Chain Magic

The Powers

Chain magic is unlike most other forms of magic in that the Powers with which it is associated are subservient to its power rather than being the sources of it. The Bound Ones were trapped beneath the earth a thousand years ago during the Binding Wars by the most powerful Sorcerors of that age. There are now very few Ordained Chain Sorcerors, since the Bound Ones have little power left in the world. There are some worshippers out there, and being Ordained by the Bound Ones has some small benefits for a Chain Sorceror, but anyone openly admitting to worshipping one of the Bound Ones is likely to be ostracised at best in most civilised societies.

Very, very, very little is known about the Bound Ones any more outside the highest echelons of the Cloistered Brethren of Chains. Most of them have names which seem almost nonsensical, the few scraps of lore from the days of the Binding War which remain in common circulation mention such names as “The Eater Of Wings”, “The Walker In The Hollow Places”, “He Who Walks Wilderness” and “Tears As Fire”.

It is known that the Bound Ones could grant their worshippers the ability to perform Name Magic, but this form of sorcery has virtually died out in civilised lands and is now mainly possessed only by the few surviving officers of the defeated Army of the Red Gryphon and by priests of the Empire of the Unbound far to the West beyond the Great Forest.

The Limits

A Chain Sorceror is strongly limited by the fact that they need to use physical chains in all but the most powerful of their spells. Every level of spellcasting is associated with a Chain, the five Chains in order of increasing power being the Chain of Iron, the Chain of Silk, the Chain of Silver, the Chain of Gold and the Chain of Thought. A Chain used for Chain Magic must be carefully crafted in an intricate pattern that is immediately recognisable to anyone with any knowledge of Chain magic, and a Chain Sorceror may only possess one Chain of each type at any one time. Once one of a Chain Sorceror's Chains is binding something, that Chain is spoken for, and that binding must be broken before the Sorceror can cast another spell utilising that Chain (with the exception of the Shatter Chains spell, which may always be cast). The Sorceror can unbind any of their own spells even if the target has left their sight. If one of the Sorceror's Chains is destroyed then any binding involving that Chain is unbound. If the Sorceror dies then all their bindings are unbound.

Casting a Chain Magic spell requires the Sorceror to touch or be in contact with the Chain they are using. Generally speaking, a Chain Sorceror cannot bind anything they cannot either see or touch and the Sorceror must pause between castings, rapid-fire Chain Magic is not permitted.

As a Chain sorceror gains in power he is able to use his lesser chains more frequently. Each Chain can initially be used for only one binding per Encounter but the Sorceror gains an additional use each time he gains a rank of chain magic.

Therefore a Second Rank Sorceror may use his Silk Chain once per encounter and his Iron chain twice. Upon buying his fourth rank of Chain magic he would have one use of the Gold chain, two of the Silver Chain, three of the Silk Chain and Four of the Iron Chain every encounter.

The Spells

First Level

Shackles Of Iron

Using the First Chain, the Chain of Iron, the caster may bind a single individual in iron chains. These chains can bind either the arms or the legs of the target (creatures with more than two legs will only have one pair of legs bound), but it requires two Chain Sorcerors working in concert to bind both. Either the target's hands and forearms or their feet and lower legs are tightly bound together and weighed down with heavy iron chains.

If a target's arms are bound they cannot wield their weapon properly, they cannot inflict damage or call Parries or Disarms. If a target's legs are bound they cannot move from that spot and may well fall over if they were moving fast when the spell was cast. Multi-limbed creatures such as spiders are merely slightly slowed by having some of their limbs bound. Quadrupeds with one pair of limbs bound can't move any faster than a shamble but are still capable of attacking with bites or their unbound limbs.

The chains can be shattered in a few seconds by anyone with four Ranks of the Strong skill and master Escape Artists can slip loose with similar ease. Groups of creatures with Strong rank 2 or 3 may combine their strength in an attempt to break the chains, or the creature bound may slowly extract themselves from the chains over the course of one minute if they have someone else helping them and are otherwise undisturbed.

Shatter Chains

This spell breaks chains. Not locks, not ropes, not spiderwebs. Chains. This spell can also be used to break any Chain magic spell that the Sorceror is able to cast. When this spell is cast it unleashes anything in the vicinity of the caster (i.e. the range within which he can both see and hear) bound by physical chains, by the Iron Chain, and by the Chain appropriate to the level of spell being broken. This may have unforeseen consequences, if there were things bound within the area which the caster was not aware of. This spell has no effect on chainmail armour, the Chains used in the casting of Chain Magic or things fashioned from chain mesh. Unlike other Chain magic spells there is no limit on the number of times Shatter Chains may be cast per encounter.

