Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Pages from Spellbooks (part III)

Five years ago, your humble host published two posts (here and here) providing examples of what pages in spellbooks might look like.  Below are nine more examples derived from 'real world' sources; however, not all of these sources are associated with magic in the real world.  As usual, Thoul's Paradise disclaims any responsibility for circumstances arising from the use or misuse of the following material.

Spells have to come from somewhere.  For a warlock with a “Fiend” patron, perhaps the “Fiend” possesses the body of the warlock and inscribes a new spell in the Book of Shadows.  How might such an inscription look?  Well, a 17th century nun was said to have been possessed by the Devil himself.  Of course, having possessed a nun, Satan indulged in the scandalous behavior of writing a letter.  This is the result.  Presumably, a warlock would know how to decipher it but then again, Old Scratch might just be playing a prank.  Seriously, can you trust someone known as the Prince of Lies?

Speaking of the Devil, the cover of Secrets of Black Art makes some bold promises, but does it deliver?  If it were legitimate, wouldn't it be Secrets of ye Olde Black Art ?  In actuality, the first half of the book is a hodgepodge of topics like mesmerism and folk magic written in the Victorian era.  A clever spellcaster might use this cover for his or her actual spellbook; anyone coming across the tome would assume it was useless in terms of genuine magic and disregard it.  The second half of the book is a novelty item catalog, which stands to reason given it was published by a company that sold novelty items.  If we assume that Secrets of Black Art somehow imparts magical abilities to its owner, perhaps the 'novelty items' are material components.

Speaking of spell components, when dealing with eldritch energies, every nuance is important.  A finger quivering incorrectly may effectuate an undesirable result.  (“...hand movements are usually required in order to control and specify the direction, target, area, etc., of the spell effects.”  – DMG 1e, p. 40)  As such, spellbooks should address somatic components.  Here we see notes on thumb rotation – and none of that high-falutin' theory, just honest-to-goodness praxis.

Utriusque Cosmi Historia

Each spellbook has a “unique system of notation used by the wizard who wrote it.”  Not only are spellbooks encrypted, but they must convey abstruse information.  Wizards might express such knowledge in imaginative ways.

Picatrix

'Pattern poetry' presents different 'layers' of information to those in the know.  This method may be an efficient means for a wizard to encode the various particulars of a spell.

De laudibus sanctae crucis

Esoteric imagery may be a useful way (or perhaps the only way) to impart thaumaturgical concepts.

Cabala, Spiegel derr Kunst und Natur in Alchymia

This next page has a hole.  Is it due to wear and tear of an adventuring spell caster's lifestyle?  Or was the name of an ultramundane entity written on this segment of parchment?  An entity so horrific – so abominable – that its very name is rejected by our reality?

Book of Ballymote

Sometimes spells written in or on items other than spellbooks.  Here is how a spell scroll might appear.

Ripley Scroll (detail)

In a previous post, we explored the possibility of spells being recorded on alternative media.  A lazy wizard might want to forgo a spellbook altogether.  Why bother with tediously turning pages when you can just inscribe all of your pertinent spell information on your staff?  It will never leave your side; security and convenience both.

Santiago Staff (detail)


Sunday, June 27, 2021

Journey to Stonedeep (spoilers)

Art by Ed Lee

The introductory adventure (or “ready-to-run quest”) provided in 1995's Everway Box Set takes up about half of the 64-page Gamemastering Guide.  It is a very good example of what an introductory adventure should be:  it provides options for the gamemaster, explains the likely results of those options, describes probable choices the players may make, and the ramifications of those choices.  In short, 'Journey to Stonedeep' is not a linear narrative to which the players and gamemaster must conform.  However, Jonathan Tweet identifies a best or ideal ending (later called the “ideal climax”).

Given the focus on cards in Everway, it should come as no surprise that 'Journey to Stonedeep' has six 'quest cards' associated with it.  Each quest card has an illustration on one side and relevant information (usually the scores for background characters) on the other.  The illustrations are useful for showing the players what a particular scene or background character looks like.

In terms of background, “a venomous, evil dragon” devastated a realm called Sweetwaters three hundred years ago.  The only gate to the realm of Stonedeep is in Sweetwaters.  Due to the presence of the dragon in Sweetwaters, spherewalkers have not been able to travel to or from Stonedeep.  Recently, “a hero has vanquished the dragon,” and the gate to Stonedeep is accessible once again.  Patrons now recruit the player characters “to use the gate, find out how Stonedeep may have changed in three hundred years, and determine the best way to approach those lost neighbors.”

