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The Lost Secret Craftsby Rodger Burns
The secret crafts of Glantri are all of extraplanar origin. They were all originally discovered by the Flaems during their time of exile after the fall of Old Alphatia, and brought to Mystara when the Flaems colonized Glantri some six hundred years ago. This is partly why the wizards of Alphatia, the dominarchs of Great Hule, the deathless sages of Tangor,
and arcane masters of half a dozen nations have never succeeded in recreating any of the secret crafts - their work is all done on the Prime, and the secret crafts come from elsewhere.
The secret crafts now known to the Glantrian elite aren't the only arcane arts brought to Mystara by the Flaems, though. Several other techniques, now lost, were known to the ancient Flaems - their lore and practitioners lost or driven into exile in the centuries since the Flaems came to Glantri. Are the keys to unlocking these lost crafts hidden in some ancient dungeon or tomb, waiting for the right adventurer to uncover their secrets? Claimed by some tribe or nation beyond the bounds of the Known World, who seek to turn these stolen techniques against their creators? Or are they perhaps destined to return to their place of origin some time in the near future, empowering ambitious mages and further disturbing the delicate balance of power within Glantri?...
PARTIAL TIMELINE -
* 395 AC: The Flaems colonize the lands that will one day be known as Glantri. They bring with them knowledge of twelve secret crafts - Alchemy, Artifice, Astramancy, Cryptomancy, Dracology, Elementalism, Fleshshaping, Illusion, Mentalism, Necromancy, Negation, and Witchcraft.
* 414-439 AC: Civil strife and secret warfare among the masters of the secret crafts. The arts of Astramancy, Dracology, Mentalism and Negation are lost; many other craft traditions are weakened.
* 525 AC: First philosophical fissure among the followers of Elementalism, concerning whether their powers should be used openly to overawe and dissuade (mostly devotees of Fire and Air) or only when needed to nurture and defend (mainly devotees of Water and Earth). By the end of the century, the craft of Elementalism will have split into four factions, each with its own High Master.
* 656 AC: Alliance between the crafts of Witchcraft and Necromancy to ambush and destroy the craft of Fleshshaping; many senior wizards are murdered or forced to flee for parts unknown.
* 790-810 AC: Records and tools of the secret craft of Artifice are removed to Alphatia by allies of Halzunthram; native Flaemish practitioners go into hiding and eventually abandon their craft.
* 895 AC: Tomes and artifacts of the craft of Dracology are returned to the Great School of Magic by a strange sorceress from the north. Some future sages believe this may be a follower or avatar of the Immortal Idris, aiming to eventually create Glantrian rivals to the draconic Immortals and distract attention from her own schemes.
(More to come, as I transcribe my handwritten notes into typed form and check details against rulebooks...)
This secret craft focuses on the channelling of magical power through tools and large constructions - sometimes using magic to make constructed items more effective, sometimes using tools to channel and focus magical energies, sometimes calling on unique magical powers to create stronger and more capable devices.
The craft of Artifice has been missing from Glantri for more than two centuries - artificers' creations were primary targets in the war between the Flaems and the elvish and human settlers from the southlands, and Halzunthram's Alphatians especially sought to seize information on the craft and eliminate members of this tradition. It's possible that some knowledge of Artifice exists today in the Alphatian kingdoms of Vertiloch, Bettelyn, Floating Ar or Haven, but none remains in the rest of the Known World.
Sigils of Joining (First Circle): This ability allows the artificer to perfectly and seamlessly bind two inanimate, nonmagical objects to one another. Once the ability takes effect, the two objects are permanently joined, and can only be separated by dispel magic or anti-magic, the artificer's will, or physically hacking one of the objects apart. The artificer must be touching the two objects to be affected by this ability.
Adventuring artificers often use this talent to quickly seal a door, secure a rope or ladder, or otherwise aid in exploration or confound an enemy. It can also be used to strengthen ships, castle walls and other large constructions - by spending 1 week of time per 10,000 gpv of construction cost, the artificer can enhance a structure's HP by +25% and increase AC by 4 by joining key joints. If used in the middle of a combat or siege to quickly fix patches, this ability will heal 5-30 hp of structural damage per use.
