Saturday, 30 April 2016

Z is for Zed, an epilogue

An Epilogue for 2016

Five years ago, when James Maliszewski was still blogging regurlarly at Grognardia, I learned about Blogging A to Z. That first year marked the first year that the letter X would be forever some daemon or daemonic lure. I also won the Best of Fans Award from a prominent figure in the WFRP community Magnus Seter, writing under the nom de plumme Adolphus Altdorfer.

I worked with two international conspirators in 2012 where we cross posted to our blogs, sharing each letter. In 2013 I created more than 13 unique persons in the WFRP setting and in 2014 26 taverns, hostels, and dives on the Street of a Hundred Taverns in the city of Altdorf. Last year I borrowed heavily from my friend's characters at the table and their adventures in across great swaths of the Empire in a campaign to save the world.

Each year the comments start heavy, then trickle off. I'm don't follow the A to Z protocol of turning off comment moderation; I use to get far too much spam (a lot has dropped off with turning off trackbacks however).

My topic always gets the occasional comment that makes me wonder about the writer's impression of topic. This year there were a couple that took the magic angle a little to seriously, possibly not reading my primer on exactly what WFRP is and how the topic relates.

Can I do five more years? I think so. Maybe. There's a lot of creativity that goes into each entry. WFRP is a rich and dynamic setting and the my regular play lets me stretch that setting into each entry. However, WFRP is also closely guard IP. Fan work is mostly encouraged, but I could never publish the work as a collection. It can only existing on the blog (though I have collected the entries in the past as PDFs for download in the RSS feeds).

In all, A to Z is a strong creative outlet that focuses me for a month on this oft neglected blog. And for that I will continue in 2017. At the very least so that I can create another daemon's true name and make you cringe at all the apostrophes.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 29 April 2016

Y is for Youth's Bane

From the Lore of Death and Spirits of the Shyish Order of Magick, the spell Youth's Bane is one of the most powerful. Only the most advanced Apprentices can master the spell and then only with reagents of ivy cut from the grave of a deceased Shyish magister and intense concentration. It is not uncommon for Apprentices to still fail.

Youth's Bane, cast in battle or in defense can be the edge in a fight, permanently drawing the strength and fitness from an opponent.. Muscles atrophy and joints can sieze as the target ages years in an instant.

The spell is one that is a favorite of rogue Shyish magisters in assassinations. Continuously aging a victim over short periods of time until either dying a premature death or so weak as unable to defend herself from a more physical death. Such tactics are easily discoverable if recognized (often a possibility in cities, but less likely in remote regions of the Empire). The magister discovered willing to employ the spell in such attacks is one that will, if found out, be likely assassinated by the Order's leadership. Leadership that has no tolerance for such evil acts.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Thursday, 28 April 2016

X is for Xij'tier, Lesser Daemon of Tzeentch

The very Winds of Magick are the stuff of Chaos and change. Tzeentch, the Chaos god of Change, is said to drink from flagons overflowing with liquid magick. Moreover, it told by magisters of all colleges—and certainly put forth by the Witch Hunters as proof of the corruption of all magic users—that Tzeentch curses all magic users that improperly handle the winds in casting, elf or human alike. Mutation Tzeentch's "blessing." But Tzeentch has daemon heralds as well.

His lesser daemon Xij'tier is one such harbinger. An ethereal daemon, Xij'tier seeks change in natural forms for Tzeentch's glory.

Xij'tier typically takes the forms of beasts that have no likeness in the Old World and can only be described as creatures from the Tzeentch's own menagerie of the unusual. He rarely appears without immense tusks that have are carved with everchanging scenes of Tzeentch's basest desires and capped with a color changing metal formed into flesh piercing points.

Xij'tier takes a certain enjoyment in touching the war beasts of Tzeentch's champions in the Old World. The mutations are always terrifying and often quite deadly in the field.

It is said that Xij'tier will stand at the head of a charging warband, man and beast fighting to charge through his ethereal form to be "blessed" with change and mutation in that instant before colliding in battle with the enemy.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

W is for Witchsight

No respected magister of the eight Colleges of Magic uses the term Witchsight, as these same magic users would never consider themselves "witches or warlocks." The term existed long before the Articles of Imperial Magic were codified and it has become a more common term among the superstitious public where the Colleges would prefer the use of Spiritsight or Magical Sense.

Mastering Witchsight is a lifelong task that starts with apprenticeship. It represents the "Seventh Sense" with Intuition and Aethyric Attunement being the "Sixth Sense" and first recognizable ability of any potential magic user.

How Witchsight is honed and mastered and thus appears to a magister is difficult to say, but many describe as looking through novelty glasses, but with an astonishing clarity of the manifestations of the Winds of Magic. Ghyran is said to be like a summer rain, Ulgu as a think fog, literally affecting a bystander passing through this unseen cloud and forgetting why he left the house. Shyish lingers as a dark tendrils in grave yards and around oubliettes. 

Yet these manifestations are invisible to anyone without Witchsight, and more still may manifest themselves to magisters very differently. An Azyr magister might see the past action in place or the future movement of chess piece on a board.

Witchsight is a both a blessing and a curse. The latter the most often considered. It has driven many magisters insane as they age and their mastery of it grows. For as the power to use Witchsight strengthens so does the clarity of the Winds of Magic.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

V is for Vitaellum

Vitaellum is the powerstone of the magisters of Ghyran, the Green Wind of Magic.

Typically appearing as an flawless emerald with an internal light, the stone can also present itself as living branch despite having been separated from the plant. As all powerstones, the Jade magisters create Vitaellum as a reagent to the most powerful spells of their lore, whether martial or peaceable.

The three most powerful spells of Agrological Thaumaturgy are Flesh of Clay, Winter's Frost, and Cure Blight. A hero upon which Flesh of Clay is cast is a formidable foe on the battlefield. His skin turns to harden clay becoming immune to sword and shaft, but himself a weapon wading through enemy lines. 

Winter's Frost can kill or gravely wound a score of men in a single casting. The thick ice chilling to the bone in an instant and turning a charge into a chaotic dance of slips and tumbles.

Cure Blight is as much a ritual as the most powerful spell and tool for the well-being of the Empire. Crops, and even plague, can be cured of a blight or disease by infusing the stricken with the life restoring energies of Ghyran.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 25 April 2016

U is for Ulgu, Cryptoclastic Thaumaturgy

The Grey Order and their Lore of Shadows are the masters of deception and confusion. They are the Shadowmancers and wielders of the Grey Wind of Magic, Ulgu.

Ostensibly, the Grey Order in battle is a force multiplier. Being masters of illusion, Shadowmancers aid generals by confusing a charge, "altering" the size of force on the field: too small, too big, too weak? A force too small can be made to appear large. And yet the Shadowmancers would not consider service to the Emperor even a top priority. 

Shadowmancers darker side is that of a near global network of spies, diplomats, and assassins. The Grey Order is also one of the most disciplined of orders with the strictest enforcement of its ideals and rules with pacification or death not uncommon.

The mastery of the wind makes Shadowmancers spies capable of the deepest assignments and the cleverest of assassins. The Ulgu spells of deception, concealment, and confusion are particularly powerful in the aforementioned roles, and the spells of persuasion make them excellent diplomats.

The Order is rather focused too on rooting out Chaos and the influence of the Ruinous Power throughout the Empire, often quietly assisting the Templars of Sigmar, the Witch Hunters, even when they, as magic users, are not often welcome.

Posted by caffeinated at 9:58 PM in d10

Saturday, 23 April 2016

T is for Thaumaturgy

The origin of the word Thaumaturgy as used and written in the Articles of Imperial Magic in Reikspiel is unknown. Verenan priests and the Gold Order that study the High Elven tomes and instructions believe that it originated near the Black Gulf, the Border Princes, or further south in Araby. It is not an Elven word, but possibly a word known to a scholar whose name has been lost to history. The Elven word perhaps unrecordable.

Whatever the etymology of the word, it could be applied to the magic of wizards or the miracles of the priests of the sanctioned cults. However, it most applied in the academic and hermetic works of the magisters of the Orders of Magic; almost exclusively in practice. The Einsegnung of the priests of the Empire are not of the same source, but channelled through their prayers to the gods.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:08 AM in d10

Friday, 22 April 2016

S is for Shyish, Cessationary Thaumaturgy

The wizards of the Lore of Death and Spirit, members of the Amethyst Order and masters of the Purple Wind, Shyish are most certainly not necromancers. The Articles of Imperial Magic refers to these magisters as wielders of Cessationary Thaumaturgy.

However, make no mistake, the line between Necromancy and the wonders of the Amethyst Order is thin. And make no mistake the patriarch and lords of the Order do not tolerate those that cross that line.

The more common spells, the most powerful looked at using Endstones, are certainly capable of revealing the truth of the afterlife. Deathsight reveals the spirits that walk beside the living, Death's Release can banish the same spirits. Spells may ease passing, delay a death, or speak with the passing soul. It is no wonder that discipline and philosophy are daily concerns in the Order. That Amethyst Wizards know of the afterlife, but that they can touch it, is more than a powerful temptation to master the Wind in ways that reject death and seek to restore or lengthen it. Despite that Necromancy never results in good, as one hopes, it is a practice that invites the destructive influence of Chaos and the Ruinous Powers.

The campus of the Amethyst College in Altdorf is rumored to exist on two planes: for the living and for the dead. Visitors to the grounds will tell you it is abandoned. The campus choked with vines, crumbling buildings, and piles of dead leaves collecting in the crevices and corners of halls and streets or tossed about by a deathly quiet wind. And yet others, invited, will tell you of a busy, if somber, campus. Both will tell of using the same entrance. Whether illusion or more, the "abandoned" campus is known to be used by braver criminals as a meeting place. How tolerant of this use the magisters are is debated.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:02 PM in d10

Thursday, 21 April 2016

R is for Ritual Magic

Ritual Magic is capable of gathering and exerting each Wind in powerful ways. Many rituals are guarded by each order to produce aids, such as Powerstones, or bring the energy of a Wind to bear on the battlefield. 

Ritual magic is used by Dwarves to bind runes to weapons and talismans. Rune Magic, as it is called, can only be used by Dwarves—besides being the only arcane magic the race is capable of mastering—and Elves.

As powerful as it is, ritual magic can be seemingly vain, vindictive, and pure evil. The Body Gilded transforms body parts into impossible, but functioning, organs or limbs. The Dance Without End will exhaust the afflicted to a grave. The Beastly Transmogrification of the Omnipotent TChar will make a beastman of weakminded men, women, and children, turning them into rampaging beasts until the transformation wears off or the beast is killed. Those that survive the ordeal do so only physically. Their minds, already said to be weak, are driven mad by the experience of the murderous rampage they participated in while afflicted.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Q is for Quiet! please

There are few common folk that would disagree: wizards and priests are not a quiet lot.

Wielding the Winds of Magic, even divine miracles of the priests of the recognized cults, means singing, whispering, exclaiming, and other often loud means of vocalization. It is not known if these "verbal" elements of spell casting is a human mnemonic to aid in mastering the necessary mental power or if it's just... necessary.

In battle, the exclamations are particularly recognized over the screams of the dying and the din of sword meeting shield and bone. In passing it seems to be an ever present whisper, song—an attribute making the Hierophants of the Order of Light immediately known—or prayer for a priest.

What is known is gagging or otherwise silencing a wizard or priest is to also rob them of working magick of arcane or divine nature. No wizard or priest is able to wield magic without his or her voice. In defensive Magick, Silence is a powerful spell indeed and as such is taught by all Orders and Cults to any that wish to study to master the spell and prayer.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

P is for The Philosopher's Stone

More commonly called "Goldstones" by the wizards of the Lore of Metal, the Philosopher's Stone is regarded as the first of the power stones mastered by any of the eight orders practiced by humans.

The Philosopher's Stone is created, as all power stones, in a closely guarded ritual that folds the "wind of Magic" upon itself until it coalesces into a physical object of energy. The stone is used as a reagent in almost all alchemical experiments of the Gold Order as well as the reagent to the most powerful spells used by the wizards.

Breach the Unknown it is said impresses upon the caster's mind the very attributes of any natural or manmade object, including objects of magical quality. The Law of Gold suppresses magical properties of objects and the Transmutation of the Unstable Mind is said to cure a subject of insanity; though there are credible accounts that the spell can make worse the afflicted mind if cast incorrectly.

The abilities of the Philosopher's Stone have become so legendary that mundane alchemists have sought to replicate it without magic; an impossible task. But the name is also why Gold wizards rarely use the term "Philosopher's Stone."  A Goldstone is the same thing by another name and the main reason that many mundane seekers think they are different things, tossing aside "gold stone" in frustration of having "true" Philosopher's Stone.


Posted by caffeinated at 12:53 PM in d10

Monday, 18 April 2016

Server Outage

Loooong story short.

I did something stupid about two years ago and it started to haunt me in the background this week. I used to have an email alias (or forwarding email) for job hunting that would just get spam.

I also have a forwarding email for my primary identity on the internet. They were almost the same. I purged a bunch of these forwarding email addresses a couple of years ago and I mistakenly purged my primary. Since I don't get a lot of email on this address I didn't notice! My host was telling me on this email my CC was expired. D'oh. When I dug into troubleshooting the outage, I started wondering: why hasn't my host notified me of my annual payment...in two years?

Straighten it out. On I.R.fucking.C. Not Slack. Fuck Slack.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:58 PM in Bohemian Breakfast

O is for The Ox Stands

The Shamans of the Amber Order, practitioners of the Lore of the Beast and masters of Ghur, are powerful battlefield wizards.

Called by mysterious, often folkloric, methods to the battlefield by generals or governors in distant outposts of the Empire, an Amber shaman can be worth 10 or 20 men by the end of a fight. Facing the terrifying and horrific monsters, giants, and beasts of Chaos, troops may run or freeze in the roar and spittle of a beast twice the size of the strongest soldier.

An Amber wizard casting the Ox Stands can turn this fright into ferocity. Ghur is drawn to the shaman and then explodes in a silent and invisible wave that energizes soldiers that can hear the shouted words of the casting shaman. With the spell, the frozen sword arm swings harder, a soldier's reflexes quicker, and the running coward turns back to fight. In that moment, the spell can strengthen a collapsing line.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 16 April 2016

N is for Nectar of Beauty

The Old World is said by those with Witchsight to be saturated with Magic. Only those that can wield the Winds are capable of enjoying the power, whether for martial or other reasons. 

And while those without magical abilities enjoy a diverse market of draughts, spirits, beers, and ales and many with promises to "cure what ails ya!." These mundane, often unreliable concoctions has given rise to a small market where apprentice, journeyman, and magister wizard alike mix magical "potions."

While much more reliable than "Herzmann's meat juice" these potions tend toward a short shelf life, odd side effects, and present unexpected side "results."

The Nectar of Beauty

The facial scarring of a pox, acne, or military wound diminishes the dowry of a daughter or the vanity of boy and man. Commonly available in cities like Altdorf with large cosmopolitain populations and social climbers, the Nectar of Beauty will heal these scars "almost" completely.

Unfortunately, and rarely spoken about, the scars just reappear else where on the body. Pox scars or poorly sewn battle scars may appear on the back, bottom or chest. While one's visage becomes pleasant in public, privately the embarrassment may be more troublesome to intimacy.

The Nectar of Beauty is also said to cause one to shun any sort of light brighter than a candelabra. At an Altdorf party, it is a faux pas to be caught squinting as it is sign that one has surely imbibed the potion. As the side effect is permanent many socialites insist on low lighting in parlors and ballrooms.

Posted by caffeinated at 2:03 PM in d10

Friday, 15 April 2016

M is for Magick, Lingua praestantia

When the High Elves arrived over three centuries ago to call and assess the humans of the Empire capable of mastering the Winds of Magic, they first had to create and then teach these "primitives" a language capable of drawing the Winds to the casters.

The High Elves speak Eltharin, a language that itself is derived from the very language the High Elves use to master and wield Qhaysh, Anoqeyån. Neither language is one that could be taught in the time allowed the High Elves, so they created a sort of pastiche of Eltharin and Old Riekspiel. The Colleges of Magic, have named this language lingua praestantia, or more simply Magick.

Lingua praestantia, like Eltharin and Anoqeyån before it, has a darker side as well. It is derived from the language of the Dark Tongues used by daemons and dark sorcerers. This is because the High Elves believe Anoqeyån is the closest language left known in the world that was likely spoken by the Old Ones.

Posted by caffeinated at 4:24 PM in d10

Thursday, 14 April 2016

L is for Lumen Stones

The Hierophants of the White Wind, Hysh, will often seek to learn the secret songs of their Order that allows them to bind Magick into the rare Lumen Stone. Like other Power Stones, Lumen Stones store Magick that can be harnessed to cast the most powerful spells of Hysh. Lumen Stones radiate a pure white light and have an appearance of a large, flawless diamond.

The most powerful spells often wielded by the Hierophants include Boon of Hysh, Daemonbane, and Pillar of Radiance. Without a Lumen Stone, these spells are too powerful to be cast by Journeymen of the Order. Magisters and Lords often fail without reagents at hand and intense concentration.

And as all powerful spells, these spells will echo on the Aethyr. Hierophants will know when these spells are cast. The Order expects that these spells to be directly focused on daemons and corruption.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

K is for the Knocks of the Departed

Journeymen Wizards of the Amethyst Order of Shyish, literally the practitioners of the Lore of Death, are known for many spells dealing with passing of living things and even communicating with the dead.

Knocks of the Dead is one such spell that crosses the threshold between life and death. It is said that the spirit of the passed, either compelled by Morr or by the presence of kinship at the casting, knocks on the Gates to Morr's Eternal Garden.

The body of the deceased must be present or an immediate next of kin. The casting is aided by a reagent of the subject's clothing—easy with a body unless naked. The spell allows the wizard to ask a specific question of the spirit that is either numerically expressed or simply "yes" or "no." For example, in the investigation of a murder the wizard may ask the hour after Mittagessen he was stabbed... four knocks. A "yes" answer is one knock, a "no," two knocks.

The spirit may chose not to answer, even lie! (especially if the kin present may have been involved in foul play or was unliked in life). The wizard is only leveraging Shyish and leverages no influence on the spirit.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

J is for Arcane Justice

Magick, until Magus the Pious' foundation of the Imperial Colleges and direct diplomacy with the High Elves, was simply witchcraft.

A display of magic was seen as being in league with forces of Chaos or daemons. Whether a Cunning Man working with the "Hedge," a "Druid," an Elementalist, or just a wise woman, fear ruled. To be branded a user of witchcraft was to be burned at the stake.

The Imperial Colleges changed that view. Mostly, and then only in the largest cities of the Empire. And then still a Journeyman or Magister in far flung parts of the Empire must worry that a display of Magick won't find him or her strapped to a pole in the center of a pyre. And then it may come with complete surprise: accusations are usually whispered and a quiet call for a Witch Hunter of the Templars of Sigmar made. Watchmen or a militia man would never apprehend a wizard directly; it simply is too dangerous. A pistol, arrow, or blunderbus is much safer if a Witch Hunter is not immediately available.

To the public, this is most often witnessed form of Justice. To a member of the Imperial College, violation of the Imperial Laws or transgression or betrayal of the College's own rules, can result in Pacification.

What exactly Pacification is remains unknown; each college has their own version. But it is widely rumored to forcibly remove the ability to manipulate the Winds of Magic. The procedure and the results are widely gossiped about. No Magister wants to be subjected to Pacification. The fear of the process is itself the greatest deterrent and the greatest incentive to remain true to the Emperor and to the College.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 11 April 2016

I is for Inspiration

Editors Note: This is the first of several spells used by magisters of the various Lores this A-to-Z will look at over the next week and beyond.

Inspiration

This spell from the Lore of Light is practiced by masters of the White Wind, Hysh, and is often cast in contemplation of an academic problem or simply to open the mind to aid recall.

The wizard must concentrate both on the problem while singing to focus the White Wind on the problem or question. White Wizards often produce a small book and tear a page from it, seemingly absentmindedly, as a reagent to aid in casting the spell. The reagent is said to burst into light as it flutters to the ground or illuminate the flesh and bones of the wizard's fist as it crushes the crumpled page.

The spell is one of the moderately difficult ones a White Wizard will use, often only mastered by Journeymen. The song is said to last over a minute. It is typically a spell cast in quiet repose after a question or problem is presented in an investigation.

Magisters have said that the answer will simply "appear" in the mind's eye.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 9 April 2016

H is for Hysh, Order of the Wise

Hysh is the White Wind, mastered by the Hierophants of the Order of the Wise.

Of the eight winds of Magick, Hysh is the most difficult wind to master. It is the closest wind to High Magick practiced by the Elves, Qhaysh. Where Dhar and Chaos are darkness, Hysh is light.

The amount of study and the complex rituals Journeyman and Magisters undergo and memorize allows them to bend and bind the wind in some of the most powerful spells available against corruption and darkness. It also makes Hierophants the most philosophical and contemplative of all the Orders.

Apprentices of the order form choirs during training that act as aid to magisters in spellcasting, study of the rituals, and purification of the Order's pristine campus in Altdorf. Some apprentices may never leave the choirs if they cannot master the mental strength necessary to manipulate the wind, instead serve the college and its goals in perpetuity. 

Many of these apprentices come from annual efforts of the Order "adopting" orphans that show any magical ability. The Order is also often the "easiest" to join, accepting those passed over by other Orders. Whether these Apprentices show the discipline to master Hysh or not, the choirs remain singing.

Martially, the Order is highly effective in the exorcism and destruction of daemons. As Hysh is also an aspect of purity, magisters are capable of powerful healing of corruption and mutation.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 8 April 2016

G is for Ghyran, Agrological Thaumaturgy

Ghyran, the Green Wind of Magick, is the source of the magisters of the Empire that practice the Lore of Life, "Soil Magic," or more academically, the practice of Agrological Thaumaturgy by the Jade Wizards.

It is said that Ghyran flows and pools like water after a hard rain and can be seen in all life of the earth. Drawn into the soil and then through the roots of all plant life. It can be seen in the rivers and streams of the Empire as well as flowing across the land following no pattern of nature.

The Jade Wizards and the establishment of their College in Altdorf begins in the call sent by Emperor Magnus the Pious in his fight against Chaos over 300 years ago. The High Elves that taught these first magisters found in the practitioners of the Old Faith, Elementalists of Water and Earth, even the Cunning Men of "the hedge" a population most ready to master Ghyran. The idea of "druid" is often ascribed to a Jade Wizard by many because of the origins and they readily accept it, if not completely correct.

Today, Jade Wizards ensure the healthy crops of the Empire and martially provide for the armies food as well as spells capable of swallowing armies or entangling hordes of beasts with choking vines that spring from the roots of trees and grass. But Jade Wizards also ensure and maintain the hedges of the Empire and leylines that manage the flow of Ghyran for the Empire's farmers.

Jade Wizards are aligned with the Cults of Taal and Rhya, the gods of nature, and the Amber Shamans.

Posted by caffeinated at 12:45 PM in d10

Thursday, 7 April 2016

F is for Fire Rubies

Like the Amethyst Wizards, the Bright Wizards of the Lore of Fire, create power stones called Fire Rubies. Fire Rubies are made in single use forges crafted during a private ritual. The result is a bright stone the lit by burning coals. The stones are hot to hold and can warm a tent in Chaos Wastes in a matter of minutes when openly exposed.

The three most powerful spells of the Lore of Fire—one that many a veteran could testify too—are Aqshy's Aegis, Breathe Fire, and Conflagration of Doom. The amount of skill and study for these (and similar spells of the other Orders) is great, often only possibly by Magisters and Lords of each order. Apprentices aided by a Fire Ruby can wield these spells in battle, in a pinch.

Like the powerful spells of Shyish, these spells also "echo" on the Aethyr. Use of powerful spells are not lightly taken by any Order. Not just because they can be so destructive, but because an error in casting can summon daemons attracted to the wind in use.

In a few days, we will look at the Lore of Light's Lumen Stones and the three most powerful spells of the Order of Light.


Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

E is for Endstones

Every College of Magic has a ritual that manifests its "wind of Magick" into a physical object known as a power stone.

The magisters of the Amethyst College craft Endstones, power stones that typically vary in color, but most are found to appear as highly polished bone or a black so pitch as to seemingly darken a day lit room.

Like all power stones, Endstones are carefully produced under strict adherence of closely guarded ritual, but serve a singular purpose: act as a store of the very energy of Magick used to create it. The Endstone serves as a reagent to spellcasting the most powerful of Shyish's Lore of Death and Spirit.

Whether The Animus Imprisoned, Life's End, or Wind of Death, an Endstone can assure the successful casting. These are not trivial spells to cast and the power required to cast them "echoes" on the Aethyr. These echoes can be felt by other Amethyst Wizards. Because these spells can bind souls or kill instantly, trivial use of them, even without an Endstone, is not tolerated by the Order.

And because an Endstone, like all powerstones, are consumed with the casting, they are rare and expensive.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

D is for Dhar

The nature of magic has two opposites. If the Winds of Magic—and winds is a human notion trying to explain High Elven understanding of the nature of Magick—are a spectrum with Qhaysh on one end representing the Winds in harmony, then Dhar is at the opposite end representing the Winds in discordance.

However, Dhar is an easy "wind" to master and often a shortcut to powerful spell casting. The ease of manipulating Dhar however comes at a great cost. The first is that Dhar must be combined with another wind to be useful outside of Necromancy and Daemonology. And Dhar is fickle. One use may not be like the last use and this often leads to magisters going insane or dropping dead. But there are a rare few that become more attuned to using Dhar. These magisters are known as Black Magisters.

Black Magisters are ostracized from their orders and often are hunted to ground and death by fire. Often, when they are found, Black Magisters have already descended into darker arts as they attempt further master Dhar. 

Use of Dhar is incredibly hard to hide as many magisters are taught from the very beginning to "see" the Winds of Magic. One Golden Wizard might perceive another Golden Wizard use Charmon with Dhar as a darker thread of Magick coalescing in his palm before becoming more powerful lightening bolts capable of striking an enemy dead. Black Magisters have to be very careful in using Dhar because it can be so easily "seen."

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 4 April 2016

C is for Chamon, Alchemical Thaumaturgy

The practitioners of Alchemical Thaumaturgy are the Golden Wizards, masters of the Yellow Wind, Chamon. The apprentices, journeymen, and magisters are part of the wealthiest college of magic and one of the most diverse as well.

The wealth of the Golden Order is not as the common people suspect: crackpot alchemists, handpicked by the elven mages, cracking the code of converting a base metal to gold. While "True Transformation" is still sought and a stated goal of the Golden Order, its application remains impossible. And while the transient transformation of base metals to gold is possible, the act is publicly prosecuted by the Order's leadership because it is fraud.

The Order's wealth is far more mundane in origin: the alchemists of the Order produce potions, dyes, gunpower, refined ore, spirits, and even beer of such quality and quantity that merchants pay the best prices for them, often for a 1% or 2% profit in trading guilds across the Empire. And given the cost and need for reagents in the Order's regular wizardry, the wealth is needed.

The Order's Lore of Metal is both academic and martial. In the battlefields of the Empire against the hordes of Chaos, Golden Wizards transform the armor and weapons of the enemy to lead or rust. Weapons crafted by Golden Wizards are of such quality—and often inscribed with powerful runes and enchanted for accuracy—only the most esteemed generals and the Emperor himself can own them.

Academically, the Order houses one of the greatest libraries of the world and is closely aligned with the Cult of Verena, the goddess of Knowledge and Justice. Mundane alchemists that still adhere to the notion of the four base elements dismiss the studies of the Golden Wizards, especially the recent notion that the Golden Wizards have identified over 90 unique elements of the mundane world.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 2 April 2016

B is for the Brown Wind (Ghur) and the Shamans of Amber Magic

Of the eight winds of Magick, Ghur, or the Brown Wind, is as wild as the natural world that feeds it. The practitioners are often mistaken for woodsmen, hermits, cunning men, Druids—though the wizards of the Jade College may take issue with that mistake—or even priests of Taal or Rhya.

And of all the colleges, the shamans of Ghur, do not live and study in Altdorf. They are more likely to be found studying in the Reikwald, or Great Forest, that surrounds Altdorf. A shaman's appearance does no favor to aid in approaching one intentionally or by accident by most citizenry of the Empire at large: often covered in fetishes of animal origins, furs, bones and smells of the forest. It is this appearance that will have an Amber Wizard mistaken for outlawed druids of the "Old Faith" or worse, the witches and warlocks of the Hedge, practitioners of wild magic and often called Cunning Men. Add their reclusive, separatist study, these officially sanctioned wizards of the Empire must often prove themselves to the Templars of Sigmar, the Witch Hunters.

The Amber Wizards are fierce defenders of the Empire. In many of the distant outposts of the Emperor, commanders ally with Amber Wizards and understand intimately how to call these powerful shamans for counsel or battle. The shaman's often use their commune with nature to speak to birds for scouting and the hidden animals of the wild to alert armies of enemy movements.


Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 1 April 2016

A is for Asqhy, Pyromantic Thaumaturgy

The practitioners of the Bright Order weave the Red Wind of Magic. In the language of Magick, Asqhy, or more academically, Pyromantic Thaumaturgy, this wind is can be quite destructive.

Bright Wizards master flame, from the candle to conflagration. This fact alone answers the question—if one is even considered—as to the reason these men and women are found on the front lines of battlefields throughout the Empire. Whether wading through ranks of goblins with a flaming sword or conjuring a whirlwind of fire that consumes siege engines, the martial value of these wizards is immediately recognized.

Gregarious and short of temper, Bright Wizards study both magic and combat in their college. The college is magically hidden among the haunted embers and lingering smoke of a fire that burned a large section of Altdorf many years ago. The cause of this fire remains whispered gossip among the citizenry and even the magisters of other the other colleges.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Z is for Zed, an epilogue

An Epilogue for 2016

Five years ago, when James Maliszewski was still blogging regurlarly at Grognardia, I learned about Blogging A to Z. That first year marked the first year that the letter X would be forever some daemon or daemonic lure. I also won the Best of Fans Award from a prominent figure in the WFRP community Magnus Seter, writing under the nom de plumme Adolphus Altdorfer.

I worked with two international conspirators in 2012 where we cross posted to our blogs, sharing each letter. In 2013 I created more than 13 unique persons in the WFRP setting and in 2014 26 taverns, hostels, and dives on the Street of a Hundred Taverns in the city of Altdorf. Last year I borrowed heavily from my friend's characters at the table and their adventures in across great swaths of the Empire in a campaign to save the world.

Each year the comments start heavy, then trickle off. I'm don't follow the A to Z protocol of turning off comment moderation; I use to get far too much spam (a lot has dropped off with turning off trackbacks however).

My topic always gets the occasional comment that makes me wonder about the writer's impression of topic. This year there were a couple that took the magic angle a little to seriously, possibly not reading my primer on exactly what WFRP is and how the topic relates.

Can I do five more years? I think so. Maybe. There's a lot of creativity that goes into each entry. WFRP is a rich and dynamic setting and the my regular play lets me stretch that setting into each entry. However, WFRP is also closely guard IP. Fan work is mostly encouraged, but I could never publish the work as a collection. It can only existing on the blog (though I have collected the entries in the past as PDFs for download in the RSS feeds).

In all, A to Z is a strong creative outlet that focuses me for a month on this oft neglected blog. And for that I will continue in 2017. At the very least so that I can create another daemon's true name and make you cringe at all the apostrophes.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 29 April 2016

Y is for Youth's Bane

From the Lore of Death and Spirits of the Shyish Order of Magick, the spell Youth's Bane is one of the most powerful. Only the most advanced Apprentices can master the spell and then only with reagents of ivy cut from the grave of a deceased Shyish magister and intense concentration. It is not uncommon for Apprentices to still fail.

Youth's Bane, cast in battle or in defense can be the edge in a fight, permanently drawing the strength and fitness from an opponent.. Muscles atrophy and joints can sieze as the target ages years in an instant.

The spell is one that is a favorite of rogue Shyish magisters in assassinations. Continuously aging a victim over short periods of time until either dying a premature death or so weak as unable to defend herself from a more physical death. Such tactics are easily discoverable if recognized (often a possibility in cities, but less likely in remote regions of the Empire). The magister discovered willing to employ the spell in such attacks is one that will, if found out, be likely assassinated by the Order's leadership. Leadership that has no tolerance for such evil acts.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Thursday, 28 April 2016

X is for Xij'tier, Lesser Daemon of Tzeentch

The very Winds of Magick are the stuff of Chaos and change. Tzeentch, the Chaos god of Change, is said to drink from flagons overflowing with liquid magick. Moreover, it told by magisters of all colleges—and certainly put forth by the Witch Hunters as proof of the corruption of all magic users—that Tzeentch curses all magic users that improperly handle the winds in casting, elf or human alike. Mutation Tzeentch's "blessing." But Tzeentch has daemon heralds as well.

His lesser daemon Xij'tier is one such harbinger. An ethereal daemon, Xij'tier seeks change in natural forms for Tzeentch's glory.

Xij'tier typically takes the forms of beasts that have no likeness in the Old World and can only be described as creatures from the Tzeentch's own menagerie of the unusual. He rarely appears without immense tusks that have are carved with everchanging scenes of Tzeentch's basest desires and capped with a color changing metal formed into flesh piercing points.

Xij'tier takes a certain enjoyment in touching the war beasts of Tzeentch's champions in the Old World. The mutations are always terrifying and often quite deadly in the field.

It is said that Xij'tier will stand at the head of a charging warband, man and beast fighting to charge through his ethereal form to be "blessed" with change and mutation in that instant before colliding in battle with the enemy.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

W is for Witchsight

No respected magister of the eight Colleges of Magic uses the term Witchsight, as these same magic users would never consider themselves "witches or warlocks." The term existed long before the Articles of Imperial Magic were codified and it has become a more common term among the superstitious public where the Colleges would prefer the use of Spiritsight or Magical Sense.

Mastering Witchsight is a lifelong task that starts with apprenticeship. It represents the "Seventh Sense" with Intuition and Aethyric Attunement being the "Sixth Sense" and first recognizable ability of any potential magic user.

How Witchsight is honed and mastered and thus appears to a magister is difficult to say, but many describe as looking through novelty glasses, but with an astonishing clarity of the manifestations of the Winds of Magic. Ghyran is said to be like a summer rain, Ulgu as a think fog, literally affecting a bystander passing through this unseen cloud and forgetting why he left the house. Shyish lingers as a dark tendrils in grave yards and around oubliettes. 

Yet these manifestations are invisible to anyone without Witchsight, and more still may manifest themselves to magisters very differently. An Azyr magister might see the past action in place or the future movement of chess piece on a board.

Witchsight is a both a blessing and a curse. The latter the most often considered. It has driven many magisters insane as they age and their mastery of it grows. For as the power to use Witchsight strengthens so does the clarity of the Winds of Magic.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

V is for Vitaellum

Vitaellum is the powerstone of the magisters of Ghyran, the Green Wind of Magic.

Typically appearing as an flawless emerald with an internal light, the stone can also present itself as living branch despite having been separated from the plant. As all powerstones, the Jade magisters create Vitaellum as a reagent to the most powerful spells of their lore, whether martial or peaceable.

The three most powerful spells of Agrological Thaumaturgy are Flesh of Clay, Winter's Frost, and Cure Blight. A hero upon which Flesh of Clay is cast is a formidable foe on the battlefield. His skin turns to harden clay becoming immune to sword and shaft, but himself a weapon wading through enemy lines. 

Winter's Frost can kill or gravely wound a score of men in a single casting. The thick ice chilling to the bone in an instant and turning a charge into a chaotic dance of slips and tumbles.

Cure Blight is as much a ritual as the most powerful spell and tool for the well-being of the Empire. Crops, and even plague, can be cured of a blight or disease by infusing the stricken with the life restoring energies of Ghyran.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 25 April 2016

U is for Ulgu, Cryptoclastic Thaumaturgy

The Grey Order and their Lore of Shadows are the masters of deception and confusion. They are the Shadowmancers and wielders of the Grey Wind of Magic, Ulgu.

Ostensibly, the Grey Order in battle is a force multiplier. Being masters of illusion, Shadowmancers aid generals by confusing a charge, "altering" the size of force on the field: too small, too big, too weak? A force too small can be made to appear large. And yet the Shadowmancers would not consider service to the Emperor even a top priority. 

Shadowmancers darker side is that of a near global network of spies, diplomats, and assassins. The Grey Order is also one of the most disciplined of orders with the strictest enforcement of its ideals and rules with pacification or death not uncommon.

The mastery of the wind makes Shadowmancers spies capable of the deepest assignments and the cleverest of assassins. The Ulgu spells of deception, concealment, and confusion are particularly powerful in the aforementioned roles, and the spells of persuasion make them excellent diplomats.

The Order is rather focused too on rooting out Chaos and the influence of the Ruinous Power throughout the Empire, often quietly assisting the Templars of Sigmar, the Witch Hunters, even when they, as magic users, are not often welcome.

Posted by caffeinated at 9:58 PM in d10

Saturday, 23 April 2016

T is for Thaumaturgy

The origin of the word Thaumaturgy as used and written in the Articles of Imperial Magic in Reikspiel is unknown. Verenan priests and the Gold Order that study the High Elven tomes and instructions believe that it originated near the Black Gulf, the Border Princes, or further south in Araby. It is not an Elven word, but possibly a word known to a scholar whose name has been lost to history. The Elven word perhaps unrecordable.

Whatever the etymology of the word, it could be applied to the magic of wizards or the miracles of the priests of the sanctioned cults. However, it most applied in the academic and hermetic works of the magisters of the Orders of Magic; almost exclusively in practice. The Einsegnung of the priests of the Empire are not of the same source, but channelled through their prayers to the gods.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:08 AM in d10

Friday, 22 April 2016

S is for Shyish, Cessationary Thaumaturgy

The wizards of the Lore of Death and Spirit, members of the Amethyst Order and masters of the Purple Wind, Shyish are most certainly not necromancers. The Articles of Imperial Magic refers to these magisters as wielders of Cessationary Thaumaturgy.

However, make no mistake, the line between Necromancy and the wonders of the Amethyst Order is thin. And make no mistake the patriarch and lords of the Order do not tolerate those that cross that line.

The more common spells, the most powerful looked at using Endstones, are certainly capable of revealing the truth of the afterlife. Deathsight reveals the spirits that walk beside the living, Death's Release can banish the same spirits. Spells may ease passing, delay a death, or speak with the passing soul. It is no wonder that discipline and philosophy are daily concerns in the Order. That Amethyst Wizards know of the afterlife, but that they can touch it, is more than a powerful temptation to master the Wind in ways that reject death and seek to restore or lengthen it. Despite that Necromancy never results in good, as one hopes, it is a practice that invites the destructive influence of Chaos and the Ruinous Powers.

The campus of the Amethyst College in Altdorf is rumored to exist on two planes: for the living and for the dead. Visitors to the grounds will tell you it is abandoned. The campus choked with vines, crumbling buildings, and piles of dead leaves collecting in the crevices and corners of halls and streets or tossed about by a deathly quiet wind. And yet others, invited, will tell you of a busy, if somber, campus. Both will tell of using the same entrance. Whether illusion or more, the "abandoned" campus is known to be used by braver criminals as a meeting place. How tolerant of this use the magisters are is debated.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:02 PM in d10

Thursday, 21 April 2016

R is for Ritual Magic

Ritual Magic is capable of gathering and exerting each Wind in powerful ways. Many rituals are guarded by each order to produce aids, such as Powerstones, or bring the energy of a Wind to bear on the battlefield. 

Ritual magic is used by Dwarves to bind runes to weapons and talismans. Rune Magic, as it is called, can only be used by Dwarves—besides being the only arcane magic the race is capable of mastering—and Elves.

As powerful as it is, ritual magic can be seemingly vain, vindictive, and pure evil. The Body Gilded transforms body parts into impossible, but functioning, organs or limbs. The Dance Without End will exhaust the afflicted to a grave. The Beastly Transmogrification of the Omnipotent TChar will make a beastman of weakminded men, women, and children, turning them into rampaging beasts until the transformation wears off or the beast is killed. Those that survive the ordeal do so only physically. Their minds, already said to be weak, are driven mad by the experience of the murderous rampage they participated in while afflicted.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Q is for Quiet! please

There are few common folk that would disagree: wizards and priests are not a quiet lot.

Wielding the Winds of Magic, even divine miracles of the priests of the recognized cults, means singing, whispering, exclaiming, and other often loud means of vocalization. It is not known if these "verbal" elements of spell casting is a human mnemonic to aid in mastering the necessary mental power or if it's just... necessary.

In battle, the exclamations are particularly recognized over the screams of the dying and the din of sword meeting shield and bone. In passing it seems to be an ever present whisper, song—an attribute making the Hierophants of the Order of Light immediately known—or prayer for a priest.

What is known is gagging or otherwise silencing a wizard or priest is to also rob them of working magick of arcane or divine nature. No wizard or priest is able to wield magic without his or her voice. In defensive Magick, Silence is a powerful spell indeed and as such is taught by all Orders and Cults to any that wish to study to master the spell and prayer.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

P is for The Philosopher's Stone

More commonly called "Goldstones" by the wizards of the Lore of Metal, the Philosopher's Stone is regarded as the first of the power stones mastered by any of the eight orders practiced by humans.

The Philosopher's Stone is created, as all power stones, in a closely guarded ritual that folds the "wind of Magic" upon itself until it coalesces into a physical object of energy. The stone is used as a reagent in almost all alchemical experiments of the Gold Order as well as the reagent to the most powerful spells used by the wizards.

Breach the Unknown it is said impresses upon the caster's mind the very attributes of any natural or manmade object, including objects of magical quality. The Law of Gold suppresses magical properties of objects and the Transmutation of the Unstable Mind is said to cure a subject of insanity; though there are credible accounts that the spell can make worse the afflicted mind if cast incorrectly.

The abilities of the Philosopher's Stone have become so legendary that mundane alchemists have sought to replicate it without magic; an impossible task. But the name is also why Gold wizards rarely use the term "Philosopher's Stone."  A Goldstone is the same thing by another name and the main reason that many mundane seekers think they are different things, tossing aside "gold stone" in frustration of having "true" Philosopher's Stone.


Posted by caffeinated at 12:53 PM in d10

Monday, 18 April 2016

Server Outage

Loooong story short.

I did something stupid about two years ago and it started to haunt me in the background this week. I used to have an email alias (or forwarding email) for job hunting that would just get spam.

I also have a forwarding email for my primary identity on the internet. They were almost the same. I purged a bunch of these forwarding email addresses a couple of years ago and I mistakenly purged my primary. Since I don't get a lot of email on this address I didn't notice! My host was telling me on this email my CC was expired. D'oh. When I dug into troubleshooting the outage, I started wondering: why hasn't my host notified me of my annual payment...in two years?

Straighten it out. On I.R.fucking.C. Not Slack. Fuck Slack.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:58 PM in Bohemian Breakfast

O is for The Ox Stands

The Shamans of the Amber Order, practitioners of the Lore of the Beast and masters of Ghur, are powerful battlefield wizards.

Called by mysterious, often folkloric, methods to the battlefield by generals or governors in distant outposts of the Empire, an Amber shaman can be worth 10 or 20 men by the end of a fight. Facing the terrifying and horrific monsters, giants, and beasts of Chaos, troops may run or freeze in the roar and spittle of a beast twice the size of the strongest soldier.

An Amber wizard casting the Ox Stands can turn this fright into ferocity. Ghur is drawn to the shaman and then explodes in a silent and invisible wave that energizes soldiers that can hear the shouted words of the casting shaman. With the spell, the frozen sword arm swings harder, a soldier's reflexes quicker, and the running coward turns back to fight. In that moment, the spell can strengthen a collapsing line.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 16 April 2016

N is for Nectar of Beauty

The Old World is said by those with Witchsight to be saturated with Magic. Only those that can wield the Winds are capable of enjoying the power, whether for martial or other reasons. 

And while those without magical abilities enjoy a diverse market of draughts, spirits, beers, and ales and many with promises to "cure what ails ya!." These mundane, often unreliable concoctions has given rise to a small market where apprentice, journeyman, and magister wizard alike mix magical "potions."

While much more reliable than "Herzmann's meat juice" these potions tend toward a short shelf life, odd side effects, and present unexpected side "results."

The Nectar of Beauty

The facial scarring of a pox, acne, or military wound diminishes the dowry of a daughter or the vanity of boy and man. Commonly available in cities like Altdorf with large cosmopolitain populations and social climbers, the Nectar of Beauty will heal these scars "almost" completely.

Unfortunately, and rarely spoken about, the scars just reappear else where on the body. Pox scars or poorly sewn battle scars may appear on the back, bottom or chest. While one's visage becomes pleasant in public, privately the embarrassment may be more troublesome to intimacy.

The Nectar of Beauty is also said to cause one to shun any sort of light brighter than a candelabra. At an Altdorf party, it is a faux pas to be caught squinting as it is sign that one has surely imbibed the potion. As the side effect is permanent many socialites insist on low lighting in parlors and ballrooms.

Posted by caffeinated at 2:03 PM in d10

Friday, 15 April 2016

M is for Magick, Lingua praestantia

When the High Elves arrived over three centuries ago to call and assess the humans of the Empire capable of mastering the Winds of Magic, they first had to create and then teach these "primitives" a language capable of drawing the Winds to the casters.

The High Elves speak Eltharin, a language that itself is derived from the very language the High Elves use to master and wield Qhaysh, Anoqeyån. Neither language is one that could be taught in the time allowed the High Elves, so they created a sort of pastiche of Eltharin and Old Riekspiel. The Colleges of Magic, have named this language lingua praestantia, or more simply Magick.

Lingua praestantia, like Eltharin and Anoqeyån before it, has a darker side as well. It is derived from the language of the Dark Tongues used by daemons and dark sorcerers. This is because the High Elves believe Anoqeyån is the closest language left known in the world that was likely spoken by the Old Ones.

Posted by caffeinated at 4:24 PM in d10

Thursday, 14 April 2016

L is for Lumen Stones

The Hierophants of the White Wind, Hysh, will often seek to learn the secret songs of their Order that allows them to bind Magick into the rare Lumen Stone. Like other Power Stones, Lumen Stones store Magick that can be harnessed to cast the most powerful spells of Hysh. Lumen Stones radiate a pure white light and have an appearance of a large, flawless diamond.

The most powerful spells often wielded by the Hierophants include Boon of Hysh, Daemonbane, and Pillar of Radiance. Without a Lumen Stone, these spells are too powerful to be cast by Journeymen of the Order. Magisters and Lords often fail without reagents at hand and intense concentration.

And as all powerful spells, these spells will echo on the Aethyr. Hierophants will know when these spells are cast. The Order expects that these spells to be directly focused on daemons and corruption.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

K is for the Knocks of the Departed

Journeymen Wizards of the Amethyst Order of Shyish, literally the practitioners of the Lore of Death, are known for many spells dealing with passing of living things and even communicating with the dead.

Knocks of the Dead is one such spell that crosses the threshold between life and death. It is said that the spirit of the passed, either compelled by Morr or by the presence of kinship at the casting, knocks on the Gates to Morr's Eternal Garden.

The body of the deceased must be present or an immediate next of kin. The casting is aided by a reagent of the subject's clothing—easy with a body unless naked. The spell allows the wizard to ask a specific question of the spirit that is either numerically expressed or simply "yes" or "no." For example, in the investigation of a murder the wizard may ask the hour after Mittagessen he was stabbed... four knocks. A "yes" answer is one knock, a "no," two knocks.

The spirit may chose not to answer, even lie! (especially if the kin present may have been involved in foul play or was unliked in life). The wizard is only leveraging Shyish and leverages no influence on the spirit.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

J is for Arcane Justice

Magick, until Magus the Pious' foundation of the Imperial Colleges and direct diplomacy with the High Elves, was simply witchcraft.

