Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Glimpse at Zorin Greystar's Grimoire

copyright 1984 by V Autumn, S Scherf, and K Autumn

          I have held the title of archmage for many, many years, and there is almost nothing I have not seen and done regarding magic and adventuring...I cannot in good conscience keep this wisdom to myself, so as writing is the only lasting way to spread ideas, I write this manuscript.
– Zorin Greystar

The Complete Works of Zorin Greystar – Book One, by Steve Scherf and Kellar Autumn, adopts the conceit that it is a commentary by characters “in a Fantasy Gamer's imagination.”  Archmage Greystar himself acts as an editor of sorts and contributes 'Chapter V – Spells,' briefly mentioned in last week's post.  Zorin provides a “small excerpt from [his] spellbook freely,” yet he refrains from giving “anything with which you could do widespread and long-lasting damage such as [his] more powerful temporal acceleration and reversal spells, and the ever-feared Storm of Chaos.”

Instead of one 'Dispel Magic' spell, Zorin has 'Dispel Type I' and 'Dispel Type II.'  Dispel Type I is a first level spell and works only on the caster's own spells.  Dispel Type II, like Dispel Magic, is a third level spell and works similarly except the formula for success is more complex and magic items can be neutralized temporarily.  'Anti-Magic Shell,' 'Permanency,' and 'Time Stop' also get the 'Type II' treatment from Zorin.  'Time Stop Type II' is a twelfth level spell that shrinks a target and places it into “temporal stasis” inside “an indestructible...sphere.”  “Indestructible” is defined in another twelfth level spell by the name of 'Indestructability' [sic].  When cast upon a “creature,” the 'Indestructability' spell is fatal to that creature in 1 - 10 turns.

There is a fifth level 'Improved Fly' spell with a tripled movement rate compared to the third level 'Fly' spell.  Zorin's 'Teleportation Type II' spell (ninth level) has “no chance of error” and his 'Teleportation Type III' spell (eleventh level) takes effect upon the caster's demise. 'Final Strike' (ninth level) is another spell triggered by the caster's death; it allows a number of spells to be stored “in stasis” and then released when the caster dies.

Zorin offers a variety of 'protection' spells:  'Protection from Gases' (fifth level), 'Protection from Liquids' (fifth level), 'Protection from Cold/Fire/Lightning' (sixth level), 'Protection from Curses' (seventh level), 'Protection from Normal Weapons' (seventh level), and 'Protection from Detection/Location' (tenth level).  'Tactile Protection' is an eighth level spell that “creates the illusion that the caster cannot be felt.”

'Secret Writing' is a third level spell that “alters writing so as to make it unreadable by any but the caster.”  The effect “cannot be dispelled because the writing is actually changed, and the magic is gone once cast.”  However, a mage of a level at least equal to the original caster can use the reverse of this spell, 'Manifest Writing,' to make the writing normal again.

Some spells are based upon mana use and the cosmology of Greystar's universe.  'Interrupt' (fourth level) causes all spellcasters to save vs spells or roll on the 'Spellcasters' Fumble Chart.'  'Negative/Positive Projection' (eleventh level) opens a rift to the negative or positive force.  If a rift is opened to the negative force:  (i) living things within the area of effect will “have their souls obliterated and their bodies shriveled” (unless they succeed in a saving roll vs magic) and (ii) undead spellcasters “will have all of their mana restored.”  In the case of a rift being opened to the positive force, the converse occurs:  undead beings will be destroyed and living spellcasters will recover mana.  In either situation, there is a chance of “overloading” the brains of the entities recovering mana.  Also, there is a not insignificant chance “of contacting the wrong force” when casting this spell.  The twelfth level 'Contact Positive/Negative Force' spell restores the caster's mana (evidently with no chance of overload); however, there is a possibility “of bridging to the opposite force,” which would be especially ruinous to the caster.

Some of the other spells Zorin provides include: 'Breathe/Suffocate,' 'Cat Sleep,' 'Elessa's Adamantine Arrows,' 'Empathy/Atrophy,' 'True Sight,' 'Zaardoz's Spell of Soul Stealing,' and 'Zorin's Spell Storing.'

copyright 1984 by V Autumn, S Scherf, and K Autumn

1 comment:

  1. ok now i'm at a loss. It seems that since this was mentioned on Acaeum forum they quickly bought the last remaining copies both on Amazon and Abebooks.

    There is now no copies left anywhere to buy AFAIK. I hope you will scan this someday.