Gazetteer – 02j – Outer Essence Manipulation
Outer Essence Manipulation (Wizardry)
Wizardry is the process of wielding the essence to make the runes of power function. Most all spells have a verbal component, but there is no universal “magical” language. The grammar and order of the words is what is important so a fireball could be cast in Whelish as easily as it could be cast in Farsky.
Outer essence manipulation was a skill that was feared throughout the Age of Chaos. As a wizard improved in their ability to wield the essence, their souls would skirt very close to the plane of chaos. If they were not strong enough, their hearts would get corrupted and a once “good” wizard would become an agent of evil. Tellezinal of the Immortal Council researched this power extensively and learned about its awesomely destructive power, its incredible diversity, and its dark threat to its practitioners. Jukal knew of this threat and forbade Tellezinal from continuing his research. The emperor did not want Tellezinal unwittingly releasing chaos into the world, though he was not explicit in his concerns to the eldest of his tribe, due to a worry about revealing the chaos rune within him and the unknown ramifications of how that information would affect his empire and its people.
Tellezinal was not one to be cautioned and the veracity of the arguments between himself and Jukal used to be the talk of legend during the days of the empire. The disagreement resulted in Tellezinal leaving Tanvarpov and creating a wizard’s enclave on the Leiber peninsula far to the west. This enclave has grown into Lankleer, the city of magic.
Furthering his study in Lankleer, he learned that using silver as a key component in all spells would build a wall between the use of the power and the plane of chaos. He became an arch-mage without ever becoming corrupted and instructed others on how to do the same. The problem with using silver in all spell castings was how expensive it was for the practitioner. Many risked their souls and lost the gamble to save a few coins. When the Laughing Man appeared in the world, these fallen wizards flocked to his banner. Given this danger, outer essence manipulation was either totally outlawed or highly controlled in most kingdoms during the Age of Chaos.
The birth of the Silver Moon at the end of the Age of Chaos protects all magical practitioners from the plane of chaos. A practitioner would have to find a way to break down the wall to become corrupted (some do for accessing demonic power), but no practitioner can unwittingly succumb to the chaos rune just by improving their ability at outer essence manipulation. This new revelation about the power is seeing many kingdoms both relax their controls on magic use and develop schools of magic for its learning. Enchantments and illusions still tend to be outlawed due to the dangers they present in maintaining authority.
In most ways, outer essence manipulation is the power that “wizard-type” characters use and for game mechanics is handled the way Pathfinder does it in its core rule set.
PIPs Fantasy uses a spell point system so the difference between a sorcerer and a wizard is based solely on the activating ability – intelligence for wizards and charisma for sorcerers. Wizards are much more common in the world nearly to the point of exclusion of sorcerers, but there is no fundamental reason why a sorcerer couldn’t exist somewhere if a good back story was generated for the character.
PIPs Fantasy also has a “use-based” leveling system for improvement in outer essence manipulation, but going with traditional d20 or Pathfinder core rules experience point leveling system would work fine as well.