A display of magic was seen as being in league with forces of Chaos or daemons. Whether a Cunning Man working with the "Hedge," a "Druid," an Elementalist, or just a wise woman, fear ruled. To be branded a user of witchcraft was to be burned at the stake.

The Imperial Colleges changed that view. Mostly, and then only in the largest cities of the Empire. And then still a Journeyman or Magister in far flung parts of the Empire must worry that a display of Magick won't find him or her strapped to a pole in the center of a pyre. And then it may come with complete surprise: accusations are usually whispered and a quiet call for a Witch Hunter of the Templars of Sigmar made. Watchmen or a militia man would never apprehend a wizard directly; it simply is too dangerous. A pistol, arrow, or blunderbus is much safer if a Witch Hunter is not immediately available.

To the public, this is most often witnessed form of Justice. To a member of the Imperial College, violation of the Imperial Laws or transgression or betrayal of the College's own rules, can result in Pacification.

What exactly Pacification is remains unknown; each college has their own version. But it is widely rumored to forcibly remove the ability to manipulate the Winds of Magic. The procedure and the results are widely gossiped about. No Magister wants to be subjected to Pacification. The fear of the process is itself the greatest deterrent and the greatest incentive to remain true to the Emperor and to the College.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 11 April 2016

I is for Inspiration

Editors Note: This is the first of several spells used by magisters of the various Lores this A-to-Z will look at over the next week and beyond.

Inspiration

This spell from the Lore of Light is practiced by masters of the White Wind, Hysh, and is often cast in contemplation of an academic problem or simply to open the mind to aid recall.

The wizard must concentrate both on the problem while singing to focus the White Wind on the problem or question. White Wizards often produce a small book and tear a page from it, seemingly absentmindedly, as a reagent to aid in casting the spell. The reagent is said to burst into light as it flutters to the ground or illuminate the flesh and bones of the wizard's fist as it crushes the crumpled page.

The spell is one of the moderately difficult ones a White Wizard will use, often only mastered by Journeymen. The song is said to last over a minute. It is typically a spell cast in quiet repose after a question or problem is presented in an investigation.

Magisters have said that the answer will simply "appear" in the mind's eye.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 9 April 2016

H is for Hysh, Order of the Wise

Hysh is the White Wind, mastered by the Hierophants of the Order of the Wise.

Of the eight winds of Magick, Hysh is the most difficult wind to master. It is the closest wind to High Magick practiced by the Elves, Qhaysh. Where Dhar and Chaos are darkness, Hysh is light.

The amount of study and the complex rituals Journeyman and Magisters undergo and memorize allows them to bend and bind the wind in some of the most powerful spells available against corruption and darkness. It also makes Hierophants the most philosophical and contemplative of all the Orders.

Apprentices of the order form choirs during training that act as aid to magisters in spellcasting, study of the rituals, and purification of the Order's pristine campus in Altdorf. Some apprentices may never leave the choirs if they cannot master the mental strength necessary to manipulate the wind, instead serve the college and its goals in perpetuity. 

Many of these apprentices come from annual efforts of the Order "adopting" orphans that show any magical ability. The Order is also often the "easiest" to join, accepting those passed over by other Orders. Whether these Apprentices show the discipline to master Hysh or not, the choirs remain singing.

Martially, the Order is highly effective in the exorcism and destruction of daemons. As Hysh is also an aspect of purity, magisters are capable of powerful healing of corruption and mutation.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 8 April 2016

G is for Ghyran, Agrological Thaumaturgy

Ghyran, the Green Wind of Magick, is the source of the magisters of the Empire that practice the Lore of Life, "Soil Magic," or more academically, the practice of Agrological Thaumaturgy by the Jade Wizards.

It is said that Ghyran flows and pools like water after a hard rain and can be seen in all life of the earth. Drawn into the soil and then through the roots of all plant life. It can be seen in the rivers and streams of the Empire as well as flowing across the land following no pattern of nature.

The Jade Wizards and the establishment of their College in Altdorf begins in the call sent by Emperor Magnus the Pious in his fight against Chaos over 300 years ago. The High Elves that taught these first magisters found in the practitioners of the Old Faith, Elementalists of Water and Earth, even the Cunning Men of "the hedge" a population most ready to master Ghyran. The idea of "druid" is often ascribed to a Jade Wizard by many because of the origins and they readily accept it, if not completely correct.

Today, Jade Wizards ensure the healthy crops of the Empire and martially provide for the armies food as well as spells capable of swallowing armies or entangling hordes of beasts with choking vines that spring from the roots of trees and grass. But Jade Wizards also ensure and maintain the hedges of the Empire and leylines that manage the flow of Ghyran for the Empire's farmers.

Jade Wizards are aligned with the Cults of Taal and Rhya, the gods of nature, and the Amber Shamans.

Posted by caffeinated at 12:45 PM in d10

Thursday, 7 April 2016

F is for Fire Rubies

Like the Amethyst Wizards, the Bright Wizards of the Lore of Fire, create power stones called Fire Rubies. Fire Rubies are made in single use forges crafted during a private ritual. The result is a bright stone the lit by burning coals. The stones are hot to hold and can warm a tent in Chaos Wastes in a matter of minutes when openly exposed.

The three most powerful spells of the Lore of Fire—one that many a veteran could testify too—are Aqshy's Aegis, Breathe Fire, and Conflagration of Doom. The amount of skill and study for these (and similar spells of the other Orders) is great, often only possibly by Magisters and Lords of each order. Apprentices aided by a Fire Ruby can wield these spells in battle, in a pinch.

Like the powerful spells of Shyish, these spells also "echo" on the Aethyr. Use of powerful spells are not lightly taken by any Order. Not just because they can be so destructive, but because an error in casting can summon daemons attracted to the wind in use.

In a few days, we will look at the Lore of Light's Lumen Stones and the three most powerful spells of the Order of Light.


Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

E is for Endstones

Every College of Magic has a ritual that manifests its "wind of Magick" into a physical object known as a power stone.

The magisters of the Amethyst College craft Endstones, power stones that typically vary in color, but most are found to appear as highly polished bone or a black so pitch as to seemingly darken a day lit room.

Like all power stones, Endstones are carefully produced under strict adherence of closely guarded ritual, but serve a singular purpose: act as a store of the very energy of Magick used to create it. The Endstone serves as a reagent to spellcasting the most powerful of Shyish's Lore of Death and Spirit.

Whether The Animus Imprisoned, Life's End, or Wind of Death, an Endstone can assure the successful casting. These are not trivial spells to cast and the power required to cast them "echoes" on the Aethyr. These echoes can be felt by other Amethyst Wizards. Because these spells can bind souls or kill instantly, trivial use of them, even without an Endstone, is not tolerated by the Order.

And because an Endstone, like all powerstones, are consumed with the casting, they are rare and expensive.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

D is for Dhar

The nature of magic has two opposites. If the Winds of Magic—and winds is a human notion trying to explain High Elven understanding of the nature of Magick—are a spectrum with Qhaysh on one end representing the Winds in harmony, then Dhar is at the opposite end representing the Winds in discordance.

However, Dhar is an easy "wind" to master and often a shortcut to powerful spell casting. The ease of manipulating Dhar however comes at a great cost. The first is that Dhar must be combined with another wind to be useful outside of Necromancy and Daemonology. And Dhar is fickle. One use may not be like the last use and this often leads to magisters going insane or dropping dead. But there are a rare few that become more attuned to using Dhar. These magisters are known as Black Magisters.

Black Magisters are ostracized from their orders and often are hunted to ground and death by fire. Often, when they are found, Black Magisters have already descended into darker arts as they attempt further master Dhar. 

Use of Dhar is incredibly hard to hide as many magisters are taught from the very beginning to "see" the Winds of Magic. One Golden Wizard might perceive another Golden Wizard use Charmon with Dhar as a darker thread of Magick coalescing in his palm before becoming more powerful lightening bolts capable of striking an enemy dead. Black Magisters have to be very careful in using Dhar because it can be so easily "seen."

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 4 April 2016

C is for Chamon, Alchemical Thaumaturgy

The practitioners of Alchemical Thaumaturgy are the Golden Wizards, masters of the Yellow Wind, Chamon. The apprentices, journeymen, and magisters are part of the wealthiest college of magic and one of the most diverse as well.

The wealth of the Golden Order is not as the common people suspect: crackpot alchemists, handpicked by the elven mages, cracking the code of converting a base metal to gold. While "True Transformation" is still sought and a stated goal of the Golden Order, its application remains impossible. And while the transient transformation of base metals to gold is possible, the act is publicly prosecuted by the Order's leadership because it is fraud.

The Order's wealth is far more mundane in origin: the alchemists of the Order produce potions, dyes, gunpower, refined ore, spirits, and even beer of such quality and quantity that merchants pay the best prices for them, often for a 1% or 2% profit in trading guilds across the Empire. And given the cost and need for reagents in the Order's regular wizardry, the wealth is needed.

The Order's Lore of Metal is both academic and martial. In the battlefields of the Empire against the hordes of Chaos, Golden Wizards transform the armor and weapons of the enemy to lead or rust. Weapons crafted by Golden Wizards are of such quality—and often inscribed with powerful runes and enchanted for accuracy—only the most esteemed generals and the Emperor himself can own them.

Academically, the Order houses one of the greatest libraries of the world and is closely aligned with the Cult of Verena, the goddess of Knowledge and Justice. Mundane alchemists that still adhere to the notion of the four base elements dismiss the studies of the Golden Wizards, especially the recent notion that the Golden Wizards have identified over 90 unique elements of the mundane world.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 2 April 2016

B is for the Brown Wind (Ghur) and the Shamans of Amber Magic

Of the eight winds of Magick, Ghur, or the Brown Wind, is as wild as the natural world that feeds it. The practitioners are often mistaken for woodsmen, hermits, cunning men, Druids—though the wizards of the Jade College may take issue with that mistake—or even priests of Taal or Rhya.

And of all the colleges, the shamans of Ghur, do not live and study in Altdorf. They are more likely to be found studying in the Reikwald, or Great Forest, that surrounds Altdorf. A shaman's appearance does no favor to aid in approaching one intentionally or by accident by most citizenry of the Empire at large: often covered in fetishes of animal origins, furs, bones and smells of the forest. It is this appearance that will have an Amber Wizard mistaken for outlawed druids of the "Old Faith" or worse, the witches and warlocks of the Hedge, practitioners of wild magic and often called Cunning Men. Add their reclusive, separatist study, these officially sanctioned wizards of the Empire must often prove themselves to the Templars of Sigmar, the Witch Hunters.

The Amber Wizards are fierce defenders of the Empire. In many of the distant outposts of the Emperor, commanders ally with Amber Wizards and understand intimately how to call these powerful shamans for counsel or battle. The shaman's often use their commune with nature to speak to birds for scouting and the hidden animals of the wild to alert armies of enemy movements.


Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 1 April 2016

A is for Asqhy, Pyromantic Thaumaturgy

The practitioners of the Bright Order weave the Red Wind of Magic. In the language of Magick, Asqhy, or more academically, Pyromantic Thaumaturgy, this wind is can be quite destructive.

Bright Wizards master flame, from the candle to conflagration. This fact alone answers the question—if one is even considered—as to the reason these men and women are found on the front lines of battlefields throughout the Empire. Whether wading through ranks of goblins with a flaming sword or conjuring a whirlwind of fire that consumes siege engines, the martial value of these wizards is immediately recognized.

Gregarious and short of temper, Bright Wizards study both magic and combat in their college. The college is magically hidden among the haunted embers and lingering smoke of a fire that burned a large section of Altdorf many years ago. The cause of this fire remains whispered gossip among the citizenry and even the magisters of other the other colleges.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Z is for Zed, an epilogue

An Epilogue for 2016

Five years ago, when James Maliszewski was still blogging regurlarly at Grognardia, I learned about Blogging A to Z. That first year marked the first year that the letter X would be forever some daemon or daemonic lure. I also won the Best of Fans Award from a prominent figure in the WFRP community Magnus Seter, writing under the nom de plumme Adolphus Altdorfer.

I worked with two international conspirators in 2012 where we cross posted to our blogs, sharing each letter. In 2013 I created more than 13 unique persons in the WFRP setting and in 2014 26 taverns, hostels, and dives on the Street of a Hundred Taverns in the city of Altdorf. Last year I borrowed heavily from my friend's characters at the table and their adventures in across great swaths of the Empire in a campaign to save the world.

Each year the comments start heavy, then trickle off. I'm don't follow the A to Z protocol of turning off comment moderation; I use to get far too much spam (a lot has dropped off with turning off trackbacks however).

My topic always gets the occasional comment that makes me wonder about the writer's impression of topic. This year there were a couple that took the magic angle a little to seriously, possibly not reading my primer on exactly what WFRP is and how the topic relates.

Can I do five more years? I think so. Maybe. There's a lot of creativity that goes into each entry. WFRP is a rich and dynamic setting and the my regular play lets me stretch that setting into each entry. However, WFRP is also closely guard IP. Fan work is mostly encouraged, but I could never publish the work as a collection. It can only existing on the blog (though I have collected the entries in the past as PDFs for download in the RSS feeds).

In all, A to Z is a strong creative outlet that focuses me for a month on this oft neglected blog. And for that I will continue in 2017. At the very least so that I can create another daemon's true name and make you cringe at all the apostrophes.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 29 April 2016

Y is for Youth's Bane

From the Lore of Death and Spirits of the Shyish Order of Magick, the spell Youth's Bane is one of the most powerful. Only the most advanced Apprentices can master the spell and then only with reagents of ivy cut from the grave of a deceased Shyish magister and intense concentration. It is not uncommon for Apprentices to still fail.

Youth's Bane, cast in battle or in defense can be the edge in a fight, permanently drawing the strength and fitness from an opponent.. Muscles atrophy and joints can sieze as the target ages years in an instant.

The spell is one that is a favorite of rogue Shyish magisters in assassinations. Continuously aging a victim over short periods of time until either dying a premature death or so weak as unable to defend herself from a more physical death. Such tactics are easily discoverable if recognized (often a possibility in cities, but less likely in remote regions of the Empire). The magister discovered willing to employ the spell in such attacks is one that will, if found out, be likely assassinated by the Order's leadership. Leadership that has no tolerance for such evil acts.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Thursday, 28 April 2016

X is for Xij'tier, Lesser Daemon of Tzeentch

The very Winds of Magick are the stuff of Chaos and change. Tzeentch, the Chaos god of Change, is said to drink from flagons overflowing with liquid magick. Moreover, it told by magisters of all colleges—and certainly put forth by the Witch Hunters as proof of the corruption of all magic users—that Tzeentch curses all magic users that improperly handle the winds in casting, elf or human alike. Mutation Tzeentch's "blessing." But Tzeentch has daemon heralds as well.

His lesser daemon Xij'tier is one such harbinger. An ethereal daemon, Xij'tier seeks change in natural forms for Tzeentch's glory.

Xij'tier typically takes the forms of beasts that have no likeness in the Old World and can only be described as creatures from the Tzeentch's own menagerie of the unusual. He rarely appears without immense tusks that have are carved with everchanging scenes of Tzeentch's basest desires and capped with a color changing metal formed into flesh piercing points.

Xij'tier takes a certain enjoyment in touching the war beasts of Tzeentch's champions in the Old World. The mutations are always terrifying and often quite deadly in the field.

It is said that Xij'tier will stand at the head of a charging warband, man and beast fighting to charge through his ethereal form to be "blessed" with change and mutation in that instant before colliding in battle with the enemy.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

W is for Witchsight

No respected magister of the eight Colleges of Magic uses the term Witchsight, as these same magic users would never consider themselves "witches or warlocks." The term existed long before the Articles of Imperial Magic were codified and it has become a more common term among the superstitious public where the Colleges would prefer the use of Spiritsight or Magical Sense.

Mastering Witchsight is a lifelong task that starts with apprenticeship. It represents the "Seventh Sense" with Intuition and Aethyric Attunement being the "Sixth Sense" and first recognizable ability of any potential magic user.

How Witchsight is honed and mastered and thus appears to a magister is difficult to say, but many describe as looking through novelty glasses, but with an astonishing clarity of the manifestations of the Winds of Magic. Ghyran is said to be like a summer rain, Ulgu as a think fog, literally affecting a bystander passing through this unseen cloud and forgetting why he left the house. Shyish lingers as a dark tendrils in grave yards and around oubliettes. 

Yet these manifestations are invisible to anyone without Witchsight, and more still may manifest themselves to magisters very differently. An Azyr magister might see the past action in place or the future movement of chess piece on a board.

Witchsight is a both a blessing and a curse. The latter the most often considered. It has driven many magisters insane as they age and their mastery of it grows. For as the power to use Witchsight strengthens so does the clarity of the Winds of Magic.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

V is for Vitaellum

Vitaellum is the powerstone of the magisters of Ghyran, the Green Wind of Magic.

Typically appearing as an flawless emerald with an internal light, the stone can also present itself as living branch despite having been separated from the plant. As all powerstones, the Jade magisters create Vitaellum as a reagent to the most powerful spells of their lore, whether martial or peaceable.

The three most powerful spells of Agrological Thaumaturgy are Flesh of Clay, Winter's Frost, and Cure Blight. A hero upon which Flesh of Clay is cast is a formidable foe on the battlefield. His skin turns to harden clay becoming immune to sword and shaft, but himself a weapon wading through enemy lines. 

Winter's Frost can kill or gravely wound a score of men in a single casting. The thick ice chilling to the bone in an instant and turning a charge into a chaotic dance of slips and tumbles.

Cure Blight is as much a ritual as the most powerful spell and tool for the well-being of the Empire. Crops, and even plague, can be cured of a blight or disease by infusing the stricken with the life restoring energies of Ghyran.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 25 April 2016

U is for Ulgu, Cryptoclastic Thaumaturgy

The Grey Order and their Lore of Shadows are the masters of deception and confusion. They are the Shadowmancers and wielders of the Grey Wind of Magic, Ulgu.

Ostensibly, the Grey Order in battle is a force multiplier. Being masters of illusion, Shadowmancers aid generals by confusing a charge, "altering" the size of force on the field: too small, too big, too weak? A force too small can be made to appear large. And yet the Shadowmancers would not consider service to the Emperor even a top priority. 

Shadowmancers darker side is that of a near global network of spies, diplomats, and assassins. The Grey Order is also one of the most disciplined of orders with the strictest enforcement of its ideals and rules with pacification or death not uncommon.

The mastery of the wind makes Shadowmancers spies capable of the deepest assignments and the cleverest of assassins. The Ulgu spells of deception, concealment, and confusion are particularly powerful in the aforementioned roles, and the spells of persuasion make them excellent diplomats.

The Order is rather focused too on rooting out Chaos and the influence of the Ruinous Power throughout the Empire, often quietly assisting the Templars of Sigmar, the Witch Hunters, even when they, as magic users, are not often welcome.

Posted by caffeinated at 9:58 PM in d10

Saturday, 23 April 2016

T is for Thaumaturgy

The origin of the word Thaumaturgy as used and written in the Articles of Imperial Magic in Reikspiel is unknown. Verenan priests and the Gold Order that study the High Elven tomes and instructions believe that it originated near the Black Gulf, the Border Princes, or further south in Araby. It is not an Elven word, but possibly a word known to a scholar whose name has been lost to history. The Elven word perhaps unrecordable.

Whatever the etymology of the word, it could be applied to the magic of wizards or the miracles of the priests of the sanctioned cults. However, it most applied in the academic and hermetic works of the magisters of the Orders of Magic; almost exclusively in practice. The Einsegnung of the priests of the Empire are not of the same source, but channelled through their prayers to the gods.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:08 AM in d10

Friday, 22 April 2016

S is for Shyish, Cessationary Thaumaturgy

The wizards of the Lore of Death and Spirit, members of the Amethyst Order and masters of the Purple Wind, Shyish are most certainly not necromancers. The Articles of Imperial Magic refers to these magisters as wielders of Cessationary Thaumaturgy.

However, make no mistake, the line between Necromancy and the wonders of the Amethyst Order is thin. And make no mistake the patriarch and lords of the Order do not tolerate those that cross that line.

The more common spells, the most powerful looked at using Endstones, are certainly capable of revealing the truth of the afterlife. Deathsight reveals the spirits that walk beside the living, Death's Release can banish the same spirits. Spells may ease passing, delay a death, or speak with the passing soul. It is no wonder that discipline and philosophy are daily concerns in the Order. That Amethyst Wizards know of the afterlife, but that they can touch it, is more than a powerful temptation to master the Wind in ways that reject death and seek to restore or lengthen it. Despite that Necromancy never results in good, as one hopes, it is a practice that invites the destructive influence of Chaos and the Ruinous Powers.

The campus of the Amethyst College in Altdorf is rumored to exist on two planes: for the living and for the dead. Visitors to the grounds will tell you it is abandoned. The campus choked with vines, crumbling buildings, and piles of dead leaves collecting in the crevices and corners of halls and streets or tossed about by a deathly quiet wind. And yet others, invited, will tell you of a busy, if somber, campus. Both will tell of using the same entrance. Whether illusion or more, the "abandoned" campus is known to be used by braver criminals as a meeting place. How tolerant of this use the magisters are is debated.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:02 PM in d10

Thursday, 21 April 2016

R is for Ritual Magic

Ritual Magic is capable of gathering and exerting each Wind in powerful ways. Many rituals are guarded by each order to produce aids, such as Powerstones, or bring the energy of a Wind to bear on the battlefield. 

Ritual magic is used by Dwarves to bind runes to weapons and talismans. Rune Magic, as it is called, can only be used by Dwarves—besides being the only arcane magic the race is capable of mastering—and Elves.

As powerful as it is, ritual magic can be seemingly vain, vindictive, and pure evil. The Body Gilded transforms body parts into impossible, but functioning, organs or limbs. The Dance Without End will exhaust the afflicted to a grave. The Beastly Transmogrification of the Omnipotent TChar will make a beastman of weakminded men, women, and children, turning them into rampaging beasts until the transformation wears off or the beast is killed. Those that survive the ordeal do so only physically. Their minds, already said to be weak, are driven mad by the experience of the murderous rampage they participated in while afflicted.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Q is for Quiet! please

There are few common folk that would disagree: wizards and priests are not a quiet lot.

Wielding the Winds of Magic, even divine miracles of the priests of the recognized cults, means singing, whispering, exclaiming, and other often loud means of vocalization. It is not known if these "verbal" elements of spell casting is a human mnemonic to aid in mastering the necessary mental power or if it's just... necessary.

In battle, the exclamations are particularly recognized over the screams of the dying and the din of sword meeting shield and bone. In passing it seems to be an ever present whisper, song—an attribute making the Hierophants of the Order of Light immediately known—or prayer for a priest.

What is known is gagging or otherwise silencing a wizard or priest is to also rob them of working magick of arcane or divine nature. No wizard or priest is able to wield magic without his or her voice. In defensive Magick, Silence is a powerful spell indeed and as such is taught by all Orders and Cults to any that wish to study to master the spell and prayer.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

P is for The Philosopher's Stone

More commonly called "Goldstones" by the wizards of the Lore of Metal, the Philosopher's Stone is regarded as the first of the power stones mastered by any of the eight orders practiced by humans.

The Philosopher's Stone is created, as all power stones, in a closely guarded ritual that folds the "wind of Magic" upon itself until it coalesces into a physical object of energy. The stone is used as a reagent in almost all alchemical experiments of the Gold Order as well as the reagent to the most powerful spells used by the wizards.

Breach the Unknown it is said impresses upon the caster's mind the very attributes of any natural or manmade object, including objects of magical quality. The Law of Gold suppresses magical properties of objects and the Transmutation of the Unstable Mind is said to cure a subject of insanity; though there are credible accounts that the spell can make worse the afflicted mind if cast incorrectly.

The abilities of the Philosopher's Stone have become so legendary that mundane alchemists have sought to replicate it without magic; an impossible task. But the name is also why Gold wizards rarely use the term "Philosopher's Stone."  A Goldstone is the same thing by another name and the main reason that many mundane seekers think they are different things, tossing aside "gold stone" in frustration of having "true" Philosopher's Stone.


Posted by caffeinated at 12:53 PM in d10

Monday, 18 April 2016

Server Outage

Loooong story short.

I did something stupid about two years ago and it started to haunt me in the background this week. I used to have an email alias (or forwarding email) for job hunting that would just get spam.

I also have a forwarding email for my primary identity on the internet. They were almost the same. I purged a bunch of these forwarding email addresses a couple of years ago and I mistakenly purged my primary. Since I don't get a lot of email on this address I didn't notice! My host was telling me on this email my CC was expired. D'oh. When I dug into troubleshooting the outage, I started wondering: why hasn't my host notified me of my annual payment...in two years?

Straighten it out. On I.R.fucking.C. Not Slack. Fuck Slack.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:58 PM in Bohemian Breakfast

O is for The Ox Stands

The Shamans of the Amber Order, practitioners of the Lore of the Beast and masters of Ghur, are powerful battlefield wizards.

Called by mysterious, often folkloric, methods to the battlefield by generals or governors in distant outposts of the Empire, an Amber shaman can be worth 10 or 20 men by the end of a fight. Facing the terrifying and horrific monsters, giants, and beasts of Chaos, troops may run or freeze in the roar and spittle of a beast twice the size of the strongest soldier.

An Amber wizard casting the Ox Stands can turn this fright into ferocity. Ghur is drawn to the shaman and then explodes in a silent and invisible wave that energizes soldiers that can hear the shouted words of the casting shaman. With the spell, the frozen sword arm swings harder, a soldier's reflexes quicker, and the running coward turns back to fight. In that moment, the spell can strengthen a collapsing line.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 16 April 2016

N is for Nectar of Beauty

The Old World is said by those with Witchsight to be saturated with Magic. Only those that can wield the Winds are capable of enjoying the power, whether for martial or other reasons. 

And while those without magical abilities enjoy a diverse market of draughts, spirits, beers, and ales and many with promises to "cure what ails ya!." These mundane, often unreliable concoctions has given rise to a small market where apprentice, journeyman, and magister wizard alike mix magical "potions."

While much more reliable than "Herzmann's meat juice" these potions tend toward a short shelf life, odd side effects, and present unexpected side "results."

The Nectar of Beauty

The facial scarring of a pox, acne, or military wound diminishes the dowry of a daughter or the vanity of boy and man. Commonly available in cities like Altdorf with large cosmopolitain populations and social climbers, the Nectar of Beauty will heal these scars "almost" completely.

Unfortunately, and rarely spoken about, the scars just reappear else where on the body. Pox scars or poorly sewn battle scars may appear on the back, bottom or chest. While one's visage becomes pleasant in public, privately the embarrassment may be more troublesome to intimacy.

The Nectar of Beauty is also said to cause one to shun any sort of light brighter than a candelabra. At an Altdorf party, it is a faux pas to be caught squinting as it is sign that one has surely imbibed the potion. As the side effect is permanent many socialites insist on low lighting in parlors and ballrooms.

Posted by caffeinated at 2:03 PM in d10

Friday, 15 April 2016

M is for Magick, Lingua praestantia

When the High Elves arrived over three centuries ago to call and assess the humans of the Empire capable of mastering the Winds of Magic, they first had to create and then teach these "primitives" a language capable of drawing the Winds to the casters.

The High Elves speak Eltharin, a language that itself is derived from the very language the High Elves use to master and wield Qhaysh, Anoqeyån. Neither language is one that could be taught in the time allowed the High Elves, so they created a sort of pastiche of Eltharin and Old Riekspiel. The Colleges of Magic, have named this language lingua praestantia, or more simply Magick.

Lingua praestantia, like Eltharin and Anoqeyån before it, has a darker side as well. It is derived from the language of the Dark Tongues used by daemons and dark sorcerers. This is because the High Elves believe Anoqeyån is the closest language left known in the world that was likely spoken by the Old Ones.

Posted by caffeinated at 4:24 PM in d10

Thursday, 14 April 2016

L is for Lumen Stones

The Hierophants of the White Wind, Hysh, will often seek to learn the secret songs of their Order that allows them to bind Magick into the rare Lumen Stone. Like other Power Stones, Lumen Stones store Magick that can be harnessed to cast the most powerful spells of Hysh. Lumen Stones radiate a pure white light and have an appearance of a large, flawless diamond.

The most powerful spells often wielded by the Hierophants include Boon of Hysh, Daemonbane, and Pillar of Radiance. Without a Lumen Stone, these spells are too powerful to be cast by Journeymen of the Order. Magisters and Lords often fail without reagents at hand and intense concentration.

And as all powerful spells, these spells will echo on the Aethyr. Hierophants will know when these spells are cast. The Order expects that these spells to be directly focused on daemons and corruption.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

K is for the Knocks of the Departed

Journeymen Wizards of the Amethyst Order of Shyish, literally the practitioners of the Lore of Death, are known for many spells dealing with passing of living things and even communicating with the dead.

Knocks of the Dead is one such spell that crosses the threshold between life and death. It is said that the spirit of the passed, either compelled by Morr or by the presence of kinship at the casting, knocks on the Gates to Morr's Eternal Garden.

The body of the deceased must be present or an immediate next of kin. The casting is aided by a reagent of the subject's clothing—easy with a body unless naked. The spell allows the wizard to ask a specific question of the spirit that is either numerically expressed or simply "yes" or "no." For example, in the investigation of a murder the wizard may ask the hour after Mittagessen he was stabbed... four knocks. A "yes" answer is one knock, a "no," two knocks.

The spirit may chose not to answer, even lie! (especially if the kin present may have been involved in foul play or was unliked in life). The wizard is only leveraging Shyish and leverages no influence on the spirit.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

J is for Arcane Justice

Magick, until Magus the Pious' foundation of the Imperial Colleges and direct diplomacy with the High Elves, was simply witchcraft.

A display of magic was seen as being in league with forces of Chaos or daemons. Whether a Cunning Man working with the "Hedge," a "Druid," an Elementalist, or just a wise woman, fear ruled. To be branded a user of witchcraft was to be burned at the stake.

The Imperial Colleges changed that view. Mostly, and then only in the largest cities of the Empire. And then still a Journeyman or Magister in far flung parts of the Empire must worry that a display of Magick won't find him or her strapped to a pole in the center of a pyre. And then it may come with complete surprise: accusations are usually whispered and a quiet call for a Witch Hunter of the Templars of Sigmar made. Watchmen or a militia man would never apprehend a wizard directly; it simply is too dangerous. A pistol, arrow, or blunderbus is much safer if a Witch Hunter is not immediately available.

To the public, this is most often witnessed form of Justice. To a member of the Imperial College, violation of the Imperial Laws or transgression or betrayal of the College's own rules, can result in Pacification.

What exactly Pacification is remains unknown; each college has their own version. But it is widely rumored to forcibly remove the ability to manipulate the Winds of Magic. The procedure and the results are widely gossiped about. No Magister wants to be subjected to Pacification. The fear of the process is itself the greatest deterrent and the greatest incentive to remain true to the Emperor and to the College.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 11 April 2016

I is for Inspiration

Editors Note: This is the first of several spells used by magisters of the various Lores this A-to-Z will look at over the next week and beyond.

Inspiration

This spell from the Lore of Light is practiced by masters of the White Wind, Hysh, and is often cast in contemplation of an academic problem or simply to open the mind to aid recall.

The wizard must concentrate both on the problem while singing to focus the White Wind on the problem or question. White Wizards often produce a small book and tear a page from it, seemingly absentmindedly, as a reagent to aid in casting the spell. The reagent is said to burst into light as it flutters to the ground or illuminate the flesh and bones of the wizard's fist as it crushes the crumpled page.

The spell is one of the moderately difficult ones a White Wizard will use, often only mastered by Journeymen. The song is said to last over a minute. It is typically a spell cast in quiet repose after a question or problem is presented in an investigation.

Magisters have said that the answer will simply "appear" in the mind's eye.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 9 April 2016

H is for Hysh, Order of the Wise

Hysh is the White Wind, mastered by the Hierophants of the Order of the Wise.

Of the eight winds of Magick, Hysh is the most difficult wind to master. It is the closest wind to High Magick practiced by the Elves, Qhaysh. Where Dhar and Chaos are darkness, Hysh is light.

The amount of study and the complex rituals Journeyman and Magisters undergo and memorize allows them to bend and bind the wind in some of the most powerful spells available against corruption and darkness. It also makes Hierophants the most philosophical and contemplative of all the Orders.

Apprentices of the order form choirs during training that act as aid to magisters in spellcasting, study of the rituals, and purification of the Order's pristine campus in Altdorf. Some apprentices may never leave the choirs if they cannot master the mental strength necessary to manipulate the wind, instead serve the college and its goals in perpetuity. 

Many of these apprentices come from annual efforts of the Order "adopting" orphans that show any magical ability. The Order is also often the "easiest" to join, accepting those passed over by other Orders. Whether these Apprentices show the discipline to master Hysh or not, the choirs remain singing.

Martially, the Order is highly effective in the exorcism and destruction of daemons. As Hysh is also an aspect of purity, magisters are capable of powerful healing of corruption and mutation.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 8 April 2016

G is for Ghyran, Agrological Thaumaturgy

Ghyran, the Green Wind of Magick, is the source of the magisters of the Empire that practice the Lore of Life, "Soil Magic," or more academically, the practice of Agrological Thaumaturgy by the Jade Wizards.

It is said that Ghyran flows and pools like water after a hard rain and can be seen in all life of the earth. Drawn into the soil and then through the roots of all plant life. It can be seen in the rivers and streams of the Empire as well as flowing across the land following no pattern of nature.

The Jade Wizards and the establishment of their College in Altdorf begins in the call sent by Emperor Magnus the Pious in his fight against Chaos over 300 years ago. The High Elves that taught these first magisters found in the practitioners of the Old Faith, Elementalists of Water and Earth, even the Cunning Men of "the hedge" a population most ready to master Ghyran. The idea of "druid" is often ascribed to a Jade Wizard by many because of the origins and they readily accept it, if not completely correct.

Today, Jade Wizards ensure the healthy crops of the Empire and martially provide for the armies food as well as spells capable of swallowing armies or entangling hordes of beasts with choking vines that spring from the roots of trees and grass. But Jade Wizards also ensure and maintain the hedges of the Empire and leylines that manage the flow of Ghyran for the Empire's farmers.

Jade Wizards are aligned with the Cults of Taal and Rhya, the gods of nature, and the Amber Shamans.

Posted by caffeinated at 12:45 PM in d10

Thursday, 7 April 2016

F is for Fire Rubies

Like the Amethyst Wizards, the Bright Wizards of the Lore of Fire, create power stones called Fire Rubies. Fire Rubies are made in single use forges crafted during a private ritual. The result is a bright stone the lit by burning coals. The stones are hot to hold and can warm a tent in Chaos Wastes in a matter of minutes when openly exposed.

The three most powerful spells of the Lore of Fire—one that many a veteran could testify too—are Aqshy's Aegis, Breathe Fire, and Conflagration of Doom. The amount of skill and study for these (and similar spells of the other Orders) is great, often only possibly by Magisters and Lords of each order. Apprentices aided by a Fire Ruby can wield these spells in battle, in a pinch.

Like the powerful spells of Shyish, these spells also "echo" on the Aethyr. Use of powerful spells are not lightly taken by any Order. Not just because they can be so destructive, but because an error in casting can summon daemons attracted to the wind in use.

In a few days, we will look at the Lore of Light's Lumen Stones and the three most powerful spells of the Order of Light.


Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

E is for Endstones

Every College of Magic has a ritual that manifests its "wind of Magick" into a physical object known as a power stone.

The magisters of the Amethyst College craft Endstones, power stones that typically vary in color, but most are found to appear as highly polished bone or a black so pitch as to seemingly darken a day lit room.

Like all power stones, Endstones are carefully produced under strict adherence of closely guarded ritual, but serve a singular purpose: act as a store of the very energy of Magick used to create it. The Endstone serves as a reagent to spellcasting the most powerful of Shyish's Lore of Death and Spirit.

Whether The Animus Imprisoned, Life's End, or Wind of Death, an Endstone can assure the successful casting. These are not trivial spells to cast and the power required to cast them "echoes" on the Aethyr. These echoes can be felt by other Amethyst Wizards. Because these spells can bind souls or kill instantly, trivial use of them, even without an Endstone, is not tolerated by the Order.

And because an Endstone, like all powerstones, are consumed with the casting, they are rare and expensive.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

D is for Dhar

The nature of magic has two opposites. If the Winds of Magic—and winds is a human notion trying to explain High Elven understanding of the nature of Magick—are a spectrum with Qhaysh on one end representing the Winds in harmony, then Dhar is at the opposite end representing the Winds in discordance.

However, Dhar is an easy "wind" to master and often a shortcut to powerful spell casting. The ease of manipulating Dhar however comes at a great cost. The first is that Dhar must be combined with another wind to be useful outside of Necromancy and Daemonology. And Dhar is fickle. One use may not be like the last use and this often leads to magisters going insane or dropping dead. But there are a rare few that become more attuned to using Dhar. These magisters are known as Black Magisters.

Black Magisters are ostracized from their orders and often are hunted to ground and death by fire. Often, when they are found, Black Magisters have already descended into darker arts as they attempt further master Dhar. 

Use of Dhar is incredibly hard to hide as many magisters are taught from the very beginning to "see" the Winds of Magic. One Golden Wizard might perceive another Golden Wizard use Charmon with Dhar as a darker thread of Magick coalescing in his palm before becoming more powerful lightening bolts capable of striking an enemy dead. Black Magisters have to be very careful in using Dhar because it can be so easily "seen."

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 4 April 2016

C is for Chamon, Alchemical Thaumaturgy

The practitioners of Alchemical Thaumaturgy are the Golden Wizards, masters of the Yellow Wind, Chamon. The apprentices, journeymen, and magisters are part of the wealthiest college of magic and one of the most diverse as well.

The wealth of the Golden Order is not as the common people suspect: crackpot alchemists, handpicked by the elven mages, cracking the code of converting a base metal to gold. While "True Transformation" is still sought and a stated goal of the Golden Order, its application remains impossible. And while the transient transformation of base metals to gold is possible, the act is publicly prosecuted by the Order's leadership because it is fraud.

The Order's wealth is far more mundane in origin: the alchemists of the Order produce potions, dyes, gunpower, refined ore, spirits, and even beer of such quality and quantity that merchants pay the best prices for them, often for a 1% or 2% profit in trading guilds across the Empire. And given the cost and need for reagents in the Order's regular wizardry, the wealth is needed.

The Order's Lore of Metal is both academic and martial. In the battlefields of the Empire against the hordes of Chaos, Golden Wizards transform the armor and weapons of the enemy to lead or rust. Weapons crafted by Golden Wizards are of such quality—and often inscribed with powerful runes and enchanted for accuracy—only the most esteemed generals and the Emperor himself can own them.

Academically, the Order houses one of the greatest libraries of the world and is closely aligned with the Cult of Verena, the goddess of Knowledge and Justice. Mundane alchemists that still adhere to the notion of the four base elements dismiss the studies of the Golden Wizards, especially the recent notion that the Golden Wizards have identified over 90 unique elements of the mundane world.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 2 April 2016

B is for the Brown Wind (Ghur) and the Shamans of Amber Magic

Of the eight winds of Magick, Ghur, or the Brown Wind, is as wild as the natural world that feeds it. The practitioners are often mistaken for woodsmen, hermits, cunning men, Druids—though the wizards of the Jade College may take issue with that mistake—or even priests of Taal or Rhya.

And of all the colleges, the shamans of Ghur, do not live and study in Altdorf. They are more likely to be found studying in the Reikwald, or Great Forest, that surrounds Altdorf. A shaman's appearance does no favor to aid in approaching one intentionally or by accident by most citizenry of the Empire at large: often covered in fetishes of animal origins, furs, bones and smells of the forest. It is this appearance that will have an Amber Wizard mistaken for outlawed druids of the "Old Faith" or worse, the witches and warlocks of the Hedge, practitioners of wild magic and often called Cunning Men. Add their reclusive, separatist study, these officially sanctioned wizards of the Empire must often prove themselves to the Templars of Sigmar, the Witch Hunters.

The Amber Wizards are fierce defenders of the Empire. In many of the distant outposts of the Emperor, commanders ally with Amber Wizards and understand intimately how to call these powerful shamans for counsel or battle. The shaman's often use their commune with nature to speak to birds for scouting and the hidden animals of the wild to alert armies of enemy movements.


Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 1 April 2016

A is for Asqhy, Pyromantic Thaumaturgy

The practitioners of the Bright Order weave the Red Wind of Magic. In the language of Magick, Asqhy, or more academically, Pyromantic Thaumaturgy, this wind is can be quite destructive.

Bright Wizards master flame, from the candle to conflagration. This fact alone answers the question—if one is even considered—as to the reason these men and women are found on the front lines of battlefields throughout the Empire. Whether wading through ranks of goblins with a flaming sword or conjuring a whirlwind of fire that consumes siege engines, the martial value of these wizards is immediately recognized.

Gregarious and short of temper, Bright Wizards study both magic and combat in their college. The college is magically hidden among the haunted embers and lingering smoke of a fire that burned a large section of Altdorf many years ago. The cause of this fire remains whispered gossip among the citizenry and even the magisters of other the other colleges.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Z is for Zed, an epilogue

An Epilogue for 2016

Five years ago, when James Maliszewski was still blogging regurlarly at Grognardia, I learned about Blogging A to Z. That first year marked the first year that the letter X would be forever some daemon or daemonic lure. I also won the Best of Fans Award from a prominent figure in the WFRP community Magnus Seter, writing under the nom de plumme Adolphus Altdorfer.

I worked with two international conspirators in 2012 where we cross posted to our blogs, sharing each letter. In 2013 I created more than 13 unique persons in the WFRP setting and in 2014 26 taverns, hostels, and dives on the Street of a Hundred Taverns in the city of Altdorf. Last year I borrowed heavily from my friend's characters at the table and their adventures in across great swaths of the Empire in a campaign to save the world.

Each year the comments start heavy, then trickle off. I'm don't follow the A to Z protocol of turning off comment moderation; I use to get far too much spam (a lot has dropped off with turning off trackbacks however).

My topic always gets the occasional comment that makes me wonder about the writer's impression of topic. This year there were a couple that took the magic angle a little to seriously, possibly not reading my primer on exactly what WFRP is and how the topic relates.

Can I do five more years? I think so. Maybe. There's a lot of creativity that goes into each entry. WFRP is a rich and dynamic setting and the my regular play lets me stretch that setting into each entry. However, WFRP is also closely guard IP. Fan work is mostly encouraged, but I could never publish the work as a collection. It can only existing on the blog (though I have collected the entries in the past as PDFs for download in the RSS feeds).

In all, A to Z is a strong creative outlet that focuses me for a month on this oft neglected blog. And for that I will continue in 2017. At the very least so that I can create another daemon's true name and make you cringe at all the apostrophes.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 29 April 2016

Y is for Youth's Bane

From the Lore of Death and Spirits of the Shyish Order of Magick, the spell Youth's Bane is one of the most powerful. Only the most advanced Apprentices can master the spell and then only with reagents of ivy cut from the grave of a deceased Shyish magister and intense concentration. It is not uncommon for Apprentices to still fail.

Youth's Bane, cast in battle or in defense can be the edge in a fight, permanently drawing the strength and fitness from an opponent.. Muscles atrophy and joints can sieze as the target ages years in an instant.

The spell is one that is a favorite of rogue Shyish magisters in assassinations. Continuously aging a victim over short periods of time until either dying a premature death or so weak as unable to defend herself from a more physical death. Such tactics are easily discoverable if recognized (often a possibility in cities, but less likely in remote regions of the Empire). The magister discovered willing to employ the spell in such attacks is one that will, if found out, be likely assassinated by the Order's leadership. Leadership that has no tolerance for such evil acts.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Thursday, 28 April 2016

X is for Xij'tier, Lesser Daemon of Tzeentch

The very Winds of Magick are the stuff of Chaos and change. Tzeentch, the Chaos god of Change, is said to drink from flagons overflowing with liquid magick. Moreover, it told by magisters of all colleges—and certainly put forth by the Witch Hunters as proof of the corruption of all magic users—that Tzeentch curses all magic users that improperly handle the winds in casting, elf or human alike. Mutation Tzeentch's "blessing." But Tzeentch has daemon heralds as well.

His lesser daemon Xij'tier is one such harbinger. An ethereal daemon, Xij'tier seeks change in natural forms for Tzeentch's glory.

Xij'tier typically takes the forms of beasts that have no likeness in the Old World and can only be described as creatures from the Tzeentch's own menagerie of the unusual. He rarely appears without immense tusks that have are carved with everchanging scenes of Tzeentch's basest desires and capped with a color changing metal formed into flesh piercing points.

Xij'tier takes a certain enjoyment in touching the war beasts of Tzeentch's champions in the Old World. The mutations are always terrifying and often quite deadly in the field.

It is said that Xij'tier will stand at the head of a charging warband, man and beast fighting to charge through his ethereal form to be "blessed" with change and mutation in that instant before colliding in battle with the enemy.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

W is for Witchsight

No respected magister of the eight Colleges of Magic uses the term Witchsight, as these same magic users would never consider themselves "witches or warlocks." The term existed long before the Articles of Imperial Magic were codified and it has become a more common term among the superstitious public where the Colleges would prefer the use of Spiritsight or Magical Sense.

Mastering Witchsight is a lifelong task that starts with apprenticeship. It represents the "Seventh Sense" with Intuition and Aethyric Attunement being the "Sixth Sense" and first recognizable ability of any potential magic user.

How Witchsight is honed and mastered and thus appears to a magister is difficult to say, but many describe as looking through novelty glasses, but with an astonishing clarity of the manifestations of the Winds of Magic. Ghyran is said to be like a summer rain, Ulgu as a think fog, literally affecting a bystander passing through this unseen cloud and forgetting why he left the house. Shyish lingers as a dark tendrils in grave yards and around oubliettes. 

Yet these manifestations are invisible to anyone without Witchsight, and more still may manifest themselves to magisters very differently. An Azyr magister might see the past action in place or the future movement of chess piece on a board.

Witchsight is a both a blessing and a curse. The latter the most often considered. It has driven many magisters insane as they age and their mastery of it grows. For as the power to use Witchsight strengthens so does the clarity of the Winds of Magic.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

V is for Vitaellum

Vitaellum is the powerstone of the magisters of Ghyran, the Green Wind of Magic.

Typically appearing as an flawless emerald with an internal light, the stone can also present itself as living branch despite having been separated from the plant. As all powerstones, the Jade magisters create Vitaellum as a reagent to the most powerful spells of their lore, whether martial or peaceable.

The three most powerful spells of Agrological Thaumaturgy are Flesh of Clay, Winter's Frost, and Cure Blight. A hero upon which Flesh of Clay is cast is a formidable foe on the battlefield. His skin turns to harden clay becoming immune to sword and shaft, but himself a weapon wading through enemy lines. 

Winter's Frost can kill or gravely wound a score of men in a single casting. The thick ice chilling to the bone in an instant and turning a charge into a chaotic dance of slips and tumbles.

Cure Blight is as much a ritual as the most powerful spell and tool for the well-being of the Empire. Crops, and even plague, can be cured of a blight or disease by infusing the stricken with the life restoring energies of Ghyran.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 25 April 2016

U is for Ulgu, Cryptoclastic Thaumaturgy

The Grey Order and their Lore of Shadows are the masters of deception and confusion. They are the Shadowmancers and wielders of the Grey Wind of Magic, Ulgu.

Ostensibly, the Grey Order in battle is a force multiplier. Being masters of illusion, Shadowmancers aid generals by confusing a charge, "altering" the size of force on the field: too small, too big, too weak? A force too small can be made to appear large. And yet the Shadowmancers would not consider service to the Emperor even a top priority. 

Shadowmancers darker side is that of a near global network of spies, diplomats, and assassins. The Grey Order is also one of the most disciplined of orders with the strictest enforcement of its ideals and rules with pacification or death not uncommon.