Once in Sweetwaters, a guide leads the party to the gate to Stonedeep.  This takes seven days.  The guide will wait two weeks for the party to return, after which, “the guide will leave, and eventually someone will sponsor another expedition to Stonedeep.”  The Playing Guide tells us, “Most spherewalks take about a week.”  One week to Stonedeep and one week back already accounts for two weeks, so there's not much time to accomplish the goal of the quest.

Anyway, during the transition from Sweetwaters to Stonedeep, characters with strong Water scores have a vision of the Awakener (shown above).  Of course, the characters don't yet know it's the Awakener, they just see the vision:

You are standing in a field, but you feel ungrounded, and you realize you're having a vision.  A dragon hurdles down out of the the sky, crashes into the ground, and bursts into flame.  Out of the flame walks a man in armor.  He strides forth, stands still, and stares at you.  His eyes glow red.  Suddenly you see that he is standing on a pile of skulls.  “I seek a bride,” he says.  The vision vanishes, and you're standing on solid ground.

Crashing dragon.  Glowing red eyes.  Pile of skulls.  Players are sensitive to clues like these and they might just receive the impression that this is not a nice person.  A sidebar provides some additional information:

The Awakener gets his name from a teaching of Anubis, the god of death.  Anubis teaches that dying is “awakening”:  the virtuous awaken to the light of a glorious afterlife, while the unworthy awaken in darkness.

If or how the player characters learn this is not detailed.

In any event, the party arrives at some ruins in Stonedeep, a realm similar to ancient Egypt.  The party soon encounters a damsel in distress; specifically, a woman named Rarity is at the mercy of two (or more) ghouls.  Presumably, the party rescues Rarity and, also presumably, return her to the town of Underwood.  In this and subsequent scenes she party obtains pertinent information.  A priestess of Isis repelled an invasion 250 years ago and became the ruler of Stonedeep, changing the name of the realm to Bonekeep.  She remains ruler and is known as “the Ghoul Queen.”  We also learn:

The queen rules the land by turning the dead into vile, half-alive servants that do her bidding without question.  The people have grown resigned to her rule.

Additionally, the party gains some information about the Awakener.  His arrival in Bonekeep is imminent.  As indicated in the vision, he is looking for a bride.  The Ghoul Queen has captured a few beautiful women (like Rarity) and intends to present them to the Awakener under the assumption that he's looking for beauty.  She expects the Awakener to provide her with a boon for her efforts.

Should the party confront him once he arrives, they learn that, “By snapping his fingers, the Awakener can bring death to mortal and undead beings.”  Specifically, each snap causes up to twelve beings to lose one point of Earth.  Therefore, the Awakener can destroy a dozen average opponents in three narrative turns.  Also, he is “unkillable” and has a Fire score of 6.  In effect, the party cannot reasonably hope to defeat the Awakener.  If the party prevents the Ghoul Queen from presenting the Awakener with a bride, they “will have to track him down and deal with him somehow to keep Bonekeep from being destroyed.”  So, absent interference from the Ghoul Queen or the party, the Awakener will destroy the realm.  I feel safe in saying this is a bad thing. 

As written, the quest implies that the Ghoul Queen's rule is tyrannical.  There are references to peasants being “angry at the Ghoul Queen,” that hers is an “evil reign,” and “there are crimes she committed.“  Granted, 'Ghoul Queen' is not a term of endearment and she has arranged for the abduction of beautiful women for the purpose of giving one of them to the Awakener.  However, since the arrival of the (possibly ineffective) party was unanticipated, the Ghoul Queen's plan was the only way to prevent the destruction of Bonekeep.  Other than the fact that she takes her subjects “as servants and soldiers when they die,“ there is no evidence presented that she is evil.  Remember, the Ghoul Queen saved the realm from invasion and, as another priestess of Isis explains, “as long as the Ghoul Queen rules, no living soldiers have to shed their blood in battle.“  Also, the ghoul servants are morally incorruptible.  It's been several generations since the Ghoul Queen became ruler and since the “people have grown resigned to her rule,“ one might suppose that the ghouls have become an accepted part of society.  I mean, if creating ghouls is so intolerable, people would cremate their dead or otherwise dispose of corpses to prevent their conversion.

