Magic in the world of Stormtalons is like the existence of large, flawless diamonds.
Everyone is aware that the diamonds exist, but few have them, and those that covet them are willing to kill to attain more. It’s best to keep your diamonds well hidden from those who seek them.
Mages of any power are either deep in hiding or serving in the Heirophar in unknown capacities. Even the spies of Rheligor watch for them, and will often set up an unwitting patsy in order to lure the inevitable Heirophar agents to them.
To discover one has the Gift in any significant measure is to instantly realize that life, as one knew it, is over.
Arcane items of any strength, when discovered by others, are similarly sought out by the Heirophar’s men, and the possessors are often spirited away just as the mages are, in order for the archwizard to learn if they know of any other magical objects of power.
There are two main types of mortals with the Gift:
- Those able to use it without the use of objects (staves, scepters, runes, but they still would need components)
- Those able to sense it but not use it innately
The ones able to use it are your standard wizard. They can learn magic, create spells, and imbue magical items. They can also sense it, as the second “type” does.
The ones able to sense it can feel a “tingle deep within” whenever magic is used nearby, either from a wizard casting spells, or someone walking past with a magical sword. The more powerful the magic, the more intense the tingle. This ability does not mean that they will be able to cast magic as the first type does, but it can be an indicator of such a Gift. Most with only the sensing ability never put two-and-two together, as they are not exposed to magic enough (thanks to the Heirophar) to really understand what that tingle they felt two years ago when that weird looking robed guy came through their village actually was. They will more than likely chalk it up to nerves or “a goose walking over their grave”.
The following are not part of the Gift:
- Anyone can use magical items (people who study them and their use are called artificers and alchemists), and there are those who study them in order to combine their use and make new effects happen, but they do not have the Gift.
- Mist-born, twisted, the Sleeping Dragons, and the gods are all able to use magic innately (when applicable, not all twisted can use magic) and do not necessarily need components or gestures
- Priests gain their spells divinely, so different rules apply
Who Can Cast What?
Anyone with the full Gift of Magic can cast any spell they have learned.
That novice wizard who just got his hands on Grishambumble’s Incredibly Exhaustive Grimoire? He can cast any spell in it that he’s capable of learning (i.e. has the intelligence and the time to learn it) and has the components for.
And that’s where the Cost of Magic gets really expensive.
A newbie wizard manages to stumble across the incredibly powerful spell Rain of Fire. He can cast that. Fire rains down from the heavens and smites his enemies.
It also turns him into a living torch that cannot be extinguished by normal means, leaving him a pile of ash within seconds. As the Cost of Magic is different for everyone, it is impossible to fully prepare for every eventuality. A mage best have a healthy dose of fear before delving into powers beyond his control.
Which has led some adventurers to their doom, arguing with their mages and trying to get them to cast spells far beyond their ability to pay the Cost for.
The Sleeping Dragons
The dragons are quite real, quite powerful, and very much alive, sleeping deep beneath the earth. Ample evidence of their existence is available, from the blood-soaked sentient fortresses to the giant bones that litter the ground of Dragondeath Pass.
They are not, however, gods, in that they have no divinity within them. What they do have is power. Physically, spiritually, and magically, the ancient dragons have the ability to move oceans and destroy continents.
And they are waking up.
The only certainty about the dragons awakening is that nothing, in all of Asmer, will ever be the same again.[/fusion_tab][fusion_tab title=”The Snake-Headed People of Yacathan” icon=””]Deep in the jungles of Yacathan, live a race of people with the bodies of humans, and the heads of a serpent. Highly insular, not much is known about them, but they do trade their exotic herbs, flowers, and plants freely in such ports as Uolvrit and Marambar, some even going as far as the port of Artanga on Omn Bay.[/fusion_tab][fusion_tab title=”The Cowled Ones” icon=””]Built on the ruins of an ancient kingdom, Kordrove is a shambles of a port city where the outcast, the criminal, and the treasure-seeker go. The sword is the law of the day, and a poisoned dart the law by night. Some semblance of control is maintained, however, by The Cowled Ones; four wizards who have, for unknown reasons, decided to keep Kordrove from devolving into outright violence.
Ruling from the shadows, they send thugs and glorl (misshapen humans with monstrous limbs) out to impose order as they see fit, keeping themselves well hidden, in order to protect themselves from their citizens, each other, and most importantly, the Heirophar.[/fusion_tab][/fusion_tabs]