The mastery of the wind makes Shadowmancers spies capable of the deepest assignments and the cleverest of assassins. The Ulgu spells of deception, concealment, and confusion are particularly powerful in the aforementioned roles, and the spells of persuasion make them excellent diplomats.

The Order is rather focused too on rooting out Chaos and the influence of the Ruinous Power throughout the Empire, often quietly assisting the Templars of Sigmar, the Witch Hunters, even when they, as magic users, are not often welcome.

Posted by caffeinated at 9:58 PM in d10

Saturday, 23 April 2016

T is for Thaumaturgy

The origin of the word Thaumaturgy as used and written in the Articles of Imperial Magic in Reikspiel is unknown. Verenan priests and the Gold Order that study the High Elven tomes and instructions believe that it originated near the Black Gulf, the Border Princes, or further south in Araby. It is not an Elven word, but possibly a word known to a scholar whose name has been lost to history. The Elven word perhaps unrecordable.

Whatever the etymology of the word, it could be applied to the magic of wizards or the miracles of the priests of the sanctioned cults. However, it most applied in the academic and hermetic works of the magisters of the Orders of Magic; almost exclusively in practice. The Einsegnung of the priests of the Empire are not of the same source, but channelled through their prayers to the gods.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:08 AM in d10

Friday, 22 April 2016

S is for Shyish, Cessationary Thaumaturgy

The wizards of the Lore of Death and Spirit, members of the Amethyst Order and masters of the Purple Wind, Shyish are most certainly not necromancers. The Articles of Imperial Magic refers to these magisters as wielders of Cessationary Thaumaturgy.

However, make no mistake, the line between Necromancy and the wonders of the Amethyst Order is thin. And make no mistake the patriarch and lords of the Order do not tolerate those that cross that line.

The more common spells, the most powerful looked at using Endstones, are certainly capable of revealing the truth of the afterlife. Deathsight reveals the spirits that walk beside the living, Death's Release can banish the same spirits. Spells may ease passing, delay a death, or speak with the passing soul. It is no wonder that discipline and philosophy are daily concerns in the Order. That Amethyst Wizards know of the afterlife, but that they can touch it, is more than a powerful temptation to master the Wind in ways that reject death and seek to restore or lengthen it. Despite that Necromancy never results in good, as one hopes, it is a practice that invites the destructive influence of Chaos and the Ruinous Powers.

The campus of the Amethyst College in Altdorf is rumored to exist on two planes: for the living and for the dead. Visitors to the grounds will tell you it is abandoned. The campus choked with vines, crumbling buildings, and piles of dead leaves collecting in the crevices and corners of halls and streets or tossed about by a deathly quiet wind. And yet others, invited, will tell you of a busy, if somber, campus. Both will tell of using the same entrance. Whether illusion or more, the "abandoned" campus is known to be used by braver criminals as a meeting place. How tolerant of this use the magisters are is debated.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:02 PM in d10

Thursday, 21 April 2016

R is for Ritual Magic

Ritual Magic is capable of gathering and exerting each Wind in powerful ways. Many rituals are guarded by each order to produce aids, such as Powerstones, or bring the energy of a Wind to bear on the battlefield. 

Ritual magic is used by Dwarves to bind runes to weapons and talismans. Rune Magic, as it is called, can only be used by Dwarves—besides being the only arcane magic the race is capable of mastering—and Elves.

As powerful as it is, ritual magic can be seemingly vain, vindictive, and pure evil. The Body Gilded transforms body parts into impossible, but functioning, organs or limbs. The Dance Without End will exhaust the afflicted to a grave. The Beastly Transmogrification of the Omnipotent TChar will make a beastman of weakminded men, women, and children, turning them into rampaging beasts until the transformation wears off or the beast is killed. Those that survive the ordeal do so only physically. Their minds, already said to be weak, are driven mad by the experience of the murderous rampage they participated in while afflicted.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Q is for Quiet! please

There are few common folk that would disagree: wizards and priests are not a quiet lot.

Wielding the Winds of Magic, even divine miracles of the priests of the recognized cults, means singing, whispering, exclaiming, and other often loud means of vocalization. It is not known if these "verbal" elements of spell casting is a human mnemonic to aid in mastering the necessary mental power or if it's just... necessary.

In battle, the exclamations are particularly recognized over the screams of the dying and the din of sword meeting shield and bone. In passing it seems to be an ever present whisper, song—an attribute making the Hierophants of the Order of Light immediately known—or prayer for a priest.

What is known is gagging or otherwise silencing a wizard or priest is to also rob them of working magick of arcane or divine nature. No wizard or priest is able to wield magic without his or her voice. In defensive Magick, Silence is a powerful spell indeed and as such is taught by all Orders and Cults to any that wish to study to master the spell and prayer.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

P is for The Philosopher's Stone

More commonly called "Goldstones" by the wizards of the Lore of Metal, the Philosopher's Stone is regarded as the first of the power stones mastered by any of the eight orders practiced by humans.

The Philosopher's Stone is created, as all power stones, in a closely guarded ritual that folds the "wind of Magic" upon itself until it coalesces into a physical object of energy. The stone is used as a reagent in almost all alchemical experiments of the Gold Order as well as the reagent to the most powerful spells used by the wizards.

Breach the Unknown it is said impresses upon the caster's mind the very attributes of any natural or manmade object, including objects of magical quality. The Law of Gold suppresses magical properties of objects and the Transmutation of the Unstable Mind is said to cure a subject of insanity; though there are credible accounts that the spell can make worse the afflicted mind if cast incorrectly.

The abilities of the Philosopher's Stone have become so legendary that mundane alchemists have sought to replicate it without magic; an impossible task. But the name is also why Gold wizards rarely use the term "Philosopher's Stone."  A Goldstone is the same thing by another name and the main reason that many mundane seekers think they are different things, tossing aside "gold stone" in frustration of having "true" Philosopher's Stone.


Posted by caffeinated at 12:53 PM in d10

Monday, 18 April 2016

Server Outage

Loooong story short.

I did something stupid about two years ago and it started to haunt me in the background this week. I used to have an email alias (or forwarding email) for job hunting that would just get spam.

I also have a forwarding email for my primary identity on the internet. They were almost the same. I purged a bunch of these forwarding email addresses a couple of years ago and I mistakenly purged my primary. Since I don't get a lot of email on this address I didn't notice! My host was telling me on this email my CC was expired. D'oh. When I dug into troubleshooting the outage, I started wondering: why hasn't my host notified me of my annual payment...in two years?

Straighten it out. On I.R.fucking.C. Not Slack. Fuck Slack.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:58 PM in Bohemian Breakfast

O is for The Ox Stands

The Shamans of the Amber Order, practitioners of the Lore of the Beast and masters of Ghur, are powerful battlefield wizards.

Called by mysterious, often folkloric, methods to the battlefield by generals or governors in distant outposts of the Empire, an Amber shaman can be worth 10 or 20 men by the end of a fight. Facing the terrifying and horrific monsters, giants, and beasts of Chaos, troops may run or freeze in the roar and spittle of a beast twice the size of the strongest soldier.

An Amber wizard casting the Ox Stands can turn this fright into ferocity. Ghur is drawn to the shaman and then explodes in a silent and invisible wave that energizes soldiers that can hear the shouted words of the casting shaman. With the spell, the frozen sword arm swings harder, a soldier's reflexes quicker, and the running coward turns back to fight. In that moment, the spell can strengthen a collapsing line.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 16 April 2016

N is for Nectar of Beauty

The Old World is said by those with Witchsight to be saturated with Magic. Only those that can wield the Winds are capable of enjoying the power, whether for martial or other reasons. 

And while those without magical abilities enjoy a diverse market of draughts, spirits, beers, and ales and many with promises to "cure what ails ya!." These mundane, often unreliable concoctions has given rise to a small market where apprentice, journeyman, and magister wizard alike mix magical "potions."

While much more reliable than "Herzmann's meat juice" these potions tend toward a short shelf life, odd side effects, and present unexpected side "results."

The Nectar of Beauty

The facial scarring of a pox, acne, or military wound diminishes the dowry of a daughter or the vanity of boy and man. Commonly available in cities like Altdorf with large cosmopolitain populations and social climbers, the Nectar of Beauty will heal these scars "almost" completely.

Unfortunately, and rarely spoken about, the scars just reappear else where on the body. Pox scars or poorly sewn battle scars may appear on the back, bottom or chest. While one's visage becomes pleasant in public, privately the embarrassment may be more troublesome to intimacy.

The Nectar of Beauty is also said to cause one to shun any sort of light brighter than a candelabra. At an Altdorf party, it is a faux pas to be caught squinting as it is sign that one has surely imbibed the potion. As the side effect is permanent many socialites insist on low lighting in parlors and ballrooms.

Posted by caffeinated at 2:03 PM in d10

Friday, 15 April 2016

M is for Magick, Lingua praestantia

When the High Elves arrived over three centuries ago to call and assess the humans of the Empire capable of mastering the Winds of Magic, they first had to create and then teach these "primitives" a language capable of drawing the Winds to the casters.

The High Elves speak Eltharin, a language that itself is derived from the very language the High Elves use to master and wield Qhaysh, Anoqeyån. Neither language is one that could be taught in the time allowed the High Elves, so they created a sort of pastiche of Eltharin and Old Riekspiel. The Colleges of Magic, have named this language lingua praestantia, or more simply Magick.

Lingua praestantia, like Eltharin and Anoqeyån before it, has a darker side as well. It is derived from the language of the Dark Tongues used by daemons and dark sorcerers. This is because the High Elves believe Anoqeyån is the closest language left known in the world that was likely spoken by the Old Ones.

Posted by caffeinated at 4:24 PM in d10

Thursday, 14 April 2016

L is for Lumen Stones

The Hierophants of the White Wind, Hysh, will often seek to learn the secret songs of their Order that allows them to bind Magick into the rare Lumen Stone. Like other Power Stones, Lumen Stones store Magick that can be harnessed to cast the most powerful spells of Hysh. Lumen Stones radiate a pure white light and have an appearance of a large, flawless diamond.

The most powerful spells often wielded by the Hierophants include Boon of Hysh, Daemonbane, and Pillar of Radiance. Without a Lumen Stone, these spells are too powerful to be cast by Journeymen of the Order. Magisters and Lords often fail without reagents at hand and intense concentration.

And as all powerful spells, these spells will echo on the Aethyr. Hierophants will know when these spells are cast. The Order expects that these spells to be directly focused on daemons and corruption.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

K is for the Knocks of the Departed

Journeymen Wizards of the Amethyst Order of Shyish, literally the practitioners of the Lore of Death, are known for many spells dealing with passing of living things and even communicating with the dead.

Knocks of the Dead is one such spell that crosses the threshold between life and death. It is said that the spirit of the passed, either compelled by Morr or by the presence of kinship at the casting, knocks on the Gates to Morr's Eternal Garden.

The body of the deceased must be present or an immediate next of kin. The casting is aided by a reagent of the subject's clothing—easy with a body unless naked. The spell allows the wizard to ask a specific question of the spirit that is either numerically expressed or simply "yes" or "no." For example, in the investigation of a murder the wizard may ask the hour after Mittagessen he was stabbed... four knocks. A "yes" answer is one knock, a "no," two knocks.

The spirit may chose not to answer, even lie! (especially if the kin present may have been involved in foul play or was unliked in life). The wizard is only leveraging Shyish and leverages no influence on the spirit.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

J is for Arcane Justice

Magick, until Magus the Pious' foundation of the Imperial Colleges and direct diplomacy with the High Elves, was simply witchcraft.

A display of magic was seen as being in league with forces of Chaos or daemons. Whether a Cunning Man working with the "Hedge," a "Druid," an Elementalist, or just a wise woman, fear ruled. To be branded a user of witchcraft was to be burned at the stake.

The Imperial Colleges changed that view. Mostly, and then only in the largest cities of the Empire. And then still a Journeyman or Magister in far flung parts of the Empire must worry that a display of Magick won't find him or her strapped to a pole in the center of a pyre. And then it may come with complete surprise: accusations are usually whispered and a quiet call for a Witch Hunter of the Templars of Sigmar made. Watchmen or a militia man would never apprehend a wizard directly; it simply is too dangerous. A pistol, arrow, or blunderbus is much safer if a Witch Hunter is not immediately available.

To the public, this is most often witnessed form of Justice. To a member of the Imperial College, violation of the Imperial Laws or transgression or betrayal of the College's own rules, can result in Pacification.

What exactly Pacification is remains unknown; each college has their own version. But it is widely rumored to forcibly remove the ability to manipulate the Winds of Magic. The procedure and the results are widely gossiped about. No Magister wants to be subjected to Pacification. The fear of the process is itself the greatest deterrent and the greatest incentive to remain true to the Emperor and to the College.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 11 April 2016

I is for Inspiration

Editors Note: This is the first of several spells used by magisters of the various Lores this A-to-Z will look at over the next week and beyond.

Inspiration

This spell from the Lore of Light is practiced by masters of the White Wind, Hysh, and is often cast in contemplation of an academic problem or simply to open the mind to aid recall.

The wizard must concentrate both on the problem while singing to focus the White Wind on the problem or question. White Wizards often produce a small book and tear a page from it, seemingly absentmindedly, as a reagent to aid in casting the spell. The reagent is said to burst into light as it flutters to the ground or illuminate the flesh and bones of the wizard's fist as it crushes the crumpled page.

The spell is one of the moderately difficult ones a White Wizard will use, often only mastered by Journeymen. The song is said to last over a minute. It is typically a spell cast in quiet repose after a question or problem is presented in an investigation.

Magisters have said that the answer will simply "appear" in the mind's eye.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 9 April 2016

H is for Hysh, Order of the Wise

Hysh is the White Wind, mastered by the Hierophants of the Order of the Wise.

Of the eight winds of Magick, Hysh is the most difficult wind to master. It is the closest wind to High Magick practiced by the Elves, Qhaysh. Where Dhar and Chaos are darkness, Hysh is light.

The amount of study and the complex rituals Journeyman and Magisters undergo and memorize allows them to bend and bind the wind in some of the most powerful spells available against corruption and darkness. It also makes Hierophants the most philosophical and contemplative of all the Orders.

Apprentices of the order form choirs during training that act as aid to magisters in spellcasting, study of the rituals, and purification of the Order's pristine campus in Altdorf. Some apprentices may never leave the choirs if they cannot master the mental strength necessary to manipulate the wind, instead serve the college and its goals in perpetuity. 

Many of these apprentices come from annual efforts of the Order "adopting" orphans that show any magical ability. The Order is also often the "easiest" to join, accepting those passed over by other Orders. Whether these Apprentices show the discipline to master Hysh or not, the choirs remain singing.

Martially, the Order is highly effective in the exorcism and destruction of daemons. As Hysh is also an aspect of purity, magisters are capable of powerful healing of corruption and mutation.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 8 April 2016

G is for Ghyran, Agrological Thaumaturgy

Ghyran, the Green Wind of Magick, is the source of the magisters of the Empire that practice the Lore of Life, "Soil Magic," or more academically, the practice of Agrological Thaumaturgy by the Jade Wizards.

It is said that Ghyran flows and pools like water after a hard rain and can be seen in all life of the earth. Drawn into the soil and then through the roots of all plant life. It can be seen in the rivers and streams of the Empire as well as flowing across the land following no pattern of nature.

The Jade Wizards and the establishment of their College in Altdorf begins in the call sent by Emperor Magnus the Pious in his fight against Chaos over 300 years ago. The High Elves that taught these first magisters found in the practitioners of the Old Faith, Elementalists of Water and Earth, even the Cunning Men of "the hedge" a population most ready to master Ghyran. The idea of "druid" is often ascribed to a Jade Wizard by many because of the origins and they readily accept it, if not completely correct.

Today, Jade Wizards ensure the healthy crops of the Empire and martially provide for the armies food as well as spells capable of swallowing armies or entangling hordes of beasts with choking vines that spring from the roots of trees and grass. But Jade Wizards also ensure and maintain the hedges of the Empire and leylines that manage the flow of Ghyran for the Empire's farmers.

Jade Wizards are aligned with the Cults of Taal and Rhya, the gods of nature, and the Amber Shamans.

Posted by caffeinated at 12:45 PM in d10

Thursday, 7 April 2016

F is for Fire Rubies

Like the Amethyst Wizards, the Bright Wizards of the Lore of Fire, create power stones called Fire Rubies. Fire Rubies are made in single use forges crafted during a private ritual. The result is a bright stone the lit by burning coals. The stones are hot to hold and can warm a tent in Chaos Wastes in a matter of minutes when openly exposed.

The three most powerful spells of the Lore of Fire—one that many a veteran could testify too—are Aqshy's Aegis, Breathe Fire, and Conflagration of Doom. The amount of skill and study for these (and similar spells of the other Orders) is great, often only possibly by Magisters and Lords of each order. Apprentices aided by a Fire Ruby can wield these spells in battle, in a pinch.

Like the powerful spells of Shyish, these spells also "echo" on the Aethyr. Use of powerful spells are not lightly taken by any Order. Not just because they can be so destructive, but because an error in casting can summon daemons attracted to the wind in use.

In a few days, we will look at the Lore of Light's Lumen Stones and the three most powerful spells of the Order of Light.


Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

E is for Endstones

Every College of Magic has a ritual that manifests its "wind of Magick" into a physical object known as a power stone.

The magisters of the Amethyst College craft Endstones, power stones that typically vary in color, but most are found to appear as highly polished bone or a black so pitch as to seemingly darken a day lit room.

Like all power stones, Endstones are carefully produced under strict adherence of closely guarded ritual, but serve a singular purpose: act as a store of the very energy of Magick used to create it. The Endstone serves as a reagent to spellcasting the most powerful of Shyish's Lore of Death and Spirit.

Whether The Animus Imprisoned, Life's End, or Wind of Death, an Endstone can assure the successful casting. These are not trivial spells to cast and the power required to cast them "echoes" on the Aethyr. These echoes can be felt by other Amethyst Wizards. Because these spells can bind souls or kill instantly, trivial use of them, even without an Endstone, is not tolerated by the Order.

And because an Endstone, like all powerstones, are consumed with the casting, they are rare and expensive.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

D is for Dhar

The nature of magic has two opposites. If the Winds of Magic—and winds is a human notion trying to explain High Elven understanding of the nature of Magick—are a spectrum with Qhaysh on one end representing the Winds in harmony, then Dhar is at the opposite end representing the Winds in discordance.

However, Dhar is an easy "wind" to master and often a shortcut to powerful spell casting. The ease of manipulating Dhar however comes at a great cost. The first is that Dhar must be combined with another wind to be useful outside of Necromancy and Daemonology. And Dhar is fickle. One use may not be like the last use and this often leads to magisters going insane or dropping dead. But there are a rare few that become more attuned to using Dhar. These magisters are known as Black Magisters.

Black Magisters are ostracized from their orders and often are hunted to ground and death by fire. Often, when they are found, Black Magisters have already descended into darker arts as they attempt further master Dhar. 

Use of Dhar is incredibly hard to hide as many magisters are taught from the very beginning to "see" the Winds of Magic. One Golden Wizard might perceive another Golden Wizard use Charmon with Dhar as a darker thread of Magick coalescing in his palm before becoming more powerful lightening bolts capable of striking an enemy dead. Black Magisters have to be very careful in using Dhar because it can be so easily "seen."

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 4 April 2016

C is for Chamon, Alchemical Thaumaturgy

The practitioners of Alchemical Thaumaturgy are the Golden Wizards, masters of the Yellow Wind, Chamon. The apprentices, journeymen, and magisters are part of the wealthiest college of magic and one of the most diverse as well.

The wealth of the Golden Order is not as the common people suspect: crackpot alchemists, handpicked by the elven mages, cracking the code of converting a base metal to gold. While "True Transformation" is still sought and a stated goal of the Golden Order, its application remains impossible. And while the transient transformation of base metals to gold is possible, the act is publicly prosecuted by the Order's leadership because it is fraud.

The Order's wealth is far more mundane in origin: the alchemists of the Order produce potions, dyes, gunpower, refined ore, spirits, and even beer of such quality and quantity that merchants pay the best prices for them, often for a 1% or 2% profit in trading guilds across the Empire. And given the cost and need for reagents in the Order's regular wizardry, the wealth is needed.

The Order's Lore of Metal is both academic and martial. In the battlefields of the Empire against the hordes of Chaos, Golden Wizards transform the armor and weapons of the enemy to lead or rust. Weapons crafted by Golden Wizards are of such quality—and often inscribed with powerful runes and enchanted for accuracy—only the most esteemed generals and the Emperor himself can own them.

Academically, the Order houses one of the greatest libraries of the world and is closely aligned with the Cult of Verena, the goddess of Knowledge and Justice. Mundane alchemists that still adhere to the notion of the four base elements dismiss the studies of the Golden Wizards, especially the recent notion that the Golden Wizards have identified over 90 unique elements of the mundane world.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 2 April 2016

B is for the Brown Wind (Ghur) and the Shamans of Amber Magic

Of the eight winds of Magick, Ghur, or the Brown Wind, is as wild as the natural world that feeds it. The practitioners are often mistaken for woodsmen, hermits, cunning men, Druids—though the wizards of the Jade College may take issue with that mistake—or even priests of Taal or Rhya.

And of all the colleges, the shamans of Ghur, do not live and study in Altdorf. They are more likely to be found studying in the Reikwald, or Great Forest, that surrounds Altdorf. A shaman's appearance does no favor to aid in approaching one intentionally or by accident by most citizenry of the Empire at large: often covered in fetishes of animal origins, furs, bones and smells of the forest. It is this appearance that will have an Amber Wizard mistaken for outlawed druids of the "Old Faith" or worse, the witches and warlocks of the Hedge, practitioners of wild magic and often called Cunning Men. Add their reclusive, separatist study, these officially sanctioned wizards of the Empire must often prove themselves to the Templars of Sigmar, the Witch Hunters.

The Amber Wizards are fierce defenders of the Empire. In many of the distant outposts of the Emperor, commanders ally with Amber Wizards and understand intimately how to call these powerful shamans for counsel or battle. The shaman's often use their commune with nature to speak to birds for scouting and the hidden animals of the wild to alert armies of enemy movements.


Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 1 April 2016

A is for Asqhy, Pyromantic Thaumaturgy

The practitioners of the Bright Order weave the Red Wind of Magic. In the language of Magick, Asqhy, or more academically, Pyromantic Thaumaturgy, this wind is can be quite destructive.

Bright Wizards master flame, from the candle to conflagration. This fact alone answers the question—if one is even considered—as to the reason these men and women are found on the front lines of battlefields throughout the Empire. Whether wading through ranks of goblins with a flaming sword or conjuring a whirlwind of fire that consumes siege engines, the martial value of these wizards is immediately recognized.

Gregarious and short of temper, Bright Wizards study both magic and combat in their college. The college is magically hidden among the haunted embers and lingering smoke of a fire that burned a large section of Altdorf many years ago. The cause of this fire remains whispered gossip among the citizenry and even the magisters of other the other colleges.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Z is for Zed, an epilogue

An Epilogue for 2016

Five years ago, when James Maliszewski was still blogging regurlarly at Grognardia, I learned about Blogging A to Z. That first year marked the first year that the letter X would be forever some daemon or daemonic lure. I also won the Best of Fans Award from a prominent figure in the WFRP community Magnus Seter, writing under the nom de plumme Adolphus Altdorfer.

I worked with two international conspirators in 2012 where we cross posted to our blogs, sharing each letter. In 2013 I created more than 13 unique persons in the WFRP setting and in 2014 26 taverns, hostels, and dives on the Street of a Hundred Taverns in the city of Altdorf. Last year I borrowed heavily from my friend's characters at the table and their adventures in across great swaths of the Empire in a campaign to save the world.

Each year the comments start heavy, then trickle off. I'm don't follow the A to Z protocol of turning off comment moderation; I use to get far too much spam (a lot has dropped off with turning off trackbacks however).

My topic always gets the occasional comment that makes me wonder about the writer's impression of topic. This year there were a couple that took the magic angle a little to seriously, possibly not reading my primer on exactly what WFRP is and how the topic relates.

Can I do five more years? I think so. Maybe. There's a lot of creativity that goes into each entry. WFRP is a rich and dynamic setting and the my regular play lets me stretch that setting into each entry. However, WFRP is also closely guard IP. Fan work is mostly encouraged, but I could never publish the work as a collection. It can only existing on the blog (though I have collected the entries in the past as PDFs for download in the RSS feeds).

In all, A to Z is a strong creative outlet that focuses me for a month on this oft neglected blog. And for that I will continue in 2017. At the very least so that I can create another daemon's true name and make you cringe at all the apostrophes.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 29 April 2016

Y is for Youth's Bane

From the Lore of Death and Spirits of the Shyish Order of Magick, the spell Youth's Bane is one of the most powerful. Only the most advanced Apprentices can master the spell and then only with reagents of ivy cut from the grave of a deceased Shyish magister and intense concentration. It is not uncommon for Apprentices to still fail.

Youth's Bane, cast in battle or in defense can be the edge in a fight, permanently drawing the strength and fitness from an opponent.. Muscles atrophy and joints can sieze as the target ages years in an instant.

The spell is one that is a favorite of rogue Shyish magisters in assassinations. Continuously aging a victim over short periods of time until either dying a premature death or so weak as unable to defend herself from a more physical death. Such tactics are easily discoverable if recognized (often a possibility in cities, but less likely in remote regions of the Empire). The magister discovered willing to employ the spell in such attacks is one that will, if found out, be likely assassinated by the Order's leadership. Leadership that has no tolerance for such evil acts.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Thursday, 28 April 2016

X is for Xij'tier, Lesser Daemon of Tzeentch

The very Winds of Magick are the stuff of Chaos and change. Tzeentch, the Chaos god of Change, is said to drink from flagons overflowing with liquid magick. Moreover, it told by magisters of all colleges—and certainly put forth by the Witch Hunters as proof of the corruption of all magic users—that Tzeentch curses all magic users that improperly handle the winds in casting, elf or human alike. Mutation Tzeentch's "blessing." But Tzeentch has daemon heralds as well.

His lesser daemon Xij'tier is one such harbinger. An ethereal daemon, Xij'tier seeks change in natural forms for Tzeentch's glory.

Xij'tier typically takes the forms of beasts that have no likeness in the Old World and can only be described as creatures from the Tzeentch's own menagerie of the unusual. He rarely appears without immense tusks that have are carved with everchanging scenes of Tzeentch's basest desires and capped with a color changing metal formed into flesh piercing points.

Xij'tier takes a certain enjoyment in touching the war beasts of Tzeentch's champions in the Old World. The mutations are always terrifying and often quite deadly in the field.

It is said that Xij'tier will stand at the head of a charging warband, man and beast fighting to charge through his ethereal form to be "blessed" with change and mutation in that instant before colliding in battle with the enemy.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

W is for Witchsight

No respected magister of the eight Colleges of Magic uses the term Witchsight, as these same magic users would never consider themselves "witches or warlocks." The term existed long before the Articles of Imperial Magic were codified and it has become a more common term among the superstitious public where the Colleges would prefer the use of Spiritsight or Magical Sense.

Mastering Witchsight is a lifelong task that starts with apprenticeship. It represents the "Seventh Sense" with Intuition and Aethyric Attunement being the "Sixth Sense" and first recognizable ability of any potential magic user.

How Witchsight is honed and mastered and thus appears to a magister is difficult to say, but many describe as looking through novelty glasses, but with an astonishing clarity of the manifestations of the Winds of Magic. Ghyran is said to be like a summer rain, Ulgu as a think fog, literally affecting a bystander passing through this unseen cloud and forgetting why he left the house. Shyish lingers as a dark tendrils in grave yards and around oubliettes. 

Yet these manifestations are invisible to anyone without Witchsight, and more still may manifest themselves to magisters very differently. An Azyr magister might see the past action in place or the future movement of chess piece on a board.

Witchsight is a both a blessing and a curse. The latter the most often considered. It has driven many magisters insane as they age and their mastery of it grows. For as the power to use Witchsight strengthens so does the clarity of the Winds of Magic.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

V is for Vitaellum

Vitaellum is the powerstone of the magisters of Ghyran, the Green Wind of Magic.

Typically appearing as an flawless emerald with an internal light, the stone can also present itself as living branch despite having been separated from the plant. As all powerstones, the Jade magisters create Vitaellum as a reagent to the most powerful spells of their lore, whether martial or peaceable.

The three most powerful spells of Agrological Thaumaturgy are Flesh of Clay, Winter's Frost, and Cure Blight. A hero upon which Flesh of Clay is cast is a formidable foe on the battlefield. His skin turns to harden clay becoming immune to sword and shaft, but himself a weapon wading through enemy lines. 

Winter's Frost can kill or gravely wound a score of men in a single casting. The thick ice chilling to the bone in an instant and turning a charge into a chaotic dance of slips and tumbles.

Cure Blight is as much a ritual as the most powerful spell and tool for the well-being of the Empire. Crops, and even plague, can be cured of a blight or disease by infusing the stricken with the life restoring energies of Ghyran.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 25 April 2016

U is for Ulgu, Cryptoclastic Thaumaturgy

The Grey Order and their Lore of Shadows are the masters of deception and confusion. They are the Shadowmancers and wielders of the Grey Wind of Magic, Ulgu.

Ostensibly, the Grey Order in battle is a force multiplier. Being masters of illusion, Shadowmancers aid generals by confusing a charge, "altering" the size of force on the field: too small, too big, too weak? A force too small can be made to appear large. And yet the Shadowmancers would not consider service to the Emperor even a top priority. 

Shadowmancers darker side is that of a near global network of spies, diplomats, and assassins. The Grey Order is also one of the most disciplined of orders with the strictest enforcement of its ideals and rules with pacification or death not uncommon.

The mastery of the wind makes Shadowmancers spies capable of the deepest assignments and the cleverest of assassins. The Ulgu spells of deception, concealment, and confusion are particularly powerful in the aforementioned roles, and the spells of persuasion make them excellent diplomats.

The Order is rather focused too on rooting out Chaos and the influence of the Ruinous Power throughout the Empire, often quietly assisting the Templars of Sigmar, the Witch Hunters, even when they, as magic users, are not often welcome.

Posted by caffeinated at 9:58 PM in d10

Saturday, 23 April 2016

T is for Thaumaturgy

The origin of the word Thaumaturgy as used and written in the Articles of Imperial Magic in Reikspiel is unknown. Verenan priests and the Gold Order that study the High Elven tomes and instructions believe that it originated near the Black Gulf, the Border Princes, or further south in Araby. It is not an Elven word, but possibly a word known to a scholar whose name has been lost to history. The Elven word perhaps unrecordable.

Whatever the etymology of the word, it could be applied to the magic of wizards or the miracles of the priests of the sanctioned cults. However, it most applied in the academic and hermetic works of the magisters of the Orders of Magic; almost exclusively in practice. The Einsegnung of the priests of the Empire are not of the same source, but channelled through their prayers to the gods.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:08 AM in d10

Friday, 22 April 2016

S is for Shyish, Cessationary Thaumaturgy

The wizards of the Lore of Death and Spirit, members of the Amethyst Order and masters of the Purple Wind, Shyish are most certainly not necromancers. The Articles of Imperial Magic refers to these magisters as wielders of Cessationary Thaumaturgy.

However, make no mistake, the line between Necromancy and the wonders of the Amethyst Order is thin. And make no mistake the patriarch and lords of the Order do not tolerate those that cross that line.

The more common spells, the most powerful looked at using Endstones, are certainly capable of revealing the truth of the afterlife. Deathsight reveals the spirits that walk beside the living, Death's Release can banish the same spirits. Spells may ease passing, delay a death, or speak with the passing soul. It is no wonder that discipline and philosophy are daily concerns in the Order. That Amethyst Wizards know of the afterlife, but that they can touch it, is more than a powerful temptation to master the Wind in ways that reject death and seek to restore or lengthen it. Despite that Necromancy never results in good, as one hopes, it is a practice that invites the destructive influence of Chaos and the Ruinous Powers.

The campus of the Amethyst College in Altdorf is rumored to exist on two planes: for the living and for the dead. Visitors to the grounds will tell you it is abandoned. The campus choked with vines, crumbling buildings, and piles of dead leaves collecting in the crevices and corners of halls and streets or tossed about by a deathly quiet wind. And yet others, invited, will tell you of a busy, if somber, campus. Both will tell of using the same entrance. Whether illusion or more, the "abandoned" campus is known to be used by braver criminals as a meeting place. How tolerant of this use the magisters are is debated.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:02 PM in d10

Thursday, 21 April 2016

R is for Ritual Magic

Ritual Magic is capable of gathering and exerting each Wind in powerful ways. Many rituals are guarded by each order to produce aids, such as Powerstones, or bring the energy of a Wind to bear on the battlefield. 

Ritual magic is used by Dwarves to bind runes to weapons and talismans. Rune Magic, as it is called, can only be used by Dwarves—besides being the only arcane magic the race is capable of mastering—and Elves.

As powerful as it is, ritual magic can be seemingly vain, vindictive, and pure evil. The Body Gilded transforms body parts into impossible, but functioning, organs or limbs. The Dance Without End will exhaust the afflicted to a grave. The Beastly Transmogrification of the Omnipotent TChar will make a beastman of weakminded men, women, and children, turning them into rampaging beasts until the transformation wears off or the beast is killed. Those that survive the ordeal do so only physically. Their minds, already said to be weak, are driven mad by the experience of the murderous rampage they participated in while afflicted.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Q is for Quiet! please

There are few common folk that would disagree: wizards and priests are not a quiet lot.

Wielding the Winds of Magic, even divine miracles of the priests of the recognized cults, means singing, whispering, exclaiming, and other often loud means of vocalization. It is not known if these "verbal" elements of spell casting is a human mnemonic to aid in mastering the necessary mental power or if it's just... necessary.

In battle, the exclamations are particularly recognized over the screams of the dying and the din of sword meeting shield and bone. In passing it seems to be an ever present whisper, song—an attribute making the Hierophants of the Order of Light immediately known—or prayer for a priest.

What is known is gagging or otherwise silencing a wizard or priest is to also rob them of working magick of arcane or divine nature. No wizard or priest is able to wield magic without his or her voice. In defensive Magick, Silence is a powerful spell indeed and as such is taught by all Orders and Cults to any that wish to study to master the spell and prayer.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

P is for The Philosopher's Stone

More commonly called "Goldstones" by the wizards of the Lore of Metal, the Philosopher's Stone is regarded as the first of the power stones mastered by any of the eight orders practiced by humans.

The Philosopher's Stone is created, as all power stones, in a closely guarded ritual that folds the "wind of Magic" upon itself until it coalesces into a physical object of energy. The stone is used as a reagent in almost all alchemical experiments of the Gold Order as well as the reagent to the most powerful spells used by the wizards.

Breach the Unknown it is said impresses upon the caster's mind the very attributes of any natural or manmade object, including objects of magical quality. The Law of Gold suppresses magical properties of objects and the Transmutation of the Unstable Mind is said to cure a subject of insanity; though there are credible accounts that the spell can make worse the afflicted mind if cast incorrectly.

The abilities of the Philosopher's Stone have become so legendary that mundane alchemists have sought to replicate it without magic; an impossible task. But the name is also why Gold wizards rarely use the term "Philosopher's Stone."  A Goldstone is the same thing by another name and the main reason that many mundane seekers think they are different things, tossing aside "gold stone" in frustration of having "true" Philosopher's Stone.


Posted by caffeinated at 12:53 PM in d10

Monday, 18 April 2016

Server Outage

Loooong story short.

I did something stupid about two years ago and it started to haunt me in the background this week. I used to have an email alias (or forwarding email) for job hunting that would just get spam.

I also have a forwarding email for my primary identity on the internet. They were almost the same. I purged a bunch of these forwarding email addresses a couple of years ago and I mistakenly purged my primary. Since I don't get a lot of email on this address I didn't notice! My host was telling me on this email my CC was expired. D'oh. When I dug into troubleshooting the outage, I started wondering: why hasn't my host notified me of my annual payment...in two years?

Straighten it out. On I.R.fucking.C. Not Slack. Fuck Slack.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:58 PM in Bohemian Breakfast

O is for The Ox Stands

The Shamans of the Amber Order, practitioners of the Lore of the Beast and masters of Ghur, are powerful battlefield wizards.

Called by mysterious, often folkloric, methods to the battlefield by generals or governors in distant outposts of the Empire, an Amber shaman can be worth 10 or 20 men by the end of a fight. Facing the terrifying and horrific monsters, giants, and beasts of Chaos, troops may run or freeze in the roar and spittle of a beast twice the size of the strongest soldier.

An Amber wizard casting the Ox Stands can turn this fright into ferocity. Ghur is drawn to the shaman and then explodes in a silent and invisible wave that energizes soldiers that can hear the shouted words of the casting shaman. With the spell, the frozen sword arm swings harder, a soldier's reflexes quicker, and the running coward turns back to fight. In that moment, the spell can strengthen a collapsing line.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 16 April 2016

N is for Nectar of Beauty

The Old World is said by those with Witchsight to be saturated with Magic. Only those that can wield the Winds are capable of enjoying the power, whether for martial or other reasons. 

And while those without magical abilities enjoy a diverse market of draughts, spirits, beers, and ales and many with promises to "cure what ails ya!." These mundane, often unreliable concoctions has given rise to a small market where apprentice, journeyman, and magister wizard alike mix magical "potions."

While much more reliable than "Herzmann's meat juice" these potions tend toward a short shelf life, odd side effects, and present unexpected side "results."

The Nectar of Beauty

The facial scarring of a pox, acne, or military wound diminishes the dowry of a daughter or the vanity of boy and man. Commonly available in cities like Altdorf with large cosmopolitain populations and social climbers, the Nectar of Beauty will heal these scars "almost" completely.

Unfortunately, and rarely spoken about, the scars just reappear else where on the body. Pox scars or poorly sewn battle scars may appear on the back, bottom or chest. While one's visage becomes pleasant in public, privately the embarrassment may be more troublesome to intimacy.

The Nectar of Beauty is also said to cause one to shun any sort of light brighter than a candelabra. At an Altdorf party, it is a faux pas to be caught squinting as it is sign that one has surely imbibed the potion. As the side effect is permanent many socialites insist on low lighting in parlors and ballrooms.

Posted by caffeinated at 2:03 PM in d10

Friday, 15 April 2016

M is for Magick, Lingua praestantia

When the High Elves arrived over three centuries ago to call and assess the humans of the Empire capable of mastering the Winds of Magic, they first had to create and then teach these "primitives" a language capable of drawing the Winds to the casters.

The High Elves speak Eltharin, a language that itself is derived from the very language the High Elves use to master and wield Qhaysh, Anoqeyån. Neither language is one that could be taught in the time allowed the High Elves, so they created a sort of pastiche of Eltharin and Old Riekspiel. The Colleges of Magic, have named this language lingua praestantia, or more simply Magick.

Lingua praestantia, like Eltharin and Anoqeyån before it, has a darker side as well. It is derived from the language of the Dark Tongues used by daemons and dark sorcerers. This is because the High Elves believe Anoqeyån is the closest language left known in the world that was likely spoken by the Old Ones.

Posted by caffeinated at 4:24 PM in d10

Thursday, 14 April 2016

L is for Lumen Stones

The Hierophants of the White Wind, Hysh, will often seek to learn the secret songs of their Order that allows them to bind Magick into the rare Lumen Stone. Like other Power Stones, Lumen Stones store Magick that can be harnessed to cast the most powerful spells of Hysh. Lumen Stones radiate a pure white light and have an appearance of a large, flawless diamond.

The most powerful spells often wielded by the Hierophants include Boon of Hysh, Daemonbane, and Pillar of Radiance. Without a Lumen Stone, these spells are too powerful to be cast by Journeymen of the Order. Magisters and Lords often fail without reagents at hand and intense concentration.

And as all powerful spells, these spells will echo on the Aethyr. Hierophants will know when these spells are cast. The Order expects that these spells to be directly focused on daemons and corruption.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

K is for the Knocks of the Departed

Journeymen Wizards of the Amethyst Order of Shyish, literally the practitioners of the Lore of Death, are known for many spells dealing with passing of living things and even communicating with the dead.

Knocks of the Dead is one such spell that crosses the threshold between life and death. It is said that the spirit of the passed, either compelled by Morr or by the presence of kinship at the casting, knocks on the Gates to Morr's Eternal Garden.

The body of the deceased must be present or an immediate next of kin. The casting is aided by a reagent of the subject's clothing—easy with a body unless naked. The spell allows the wizard to ask a specific question of the spirit that is either numerically expressed or simply "yes" or "no." For example, in the investigation of a murder the wizard may ask the hour after Mittagessen he was stabbed... four knocks. A "yes" answer is one knock, a "no," two knocks.

The spirit may chose not to answer, even lie! (especially if the kin present may have been involved in foul play or was unliked in life). The wizard is only leveraging Shyish and leverages no influence on the spirit.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

J is for Arcane Justice

Magick, until Magus the Pious' foundation of the Imperial Colleges and direct diplomacy with the High Elves, was simply witchcraft.

A display of magic was seen as being in league with forces of Chaos or daemons. Whether a Cunning Man working with the "Hedge," a "Druid," an Elementalist, or just a wise woman, fear ruled. To be branded a user of witchcraft was to be burned at the stake.

The Imperial Colleges changed that view. Mostly, and then only in the largest cities of the Empire. And then still a Journeyman or Magister in far flung parts of the Empire must worry that a display of Magick won't find him or her strapped to a pole in the center of a pyre. And then it may come with complete surprise: accusations are usually whispered and a quiet call for a Witch Hunter of the Templars of Sigmar made. Watchmen or a militia man would never apprehend a wizard directly; it simply is too dangerous. A pistol, arrow, or blunderbus is much safer if a Witch Hunter is not immediately available.

To the public, this is most often witnessed form of Justice. To a member of the Imperial College, violation of the Imperial Laws or transgression or betrayal of the College's own rules, can result in Pacification.

What exactly Pacification is remains unknown; each college has their own version. But it is widely rumored to forcibly remove the ability to manipulate the Winds of Magic. The procedure and the results are widely gossiped about. No Magister wants to be subjected to Pacification. The fear of the process is itself the greatest deterrent and the greatest incentive to remain true to the Emperor and to the College.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 11 April 2016

I is for Inspiration

Editors Note: This is the first of several spells used by magisters of the various Lores this A-to-Z will look at over the next week and beyond.

Inspiration

This spell from the Lore of Light is practiced by masters of the White Wind, Hysh, and is often cast in contemplation of an academic problem or simply to open the mind to aid recall.

The wizard must concentrate both on the problem while singing to focus the White Wind on the problem or question. White Wizards often produce a small book and tear a page from it, seemingly absentmindedly, as a reagent to aid in casting the spell. The reagent is said to burst into light as it flutters to the ground or illuminate the flesh and bones of the wizard's fist as it crushes the crumpled page.

The spell is one of the moderately difficult ones a White Wizard will use, often only mastered by Journeymen. The song is said to last over a minute. It is typically a spell cast in quiet repose after a question or problem is presented in an investigation.

Magisters have said that the answer will simply "appear" in the mind's eye.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 9 April 2016

H is for Hysh, Order of the Wise

Hysh is the White Wind, mastered by the Hierophants of the Order of the Wise.

Of the eight winds of Magick, Hysh is the most difficult wind to master. It is the closest wind to High Magick practiced by the Elves, Qhaysh. Where Dhar and Chaos are darkness, Hysh is light.

The amount of study and the complex rituals Journeyman and Magisters undergo and memorize allows them to bend and bind the wind in some of the most powerful spells available against corruption and darkness. It also makes Hierophants the most philosophical and contemplative of all the Orders.

Apprentices of the order form choirs during training that act as aid to magisters in spellcasting, study of the rituals, and purification of the Order's pristine campus in Altdorf. Some apprentices may never leave the choirs if they cannot master the mental strength necessary to manipulate the wind, instead serve the college and its goals in perpetuity. 

Many of these apprentices come from annual efforts of the Order "adopting" orphans that show any magical ability. The Order is also often the "easiest" to join, accepting those passed over by other Orders. Whether these Apprentices show the discipline to master Hysh or not, the choirs remain singing.

Martially, the Order is highly effective in the exorcism and destruction of daemons. As Hysh is also an aspect of purity, magisters are capable of powerful healing of corruption and mutation.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 8 April 2016

G is for Ghyran, Agrological Thaumaturgy

Ghyran, the Green Wind of Magick, is the source of the magisters of the Empire that practice the Lore of Life, "Soil Magic," or more academically, the practice of Agrological Thaumaturgy by the Jade Wizards.

It is said that Ghyran flows and pools like water after a hard rain and can be seen in all life of the earth. Drawn into the soil and then through the roots of all plant life. It can be seen in the rivers and streams of the Empire as well as flowing across the land following no pattern of nature.

The Jade Wizards and the establishment of their College in Altdorf begins in the call sent by Emperor Magnus the Pious in his fight against Chaos over 300 years ago. The High Elves that taught these first magisters found in the practitioners of the Old Faith, Elementalists of Water and Earth, even the Cunning Men of "the hedge" a population most ready to master Ghyran. The idea of "druid" is often ascribed to a Jade Wizard by many because of the origins and they readily accept it, if not completely correct.

Today, Jade Wizards ensure the healthy crops of the Empire and martially provide for the armies food as well as spells capable of swallowing armies or entangling hordes of beasts with choking vines that spring from the roots of trees and grass. But Jade Wizards also ensure and maintain the hedges of the Empire and leylines that manage the flow of Ghyran for the Empire's farmers.

Jade Wizards are aligned with the Cults of Taal and Rhya, the gods of nature, and the Amber Shamans.

Posted by caffeinated at 12:45 PM in d10

Thursday, 7 April 2016

F is for Fire Rubies

Like the Amethyst Wizards, the Bright Wizards of the Lore of Fire, create power stones called Fire Rubies. Fire Rubies are made in single use forges crafted during a private ritual. The result is a bright stone the lit by burning coals. The stones are hot to hold and can warm a tent in Chaos Wastes in a matter of minutes when openly exposed.

The three most powerful spells of the Lore of Fire—one that many a veteran could testify too—are Aqshy's Aegis, Breathe Fire, and Conflagration of Doom. The amount of skill and study for these (and similar spells of the other Orders) is great, often only possibly by Magisters and Lords of each order. Apprentices aided by a Fire Ruby can wield these spells in battle, in a pinch.

Like the powerful spells of Shyish, these spells also "echo" on the Aethyr. Use of powerful spells are not lightly taken by any Order. Not just because they can be so destructive, but because an error in casting can summon daemons attracted to the wind in use.

In a few days, we will look at the Lore of Light's Lumen Stones and the three most powerful spells of the Order of Light.


Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

E is for Endstones

Every College of Magic has a ritual that manifests its "wind of Magick" into a physical object known as a power stone.

The magisters of the Amethyst College craft Endstones, power stones that typically vary in color, but most are found to appear as highly polished bone or a black so pitch as to seemingly darken a day lit room.

Like all power stones, Endstones are carefully produced under strict adherence of closely guarded ritual, but serve a singular purpose: act as a store of the very energy of Magick used to create it. The Endstone serves as a reagent to spellcasting the most powerful of Shyish's Lore of Death and Spirit.

Whether The Animus Imprisoned, Life's End, or Wind of Death, an Endstone can assure the successful casting. These are not trivial spells to cast and the power required to cast them "echoes" on the Aethyr. These echoes can be felt by other Amethyst Wizards. Because these spells can bind souls or kill instantly, trivial use of them, even without an Endstone, is not tolerated by the Order.

And because an Endstone, like all powerstones, are consumed with the casting, they are rare and expensive.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

D is for Dhar

The nature of magic has two opposites. If the Winds of Magic—and winds is a human notion trying to explain High Elven understanding of the nature of Magick—are a spectrum with Qhaysh on one end representing the Winds in harmony, then Dhar is at the opposite end representing the Winds in discordance.

