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Alphatian Air Spells

by Carl Quaif

Here we go with another spell list. This one is a collection of ancient and (relatively) modern spells which form part of the lore held by the Followers of Air in Alphatia. Most of these spells (with the notable exception of Aeolian Net - see below) are not common knowledge in the Empire; Alphatian PCs might learn some of them if they apprentice to/defeat an Air Mage or two. Please use (and abuse) them as you see fit.

Airy Messenger
Level: 1
Range: special
Duration: special
Effect: summons minor Elemental
This simple spell was brought to Mystara by the Followers of the Air. Its origins are lost in the mists of time; the spell was commonly known in Old Alphatia. The spell conjures a simple Elemental intelligence from the Plane of Air, which manifests as a light breeze. The summoner may speak a message of no more than thirty words, all the while concentrating on the image of the recipient; once the message is complete, the Airy Messenger will fly unerringly to its target at a rate of 360' per round. The spell ends when the message is delivered, at which point the Airy Messenger returns to its home Plane. The Messenger can only be prevented from whispering its message to the recipient if that being is protected by a Protection from Evil/Good spell, is locked in an airtight container, or is on another plane, in which case it will return to the caster, give him the undelivered message, and disperse. The only limit to the Messenger's range is that it cannot cross an airless void, limiting it to one planet; in Old Alphatia, of course, a Messenger could travel across the entire solar system with ease.

Aeolian Net
Level: 2
Range: see below
Duration: special
Effect: slows fall of 1 individual
This spell was developed 50 years ago by Followers of Air serving in the Alphatian Skyship Navy, in particular the Arkan brothers Ermallen and Uboriam, respective Captains of the Skyships "Ar's Pride" and "Palartarkan". Having both lost good men and women overboard during missions, they convened a circle of Air Wizards to develop a low-level, indefinite-duration spell capable of saving a falling crewman from "spreading themselves across the landscape", as Ermallen delicately put it. The result was the Aeolian Net.

The spell may be cast on oneself or on another, conferred by touch. It lies dormant until called upon by the bearer, who speaks a command word (usually "net!" or "catch!") which causes an area of turbulent, updraft winds to manifest below her , roughly 20' above the ground. Once hit, these winds slow the speaker's fall, setting her down gently and without damage.

The spell is now in common use throughout the Alphatian Navy, with the magic-using crew members responsible for casting the spell on both themselves and their mundane crewmates. Most Skyship Captains set aside the few days immediately after the Day of Dread (which, of course, negates any untriggered Nets) to make sure that all crewmembers are safely protected by their own Nets.

NB: with minor alterations in the wording, an Aeolian Net can be triggered beneath someone other than the speaker; quite a few people falling from the tops of tall buildings have found themselves miraculously saved by sudden updrafts of air slowing their falls, particularly if there happens to be an Imperial Boltman or two nearby...

Broken Wings
Level: 3
Range: 120'
Duration: 1d6+6 Turns
Effect: 1 flying individual
This reversal of the ubiquitous Fly enchantment was created over 1000 years ago by the Alphatian Wizard Salonquar, a Research Mage and a Follower of the Air. The spell's original name was "The Supreme and Magnificent Mage Salonquar's Suppressing Enchantment 'Gainst All Creatures and Beings Inhabiting the Airy Regions" - Salonquar never used one word where twenty-five would do - but this name was dropped within a few years of the creator's death in favour of the current title.

The spell magically disrupts the flying abilities of any single creature within range, whether that ability is spell-caused, innate, natural (winged or otherwise), or the result of a magic item. The spell hits automatically (the target cannot evade it by fancy flying) but a Save vs. Spells is permitted to resist the spell. For the duration of the spell, the target cannot become airborne, even if a Fly or Levitation spell is cast upon them - the Broken Wings enchantment disrupts all such attempts. If this spell is cast at a creature in flight, that creature suffers normal falling damage when striking the ground, although winged victims may attempt to roll under their Dexterity to determine whether they can glide to a safe landing (no damage). Once the spell ends, any natural, innate, continuous or Permanence-affected flying abilities return; those which rely on non-permanent spells, charges from items, or potions do not regain the ability, even if the duration of the effect would outlast the Broken Wings. The only objects unaffected by this spell are technological or technomantic engines (such as Serraine or its Gnomish biplanes) or Air Elementals (who must instead make a Save vs. Death or be cast back to the Elemental Plane of Air). Gaseous Form creatures (potion or Vampire) are forcibly reverted to solid form by this spell.

Salonquar's original spell, it is believed, was stronger than the modern version, with greater range and duration; however, since this version was written in the Mage's own convoluted, extremely wordy style, it required an intelligence of 18 and a month's study to even understand it, let alone cast it.

