- 1 The Tatters of the First, The Original's Legacy
- 2 Initiation
- 3 Practices
- 4 Disciplines
- 5 Practices vs Disciplines
- 6 Difference Between Mages and Marked
- 7 The Halfbloods and the Spark
- 8 Fractures
- 9 Flaying
- 10 Corruptions
- 11 Out of Character
The Tatters of the First, The Original's Legacy
In the beginning, Ether was the unlimited power, the formless essence of Emea, harnessed by the Original Beings. From this chaos they came to Idalos, toting power that could defy the laws of fate and reality. Eight in number, none could challenge their strength, however, as they remained within this world, they slowly found themselves bound to it.
Though their power was great, they could not, or perhaps would not, permanently return to Emea completely. Instead they committed to the world of Idalos, its maintenance, its care. From the Originals came the Immortals, children shaped of Idalos and Emea both, belonging to both worlds and tasked with the governance of Idalos and its phenomena. Through the Ether they shaped their power, but unlike the formless potential of the Originals, each Immortal developed Domains, channels by which the power of Ether could be controlled.
Then came the Great Shattering.
Seven of the Eight were gone in flashes of catastrophic brilliance. Force so immense it tore holes in reality and shook the very foundation of Idalos. Gone, without explanation, leaving behind only the scars of their passage...and the power of Domain.
The Power of Domain
Domain is a power understood best by Immortals. All Immortals have a Domain and most have several. Even their mortal offspring are born with the strange power. The Power of Domain is the ability to control phenomena within a specific field. The Immortal of Fury has unprecedented power to manipulate, create, or banish Fury as they encounter it. None master a Domain better than an Immortal, but when the Seven were destroyed, their power did not simply vanish. Instead, it suffused the world of Idalos and found new homes in the souls of men. Remember that while the Immortals are bound to their Domains, the Originals suffered no such frailty. From their wild magic, all domains were released upon Idalos.
Domain Magic is the tattered power of the Originals taken into a body and grafted willingly to the soul upon initiation. Ether, then, is the clay by which one shapes magic. All souls of sentient mortals produce ether. So long as a mortal has the ability to dream (or did) they naturally produce ether. Through sleep their conscious minds are transported and by that same passage, ether can be drawn into Idalos. It is the connection to Emea and the ether there that nourishes a Spark, allowing it grow in the fertile soul of a mage.
As one grows in mastery and control, so does the Spark within them. Those who have reached the pinnacle of their craft know that sometimes, this ember will threaten to overpower the identity of the mage it once belonged to, purging human frailties and leaving something else behind, something peerless and ambitious. The being mages can become are often spoken of in legends as the most feared fiends and tyrants of Idalos. On the other hand, powerful mages have also been immortalized as saviors. Magic is the ink by which mortal imprint themselves upon history.
A mage inevitably seeks to become more than they are. No matter what discipline one originally chooses to pursue, all mages knowingly and unknowingly seek to transcend their mortal limitations. Why else would they seek so ardently to flout the laws of reality? One who takes the power of Domain upon themselves offer their very identity as tribute to the power itself. As it grows the fundamental battle between being human and being...other becomes a centerpiece of a mage's existence.
Note: The origin of magic, the nature of the Spark, and much of magic itself is still considered a mystery. As mages are quite rare in Idalos in comparison to the population, academic pursuit has been slow and often lost due to the staggering number of mage deaths in pursuit of magical might and growth. In character, you will not know that magic comes from the Originals. You will not know that the Spark is part of the Originals. This information is presented as an out of character guide to magic so a player is fully aware of what they are investing in.
Only those who have learned magic can initiate those who have not. The process of initiation is different throughout all disciplines of magic, but the similarity begins at the center. It begins with the initiator taking a bit of their essence, the essence transfused with that of the Originals, and using it to initiate a new mage. Initiation is a precious process for most mages. Some have likened it to creating a child, taking part of their own Spark and using it to seed the new mage. There is always a bond between Master and Student that persists as long as both are alive (And some have argued, even into death). A Mage can only ever initiate up to 6 people in their lifetime, regardless of which Spark they choose to impart, so selecting a student is often a heavily weighed decision in a mage’s life. Initiation is rarely done without consideration for that limit and it should be reflected in your character’s background (if they begin with magic) what about them compelled their teacher to offer that gift.
