The secret art of sorcery has been taught and guarded for centuries by the Arcane Congregation. The seat of this association, whose members usually want to remain undetected and which is commonly known as “The Brotherhood”, is located in the Asteé region within the kingdom of Madyn. For more than 3,000 years, Veste Groestan has stood there, a sturdy rock castle that, according to legend, has never been taken by force. Under the direction of the Principal, the brothers live far from the rest of society and study the ancient scrolls and books collected in the largest library of the Lands of Light.
Trained magisters occasionally leave the fortress and serve rulers or wander the countryside to provide their knowledge and skills and practice. They usually act as wound healers, counselors, fortune tellers and in other roles, they never talk about the congregation or their motives. Nor do they call themselves spellcasters and avoid revealing their true powers to the common folk, that magic fundamentally fears and blames magicians for all the misfortunes that have befallen them. Nevertheless, the special arts of these men are sought after and like to buy nobles, for example. their tinctures and juices, amulets, talismans and other good luck charms.
Magic is omnipresent in the world of Solas, though most residents do not notice it. Magic works beneath the surface, a magician can not summon a fireball out of nowhere in a few words, but he can blow a spark into a nearby haystack with a slight gust of wind. Sorcerers can give objects magical properties or make remedies like potions. They have great knowledge of plants, herbs, diseases and medicine.
Magicians who studied in the Veste and passed their exams are called Magisters. Masters are sought after counselors and occasionally in the service of powerful or wealthy individuals. There are magicians who are not masters but still understand much of this art. These are commonly called sorcerers or sorcerers, whereby non-experts basically consider all magicians as sorcerers.
Other Magic Users
There are many more types of magic users besides the masters of the Veste.
Witches live in the the rural areas and old forests, practiciing a magic very close to nature and not documented in any books. They use plants and herbs to brew potions and soups, cure ailments or curse someone.
Warlocks are apostate magicians who have renounced the art of the Veste or who have been denied access. They forge dark pacts with demons and spirits, sacrificing their souls for a life of power and wealth. Their magic is perhaps the most powerful in Solas, but their skills are limited to destruction and confusion only.
Seers are gifted men and women who can use magic to anticipate events before they take place. Their visions are often unclear and blurry, but their advice is appreciated by the Lords and the people alike. They enjoy high reputation and are considered inviolable.
Redcoats are the followers of a holy order dedicated to fighting the dark forces and servants of the Daedalis and announcing the liberation of the world through the light of the light god Hael. These fighting priests have a reputation for using magic to heal the wounded and the sick and strengthen themselves mentally and physically in combat. The Assembly of the Order of the Bleeding Heart (Caerd o’r calen si’n gwawdo) is the leadership of the knights and priests who are found throughout Solas and are not subject to any worldly ruler.
There are also illusionists, conjurers, soothsayers, apothecaries, alchemist and many others who only superficially fiddle with magic and do not really know what they are doing. Almost everyone is actually using or making use of magic, most people do it without even noticing. People hang congratulations or blessings on long ribbons in front of the windows and doors of the houses, carve lucky runes into the roof beams or bless the cattle or the daily meal and thus are better protected from illness or death. Not everything that the common folk have in terms of habits is superstition, many small rites and aphorisms inherit a faint magic that makes everyday life a bit more endurable.
Most people only know about petty magic, which is usually done in the form of short casting spells. These sayings themselves have no effect on reality, but they help the caster to focus and adjust their minds to generate the desired effect. In order to do magic, one has to focus on the patterns and structures of the energy flowing in all matter, has to understand them fully and eventually change them. Therefore, most people believe that magic must always be used in the form of spoken spells. This is a mistake.
As long as a magician is conscious and can concentrate his mind on the exercise of a spell, this action requires no movements or sounds or other characteristics. Therefore, it is often impossible to determine who has just cast a spell without using magic for it. Great masters are even supposed to be able to conjure in sleep or to cast a spell on it despite gag, blindness, deafness or bondage.
It takes more skill and experience to create an awesome effect than, for example, light a candle. Different aspects control the complexity, effort and difficulty of a spell. The caster can customize individual aspects of the spell as needed. For example, if he has a lot of time, he can make the spell easier if he doesn’t rush it. If he doesn’t have the time, he may have to reduce the intensity so that the spell still has a chance of success. A spell that fails (check fails) has potential dangers for the caster and everyone nearby. The magical pattern may change uncontrollably, producing unwanted effects that can hurt someone.
|Near: A few steps away.||2|
|Short: Up to 20–30 yards||3|
|Long: Up to a few hundred yards.||4|
|Distant: As far as you can see.||5|