Monday, May 16, 2022

The First Eight Spells

In the beginning, all magic was natural and instinctual. The first beings who wandered the world; the ancient hyborean great ancestors to mankind, the first highest of all high elves, the lizard-men of the most ancient humid days just after the end of Primordis; whoever they be, magic came easy. It was not formula, but as per intention and imagination.

But something changed; perhaps the old bloodlines grew weaker as they were distanced from creation's womb. Perhaps logical thinking and language took over the earliest societies- and this too shaped minds from flowing with pure sensation and instinct into logical and analytical. Something given a name is forever changed by it; more reliably and knowable, but not more powerful.

The first eight spells were created by the first great sorcerer; an ancient shaman who grasped the mysteries with his boney old hands. He was killed by a jealous rival, who drank from his skull and diluted the first great mysteries as their blood mingled together. But these first eight spells are pure. Perhaps in your setting, these are the only spells that exist at all; magic can still exist outside of spells, but these spells are their own "thing" in the wider world of magic.

All of the spells below are powerful, primordial, and flexible. Any magic user or sage who wishes to learn them must embark on a vision quest and connect with the cosmos to learn them. Once learned, they can be cast whenever you wish- expending mana points/spell slots as per GM discretion to whatever end or level of power the spell is trying to achieve. There are no spell levels. The effects of these spells are spontaneous and flexible; these first spells are infinitely more restrictive then the flexible magic before words; but are still rooted strongly in the ancient past of experience over understanding.

The First Eight Spells

[1] The Creation of Flames
With this knowledge, the caster can create fire. Fire requires something to burn; wood or linen for small flames. To burn a living things requires an amount of strength and malice out of proportion with those who first crafted this discipline. While these are the first eight spells, this itself is the ancestor to all of them. This is the first spell, most simple and pure of them all.

The type and shape of the fire is determined by its maker. Originally, simply lighting a small fire to survive the night is enough. With enough focus, the fire can be created in air, shaped into a ball or blasting wall that moves forward to consume. All fire created from this magic is "real", not magic, it burns as the elemental flame. Anything it warms or cooks is as warmed or cooked as it would from a natural wildfire, lit by a strike of lightning.

Simple strikes with this spell of conjured bolts or jets of flame deal 1d6 fire damage to anyone within a stone's throw. The number of dice increases to the number of targets; a bigger conflagration is also hotter and more intense by its design. The ultimate pyromancy would be to be consumed with ones own flame; Hit Points may be added freely to the damage of your magic blast at a ratio of 1:1 for increased damage and strength.

[2] The Calling of Beings from Other Realities
To summon a being from another realm; one requires the correct portal or threshold from which to call them. To summon a creature from the depths from the sea, one must stand on the shore. To call the spirit of the dead, one must stand at the threshold of a cave or great hole in the earth; of where the dead go. More arcane beings require more arcane mediums with which to appear; a smoke black mirror or a creation and graph of numbers to commune with beings from the realm of pure logic.

The beings from other realities operate under their own morality and have their own goals; they may not answer a call. The only way to ensure they come is to have a connection; the descendant by blood of the ghost you wish to speak to. Sacrifices of blood or treasure may appease or excite one entity, while it will disgust and repel another. Once the threshold and lure have been completed; the being will come when called by its name.

As has been known since the dawn of time; to simply call something does not mean one has any control over it. Any caster of this spell can safely call upon a being of HD equal or less to the caster's own. Otherwise, you have the means to call them, but not the means to force them back from whence they came.

[3] The Guise of Invisibility
Pull over oneself a cloak. It can be seen thru in all directions; you have become invisible to the naked eye. This spell grants the gift of the night. Putting this spell on makes the caster and all they immediately carry invisible in all directions, though no other senses are yet fooled. Footsteps still crunch against the snow, and anything new that falls onto their unseen body remains visible. Leaves, paint, or water all collect on their shoulders and frame, revealing where they are.

This spell fools only the eyes; but how the eyes see varies. Those of exceptional vision may be able to see the slight ripple of dust and air around the otherwise invisible figure. Certain other methods may be able to counter the effect, such as a silvered mirror or looking through a hole in a standing stone, which are known to allow those of normal sight to see the invisible. It is not only the spellcaster who can be put under this spell however; an object or even location can be masked in this way, disappearing from sight.

The only limitation of this spell is time and number. Someone who pushes the limits may be able to cast their glamor over several people who are touching them when the spell is first cast. The spell will last a number of turns equal to the level of the caster, or a number of days for a stationary, nonliving object or place. Parts of a larger thing could also be hidden away; a single door on the side of the tower, or the caster's own hand, pretending it was cut off in a fierce battle.

