Sorcery and Necromancy

Sorcery is the complex manipulation and control of the flows of Essence of the world, rather than their internal flows. Instead of Charms, Sorcery relies on ritualistic, exact recantations called Spells and Thaumaturgies to enact the power upon the world.

Sorcery is split into Three Circles, the first being the lowest. Each tradition and tutor will have a different name for the circle, although the most widely known is Emerald, Sapphire, and Adamant, respectively.

Dynasts and Sorcery

It is known that Dragonblooded do not reach past the First Circle: that power is corruptive, created by the Anathema to tempt and trap those that seek power for the sake of power--save for the pure and righteous Empress herself.

So says the Immaculate philosophy.

But there is no such declaration. Careful Monks, when reviewing the passages so often quoted as proof, will find it lacking. Proper historical context and translations from Old Realm will unravel this as an “incorrect surface level reading.”

Perpetually, there will be a champion who takes on the mantle to correct this, to pull up this noxious weed that has grafted itself to the Immaculate Order. But so far, they have all been silenced.

For now, those very few who manage to reach the Second Circle do so in secret, hiding in dark corners of the Realm.

Necromancy

The art of Necromancy was stolen from the Void, and has become a part of Sorcery–much to the ire and horror of many Sorcerous Practitioners.

Initiation into either Sorcery or Necromancy will qualify the user to both.

The Rules of Necromancy are the same as Sorcery. For convenience, the rules will simply state “Sorcerer” instead of “Sorcerer or Necromancer”.

Casting Spells

Spells, unlike charms, pull their magic from the precise manipulation and twisting of the laws of reality to the Sorcerer’s will. The Sorcerer’s expenditure of Motes is a way to speed up their Casting –a Sorcerer without a mote pool would be required to take days or months to prepare and cast even the First Circle of Spells–if at all.

In order to purchase Spells, a character must first be Initiated into the respective circle.

Moteless Casting

There are alternate ways to cast Spells, whether it be through purpose built Wonders, long, elaborate rituals, or even physically rearranging the Essence lines of Creation itself.

Practically speaking, none of these methods can or will be used by Player Characters--Sorcerous Motes are faster and easier in every way--but it can be an interesting narrative tool for a crafty Storyteller.

Sorcerous Motes

Sorcerous Spells relies on the manipulation and alteration of the world’s energies around them, rather than the internal expression of power that Charms are.

Shaping a spell is therefore represented by Sorcerous Motes (sm), which represent the usage of external Essence to twist and conjure the mechanics of the world into the shapes needed for the Spell.

Sorcerous Motes follow much the same rules as normal motes—they may be pulled from the Personal or Peripheral Mote pools at choice

The difference is that using Sorcery is not instantaneous. There is a distinct passage of time from starting a spell to casting and releasing it unto the world.

This means that characters, on noticing that a Spell is starting to be cast, will have the chance to react before the Spell has finished. In scenes, (such as an Encounter), this is two Actions: one to Shape the spell, the next to release it.

As a note: Sorcerous Motes are unique to the very spell they are being shaped for. It is not possible to start “Shaping Motes” for a generic spell and switch which spell is released.

Combat Casting

Casting in Combat requires a bit more granularity, and is handled through the Special Maneuver called Shape Motes, and then the Decisive action of Cast Spell.

Shape Motes

Roll (Intelligence + Sorcery). You may shape up to that number of your Motes into Spell’s Sorcerous Motes.

Shaping Motes is a messy affair, the force required to twist the flows of the world will often cast off essence into the world—a talented Sorcery will know how to use these sparks of sorcery to perform Stunt Maneuvers.

Cast Spell

Once all Sorcerous Motes of the Spell have been gathered, the Sorcery may take the Decisive Action to Cast the Spell, as according to its Spell description.

Countermagic

Once a Spell has been cast, it is incredibly difficult to undo, requiring a Project.

