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The Phantom Craft
The first time I met him, I’ll never forget. Let me tell you the story…
Ulthar was home, it was paradise to us. Our little piece of the world, situated far from land. We were fishers and sailors, sages and artisans. A legacy stretching back across the ages. The Queen dug deep beneath the island in search of new resources, until she stumbled across it: that gateway of Antediluvian wretchedness that doomed us. The relic she brought up to the surface, that strange beating heart cloaked in chains, she swore it would bring about a new age for Ulthar. But that vile thing sang a song none of us could hear. And Things danced a dance none of us could see in response. The Chained Heart became a curiosity, something delved into over and over, and towers rose, to practice the sorcery gleaned from the relic. No one cared that fog crept into our harbors and shrouded our streets. We revelled in our new power, as Mages.
But nothing lasts forever, and every song comes to an end. It happened on a clear day. The sun shone, the birds sang...and the earth heaved. The peak of our island exploded in fire and chaos, and the waves lashed at our shores. Then the dark water came, lapping, unstoppable, inevitable. The ocean, once our ally, now claimed all that we were with an insatiable hunger. We gathered what boats and wreckage we could, desperate. Our mages erected barriers to preserve their own lives...but it was as if the island shrugged. The foundation of the city cracked and crumbled as it was swallowed by the sea, and with it our mages. As the sea claimed our island, and the island claimed my ship, I looked around watching my friends drown. I reached for the surface as I sank, crying out for help. I didn’t expect an answer.
A voice filled my mind, smooth, cultured, and rich. “Help? Why would you need help my dear? Isn’t the sea your friend? The cradle of all life?” He murmured to me. It was like time had slowed. I could feel something colossal looming in the depths, watching, curious. I begged for help again. A bargain, a deal, anything. “Interesting. I do love a good bargain. You’re broken, yet you still believe that no one should suffer like you are. You still plan to give humanity so many marvelous gifts… I know this because I see you… Allow me to lend you my strength, let’s forge a contract… Now get up, Darling. It is Our turn to administer the medicine, but be careful what you wish for boy..."
A single eye stared at me from the depths, and something rose to me in a bubble… a crude mask, fashioned from some sort of massive scale… and I was lost the moment I donned it. Fresh air flooded into my lungs as if I stood upon the shore. “Let’s discuss… terms. Before one of my kin takes interest.” I learned much that day. His name, Dagoth. The fact that he’d been slumbering beneath our island, in a marine cave of massive proportions. I learned how to harness the sort of powers he used, if crudely. Capturing echoes of power from the water, and spinning them into charms and spells of my own like a fishing net... and that’s what I’m going to teach you.
~Jugo of Ulthar, the First Galdr
PATRONS OF THE DEEP
Dwelling far below the surface of the seas and oceans dwell many powerful beings. Some divine, some not. But there are three parties with a great deal in common, servants and children of the queen of the depths, Dresdrasil. Dagoth, her child; and the Noble Circle and V'acta, her allies. These three powers act in concert, as the supporters of every Galdr, nurturing and guiding them as they grow. Each offers different teachings, but all with the paramount goal of defending the sea from threats.
DAGOTH, THE SLEEPER
One of the many beasts birthed by Dresdrasil, Dagoth slumbered for ages before being awoken. He taught the first Galdr, Jugo, and still teaches to this day. Dagoth leads the Lost Galdr in defending the sea from interior threats. He’s largely harmless, but loves deals and bargains, leading to a faustian first impression. His mastery of the mists and magic, as well as his size and natural abilities, make him a dangerous enemy to have. It is unknown if he has been slain, but some conversations have implied that Dresdrasil will ensure his continued existence beyond his death.
V’ACTA, THE DROWNER
A strange case,V’acta enjoys telling tall tales to her visitors, such as the idea that she was once human. In fact, she is the daughter of Jugo, mutated beyond recognition from her delving into deeper ranges of her magic. V’acta prefers to dwell within sunken ruins, as opposed to Dagoth’s deep-sea forests. She leads the Broken Galdr in attacking sources of pollution and other threats to life within the sea. Her skill with the manipulation of shadows makes it hard to trust your own surroundings. Like Dagoth, she has implied that her continued existence is guaranteed by a power far beyond her own.
THE NOBLE CIRCLE
The odd one out, the Noble Circle is neither a child of Dresdrasil, nor even a solitary entity. The Noble Circle is a band of six Greater Celestials that made a bargain with Dresdrasil, and dwell deep within a marine crystal cave. The six of them, with each bearing a likeness of an animal befitting their namesake, finds a mortal trait they deem to be ‘superior’ and will foster students to prove their points. Strix favors wisdom, Lupe ferocity, Ursa tenacity, Hart survival, Vuples cunning, and Hare agility. While Dresdrasil cannot ensure their existence in the same way she has that of her children, she has blessed them with powerful Arcanist stones that allow them to reconstitute themselves. Both without outside aidand with relative quickness.