“The cleverest outcome,“ the text relates, “would be for the heroes... to convince the Awakener to choose the Ghoul Queen as his bride.“  (So, Jonathan Tweet's concept of an “ideal climax“ involves a Ghoul Queen.  I'm not judging, just making an observation.)  In terms of storytelling, it makes sense; resolve the quest by using two threats to cancel each other out.  This ending also leads to the sixth quest card.  However, there's no apparent reason for the Awakener to choose the Ghoul Queen as his bride.  Unless the party suggests this option to him, the Awakener will not select the queen.  The “best ending“ develops from a player character essentially saying to the Awakener, “Hey bro, why don't you hook up with the Ghoul Queen?“  Why the Awakener would think this is a good idea is not touched upon.  No explanation is needed.  At the last minute, the player characters “still have a chance to succeed if they can yell to the Awakener and put it in his mind to choose the queen as his bride.“

As indicated earlier, the assumption is that the Awakener is looking for a 'beautiful' bride.  This assumption is incorrect.  With regard to suggesting to the Awakener that he should choose the queen, it would make much more sense if the party could discover some bit of lore about what the Awakener actually wants or why choosing the queen is a good idea.  Maybe the Ghoul Queen's original name was 'Open Eyes' or something and the party can find this out.  Awakener + Open Eyes = perfect match.

Everway characters do not earn experience.  As compensation, for this quest, heroes can get loot from the Ghoul Queen's palace (assuming she departs – one way or another):

Ask each player to invent some item that his or her hero takes from the Ghoul Queen's palace.  They may find precious jewels, items with magical abilities, scrolls bearing magical secrets, and so on.  (You can change or disallow any item that you think would make the game less fun, such as one that would make a hero too powerful.)

Alternately, you can invent an item for each hero, either on the spot or ahead of time.  Invest items that the heroes are likely to enjoy.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Pre-Generated Characters in Everway

Everway provides a dozen pre-generated characters, complete with backgrounds, descriptions of magic and powers, possessions, and even “questions for development.”  Without further ado. . .

Amber

Air:  3 (etiquette)

Fire:  5 (unarmed combat)

Earth:  6 (resisting unconsciousness)

Water:  3 (stealth)

Motive:  Authority

Virtue:  Summer

Fault:  The Fool – reversed

Fate:  Knowledge

Amber is a weretiger from a village of weretigers.  She was exiled after helping humans from other villages and now she travels among the spheres using “her powers to right wrongs, correct the injustice, ad protect the innocent.”  Other than being a weretiger, she has the powers of 'Silence of the Hunter' (“When stalking her enemies. . .Only those with special senses or a strong Water scores can sense her”) and 'Resistance to Death Magics' (“Magical abilities that specifically kill instantly only incapacitate Amber. . .”).

Chance

Air:  3 (military tactics)

Fire:  6 (reacting to danger)

Earth:  4 (endurance in combat)

Water:  6 (sensing motives)

Motive:  Adversity

Virtue:  The Peasant

Fault:  The Griffin – reversed

Fate:  War

Chance inherited some abilities from his father, who was a wandering warrior.  He left his village to become a mercenary, but stopped when all the fighting became too much for him. . .”  His powers are 'Berserk' (“His strength and endurance increase [in combat], but he becomes completely lost to reason”) and 'Inured to Pain' (“Chance endures physical pain easily”).

 

Clarity

Air:  6 (poetry)

Fire:  4 (swordfighting)

Earth:  3 (resisting persuasion)

Water:  5 (sensing others' presence)

Motive:  Wanderlust

Virtue:  Inspiration

Fault:  The Defender – reversed

Fate:  The Smith

Growing up, Clarity was an apprentice to a bard.  Eventually, she discovered that she was a spherewalker.  Now she travels “among the worlds, learning songs and poems and sharing them with others. . .”  Her powers are 'Ravenform' (“Clarity can take on the shape of a large raven at will”) and 'Perfect Memory of the Bard' (“Clarity can remember everything that she was trained to perform or learn as a bard”).

Cleft

Air:  3 (identifying herbs and plants)

Fire:  4 (hunting)

Earth:  5 (resisting bad magic)

Water:  3 (sensing injury and illness)

Motive:  Mystery

Virtue:  The Lion

Fault:  The Creator – reversed

Fate:  The Peasant

Cleft has five points of 'Soil and Stone' magic, appropriately associated with his Earth element.  Cleft uses his magic for healing.  “His touch can ease pain, stop bleeding, and keeping a wound clean. . .[as well as] cure diseases, neutralize poisons, lift curses, and banish malignant spirits.”  Among other capabilities, “With great and constant effort, he can prevent a mortally wounded person from dying and nurse that person back to health.”  With his power of 'Earth's Surety', “Cleft is almost impossible to knock down” if he is standing on “living, level earth.”

