Atlas Rules Resources Adventures Stories FAQ Search Links
The Alphatian Artsby John Calvin
Alphatians have always been very particular about their magical arts. During the dawn of the empire on faraway, and now long destroyed, Alphatia, the Alphatians argued and fought over which of the Arts is the most powerful.
Although the Alphatian Arts are not secretive, as the Glantrian Crafts are, the wizards who practice them have taken steps to insure that only followers of an Art may utilise its powers to the fullest. One of the steps that they have taken is the Bonding. Each of the Arts have their own unique rituals and magical items that they use in the Bonding process. A Bonded individual can avoid all, or most, of the harmful side effects which may accompany casting a particular spell (details are provided in the spell description).
Bonding is a painful process which results in the loss of 4 hit points permanently. Individuals may choose to be Bonded by another Art after their first Bonding, but only one Bond can ever be in effect. Those who Bond again do not regain hit points lost in previous rituals, and will loose an additional 4 hit points for a new Bonding.
This sect of the ancient Followers of the Air, focuses their talents on raw and untamed wind magics. Their philosophy is in direct conflict with that of the Mages of the Wing.
The Bonding ritual of Zypher Mages involves the incorporation of a small, 1 hit dice, air elemental into the body of the mage. This gives the mage the ability to lightly shift the air around his personal body. This ability requires little concentration, and can be done at will constantly throughout the day.
Zypher Mages always look slightly dishevelled. Their hair is uncombed, and their garments are tousled, as if they have been blown about by a strong wind.
Level : 2
Range : 50' per level of the caster
Duration : 1 turn
Effect : Carries distant sounds to the caster on the wind.
This spell can only be cast where there is a breeze. Once cast, the mage can hear distant sounds as if they were made right next to him. The sounds are carried to the mage by the wind, and therefore only sounds that are up wind can be heard. All sounds that are up wind of the caster are heard with an equal intensity once they reach him. It may be difficult for the caster to distinguish which sounds were made where, and by whom. Sounds that are down wind will never reach the caster.
The sound does not reach the caster immediately. It travels at the speed of the wind carrying it.
Bonded Zypher mages can easily separate out the sounds that they receive using this spell. With concentration they can also allow others in their near vicinity to hear the sounds as well.
Level : 2
Range : 50' per level of the caster
Duration : 1 turn
Effect : Sends sounds made by the caster to distant places.
This spell can only be cast where there is a breeze. Once cast, the mage can send his voice , or other sounds, in the direction of the wind. Anyone along the path of the breeze will hear the sounds as if they were made right next to him. The full sound is carried until the breeze stops, or has reached the maximum distance of the spell.
The sound does not reach its targets immediately. It travels only as fast as the wind carrying it.
Bonded Zypher mages can vary the intensity of the sounds as they travel through the wind. They could thus enable one individual to hear the sounds, while preventing another individual down wind from hearing them.
Conjure Friendly Elemental
Level : 3
Range : 0
Duration : 3 rounds + 1 round per every 2 levels of the caster
Effect : Summons a friendly air elemental.
This spell summons a small, friendly air elemental. The elemental is 2 + 1d4 hit dice strong. It can be given simple commands, and will follow them to the best of its abilities.
Bonded Zypher Mages need not maintain concentration to keep the elemental under control. They may move freely, cast other spells, and even engage in combat without any ill effects.
Mages of the Wing
This sect of the ancient Followers of the Air, focuses their talents on harnessing the power of air magics. They most often do this by using some device as an object to channel their powers through. Their philosophy is in direct conflict with that of the Zypher Mages.
The Bonding ritual of the Mages of the Wing requires that the Bonded mage create a minor artifact capable of containing a small 1 hit dice air elemental. The mage then uses a portion of his own life force to merge the item and the air elemental together. The mage must have this item on his person to receive the benefits of his Bonding. If the item is ever lost, then the mage must perform another Bonding ritual or loose all of the benefits of his order.
Mages of the Wing are a fastidious lot, and are always very presentable. Their clothes flap and wave in the breeze, but are never dishevelled. Their hair is neatly trimmed and always in place.
Minor Enchantment of Wings
Level : 2
Range : touch
Duration : 2 rounds + 1 round per every 2 levels of the caster
Effect : Enchant a minor object with the ability to fly.
With this spell the caster enchants a minor, non-magical, object weighing less that 20 coins with the ability to fly. The object will move around on it's own, behaving as a small bird might. When left unattended, the object may become erratic and move to hinder or attack the caster or anyone else in its path. Attacks made by a non-weapon object cause 1 hit point of damage. Those made by enchanted weapons can do up to half of their maximum normal damage.
Bonded Mages of the Wing can control the object with continuous concentration. Concentration can be regained if it is lost with no ill effects.
Major Enchantment of Wings
Level : 3
Range : touch
Duration : 1 turn
Effect : Enchant an object with the ability to fly.
This spell actually summons an air elemental and binds it to a target object. The object then gains all of the elemental's movement and attack statistics, but maintains its own hit points and saving throws. The object can weigh between 20 and 100 coins. It will do the caster's bidding as long as constant concentration is kept on it. If the mage looses his concentration the object will turn on him and attack.
Bonded Mages of the Wing need not maintain their concentration on the elemental. Their control over the object is not complete however. They must issue verbal commands to the object, which it will obey to the best of its abilities. Many Mages of the Wing keep an object on their persons, designed especially for this spell.
Level : 5
Range : 0
Duration : permanent
Effect : Create a construct in the form of a bird.
This spell is the culmination of much research and preparation. The mage must first design and construct a clockwork bird from scratch. The components for the bird should cost no less that 10,000 gp and may be the object of several quests. Once the bird is constructed, the mage must prepare it for enchantment. Preparation takes two weeks of uninterrupted time. At the end of that time the enchantment is cast.