However, Dhar is an easy "wind" to master and often a shortcut to powerful spell casting. The ease of manipulating Dhar however comes at a great cost. The first is that Dhar must be combined with another wind to be useful outside of Necromancy and Daemonology. And Dhar is fickle. One use may not be like the last use and this often leads to magisters going insane or dropping dead. But there are a rare few that become more attuned to using Dhar. These magisters are known as Black Magisters.

Black Magisters are ostracized from their orders and often are hunted to ground and death by fire. Often, when they are found, Black Magisters have already descended into darker arts as they attempt further master Dhar. 

Use of Dhar is incredibly hard to hide as many magisters are taught from the very beginning to "see" the Winds of Magic. One Golden Wizard might perceive another Golden Wizard use Charmon with Dhar as a darker thread of Magick coalescing in his palm before becoming more powerful lightening bolts capable of striking an enemy dead. Black Magisters have to be very careful in using Dhar because it can be so easily "seen."

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 4 April 2016

C is for Chamon, Alchemical Thaumaturgy

The practitioners of Alchemical Thaumaturgy are the Golden Wizards, masters of the Yellow Wind, Chamon. The apprentices, journeymen, and magisters are part of the wealthiest college of magic and one of the most diverse as well.

The wealth of the Golden Order is not as the common people suspect: crackpot alchemists, handpicked by the elven mages, cracking the code of converting a base metal to gold. While "True Transformation" is still sought and a stated goal of the Golden Order, its application remains impossible. And while the transient transformation of base metals to gold is possible, the act is publicly prosecuted by the Order's leadership because it is fraud.

The Order's wealth is far more mundane in origin: the alchemists of the Order produce potions, dyes, gunpower, refined ore, spirits, and even beer of such quality and quantity that merchants pay the best prices for them, often for a 1% or 2% profit in trading guilds across the Empire. And given the cost and need for reagents in the Order's regular wizardry, the wealth is needed.

The Order's Lore of Metal is both academic and martial. In the battlefields of the Empire against the hordes of Chaos, Golden Wizards transform the armor and weapons of the enemy to lead or rust. Weapons crafted by Golden Wizards are of such quality—and often inscribed with powerful runes and enchanted for accuracy—only the most esteemed generals and the Emperor himself can own them.

Academically, the Order houses one of the greatest libraries of the world and is closely aligned with the Cult of Verena, the goddess of Knowledge and Justice. Mundane alchemists that still adhere to the notion of the four base elements dismiss the studies of the Golden Wizards, especially the recent notion that the Golden Wizards have identified over 90 unique elements of the mundane world.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 2 April 2016

B is for the Brown Wind (Ghur) and the Shamans of Amber Magic

Of the eight winds of Magick, Ghur, or the Brown Wind, is as wild as the natural world that feeds it. The practitioners are often mistaken for woodsmen, hermits, cunning men, Druids—though the wizards of the Jade College may take issue with that mistake—or even priests of Taal or Rhya.

And of all the colleges, the shamans of Ghur, do not live and study in Altdorf. They are more likely to be found studying in the Reikwald, or Great Forest, that surrounds Altdorf. A shaman's appearance does no favor to aid in approaching one intentionally or by accident by most citizenry of the Empire at large: often covered in fetishes of animal origins, furs, bones and smells of the forest. It is this appearance that will have an Amber Wizard mistaken for outlawed druids of the "Old Faith" or worse, the witches and warlocks of the Hedge, practitioners of wild magic and often called Cunning Men. Add their reclusive, separatist study, these officially sanctioned wizards of the Empire must often prove themselves to the Templars of Sigmar, the Witch Hunters.

The Amber Wizards are fierce defenders of the Empire. In many of the distant outposts of the Emperor, commanders ally with Amber Wizards and understand intimately how to call these powerful shamans for counsel or battle. The shaman's often use their commune with nature to speak to birds for scouting and the hidden animals of the wild to alert armies of enemy movements.


Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 1 April 2016

A is for Asqhy, Pyromantic Thaumaturgy

The practitioners of the Bright Order weave the Red Wind of Magic. In the language of Magick, Asqhy, or more academically, Pyromantic Thaumaturgy, this wind is can be quite destructive.

Bright Wizards master flame, from the candle to conflagration. This fact alone answers the question—if one is even considered—as to the reason these men and women are found on the front lines of battlefields throughout the Empire. Whether wading through ranks of goblins with a flaming sword or conjuring a whirlwind of fire that consumes siege engines, the martial value of these wizards is immediately recognized.

Gregarious and short of temper, Bright Wizards study both magic and combat in their college. The college is magically hidden among the haunted embers and lingering smoke of a fire that burned a large section of Altdorf many years ago. The cause of this fire remains whispered gossip among the citizenry and even the magisters of other the other colleges.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Z is for Zed, an epilogue

An Epilogue for 2016

Five years ago, when James Maliszewski was still blogging regurlarly at Grognardia, I learned about Blogging A to Z. That first year marked the first year that the letter X would be forever some daemon or daemonic lure. I also won the Best of Fans Award from a prominent figure in the WFRP community Magnus Seter, writing under the nom de plumme Adolphus Altdorfer.

I worked with two international conspirators in 2012 where we cross posted to our blogs, sharing each letter. In 2013 I created more than 13 unique persons in the WFRP setting and in 2014 26 taverns, hostels, and dives on the Street of a Hundred Taverns in the city of Altdorf. Last year I borrowed heavily from my friend's characters at the table and their adventures in across great swaths of the Empire in a campaign to save the world.

Each year the comments start heavy, then trickle off. I'm don't follow the A to Z protocol of turning off comment moderation; I use to get far too much spam (a lot has dropped off with turning off trackbacks however).

My topic always gets the occasional comment that makes me wonder about the writer's impression of topic. This year there were a couple that took the magic angle a little to seriously, possibly not reading my primer on exactly what WFRP is and how the topic relates.

Can I do five more years? I think so. Maybe. There's a lot of creativity that goes into each entry. WFRP is a rich and dynamic setting and the my regular play lets me stretch that setting into each entry. However, WFRP is also closely guard IP. Fan work is mostly encouraged, but I could never publish the work as a collection. It can only existing on the blog (though I have collected the entries in the past as PDFs for download in the RSS feeds).

In all, A to Z is a strong creative outlet that focuses me for a month on this oft neglected blog. And for that I will continue in 2017. At the very least so that I can create another daemon's true name and make you cringe at all the apostrophes.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 29 April 2016

Y is for Youth's Bane

From the Lore of Death and Spirits of the Shyish Order of Magick, the spell Youth's Bane is one of the most powerful. Only the most advanced Apprentices can master the spell and then only with reagents of ivy cut from the grave of a deceased Shyish magister and intense concentration. It is not uncommon for Apprentices to still fail.

Youth's Bane, cast in battle or in defense can be the edge in a fight, permanently drawing the strength and fitness from an opponent.. Muscles atrophy and joints can sieze as the target ages years in an instant.

The spell is one that is a favorite of rogue Shyish magisters in assassinations. Continuously aging a victim over short periods of time until either dying a premature death or so weak as unable to defend herself from a more physical death. Such tactics are easily discoverable if recognized (often a possibility in cities, but less likely in remote regions of the Empire). The magister discovered willing to employ the spell in such attacks is one that will, if found out, be likely assassinated by the Order's leadership. Leadership that has no tolerance for such evil acts.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Thursday, 28 April 2016

X is for Xij'tier, Lesser Daemon of Tzeentch

The very Winds of Magick are the stuff of Chaos and change. Tzeentch, the Chaos god of Change, is said to drink from flagons overflowing with liquid magick. Moreover, it told by magisters of all colleges—and certainly put forth by the Witch Hunters as proof of the corruption of all magic users—that Tzeentch curses all magic users that improperly handle the winds in casting, elf or human alike. Mutation Tzeentch's "blessing." But Tzeentch has daemon heralds as well.

His lesser daemon Xij'tier is one such harbinger. An ethereal daemon, Xij'tier seeks change in natural forms for Tzeentch's glory.

Xij'tier typically takes the forms of beasts that have no likeness in the Old World and can only be described as creatures from the Tzeentch's own menagerie of the unusual. He rarely appears without immense tusks that have are carved with everchanging scenes of Tzeentch's basest desires and capped with a color changing metal formed into flesh piercing points.

Xij'tier takes a certain enjoyment in touching the war beasts of Tzeentch's champions in the Old World. The mutations are always terrifying and often quite deadly in the field.

It is said that Xij'tier will stand at the head of a charging warband, man and beast fighting to charge through his ethereal form to be "blessed" with change and mutation in that instant before colliding in battle with the enemy.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

W is for Witchsight

No respected magister of the eight Colleges of Magic uses the term Witchsight, as these same magic users would never consider themselves "witches or warlocks." The term existed long before the Articles of Imperial Magic were codified and it has become a more common term among the superstitious public where the Colleges would prefer the use of Spiritsight or Magical Sense.

Mastering Witchsight is a lifelong task that starts with apprenticeship. It represents the "Seventh Sense" with Intuition and Aethyric Attunement being the "Sixth Sense" and first recognizable ability of any potential magic user.

How Witchsight is honed and mastered and thus appears to a magister is difficult to say, but many describe as looking through novelty glasses, but with an astonishing clarity of the manifestations of the Winds of Magic. Ghyran is said to be like a summer rain, Ulgu as a think fog, literally affecting a bystander passing through this unseen cloud and forgetting why he left the house. Shyish lingers as a dark tendrils in grave yards and around oubliettes. 

Yet these manifestations are invisible to anyone without Witchsight, and more still may manifest themselves to magisters very differently. An Azyr magister might see the past action in place or the future movement of chess piece on a board.

Witchsight is a both a blessing and a curse. The latter the most often considered. It has driven many magisters insane as they age and their mastery of it grows. For as the power to use Witchsight strengthens so does the clarity of the Winds of Magic.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

V is for Vitaellum

Vitaellum is the powerstone of the magisters of Ghyran, the Green Wind of Magic.

Typically appearing as an flawless emerald with an internal light, the stone can also present itself as living branch despite having been separated from the plant. As all powerstones, the Jade magisters create Vitaellum as a reagent to the most powerful spells of their lore, whether martial or peaceable.

The three most powerful spells of Agrological Thaumaturgy are Flesh of Clay, Winter's Frost, and Cure Blight. A hero upon which Flesh of Clay is cast is a formidable foe on the battlefield. His skin turns to harden clay becoming immune to sword and shaft, but himself a weapon wading through enemy lines. 

Winter's Frost can kill or gravely wound a score of men in a single casting. The thick ice chilling to the bone in an instant and turning a charge into a chaotic dance of slips and tumbles.

Cure Blight is as much a ritual as the most powerful spell and tool for the well-being of the Empire. Crops, and even plague, can be cured of a blight or disease by infusing the stricken with the life restoring energies of Ghyran.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 25 April 2016

U is for Ulgu, Cryptoclastic Thaumaturgy

The Grey Order and their Lore of Shadows are the masters of deception and confusion. They are the Shadowmancers and wielders of the Grey Wind of Magic, Ulgu.

Ostensibly, the Grey Order in battle is a force multiplier. Being masters of illusion, Shadowmancers aid generals by confusing a charge, "altering" the size of force on the field: too small, too big, too weak? A force too small can be made to appear large. And yet the Shadowmancers would not consider service to the Emperor even a top priority. 

Shadowmancers darker side is that of a near global network of spies, diplomats, and assassins. The Grey Order is also one of the most disciplined of orders with the strictest enforcement of its ideals and rules with pacification or death not uncommon.

The mastery of the wind makes Shadowmancers spies capable of the deepest assignments and the cleverest of assassins. The Ulgu spells of deception, concealment, and confusion are particularly powerful in the aforementioned roles, and the spells of persuasion make them excellent diplomats.

The Order is rather focused too on rooting out Chaos and the influence of the Ruinous Power throughout the Empire, often quietly assisting the Templars of Sigmar, the Witch Hunters, even when they, as magic users, are not often welcome.

Posted by caffeinated at 9:58 PM in d10

Saturday, 23 April 2016

T is for Thaumaturgy

The origin of the word Thaumaturgy as used and written in the Articles of Imperial Magic in Reikspiel is unknown. Verenan priests and the Gold Order that study the High Elven tomes and instructions believe that it originated near the Black Gulf, the Border Princes, or further south in Araby. It is not an Elven word, but possibly a word known to a scholar whose name has been lost to history. The Elven word perhaps unrecordable.

Whatever the etymology of the word, it could be applied to the magic of wizards or the miracles of the priests of the sanctioned cults. However, it most applied in the academic and hermetic works of the magisters of the Orders of Magic; almost exclusively in practice. The Einsegnung of the priests of the Empire are not of the same source, but channelled through their prayers to the gods.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:08 AM in d10

Friday, 22 April 2016

S is for Shyish, Cessationary Thaumaturgy

The wizards of the Lore of Death and Spirit, members of the Amethyst Order and masters of the Purple Wind, Shyish are most certainly not necromancers. The Articles of Imperial Magic refers to these magisters as wielders of Cessationary Thaumaturgy.

However, make no mistake, the line between Necromancy and the wonders of the Amethyst Order is thin. And make no mistake the patriarch and lords of the Order do not tolerate those that cross that line.

The more common spells, the most powerful looked at using Endstones, are certainly capable of revealing the truth of the afterlife. Deathsight reveals the spirits that walk beside the living, Death's Release can banish the same spirits. Spells may ease passing, delay a death, or speak with the passing soul. It is no wonder that discipline and philosophy are daily concerns in the Order. That Amethyst Wizards know of the afterlife, but that they can touch it, is more than a powerful temptation to master the Wind in ways that reject death and seek to restore or lengthen it. Despite that Necromancy never results in good, as one hopes, it is a practice that invites the destructive influence of Chaos and the Ruinous Powers.

The campus of the Amethyst College in Altdorf is rumored to exist on two planes: for the living and for the dead. Visitors to the grounds will tell you it is abandoned. The campus choked with vines, crumbling buildings, and piles of dead leaves collecting in the crevices and corners of halls and streets or tossed about by a deathly quiet wind. And yet others, invited, will tell you of a busy, if somber, campus. Both will tell of using the same entrance. Whether illusion or more, the "abandoned" campus is known to be used by braver criminals as a meeting place. How tolerant of this use the magisters are is debated.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:02 PM in d10

Thursday, 21 April 2016

R is for Ritual Magic

Ritual Magic is capable of gathering and exerting each Wind in powerful ways. Many rituals are guarded by each order to produce aids, such as Powerstones, or bring the energy of a Wind to bear on the battlefield. 

Ritual magic is used by Dwarves to bind runes to weapons and talismans. Rune Magic, as it is called, can only be used by Dwarves—besides being the only arcane magic the race is capable of mastering—and Elves.

As powerful as it is, ritual magic can be seemingly vain, vindictive, and pure evil. The Body Gilded transforms body parts into impossible, but functioning, organs or limbs. The Dance Without End will exhaust the afflicted to a grave. The Beastly Transmogrification of the Omnipotent TChar will make a beastman of weakminded men, women, and children, turning them into rampaging beasts until the transformation wears off or the beast is killed. Those that survive the ordeal do so only physically. Their minds, already said to be weak, are driven mad by the experience of the murderous rampage they participated in while afflicted.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Q is for Quiet! please

There are few common folk that would disagree: wizards and priests are not a quiet lot.

Wielding the Winds of Magic, even divine miracles of the priests of the recognized cults, means singing, whispering, exclaiming, and other often loud means of vocalization. It is not known if these "verbal" elements of spell casting is a human mnemonic to aid in mastering the necessary mental power or if it's just... necessary.

In battle, the exclamations are particularly recognized over the screams of the dying and the din of sword meeting shield and bone. In passing it seems to be an ever present whisper, song—an attribute making the Hierophants of the Order of Light immediately known—or prayer for a priest.

What is known is gagging or otherwise silencing a wizard or priest is to also rob them of working magick of arcane or divine nature. No wizard or priest is able to wield magic without his or her voice. In defensive Magick, Silence is a powerful spell indeed and as such is taught by all Orders and Cults to any that wish to study to master the spell and prayer.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

P is for The Philosopher's Stone

More commonly called "Goldstones" by the wizards of the Lore of Metal, the Philosopher's Stone is regarded as the first of the power stones mastered by any of the eight orders practiced by humans.

The Philosopher's Stone is created, as all power stones, in a closely guarded ritual that folds the "wind of Magic" upon itself until it coalesces into a physical object of energy. The stone is used as a reagent in almost all alchemical experiments of the Gold Order as well as the reagent to the most powerful spells used by the wizards.

Breach the Unknown it is said impresses upon the caster's mind the very attributes of any natural or manmade object, including objects of magical quality. The Law of Gold suppresses magical properties of objects and the Transmutation of the Unstable Mind is said to cure a subject of insanity; though there are credible accounts that the spell can make worse the afflicted mind if cast incorrectly.

The abilities of the Philosopher's Stone have become so legendary that mundane alchemists have sought to replicate it without magic; an impossible task. But the name is also why Gold wizards rarely use the term "Philosopher's Stone."  A Goldstone is the same thing by another name and the main reason that many mundane seekers think they are different things, tossing aside "gold stone" in frustration of having "true" Philosopher's Stone.


Posted by caffeinated at 12:53 PM in d10

Monday, 18 April 2016

Server Outage

Loooong story short.

I did something stupid about two years ago and it started to haunt me in the background this week. I used to have an email alias (or forwarding email) for job hunting that would just get spam.

I also have a forwarding email for my primary identity on the internet. They were almost the same. I purged a bunch of these forwarding email addresses a couple of years ago and I mistakenly purged my primary. Since I don't get a lot of email on this address I didn't notice! My host was telling me on this email my CC was expired. D'oh. When I dug into troubleshooting the outage, I started wondering: why hasn't my host notified me of my annual payment...in two years?

Straighten it out. On I.R.fucking.C. Not Slack. Fuck Slack.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:58 PM in Bohemian Breakfast

O is for The Ox Stands

The Shamans of the Amber Order, practitioners of the Lore of the Beast and masters of Ghur, are powerful battlefield wizards.

Called by mysterious, often folkloric, methods to the battlefield by generals or governors in distant outposts of the Empire, an Amber shaman can be worth 10 or 20 men by the end of a fight. Facing the terrifying and horrific monsters, giants, and beasts of Chaos, troops may run or freeze in the roar and spittle of a beast twice the size of the strongest soldier.

An Amber wizard casting the Ox Stands can turn this fright into ferocity. Ghur is drawn to the shaman and then explodes in a silent and invisible wave that energizes soldiers that can hear the shouted words of the casting shaman. With the spell, the frozen sword arm swings harder, a soldier's reflexes quicker, and the running coward turns back to fight. In that moment, the spell can strengthen a collapsing line.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 16 April 2016

N is for Nectar of Beauty

The Old World is said by those with Witchsight to be saturated with Magic. Only those that can wield the Winds are capable of enjoying the power, whether for martial or other reasons. 

And while those without magical abilities enjoy a diverse market of draughts, spirits, beers, and ales and many with promises to "cure what ails ya!." These mundane, often unreliable concoctions has given rise to a small market where apprentice, journeyman, and magister wizard alike mix magical "potions."

While much more reliable than "Herzmann's meat juice" these potions tend toward a short shelf life, odd side effects, and present unexpected side "results."

The Nectar of Beauty

The facial scarring of a pox, acne, or military wound diminishes the dowry of a daughter or the vanity of boy and man. Commonly available in cities like Altdorf with large cosmopolitain populations and social climbers, the Nectar of Beauty will heal these scars "almost" completely.

Unfortunately, and rarely spoken about, the scars just reappear else where on the body. Pox scars or poorly sewn battle scars may appear on the back, bottom or chest. While one's visage becomes pleasant in public, privately the embarrassment may be more troublesome to intimacy.

The Nectar of Beauty is also said to cause one to shun any sort of light brighter than a candelabra. At an Altdorf party, it is a faux pas to be caught squinting as it is sign that one has surely imbibed the potion. As the side effect is permanent many socialites insist on low lighting in parlors and ballrooms.

Posted by caffeinated at 2:03 PM in d10

Friday, 15 April 2016

M is for Magick, Lingua praestantia

When the High Elves arrived over three centuries ago to call and assess the humans of the Empire capable of mastering the Winds of Magic, they first had to create and then teach these "primitives" a language capable of drawing the Winds to the casters.

The High Elves speak Eltharin, a language that itself is derived from the very language the High Elves use to master and wield Qhaysh, Anoqeyån. Neither language is one that could be taught in the time allowed the High Elves, so they created a sort of pastiche of Eltharin and Old Riekspiel. The Colleges of Magic, have named this language lingua praestantia, or more simply Magick.

Lingua praestantia, like Eltharin and Anoqeyån before it, has a darker side as well. It is derived from the language of the Dark Tongues used by daemons and dark sorcerers. This is because the High Elves believe Anoqeyån is the closest language left known in the world that was likely spoken by the Old Ones.

Posted by caffeinated at 4:24 PM in d10

Thursday, 14 April 2016

L is for Lumen Stones

The Hierophants of the White Wind, Hysh, will often seek to learn the secret songs of their Order that allows them to bind Magick into the rare Lumen Stone. Like other Power Stones, Lumen Stones store Magick that can be harnessed to cast the most powerful spells of Hysh. Lumen Stones radiate a pure white light and have an appearance of a large, flawless diamond.

The most powerful spells often wielded by the Hierophants include Boon of Hysh, Daemonbane, and Pillar of Radiance. Without a Lumen Stone, these spells are too powerful to be cast by Journeymen of the Order. Magisters and Lords often fail without reagents at hand and intense concentration.

And as all powerful spells, these spells will echo on the Aethyr. Hierophants will know when these spells are cast. The Order expects that these spells to be directly focused on daemons and corruption.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

K is for the Knocks of the Departed

Journeymen Wizards of the Amethyst Order of Shyish, literally the practitioners of the Lore of Death, are known for many spells dealing with passing of living things and even communicating with the dead.

Knocks of the Dead is one such spell that crosses the threshold between life and death. It is said that the spirit of the passed, either compelled by Morr or by the presence of kinship at the casting, knocks on the Gates to Morr's Eternal Garden.

The body of the deceased must be present or an immediate next of kin. The casting is aided by a reagent of the subject's clothing—easy with a body unless naked. The spell allows the wizard to ask a specific question of the spirit that is either numerically expressed or simply "yes" or "no." For example, in the investigation of a murder the wizard may ask the hour after Mittagessen he was stabbed... four knocks. A "yes" answer is one knock, a "no," two knocks.

The spirit may chose not to answer, even lie! (especially if the kin present may have been involved in foul play or was unliked in life). The wizard is only leveraging Shyish and leverages no influence on the spirit.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

J is for Arcane Justice

Magick, until Magus the Pious' foundation of the Imperial Colleges and direct diplomacy with the High Elves, was simply witchcraft.

A display of magic was seen as being in league with forces of Chaos or daemons. Whether a Cunning Man working with the "Hedge," a "Druid," an Elementalist, or just a wise woman, fear ruled. To be branded a user of witchcraft was to be burned at the stake.

The Imperial Colleges changed that view. Mostly, and then only in the largest cities of the Empire. And then still a Journeyman or Magister in far flung parts of the Empire must worry that a display of Magick won't find him or her strapped to a pole in the center of a pyre. And then it may come with complete surprise: accusations are usually whispered and a quiet call for a Witch Hunter of the Templars of Sigmar made. Watchmen or a militia man would never apprehend a wizard directly; it simply is too dangerous. A pistol, arrow, or blunderbus is much safer if a Witch Hunter is not immediately available.

To the public, this is most often witnessed form of Justice. To a member of the Imperial College, violation of the Imperial Laws or transgression or betrayal of the College's own rules, can result in Pacification.

What exactly Pacification is remains unknown; each college has their own version. But it is widely rumored to forcibly remove the ability to manipulate the Winds of Magic. The procedure and the results are widely gossiped about. No Magister wants to be subjected to Pacification. The fear of the process is itself the greatest deterrent and the greatest incentive to remain true to the Emperor and to the College.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 11 April 2016

I is for Inspiration

Editors Note: This is the first of several spells used by magisters of the various Lores this A-to-Z will look at over the next week and beyond.

Inspiration

This spell from the Lore of Light is practiced by masters of the White Wind, Hysh, and is often cast in contemplation of an academic problem or simply to open the mind to aid recall.

The wizard must concentrate both on the problem while singing to focus the White Wind on the problem or question. White Wizards often produce a small book and tear a page from it, seemingly absentmindedly, as a reagent to aid in casting the spell. The reagent is said to burst into light as it flutters to the ground or illuminate the flesh and bones of the wizard's fist as it crushes the crumpled page.

The spell is one of the moderately difficult ones a White Wizard will use, often only mastered by Journeymen. The song is said to last over a minute. It is typically a spell cast in quiet repose after a question or problem is presented in an investigation.

Magisters have said that the answer will simply "appear" in the mind's eye.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 9 April 2016

H is for Hysh, Order of the Wise

Hysh is the White Wind, mastered by the Hierophants of the Order of the Wise.

Of the eight winds of Magick, Hysh is the most difficult wind to master. It is the closest wind to High Magick practiced by the Elves, Qhaysh. Where Dhar and Chaos are darkness, Hysh is light.

The amount of study and the complex rituals Journeyman and Magisters undergo and memorize allows them to bend and bind the wind in some of the most powerful spells available against corruption and darkness. It also makes Hierophants the most philosophical and contemplative of all the Orders.

Apprentices of the order form choirs during training that act as aid to magisters in spellcasting, study of the rituals, and purification of the Order's pristine campus in Altdorf. Some apprentices may never leave the choirs if they cannot master the mental strength necessary to manipulate the wind, instead serve the college and its goals in perpetuity. 

Many of these apprentices come from annual efforts of the Order "adopting" orphans that show any magical ability. The Order is also often the "easiest" to join, accepting those passed over by other Orders. Whether these Apprentices show the discipline to master Hysh or not, the choirs remain singing.

Martially, the Order is highly effective in the exorcism and destruction of daemons. As Hysh is also an aspect of purity, magisters are capable of powerful healing of corruption and mutation.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 8 April 2016

G is for Ghyran, Agrological Thaumaturgy

Ghyran, the Green Wind of Magick, is the source of the magisters of the Empire that practice the Lore of Life, "Soil Magic," or more academically, the practice of Agrological Thaumaturgy by the Jade Wizards.

It is said that Ghyran flows and pools like water after a hard rain and can be seen in all life of the earth. Drawn into the soil and then through the roots of all plant life. It can be seen in the rivers and streams of the Empire as well as flowing across the land following no pattern of nature.

The Jade Wizards and the establishment of their College in Altdorf begins in the call sent by Emperor Magnus the Pious in his fight against Chaos over 300 years ago. The High Elves that taught these first magisters found in the practitioners of the Old Faith, Elementalists of Water and Earth, even the Cunning Men of "the hedge" a population most ready to master Ghyran. The idea of "druid" is often ascribed to a Jade Wizard by many because of the origins and they readily accept it, if not completely correct.

Today, Jade Wizards ensure the healthy crops of the Empire and martially provide for the armies food as well as spells capable of swallowing armies or entangling hordes of beasts with choking vines that spring from the roots of trees and grass. But Jade Wizards also ensure and maintain the hedges of the Empire and leylines that manage the flow of Ghyran for the Empire's farmers.

Jade Wizards are aligned with the Cults of Taal and Rhya, the gods of nature, and the Amber Shamans.

Posted by caffeinated at 12:45 PM in d10

Thursday, 7 April 2016

F is for Fire Rubies

Like the Amethyst Wizards, the Bright Wizards of the Lore of Fire, create power stones called Fire Rubies. Fire Rubies are made in single use forges crafted during a private ritual. The result is a bright stone the lit by burning coals. The stones are hot to hold and can warm a tent in Chaos Wastes in a matter of minutes when openly exposed.

The three most powerful spells of the Lore of Fire—one that many a veteran could testify too—are Aqshy's Aegis, Breathe Fire, and Conflagration of Doom. The amount of skill and study for these (and similar spells of the other Orders) is great, often only possibly by Magisters and Lords of each order. Apprentices aided by a Fire Ruby can wield these spells in battle, in a pinch.

Like the powerful spells of Shyish, these spells also "echo" on the Aethyr. Use of powerful spells are not lightly taken by any Order. Not just because they can be so destructive, but because an error in casting can summon daemons attracted to the wind in use.

In a few days, we will look at the Lore of Light's Lumen Stones and the three most powerful spells of the Order of Light.


Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

E is for Endstones

Every College of Magic has a ritual that manifests its "wind of Magick" into a physical object known as a power stone.

The magisters of the Amethyst College craft Endstones, power stones that typically vary in color, but most are found to appear as highly polished bone or a black so pitch as to seemingly darken a day lit room.

Like all power stones, Endstones are carefully produced under strict adherence of closely guarded ritual, but serve a singular purpose: act as a store of the very energy of Magick used to create it. The Endstone serves as a reagent to spellcasting the most powerful of Shyish's Lore of Death and Spirit.

Whether The Animus Imprisoned, Life's End, or Wind of Death, an Endstone can assure the successful casting. These are not trivial spells to cast and the power required to cast them "echoes" on the Aethyr. These echoes can be felt by other Amethyst Wizards. Because these spells can bind souls or kill instantly, trivial use of them, even without an Endstone, is not tolerated by the Order.

And because an Endstone, like all powerstones, are consumed with the casting, they are rare and expensive.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

D is for Dhar

The nature of magic has two opposites. If the Winds of Magic—and winds is a human notion trying to explain High Elven understanding of the nature of Magick—are a spectrum with Qhaysh on one end representing the Winds in harmony, then Dhar is at the opposite end representing the Winds in discordance.

However, Dhar is an easy "wind" to master and often a shortcut to powerful spell casting. The ease of manipulating Dhar however comes at a great cost. The first is that Dhar must be combined with another wind to be useful outside of Necromancy and Daemonology. And Dhar is fickle. One use may not be like the last use and this often leads to magisters going insane or dropping dead. But there are a rare few that become more attuned to using Dhar. These magisters are known as Black Magisters.

Black Magisters are ostracized from their orders and often are hunted to ground and death by fire. Often, when they are found, Black Magisters have already descended into darker arts as they attempt further master Dhar. 

Use of Dhar is incredibly hard to hide as many magisters are taught from the very beginning to "see" the Winds of Magic. One Golden Wizard might perceive another Golden Wizard use Charmon with Dhar as a darker thread of Magick coalescing in his palm before becoming more powerful lightening bolts capable of striking an enemy dead. Black Magisters have to be very careful in using Dhar because it can be so easily "seen."

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 4 April 2016

C is for Chamon, Alchemical Thaumaturgy

The practitioners of Alchemical Thaumaturgy are the Golden Wizards, masters of the Yellow Wind, Chamon. The apprentices, journeymen, and magisters are part of the wealthiest college of magic and one of the most diverse as well.

The wealth of the Golden Order is not as the common people suspect: crackpot alchemists, handpicked by the elven mages, cracking the code of converting a base metal to gold. While "True Transformation" is still sought and a stated goal of the Golden Order, its application remains impossible. And while the transient transformation of base metals to gold is possible, the act is publicly prosecuted by the Order's leadership because it is fraud.

The Order's wealth is far more mundane in origin: the alchemists of the Order produce potions, dyes, gunpower, refined ore, spirits, and even beer of such quality and quantity that merchants pay the best prices for them, often for a 1% or 2% profit in trading guilds across the Empire. And given the cost and need for reagents in the Order's regular wizardry, the wealth is needed.

The Order's Lore of Metal is both academic and martial. In the battlefields of the Empire against the hordes of Chaos, Golden Wizards transform the armor and weapons of the enemy to lead or rust. Weapons crafted by Golden Wizards are of such quality—and often inscribed with powerful runes and enchanted for accuracy—only the most esteemed generals and the Emperor himself can own them.

Academically, the Order houses one of the greatest libraries of the world and is closely aligned with the Cult of Verena, the goddess of Knowledge and Justice. Mundane alchemists that still adhere to the notion of the four base elements dismiss the studies of the Golden Wizards, especially the recent notion that the Golden Wizards have identified over 90 unique elements of the mundane world.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 2 April 2016

B is for the Brown Wind (Ghur) and the Shamans of Amber Magic

Of the eight winds of Magick, Ghur, or the Brown Wind, is as wild as the natural world that feeds it. The practitioners are often mistaken for woodsmen, hermits, cunning men, Druids—though the wizards of the Jade College may take issue with that mistake—or even priests of Taal or Rhya.

And of all the colleges, the shamans of Ghur, do not live and study in Altdorf. They are more likely to be found studying in the Reikwald, or Great Forest, that surrounds Altdorf. A shaman's appearance does no favor to aid in approaching one intentionally or by accident by most citizenry of the Empire at large: often covered in fetishes of animal origins, furs, bones and smells of the forest. It is this appearance that will have an Amber Wizard mistaken for outlawed druids of the "Old Faith" or worse, the witches and warlocks of the Hedge, practitioners of wild magic and often called Cunning Men. Add their reclusive, separatist study, these officially sanctioned wizards of the Empire must often prove themselves to the Templars of Sigmar, the Witch Hunters.

The Amber Wizards are fierce defenders of the Empire. In many of the distant outposts of the Emperor, commanders ally with Amber Wizards and understand intimately how to call these powerful shamans for counsel or battle. The shaman's often use their commune with nature to speak to birds for scouting and the hidden animals of the wild to alert armies of enemy movements.


Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 1 April 2016

A is for Asqhy, Pyromantic Thaumaturgy

The practitioners of the Bright Order weave the Red Wind of Magic. In the language of Magick, Asqhy, or more academically, Pyromantic Thaumaturgy, this wind is can be quite destructive.

Bright Wizards master flame, from the candle to conflagration. This fact alone answers the question—if one is even considered—as to the reason these men and women are found on the front lines of battlefields throughout the Empire. Whether wading through ranks of goblins with a flaming sword or conjuring a whirlwind of fire that consumes siege engines, the martial value of these wizards is immediately recognized.

Gregarious and short of temper, Bright Wizards study both magic and combat in their college. The college is magically hidden among the haunted embers and lingering smoke of a fire that burned a large section of Altdorf many years ago. The cause of this fire remains whispered gossip among the citizenry and even the magisters of other the other colleges.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Z is for Zed, an epilogue

An Epilogue for 2016

Five years ago, when James Maliszewski was still blogging regurlarly at Grognardia, I learned about Blogging A to Z. That first year marked the first year that the letter X would be forever some daemon or daemonic lure. I also won the Best of Fans Award from a prominent figure in the WFRP community Magnus Seter, writing under the nom de plumme Adolphus Altdorfer.

I worked with two international conspirators in 2012 where we cross posted to our blogs, sharing each letter. In 2013 I created more than 13 unique persons in the WFRP setting and in 2014 26 taverns, hostels, and dives on the Street of a Hundred Taverns in the city of Altdorf. Last year I borrowed heavily from my friend's characters at the table and their adventures in across great swaths of the Empire in a campaign to save the world.

Each year the comments start heavy, then trickle off. I'm don't follow the A to Z protocol of turning off comment moderation; I use to get far too much spam (a lot has dropped off with turning off trackbacks however).

My topic always gets the occasional comment that makes me wonder about the writer's impression of topic. This year there were a couple that took the magic angle a little to seriously, possibly not reading my primer on exactly what WFRP is and how the topic relates.

Can I do five more years? I think so. Maybe. There's a lot of creativity that goes into each entry. WFRP is a rich and dynamic setting and the my regular play lets me stretch that setting into each entry. However, WFRP is also closely guard IP. Fan work is mostly encouraged, but I could never publish the work as a collection. It can only existing on the blog (though I have collected the entries in the past as PDFs for download in the RSS feeds).

In all, A to Z is a strong creative outlet that focuses me for a month on this oft neglected blog. And for that I will continue in 2017. At the very least so that I can create another daemon's true name and make you cringe at all the apostrophes.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 29 April 2016

Y is for Youth's Bane

From the Lore of Death and Spirits of the Shyish Order of Magick, the spell Youth's Bane is one of the most powerful. Only the most advanced Apprentices can master the spell and then only with reagents of ivy cut from the grave of a deceased Shyish magister and intense concentration. It is not uncommon for Apprentices to still fail.

Youth's Bane, cast in battle or in defense can be the edge in a fight, permanently drawing the strength and fitness from an opponent.. Muscles atrophy and joints can sieze as the target ages years in an instant.

The spell is one that is a favorite of rogue Shyish magisters in assassinations. Continuously aging a victim over short periods of time until either dying a premature death or so weak as unable to defend herself from a more physical death. Such tactics are easily discoverable if recognized (often a possibility in cities, but less likely in remote regions of the Empire). The magister discovered willing to employ the spell in such attacks is one that will, if found out, be likely assassinated by the Order's leadership. Leadership that has no tolerance for such evil acts.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Thursday, 28 April 2016

X is for Xij'tier, Lesser Daemon of Tzeentch

The very Winds of Magick are the stuff of Chaos and change. Tzeentch, the Chaos god of Change, is said to drink from flagons overflowing with liquid magick. Moreover, it told by magisters of all colleges—and certainly put forth by the Witch Hunters as proof of the corruption of all magic users—that Tzeentch curses all magic users that improperly handle the winds in casting, elf or human alike. Mutation Tzeentch's "blessing." But Tzeentch has daemon heralds as well.

His lesser daemon Xij'tier is one such harbinger. An ethereal daemon, Xij'tier seeks change in natural forms for Tzeentch's glory.

Xij'tier typically takes the forms of beasts that have no likeness in the Old World and can only be described as creatures from the Tzeentch's own menagerie of the unusual. He rarely appears without immense tusks that have are carved with everchanging scenes of Tzeentch's basest desires and capped with a color changing metal formed into flesh piercing points.

Xij'tier takes a certain enjoyment in touching the war beasts of Tzeentch's champions in the Old World. The mutations are always terrifying and often quite deadly in the field.

It is said that Xij'tier will stand at the head of a charging warband, man and beast fighting to charge through his ethereal form to be "blessed" with change and mutation in that instant before colliding in battle with the enemy.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

W is for Witchsight

No respected magister of the eight Colleges of Magic uses the term Witchsight, as these same magic users would never consider themselves "witches or warlocks." The term existed long before the Articles of Imperial Magic were codified and it has become a more common term among the superstitious public where the Colleges would prefer the use of Spiritsight or Magical Sense.

Mastering Witchsight is a lifelong task that starts with apprenticeship. It represents the "Seventh Sense" with Intuition and Aethyric Attunement being the "Sixth Sense" and first recognizable ability of any potential magic user.

How Witchsight is honed and mastered and thus appears to a magister is difficult to say, but many describe as looking through novelty glasses, but with an astonishing clarity of the manifestations of the Winds of Magic. Ghyran is said to be like a summer rain, Ulgu as a think fog, literally affecting a bystander passing through this unseen cloud and forgetting why he left the house. Shyish lingers as a dark tendrils in grave yards and around oubliettes. 

Yet these manifestations are invisible to anyone without Witchsight, and more still may manifest themselves to magisters very differently. An Azyr magister might see the past action in place or the future movement of chess piece on a board.

Witchsight is a both a blessing and a curse. The latter the most often considered. It has driven many magisters insane as they age and their mastery of it grows. For as the power to use Witchsight strengthens so does the clarity of the Winds of Magic.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

V is for Vitaellum

Vitaellum is the powerstone of the magisters of Ghyran, the Green Wind of Magic.

Typically appearing as an flawless emerald with an internal light, the stone can also present itself as living branch despite having been separated from the plant. As all powerstones, the Jade magisters create Vitaellum as a reagent to the most powerful spells of their lore, whether martial or peaceable.

The three most powerful spells of Agrological Thaumaturgy are Flesh of Clay, Winter's Frost, and Cure Blight. A hero upon which Flesh of Clay is cast is a formidable foe on the battlefield. His skin turns to harden clay becoming immune to sword and shaft, but himself a weapon wading through enemy lines. 

Winter's Frost can kill or gravely wound a score of men in a single casting. The thick ice chilling to the bone in an instant and turning a charge into a chaotic dance of slips and tumbles.

Cure Blight is as much a ritual as the most powerful spell and tool for the well-being of the Empire. Crops, and even plague, can be cured of a blight or disease by infusing the stricken with the life restoring energies of Ghyran.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 25 April 2016

U is for Ulgu, Cryptoclastic Thaumaturgy

The Grey Order and their Lore of Shadows are the masters of deception and confusion. They are the Shadowmancers and wielders of the Grey Wind of Magic, Ulgu.

Ostensibly, the Grey Order in battle is a force multiplier. Being masters of illusion, Shadowmancers aid generals by confusing a charge, "altering" the size of force on the field: too small, too big, too weak? A force too small can be made to appear large. And yet the Shadowmancers would not consider service to the Emperor even a top priority. 

Shadowmancers darker side is that of a near global network of spies, diplomats, and assassins. The Grey Order is also one of the most disciplined of orders with the strictest enforcement of its ideals and rules with pacification or death not uncommon.

The mastery of the wind makes Shadowmancers spies capable of the deepest assignments and the cleverest of assassins. The Ulgu spells of deception, concealment, and confusion are particularly powerful in the aforementioned roles, and the spells of persuasion make them excellent diplomats.

The Order is rather focused too on rooting out Chaos and the influence of the Ruinous Power throughout the Empire, often quietly assisting the Templars of Sigmar, the Witch Hunters, even when they, as magic users, are not often welcome.

Posted by caffeinated at 9:58 PM in d10

Saturday, 23 April 2016

T is for Thaumaturgy

The origin of the word Thaumaturgy as used and written in the Articles of Imperial Magic in Reikspiel is unknown. Verenan priests and the Gold Order that study the High Elven tomes and instructions believe that it originated near the Black Gulf, the Border Princes, or further south in Araby. It is not an Elven word, but possibly a word known to a scholar whose name has been lost to history. The Elven word perhaps unrecordable.

Whatever the etymology of the word, it could be applied to the magic of wizards or the miracles of the priests of the sanctioned cults. However, it most applied in the academic and hermetic works of the magisters of the Orders of Magic; almost exclusively in practice. The Einsegnung of the priests of the Empire are not of the same source, but channelled through their prayers to the gods.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:08 AM in d10

Friday, 22 April 2016

S is for Shyish, Cessationary Thaumaturgy

The wizards of the Lore of Death and Spirit, members of the Amethyst Order and masters of the Purple Wind, Shyish are most certainly not necromancers. The Articles of Imperial Magic refers to these magisters as wielders of Cessationary Thaumaturgy.

However, make no mistake, the line between Necromancy and the wonders of the Amethyst Order is thin. And make no mistake the patriarch and lords of the Order do not tolerate those that cross that line.

The more common spells, the most powerful looked at using Endstones, are certainly capable of revealing the truth of the afterlife. Deathsight reveals the spirits that walk beside the living, Death's Release can banish the same spirits. Spells may ease passing, delay a death, or speak with the passing soul. It is no wonder that discipline and philosophy are daily concerns in the Order. That Amethyst Wizards know of the afterlife, but that they can touch it, is more than a powerful temptation to master the Wind in ways that reject death and seek to restore or lengthen it. Despite that Necromancy never results in good, as one hopes, it is a practice that invites the destructive influence of Chaos and the Ruinous Powers.

The campus of the Amethyst College in Altdorf is rumored to exist on two planes: for the living and for the dead. Visitors to the grounds will tell you it is abandoned. The campus choked with vines, crumbling buildings, and piles of dead leaves collecting in the crevices and corners of halls and streets or tossed about by a deathly quiet wind. And yet others, invited, will tell you of a busy, if somber, campus. Both will tell of using the same entrance. Whether illusion or more, the "abandoned" campus is known to be used by braver criminals as a meeting place. How tolerant of this use the magisters are is debated.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:02 PM in d10

Thursday, 21 April 2016

R is for Ritual Magic

Ritual Magic is capable of gathering and exerting each Wind in powerful ways. Many rituals are guarded by each order to produce aids, such as Powerstones, or bring the energy of a Wind to bear on the battlefield. 

Ritual magic is used by Dwarves to bind runes to weapons and talismans. Rune Magic, as it is called, can only be used by Dwarves—besides being the only arcane magic the race is capable of mastering—and Elves.

As powerful as it is, ritual magic can be seemingly vain, vindictive, and pure evil. The Body Gilded transforms body parts into impossible, but functioning, organs or limbs. The Dance Without End will exhaust the afflicted to a grave. The Beastly Transmogrification of the Omnipotent TChar will make a beastman of weakminded men, women, and children, turning them into rampaging beasts until the transformation wears off or the beast is killed. Those that survive the ordeal do so only physically. Their minds, already said to be weak, are driven mad by the experience of the murderous rampage they participated in while afflicted.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Q is for Quiet! please

There are few common folk that would disagree: wizards and priests are not a quiet lot.

Wielding the Winds of Magic, even divine miracles of the priests of the recognized cults, means singing, whispering, exclaiming, and other often loud means of vocalization. It is not known if these "verbal" elements of spell casting is a human mnemonic to aid in mastering the necessary mental power or if it's just... necessary.

In battle, the exclamations are particularly recognized over the screams of the dying and the din of sword meeting shield and bone. In passing it seems to be an ever present whisper, song—an attribute making the Hierophants of the Order of Light immediately known—or prayer for a priest.

What is known is gagging or otherwise silencing a wizard or priest is to also rob them of working magick of arcane or divine nature. No wizard or priest is able to wield magic without his or her voice. In defensive Magick, Silence is a powerful spell indeed and as such is taught by all Orders and Cults to any that wish to study to master the spell and prayer.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

P is for The Philosopher's Stone

More commonly called "Goldstones" by the wizards of the Lore of Metal, the Philosopher's Stone is regarded as the first of the power stones mastered by any of the eight orders practiced by humans.

The Philosopher's Stone is created, as all power stones, in a closely guarded ritual that folds the "wind of Magic" upon itself until it coalesces into a physical object of energy. The stone is used as a reagent in almost all alchemical experiments of the Gold Order as well as the reagent to the most powerful spells used by the wizards.

Breach the Unknown it is said impresses upon the caster's mind the very attributes of any natural or manmade object, including objects of magical quality. The Law of Gold suppresses magical properties of objects and the Transmutation of the Unstable Mind is said to cure a subject of insanity; though there are credible accounts that the spell can make worse the afflicted mind if cast incorrectly.

The abilities of the Philosopher's Stone have become so legendary that mundane alchemists have sought to replicate it without magic; an impossible task. But the name is also why Gold wizards rarely use the term "Philosopher's Stone."  A Goldstone is the same thing by another name and the main reason that many mundane seekers think they are different things, tossing aside "gold stone" in frustration of having "true" Philosopher's Stone.


Posted by caffeinated at 12:53 PM in d10

Monday, 18 April 2016

Server Outage

Loooong story short.

I did something stupid about two years ago and it started to haunt me in the background this week. I used to have an email alias (or forwarding email) for job hunting that would just get spam.

I also have a forwarding email for my primary identity on the internet. They were almost the same. I purged a bunch of these forwarding email addresses a couple of years ago and I mistakenly purged my primary. Since I don't get a lot of email on this address I didn't notice! My host was telling me on this email my CC was expired. D'oh. When I dug into troubleshooting the outage, I started wondering: why hasn't my host notified me of my annual payment...in two years?

Straighten it out. On I.R.fucking.C. Not Slack. Fuck Slack.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:58 PM in Bohemian Breakfast

O is for The Ox Stands

The Shamans of the Amber Order, practitioners of the Lore of the Beast and masters of Ghur, are powerful battlefield wizards.

Called by mysterious, often folkloric, methods to the battlefield by generals or governors in distant outposts of the Empire, an Amber shaman can be worth 10 or 20 men by the end of a fight. Facing the terrifying and horrific monsters, giants, and beasts of Chaos, troops may run or freeze in the roar and spittle of a beast twice the size of the strongest soldier.

