Erich von Nehoppel
|VARIANT: Spellweaving Magic System
|To use this variant Magic System, simply use the
Spellweaving document in its entirety with
the exception of sections that have been "overidden" by this document, as
indicated in the section headers below.
|MODIFY: Means to Power
|The general rules given in the Means to Power
Spellweaving apply to the Order of Esow, but with the following
|Esowyc are able to channel
Magic more easily if they have symbolic objects relevant to a Spell Effect
they are trying to cast. This is handled by using Expendable Foci, called
Material Components. Players of Esowyc characters should be made to keep
track of what Material Components their characters have available.
This is an important facet of this style of Magic. Esowyc
should always be on the lookout for unusual and interesting Material Components
to keep their inventory up to par. Good Material Components are also valuable
commodities between Esowyc, and trading them back and forth is a common past
time, similar to baseball card trading.
|In addition to their Spell Skills,
Esowyc must also have an INT based Knowledge Skill, KS:
Material Components. This Skill allows an Esowyc to identify the symbolic
usefulness of various items for casting Spell Effects.
|Limitations work in the same fashion for
Order of Esow as defined in Spellweaving, but an alternate list of Allowed
Limitations is used, as follows:
- Expendable Foci
- Increased END
- Exhausting (SE (Always Occurs): AP/10 in LTE
(-1/2) or AP/5 in LTE (-1))
All of the options for Incantations other than Complex are usable by Esowyc.
All of the options for Gestures other than Complex are usable by Esowyc.
As described previously in the Material Components section, Esowyc are able to
use symbolically relevant objects to assist them in the casting of Spell
If, in the opinion of the GM, a player tries to pass off a
sketchy Material Component with a weak symbolic link to the Spell Effect they
are trying to cast, a successful KS: Material Component roll (modified by the GM
as he sees fit) indicates that the symbolic link is strong enough and the
Material Components works for that single casting.
Any level of Increased END is usable by Esowyc.
Exhausting is represented as an always occurs Side Effect that causes the
Spellweaver to take either the Active Points divided by 10 in Long Term
Endurance for a -1/2 Limitation or the Active Points divided by 5 in Long
Term Endurance for a -1. This is in addition to any other END Costs.
|Details Of The Order
Order of Esow (EE-sue) is a guild of spellcasters that teaches a variant
Spellweaving Magic System. Individual members of the Order are called Esowyc (ee-SUE-eek)
singularly and collectively.
|Esowyc are members of the Venerable Order
of Esow, an independent organization whose membership endeavor on their on the
behalf of both themselves and their Order.
|The Order actively seeks to identify, recruit, and train
new members to keep the Order's ranks filled, serves as a political lobby
for the aggrandizement of Esowyc, and as a self-protection network for its
members. In return members are expected to carry out tasks when directed to
do so by the Elders.
|NOTE: In the
World of San'Dora,
the Order exists in the Nordmanner lands of the north, and is strongest in
the western and central counties, but has some presence across all the
Nordmanner counties. They compete with several other groups of Spellweavers
as well as practitioners of Metier
based mostly in and around Daelanthanor. The Order is the dominant mystical
society in the Nordmanner lands, and they wield their power and influence
with a deft hand.
|The Order of Esow is a large and stable
organization, with several large regional centers of operation called
Siontrwyc (shawn-TRUE-eek) collectively and Siontrw (SHAWN-true) singular,
each home to a panel of at least six Elder Esowyc plus at least one
Administrator, and many smaller centers called
Dynwyc (deh-NEW-eek) or Dynw (DEH-new) singular.
|The Order is a meritocracy, lead by
committees called Pwyllgorau
(pweeth-gor-AH-ee) plural and Pwyllgor (PWEETH-gor) singular formed
from Elders of the Order.
|The following Rank Perks differentiate
levels of authority within the Order of Esow:
|Newly accepted to the Order, an Initiate
can expect to be fed, clothed, and protected but has few other
privileges. Kept cloistered in a Siontrw and taught Magic.