Sigils of Power (Second Circle): An artificer of the second circle can use this ability to activate a scroll, wand or staff using his own memorized spells to power the item, instead of magic item charges. One memorized spell (of the same spell level as the activated power) is lost from memory for each charge expended. Wands with powers not matching to any spell require a 4th-level spell slot for each charge; staffs with powers not matching to any spell require a 6th-level spell slot. On a roll of 01, the magic item that the artificer is attempting to channel power through is rendered permanently nonmagical.
Sigils of Passage (Second Circle): This talent is most often used when constructing a tower or dungeon complex. It creates a door, sliding wall, hidden panel or other portal that works by magic, opening only under conditions set by the artificer (most often a command word, gesture or presentation of a specific sigil - the effect cannot be set to open only for specific individuals, races or classes). Since the portal needs no hinges, knob or frame, it can easily be made secret; such doors have only a 1 in 12 chance of being detected by an elf, and no chance at all by other characters. (Use of detect magic returns chance of success to normal, though, and truesight will immediately reveal the door.) This ability can also be used to create pit traps, panels containing hidden weapons and similar hazards - the chance for a thief to find and remove such traps is halved, due to the magic of their construction.
Sigils of Absorption (Third Circle): This allows the artificer to imbue shields, armor and other barriers made of stone or metal with the ability to absorb and harmlessly dissipate dangerous magical energies. Each use of this ability costs 100 gp in rare components and allows the imbued item to absorb one spell cast at it. Shields, armor and other carried items protect the wearer; walls and fortifications protect those sheltering behind them (within 10'). Most items can be affected multiple times by this ability - shields can be imbued once, metal armor three times, walls and large barriers five times per 10' of length. Once set, the absorption ability lasts until used.
Sigils of Sorcery (Fourth Circle): Artificers of the fourth circle can bind spells and other magical abilities into small items that store magical energy and can release it on command. The resulting item can be triggered by anyone touching it, though if the artificer can see the sigil he can exercise control over who may and may not use it (allowing its use to allies and forbidding it to enemies) through force of will.
Binding power into a sigil-item is both costly and draining. To craft a sigil capable of holding a spell costs 500 gp per spell level, and removes a spell of the same level from the artificer's memory; this spell cannot be re-memorized until the sigil is discharged. (This is much more expensive than making a magical item, so many artificers only rely on sigil-items only in times of need - it is, however, faster and more flexible.) The special attack of a monster closely studied by an artificer can also be bound into a sigil-item; the cost for this is 250 gp per hit die per special ability asterisk. (Binding a spectral hound's fading bite attack into a sigil-item, for instance, would cost 250 gp * 5 HD * 2 asterisks = 2,500 gp total. Special attacks from monsters with no special ability asterisks cost 150 gp per hit die. The DM has veto rights over what constitutes a 'special attack' and what's a natural quality that can't be emulated.) Binding a monster power into a sigil-item drains the artificer's life force, reducing his current and maximum hit points by an amount equal to the hit dice of the monster. When the sigil-item is discharged, the artificer's maximum hit points are returned; current hit points remain at their lowered level, and must be healed by magical means or natural rest.
Sigils of Summoning (Fifth Circle): The High Master gains the ability to craft pairs of linked sigils that can be tied to magical items or magical constructions. Up to six sets of sigils can be created at any one time; each set costs 6,000 gp and requires one month to create. For each set of sigils, one is linked to a magical item (chosen and possessed by the High Master; any given magic item can only have one sigil of summoning linked to it), while the other remains separate, able to be independently moved around.
Sigils of summoning can be used in two ways. First, the High Master can leave the bound magic item in his tower or another safe location, carry the independent sigil on his person, then invoke the summoning power to bring the magic item to his hand. (If the bound sigil is linked to a fortification or immobile object, the High Master is transported to the object's location. A mobile but large-sized item, such as a skyship, will appear in the nearest open space it can fit in.) Alternately, the High Master can place the independent sigil in a location of interest (or have it sent to a location of interest through mundane or magical means), then take possession of the magical item bound to the sigil and transport himself and the item to the sigil's location. A roll of 01 when using this power permanently destroys both sigils and renders the bound magic item permanently nonmagical.