An Amber wizard casting the Ox Stands can turn this fright into ferocity. Ghur is drawn to the shaman and then explodes in a silent and invisible wave that energizes soldiers that can hear the shouted words of the casting shaman. With the spell, the frozen sword arm swings harder, a soldier's reflexes quicker, and the running coward turns back to fight. In that moment, the spell can strengthen a collapsing line.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 16 April 2016

N is for Nectar of Beauty

The Old World is said by those with Witchsight to be saturated with Magic. Only those that can wield the Winds are capable of enjoying the power, whether for martial or other reasons. 

And while those without magical abilities enjoy a diverse market of draughts, spirits, beers, and ales and many with promises to "cure what ails ya!." These mundane, often unreliable concoctions has given rise to a small market where apprentice, journeyman, and magister wizard alike mix magical "potions."

While much more reliable than "Herzmann's meat juice" these potions tend toward a short shelf life, odd side effects, and present unexpected side "results."

The Nectar of Beauty

The facial scarring of a pox, acne, or military wound diminishes the dowry of a daughter or the vanity of boy and man. Commonly available in cities like Altdorf with large cosmopolitain populations and social climbers, the Nectar of Beauty will heal these scars "almost" completely.

Unfortunately, and rarely spoken about, the scars just reappear else where on the body. Pox scars or poorly sewn battle scars may appear on the back, bottom or chest. While one's visage becomes pleasant in public, privately the embarrassment may be more troublesome to intimacy.

The Nectar of Beauty is also said to cause one to shun any sort of light brighter than a candelabra. At an Altdorf party, it is a faux pas to be caught squinting as it is sign that one has surely imbibed the potion. As the side effect is permanent many socialites insist on low lighting in parlors and ballrooms.

Posted by caffeinated at 2:03 PM in d10

Friday, 15 April 2016

M is for Magick, Lingua praestantia

When the High Elves arrived over three centuries ago to call and assess the humans of the Empire capable of mastering the Winds of Magic, they first had to create and then teach these "primitives" a language capable of drawing the Winds to the casters.

The High Elves speak Eltharin, a language that itself is derived from the very language the High Elves use to master and wield Qhaysh, Anoqeyån. Neither language is one that could be taught in the time allowed the High Elves, so they created a sort of pastiche of Eltharin and Old Riekspiel. The Colleges of Magic, have named this language lingua praestantia, or more simply Magick.

Lingua praestantia, like Eltharin and Anoqeyån before it, has a darker side as well. It is derived from the language of the Dark Tongues used by daemons and dark sorcerers. This is because the High Elves believe Anoqeyån is the closest language left known in the world that was likely spoken by the Old Ones.

Posted by caffeinated at 4:24 PM in d10

Thursday, 14 April 2016

L is for Lumen Stones

The Hierophants of the White Wind, Hysh, will often seek to learn the secret songs of their Order that allows them to bind Magick into the rare Lumen Stone. Like other Power Stones, Lumen Stones store Magick that can be harnessed to cast the most powerful spells of Hysh. Lumen Stones radiate a pure white light and have an appearance of a large, flawless diamond.

The most powerful spells often wielded by the Hierophants include Boon of Hysh, Daemonbane, and Pillar of Radiance. Without a Lumen Stone, these spells are too powerful to be cast by Journeymen of the Order. Magisters and Lords often fail without reagents at hand and intense concentration.

And as all powerful spells, these spells will echo on the Aethyr. Hierophants will know when these spells are cast. The Order expects that these spells to be directly focused on daemons and corruption.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

K is for the Knocks of the Departed

Journeymen Wizards of the Amethyst Order of Shyish, literally the practitioners of the Lore of Death, are known for many spells dealing with passing of living things and even communicating with the dead.

Knocks of the Dead is one such spell that crosses the threshold between life and death. It is said that the spirit of the passed, either compelled by Morr or by the presence of kinship at the casting, knocks on the Gates to Morr's Eternal Garden.

The body of the deceased must be present or an immediate next of kin. The casting is aided by a reagent of the subject's clothing—easy with a body unless naked. The spell allows the wizard to ask a specific question of the spirit that is either numerically expressed or simply "yes" or "no." For example, in the investigation of a murder the wizard may ask the hour after Mittagessen he was stabbed... four knocks. A "yes" answer is one knock, a "no," two knocks.

The spirit may chose not to answer, even lie! (especially if the kin present may have been involved in foul play or was unliked in life). The wizard is only leveraging Shyish and leverages no influence on the spirit.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

J is for Arcane Justice

Magick, until Magus the Pious' foundation of the Imperial Colleges and direct diplomacy with the High Elves, was simply witchcraft.

A display of magic was seen as being in league with forces of Chaos or daemons. Whether a Cunning Man working with the "Hedge," a "Druid," an Elementalist, or just a wise woman, fear ruled. To be branded a user of witchcraft was to be burned at the stake.

The Imperial Colleges changed that view. Mostly, and then only in the largest cities of the Empire. And then still a Journeyman or Magister in far flung parts of the Empire must worry that a display of Magick won't find him or her strapped to a pole in the center of a pyre. And then it may come with complete surprise: accusations are usually whispered and a quiet call for a Witch Hunter of the Templars of Sigmar made. Watchmen or a militia man would never apprehend a wizard directly; it simply is too dangerous. A pistol, arrow, or blunderbus is much safer if a Witch Hunter is not immediately available.

To the public, this is most often witnessed form of Justice. To a member of the Imperial College, violation of the Imperial Laws or transgression or betrayal of the College's own rules, can result in Pacification.

What exactly Pacification is remains unknown; each college has their own version. But it is widely rumored to forcibly remove the ability to manipulate the Winds of Magic. The procedure and the results are widely gossiped about. No Magister wants to be subjected to Pacification. The fear of the process is itself the greatest deterrent and the greatest incentive to remain true to the Emperor and to the College.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 11 April 2016

I is for Inspiration

Editors Note: This is the first of several spells used by magisters of the various Lores this A-to-Z will look at over the next week and beyond.

Inspiration

This spell from the Lore of Light is practiced by masters of the White Wind, Hysh, and is often cast in contemplation of an academic problem or simply to open the mind to aid recall.

The wizard must concentrate both on the problem while singing to focus the White Wind on the problem or question. White Wizards often produce a small book and tear a page from it, seemingly absentmindedly, as a reagent to aid in casting the spell. The reagent is said to burst into light as it flutters to the ground or illuminate the flesh and bones of the wizard's fist as it crushes the crumpled page.

The spell is one of the moderately difficult ones a White Wizard will use, often only mastered by Journeymen. The song is said to last over a minute. It is typically a spell cast in quiet repose after a question or problem is presented in an investigation.

Magisters have said that the answer will simply "appear" in the mind's eye.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 9 April 2016

H is for Hysh, Order of the Wise

Hysh is the White Wind, mastered by the Hierophants of the Order of the Wise.

Of the eight winds of Magick, Hysh is the most difficult wind to master. It is the closest wind to High Magick practiced by the Elves, Qhaysh. Where Dhar and Chaos are darkness, Hysh is light.

The amount of study and the complex rituals Journeyman and Magisters undergo and memorize allows them to bend and bind the wind in some of the most powerful spells available against corruption and darkness. It also makes Hierophants the most philosophical and contemplative of all the Orders.

Apprentices of the order form choirs during training that act as aid to magisters in spellcasting, study of the rituals, and purification of the Order's pristine campus in Altdorf. Some apprentices may never leave the choirs if they cannot master the mental strength necessary to manipulate the wind, instead serve the college and its goals in perpetuity. 

Many of these apprentices come from annual efforts of the Order "adopting" orphans that show any magical ability. The Order is also often the "easiest" to join, accepting those passed over by other Orders. Whether these Apprentices show the discipline to master Hysh or not, the choirs remain singing.

Martially, the Order is highly effective in the exorcism and destruction of daemons. As Hysh is also an aspect of purity, magisters are capable of powerful healing of corruption and mutation.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 8 April 2016

G is for Ghyran, Agrological Thaumaturgy

Ghyran, the Green Wind of Magick, is the source of the magisters of the Empire that practice the Lore of Life, "Soil Magic," or more academically, the practice of Agrological Thaumaturgy by the Jade Wizards.

It is said that Ghyran flows and pools like water after a hard rain and can be seen in all life of the earth. Drawn into the soil and then through the roots of all plant life. It can be seen in the rivers and streams of the Empire as well as flowing across the land following no pattern of nature.

The Jade Wizards and the establishment of their College in Altdorf begins in the call sent by Emperor Magnus the Pious in his fight against Chaos over 300 years ago. The High Elves that taught these first magisters found in the practitioners of the Old Faith, Elementalists of Water and Earth, even the Cunning Men of "the hedge" a population most ready to master Ghyran. The idea of "druid" is often ascribed to a Jade Wizard by many because of the origins and they readily accept it, if not completely correct.

Today, Jade Wizards ensure the healthy crops of the Empire and martially provide for the armies food as well as spells capable of swallowing armies or entangling hordes of beasts with choking vines that spring from the roots of trees and grass. But Jade Wizards also ensure and maintain the hedges of the Empire and leylines that manage the flow of Ghyran for the Empire's farmers.

Jade Wizards are aligned with the Cults of Taal and Rhya, the gods of nature, and the Amber Shamans.

Posted by caffeinated at 12:45 PM in d10

Thursday, 7 April 2016

F is for Fire Rubies

Like the Amethyst Wizards, the Bright Wizards of the Lore of Fire, create power stones called Fire Rubies. Fire Rubies are made in single use forges crafted during a private ritual. The result is a bright stone the lit by burning coals. The stones are hot to hold and can warm a tent in Chaos Wastes in a matter of minutes when openly exposed.

The three most powerful spells of the Lore of Fire—one that many a veteran could testify too—are Aqshy's Aegis, Breathe Fire, and Conflagration of Doom. The amount of skill and study for these (and similar spells of the other Orders) is great, often only possibly by Magisters and Lords of each order. Apprentices aided by a Fire Ruby can wield these spells in battle, in a pinch.

Like the powerful spells of Shyish, these spells also "echo" on the Aethyr. Use of powerful spells are not lightly taken by any Order. Not just because they can be so destructive, but because an error in casting can summon daemons attracted to the wind in use.

In a few days, we will look at the Lore of Light's Lumen Stones and the three most powerful spells of the Order of Light.


Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

E is for Endstones

Every College of Magic has a ritual that manifests its "wind of Magick" into a physical object known as a power stone.

The magisters of the Amethyst College craft Endstones, power stones that typically vary in color, but most are found to appear as highly polished bone or a black so pitch as to seemingly darken a day lit room.

Like all power stones, Endstones are carefully produced under strict adherence of closely guarded ritual, but serve a singular purpose: act as a store of the very energy of Magick used to create it. The Endstone serves as a reagent to spellcasting the most powerful of Shyish's Lore of Death and Spirit.

Whether The Animus Imprisoned, Life's End, or Wind of Death, an Endstone can assure the successful casting. These are not trivial spells to cast and the power required to cast them "echoes" on the Aethyr. These echoes can be felt by other Amethyst Wizards. Because these spells can bind souls or kill instantly, trivial use of them, even without an Endstone, is not tolerated by the Order.

And because an Endstone, like all powerstones, are consumed with the casting, they are rare and expensive.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

D is for Dhar

The nature of magic has two opposites. If the Winds of Magic—and winds is a human notion trying to explain High Elven understanding of the nature of Magick—are a spectrum with Qhaysh on one end representing the Winds in harmony, then Dhar is at the opposite end representing the Winds in discordance.

However, Dhar is an easy "wind" to master and often a shortcut to powerful spell casting. The ease of manipulating Dhar however comes at a great cost. The first is that Dhar must be combined with another wind to be useful outside of Necromancy and Daemonology. And Dhar is fickle. One use may not be like the last use and this often leads to magisters going insane or dropping dead. But there are a rare few that become more attuned to using Dhar. These magisters are known as Black Magisters.

Black Magisters are ostracized from their orders and often are hunted to ground and death by fire. Often, when they are found, Black Magisters have already descended into darker arts as they attempt further master Dhar. 

Use of Dhar is incredibly hard to hide as many magisters are taught from the very beginning to "see" the Winds of Magic. One Golden Wizard might perceive another Golden Wizard use Charmon with Dhar as a darker thread of Magick coalescing in his palm before becoming more powerful lightening bolts capable of striking an enemy dead. Black Magisters have to be very careful in using Dhar because it can be so easily "seen."

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 4 April 2016

C is for Chamon, Alchemical Thaumaturgy

The practitioners of Alchemical Thaumaturgy are the Golden Wizards, masters of the Yellow Wind, Chamon. The apprentices, journeymen, and magisters are part of the wealthiest college of magic and one of the most diverse as well.

The wealth of the Golden Order is not as the common people suspect: crackpot alchemists, handpicked by the elven mages, cracking the code of converting a base metal to gold. While "True Transformation" is still sought and a stated goal of the Golden Order, its application remains impossible. And while the transient transformation of base metals to gold is possible, the act is publicly prosecuted by the Order's leadership because it is fraud.

The Order's wealth is far more mundane in origin: the alchemists of the Order produce potions, dyes, gunpower, refined ore, spirits, and even beer of such quality and quantity that merchants pay the best prices for them, often for a 1% or 2% profit in trading guilds across the Empire. And given the cost and need for reagents in the Order's regular wizardry, the wealth is needed.

The Order's Lore of Metal is both academic and martial. In the battlefields of the Empire against the hordes of Chaos, Golden Wizards transform the armor and weapons of the enemy to lead or rust. Weapons crafted by Golden Wizards are of such quality—and often inscribed with powerful runes and enchanted for accuracy—only the most esteemed generals and the Emperor himself can own them.

Academically, the Order houses one of the greatest libraries of the world and is closely aligned with the Cult of Verena, the goddess of Knowledge and Justice. Mundane alchemists that still adhere to the notion of the four base elements dismiss the studies of the Golden Wizards, especially the recent notion that the Golden Wizards have identified over 90 unique elements of the mundane world.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 2 April 2016

B is for the Brown Wind (Ghur) and the Shamans of Amber Magic

Of the eight winds of Magick, Ghur, or the Brown Wind, is as wild as the natural world that feeds it. The practitioners are often mistaken for woodsmen, hermits, cunning men, Druids—though the wizards of the Jade College may take issue with that mistake—or even priests of Taal or Rhya.

And of all the colleges, the shamans of Ghur, do not live and study in Altdorf. They are more likely to be found studying in the Reikwald, or Great Forest, that surrounds Altdorf. A shaman's appearance does no favor to aid in approaching one intentionally or by accident by most citizenry of the Empire at large: often covered in fetishes of animal origins, furs, bones and smells of the forest. It is this appearance that will have an Amber Wizard mistaken for outlawed druids of the "Old Faith" or worse, the witches and warlocks of the Hedge, practitioners of wild magic and often called Cunning Men. Add their reclusive, separatist study, these officially sanctioned wizards of the Empire must often prove themselves to the Templars of Sigmar, the Witch Hunters.

The Amber Wizards are fierce defenders of the Empire. In many of the distant outposts of the Emperor, commanders ally with Amber Wizards and understand intimately how to call these powerful shamans for counsel or battle. The shaman's often use their commune with nature to speak to birds for scouting and the hidden animals of the wild to alert armies of enemy movements.


Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 1 April 2016

A is for Asqhy, Pyromantic Thaumaturgy

The practitioners of the Bright Order weave the Red Wind of Magic. In the language of Magick, Asqhy, or more academically, Pyromantic Thaumaturgy, this wind is can be quite destructive.

Bright Wizards master flame, from the candle to conflagration. This fact alone answers the question—if one is even considered—as to the reason these men and women are found on the front lines of battlefields throughout the Empire. Whether wading through ranks of goblins with a flaming sword or conjuring a whirlwind of fire that consumes siege engines, the martial value of these wizards is immediately recognized.

Gregarious and short of temper, Bright Wizards study both magic and combat in their college. The college is magically hidden among the haunted embers and lingering smoke of a fire that burned a large section of Altdorf many years ago. The cause of this fire remains whispered gossip among the citizenry and even the magisters of other the other colleges.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Z is for Zed, an epilogue

An Epilogue for 2016

Five years ago, when James Maliszewski was still blogging regurlarly at Grognardia, I learned about Blogging A to Z. That first year marked the first year that the letter X would be forever some daemon or daemonic lure. I also won the Best of Fans Award from a prominent figure in the WFRP community Magnus Seter, writing under the nom de plumme Adolphus Altdorfer.

I worked with two international conspirators in 2012 where we cross posted to our blogs, sharing each letter. In 2013 I created more than 13 unique persons in the WFRP setting and in 2014 26 taverns, hostels, and dives on the Street of a Hundred Taverns in the city of Altdorf. Last year I borrowed heavily from my friend's characters at the table and their adventures in across great swaths of the Empire in a campaign to save the world.

Each year the comments start heavy, then trickle off. I'm don't follow the A to Z protocol of turning off comment moderation; I use to get far too much spam (a lot has dropped off with turning off trackbacks however).

My topic always gets the occasional comment that makes me wonder about the writer's impression of topic. This year there were a couple that took the magic angle a little to seriously, possibly not reading my primer on exactly what WFRP is and how the topic relates.

Can I do five more years? I think so. Maybe. There's a lot of creativity that goes into each entry. WFRP is a rich and dynamic setting and the my regular play lets me stretch that setting into each entry. However, WFRP is also closely guard IP. Fan work is mostly encouraged, but I could never publish the work as a collection. It can only existing on the blog (though I have collected the entries in the past as PDFs for download in the RSS feeds).

In all, A to Z is a strong creative outlet that focuses me for a month on this oft neglected blog. And for that I will continue in 2017. At the very least so that I can create another daemon's true name and make you cringe at all the apostrophes.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 29 April 2016

Y is for Youth's Bane

From the Lore of Death and Spirits of the Shyish Order of Magick, the spell Youth's Bane is one of the most powerful. Only the most advanced Apprentices can master the spell and then only with reagents of ivy cut from the grave of a deceased Shyish magister and intense concentration. It is not uncommon for Apprentices to still fail.

Youth's Bane, cast in battle or in defense can be the edge in a fight, permanently drawing the strength and fitness from an opponent.. Muscles atrophy and joints can sieze as the target ages years in an instant.

The spell is one that is a favorite of rogue Shyish magisters in assassinations. Continuously aging a victim over short periods of time until either dying a premature death or so weak as unable to defend herself from a more physical death. Such tactics are easily discoverable if recognized (often a possibility in cities, but less likely in remote regions of the Empire). The magister discovered willing to employ the spell in such attacks is one that will, if found out, be likely assassinated by the Order's leadership. Leadership that has no tolerance for such evil acts.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Thursday, 28 April 2016

X is for Xij'tier, Lesser Daemon of Tzeentch

The very Winds of Magick are the stuff of Chaos and change. Tzeentch, the Chaos god of Change, is said to drink from flagons overflowing with liquid magick. Moreover, it told by magisters of all colleges—and certainly put forth by the Witch Hunters as proof of the corruption of all magic users—that Tzeentch curses all magic users that improperly handle the winds in casting, elf or human alike. Mutation Tzeentch's "blessing." But Tzeentch has daemon heralds as well.

His lesser daemon Xij'tier is one such harbinger. An ethereal daemon, Xij'tier seeks change in natural forms for Tzeentch's glory.

Xij'tier typically takes the forms of beasts that have no likeness in the Old World and can only be described as creatures from the Tzeentch's own menagerie of the unusual. He rarely appears without immense tusks that have are carved with everchanging scenes of Tzeentch's basest desires and capped with a color changing metal formed into flesh piercing points.

Xij'tier takes a certain enjoyment in touching the war beasts of Tzeentch's champions in the Old World. The mutations are always terrifying and often quite deadly in the field.

It is said that Xij'tier will stand at the head of a charging warband, man and beast fighting to charge through his ethereal form to be "blessed" with change and mutation in that instant before colliding in battle with the enemy.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

W is for Witchsight

No respected magister of the eight Colleges of Magic uses the term Witchsight, as these same magic users would never consider themselves "witches or warlocks." The term existed long before the Articles of Imperial Magic were codified and it has become a more common term among the superstitious public where the Colleges would prefer the use of Spiritsight or Magical Sense.

Mastering Witchsight is a lifelong task that starts with apprenticeship. It represents the "Seventh Sense" with Intuition and Aethyric Attunement being the "Sixth Sense" and first recognizable ability of any potential magic user.

How Witchsight is honed and mastered and thus appears to a magister is difficult to say, but many describe as looking through novelty glasses, but with an astonishing clarity of the manifestations of the Winds of Magic. Ghyran is said to be like a summer rain, Ulgu as a think fog, literally affecting a bystander passing through this unseen cloud and forgetting why he left the house. Shyish lingers as a dark tendrils in grave yards and around oubliettes. 

Yet these manifestations are invisible to anyone without Witchsight, and more still may manifest themselves to magisters very differently. An Azyr magister might see the past action in place or the future movement of chess piece on a board.

Witchsight is a both a blessing and a curse. The latter the most often considered. It has driven many magisters insane as they age and their mastery of it grows. For as the power to use Witchsight strengthens so does the clarity of the Winds of Magic.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

V is for Vitaellum

Vitaellum is the powerstone of the magisters of Ghyran, the Green Wind of Magic.

Typically appearing as an flawless emerald with an internal light, the stone can also present itself as living branch despite having been separated from the plant. As all powerstones, the Jade magisters create Vitaellum as a reagent to the most powerful spells of their lore, whether martial or peaceable.

The three most powerful spells of Agrological Thaumaturgy are Flesh of Clay, Winter's Frost, and Cure Blight. A hero upon which Flesh of Clay is cast is a formidable foe on the battlefield. His skin turns to harden clay becoming immune to sword and shaft, but himself a weapon wading through enemy lines. 

Winter's Frost can kill or gravely wound a score of men in a single casting. The thick ice chilling to the bone in an instant and turning a charge into a chaotic dance of slips and tumbles.

Cure Blight is as much a ritual as the most powerful spell and tool for the well-being of the Empire. Crops, and even plague, can be cured of a blight or disease by infusing the stricken with the life restoring energies of Ghyran.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 25 April 2016

U is for Ulgu, Cryptoclastic Thaumaturgy

The Grey Order and their Lore of Shadows are the masters of deception and confusion. They are the Shadowmancers and wielders of the Grey Wind of Magic, Ulgu.

Ostensibly, the Grey Order in battle is a force multiplier. Being masters of illusion, Shadowmancers aid generals by confusing a charge, "altering" the size of force on the field: too small, too big, too weak? A force too small can be made to appear large. And yet the Shadowmancers would not consider service to the Emperor even a top priority. 

Shadowmancers darker side is that of a near global network of spies, diplomats, and assassins. The Grey Order is also one of the most disciplined of orders with the strictest enforcement of its ideals and rules with pacification or death not uncommon.

The mastery of the wind makes Shadowmancers spies capable of the deepest assignments and the cleverest of assassins. The Ulgu spells of deception, concealment, and confusion are particularly powerful in the aforementioned roles, and the spells of persuasion make them excellent diplomats.

The Order is rather focused too on rooting out Chaos and the influence of the Ruinous Power throughout the Empire, often quietly assisting the Templars of Sigmar, the Witch Hunters, even when they, as magic users, are not often welcome.

Posted by caffeinated at 9:58 PM in d10

Saturday, 23 April 2016

T is for Thaumaturgy

The origin of the word Thaumaturgy as used and written in the Articles of Imperial Magic in Reikspiel is unknown. Verenan priests and the Gold Order that study the High Elven tomes and instructions believe that it originated near the Black Gulf, the Border Princes, or further south in Araby. It is not an Elven word, but possibly a word known to a scholar whose name has been lost to history. The Elven word perhaps unrecordable.

Whatever the etymology of the word, it could be applied to the magic of wizards or the miracles of the priests of the sanctioned cults. However, it most applied in the academic and hermetic works of the magisters of the Orders of Magic; almost exclusively in practice. The Einsegnung of the priests of the Empire are not of the same source, but channelled through their prayers to the gods.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:08 AM in d10

Friday, 22 April 2016

S is for Shyish, Cessationary Thaumaturgy

The wizards of the Lore of Death and Spirit, members of the Amethyst Order and masters of the Purple Wind, Shyish are most certainly not necromancers. The Articles of Imperial Magic refers to these magisters as wielders of Cessationary Thaumaturgy.

However, make no mistake, the line between Necromancy and the wonders of the Amethyst Order is thin. And make no mistake the patriarch and lords of the Order do not tolerate those that cross that line.

The more common spells, the most powerful looked at using Endstones, are certainly capable of revealing the truth of the afterlife. Deathsight reveals the spirits that walk beside the living, Death's Release can banish the same spirits. Spells may ease passing, delay a death, or speak with the passing soul. It is no wonder that discipline and philosophy are daily concerns in the Order. That Amethyst Wizards know of the afterlife, but that they can touch it, is more than a powerful temptation to master the Wind in ways that reject death and seek to restore or lengthen it. Despite that Necromancy never results in good, as one hopes, it is a practice that invites the destructive influence of Chaos and the Ruinous Powers.

The campus of the Amethyst College in Altdorf is rumored to exist on two planes: for the living and for the dead. Visitors to the grounds will tell you it is abandoned. The campus choked with vines, crumbling buildings, and piles of dead leaves collecting in the crevices and corners of halls and streets or tossed about by a deathly quiet wind. And yet others, invited, will tell you of a busy, if somber, campus. Both will tell of using the same entrance. Whether illusion or more, the "abandoned" campus is known to be used by braver criminals as a meeting place. How tolerant of this use the magisters are is debated.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:02 PM in d10

Thursday, 21 April 2016

R is for Ritual Magic

Ritual Magic is capable of gathering and exerting each Wind in powerful ways. Many rituals are guarded by each order to produce aids, such as Powerstones, or bring the energy of a Wind to bear on the battlefield. 

Ritual magic is used by Dwarves to bind runes to weapons and talismans. Rune Magic, as it is called, can only be used by Dwarves—besides being the only arcane magic the race is capable of mastering—and Elves.

As powerful as it is, ritual magic can be seemingly vain, vindictive, and pure evil. The Body Gilded transforms body parts into impossible, but functioning, organs or limbs. The Dance Without End will exhaust the afflicted to a grave. The Beastly Transmogrification of the Omnipotent TChar will make a beastman of weakminded men, women, and children, turning them into rampaging beasts until the transformation wears off or the beast is killed. Those that survive the ordeal do so only physically. Their minds, already said to be weak, are driven mad by the experience of the murderous rampage they participated in while afflicted.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Q is for Quiet! please

There are few common folk that would disagree: wizards and priests are not a quiet lot.

Wielding the Winds of Magic, even divine miracles of the priests of the recognized cults, means singing, whispering, exclaiming, and other often loud means of vocalization. It is not known if these "verbal" elements of spell casting is a human mnemonic to aid in mastering the necessary mental power or if it's just... necessary.

In battle, the exclamations are particularly recognized over the screams of the dying and the din of sword meeting shield and bone. In passing it seems to be an ever present whisper, song—an attribute making the Hierophants of the Order of Light immediately known—or prayer for a priest.

What is known is gagging or otherwise silencing a wizard or priest is to also rob them of working magick of arcane or divine nature. No wizard or priest is able to wield magic without his or her voice. In defensive Magick, Silence is a powerful spell indeed and as such is taught by all Orders and Cults to any that wish to study to master the spell and prayer.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

P is for The Philosopher's Stone

More commonly called "Goldstones" by the wizards of the Lore of Metal, the Philosopher's Stone is regarded as the first of the power stones mastered by any of the eight orders practiced by humans.

The Philosopher's Stone is created, as all power stones, in a closely guarded ritual that folds the "wind of Magic" upon itself until it coalesces into a physical object of energy. The stone is used as a reagent in almost all alchemical experiments of the Gold Order as well as the reagent to the most powerful spells used by the wizards.

Breach the Unknown it is said impresses upon the caster's mind the very attributes of any natural or manmade object, including objects of magical quality. The Law of Gold suppresses magical properties of objects and the Transmutation of the Unstable Mind is said to cure a subject of insanity; though there are credible accounts that the spell can make worse the afflicted mind if cast incorrectly.

The abilities of the Philosopher's Stone have become so legendary that mundane alchemists have sought to replicate it without magic; an impossible task. But the name is also why Gold wizards rarely use the term "Philosopher's Stone."  A Goldstone is the same thing by another name and the main reason that many mundane seekers think they are different things, tossing aside "gold stone" in frustration of having "true" Philosopher's Stone.


Posted by caffeinated at 12:53 PM in d10

Monday, 18 April 2016

Server Outage

Loooong story short.

I did something stupid about two years ago and it started to haunt me in the background this week. I used to have an email alias (or forwarding email) for job hunting that would just get spam.

I also have a forwarding email for my primary identity on the internet. They were almost the same. I purged a bunch of these forwarding email addresses a couple of years ago and I mistakenly purged my primary. Since I don't get a lot of email on this address I didn't notice! My host was telling me on this email my CC was expired. D'oh. When I dug into troubleshooting the outage, I started wondering: why hasn't my host notified me of my annual payment...in two years?

Straighten it out. On I.R.fucking.C. Not Slack. Fuck Slack.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:58 PM in Bohemian Breakfast

O is for The Ox Stands

The Shamans of the Amber Order, practitioners of the Lore of the Beast and masters of Ghur, are powerful battlefield wizards.

Called by mysterious, often folkloric, methods to the battlefield by generals or governors in distant outposts of the Empire, an Amber shaman can be worth 10 or 20 men by the end of a fight. Facing the terrifying and horrific monsters, giants, and beasts of Chaos, troops may run or freeze in the roar and spittle of a beast twice the size of the strongest soldier.

An Amber wizard casting the Ox Stands can turn this fright into ferocity. Ghur is drawn to the shaman and then explodes in a silent and invisible wave that energizes soldiers that can hear the shouted words of the casting shaman. With the spell, the frozen sword arm swings harder, a soldier's reflexes quicker, and the running coward turns back to fight. In that moment, the spell can strengthen a collapsing line.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 16 April 2016

N is for Nectar of Beauty

The Old World is said by those with Witchsight to be saturated with Magic. Only those that can wield the Winds are capable of enjoying the power, whether for martial or other reasons. 

And while those without magical abilities enjoy a diverse market of draughts, spirits, beers, and ales and many with promises to "cure what ails ya!." These mundane, often unreliable concoctions has given rise to a small market where apprentice, journeyman, and magister wizard alike mix magical "potions."

While much more reliable than "Herzmann's meat juice" these potions tend toward a short shelf life, odd side effects, and present unexpected side "results."

The Nectar of Beauty

The facial scarring of a pox, acne, or military wound diminishes the dowry of a daughter or the vanity of boy and man. Commonly available in cities like Altdorf with large cosmopolitain populations and social climbers, the Nectar of Beauty will heal these scars "almost" completely.

Unfortunately, and rarely spoken about, the scars just reappear else where on the body. Pox scars or poorly sewn battle scars may appear on the back, bottom or chest. While one's visage becomes pleasant in public, privately the embarrassment may be more troublesome to intimacy.

The Nectar of Beauty is also said to cause one to shun any sort of light brighter than a candelabra. At an Altdorf party, it is a faux pas to be caught squinting as it is sign that one has surely imbibed the potion. As the side effect is permanent many socialites insist on low lighting in parlors and ballrooms.

Posted by caffeinated at 2:03 PM in d10

Friday, 15 April 2016

M is for Magick, Lingua praestantia

When the High Elves arrived over three centuries ago to call and assess the humans of the Empire capable of mastering the Winds of Magic, they first had to create and then teach these "primitives" a language capable of drawing the Winds to the casters.

The High Elves speak Eltharin, a language that itself is derived from the very language the High Elves use to master and wield Qhaysh, Anoqeyån. Neither language is one that could be taught in the time allowed the High Elves, so they created a sort of pastiche of Eltharin and Old Riekspiel. The Colleges of Magic, have named this language lingua praestantia, or more simply Magick.

Lingua praestantia, like Eltharin and Anoqeyån before it, has a darker side as well. It is derived from the language of the Dark Tongues used by daemons and dark sorcerers. This is because the High Elves believe Anoqeyån is the closest language left known in the world that was likely spoken by the Old Ones.

Posted by caffeinated at 4:24 PM in d10

Thursday, 14 April 2016

L is for Lumen Stones

The Hierophants of the White Wind, Hysh, will often seek to learn the secret songs of their Order that allows them to bind Magick into the rare Lumen Stone. Like other Power Stones, Lumen Stones store Magick that can be harnessed to cast the most powerful spells of Hysh. Lumen Stones radiate a pure white light and have an appearance of a large, flawless diamond.

The most powerful spells often wielded by the Hierophants include Boon of Hysh, Daemonbane, and Pillar of Radiance. Without a Lumen Stone, these spells are too powerful to be cast by Journeymen of the Order. Magisters and Lords often fail without reagents at hand and intense concentration.

And as all powerful spells, these spells will echo on the Aethyr. Hierophants will know when these spells are cast. The Order expects that these spells to be directly focused on daemons and corruption.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

K is for the Knocks of the Departed

Journeymen Wizards of the Amethyst Order of Shyish, literally the practitioners of the Lore of Death, are known for many spells dealing with passing of living things and even communicating with the dead.

Knocks of the Dead is one such spell that crosses the threshold between life and death. It is said that the spirit of the passed, either compelled by Morr or by the presence of kinship at the casting, knocks on the Gates to Morr's Eternal Garden.

The body of the deceased must be present or an immediate next of kin. The casting is aided by a reagent of the subject's clothing—easy with a body unless naked. The spell allows the wizard to ask a specific question of the spirit that is either numerically expressed or simply "yes" or "no." For example, in the investigation of a murder the wizard may ask the hour after Mittagessen he was stabbed... four knocks. A "yes" answer is one knock, a "no," two knocks.

The spirit may chose not to answer, even lie! (especially if the kin present may have been involved in foul play or was unliked in life). The wizard is only leveraging Shyish and leverages no influence on the spirit.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

J is for Arcane Justice

Magick, until Magus the Pious' foundation of the Imperial Colleges and direct diplomacy with the High Elves, was simply witchcraft.

A display of magic was seen as being in league with forces of Chaos or daemons. Whether a Cunning Man working with the "Hedge," a "Druid," an Elementalist, or just a wise woman, fear ruled. To be branded a user of witchcraft was to be burned at the stake.

The Imperial Colleges changed that view. Mostly, and then only in the largest cities of the Empire. And then still a Journeyman or Magister in far flung parts of the Empire must worry that a display of Magick won't find him or her strapped to a pole in the center of a pyre. And then it may come with complete surprise: accusations are usually whispered and a quiet call for a Witch Hunter of the Templars of Sigmar made. Watchmen or a militia man would never apprehend a wizard directly; it simply is too dangerous. A pistol, arrow, or blunderbus is much safer if a Witch Hunter is not immediately available.

To the public, this is most often witnessed form of Justice. To a member of the Imperial College, violation of the Imperial Laws or transgression or betrayal of the College's own rules, can result in Pacification.

What exactly Pacification is remains unknown; each college has their own version. But it is widely rumored to forcibly remove the ability to manipulate the Winds of Magic. The procedure and the results are widely gossiped about. No Magister wants to be subjected to Pacification. The fear of the process is itself the greatest deterrent and the greatest incentive to remain true to the Emperor and to the College.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 11 April 2016

I is for Inspiration

Editors Note: This is the first of several spells used by magisters of the various Lores this A-to-Z will look at over the next week and beyond.

Inspiration

This spell from the Lore of Light is practiced by masters of the White Wind, Hysh, and is often cast in contemplation of an academic problem or simply to open the mind to aid recall.

The wizard must concentrate both on the problem while singing to focus the White Wind on the problem or question. White Wizards often produce a small book and tear a page from it, seemingly absentmindedly, as a reagent to aid in casting the spell. The reagent is said to burst into light as it flutters to the ground or illuminate the flesh and bones of the wizard's fist as it crushes the crumpled page.

The spell is one of the moderately difficult ones a White Wizard will use, often only mastered by Journeymen. The song is said to last over a minute. It is typically a spell cast in quiet repose after a question or problem is presented in an investigation.

Magisters have said that the answer will simply "appear" in the mind's eye.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 9 April 2016

H is for Hysh, Order of the Wise

Hysh is the White Wind, mastered by the Hierophants of the Order of the Wise.

Of the eight winds of Magick, Hysh is the most difficult wind to master. It is the closest wind to High Magick practiced by the Elves, Qhaysh. Where Dhar and Chaos are darkness, Hysh is light.

The amount of study and the complex rituals Journeyman and Magisters undergo and memorize allows them to bend and bind the wind in some of the most powerful spells available against corruption and darkness. It also makes Hierophants the most philosophical and contemplative of all the Orders.

Apprentices of the order form choirs during training that act as aid to magisters in spellcasting, study of the rituals, and purification of the Order's pristine campus in Altdorf. Some apprentices may never leave the choirs if they cannot master the mental strength necessary to manipulate the wind, instead serve the college and its goals in perpetuity. 

Many of these apprentices come from annual efforts of the Order "adopting" orphans that show any magical ability. The Order is also often the "easiest" to join, accepting those passed over by other Orders. Whether these Apprentices show the discipline to master Hysh or not, the choirs remain singing.

Martially, the Order is highly effective in the exorcism and destruction of daemons. As Hysh is also an aspect of purity, magisters are capable of powerful healing of corruption and mutation.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 8 April 2016

G is for Ghyran, Agrological Thaumaturgy

Ghyran, the Green Wind of Magick, is the source of the magisters of the Empire that practice the Lore of Life, "Soil Magic," or more academically, the practice of Agrological Thaumaturgy by the Jade Wizards.

It is said that Ghyran flows and pools like water after a hard rain and can be seen in all life of the earth. Drawn into the soil and then through the roots of all plant life. It can be seen in the rivers and streams of the Empire as well as flowing across the land following no pattern of nature.

The Jade Wizards and the establishment of their College in Altdorf begins in the call sent by Emperor Magnus the Pious in his fight against Chaos over 300 years ago. The High Elves that taught these first magisters found in the practitioners of the Old Faith, Elementalists of Water and Earth, even the Cunning Men of "the hedge" a population most ready to master Ghyran. The idea of "druid" is often ascribed to a Jade Wizard by many because of the origins and they readily accept it, if not completely correct.

Today, Jade Wizards ensure the healthy crops of the Empire and martially provide for the armies food as well as spells capable of swallowing armies or entangling hordes of beasts with choking vines that spring from the roots of trees and grass. But Jade Wizards also ensure and maintain the hedges of the Empire and leylines that manage the flow of Ghyran for the Empire's farmers.

Jade Wizards are aligned with the Cults of Taal and Rhya, the gods of nature, and the Amber Shamans.

Posted by caffeinated at 12:45 PM in d10

Thursday, 7 April 2016

F is for Fire Rubies

Like the Amethyst Wizards, the Bright Wizards of the Lore of Fire, create power stones called Fire Rubies. Fire Rubies are made in single use forges crafted during a private ritual. The result is a bright stone the lit by burning coals. The stones are hot to hold and can warm a tent in Chaos Wastes in a matter of minutes when openly exposed.

The three most powerful spells of the Lore of Fire—one that many a veteran could testify too—are Aqshy's Aegis, Breathe Fire, and Conflagration of Doom. The amount of skill and study for these (and similar spells of the other Orders) is great, often only possibly by Magisters and Lords of each order. Apprentices aided by a Fire Ruby can wield these spells in battle, in a pinch.

Like the powerful spells of Shyish, these spells also "echo" on the Aethyr. Use of powerful spells are not lightly taken by any Order. Not just because they can be so destructive, but because an error in casting can summon daemons attracted to the wind in use.

In a few days, we will look at the Lore of Light's Lumen Stones and the three most powerful spells of the Order of Light.


Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

E is for Endstones

Every College of Magic has a ritual that manifests its "wind of Magick" into a physical object known as a power stone.

The magisters of the Amethyst College craft Endstones, power stones that typically vary in color, but most are found to appear as highly polished bone or a black so pitch as to seemingly darken a day lit room.

Like all power stones, Endstones are carefully produced under strict adherence of closely guarded ritual, but serve a singular purpose: act as a store of the very energy of Magick used to create it. The Endstone serves as a reagent to spellcasting the most powerful of Shyish's Lore of Death and Spirit.

Whether The Animus Imprisoned, Life's End, or Wind of Death, an Endstone can assure the successful casting. These are not trivial spells to cast and the power required to cast them "echoes" on the Aethyr. These echoes can be felt by other Amethyst Wizards. Because these spells can bind souls or kill instantly, trivial use of them, even without an Endstone, is not tolerated by the Order.

And because an Endstone, like all powerstones, are consumed with the casting, they are rare and expensive.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

D is for Dhar

The nature of magic has two opposites. If the Winds of Magic—and winds is a human notion trying to explain High Elven understanding of the nature of Magick—are a spectrum with Qhaysh on one end representing the Winds in harmony, then Dhar is at the opposite end representing the Winds in discordance.

However, Dhar is an easy "wind" to master and often a shortcut to powerful spell casting. The ease of manipulating Dhar however comes at a great cost. The first is that Dhar must be combined with another wind to be useful outside of Necromancy and Daemonology. And Dhar is fickle. One use may not be like the last use and this often leads to magisters going insane or dropping dead. But there are a rare few that become more attuned to using Dhar. These magisters are known as Black Magisters.

Black Magisters are ostracized from their orders and often are hunted to ground and death by fire. Often, when they are found, Black Magisters have already descended into darker arts as they attempt further master Dhar. 

Use of Dhar is incredibly hard to hide as many magisters are taught from the very beginning to "see" the Winds of Magic. One Golden Wizard might perceive another Golden Wizard use Charmon with Dhar as a darker thread of Magick coalescing in his palm before becoming more powerful lightening bolts capable of striking an enemy dead. Black Magisters have to be very careful in using Dhar because it can be so easily "seen."

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 4 April 2016

C is for Chamon, Alchemical Thaumaturgy

The practitioners of Alchemical Thaumaturgy are the Golden Wizards, masters of the Yellow Wind, Chamon. The apprentices, journeymen, and magisters are part of the wealthiest college of magic and one of the most diverse as well.

The wealth of the Golden Order is not as the common people suspect: crackpot alchemists, handpicked by the elven mages, cracking the code of converting a base metal to gold. While "True Transformation" is still sought and a stated goal of the Golden Order, its application remains impossible. And while the transient transformation of base metals to gold is possible, the act is publicly prosecuted by the Order's leadership because it is fraud.

The Order's wealth is far more mundane in origin: the alchemists of the Order produce potions, dyes, gunpower, refined ore, spirits, and even beer of such quality and quantity that merchants pay the best prices for them, often for a 1% or 2% profit in trading guilds across the Empire. And given the cost and need for reagents in the Order's regular wizardry, the wealth is needed.

The Order's Lore of Metal is both academic and martial. In the battlefields of the Empire against the hordes of Chaos, Golden Wizards transform the armor and weapons of the enemy to lead or rust. Weapons crafted by Golden Wizards are of such quality—and often inscribed with powerful runes and enchanted for accuracy—only the most esteemed generals and the Emperor himself can own them.

Academically, the Order houses one of the greatest libraries of the world and is closely aligned with the Cult of Verena, the goddess of Knowledge and Justice. Mundane alchemists that still adhere to the notion of the four base elements dismiss the studies of the Golden Wizards, especially the recent notion that the Golden Wizards have identified over 90 unique elements of the mundane world.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 2 April 2016

B is for the Brown Wind (Ghur) and the Shamans of Amber Magic

Of the eight winds of Magick, Ghur, or the Brown Wind, is as wild as the natural world that feeds it. The practitioners are often mistaken for woodsmen, hermits, cunning men, Druids—though the wizards of the Jade College may take issue with that mistake—or even priests of Taal or Rhya.

And of all the colleges, the shamans of Ghur, do not live and study in Altdorf. They are more likely to be found studying in the Reikwald, or Great Forest, that surrounds Altdorf. A shaman's appearance does no favor to aid in approaching one intentionally or by accident by most citizenry of the Empire at large: often covered in fetishes of animal origins, furs, bones and smells of the forest. It is this appearance that will have an Amber Wizard mistaken for outlawed druids of the "Old Faith" or worse, the witches and warlocks of the Hedge, practitioners of wild magic and often called Cunning Men. Add their reclusive, separatist study, these officially sanctioned wizards of the Empire must often prove themselves to the Templars of Sigmar, the Witch Hunters.

The Amber Wizards are fierce defenders of the Empire. In many of the distant outposts of the Emperor, commanders ally with Amber Wizards and understand intimately how to call these powerful shamans for counsel or battle. The shaman's often use their commune with nature to speak to birds for scouting and the hidden animals of the wild to alert armies of enemy movements.


Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 1 April 2016

A is for Asqhy, Pyromantic Thaumaturgy

The practitioners of the Bright Order weave the Red Wind of Magic. In the language of Magick, Asqhy, or more academically, Pyromantic Thaumaturgy, this wind is can be quite destructive.

Bright Wizards master flame, from the candle to conflagration. This fact alone answers the question—if one is even considered—as to the reason these men and women are found on the front lines of battlefields throughout the Empire. Whether wading through ranks of goblins with a flaming sword or conjuring a whirlwind of fire that consumes siege engines, the martial value of these wizards is immediately recognized.

Gregarious and short of temper, Bright Wizards study both magic and combat in their college. The college is magically hidden among the haunted embers and lingering smoke of a fire that burned a large section of Altdorf many years ago. The cause of this fire remains whispered gossip among the citizenry and even the magisters of other the other colleges.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Z is for Zed, an epilogue

An Epilogue for 2016

Five years ago, when James Maliszewski was still blogging regurlarly at Grognardia, I learned about Blogging A to Z. That first year marked the first year that the letter X would be forever some daemon or daemonic lure. I also won the Best of Fans Award from a prominent figure in the WFRP community Magnus Seter, writing under the nom de plumme Adolphus Altdorfer.

I worked with two international conspirators in 2012 where we cross posted to our blogs, sharing each letter. In 2013 I created more than 13 unique persons in the WFRP setting and in 2014 26 taverns, hostels, and dives on the Street of a Hundred Taverns in the city of Altdorf. Last year I borrowed heavily from my friend's characters at the table and their adventures in across great swaths of the Empire in a campaign to save the world.

Each year the comments start heavy, then trickle off. I'm don't follow the A to Z protocol of turning off comment moderation; I use to get far too much spam (a lot has dropped off with turning off trackbacks however).

My topic always gets the occasional comment that makes me wonder about the writer's impression of topic. This year there were a couple that took the magic angle a little to seriously, possibly not reading my primer on exactly what WFRP is and how the topic relates.

Can I do five more years? I think so. Maybe. There's a lot of creativity that goes into each entry. WFRP is a rich and dynamic setting and the my regular play lets me stretch that setting into each entry. However, WFRP is also closely guard IP. Fan work is mostly encouraged, but I could never publish the work as a collection. It can only existing on the blog (though I have collected the entries in the past as PDFs for download in the RSS feeds).

In all, A to Z is a strong creative outlet that focuses me for a month on this oft neglected blog. And for that I will continue in 2017. At the very least so that I can create another daemon's true name and make you cringe at all the apostrophes.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 29 April 2016

Y is for Youth's Bane

From the Lore of Death and Spirits of the Shyish Order of Magick, the spell Youth's Bane is one of the most powerful. Only the most advanced Apprentices can master the spell and then only with reagents of ivy cut from the grave of a deceased Shyish magister and intense concentration. It is not uncommon for Apprentices to still fail.

Youth's Bane, cast in battle or in defense can be the edge in a fight, permanently drawing the strength and fitness from an opponent.. Muscles atrophy and joints can sieze as the target ages years in an instant.

