[Infinity Archmage] I need your help building the world of Archmage!

Homebrew and House Rules

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This is the first of what may become a series of threads about the game system and setting I'm working on. The system is tentatively called 'Infinity' (after the popular CRPG engine, though it bears no mechanical similarity) and the settings I am developing in parallel with it are the following:

Infinity Mechanism - Technology has evolved. Biology has adapted. The lines have been blurred and this world is alive, both infrastructure and ecology. The distant descendants of mankind struggle to survive amongst the endless corridors and chambers of the Mechanism, a living, breathing megastructure that blends synthetic and organic seamlessly. Inspirations include Akira, The Matrix, Blame! and Ghost in the Shell. It is a transhuman dystopia that explores the boundaries of the definitions of life and ecology. Subthemes include Jungian mysticism in the context of a technological noosphere.

Key questions:
"In a world where machines grow and breed, what separates life from machine?"
"In a world where thoughts can be copied and conveyed as easily as speech, what separates self from other?"
"What makes you human, your body, mind or soul?"
"How much can you change yourself before you're no longer human?"
"What is the Mechanism for and was it built or evolved?"

Now that I've managed to peel myself away from rambling about Mechanism, let's get on to the next one.

Infinity Awakening - Mankind has spread beyond its cradle. A quantum pairing of artificial quark stars discovered at the edge of the solar system has enabled space travel between Sol and Kepler-69. There, a pristine world has been colonised by corporations eager to lay claim to the untapped reserves of mineral and petrochemical wealth. War looms as the corporations and their control of Kepler-69 threaten both each other and the survival of a homeworld desperate for oil. The colonists factionalise into multiple groups, favouring independence, responsibility to Earth or corporate sponsorship. Combat mechas called 'T-Mechs' feature prominently. Space warfare is deemphasised in favour of urban espionage and mechanised battles.

It's kind of a minimalist Battletech with a touch of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Key questions:
"Where did the quark stars come from? Were they put there by aliens?"
"Why is aquatic life in the Kepler-69 system similar to aquatic life under the ice surface of Europa? Wait what, there's life on Europa?"
"Does Earth have the right to claim Kepler-69's wealth? Do the colonists have an obligation to save a dying Earth? How does corporate greed affect the equation?"
"Why are mech fights so awesome?"

Where was I? Ah yes, Archmage. It's about time I got on to talking about that, since it's the one I want to develop most at present. Here we go:

Infinity Archmage - Wizards. Knights. Dragons. Genetic engineering. Yeah, I just can't help myself from inserting science fiction elements, can I? What appears to be a traditional fantasy world - and is very much intended to be able to function as one - is built on a history of genetic experimentation and design... by magical 'gene-smiths'. The gods, known as the Primordials, are refugees from a destroyed world come to this one in spiritual form. They govern and guide the mortal races, some for the betterment of the people, others for their own gain. Also, most of the animal and plant life on the planet is derived from the Neogene and thereabouts (although not exclusively).

You may have read my ramblings about the Archmage world before, as I've posted here and there when relevant to other topics. My problem at the moment is a staggering lack of motivation.

So this is what I hope to be a solution. I'm going to post stuff about Archmage and try to answer queries about the world as best I can. Unexpected questions may help me concoct more depth. Note that I do not want to go into the game mechanics much if at all. A Pathfinder game could be run in the Archmage world with little difficulty.

Ugh, lethargy is bearing down on me right now. I'll post more soon. In the meantime, feel free to ask about stuff shown so far or stuff you've spotted me talking about in other threads (please link to the relevant post if possible).

I'm not working on Mechanism and Awakening at the moment. Comment on them if you like, but I won't be putting detail into them any time soon. I want to focus on one thing and actually finish it.

To clarify: My reason for doing this is because of depression and various medical conditions that impede my productivity. I hope this helps.

what kind of timeframe are you talking about? I'm having trouble understanding the timeline. From what I can gather:

1. earth was just about used up so...

2. people went through the quark stars to find Kepler-69 (heh...69)

3. a fantasy world evolved and earth people became hologram gods

Is this accurate? If so...why aren't the corporations and T-Mechs wimping on the dragons and knights and just calling them primitive screwheads? Or...did I miss something?

Anyway it sounds cool. As a playable game I know from hardwon experience in my own and others' games: mixing tech and fantasy can become either cheesy or impossibly unruly in seconds. Your world reminds me a little of the concept of Rifts by Palladium.

What's the endgoal for the concept? Do you want techno-mages and rangers with laser rifles? or are you looking for a game system where on one world you've got mechs and another you've got eldritch giants and never the twain shall meet? What are you looking to accomplish OTHER than unique storytelling?

I think these are intended to be separate settings (governed by a similar game system of Umbral's design).

I've always liked the idea of blurring the lines between technology and magic, fantasy and science fiction. Not sure I have much to contribute, though. I'd like to know more about the game system, though. Perhaps if I knew more about the mechanics of the game I'd be better able to comment.

Those are all separate settings. No connection between them. I'll be posting more later. I know there's pretty much nothing here yet.

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Okay. What I'm doing with magic is different from the D&D conventions. It could be translated across simply by assigning spells to different schools.

To begin with, spellcasters are much more restricted in what they can do. There are five (actually seven, but one is 'universal' and the seventh is plot secret) schools of magic. A spellcaster initially chooses one, and can only learn spells from that school. Expanding to a second school is doubly expensive; you only get half as many spells for the same effort, but can expand your repertoire into areas you couldn't previously touch. A third is four times as difficult, a fourth eight times and so on. Having access to all five schools of magic is incredibly rare and very limiting in its own way.

The schools are each learned and practiced in a fundamentally different way.

Each school can cast spells that utilise their 'elements' in various ways, usually to exemplify what the school stands for. For example, each school has a different way of granting a spellcaster improved sight: Holy creates light to see by, arcane can see the presence of magic (if any), death can see in pure darkness, chaos sets things on fire and nature grants heightened distance and night vision.

Each school also has access to a limited set of emotions it can instill or derive benefits from. 'Mind control' is generally in the domain of the arcane, but subtler emotional influence is spread out over the other schools.

Where 'affinity' and 'opposition' are mentioned, that merely refers to attitudes towards other schools of magic. They have no mechanical effects.


Clerics of holy magic develop their power by exploring the mysteries of the gods and heavens. By worship and reverence, they are granted magical blessings and powers to aid their patron's work in the mortal world.

Holy magic is protective and healing, mending wounds of both body and spirit. It can be used to bless followers and guard against the spells and weapons of enemies. Holy magic aids righteous battle, improving skill and valour of the faithful.

Holy magic has an affinity with arcane magic, for their practicioners share interest in the scholarly study of the heavens and magic; and an affinity with nature magic, for the spirits of the earth, sky and living things of the world were put there by the gods as custodians.

Holy magic opposes death magic, for the creation and manipulation of undead violates the sanctity of the immortal soul; and opposes chaos magic, for the raw destructive fury of that magic has no respect for peace.

Of the fifteen gods, only five grant holy magic to their priests.

Elements: Light, Warding, Healing, Planar
Emotions: Calm, Passive


Wizards of arcane magic explore the very fabric of reality and how magic interweaves with it. By studying the devices through which the universe functions, they learn to cast spells that manipulate those fundaments to useful ends.

Arcane magic is rarely direct in its effects. It manipulates, alters and transforms factors in an equation to create the desired outcome. These factors are usually such things as space, time, and forces like gravity and momentum. As well, it delves into the mysteries of the mind, granting power of illusion over the interface between reality and the soul.