Hamian's Cloud of Visions
Level: 3
Range: centred on caster
Duration: 2d6 + 8 rounds
Effect: 20'x20'x10' cloud
The Air Wizard Hamian, an illicit zzonga dealer, developed this spell 500 years ago as both a defence and as a means of gaining additional "clients". The spell requires a fresh (picked within 3 days) zzonga fruit, which is crushed in the caster's hand on completion of the spell. Glittering smoke then issues from the caster's fingers, filling an area measuring 20'x20'x10'. Everyone within the area of effect must make a Save vs. Spells or become dreamlike and passive, unable to attack, defend themselves, or do anything but sit with a vacant smile on their faces, until the spell ends; after that, each person makes a further Save vs. Spells each round to shake off the effects. The caster is immune to the effects of the cloud unless he chooses otherwise, and may leave the area of effect at any time - the Cloud does not move with the caster, once created.

The DM should make a secret roll vs. Constitution for each PC (or important NPC) affected by one of these spells; a failure means the unfortunate PC is afflicted with zzonga addiction, and proceeds to suffer the effects of withdrawal. If the caster of the spell is aware of this, they may approach the afflicted PC and offer them additional "fixes" of the fruit, thereby gaining a hold over the unfortunate PC. Each time the same individual is affected by this spell, they receive a +1 penalty to their Constitution roll.

Knowledge and use of this spell is illegal in Alphatia, but then so is zzonga-growing itself, yet that foul practice still survives. The spell is restricted to a tiny number of Followers of the Air, who tend to keep their knowledge secret from everyone save each other - and, of course, their poor addicted slaves.

Hyperborean Blast
Level: 4
Range: 50'
Duration: 2-4 rounds
Effect: blast of frigid air
This is a standard attack-spell used by Air Wizards, developed in the halcyon days of Old Alphatia before the war and used in many a Wizard's Duel. Originally called simply "Air Blast" (Alphatian creativity applies to devising spells, not naming them :-), its current name was coined by one Quaren of Aarogansa, an Explorer Wizard whose travels preceded those of Haldemar of Haaken by nearly 200 years - and whose arrogance in naming vast tracts of territory according to his own whim, rather than consulting the people who actually LIVED there, eventually resulted in both a wildly-incorrect world map (and you thought it was Thyatis' fault!) and the creation of a new delicacy named after him in the wild lands of Davania (Quaren Stroganoff, anyone?;-).

The spell creates a tiny portal to the Plane of Air, through which compressed blasts of icy-cold air are released. The Blast is a cone 50' long and 20' wide at its terminus, causing 4d6 damage per round to all within its area of effect. Airborne targets, and missile fire, are also blown away from the caster. Fire-based creatures take an additional 1d4+2 damage per round due to the extreme cold of the Blast. The caster can change the direction of the Blast once per round until the duration expires.

Vacuum Globe
Level: 6
Range: 120'
Duration: 6 rounds
Effect: 30' diameter globe
This unpleasant spell dates from the last days of the wars in Old Alphatia between Followers of Air and Fire, when greater and more terrible weapons were created almost daily. The spell creates a small glowing sphere in the caster's hand which fires off towards the chosen target. Upon striking its target, arriving at a point specified by the caster, or reaching the extent of its range, the sphere expands onto a 30' diameter, glowing translucent globe, with lightning skittering about its surface, which swallows anything within its range. Any air, or other gaseous substance, within the Globe is shunted to the Plane of Air, leaving pure vacuum behind. Living, organic beings within the Globe implode within 1-4 rounds, suffering at least 3d8 damage every round (if they survive to the 4th round, no matter how many hp remain, they die). Inorganic objects, unliving items, and creatures such as Golems are unaffected by this spell. At the end of the spell's duration, the Globe implodes with a "whump"-like sound, leaving the grisly remains of those slain in their former positions. Once formed, the Globe is utterly impenetrable from either side; only Dispel Magic, or some form of Anti-Magic, can disrupt the Globe. Apart from its death-dealing effects, the Vacuum Globe is useful for disrupting gaseous attacks (Stinking Cloud, Cloudkill, Hamian's Cloud of Visions) or gaseous beings (Air Elementals, Djinn in whirlwind form, Vampires in Gaseous Form - although the last two may Save vs. Spells at -2 to avoid dislocation, assuming solid form).

The Vacuum Globe was an early stage in the ultimate development of two of the most horrific disruption spells created during the war; Death Globe, a 9th-level variant, created a similar, but permanent globe with a 3000' diameter range, which was used to destroy life on some of the smaller planetoids and Flying Islands, whilst the 9th-level Vacuum Portal created a permanent breach in the Planar fabric, causing permanent damage to the Field of Air surrounding Old Alphatia's solar system (effectively, a non-growing Black Hole). Fortunately, both of these spells were lost, or abandoned, during the flight of the Alphatians to Mystara (unless the DM decides otherwise....>evil grin<).