The spell is one that is a favorite of rogue Shyish magisters in assassinations. Continuously aging a victim over short periods of time until either dying a premature death or so weak as unable to defend herself from a more physical death. Such tactics are easily discoverable if recognized (often a possibility in cities, but less likely in remote regions of the Empire). The magister discovered willing to employ the spell in such attacks is one that will, if found out, be likely assassinated by the Order's leadership. Leadership that has no tolerance for such evil acts.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Thursday, 28 April 2016

X is for Xij'tier, Lesser Daemon of Tzeentch

The very Winds of Magick are the stuff of Chaos and change. Tzeentch, the Chaos god of Change, is said to drink from flagons overflowing with liquid magick. Moreover, it told by magisters of all colleges—and certainly put forth by the Witch Hunters as proof of the corruption of all magic users—that Tzeentch curses all magic users that improperly handle the winds in casting, elf or human alike. Mutation Tzeentch's "blessing." But Tzeentch has daemon heralds as well.

His lesser daemon Xij'tier is one such harbinger. An ethereal daemon, Xij'tier seeks change in natural forms for Tzeentch's glory.

Xij'tier typically takes the forms of beasts that have no likeness in the Old World and can only be described as creatures from the Tzeentch's own menagerie of the unusual. He rarely appears without immense tusks that have are carved with everchanging scenes of Tzeentch's basest desires and capped with a color changing metal formed into flesh piercing points.

Xij'tier takes a certain enjoyment in touching the war beasts of Tzeentch's champions in the Old World. The mutations are always terrifying and often quite deadly in the field.

It is said that Xij'tier will stand at the head of a charging warband, man and beast fighting to charge through his ethereal form to be "blessed" with change and mutation in that instant before colliding in battle with the enemy.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

W is for Witchsight

No respected magister of the eight Colleges of Magic uses the term Witchsight, as these same magic users would never consider themselves "witches or warlocks." The term existed long before the Articles of Imperial Magic were codified and it has become a more common term among the superstitious public where the Colleges would prefer the use of Spiritsight or Magical Sense.

Mastering Witchsight is a lifelong task that starts with apprenticeship. It represents the "Seventh Sense" with Intuition and Aethyric Attunement being the "Sixth Sense" and first recognizable ability of any potential magic user.

How Witchsight is honed and mastered and thus appears to a magister is difficult to say, but many describe as looking through novelty glasses, but with an astonishing clarity of the manifestations of the Winds of Magic. Ghyran is said to be like a summer rain, Ulgu as a think fog, literally affecting a bystander passing through this unseen cloud and forgetting why he left the house. Shyish lingers as a dark tendrils in grave yards and around oubliettes. 

Yet these manifestations are invisible to anyone without Witchsight, and more still may manifest themselves to magisters very differently. An Azyr magister might see the past action in place or the future movement of chess piece on a board.

Witchsight is a both a blessing and a curse. The latter the most often considered. It has driven many magisters insane as they age and their mastery of it grows. For as the power to use Witchsight strengthens so does the clarity of the Winds of Magic.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

V is for Vitaellum

Vitaellum is the powerstone of the magisters of Ghyran, the Green Wind of Magic.

Typically appearing as an flawless emerald with an internal light, the stone can also present itself as living branch despite having been separated from the plant. As all powerstones, the Jade magisters create Vitaellum as a reagent to the most powerful spells of their lore, whether martial or peaceable.

The three most powerful spells of Agrological Thaumaturgy are Flesh of Clay, Winter's Frost, and Cure Blight. A hero upon which Flesh of Clay is cast is a formidable foe on the battlefield. His skin turns to harden clay becoming immune to sword and shaft, but himself a weapon wading through enemy lines. 

Winter's Frost can kill or gravely wound a score of men in a single casting. The thick ice chilling to the bone in an instant and turning a charge into a chaotic dance of slips and tumbles.

Cure Blight is as much a ritual as the most powerful spell and tool for the well-being of the Empire. Crops, and even plague, can be cured of a blight or disease by infusing the stricken with the life restoring energies of Ghyran.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 25 April 2016

U is for Ulgu, Cryptoclastic Thaumaturgy

The Grey Order and their Lore of Shadows are the masters of deception and confusion. They are the Shadowmancers and wielders of the Grey Wind of Magic, Ulgu.

Ostensibly, the Grey Order in battle is a force multiplier. Being masters of illusion, Shadowmancers aid generals by confusing a charge, "altering" the size of force on the field: too small, too big, too weak? A force too small can be made to appear large. And yet the Shadowmancers would not consider service to the Emperor even a top priority. 

Shadowmancers darker side is that of a near global network of spies, diplomats, and assassins. The Grey Order is also one of the most disciplined of orders with the strictest enforcement of its ideals and rules with pacification or death not uncommon.

The mastery of the wind makes Shadowmancers spies capable of the deepest assignments and the cleverest of assassins. The Ulgu spells of deception, concealment, and confusion are particularly powerful in the aforementioned roles, and the spells of persuasion make them excellent diplomats.

The Order is rather focused too on rooting out Chaos and the influence of the Ruinous Power throughout the Empire, often quietly assisting the Templars of Sigmar, the Witch Hunters, even when they, as magic users, are not often welcome.

Posted by caffeinated at 9:58 PM in d10

Saturday, 23 April 2016

T is for Thaumaturgy

The origin of the word Thaumaturgy as used and written in the Articles of Imperial Magic in Reikspiel is unknown. Verenan priests and the Gold Order that study the High Elven tomes and instructions believe that it originated near the Black Gulf, the Border Princes, or further south in Araby. It is not an Elven word, but possibly a word known to a scholar whose name has been lost to history. The Elven word perhaps unrecordable.

Whatever the etymology of the word, it could be applied to the magic of wizards or the miracles of the priests of the sanctioned cults. However, it most applied in the academic and hermetic works of the magisters of the Orders of Magic; almost exclusively in practice. The Einsegnung of the priests of the Empire are not of the same source, but channelled through their prayers to the gods.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:08 AM in d10

Friday, 22 April 2016

S is for Shyish, Cessationary Thaumaturgy

The wizards of the Lore of Death and Spirit, members of the Amethyst Order and masters of the Purple Wind, Shyish are most certainly not necromancers. The Articles of Imperial Magic refers to these magisters as wielders of Cessationary Thaumaturgy.

However, make no mistake, the line between Necromancy and the wonders of the Amethyst Order is thin. And make no mistake the patriarch and lords of the Order do not tolerate those that cross that line.

The more common spells, the most powerful looked at using Endstones, are certainly capable of revealing the truth of the afterlife. Deathsight reveals the spirits that walk beside the living, Death's Release can banish the same spirits. Spells may ease passing, delay a death, or speak with the passing soul. It is no wonder that discipline and philosophy are daily concerns in the Order. That Amethyst Wizards know of the afterlife, but that they can touch it, is more than a powerful temptation to master the Wind in ways that reject death and seek to restore or lengthen it. Despite that Necromancy never results in good, as one hopes, it is a practice that invites the destructive influence of Chaos and the Ruinous Powers.

The campus of the Amethyst College in Altdorf is rumored to exist on two planes: for the living and for the dead. Visitors to the grounds will tell you it is abandoned. The campus choked with vines, crumbling buildings, and piles of dead leaves collecting in the crevices and corners of halls and streets or tossed about by a deathly quiet wind. And yet others, invited, will tell you of a busy, if somber, campus. Both will tell of using the same entrance. Whether illusion or more, the "abandoned" campus is known to be used by braver criminals as a meeting place. How tolerant of this use the magisters are is debated.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:02 PM in d10

Thursday, 21 April 2016

R is for Ritual Magic

Ritual Magic is capable of gathering and exerting each Wind in powerful ways. Many rituals are guarded by each order to produce aids, such as Powerstones, or bring the energy of a Wind to bear on the battlefield. 

Ritual magic is used by Dwarves to bind runes to weapons and talismans. Rune Magic, as it is called, can only be used by Dwarves—besides being the only arcane magic the race is capable of mastering—and Elves.

As powerful as it is, ritual magic can be seemingly vain, vindictive, and pure evil. The Body Gilded transforms body parts into impossible, but functioning, organs or limbs. The Dance Without End will exhaust the afflicted to a grave. The Beastly Transmogrification of the Omnipotent TChar will make a beastman of weakminded men, women, and children, turning them into rampaging beasts until the transformation wears off or the beast is killed. Those that survive the ordeal do so only physically. Their minds, already said to be weak, are driven mad by the experience of the murderous rampage they participated in while afflicted.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Q is for Quiet! please

There are few common folk that would disagree: wizards and priests are not a quiet lot.

Wielding the Winds of Magic, even divine miracles of the priests of the recognized cults, means singing, whispering, exclaiming, and other often loud means of vocalization. It is not known if these "verbal" elements of spell casting is a human mnemonic to aid in mastering the necessary mental power or if it's just... necessary.

In battle, the exclamations are particularly recognized over the screams of the dying and the din of sword meeting shield and bone. In passing it seems to be an ever present whisper, song—an attribute making the Hierophants of the Order of Light immediately known—or prayer for a priest.

What is known is gagging or otherwise silencing a wizard or priest is to also rob them of working magick of arcane or divine nature. No wizard or priest is able to wield magic without his or her voice. In defensive Magick, Silence is a powerful spell indeed and as such is taught by all Orders and Cults to any that wish to study to master the spell and prayer.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

P is for The Philosopher's Stone

More commonly called "Goldstones" by the wizards of the Lore of Metal, the Philosopher's Stone is regarded as the first of the power stones mastered by any of the eight orders practiced by humans.

The Philosopher's Stone is created, as all power stones, in a closely guarded ritual that folds the "wind of Magic" upon itself until it coalesces into a physical object of energy. The stone is used as a reagent in almost all alchemical experiments of the Gold Order as well as the reagent to the most powerful spells used by the wizards.

Breach the Unknown it is said impresses upon the caster's mind the very attributes of any natural or manmade object, including objects of magical quality. The Law of Gold suppresses magical properties of objects and the Transmutation of the Unstable Mind is said to cure a subject of insanity; though there are credible accounts that the spell can make worse the afflicted mind if cast incorrectly.

The abilities of the Philosopher's Stone have become so legendary that mundane alchemists have sought to replicate it without magic; an impossible task. But the name is also why Gold wizards rarely use the term "Philosopher's Stone."  A Goldstone is the same thing by another name and the main reason that many mundane seekers think they are different things, tossing aside "gold stone" in frustration of having "true" Philosopher's Stone.


Posted by caffeinated at 12:53 PM in d10

Monday, 18 April 2016

Server Outage

Loooong story short.

I did something stupid about two years ago and it started to haunt me in the background this week. I used to have an email alias (or forwarding email) for job hunting that would just get spam.

I also have a forwarding email for my primary identity on the internet. They were almost the same. I purged a bunch of these forwarding email addresses a couple of years ago and I mistakenly purged my primary. Since I don't get a lot of email on this address I didn't notice! My host was telling me on this email my CC was expired. D'oh. When I dug into troubleshooting the outage, I started wondering: why hasn't my host notified me of my annual payment...in two years?

Straighten it out. On I.R.fucking.C. Not Slack. Fuck Slack.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:58 PM in Bohemian Breakfast

O is for The Ox Stands

The Shamans of the Amber Order, practitioners of the Lore of the Beast and masters of Ghur, are powerful battlefield wizards.

Called by mysterious, often folkloric, methods to the battlefield by generals or governors in distant outposts of the Empire, an Amber shaman can be worth 10 or 20 men by the end of a fight. Facing the terrifying and horrific monsters, giants, and beasts of Chaos, troops may run or freeze in the roar and spittle of a beast twice the size of the strongest soldier.

An Amber wizard casting the Ox Stands can turn this fright into ferocity. Ghur is drawn to the shaman and then explodes in a silent and invisible wave that energizes soldiers that can hear the shouted words of the casting shaman. With the spell, the frozen sword arm swings harder, a soldier's reflexes quicker, and the running coward turns back to fight. In that moment, the spell can strengthen a collapsing line.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 16 April 2016

N is for Nectar of Beauty

The Old World is said by those with Witchsight to be saturated with Magic. Only those that can wield the Winds are capable of enjoying the power, whether for martial or other reasons. 

And while those without magical abilities enjoy a diverse market of draughts, spirits, beers, and ales and many with promises to "cure what ails ya!." These mundane, often unreliable concoctions has given rise to a small market where apprentice, journeyman, and magister wizard alike mix magical "potions."

While much more reliable than "Herzmann's meat juice" these potions tend toward a short shelf life, odd side effects, and present unexpected side "results."

The Nectar of Beauty

The facial scarring of a pox, acne, or military wound diminishes the dowry of a daughter or the vanity of boy and man. Commonly available in cities like Altdorf with large cosmopolitain populations and social climbers, the Nectar of Beauty will heal these scars "almost" completely.

Unfortunately, and rarely spoken about, the scars just reappear else where on the body. Pox scars or poorly sewn battle scars may appear on the back, bottom or chest. While one's visage becomes pleasant in public, privately the embarrassment may be more troublesome to intimacy.

The Nectar of Beauty is also said to cause one to shun any sort of light brighter than a candelabra. At an Altdorf party, it is a faux pas to be caught squinting as it is sign that one has surely imbibed the potion. As the side effect is permanent many socialites insist on low lighting in parlors and ballrooms.

Posted by caffeinated at 2:03 PM in d10

Friday, 15 April 2016

M is for Magick, Lingua praestantia

When the High Elves arrived over three centuries ago to call and assess the humans of the Empire capable of mastering the Winds of Magic, they first had to create and then teach these "primitives" a language capable of drawing the Winds to the casters.

The High Elves speak Eltharin, a language that itself is derived from the very language the High Elves use to master and wield Qhaysh, Anoqeyån. Neither language is one that could be taught in the time allowed the High Elves, so they created a sort of pastiche of Eltharin and Old Riekspiel. The Colleges of Magic, have named this language lingua praestantia, or more simply Magick.

Lingua praestantia, like Eltharin and Anoqeyån before it, has a darker side as well. It is derived from the language of the Dark Tongues used by daemons and dark sorcerers. This is because the High Elves believe Anoqeyån is the closest language left known in the world that was likely spoken by the Old Ones.

Posted by caffeinated at 4:24 PM in d10

Thursday, 14 April 2016

L is for Lumen Stones

The Hierophants of the White Wind, Hysh, will often seek to learn the secret songs of their Order that allows them to bind Magick into the rare Lumen Stone. Like other Power Stones, Lumen Stones store Magick that can be harnessed to cast the most powerful spells of Hysh. Lumen Stones radiate a pure white light and have an appearance of a large, flawless diamond.

The most powerful spells often wielded by the Hierophants include Boon of Hysh, Daemonbane, and Pillar of Radiance. Without a Lumen Stone, these spells are too powerful to be cast by Journeymen of the Order. Magisters and Lords often fail without reagents at hand and intense concentration.

And as all powerful spells, these spells will echo on the Aethyr. Hierophants will know when these spells are cast. The Order expects that these spells to be directly focused on daemons and corruption.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

K is for the Knocks of the Departed

Journeymen Wizards of the Amethyst Order of Shyish, literally the practitioners of the Lore of Death, are known for many spells dealing with passing of living things and even communicating with the dead.

Knocks of the Dead is one such spell that crosses the threshold between life and death. It is said that the spirit of the passed, either compelled by Morr or by the presence of kinship at the casting, knocks on the Gates to Morr's Eternal Garden.

The body of the deceased must be present or an immediate next of kin. The casting is aided by a reagent of the subject's clothing—easy with a body unless naked. The spell allows the wizard to ask a specific question of the spirit that is either numerically expressed or simply "yes" or "no." For example, in the investigation of a murder the wizard may ask the hour after Mittagessen he was stabbed... four knocks. A "yes" answer is one knock, a "no," two knocks.

The spirit may chose not to answer, even lie! (especially if the kin present may have been involved in foul play or was unliked in life). The wizard is only leveraging Shyish and leverages no influence on the spirit.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

J is for Arcane Justice

Magick, until Magus the Pious' foundation of the Imperial Colleges and direct diplomacy with the High Elves, was simply witchcraft.

A display of magic was seen as being in league with forces of Chaos or daemons. Whether a Cunning Man working with the "Hedge," a "Druid," an Elementalist, or just a wise woman, fear ruled. To be branded a user of witchcraft was to be burned at the stake.

The Imperial Colleges changed that view. Mostly, and then only in the largest cities of the Empire. And then still a Journeyman or Magister in far flung parts of the Empire must worry that a display of Magick won't find him or her strapped to a pole in the center of a pyre. And then it may come with complete surprise: accusations are usually whispered and a quiet call for a Witch Hunter of the Templars of Sigmar made. Watchmen or a militia man would never apprehend a wizard directly; it simply is too dangerous. A pistol, arrow, or blunderbus is much safer if a Witch Hunter is not immediately available.

To the public, this is most often witnessed form of Justice. To a member of the Imperial College, violation of the Imperial Laws or transgression or betrayal of the College's own rules, can result in Pacification.

What exactly Pacification is remains unknown; each college has their own version. But it is widely rumored to forcibly remove the ability to manipulate the Winds of Magic. The procedure and the results are widely gossiped about. No Magister wants to be subjected to Pacification. The fear of the process is itself the greatest deterrent and the greatest incentive to remain true to the Emperor and to the College.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 11 April 2016

I is for Inspiration

Editors Note: This is the first of several spells used by magisters of the various Lores this A-to-Z will look at over the next week and beyond.

Inspiration

This spell from the Lore of Light is practiced by masters of the White Wind, Hysh, and is often cast in contemplation of an academic problem or simply to open the mind to aid recall.

The wizard must concentrate both on the problem while singing to focus the White Wind on the problem or question. White Wizards often produce a small book and tear a page from it, seemingly absentmindedly, as a reagent to aid in casting the spell. The reagent is said to burst into light as it flutters to the ground or illuminate the flesh and bones of the wizard's fist as it crushes the crumpled page.

The spell is one of the moderately difficult ones a White Wizard will use, often only mastered by Journeymen. The song is said to last over a minute. It is typically a spell cast in quiet repose after a question or problem is presented in an investigation.

Magisters have said that the answer will simply "appear" in the mind's eye.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 9 April 2016

H is for Hysh, Order of the Wise

Hysh is the White Wind, mastered by the Hierophants of the Order of the Wise.

Of the eight winds of Magick, Hysh is the most difficult wind to master. It is the closest wind to High Magick practiced by the Elves, Qhaysh. Where Dhar and Chaos are darkness, Hysh is light.

The amount of study and the complex rituals Journeyman and Magisters undergo and memorize allows them to bend and bind the wind in some of the most powerful spells available against corruption and darkness. It also makes Hierophants the most philosophical and contemplative of all the Orders.

Apprentices of the order form choirs during training that act as aid to magisters in spellcasting, study of the rituals, and purification of the Order's pristine campus in Altdorf. Some apprentices may never leave the choirs if they cannot master the mental strength necessary to manipulate the wind, instead serve the college and its goals in perpetuity. 

Many of these apprentices come from annual efforts of the Order "adopting" orphans that show any magical ability. The Order is also often the "easiest" to join, accepting those passed over by other Orders. Whether these Apprentices show the discipline to master Hysh or not, the choirs remain singing.

Martially, the Order is highly effective in the exorcism and destruction of daemons. As Hysh is also an aspect of purity, magisters are capable of powerful healing of corruption and mutation.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 8 April 2016

G is for Ghyran, Agrological Thaumaturgy

Ghyran, the Green Wind of Magick, is the source of the magisters of the Empire that practice the Lore of Life, "Soil Magic," or more academically, the practice of Agrological Thaumaturgy by the Jade Wizards.

It is said that Ghyran flows and pools like water after a hard rain and can be seen in all life of the earth. Drawn into the soil and then through the roots of all plant life. It can be seen in the rivers and streams of the Empire as well as flowing across the land following no pattern of nature.

The Jade Wizards and the establishment of their College in Altdorf begins in the call sent by Emperor Magnus the Pious in his fight against Chaos over 300 years ago. The High Elves that taught these first magisters found in the practitioners of the Old Faith, Elementalists of Water and Earth, even the Cunning Men of "the hedge" a population most ready to master Ghyran. The idea of "druid" is often ascribed to a Jade Wizard by many because of the origins and they readily accept it, if not completely correct.

Today, Jade Wizards ensure the healthy crops of the Empire and martially provide for the armies food as well as spells capable of swallowing armies or entangling hordes of beasts with choking vines that spring from the roots of trees and grass. But Jade Wizards also ensure and maintain the hedges of the Empire and leylines that manage the flow of Ghyran for the Empire's farmers.

Jade Wizards are aligned with the Cults of Taal and Rhya, the gods of nature, and the Amber Shamans.

Posted by caffeinated at 12:45 PM in d10

Thursday, 7 April 2016

F is for Fire Rubies

Like the Amethyst Wizards, the Bright Wizards of the Lore of Fire, create power stones called Fire Rubies. Fire Rubies are made in single use forges crafted during a private ritual. The result is a bright stone the lit by burning coals. The stones are hot to hold and can warm a tent in Chaos Wastes in a matter of minutes when openly exposed.

The three most powerful spells of the Lore of Fire—one that many a veteran could testify too—are Aqshy's Aegis, Breathe Fire, and Conflagration of Doom. The amount of skill and study for these (and similar spells of the other Orders) is great, often only possibly by Magisters and Lords of each order. Apprentices aided by a Fire Ruby can wield these spells in battle, in a pinch.

Like the powerful spells of Shyish, these spells also "echo" on the Aethyr. Use of powerful spells are not lightly taken by any Order. Not just because they can be so destructive, but because an error in casting can summon daemons attracted to the wind in use.

In a few days, we will look at the Lore of Light's Lumen Stones and the three most powerful spells of the Order of Light.


Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

E is for Endstones

Every College of Magic has a ritual that manifests its "wind of Magick" into a physical object known as a power stone.

The magisters of the Amethyst College craft Endstones, power stones that typically vary in color, but most are found to appear as highly polished bone or a black so pitch as to seemingly darken a day lit room.

Like all power stones, Endstones are carefully produced under strict adherence of closely guarded ritual, but serve a singular purpose: act as a store of the very energy of Magick used to create it. The Endstone serves as a reagent to spellcasting the most powerful of Shyish's Lore of Death and Spirit.

Whether The Animus Imprisoned, Life's End, or Wind of Death, an Endstone can assure the successful casting. These are not trivial spells to cast and the power required to cast them "echoes" on the Aethyr. These echoes can be felt by other Amethyst Wizards. Because these spells can bind souls or kill instantly, trivial use of them, even without an Endstone, is not tolerated by the Order.

And because an Endstone, like all powerstones, are consumed with the casting, they are rare and expensive.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

D is for Dhar

The nature of magic has two opposites. If the Winds of Magic—and winds is a human notion trying to explain High Elven understanding of the nature of Magick—are a spectrum with Qhaysh on one end representing the Winds in harmony, then Dhar is at the opposite end representing the Winds in discordance.

However, Dhar is an easy "wind" to master and often a shortcut to powerful spell casting. The ease of manipulating Dhar however comes at a great cost. The first is that Dhar must be combined with another wind to be useful outside of Necromancy and Daemonology. And Dhar is fickle. One use may not be like the last use and this often leads to magisters going insane or dropping dead. But there are a rare few that become more attuned to using Dhar. These magisters are known as Black Magisters.

Black Magisters are ostracized from their orders and often are hunted to ground and death by fire. Often, when they are found, Black Magisters have already descended into darker arts as they attempt further master Dhar. 

Use of Dhar is incredibly hard to hide as many magisters are taught from the very beginning to "see" the Winds of Magic. One Golden Wizard might perceive another Golden Wizard use Charmon with Dhar as a darker thread of Magick coalescing in his palm before becoming more powerful lightening bolts capable of striking an enemy dead. Black Magisters have to be very careful in using Dhar because it can be so easily "seen."

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 4 April 2016

C is for Chamon, Alchemical Thaumaturgy

The practitioners of Alchemical Thaumaturgy are the Golden Wizards, masters of the Yellow Wind, Chamon. The apprentices, journeymen, and magisters are part of the wealthiest college of magic and one of the most diverse as well.

The wealth of the Golden Order is not as the common people suspect: crackpot alchemists, handpicked by the elven mages, cracking the code of converting a base metal to gold. While "True Transformation" is still sought and a stated goal of the Golden Order, its application remains impossible. And while the transient transformation of base metals to gold is possible, the act is publicly prosecuted by the Order's leadership because it is fraud.

The Order's wealth is far more mundane in origin: the alchemists of the Order produce potions, dyes, gunpower, refined ore, spirits, and even beer of such quality and quantity that merchants pay the best prices for them, often for a 1% or 2% profit in trading guilds across the Empire. And given the cost and need for reagents in the Order's regular wizardry, the wealth is needed.

The Order's Lore of Metal is both academic and martial. In the battlefields of the Empire against the hordes of Chaos, Golden Wizards transform the armor and weapons of the enemy to lead or rust. Weapons crafted by Golden Wizards are of such quality—and often inscribed with powerful runes and enchanted for accuracy—only the most esteemed generals and the Emperor himself can own them.

Academically, the Order houses one of the greatest libraries of the world and is closely aligned with the Cult of Verena, the goddess of Knowledge and Justice. Mundane alchemists that still adhere to the notion of the four base elements dismiss the studies of the Golden Wizards, especially the recent notion that the Golden Wizards have identified over 90 unique elements of the mundane world.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 2 April 2016

B is for the Brown Wind (Ghur) and the Shamans of Amber Magic

Of the eight winds of Magick, Ghur, or the Brown Wind, is as wild as the natural world that feeds it. The practitioners are often mistaken for woodsmen, hermits, cunning men, Druids—though the wizards of the Jade College may take issue with that mistake—or even priests of Taal or Rhya.

And of all the colleges, the shamans of Ghur, do not live and study in Altdorf. They are more likely to be found studying in the Reikwald, or Great Forest, that surrounds Altdorf. A shaman's appearance does no favor to aid in approaching one intentionally or by accident by most citizenry of the Empire at large: often covered in fetishes of animal origins, furs, bones and smells of the forest. It is this appearance that will have an Amber Wizard mistaken for outlawed druids of the "Old Faith" or worse, the witches and warlocks of the Hedge, practitioners of wild magic and often called Cunning Men. Add their reclusive, separatist study, these officially sanctioned wizards of the Empire must often prove themselves to the Templars of Sigmar, the Witch Hunters.

The Amber Wizards are fierce defenders of the Empire. In many of the distant outposts of the Emperor, commanders ally with Amber Wizards and understand intimately how to call these powerful shamans for counsel or battle. The shaman's often use their commune with nature to speak to birds for scouting and the hidden animals of the wild to alert armies of enemy movements.


Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 1 April 2016

A is for Asqhy, Pyromantic Thaumaturgy

The practitioners of the Bright Order weave the Red Wind of Magic. In the language of Magick, Asqhy, or more academically, Pyromantic Thaumaturgy, this wind is can be quite destructive.

Bright Wizards master flame, from the candle to conflagration. This fact alone answers the question—if one is even considered—as to the reason these men and women are found on the front lines of battlefields throughout the Empire. Whether wading through ranks of goblins with a flaming sword or conjuring a whirlwind of fire that consumes siege engines, the martial value of these wizards is immediately recognized.

Gregarious and short of temper, Bright Wizards study both magic and combat in their college. The college is magically hidden among the haunted embers and lingering smoke of a fire that burned a large section of Altdorf many years ago. The cause of this fire remains whispered gossip among the citizenry and even the magisters of other the other colleges.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Z is for Zed, an epilogue

An Epilogue for 2016

Five years ago, when James Maliszewski was still blogging regurlarly at Grognardia, I learned about Blogging A to Z. That first year marked the first year that the letter X would be forever some daemon or daemonic lure. I also won the Best of Fans Award from a prominent figure in the WFRP community Magnus Seter, writing under the nom de plumme Adolphus Altdorfer.

I worked with two international conspirators in 2012 where we cross posted to our blogs, sharing each letter. In 2013 I created more than 13 unique persons in the WFRP setting and in 2014 26 taverns, hostels, and dives on the Street of a Hundred Taverns in the city of Altdorf. Last year I borrowed heavily from my friend's characters at the table and their adventures in across great swaths of the Empire in a campaign to save the world.

Each year the comments start heavy, then trickle off. I'm don't follow the A to Z protocol of turning off comment moderation; I use to get far too much spam (a lot has dropped off with turning off trackbacks however).

My topic always gets the occasional comment that makes me wonder about the writer's impression of topic. This year there were a couple that took the magic angle a little to seriously, possibly not reading my primer on exactly what WFRP is and how the topic relates.

Can I do five more years? I think so. Maybe. There's a lot of creativity that goes into each entry. WFRP is a rich and dynamic setting and the my regular play lets me stretch that setting into each entry. However, WFRP is also closely guard IP. Fan work is mostly encouraged, but I could never publish the work as a collection. It can only existing on the blog (though I have collected the entries in the past as PDFs for download in the RSS feeds).

In all, A to Z is a strong creative outlet that focuses me for a month on this oft neglected blog. And for that I will continue in 2017. At the very least so that I can create another daemon's true name and make you cringe at all the apostrophes.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 29 April 2016

Y is for Youth's Bane

From the Lore of Death and Spirits of the Shyish Order of Magick, the spell Youth's Bane is one of the most powerful. Only the most advanced Apprentices can master the spell and then only with reagents of ivy cut from the grave of a deceased Shyish magister and intense concentration. It is not uncommon for Apprentices to still fail.

Youth's Bane, cast in battle or in defense can be the edge in a fight, permanently drawing the strength and fitness from an opponent.. Muscles atrophy and joints can sieze as the target ages years in an instant.

The spell is one that is a favorite of rogue Shyish magisters in assassinations. Continuously aging a victim over short periods of time until either dying a premature death or so weak as unable to defend herself from a more physical death. Such tactics are easily discoverable if recognized (often a possibility in cities, but less likely in remote regions of the Empire). The magister discovered willing to employ the spell in such attacks is one that will, if found out, be likely assassinated by the Order's leadership. Leadership that has no tolerance for such evil acts.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Thursday, 28 April 2016

X is for Xij'tier, Lesser Daemon of Tzeentch

The very Winds of Magick are the stuff of Chaos and change. Tzeentch, the Chaos god of Change, is said to drink from flagons overflowing with liquid magick. Moreover, it told by magisters of all colleges—and certainly put forth by the Witch Hunters as proof of the corruption of all magic users—that Tzeentch curses all magic users that improperly handle the winds in casting, elf or human alike. Mutation Tzeentch's "blessing." But Tzeentch has daemon heralds as well.

His lesser daemon Xij'tier is one such harbinger. An ethereal daemon, Xij'tier seeks change in natural forms for Tzeentch's glory.

Xij'tier typically takes the forms of beasts that have no likeness in the Old World and can only be described as creatures from the Tzeentch's own menagerie of the unusual. He rarely appears without immense tusks that have are carved with everchanging scenes of Tzeentch's basest desires and capped with a color changing metal formed into flesh piercing points.

Xij'tier takes a certain enjoyment in touching the war beasts of Tzeentch's champions in the Old World. The mutations are always terrifying and often quite deadly in the field.

It is said that Xij'tier will stand at the head of a charging warband, man and beast fighting to charge through his ethereal form to be "blessed" with change and mutation in that instant before colliding in battle with the enemy.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

W is for Witchsight

No respected magister of the eight Colleges of Magic uses the term Witchsight, as these same magic users would never consider themselves "witches or warlocks." The term existed long before the Articles of Imperial Magic were codified and it has become a more common term among the superstitious public where the Colleges would prefer the use of Spiritsight or Magical Sense.

Mastering Witchsight is a lifelong task that starts with apprenticeship. It represents the "Seventh Sense" with Intuition and Aethyric Attunement being the "Sixth Sense" and first recognizable ability of any potential magic user.

How Witchsight is honed and mastered and thus appears to a magister is difficult to say, but many describe as looking through novelty glasses, but with an astonishing clarity of the manifestations of the Winds of Magic. Ghyran is said to be like a summer rain, Ulgu as a think fog, literally affecting a bystander passing through this unseen cloud and forgetting why he left the house. Shyish lingers as a dark tendrils in grave yards and around oubliettes. 

Yet these manifestations are invisible to anyone without Witchsight, and more still may manifest themselves to magisters very differently. An Azyr magister might see the past action in place or the future movement of chess piece on a board.

Witchsight is a both a blessing and a curse. The latter the most often considered. It has driven many magisters insane as they age and their mastery of it grows. For as the power to use Witchsight strengthens so does the clarity of the Winds of Magic.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

V is for Vitaellum

Vitaellum is the powerstone of the magisters of Ghyran, the Green Wind of Magic.

Typically appearing as an flawless emerald with an internal light, the stone can also present itself as living branch despite having been separated from the plant. As all powerstones, the Jade magisters create Vitaellum as a reagent to the most powerful spells of their lore, whether martial or peaceable.

The three most powerful spells of Agrological Thaumaturgy are Flesh of Clay, Winter's Frost, and Cure Blight. A hero upon which Flesh of Clay is cast is a formidable foe on the battlefield. His skin turns to harden clay becoming immune to sword and shaft, but himself a weapon wading through enemy lines. 

Winter's Frost can kill or gravely wound a score of men in a single casting. The thick ice chilling to the bone in an instant and turning a charge into a chaotic dance of slips and tumbles.

Cure Blight is as much a ritual as the most powerful spell and tool for the well-being of the Empire. Crops, and even plague, can be cured of a blight or disease by infusing the stricken with the life restoring energies of Ghyran.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 25 April 2016

U is for Ulgu, Cryptoclastic Thaumaturgy

The Grey Order and their Lore of Shadows are the masters of deception and confusion. They are the Shadowmancers and wielders of the Grey Wind of Magic, Ulgu.

Ostensibly, the Grey Order in battle is a force multiplier. Being masters of illusion, Shadowmancers aid generals by confusing a charge, "altering" the size of force on the field: too small, too big, too weak? A force too small can be made to appear large. And yet the Shadowmancers would not consider service to the Emperor even a top priority. 

Shadowmancers darker side is that of a near global network of spies, diplomats, and assassins. The Grey Order is also one of the most disciplined of orders with the strictest enforcement of its ideals and rules with pacification or death not uncommon.

The mastery of the wind makes Shadowmancers spies capable of the deepest assignments and the cleverest of assassins. The Ulgu spells of deception, concealment, and confusion are particularly powerful in the aforementioned roles, and the spells of persuasion make them excellent diplomats.

The Order is rather focused too on rooting out Chaos and the influence of the Ruinous Power throughout the Empire, often quietly assisting the Templars of Sigmar, the Witch Hunters, even when they, as magic users, are not often welcome.

Posted by caffeinated at 9:58 PM in d10

Saturday, 23 April 2016

T is for Thaumaturgy

The origin of the word Thaumaturgy as used and written in the Articles of Imperial Magic in Reikspiel is unknown. Verenan priests and the Gold Order that study the High Elven tomes and instructions believe that it originated near the Black Gulf, the Border Princes, or further south in Araby. It is not an Elven word, but possibly a word known to a scholar whose name has been lost to history. The Elven word perhaps unrecordable.

Whatever the etymology of the word, it could be applied to the magic of wizards or the miracles of the priests of the sanctioned cults. However, it most applied in the academic and hermetic works of the magisters of the Orders of Magic; almost exclusively in practice. The Einsegnung of the priests of the Empire are not of the same source, but channelled through their prayers to the gods.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:08 AM in d10

Friday, 22 April 2016

S is for Shyish, Cessationary Thaumaturgy

The wizards of the Lore of Death and Spirit, members of the Amethyst Order and masters of the Purple Wind, Shyish are most certainly not necromancers. The Articles of Imperial Magic refers to these magisters as wielders of Cessationary Thaumaturgy.

However, make no mistake, the line between Necromancy and the wonders of the Amethyst Order is thin. And make no mistake the patriarch and lords of the Order do not tolerate those that cross that line.

The more common spells, the most powerful looked at using Endstones, are certainly capable of revealing the truth of the afterlife. Deathsight reveals the spirits that walk beside the living, Death's Release can banish the same spirits. Spells may ease passing, delay a death, or speak with the passing soul. It is no wonder that discipline and philosophy are daily concerns in the Order. That Amethyst Wizards know of the afterlife, but that they can touch it, is more than a powerful temptation to master the Wind in ways that reject death and seek to restore or lengthen it. Despite that Necromancy never results in good, as one hopes, it is a practice that invites the destructive influence of Chaos and the Ruinous Powers.

The campus of the Amethyst College in Altdorf is rumored to exist on two planes: for the living and for the dead. Visitors to the grounds will tell you it is abandoned. The campus choked with vines, crumbling buildings, and piles of dead leaves collecting in the crevices and corners of halls and streets or tossed about by a deathly quiet wind. And yet others, invited, will tell you of a busy, if somber, campus. Both will tell of using the same entrance. Whether illusion or more, the "abandoned" campus is known to be used by braver criminals as a meeting place. How tolerant of this use the magisters are is debated.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:02 PM in d10

Thursday, 21 April 2016

R is for Ritual Magic

Ritual Magic is capable of gathering and exerting each Wind in powerful ways. Many rituals are guarded by each order to produce aids, such as Powerstones, or bring the energy of a Wind to bear on the battlefield. 

Ritual magic is used by Dwarves to bind runes to weapons and talismans. Rune Magic, as it is called, can only be used by Dwarves—besides being the only arcane magic the race is capable of mastering—and Elves.

As powerful as it is, ritual magic can be seemingly vain, vindictive, and pure evil. The Body Gilded transforms body parts into impossible, but functioning, organs or limbs. The Dance Without End will exhaust the afflicted to a grave. The Beastly Transmogrification of the Omnipotent TChar will make a beastman of weakminded men, women, and children, turning them into rampaging beasts until the transformation wears off or the beast is killed. Those that survive the ordeal do so only physically. Their minds, already said to be weak, are driven mad by the experience of the murderous rampage they participated in while afflicted.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Q is for Quiet! please

There are few common folk that would disagree: wizards and priests are not a quiet lot.

Wielding the Winds of Magic, even divine miracles of the priests of the recognized cults, means singing, whispering, exclaiming, and other often loud means of vocalization. It is not known if these "verbal" elements of spell casting is a human mnemonic to aid in mastering the necessary mental power or if it's just... necessary.

In battle, the exclamations are particularly recognized over the screams of the dying and the din of sword meeting shield and bone. In passing it seems to be an ever present whisper, song—an attribute making the Hierophants of the Order of Light immediately known—or prayer for a priest.

What is known is gagging or otherwise silencing a wizard or priest is to also rob them of working magick of arcane or divine nature. No wizard or priest is able to wield magic without his or her voice. In defensive Magick, Silence is a powerful spell indeed and as such is taught by all Orders and Cults to any that wish to study to master the spell and prayer.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

P is for The Philosopher's Stone

More commonly called "Goldstones" by the wizards of the Lore of Metal, the Philosopher's Stone is regarded as the first of the power stones mastered by any of the eight orders practiced by humans.

The Philosopher's Stone is created, as all power stones, in a closely guarded ritual that folds the "wind of Magic" upon itself until it coalesces into a physical object of energy. The stone is used as a reagent in almost all alchemical experiments of the Gold Order as well as the reagent to the most powerful spells used by the wizards.

Breach the Unknown it is said impresses upon the caster's mind the very attributes of any natural or manmade object, including objects of magical quality. The Law of Gold suppresses magical properties of objects and the Transmutation of the Unstable Mind is said to cure a subject of insanity; though there are credible accounts that the spell can make worse the afflicted mind if cast incorrectly.

The abilities of the Philosopher's Stone have become so legendary that mundane alchemists have sought to replicate it without magic; an impossible task. But the name is also why Gold wizards rarely use the term "Philosopher's Stone."  A Goldstone is the same thing by another name and the main reason that many mundane seekers think they are different things, tossing aside "gold stone" in frustration of having "true" Philosopher's Stone.


Posted by caffeinated at 12:53 PM in d10

Monday, 18 April 2016

Server Outage

Loooong story short.

I did something stupid about two years ago and it started to haunt me in the background this week. I used to have an email alias (or forwarding email) for job hunting that would just get spam.

I also have a forwarding email for my primary identity on the internet. They were almost the same. I purged a bunch of these forwarding email addresses a couple of years ago and I mistakenly purged my primary. Since I don't get a lot of email on this address I didn't notice! My host was telling me on this email my CC was expired. D'oh. When I dug into troubleshooting the outage, I started wondering: why hasn't my host notified me of my annual payment...in two years?

Straighten it out. On I.R.fucking.C. Not Slack. Fuck Slack.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:58 PM in Bohemian Breakfast

O is for The Ox Stands

The Shamans of the Amber Order, practitioners of the Lore of the Beast and masters of Ghur, are powerful battlefield wizards.

Called by mysterious, often folkloric, methods to the battlefield by generals or governors in distant outposts of the Empire, an Amber shaman can be worth 10 or 20 men by the end of a fight. Facing the terrifying and horrific monsters, giants, and beasts of Chaos, troops may run or freeze in the roar and spittle of a beast twice the size of the strongest soldier.

An Amber wizard casting the Ox Stands can turn this fright into ferocity. Ghur is drawn to the shaman and then explodes in a silent and invisible wave that energizes soldiers that can hear the shouted words of the casting shaman. With the spell, the frozen sword arm swings harder, a soldier's reflexes quicker, and the running coward turns back to fight. In that moment, the spell can strengthen a collapsing line.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 16 April 2016

N is for Nectar of Beauty

The Old World is said by those with Witchsight to be saturated with Magic. Only those that can wield the Winds are capable of enjoying the power, whether for martial or other reasons. 

And while those without magical abilities enjoy a diverse market of draughts, spirits, beers, and ales and many with promises to "cure what ails ya!." These mundane, often unreliable concoctions has given rise to a small market where apprentice, journeyman, and magister wizard alike mix magical "potions."

While much more reliable than "Herzmann's meat juice" these potions tend toward a short shelf life, odd side effects, and present unexpected side "results."

The Nectar of Beauty

The facial scarring of a pox, acne, or military wound diminishes the dowry of a daughter or the vanity of boy and man. Commonly available in cities like Altdorf with large cosmopolitain populations and social climbers, the Nectar of Beauty will heal these scars "almost" completely.

Unfortunately, and rarely spoken about, the scars just reappear else where on the body. Pox scars or poorly sewn battle scars may appear on the back, bottom or chest. While one's visage becomes pleasant in public, privately the embarrassment may be more troublesome to intimacy.

The Nectar of Beauty is also said to cause one to shun any sort of light brighter than a candelabra. At an Altdorf party, it is a faux pas to be caught squinting as it is sign that one has surely imbibed the potion. As the side effect is permanent many socialites insist on low lighting in parlors and ballrooms.

Posted by caffeinated at 2:03 PM in d10

Friday, 15 April 2016

M is for Magick, Lingua praestantia

When the High Elves arrived over three centuries ago to call and assess the humans of the Empire capable of mastering the Winds of Magic, they first had to create and then teach these "primitives" a language capable of drawing the Winds to the casters.

The High Elves speak Eltharin, a language that itself is derived from the very language the High Elves use to master and wield Qhaysh, Anoqeyån. Neither language is one that could be taught in the time allowed the High Elves, so they created a sort of pastiche of Eltharin and Old Riekspiel. The Colleges of Magic, have named this language lingua praestantia, or more simply Magick.

Lingua praestantia, like Eltharin and Anoqeyån before it, has a darker side as well. It is derived from the language of the Dark Tongues used by daemons and dark sorcerers. This is because the High Elves believe Anoqeyån is the closest language left known in the world that was likely spoken by the Old Ones.

Posted by caffeinated at 4:24 PM in d10

Thursday, 14 April 2016

L is for Lumen Stones

The Hierophants of the White Wind, Hysh, will often seek to learn the secret songs of their Order that allows them to bind Magick into the rare Lumen Stone. Like other Power Stones, Lumen Stones store Magick that can be harnessed to cast the most powerful spells of Hysh. Lumen Stones radiate a pure white light and have an appearance of a large, flawless diamond.

The most powerful spells often wielded by the Hierophants include Boon of Hysh, Daemonbane, and Pillar of Radiance. Without a Lumen Stone, these spells are too powerful to be cast by Journeymen of the Order. Magisters and Lords often fail without reagents at hand and intense concentration.

And as all powerful spells, these spells will echo on the Aethyr. Hierophants will know when these spells are cast. The Order expects that these spells to be directly focused on daemons and corruption.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

K is for the Knocks of the Departed

Journeymen Wizards of the Amethyst Order of Shyish, literally the practitioners of the Lore of Death, are known for many spells dealing with passing of living things and even communicating with the dead.

Knocks of the Dead is one such spell that crosses the threshold between life and death. It is said that the spirit of the passed, either compelled by Morr or by the presence of kinship at the casting, knocks on the Gates to Morr's Eternal Garden.

The body of the deceased must be present or an immediate next of kin. The casting is aided by a reagent of the subject's clothing—easy with a body unless naked. The spell allows the wizard to ask a specific question of the spirit that is either numerically expressed or simply "yes" or "no." For example, in the investigation of a murder the wizard may ask the hour after Mittagessen he was stabbed... four knocks. A "yes" answer is one knock, a "no," two knocks.

The spirit may chose not to answer, even lie! (especially if the kin present may have been involved in foul play or was unliked in life). The wizard is only leveraging Shyish and leverages no influence on the spirit.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

J is for Arcane Justice

Magick, until Magus the Pious' foundation of the Imperial Colleges and direct diplomacy with the High Elves, was simply witchcraft.

A display of magic was seen as being in league with forces of Chaos or daemons. Whether a Cunning Man working with the "Hedge," a "Druid," an Elementalist, or just a wise woman, fear ruled. To be branded a user of witchcraft was to be burned at the stake.

The Imperial Colleges changed that view. Mostly, and then only in the largest cities of the Empire. And then still a Journeyman or Magister in far flung parts of the Empire must worry that a display of Magick won't find him or her strapped to a pole in the center of a pyre. And then it may come with complete surprise: accusations are usually whispered and a quiet call for a Witch Hunter of the Templars of Sigmar made. Watchmen or a militia man would never apprehend a wizard directly; it simply is too dangerous. A pistol, arrow, or blunderbus is much safer if a Witch Hunter is not immediately available.

To the public, this is most often witnessed form of Justice. To a member of the Imperial College, violation of the Imperial Laws or transgression or betrayal of the College's own rules, can result in Pacification.

What exactly Pacification is remains unknown; each college has their own version. But it is widely rumored to forcibly remove the ability to manipulate the Winds of Magic. The procedure and the results are widely gossiped about. No Magister wants to be subjected to Pacification. The fear of the process is itself the greatest deterrent and the greatest incentive to remain true to the Emperor and to the College.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 11 April 2016

I is for Inspiration

Editors Note: This is the first of several spells used by magisters of the various Lores this A-to-Z will look at over the next week and beyond.

Inspiration

This spell from the Lore of Light is practiced by masters of the White Wind, Hysh, and is often cast in contemplation of an academic problem or simply to open the mind to aid recall.

The wizard must concentrate both on the problem while singing to focus the White Wind on the problem or question. White Wizards often produce a small book and tear a page from it, seemingly absentmindedly, as a reagent to aid in casting the spell. The reagent is said to burst into light as it flutters to the ground or illuminate the flesh and bones of the wizard's fist as it crushes the crumpled page.

The spell is one of the moderately difficult ones a White Wizard will use, often only mastered by Journeymen. The song is said to last over a minute. It is typically a spell cast in quiet repose after a question or problem is presented in an investigation.

Magisters have said that the answer will simply "appear" in the mind's eye.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 9 April 2016

H is for Hysh, Order of the Wise

Hysh is the White Wind, mastered by the Hierophants of the Order of the Wise.

Of the eight winds of Magick, Hysh is the most difficult wind to master. It is the closest wind to High Magick practiced by the Elves, Qhaysh. Where Dhar and Chaos are darkness, Hysh is light.