This strange craft draws on powers derived from (or at the very least inspired by) the stars of an eerie alien constellation, found in the night sky of a now-unknown outer plane. While the talents granted to astramancers are many and varied, the studies they pursue are thought by outsiders to badly warp the mind and judgment - astramancers are notorious for being obsessed with prophecy and foretelling, subtly manipulating the actions of others to avoid a horrific future and taking desperate measures to avoid a place of fated doom. The craft of astramancy is thought to be at the center of the wars between the Flaemish crafts, after their arrival on Mystara - though whether they were attacked by their jealous and close-minded enemies or started the conflict themselves in order to prevent some future they foresaw depends on who you ask. In the present day, astramancy is a rumored tool of cabalists and shadowy manipulators across Mystara, but whether it actually exists in any of the courts whispered to harbor it is unknown. (Its tomes and secret relics may in fact move from place to place - either of their own accord or through the intervention of those who wish to spread magical mischief...)
Most of the powers of astramancy place a specific aura upon a target, either for good or for ill. While an experienced astramancer can invoke multiple abilities at once (and even use use the same ability twice in succession, targeting different characters), any single character can be the target of only one astramancy power at a time. If two astramancers try to impose different powers on the same target, the higher-Circle power takes precedence; if both powers are of the same Circle, the power first invoked takes precedence.
Tlothos, Star of Warning (First Circle): This power grants the astramancer momentary foreknowledge of threats targeting himself or one chosen ally - a sense lacking in detail of methods, but enough to take pre-emptive action in self-defense. While this power is active, the astramancer is impossible to surprise (barring special circumstances, like an extremely carefully plotted ambush aimed at only an unwarded companion) and can also in combat attempt to use damage-dealing magic to disrupt an enemy's attack action. This can be done only once per round, and only against enemies threatening the beneficiary of the warning-ward; if the astramancer's spell is effective against the chosen enemy, the enemy must make a save vs. wands (with a -1 penalty per level of the astramancer's attack spell) or lose their action for the round. The power of the Star of Warning lasts for 3 turns.
Hivikara, Star of Deceit (First Circle): This talent imbues one character with supernatural skill in stealth, larceny and deception. The chosen character can Hide in Shadows, Move Silently and Pick Pockets as a thief of half the astramancer's level (or at a +4 level bonus, if the target already possesses superior thief skills). In addition, the character will be able to lie flawlessly and seamlessly - no nonmagical means will reveal the character's duplicity, and even magical methods (such as ESP) can be fooled if the character makes a successful Charisma check. This star's power lasts for 1 turn.
Memikara, Star of Might (Second Circle): The astramancer imbues one ally with great strength and vigor, but at the cost of some reduction of patience and judgment. While this talent is in effect, the target gains a +4 bonus to Strength (to a maximum of 18, but characters with a natural Str of 15-16 get a +4 bonus to melee combat rolls and to Open Doors; characters with a natural Str of 17-18 get a +5 bonus) and +2 bonus levels/HD of temporary hit points. However, the character becomes brasher, more arrogant and disinclined to patience and finesse; any skill or plan that doesn't involve taking direct, forceful action takes a -2 penalty (-10% for thief skill checks and other rolls based on d100) to all rolls. An unwilling character can attempt a save vs. Spells to avoid being affected by this talent. The power of the Star of Might lasts for 1 turn.
Kalokaas, the Coldfire Star (Second Circle): This star envelops its target in a fierce blue-white aura when invoked, inflicting several negative effects. To begin with, the target's position and movements are constantly known to all within 120'; the target cannot hide, benefit from invisibility or silence, nor gain bonuses against blinded opponents. Spells and special attacks used by the target that charm, hold or paralyze, petrify, or cause magical fear are also weakened - targets get a +4 bonus to all saves, and duration of any effect is halved. Finally, any resistance or immunity to either cold or fire damage possessed by the target is negated. These effects last for one round per level of the astramancer.
Uemanal, the Pyrestar (Third Circle): An aura of doom and fated death settles onto the victim of this dread power, bringing misery in its wake. While this power is in effect, all attacks and damaging effects against the target are enhanced, increasing damage by +2 per die (a standard sword strike would do +2 damage, a stone giant's club +6, and a 10th-level magic-user's fireball +20 damage, for instance). Special attacks that don't deal damage are also empowered, imposing a -4 to saving throws.
Invoking the Pyrestar can be a dangerous business, however. Damage and negative effects inflicted on the target while this ability is in use should be tracked; if the power of the Pyrestar is dispelled or otherwise negated while the victim still lives, the astramancer immediately suffers a like amount of damage and suffers similar nondamaging negative effects. The power of the Pyrestar normally lasts for 1 round per three levels of the astramancer.