One must be at least competent in a magical discipline in order to initiate another, and they are only able to initiate someone in the discipline they are competent in. At expertise, two additional students can be initiated, and an additional three at Mastery. As the Spark has become part of the soul when a mage has Revealed, they are unable to initiate a student in any magic that they have Revealed in. Some have called magic an infection, communicable by choice and leaving monsters in its wake. Others have heralded magic as the only means to control one's destiny, to step out of the shadow of Immortals. Still others believe magic to be a tool by which any price is adequate. The truth remains widely contested. There is less known about magic than what is known. Its origin, true nature, and purpose in Idalos are often the subject of rich debate in both the arcane and mundane community. Truth, it seems, is subjective. Note Magic is rare. This should be echoed throughout the article. While it is prevalent enough for people to have opinions about it, magic is not so widespread that most people understand it. The vast majority of Idalos fears, distrusts, or would like to use mages for their power. The foolish seek that power and those that have it often find it is more trouble than it is worth. MOST initiations end in failure. While it is not a staggering percentage of fails, the Spark often messes up the potential initiate and they perish or become much worse as noted in the discipline articles. While your player characters will not be subject to this failure, you should keep in mind that it is probable, when initiated, that your character will perish (at least to the knowledge of your character (if they’re told) and certainly to the Initiator). When constructing your Initiation story, take that into account. A master should not be eager to initiate a student as there may be a fairly good chance they’ll just end up destroying them. Magic is a gift, it is a power, it is a force, and it should not be taken into your character concept lightly. Magic must be a vital part of their existence, their lives, and it will generally follow them forever.
A dual discipline. For those without the Spark, Ensorcellment is the Dream-given knowledge of how to turn wells into wards, traps, weapons. and powerful explosives of magical power. For one WITH the Spark, it instructs how to create magic staves, conduits, and the ability to write one’s own magic.
The Ability to Attune oneself to the various Frequencies that Resonate through Ether. In doing so, Attuners seek to understand the world.
The use of Ether to establish a relationship with elements, controlling their manifestation and intensity.
The use of Ether to forge emotional and mental links with other sentient individuals, coaxing, beguiling, and in some extreme cases, compelling their cooperation with your will.
When Ether is used to change one substance into another, or to memorize the 'qualities' of objects and temporarily enchant them into other items.
A Magic of dreams, painting elaborate illusions through the senses.
The use of Ether to systematically perfect and reinforce the body. This is a magic of physical transcendence.
The use of Ether to command ones will through telekinetic force.
Practices vs Disciplines
The difference between Practices and Disciplines begins and ends with the Spark. Disciplines are those powers only attainable by grafting a spark to your soul through an initiation. Practices require no such ritual and are accessible to anyone who wants to learn. Although the Practices are heavily geared toward mages, anyone can theoretically pick up the basics and learn the skill, even if the skill isn't all that useful to them personally. As a rule, Practices require intense study but never threaten ones humanity (save for your physical safety. They can be quite dangerous).
What is Ether?
Ether is the dream-like potential of Emea. Before it manifests, coalesces, becomes, it has no established identity. Ether is just a word for the energy, a way to name the power where Domain draws its strength. Near and within Fractures (Where the distance between Idalos and Emea is thinnest), a mage's power is increased but at the real risk of overwhelming their bodies and minds. It is not known what a mage would be capable of in Emea, but if Fractures are any indication a mage would likely burn themselves out. In especially powerful magic, Ether manifests as the physical sensation of cool wind, somewhat electrified and carrying unique smell. For the purpose of this outline, Ether is like our mana equivalent. It exists. It can be used, and it is largely unknown...even by the mages who practice with it. Emea is boundless creativity, the Ether is untasked clay. Disciplines are the crafting hands and magic are the shapes.
The name for the consequences of a mage who pushes beyond their limits, Overstepping is one of the consequences in magic, also called Ether Feedback, or Arcane Recoil. The soul, like any muscle, has hard limits. Drawing ether through the soul can sometimes overtask it, force the magic to lash out in unexpected and detrimental ways. Most mages experience overstepping in their lives. While there is no mechanical limit, generally the greater the manifestation or the more skilled the technique, the more ether it takes. Overstepping can be chosen by the player or enforced by a reviewer. Most of these penalties are temporary and assign interesting new challenges to ones roleplaying experience. Players are encouraged to overstep frequently and learn, in character, their own limitations.