 

Detritus

Air:  7 (ancient lore)

Fire:  3 (jumping)

Earth:  2 (walking long distance)

Water:  5 (sensing death)

Motive:  Knowledge

Virtue:  Winter

Fault:  Striking the Dragon's Tail

Fate:  Spring

Detritus has decided to explore “the spheres for the rest of his life, compiling what he hopes will be a comprehensive book about past civilizations.”  His powers are:  'Rune of Lurking Unseen' (Detritus has a stone that allows him to become invisible as long as he doesn't move or make a sound), 'Ancient Gesture of Clarity' (He “can dispel magical illusions”), 'Invulnerable Sphere of Infinite Sound' (“This crystal can. . .make any manner of sound, as loud as thunder or as quiet as [a] mouse's sigh”), and 'Illuminating Clap' (“With a clap, Detritus can illuminate the area around him with a gentle glow”).

Fireson

Air:  3 (speaking to crowds)

Fire:  6 (fire magic)

Earth:  3 (maintaining vigils)

Water:  5 (sensing divine energies)

Motive:  Adversity

Virtue:  The Lion

Fault:  Death – reversed

Fate:  The Soldier

Fireson – Jonathan Tweet's own character – was “banished from his homeland” after he “offended his deity.”  Now he “wanders the spheres, hoping for a way to regain his deity's favor. . .”  His powers are:  'Priestly Rites' (“Fireson can channel divine energies and the energies of worshipers through powerful rituals”), 'Sweat Fire' (“Fireson can cause flames to come forth from his skin”), and 'Friend to Fire' (Heat “neither pains nor harms him”).


Opal

Air:  4 (speaking well)

Fire:  5 (climbing)

Earth:  2 (enduring pain)

Water:  7 (sensing magic)

Motive:  Adversity

Virtue:  The Phoenix

Fault:  The Hermit – reversed

Fate:  The Cockatrice

A water priestess was held captive by an evil wizard.  The priestess died giving birth to Opal.  When Opal grew to adulthood, she beheaded the wizard using a pair of “bird claw gloves.”  The gloves allow her to “grasp with great strength and endurance.”  Opal also has the power of 'Persuasion' (“Because of her strong intuition about people, she is very effective at manipulating them”).

Praises Be

Air:  6 (authoritative voice)

Fire:  2 (staff fighting)

Earth:  3 (studying long hours)

Water:  3 (sensing magic)

Motive:  Conquest

Virtue:  The Eagle

Fault:  The Defender – reversed

Fate:  Law

“After defeating his master in a contest of magic, Praises Be. . .set out to explore the universe and test his abilities against the challenges to be found among the infinite spheres.”  He has six points of 'Words of Power' magic, associated with his air element.  With this magic, he “can compel a spirit to obey him, kill an average person, or force a group of people to back away.”  Additionally, he can use his magic to conduct rituals as well as “inscribe objects with magic words. . .”  Praises Be also has the power of 'Universal Reading'.


Puma

Air:  3 (storytelling)

Fire:  5 (archery)

Earth:  6 (enduring the elements)

Water:  5 (stealth)

Motive:  Authority

Virtue:  The Defender

Fault:  The Dragon – reversed

Fate:  The Creator

“Puma is a hunter, the only known survivor of an earthquake that killed her people when she was eighteen.”  She has the powers of 'Speak to Animals' (“Puma can speak to and understand all animals”) and 'Cat's Leap' (“Puma can jump fifteen feet straight up from a standing position”).

Serenity Freemansdaughter

Air:  3 (singing)

Fire:  5 (dancing and partying)

Earth:  4 (resisting poisons)

Water:  3 (sensing faerie magic)

Motive:  Wanderlust

Virtue:  Death

Fault:  Knowledge – reversed

Fate:  The Fish

Serenity's maternal grandmother was a troll.  She taught Serenity magic and gave her the secret name “Farbright.”  Serenity has five points of 'Flux' magic, associated with her fire element.  She can use this magic to “transform people and things. . .through her concentrated gaze.”  Such transformations are temporary and relatively minor.  She also has the 'Troll Friend' power:  “Trolls (and other earthy, magic beings) generally take a liking to Serenity.”


