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    Wonders of the Archimage
    Posted on Thu, August 09, 2001 by Legate
    PSmedger writes "Spells & Magic straight from the great mages of the Flanaess! Read the works of two of the Circle of Eight's most legendary figures.....Nystul's Phostfire and Mordenkainen's Defiance.

    Author: P Smedger

    Wonders of the Archimage
    by P Smedger
    Used with Permission

    Nystul's Phostfire
    Level: 5
    Range: 5'/lvl
    Components: V, S, M
    Casting Time: 5
    Duration: 1 round/lvl
    Area of Effect: Special
    Saving Throw: 1/2 damage

    By observing how pure positive material energy combines with living matter in the form the arboreal curiosities of the Phostwood, the mage Nystul discovered that many energies can be readily combined with the surface of living tissue, drawing fuel from the substrate. Though the trees of the Phostwood typically release these energies only upon death, Nystul serendipitously discovered that magic could put such energies back.
    In these desperate times, with his homeland choked between the dark fist of Iuz and the territorial ambitions of the Pale, Nystul was drawn to the possibility of forging this discovery into a formidable weapon. The result is a potent, dangerous, and versatile spell that rivals Nystul's infamous Radiant Arch, itself a potent attack.
    By casting this spell, the mage seeks to bind a readily available element to the flesh of his victims with effects determined by the nature of the element. Light (the quasi-element of radiance) is an example of a common element who's impact would be comparable to a Faerie Fire that would not only outline and disorient, but also temporarily blind its victim. However the ability to manipulate light was perfected in a lesser spell (Nystul's Phostlight) and the Flan mage quickly sought out a more powerful application. So he and the few friends he has trusted with the knowledge of this spell have already dispensed with light in favor of drawing fire into the center of the incantation, gaining the spell it's popular appellation: Phostfire.
    After initiating this spell and choosing a source of fire in sufficient quantity (see below) within the range of the spell, the mage directs the attack upon his targets (1 per every 2 levels of the caster). If necessary, the mage can magically create fire within the specified range to draw upon materially for the needs of this spell, but not in the same round it is cast. After the casting, victims quickly become illuminated by the fire rising within them. Boils and blisters form upon their flesh almost instantly, and by the end of the second round, small flames lick unnervingly up and down their arms and legs. This spell causes 1d6 points of damage per round, per victim, halved for a successful save vs. spells. Each victim is entitled to an additional saving throw every round the spell endures. Two successful saving throws in a row indicate the spell has consumed itself and the fire has burned out. Non magical inanimate objects have no save vs this spell and will typically burn until consumed. It is possible to douse the Phostfire, but only in a quantity of water sufficient to completely immerse the victim or object. No amount of effort to pat out the fire will be successful, for the victim, himself, is the source of the flame.
    It takes great effort to act in a concerted manner while under the effects of Phostfire. Melee is possible, but suffers -4 penalty to hit from the difficulty of wielding a weapon. Spell casting requires a Constitution check for success, with failure indicating a miscast spell.
    Since its creation 7 years ago, knowledge of the spell has fallen into the hands of both the mages of Iuz and the Church Militant of the Pale. Both sides would pay greatly to know the further secrets of Nystul's laboratory in the Rakers. Phostfire is only among the first of the many applications to which Nystul's knowledge can be applied, and the druids of the Phostwood are exploring others. The men of Stonefist are utterly repulsed by the spell. It is also one of the most effective attacks ever devised for confronting the trolls which predominate in the northeastern Fens of the Pale. Nystul has not abandoned further research, but cannot at the moment devote much time to it due to recent intrigues with the Circle of Eight.
    The spell requires a fist-sized piece of glowing Phostwood, which is consumed in the process, as well as a sizable source of fire equivalent to that of a torch per potential victim of the spell.