A Marked individual does not overstep. As the ether the Marked uses comes from the Immortal who marked them, it is a much more stable manifestation of power and rarely has such disastrous feedback as Domain magic does. When choosing a magic, familiarize yourself with its overstepping penalties and use your best judgement on if you believe you have overstepped or not. The consequences are not designed to be a punishment to check power gamers but an opportunity to explore those strange and esoteric frailties that no other kind of character can truly know.
Difference Between Mages and Marked
Certainly both are conjuring magic, so what makes a marked different from a mage? The answer is in ownership. A Marked has permission by the immortal to make use of their domain in predetermined ways. The Immortal regulates the amount of control a marked has on the domain of the Immortal. Marked magic is symbiosis with an Immortal while Domain magic is parasitic.
The No-Spells Club, Explained
Magic does come with its share of restrictions. Due to the unique physiological and spiritual makeup of Tunawa, none of them are capable of learning magic. It is unclear what exactly limits them from learning the Disciplines but some would say the Little Folk dodged a dark fate. Yludih, likewise, are not capable of learning all disciplines. A notable restriction is Becoming. A Becomer cannot become a Yludih under any circumstances and the Yludih cannot learn to Become something other than themselves. Due to the Yludih’s unique physiological make up, the Three Sovereign Substances cannot be gathered from their body. No magic works on obscuring or disguising their nature save their own transformation. Likewise, some aspects of Mirage are beyond a Yludih's grasp. Luckily, they can still shapeshift on their own. Likewise a Wisp, cut off from Emea by death, is incapable of learning magic…and any Sparks they possessed lie dormant within them.
A Naerikk, likewise, being a creature of shadow rather than true flesh and blood, could not engage in Becoming nor be taken as an appropriate totem.
The Halfbloods and the Spark
Mortalborns are a different being entirely when it comes to the Spark. Already awakened to their divine heritage, the Spark is something remarkably different and sometimes insidious when introduced to a Mortalborn. While any Mortalborn is capable of learning magic, initiating into the Disciplines begins a dangerous path that is difficult to deviate from. A Mortalborn receives double the Mutations at each level of mastery (explained below) than an ordinary mage. The nature of the spark grows exponentially in the fertile soul of a Mortalborn, steeped in divine energy. Ordinarily a Mortalborn is not capable of a Revelation as they are already awakened to their divine potential...but there are whispers of what could happen if a Revelation did occur. Apotheosis. Destruction, or worse, Descension. Some of the most dangerous beings in Idalos, The Fallen Lords are rumored to be Mortalborn who Revealed, becoming something much darker and more powerful than the sum of their parts. Most Immortals do not condone their children deviating into arcana and have been known to intercede to caution progeny against it at times. No one knows what will become of a Mortalborn who reaches Revelation and few want to. ((For now, Mortalborn are barred from Revealing with the Spark, meaning they can only ever master a magic))
Immortals, Marks, and Magic...Oh My!
So how DO the Immortals view magic? The answer is not entirely universal as most Immortals have different opinions about the strange power taking shape in the world. Some view it as an immense affront, stealing the shards of their predecessors to play the parts of burgeoning Immortals across Idalos. Others see it as an interesting development, curious how the mortals will adapt to this new ability and make it their own. These Immortals see magic as a way to gather answers about themselves, answers their creators did not leave with them. Still others see magic and those who use it as a tool, a weapon for power plays in conquest or defense. Following is a list of the Immortals and the simple version of the opinion they hold on magic.
Zanik - Following his philosophy of strength and seduction, Zanik appreciates the allure of magic and the strength of those who wield it well, but will not tolerate those who lose themselves to it.
Faldrun - An Immortal who sides with other Immortals, Faldrun will rarely stoop to take the service of a mage. To him, mages are scavengers...or worse, thieves.
Raskalarn - Raskalarn is not so bold as to make a claim for all mages under her domain, but she has been known to mark mages who work in service of the Eternal Empire. While she watches them to make sure they do not become a liability, she has been known to encourage arcane study to give her armies an edge over opponents.
