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Selhomarrian Wizardry and Magic:by Geoff Gander
Arthanell the Magus, to his apprentice
"Thenamir, listen now, and listen well! I will say this only once to you - what you do with the knowledge I impart to you now is up to you. There are certain things we have learned during our time on this new world, since our Homecoming - the way magic works on this world, for instance, and the power that Xeron grants to His followers. While it is true that we have lost much of the magic we once had in Old Lhomarr; we have learned much since our arrival here."
Selhomarr is justifiably well-known for its powerful clerics and wise scholars, as well as its brave explorers, but few people are aware of the might of its wizards. Even before their coming to the Hollow World, the Lhomarrians and Ilarnnians had more than their share of legendary wizards, who researched spells now only dreamed of by many spellcasters of the Known World. Then, as now in Selhomarr, magic users were solitary figures, meeting only rarely to share news relating to their craft, choosing to spend much of their time in isolation.
Among Lhomarrians there are no schools of magic as such; those wishing to learn the craft must seek out a known spellcaster upon the completion of their Wandering, and make their case to him or her. If the mage deems to petitioner worthy, in terms of potential and attitude, then he or she will be made an apprentice. Most apprenticeships last until the young magic user reaches the 2nd level of experience, after which learning must be done on one's own. Even so, the period of apprenticeship itself is not easy; many wizards treat their apprentices as servants - having them clean their towers, buy essentials in the markets, and hunt in the wilderness for rare ingredients needed to make potions and other items. Always, however, the wizard will duly consider the task to be assigned before giving to the apprentice; a Lhomarrian wizard who sends his apprentices on highly dangerous tasks will soon become ill-regarded among his or her peers.
Among Ilarnnians, magecraft is far more structured. They believe that the magical arts should be treated as another academic discipline. As a result, Ilarnnian institutes of higher learning also incorporate basic magic theory and principles. Even if the student is pursuing philosophy or history, and has no potential for spellcasting, they will still be taught the basic principles of magic - how it works, the effects of mental discipline on spell effects, and so on. For those who have the potential to learn the art of spellcasting, they receive a formal education in it, and graduate as 2nd level magic users. Due to their more formal education, Ilarnnian spellcasters tend to regard their Lhomarrian counterparts as unrefined. Likewise, Lhomarrian wizards consider Ilarnnian mages to be overly arrogant, on top of being "glorified librarians". Despite this, however, no open conflict has arisen between the two groups; rather, there is a constant undercurrent of rivalry, to determine which spellcasters are the most powerful, inventive, and respected.
Regardless of where a Selhomarrian magic user learns the craft, all of them are accorded respect, primarily because of their powers. Few Selhomarrians actually know what their wizards do, but there is a general feeling that it must be important, and dangerous. Spellcasters have no social obligations, nor do they have a defined role in society, though they do serve as advisers to nobles on occasion, as they are generally regarded as highly educated. Though some wizards lend their skills to the defence of the empire, they do this of their own accord.
There is, in fact, only one restriction placed upon spellcasters in Selhomarr: any duel between two spellcasters within a settled region must be resolved within a duelling ring, upon punishment of exile for life, and revocation of the spellcaster's standing among his or her peers. There is, by law, one duelling ring, measuring exactly 20 feet across, present in every Selhomarrian city with a population greater than 30,000. It is engraved into the paving stones themselves, and is surrounded by softly-glowing runes of warding and protection. Once two wizards step within the ring, the runes glow brighter and an invisible field surrounds the combatants, which serves to shield passers-by and onlookers from any fallout from the duel. As a general rule, almost all duels last until one combatant submits, though death is not uncommon.
As mentioned above, duelling outside of a ring is a serious offence, one which results not only in exile for life; the offending spellcaster's standing among his or her colleagues is revoked. This means that the offender is no longer recognised as a true wizard, and his or her name is struck from all records, and no practicing spellcaster is permitted to mention the person in another wizard's company, upon penalty of censure. The offender's possessions must also be forfeited to other wizards if they are not removed from the empire. Finally, any exiled spellcaster who returns to the empire is considered "fair game" by his or her former colleagues. This penalty, known as "The Unnaming", is not written in any legal document; it is enforced by Selhomarrian spellcasters voluntarily. The government, not wishing to meddle in the affairs of wizards, turns a blind eye to this practice.
