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

Here are some specific examples of how the Drellis Effect distorts magic and spells. 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 dangerous. But they are rarely lethal. It is usually just enough to discourage mages from relying on their magic too much during a Drellis dominant phase.

Healing Spells
  1. Spell works normally but the healing occurs in painful spurts of regrowth. 
  2. Spell works normally but healed flesh is scarred and has no sense of touch.
  3. Spell causes damage rather than healing.
  4. Spell heals, but causes a similar amount of damage to the healer.
  5. 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.
  3. The spell gives a vision of the future, but then strikes the diviner temporarily blind.

Movement Spells

  1. Spells which give flight or levitation result in a pair of huge wings which do not vanish when the spell ends.
  2. Teleportation will be wildly incorrect (and dangerous).


  1. A spell which normally purifies food will work, but will also make the affected food highly addictive.
  2. A spell which affects the vision of a creature will cause the eyes to emit bright beams of light. Conversely, it could permanently blind the user in one eye when the spell ends.

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 Khoras as always being in the balanced phase. No variation. 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 March 1, 2014. Copyright 1990-2014 David M. Roomes.

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