Arcane magic has an affinity with death magic, for the art of animating dead is a magical marvel with many potential applications; and an affinity with holy magic, for a shared interest in the scholarly study of the heavens.

Arcane magic opposes chaos magic, for the emotional furor of that path is difficult to reconcile with the disconnected rationality of their 'pure magic'; and opposes nature magic for the natural magic's tendency to simply let nature be and not dissect its workings.

Elements: Force, Space, Time, Magic
Emotions: Pliabile, Controlled


Warlocks of death magic practice the terrifying art of raising the dead as unwilling servants. They gain their power from dark bargains, sacrificing the souls of their victims to secret powers in exchange for greater mastery.

Death magic is most useful in its ability to keep people working long after they have died, either as labourers or soldiers. The highest powers of necromancy can even grant them will and purpose rather than mindless servitude. Additionally, death magic draws on the secret powers to afflict and terrify its enemies with draining and debilitating curses. It also contains the powers of darkness and night, a favourite of thieves and assassins with a knack for magic.

Death magic has an affinity with arcane magic; and an affinity with chaos magic, for the 'end justifies the means' attitude.

Death magic opposes holy magic for near diametrically opposite views on right and wrong; and opposes nature magic, as its focus on necromancy is the antithesis of naturual life.

Elements: Darkness, Undeath, Incorporeality, Curses
Emotions: Fearful, Despairing


Evokers blow stuff up! Kaboom! Hahahahaha, everything is on fire! Who cares about all that complicated silly stuff when you can shoot lightning from your eyes? Chaos magic is the best magic because it is AWESOME. How do you learn it? You don't! You feel it!

Chaos magic is great for blowing up your enemies, and you've sure got a lot of them! People would really rather you stop filling them with shards of ice as long as your arm but... okay, they've got a valid complaint. It's not nice to be on the receiving end of chaos magic. Chaos magic is wonderful for inciting soldiers to fight harder and go faster, too! No, not by setting them on fire. Well, kind of. You can set their spirit on fire, I guess? I don't know how this works. It's amazing fun, though.

Chaos magic has an affinity with death magic because those guys get stuff done without crying about right and wrong; and has an affinity with nature magic because bears are awesome. Nature will mess you up.

Chaos magic opposes divine magic because churches are stuffy and boring and full of people that tell you not to do all the things you want to do; and opposes arcane magic because wizards are stuffy and boring and would rather use all their arcane might to measure the distances of rocks in space than work out how to make those rocks smash into stuff. Actually... that sounds pretty sweet. I'm going to go try that out!

Elements: Cold, Electricity, Fire, Sonic
Emotions: Enraged, Insane


Druids smoke weed every day.

Wizards and warlocks are total bummers dude.

Elements: Air, Earth, Water, Poison, Strength, Life
Emotions: Brave


All mages can learn prime magic in addition to their chosen school. Spells of general usefulness that a mage of any path would employ are found amongst the prime spells. Prime magic neither has an affinity with nor opposes any path.

Elements: None
Emotions: None

I need to flesh out the descriptions, especially nature's. Basically, nature is about revering natural spirits and places for magical power. Unlike holy magic, druids see their spiritual companions more as equals than as divine authorities.

Ask questions! Point out flaws! Discuss! Does this setup inspire any thoughts?

I fully support any measure to reduce spellcasting versatility in favor of more highly specialized, thematic magic. I can imagine that within this system, mages can be really good at one or two things, but not everything (like the wizards we're all used to). If you want to make a blaster mage, make a chaos specialist and go to town! Your spells will deal just as much (or more) damage as a fighter is capable of, but as a consequence, you'll be unable to work all those nifty mind-control and healing spells available to other mages.

I suggest re-naming "evokers" as "sorcerers". Just sounds cooler in my opinion. Also, it fits thematically when you consider that sorcerers often have little control over their magic, which seems to come in fits and bursts (chaos).

By the way, these schools of magic totally remind me of how magic was handled in Heroes of Might and Magic IV. It's almost a perfect fit (you'd just have to replace "holy" with "life" and "arcane" with "order", but they're pretty much identical in everything but name).

That's no coincidence. HoMM4's magic system was based directly on that of Magic the Gathering. Mine is based on the same. I was actually developing this as a MtG roleplaying system, but diverged into making my own setting rather than building rules for theirs.

I never made that connection and I love MTG.

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Furthermore, I'm a huge fan of Master of Magic, which also used a MtG-based magic system. I've been working on a spiritual successor using Unity, though my motivation in that regard has been severely lacking.

There's a reason game designers get paid to design games--it's a lot of work.

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Story time! (this is from older notes, wherein the schools of chaos and arcane were called elementalism and thaumaturgy respectively)

++ Elementalism by way of Thaumaturgy

By The Most Sagacious Sub-Eminent Sadeev of the Alkahas School of Thaumaturgy.

+++ 7th Tallas, 1033 KR

'Elementalism'. It is a misleading term. One might assume that the domain of the essential elements is encompassed by the magical talents of an elementalist. Certainly, many have seen an evoker call down fire and lightning, but these are merely raw expressions of the elements. An elementalist does not control the elements.

Fellow thaumaturges, I believe we have been unduly limiting ourselves by eschewing study of elementalism. Note that I do not suggest following the path of elementalism. Rather, I propose we study the mechanics by which elementalism itself functions, so we may dismantle its essentials and incorporate them into our most virtuous school.

I can already hear you scoffing! It is far too dangerous! We do not need that madness soiling the valuable pages of our spellbooks! Look at what happened to the Dwarves!

I once thought the very same. Indeed, the Rhuz wizards of 6th century Khazan were famed for both their progress in the fields of elementalism and thaumaturgy and the reckless abandon with which they wielded their magic. I say this very recklessness is unnecessary, if only we take the time to look. I have arranged to meet an experienced elementalist tomorrow morning. He has agreed to help me in unravelling this mystery.

+++ 9th Tallas, 1033 KR

Mr. Havash was already at the appointed place (I agreed not to disclose the location in my notes for his security; he does not trust the judgement of our regulators) when I arrived. He is my younger by at least a decade, but his face and hands were far more worn; clearly, this man was a former serf. I chose not to judge him unduly for his inadequacy.

He met me with cordiality I was not accustomed to, as if I were an old friend of his. He laughed - much in the manner of those hyenas the Emir keeps in his menagerie - and offered me what I presumed to be some kind of exotic intoxicant. I declined as politely as I could and he laughed again. Thankfully, he did not press the matter at that time.

Mr. Havash insisted that I follow him to his 'blasting circle'. I inquired whether this was a form of aetheric containment laboratory. He said yes. I knew he did not know what the aforementioned facility was, but I followed nonetheless.

We travelled out of the city, to a location not more than an hour's walk from the gates. There, Mr. Havash proudly indicated the blackened and partly melted stone and sand surrounding an unmarred circle of sandstone I gathered to be eight yards across.

Mr. Havash instructed me to stand in the circle if I didn't want to 'have my skull blasted out my ass'. I excused the vulgarity and complied; the man was a serf, after all. Besides, he seemed distinctly certain when he spoke those words. I did not think he was making light of the danger.

Here I shall recount Mr. Havash's instructions verbatim:

"Good, yea. Keep your feet in the circle or I'm a turn your flesh into fire or summat. You're a wizard, so your guts are already full o' mana."

Despite the powerful urge, I refrained from explaining that mana is not stored in one's bowels.

"Now, the thing about elementalism is, it's not like your fancy magic. You don't think it. You think it and it gets fussy and doesn't work right. You've got to feel it. Make it boil. Make it surge! And if ya' need help getting your rile up, there's always 'useful substances'."

