13 June 2014

Adepts of the Doxology: Things You Can Use

“Are you alright, Sana?” I screamed, daring a glance back at the fallen wizard, that lizard of hers screaming like a tea kettle.  I didn’t hold out high hopes - that damn crossbow bolt was sticking IN her, and it sure didn’t look good.  For any of us - me, Dray, the four remaining sellswords, we were holding off Tellek’s band of renegades at the wall, and we’d done for a dozen of the bastards at least ... but there were a couple dozen more, and now they were pissed.

“Wolf Lord’s nut sack, here they come,” spat Dray.  I nodded and gripped my last two throwing knives, feeling in front of me to make sure the axe was there and ready.

S-S-S-S-S-S-SHING!  The front wave was flattened, knocked down as if by Upuaut’s own scythe.  S-S-S-S-S-S-SHING!  I stole another glance back, and there was Sana Avennia, staggering forward - that bolt still sticking out of her! - shaking her flail at the enemy line.  S-S-S-S-S-S-SHING!  The bronze links rang in the night, and damn me for a civvie if it wasn’t a sweeter sound than temple bells.

“Eyes forward, Gwythar,” she hissed, wiping the blood from her mouth with her free hand.  “We’re not done for yet, but neither are they.”  S-S-S-S-S-S-SHING!


(NB: This is one of the wizardly orders from my campaign, which some people have found interesting and poached for their own.  For those of you scoring at home, "Fristles" are cat people, "Khibils" are fox people, "San/Sana" is a term of respect applied to scholars in general and wizards in particular, and the system information below pertains to GURPS.  Adapt as you wish!)

The Adepts practice animation and body control magics.  While the Order does not discriminate racially – officially – a preponderance are Fristles and Khibils, both races native to the desert home of the Order.  Further, all mages of the Order carry bronze flails which they use as foci for their magics (and in place of enchanted Staves).  However, the Adepts can and do also use the flails as weapons, and are among the most skilled warriors among wizards.

Their schola is in a far-off western desert land, and most Adepts train there, making wizards of this otherwise useful and well-regarded order more uncommon the farther from there one gets.  At their schola Adepts are schooled in a demanding and punishing regimen which includes a degree of mysticism and ascetic practices unusual amongst magical orders.  Privation, starvation and mortification are known to be part of the training.  Self-flagellation is a notable part of their religious practices, commonly employed when Adepts believe they have failed or faltered in a task through carelessness, clumsiness or inattention on their own part.  Nothing beyond rumors exists of the god/s they worship or the private rituals they undergo, although it is believed that the “San Destinakon” of the Order’s title refers to the mystic who founded the Order and codified its practices rather than any focus of veneration in her own right.  “Listening to the Wind” is known to be an element of meditation, although what that means is unrevealed.

What is known is that the last stage of the Adept’s training involves the feared Desert of Blood, ringed with cruel mountains, where he must survive naked – with only the bronze flail for a tool – for one month.  There, in a haunted land where the flow of mana is slight, is where Adepts learn to cope with weak or erratic mana flows; this also stands them well in enchanting magical artifacts, something at which the Order excels.  Adepts who survive leave the Desert with a familiar, almost always a winged dragonet slightly smaller than a house cat, believed by observers to be sentient.

SYMBOL: A bronze flail.

GARB: Adepts wear robes in a diamond checkerboard pattern, usually in brownish and black colors: brown, bronze, umber, tan, brass and so on.  It is usual to wear a mantle which covers the shoulders.

TEMPLATE (28 points): College of Mages [16]; the Magical Perk Flagellant’s Blessing and any one of the following: Better Magic Items, Elixir Resistance, Far Casting, Improvised Items, Controlled Cantrip, Mystic Gesture Cantrip, Mana Compensation, Rule of 17, Quick and Focused, Staff Attunement, Willful Casting [2]; the Area Knowledge (Mycretia), First Aid and Theology skills at IQ [6], the Staff spell at minimum [1], the Flail skill at DX [4], Language (Hrestoli) at least at Accented written and spoken [4],  Ally/Familiar [at least 10]; Disciplines of Faith [-10], Vow: keep cult secrets [-5].

CONSONANT SPELL COLLEGES: Animation, Alteration, Body Control, Enchantment, Movement

RECOMMENDED SKILLS: Research, Occultism, Thaumatology, Meditation, Religious Ritual.  Many Adepts have High Pain Threshold and Rapid Healing.

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