Thirteen Harmonious Changes

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The Justicars and Inquisitors from the Empire of Perfect Unity practice a rigid and orderly magic known as the Thirteen Harmonious Changes, which emphasizes law, duty, and harmony. The outcasts from beyond the North Wall have practitioners of this magic, as well, though their take on it is often radically different. One of the most difficult questions asked by a master magician to their students is “What is the Thirteenth Change?” This magic’s color is brown.

 

Spell  Type 
S = Stone Lion, J = Justicar
(S) Implacable Stone Lion Instant (caster)
(S) Mantle of Law Ward
(S) Union of Mind and Body Instant (caster)
(S) Awaken the Spiteful Earth Readied (packet)
(S) Way of the Mountain Instant (touch)
(S) Ring of Smoke and Cedar Circle
(J) Inquisitor’s Bearing Instant (caster)
(J) Justicar’s Rebuke Readied (packet)
(J) Ghost-Killing Hands Readied (packet)
(J) Honored Ancestor Benison Readied (touch)
(J) Parting the Veil Instant (touch)
(J) House of Jade and Marble Instant (touch)

 

Ritual  Minimum Duration 
S = Stone Lion, J = Justicar
(S) North Wall Scripture 10 minutes
(S) Twin Stone Understanding 5 minutes
(S) The Smoke Clears 10 minutes
(S) Five Summer Lesson 5 minutes
(S) The Scholar’s Sword 5 minutes
(S) Three Birds Meditation 3 seconds
(J) All Under One 1 minute
(J) A Serene House 5 minutes
(J) The Middle Way 5 minutes
(J) The Thousand Accepted Forms 10 minutes
(J) Litany of Reckoning 1 minute
(J) Blessings of the Dead 1 or 15 minutes

 

Spell Descriptions

 

Implacable Stone Lion

Type Instant (caster)

Requirements The caster cannot move even a single step from their location, or touch the ground with any other part of their body, else the spell immediately ends.

Casting Verbal “The First change is Implacable Stone Lion; in embracing it, I will become a forbidding guardian, as hard as the north wall itself.” (after 3 seconds of concentration)

When this spell is cast, the caster immediately gains points of magical protection equal to their Mastery. As well, the caster gains a Threshold of 1, which allows them to ignore all damaging effects that only do 1 point of damage, as long as the spell is active. When hit with an attack that is ignored in this way, the caster must call “Threshold” to let attackers know. Note that any damage greater than 1 is treated as normal; a Power Strike 2, as an example, does its full 2 damage to the caster. While under this spell, the caster must remain absolutely in place, else it immediately ends. Taking a step, no matter how small, will end the spell, as will touching the ground with any part of the body. As with all magical protections, this spell replaces any protection already in place, and cannot stack with itself. If a character under this spell accepts any other spell or effect that grants magical protection, this spell ends immediately.

 

Mantle of Law

Type Ward

Requirements None

Casting Verbal “The Second change is Mantle of Law; in donning it, forbidden powers will not sway or dishonor me, and I shall be an example to all.”

With this spell up, a caster may “burn” a Thirteen Harmonious Changes 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. Alternately, they may end this ward to fix a Broken item, or to maintain a damaged one, such as a suit of armor. This ability is called as “Mantle of Law,” and is invoked as a touch effect following 1 minute of concentration. Mantle of Law 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.

 

Union of Mind and Body

Type Instant (caster)

Requirements none

Casting Verbal “The Third change is Union of Mind and Body; in understanding it, I know that the first path of wisdom is walked with fortitude.”

During this spell’s duration (1 hour per Mastery), the caster may burn a 13HC charge to reduce the damage of any single damaging effect to 1. This is called as “Reduce!” Note that Threshold is checked before damage reduction, meaning that Reduced damage may never be negated by Threshold.

 

Awaken the Spiteful Earth

Type Readied (packet)

Requirements The caster must hold a bag of soil or stones, or a length of sizable jade beads in one of their hands, or all uses are lost.

Casting Verbal “The Fourth change is Awaken the Spiteful Earth; in using it, I will cast down the defiant, so that they might know their true station.”

Activation Verbal “The spiteful earth awakens, and it shall cast you down!”

The caster manifests their Mastery in packets. Targets struck by these packets are inflicted with a Knockdown effect; they are forced to their knees or into a sitting or prone position, and they may not stand. Victims of this spell may still attack and defend, as well as use spells and skills as normal, and they may crawl upon their hands and knees. Other characters may carry victims of this spell as they would someone suffering a leg wound. A character may call a Feat of Strength to resist the effects of this spell directly. Knockdown lasts 1 minute.