The powers available to the Galdr are explained in detail, right down to the methodology and terminology. But, to learn how to perform these intricacies, one must locate an artifact called the Chest of Offering. The Chest is no ordinary box to put things in, but is an entire location with the depths of a derelict temple that one may compare to an altar.. Inscribed on the frame are details on how to present an offering to the patron associated with the given altar.. Follow it to the letter and then wait a lunar month to receive your reward, the Hextome. A Hextome is only bestowed should the offering be correct. The Hextome is a magical manuscript that consists of five chapters, each of which is written in an increasingly more absurd dialect of an eldritch language that Galderes is taught in. As an acolyte of the magic progresses further and further in their studies, they will not learn the language but will bet granted comprehension from their sponsor or patron. A Galdr’s patron will be chosen by their second offering and with it comes further comprehension of the eldritch tongue, each patron has their own preferred offering.. Coral for Dagoth, Bone for V’acta, and Prismarine for the Noble Circle. There do tend to be three altars at a time, though who made them is unclear.
A side note, the eldritch tongue that fills the pages of Hextomes is more than just written word. It resists translation even by the most skilled Galdr, resulting in gibberish. The ability to read it is linked to the magic itself, meaning if a Galdr is stripped of their powers, they lose the ability to read it. Stripping a Gyhdr of their magic involves taking their Hextome to one of Dresdrasil's altars, as well as the Galdr in question. A special hymn and ceremony are performed by at least 4 galdr who know how it is done, resulting in the loss of that Galdr's powers. Listed below are the chapters contained within every Hextome, each chapter corresponding to a Tier of the magic.
REDLINES: -Galdr Magic is learned from a tome. -Each chapter explains one Tier of the magic. -Receiving a Hextome requires a specific ceremony. -Hextomes can’t be copied or translated. -Hextomes can be shared.
SECTION I: DAGOTH’S BREATH
The initial magic of the charm-spinners, and the crudest. Captured oceanic energy that has been woven into workable strands (known as Threads) is used to produce these basic magics, though the physical forms of the charms are carved from coral and bone largely. The source of this oceanic energy is, in fact, Dresdrasil’s own empty throne, which has been leaking power into the waters of the mortal worlds since her descent. With the proper tools, a distaff, a beacon, and a bell, concentrations of this power can be found, collected, and used. The effect of the charm is dependent on the shape it takes, and on the patterns carved into it, a sort of sacred geometry. The initial charms that can be made are the means of obtaining the understanding required to unravel the second chapter. A charm acts like an enchanted item, containing limited charges, for all intensive purposes. Charms themselves are handheld carvings composed of shell, bone, and coral. Charms are made over time through rp, both collection and use of materials. The Threads collected to make charms require special tools to gather: a lantern made from a Guardian’s eye and glass made from shore-sand, a distaff made from coral and bone, and a bell made from shells. The Bell is used to call up a thick fog, the lantern is used to lure the power lurking in the fog to you, and the distaff is used to gather and spin it into usable Thread. The Charms creatable at Tier 1 are: -Lure: one of the first charms learned, the cords woven using this magic call fish to them. For this reason, Galdr make them into fishing lines and nets. They lure in fish, just as the name says, as if a lure and bait was in place, increasing the success of even novice fishers. Lure is simply rped as fishing, but it has similar effects to the enchantments “lure” and “luck of the sea”
-Shroud: these charms and totems produce a befuddling fog that covers an area. Covering larger areas requires more of Shroud charms, and these are often used to conceal the places of residence or worship of the Galdr. A single Shroud charm can cover an area roughly the size of a 5x5 space, and when linked up with other Shroud charms, the expanse covered increases in a modular manner. Typically the Shroud covers a space where the user stands as a center point; however, with enough skill, the charm can be thrown about 5 blocks out from the user to cover a 5x5 area fully. 15 blocks away will cause the fog to be incredibly thin and rather ineffective, while any further will simply not work. The fog formed does not cause harm to those who walk through it or breathe it, and it cannot be thought of as a poisonous gas, but rather as a way to temporarily limit the vision and even blind others. The Galdr is also affected by this and will not be able to see well through the cloud. In addition, wind or air evocation, as well as similar effects, can clear away the fog, though stationary totem style charms gradually produce more fog over time, and require refueling. -Horn of Flowing Waters: a drinking horn carved from bone, it has been enchanted so that there is always water within it. This charm does require recharging via threads periodically, and it draws its water from the air surrounding it. It’s entire purpose is for drinking.