Mr. Havash drew a small vial of powder from his front pocket. I did not recognise the contents.

"One sniff o' this and you'll be ready to put a hole in the moon!"

At this point I could not help from interrupting. I explained that since the moon didn't have any craters dated circa the age of magic, it was unlikely that anyone had used the substance to perform the very task he boasted of. Mr. Havash frowned and promptly inhaled the entire contents of the vial.

His eyes turned red. At first, it was because they had become severely bloodshot. A moment later, plumes of fire burst forth from his eyes. He screamed in pain, and then most definitely in rage. I swear I never thought a man of that size could issue such noise for so long without taking a breath. I believed he had lost the capacity for speech until he bellowed further:

"This is where it's all at! The fire! The fury! The-" (expletives omitted; he went for some time without repeating himself! I am certain several of the things he said were illegal)

Then he screamed - a much more directed scream, and a tree in the distance was struck by lightning. You will find my notes on the distance, air conditions and magnitude of the strike in the appendix.

Only now did I realise that making sense of elementalism was a far greater task than I had envisioned.

"Go on. This'll put the fire in ya' blood."

Instantly calm, he drew forth another identical vial and offered it to me. His recovery was remarkable, suggesting that the powder was not a narcotic but instead a form of magical elixir. I was reluctant to accept, and he allowed me permission to analyse his dweomer.

Mr. Havash was in perfectly good health, magically speaking. He seemed no worse for wear physically, either. I took the vial from his hand and asked what to do.

"I see ya' trembling, wizard. Ya' should be! You've never shot fire in your tower-dwelling life! Practice run first, fancy pants. Imagine blowing that rock up. That one, over there. Imagine it really hard, like it punched your mother or summat."

I looked at the rock and imagined it punching my mother. The implausible scene did not heighten my desire to destroy it. Nonetheless, I conjured the most realistic scenario of its destruction that I could with my mind.

While I was factoring the likely consequences of high velocity shards of rock over a probable radius, Mr. Havash gave me a slap on the back. I almost dropped the vial.

"Now that's a stare that means business! I say you got it! One sniff, then boom!"

He gestured snorting the vial. I did as instructed.

I awoke in a musty cabin, lying on a bed of goatskins. I could not recall how I had gotten there, nor could I recall the prior events that day. I can recount this misadventure only thanks to a retro-augury spell I cast on myself.

Mr. Havash was there beside me. As I awoke, he laughed.

"Never seen that before! No kaboom, but the damn rock up and vanished! Poof! Gone like the wind! How'd ya' do that?"

I didn't know, and told him as much. To know I had cast a spell I did not understand was a disconcerting thought. I asked him what happened afterward. He helpfully explained that I had passed out cold and he had carried me back to his hut to recover. I had been unconscious for twenty-two hours and he had tended me during that time.

I thanked him gratefully and asked him to lead me back to the site again. When we arrived, I set about discerning the fate of the rock. A hole remained in the ground where it once stood. The rock had been excised quite perfectly, disturbing not a grain of the material that surrounded its former location.

"Phwoar! Look at that!"

At Mr. Havash's exclamation, I looked at him and subsequently at what he was looking at. The rock sat in the sky, fixed at a point some twelve yards up. I ventured into the back of my mind and found exactly what I expected. I was sustaining a levitation spell.

"Ya' blew it up alright. Not what I had in mind, but sure. It's up!"

I explained to Mr. Havash my disappointment. I had indeed blown the rock 'up', but had done so with well-known principles of thaumaturgy and not elementalism as I had hoped. I relinquished the mana holding the rock in the air and it fell almost directly into its original hole, throwing up sand and grit.

"Har. Think ya' could make a whole bunch o' rocks fly and land 'em on someone?"

Only if they walked right under them, I said. The thaumic principles involved in levitation are less draining than those of true flight, requiring only an alteration of the magnitudes of vertical forces while maintaining all others in equilibrium. He didn't understand. It only goes up and down, I said.


Interesting story, and I like the bit about the dwarves (and how chaos magic leads to madness). I imagine their society/empire (presumed to have collapsed) may have employed some of the high technology seem in MTG (Izzet steam-tech/electromancy)?

There have been multiple cultures of each of the main races. I'll detail those soon.

The primary races the setting focuses on are:

Orcs (Krodanoi)
High Elves (Syldanar)
Dark Elves (Myrdanar)
Dwarves (Rhuz)

The Dwarves are the creators of the humans and all of the minor races, though 'gene-smithing' using nature and arcane magic on captive orcs, elves and even their own people. The group with a higher focus on chaos was a different lot.

Each race has a 'primary' path of magic and the disparate cultures come from the mixing of that and one other, plus all the other miscellaneous factors that influence culture.

Orcs: Chaos
High Elves: Nature
Dark Elves: Death
Dwarves: Arcane
Humans: Holy

An orcish clan whose shamans use chaos and arcane might be very different from a dwarven academy that teaches the same schools. Orcs start with the primal, internal chaos magic and can spread out to other forms. That's not to say all orc spellcasters must learn chaos first. It is simply a cultural tendency.

Another glimpse into the world of Archmage!

++ A Study of Death

"Where am I? Who are you?"

The apparition shimmered, looking deeply confused. Tevasi spluttered in surprise and leapt back and exclaimed, "Spirit! I - ah - By Mevyann's mask I bind thee! Um, and compel thee answer my questions!"

The ghost moved in a manner that suggested sitting down. The confusion turned to curiosity. "Really? That's fascinating! I've never been conjured before. So this is what it feels like? Here, girl, tell me your name."

Tevasi inched forward. "Ah, Tevasi Nyldriesse, Taken of Mevyann." She managed to suppress the stutter. "I have called you, Magus Davion of Carith, to tell me where the Pinnacle of Amuth is buried."

Davion laughed jovially. "Oh! It's not buried anywhere. Ah, hmm. My throat is clear. Or rather, I don't have a throat, do I?" The ghost practiced his voice, making a few utterances and attempting to cough. "I should write this down." He looked at his wispy, transparent hands. "You should write this down. Wait, tell me. There is no light in this room, is there?"

Tevasi raised an eyebrow at Davion's antics. "Uh, I'm Myrdanar. We don't need light."

Davion grinned broadly. "Oho! That's wonderful! I can see you quite well, although anything else seems out of focus. If only I'd died with my glasses on! I had wondered how ghosts saw the world."

"You don't seem upset at being dead."

"Ho! No, I feel wonderful! Weird, certainly, but not bad at all! It's a sight better than that wheezing wreck I left on my deathbed!" Davion did a little twirl.

Tevasi frowned and tried to gather her thoughts. "Can we get back to the point of this seance? I need to find the Pinnacle of Amuth. You must tell me where it is."

"And why is that?"

"I don't have to tell you."

"Oh well. I suppose it must be to get the right to your soul back from Meyvann. Am I right?"

Tevasi looked embarrassed. Davion noticed. "No! I, er. Yes. If I give it to her, I get my soul back and become Untaken. Do you know what that means?"

"Certainly. You progress in the art of Necromancy without fear of being reclaimed by death. Well, I could be persuaded to help. This state of being isn't unpleasant at all! You should conjure me more often!"

Tevasi grew frustrated. "Spirit! With Mevyann's power I compel thee! Tell me where it is!"

Davion looked side to side and shrugged. "I don't feel compelled. Have you considered asking nicely?"

"I'm not meant to ask nicely! I am a Necromancer! I command the dead to do my bidding!"