As with other cultures, the Selhomarrians have had to deal with the effects of the Hollow World on the laws of magic. Many of their old spells, now all but lost to the surface world, did not function in the new environment. As a result, some spells were created. As worshippers of Ixion, much of their magic is based on fire, light, and the power of the sun.
First Level Spells:
Effect: Causes extreme pain to anyone within range.
This spell allows the caster, through concentration, to inflict severe pain on an opponent. The opponents may make a Save vs. Spells each round to ignore the sensation. The pain itself causes no physical damage, though the person affected will have a penalty of +5 to his or her AC, as well as a further -5 penalty to all actions. The caster is also able to switch targets at the beginning of each round, though only one person at a time may be affected. If the caster is injured in any way, the spell fails.
Range: 0' (caster only)
Duration: 1 turn or until dispelled
Effect: Produces a beam of focused light.
This spell allows the caster to produce a beam of light from either of his or her hands, in the shape of a cone. It is the width of the caster's palm at the source, and gradually widens over its 50' length to a width of 20'. The light moves with the caster's hand, so he or she can shine it wherever desired. To turn off the light, the caster need only close his or her palm, though the spell may be terminated early by thought. If the light is shone directly into the eyes of an opponent, they are considered blinded for 1d4 rounds. This spell is also available as a first level clerical spell for Lhomarrian clerics of Xeron.
Effect: Produces a detailed map of an area 30'x30' on a piece of paper.
This spell allows the caster to create, on a blank sheet of paper, vellum, parchment, or any other pulp-based medium, a precise map of an area no bigger than 30' on a side. The caster must have at least walked around this entire area, or have otherwise been there before. Unknown areas may not be mapped in this way. What is produced by this spell is an exact overhead view of the area in question. Secret passages, traps, inclines, and other features are not shown.
Restore from Fire:
Effect: Restores burned non-magical items 5'x5'x5' or less to their original state.
This spell originated in Old Lhomarr, and was so simple, but so useful, that it soon became the staple of any starting mage's spellbook, next to read magic. Upon completing this spell, any one item measuring less than 5' cubed may be selected, and any burns on that item will be instantly removed, and the item restored to its original condition. Even a fragment of the item is sufficient, so long as it is more than 50% of the original item's size, and any other remains are available.
Second Level Spells:
Range: 0' (caster only)
Duration: 10 hours + 1 hour/level of caster
Effect: Tells the caster where his or her destination lies while at sea.
This spell was invented by Lhomarrian wizards during the first years after the Homecoming, after the older means of navigation by the stars and the position of the sun had proven themselves useless in the Hollow World. Upon casting this spell, the caster need only think about his or her destination, and its location in relation to his or her current position will become known. Impressions gained from this spell are vague, and the caster will only feel a certain "tugging" in the direction of the destination - as though he or she is being pulled there. In order for this spell to work, the caster must remain on deck for the duration of the spell. This spell only works at sea, and the caster must have visited the desired destination in question before, or at least have been given detailed instructions on how to reach it. Otherwise, this spell will not function.
Effect: Traps sunlight
The spell - devised thousands of years previously in Old Lhomarr, and later adapted for use in Selhomarr - stores the power of the Hollow World's eternal sun for later use. A small bronze hand-mirror - of the type often carried by adventurers - is required as a focus. Additionally, the spell may only be cast in the absence of any obstructions between the caster and the sun's light; large floating continents overhead cast enough of a shadow to inhibit this spell. The caster holds the mirror above their head while standing out in the sun, chanting the spell under their breath. For every 15 uninterrupted minutes of exposure, one "charge" of solar energy is stored in the mirror - a caster cannot store more dice worth of power (in charges) than he or she has levels.