Kata - Follows along with Mastes, but while the Lord of Compulsion focuses on what they can do for him, Kata loves the ruin mages often bring to themselves and all around them.
Ilaren - While not categorically opposed to magic, Ilaren considers arcane power to be a dangerous tool that most mortals will misuse. While she will not stop one of her marked from exploring this path, she is usually cautious about newly marking someone who has been initiated.
Chamadarst - True to form, Chamadarst holds no strong opinion on the arcane either which way.
Vhalar - While Vhalar holds no particular animosity toward mages, the strong beliefs of Ashan influence Vhalar to be careful when choosing to mark mages. Vhalar first and foremost does not wish to give Ashan a reason to doubt his alliance.
Ziell - Knows magic is the harbinger of some grim prophecy. As Ziell has a more personal relationship with those he marks, Ziell rarely marks someone already on the path of the arcane and expresses concern over those tempted to study.
Yvithia - Mortals appearing after the destruction of the seven and now the shards of the seven manifesting in the mortals who came after has Yvithia intrigued. She marks mages to keep track of them, sway them to her side so that eventually she might understand all the mysteries they hold...from the Immortals, and themselves.
Vri - Vri holds no strong opinion on magic one way or another. He tends to mark those by their character rather than what they practice.
Pier & Pre - Scalekeepers, the Immmortals of balance do not care for the arcane. Unmitigated access to Domain brings chaos and inequality.
Syroa - Considers magic to be a useful tool for the type of chaos Aelig likes. Considering her often adversarial relationship to her marked, it is unknown how Syroa feels about magic, only that she will mark mages if they catch her interest.
Mastes - Magic is a compulsion, a vice in a way and Mastes considers mages to be under his purview...and influence.
Cassion - Is reticent to mark arcane casters, more interested in the stories of mortals who triumph without divine intervention, but has marked certain adventurous mages in the past.
Audrae - Galled by the Secret Famula and Treid keep from her, Audrae has no trouble marking mages and maintains a strong interest in their development, seeking what is hidden.
Moseke - The Goddess of Life is conflicted on the matter of magic. On one hand, it is the evolution of a new lifeform and on the other, it arms mortals with dangerous powers...powers once meant only for Immortals and their children. Moseke tends to disdain the more destructive magical arts. Moseke, like many Immortals, will mark a mage if their character aligns with her requirements.
Lisirra - The Plague-daughter understands magic to be an infection of sorts and thus considers mages under her purview and control, a point of contention between her and Mastes.
Famula - Virulently against magic, especially Necromancy. She seems to know something about arcane power that she isn't sharing, a secret that worries her.
Sintra - As mages have the power to manipulate and control others, it was only natural Sintra would be drawn to them. Sintra will never allow herself to be the fool of a relationship and only really marks mages within her own organization, The Webspinners.
Treid - The Immortal of Knowledge shares some terrible secret with Famula and will rarely mark a follower who embraces the arcane path.
Chrien - Chrien views magic as a cheeky insult to the Immortals. That humans and the like would dare to stand on even grounds with the Immortals is beyond insult. Chrien marks few mages and actively thwarts them when under her purview.
U'Frek - U'Frek champions the human spirit and their need to explore the open waves. He does not feel the same as Chrien about mortals meddling with the divine powers and views them as tools to help someone survive. If a mage catches his attention, he has no qualms marking them.
Xiur - Xiur, ever hopeful, wants to believe that this vestige left behind is some sort of gift from those who are now long gone. As mortals seem the only ones capable of interacting with the Sparks, he marks mages and non mages both based on the merit of their character.
Qylios - Qylios is not sure what to make of the birth of magic. She has seen it shatter the lesser and twist the strong but also has seen it used for great good. Like many, Qylios marks those who align with her personality and values, mage or not.
Ethelynda - More concerned with the individual than magic itself, Ethelynda will mark mages, but is careful to make sure her chosen don't lose themselves to the mutations.
Aeva - While Aeva understands the Ambition of a mage, she rarely marks an arcane caster that does not align with her interests, Dustforgers being an exception.. In contrast, she has a great appreciation for the Practices.
Ymiden - Ymiden accepts that magic is part of the world and understands the mortal wish to pursue it. He will mark his followers before and after they take this path, so long as they can keep control of the new power.