"I think it would really help if you asked nicely. I could be resting right now. It's rather like a dream. No wonder nobody really knows what the afterlife is like. Even I can't put my finger on it. I should write a..."



"Where is the Pinnacle?!"

"Say please."

Tevasi fumed. Davion smiled.

"Fine," the elf muttered under her breath, "Please tell me where the Pinnacle is."

Davion clapped his hands together. The motion produced no sound. "That's much better! Alright. I'll answer your question." He paused dramatically. "I don't know where it is."

Tevasi glowered. "Then all this has been a waste of time."

Davion winked at her. "Not for me. It's been quite enlightening! Oh, I can't say no to that adorably grumpy face. I don't know where it is... but I do know how to find it."

Silver Crusade

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A lot to take in here. :)

Re: Mechanism - If you feature Mind, Body, and Soul as stats or some other quantification that can be affected by transhumanism, it might be neat to have augmentation that's "just right" for that individual to actually increase Soul, as opposed to the old Cybernetics Eat Your Soul trope. That is, much how a transgendered person is moving closer to their true self with a physical change, the same might be said for transhuman individuals. Their souls are more accurately reflected by whatever they're configuring their flesh, steel, and plastic into.

That would introduce the tricky questions of how to determine whether or not a particular augmentation was moving them closer to their true self or further from it though. Willing vs. unwilling augmentation is one easy angle to look at, but beyond that(and even within it) it gets subjective quick.

Re: Archmage - That does easily explain any half-X/half-Y hybrids that may or may not turn up. Wondering how far that forking of the progenitor race might go. Did dragons and humans derive from the same source? Could that manipulation have split humans not just into dwarves and orcs but also non-mammalian races? Or non-animal races, like plant-derived creatures?

(idly wondering if "create/alter-a-race" might be a common longterm goal for powerful PCs in this setting)

Nice work UR - definitely a lot of passion here, Iike it!!!

* Do the hollow hivekin appear/exist in Archmage? If so, I'm assuming they are related to Death magic, but I hate assuming anything. Are Dark Elves involved?

* I had a Druid once who pretty much smoked weed all day. Definite Nature lover and easily fits into your Nature school. He too thought Wizards were major bummers, especially given the only Wizards we ever ran into (in that particular DM's game world) were speed/come freak types and waaaaaay evil. pretty sure the DM was a Elric/Moorcock fan.
When my druid's lion animal companion got killed it was a total bummer dude! This was 1e/ADnD so he lucky enough to have rolled some Psionic aptitude and possessed the Probability Travel Major Science. It totally got him into trouble when he travelled to the Astral Plane on a lark at 10th level and encountered a bone devil. His name was Leaf the Druid.

* Again, I implore you - please continue work on the awesome Numerian artifact-bonded Armiger.

* You totally rock.

* Sorry about polluting tour thread with my ramble about pot-head druids amd their irrespnsible animal companion endangering and reckless planar travelling ways.

Shadow Lodge


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Mikaze wrote:

A lot to take in here. :)

Re: Mechanism - If you feature Mind, Body, and Soul as stats or some other quantification that can be affected by transhumanism, it might be neat to have augmentation that's "just right" for that individual to actually increase Soul, as opposed to the old Cybernetics Eat Your Soul trope. That is, much how a transgendered person is moving closer to their true self with a physical change, the same might be said for transhuman individuals. Their souls are more accurately reflected by whatever they're configuring their flesh, steel, and plastic into.

Very much yes! A key theme is not technology vs nature, but that nature itself is subjective. What's natural for one may not be for another. The setting already includes living landscapes of metal and artificial organics. The lines are blurred so much as to be nonexistent. Some people are born with obvious cybernetics that grow with them. There is a species of robots (yes, species) that reproduce much like mammals. Alteration is very common and in some places even expected.

That would introduce the tricky questions of how to determine whether or not a particular augmentation was moving them closer to their true self or further from it though. Willing vs. unwilling augmentation is one easy angle to look at, but beyond that(and even within it) it gets subjective quick.

That's also a good point. There are groups that (often religiously) believe there is a 'true form' that humanity must achieve, whether they like it or not. One group is attempting to be 'one' with the Mechanism, by replacing as much of the Mechanism's workings with engineered humans and human organs. Their territory is very... Zergy.


Re: Archmage - That does easily explain any half-X/half-Y hybrids that may or may not turn up. Wondering how far that forking of the progenitor race might go. Did dragons and humans derive from the same source? Could that manipulation have split humans not just into dwarves and orcs but also non-mammalian races? Or non-animal races, like plant-derived creatures?

(idly wondering if "create/alter-a-race" might be a common longterm goal for powerful PCs in this setting)

I'll get on to racial origins soon, as I already have a lot written about that! You may be pleasantly surprised. ;)

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Oceanshieldwolf wrote:

Nice work UR - definitely a lot of passion here, Iike it!!!

* Do the hollow hivekin appear/exist in Archmage? If so, I'm assuming they are related to Death magic, but I hate assuming anything. Are Dark Elves involved?

Yes, they do! The Myrdanar aren't directly responsible, but their proliferation of death pacts did have an influence on their culture.


* I had a Druid once who pretty much smoked weed all day. Definite Nature lover and easily fits into your Nature school. He too thought Wizards were major bummers, especially given the only Wizards we ever ran into (in that particular DM's game world) were speed/come freak types and waaaaaay evil. pretty sure the DM was a Elric/Moorcock fan.

When my druid's lion animal companion got killed it was a total bummer dude! This was 1e/ADnD so he lucky enough to have rolled some Psionic aptitude and possessed the Probability Travel Major Science. It totally got him into trouble when he travelled to the Astral Plane on a lark at 10th level and encountered a bone devil. His name was Leaf the Druid.

Yes, that definitely fits (although there's no planar travel). It's common for druids to hang out with the spirits and ingest substances. The spirits don't tell you what to do like gods. They are good friends, with good advice, and it's fun to chill with them.

* Again, I implore you - please continue work on the awesome Numerian artifact-bonded Armiger.

I know. It's kinda working as is, and I was hoping someone would playtest it and respond. In the meantime, I've lost the motivation to work on it. When I am inspired to work on something (Archmage for now), I have to go all in or I'll lose the will and do nothing.

* You totally rock.

Thanks! Since I suffer from depression, even little compliments like this really help me keep on task.

* Sorry about polluting tour thread with my ramble about pot-head druids amd their irrespnsible animal companion endangering and reckless planar travelling ways.

It's fine. It's not like we can run out of thread to post in. I'll be adding more over time, largely populating this thread with Archmage details.

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Origin of the Mythical Beasts

When the gods first came to the world of Deutero, they saw the world was full of life, yet there were none with the gift of Mind. Many of the greater spirits - those that had been the most powerful followers of the gods in the Prime world before its destruction - set out to explore this wild expanse.

The spirits found many curious beasts, and still they found none with the capacity for thought. Even more worrying, there were none with magical essence or form. This was a world without magic. So a great many of them took it upon themselves to gift this world with magic by fusing themselves with chosen beasts.

Their nature changed. Their minds and souls merged with the creatures they chose and they gained the ability to procreate more of their kind.

The greater chaos spirits found powerful reptiles and serpents and became one with them, forming the first dragons and hydras, beings of unfettered destruction, jealousy and greed.

The greater nature spirits spread themselves amongst the plants and insects, creating the faerie races. Those that entered animals began the lineages of paragon beasts, great avatars of the wild.