Shadowblade Dragonseeker of the Clan of the Spirit Mountain

Air:  3 (disguise)

Fire:  5 (swordfighting)

Earth:  4 (resisting magic)

Water:  7 (anticipating another's actions)

Motive:  Mystery

Virtue:  The Dragon

Fault:  Autumn – reversed

Fate:  War

Shadow was “a spy [for] a noble house. . .” who performed “a delicate, dangerous, and ugly deed. . .”  Freed from further obligations to the nobles, “Shadow has set out to learn about life's deeper mysteries: beauty, love, family, awe, worship, friendship, and sorrow.”  Wearing “shadow gear,” he “can blend into shadows and become invisible.”  Shadow is also a 'Weaponsmaster' (He “can use any sort of mundane, handheld weapon without training...”).

Whisper Walker

Air:  3 (historical insight)

Fire:  4 (spirit battles)

Earth:  4 (“Soul's Wall of Stone”)

Water:  5 (speaking with spirits)

Motive:  Beauty

Virtue:  The Hermit

Fault:  Drowning in Armor

Fate:  The Phoenix

Due to a mishap as a child, Whisper became “sensitive to the world of spirits.”  She has four points of 'Open Chalice' magic, associated with her water element.  Whisper can use her magic to sense energies and become possessed by spirits.  Her “Soul's Wall of Stone” is a “psychic barrier.”  Whisper also has a power called 'Vision of the Departed Spirit' (She “can tell by sight whether a person is awake, unconscious, or dreaming”).


Sunday, April 11, 2021

Powers and Magic in Everway


In Everway, all player characters (i.e., “heroes”) are spherewalkers.  The Playing Guide asks, “What makes someone a spherewalker?”

Those who are sensitive to mystical things (in game terms, those who have high Water scores) can open the gates and walk the paths between spheres.  A few other people who aren't particularly sensitive also can open and travel the gates.  Different people have the ability for different reasons.  Those with even a little blood of the deities can usually spherewalk, as can those sent on missions by their deities, those who have been given special gifts by spirits or faeries, those conceived or born at propitious or magical times, and so on.  Often no one knows what makes spherewalkers able to travel the gates, not even the spherewalkers themselves.

Heroes can have “magical, psychic, or unusual Powers.”  For the most part, Powers have a cost in elemental points.  Therefore, purchasing Powers will limit the hero's combined Element scores.  Technically, the Powers Stage occurs before the Elements Stage.  The cost of any given Power is determined by three factors:  versatile, major, and frequent.  Each factor that applies to a power costs one point.  If a Power has numerous effects, it is versatile.  If a Power “has a big effect, especially on another character,” it is major.  A frequent Power is “something that often makes a difference in play.”  Example Powers are presented in a number of categories.

Examples of 'Create Fire' Powers include Throw Fire (2 points; frequent and major) – “The hero can produce fire from his or her hands [and] ...can be formed into balls and thrown” and Mastery of Flame (3 points; frequent, major, and versatile) – “The hero can create heat, light, and flame at will.”

Examples of 'Healing' Powers include Fast Healing (1 point; frequent) – “The hero recovers from physical wounds seven times as fast as normal” and Instant Healing (2 points; frequent and major) – “no wound lasts for more than a few seconds [but] ...A blow that kills the hero instantly, however is still fatal.”

Examples of 'Immortality' Powers include Unkillable (2 points; frequent and major) – “The hero cannot be killed, though he or she can still be hampered by wounds, sickened by poison, knocked down by blows, weakened by disease” etc. and Invulnerable (3 points; frequent and twice major) – “The hero cannot be wounded or poisoned by normal means, though he or she can still be struck down by forceful blows, knocked unconscious from lack of air, or killed by hunger or thirst.”  As can be seen, the 'major' factor can be doubled, costing an additional point.

'Invisibility' Powers include Standing Unseen (1 point; frequent) – “The hero can become invisible but must remain still and silent” and Walking Unseen (2 points; frequent and major) – “The hero can become invisible and can move about.”

Examples of 'Persuasion' Powers include Winning Smile (0 points) – “The hero's smile... helps the hero stand out and may make some people more favorable disposed toward him or her” and Charming Voice (2 points; frequent and major) – “The hero can win the affection of those that he or she can talk to at some length.

'Priestly Powers' include Priestly Rites (2 points; major and versatile) – “The hero can lead worship services and divine ceremonies to channel energy” and Invocation (3 points; frequent, major, and versatile) – “The priest or priestess, apart from any worshipping congregation, can invoke the power of deities.”

Examples of 'Shapechange' Powers include Werewolf (2 points; frequent and major) – “The hero can turn into a powerful wolf that is immune to normal (nonsilver and nonmagical) weapons” and Bird Form (2 points; frequent and major) – “The hero can turn into a particular type of bird, such as a crow or hawk.”

