The Naming of Things

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In the Desert of Brass, magic is commonplace. Though casters are valued and honored members of society, they are treated almost like any other intellectual profession. Indeed, the cultivation of knowledge and individual scholarship is prized above all other pursuits in this civilized land, and its magic—The Naming of Things—is but another road to that knowledge. This spell school uses light blue as its signature color.

 

Spell Type
Heart-Seeking Shards Readied (packet)
Sever the Tie Instant (caster)
Secrets Bound in Riddles Instant (touch)
Circle of Absolute Clarity Circle
Betraying the Arrow Instant (caster)
Names Guard the Flesh Ward
The Wind Makes Mischief Readied (packet)
Star-Given Destinies Instant (special)
Words of Fell Betrayal Instant (packet)
Words of Vile Torment Instant (packet)
Echoes of Remembrance Instant (special)
Healthful Inspiration Readied (touch)

 

Ritual  Minimum Duration 
The Three and Thirty 1 minute
Number the Heavens 10 minutes
Point of Argument 3 seconds
Malihad’s Rope 5 minutes
Celestial Geometries 10 minutes
Shifting Sands 5 minutes
Tamroen’s Game 5 minutes
The Mind Hungers and Speaks 15 minutes
The Inanimate Life 5 minutes
Soar Without Wings 10 minutes
The Gift of Man 5 minutes
The River of Verses 5 minutes

 

Spells

Heart-Seeking Shards

Type Readied (packet)

Requirements The caster must hold a crystal or gem in their hand, else all remaining uses are lost.

Casting Verbal “The truest daggers strike but once, and so may these shards of magic seek out the hearts of my foes.”

Activation Verbal “I strike at you with heart-seeking shards!”

The caster manifests their Mastery in packets. Targets struck by this spell anywhere but the torso take 1 damage to that location. Targets struck in the torso, however, take 2 damage.

 

Sever the Tie

Type Readied (packet)

Requirements The caster must wear a large feather somewhere on their person, or all remaining uses are lost.

Casting Verbal “The eagle cares not for the serpent; I call to the winds to grant me passage, severing my tie to the earth.”

Activation Verbal “I sever my tie to the earth!”

The caster manifests their Mastery in packets, which can be activated and thrown to a location they would like to travel. They then transform into a puff of wind, going out of play and moving to the location of the packet as swiftly as possible. If the location would be unsafe out of game, they come as close to the location of the packet as possible. While travelling, they cannot be seen or tracked. They reappear when they reach their destination, and remain so until they speak the verbal and activate the spell’s effect again. This spell may be used to enter areas affected by a Circle, Wall, or other effect that would otherwise prevent such, but note that Sever the Tie is a packet-based effect.

 

Secrets Bound in Riddles 

Type Instant (touch)

Requirements None

Casting Verbal (reading) “I speak forth the (mastery)-fold wisdom bound in true names; neither secret page nor riddled book may hide their mysteries from me (you).”

Casting Verbal (writing) “I turn these words upon themselves three and thirty times so that they remain as secrets, bound in riddles.”

The first version of this spell must be cast during an investigation action on a piece of text, be it a letter, a textual puzzle, a scrap of journal, etc. Once the spell is complete, a scrap of paper will be conjured forth as an “echo” of the original as part of the investigation’s resolution. On this will be written some of the thoughts, desires, and secrets of the original writer, the importance and specificity of which is dependent upon the caster’s Mastery. Note that the caster need not participate in the actual Investigation; those that do will get the results of the casting. If cast on a text prop enchanted as per the writing version of this spell, the enchantment will be broken if the caster’s mastery is higher than that of the original writer’s. In order to invoke the second version of the spell, the caster writes up to their Mastery in lines on a piece of paper no larger than a standard sheet. At the top of the message, the caster writes “Secrets Bound in Riddles: (name),” where (name) is a person or class of people who can read the note. They then fold the paper in half, or enclose it as part of a book, and they may write whatever mundane words they wish on the outside. Finally, they speak the verbal, completing the spell. Except to its designated target, its original caster, or a caster of the secondary version of this spell, the message will appear to be written in a strange, ever-changing alien language that cannot be understood. This version of the spell ends only when the pages are destroyed or defaced, which erases all writing on them.

 

Circle of Absolute Clarity

Type Circle

Requirements Must lay the phys-rep after one minute of concentration. When the spell ends, the phys-rep must be taken up.

Casting Verbal “Let our words shine as bright and true as the desert sun, for I banish all falsehood in this circle of absolute clarity.”

Once this circle is complete, characters within it cannot knowingly lie. They may choose not to answer a question, but if they do, their statements must be as factually correct as is within the character’s capability. All within this circle are also immune to mental effects, Blindness, and Stillness, calling “no effect” if hit with such. Like all circles, this spell can measure up to five yards in circumference per level of the caster’s Mastery. A Circle of Absolute Clarity appears as an azure ring of bright desert sky, almost impossibly clear.