[4] The Gift of False Life
Life is a gift. Living things grow and change, where as the inanimate does not. It can only act when acted upon; life and the spirit are one in the same. But what of those things with life and motion, but no soul? With this spell; the caster may imbue life within a nonliving thing. Objects given life in this way are unnatural, they move and bend as best they can, obeying only the commands of their creator. The price of false life is true life; ones own life force or the life force of a sacrifice must always been given up in exchange to give false life where there is none. Every Hit Point drained from the caster or a living sacrifice is granted to the false life of the subject of the spell; or one day of deep, true exhaustion to equal one hit point.

Larger objects take more life to animate. Animated things have stats abilities equal to what they would be if they were alive; along with the properties of their inherent material. Things more in line with a living shape, and things with material more similar to living material, are easier to animate. For this reason, the bones of a long dead person are very easy to animate into a skeletal servant. Random familiar objects; tomes which scramble their own letters and broomsticks that fly, can be animate for a larger cost, but may remain animate forever as long as they aren't destroyed.

It should be written here that using the life force of an animal, plants, or a living person as a sacrifice is one method of powering this ancient magic. But be warned; those who go unwillingly into the item will make the item also unwilling; a glowering hatred forms when one steals a life to create their own, trapping it into a prison for their own purposes.

[5] The Journeying between Distant Places
Before any map was drawn, places where only known by their direction and the landmarks that led there. To the north was snow and ice, far beyond the mountains of the spine. For one to reach a distant place in a moment, this spell was created.

This spell allows the caster to travel alone or with a group and everything they carry along a distant horizon. Perhaps a small trip of a day's worth of travel would allow a whole army to travel in an instant with a powerful magician, but any farther or faster and the spell will only take a small handful of people along with the magician.

However, as with the ancient people's knowledge of the world, the caster can only travel to places they have knowledge of. They must either have been there before, or know it well enough for some other means for them to create a pathway that allows for the instant transmission of their bodies.

[6] The Swaying of Lesser Intelligences
The ability to control minds. To magically enhance ones words and actions to impress your will on a lesser will. This power works on living beings, such as animals, as well as other people. Supernatural beings, who may have lived for eternities and whose minds are alien to your own, are naturally immune to this spell; and require more spiritual methods of binding.

The caster's own intellect is used as the fulcrum for this spell. As long as they are smarter and have a higher Intelligence then the target's own Wisdom, they can sway their mind and point of view towards the caster's own. For each point higher, the caster can slightly bend their opinion, emotion, or mind towards doing what the caster wishes them to do.

The power to sway is a great one, but is limited by time and place. One of the most ancient magics is speech; the ability to take a sound or thing and put it into words. When separated and with enough time passing, the swaying wears away, and those tricked by this spell are seldom to risk getting tricked again. To stuff ones ears full of cotton may be the second ever conceived counter to magic; with the first being to simply not anger the mage in the first place.

[7] The Foretelling of Future Events
Telling the future and divining the fate of men is one of the first magical powers the first mage sought. From telling the weather to knowing the eventual destiny of any living thing; the signs of what has already been decided are present everywhere is one has the skill and nerve to look.

The future is always divined with a tool and a method. Rolling the bones, examining the entrails of birds, or the study of a fire when a question is asked. Even if you know how to cast this spell; the skill of divining the future properly is a discipline all on its own.

In game terms; prophecy is hard. For each "thing" you want to learn from this spell, a keyword is locked to a Hunch roll. (Hunch Roll = roll a d20 and save the number for later). You can use these hunch rolls in place of your own rolls, or the rolls of another being as long as the keyword is relevant to the roll.

[8] The Sealing and Binding of Ancient Forces
Even the first men, greater then we, and the first magician, stronger then all other men, did not stand alone in the world. Greater beings existing since before time began, beings beyond mortal comprehension or reach. The ability to lock away such horrors, or bid their attention, was one of the first wishes of mankind. This spell helps bind and control magical creatures. Devils, Fae, Angels, Spirits of Nature, and all other souls and beings not tied that are beyond the mortal realm. It can either seal these spirits away in an object or place (preventing them from manifesting) or bind them to the control of the spellcaster. The former is far more reliable then the latter, but both require great skill and magical might to accomplish.

To Seal an Ancient Force away, one must prepare a vessel whose ritual adornments or material is equal to 500c per HD of the spirit. Then, the spirit must be called or confronted, and trapped within; the sorcerer needing to be defended and survive as the spirit fights back against its enslavement. To Bind an Ancient Force, one must call or confront the spirit, and make it an offer that it accepts.

Even the first ancient men knew how dangerous the primordial forces of nature and the spirit were to them; and even though it was the last of the first spells, its power is still revered even to this day.


  1. Very good! I've some stuff I would love to plug this into.

  2. Really cool. Can definitely see the wizard players excited about chasing these down if they hear rumours. Nice "powers of the ancients" primordial style magic.