Wondrous and terrifying, magic engulfs and drives the world of Thorn. Fear and respect are given to those who can channel the wild mana flows, though sometimes grudgingly. This chapter outlines the way magic affects the world and characters affect it.
The roots of Magic date back to before the Old Ones. Thorn is a magical world, and is saturated with Mana, the energy of magic. Mana flows along invisible channels called ley lines that criss cross Thorn like a spiderweb.
When Old Ones walked the earth, they investigated Mana and built large towers to concentrate and direct ley lines. They learned to control Mana and make it do wondrous things.
As time passed they gained a mastery so powerful that their effects might have endangered the whole world, so they constructed another dimension of reality called Kigam to experiment in safety.
After the Great Cataclysm they abandoned their towers. They ceased their investigations, and sealed Kigam. When they ascended to become dieties, most forbade the practice to their worshipers. Only Moz freely gives the knowledge to those he feels worthy.
Soon the other races began investigating on their own, much to the warnings of the gods. Some found the old towers and ruins and snippets of knowledge. Guilds were formed, especially during the Empire. Much knowledge was shared, and many, many people learned.
After the assassination of the Emperor, and during the chaos the followed, Wizards took the blame. Many thought they were responsible. There were even circles in the Wizards who thought they were to blame. The debate heated, sides were taken. in 1781 there was a meeting of the Council of Wizards. The Council is a meeting of all the heads of all the guilds, and they met every so often to debate matters. In the meeting of 1781, a formal declaration of War was proclaimed when Acotol Mezzashapi, Necromancer, got ‘irritated’ by the ‘screeching’ of Abethol Orathel (on the Elven Council of Magi) and drained her soul, on the spot.
The Magewar raged for many years. Usually one wizard dueled another, sometimes whole nations warred because the rulers were wizards. Eventually it came down to the Great Whomp. All the wizards, Living and undead, decided to have it out once and for all. A comet was summoned, albeit a small one, where the gathering was, just outside the great colleges of Acalti. Thus the sinking of a continent and the creation of the Blood Sea. That marked the end of the war.
There are few Wizards left. Only two Guilds exist today. The Guild was formed in the ashes of the Great Whomp, and the Red Wizards were mostly cooped up in their towers who were too bothered to join the War, or didn’t know about it. They exist to gather knowledge, guide the naive, and protect the future. Despite most peoples reactions, people continue to learn the Art.
To normal people, even a wizard’s normal, mundane tasks seem wondrous. Reactions to them vary from place to place. In most cities wizards are seen as helpful and are respected. Smaller villages may see the necessity for a mage but when not needed kept at arms length.
After the Great Whomp, however, it is considerably more hazardous to be a wizard. If crops don’t grow well or the weather seems ‘unnatural’ the wizard may find himself the first to be blamed. If he is not careful he will find himself hung, burned at the steak, or worse.
There are places, such as Cross, where the wizards are appreciated, if tolerated, because of the aid and guidance during the Evergrowing. These places are rare.
Since the Great Whomp, there are fewer wizards running around, There are a few here or there who have tagged onto a town or village and provide service for shelter, often questing for some hidden secret. Most of these are known as hedge wizards, self tought, usually from a book of lore found in an attic or such.
Formed after the Great Whomp by the three most powerful wizards in the world, it’s purpose is regulation. To prevent another Magewar. To keep dangerous things away from dangerous people. To keep dangerous people from everyone else. To teach people before they become dangerous. The Guild’s methods have always been harsh, its laws strict. Its members are respected, and a bit feared. Joining and learning requires an invitation. They usually know before you do that you’re to learn the Art.
The dwarves are very particular of how to make things. They are particular in many things, but especially in making things. For everything there is a way to do it, a ritual. Many scholars believe that in this ritual a ‘spell’ is woven. Though there is no magic aura like other enchanted items, but some scholars wonder.
Left over from the first age, the Aru’At simply means ‘magic key’. It can take all kinds of shapes or forms, the most common was an amulet or pendant. The powers of an Aru’At varied from wizard to wizard. Each was unique. It is believed during those ancient times a wizard had to make one in order to graduate from his apprenticeship. So most Aru’Ats aren’t too powerful.
One function all Aru’Ats have in common, however, is that they act as key. Scattered throughout Thorn is a system of Portal Stones. Flat, 10’ in diameter (Sometimes more, sometimes less). Most reside in old towers that date back before the Cataclysm, and others where presumably where towers were. In order to use these stones, one must possess an Aru’At and the knowledge of the places you are going.
During the First Age during the Great Elan Empire, the last great empire before the Cataclysm, it is written that Oel had a thousand Paladins each armed with a Holy Avenger. Since the Cataclysm there have been only five known to survive, Undoubtedly there remain more that are buried in the earth or in some Dragon’s plunder, but until others become discovered there remain only five.
The Five that survived surfaced as Alric marched to the Army of Dark, he and four of his generals wielded them, where exactly they got them remains a mystery.
Alric’s Avenger rests with him. it is buried with him in his tomb located on the great planes outside Cross where he slew Morkat.
General Micomb found the old book of Order, became a priest of Oel, started the construction of the cathedral in cross and laid his Avenger upon the alter. There it rests waiting to be picked up again. On his deathbed Micomb foretold that on a day of great darkness one-who-was-before will claim it, take it, and save the city.
General Tiom’s Avenger resides in the Red Tower, one of the three grand towers belonging to the Guild. Tiom’s wife was a grand wizard who ran the tower in the early days of the Empire long before the Guild. It is stored somewhere deep in the tower’s storehouses.
General Vioca oversaw the province that after Alric’s death would become the country of Adoran. The sword still resides beside the King there, however it cannot be drawn from its scabbard. It serves as a symbol of the Kingdom, sitting beside the throne in its scabbard on a cradle.
General Georae Died in the great last battle against Morkat battling the demon lord, Arzaz. He shoved the Avenger into the beast’s chests. The Daemon fell into Hell with the sword in its chest dragging Georae with it. A few years later Georae returned without the sword, saying it was still in Hell with Arzaz.