The amount of study and the complex rituals Journeyman and Magisters undergo and memorize allows them to bend and bind the wind in some of the most powerful spells available against corruption and darkness. It also makes Hierophants the most philosophical and contemplative of all the Orders.

Apprentices of the order form choirs during training that act as aid to magisters in spellcasting, study of the rituals, and purification of the Order's pristine campus in Altdorf. Some apprentices may never leave the choirs if they cannot master the mental strength necessary to manipulate the wind, instead serve the college and its goals in perpetuity. 

Many of these apprentices come from annual efforts of the Order "adopting" orphans that show any magical ability. The Order is also often the "easiest" to join, accepting those passed over by other Orders. Whether these Apprentices show the discipline to master Hysh or not, the choirs remain singing.

Martially, the Order is highly effective in the exorcism and destruction of daemons. As Hysh is also an aspect of purity, magisters are capable of powerful healing of corruption and mutation.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 8 April 2016

G is for Ghyran, Agrological Thaumaturgy

Ghyran, the Green Wind of Magick, is the source of the magisters of the Empire that practice the Lore of Life, "Soil Magic," or more academically, the practice of Agrological Thaumaturgy by the Jade Wizards.

It is said that Ghyran flows and pools like water after a hard rain and can be seen in all life of the earth. Drawn into the soil and then through the roots of all plant life. It can be seen in the rivers and streams of the Empire as well as flowing across the land following no pattern of nature.

The Jade Wizards and the establishment of their College in Altdorf begins in the call sent by Emperor Magnus the Pious in his fight against Chaos over 300 years ago. The High Elves that taught these first magisters found in the practitioners of the Old Faith, Elementalists of Water and Earth, even the Cunning Men of "the hedge" a population most ready to master Ghyran. The idea of "druid" is often ascribed to a Jade Wizard by many because of the origins and they readily accept it, if not completely correct.

Today, Jade Wizards ensure the healthy crops of the Empire and martially provide for the armies food as well as spells capable of swallowing armies or entangling hordes of beasts with choking vines that spring from the roots of trees and grass. But Jade Wizards also ensure and maintain the hedges of the Empire and leylines that manage the flow of Ghyran for the Empire's farmers.

Jade Wizards are aligned with the Cults of Taal and Rhya, the gods of nature, and the Amber Shamans.

Posted by caffeinated at 12:45 PM in d10

Thursday, 7 April 2016

F is for Fire Rubies

Like the Amethyst Wizards, the Bright Wizards of the Lore of Fire, create power stones called Fire Rubies. Fire Rubies are made in single use forges crafted during a private ritual. The result is a bright stone the lit by burning coals. The stones are hot to hold and can warm a tent in Chaos Wastes in a matter of minutes when openly exposed.

The three most powerful spells of the Lore of Fire—one that many a veteran could testify too—are Aqshy's Aegis, Breathe Fire, and Conflagration of Doom. The amount of skill and study for these (and similar spells of the other Orders) is great, often only possibly by Magisters and Lords of each order. Apprentices aided by a Fire Ruby can wield these spells in battle, in a pinch.

Like the powerful spells of Shyish, these spells also "echo" on the Aethyr. Use of powerful spells are not lightly taken by any Order. Not just because they can be so destructive, but because an error in casting can summon daemons attracted to the wind in use.

In a few days, we will look at the Lore of Light's Lumen Stones and the three most powerful spells of the Order of Light.


Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

E is for Endstones

Every College of Magic has a ritual that manifests its "wind of Magick" into a physical object known as a power stone.

The magisters of the Amethyst College craft Endstones, power stones that typically vary in color, but most are found to appear as highly polished bone or a black so pitch as to seemingly darken a day lit room.

Like all power stones, Endstones are carefully produced under strict adherence of closely guarded ritual, but serve a singular purpose: act as a store of the very energy of Magick used to create it. The Endstone serves as a reagent to spellcasting the most powerful of Shyish's Lore of Death and Spirit.

Whether The Animus Imprisoned, Life's End, or Wind of Death, an Endstone can assure the successful casting. These are not trivial spells to cast and the power required to cast them "echoes" on the Aethyr. These echoes can be felt by other Amethyst Wizards. Because these spells can bind souls or kill instantly, trivial use of them, even without an Endstone, is not tolerated by the Order.

And because an Endstone, like all powerstones, are consumed with the casting, they are rare and expensive.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

D is for Dhar

The nature of magic has two opposites. If the Winds of Magic—and winds is a human notion trying to explain High Elven understanding of the nature of Magick—are a spectrum with Qhaysh on one end representing the Winds in harmony, then Dhar is at the opposite end representing the Winds in discordance.

However, Dhar is an easy "wind" to master and often a shortcut to powerful spell casting. The ease of manipulating Dhar however comes at a great cost. The first is that Dhar must be combined with another wind to be useful outside of Necromancy and Daemonology. And Dhar is fickle. One use may not be like the last use and this often leads to magisters going insane or dropping dead. But there are a rare few that become more attuned to using Dhar. These magisters are known as Black Magisters.

Black Magisters are ostracized from their orders and often are hunted to ground and death by fire. Often, when they are found, Black Magisters have already descended into darker arts as they attempt further master Dhar. 

Use of Dhar is incredibly hard to hide as many magisters are taught from the very beginning to "see" the Winds of Magic. One Golden Wizard might perceive another Golden Wizard use Charmon with Dhar as a darker thread of Magick coalescing in his palm before becoming more powerful lightening bolts capable of striking an enemy dead. Black Magisters have to be very careful in using Dhar because it can be so easily "seen."

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 4 April 2016

C is for Chamon, Alchemical Thaumaturgy

The practitioners of Alchemical Thaumaturgy are the Golden Wizards, masters of the Yellow Wind, Chamon. The apprentices, journeymen, and magisters are part of the wealthiest college of magic and one of the most diverse as well.

The wealth of the Golden Order is not as the common people suspect: crackpot alchemists, handpicked by the elven mages, cracking the code of converting a base metal to gold. While "True Transformation" is still sought and a stated goal of the Golden Order, its application remains impossible. And while the transient transformation of base metals to gold is possible, the act is publicly prosecuted by the Order's leadership because it is fraud.

The Order's wealth is far more mundane in origin: the alchemists of the Order produce potions, dyes, gunpower, refined ore, spirits, and even beer of such quality and quantity that merchants pay the best prices for them, often for a 1% or 2% profit in trading guilds across the Empire. And given the cost and need for reagents in the Order's regular wizardry, the wealth is needed.

The Order's Lore of Metal is both academic and martial. In the battlefields of the Empire against the hordes of Chaos, Golden Wizards transform the armor and weapons of the enemy to lead or rust. Weapons crafted by Golden Wizards are of such quality—and often inscribed with powerful runes and enchanted for accuracy—only the most esteemed generals and the Emperor himself can own them.

Academically, the Order houses one of the greatest libraries of the world and is closely aligned with the Cult of Verena, the goddess of Knowledge and Justice. Mundane alchemists that still adhere to the notion of the four base elements dismiss the studies of the Golden Wizards, especially the recent notion that the Golden Wizards have identified over 90 unique elements of the mundane world.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 2 April 2016

B is for the Brown Wind (Ghur) and the Shamans of Amber Magic

Of the eight winds of Magick, Ghur, or the Brown Wind, is as wild as the natural world that feeds it. The practitioners are often mistaken for woodsmen, hermits, cunning men, Druids—though the wizards of the Jade College may take issue with that mistake—or even priests of Taal or Rhya.

And of all the colleges, the shamans of Ghur, do not live and study in Altdorf. They are more likely to be found studying in the Reikwald, or Great Forest, that surrounds Altdorf. A shaman's appearance does no favor to aid in approaching one intentionally or by accident by most citizenry of the Empire at large: often covered in fetishes of animal origins, furs, bones and smells of the forest. It is this appearance that will have an Amber Wizard mistaken for outlawed druids of the "Old Faith" or worse, the witches and warlocks of the Hedge, practitioners of wild magic and often called Cunning Men. Add their reclusive, separatist study, these officially sanctioned wizards of the Empire must often prove themselves to the Templars of Sigmar, the Witch Hunters.

The Amber Wizards are fierce defenders of the Empire. In many of the distant outposts of the Emperor, commanders ally with Amber Wizards and understand intimately how to call these powerful shamans for counsel or battle. The shaman's often use their commune with nature to speak to birds for scouting and the hidden animals of the wild to alert armies of enemy movements.


Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 1 April 2016

A is for Asqhy, Pyromantic Thaumaturgy

The practitioners of the Bright Order weave the Red Wind of Magic. In the language of Magick, Asqhy, or more academically, Pyromantic Thaumaturgy, this wind is can be quite destructive.

Bright Wizards master flame, from the candle to conflagration. This fact alone answers the question—if one is even considered—as to the reason these men and women are found on the front lines of battlefields throughout the Empire. Whether wading through ranks of goblins with a flaming sword or conjuring a whirlwind of fire that consumes siege engines, the martial value of these wizards is immediately recognized.

Gregarious and short of temper, Bright Wizards study both magic and combat in their college. The college is magically hidden among the haunted embers and lingering smoke of a fire that burned a large section of Altdorf many years ago. The cause of this fire remains whispered gossip among the citizenry and even the magisters of other the other colleges.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Z is for Zed, an epilogue

An Epilogue for 2016

Five years ago, when James Maliszewski was still blogging regurlarly at Grognardia, I learned about Blogging A to Z. That first year marked the first year that the letter X would be forever some daemon or daemonic lure. I also won the Best of Fans Award from a prominent figure in the WFRP community Magnus Seter, writing under the nom de plumme Adolphus Altdorfer.

I worked with two international conspirators in 2012 where we cross posted to our blogs, sharing each letter. In 2013 I created more than 13 unique persons in the WFRP setting and in 2014 26 taverns, hostels, and dives on the Street of a Hundred Taverns in the city of Altdorf. Last year I borrowed heavily from my friend's characters at the table and their adventures in across great swaths of the Empire in a campaign to save the world.

Each year the comments start heavy, then trickle off. I'm don't follow the A to Z protocol of turning off comment moderation; I use to get far too much spam (a lot has dropped off with turning off trackbacks however).

My topic always gets the occasional comment that makes me wonder about the writer's impression of topic. This year there were a couple that took the magic angle a little to seriously, possibly not reading my primer on exactly what WFRP is and how the topic relates.

Can I do five more years? I think so. Maybe. There's a lot of creativity that goes into each entry. WFRP is a rich and dynamic setting and the my regular play lets me stretch that setting into each entry. However, WFRP is also closely guard IP. Fan work is mostly encouraged, but I could never publish the work as a collection. It can only existing on the blog (though I have collected the entries in the past as PDFs for download in the RSS feeds).

In all, A to Z is a strong creative outlet that focuses me for a month on this oft neglected blog. And for that I will continue in 2017. At the very least so that I can create another daemon's true name and make you cringe at all the apostrophes.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 29 April 2016

Y is for Youth's Bane

From the Lore of Death and Spirits of the Shyish Order of Magick, the spell Youth's Bane is one of the most powerful. Only the most advanced Apprentices can master the spell and then only with reagents of ivy cut from the grave of a deceased Shyish magister and intense concentration. It is not uncommon for Apprentices to still fail.

Youth's Bane, cast in battle or in defense can be the edge in a fight, permanently drawing the strength and fitness from an opponent.. Muscles atrophy and joints can sieze as the target ages years in an instant.

The spell is one that is a favorite of rogue Shyish magisters in assassinations. Continuously aging a victim over short periods of time until either dying a premature death or so weak as unable to defend herself from a more physical death. Such tactics are easily discoverable if recognized (often a possibility in cities, but less likely in remote regions of the Empire). The magister discovered willing to employ the spell in such attacks is one that will, if found out, be likely assassinated by the Order's leadership. Leadership that has no tolerance for such evil acts.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Thursday, 28 April 2016

X is for Xij'tier, Lesser Daemon of Tzeentch

The very Winds of Magick are the stuff of Chaos and change. Tzeentch, the Chaos god of Change, is said to drink from flagons overflowing with liquid magick. Moreover, it told by magisters of all colleges—and certainly put forth by the Witch Hunters as proof of the corruption of all magic users—that Tzeentch curses all magic users that improperly handle the winds in casting, elf or human alike. Mutation Tzeentch's "blessing." But Tzeentch has daemon heralds as well.

His lesser daemon Xij'tier is one such harbinger. An ethereal daemon, Xij'tier seeks change in natural forms for Tzeentch's glory.

Xij'tier typically takes the forms of beasts that have no likeness in the Old World and can only be described as creatures from the Tzeentch's own menagerie of the unusual. He rarely appears without immense tusks that have are carved with everchanging scenes of Tzeentch's basest desires and capped with a color changing metal formed into flesh piercing points.

Xij'tier takes a certain enjoyment in touching the war beasts of Tzeentch's champions in the Old World. The mutations are always terrifying and often quite deadly in the field.

It is said that Xij'tier will stand at the head of a charging warband, man and beast fighting to charge through his ethereal form to be "blessed" with change and mutation in that instant before colliding in battle with the enemy.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

W is for Witchsight

No respected magister of the eight Colleges of Magic uses the term Witchsight, as these same magic users would never consider themselves "witches or warlocks." The term existed long before the Articles of Imperial Magic were codified and it has become a more common term among the superstitious public where the Colleges would prefer the use of Spiritsight or Magical Sense.

Mastering Witchsight is a lifelong task that starts with apprenticeship. It represents the "Seventh Sense" with Intuition and Aethyric Attunement being the "Sixth Sense" and first recognizable ability of any potential magic user.

How Witchsight is honed and mastered and thus appears to a magister is difficult to say, but many describe as looking through novelty glasses, but with an astonishing clarity of the manifestations of the Winds of Magic. Ghyran is said to be like a summer rain, Ulgu as a think fog, literally affecting a bystander passing through this unseen cloud and forgetting why he left the house. Shyish lingers as a dark tendrils in grave yards and around oubliettes. 

Yet these manifestations are invisible to anyone without Witchsight, and more still may manifest themselves to magisters very differently. An Azyr magister might see the past action in place or the future movement of chess piece on a board.

Witchsight is a both a blessing and a curse. The latter the most often considered. It has driven many magisters insane as they age and their mastery of it grows. For as the power to use Witchsight strengthens so does the clarity of the Winds of Magic.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

V is for Vitaellum

Vitaellum is the powerstone of the magisters of Ghyran, the Green Wind of Magic.

Typically appearing as an flawless emerald with an internal light, the stone can also present itself as living branch despite having been separated from the plant. As all powerstones, the Jade magisters create Vitaellum as a reagent to the most powerful spells of their lore, whether martial or peaceable.

The three most powerful spells of Agrological Thaumaturgy are Flesh of Clay, Winter's Frost, and Cure Blight. A hero upon which Flesh of Clay is cast is a formidable foe on the battlefield. His skin turns to harden clay becoming immune to sword and shaft, but himself a weapon wading through enemy lines. 

Winter's Frost can kill or gravely wound a score of men in a single casting. The thick ice chilling to the bone in an instant and turning a charge into a chaotic dance of slips and tumbles.

Cure Blight is as much a ritual as the most powerful spell and tool for the well-being of the Empire. Crops, and even plague, can be cured of a blight or disease by infusing the stricken with the life restoring energies of Ghyran.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 25 April 2016

U is for Ulgu, Cryptoclastic Thaumaturgy

The Grey Order and their Lore of Shadows are the masters of deception and confusion. They are the Shadowmancers and wielders of the Grey Wind of Magic, Ulgu.

Ostensibly, the Grey Order in battle is a force multiplier. Being masters of illusion, Shadowmancers aid generals by confusing a charge, "altering" the size of force on the field: too small, too big, too weak? A force too small can be made to appear large. And yet the Shadowmancers would not consider service to the Emperor even a top priority. 

Shadowmancers darker side is that of a near global network of spies, diplomats, and assassins. The Grey Order is also one of the most disciplined of orders with the strictest enforcement of its ideals and rules with pacification or death not uncommon.

The mastery of the wind makes Shadowmancers spies capable of the deepest assignments and the cleverest of assassins. The Ulgu spells of deception, concealment, and confusion are particularly powerful in the aforementioned roles, and the spells of persuasion make them excellent diplomats.

The Order is rather focused too on rooting out Chaos and the influence of the Ruinous Power throughout the Empire, often quietly assisting the Templars of Sigmar, the Witch Hunters, even when they, as magic users, are not often welcome.

Posted by caffeinated at 9:58 PM in d10

Saturday, 23 April 2016

T is for Thaumaturgy

The origin of the word Thaumaturgy as used and written in the Articles of Imperial Magic in Reikspiel is unknown. Verenan priests and the Gold Order that study the High Elven tomes and instructions believe that it originated near the Black Gulf, the Border Princes, or further south in Araby. It is not an Elven word, but possibly a word known to a scholar whose name has been lost to history. The Elven word perhaps unrecordable.

Whatever the etymology of the word, it could be applied to the magic of wizards or the miracles of the priests of the sanctioned cults. However, it most applied in the academic and hermetic works of the magisters of the Orders of Magic; almost exclusively in practice. The Einsegnung of the priests of the Empire are not of the same source, but channelled through their prayers to the gods.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:08 AM in d10

Friday, 22 April 2016

S is for Shyish, Cessationary Thaumaturgy

The wizards of the Lore of Death and Spirit, members of the Amethyst Order and masters of the Purple Wind, Shyish are most certainly not necromancers. The Articles of Imperial Magic refers to these magisters as wielders of Cessationary Thaumaturgy.

However, make no mistake, the line between Necromancy and the wonders of the Amethyst Order is thin. And make no mistake the patriarch and lords of the Order do not tolerate those that cross that line.

The more common spells, the most powerful looked at using Endstones, are certainly capable of revealing the truth of the afterlife. Deathsight reveals the spirits that walk beside the living, Death's Release can banish the same spirits. Spells may ease passing, delay a death, or speak with the passing soul. It is no wonder that discipline and philosophy are daily concerns in the Order. That Amethyst Wizards know of the afterlife, but that they can touch it, is more than a powerful temptation to master the Wind in ways that reject death and seek to restore or lengthen it. Despite that Necromancy never results in good, as one hopes, it is a practice that invites the destructive influence of Chaos and the Ruinous Powers.

The campus of the Amethyst College in Altdorf is rumored to exist on two planes: for the living and for the dead. Visitors to the grounds will tell you it is abandoned. The campus choked with vines, crumbling buildings, and piles of dead leaves collecting in the crevices and corners of halls and streets or tossed about by a deathly quiet wind. And yet others, invited, will tell you of a busy, if somber, campus. Both will tell of using the same entrance. Whether illusion or more, the "abandoned" campus is known to be used by braver criminals as a meeting place. How tolerant of this use the magisters are is debated.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:02 PM in d10

Thursday, 21 April 2016

R is for Ritual Magic

Ritual Magic is capable of gathering and exerting each Wind in powerful ways. Many rituals are guarded by each order to produce aids, such as Powerstones, or bring the energy of a Wind to bear on the battlefield. 

Ritual magic is used by Dwarves to bind runes to weapons and talismans. Rune Magic, as it is called, can only be used by Dwarves—besides being the only arcane magic the race is capable of mastering—and Elves.

As powerful as it is, ritual magic can be seemingly vain, vindictive, and pure evil. The Body Gilded transforms body parts into impossible, but functioning, organs or limbs. The Dance Without End will exhaust the afflicted to a grave. The Beastly Transmogrification of the Omnipotent TChar will make a beastman of weakminded men, women, and children, turning them into rampaging beasts until the transformation wears off or the beast is killed. Those that survive the ordeal do so only physically. Their minds, already said to be weak, are driven mad by the experience of the murderous rampage they participated in while afflicted.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Q is for Quiet! please

There are few common folk that would disagree: wizards and priests are not a quiet lot.

Wielding the Winds of Magic, even divine miracles of the priests of the recognized cults, means singing, whispering, exclaiming, and other often loud means of vocalization. It is not known if these "verbal" elements of spell casting is a human mnemonic to aid in mastering the necessary mental power or if it's just... necessary.

In battle, the exclamations are particularly recognized over the screams of the dying and the din of sword meeting shield and bone. In passing it seems to be an ever present whisper, song—an attribute making the Hierophants of the Order of Light immediately known—or prayer for a priest.

What is known is gagging or otherwise silencing a wizard or priest is to also rob them of working magick of arcane or divine nature. No wizard or priest is able to wield magic without his or her voice. In defensive Magick, Silence is a powerful spell indeed and as such is taught by all Orders and Cults to any that wish to study to master the spell and prayer.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

P is for The Philosopher's Stone

More commonly called "Goldstones" by the wizards of the Lore of Metal, the Philosopher's Stone is regarded as the first of the power stones mastered by any of the eight orders practiced by humans.

The Philosopher's Stone is created, as all power stones, in a closely guarded ritual that folds the "wind of Magic" upon itself until it coalesces into a physical object of energy. The stone is used as a reagent in almost all alchemical experiments of the Gold Order as well as the reagent to the most powerful spells used by the wizards.

Breach the Unknown it is said impresses upon the caster's mind the very attributes of any natural or manmade object, including objects of magical quality. The Law of Gold suppresses magical properties of objects and the Transmutation of the Unstable Mind is said to cure a subject of insanity; though there are credible accounts that the spell can make worse the afflicted mind if cast incorrectly.

The abilities of the Philosopher's Stone have become so legendary that mundane alchemists have sought to replicate it without magic; an impossible task. But the name is also why Gold wizards rarely use the term "Philosopher's Stone."  A Goldstone is the same thing by another name and the main reason that many mundane seekers think they are different things, tossing aside "gold stone" in frustration of having "true" Philosopher's Stone.


Posted by caffeinated at 12:53 PM in d10

Monday, 18 April 2016

Server Outage

Loooong story short.

I did something stupid about two years ago and it started to haunt me in the background this week. I used to have an email alias (or forwarding email) for job hunting that would just get spam.

I also have a forwarding email for my primary identity on the internet. They were almost the same. I purged a bunch of these forwarding email addresses a couple of years ago and I mistakenly purged my primary. Since I don't get a lot of email on this address I didn't notice! My host was telling me on this email my CC was expired. D'oh. When I dug into troubleshooting the outage, I started wondering: why hasn't my host notified me of my annual payment...in two years?

Straighten it out. On I.R.fucking.C. Not Slack. Fuck Slack.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:58 PM in Bohemian Breakfast

O is for The Ox Stands

The Shamans of the Amber Order, practitioners of the Lore of the Beast and masters of Ghur, are powerful battlefield wizards.

Called by mysterious, often folkloric, methods to the battlefield by generals or governors in distant outposts of the Empire, an Amber shaman can be worth 10 or 20 men by the end of a fight. Facing the terrifying and horrific monsters, giants, and beasts of Chaos, troops may run or freeze in the roar and spittle of a beast twice the size of the strongest soldier.

An Amber wizard casting the Ox Stands can turn this fright into ferocity. Ghur is drawn to the shaman and then explodes in a silent and invisible wave that energizes soldiers that can hear the shouted words of the casting shaman. With the spell, the frozen sword arm swings harder, a soldier's reflexes quicker, and the running coward turns back to fight. In that moment, the spell can strengthen a collapsing line.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 16 April 2016

N is for Nectar of Beauty

The Old World is said by those with Witchsight to be saturated with Magic. Only those that can wield the Winds are capable of enjoying the power, whether for martial or other reasons. 

And while those without magical abilities enjoy a diverse market of draughts, spirits, beers, and ales and many with promises to "cure what ails ya!." These mundane, often unreliable concoctions has given rise to a small market where apprentice, journeyman, and magister wizard alike mix magical "potions."

While much more reliable than "Herzmann's meat juice" these potions tend toward a short shelf life, odd side effects, and present unexpected side "results."

The Nectar of Beauty

The facial scarring of a pox, acne, or military wound diminishes the dowry of a daughter or the vanity of boy and man. Commonly available in cities like Altdorf with large cosmopolitain populations and social climbers, the Nectar of Beauty will heal these scars "almost" completely.

Unfortunately, and rarely spoken about, the scars just reappear else where on the body. Pox scars or poorly sewn battle scars may appear on the back, bottom or chest. While one's visage becomes pleasant in public, privately the embarrassment may be more troublesome to intimacy.

The Nectar of Beauty is also said to cause one to shun any sort of light brighter than a candelabra. At an Altdorf party, it is a faux pas to be caught squinting as it is sign that one has surely imbibed the potion. As the side effect is permanent many socialites insist on low lighting in parlors and ballrooms.

Posted by caffeinated at 2:03 PM in d10

Friday, 15 April 2016

M is for Magick, Lingua praestantia

When the High Elves arrived over three centuries ago to call and assess the humans of the Empire capable of mastering the Winds of Magic, they first had to create and then teach these "primitives" a language capable of drawing the Winds to the casters.

The High Elves speak Eltharin, a language that itself is derived from the very language the High Elves use to master and wield Qhaysh, Anoqeyån. Neither language is one that could be taught in the time allowed the High Elves, so they created a sort of pastiche of Eltharin and Old Riekspiel. The Colleges of Magic, have named this language lingua praestantia, or more simply Magick.

Lingua praestantia, like Eltharin and Anoqeyån before it, has a darker side as well. It is derived from the language of the Dark Tongues used by daemons and dark sorcerers. This is because the High Elves believe Anoqeyån is the closest language left known in the world that was likely spoken by the Old Ones.

Posted by caffeinated at 4:24 PM in d10

Thursday, 14 April 2016

L is for Lumen Stones

The Hierophants of the White Wind, Hysh, will often seek to learn the secret songs of their Order that allows them to bind Magick into the rare Lumen Stone. Like other Power Stones, Lumen Stones store Magick that can be harnessed to cast the most powerful spells of Hysh. Lumen Stones radiate a pure white light and have an appearance of a large, flawless diamond.

The most powerful spells often wielded by the Hierophants include Boon of Hysh, Daemonbane, and Pillar of Radiance. Without a Lumen Stone, these spells are too powerful to be cast by Journeymen of the Order. Magisters and Lords often fail without reagents at hand and intense concentration.

And as all powerful spells, these spells will echo on the Aethyr. Hierophants will know when these spells are cast. The Order expects that these spells to be directly focused on daemons and corruption.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

K is for the Knocks of the Departed

Journeymen Wizards of the Amethyst Order of Shyish, literally the practitioners of the Lore of Death, are known for many spells dealing with passing of living things and even communicating with the dead.

Knocks of the Dead is one such spell that crosses the threshold between life and death. It is said that the spirit of the passed, either compelled by Morr or by the presence of kinship at the casting, knocks on the Gates to Morr's Eternal Garden.

The body of the deceased must be present or an immediate next of kin. The casting is aided by a reagent of the subject's clothing—easy with a body unless naked. The spell allows the wizard to ask a specific question of the spirit that is either numerically expressed or simply "yes" or "no." For example, in the investigation of a murder the wizard may ask the hour after Mittagessen he was stabbed... four knocks. A "yes" answer is one knock, a "no," two knocks.

The spirit may chose not to answer, even lie! (especially if the kin present may have been involved in foul play or was unliked in life). The wizard is only leveraging Shyish and leverages no influence on the spirit.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

J is for Arcane Justice

Magick, until Magus the Pious' foundation of the Imperial Colleges and direct diplomacy with the High Elves, was simply witchcraft.

A display of magic was seen as being in league with forces of Chaos or daemons. Whether a Cunning Man working with the "Hedge," a "Druid," an Elementalist, or just a wise woman, fear ruled. To be branded a user of witchcraft was to be burned at the stake.

The Imperial Colleges changed that view. Mostly, and then only in the largest cities of the Empire. And then still a Journeyman or Magister in far flung parts of the Empire must worry that a display of Magick won't find him or her strapped to a pole in the center of a pyre. And then it may come with complete surprise: accusations are usually whispered and a quiet call for a Witch Hunter of the Templars of Sigmar made. Watchmen or a militia man would never apprehend a wizard directly; it simply is too dangerous. A pistol, arrow, or blunderbus is much safer if a Witch Hunter is not immediately available.

To the public, this is most often witnessed form of Justice. To a member of the Imperial College, violation of the Imperial Laws or transgression or betrayal of the College's own rules, can result in Pacification.

What exactly Pacification is remains unknown; each college has their own version. But it is widely rumored to forcibly remove the ability to manipulate the Winds of Magic. The procedure and the results are widely gossiped about. No Magister wants to be subjected to Pacification. The fear of the process is itself the greatest deterrent and the greatest incentive to remain true to the Emperor and to the College.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 11 April 2016

I is for Inspiration

Editors Note: This is the first of several spells used by magisters of the various Lores this A-to-Z will look at over the next week and beyond.

Inspiration

This spell from the Lore of Light is practiced by masters of the White Wind, Hysh, and is often cast in contemplation of an academic problem or simply to open the mind to aid recall.

The wizard must concentrate both on the problem while singing to focus the White Wind on the problem or question. White Wizards often produce a small book and tear a page from it, seemingly absentmindedly, as a reagent to aid in casting the spell. The reagent is said to burst into light as it flutters to the ground or illuminate the flesh and bones of the wizard's fist as it crushes the crumpled page.

The spell is one of the moderately difficult ones a White Wizard will use, often only mastered by Journeymen. The song is said to last over a minute. It is typically a spell cast in quiet repose after a question or problem is presented in an investigation.

Magisters have said that the answer will simply "appear" in the mind's eye.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 9 April 2016

H is for Hysh, Order of the Wise

Hysh is the White Wind, mastered by the Hierophants of the Order of the Wise.

Of the eight winds of Magick, Hysh is the most difficult wind to master. It is the closest wind to High Magick practiced by the Elves, Qhaysh. Where Dhar and Chaos are darkness, Hysh is light.

The amount of study and the complex rituals Journeyman and Magisters undergo and memorize allows them to bend and bind the wind in some of the most powerful spells available against corruption and darkness. It also makes Hierophants the most philosophical and contemplative of all the Orders.

Apprentices of the order form choirs during training that act as aid to magisters in spellcasting, study of the rituals, and purification of the Order's pristine campus in Altdorf. Some apprentices may never leave the choirs if they cannot master the mental strength necessary to manipulate the wind, instead serve the college and its goals in perpetuity. 

Many of these apprentices come from annual efforts of the Order "adopting" orphans that show any magical ability. The Order is also often the "easiest" to join, accepting those passed over by other Orders. Whether these Apprentices show the discipline to master Hysh or not, the choirs remain singing.

Martially, the Order is highly effective in the exorcism and destruction of daemons. As Hysh is also an aspect of purity, magisters are capable of powerful healing of corruption and mutation.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 8 April 2016

G is for Ghyran, Agrological Thaumaturgy

Ghyran, the Green Wind of Magick, is the source of the magisters of the Empire that practice the Lore of Life, "Soil Magic," or more academically, the practice of Agrological Thaumaturgy by the Jade Wizards.

It is said that Ghyran flows and pools like water after a hard rain and can be seen in all life of the earth. Drawn into the soil and then through the roots of all plant life. It can be seen in the rivers and streams of the Empire as well as flowing across the land following no pattern of nature.

The Jade Wizards and the establishment of their College in Altdorf begins in the call sent by Emperor Magnus the Pious in his fight against Chaos over 300 years ago. The High Elves that taught these first magisters found in the practitioners of the Old Faith, Elementalists of Water and Earth, even the Cunning Men of "the hedge" a population most ready to master Ghyran. The idea of "druid" is often ascribed to a Jade Wizard by many because of the origins and they readily accept it, if not completely correct.

Today, Jade Wizards ensure the healthy crops of the Empire and martially provide for the armies food as well as spells capable of swallowing armies or entangling hordes of beasts with choking vines that spring from the roots of trees and grass. But Jade Wizards also ensure and maintain the hedges of the Empire and leylines that manage the flow of Ghyran for the Empire's farmers.

Jade Wizards are aligned with the Cults of Taal and Rhya, the gods of nature, and the Amber Shamans.

Posted by caffeinated at 12:45 PM in d10

Thursday, 7 April 2016

F is for Fire Rubies

Like the Amethyst Wizards, the Bright Wizards of the Lore of Fire, create power stones called Fire Rubies. Fire Rubies are made in single use forges crafted during a private ritual. The result is a bright stone the lit by burning coals. The stones are hot to hold and can warm a tent in Chaos Wastes in a matter of minutes when openly exposed.

The three most powerful spells of the Lore of Fire—one that many a veteran could testify too—are Aqshy's Aegis, Breathe Fire, and Conflagration of Doom. The amount of skill and study for these (and similar spells of the other Orders) is great, often only possibly by Magisters and Lords of each order. Apprentices aided by a Fire Ruby can wield these spells in battle, in a pinch.

Like the powerful spells of Shyish, these spells also "echo" on the Aethyr. Use of powerful spells are not lightly taken by any Order. Not just because they can be so destructive, but because an error in casting can summon daemons attracted to the wind in use.

In a few days, we will look at the Lore of Light's Lumen Stones and the three most powerful spells of the Order of Light.


Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

E is for Endstones

Every College of Magic has a ritual that manifests its "wind of Magick" into a physical object known as a power stone.

The magisters of the Amethyst College craft Endstones, power stones that typically vary in color, but most are found to appear as highly polished bone or a black so pitch as to seemingly darken a day lit room.

Like all power stones, Endstones are carefully produced under strict adherence of closely guarded ritual, but serve a singular purpose: act as a store of the very energy of Magick used to create it. The Endstone serves as a reagent to spellcasting the most powerful of Shyish's Lore of Death and Spirit.

Whether The Animus Imprisoned, Life's End, or Wind of Death, an Endstone can assure the successful casting. These are not trivial spells to cast and the power required to cast them "echoes" on the Aethyr. These echoes can be felt by other Amethyst Wizards. Because these spells can bind souls or kill instantly, trivial use of them, even without an Endstone, is not tolerated by the Order.

And because an Endstone, like all powerstones, are consumed with the casting, they are rare and expensive.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

D is for Dhar

The nature of magic has two opposites. If the Winds of Magic—and winds is a human notion trying to explain High Elven understanding of the nature of Magick—are a spectrum with Qhaysh on one end representing the Winds in harmony, then Dhar is at the opposite end representing the Winds in discordance.

However, Dhar is an easy "wind" to master and often a shortcut to powerful spell casting. The ease of manipulating Dhar however comes at a great cost. The first is that Dhar must be combined with another wind to be useful outside of Necromancy and Daemonology. And Dhar is fickle. One use may not be like the last use and this often leads to magisters going insane or dropping dead. But there are a rare few that become more attuned to using Dhar. These magisters are known as Black Magisters.

Black Magisters are ostracized from their orders and often are hunted to ground and death by fire. Often, when they are found, Black Magisters have already descended into darker arts as they attempt further master Dhar. 

Use of Dhar is incredibly hard to hide as many magisters are taught from the very beginning to "see" the Winds of Magic. One Golden Wizard might perceive another Golden Wizard use Charmon with Dhar as a darker thread of Magick coalescing in his palm before becoming more powerful lightening bolts capable of striking an enemy dead. Black Magisters have to be very careful in using Dhar because it can be so easily "seen."

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 4 April 2016

C is for Chamon, Alchemical Thaumaturgy

The practitioners of Alchemical Thaumaturgy are the Golden Wizards, masters of the Yellow Wind, Chamon. The apprentices, journeymen, and magisters are part of the wealthiest college of magic and one of the most diverse as well.

The wealth of the Golden Order is not as the common people suspect: crackpot alchemists, handpicked by the elven mages, cracking the code of converting a base metal to gold. While "True Transformation" is still sought and a stated goal of the Golden Order, its application remains impossible. And while the transient transformation of base metals to gold is possible, the act is publicly prosecuted by the Order's leadership because it is fraud.

The Order's wealth is far more mundane in origin: the alchemists of the Order produce potions, dyes, gunpower, refined ore, spirits, and even beer of such quality and quantity that merchants pay the best prices for them, often for a 1% or 2% profit in trading guilds across the Empire. And given the cost and need for reagents in the Order's regular wizardry, the wealth is needed.

The Order's Lore of Metal is both academic and martial. In the battlefields of the Empire against the hordes of Chaos, Golden Wizards transform the armor and weapons of the enemy to lead or rust. Weapons crafted by Golden Wizards are of such quality—and often inscribed with powerful runes and enchanted for accuracy—only the most esteemed generals and the Emperor himself can own them.

Academically, the Order houses one of the greatest libraries of the world and is closely aligned with the Cult of Verena, the goddess of Knowledge and Justice. Mundane alchemists that still adhere to the notion of the four base elements dismiss the studies of the Golden Wizards, especially the recent notion that the Golden Wizards have identified over 90 unique elements of the mundane world.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 2 April 2016

B is for the Brown Wind (Ghur) and the Shamans of Amber Magic

Of the eight winds of Magick, Ghur, or the Brown Wind, is as wild as the natural world that feeds it. The practitioners are often mistaken for woodsmen, hermits, cunning men, Druids—though the wizards of the Jade College may take issue with that mistake—or even priests of Taal or Rhya.

And of all the colleges, the shamans of Ghur, do not live and study in Altdorf. They are more likely to be found studying in the Reikwald, or Great Forest, that surrounds Altdorf. A shaman's appearance does no favor to aid in approaching one intentionally or by accident by most citizenry of the Empire at large: often covered in fetishes of animal origins, furs, bones and smells of the forest. It is this appearance that will have an Amber Wizard mistaken for outlawed druids of the "Old Faith" or worse, the witches and warlocks of the Hedge, practitioners of wild magic and often called Cunning Men. Add their reclusive, separatist study, these officially sanctioned wizards of the Empire must often prove themselves to the Templars of Sigmar, the Witch Hunters.

The Amber Wizards are fierce defenders of the Empire. In many of the distant outposts of the Emperor, commanders ally with Amber Wizards and understand intimately how to call these powerful shamans for counsel or battle. The shaman's often use their commune with nature to speak to birds for scouting and the hidden animals of the wild to alert armies of enemy movements.


Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 1 April 2016

A is for Asqhy, Pyromantic Thaumaturgy

The practitioners of the Bright Order weave the Red Wind of Magic. In the language of Magick, Asqhy, or more academically, Pyromantic Thaumaturgy, this wind is can be quite destructive.

Bright Wizards master flame, from the candle to conflagration. This fact alone answers the question—if one is even considered—as to the reason these men and women are found on the front lines of battlefields throughout the Empire. Whether wading through ranks of goblins with a flaming sword or conjuring a whirlwind of fire that consumes siege engines, the martial value of these wizards is immediately recognized.

Gregarious and short of temper, Bright Wizards study both magic and combat in their college. The college is magically hidden among the haunted embers and lingering smoke of a fire that burned a large section of Altdorf many years ago. The cause of this fire remains whispered gossip among the citizenry and even the magisters of other the other colleges.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Z is for Zed, an epilogue

An Epilogue for 2016

Five years ago, when James Maliszewski was still blogging regurlarly at Grognardia, I learned about Blogging A to Z. That first year marked the first year that the letter X would be forever some daemon or daemonic lure. I also won the Best of Fans Award from a prominent figure in the WFRP community Magnus Seter, writing under the nom de plumme Adolphus Altdorfer.

I worked with two international conspirators in 2012 where we cross posted to our blogs, sharing each letter. In 2013 I created more than 13 unique persons in the WFRP setting and in 2014 26 taverns, hostels, and dives on the Street of a Hundred Taverns in the city of Altdorf. Last year I borrowed heavily from my friend's characters at the table and their adventures in across great swaths of the Empire in a campaign to save the world.

Each year the comments start heavy, then trickle off. I'm don't follow the A to Z protocol of turning off comment moderation; I use to get far too much spam (a lot has dropped off with turning off trackbacks however).

My topic always gets the occasional comment that makes me wonder about the writer's impression of topic. This year there were a couple that took the magic angle a little to seriously, possibly not reading my primer on exactly what WFRP is and how the topic relates.

Can I do five more years? I think so. Maybe. There's a lot of creativity that goes into each entry. WFRP is a rich and dynamic setting and the my regular play lets me stretch that setting into each entry. However, WFRP is also closely guard IP. Fan work is mostly encouraged, but I could never publish the work as a collection. It can only existing on the blog (though I have collected the entries in the past as PDFs for download in the RSS feeds).

In all, A to Z is a strong creative outlet that focuses me for a month on this oft neglected blog. And for that I will continue in 2017. At the very least so that I can create another daemon's true name and make you cringe at all the apostrophes.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 29 April 2016

Y is for Youth's Bane

From the Lore of Death and Spirits of the Shyish Order of Magick, the spell Youth's Bane is one of the most powerful. Only the most advanced Apprentices can master the spell and then only with reagents of ivy cut from the grave of a deceased Shyish magister and intense concentration. It is not uncommon for Apprentices to still fail.

Youth's Bane, cast in battle or in defense can be the edge in a fight, permanently drawing the strength and fitness from an opponent.. Muscles atrophy and joints can sieze as the target ages years in an instant.

The spell is one that is a favorite of rogue Shyish magisters in assassinations. Continuously aging a victim over short periods of time until either dying a premature death or so weak as unable to defend herself from a more physical death. Such tactics are easily discoverable if recognized (often a possibility in cities, but less likely in remote regions of the Empire). The magister discovered willing to employ the spell in such attacks is one that will, if found out, be likely assassinated by the Order's leadership. Leadership that has no tolerance for such evil acts.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Thursday, 28 April 2016

X is for Xij'tier, Lesser Daemon of Tzeentch

The very Winds of Magick are the stuff of Chaos and change. Tzeentch, the Chaos god of Change, is said to drink from flagons overflowing with liquid magick. Moreover, it told by magisters of all colleges—and certainly put forth by the Witch Hunters as proof of the corruption of all magic users—that Tzeentch curses all magic users that improperly handle the winds in casting, elf or human alike. Mutation Tzeentch's "blessing." But Tzeentch has daemon heralds as well.

His lesser daemon Xij'tier is one such harbinger. An ethereal daemon, Xij'tier seeks change in natural forms for Tzeentch's glory.

Xij'tier typically takes the forms of beasts that have no likeness in the Old World and can only be described as creatures from the Tzeentch's own menagerie of the unusual. He rarely appears without immense tusks that have are carved with everchanging scenes of Tzeentch's basest desires and capped with a color changing metal formed into flesh piercing points.

Xij'tier takes a certain enjoyment in touching the war beasts of Tzeentch's champions in the Old World. The mutations are always terrifying and often quite deadly in the field.

It is said that Xij'tier will stand at the head of a charging warband, man and beast fighting to charge through his ethereal form to be "blessed" with change and mutation in that instant before colliding in battle with the enemy.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

W is for Witchsight

No respected magister of the eight Colleges of Magic uses the term Witchsight, as these same magic users would never consider themselves "witches or warlocks." The term existed long before the Articles of Imperial Magic were codified and it has become a more common term among the superstitious public where the Colleges would prefer the use of Spiritsight or Magical Sense.

Mastering Witchsight is a lifelong task that starts with apprenticeship. It represents the "Seventh Sense" with Intuition and Aethyric Attunement being the "Sixth Sense" and first recognizable ability of any potential magic user.

How Witchsight is honed and mastered and thus appears to a magister is difficult to say, but many describe as looking through novelty glasses, but with an astonishing clarity of the manifestations of the Winds of Magic. Ghyran is said to be like a summer rain, Ulgu as a think fog, literally affecting a bystander passing through this unseen cloud and forgetting why he left the house. Shyish lingers as a dark tendrils in grave yards and around oubliettes. 

Yet these manifestations are invisible to anyone without Witchsight, and more still may manifest themselves to magisters very differently. An Azyr magister might see the past action in place or the future movement of chess piece on a board.

Witchsight is a both a blessing and a curse. The latter the most often considered. It has driven many magisters insane as they age and their mastery of it grows. For as the power to use Witchsight strengthens so does the clarity of the Winds of Magic.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

V is for Vitaellum

Vitaellum is the powerstone of the magisters of Ghyran, the Green Wind of Magic.

Typically appearing as an flawless emerald with an internal light, the stone can also present itself as living branch despite having been separated from the plant. As all powerstones, the Jade magisters create Vitaellum as a reagent to the most powerful spells of their lore, whether martial or peaceable.

The three most powerful spells of Agrological Thaumaturgy are Flesh of Clay, Winter's Frost, and Cure Blight. A hero upon which Flesh of Clay is cast is a formidable foe on the battlefield. His skin turns to harden clay becoming immune to sword and shaft, but himself a weapon wading through enemy lines. 

Winter's Frost can kill or gravely wound a score of men in a single casting. The thick ice chilling to the bone in an instant and turning a charge into a chaotic dance of slips and tumbles.

Cure Blight is as much a ritual as the most powerful spell and tool for the well-being of the Empire. Crops, and even plague, can be cured of a blight or disease by infusing the stricken with the life restoring energies of Ghyran.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 25 April 2016

U is for Ulgu, Cryptoclastic Thaumaturgy

The Grey Order and their Lore of Shadows are the masters of deception and confusion. They are the Shadowmancers and wielders of the Grey Wind of Magic, Ulgu.

Ostensibly, the Grey Order in battle is a force multiplier. Being masters of illusion, Shadowmancers aid generals by confusing a charge, "altering" the size of force on the field: too small, too big, too weak? A force too small can be made to appear large. And yet the Shadowmancers would not consider service to the Emperor even a top priority. 

Shadowmancers darker side is that of a near global network of spies, diplomats, and assassins. The Grey Order is also one of the most disciplined of orders with the strictest enforcement of its ideals and rules with pacification or death not uncommon.

The mastery of the wind makes Shadowmancers spies capable of the deepest assignments and the cleverest of assassins. The Ulgu spells of deception, concealment, and confusion are particularly powerful in the aforementioned roles, and the spells of persuasion make them excellent diplomats.

The Order is rather focused too on rooting out Chaos and the influence of the Ruinous Power throughout the Empire, often quietly assisting the Templars of Sigmar, the Witch Hunters, even when they, as magic users, are not often welcome.

Posted by caffeinated at 9:58 PM in d10

Saturday, 23 April 2016

T is for Thaumaturgy

The origin of the word Thaumaturgy as used and written in the Articles of Imperial Magic in Reikspiel is unknown. Verenan priests and the Gold Order that study the High Elven tomes and instructions believe that it originated near the Black Gulf, the Border Princes, or further south in Araby. It is not an Elven word, but possibly a word known to a scholar whose name has been lost to history. The Elven word perhaps unrecordable.

Whatever the etymology of the word, it could be applied to the magic of wizards or the miracles of the priests of the sanctioned cults. However, it most applied in the academic and hermetic works of the magisters of the Orders of Magic; almost exclusively in practice. The Einsegnung of the priests of the Empire are not of the same source, but channelled through their prayers to the gods.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:08 AM in d10

Friday, 22 April 2016

S is for Shyish, Cessationary Thaumaturgy

The wizards of the Lore of Death and Spirit, members of the Amethyst Order and masters of the Purple Wind, Shyish are most certainly not necromancers. The Articles of Imperial Magic refers to these magisters as wielders of Cessationary Thaumaturgy.

However, make no mistake, the line between Necromancy and the wonders of the Amethyst Order is thin. And make no mistake the patriarch and lords of the Order do not tolerate those that cross that line.

The more common spells, the most powerful looked at using Endstones, are certainly capable of revealing the truth of the afterlife. Deathsight reveals the spirits that walk beside the living, Death's Release can banish the same spirits. Spells may ease passing, delay a death, or speak with the passing soul. It is no wonder that discipline and philosophy are daily concerns in the Order. That Amethyst Wizards know of the afterlife, but that they can touch it, is more than a powerful temptation to master the Wind in ways that reject death and seek to restore or lengthen it. Despite that Necromancy never results in good, as one hopes, it is a practice that invites the destructive influence of Chaos and the Ruinous Powers.

