MAGES and PRIESTS
MAGES IN MYTHANDAR
In Mythandar, practitioners of the magic arts (or simply The Art) are rare and powerful individuals with the knowledge and talent to sense and manipulate magical energy. Mages are traditionally human or half-elven. Elves have their own magical abilities and do not practice human sorcery. Dwarves are resistant and adverse to magic. Orcs and other humanoids lack the required intelligence and talent. Other elder races, such as the lizard-folk of the Far South, have their own arcane arts.
All mages have the following basic skills and abilities:
MAGE is used in Anglamar and the West, referring to both male and female practitioners of the Art.
APPRENTICE is a junior practitioner, usually one still under the tutelage of an elder mage. Magical academies are not permitted under the Compact of the High Circle. Most adepts willing to teach the Art take a single apprentice at a time.
ADEPT is a general term referring to any practitioner of the Art who has reached an acknowledged level of Power. A mage or sorcerer is an adept; an apprentice is not.
ARCHMAGE is one who has reached a position of great Power or status, such as the leader of an order or one who holds an office. The position of Royal Mage of Anglamar was held by the Archmage Izander Graymane until his death/disappearance in the North War 50 years ago.
SORCERER or SORCERESS are terms used in the Inner Sea Lands and the regions east and south. One may be called a mage in the North, a sorcerer in the Inner Sea, and a witch in the East.
WITCH refers to a minor female practitioner of the art in Anglamar (usually one without formal apprenticeship). In Varalkia and the East, the term is applied to both male and female spell-casters.
WIZARD is a title reserved for the greatest practitioners of the Art. There are only seven Wizards in all of Mythandar. Drawn from different lands and races, they form the High Circle, an association to maintain balance among themselves and prevent any single mage from attaining too much Power. By their compact, no Wizard may become directly involved in the events and fortunes of the lands of Mythandar ... Be assured that any mage who attains notoriety or political influence will gain the attention of the High Circle.
In Varalkia, Eredor and most of the Inner Sea Lands where the Church of the New Faith wields great influence, sorcerers are derided and even persecuted. However, the Sorcerers' Guild of the Inner Sea is a powerful group and chief rival of the Blue Star Mages ... Spell-casters are banned from the Holy City of Tharsis and are forbidden to set foot in Kesh where priest-led death squads hunt them down for torture and death. Witches are routinely burned at the stake in Varalkia.
The Dwarves despise magic, respecting only the supernatural Power of their own god, Kor. Elves, possessing natural magical abilities themselves, are wary of human magic-users, knowing the weaknesses of mankind. Orcs and other fell humanoids are easily awed and intimidated by magic, and are often manipulated by mages with evil intent.
THE POWER OF PRIESTS
Priests are among the most powerful individuals in Mythandar. As the direct representatives of the gods, they have access to divine Power. Whereas the mage's Power comes from learning, the priest's is born of faith and devotion to his or her deity.
Absolution secures the forgiveness of the gods and prepares the souls of the faithful for the afterlife.
Blessing bestows the gods' favor upon individuals (with the effects of magical protection).
Exorcism removes the onus of magical possession or influence upon individuals.
Healing restores health, heals wounds, and cures disease.
Invocation calls upon the aid of the deity directly.
Retribution calls down the god's wrath upon the priest's enemies in a destructive display of divine Power.
Sanctuary, bestowed upon a location, creates an area of magical protection.
HOLY SYMBOL is an amulet fashioned with the symbol of a god and blessed with divine Power The Power Level of the amulet equals that of the priest who blesses it (see the Power Levels table). Holy Symbols have a negative effect upon persons or creatures of opposing ethic - the amulet of a good deity will burn or repel an evil being).
PRIEST refers to any servant of a deity who is member of a formal order or cult and possesses the ability to wield divine Power.
ACOLYTE is the lowest level of any priesthood, a priest-in-learning who has not yet been granted the Power of his or her god.
HIGH PRIEST is the senior member of an order or cult, the highest ranking servant of a deity. Every god and goddess of Mythandar has a High Priest or High Priestess.
MONK, in the hierarchy of the New Faith, is a mid-level priest.
ABBOT is the senior priest of an abbey or monastery, where acolytes are trained and monks pursue enlightenment in the New Faith.
BISHOP, in the New Faith, is a high-ranking priest who is responsible for a temple and its congregation, called a bishopric.
ARCHBISHOP is in charge of a large region or one of the Holy Orders of the Church. The Archbishop of Gondaran presides over the Grand Temple and the bishoprics throughout Anglamar.
THE PATRIARCH, in the Holy City of Tharsis on the Inner Sea, is the leader of the New Faith in all of Mythandar.