-Loyalty: the first militant magic learned by a Galdr is applied to their trident, a wondrous work that causes the trident to return to their hand when thrown. Typically once applied, this charm only requires an activation word to be spoken in order for the trident to return to its master’s hand. In RP, this would be seen in a two-emote system after the initial launch of the trident. One emote would be to speak the activation word for the charm, and the second emote would see the trident actually returning. In terms of distance, a thrown trident will typically travel about as far as a spear or other polearm would for the purposes of RP, and as such can be returned from those distances. Redlines: A trident cannot return to its master from far-off distance (this isn’t Thor’s hammer) and must be within sight for the charm to properly work. If the trident is thrown and then lost out of sight, such as down a hill, the charm’s activation can still take place, but the trident will have a more difficult time returning to its master, taking up another emote of time. Again, any unreasonable distance away from the sight of the battle or starting point will result in no return at all.
Last among the abilities listed within the first chapter is the creation of a special collar, one that permits the wearer to breathe underwater. Unlike most other charms, this one can be recharged with spiritual thread from a Galdr's distaff. The ability to breathe underwater was first linked to Jugo's Mask, the item that inspired the collars. Hence the name “Dagoth's Breath”. These collars allow the wearer to breathe normally underwater for about 30 IRL minutes at a time before recharging, and it’s important to note that this time limit may vary depending on the user’s experience with sea diving. Just like with real life, descending too far only to rise too quickly can cause illness or even death, and it may be psychologically difficult for even a Galdr to breathe underwater their first few times.
A side note, charms can lose potency unless carried in a special satchel made of sea silk, with special symbols embroidered into it in Thread. The size of a satchel cannot be changed, so only eight charms can be carried in one at a time. Some charms do not require special storage, such as: Loyalty, Shroud, Dagoth’s Breath, Brackish Tentacle, the Horn of Flowing Waters, and the Pelt. REDLINES: -Tier 1 allows you to make 4 charms, as well as a special item. -Carrying charms requires a specially made bag in most cases, with a few exceptions. -Only 8 charms can be carried in the bag at a time, and each Galdr can only have one bag. -Charms cannot be made on the spot, they require time and effort. -The water-breathing collar needs recharging, as do some other charms. -Charms that can’t be recharged crumble after their uses are expired. -Non-Galdr can uses charms if they know that Galdr’s activation phrase for charms. SECTION II: THE PELT
In addition to the basic charms available to a budding Galdr, there are more sophisticated works. These spells require an additional material, which we shall refer to as a pact material. The material varies between the three pacts, but the effect on the charms and what they do is minimal. The three pact materials can be traded between Galdr, as a means to produce more complex charms, but each Galdr can only acquire one kind directly, through their patron. The only way to acquire the material is to form a pact with a Patron. Dagoth’s students acquire scales from deep sea beasts, V’acta’s students get slime that is produced from her own body, and the bodies of her closest servants, and the Circle’s students get fragments of celestial crystal. Advanced charms have more complex effects than simple charms, and the more complex they become, the more materials that are required. The Charms available at Tier 2 are listed here:
-Mending: the liquid oozed by this charm can heal surface injuries like bruises and gashes.The liquid released from this charm acts as a disinfectant and coagulant, cleaning and sealing up light gashes and wounds. It is not useful as an antidote to poisons or a way to save someone from a mortal injury, although using it to stop blood flow is certainly worth the attempt if there is no other option. Typically this charm works within 3 emotes as well, one to find and activate the charm, another to apply it to the wound in question, and a third for the effects to start to take place. The patient may still scar from the wound and will not be perfectly healed, the effects of the charm being akin to a more rapid healing that one would acquire from disinfectants and a day or two’s worth of bandaging.
-Purity: this charm can cleanse water, or purge curses, poisons, and venoms from whomever uses it. It can even cancel the effects of the Brackish Taint charm. This charm is useful for cleansing water of impurities (e.g. making saltwater safe to drink and ridding it of bacteria) as well as removing some poisons from the bloodstream (e.g. snake venom, night sap), and diluting others. More powerful poisons cannot simply be eliminated, but their effects can be weakened. The level of emotes needed for this charm typically depend on the level of cleansing being done; for instance, purifying a liter of water would only take 1-2 emotes, whereas removing venom from an individual would take 2-3, and 3-4 for more potent poisons. The patient in these circumstances would still need to take time to recover, roughly 1 hour of IRL time.
-Strangling Seaweed: when activated, this charm tangles all in its area in stinking seaweed. The area covered by this charm is typically a 5x5 block radius, with the most seaweed at its epicenter. The charm can only be thrown about 6 meters. The seaweed can temporarily grow on land even without the presence of water, but it will shrivel up far more quickly than if the area is waterlogged (or, wink wink, even recently soaked from the Dome charm). It will take 3 emotes to accomplish this; one to find and raise the charm, another to activate it, and a third for the growth of the seaweed to take place. The weed itself will shrivel up in 2 emotes if on dry land and 3 if waterlogged or recently wet ground. Typically the seaweed will let out a horrendous odor, not enough to cause vomiting for the average individual, but certainly enough to cause most to stop in their tracks. Many have compared it to mixing skunk odor with that of rotting food. In addition to this, the seaweed will attempt to entangle itself around all present, be they foliage, plants, or sentient beings, and while it will be easy enough to rid oneself of one stalk, trudging through the entanglement will prove difficult if unprepared (machetes are indeed a thing). If caught in their own Charm, even a Galdr will be hindered.
