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Ritual Magic

Intelligent monsters have had rudimentary ritual magic since long before humans migrated from the East to escape the Culling in what is now the People's Republic.  The arrival of humans into what was previously monster lands led to many of the native creatures beginning experiments that often led to the demise of the caster.  During this period, six ritual spells were created by the native monsters for the purpose of driving the invaders from their home.

Despite their efforts, humans stole the knowledge of how to perform these spells and, through the sealing magic created by a vampire, sealed human magic into words, and began to experiment with ritual magic.  Humans discovered an additional five spells, and drove the monsters into the dark places where humans feared to tread.

Through the years following, most of the rituals were lost to humanity.  These lost spells are rumored to exist in Glacelieu Cave, written by the ancients for future generations.

With the exception of a few alchemizing rituals, all rituals require intensive study over the course of a minimum of four years.  The academies of Aridefort, Highpoint, and Azevrai teach these rituals.

Modern Rituals

  • Alchemizing
Before the start of the ritual, all the materials must be purified, usually by boiling in purified water and then dried, in the case of solids.  Once all materials are prepared, they are arranged in a cirlcle around a drawn shape, and the caster speaks an incantation.  The materials coalesce into the drawn shape overnight, producing the final form. This spell is the easiest ritual magic to learn, but still requires academic study to master.
  • Blessing
This ritual takes place at a location known for light magic-- such as the Temple of Light in Assezfourni.  The local authority, trained since youth, places the thing or person to be blessed onto a large, round altar and says the spell while circling the altar and performing a series of gestures and motions.  The top surface of the altar glows, and when it fades, the recipient item or person is removed.
  • Forging
Forging takes place on and around a large square anvil inscribed with many shapes and symbols.  There are five large circles-- one at each cardinal direction, and one in the center.  The caster places materials in a specific order in the four directional circles, and places an offering in the center circle (usually blood or wealth).  He recites the rhythmic incantation as he pounds the offering with his hammer.  A bright flash transforms the materials into the intended shape, and bestows a random, unknown enchantment or curse.
  • Identifying
The caster begins by laying flat a cloth embroidered with a circle that has Pre-Saldemot writing around the outer edges.  An offering (usually a small amount of wealth) is placed in the center, with the item to be identified on top.  The caster recites the verbal part of the spell while staring at the item (eye contact must not be broken), and when he finishes, there is a brief moment of blindness before he can clearly see all enchantments or magic on the item.  The offering burns away as the item is removed from the circle.

Forgotten Rituals

  • Animating
  • Concealing
  • Cursing
  • Divinating
  • Enchanting
  • Sealing
  • Witching

Human Book Magic

In ancient times, before the kingdom's formation, the land was populated with many people, who spoke a language that became the four base languages to modern Saldemot.

These people lived in tribes apart from each other, and each was born with the same magic as monsters-- instinctual, wild magic that flung elements about.  Because fire has a tendency to burn down homes, and the other spells were no better when cast about wildly, the people consulted their elders, who knew of a witch.  Through unknown means, she and they sealed the magic of humans into the old language, and each elder wrote out one page with how to cast a spell, and they were all bound together, one book for each of the spells.  As certain people were born and couldn't use the spells, they wrote books for the magic of monsters, and those people could use them as dark and light bloods came into being.

During the course of several more generations, young casters experimented and learned how to create variant spells, and added them to their wood-bound books.

Progression

Typically, a student with the funds to afford to attend one of the four academies in Saldecla travels to Highpoint, Axevrai, Hauteflame, or Aridefort to learn magic, while a poor student will find someone near his home of third level or higher to teach him. The typical curriculum will being at twelve or thirteen, although a student as old as thirty is not taboo.

At the start of his learning career, he is given or sold (at about 200 gold coins) a level one book, which has only one page-- the base form for the spell he has chosen. He is instructed to read the page twice a day for two weeks before his teacher allows him to cast the spell, which the instructor will walk him through the first time.

After roughly six months of practice with the spell, when the student's native accent has faded and he can cast the spell in a count of five or less, the instructor will give or sell a level two book (at about 1000 gold coins), which contains the same spell and then four additional, random variants. The book is five pages long. Again, for two weeks, the student may only read the book, and should do so twice a day. He may practice the original spell still, but must not cast the new ones. After that, it takes roughly a year or two to finally cast the spells quickly enough for the instructor to be pleased, and for the student to start to learn how the spells are put together and how they differ from each other.

By this point, most locally-educated students leave their masters, and pursue on their own, while academy-taught students continue to level three studies, which follow the same pattern, but take up to five years. Level three books (5,000 gold) have fifteen pages.

The exception to this learning method is to learn by doing-- used almost exclusively by those journeying into danger.  They find a book, and they begin to use its more powerful spells immediately.  These casters can use powerful magic, but struggle with variant spells.

Obtainability

Today's leatherbound books can be bought up to level five from academies, where beginning students who must learn to read and write make copies of the books, from sellers, and from blacksmiths, who make them for customers who supply the materials and a fee.

Monsters, keen on learning human spells, often find books or make copies with ritual magic akin to what a blacksmith might use.  Because they can't read Pre-Saldemot, the books are often useless in their hands, but thanks to monster ritual magic being more potent than for humans, the spell books found on the corpses of studious monsters often hold unique power, in case a caster needs to use his book as a melee weapon, or seeks a book beyond level three at a cheaper rate.

Books beyond level three are hard to find and very expensive.  It is rumored that even the Hero of Light only mastered six levels out of the rumored eleven that exist.

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