Vrenjil, the Chaostorm Star (Third Circle): The astramancer conjures a small sphere of blazing red and gold light which dances above the battlefield, seething with suppressed power. At the end of each combat round after its conjuration, the ball of light releases a bolt of magical chaotic energy, which strikes a single target for 1d6 damage per circle of the astramancer. The astramancer can choose the target of this attack by making an Intelligence check at -4; if this check is failed, there is a 2 in 3 chance that the bolt strikes a randomly-chosen enemy, and a 1 in 3 chance that the bolt strikes an unattended object or bit of background scenery. The power of the Chaostorm Star lasts for 7 rounds.
Zadjian, Star of the Archon Realm (Fourth Circle): This ability transports one target to the depths of the Archon Realm, a strange extraplanar space that soothes the body but gradually weakens the mind. The Archon Realm takes the form of a beautiful but empty landscape made of cloudstuff in shades of soft orange, pink and gold; the victim's banishment to this space is very similar to a maze spell, though the victim may attempt a save vs. Spells each round to return to their place of origin. The Archon Realm has a strange effect on body and mind, however - any mortal trapped in this space will heal 2d6 points of damage per round, but also lose 1 point of Wisdom each round. Lost Wisdom is normally restored after 24 hours, however if the victim's Wisdom is reduced to 2 the loss is permanent until restored by a clerical cureall. Characters with a Wisdom of 2 are effectively in a second infancy, without ambition, willpower or judgment, and are unable to act effectively or cast spells until cured.
Sevenfold Invocation (Fifth Circle): This power allows the High Master of Astramancy to place his body into a state of suspended animation, while his consciousness is transferred into the body of a summoned jade archon. The jade archon form has the appearance and powers of a normal (male) archon monster, except as follows - it cannot invoke a bolt of purity or teleport at will, it cannot cast clerical spells but can cast any number of 1st-3rd level magical spells as a 12th-level magic-user (if greater power is needed, the High Master can also cast normally-memorized spells; spells provided by the jade archon form all have their durations end when the High Master leaves the form). The jade archon's human face and features match those of the High Master, and its wingfeathers are a brilliant green. The High Master's human body remains potentially vulnerable to attack; if either the High Master's human body or new archon form are slain while this ability is in use, the High Master dies instantly and can be returned to life only with a wish (and even then is brought back as merely a 4th-circle astramancer).
Normal archons will be instantly and unswervingly opposed to any High Master taking this form, and will always seek to use their bolt of purity power against the High Master. This will not pacify the High Master, but will seal off any spellcasting ability possessed; the High Master will have to battle with natural attacks and magical items only. If an 01 is rolled when invoking this power, an archon is immediately summoned to the High Master's location to attack him; it is invulnerable to attacks from any source other than the High Master himself and will fight to the death. If the High Master defeats the summoned archon, he gains +1 HD whenever assuming jade archon form in the future (maximum of 33 HD).
The craft of fleshshaping is strange and poorly understood - using magic to alter and manipulate a target's very skin and bones, either to draw out hidden reserves of power and potential or to cripple and deform a hated enemy. While the fleshshapers among the old Flaems were always treated with respect for their abilities, they were never much liked or fully trusted, and were easily destroyed by an alliance of rivals seeking greater influence over the powers of mind and spirit. It's whispered that the secrets of their craft have been spirited away by an exile court of dark-hearted Sidhe that dwell to the north and west of Glantri - sometimes unleashing the hidden powers of fleshshaping for their own amusement, sometimes taking apprentices from among the plains barbarians and the wizards of the petty kingdoms of the northlands...
Fleshshaping is powerful, but can also be dangerous. Every time a fleshshaping ability is successfuly used, the fleshshaper must make a save vs. Death Ray (with a penalty equal to the Circle of the invoked ability) or suffer essence drain - a temporary loss of Constitution points. Lowered Con can reduce the fleshshaper's maximum hit points; if the fleshshaper's Con is ever reduced below 3 the character is immediately paralyzed until their Con is restored to 3. Lost Con points are restored at the rate of 1 per day. In addition to the powers listed below, all fleshshapers learn the use of polymorph self and lesser polymorph - the latter being a 3rd-level version of polymorph other that grants its target a +2 bonus to their save and lasts but 1 turn. Lesser polymorph cannot be learned by any spellcaster other than initiates into the craft of fleshshaping.