The final pages of the second chapter detail the creation of what is known as a Pelt. A pelt is a woven cloak, half sea silk, half spiritual thread. Between two layers of this mystic fabric, a Galdr's pact material is ground up, and sewn in place, resulting in a three-layered cloak. This cloak is then pinned down, and left in the tide overnight to catalyze. When retrieved, its magic has stabilized. When first used, its magic will grant the wearer aesthetic attributes similar to the nearest aquatic creature when the pelt is imbued. However, the pelt /generally/ will not copy from creatures of immense size or power, nor does a pelt impart unique abilities such as poison/venom or abnormal speed or power. The usual rule of thumb is the creature is the size of or smaller than the wearer of the pelt. The reason that the Galdr choose to create these Pelts is to grant themselves a sustainable and reliable way to breathe underwater. An example of a Pelt’s effect could be as simple as: a Galdr uses it near a catfish for the first time. They grow gills and scales, and take on the color patterns of that specific fish, as well as growing the trademark whiskers of a catfish. They become adept at swimming, and can breathe underwater when using this form. A Pelt does not need recharging like a collar, nor does it break down like normal charms. But it does allow a Galdr to live beneath the waves with ease. However, prolonged use of a Pelt, such as long periods of time in your aquatic form, or years as a Galdr who -has- a pelt, will begin to permanently alter a person's appearance, and they may start experiencing trouble breathing above water. For example, someone might simply develop patches of scales if they use their pelt rarely, or may grow entire fins if they use it often. Galdr need to take care with their Pelts, since they can be stolen and used by non-Galdr. REDLINES: -Tier 2 allows the creation of 3 new charms, plus a unique item. -The pelt doesn’t require charging unlike the water-breathing collar, and does not give you special powers outside of water-breathing and an affinity for swimming. The majority of the change is aesthetic.
-Pelts can be stolen and used, if the thief knows the command word chosen by the Galdr who made it.
-Mending is not a cure-all. It is a minor healing charm that handles lesser injuries, similar to a druid’s healing salve or an alchemist’s lesser healing potion. It’s easily outstripped by alchemy and other magics, but is a useful tool for non-healer characters. -Together, Tiers 1 and 2 take up a Magic Slot.
SECTION III: CURSES
The third section in a hextome speaks of peculiar bottled substance known as a Curse. Unlike alchemical potions, Curses contain no herbs, but they do contain miraculous magic. To create one, a Galdr must be present for the death of a sea monster or similar creature. Using their Beacon, they can lure and trap a special essence from the beast, which is known as Element. Unlike normal oceanic energy, Element cannot be woven into threads, for it is too raw, despite containing Dresdrasil’s energies. Instead, the Galdr takes part of the creatures body, and stores the Element inside of it, making it into a sort of charm, and dropping it into a small bottle containing the base for the Curse. Curse bases are composed of saltwater, a mix of purified water and ritual salts. Finally, a drop of blood from the beast is added. At this point, the charm activate, and the Curse is complete. Should someone drink the contents of the bottle, they will taken on semblances of the beast, but might lose other basic facilities in addition to becoming a half-descendant monster. The transformation process is extremely unpleasant, filled with agony and vomiting as your body reformats itself. If you don’t roll above a 10/20, you pass out from the pain. The curse itself lasts for one hour, after which the drinker passes out, and reverts to their normal form. Because of all the risks involved, Curses are generally only ingested as a last resort. In addition to the risks just from DRINKING the Curse, there is the risk involved in collecting the Blessing, which involves the slaying of the sea monster in question. There is also the potential of injury from an attempted transformation.
An example of a Curse is, for instance, if a droquar is slain, and its Element captured and infused into one of its teeth. The tooth is taken and made into a Curse. A human drinks the Curse, and grows leathery scales all over his back and shoulders. His eyes become serpentine, and he is treated as if he is always under the effects of a Dragon's Breath potion, substituting lightning for fire. However, as a result of his transformed innards, he can no longer speak, only growl and roar. Receiving beneficial abilities is not guaranteed, as Curses are unstable. A die roll of over 15/20 is required to reap the benefits of a Curse.