  • First Circle 2 RES

  • Second Circle 5 RES

  • Third Circle 10 RES

All Spells, once unraveled, have a chance of their discarded magics being cast aside in wild effects. A single Challenge Roll should be performed for the unraveling to see if a side-effect occurs.

Initiation

While all Exalts can become Sorcerers, it does not come naturally to them. They must first be Initiated into the mysteries of the world by creatures of power, or life-changing events. Their link to power becomes their guide through all three circles throughout their life—swapping tutors is unheard of.

While it is almost always the case, the Master teaching and Initiating their pupil does not need to be of the Circle the student is being inducted into—they don’t even necessarily have to be a sorcerer themselves.

The First Circle Sorcery can be learned at Essence 0. While extremely rare, there are even known Mortals who have become Sorcerers.

The Second Circle Sorcery requires Essence 3, and the Third Circle of Sorcery requires Essence 5, in almost all cases.

Each Circle Initiation grants a (N/A) Merit that allows the Sorcerer to learn the respective Circle of Spells, along with another effect that has been derived from their source of Power.

Initiation Tasks

The Laws of Sorcery written into the world dictate that each Initiation must be accompanied by a Task. The Masters inducting their students are required to have this minimum during an induction. Often, the Master will concoct their own tests and preparations for the Task, as failing the higher-circle Task may bring doom and destruction on all.

The First Circle Task is fairly simple: the student must seek out and be selected for Induction into Sorcery.

The Second Circle Task requires the student to be Essence 3, and will result in them suffering the equivalent of a Major Drawback–a repercussion that will be felt across multiple scenes, if not the character’s entire life.

The Third Circle Task requires the student to be Essence 5, and will result in a permanent change in the character.

Raksi and the Third Circle

By all accounts, Raksi should be a Third Circle Sorcerer—and yet she is not.

She has not completed her Third Circle Initiation. Whatever her third Task was, she has refused to complete it. Instead she chooses to rail against the task, seeking desperately another way.

Sidereals and Sorcery

Sidereals have the time, resources, and training available to them to become highly skilled Sorcerers-and many of them pursue this path quite readily.

However, while Sorcery is a part of the workings of Creation, The Second and especially the Third Circle Spells are rather rough on the Loom of Fate. More often than not, these overt, flashy, and incredibly disruptive actions run counter to all of Sidereal methodology.

For this reason the Sidereal Host, particularly the Bronze Faction, encourages Sidereals to always try a Fate-Based solution first, and discourage new Sidereals from advancing up the circles “before they are ready for the responsibility.”

Sources of Sorcery

[[Possible sources of Sorcery. Not exhaustive]]

Pact with Ifrit Lord

One of the Lords of fire has granted you power, breathing a shard of themselves into your body.

First Circle (Kindled)

While casting, the skin of the Sorcerer becomes glowing hot, burning with their inner fire. Crackling rivulets trace along like flames across their skin.

Second Circle (Ignited)

Fire comes naturally to the Ignited.

The Sorcerer gains a +1 defense against all natural Fire damage, and finds little trouble breathing in smoke-filled rooms.

Third Circle (Firestorm)

[…]

Chosen by the Salinian Working

The First Age Sorcerers feared that their knowledge and practices would be lost to the ages, and so bound it into the fabric of reality so tightly that it has become indistinguishable.

This process will select and teach those it chooses, according to those arcane rules written so long ago and lost to time.

The Salinian Working will appear in a way that represents knowledge to its potential Student: it may be a book that writes itself or the whispering of the winds.

First Circle (Emerald)

Second Circle (Sapphire)

Third Circle (Adamant)

Heptagram Study

The Heptagram trains Dragonbloods in the First Circle, and warns of the Second and Third Circles. They often do not differentiate the “Anathematic” levels.

Ancient, old texts untouched by generations since the Shogunate call these Celestial and Solar Levels.

First Circle (Terrestrial)

Second Circle (Celestial [Anathematic])

Third Circle (Solar [Anathematic])

By additionally expending 3 personal motes, the Exalt may reduce the anima flare caused by a casting by one level.