Focus The Senses (First Circle): This simple power strengthens and improves the eyesight and hearing of one creature touched by the fleshshaper. In addition to out-of-combat benefits as determined by the DM (greater ability to see distant landmarks or faded runes, for instance), the target's chances of being surprised in combat are reduced by half, along with all penalties for being blinded or for battling invisible enemies. The character can also detect noise as a thief of half the fleshshaper's level (or at a +4 level bonus, if the character already has thieving abilities) and any backstabbing attempt made against the character has a 50% chance of failing and being treated as just a normal attack. The effects of this talent last for 6 turns; potential essence drain is 1 Con.
Stigmata (First Circle): This talent allows the fleshshaper to impose a visible, disgusting and highly distinctive deformity on a victim, by touch. Each fleshshaper's stigmata is unique - some cause skin rashes or oozing sores, others evoke wriggling tentacles or grotesque lesions. In any case, the stigmata is extremely memorable and nauseating and effectively impossible to cover or disguise for any extended period of time - tentacles will wriggle free of bindings, bodily fluids will stain through coverings, and so on. This results in a -6 Charisma penalty to the target, as well as extreme difficulty in remaining anonymous when in civilized lands (no combat penalties can be imposed by this power, though, no matter what form the stigmata takes). A stigmata can be reversed by remove curse from a spellcaster of higher level than the creating fleshshaper, the willing touch of the creating fleshshaper, or the creating fleshshaper's death; otherwise, it is permanent. Potential essence drain for this talent is 1 Con.
Effortless Energy (Second Circle): This talent allows a fleshshaper to combine his magical energies with a target's own bodily reserves to greatly increase short-term stamina. A single use of this talent will allow the target to go up to 24 hours without need for food, water or sleep - the price, however, is the fleshshaper losing one memorized spell from memory (of a spell level equal at least to 1/6th the target's level/HD) and the target losing 1d4 current and maximum HP. HP lost when this talent is invoked can be regained after 24 hours of bed rest (if this talent is called upon multiple times in succession, one day's rest is needed for each use, though); an unwilling target can make a save vs. Spells to avoid being affected by the talent. Potential essence drain is 1 Con.
Battle Form (Third Circle): The fleshshaper can change himself or an ally into a massive-bodied, quasi-demonic combat machine. The transformation, while unsettling, is undeniably effective - skin toughens and becomes difficult to cut or burn, hands and feet grow talons or bone spurs, spines that can fend aside blows or impale an enemy sprout from limbs and torso, and so on. As a result of these changes, the subject of this effect gains a +1 bonus to melee attacks and weapon damage, a +2 bonus to Armor Class, a +2 bonus to all saves, can attack with hands or feet for base 1d6+1 damage (hitting targets normally only harmed by magical weapons) and once per three rounds can let loose a terrifying cry with the same effects as a wand of fear. The battle form lasts for 1 round per level of the fleshshaper; potential essence drain is 1d4 Con.
Crippling Touch (Third Circle): By invoking this ability, the fleshshaper gains the ability to weaken and wither enemies' limbs to uselessness. Each touch (requiring a successful attack roll) affects one limb of the fleshshaper's choice. Against human targets this will generally be an arm (preventing the target from using the hand in question to wield a weapon or shield) or a leg (halving the target's movement rate). Monsters may have other extremities that can be targeted, such as the tail of a wyvern. Constructs, elemental beings and undead are immune to this attack. The fleshshaper can use this attack once for every two levels he has; its effects can be repaired with cure critical wounds or other healing magic of equal potency. Potential essence drain is 1d3 Con.
Seal Memories (Fourth Circle): This dreaded talent allows the fleshshaper to shape the very mind of a chosen target, sealing away bits and pieces of the victim's past. This ability takes one full turn to invoke and requires a restrained and helpless (or willing) victim; the victim does not get a saving throw. Depending on the memories the fleshshaper chooses to target, any of the following effects may be possible:
- Block Potential: The character is treated as 1 level lower than normal for purposes of memorizing and casting spells, use of thieving skills, combat rolls and saving throws. The character's level and experience are not reduced and hit points remain as they are, thus restore by itself will not suffice to reverse this effect.