In addition to the strange bottled magics, new Charms become available at Tier 3, listed here: -Watery Dome: this is technically a defensive charm, though it's use is limited by its casters creativity. Largely intended to protect from drowning or fire, it creates a bubble of water and air around the user. This charm allows the user to create a dome of water, wrapped around a bubble of air, in the user’s immediate position (1-2 blocks in game). The amount of air in the bubble would last the user a good six-seven emotes depending on their breathing rate and activity within the bubble. The waters flowing around this dome would have the capacity to smolder and even put out smaller, natural fires (excluding voidal flames) as well as water the ground or get those interacting with it wet. While providing a natural barrier, piercing projectiles such as arrows or polearms could break through the water bubble and into the user’s air space; as such, using this charm would not protect the user from being attacked necessarily, but would grant them some potential misdirection of arrows after going through a water current, as well as some simple coverage from fire or other elements.
-Blessing of the Depths: considered superstition by most, this blessing nearly guarantees that the blessed item or person will wash up on shore if lost at sea. Consider it a sort of life-vest.
-Wavespeaker: a useful charm, it allows you to project your awareness elsewhere, but you appear as a reflection at the other end, and can speak to people in the vicinity. It operates much like standard LOTC bird messages, but also adds a visual aspect, like opening up a window. This does, much like birds, require a small amount of relaying of information to those around you. The exact method of doing so is through the creation of a special water mirror, like a scrying bowl. It’s easiest to project from one bowl to another, though not entirely impossible to project from a bowl to another water source. You can only project to a place you yourself have seen in person.
REDLINES: -Tier 3 allows the creation of a special curse, in addition to 3 new Charms, and takes up a second Magic Slot. -Curses are temporary, painful transformations that are not guaranteed to provide useful abilities. -Creating a curse is a long process with significant risk involved to the person who drinks it. -Wavespeaker allows birdlike communication, but does not require a living creature that is tamed and trained. Instead it requires special bowls. -Watery Dome will protect from fire and drowning, but not from physical attacks or most magics. Once the air inside runs out, the water sphere collapses.
SECTION IV: THE FETCH
All three pacts make use of different methods in the defense of the sea their goddess calls home. But they share a few things. First, by the time they reach tier three, their eyes have changed color, to a luminous blue-green, permanently unless they drop the magic. The second is a special ability known as Intercession. Through Intercession, a Galdr can focus their powers to summon forth an avatar of their patron called a Fetch. This avatar has the appearance of a miniature version of their patron, and while it is active, the Galdr has no magic they can wield, not even the activation of charms. But the Fetch can battle on their behalf, incapable of feeling pain. However, if significant damage is dealt to a Fetch, it disintegrates back into energy, and the Galdr can wield their powers once more. The Fetch wield the pact abilities of their Galdr, but on a greater magnitude and with greater skill. A Fetch can vary in size, depending on if it is the semblance of a Greater or Lesser Patron. A Greater Patron, consisting of one of the main three, will bring forth a great-white shark size Fetch. While a Lesser Patron, a transcended Galdr/Kin, will bring forth one half that size, if not smaller. A Fetch can only remain while a Galdr maintains focus, and will only remain present for fifteen-twenty minutes. A Fetch, when used creatively, can perform non-combat related tasks, but can only be summoned once a day. A group of Galdr collectively summoning a Fetch can increase the size, but the increase in size is smaller with each added summoner, up to about twice or three times the size of a great white.
In addition to the Fetch, new Charms are learned at T4: -Brackish Tentacle: this charm takes the form of a hilt of sorts, and when dipped into water and activated, it draws forth a whip composed entirely of water. This charm is more durable than most, and can be used five times before it falls apart. The water acts as a solid object when under the effects of this charm. Essentially, the Brackish tentacle is a magical whip that forms itself out of nearby water. This acts as a reach weapon that can be used to grapple or attack within a range of 5 blocks. The whip itself endures for 15 minutes before falling to the ground as ordinary water, but while it is active, it can be manipulated in small ways, such as encouraged to wrap itself around the limb of another person, or around an object within range. Insufficient water results in a rather pathetic whip, as such at least a buckets worth is required, and the Horn of Flowing Waters is not an acceptable source of water for the whip.
-Brackish Taint: this curse sullies it's targets, often water, fish, or crops, with a mystical poison. The scrimshaw is placed upon whatever the target is, and it disintegrates, no longer retrievable. The taint is rarely fatal, but can be extremely useful if applied carefully. In order to cure the curse, one takes sea sponges that have been dipped in cleansed water (distilled or blessed works) and put it in their mouth and suck the water out.