Most of the greater death spirits refused to take solid form, remaining ethereal things of dark hunger and despair. Those few that did twisted their hosts into unrecognisable forms, creating demons from the stolen flesh.

The greater holy spirits withheld their power and waited. Theirs was the power of civilisation, and all this rampant natural growth was not to their preference.

The greater arcane spirits kept from this fusion as well, seeing no creatures that could appreciate their science.

The gods, all in quick succession, expended great portions of their power to create earthly avatars - the titans. These titans were formed from the spirits of their greatest champions and forged not from life but from the metals of the earth. As living sculptures of vast power, the titans stood to safeguard each god's holdings in the absence of worshippers.

No matter their origin, all creatures living or not that came from the fusion of spirit and matter bear the marks of their gods. These are recognisable as patterns on skin and fur, or unusual formations of horns and scales. Any mythical beast is easy to distinguish from natural beasts of similar kind.

(note: mythical does not mean 'mythic tiers' here. I use the term instead of magical beast because it encompasses all life that functions on more than natural processes. All magical beasts, outsiders, dragons, fey, some monstrous humanoids, some humanoids and some oozes would count as mythical creatures. Undead, spirits and constructs remain in separate categories because they're not alive)

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I've spent far too long being glum and not writing. I've got a spark today, and I'm going to burn it up on this before it vanishes.

On the Diversity of Gods and Powers

The five powers of the gods can intermingle to create many varieties. Along with the five main groups of spirits are those that are less focused on a central ideal and spread between two or more paths.

The five major gods were the most powerful archmages on the Prime before its destruction. They and their most powerful protoges were able to transform themselves into divine form to escape their dying world.

The major gods each follow a single path to the exclusion of others, mastering it entirely. Each of the minor gods blends two paths, gaining versatility at the cost of outright power. Similarly, their original followers became dual-path spirits, walking a line halfway between each of their aspects.

The Death of the Prime

In ancient times, before the dawn of Deutero, there was the Prime. It was a world full of life and magic. Little is known about its history, but that it was ruled over by archmages, the most powerful of all mages. Archmage was not merely a title, but a state of being wherein the mage could depart the physical form and govern over his or her realm from afar, seeing and commanding all of his or her dominion with ease. (yes, they could rule like they were playing Master of Magic; this is a deliberate reference) ;)

Eventually, it became known that the Prime's existence was not limitless. As it had been born from the random spasms of the Maelstrom, it would inevitably return to that roiling oblivion. Many of the archmages went to extraordinary lengths to try to protect the world, stabilise it and stave off the end. Nothing could halt it forever.

Archmage Juric, stern and just ruler of a great and noble civilisation, proposed that since saving the world was impossible, they should instead save its people. Many of the archmages refused to aid him, using this opportunity to attack and intrude on his borders.

As the world began to sunder, earth cracking and skies tearing apart, Juric completed his work. He created a spell that would transform himself and his people into ethereal creatures that could survive in the Maelstrom. He shared this with the other archmages that had aided him.

Malevi, Juric's son and archmage in his own right, sold this secret to Mevyann, master of necromancy and sworn enemy of Juric's nation. Mevyann in turn gave this power to many others that hated Juric, in exchange for a magically binding pact that they could not oppose her.

In the end, only fifteen archmages of the hundreds that lived, and their followers, escaped the death of the Prime. Thus they became the Primordials, spirits adrift in the Maelstrom.

The Major Gods

Juric, God of Civilisation
Juric was the husband of Asaya, an archmage of great natural power. Their nations kept a lasting peace, his a triumph of cultural prowess and honour and hers a wonderland of equality, verdant bounty and natural wealth.
Juric descended late onto Deutero, for there was no form of intelligence that could appreciate his longing for order and obedience. Malevi's betrayal had struck him deeply and he had become jaded. No longer a patron of virtuous life, he became obsessed with religious obligation and organised paranoia. When he finally came to be a god of the peoples of Deutero, he was known as a god of what is 'Holy', 'Sacred' and 'Right', against all others. While many view him as more purely virtuous than he ever was, his detractors claim he is a tyrant, using religion and its edicts to dominate civilisation to his own ends. He is called the Accorder, he who keeps peace. His followers are honorable and just paladins who protect the helpless as often as they are inquisitors with a lust for purging heresy.
Juric is the master of holy magic, granting its powers to those followers that cultivate ideal religious behaviours and mentality in themselves.
Symbol: A gold and ivory chalice.

Silai, Goddess of Thought
Silai was the first of the Primordials to discover Deutero and shared this knowledge with the others. Her motivation was not for power, but for curiosity and understanding. She lingered long in the deep places of the world, the hidden places beneath the oceans and the highest, thinnest places amongst the skies. Her interest in life was far less than her interst in the functions and physics of a world yet untouched by magic. She did not gather worshippers directly; in fact, she eschewed religion. Instead, she granted brief touches of inspiration to a select few, that they could begin the great work of discovering the fundamental workings of reality. Thus, Silai created the first students of the Arcane.
Silai is known as the All-Mage, highest master of the purest form of magic. She has few formal followers, although most arcanists revere her. She grants no magic directly and asks only that people seek and understand the information the world offers. It is believed that she is the muse of science, the one that places a yearning for comprehension in the hearts of mortals.
She is often viewed as a cold, logical scholar with little regard for the emotional needs of mortals. Those that follow her expample often say she is 'unbiased', while others would prefer to call her 'unfeeling' or 'unethical'. She sees no value in causing harm, but harm may sometimes be required for the purposes of an experiment.
Symbol: A blue runic eye.

Mevyann, Goddess of Death
Mevyann was a master of manipulation in her days as an archmage on the Prime. She gained her high station by binding others under her power, sometimes those that were even more powerful than she was. She used trickery, lies and coercion to make others believe she was their saviour. When the Prime died, it was her that forged the magical pact with all the surviving gods that ensured they could not kill her - and as a side-effect, each other.
When she found a number of her old followers had become demons, she offered many of them greater power in exchange for making them highly susceptible to binding and wards. In turn, these powerful demons were used as middlemen to grant necromantic magic to mortals. She desired power over them, and by offering power they could not otherwise attain, she captured their service and more often than not, their souls.
Mevyann enjoys worship, although she does not grant any power in exchange for it. Instead, she grants initiation into death magic in trade for the initiate's soul. Such mortals are known as the Taken of Mevyann and must gain her favour to regain their souls and become Untaken, free to become the most powerful necromancers.
Symbol: A black dagger and moon.

Ragann, God of Chaos
Ragann was a powerful warlord, a master of both martial might and magic. Although he was not as skilled in the mystic arts as the other archmages, he was still a force to be reckoned with on the Prime. He was a boisterous lover of life and when the Prime approached its end, he became violently depressed. Desperation drove him to make peace with Juric and accept the gift of survial.
The Maelstrom changed him. Where the others closed themselves off or ignored the twisting randomness, Ragann drank it in. He reveled in the infinite possibility. When Deutero formed, he was the first to follow Silai there. On the newborn world, he crashed and thundered with the clouds and expelled great, triumphant roars with the volcanoes. He became one with the chaos of the world, the unpredictable potency of disaster. When intelligence arose, he was thrilled to ignite the spark of elemental fury in their hearts.
As god of chaos, he inspires strength and vigourous lust for worldly experience. His followers worship his unrepentant might and he favours those that enjoy freedom and self-willed greatness. He is seen as the patron of competition and destroyer of those not willing to fight for their way of life.
Symbol: A crimson thundercloud.

