The Creation Game
I hate component magic. By design, spellcraft is not science. Yet somehow, most settings present it as an alternate, often competing school of thought. It’s infuriating. Magic is magic. It shouldn’t need midichlorians or eye of newt to run properly.
But, as soon as you remove the components, people start asking where magic comes from. That’s fair. Arcane magic is everywhere, the last flickering embers of the original prime mover. On Achades, shapers use runes to tap into this power, binding it and a measure of will to an object, or construct, or spell.
The workshops of the Evergreen were magical and storied places where Master Runecutters and their cabals of apprentices shaped the most exquisite and complicated magics. Most notably, an ancient Tyrin elder named Faran, who the sagas suggest could bond complex life to any construct – big or small.
After the Long Winter’s War, with their numbers diminished and many of the Stonekin returning home to some semblance of their former lives, the Tyrin once again needed something to bolster their numbers. Especially around the Dawnspire, where their secondary lines of defense were most diminished. For a task this complex, there was only one choice.
Master Faran had toiled for centuries, delving deep into the ancient texts stored within the Dawnspire, searching for what no one knew. Still, the years of solitude made the old Runecutter a creature of fleeting patience and limited grace. Something it wore openly beside the encroaching flecks of madness on its severe barkskin face.
Despite the distinct lack of nicety, the centuries had made Faran wise, filling the master’s ancient mind with long-forgotten answers to long-forgotten questions. While Faran was at times forgetful, nothing written could remain hidden in the ancient texts for long. It was only a matter of finding it. Faran’s apprentices searched high and low for days until finally, they came upon a solution lurking deep within some time-worn pages at the top of the stacks: The Dryadeen. An ancient construct of unflinching cruelty and singular purpose not employed since the days of the old home.
A Magnificent Bargain
Unlike god-fire, Arcane energy is a long slow burning medium, a tool of finesse. All it requires is the right rune and a touch of will to engage, and therein lies the danger. Give too little, and the spell fails, too much, and you may die. It takes a practiced master hundreds of years to recognize the distinction. Those who do can transmute form, give life, and even raise the dead for a time. A solid return, considering…
THE KILLER AWAKENED
The creation of a green mind is no small feat. The daily rituals, the precise carving of runes, the gift of life torn from something feral to saturate it with purpose; it’s a long work that Tyrin Runecutters had polished to lyrical perfection in the elder time.
The result is a vivid nightmare garden of ambush predators slumbering in the dappled loam surrounding the Dawnspire, hungry for violence.