    Mordenkainen’s Defiance
    Level: 9
    Range: 2'/lvl
    Components: V, S, M
    Casting Time: 1 round
    Duration: Special
    Area of Effect: Special
    Saving Throw: Yes

    Mordenkainen's skills at incantation are universally renowned. His masterwork, the spell Disjunction, is thought to be one of a handful of unparalleled accomplishments in the modern era that harken back to the elder days of High Sorcery once practiced by the Ancient Suel and Bakluni. Mordenkainen's development of the spell Defiance, however, nearly rivals that accomplishment.
    It is said that Mordenkainen foresaw the coming of the Fiends and other extra-planar beings to the Flanaess in recent years and in preparation had been researching this spell for over a decade, only to have completed in time for the last throes of the Wars some six winters ago. Careful study of such works as the Tome of the Black Heart, the Demonomicon, and even a harrowing perusal of Yagrax's Tome have given the archmage a profound insight into the relationship of powerful extra-planar beings and the Prime. While it is commonly known that terrestrial travelers moving astrally into the outer multiverse are attached to the Prime by so-called "silver cords,” it is not as well known that planar beings on the Prime are similarly tethered to their home planes, or more specifically, their sources of power, by mystical ley lines that can also be observed and acted against like silver cords.
    While most abjuration spells seek to attract the attention of a powerful extra-planar being, this spell seeks the opposite. The caster attempts to sever such a being's connection to the Prime, thereby snapping them back to their plane of origin (if their presence is sustained from that link) or at the very least temporarily disconnecting them from their sources of power (rendering them vulnerable to traditional attack). At the onset of incantation, the caster is enveloped by a double-force Protection from Evil/Good spell which allows him to concentrate his efforts on locating and severing the target's link. An intelligence check at -2 determines successful location of the link, while the target must survive a save vs. magic at -4 (minimum 20% chance) in order to maintain the link. Failing that, summoned creatures are flung back to their place of origin, extra-planar messengers such as aasimon and demons are stripped of special powers, etc. depending on the exact nature of the being's projection into the prime.
    The material component of this spell is a magical item (any) forged on the home pane of the targeted being. While it is not consumed in the process, there is a cumulative 5% chance that it shatters each time the spell is cast, with possible further repercussions for the caster as determined by the item or its owner.
    Demons and Devils are the most susceptible targets of this spell, but they are not exclusive. Elementals and even some undead are also affected by Defiance, so long as their origin is extra-planar and all other conditions are met. In 584 CY, Mordenkainen had the opportunity to use this spell for the first time against the Balor, Mongriniaastor, then in the service of Iuz. The beast was sent into the Vesve to take the Timeless Tree from the Olve, but was cast back into the Abyss by Mordenkainen before it was successful in penetrating the depths of the forest. Strangely, it is known that the Blue Wizard, Philidor, then in residence in the Free City of Greyhawk, met news of the conflict coldly.
    It is speculated that even Demigods and the Avatars of Powers are subject in varying degrees to the power of this spell, should they similarly manifest bodily on the Prime from another plane of existence (though this is doubted, most especially by Mordenkainen himself). Given the extreme distaste shown in certain quarters over Mordenkainen's development of Disjunction some 20 winters ago and its subsequent proliferation among the most powerful mages in the Flanaess, Mordenkainen is wise to downplay possible conflict over the use of Defiance. The inadvertant destruction of the artifacts known as the Hammer and Bell of Synhar at the hands of Disjunction cast by an Aerdi mage from Rel Astra is known to have driven a recent wedge between Mordenkainen and onetime friend, the demi-god, Zagyg.
    It is worth noting that the demi-god, Iuz, is native to Oerth and therefore certainly unaffected by this spell. It is also worth noting that the consequences to the caster in the case of either failure or success against a power are dire indeed and it is estimated by Mordenkainen that severing the planar link of a power is likely to have the effect of rendering the caster permanently powerless (likelihood determined by 100-INT-lvl of caster in %).

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    Re: Wonders of the Archimage (Score: 1)
    by manicmidwife on Thu, August 09, 2001
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    Manic the spell lover approves!

    When might we look forward to seeing more?

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