or outsiders receive instruction here, with the exception of the elf and dwarf allies of the Kingdom. Its mages are well skilled and respected in the Arts; however, few new ideas originate here.

It teaches Air (Lightning, Mist, sound).

Paths:

  • Air
  • Illusion & Creation
  • Protection & Warding
  • Weather

The College of the Illustrious and Esoteric Element of Air

Location: Kingdom of Aquitaine

Headmaster: Master Wizard

This is a low key school sponsored by the elves. Its mages are well respected, but few outsiders are allowed to train here. Air magic is studied here.

Paths:

  • Air (Lightning, Mist, Sound)
  • Weather

The War College of Elemental Fire

Location: Kingdom of Kanday (eastern Kanday)

Headmaster: Master Wizard Shaitan

This college was founded in the last hundred years by an adventurer. It has produced quite a few flamboyant and powerful mages, mostly known for battle magick, which has inflated the school’s reputation. The school has a mercenary, open door policy with few scholarships available, but the school’s distant location limits its popularity.

Paths:

  • Fire (Lava, Lightning)
  • Protection & Warding

The College of the Arcane and Esoteric Nature of Water

Location: Kingdom of Furyundy (City of Ravensbluff)

Headmaster: Archmage

The majority of the students of this school are talent-less Furyundian nobles (the talented ones go elsewhere) and talented commoners. The school produces solid mages for the kingdom, but there is little prestige garnered from attendance.

Paths:

  • Water (Acid, Mist, Ooze)

The College of the Mysteries of Elemental Earth

Location: Kingdom of Valón (City of Vale)

Headmaster: Master Wizard

Once one of the older and better colleges in Anuire, it suffered some setbacks and negative publicity. Now those who can’t afford to go to a better college outside the kingdom attend classes here. Recently, the sad state of the education received here has reversed and now it is a small, solid school, with an aggressive curriculum and ties beyond Anuire.

Paths:

  • Earth (Lava, Ooze)
  • Making & Breaking

The College of the White Hand of Healing

Location: Kingdom of Valón (Tar Valón)

Headmaster: Master Wizard

This is the second oldest college of magick in Anuire, founded during the reign of Alec of Ambercand. It produces the finest healers, both magical and otherwise, in Anuire (not much else though). It is both a hospital and place to learn Wood (Life) and Psychic Healing.

Paths:

  • Body Control
  • Communication & Empathy
  • Healing
  • Mind Control

The College of the Etheric and Astral Influences

Location: Kingdom of Caldor (Ferrier)

Headmaster: Archmage

This school has a sinister and dark reputation as its curriculum includes the study of necromancy, demonology, and nethermancy. The school readily accepts anyone with the talent, money, or proclivities who applies. Death

Paths:

  • Communication & Empathy
  • Healing
  • Gate
  • Mind Control
  • Necromancy

The College of the Upper Airs

Location: Kingdom of Furyundy (far northwest)

Headmaster: Master Wizard

This out-of-the-way school is little known. Its mages are taught by invitation only and often only after they have received instruction elsewhere.

Paths:

  • Air (Lightning, Mist, sound)
  • Weather

Other Known Schools of Magick Specialty Location Quality Notes

The Invisible School of Thaumaturgy

Air, Water, Wood, Spirit, Psionics Havenor Rivals #1 above in its specialties.

The Great University Zakharan Sorcery and Genies

Huzuz, Zakhara 1st in specialty

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