Karem - While she serves under Raskalarn, Karem is not sold on the use of magic. Mages live largely solitary lives and many tend to set themselves above or beyond their own race. Karem is cautious to mark a mage as her own and only tends to do so for the mages that do not exhibit troubling ambition and arrogance.
Edasha - Edasha tempers her opinions around Faldrun and although her support may be wavering, she does agree that magic can be a dangerous power to leave unchecked. She is capable of marking a mage, but it is not common.
Delroth - The mad hunger for power falls neatly in line with the Greed Brother's domain. Like some other Immortals, he considers himself to be a patron of the mages and the sole inheritor of their will and purpose.
Ralaith - Is cautious about the downfalls of magic and the hubris of mages. He rarely marks a follower who embraces it
Ashan - The Shaman Immortal is directly opposed to magic. As it requires one to graft an unknown power to ones soul, it's a breach and blasphemy of spirituality. Ashan has no trust for mages or their machinations and opposes them where they are encountered.
Aelig - Enjoys the chaos magic can bring, and views it as a tool in its grand machinations.
Thetros - Thetros has no particular bias or prejudice for or against mages, and marks individuals based on their personality and potential rather than any particular identity or characteristic.
NOTE: A mage cannot begin play with an Immortal Mark. Even the most favorable Immortal to magic necessitates a longer period of observation and judgement before extending their blessing. Blessings must be earned in character by mages. Also note that the opinions are not the hard rule. If you can somehow convince a reticent immortal that you deserve their mark anyways, some may change their opinion for notable exceptions.
What about the Conduits and Wells?
Conduits and Wells have not vanished entirely from the magical scope. While wells of power can still be mined from the Fractures, their uses are not essential to all magic. Instead, conduits are items that can store spells or even empower the ability of a caster who makes use of them. While not essential, Conduits are items that many mages could not do without. Magical staves and wands are the domain of Ensorcellment now and the material used to make conduits, wells, are important for the practice of Dustforge and Ensorcellment both.
For more information on Wells, please read the Fractures and Well Primer
Fractures are the natural (and often unnatural) schisms between Emea and Idalos. These Fractures always take the form of chasms, caves, and crevices in the environments they're found in. Within the Fractures, wells can be harvested from the walls. However, it should be noted that a physical link between Emea and Idalos is a dangerous place to be. From the swirling chaos of Emea beyond, unknown horrors could slip into Idalos. The rules of reality may be more suggestible in these places and only the most seasoned and prepared adventurer is advised to enter Fractures.
Minor Fractures - appear and disappear, sometimes in the space of a day. Can rarely be predicted, often small. Rarely very deep and never lead to Emea. The gate to Emea closes as soon as the Fracture is formed and lasts only a limited amount of time after.
Major Fractures - Last a long time, sometimes permanent fixtures, natural weak points between the worlds. There is a physical entrance to Emea deep within, but is usually a small entrance and difficult to crawl into as a regular sized person. Also never crawl into an Emea hole. Never. Please. It's dangerous guys. Seriously.
Grand Fractures - Only 7 Grand fractures exist. One for each of the Shattered Original Beings. These seven places have a huge hole to Emea deep in their cavernous recesses. Weird phenomena occur here and the laws of reality are not always absolute. Strange monsters and aberrations can enter from Emea into this world, although do not roam past its area of influence.
For more information on Fractures, please read the Fractures and Well Primer
Flaying is a dark inheritance passed to all with a Spark inside them. Any mage can tell you of the hunger. Each and every Spark seeks to grow and feed, pushing the mage to rely on their magic and utilize the Spark more and more as their mastery over their Domain magic grows. Sometimes, mages dream of devouring, regardless of the discipline, and can feel the raw, furious starvation of the Spark within them. Most easily marshal this urge and many mages do not consciously recognize it. However, they are all at least subconsciously aware that the Spark has changed them.