Second Level

Bind The Tongue

Using the Second Chain, the Chain of Silk, the caster may bind the tongue of one being. This can prevent somebody from speaking at all, or prevent them from voicing any particular point of view, word, phrase or idea, or render them silent under certain circumstances of the caster's choosing. Whilst the target's tongue is bound the caster may speak with their voice, both from the caster's throat and from the target's. The target is aware of the binding. This spell cannot be used to force a target to “only speak the truth” or similar, only specific commands are possible.

Bind The Eyes

Alternatively, using the Second Chain the caster may bind someone's eyes. This can prevent somebody from seeing at all, prevent them from seeing things which the caster does not wish them to see or prevent them from seeing under certain circumstances of the caster's choosing. While the target's sight is bound, the caster may see through their eyes. The target is aware of the binding. The caster cannot make the target see things which aren't there. The caster cannot use the target's vision to claim line of sight for the casting of spells.

The spell's target can break the binding by putting out one of their own eyes, this action also protects them from further uses of the chain of silk for the rest of the encounter. Few people know that this is possible and fewer still have the nerve to perform such terrible self-mutilation.

Third Level

Bind The Dead

With the Third Chain, the Silver Chain, the caster may bind the spirit of a dead person to the physical world. This spell must be cast within one minute of the time of death and the caster must touch the corpse. The spirit may be bound either to this realm in general or to a specific location as an incorporeal spectre, bound to its former body or bound to another physical object. While the spirit is so bound it is under the command of the caster. See the Monsters page for stats for Disembodied Spirits and the Living Dead. A Chain Sorceror with the Silver Chain or anyone with the Exorcism skill can sense and speak to (and potentially exorcise) a spirit bound to a place or object. A spirit bound by this spell cannot be called up by Ash Magic, including the spells Speak To Silence and Speak Through Stillness. Use of this spell may anger the Burned Lords.

Bind The Power

The caster may bind the power of another Sorcerer. This spell may only be cast on a Sorceror when the caster is the target of one of their spells, which still takes full effect. Once a Sorceror's power is bound that Sorceror can work no magic of the Form bound until this spell is broken. The caster may not bind a Sorceror's power unless the magic is directly intended to affect them - looking at a Light Sorceror casting Raising The Light or having their hair ruffled by a Wind Sorceror casting Summon Wind doesn't enable a Chain Sorceror to cast this spell at those responsible, being blasted by a Storm of Shards does.

If the caster has used one of the target's spell effects to cast Bind The Power on that target, and the binding is then broken for any reason, the caster cannot cast Bind The Power again until the target casts another spell on them - even if the original spell is still in effect (e.g. Sickening or Blood Vengeance).

Fourth Level

Bind The Will

With the Fourth Chain, the Golden Chain, the caster may bind the will of the target. The target will follow orders that do not violate their essential nature until such a time as they are released. The target does not need to understand the caster's language in order to understand what the caster wants them to do. What constitutes a target's “essential nature” is up to the GM, but as an example a notorious miser will not give away all his worldly goods, a faithful hound will not attack its master, a bird will not stop flying, and so on.

Targets with an exceptional mental strength can deny the power of Bind the Will; anyone possessing five ranks of Strong Willed (irrespective of their current psyche hits) can shrug off the spell after a few seconds struggle.

Bind The Wind

Despite the name, this spell can bind any natural phenomenon, the wind, the rain, earthquakes, volcanoes, et cetera. The caster must be within sight of the phenomenon to be bound, and when bound the phenomenon immediately ceases, often leaving an eerie unnatural calm behind in the case of bound weather. The bound phenomenon is held in the Golden Chain and carried with the caster until they choose to release it. The caster may release the phenomenon at will, in which case it begins to take effect at a place of their choosing within sight of them. If the phenomenon is released involuntarily, however, (for example by a Shatter Chains spell,) then the caster finds themselves at ground zero.

Fifth Level

Bind The God

With the Final Chain, the Chain of Thought, the caster may attempt to bind any supernatural being within the vicinity. This spell allows the caster to engage any supernatural being with 10 or more Psyche hits directly in psychic combat, before the god can be engaged in psychic combat it must first be significantly weakened in some way. Defeating a god's physical form normally counts and other more specific rituals may do so with LARPO approval. Any Exorcists present can join the Psychic Combat once it begins. Once the being has had its Psyche hits reduced to single figures through psychic combat it can be bound in the earth in many chains, as the Bound Ones are.

Unleash The Bound Ones

Up to now, nobody has been mad enough to try this, but it is possible. The Bound Ones are widely held to be insanely dangerous, utterly malicious and really not good things to call up.

system/chain.txt · Last modified: 2011/06/04 19:12 by osj01
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