-Conduit: this charm is a complex piece, one that is carved from several shells forming a orb of sorts, as well as at least 2 pact materials. This orb, when set into a framework carved with the correct symbols and build of the correct materials, activates, and draws in its own energy. It’s purpose is twofold. It will provide people within its radius with breathable air as if they were on the surface. This has largely been used in Dresdrasil’s ancient temples. Additionally, they contain a form of rudimentary judgement, and can discern if someone engages in violence in its vicinity. The judgement abilities of a Conduit are so simple that they will cease to provide air to anyone who becomes violent within its range, be they Galdr or not. The second purpose of a Conduit is to act as a sort of ward, protecting sacred sites from creatures, and people, that try to desecrate them. However, the abilities of a Conduit are limited to one target at a time, when it comes to offense. Sufficiently damaging the frame of a Conduit will cause it to go dormant. Because of its requirements, a Conduit takes at least 2 Galdr to craft. REDLINES: -Tier 4 allows the creation of 3 new charms, as well as summoning an avatar of your Patron, and takes up a third Magic Slot. -A Fetch requires focus to call, and a Galdr can’t utilize other powers or charms while the Fetch is present. -The size of a Fetch is determined by if it is a lesser or greater Patron, and on how many Galdr are calling it. -If a Fetch is badly damaged, the Galdr calling it is incapacitated, or fifteen-twenty minutes have passed, the Fetch vanishes. -A Fetch can be summoned once an elven day. -The Tentacle requires a certain amount of water, and recharging. -Conduits require at least 2 Galdr to create, since they provide multiple benefits. -Conduits cannot be moved around easily, due to their framework requirements. SECTION V: ETHERIC DEFENSE
Upon reaching this chapter, a Galdr's understanding of magic, and their bond with their Patron, has grown. It's at this point that they receive a gift from their patron, the form of which varies based on the patron you have pacted with. A Lost Galdr will receive a living symbiote, that is wrapped around the arm and lives there, acting as a conduit from Dagoth to the Galdr. This bestows a new ability, the ability to form a defensive entity from your own hair and the spectral Fog that is woven into Thread. This entity is eel-like in form, and extends from the hair on your head, much like a braid or ponytail. It can extend up to twenty feet, and can grapple and bite, much like an actual eel. The entity itself appears as if it is made out of water, and acts largely fluid, though it cannot pass through itself, and feels solid to the touch. This ability can only interact with one target at a time, though it can definitely be used as an intimidation tactic. When wielding this power, a Lost Galdr grows webbing between their fingers and toes, and their ears become fin-like. Using this power requires a three-emote activation, summoning the fog, imbuing it into your hair, and giving the eel-entity life. If you lose your symbiote, you cannot call forth your eel.
A Broken Galdr will receive a relic of a bygone age, often a piece of jewelry that has become encrusted with barnacles and infused with energies. The Broken receive from V'acta the ability to manipulate shadows, lifting them from the surfaces and using them as shields. Shadows are somewhat less ethereal than fog, and can take a more offensive role. Wielding this power causes a Broken Galdr to develop a permanent mutation that can be very difficult to hide. Anything from an extra eye on their shoulder, to a tentacle sticking out of their back. Mechanically, shadow manipulation works as such: energy from the Galdr is infused into it, and it lifts from its surface. At this point, the shadow gains mass, weight, and the consistency of jello. Shadow can be moved much as one would move a puppet, and it has half the weight of the person or object who cast it (in lbs). A Galdr cannot lift more shadow-weight than they could lift physical weight, but shadows can be worked like fluid, hardening like ice to deflect or stab, or flowing like water to reposition itself. A Galdr who overexerts themselves with shadow manipulation is likely to injure themselves physically. If you are separated from your relic, your ability to manipulate shadows vanishes until you replace or retrieve it.
Redeemed Galdr receive a gift that does not relate as well to the other two. They receive a crystal, invested with the powers of the Noble Circle. This crystal, when held, can manifest a weapon of the holders choice, or even a shield. The item appears to be crystal, or perhaps arcane energy made solid, though seeing the Celestial nature of the Circle, either is possible. The form a conjured weapon takes can only be changed once a month, on the full moon. Between full moons, the form is fixed to whatever was last chosen. Redeemed Galdr, when wielding their powers, have their sclera appear like a night sky. Crystal-conjured weapons are about as heavy as a weapon normally would be, but is translucent and luminous. While not as hard as iron, their versatility grants them a certain elegance. However, they will shatter if overly strained. Generally, the weapon you call will magically size itself to your proportions, so an axe called by an orc will be larger than an axe called by a halfling. When it comes to size, crystal weapons don’t exceed the mass and size of a heater shield made for an average sized human. If your crystal is knocked out of your hand, your weapon vanishes, but you can keep it out almost indefinitely. Alongside Etheric Defense, the final round of Charms is learned at Tier 5:
-Maelstrom: when thrown into a sufficiently large body of water, of between a 3x3x3 space to a 8x8x8 area, this charm creates a whirlpool that can pull things in, and down. When someone is pulled into the maelstrom, to escape they have to take 3 1d6 rolls, ⅔ of which need to be above 2. If it fails they sink deeper, risking loss of air, even suffocation if they’re careless. A maelstrom generally lasts until the charm exhausts itself and crumbles away, which takes six emotes generally.