Asaya, Goddess of Nature
Asaya was the archmage of a great fertile land. Her focus on natural magic helped her people live with nature without destroying it. While Juric toiled to further the noble might of his nation, she saw in him a primal will to survive that she admired. The two archmages become lovers. While their nations were different enough that they did not merge, they held a solid peace until the end of days. Four of their children became archmages as well, escaping the world with them.
When Juric became despondent and bitter, their partnership grew distant. While he wallowed in the Maelstrom, she could not console him and chose to descend to Deutero. There, she saw the abundance of nature untouched by man.
On Deutero, Asaya oversaw the merging of many spirits with nature and guided them in their responsibility to the natural world they now inhabited. She watched over the dawning of intelligence and did not interfere, choosing to let them develop at their own pace.
Asaya did not create Deutero, although many see her as its adoptive mother. She stands for cohabitation and evolution, enjoying life's ability to birth new and wonderful forms and how nature both fights and helps itself. She asks not that she be worshipped, but that people see themselves as merely another essential part of the great mechanism of nature, equal with the animals, plants and spirits. No one life is superior.
Symbol: A green leaf.

Coming soon: The ten minor gods!

Umbral, never stop writing. This stuff's great.

Please, ask questions and offer criticism where you think it's needed. Open discussion helps motivate me far more than compliments do. But as always, thanks. :)

When the Prime was destroyed, did the Primordials discover new, adjacent realities (planes) connected to the Maelstrom, or did a new Prime form from the Maelstrom?

In either case, what planes are you considering implementing in this Cosmology? Am I correct in associating the Maelstrom with 4th Edition's Elemental Chaos?

Ragann's description seems to indicate that a new Prime formed, but might there be other parallel realities, demi-planes, and so forth?

I'd like to know more about demons, within the context of this Cosmology.

Nothing to do with 4e. I'll write more soon.

By the way, is there anyone else out there reading this? I welcome comments! In fact, I kinda need them. With my depression, I need the interaction to keep me going. Otherwise, I fall into lethargic idleness.

Since this was asked about, here's the cosmology:

On The Maelstrom, The Prime and Deutero

The Maelstrom is, perhaps, both nothing and everything at all times. It's not a place, but rather a time. It's both a moment and an eternity, as time has little meaning in the Maelstrom. It is the essence of potential. In time, all things are reduced to the nothingness that is the Maelstrom, yet all things come from the Maelstrom.

Before the universe of the Prime was born, there was the Maelstrom. After the Prime died, there was the Maelstrom. Now, there is Deutero.

The Prime was a universe, though the term is used just as often to refer to the only inhabited planet the archmages knew of. After all, to them the world they lived on was the extent of the universe. Stars and galaxies were just dots of light and they never got the chance to explore them before their universe disintegrated.

Escaping into the Maelstrom alive - if altered - the archmages found a newborn universe, one they called Deutero. They descended into it and found a planet full of life (which they also called Deutero, being very planet-centric people), and there they installed themselves as gods and their followers as spirits.

As far as anyone knows, only one universe can exist at a time. If and when Deutero dies, those that escape may find another but for now, this is the only world they have.

There is no planar travel. For someone to say they want to go to the Maelstrom would be the same as saying they want Deutero to end like the Prime did. As before, it's less a place and more a time. It's the time after the universe dies and before a new one comes into being.

To put it simply, it works like this:

? -> Maelstrom -> Material Universe (Prime) Created -> Prime Destroyed -> Maelstrom -> Material Universe (Deutero) Created

There may have been a cycle of many worlds and Maelstroms, but such things don't leave any remaining evidence.

So, an oscillating universe?

Maybe! Even these guys don't really understand it all.

Are the Archmages/Primordials/Gods truly immortal, or can they be slain? According to what you've written, they cannot kill one another, but can a mortal, say, kill a god?

Undecided as of yet, but I'm leaning toward impossible.

In Deutero, mortals can reach the rank of archmage, but that only puts them on a similar position as the Primordials were at before the end of the Prime, not as they are now.

Would they be bound by "the Pact", though?

Nope. That's only between the gods.

Basically, all the 'archmage' rank gives you is the ability to manage a nation magically, as if you were playing a Civ genre game. All major world leaders end up either being archmages themselves or having one as a vizier. The amount of actual magic different archmages may know may vary wildly. Some may know only the absolute minimum required to reach archmage tier.

Archmage is sort of like a feat, rather than a class, with spellcasting requirements.

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While I'm inspired to do so, I'm going to write about the nature of undead.

On the Nature of Undeath

The magic of animating the dead is an ancient one, brought to Deutero by the Primordials Mevyann, Malevi, Lyriasha, Shelas and Yldriene. The first fragments of knowledge in the art of necromancy were granted to aspiring warlocks in exchange for sacrifices, souls, artifacts or even conventional wealth. The common factor is the requirement for the aspirant to sacrifice something valuable.

There are many different kinds of undead but there are several traits common to them all.

Fleshy Undead: Zombies, Ghouls and Vampires

Contrary to popular belief, undead are not utterly immune to disease. While their biological functions have ceased, they bear no particular protection against microbes that would infect their flesh and bones. In fact, as they have no immune system, they are even more susceptible to parasites and rot than living beings. Given these problems, many intelligent undead prefer to keep themselves clean and sterile, often using alchemical curatives to prevent infection. Most poisons, however, have no effect.

Undead do not heal or rejuvenate. This applies not only to their structural integrity, but also to their reserves of energy and mental strength. Unlike living beings, undead can operate indefinitely, but the quality of their function is drastically impeded if they do not feed on the flesh and blood of the living. Whereas sleep helps mortals maintain their sanity, undead cannot sleep and must replenish their mental wellbeing by consuming the brains of the living. Many undead begin as intelligent beings but due to the rigors of their existence, gradually lose so much of their minds that they become insane, seemingly mindless killers. Most are so far gone that even consumption of brains - which they are often compelled to do by instinct - can barely help them recover their minds.

The shambling zombie is well-known, the result of an undead failing to sustain its energy and sanity. Of course, a zombie that has fed recently may be far more agile and dangerous, with bolstered reserves of physical energy and heightened awareness. Rarely, an undead may snap out of the maddening hunger and regain the ability to moderate his or her behaviour.

A well-maintained zombie is known as a ghoul, and with proper attention to appearance and diet may even walk among the living without appearing odd. A variation is the vampire, where alchemical science has allowed blood to be used as sustenance instead, albeit at the cost of gaining multiple peculiar vulnerabilities.

Fleshless Undead: Skeletons and Hollow

Animated skeletons are common tools of necromancers. They are far more likely to be slow and mindless than zombies, but rarely express the same overwhelming hunger. They cannot eat, and so cannot renew their bodies and minds under their own power. Instead, they require the aid of a necromancer to perform the requisite spells of renewal. A skeleton with its own powers of death magic may perform these spells itself, although this is more risky as it can deplete the very same mental reserves it is trying to restore.

Hollow are equivalent to skeletons but are made from the exoskeletons of large insects. They are much more suited to having armour plated onto them, and are naturally more resilient.

A zombie that has rotted away completely does not become a skeleton. This requires a different spell of animation.

Incorporeal Undead: Ghosts and Wraiths

Ghosts are the souls of the dead that have refused to or cannot pass on to the afterlife. There are spells and rituals that can increase or decrease the likelihood that an individual will become a ghost. Insanity, tremendous agony and rage are common causes, although a powerful will is usually also a prerequisite. Not everyone that dies angry becomes a ghost.