After Initiation, every mage gains the ability to Flay. Flaying channels the hunger of the Spark through a mage’s own soul and into the soul of another. This ability is usually only possible when the victim is severely weakened or close to death, when their resistance to such attacks is at its lowest. A Mage need only think about that bone deep hunger of the Spark as they take the life of another to begin Flaying. Mages who have written on the subject describe the sensation as a thirsty man tasting water for the first time in trials. The urge to devour it is overwhelming and to begin Flaying, it takes near a mastery of meditation to force oneself to stop. The Mage reaches into the soul of another and tears as much ether as they can through that soul’s conduit to Emea. This act savagely rends the soul and some would say even shreds it from existence, although there is no concrete proof either way.
Flaying takes several trills and is often drawn from the lips into the body, as though sucking the essence off the air. When Flaying, a mage can choose either to take this rush of energy into themselves…a practice which guards them against overstepping while utilizing more powerful spells for a few trials thereafter, or drawing the ether through their body and holding it within the body cavity. To do it the second way, the mage will often create a well out of one of the victim’s organs, crystallized into a moderate well through the ether that was produced.
However, this act does not come without consequences. Mages call it The Thirst and it is an addiction that begins the moment the mage begins to Flay. For the entirety of the Cycle after, the mage will be drawn, viciously compelled, to Flay again. The Thirst never completely goes away, but it can retreat into a dull ache if they manage to not Flay again the entire Cycle. Should they give in, however, the addiction to do so again several trials after will double. So on and so on. Most mage organizations generally accept that Flaying more than three times in a Cycle will impart a certain mania, a bestial madness that ends with the mage a soul hungry monster, roaming Idalos seeking victims. These loathsome beasts are often called Starved Ones and are hunted by almost any mage with a sense of duty. It is unknown if one can return from being a Starved One, but it is observed that a Starved One often mutates uncontrollably and are dangerously psychotic.
Of the Starved Ones, the Revealed are the most dangerous. When a Revealed succumbs to the Thirst they become a beast of another variant entirely. Rare, terrifying, dangerous. The Arcanavore.
The process goes by many names: The Ascension, the Kenning, or the Falling. As a mage grows in magic power, they begin becoming something else. It is never clear, at first, what the Spark would have them become but mages of certain Disicplines do have similar themes. A Corruption is the awakening personality of the Spark, laying claim to the body it is inhabiting. As the Spark grows in power it begins to assert itself on the mage, preparing their body for the eventual Revelation all Sparks seek to attain. Far from random, the mutations are often manifestations of how the mage uses their magic and, eventually, how the magic uses them.
Witchmarks, Brands, Disquiet
These are the result of Initiation in a magic, the mark of the Spark upon them. Each Discipline has a specific Witchmark or Brand associated which holds true for all others initiated. When a mage is initiated into a magic, they are immediately marked by the Discipline's Witchbrand (seen in each article). It is the only change that is universal among the mages. Brands, like most Corruptions, cannot be disguised by magic. The Spark resists being ignored.
Awakenings occur as the mage grows in expertise. The first is at Competence, followed by another at expertise, and two at mastery. Awakenings are the stirring of the Spark, the growth of the tiny metaphysical creature within the soul of the mage. As it grows, the Spark changes the Mage to be a more suitable host. Most of these changes are mystifying and hardly adaptive, curious magical anomalies that haunt a mage forever. Others turn out to be unexpected boons, but it is rare that a mutation turns out to be completely beneficial. When reaching a new tier of expertise, consider how you have been utilizing your magic. The Spark’s personality will develop out of that and there tends to be changes made to the character physically or mentally aligned with how that magic has been used. An example for necromancy might be having skin the color of dead flesh that is more resistant to conventional damage or the ability to go much longer without food or water, but attracting insects. An Aberration Awakening might be razor sharp teeth and the inability to deviate from an all meat diet, or even cannibalism. These changes are always unique to the player as no magic or transformation is quite the same. These Awakenings will follow a mage through any disguise or shape they take. Sometimes Awakenings will build off each other, but mostly they will simply be flexed aspects of use.
Note: One cannot progress to the next level of magic until they have the appropriate Awakenings for that level. To have a Revelation approved, please reach out to a Prophet (Possibly Plague, Djinn, or a resident magic expert) to discuss it. I encourage each player who wants to begin in magic to draft out ideas for mutations/awakenings at the beginning and send them in for approval. These must be added to your character sheet and played out in full.
