Friday, 12 June 2015

The Sorcery of Orathorn

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Pendant from Orathorn

The Sorcery of Orathorn  (Death, Darkness)

Mythos and History
Foremost amongst those who followed the Devil into the world was he who  commanded the forces that ravaged Genert’s Garden, slaying the god himself.  He fought Basko on the borders between the steppes and the Eastern kingdoms.  He pretended that he held the Mistress of Light and Knowledge, and captured the god of knowledge – her lover – in order to supplant him. 
That coward-god escaped and fled, making vile alliances to hide his cowardice.
When the Great Darkness came, Tien hunted for the missing goddess.  He found her, slew her, and stole her power of Truth along with her head.  When Wakboth fell, Tien was pursued to Hell by a Storm beast, where he in turn was beheaded, losing that power of Truth once more.  He took the ,Darkness.

In the Dawn Age he provided power and inspiration to those who took others’ powers through headhunting.  While his severing had lessened his powers of theistic magic, his ability to write knowledge became the heart of a new way of power for one family that had survived the battle against Basko.  The family of Orathorn adopted the magic of Sorcery to venerate Tien.
When Atyar’s Skull became known, they attempted to find sorcerous ways to gain that power also, but have never found a way to do so.

The Cult In The World
Orathorn is both cult and family, with necromantic servants ‘recruited’ from slaves.  They practise headhunting as a way to garner knowledge, and meticulously note all that may be recalled for storage in their library.  Funeral customs are non-existant, with family members staying around for a very long time.

Nature of the Cult
Self-sustaining, the cult of the Dark Library of the Bone-White Tower gathers more and more information, in an attempt to find the way to re-unite the head and body of Tien.
A robed male body with a Truth rune where the head would be.
Particular Likes and Dislikes
Friendly with Thanites, loathers of Storm cultists, and neutral towards everybody else.  They particularly hate the Pentan Paths of the Storm.
Holy Places
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A group of 're-used' Teshnans
The tower itself.
Holy Days
None as such.


The Tome Of Undying (Death)
This grimoire provides the ecology of Orathorn, and provides for its defence.  The standard form in which it occurs is a hymnbook of a dozen leaves between lacquered bamboo covers, each leaf holding a different hymn.  The majority are simply praise to Tien, but not all:

It provides the following spells:                 

Dirge of the Dancing Bones  (Death, Movement)
This spell will animate a skeleton, with the physical skills they had before death, and permit them to be commanded by any member of the Orathorn family.

Chant of the Fresh-Risen Corpse (Death, Movement)
This spell will animate a corpse as a zombie, clumsy but with massive strength, and permit them to be commanded by any member of the Orathorn family

Calling the Mighty into Mortal Remains                 (Death, Sorcery)
Summons one of the cult’s essences to inhabit a fresh corpse, to act as a Guardian for a Mage or a part of the Library.                                             
Lay of the Loquacious Relic (Death, Communication)
Allows the caster to create a cult ‘Head’ from a prize she has taken. It will respond honestly to any query from the caster.
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Ebon Scroll on lead sheets

The Ebon Scroll (Darkness)
This grimoire counters the Solar powers of Kargzant, and empowers the killer-collectors of the Library.  It is most frequently found as thin plates of inscribed lead or tarnished silver.
It provides the following spells: 

The Truelight and The Tracker (Darkness, Truth)
This spell will ignite Darklight, and permits the caster to see clearly by it.  The flame may expand to no more than a bonfire in size.

The Shade and The Summoning (Darkness, Mastery)
This spell will conjure an elemental essence to animated pool of Darkness, with a volume of no more than 3 cubic metres.

The Guardian and The Gaeas (Darkness, Sorcery)
Summons one of the cult’s essences to inhabit a statue or unintelligent beast, to act as a Guardian for a Mage or a part of the Library.

The Decapitator and The Dead (Darkness, Death)
This spell enables a cultist who has used stealth to strike with a Garrotte and slay their prey in an instant, sending their soul to Tien’s Hell.


The library holds a vast number of grimoires, books, scrolls, tablets and scraps of payrus that can provide many spells.  However, most are in foreign and, not infrequently, extinct languages.

A member of the family becomes an apprentice from the age of 12.

Apprentices graduate at 17, becoming Adepts.
An Adept starts play with one of the Grimoires at 17, knowing all of the spells therein.  They may pay for knowledge of the other Grimoire during character creation.

Once an Adept has reached 11Ш in one of the cult Grimoires, they are accepted as a Mage.  Since the family wish to strengthen themselves, there is no barrier to advancement. 
Learning other spells from the library requires an Essence Plane journey with a dangerous obstacle, and then taking a test of knowledge of the source againsta Very High resistance.
The Mages administer the Library, the Tower, the defences, the servants, or reaping expeditions, as their abilities and preferences dictate.

The Dark Library of the Bone-White Tower
This repository of stolen wisdom and knowledge is closed to any but the Orathorn family, and is spread over three floors of the Tower.  The Tower is simply the heart of a complex of workshops and residences, but it is the only place of learning within the settlement.

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