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Thorn's Chronicle: Song, and Countersong

by Robert J. Nuttman, Jr.

Magic works much as it does for clerics: words and gestures need be spoken and signed in order to shape and release the power in the form of a spell.

Hennings and Crit, conducting research in the mountain vaults of Booh, found that the echo of an incantation, timed precisely, could negate the spell, sometimes with disastrous results![1] They also found that sound, channelled through certain types of crystal, would be greatly amplified, at times to greaten the effect of a spell[2]. In their explorations, they conducted many interviews with the gnomes and dwarves of the caverns beneath Booh, and found that the effects of echoes and crystals were already widely known amongst those kind. They were able to show, also, that two crystals of certain types, vibrating in concert, would blanket an entire cavern in silence[3] (thus dispelling the rumours that dwarves could sleep through dragon bellows and cave-ins)

In chronicling the few brief encounters they witnessed between Dwarves and the cave-dwelling boggarts, Hennings and Crit also were able to begin work on another branch of research. The dwarves, fighting in common phalanx formation, chanted as they advanced -- not so uncommon in military formations -- however, they had amongst them a clan priest, who bestowed a simple blessing upon them before they engaged in combat, and the dwarves' chant actually served to perpetuate the spell's effect until such a time as a number of dwarves fell in battle, and the chant faltered.[4]

Unfortunately, Hennings and Crit's experiments with dwarven voice and crystals failed to yield results under open sky.[5] They surmised that the caverns and tunnels themselves served as a sort of 'container' for the sounds and vibrations that otherwise would dissipate too widely in the open air.

Their research was picked up some years later by, of all people, the University Girl's Choir director Phineas Krill. It turned out, one of his students was a fledgling student of the College Magica, and in small group exercises, he asked the student to share a simple incantation to bring forth light with her peers. Turning the incantation to a harmonised chanty, Krill unlocked the secret that had eluded Hennings and Crit. The crystals adorning the eaves of the music hall glow to this day.

The College Magica, naturally, quashed Krill's research, and geased the student body of the musical branch not to speak of the effect to anybody.
Dubbed "Chained Harmonics" by Phineas Krill, the effects of multiple voices on a magical incantation can be many and varied. Of the more useful applications:

Extended range: For each voice in the rondeau, the range or area of effect is increased by 1/4.
Extended duration: For each voice in the rondeau, the duration is increased by the total of the participants' skill slots devoted to Singing. For example, a mage casting "Wall of Ice" with a choir of 4, each with a single slot devoted to Singing would be able to extend the spell an additional 4 turns.
Bolster caster level: For every 4 voices in the choir, the effective level of the spell caster is raised by 1 level, and all effects based on the level of the caster(range, damage, duration) use this increased number.

It is worth noting that spells can only be effected if they have a duration of one turn or longer. Also, a range cannot be extended if it relies on a touch.

1, 2, 3: Hennings & Crit, (2022 AUE) "Of Song and Silence," Blackmoor Journal Scientifica, pp. 3, 5, 77.
4, 5: Hennings & Crit. (2028 AUE) "Chanty and Rondeau and the Metered Effect on Magic," Blackmoor Journal Scientifica, pp. 34, 37