Ghosts have the same problems with their maintenance as any undead. Their method of rejuvenation is to drain the life from living beings with a deadly grasp. The more depleted a ghost is, the more listless and ethereal it is, and the less able to apply force to its environment. Many ghosts remain idle to reserve their energies until a victim appears, thus meaning they rarely travel far.

Wraiths are similar to ghosts but usually much more dangerous, for they are the restless dead of primordial spirits, those that died in the horrific destruction of the Prime and clung to existence long enough to descend upon Deutero. They often have powers of magic with which to better hunt and devour the living. Some may still work toward goals left unfinished in their time on the Prime, such as vengeance against another primordial.


All undead have the option of going into torpor. Mindless undead cannot initiate it themselves, but can be put into it by their masters. Torpor preserves their bodies, energy and minds in a form of stasis. Their senses are greatly reduced and they may only awaken under certain conditions - the torpor can be broken by touching the undead (jostling it in its resting place without touching it directly may also suffice) or by certain conditions established when the torpor was initiated (such as removing the artifact from that pedestal).

Are Undead Evil?

Undead are no more inherently evil than the living. However, the difficulty of undead existence and its requirements may make it far easier to fall into ways considered evil by most of civilisation. An undead that allows itself to fall into mindless hunger may be considered evil, knowing that to lapse in maintenance creates a ravening horror. Is an undead that becomes a hungering zombie out of carelessness or accident evil? That's a difficult question.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Umbral Reaver wrote:
Those are all separate settings. No connection between them. I'll be posting more later. I know there's pretty much nothing here yet.

They also look like they should be using separate rulesets, such as more pure SCFI (or the Modern Path) for the first one as opposed to trying to shoehorn a fantasy system into it.

This is not the case. The basis of my system is more like GURPS than Pathfinder. My point is that Pathfinder could be used to play in the Archmage setting.

I just found your thread Umbral and I find it fascinating. I noticed you never posted about the 10 minor gods. I would love to read about them if you get around to it.

I also really like your spin on undead. do you use mummies and how do they fit into your world if you do??

I'll get to them soon. Mummies would not necessarily be undead! Some might just be preserved corpses.

Where they are undead, mummies would be a variation where they have tried to preserve the flesh using various embalming procedures, knowing that undead don't like rotting.

Alright. Let's do this! Here come five of the minor gods.

The Minor Gods

Shelas, Goddess of Desire
Before the destruction of the Prime, Shelas was a servant of Mevyann and quickly grew adept in the art of necromancy. As the finality of their old world drew near, she became melancholy and turned to the power of Chaos to attempt to raise her spirits. She succeeded, in a way. With the emotional power of Chaos, she forced herself to become happy, and the crude magical manipulation of her psyche left her bipolar.
As the goddess of desire, Shelas wants nothing more than to satiate herself on what delights she can experience. She represents a pleasant delusion that conceals the true bleakness of existence. She swings between gleeful, hedonistic delight and dangerous, sadistic misery. Shelas believes that the work of Gods and Men is futile, and it is best to simply give up and enjoy the world while it lasts. She has followers amongst the depressed and rejected as often as the creative and artistic. The most desperate and dangerous of her followers may seek pleasure in vile or harmful ways and her detachment from the concerns of her followers does little to quell this reputation.
Symbol: A red and black theatrical mask

Anaton, God of Harmony
The firstborn of Juric and Asaya, Anaton was always their favoured child. He took after his father's love of civilisation and his mother's love of nature. Though the other siblings were often jealous of him, he was rarely hostile. Anaton found a natural aptitude for mediation and compromise, often giving up things of his own so that others would find equity.
He became a god along with his siblings and when he arrived on Deutero, he saw a need to establish peace between the many factions of spirits and people. With such rapid conquest of the new world taking place, he made little progress and had to withdraw to consider longer-term plans. It was his primordial spirits that laid the groundwork for the creation of the Syldanar, his chosen people.
Anaton is one of the gods that grants holy power to priests. He favours societies that live in harmony with nature and their neighbours, where crime is as minimal as possible and everyone is happy. It's rumoured that he is not above quelling individuality, creativity and free will in this pursuit of utopia.
Symbol A laurel

Ganne, Goddess of Order
Ganne was second born to Juric and Asaya, their first daughter. She was quick to learn language and law, often going with her father to observe the political and lawkeeping proceedings that were so common in his nation. In adulthood, she trained in both Arcane and Holy magic, taking up the mantle of High Lawgiver in Juric's court.
After the destruction of the Prime and the arrival on Deutero, Ganne remained reserved, for there was no life that needed laws. Once societies began to form and grow more complex, her interest was piqued. She studied the formation of custom, tradition and law from its most primitive beginnings, choosing not to interfere until after the Syldanar-Myrdanar civil war. There, she began to influence those lawfully-minded amongst Myrdanar in the hopes of creating systems of law to her liking. This provided a counterbalance to the ambitions of Mevyann and Malevi as they sought to ferment darkness in hearts of the newly formed nation.
Ganne is the goddess of law, logic and even-handedness. She is not swayed by emotional pleas, prefering adherence to a codified system over the happiness of those living under that system. For this reason she is often in conflict with Anaton as often as she is allied with him, for he cares for happiness more than order.
Symbol Scales

Argath, God of Strength
Argath was Ragann's last champion before the fall of the Prime. He was less cheerful than his master and perhaps even more violent. Argath was one with the roiling anger in his heart and the primal ferocity of nature. He believed in 'kill or be killed', and that personal power was the greatest ideal.
He raged in the Maelstrom but unlike Ragann, he did not give in to it. He clung to his love for nature and the wild predators he admired. When Argath arrived on Deutero, he saw the proto-Krodanoi, their ancestry in great predatory cats and their future as powerful sophonts, and bid his spirits empower them to create a great nation.
Argath is often considered the patron god of the Krodanoi ahead of Ragann, though this varies from tribe to tribe. He is prayed to by warriors seeking strength before battle and by hunters seeking to capture prey. He has little care for the wounded and weak, seeing them as burdens on the greatness of his people. Argath is a fickle god; his champion might at his side one moment and be an exile the next, if he suffers a wound or illness that destroys his strength and with it Argath's favour.
Symbol: Horned skull

Lyriasha, Goddess of Knowledge
Lyriasha was the second most powerful death mage on the Prime, after Mevyann. She also boasted an impressive knowledge of arcane magic and kept vast libraries on every possible subject. She was horrified by the ending of the Prime, not because of the loss of the world, but because all that knowledge would be destroyed. She did everything she could to memorise the most important contents of her library, for physical objects could not be brought to Deutero.
She revealed herself first to the Myrdanar when they were exiled into the Deep Realms. There, she offered to the lost and fearful elves the power of deepsight so they would not be blind in the dark. In exchange, they as a nation would owe a debt to her, one that would not be called upon for thirteen generations.
Lyriasha is not merely a goddess of knowledge. She stands for secrets and subterfuge, the careful acquisition of knowledge and its clever application to influence outcomes. She challenges her faithful to unlock hidden truth, decipher riddles and unravel enigmas to get what they want. Lyriasha knows more than any other god, but is the least free in sharing her precious lore.
Symbol: An open book

Silver Crusade

prints the whole thread :)

dat post on undead

I'm glad you like it. :)

As you may have noticed, I am not using alignment. What's good and evil may be very subjective. There's no god of good. There's no god of evil. There's no overbeing of anything, and even the major gods are not necessarily more powerful than the minor gods. It's just a categorisation thing.

'Holy' merely means it is directly given by a god, not that it is good. Malevi the Betrayer (who is yet to be shown in more than mere glimpses in the tales of others) grants holy magic.

I need to work on this more. Uuuuurgh...