 

Way of the Mountain Type Instant (touch)

Requirements None

Casting Verbal “The Fifth change is Way of the Mountain; in becoming it, I bring forth (mastery)-fold things of solidity and hidden purpose.” (after 1 minute of concentration)

This spell grants its target 3 points of magical protection for a number of hours equal to the caster’s Mastery. Any target under this spell may call a Feat of Will, a Feat of Toughness, or a Feat of Attunement to effectively refresh its protection, intoning “Way of the Mountain,” even if it is completely gone, after 3 seconds of concentration. Like all protection enchantments, this spell does not stack with itself or any other source of protection.

 

Ring of Smoke and Cedar

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 “The Sixth change is Ring of Smoke and Cedar; in drawing it, I bring calm, and I make useless those things which herald disharmony.”

This spell creates a circle within which no one may make any attacks at all, either with weapons or with magic. In addition, anyone leaving the circle is restricted as per the above effect for one full minute after doing so. All of those fully within the circle are completely immune to melee, missile and thrown weapon attacks from those outside it, and call “no effect” if hit with such. Note that this later effect does not persist after leaving the circle. Magical attacks directed from outside the circle are unaffected. This circle appears as a fragrant ring of umber smoke, which hugs the earth closely as it drifts upward from its circumference.

 

Inquisitor’s Bearing

Type Instant (caster)

Requirements The caster must wear plain robes in the style of the Empire, or the spell ends immediately. No armor of any sort, nor any shield or buckler, may be used while this spell is active. Finally, the character may not become Intoxicated, or the spell similarly ends.

Casting Verbal “The Seventh change is Inquisitor’s Bearing; in welcoming it, I abjure all temptation, for the truly wicked fall from on high.”

When this spell is cast, the caster is granted an enchantment that renders them completely immune to Mental effects of all types (calling “No Effect” when targeted with such). While under the effects of this spell, the character is unable to take Inspiration of any sort. Inquisitor’s Bearing lasts a number of hours equal to the caster’s Mastery.

 

Justicar’s Rebuke

Type Readied (packet) or (touch)

Requirements The character must bear one of the badges of the Justicars (a carved staff, a large ledger, or a simple jade pendant) as befitting one of their station, or the spell drops.

Casting Verbal “The Eighth change is Justicar’s Rebuke; in speaking it, the unrighteous are chastened, and the guilty will know shame.”

Activation Verbal (packet) “You are only worthy of a Justicar’s rebuke!”196

Activation Verbal (touch) By the Eighth Change and under this Justicar’s station, none shall sway or rebuke you.” The caster manifests their Mastery in uses of this spell. Those affected by the packet version are Rebuked as a mental effect; they may not call Feats of any kind—from any source—until they get 10 minutes of standard rest or the condition is removed. Recipients of the touch version of this spell simply gain a standard Mental Resist as an enchantment-based effect for one event or until used, whichever comes first. Note that resists will not stack with themselves or other sources of the same type.

 

Ghost-Killing Hands

Type Readied (packet)

Requirements The caster must hold a prayer strip in at least one hand, or all remaining uses are lost.

Casting Verbal “The Ninth change is Ghost-Killing Hands; in assuming it, I shall destroy those hungry shades which refuse their proper rest.”

Activation Verbal “I smite you with Ghost-Killing Hands!” The caster manifests their Mastery in packets. Any Accursed creature struck by this spell takes 3 magic damage. This spell has no effect on non-accursed creatures.

 

Honored Ancestor Benison

Type Instant (touch or special)

Requirements (both versions) The caster must hold or wear a prominent keepsake from their honored ancestor or the spell cannot be cast.

Casting Verbal (touch) “The Tenth change is Honored Ancestor Benison; in voicing it, I ask (caster’s ancestor) to bring (his/her) virtue into the world.” (after 1 minute of concentration)197

Casting Verbal (special) “The Tenth change is Honored Ancestor Benison; in voicing it, I pray for noble (caster’s ancestor) to show me the way of rightful action.” The touch version of this spell, after the caster concentrates for 1 minute and says the verbal, simply grants the recipient a standard Magic resist. This resist will not stack with itself or other sources of the same, and lasts until used or for 1 event. The special version of this spell allows the caster to receive a mental vision “sent” to them by the soul of their departed ancestor, which will grant them moral guidance and perhaps specific knowledge. This vision may take some time to form, but when it arrives the caster will receive a vision (marshal description) filled with symbolic significance, the power and detail of which is determined by the caster’s Mastery. Note that this spell is entirely passive in nature; the caster cannot “direct” the vision in any way. This version of the spell may only be cast once per event.