Rather than Grandmastered, a mage is Revealed. Only one Revelation can occur per mage as only one Spark can fully take over the body. Each Disicpline has its own special Revelation that comes with new heights of magic but a departure from the being the mage once was. Debate rages on what the nature of Revelation is. Some suggest it is the Spark finally merging with a host and fully expressing its nature. Conjecture also suggests Revelations are when the parasite finally overpowers the mage, kills them, and subsumes their identity. What can be certain is that a mage who Reveals cannot return to what they were, nor are they their chosen race any longer. When Revealed, a mage loses access to any special powers or abilities afforded to their race. While they may still resemble who they were, they most certainly are not themselves. Likewise, a Revealed mage can no longer advance in mastery of any other magic, or be initiated. While they can grow their skill to the top of the tier they currently have, no other Spark can grow inside the mage again, nor can the ones within continue to grow. The Revealed Spark innately cuts off the ability of the lesser sparks to continue growing. This is assumed by scholars to be a natural defense to keep from being devoured by another powerful Spark.
Despite the fact all Sparks move towards Revelations, only a rare few ever transform. Some mages go their entire lives at the height of mastery without ever feeling the Spark push for that final level of growth. Revealed mages are considered quite rare in Idalos history and only a few have every been recorded. While lore of their existence does linger, most who speak of them are not regarded with trust or belief. One of the most famous examples of a Revealed Mage, Ellasin the Lich, is abhorred and feared throughout the lands of Idalos for her designs and ambitions.
It is said, however, that some Revelations do not go as typically observed. These Revelations, termed Atavistic Revelations reveal the nature of the Spark beyond the humanity it was housed within. While Revelations for each discipline are typically standard, using a human shape as the base, a player may instead opt to craft an inhuman form that fits with the themes of the Revelation on the lore page. In these cases, the Spark was powerful enough to impose its will on the reshaped body and repurpose it closer to its strange whims and alien intelligence. While this may come with some additional abilities (to be discussed with a Prophet) it also completely eliminates the ability to pass as human in ones Revealed glory. Although the Revealed often find ways to obscure their nature, this often limits their power severely and is not quickly dismissed. In narrative terms, you may creatively shift the Revelation you are given…but to maintain balance it will not be easy to simply disguise oneself as human. While all Revealed can suppress their nature for short times, to do so is to limit their power severely, closing their ether reserves to the level of a low end master. In addition, shifting between forms or maintain a form in the case of the Protean (Becoming) is not instant. Pushing ones nature into dormancy forces one to reawaken it when necessary which is a slow and vulnerable process.
When a Mage reveals, there is a struggle. In most cases, the Spark subsumes the mortal and cannibalizes their knowledge and personality, twisting it to its own ends. Sometimes, however, when a mage Reveals, they manage to hold onto their goals, their ambitions when mortal. It is difficult to say whether the Mage and Spark truly merge, or if the Spark simply takes over and can sometimes be confused into acting similarly to the mage they once were, or if true symbiosis can be achieved. In any case, the Revealed are a force to be reckoned with. Each and every one of them feels the hunger within them more clearly, but no longer are they interested in the common souls of mortals. A Revealed mage innately hungers for the souls of other mages, for Sparks. While this innate hunger can be resisted, many Revealed in history made no attempts to try save for when it safeguarded their current existence.
The only truth that can be drawn from such rare ascensions, is that the Mage is never quite the person they used to be any longer. Merged with an alien mind, a new being entirely, they may act as they used to but those close to them will note the differences. Mages lose that very part of themselves that makes them Mortal, regardless of if they manage to keep their original goals or not, and it forever seems to mystify them from then on.
Note: As Player Characters , you will not be destroyed or turned into an NPC by becoming Revealed in a discipline (Mortalborn are a possible exception, worked out with a Prophet). However, you are expected to play this transformation honestly. Consider your Awakenings. What do they say about the personality of this Spark? What are you now that you have abandoned your humanity entirely? No Revaled mage is simply themselves with a bunch of new powers and as Revelation is OPTIONAL, it is assumed that when the player decided to become Revealed, they are accepting what that means. We expect to see a significant and lasting change in how you play your character forward. It is possible to remove the Spark before one Reveals. Once caught in a Revelation, there is no known power that can reverse it. Beforehand, mutations and even Sparks can be removed by the intervention of an Immortal, or other story conceits as decided by the Prophets. Work with your storytellers to find a plot appropriate to the removal of such a powerful divine parasite.