-Choking Brine: when ground up and ingested, the lungs of the target begin to fill with seawater. They may vomit up said seawater, or cough it up, but the curse itself is temporary, and can be cured through mundane medicine (should someone be knowledgeable enough, by another Galdr, or even through alchemy.) The strange, but mundane cure is but to swallow a sea sponge. The sponge, sharing the same energies as the curse, will absorb it, rendering it harmless. As simple as it sounds, a sea sponge is not always close at hand. Alchemy takes a more medical route, utilizing a Purifier Potion, while a Galdr can simply use a charm to nullify the curse. If none of these options are available, a wielder of holy magic can purge the curse from a person’s body. This generally lasts a day, but is usually debilitating rather than fatal.
-Depthcaller: an advanced charm making use of a part of a marine monster in order to call it to the surface. Requires a part of the creature you wish to summon to be crafted. The creature cannot arrive in areas that it would not logically be able to get to with ease. One Galdr activating a charm of this variety might summon a creature the size of a great white shark. But if several activate this charm in concert, they might succeed in calling something considerably larger. However, the call is not a control, and in most situations, a Galdr has no control or communication with a creature the summon, lest it be a child of Dresdrasil. Activation requires 2 turns, plus a die roll to determine success (roll 20, a 15 or below is failure). Should no sufficient water be nearby, the charm fails and crumbles to dust. Should the roll be low, you summon a small creature. You cannot be guaranteed that the creature will take your side, or even be willing to fight or act on your behalf.
REDLINES: -Tier 4 allows for 3 new Charms, as well as special magical defenses based on your Pact type, and takes up a fourth Magic Slot. -The Defensive abilities obtained through a pact are not limitless, nor are they effortless. All three require the physical strength, dexterity, and range of motion required to actually move their creations. Shadow, Eel, and Crystal all have weight, and their own method of manipulation. -Losing your pact item prevents you from using your defensive ability at all. -Summoning monsters is an inexact art, and isn’t even guaranteed to succeed. It can also backfire, resulting in an additional foe for you to contend with. -All charms have their weaknesses and foils. No charm is absolute, no charm is infallible. Charms are also relatively fragile, given their materials and nature. SECTION VI: TRANSCENDENCE
Not a true tier of Galderes, but a chapter tucked at the back of each Hextome, the hardest of all to decipher. But, at Tier 5, most Galdr have the means to understand it. This section is a choice, not a requirement, but one offered only to a master of Galderes. One can sacrifice their pact item, and transform themselves through a ritual overseen by their patron. At the end of the transformation, they become what is known as “Kin”. Kin are Galdr that no longer require a patron to fuel their powers, for they have become something similar to a patron themselves, granting them the ability to teach to others initiates, as well as stopping their aging. Due to this change, they no longer receive their powers second-hand, rather they are gifted the ability to perform the magics on their own, though several Galdr working together at a sea altar can strip another Galdr of their Kin status. They take on physical characteristics of 2 animals, the types of which depend on their pact type. A Redeemed can take on any 2, while Lost only take on sea creatures, and Broken take on more abyssal and monstrous features. At this point, they can take on two pacts of their own, nurturing and training their own Galdr of the same type as themselves. Another change that occurs is with their Fetch. No longer do they summon a semblance of their original patron. They now call forth a creature that is a blending of their own animal features. In addition the change in their Fetch, they can also now call forth their pact abilities without the need for a focus. In fact, they can even bring forth up to four pact weapons, if only temporarily. Only two can be maintained properly, such as 2 shadows, two mist forms, and two crystal weapons. A note, Kin, despite being the source of their own power, are not true immortals, nor can their powers compare to those of TRUE patrons like V’acta and Dagoth. When slain, a Kin does not revive at the Cloud Temple. Instead, nearby water sources carry their soul back out to sea, where they are revived from one of Dresdrasil’s altars.
Living as Kin has its downsides, such as a borderline monstrous new appearance. While it is entirely possible that Kin will be accepted by those around them, due to their dedication to defending one of the world’s greatest resources, it is also possible they might be viewed with suspicion and fear. To counteract this, Jugo conceived of a method of concealing the otherworldly nature of the Kin. He created a technique that weaves pure thread together into a veil that surrounds a Kin, disguising them as their original humanoid form, and ONLY their original form, with no modifications. This might seem like highly advanced magic, but it’s hardly perfect. The Skein, as the veil is called, is highly fragile. It fails in moments of strong emotion, revealing the Kin beneath, and is easily damaged. In addition, it does not fool shadows, nor reflections. So any reflective surface will reveal their true nature, as will their own shadow. A Skein is not a physical item, so much as a spider web-like net of magic draped over a Kin. In addition, Kin have an additional weakness. Time spent away from places where water is present saps their strength, and if slain in a place with no water, a Kin cannot reform at one of Dresdrasil’s altars. In this case, another Kin, or a skilled Galdr, can find and capture their soul within their lantern, and carry it back to an altar to be revived. Should this not occur within 5 elven days, the deceased Kin risks true death.