|An Apprentice has at least 15 points spent
on Spell Skills and knows at least 5 different Spell Skills. Sent on a
tour of other Siontrw in small groups to learn more Magic and get
|A Journeyman has at least 30 points spent
on Spell Skills and knows at least 10 different Spell Skills. Journeyman
have broad latitude and function independently; though they are actively tasked with most
of the leg work of the Order such as Gathering Spell Components,
Finding Recruits, Carrying Messages between Siontrw and Dynw, and so
|A Master has at least 50 points spent on
Spell Skills and knows at least 15 different Spell Skills. Masters do
what they wish aside from occasional special tasks given to them by the
|An Elder is a Master that has proven
themselves to the Order and been raised by the majority vote of a
minimum of nine other Elders. Elder status is a rank, not an age; some
Elders have been as young as their late twenties. Collectively they lead the Order via
committee; rule is conducted via majority vote and each Elder may cast
|The Order has many formalized Roles,
particularly at the Journeyman level. The following list includes the most
|This Initiate Role is given to
Initiates that are taken in to young to begin studies; the Order
generally wont start training a child in earnest until they have hit
puberty but take them in when they are younger.
|Scratchers carry messages within an Order
House; their name comes from scratching at closed doors to notify those
inside that they are waiting to deliver a message.
|This Apprentice Role is given to the most
promising Apprentice in a clutch of Apprentices, marking them as the
"first among equals", general spokesperson, and person responsible for
that group of Apprentices.
|This Journeyman Role is responsible for
guiding clutches of new Apprentices on their tour of Siontrwyc. This is
an important Role, in as much as the Journeyman is effectively in charge
of helping the Apprentices translate their classroom learning into
|This Journeyman Role is responsible
for seeking out and acquiring Material Components for the Order. This is
a crucial Role, but one few want, as it is often very dangerous; many
Gatherers meet a bloody end. (Gatherer is an excellent Role for an
|This Journeyman Role is responsible
for finding promising youths to induct into the Order. They are seeking
children that are unusually bright and precocious, particularly among
the poor and orphaned.
|When they find likely candidates, the
Finder offers a tidy sum of gold (to be paid by a guarded courier
later), and takes the child to the nearest Siontrw to become an
|This Journeyman Role is
to promising Esowyc that seem destined for higher Rank, as the carrying
of messages for the Masters and Elders gives them both an insight into
the inner workings of the Order, and also familiarity with many of the
movers and shakers in the upper ranks that will be useful to them should
they gain rank later.
|They are also usually accompanied by
armed guards, making this Role safer than some others.
|The Role is given to trusted Masters,
who are sent out to get to the bottom of some Mystery, or investigate a
matter of some concern to the Elders of the Order. Such missions are
frequently dangerous and can take an Esowyc in unexpected directions.
(Truthfinder is an excellent Role for an adventuring Esowyc).
This temporary Role can be assigned to either a Master or Elder. A
fairly open ended Role, a Speaker is given a verbal contract by a
committee of Elders that defines what they can and cannot do, within the
confines of which they have the full backing of the entire Order and
speak on its behalf.
This Master Role is in charge of the care and upkeep of an Order House's
Ystorau (eh-STORE-ee), or inventory of Material Components. Almost
universally a Keeper was previously an experienced Gatherer, as few
others are knowledgeable enough about Material Components and their
rarity to do the job correctly.
This Role is assigned to a trusted few Elders, no more than one per
Order House. Each Librarian has a single Master as an assistant, called
a Tudalen (two-DAH-lynn), or Aide. It is the responsibility of a
Librarian to be intimately familiar with all the Codeci (Ysgriflyfrau)
kept in their Order House, and every Codex kept at two other Order
The Order uses many layers of deception, blinds, double blinds,
obfuscation, and secrecy to ensure the safety and secrecy of their
master list of Codeci. The Elders regard them as the most valuable asset
of the Order by a far margin and take no risks in securing them.
Further, the Librarian is responsible for the physical security and care
of the Codeci in their Order House, the occassional scribing of new
Codeci as needed by the Order, and controlling access to the Codeci.
Their Aide is essentially their shadow in all things, though they are
only entrusted with the knowledge of which Codeci are at their Order
House, and eventually will take over the Llyfrgellydd upon their
retirement, or more rarely will be raised to Elder status and become the
Llyfrgellydd of a new Order House.
