The World Of Khoras - Magic

The Drellis Effect

Drellisian Sun Light

Khoras has two stars - Karrym and Drellis - which orbit each other. Drellis, the blue dwarf star, outputs a wide range of charged particles and radiation in its stellar wind. In this high energy protoplasmic soup, there is something that interferes with the normal flow of magical energy. 

When Drellis eclipses Karrym, all forms of magic are weakened. Mages themselves feel this effect as their magic is weakened also. Mages widely believe that there exists a magical side to the blue star's energy. Something within the light of the blue star poisons magic. Mages call this dark essence or anti-magic. Dark essence interferes with the flow of "normal" magic causing spells to weaken, fluctuate or fail completely. It also has a randomizing effect on spells, often altering a spells target or generating side effects.

The Drellis Effect

Because of this unique stellar situation (twin stars orbiting each other), Khoras experiences a regular pattern of magical fluctuation. This pattern has three phases, each lasting one Khorasian week (nine days) :

  1. In the Karrym Dominant Position, Karrym completely eclipses Drellis and blocks all dark essence. During this phase, magic throughout the world is more powerful and more easily controlled.
  2. In the intermediate or "balanced" position, the two stars share the sky. However, the gaseous envelope around Karrym partially blocks the dark essence and magic on Khoras achieves a balance.
  3. In the Drellis Dominant Position, Drellis eclipses Karrym and none of its dark essence is blocked. During this time, magic throughout the world is greatly weakened.

 

 

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

Sun Drift Phase 1.jpg (58986 bytes) Sun Drift Phase 2.jpg (65134 bytes) Sun Drift Phase 3.jpg (60481 bytes)
Karrym Dominant Phase Balanced Phase Drellis Dominant Phase
Magic strengthened "Normal" magic Magic weakened

This phenomenon is widely known as the Mage Curse and sometimes, more simply, the Drellis Effect. Many theories have been proposed and books written about the nature of this anti-magic, but no conclusive evidence has been found to support any one theory. Mortal mages argue endlessly over subtle definitions of matter, energy, essence and demonic influences. Very little is actually known from a scientific point of view.

What is known is this : the dark essence from the blue star greatly reduces the power of spells, spell effects and magically enchanted items. Mages also find that the energy is more likely to deviate and they are less able to control their magic when subjected to the light of the blue sun. (For a detailed discussion of dark essence and its affect on magic, refer to Magic).

Spell Distortion

One of the effects of the Drellis Effect is spell distortion. The more Drellis eclipses Karrym, the more frequent and intense the distortion will be. Whenever a wizard casts a spell during a Drellis phase, there is a chance that the spell may distort. Not every spell will distort. It's a bit random and depends on the situation. Lower level spells (i.e. easy spells) are easier to control and prevent from distorting. Complex and difficult spells are more prone to distort. Also, the skill of the wizard involved plays a big part. Very skilled wizards can concentrate and focus their spells to prevent them from unraveling. Young and inexperienced wizards are more prone to lose control of their spells. The game master will have to use his or her own judgement.

When a spell does distort, the possible effects and side effects are broad. Here are some specific examples of how the Drellis Effect might distort a spell. These are just a few examples. Any single spell could result in dozens of variations and, each time, the effect might be different. Use your imagination and keep the players on their toes. Generally speaking, spell distortions are annoying, inconvenient and sometimes a little dangerous. But they are rarely lethal. It is usually just enough to encourage mages to use caution during a Drellis dominant phase.

 

Offensive Spells

  1. A magic missile spell (or any similar bolt of energy) could fizzle harmlessly. Or veer off course and miss badly.
  2. A fireball spell might miss and overshoot its target, exploding behind the enemy.
  3. A lightning bolt spell could cause a slow moving ball of lightning which will drift about the battle field aimlessly or is perhaps attracted to magic.
  4. Any beam or ray based spell might cause a cone shaped effect instead. The effect is, however, greatly reduced in intensity. One quarter power or less.
Healing Spells
  1. Spell works but only at half strength.
  2. Spell works normally but the healing occurs in painful spurts of regrowth. 
  3. Spell works normally but healed flesh is scarred and has no sense of touch.
  4. Spell causes damage rather than healing.
  5. Spell heals, but causes a similar amount of damage to the healer.
  6. Spell works but the repaired flesh quickly deteriorates. In other words, the effects are temporary and the repaired wounds will slowly return. 

Divination Spells

  1. The spell gives wildly incorrect predictions.
  2. The spell causes a random form of insanity in the oracle. The insanity if temporary, lasting from a few hours to a few days.
  3. The spell gives a vision of the future, but then strikes the diviner temporarily blind.

Movement Spells

  1. Spell which give flight is under powered, resulting in one quarter speed and one quarter duration.
  2. Spell which causes levitation has wild variations in strength and control, resulting in a bumpy ride.
  3. Spell which gives flight results in a pair of huge ghostly wings which linger for a few hours even after the spell ends.
  4. Teleportation will be wildly incorrect (and dangerous). The person will miss their destination by several kilometers.

Miscellaneous

  1. A spell which normally purifies food will work, but will also make anyone eating the food incredibly thirsty.
  2. A spell which affects the vision of a creature will cause the eyes to emit bright beams of light for the duration of the spell.

Wild Mages

Some mages, known as Wild Mages or Chaos Sorcerers, actually use the energy from Drellis to form their spells rather than from the universal energy field. They experience a similar pattern of fluctuation due to the eclipsing of the two stars, but their pattern is exactly reversed from normal mages. When Drellis is dominant, wild mages wield great power and they suffer when Karrym rules the sky. Wild mages are rare, but the world is aware of them. Wild magic tends to be more powerful, but less controllable than "standard" magic. Wild mages also tend to suffer unusual side effects from their art. Many go mad, others develop odd physical peculiarities. (Baldness, odd skin coloration, etc.).

All of this information is commonly known to the inhabitants of the world. Wars, political coups, prison escapes and more have all been planned around and influenced by the Mage Curse.

Customizing the Drellis Effect

It should be noted that Khoras can be used without the Drellis effect. If you don't like the idea of a world where the strength of magic varies from week to week and it doesn't fit in to your game, then don't use it. Just consider the two stars as having little or no effect on magic. The Drellis Effect is optional and can be subtle or exaggerated or ignored entirely. That goes for anything else in the world that you don't like. Use what you want, ignore or change the rest.

This website was last updated July 28, 2014. Copyright 1990-2014 David M. Roomes.

Contact Webmaster