 

Betraying the Arrow

Type Instant (caster)

Requirements None

Casting Verbal (defensive) “I call to the Djinn of the four winds to throw back that which seeks to harm me; by your names I shall betray the arrow.”

Casting Verbal (offensive) “I call to the Djinn of the four winds to guide my aim and steady my hand; by your names let nothing betray the arrows’ flight.”

Once the defensive version of this spell is cast, the caster gains Threshold 1 versus missile weapons, thrown weapons, and other physical ranged attacks. The offensive version of this spell, in contrast, simply adds 1 to the damage of any Power Strikes the caster calls with missile or thrown weapons. Both versions last for 1 hour per mastery. Both versions of this spell are mutually exclusive and the caster may not use them at the same time.

 

Names Guard the Flesh

Type Ward

Requirements None

Casting Verbal “I draw to me the wisdom of a thousand ages, so that no sorcery will pierce through these names that guard the flesh.”

With this spell up, a caster may “burn” a Naming of Things charge to resist the effects of any single packet-delivered magical effect. Such a resist is called as “Ward,” when activated. The caster can end this spell for a “free” instance of such a resist, or to immediately cast a Naming of Things spell (called as “Revocation: verbal”). Names Guard the Flesh lasts until it is deliberately ended or for an entire event, whichever comes first. A character may only have one ward up at a time.

 

The Wind Makes Mischief

Type Readied (packet)

Requirements The caster may not wear Heavy armor nor bear a shield of any kind.

Casting Verbal “By the vexings of the djinn, the wind shall make mischief upon my foes, stealing away what they hold.”

Activation Verbal “The wind makes mischief and steals what you hold!”

The caster manifests their Mastery in packets. Targets struck by these packets must immediately drop everything that they are holding or wielding. Note that worn objects like rings, bracelets, and gloves, are unaffected. Shields, unless they are bucklers which are securely strapped to the arm, count as held objects for purposes of this spell. If, for some reason, a character cannot drop an item in a timely fashion, they instead take an immediate and irresistible limb wound to the arm that held it. Those affected by this spell may not pick up anything for 3 seconds. If this spell is cast on those who are not holding anything they obviously have nothing to drop, but they are similarly prevented from picking anything up for 3 seconds. In addition, while this spell is active (the caster has uses remaining), they may drop it entirely to call a Resist on any Bind, Shackle, Slow, Knockdown, Disarm, or Drop effect they suffer.

 

Star-Given Destinies

Type Instant (special)

Requirements None

Casting Verbal “To the heavens I raise my voice in entreat, so that I might know star-given destinies; may the Great Djinns impart to me a vision of (focus of the divination).” After intoning this spell’s verbal, which ends with a description of the divination’s focus, the caster begins an elaborate divination using the method of their choice. This can include the study of the stars (of course), fortune-telling cards, casting colored stones, or just about any other method of telling the future. This spell requires the presence of a plot member or marshal, so players are encouraged to perform the divination for as long as is necessary for the appropriate person to be fetched. Once present, the player receives a vision of the future. The power of this vision is governed by the Mastery of the caster, and a higher Mastery will yield more information. The caster may specify a particular matter on which to divine, or they can inquire about the future in general. The caster can only use this spell once per event. Note that meddling in destiny can have odd and sometimes dangerous effects.

 

Words of Fell Betrayal

Type Instant (packet)

Requirements None

Casting Verbal “By these words both fell and terrible, you shall betray your friends in (mastery)-fold ways!”

A target struck by this spell is stricken with Betrayal as a Mental effect, and they must immediately turn on those who they perceive to be their allies, attacking them with weapons and magic to the best of their abilities. This spell ends after 1 minute passes, when its victim becomes Critical or Unconscious, or when they have made a number of successful attacks on their allies equal to the original caster’s Mastery. A successful “attack,” for the purpose of this spell, is a weapon strike that causes damage and/or a special effect to a target, or a hostile instant/readied spell use that actually takes effect on them.

If the target has no ability to attack, they will attempt to seize a nearby weapon; failing that, they will “attack” their allies with a number of cruel statements, each of which must be as hurtful as possible. As with all mental effects, a Charismatic character can spend a feat to immediately talk their ally out of this condition.

 

Words of Vile Torment

Type Instant (packet) or (touch)

Requirements None

Casting Verbal (packet) “By these words of torment and disease, I bring (mastery)-fold ruin; may your last breath be vileness!”