Examples of 'Speech' Powers include Speak to Animals (1 point; frequent) – “The hero can speak to all manner of animals” and Shadow Whispers (1 point; major) – “The hero can speak to the dead.”

Examples of 'Visions' Powers include Glimpses of the Future (1 point; major) – “During times of stress, the hero gets visions of the future” and Mystic Eye (3 points; frequent, major, and versatile) – “The hero can concentrate to gain visions of the future, of times past, or of distant places.”

Powers can also be purchased to allow a hero to guide others while spherewalking; to guide a group is a 1-Point Power, to guide “large contingents” is a 2-point Power.  Otherwise, a hero needs a high water score to lead others:  6 – one or two people, 7 – a group, 8 or more – “large contingents.” 

It is possible for a Power to “come from some object or creature... [such as] a familiar animal, a wand with magical powers, a flying boat, or the like.”  Examples of animal companions include Cat Familiar (2 points; frequent and versatile) – “It can talk to the hero (and only the hero), and it is as intelligent as a child” (Fire = 1, Earth = 2, Air = 2, Water = 5) and Wolf Companion (3 points; frequent, major, and versatile) – “A clever, loyal wolf... It does not have human-like intelligence” (Fire = 4, Earth = 3, Air = 1, Water = 4).

As Winning Smile suggests, there are zero-point Powers that are neither frequent, major, nor versatile.  Other examples of such Powers include Friend to Water (“The hero can breathe water”), Horse Friend (“The hero befriends horses automatically”), and Phantom Musician (“The hero can make a musical instrument play by itself”).  Each hero is entitled to one such free Power.  Each Power after the hero's free Power costs at least one point, even it if would be a zero-point Power.

The Magic Stage follows the Elements Stage.  Similar to purchasing an element score, to have Magic, a hero spends elemental points to develop a Magic score.

Of the dozen pre-generated characters, eight characters have purchased Powers, spending up to three points total.  The other four characters have spent four to six points on Magic and have only free Powers.  Although I could not find any rule that prohibits a hero from purchasing Powers as well as Magic, each pre-generated character has either purchased Powers or Magic, but not both.  Presumably, a hero need not spend points either for Powers or Magic, but this is not the case for any of the pre-generated characters.

There are various 'types' of magic (e.g., paths, schools, arts, styles, and traditions).  Each magic-using hero has a single type.  The rules provide four example types, but players can “invent” their own.  Each type is linked with one of the elements, but a mage cannot have an element Specialty that is magical.  A hero's Magic score cannot exceed his or her score in the linked element.  Additionally, the Magic score of a beginning character cannot exceed seven.

Examples of what a Magic score indicates are...

1 Apprentice:  A beginner, capable of both modest tricks and catastrophic mistakes.

3 Average Mage:  A humble practitioner with some impressive powers in his or her area of specialization, but not one to tackle great magical challenges.  A town of a thousand people might have one such mage.

6 Mighty Mage: The mightiest living mage that most people have ever heard of; a master of magic.  A realm of a million people might have one such mage.

The four example magic types are 'Flux' (Fire), 'Soil and Stone' (Earth), 'Words of Power' (Air), and 'Open Chalice' (Water).

'Flux' regards transformation.  Example levels include:  1 – Alter minor features on small objects, such as making a pebble smoother; 3 – Alter minor features, such as aging milk, freshening air, fortifying wine, weakening rope, and rusting metal; 5 – Alter an average hero's features, such as height or race.  We learn, “the effects of this magic last only a short time, usually about a day.”

'Soil and Stone' regards healing and wards.  Example levels include:  1 – Aid the ill; 3 – Counter diseases or ward an individual against a particular danger or magic; 5 – Counter curses or let a mortally wounded person recover (slowly).  We learn, “this magic works through physical contact, especially with the hands.”

'Words of Power' magic “uses spoken and written words to affect living things, spirits, and magical forces.”  Example levels include:  1 – Command insects by voice or inscribe charms to bring good luck; 3 – Force back wild animals or inscribe charms for various, minor purposes; 5 – Force back an average person with a magic word.

'Open Chalice' regards empathy and communication.  Example levels include:  1 – Sense strong energies; 3 – Call and channel spirits with varied success; 5 – Neutralize petty negative energies or communicate nonverbally with plants or call and channel spirits with facility.  We learn that “taste and smell are the physical senses ruled by water, this magic sometimes uses magic drinks, smoke, incense, or other aids.”