At any time during the next 48 hours, the caster may hold the mirror before him- or herself, and recite the command word (chosen during casting); the mirror will belch forth a bolt of brilliant sunlight, which causes 1d6 hit points of damage per "charge" to one individual target. Vampires and their ilk take an additional two hit points of damage per die from the concentrated sunlight. For example, a bolt cast by a fourth level caster will do 4d6+8 damage to a vampire, and 4d6 damage to living things. The mirror is exhausted of Sun Trapped power after one bolt is fired - the caster cannot release part of the stored energy, reserving the rest for later. A target that is hit by this bolt may save vs. Spells for half damage; vampires and other undead still take two hit points of extra damage, even if they Save).
The same mirror may be used indefinitely as the spell focus, if desired. If it is broken, and this spell was cast by a cleric of Xeron, the stored power fades away harmlessly. If the caster was a magic user, the fractured mirror releases the power in a 10' diameter ball, centred on the mirror itself. Everyone within the area of effect takes damage as though they were the target of the spell. Sun trap is available as a second level spell to both clerics of Xeron and Selhomarrian magic users.
Wall of Smoke:
Duration: 1 hour + 1 turn/level of caster
Effect: Produces a wall of smoke up to 10'x10'x10'.
This spell allows the caster to create, up to 30' away, a wall of smoke measuring up to 10' cubed. The smoke ranges from light grey to black in colour, and is totally opaque. The smoke is not dense, but anyone passing through it must Save vs. Dragon Breath at a +3 penalty or spend the next 1d4 rounds (determined by the DM) coughing in order to clear his or her lungs. Should this happen, the person in question will not be able to do anything else for the duration. All attacks within the wall are made under the rules for blindness, and any projectiles thrown through the wall are treated as being blindly thrown, with appropriate penalties (anywhere from -4 to -6 would be a good range).
Third Level Spells:
Effect: Shoots a stream of acid at a selected target.
Devised by wizards loyal to Galhossian the Tyrant during the Lhomarrian Civil War, this spell was intended as a means of weakening even the strongest and most heavily-armoured fighters. The caster is able to shoot a stream of acid, which hits the target automatically and clings to him or her, doing 1d8 damage per round. The victim may Save vs. Dragon Breath for half damage, but will continue taking damage until the acid is nullified by immersion in water, which renders it inert. In addition to taking damage, the victim's clothing and armour are also affected - leather armour takes 3 rounds to dissolve, scale mail takes 4 rounds, chain mail takes 5 rounds, and so on - with every one point increase in armour class equalling an extra round before the armour becomes useless. For magical armour, add one round for every plus - i.e.: leather armour +1 takes 4 rounds to dissolve. Generally speaking, only evil wizards tend to use this spell, and some priests serving the Outer Beings have been known to cast it as well.
Aura of Fire:
Range: Caster, or one person within 10'
Duration: 1 turn
Effect: Creates ring of fire around recipient.
This spell has proven its effectiveness on the battlefield, when melee combat becomes necessary. Upon casting this spell the caster is able to creates a ring of fire around the recipient's body, that moves as he or she does. This fire does not harm the caster or any possessions carried, but will do 1d6 points of damage per round to anyone in contact with it. If cast on a warrior, then anyone damaged by him or her will take this fire damage in addition to the damage received from the weapon. Also, any flammable items touched by the fire have a 50% chance of igniting in that round. This spell is also available to Lhomarrian clerics of Xeron as a third level spell.
Range: Caster, or one person within 10'
Duration: 1 turn
Effect: Creates fiery armour around the recipient.
Recipients of this spell will find themselves encased in glowing, fiery armour that encases them totally. This armour renders the recipient impervious to all flame-based attacks (including the breath of a red dragon), but he or she will take double damage from cold- or water-based attacks. The armour confers an AC of 2, and has no weight. Anyone (apart from the recipient) who touches the armour takes 1d4 points of fire damage for that round, and any combustible items coming into contact with it have a 50% chance of igniting.
Gust of Wind:
Range: 20' + 10'/level of caster
Effect: Flattens everything within a 20'x20' area, + 10'x10'/level of caster.
