Magic

History of Magic

Sitad lath krau.
Roughly translated, it means “power by magic” or “magic gives power”. It was magic stolen from the gods that freed the mortal races from an eternity of servitude to the dragons, and for much of known history, it was magic that gave the emperors of the world the right to rule entire continents. Some of the oldest magical orders still survive, if blessed with less power than they had held previously. The Council of Magi in Araunada once helped the Diamond Throne of Araun rule one of the largest nations in the world. The Black Ministry has ruled Jai Runa since even before the rise of the Araun to the north. Even the elves of Lindoria still follow their Aertiaessiani, who guided the throne of Elirho in its ancient conquests.
With this power comes a powerful drawback – its chaotic and uncontrollable nature. According to legend, it dates back to when Halik, the Warden of Night, confronted Zaliaz, the original warden of magic. Halik desired control of magic so he might grant it to mortals to enable them to overthrow their dragon overlords. The battle between Halik and Zaliaz covered the northern skies of every continent, and lasted for a full month. As the moon grew full again and Halik’s power once more waxed to its fullest, he struck the final killing blow. With his dying breath, Zaliaz cursed Halik’s control of the magic he once governed, claiming that no mortal could safely wield the power they were forbidden from possessing. Magic used by mortals to bring fortune would inevitably bring ruin; magic used for power would bring corruption; magic used for freedom would inevitably bestow enslavement.
The mortal races, now empowered, overthrew their Star Dragon overlords. For those servants of the evil dragons, the races of humanity and Kanan, their victory summoned in a future of freedom and power. Those servants of the good dragons were, however, faced with a bittersweet victory and nebulous future. The elves, dwarves, halflings, and gnomes who once served the metallic Star Dragons saw much of their power disappear with the loss of their masters, and many (especially the elves) tend to hold a grudge against humanity and their Kanan compatriots. Indeed, many of the former servant races of the metallic dragons have seen a steady decrease in their power throughout known history, as the halflings can claim no land as their own; the gnomes are fading from the world; the dwarves haven’t been seen in centuries, and the elves continue to exist by “divine intervention” (or, at least, that’s what they claim).

Effects on Magic Users (for characters)

For starters, not every class depicted as having spells will necessarily be able to safely cast. Not everyone is trained to use magic, or has the natural aptitude to do so. This is most noticeable in the secondary casting classes such as the Hexblade, the Paladin, and the Ranger. At each level in which those classes would first gain access to spells (4th, 8th, 11th, and 14th), you instead gain a bonus feat, from a list determined by your class. If the character has had the opportunity for training or the natural aptitude for spellcasting (as determined by the character possessing the Spellcaster feat), they instead gain access to that class’s spell list. While any character has the potential to cast spells, doing so safely and in a controlled fashion is a luxury for the talented and trained.
Classes like the Priest, Mage, or Warmage gain the Spellcaster feat for free at first level. Divine spellcasters are capable of becoming powerful mages if they so wish, but instead willingly subject themselves to the guidance of their patron, gaining a measure of control of their magic through divine intervention. Divine spellcasters have fewer options when it comes to channeling magical power, but never risk losing themselves to the magic flowing through them.

Wild Magic in the World

Few things are as horrifying to the common person in Mil’Averon as the Wild Mage. To them, this is someone who was born with the aptitude or trained to use the most powerful force in the world, and no longer has any control over it. In their wake lies corrupted animals and farmland, and worse, the Lost, those unfortunates who spent too much time in an area of Wild Taint and lost their minds to it. The Lost wander the land, possessed by and enslaved to magic, but without any ability to access the power possessing them. It is said that the only creatures a Lost can understand or obey would be a dragon, but no dragon has attempted to do so.
The established magical orders understand that sometimes a spell can get out of a mage’s control, but that mage is “encouraged” to seek atonement and stability in the wake of the chaos they might create. Above all, the orders tolerate no mage of their order who has lost themselves entirely to the enticing call of Wild Magic. To the magical orders of the world, that mage is a traitor to everything they once stood for, and the only atonement for such a sin is death. This has the secondary benefit of preventing any further corruption the urakrauan or Wild Mage, might inflict upon the world.
On the potentially positive side, every mortal being in the world has the capability to cast channel uncontrolled magical power, even completely untrained. Such vulgar expressions of power manifest as Psionic powers as if manifested by a Wilder, and are adjudicated as such. Even the lowliest fighter could drop a damaging effect on his or her enemies, but each power costs one additional power point to use, and the cap for power points spent on any one power is equal to the character’s level. Further, each power point must be taken from the caster’s hp, costing 2 hp per power point created. The other downside, of course, is that doing so quickly runs the risk of losing oneself to the addictive power of magic. This same fighter might, in a desperate situation, attempt to emulate the Fireball spell he saw his wizard companion cast before he fell, and ends up manifesting a fiery Energy Cone from power points torn from his own health. Two Energy Cones later, and the fighter effectively no longer exists, having enslaved himself permanently to the power flowing through him. Quite a few adventurers have ended their once-bright careers in a wave of corruptive, evil glory like that mentioned, turning from heroes to an uncontrolled plague upon the world.

Rules

Wild Magic is rarely something that mages desire to use, but the fact is that it remains constantly available for anyone who wishes to tap into it. For the most part, it enables the mage to enhance his spells as if they had been prepared with a Metamagic feat (Metamagic feats, in this setting, represent training to safely enhance a spell by increasing the amount of magic channelled). Tapping into Wild Magic can also offset the cost of casting a particular spell.

Effect Cost
Silent Spell 1
Stilled Spell 1
Heightened Spell 1/spell lvl
Empowered Spell 3
Extended Spell 2
Quickened Spell 4
Maximized Spell 4
Recover previously cast spell 2/spell lvl
Cast without paying XP cost 1/250xp
Cast without paying material cost 1/500gp
Cast spell beyond current casting ability 3/spell lvl
Cast unmemorized spell 1 per spell lvl
Manifest Psychic Ability 5/effective power point used
Further, each time a caster taps into Wild Magic, it taints the land around him. The Wild-Taint seeps into the life around the mage, twisting it and influencing further magic use in the area. Within a given radius of the mage at the time of casting, animal and plant life are inflicted and the land becomes a temporary home to a Tainted Zone, where the caster must struggle to cast his or her spells effectively. A Will Save DC 20 + effective spell level is required, else the spell be subject to being twisted by Wild Magic. The size of a tainted zone has a radius of 5 ft per point of taint gained. If you gain Taint Points while already in corrupted land, add the radius of previous corruption to 1/2 new corruption radius.

Effect of Taint Points

Taint points are dangerous to the caster’s body and mind, but are temporary. Taint points can, however, be transferred into Taint Score, which is permanent (and effectively makes the character an NPC) in order to offset the disadvantages of Taint. Otherwise, the character is forced to perform costly atonement for every Taint point possessed, or suffer the deleterious effects of Wild taint.

Points Possessed Effects
1+ -2 penalty to Wisdom and Charisma skill and ability checks, -2 to Will saves
11+ -2 penalty to Constitution, plus fatigued if the caster engages in strenuous action for longer than 1 minute
21+ Further -2 penalty to Wisdom and Charisma skill and ability checks, and -2 Will saves
31+ Additional -2 penalty to Constitution, Chaotic and Non-good alignment
41+ Apply Urakrauan template to character (NPC only)

Atonement

Atoning for acquired taint requires meditation and ritual, costing 100 gp of Levethex per point to be removed. One day of meditation is also required per point of taint to be removed. Assistance from a cleric of a deity of magic reduces required time in half.

Magic

For the Glory of the Empire! Donnick