- Block an Event: The fleshshaper can eliminate the target's direct knowledge of one event, encounter or reasonably short time period - totalling at most 24 hours' worth of memories (though this can be split across multiple intervals, if needed). The victim's remembrance of the chosen time period is reduced to a blank slate, and he will be subconsciously open and receptive to implicitly accept the first plausible account of how he behaved during the missing interval.
- Induce Madness: The fleshshaper can even attempt to induce a mental breakdown in the victim by blocking out bits of key formative memories - this requires finesse and ruthlessness, however, and chances of success to use this ability are halved. If successful, though, there is a 10% chance per day that the victim suffers a potential breakdown - going insane (as the symbol for 24 hours unless a save vs. spells is made. The insanity can be cured as per normal rules, but this will not prevent future breakdowns - the memories must be unsealed to fully cure the victim.
Reversing the effects of this power is a long and complex process. First, a dispel evil must be used to calm the mind and prevent the victim's subconscious from reflexively defending itself from further intrusion. Then, a dispel magic successfully cast against the fleshshaper's caster level must be used to remove the magical traces suppressing the victim's memories. Finally, a cureall or restore must be cast to re-integrate the lost memories with the victim's greater psyche. All these spells must be cast within a 24 hour span. The potential essence drain from this power is 1d4+1 Con.
Mnemonic Manikin (Fifth Circle): The High Master of Fleshshaping can create a second living body linked to his own, increasing his ability to cast spells. Creating a manikin requires 24 hours constant work in the High Master's laboratory, during which the High Master must be completely alone - without assistants, guards or companions of any kind. Creating the mnemonic manikin requires at least 12,000 gp worth of magical reagants, as well as freshly-procured body parts from five magical creatures (with hit dice totalling at least 50) - the typical choices are the horn of a chimera, the eye of an efreet, the sting of a manscorpion, the heart of a nucklavee and the tongue of a sphinx. Potential essence drain for this power is 1d6+2 Con; even if the saving throw is successfully used, the High Master will still suffer essence drain of 1d3 Con.
A successfully created manikin takes the form of a 2' tall fleshy doll, without facial features, body hair, gender or muscle definition. It must remain within 120' of the High Master or deanimate, and has no will or ambition of its own - these are provided by the High Master. The manikin can cast spells on behalf of the High Master (such spells cast are lost from the High Master's memory, but the High Master can move, attack with a melee weapon or use a magical item in the same round that the manikin is casting) and assist the High Master in magical item creation or spell research (decreasing time required for such endeavors by a third). It cannot speak, make attacks, or activate magical items (though it receives the benefit of purely passive magic items given to it, such as a ring of protection). The manikin has hit points equal to half its creator's, and has the same saves as its creator. It is immune to mind-affecting spells such as feeblemind and ESP. If the manikin's master is killed, the manikin is immediately and permanently destroyed.
If an 01 is rolled while using this power, the bond between manikin and master becomes overloaded, and snaps. The High Master immediately suffers essence drain sufficient to reduce him to 2 Con, paralyzing him; at the same time, the manikin animates with an independent will, animal-like cunning and drive to survive. All spells currently memorized by the High Master are transferred to the manikin's mind, and the manikin escapes the laboratory using the most expedient means available to it (it can move more than 120' from its creator). The manikin will remain in hiding for 1d4+1 weeks, avoiding any human contact; eventually, though, the manikin will become obsessed with attacking and killing its creator (likely attempting to use stealth and surprise to gain the first strike). Until the rogue manikin is destroyed, no new manikin can be created by the High Master.
The craft of mentalism is all about force of will - manipulating the inanimate, and living beings that have been temporarily made inanimate, purely through mental focus and application of mental energy. As a result, mentalists can use the powers of their craft without even speaking a word or making a gesture - as long as the mentalist is awake and aware, the abilities granted by their craft are available to them. All mentalists also learn the spells hold person (as a 2nd-level spell), hold monster (as a 4th-level spell) and telekinesis when they reach the appropriate levels.
The accumulated lore of mentalism has been lost for centuries, but may have been recently recovered by a clan of Modrigswerg dwarves dwelling in the north of Vestland, near the Heldannic border. It's as yet unknown how much of the arts of mentalism they've recovered, or what use they intend to put their discovery to - they might try to learn mentalism themselves (to who-knows-what result) or bestow them upon renegades among the humans of the Northern Reaches and rebels against the rule of the Heldannic Knights.