This Role is assigned to either a Master in some Dynwyc or an Elder in
all Siontrwyc and most Dynwyc. Some of the larger Siontrwyc have several
|The task of the Administrator is to
see to the day to day administration and upkeep of the Order House they
are in charge of. They typically command a staff of some sort, and deal
with the locals of the settlement the Order House is located in.
|This is an important Role, and
carries a lot of political clout in as much as Administrators that are
Elders break ties on votes held in their bailiwick, and Administrators
that are Masters get a vote.
|Often Masters that are on the inside
track to become an Elder are made the Administrator of a Dynw near the Siontrw
they are based out of, or a junior Administrator of a Siontrw if it is
large enough to have multiple Administrators.
|The Order is an old organization much given
to symbology. Much of their symbology is private, maintained as Mysteries of
the Order, but some of it is public.
|The official Crest of the Order is a
lozenge (diamond) bearing a shooting Comet Or (gold) issuing from the
sinister chief (upper left) on a field of Purpur (purple) over a Sable
(black) terrace in base (solid color across the bottom).
|NOTE: In Heraldry left and right (sinister
and dexter) are from the perspective of the sigil, which is to say they are
reversed in respect to the viewer. Left is right and right is left.
|The comet represents mystic power, the gold
represents the financial security and political clout of the Order, the
Purple represents the Mysteries of the Universe that the Order learns the
secrets of, and the black base represents the Physical World where the Order
resides and exerts its power.
|Every Esowyc Siontrw bears this Crest
prominently, and most members of the Order wear some form of adornment
|RANK AND ROLE MARKS
|Each Rank and most identified Roles within
the Order have a symbol associated with them, and it is customary (and
expected) for members to wear the symbols appropriate to their Rank and when
appropriate their Role.
|The most common symbols are:
- Initiate: a simple white robe and a distinctive haircut (head shaved
on the left temple) mark this Rank.
- Scratchers have both sides of their head shaved.
- Apprentice: a light blue robe, their shiny new metal and black leather
components pouch, and their unadorned black oak staff mark this Rank.
- Beacons are allowed to have a single silver cap on the top of their
staff, and are given a silver ring bearing a garnet.
- Journeyman: practical sturdy black robes, a black pointed travel
hat, and the addition of silver caps to their staff mark this Rank.
- Guiders wear a silver ring with an amethyst encircled by four garnets.
- Gatherers are given a distinctive cloak with many pockets sewn on the
- Finders wear a silver ring with an amethyst encircled by four white
- Couriers are given special staffs that come apart in the middle;
convenient when they are on horseback; the silver joining caps in the
middle of the staff is a giveaway. They also wear silver rings with a
single amethyst in a gold setting.
- Master: the addition of a golden comet shooting down from the top
right to the bottom left of their accountrements, and golden caps on their
staff mark this Rank. Also, Masters receive a larger stipend from the
Order, and most tend to replace their travel-worn garments and pouch with
- Truthfinders don't have any special symbology, due to the nature of
some of their investigations. However, they do bear a document describing
their mission in broad terms and identifying their status in case they
need assistance from other Order Houses.
- Speakers wear a golden torc (neck collar) bearing a relief of a comet
over the wearer's throat.
- Keepers wear a golden locket that contains a special gold coin stamped
with the Order's comet on one side and a hand on the other side, the
meaning of which is symbolic.
- Aides are given a gold brooch bearing a golden feather.
- Elder: purple robes, a golden pendant featuring the shooting comet,
and a golden ring bearing an amethyst mark this Rank.
- Librarians carry a small lockable book on a golden chain cross slung
over their shoulder. Contrary to popular belief these books do not contain
a list of the Codeci in the Librarian's care. Instead it is a schedule
book allowing the Librarian to keep track of which Codeci (referred to
only by code), are currently being used and are scheduled to be in use in
the future. This allows them to avoid double booking the same Codex to
Esowyc that have been permitted access to them.