Casting this spell creates a small gust of wind that flattens everything within at least a 20'x20' area that is not made matter that is unliving, or that has never lived. Thus, a wooden shack would be affected by this spell, but a stone tower would not. Living beings are also affected by this spell, blown off of their feet by the force of the impact. In either case, everything within the area of effect must have a save vs. Death Ray at a penalty of -2 or suffer the full effects of the spell. Living creatures are blown over by the blast, suffering 1d6 damage and being stunned for 1d4 rounds. Structures that are poorly constructed are destroyed, while those that are better-built lose 50% of their hit points. If you prefer not using saving throws for structures, assume a base 40% chance that the building suffers damage, modified by its quality and structural integrity. In either case, making a successful save negates the spell's effect; the victim or object is buffeted by the wind, but nothing more. This spell may not be cast underground, and it is also available at 3rd level to clerics of Xeron.
Range: 20' + 10'/level of caster
Duration: 6 turns
Effect: Reveals any servitors of the Outer Beings within range.
This spell allows the caster to identify the servitors of the Outer Beings, no matter what form they choose to take. Affected creatures are outlined with a greenish halo, which only the caster can see. Even human worshippers of the Outer Beings will have this effect appear on them. Also, the caster will be able to see the true forms of these servitors, if they are disguised. Those beings illuminated by this spell will not be aware of its effects, except in the case of more powerful servitors, who may be unaffected by the spell, but might notice it.
Fourth Level Spells:
Contact Outer Being:
Range: 0' (caster only)
Duration: One question or one insight
Effect: Allows the caster to ask one question of an Outer Being, or to gain one insight.
This spell was originally used by the Carnifex wizards and priests of Y'hog to contact their masters, the Outer Beings, in order to gain instructions or to have questions answered. This spell fell into the hands of Brell's crusaders, who arranged to have it sent back to Lhomarr. There it fell into the hands of worshippers of the Outer Beings, some of whom were sent to the Hollow World. The caster of this spell has a chance, determined on the table below, of contacting the Outer Beings, imprisoned as they are away from the minds of mortals.
D 100 roll Result Notes for Caster (what DM tells player) 01-40 Nothing Feels only blackness. 41-75 Disturbing images Vague impressions, nightmares for 1d4 nights. 76-90 One insight Learn something about current events that only They know. 91-95 One question One question gets answered (answer comes in a weird dream). 96-99 Insight & question Same as above two, but both happen together. 00 Sharing of minds For one instant caster's mind becomes one with Them - insanity.
Needless to say, the insights or answers gained from the Outer Beings are both highly abstract and disturbing - the caster could see bizarre vistas on unknown worlds, or other-dimensional realms occupied by the Outer Beings where things like gravity and geometry have no meaning. It is up to the player to find whatever hidden meaning there might be. In the final result, the caster, for the briefest moment, sees everything as the Outer Beings do, and knows what They know - something the average mortal mind is not equipped to handle. The caster would immediately go irretrievably mad, and would most likely spend the rest of his or her life muttering nonsensical but highly disturbing things. This spell is used primarily by worshippers of the Outer Beings, both in Selhomarr and on the surface world.
DM Note: While it may seem highly unfair to have a character get written off in this fashion, these rules do reflect what would most likely happen when a mortal mind tries to understand things that do not have any parallels in an normal universe - even in a fantasy universe. If you wish to give the character a chance, you should play things up until this spell is obtained, have him or her learn about the potential dangers - as with most other spells, one would normally learn the theory before the practice.
Fifth Level Spells:
Range: 0' (caster only)
Duration: 6 turns
Effect: Creates a sword of light. This is a ancient duelling spell among Lhomarrian wizards of great power - one that was popular long before the Sinking. It allows the caster to create, around the hand of his or her choice, a 4' long blade of white light, almost as bright as the Sun of the surface world. No proficiency is needed for this weapon, which does 2d6 points of damage upon a successful hit.