The clockwork bird is imbued with the life force of an air elemental, and becomes the mage's familiar. The bird will perform any task that is asked of it, to the best of its abilities. With concentration, the mage can contact the bird, see what it sees, and hear what it hears. The mage does not control the bird directly, but only gives commands that the bird will follow. Creation of the clockwork bird requires that the mage expend, and loose, 4 of his own hit points permanently.
Bonded Mages of the Wing can incorporate their Bonding artifact into their clockwork bird, thereby bypassing the expenditure of 4 of their own hit points (as that expenditure has already been made). The bird then not only become their familiar, but also the focus for all spells of their Art.
Walkers of Starlight Threads
This Art is a fairly recent addition to Alphatia. It was founded by a group of Planar Spiders in Limn. The Spiders and their followers are mostly zookeepers at the Living Bestiary in Trollhattan. Many of them use their considerable skills in the creation of extradimensional habitats for the creatures in the Bestiary.
The Walkers of Starlight Threads are in opposition to no other Alphatian Art. They are a mysterious, rather than secretive group. They are masters of the planes, and extra-dimensional spaces. Each member has a 5000gp diamond embedded somewhere on their body, as part of the Bonding process. The gem is a focus for all of their spells, and so can not be hidden. Most often it is placed on the head or on one of the hands.
Level : 2
Range : 0
Duration : 1 turn per level of the caster
Effect : Creates a small dimensional pocket
This spell weaves a small dimensional pocket capable of holding up to 50 cn of material. The pocket is visible only to those who can see into the Ethereal Plane, or are employing some kind of magical sight such as True Sight. Upon casting this spell, the mage must attach the pocket to some item that exists in the Prime Plane. Once attached the pocket can not be removed, although it can be opened and closed by someone who can detect it. The Pocket does not weigh anything.
Materials can be placed into and removed from the pocket for the duration of the spell. Any materials that are inside of the pocket when the spell duration ends however, are dumped into the Ethereal Plane.
Bonded Walkers can prevent the pocket from depositing its contents on the Ethereal when the spell ends, and can instead have it return the contents to the Prime. The Walker can choose which one of these events will take place, at will anytime throughout the duration of the spell.
Level : 4
Range : Inner planes
Duration : Instantaneous
Effect : Creates a path from one of the inner planes to another
This spell creates a path from one inner plane to another. The caster must be familiar with both planes for this spell to work. When cast, the spell pulls the caster, and only the caster, into a pocket universe. The universe consists of two doorways connected together by a single, thick web strand. The caster appears on the web strand next to the doorway leading to where he came from, and must traverse the strand to reach the doorway leading to the other inner plane.
The thread between the doorways is of variable length depending upon the distance of the two planes from one another. Non Walkers who try to traverse the web strand do so at great risk to their lives. Although the strand will never break, its consistency changes along its length, with some parts being stickier than others. The emptiness beneath the strand is endless and someone who fell from one would never hit the bottom. Bonded Walkers have no problem at all of staying on the strand, and in fact treat it as having the centre of gravity in the pocket universe, which means that they can walk just as easily along the bottom of the strand as along the top.
Zentholo's Nowhere Habitat
Level : 6
Range : 10 square feet per level of the caster
Duration : 1 day
Effect : Creates and attaches a small plane to the Prime Plane
This spell creates and attaches a small plane to an area of the Prime Plane. The new plane has all of the general characteristics of the surrounding area in the Prime, and is virtually indistinguishable from it. For every 10 square feet of the Prime that is enchanted, 20 square feet are created in the pocket plane. The casting mage determines the exact dimension of the new space, but it cannot exceed the maximum amount of space created by the spell.
Anything that remains in the habitat after the spell's duration has expired, vanishes and is lost forever. Bonded Walkers can avoid this side effect. If still in the extra-planar space after the spell ends, they are deposited harmlessly on the Prime Plane.
Several Bonded Walkers can work in unison to make this spell's effects permanent. In this case, three mages are required for every 10 square feet of enchantment. They must spend one full week of uninterrupted time studying the area before the spell is cast, as well as spending 5,000 gp (per 10 square feet) on components (mostly precious gems) with which to prepare the spell.
This sect of the ancient Followers of Earth focuses their time and energy into perfecting spells which unleash the powers of Earth in its raw form. Their philosophy is in direct opposition to that of the Cathedralists.
Citadel's lowest level is the power base for the Geomancers. It is a vast, cavern-like expanse, created totally by their magics. All of the structures and dwellings have a natural look, with towering stalagmites reaching up to meet great stalactites hanging from the ceilings.
This sect of the ancient Followers of Earth focuses their efforts toward perfecting spells which utilise and channel the powers of Earth in a very orderly fashion. Their philosophy is in direct opposition to that of the Geomancers.
The Cathedralists have their main power base in the top two levels of Citadel, Bettellyn's capital city. They have used their skills to make the top two levels of Citadel into one giant, and totally enclosed, city. Cathedralists are experts at carving and shaping stones for building materials. Many are also proficient stone artisans, and carve many statues.
Brothers of the Moon
This Art was in existence long before the Alphatians made landfall on Mystara. It was created by ancient Thothian wizard-priests. Long ago the Thothian wizards, who were masters of animal magics, discovered that Mystara's moon had severe effects on their powers. They tried to harness the moon's power, and use it augment their own. The wizards performed many rituals designed to do just that, with utter failure, until finally one fateful day many centuries ago, the first Bonding was achieved.
The wizards sacrificed a part of their own life essence in order to tap into the resources that the moon provided. The resulting effects of that ritual greatly augmented their magical powers.
Brothers of the Moon are practitioners of the most feared and misunderstood of the Alphatian Arts. For this reason they maintain an air of secrecy about themselves.