- Administrators wear a symbolic golden key set with an amethyst as a
|BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP
|Membership in the Order definitely has its privileges,
in relation to an Esowyc's Rank and the favor they find with the Elders. All
members receive respectible sustenance and comfortable shelter from the
Order as long as they are at any Order House.
|There are financial benefits as well; Apprentices and
Journeymen are given a modest stipend (sufficient for baseline Wealth 0),
Masters are given a more respectable stipend (sufficient for between Wealth
4 and 6), and Elders receive a princely compensation (sufficient for between
Wealth 7 and 10).
|Additionally those on specific missions for the Order
are well funded as a matter of course; the Order does not believe in setting
their people up for failure. And other material goods are provided either
for free or at cost to members, including the basic accoutrements and
symbols of Rank and Role.
|Further individual members can call on their brethren
for assistance, and expect a certain level of it to be forthcoming. This is
a reciprocal process of course; Esowyc can be called on to help their
brethren in turn.
|Each Order House maintains a Ystorau
(eh-STORE-ee), essentially a Material Components pantry. Members are allowed
to browse the Ystorau and either trade for components from their own
selection, or else offer sufficient reimbursement to the Order. Each
Ystorau is run by a Keeper, who makes decisions as to the value of the
Material Components being taken and offered for trade.
|All the material and temporal benefits aside however,
the real benefit of membership is that Esowyc can gain access to the Order's
large collection of Ysgriflyfrau (ehs-griv-LEAVE-ree), or Codeci as
they are more commonly known, which each describe the mystic secrets
necessary to learn new Spell Skills. These are the most valued and important
of the Order's Mysteries and they are well guarded, with access to them
strictly controlled. Each Order House has one or more of them, with a
disparate selection available at each; the largest Siontrwyc have 30 or more
|Unknown to the general populace of the Order, the Elders
long ago devised a clever system of overlapping partial coverage of all the
many Spell Skills possible, so that if a Siontrw were to fall to violence
only a fraction of the Order's Mysteries would be taken, and further
Codeci's for each Spell Skill still exist in the vaults of at least three
other Siontrw. It would thus take an concerted assault on all the Siontrwyc
at once to guarantee the capture of a Codeci for every Spell Skill. To
protect this form of security, only a few Elders are entrusted with
knowledge of which Codeci are kept where, and it is believed by most that no
one person knows the full inventory.
|Rarely an Esowyc decides they do not wish to be part
of the Order, and more frequently an Eswoyc is found wanting
and cast out, but in either case there are those that once held some Rank in
the Order but are members no longer. These individuals are called Celanedd
(keh-LON-eeth) collectively and Celaneddion (keh-lon-eeth-EE-on)
singularly, which basically means "dead ones", indicating that from the
Order's perspective they are effectively deceased. This is a form of
excommunication. Members are not supposed to fraternize with, associate with, or even
talk to Cerlanedd if they can at all avoid it. Sever all ties is the party
| This hard-line attitude is somewhat petty, but
supported by the very real concern of internal security. The Order is far
flung, and large enough that few Esowyc know more than a fraction of the
current members of the Order. Thus a Celaneddion, who knows more than enough
about the Order to talk the talk and walk the walk so to speak, could travel
to an Order House outside of their original stomping grounds and have
reasonably good odds of being believable as a current member. Once inside,
such an infiltrator could take advantage of the Order House's library of
Codeci and other facilities, in addition to potentially gaining inside
knowledge of the current affairs of the Order.
|Due to this real issue, Calenedd caught in the
act of doing this are killed. Those who get away are made the target of a
Truthfinder, or if powerful enough a posse of Esowyc and some armsmen, called
a Torfoedd (TOR-vayth), is assembled to hunt the malefactor down. In
short, Calanedd are left alone if they go their own way, but there is a
single strike policy for those who do not.
|Generally speaking once out of the Order, one is out
forever. However there have been a relative handful of recorded instances of
a Calenedd earning their way back in to the Order by some spectacular act,
perseverance, or circumstance. It is practically unheard of, but there are
precedents. For instance, it is possible for a committee of Elders to offer
a Calenedd a return to the Order as the prize should they perform some
ridiculously dangerous task that no sane Esowyc would take on.