Okay! The other five gods!

The Minor Gods (continued

Malevi, God of Wealth
Also known as the Betrayer, it was Malevi, fourth child of Juric and Asaya, who sold the secrets of escape to the necromancer Mevyann. He had always been the jealous child, angered that he would be given the least of his parents inheritance. He sought bargains and pacts with other powers, that he could be greater than his siblings. Mevyann, of course, was willing to oblige.
Malevi had interest in Deutero from near its early days. He suspected intelligence would appear, and believed that they would desire gold as all from the Prime did in their living days. His initial explorations on Deutero were to seek out rich deposits of gold and gemstones and place his loyal spirits to guard them.
As the god of Wealth, Malevi believes that anything can be had if you're willing to pay, and have enough to pay with. He is patron of merchants and bankers, often despised by the poor and loved by the rich. He does not favour pointless hoards; his followers are expected to be active with their currency, always gaining more power and influence through coin.
Malevi has a prominent church amongst the Myrdanar, called the House of Malevi. The House serves as a place of worship as well as trade and its priests are often as canny with wealth as any merchant prince. Tithes are expected from its followers, yet these tithes are not without reward. Through Malevi one can buy absolution, or if desired, power over the forces of light and darkness. He has both the holy magic of his father and Mevyann's necromancy.
Symbol: A coin depicting his face in profile.

Helior, Goddess of Justice
Helior was the third born of Juric and Asaya, their second daughter. While she was like her siblings in adopting the noble and lawful ways of their father (since he of course insisted), she was also a creature of great passions. Helior was a rebel in her youth, a lover of many and loved in return. As she matured, she was forced to learn responsibility for her actions. Her life of chaos caught up to her. She handled it well, turning her passion to a love of justice and righting wrongs, even her own.
When society began to form on Deutero, Helior was instantly interested. She followed Argath's uplifting of the Krodanoi and as they began to form tribes and laws, she was pleased to find those amongst them with a burning desire to uphold what was good and punish evil. Sadly, Argath's brutal ways barred her from establishing more than a little influence in their formative centuries. In time, however, she worked her way into becoming a prominent patron of the modern Krodanoi nations.
Helior is the Goddess of Justice and often stands with her sister in pursuit of that goal. However, she is more interested in the emotional side of law; the rush of sensation when acting virtuously and quelling villains, the essential feeling when wrongdoers get what they deserve. Her followers are often valiant champions of light, although they may also be overzealous and short-sighted.
Symbol: A silver sword on red.

Yazrath, God of Change
Yazrath was a prominent scientist on the Prime, the foremost expert in the field of evolution. His pursuit of knowledge led him to master both nature and arcane magic and he used both to perform numerous experiments on plants and animals. He took little interest in the politics of the other great figures of the Prime but was a friend to Silai and rival to Aldran.
The two scientist-Archmages wrote to each other frequently. While Silai focused on the esoteric properties of space, time and forces, Yazrath explored the earthy sciences. Transmutation was a favourite study of his, one of the few commonalities between his two schools of magic.
On Deutero, Yazrath was quick to follow Asaya and explore the wonderful natural bounties of the world. After Aldran found and enlightened the Rhuz, Yazrath inspired in them a fascination with augmenting and altering living beings using a special gene-magic of his design. As a 'safety measure' for his grand experiment, he organised a pact with the help of Lyriasha and Yldriene to allow him to withdraw the gene-magic from the world when he desired.
Yazrath's first followers were the Rhuz genesmiths who hammered out so many of the stranger natural beasts (the gene-magic could not create fantastic beasts on its own; it only manipulated nonmagical properties of life) and populated the planet with the diverse races. His following became rare after the catastrophe that was the creation of humans but he retained some worship from transmuters and naturalists.
Symbol: An elaborate spiral (in fact, Yazrath's followers are encouraged to create their own version of the spiral, so long as it's recognisable as the icon of Yazrath. It evolves, yet always functions.)

Aldran, God of Discovery
Aldran was a student of Silai and constant thorn in her side. While she took a dispassionate approach to science, he was frequent in his emotional outbursts. As often as he expressed unmitigated wonder and joy at the delights of science, he threw tantrums of rage over failed experiments and investigations. In his role as an Archmage, he was the one considered most mad of all of them and he left many unfinished wonders in his wake. He had a rivalry with Yazrath and the two often had competing theories on the arcane.
Aldran explored Deutero in fits and starts, striking out in fascination of one thing only to lose interest and seek something else. His discovery of the Rhuz was the first thing to truly keep his interest, for the cave-dwelling hominids had already manifested the basics of language and had potential to be great thinkers in time. He revealed himself to them, becoming the first god of the Rhuz and revealed both arcane and chaos magic to them.
Aldran is a very active if erratic god of science. He enjoys invention and innovation and quickly forgets things that are static or old. He and his followers are uncautious and outright bold in their efforts and have a reputation for being reckless visionaries and mad scientists.
Symbol: A red and blue starburst.

Yldriene, Goddess of Renewal
Yldriene was a handmaiden of Asaya and shared her love of nature. While Asaya found joy in life, Yldriene was fascinated with death. An enthusiastic if gleefully morbid woman, she delved deep into the workings of disease and decay not only of plants and animals, but also of greater things like worlds and stars.
The Maelstrom was not as unpleasing to her as it was to the other Primordials. She believed that all things came in cycles of life and death, and that the death of one thing was often the life of another. Upon Deutero, after the creation of the Syldanar, she found their closeness with nature appealing and introduced her influence to them.
Yldriene is a goddess with a conflicted reputation. She is seen as the bringer of disease and pestilence, as well as a healer and carer of the sick. She has several followings, the most prominent being a cannibalistic Syldanar cult that believe that life does not end in death, but carries on in those you love (they eat you, of course). Due to the love of death, she has many necromancers amongst her following. They too believe that death holds just as much virtue as life, and that death in turn gives way to new life. For this reason, preserved undead are abhorrent to them. Their liches are expected to eventually succumb to the 'Gentle Rot', an endless torpor in which they plant themselves as fertiliser for a spirit tree and are thought to be able to live on through that spirit. Reincarnation is a very popular belief as well.
Symbol: An ouroboros (snake eating its tail).

What I like most about your deities is that their names sound like their portfolios. Not an easy task to accomplish. Very nicely done UR.

I know this is asking a lot, but will we be seeing any of your mechanical/game tweaks appearing on this thread? Your alternate mental and physical wound/health/vitality/injury/endurance stuff springs to mind - given Archmage's stance on undead it might provide some synergistic world/game understanding for us poor readers...

Love your work!

A coupe of favorites:

Umbral Reaver wrote:
Yazrath, God of Change...His following became rare after the catastrophe that was the creation of humans but he retained some worship from transmuters and naturalists.
Umbral Reaver wrote:
Yldrienne, Goddess of Renewal...She is seen as the bringer of disease and pestilence, as well as a healer and carer of the sick. She has several followings, the most prominent being a cannibalistic Syldanar cult that believe that life does not end in death, but carries on in those you love (they eat you, of course)....They too believe that death holds just as much virtue as life, and that death in turn gives way to new life.

Question: What do you mean by "preserved undead"?

Preserved undead are those that try to prevent their rot as much as possible. Yldrienne's undead are expected to give in to rot and birth new life (often fungus), becoming part of the cycle. Her blessing of 'gentle rot' allows them to go into a decaying torpor.

Edit: Yes, more questions! Please, keep them coming. Even if something about what I've written bugs you, point it out. The more interaction you give me, the more I produce!

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