Monday, December 10, 2012

The Green Lands - The Magic Book - Part 1

The second book for the Green Lands is The Magic Book, which, obviously, details the magic system.  Here's how it works:

Magic In the World, and Of the World

Magic in the lands can be discussed in terms of magic in the world (that is, magic created or brought into the world - spells or magic items or magical places created by magic using characters or beings) and magic of the world (magical power that is inherent in the land itself).


Sources Of Power

All the cultures recognize that there are sources of power in the universe, energy that can be used to power spells. In game terms this is the Power (POW) characteristic. And almost everything has POW.


This is an animistic world. So, like Glorantha, everything has a spirit - people, all living beings (plants and animals included), natural features (rocks, trees, bodies of water, the ocean, the sky), and natural phenomena (thunder, rain). Beyond that, there are beings of spirit, disembodied spirits of many types which can be
sources of knowledge, support, and power. These include the spirits of places and things, those of departed ancestors and heroes, and spiritual beings which may never have had physical form in the mundane world - including  gods.These truths are recognized by all the cultures. Some cultures and/or groups or magical practitioners are more concerned with particular sources of power and spirits, and less with others.

Other Worlds

This world (the mundane world), is bordered by The Otherworld. This is a parallel world to the mundane, which mirrors the mundane world, but is also different in many essential ways. This is a tricky concept, because there are multiple “Otherworlds,” and even the degree to which they are separate from each other (and from the mundane world) is not necessarily cut-and-dried, nor fixed. Some of the best-known Otherworlds (or parts of the Otherworld?) are:

The Annwn: In between incarnations, there is the land of the afterlife. There a warrior is rewarded with eternal youth and endless summer. It is ruled by a god, Arawn, and he sometimes exchanges places with a
mortal lords. He leads a pack of fearsome white hunting dogs on hunts that chase game into the mortal world. Following the hounds will lead one back to Annwn.
Godsland: this may be a part of, or an alternate world of, The Summerlands. It is the dwelling of the Wald gods. In most ways, it is like the Summerlands.

The Great Wilds: this region is a great, untamed wilderness, untouched by any kind of civilization. The living things found there are again, a mirror of those found in the mundane world, but grander in every way. It is in this place that the archetypal animal totems of the Skathaks dwell. It is ruled by the god Karanos.

The Spirit World: this is where magicians travel to deal with disembodied spirits. The degree to which it overlaps with other “Otherworlds” is unclear. It is probably closest to the concept of the “Astral Plane.”

Hell: This is the foulest pit in any world. Here is the residence of the demons and imps, all the creatures who serve evil and chaos. It is a great cavern of fire, were the damned burn eternally. No sane man would want to visit here, but some legendary heroes have braved its tortures to perform great deeds. Diabolic sorcerers may attempt a visit to gain more power. They are sometimes allowed to come and go.

The Summerlands:  this is where the gods and faeries live.  It is a place of great beauty and strangeness.  It is the part of the Otherworld that is most connected to our world.

Connecting these worlds is the Tree Of Life, which makes up the Universe, the Tree connecting the Upper Worlds (the heavens, stars, and light), the Middle Worlds (the mundane world and the Otherworld[s]), and
the Lower World (the roots of the Tree, the land of Earth Spirits).

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