3. Magic and Religion

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    Carlo the DM


      A priest of the Dragon-Church standing against an unlicensed mage

      Arcane Magic

      The Archmagister used arcane magic to gain dominion over the world, and so arcane magic is feared and hated throughout the Free Provinces. Arcane magic (or “black magic”) is reviled as an insidious perversion which can only be used for evil. The use of arcane magic without the permission of the Great College is banned across the Free Provinces. The first order of the Black Priory is the destruction of unlicensed mages (or “free mages”).

      Through the passage of time and the considerable efforts of the Black Priory, arcane magic-users have become rare. The vast majority of people across the Free Provinces will go from cradle to grave without ever seeing arcane magic used. The use of arcane magic will be met with terror, outrage and shock by the inhabitants of the Free Provinces.

      Licensed mages, granted their licenses by the Great College, are permitted to use arcane magic. By receiving their license, licensed mages save their lives but lose their freedom. Enslaved by the Great College, they can be assigned to serve the Free Provinces anywhere – even in the retinue of an Inquisitor of the Black Priory.

      Divine Magic

      The Dragon-Church teaches that divine magic emanates from the Dragon, the mythical creature which vanquished the Archmagister and is now trapped in the Magelands by the magical energy there. In contrast to the base, reality-distorting corruption of arcane magic, divine magic is a gift to humanity and freely used.

      Some members of the Great College once suggested that divine magic and arcane magic are essentially the same force, merely accessed from a different perspective. This is a heresy, and was stamped out aggressively by the Dragon-Church.

      Carlo the DM


        The Dragon-Church

        It was the Dragon which ended the Archmagister’s reign, and so it is the Dragon which is worshipped. Believed to be a being of pure divinity, the Dragon is supposedly omniscient, benevolent and nearly all-powerful. It is, however, trapped in the Magelands by the unstable magical energy left behind by the Archmagister’s defeat. Worshippers believe that the Dragon knew it would be trapped and willingly sacrificed itself as a martyr to rid the world of the Archmagister.

        The Dragon-Church teaches that it is the Dragon’s own power which is felt throughout the world as divine or “dragon” magic. In contrast to the base, reality-distorting corruption of arcane or “black” magic, dragon magic is a miracle and to be encouraged.

        Priests of the Dragon-Church generally keep a copy of the Book of Flame, the holy book of the Dragon-Church, chained to their waist. Some priests pin passages of the Book of Flame to their clothing or tattoo verses into their flesh. The traditional morning greeting of the Dragon-Church is “Flame of the day to you.” The traditional evening greeting is “Ember of the eve to you.”

        All priests can speak and read Draconic, which is the language of the Dragon-Church.

        The Old Gods

        Dwarves brought worship of the Old Gods to the provinces. The Old Gods generally embody values which might be more traditional in older, more barbaric societies, such as lust, strength, greed, cunning and even cruelty. The Old Gods were worshipped before the rise of the Archmagister.

        Considered savage and rapacious, in the aftermath of the fall of the Archmagister the Dragon-Church issued an edict banning the worship of the Old Gods by non-dwarves. Dwarves are permitted to worship the Old Gods but only within their own homes.

        Illegal worship of the Old Gods is still widespread in some of the wilder and more untamed provinces. Some cults seek to spread faith in the Old Gods, openly or secretly.

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