The campus of the Amethyst College in Altdorf is rumored to exist on two planes: for the living and for the dead. Visitors to the grounds will tell you it is abandoned. The campus choked with vines, crumbling buildings, and piles of dead leaves collecting in the crevices and corners of halls and streets or tossed about by a deathly quiet wind. And yet others, invited, will tell you of a busy, if somber, campus. Both will tell of using the same entrance. Whether illusion or more, the "abandoned" campus is known to be used by braver criminals as a meeting place. How tolerant of this use the magisters are is debated.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:02 PM in d10

Thursday, 21 April 2016

R is for Ritual Magic

Ritual Magic is capable of gathering and exerting each Wind in powerful ways. Many rituals are guarded by each order to produce aids, such as Powerstones, or bring the energy of a Wind to bear on the battlefield. 

Ritual magic is used by Dwarves to bind runes to weapons and talismans. Rune Magic, as it is called, can only be used by Dwarves—besides being the only arcane magic the race is capable of mastering—and Elves.

As powerful as it is, ritual magic can be seemingly vain, vindictive, and pure evil. The Body Gilded transforms body parts into impossible, but functioning, organs or limbs. The Dance Without End will exhaust the afflicted to a grave. The Beastly Transmogrification of the Omnipotent TChar will make a beastman of weakminded men, women, and children, turning them into rampaging beasts until the transformation wears off or the beast is killed. Those that survive the ordeal do so only physically. Their minds, already said to be weak, are driven mad by the experience of the murderous rampage they participated in while afflicted.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Q is for Quiet! please

There are few common folk that would disagree: wizards and priests are not a quiet lot.

Wielding the Winds of Magic, even divine miracles of the priests of the recognized cults, means singing, whispering, exclaiming, and other often loud means of vocalization. It is not known if these "verbal" elements of spell casting is a human mnemonic to aid in mastering the necessary mental power or if it's just... necessary.

In battle, the exclamations are particularly recognized over the screams of the dying and the din of sword meeting shield and bone. In passing it seems to be an ever present whisper, song—an attribute making the Hierophants of the Order of Light immediately known—or prayer for a priest.

What is known is gagging or otherwise silencing a wizard or priest is to also rob them of working magick of arcane or divine nature. No wizard or priest is able to wield magic without his or her voice. In defensive Magick, Silence is a powerful spell indeed and as such is taught by all Orders and Cults to any that wish to study to master the spell and prayer.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

P is for The Philosopher's Stone

More commonly called "Goldstones" by the wizards of the Lore of Metal, the Philosopher's Stone is regarded as the first of the power stones mastered by any of the eight orders practiced by humans.

The Philosopher's Stone is created, as all power stones, in a closely guarded ritual that folds the "wind of Magic" upon itself until it coalesces into a physical object of energy. The stone is used as a reagent in almost all alchemical experiments of the Gold Order as well as the reagent to the most powerful spells used by the wizards.

Breach the Unknown it is said impresses upon the caster's mind the very attributes of any natural or manmade object, including objects of magical quality. The Law of Gold suppresses magical properties of objects and the Transmutation of the Unstable Mind is said to cure a subject of insanity; though there are credible accounts that the spell can make worse the afflicted mind if cast incorrectly.

The abilities of the Philosopher's Stone have become so legendary that mundane alchemists have sought to replicate it without magic; an impossible task. But the name is also why Gold wizards rarely use the term "Philosopher's Stone."  A Goldstone is the same thing by another name and the main reason that many mundane seekers think they are different things, tossing aside "gold stone" in frustration of having "true" Philosopher's Stone.


Posted by caffeinated at 12:53 PM in d10

Monday, 18 April 2016

Server Outage

Loooong story short.

I did something stupid about two years ago and it started to haunt me in the background this week. I used to have an email alias (or forwarding email) for job hunting that would just get spam.

I also have a forwarding email for my primary identity on the internet. They were almost the same. I purged a bunch of these forwarding email addresses a couple of years ago and I mistakenly purged my primary. Since I don't get a lot of email on this address I didn't notice! My host was telling me on this email my CC was expired. D'oh. When I dug into troubleshooting the outage, I started wondering: why hasn't my host notified me of my annual payment...in two years?

Straighten it out. On I.R.fucking.C. Not Slack. Fuck Slack.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:58 PM in Bohemian Breakfast

O is for The Ox Stands

The Shamans of the Amber Order, practitioners of the Lore of the Beast and masters of Ghur, are powerful battlefield wizards.

Called by mysterious, often folkloric, methods to the battlefield by generals or governors in distant outposts of the Empire, an Amber shaman can be worth 10 or 20 men by the end of a fight. Facing the terrifying and horrific monsters, giants, and beasts of Chaos, troops may run or freeze in the roar and spittle of a beast twice the size of the strongest soldier.

An Amber wizard casting the Ox Stands can turn this fright into ferocity. Ghur is drawn to the shaman and then explodes in a silent and invisible wave that energizes soldiers that can hear the shouted words of the casting shaman. With the spell, the frozen sword arm swings harder, a soldier's reflexes quicker, and the running coward turns back to fight. In that moment, the spell can strengthen a collapsing line.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 16 April 2016

N is for Nectar of Beauty

The Old World is said by those with Witchsight to be saturated with Magic. Only those that can wield the Winds are capable of enjoying the power, whether for martial or other reasons. 

And while those without magical abilities enjoy a diverse market of draughts, spirits, beers, and ales and many with promises to "cure what ails ya!." These mundane, often unreliable concoctions has given rise to a small market where apprentice, journeyman, and magister wizard alike mix magical "potions."

While much more reliable than "Herzmann's meat juice" these potions tend toward a short shelf life, odd side effects, and present unexpected side "results."

The Nectar of Beauty

The facial scarring of a pox, acne, or military wound diminishes the dowry of a daughter or the vanity of boy and man. Commonly available in cities like Altdorf with large cosmopolitain populations and social climbers, the Nectar of Beauty will heal these scars "almost" completely.

Unfortunately, and rarely spoken about, the scars just reappear else where on the body. Pox scars or poorly sewn battle scars may appear on the back, bottom or chest. While one's visage becomes pleasant in public, privately the embarrassment may be more troublesome to intimacy.

The Nectar of Beauty is also said to cause one to shun any sort of light brighter than a candelabra. At an Altdorf party, it is a faux pas to be caught squinting as it is sign that one has surely imbibed the potion. As the side effect is permanent many socialites insist on low lighting in parlors and ballrooms.

Posted by caffeinated at 2:03 PM in d10

Friday, 15 April 2016

M is for Magick, Lingua praestantia

When the High Elves arrived over three centuries ago to call and assess the humans of the Empire capable of mastering the Winds of Magic, they first had to create and then teach these "primitives" a language capable of drawing the Winds to the casters.

The High Elves speak Eltharin, a language that itself is derived from the very language the High Elves use to master and wield Qhaysh, Anoqeyån. Neither language is one that could be taught in the time allowed the High Elves, so they created a sort of pastiche of Eltharin and Old Riekspiel. The Colleges of Magic, have named this language lingua praestantia, or more simply Magick.

Lingua praestantia, like Eltharin and Anoqeyån before it, has a darker side as well. It is derived from the language of the Dark Tongues used by daemons and dark sorcerers. This is because the High Elves believe Anoqeyån is the closest language left known in the world that was likely spoken by the Old Ones.

Posted by caffeinated at 4:24 PM in d10

Thursday, 14 April 2016

L is for Lumen Stones

The Hierophants of the White Wind, Hysh, will often seek to learn the secret songs of their Order that allows them to bind Magick into the rare Lumen Stone. Like other Power Stones, Lumen Stones store Magick that can be harnessed to cast the most powerful spells of Hysh. Lumen Stones radiate a pure white light and have an appearance of a large, flawless diamond.

The most powerful spells often wielded by the Hierophants include Boon of Hysh, Daemonbane, and Pillar of Radiance. Without a Lumen Stone, these spells are too powerful to be cast by Journeymen of the Order. Magisters and Lords often fail without reagents at hand and intense concentration.

And as all powerful spells, these spells will echo on the Aethyr. Hierophants will know when these spells are cast. The Order expects that these spells to be directly focused on daemons and corruption.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

K is for the Knocks of the Departed

Journeymen Wizards of the Amethyst Order of Shyish, literally the practitioners of the Lore of Death, are known for many spells dealing with passing of living things and even communicating with the dead.

Knocks of the Dead is one such spell that crosses the threshold between life and death. It is said that the spirit of the passed, either compelled by Morr or by the presence of kinship at the casting, knocks on the Gates to Morr's Eternal Garden.

The body of the deceased must be present or an immediate next of kin. The casting is aided by a reagent of the subject's clothing—easy with a body unless naked. The spell allows the wizard to ask a specific question of the spirit that is either numerically expressed or simply "yes" or "no." For example, in the investigation of a murder the wizard may ask the hour after Mittagessen he was stabbed... four knocks. A "yes" answer is one knock, a "no," two knocks.

The spirit may chose not to answer, even lie! (especially if the kin present may have been involved in foul play or was unliked in life). The wizard is only leveraging Shyish and leverages no influence on the spirit.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

J is for Arcane Justice

Magick, until Magus the Pious' foundation of the Imperial Colleges and direct diplomacy with the High Elves, was simply witchcraft.

A display of magic was seen as being in league with forces of Chaos or daemons. Whether a Cunning Man working with the "Hedge," a "Druid," an Elementalist, or just a wise woman, fear ruled. To be branded a user of witchcraft was to be burned at the stake.

The Imperial Colleges changed that view. Mostly, and then only in the largest cities of the Empire. And then still a Journeyman or Magister in far flung parts of the Empire must worry that a display of Magick won't find him or her strapped to a pole in the center of a pyre. And then it may come with complete surprise: accusations are usually whispered and a quiet call for a Witch Hunter of the Templars of Sigmar made. Watchmen or a militia man would never apprehend a wizard directly; it simply is too dangerous. A pistol, arrow, or blunderbus is much safer if a Witch Hunter is not immediately available.

To the public, this is most often witnessed form of Justice. To a member of the Imperial College, violation of the Imperial Laws or transgression or betrayal of the College's own rules, can result in Pacification.

What exactly Pacification is remains unknown; each college has their own version. But it is widely rumored to forcibly remove the ability to manipulate the Winds of Magic. The procedure and the results are widely gossiped about. No Magister wants to be subjected to Pacification. The fear of the process is itself the greatest deterrent and the greatest incentive to remain true to the Emperor and to the College.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 11 April 2016

I is for Inspiration

Editors Note: This is the first of several spells used by magisters of the various Lores this A-to-Z will look at over the next week and beyond.

Inspiration

This spell from the Lore of Light is practiced by masters of the White Wind, Hysh, and is often cast in contemplation of an academic problem or simply to open the mind to aid recall.

The wizard must concentrate both on the problem while singing to focus the White Wind on the problem or question. White Wizards often produce a small book and tear a page from it, seemingly absentmindedly, as a reagent to aid in casting the spell. The reagent is said to burst into light as it flutters to the ground or illuminate the flesh and bones of the wizard's fist as it crushes the crumpled page.

The spell is one of the moderately difficult ones a White Wizard will use, often only mastered by Journeymen. The song is said to last over a minute. It is typically a spell cast in quiet repose after a question or problem is presented in an investigation.

Magisters have said that the answer will simply "appear" in the mind's eye.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 9 April 2016

H is for Hysh, Order of the Wise

Hysh is the White Wind, mastered by the Hierophants of the Order of the Wise.

Of the eight winds of Magick, Hysh is the most difficult wind to master. It is the closest wind to High Magick practiced by the Elves, Qhaysh. Where Dhar and Chaos are darkness, Hysh is light.

The amount of study and the complex rituals Journeyman and Magisters undergo and memorize allows them to bend and bind the wind in some of the most powerful spells available against corruption and darkness. It also makes Hierophants the most philosophical and contemplative of all the Orders.

Apprentices of the order form choirs during training that act as aid to magisters in spellcasting, study of the rituals, and purification of the Order's pristine campus in Altdorf. Some apprentices may never leave the choirs if they cannot master the mental strength necessary to manipulate the wind, instead serve the college and its goals in perpetuity. 

Many of these apprentices come from annual efforts of the Order "adopting" orphans that show any magical ability. The Order is also often the "easiest" to join, accepting those passed over by other Orders. Whether these Apprentices show the discipline to master Hysh or not, the choirs remain singing.

Martially, the Order is highly effective in the exorcism and destruction of daemons. As Hysh is also an aspect of purity, magisters are capable of powerful healing of corruption and mutation.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 8 April 2016

G is for Ghyran, Agrological Thaumaturgy

Ghyran, the Green Wind of Magick, is the source of the magisters of the Empire that practice the Lore of Life, "Soil Magic," or more academically, the practice of Agrological Thaumaturgy by the Jade Wizards.

It is said that Ghyran flows and pools like water after a hard rain and can be seen in all life of the earth. Drawn into the soil and then through the roots of all plant life. It can be seen in the rivers and streams of the Empire as well as flowing across the land following no pattern of nature.

The Jade Wizards and the establishment of their College in Altdorf begins in the call sent by Emperor Magnus the Pious in his fight against Chaos over 300 years ago. The High Elves that taught these first magisters found in the practitioners of the Old Faith, Elementalists of Water and Earth, even the Cunning Men of "the hedge" a population most ready to master Ghyran. The idea of "druid" is often ascribed to a Jade Wizard by many because of the origins and they readily accept it, if not completely correct.

Today, Jade Wizards ensure the healthy crops of the Empire and martially provide for the armies food as well as spells capable of swallowing armies or entangling hordes of beasts with choking vines that spring from the roots of trees and grass. But Jade Wizards also ensure and maintain the hedges of the Empire and leylines that manage the flow of Ghyran for the Empire's farmers.

Jade Wizards are aligned with the Cults of Taal and Rhya, the gods of nature, and the Amber Shamans.

Posted by caffeinated at 12:45 PM in d10

Thursday, 7 April 2016

F is for Fire Rubies

Like the Amethyst Wizards, the Bright Wizards of the Lore of Fire, create power stones called Fire Rubies. Fire Rubies are made in single use forges crafted during a private ritual. The result is a bright stone the lit by burning coals. The stones are hot to hold and can warm a tent in Chaos Wastes in a matter of minutes when openly exposed.

The three most powerful spells of the Lore of Fire—one that many a veteran could testify too—are Aqshy's Aegis, Breathe Fire, and Conflagration of Doom. The amount of skill and study for these (and similar spells of the other Orders) is great, often only possibly by Magisters and Lords of each order. Apprentices aided by a Fire Ruby can wield these spells in battle, in a pinch.

Like the powerful spells of Shyish, these spells also "echo" on the Aethyr. Use of powerful spells are not lightly taken by any Order. Not just because they can be so destructive, but because an error in casting can summon daemons attracted to the wind in use.

In a few days, we will look at the Lore of Light's Lumen Stones and the three most powerful spells of the Order of Light.


Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

E is for Endstones

Every College of Magic has a ritual that manifests its "wind of Magick" into a physical object known as a power stone.

The magisters of the Amethyst College craft Endstones, power stones that typically vary in color, but most are found to appear as highly polished bone or a black so pitch as to seemingly darken a day lit room.

Like all power stones, Endstones are carefully produced under strict adherence of closely guarded ritual, but serve a singular purpose: act as a store of the very energy of Magick used to create it. The Endstone serves as a reagent to spellcasting the most powerful of Shyish's Lore of Death and Spirit.

Whether The Animus Imprisoned, Life's End, or Wind of Death, an Endstone can assure the successful casting. These are not trivial spells to cast and the power required to cast them "echoes" on the Aethyr. These echoes can be felt by other Amethyst Wizards. Because these spells can bind souls or kill instantly, trivial use of them, even without an Endstone, is not tolerated by the Order.

And because an Endstone, like all powerstones, are consumed with the casting, they are rare and expensive.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

D is for Dhar

The nature of magic has two opposites. If the Winds of Magic—and winds is a human notion trying to explain High Elven understanding of the nature of Magick—are a spectrum with Qhaysh on one end representing the Winds in harmony, then Dhar is at the opposite end representing the Winds in discordance.

However, Dhar is an easy "wind" to master and often a shortcut to powerful spell casting. The ease of manipulating Dhar however comes at a great cost. The first is that Dhar must be combined with another wind to be useful outside of Necromancy and Daemonology. And Dhar is fickle. One use may not be like the last use and this often leads to magisters going insane or dropping dead. But there are a rare few that become more attuned to using Dhar. These magisters are known as Black Magisters.

Black Magisters are ostracized from their orders and often are hunted to ground and death by fire. Often, when they are found, Black Magisters have already descended into darker arts as they attempt further master Dhar. 

Use of Dhar is incredibly hard to hide as many magisters are taught from the very beginning to "see" the Winds of Magic. One Golden Wizard might perceive another Golden Wizard use Charmon with Dhar as a darker thread of Magick coalescing in his palm before becoming more powerful lightening bolts capable of striking an enemy dead. Black Magisters have to be very careful in using Dhar because it can be so easily "seen."

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 4 April 2016

C is for Chamon, Alchemical Thaumaturgy

The practitioners of Alchemical Thaumaturgy are the Golden Wizards, masters of the Yellow Wind, Chamon. The apprentices, journeymen, and magisters are part of the wealthiest college of magic and one of the most diverse as well.

The wealth of the Golden Order is not as the common people suspect: crackpot alchemists, handpicked by the elven mages, cracking the code of converting a base metal to gold. While "True Transformation" is still sought and a stated goal of the Golden Order, its application remains impossible. And while the transient transformation of base metals to gold is possible, the act is publicly prosecuted by the Order's leadership because it is fraud.

The Order's wealth is far more mundane in origin: the alchemists of the Order produce potions, dyes, gunpower, refined ore, spirits, and even beer of such quality and quantity that merchants pay the best prices for them, often for a 1% or 2% profit in trading guilds across the Empire. And given the cost and need for reagents in the Order's regular wizardry, the wealth is needed.

The Order's Lore of Metal is both academic and martial. In the battlefields of the Empire against the hordes of Chaos, Golden Wizards transform the armor and weapons of the enemy to lead or rust. Weapons crafted by Golden Wizards are of such quality—and often inscribed with powerful runes and enchanted for accuracy—only the most esteemed generals and the Emperor himself can own them.

Academically, the Order houses one of the greatest libraries of the world and is closely aligned with the Cult of Verena, the goddess of Knowledge and Justice. Mundane alchemists that still adhere to the notion of the four base elements dismiss the studies of the Golden Wizards, especially the recent notion that the Golden Wizards have identified over 90 unique elements of the mundane world.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 2 April 2016

B is for the Brown Wind (Ghur) and the Shamans of Amber Magic

Of the eight winds of Magick, Ghur, or the Brown Wind, is as wild as the natural world that feeds it. The practitioners are often mistaken for woodsmen, hermits, cunning men, Druids—though the wizards of the Jade College may take issue with that mistake—or even priests of Taal or Rhya.

And of all the colleges, the shamans of Ghur, do not live and study in Altdorf. They are more likely to be found studying in the Reikwald, or Great Forest, that surrounds Altdorf. A shaman's appearance does no favor to aid in approaching one intentionally or by accident by most citizenry of the Empire at large: often covered in fetishes of animal origins, furs, bones and smells of the forest. It is this appearance that will have an Amber Wizard mistaken for outlawed druids of the "Old Faith" or worse, the witches and warlocks of the Hedge, practitioners of wild magic and often called Cunning Men. Add their reclusive, separatist study, these officially sanctioned wizards of the Empire must often prove themselves to the Templars of Sigmar, the Witch Hunters.

The Amber Wizards are fierce defenders of the Empire. In many of the distant outposts of the Emperor, commanders ally with Amber Wizards and understand intimately how to call these powerful shamans for counsel or battle. The shaman's often use their commune with nature to speak to birds for scouting and the hidden animals of the wild to alert armies of enemy movements.


Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 1 April 2016

A is for Asqhy, Pyromantic Thaumaturgy

The practitioners of the Bright Order weave the Red Wind of Magic. In the language of Magick, Asqhy, or more academically, Pyromantic Thaumaturgy, this wind is can be quite destructive.

Bright Wizards master flame, from the candle to conflagration. This fact alone answers the question—if one is even considered—as to the reason these men and women are found on the front lines of battlefields throughout the Empire. Whether wading through ranks of goblins with a flaming sword or conjuring a whirlwind of fire that consumes siege engines, the martial value of these wizards is immediately recognized.

Gregarious and short of temper, Bright Wizards study both magic and combat in their college. The college is magically hidden among the haunted embers and lingering smoke of a fire that burned a large section of Altdorf many years ago. The cause of this fire remains whispered gossip among the citizenry and even the magisters of other the other colleges.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Z is for Zed, an epilogue

An Epilogue for 2016

Five years ago, when James Maliszewski was still blogging regurlarly at Grognardia, I learned about Blogging A to Z. That first year marked the first year that the letter X would be forever some daemon or daemonic lure. I also won the Best of Fans Award from a prominent figure in the WFRP community Magnus Seter, writing under the nom de plumme Adolphus Altdorfer.

I worked with two international conspirators in 2012 where we cross posted to our blogs, sharing each letter. In 2013 I created more than 13 unique persons in the WFRP setting and in 2014 26 taverns, hostels, and dives on the Street of a Hundred Taverns in the city of Altdorf. Last year I borrowed heavily from my friend's characters at the table and their adventures in across great swaths of the Empire in a campaign to save the world.

Each year the comments start heavy, then trickle off. I'm don't follow the A to Z protocol of turning off comment moderation; I use to get far too much spam (a lot has dropped off with turning off trackbacks however).

My topic always gets the occasional comment that makes me wonder about the writer's impression of topic. This year there were a couple that took the magic angle a little to seriously, possibly not reading my primer on exactly what WFRP is and how the topic relates.

Can I do five more years? I think so. Maybe. There's a lot of creativity that goes into each entry. WFRP is a rich and dynamic setting and the my regular play lets me stretch that setting into each entry. However, WFRP is also closely guard IP. Fan work is mostly encouraged, but I could never publish the work as a collection. It can only existing on the blog (though I have collected the entries in the past as PDFs for download in the RSS feeds).

In all, A to Z is a strong creative outlet that focuses me for a month on this oft neglected blog. And for that I will continue in 2017. At the very least so that I can create another daemon's true name and make you cringe at all the apostrophes.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 29 April 2016

Y is for Youth's Bane

From the Lore of Death and Spirits of the Shyish Order of Magick, the spell Youth's Bane is one of the most powerful. Only the most advanced Apprentices can master the spell and then only with reagents of ivy cut from the grave of a deceased Shyish magister and intense concentration. It is not uncommon for Apprentices to still fail.

Youth's Bane, cast in battle or in defense can be the edge in a fight, permanently drawing the strength and fitness from an opponent.. Muscles atrophy and joints can sieze as the target ages years in an instant.

The spell is one that is a favorite of rogue Shyish magisters in assassinations. Continuously aging a victim over short periods of time until either dying a premature death or so weak as unable to defend herself from a more physical death. Such tactics are easily discoverable if recognized (often a possibility in cities, but less likely in remote regions of the Empire). The magister discovered willing to employ the spell in such attacks is one that will, if found out, be likely assassinated by the Order's leadership. Leadership that has no tolerance for such evil acts.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Thursday, 28 April 2016

X is for Xij'tier, Lesser Daemon of Tzeentch

The very Winds of Magick are the stuff of Chaos and change. Tzeentch, the Chaos god of Change, is said to drink from flagons overflowing with liquid magick. Moreover, it told by magisters of all colleges—and certainly put forth by the Witch Hunters as proof of the corruption of all magic users—that Tzeentch curses all magic users that improperly handle the winds in casting, elf or human alike. Mutation Tzeentch's "blessing." But Tzeentch has daemon heralds as well.

His lesser daemon Xij'tier is one such harbinger. An ethereal daemon, Xij'tier seeks change in natural forms for Tzeentch's glory.

Xij'tier typically takes the forms of beasts that have no likeness in the Old World and can only be described as creatures from the Tzeentch's own menagerie of the unusual. He rarely appears without immense tusks that have are carved with everchanging scenes of Tzeentch's basest desires and capped with a color changing metal formed into flesh piercing points.

Xij'tier takes a certain enjoyment in touching the war beasts of Tzeentch's champions in the Old World. The mutations are always terrifying and often quite deadly in the field.

It is said that Xij'tier will stand at the head of a charging warband, man and beast fighting to charge through his ethereal form to be "blessed" with change and mutation in that instant before colliding in battle with the enemy.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

W is for Witchsight

No respected magister of the eight Colleges of Magic uses the term Witchsight, as these same magic users would never consider themselves "witches or warlocks." The term existed long before the Articles of Imperial Magic were codified and it has become a more common term among the superstitious public where the Colleges would prefer the use of Spiritsight or Magical Sense.

Mastering Witchsight is a lifelong task that starts with apprenticeship. It represents the "Seventh Sense" with Intuition and Aethyric Attunement being the "Sixth Sense" and first recognizable ability of any potential magic user.

How Witchsight is honed and mastered and thus appears to a magister is difficult to say, but many describe as looking through novelty glasses, but with an astonishing clarity of the manifestations of the Winds of Magic. Ghyran is said to be like a summer rain, Ulgu as a think fog, literally affecting a bystander passing through this unseen cloud and forgetting why he left the house. Shyish lingers as a dark tendrils in grave yards and around oubliettes. 

Yet these manifestations are invisible to anyone without Witchsight, and more still may manifest themselves to magisters very differently. An Azyr magister might see the past action in place or the future movement of chess piece on a board.

Witchsight is a both a blessing and a curse. The latter the most often considered. It has driven many magisters insane as they age and their mastery of it grows. For as the power to use Witchsight strengthens so does the clarity of the Winds of Magic.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

V is for Vitaellum

Vitaellum is the powerstone of the magisters of Ghyran, the Green Wind of Magic.

Typically appearing as an flawless emerald with an internal light, the stone can also present itself as living branch despite having been separated from the plant. As all powerstones, the Jade magisters create Vitaellum as a reagent to the most powerful spells of their lore, whether martial or peaceable.

The three most powerful spells of Agrological Thaumaturgy are Flesh of Clay, Winter's Frost, and Cure Blight. A hero upon which Flesh of Clay is cast is a formidable foe on the battlefield. His skin turns to harden clay becoming immune to sword and shaft, but himself a weapon wading through enemy lines. 

Winter's Frost can kill or gravely wound a score of men in a single casting. The thick ice chilling to the bone in an instant and turning a charge into a chaotic dance of slips and tumbles.

Cure Blight is as much a ritual as the most powerful spell and tool for the well-being of the Empire. Crops, and even plague, can be cured of a blight or disease by infusing the stricken with the life restoring energies of Ghyran.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 25 April 2016

U is for Ulgu, Cryptoclastic Thaumaturgy

The Grey Order and their Lore of Shadows are the masters of deception and confusion. They are the Shadowmancers and wielders of the Grey Wind of Magic, Ulgu.

Ostensibly, the Grey Order in battle is a force multiplier. Being masters of illusion, Shadowmancers aid generals by confusing a charge, "altering" the size of force on the field: too small, too big, too weak? A force too small can be made to appear large. And yet the Shadowmancers would not consider service to the Emperor even a top priority. 

Shadowmancers darker side is that of a near global network of spies, diplomats, and assassins. The Grey Order is also one of the most disciplined of orders with the strictest enforcement of its ideals and rules with pacification or death not uncommon.

The mastery of the wind makes Shadowmancers spies capable of the deepest assignments and the cleverest of assassins. The Ulgu spells of deception, concealment, and confusion are particularly powerful in the aforementioned roles, and the spells of persuasion make them excellent diplomats.

The Order is rather focused too on rooting out Chaos and the influence of the Ruinous Power throughout the Empire, often quietly assisting the Templars of Sigmar, the Witch Hunters, even when they, as magic users, are not often welcome.

Posted by caffeinated at 9:58 PM in d10

Saturday, 23 April 2016

T is for Thaumaturgy

The origin of the word Thaumaturgy as used and written in the Articles of Imperial Magic in Reikspiel is unknown. Verenan priests and the Gold Order that study the High Elven tomes and instructions believe that it originated near the Black Gulf, the Border Princes, or further south in Araby. It is not an Elven word, but possibly a word known to a scholar whose name has been lost to history. The Elven word perhaps unrecordable.

Whatever the etymology of the word, it could be applied to the magic of wizards or the miracles of the priests of the sanctioned cults. However, it most applied in the academic and hermetic works of the magisters of the Orders of Magic; almost exclusively in practice. The Einsegnung of the priests of the Empire are not of the same source, but channelled through their prayers to the gods.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:08 AM in d10

Friday, 22 April 2016

S is for Shyish, Cessationary Thaumaturgy

The wizards of the Lore of Death and Spirit, members of the Amethyst Order and masters of the Purple Wind, Shyish are most certainly not necromancers. The Articles of Imperial Magic refers to these magisters as wielders of Cessationary Thaumaturgy.

However, make no mistake, the line between Necromancy and the wonders of the Amethyst Order is thin. And make no mistake the patriarch and lords of the Order do not tolerate those that cross that line.

The more common spells, the most powerful looked at using Endstones, are certainly capable of revealing the truth of the afterlife. Deathsight reveals the spirits that walk beside the living, Death's Release can banish the same spirits. Spells may ease passing, delay a death, or speak with the passing soul. It is no wonder that discipline and philosophy are daily concerns in the Order. That Amethyst Wizards know of the afterlife, but that they can touch it, is more than a powerful temptation to master the Wind in ways that reject death and seek to restore or lengthen it. Despite that Necromancy never results in good, as one hopes, it is a practice that invites the destructive influence of Chaos and the Ruinous Powers.

The campus of the Amethyst College in Altdorf is rumored to exist on two planes: for the living and for the dead. Visitors to the grounds will tell you it is abandoned. The campus choked with vines, crumbling buildings, and piles of dead leaves collecting in the crevices and corners of halls and streets or tossed about by a deathly quiet wind. And yet others, invited, will tell you of a busy, if somber, campus. Both will tell of using the same entrance. Whether illusion or more, the "abandoned" campus is known to be used by braver criminals as a meeting place. How tolerant of this use the magisters are is debated.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:02 PM in d10

Thursday, 21 April 2016

R is for Ritual Magic

Ritual Magic is capable of gathering and exerting each Wind in powerful ways. Many rituals are guarded by each order to produce aids, such as Powerstones, or bring the energy of a Wind to bear on the battlefield. 

Ritual magic is used by Dwarves to bind runes to weapons and talismans. Rune Magic, as it is called, can only be used by Dwarves—besides being the only arcane magic the race is capable of mastering—and Elves.

As powerful as it is, ritual magic can be seemingly vain, vindictive, and pure evil. The Body Gilded transforms body parts into impossible, but functioning, organs or limbs. The Dance Without End will exhaust the afflicted to a grave. The Beastly Transmogrification of the Omnipotent TChar will make a beastman of weakminded men, women, and children, turning them into rampaging beasts until the transformation wears off or the beast is killed. Those that survive the ordeal do so only physically. Their minds, already said to be weak, are driven mad by the experience of the murderous rampage they participated in while afflicted.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Q is for Quiet! please

There are few common folk that would disagree: wizards and priests are not a quiet lot.

Wielding the Winds of Magic, even divine miracles of the priests of the recognized cults, means singing, whispering, exclaiming, and other often loud means of vocalization. It is not known if these "verbal" elements of spell casting is a human mnemonic to aid in mastering the necessary mental power or if it's just... necessary.

In battle, the exclamations are particularly recognized over the screams of the dying and the din of sword meeting shield and bone. In passing it seems to be an ever present whisper, song—an attribute making the Hierophants of the Order of Light immediately known—or prayer for a priest.

What is known is gagging or otherwise silencing a wizard or priest is to also rob them of working magick of arcane or divine nature. No wizard or priest is able to wield magic without his or her voice. In defensive Magick, Silence is a powerful spell indeed and as such is taught by all Orders and Cults to any that wish to study to master the spell and prayer.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

P is for The Philosopher's Stone

More commonly called "Goldstones" by the wizards of the Lore of Metal, the Philosopher's Stone is regarded as the first of the power stones mastered by any of the eight orders practiced by humans.

The Philosopher's Stone is created, as all power stones, in a closely guarded ritual that folds the "wind of Magic" upon itself until it coalesces into a physical object of energy. The stone is used as a reagent in almost all alchemical experiments of the Gold Order as well as the reagent to the most powerful spells used by the wizards.

Breach the Unknown it is said impresses upon the caster's mind the very attributes of any natural or manmade object, including objects of magical quality. The Law of Gold suppresses magical properties of objects and the Transmutation of the Unstable Mind is said to cure a subject of insanity; though there are credible accounts that the spell can make worse the afflicted mind if cast incorrectly.

The abilities of the Philosopher's Stone have become so legendary that mundane alchemists have sought to replicate it without magic; an impossible task. But the name is also why Gold wizards rarely use the term "Philosopher's Stone."  A Goldstone is the same thing by another name and the main reason that many mundane seekers think they are different things, tossing aside "gold stone" in frustration of having "true" Philosopher's Stone.


Posted by caffeinated at 12:53 PM in d10

Monday, 18 April 2016

Server Outage

Loooong story short.

I did something stupid about two years ago and it started to haunt me in the background this week. I used to have an email alias (or forwarding email) for job hunting that would just get spam.

I also have a forwarding email for my primary identity on the internet. They were almost the same. I purged a bunch of these forwarding email addresses a couple of years ago and I mistakenly purged my primary. Since I don't get a lot of email on this address I didn't notice! My host was telling me on this email my CC was expired. D'oh. When I dug into troubleshooting the outage, I started wondering: why hasn't my host notified me of my annual payment...in two years?

Straighten it out. On I.R.fucking.C. Not Slack. Fuck Slack.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:58 PM in Bohemian Breakfast

O is for The Ox Stands

The Shamans of the Amber Order, practitioners of the Lore of the Beast and masters of Ghur, are powerful battlefield wizards.

Called by mysterious, often folkloric, methods to the battlefield by generals or governors in distant outposts of the Empire, an Amber shaman can be worth 10 or 20 men by the end of a fight. Facing the terrifying and horrific monsters, giants, and beasts of Chaos, troops may run or freeze in the roar and spittle of a beast twice the size of the strongest soldier.

An Amber wizard casting the Ox Stands can turn this fright into ferocity. Ghur is drawn to the shaman and then explodes in a silent and invisible wave that energizes soldiers that can hear the shouted words of the casting shaman. With the spell, the frozen sword arm swings harder, a soldier's reflexes quicker, and the running coward turns back to fight. In that moment, the spell can strengthen a collapsing line.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 16 April 2016

N is for Nectar of Beauty

The Old World is said by those with Witchsight to be saturated with Magic. Only those that can wield the Winds are capable of enjoying the power, whether for martial or other reasons. 

And while those without magical abilities enjoy a diverse market of draughts, spirits, beers, and ales and many with promises to "cure what ails ya!." These mundane, often unreliable concoctions has given rise to a small market where apprentice, journeyman, and magister wizard alike mix magical "potions."

While much more reliable than "Herzmann's meat juice" these potions tend toward a short shelf life, odd side effects, and present unexpected side "results."

The Nectar of Beauty

The facial scarring of a pox, acne, or military wound diminishes the dowry of a daughter or the vanity of boy and man. Commonly available in cities like Altdorf with large cosmopolitain populations and social climbers, the Nectar of Beauty will heal these scars "almost" completely.

Unfortunately, and rarely spoken about, the scars just reappear else where on the body. Pox scars or poorly sewn battle scars may appear on the back, bottom or chest. While one's visage becomes pleasant in public, privately the embarrassment may be more troublesome to intimacy.

The Nectar of Beauty is also said to cause one to shun any sort of light brighter than a candelabra. At an Altdorf party, it is a faux pas to be caught squinting as it is sign that one has surely imbibed the potion. As the side effect is permanent many socialites insist on low lighting in parlors and ballrooms.

Posted by caffeinated at 2:03 PM in d10

Friday, 15 April 2016

M is for Magick, Lingua praestantia

When the High Elves arrived over three centuries ago to call and assess the humans of the Empire capable of mastering the Winds of Magic, they first had to create and then teach these "primitives" a language capable of drawing the Winds to the casters.

The High Elves speak Eltharin, a language that itself is derived from the very language the High Elves use to master and wield Qhaysh, Anoqeyån. Neither language is one that could be taught in the time allowed the High Elves, so they created a sort of pastiche of Eltharin and Old Riekspiel. The Colleges of Magic, have named this language lingua praestantia, or more simply Magick.

Lingua praestantia, like Eltharin and Anoqeyån before it, has a darker side as well. It is derived from the language of the Dark Tongues used by daemons and dark sorcerers. This is because the High Elves believe Anoqeyån is the closest language left known in the world that was likely spoken by the Old Ones.

Posted by caffeinated at 4:24 PM in d10

Thursday, 14 April 2016

L is for Lumen Stones

The Hierophants of the White Wind, Hysh, will often seek to learn the secret songs of their Order that allows them to bind Magick into the rare Lumen Stone. Like other Power Stones, Lumen Stones store Magick that can be harnessed to cast the most powerful spells of Hysh. Lumen Stones radiate a pure white light and have an appearance of a large, flawless diamond.

The most powerful spells often wielded by the Hierophants include Boon of Hysh, Daemonbane, and Pillar of Radiance. Without a Lumen Stone, these spells are too powerful to be cast by Journeymen of the Order. Magisters and Lords often fail without reagents at hand and intense concentration.

And as all powerful spells, these spells will echo on the Aethyr. Hierophants will know when these spells are cast. The Order expects that these spells to be directly focused on daemons and corruption.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

K is for the Knocks of the Departed

Journeymen Wizards of the Amethyst Order of Shyish, literally the practitioners of the Lore of Death, are known for many spells dealing with passing of living things and even communicating with the dead.

Knocks of the Dead is one such spell that crosses the threshold between life and death. It is said that the spirit of the passed, either compelled by Morr or by the presence of kinship at the casting, knocks on the Gates to Morr's Eternal Garden.

The body of the deceased must be present or an immediate next of kin. The casting is aided by a reagent of the subject's clothing—easy with a body unless naked. The spell allows the wizard to ask a specific question of the spirit that is either numerically expressed or simply "yes" or "no." For example, in the investigation of a murder the wizard may ask the hour after Mittagessen he was stabbed... four knocks. A "yes" answer is one knock, a "no," two knocks.

The spirit may chose not to answer, even lie! (especially if the kin present may have been involved in foul play or was unliked in life). The wizard is only leveraging Shyish and leverages no influence on the spirit.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

J is for Arcane Justice

Magick, until Magus the Pious' foundation of the Imperial Colleges and direct diplomacy with the High Elves, was simply witchcraft.

A display of magic was seen as being in league with forces of Chaos or daemons. Whether a Cunning Man working with the "Hedge," a "Druid," an Elementalist, or just a wise woman, fear ruled. To be branded a user of witchcraft was to be burned at the stake.

The Imperial Colleges changed that view. Mostly, and then only in the largest cities of the Empire. And then still a Journeyman or Magister in far flung parts of the Empire must worry that a display of Magick won't find him or her strapped to a pole in the center of a pyre. And then it may come with complete surprise: accusations are usually whispered and a quiet call for a Witch Hunter of the Templars of Sigmar made. Watchmen or a militia man would never apprehend a wizard directly; it simply is too dangerous. A pistol, arrow, or blunderbus is much safer if a Witch Hunter is not immediately available.

To the public, this is most often witnessed form of Justice. To a member of the Imperial College, violation of the Imperial Laws or transgression or betrayal of the College's own rules, can result in Pacification.

What exactly Pacification is remains unknown; each college has their own version. But it is widely rumored to forcibly remove the ability to manipulate the Winds of Magic. The procedure and the results are widely gossiped about. No Magister wants to be subjected to Pacification. The fear of the process is itself the greatest deterrent and the greatest incentive to remain true to the Emperor and to the College.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 11 April 2016

I is for Inspiration

Editors Note: This is the first of several spells used by magisters of the various Lores this A-to-Z will look at over the next week and beyond.

Inspiration

This spell from the Lore of Light is practiced by masters of the White Wind, Hysh, and is often cast in contemplation of an academic problem or simply to open the mind to aid recall.

The wizard must concentrate both on the problem while singing to focus the White Wind on the problem or question. White Wizards often produce a small book and tear a page from it, seemingly absentmindedly, as a reagent to aid in casting the spell. The reagent is said to burst into light as it flutters to the ground or illuminate the flesh and bones of the wizard's fist as it crushes the crumpled page.

The spell is one of the moderately difficult ones a White Wizard will use, often only mastered by Journeymen. The song is said to last over a minute. It is typically a spell cast in quiet repose after a question or problem is presented in an investigation.

Magisters have said that the answer will simply "appear" in the mind's eye.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Saturday, 9 April 2016

H is for Hysh, Order of the Wise

Hysh is the White Wind, mastered by the Hierophants of the Order of the Wise.

Of the eight winds of Magick, Hysh is the most difficult wind to master. It is the closest wind to High Magick practiced by the Elves, Qhaysh. Where Dhar and Chaos are darkness, Hysh is light.

The amount of study and the complex rituals Journeyman and Magisters undergo and memorize allows them to bend and bind the wind in some of the most powerful spells available against corruption and darkness. It also makes Hierophants the most philosophical and contemplative of all the Orders.

Apprentices of the order form choirs during training that act as aid to magisters in spellcasting, study of the rituals, and purification of the Order's pristine campus in Altdorf. Some apprentices may never leave the choirs if they cannot master the mental strength necessary to manipulate the wind, instead serve the college and its goals in perpetuity. 

Many of these apprentices come from annual efforts of the Order "adopting" orphans that show any magical ability. The Order is also often the "easiest" to join, accepting those passed over by other Orders. Whether these Apprentices show the discipline to master Hysh or not, the choirs remain singing.

Martially, the Order is highly effective in the exorcism and destruction of daemons. As Hysh is also an aspect of purity, magisters are capable of powerful healing of corruption and mutation.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Friday, 8 April 2016

G is for Ghyran, Agrological Thaumaturgy

Ghyran, the Green Wind of Magick, is the source of the magisters of the Empire that practice the Lore of Life, "Soil Magic," or more academically, the practice of Agrological Thaumaturgy by the Jade Wizards.

It is said that Ghyran flows and pools like water after a hard rain and can be seen in all life of the earth. Drawn into the soil and then through the roots of all plant life. It can be seen in the rivers and streams of the Empire as well as flowing across the land following no pattern of nature.

The Jade Wizards and the establishment of their College in Altdorf begins in the call sent by Emperor Magnus the Pious in his fight against Chaos over 300 years ago. The High Elves that taught these first magisters found in the practitioners of the Old Faith, Elementalists of Water and Earth, even the Cunning Men of "the hedge" a population most ready to master Ghyran. The idea of "druid" is often ascribed to a Jade Wizard by many because of the origins and they readily accept it, if not completely correct.

Today, Jade Wizards ensure the healthy crops of the Empire and martially provide for the armies food as well as spells capable of swallowing armies or entangling hordes of beasts with choking vines that spring from the roots of trees and grass. But Jade Wizards also ensure and maintain the hedges of the Empire and leylines that manage the flow of Ghyran for the Empire's farmers.

Jade Wizards are aligned with the Cults of Taal and Rhya, the gods of nature, and the Amber Shamans.

Posted by caffeinated at 12:45 PM in d10

Thursday, 7 April 2016

F is for Fire Rubies

Like the Amethyst Wizards, the Bright Wizards of the Lore of Fire, create power stones called Fire Rubies. Fire Rubies are made in single use forges crafted during a private ritual. The result is a bright stone the lit by burning coals. The stones are hot to hold and can warm a tent in Chaos Wastes in a matter of minutes when openly exposed.

The three most powerful spells of the Lore of Fire—one that many a veteran could testify too—are Aqshy's Aegis, Breathe Fire, and Conflagration of Doom. The amount of skill and study for these (and similar spells of the other Orders) is great, often only possibly by Magisters and Lords of each order. Apprentices aided by a Fire Ruby can wield these spells in battle, in a pinch.

Like the powerful spells of Shyish, these spells also "echo" on the Aethyr. Use of powerful spells are not lightly taken by any Order. Not just because they can be so destructive, but because an error in casting can summon daemons attracted to the wind in use.

In a few days, we will look at the Lore of Light's Lumen Stones and the three most powerful spells of the Order of Light.


Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

E is for Endstones

Every College of Magic has a ritual that manifests its "wind of Magick" into a physical object known as a power stone.

The magisters of the Amethyst College craft Endstones, power stones that typically vary in color, but most are found to appear as highly polished bone or a black so pitch as to seemingly darken a day lit room.

Like all power stones, Endstones are carefully produced under strict adherence of closely guarded ritual, but serve a singular purpose: act as a store of the very energy of Magick used to create it. The Endstone serves as a reagent to spellcasting the most powerful of Shyish's Lore of Death and Spirit.

Whether The Animus Imprisoned, Life's End, or Wind of Death, an Endstone can assure the successful casting. These are not trivial spells to cast and the power required to cast them "echoes" on the Aethyr. These echoes can be felt by other Amethyst Wizards. Because these spells can bind souls or kill instantly, trivial use of them, even without an Endstone, is not tolerated by the Order.

And because an Endstone, like all powerstones, are consumed with the casting, they are rare and expensive.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

D is for Dhar

The nature of magic has two opposites. If the Winds of Magic—and winds is a human notion trying to explain High Elven understanding of the nature of Magick—are a spectrum with Qhaysh on one end representing the Winds in harmony, then Dhar is at the opposite end representing the Winds in discordance.

However, Dhar is an easy "wind" to master and often a shortcut to powerful spell casting. The ease of manipulating Dhar however comes at a great cost. The first is that Dhar must be combined with another wind to be useful outside of Necromancy and Daemonology. And Dhar is fickle. One use may not be like the last use and this often leads to magisters going insane or dropping dead. But there are a rare few that become more attuned to using Dhar. These magisters are known as Black Magisters.

Black Magisters are ostracized from their orders and often are hunted to ground and death by fire. Often, when they are found, Black Magisters have already descended into darker arts as they attempt further master Dhar. 

Use of Dhar is incredibly hard to hide as many magisters are taught from the very beginning to "see" the Winds of Magic. One Golden Wizard might perceive another Golden Wizard use Charmon with Dhar as a darker thread of Magick coalescing in his palm before becoming more powerful lightening bolts capable of striking an enemy dead. Black Magisters have to be very careful in using Dhar because it can be so easily "seen."

Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10

Monday, 4 April 2016

C is for Chamon, Alchemical Thaumaturgy

The practitioners of Alchemical Thaumaturgy are the Golden Wizards, masters of the Yellow Wind, Chamon. The apprentices, journeymen, and magisters are part of the wealthiest college of magic and one of the most diverse as well.

The wealth of the Golden Order is not as the common people suspect: crackpot alchemists, handpicked by the elven mages, cracking the code of converting a base metal to gold. While "True Transformation" is still sought and a stated goal of the Golden Order, its application remains impossible. And while the transient transformation of base metals to gold is possible, the act is publicly prosecuted by the Order's leadership because it is fraud.

The Order's wealth is far more mundane in origin: the alchemists of the Order produce potions, dyes, gunpower, refined ore, spirits, and even beer of such quality and quantity that merchants pay the best prices for them, often for a 1% or 2% profit in trading guilds across the Empire. And given the cost and need for reagents in the Order's regular wizardry, the wealth is needed.

The Order's Lore of Metal is both academic and martial. In the battlefields of the Empire against the hordes of Chaos, Golden Wizards transform the armor and weapons of the enemy to lead or rust. Weapons crafted by Golden Wizards are of such quality—and often inscribed with powerful runes and enchanted for accuracy—only the most esteemed generals and the Emperor himself can own them.

Academically, the Order houses one of the greatest libraries of the world and is closely aligned with