Casting Verbal (touch) “I whisper the (Mastery)-fold words of torment and disease to this weapon: may it speak them to those who feel its vile touch.” (after 1 minute of concentration)

This packet-based spell does the caster’s Mastery in magic damage to the location it hits. If the target suffers a wound from this spell, they are Diseased at a strength equal to the damage they just took. If this spell does not cause a wound, no other effect takes place. A Feat of Toughness may be used to resist the Disease, but not the damage. The touch version of this spell, when cast after one minute of concentration, enchants a thrown or melee weapon such that it may be used to call a single Disease Strike X, where X is equal to the caster’s Mastery. This enchantment lasts for one event or until used, whichever comes first. Disease Strikes do their called number in damage and if they cause a wound, they cause Disease at a level equal to that damage, as above. As with all enchantments, this casting may not stack with itself: if cast on a weapon bearing this spell, it merely replaces the effect. While a target is Diseased, they become Prone and cannot stand without aid; they must lie down, sit, or kneel. The only way to move from their position under their own power is by crawling on their hands and knees, though they may attack and defend as normal. As a strict roleplaying requirement, Diseased characters must act as if they are terribly nauseous and/or wracked with choking coughs.176

 

Echoes of Remembrance

Type Instant (special)

Requirements None

Casting Verbal “May the past live anew and shadows walk again, as I call to what has gone before with the echoes of remembrance.”

The caster calls forth images of the past at a unique or powerful location, revealing the events of its history. This can reveal the use of ancient ruins, the identity of an infamous murderer, or the presence of hidden dangers, as examples. This spell cannot be cast everywhere, however, as the site must have a powerful history. The power of this vision is governed by the Mastery of the caster, and a higher Mastery will yield more information. A plot member or marshal must be present to cast this spell, and a character may only do so once per location, per event.

 

Healthful Inspiration

Type Readied (touch)

Requirements The caster may not suffer a Persistent Condition of any kind, or the spell is lost.

Casting Verbal “By the names of the four winds, I grant healthful inspiration to the weak and the sick. May the Djinn find favor with them.”

Activation Verbal “I grant the inspiration of health and vigor.” (after 3 seconds of concentration)

When this spell is cast, the caster gains their Mastery in activated effects. By touching a target, concentrating for 3 seconds, and then intoning the activation verbal, the recipient immediately restores 2 Vitality. Additionally, any Disease or Plague from which they suffer is reduced in power by 2. Characters who have 0 maximum Vitality obviously gain no benefit from this spell’s first effect.177

 

Ritual Descriptions

 

The Three and Thirty

Duration 1 minute

The character must precisely recite the chant of the Thirty-Three Great Djinn. If the character reads the chant, they must read the full chant in its entirety. If they recite it purely from memory, they need only chant the names of the Djinns, not the full piece. If the character finishes before the minute is up, they may spend the rest of the time in brief meditation (note that the chant should be spoken deliberately, not rushed). Should the character improperly speak a name or pause for longer than a single breath, the ritual fails.

 

Number the Heavens

Duration 10 minutes

Look to the night sky, describing clouds, the stars, or the moon in all their intricacies. There need not be an audience for this ritual, but the character must speak audibly.

 

Point of Argument

Duration 3 seconds

The character describes to a sentient foe the foolishness of their position, philosophy, or moral justifications, after which they must strike the target with a melee or missile weapon. The ritual succeeds if the target is struck, even if it does not cause a wound; if it hits a shield or weapon, the ritual still takes effect. If the character misses or the target Dodges, however, the ritual fails.178

 

Malihad’s Rope

Duration 5 minutes

The character lectures on a scholarly topic involving a matter of dogma or intellectual controversy. If fewer than 2 listeners remain at the ritual’s end, it fails.

 

Celestial Geometries

Duration 10 minutes

The character draws up an arcane pattern, mandala, a series of mathematical formulae, or a combination of any of the three, for the purpose of gaining a mystical understanding of the cosmos.

 

Shifting Sands

Duration 5 minutes

The character slowly trickles a stream of fine sand into a bowl, box, or shallow basin to create abstract patterns. Afterwards, the character destroys this pattern.

 

Tamroen’s Game

Duration 5 minutes

The character plays a game that does not involve chance, such as Chess, Go, or Mankala. The character can play multiple games if one of them ends before the ritual’s duration is up. If the character’s opponent leaves before the requisite time, however, the ritual fails.

 

The Mind Hungers and Speaks

Duration 15 minutes

The character reads a difficult text, such as a technical scheme, advanced scholarly work, or dense poetry. Alternately (or in addition), the character writes down at least a page worth of scholarly musings in a book designated for such a thing.179

 

The Inanimate Life

Duration 5 minutes

The character studies the inner workings of a music box, mechanical device, moving puzzle, complex instrument, or magnetic oddity, while taking brief notes.

 

 

Soar Without Wings

Duration 10 minutes

The character runs or jogs outside while unarmed and unarmored. Should the character go slower than a brisk jog, the ritual fails.

 

 

The Gift of Man

Duration 5 minutes

The character circumscribes a building or large outcropping of stones, describing it in terms of solidity, quality, definition, and permanence. The character should touch the object in question periodically and describe the sensation.

 

The River of Verses

Duration 5 minutes

The character writes a poem of no less than 12 lines and then gives it to a trusted friend. If the friend does not accept the poem, the ritual fails.