Silent Voice (First Circle): The mentalist can telepathically communicate to anyone within 60', with perfect clarity regardless of background noise, barriers, deafness, silence spells, and similar obstructions. This communication is one-way only, though - a subject's responses must be spoken normally. If multiple targets are in range, the mentalist can choose to communicate with any or all of them - leaving any targets he chooses in silence. The ability lasts for 6 turns.
Compel Speech (Second Circle): This ability allows the mentalist to force speech from a held or paralyzed target. The target will either speak the truth as they know it in response to questions, or (if prompted by Silent Voice or similar telepathic means) will make whatever statement or response the mentalist chooses to hear. Outside observers will not be able to tell whether the subject of this talent is being prompted or not. This ability lasts until the target's paralysis is cured or naturally wears off.
Compel Motion (Second Circle): Like the Compel Speech ability, this talent allows the mentalist to control the actions of a target that's been held or otherwise paralyzed. Instead of obeying nothing, the target's limbs and muscles move in response to the mentalist's will - the mentalist can have the target move around (at their normal combat movement rate) and even make melee attacks. Spellcasting, magic item use, fighter combat options and use of thieving skills/backstabbing cannot be compelled by use of this power, and if Weapon Mastery is in use in the campaign attacks are made as if but Basic skill in the weapon was possessed. The mentalist must concentrate to impose new orders on a target, but can establish simple long-lasting orders ('move to this location', 'attack this specific enemy') that will continue to be carried out round-by-round with no need for repetition. This ability lasts until the target's paralysis is cured or naturally wears off.
Object Impressions (Third Circle): The mentalist can read the immediate past history of a tool or other inanimate object just by holding it in his hand. This produces an effect similar to the lore spell, but only able to recover details that could have been known by observing the object for the 7 days just past. Using this ability on a magical wand regularly used by a rival wizard would get good results; using this ability on a magical wand that has been buried in a hidden tomb for the past century would get almost nothing useful.
Telekinetic Fury (Third Circle): This power strengthens and focuses a telekinesis effect already in use by the mentalist, allowing unattended nonmagical items to be moved with much greater speed and precision. As a result, weapons, missiles and other loose objects can be picked up and used to attack enemies - either making a normal attack (if the mentalist wants his chosen weapon to remain in relatively good shape) or smashed forward with raw power and little concern for the weapon's further use (doing triple normal damage if the attack hits, but ruining the weapon). Large nonweapon objects can also be used to pummel, trip and knockdown enemies - an attack made in this way does 1d4 damage per five caster levels and requires the target to save vs. Death Ray or fall down (as per the Hook special ability in the Weapon Mastery rules).The mentalist can continue use of this power for 1 turn (possibly requiring multiple castings of telekinesis) - a ring of telekinesis can be used to power this ability, but has a 5% chance of burning out and becoming completely nonmagical.
Perfect Tool (Fourth Circle): This ability allows the mentalist to shape pure magical force into the form of an unbreakable tool or weapon. There are some limitations on the tool formed with this ability - it must be one the mentalist understands the basic principles of (no Blackmoor relics or similar alien technology), it must be small enough for the mentalist to lift and carry (no siege engines or warships) and it must not be magical or require magic to function normally. The tool will remain manifest until the mentalist next sleeps.
Supreme Imposition of Order (Fifth Circle): This power represents the ultimate imposition of a mentalist's will on his surroundings - making it an uphill struggle for any being within range to wield a weapon or use a tool without the High Master's approval. Once invoked, this ability affects all within 60' of the High Master - an attempt to attack with a weapon, use a magical item, or even move in armor requires a save vs. spells. If this save is failed, the High Master's subtle control causes the target's equipment to slip in their hands or tangle around their body, wasting their action for the round. Purely inborn abilities (monster natural attacks, spellcasting without supporting texts/implements, Striking/Wrestling attacks, etc) do not invoke this penalty. The High Master can choose not to affect allies with this ability.
On a roll of 01, the High Master becomes temporarily insane and violently technophobic for a period of 1 day per level. He will not willingly touch any manmade object or approach any being wielding manmade tools, and if not restrained in some manner will abandon his tower for a natural cave or forest tangle to take shelter in. The High Master's natural intelligence, reasoning ability and spellcasting talents are not lost, but will generally be overshadowed by the temporary technophobia; the High Master may quite possibly die from simple exposure, depending on the surroundings and the time of year.