 

Parting the Veil

Type Instant (touch)

Requirements none

Casting Verbal (passed on) “The Eleventh change is Parting the Veil; in performing it, I offer a gift to the ancient dead and humbly ask them to impart their wisdom.”

Casting Verbal (recently dead) “The Eleventh change is Parting the Veil; in performing it, I bring solace to the newly dead and bestow upon them this humble boon.”

In casting this spell during an Investigation on a body whose soul has passed on, an “echo” of it is summoned, and a number of questions may be asked of it equal to the caster’s Mastery. Note that the caster need not participate in said investigation for the spell to have an effect, and that any standard investigation questions simply take the form of those allowed by the spell itself. If cast on the recently dead (one whose soul has not moved on), the target extends their passing time to 1 hour; if they still depart, they are granted a Boon, which is a mysterious enchantment useful for souls negotiating the afterlife.

 

House of Jade and Marble

Type Instant (touch)

Requirements The building must be marked by one or two prominent statues (at least 6″ high) at each entrance, else the spell is lost. The statues must be of a style befitting the Empire of Perfect Unity.

Casting Verbal (packet) “The Twelfth change is House of Jade and Marble; in forming it, I exalt this place so that its walls will admit only the virtuous.”

This spell enchants a building so that it becomes nearly impenetrable. At the time of casting, the caster may manifest up to their Mastery in keystones (flat stones marked with a distinctive character). Though the caster does not need a key to enter, the door will remain locked for others unless touched by one of the above stones. House of Jade and Marble may be dropped or bypassed by certain powerful effects, but the caster’s Mastery is used to resist such effects. Once enchanted, the spell’s focus statue(s) are entirely immovable and indestructible for the duration of the effect (1 event). The caster must prominently note the power of the spell, as well as the number of keystones, in their cabin notes; on the statue itself, however, the caster must artfully drape a rope bearing a number of knots equal to their Mastery, or have some other clever way of phys-repping the power of the spell visually (a bowl of beads in the statue’s hands, a number of ribbons tied to it, a number “carved” into it discreetly, etc.). House of Jade and Marble may only be cast once per event, per caster.

 

Rituals

 

North Wall Scripture

Duration 10 minutes

Guard a doorway. This ritual fails if hostile forces enter through it, you become Unconscious or Critical, or if you move more than 10′ away from the door.

 

Twin Stone Understanding

Duration 5 minutes

While sitting upon the ground, hold two stones (each must fill the hand) in your outstretched palms, without dropping them or allowing your hands to rest.

 

The Smoke Clears

Duration 10 minutes

Meditate cross-legged on the floor, while holding a burning stick of incense in your cupped hands.

 

Five Summer Lesson

Duration 5 minutes

Paint your hand red, in the style of the rebellion, and then thoroughly wash it off.

 

The Scholar’s Sword

Duration 5 minutes

Perform a series of flowing katas with a scholar’s sword (Wen Jian), without stopping for more than 3 seconds.

 

Three Birds Meditation

Duration 3 seconds

After calling out the name of this ritual, strike a true enemy (who is up and armed when this ritual begins) with three consecutive melee attacks, each of which must cause damage to them. If any are parried, dodged, or resisted in some way, the ritual fails.

 

All Under One

Duration 1 minute

Authoritatively recite the official hierarchy of the Empire of Perfect Unity from memory, beginning with the Emperor and ending with the Commoner of the Least Rank.

 

A Serene House

Duration 5 minutes

Participate in a tea ritual, practice calligraphy, meditatively order your belongings, or clean your living space.

 

The Middle Way

Duration 5 or 15 minutes

Participate in an intellectual, political, or personal argument between two other parties, continually pointing out, with sober detachment, the wisdom of mutual compromise (5 minutes). Alternately, write out a scholarly argument on a controversial subject that soberly considers the merits of each side, in an attempt to bring them into harmony. (15 minutes).

 

The Thousand Accepted Forms

Duration 5 minutes

After reading a poem or story, listening to a song or tale, or studying a piece of calligraphy or artwork, give it a thorough analysis according to the strictures of the Empire’s acceptable artistic forms.

 

Litany of Reckoning

Duration 1 minute

Call down an angry, yet controlled, judgment of death upon those who wish you or your compatriots immediate, mortal harm, speaking constantly of the nature of their offences and of their immanent demise.

 

 

Blessings of the Dead

Duration 1 or 10 minutes

Over the corpse of a recently dead individual, speak words of appeasement, serenity, and sacrifice (1 minute). Alternately, speak at length about the nature and deeds of someone close to you, though now departed, asking for their guidance; you need not have an audience for this (10 minutes).