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Callarii/Vyalia shared spells

by Carl Quaif

Here is a second batch of spells especially for the Callarii and Vyalia Elves. This time, it's concerned with spells both groups know in one form or another. As ever, comments and criticisms (if they're not too personal...;-) are welcomed.

Callarii/Vyalia spells:

The following spells are known jointly by the Callarii and Vyalia Elves. Some are different in minor details; usually, only the name has changed, in which case the Callarii name is written first, followed by the Vyalia equivalent.

Level: 1
Range: touch
Duration: 1d6+6 turns
Effect: translates target's voice into birdsong This spell causes the voice of the recipient to be translated into bird calls for the duration of the spell. All those under the spell effect, however, are able to understand each other as if they were speaking normally.

The spell was designed to allow those affected to communicate without others understanding the conversation; it is particularly useful for scouts in wooded areas, since intruders will hear nothing but the calls of birds. Since the spell is 1st level, even the lowest-level Elven scout can cast it - in the Vyalia clans, it is the first spell taught to any prospective scout. With experience, the caster can choose the birdcalls to be emulated; many scouts have "signature" bird-voices. Some scouts may even take a use-name based on their Birdcall voice, such as the female scout Magpie of Greenheight.

The Vyalia commonly employ their version of the spell for secret communication; they have also found it useful to heighten the mystery surrounding their forests, as lone intruders may emerge with voices transformed into the croak of a raven or the trill of a robin. The Callarii, in addition to the uses outlined above, have used Birdsong to develop a new art form, with talented minstrels writing and singing beautiful melodies especially designed to take advantage of the spell effect. The Callarii sense of humour occasionally results in the spell being employed for a mild practical joke on outsiders. Note: the spell cannot be used to prevent enemy spellcasters from using magic, since they may still speak; although the sound is altered, the spell is cast as normal.

Tracing Beast/Woodland Spy
Level: 3
Range: 10'
Duration: 1 hour
Effect: creates clairvoyant link to 1 animal
This idiosyncratic version of the Clairvoyance spell is used by the forest Elves to keep track of interlopers and strangers in the Elvish homelands. The spell allows the casting Elf to see through the eyes of one particular animal for the next hour, enabling the Elf to trace her target for the next hour without being seen. The spell grants no control over the linked animal; some other magic must be used for that purpose, or the Elf must spend weeks or months training the creature (requiring the Animal Training skill) to follow a person marked with a particular scent - most users of this spell carry small blowpipes which shoot a scent-soaked ball at the target, unobtrusively marking them with the necessary odour.

The effective range of the link is 300' for the Tracing Beast spell, or 400' for the Woodland Spy - although the Callarii developed the spell first, the Vyalia have managed to improve on it in the last 50 years of use. Should the beast and caster be separated by greater distance than the spell's limit, the enchantment is broken.

The Callarii use Tracing Beast mostly to track unknown intruders so that they may direct them gently away from centres of population, or ensure they do not blunder into danger because of their ignorance. The Vyalia employ Woodland Spy to help them in driving invaders out of the forest, or into traps. Favoured beasts used by the Callarii include squirrels, thrushes, and rabbits (for open areas). The Vyalia prefer foxes, otters and (if they wish to make the intruders nervous) wolves.

Leafy Haven/Greenwalls
Level: 4
Range: 10'
Duration: 12 hours, or see below
Effect: 10'x10'x10' cube
This spell provides a safe haven for travelling Elves in unfamiliar woodlands. Upon casting, all plants within the area of effect around the caster animate and move away to the edge of the spell's range, where they interweave with each other, forming dense walls and a ceiling over the denuded area. The outside of the cube is disguised by the spell, so that its artificial nature is not readily apparent (roll 1 on 1d6 to spot the structure; 1-2 on 1d6 if searchers are specifically looking for it); any creature which tries to enter from the outside will be gently resisted. The Leafy Haven can take up to 25hp before disintegrating, and regenerates 1hp/round (not including fire or acid damage). The Haven dissolves back into its original configuration when the spell expires, when the caster wishes it, or upon destruction. If the caster wishes, gaps can be left in the walls or ceiling (arrow-slits in the walls, for instance, or a smoke-hole in the roof).

Level: 5
Range: caster
Duration: 1d4+2 Turns
Effect: allows spiritual merge with trees
This spell is reserved for the Treekeepers of the Callarii and Vyalia, and their assistants. The spell allows the caster to link his spirit with a chosen tree, merging with it on a fundamental level. The caster becomes aware of the vegetable "consciousness" of the tree, and can sense the presence and nature of any "blackness" in its aura (decay, damage, poison etc). The Keeper can use this gestalt of spirit to range out over the forest, touching all other trees of the same genus within range (an oak-gestalt, for instance, allows the caster to touch only oak-trees in range). The spell allows the Treekeeper a range of 500 yards radius/level of caster; therefore, to scan an entire forest will require many days of travelling.

The Treesense spell is used to detect corruption and sickness within the forest, hopefully with sufficient warning to cure or limit the infection. Until recently, the Treekeeper would make a Grand Procession once every ten years, casting the spell in different areas in order to scan the entire forest; since the corruption of the Canolbarth Forest by the Shadow Elves, however, the spell is employed at least once a year - more often, if possible - - to ensure the same transformation does not occur in Karameikos or Thyatis.

The spell may also be used to enable the Treekeeper to achieve communion with the Tree of Life itself; since the Tree is sentient, this is a much more equal and satisfying gestalt. Every new Treekeeper must cast this spell as part of his investiture, to allow the Tree of Life to recognise and become accustomed to his aura (and also, potentially, to allow the Tree to veto the new Treekeeper, although this has happened only once in living memory). If the Treekeepers of "mother" and "daughter" Trees (or "sisters" from the same "mother") both link to their respective Trees at the same time, they may communicate telepathically with each other for the duration of the spell.