Stifle Stifle is an ability that Revealed Mages may learn that allows them to suppress their Revealed shape for a few to several trials. Doing so returns them in form to the shape they had before Revelation but in forcibly suppressing their power they plunge in ability to the lower end of Master or upper end of Expertise in terms of etheric force. When they desire to return to their true form (as eventually they must), they must reawaken that power which takes as many breaks as they spent Trials Stifled. This awakening cannot be sped up by any means. In addition, the longer they Stifle themselves, the greater their latent hunger grows. For up to fifteen total trials in a Cycle, a Revealed will acquire the Thirst Flaw. Each ten trials after increases that Thirst as though they were Flaying. Revealed who spend too much time suppressing who they are sometimes lost to the hunger of their true nature. A Revealed who becomes The Starved is called an Arcanavore and quickly becomes one of the most dangerous threats to a mage in all of Idalos.
Out of Character
Player Character Restrictions
1. Tunawa cannot learn magic
2. Wisps cannot learn magic
3. Yludih cannot learn Becoming or use Mirage to conceal themselves
4. A Revealed Mage cannot become a Wisp
5. Only one magic can reach Revelation, choose wisely.
6. Save for special circumstances, a Mortalborn can never reach Revealed in any magic.
7. Only three magics per mage (Only one can be Revealed)
8. Only two magics per Mortalborn (None can be Revealed)
9. Starting mages may not begin with an Immortal Mark
10. Magic is not an applicable Fast Track skill. One can only earn experience for magic by practicing or using that magic in a thread. You cannot write a thread about using Attunement and suddenly become an Expert necromancer. Likewise you may not practice only basic magic at expert level in a thread and still advance your magic skill. Magic is about pushing limits and discovery. Playing it safe will award no growth.
11. You may only begin with two magics upon start up. The rest must be learned in roleplay. If you do begin with two magics you must either write the initiation (and reason your teacher chose you) into your history or write a Flashback thread BEFORE using magic in any threads. Remember that mages are rare. Approvers will be leery if your master showed up, taught you, and then vanished. The relationship between master and student is special. If you need permission to play a master NPC with more skill than is usually allowed, contact your local Prophet for permission.
12. Overstepping is optional, but if Reviewers see magic being abused, it can be assigned.
13. If you Flay, you will acquire the mental flaw, Thirst, and be drawn to commit it again for the remainder of the Cycle (if performed closer to the end of a Cycle than the beginning, the Thirst will last through the next Cycle). If you commit it again, the Thirst will double, triple at three, and if you choose to have your character commit four they will become The Starved. Contact a Prophet for protocol if this horrifying fate befalls them.
14. Revelations are permanent. Revelations are optional. You may only Reveal once.
15. Once Revealed, you cannot be initiated into new magics nor attain the next tier of skill level of any current magic held.
Guidelines for Awakenings
A player has some direction how Awakenings manifest. Please consider reaching out to a Prophet to plan these changes BEFORE you reach the threshold of the next tier. They should build on how you use your magic or what your magic has changed about you. Some of these mutations can be advantages, special abilities, but we expect you to balance them out with drawbacks as well. Few Awakenings are simply benefits. Great stories are told with struggle. We are leaving the creative onus with you, but we hope you'll use these changes to build out the unique journey your character is going through. There will be example mutations with each Discipline write up you can use for inspiration or directly copy if you like what we wrote better than your idea.
If you want to completely master a magic, Revelation is unavoidable. You will only be Revealed once and it always changes what you are at your core. Sometimes this comes with unique social disabilities for your character. Only a Revealed mage has a Discipline score at 100. All other non-revealed mages can only climb to 99 in their given Discipline. As the staff, we understand that a permanent state change that may be reacted to harshly in any civilized society is difficult. A Revelation in its true, undisguised state, is not human. No matter what disguise or magic you use to hide what you are...you will always return to this form at some point. It is who you and the spark are now. You are the Truth. That said, this is a roleplaying site. We build epic stories. If you're worried how the Revelation will affect your character, make your CHARACTER worried about how the Revelation will affect them. Go on a quest, talk to an Immortal, speak to the Prophets about your concerns and we will help you find a happy medium if possible.