Saturday, 24 July 2010

The Great Mysteries: Yellow, Red, Blue

The next three Great Mysteries leave the realm of the mind and enter the realm of reality, issuing the ultimate commands to matter and energy.

The Great Mystery of the Yellow School: Polymorph Any Object
With the words of the Universal Transmutation, anything becomes anything else. Well, not really; the rule to be followed, so they say, is that one aspect of the object, be it form, soul, function or substance, remain the same. Thus, the miracle attributed to Chimedd in the siege of Cuasa, who turned a row of children's slingshots into a battery of catapults, preserving their function; or to Xeba in the days of the Tlanite Dynasts, who turned her enemies into perfect gold statues of themselves. The opportunities for greed loom limitless, but the cautionary tales are severe. Chimedd ended up embracing change with all his being, a congeries of flesh and organs, scrabbling on the floor. Once her devalued gold no longer bought loyalty, Xeba was fed a paralytic drug by the new enemies she had made by killing the old enemies, and dipped, alive, in molten platinum. One intriguing clue to the nature of the world, from the lore of this Mystery: "Though ye turn a statue to a man, ye have not created life, merely awakened it; though ye turn a man to a statue, ye have not yet extinguished him, merely put him to sleep."

The Great Mystery of the Red School: Disintegrate
What better destruction can one want, than the complete and unconditional evanescence of matter? Hence the pinnacle of Red magic is found in this straightforward spell, whose workings are a beacon of clarity in the fog of misinformation surrounding the Mysteries. The doom of the Red Mystery is likewise spelled out without embellishment in various legendaria. Use upon use, the area of effect increases uncontrollably, until its radius exceeds the range of the spell and the caster joins his victims in oblivion. The existence of the Great Pit of Zethyus is attributed to the repeated use of this Mystery to ward off a horde of foes, by an archmage unknown and unburied.

The Great Mystery of the Blue School: Create Life
With this most sacred rite, the final Words of Creation are whispered into the seeker's ear, granting the power of the Gods. It is taken for granted, that all the bizarre hybrids, sickly aberrations, cruel abominations, and freakish whimsies that crawl beneath the stone ceilings and moonless skies of the world owe their existence or their lineage to this Mystery. One and all, those who fail to transcend at this most dangerous of leaps along the path are destroyed by their creation. The means of this doom can be original; they speak of the half-elven adepta Euryth, who cobbled together a tiny ailment to eradicate the Orcs and fell its first victim; or of Agzu Ad Bastor, who pined to death after being spurned by the ideal female companion he had created.


  1. This has been a great series of posts - I may just incorporate some of this in my house rules. I really like the "Great Mysteries" idea. Keep up the good work

  2. Rather later, but also loving the series. Excellent flavor to it all!

    One quibble, as long as I'm commenting: the unnamed archmage of Zethyus is presumably not so much "unburied" as "unburiable." 8^P