Sixth Level Spells:
Duration: 6 turns + 1 turn/level of caster
Effect: Alters the gravitational forces affecting one object or person. Originally created by a Lhomarrian wizard 200 years ago as a means to amuse himself, the alter gravity spell has become very useful in many different situations. It enables the caster to "fool" an object into believing that another direction is "down" for the duration of the spell, with predictable results. Living beings are also affected, with their bodies suddenly finding a wall or the ceiling to be a floor, and falling sideways - or upwards - in that direction. This spell can be quite deadly in large rooms, where the walls and ceiling can be quite a distance away. Normal falling damage rules apply for any living being affected by this spell.
Range: 0' (caster only)
Duration: 6 hours + 1 hour/level of caster
Effect: Creates one flying chariot. This spell creates, for the duration of the spell, a fiery chariot, complete with steeds resembling flaming pegasi, which is capable of great speeds on the ground or in the air. The chariot, though dangerous in appearance, is actually harmless; no one touching it takes any damage whatsoever. The chariot can carry up to 6,000 coins of encumbrance at normal speed, or up to 12,000 coins of encumbrance at half speed. The chariot cannot hold more than two people with their belongings. Note that the stuff loaded in the chariot can fall down if the rider performs "acrobatic" manoeuvres while flying.
Level of Caster Ground Speed Air Speed 1-12 210' (70') 360' (120') 13-15 240' (80') 390' (130') 16-19 270' (90') 420' (150') 20-23 300' (100') 450' (150') 24-27 330' (110') 480' (160') 28-31 360' (120') 510' (170') 32-34 390' (130') 540' (180') 35-36 420' (140') 570' (190')
If you are using the manoeuvrability rules as per the Dawn of the Emperors boxed set, the solar chariot has a Manoeuvrability Factor of 3 (b). When the chariot takes off, the flaming pegasi will run, flap their wings, and then lift off in two rounds. The solar chariot also produces its own pocket atmosphere, enabling riders to fly into the airless void of the Hollow World.
Seventh Level Spells:
Effect: Allows the caster to share the consciousness of another. This spell allows the caster to enter into another person's mind, and see, hear, taste, smell, and touch what that person does. The range for the spell applies only to distance at the time of casting - the target may travel farther after the spell succeeds and the caster may still remain "inside". If the target in question is willing to co-operate, the spell is automatically successful, and the caster may remain "inside" the other person's mind until that person wishes them to leave, or until the caster wishes to return to his or her body. If the intended target is either unwilling to co-operate, or is unaware of what is intended, then he or she can make a successful Save vs. Spells to maintain a "closed" mind. Even if the caster succeeds in getting in, the duration of the spell is one hour/level of caster in this case. In either case, if the "host" body is killed, the caster must make a Save vs. Spells or die, with a successful check indicating a safe return to the original body. While this spell is in effect, the caster's original body is in a trance-like state.
Eighth Level Spells:
Duration: 6 turns
Effect: Enchants a weapon. This spell will enchant any weapon for its duration, giving it a +5 bonus to hit and damage against any servitor of the Outer Beings, no matter what their race might be. It should be noted that even human cultists would fall into this category. This spell is also available as an 8th level spell for clerics of Xeron.
Range: 1/2 mile
Duration: 6 turns
Effect: Creates a downpour of acid rain over a 100'x100' area. This spell was first cast by Lhomarrian wizards against the Carnifex of Y'hog during the siege of that city. It allows the caster to create, up to half a mile away, a downpour of acid rain lasting 6 turns, covering an area 100 feet square. Anyone within this area takes 1d8 points of damage per round, with armour affected as with the acidic blast spell. As with the acidic blast spell, anyone within the area of effect may Save vs. Dragon Breath for half damage, though the only way to avoid the worst of the effects is to leave the affected area altogether and wash off the acid with water. One nasty side effect of this spell is that the land upon which the acid rain falls becomes blighted due to the poisons it absorbs, rendering it unusable for 100 years. Modern Lhomarrian wizards, with their greater appreciation for nature, would not even consider using this spell, and it has been banned by the various wizard councils across Selhomarr. Unscrupulous wizards have been known to use it, especially those in the service of Thanatos or the Outer Beings.