REDLINES: -Becoming Kin requires sacrificing your Pact item, as well as a ceremony. -Being your own Patron is largely aesthetic, though it does mean effects that would normally cut you off from your ‘deity’ don’t affect you, since your power comes from within rather than without. -At the point one becomes Kin, interaction with your Patron is no longer necessary, unless you wish to receive missions/quests from them. Any Patron interactions beyond Kin are unrelated to learning additional parts of the magic. -Kin transformations do not impart the abilities of the creatures that influence your new appearance (meaning you couldn’t for example, take the camouflaging ability of a cuttlefish, or the lethal poison of a puffer). RPly, the creature selections are random and have no rhyme or reason outside of relating to your Pact type. But each Kin can, within reason, choose their own appearance oocly. -A Skein can only be made by Kin, and can only disguise a person as themself, specifically their original humanoid form. If you want to look different from how your character did before, illusions are more reliable. -Skeins aren’t perfect, and there are signs a Skein-wearer isn’t what they appear (their shadow, their reflection, the failure of a skein due to strong emotion). -A Skein is easily damaged, and tears in the Skein no longer conceal a Kin’s true nature. Damage taken by a hidden Kin is guaranteed to damage the Skein. - Should a Kin die far away from any natural sources of water, they cannot reform properly at Dresdrasil’s altar. Another Galdr must manually retrieve their soul at their place of death and bring it back to an Altar within 5 Elven days or they will be lost forever.
- While inland, valid sources of water should be naturally occuring, at least the size of a small pond, and within 3 minutes of walking (About 150 blocks/9 chunks). This restriction is lifted on islands that are surrounded by the sea. PROS/CONS AND ADDITIONAL REDLINES
- Using Charms does not require connection or focus.
-The first tier can be entirely self-taught, through the use of a Hextome.
-You can theoretically choose what type of creature your pelt takes the traits of by trapping one, or positioning yourself by a favored creature.
-Water breathing yo.
-A wide array of abilities.
- Charms cannot be prepared on the spot, must be prepared in advance. Preparing a charm requires the collection of materials, and time spent engraving and carving in order to create the charm’s physical form. It can take an elven day to make just a few charms.
- At least twice an Elven month, a Galdr must go and collect Thread, the spectral material used to create charms.
- Most charms break down upon use, but there are some that can be used several times. Some don’t break at all, but need recharging via the addition of more Thread, which must be done weekly.
- Skin-changing cannot be performed in the absence of a Pelt.
- Replacing a stolen pelt Pelt requires either recovering the stolen one, or going through your patron to get a new scale. Patrons give nothing for free, and will assign a task, sometimes merely for amusement.
- If deprived of their charms, a Galdr must rely on other methods, be they mundane weapons or other magic.
-When summoning Sea Monsters, you are required to have a part of the monster you wish to summon, and cannot summon one where it would not make sense.
-A person’s charms/pelt can be stolen and used against the original holder, but only if the holding individual knows how to activate it!
-The formation of a pelt takes from the nearest sea creature for traits and said traits are permanently locked to said pelt afterwards. So if you get stuck with a cuttlefish, you are stuck with a cuttlefish.
- Utilizing a Charm requires an activation word, chosen at the time of creation. Inability to speak prevents the use of Charms.
-The further one delves into Galderes, the more their stability becomes linked to the sea. Being in places without water, or places far from the sea negatively affect the mind of a Galdr.
-Only Charms that have been approved can be utilized (leaving room for the creation of new, lore approved charms). Charms and other such items must be signed by LT.
-The “tell” for Galderes is that the charms produce their own ghostly light, often a pale green-blue hue. Glowing items: dead giveaway. Higher Tiers have different tells. For instance, the starry eyes of a Redeemed, or the blue-green glowing eyes of T3 and above Galdr.
-Learning successive Tiers requires the intervention of your patron, but only minimally. Essentially, they give you the means to translate the next chapter.
-You cannot learn any deity magic alongside this one.
-You cannot stack Kin with other transformations.
-A Galdr can only carry so many charms, usually 8, plus charms that do not require storage.
-Full mastery of Galderes takes up 4 magic slots.
A number of folks have noted that they have trouble keeping track of all the new terms, so I decided to make a guide.
Galdr - a person who wields this magic
Galderes - the name of this magic
Thread - the unit used for this magic, composed of woven spiritual energy extracted from the sea.
Fetch - a sort of summoned companion that takes the form of your patron. While in play, you can use no magic.
Curse - a potion-like substance made by Galdr. It allows them to make monsters of men.
Effigy - a simple construct that can perform simple tasks
Kin - a transcended immortal. They can form pacts of their own. Hextome - the magical instruction book that is used to learn Galderes
Thanks to Tox, Ruby, Jenny_bobbs, Trekkie, and BrandNewKitten to helping me work on this. I probably missed a few people...